Monthly Archives: November 2008

Creating a Palette

I mixed up the palette for the new painting…

  1. Micaceous Iron Oxide, Carbon Black, Burnt Umber
  2. Red Oxide, Transparent Brown
  3. Raw Sienna, Golden Orange
  4. Iridescent Deep Gold, Yellow Oxide
  5. Cadmium Red Light, Transparent Yellow Oxide
  6. Primary Yellow, Titanium White

They each also have retardant mixed in (a necessity because it takes forever to paint these with a tiny brush), as well as a dash of opium (seriously). Just for fun… Two years ago I did an Easter Egg scavenger hunt for Nefarious in which the final “prize” included a whole bunch of Play-Doh — I saved the containers and now they’re being put to good use. Because they’re small, and relatively airtight, they’re perfect for the application of mixing small batches of custom colours.

Other than that, I saw an amazing idea on Treehugger about green retrofits for skyscrapers, essentially attaching windmill/greenhouse structures to the sides of buildings so that they’re both power generating stations and vertical farms — taking old, expensive buildings and updating them so they produce all their own power and food. Pretty amazing idea.

And this list of the most expensive accidents, which is rather USA-heavy, is missing the most obvious “oops” — the Iraq War, which has now cost about $600 billion and is expected to pass $1 trillion when it’s all done. Sorry! Hopefully that mistake starts to end tomorrow.

Art Morning

I forgot to reset my alarm clock, and of course Nefarious’s internal clock has not reset either to the daylight savings time change… So we were both up an hour earlier than we needed to be. We both worked on our latest paintings — what a lovely face she decided to make here… Posterity thanks you.

My new project, The Opium Den, is very busy. I’m not yet sure how I’m going to paint it, but I’m leaning toward a monochromatic — shades of browns and ochers — with one or two features done in bright vibrant color (a la the Guitar Hero painting). I finished sketching it this morning.


I love all these videos and smear emails going around that are dipped in paranoia that Obama is going to get elected and then be like “Surprise! I’m a Muslim extremist!” as if he’s some sort of super sleeper cell. That said, I do actually think he’s lying about his religion… Personally I suspect he’s essentially an atheist, but that’s unacceptable in American politics so people pretend to be Christians. Maybe they go to church at times, but the reality is that it’s a social event more so than some sort of literal belief… I have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the idea that a guy as bright as Obama could actually believe something as patently ridiculous as Christianity (or any any other mythology).

Handweb Piercing Placement Thoughts

I’m really thrilled with how my handweb piercing turned out. Tomorrow it’ll be a week old, and it’s doing extremely well. I think that’s as a result of three things:

  • Placement – The placement minimizes point-to-point motion, and is such that the ring lies comfortably against the hand in the fold of the webbing. This keeps it protected in nearly all hand positions and even though it’s a high motion area, gives it almost no motion stress.
  • Jewelry – The jewelry is a 12ga 7/16″ stainless steel ring by Anatometal, which means both that it’s good quality, and that it’s large enough to take a little abuse, and is big enough to absorb motion but not big enough to get in the way. The ring is about 50% in the tissue while the tissue is a little swollen and I expect that will drop to about 1/3 when healed, at which point I will probably swap in a 10ga 3/8″ ring.
  • Aftercare – For the first day I taped my thumb to my finger to keep motion and irritation to a minimum. I kept the piercing protected during the initial couple days. Other than some bleeding in the first 48 hours, there’s been no discharge. I’ve been using Simple Care spray (Neem, Comfrey, Black Seed, and Dead Sea Salts), which as well as being a great functional product, comes in a convenient spray bottle.

My initial entry on the piercing is here, but I’ll add how I did the piercing… I drew the dots on, pinching the tissue to feel for motion and so on. After a little adjustment I came upon what I thought was ideal, and pushed the 10ga needle through… It was pretty unpleasant, and I haven’t done a piercing on myself in a looooong time. After the tip was through the other end, which stung like crazy, I actually just gave it a couple whacks with a remote to get it all the way through!!! Follow-through was a breeze because of the drop-down sizing.

Candy Euphoria

We had the pleasant surprise of Nefarious returning early from her weekend plans, so my “lunch” was stuffing myself silly as we gorged ourselves on the vast supply of Halloween candies that she came back with… Then we went to the park and bumped into some neighborhood kids and they built a sand castle — probably the last of the year as it’s getting quite chilly.

We also picked up some more wood panels for painting… I’m working on an Opium Den painting. It’s another small painting, by my historical standards anyway. As I mentioned, I’m moving toward doing more of that size because it’s easier to deal with for shipping and also for normal, modest-sized homes.

It banishes melancholy, begets confidence, converts fear into boldness, makes the coward eloquent, and dastards brave. Nobody, in desperate circumstances, and smiling under a disrelish for life, ever laid violent hands on himself after taking a dose of opium, or ever will.
John Brown
Elementa Medicinae

Heroin is very addictive but does not itself cause any serious illnesses, nor does it harm any organs or tissues.
Dr Ben Goldacre
Methadone and Heroin: An Exercise in Medical Scepticism