Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Batoidean Water Colors

Here we have Bagel, the neighbor's cat.  He likes to lounge in my drive way and is friendlier than the neighbor's other cat, Everything Bagel.

So recently I decided I wanted to do some water colors and this is my first one.  I did some as a kid but they were terrible, of course.  Back in those days I would paint on printer paper and I also liked to use too much water.  Thus, even if the paintings weren't bad, they became bad by the water spreading out and the paper crinkling as it dried.  

I'm still trying teach myself water color technique which I was never taught, obviously.  The thing I like about it is the variation of shades in a color that naturally happen.  It gives a tie-die, abstract-y look.  I also like abstract paintings so it helps that I'm not trying to avoid being abstract.

I was very pleased with the way the manta ray turned out.  And if you hadn't noticed, it isn't in the photo.  I started drawing a leaf and it reminded me of a ray, and so I kicked in my creative license and the law of inspirations to put a marine animal in the grass and a cat into the watery driveway.

I'm going to keep practicing water colors in the near future and I'll post them here to see! 

Keep sharing and spreading the Festival of Ideas! 

Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Should you vote your conscience?

Today while working, my manager and I were discussing the US presidential race and an interesting question came up. 

Should you vote for the lesser of two evils or vote your conscience?

For a lot of people this election cycle, the choice between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is seen as a vote between the lesser of the two evils.  They see the only way to avoid certain disaster is to vote for the candidate opposite of the one who they disagree with more, even if the one they vote for is not up to their standards.  This is an easily justifiable position, since either America will be “made great again” or it will be “with her,” barring some insane and unforeseen event.  Voting for one the you dislike least could lessen the blow.

But, there is an undercurrent of voters who are considering voting for a third party candidate because they feel they must vote their conscience.  To them, voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.  Morally, it is unjustifiable to vote for one evil, even if it is taking a vote away from a greater evil.  This is another pretty well justifiable position.  Many in this camp find both candidates to be equally undesirable or they more closely identify with candidates such as Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party or Jill Stein of the Green Party.  They believe that it is more important to vote based on their principles, despite their vote being wasted.

This can be seen with the Never Trumpers and with disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters.  The question that comes out of this, which is the essence of the main question itself, is: Will voting your conscious make any difference?

What it comes down to is the split in thought where some people would rather have their vote have a say, and hopefully making the better choice, or have their conscious clean, in case things turn bad.  “I didn’t vote for him/her!”

Personally, I prefer to try and make the better choice and if things do go bad, I won’t feel guilty for not trying to do the right thing.  Because if I vote for someone who ends up being a tyrant, I can always say, “I made a mistake.  The person I voted for is not who I thought they were.  We were fooled.” 

Because, taking the route of irresponsibility, to me, is the more passive approach.  I feel it conveys a near loss of faith in the system, which, I agree, deserves very little faith in at this point.  But, it borders more on the line of nihilism which is part of the West’s problem.  It’s better to try and fail, than to not try. 

And of course there are plenty of non-nihilist conscious voters, but many of the ones I’ve encountered have that attitude.  Stubbornly standing on principle, without even looking at the reality of our current scenario, is not how you get what you want.  It’s better to take little victories that advance you towards your goals, than to sit there and refuse everything unless it’s exactly what you want.

It is a great thing to have principles and we should stand by them.  It seems like those who do are far and in between these days.  It’s also easy to see the discontent, since both of the candidates look quite principle-less.  But before one votes out of spite or in the effort to stop the other, one should reflect further on the scenario and stakes in such a race and consider whether they may actually be compromising their principles by standing by them.


Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Friday, August 26, 2016

Zytroftian Update #2

Good Day and good health to you all.  

OMG another post!  Yes yes, it's been a few days.  

So, what have I been doing?

Other than my usual coffee slinging, all my writing time has been taken up by my screenplay.  I've also been doing a lot of life reflections and planning, as well as some sketching! Haven't done much drawing in the last year.
This is a depiction of a Rebel Imperial Equin Soldier in the desert during the War of Ochsehs.  The Planet of Equa was engaged in a bloody civil war after a military leader (Ochsehs) was possessed by a powerful evil from a very specific source.  Ochsehs launched a successful coup to overthrow the Emperor.  This soldier is one who remained loyal to the Emperor and fought for his return to the through.  

Believe me, that is the extremely brief version of the war.  I may go into this topic later on but I also my save it for another purpose (no this is not the screenplay, I don't have the budget for anything close to this yet).

Keep a lookout for more blog articles coming soon.  I Shall End This Sabbatical! 

Please keep commenting and sharing! Sgt. Kluboxifoughlie, who's busy fighting for the Emperor, would!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Yinz Photos (I don't think that's right.)

One PPG Place being shy.

 There he is.

Hey PPG, get you're ears in frame.

He's liking that lime light. 

An impressive closeup. 

PPG and his lil' bro.

A random Pittsburghian, of who's permission I had to publish this photo.

A nice square

 Again.

 Ok we get the point.

Hey it's me! I'm silhouetted in the square.

This one is my personal favorite of the set.

Same one but not as good.

Work it PPG, you go. 

Selfie with One PPG Place.

Some leaners.

A painting at the Fort Pitt Museum.  It depicts George Washington standing over the soon the be buried General Edward Braddock, shortly after the Battle of Monongahela.

This one shows General Braddock being shot from his horse by French-allied Native Americans at the battle of Monongahela.

The river in which the battle was named after: the Monongahela.

This is the Blockhouse.  It's the last remaining structure from the original Fort Pitt.  I think it was a defensive post that sat outside the main walls of the fort.  There were others of these on other sides of the fort, but of different structure.

The Blockhouse closer up.  At the gates I saw a sign placed there by the Daughters of the Revolution.  They must be or were in charge of preserving the historical structure.

The fountain at the point were the Ohio, Monongahela (again), and the Allegheny rivers converge.

The bank to the left is Mount Washington.

My favorite of the fountain pics.

Oh, look, there he is again.  He must be following me.
Wes Anderson would appreciate the symmetry of this photo.

That is one of the many bridges in Pittsburgh.  Yellow, hmm, I wonder why..

Ok, I might know the guy.

View of the point from Mount Washington.

There is the Burgh, taken on MW.

This is more towards the East Side, I think.

             I had a lot of fun in pittsburgh, hence why my photos are so concentrated on certain events.  I forgot to take them sometimes.  Some spots are super picaresque and beg for it though.

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The Bithiyan needs yinz!


Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Pittsburgh Pop Pool- Dream Log 8/20/16

Let me tell you all about the dream I had last night.  This one will keep with the recent theme of famous musicians.  Although I did not meet David Bowie in the last dream, I was luckier in this one.  Here it is:

The dark clouds rolled in across the sky.  They were threatening to loose thunder and lightning over the city.  Pittsburgh was hosting a popular marathon and I, uncharacteristically, was attending the running event.  Not running of course. 
From a vantage point I saw a bolt strike the ground a few miles downhill in the city.  Seeing it strike I was overcome with a feeling of destiny.  I dove into the stream of runners and ran at ten times their speed.  I sped along weaving through runners and traffic like the night bus.  When I arrived there was scorch mark upon the ground and an envelope sitting on its centre.  It read:

“Darling I missed you today at the marathon today but I will see you in our future. 
Until then, live with love,
Violettarena”

            I read it and felt need of refreshment.  Across the street I saw a public swimming pool.  “Time for a swim!” I exclaimed.  Through the gate and men’s locker room I emerged into an Olympic sized indoor swimming pool.  The air was warm and humid. 
            Splash. I began doing laps at nearly the same speed as I ran.  I could swim laps around Phelps.  After about three there-and-backs, the life guard stood in my way, halting me.  The I stood up and saw the lifeguard.  He was tan, wrinkly, and had long and straight brown hair. 
            “You gotta swim slower, man.”  The lifeguard was Iggy Pop.  He blew his whistle to signify it was safe for other swimmers to return to the pool waters.  I was amazed that Iggy Pop would be lifeguarding at a public pool in Pittsburgh.  I followed him over to his stand and engaged himself in conversation about music.  The conversation swung into topics of film.  I told him about my screen play and he offered me his email, noting his acting experience in The Adventures of Pete and Pete. 
            “It’s been nice talkin to ya man, but I’ve gotta go check the chlorine levels,” he said.  I dove back in and swam away.

I took a lot of creative license with this one.  This dream was pretty ambiguous.  I only remember Iggy, the city, the pool, running and swimming fast, and our conversation.  Still pretty cool though.


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