Sunday, December 31, 2017

1451 - The End Of 2017


Well, here we are at the end of another year.  JSVB was started January 1st 2010, so I have eight years' worth of material to recall.  Tomorrow, I'll collect the items for 2017 and provide a retrospective look at that year.  

 I'll see you in 2018! 




Saturday, December 30, 2017

1450 - Pin Up Sketch II


Well, I made a mistake that over-wrote some of the iterative saves of my file.  I had to re-create about an hour or so of missing work, and then I shaded with hatching the main values on the girl.  I thought about making the lines much darker, which is why I switched her from a blonde to a brunette.  The black is way too dark, though.  What I plan to do is use the solid black parts as Magic Wand selections in Photoshop to be able to mask those areas (blocking out all the rest of the drawing thereby preventing any lines from straying) and shade them with some kind of pencil.  I'll delete the black and be left with proper shading.





Friday, December 29, 2017

1449 - New Year's Pin-Up Sketch

Yay, I am drawing again!  I thought I'd work on a pin-up girl for New Years, since I like drawing pin-ups.  




 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

1448 - The Starbucks Effect


Did you see any nurses on Christmas Day?  Were they cranky?  

I discovered that nurses (and by extension many essential service people) were ornery at work on Christmas.  Union labour gets a substantial bonus to work on this holiday, and a sizeable number of workers don't celebrate Christmas, yet the ill cheer was unilateral.

Then I also discovered that all the Starbucks coffee shops were closed for Christmas.  The nurses were irritable because they had headaches from caffeine withdrawal.  

"Could you not make your own coffee on Christmas?" I asked, naïve as some twig-legged fawn in an old Disney movie.

"Ghrrrahrrr!" was the reply.   




 

Monday, December 25, 2017

1447 - "This Is For Zhora"

Please click the picture to embiggen.

"Jeff, I need a Christmas card I can e-mail," my wife says.

"How about a holiday photo of our hamster?" I suggest.

Zhora the hamster is notorious for being very, very active.  I've tried dozens of times to take a decent picture of her, and I can say with all honesty that is one is one of the best.  

I made a nice Christmas banner to enliven the photo and I even wrote a Christmas poem (think of Nat King Cole's Christmas Song... Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... etc.):

Camera’s pointing at the chesterfield
Hamster is posing like a pro
Christmas cheer is what we feel
Shooting this Christmas card photo

Everybody knows any turkey can work this gizmo
It helps to set the camera up right
Set the shutter and the f-stop, but oh, no!
You forgot to take the lens cap off, you Luddite

Now the hamster’s done run away
She’s had enough of waiting for me for all flipping day
And when I snap the pic no matter what I try
This is the picture all year you’ll have to abide by

And so I'm offering this Shyluk phrase
To folks who’ve known a hamster or two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Furry Christmas to you! 

Read some more JSVB Christmas poetry, if you dare, by clicking here, here, and here.

I have more Christmas Hamster themes  you can look at by clicking here, but alas (or thankfully, depending if you read the previous links), no more poetry.




Sunday, December 24, 2017

1446 - A Christmas Banner


Looking at clip art for inspiration for a Christmas banner, I decided I could pretty easily draw my own.  Copying and pasting a couple of hand-drawn fir branches and doing the same to a hand=painted bow and ribbon made this a simple enough task. 




 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

1445 - Archangel Gabriel IX


Just as I am getting a handle on my icon, I have to quit for a Christmas break.  Instead of hunching over a painting table, I'll eat turkey and drink wine.  

Incidentally, the angel's hand isn't making a sideways thumbs-up (Fonz Voice: Aaaayyy!!).  That hand will hold its own recursive icon, only I haven't drawn it yet (you can look up The Droste Effect if you care to learn about this).  This miniature icon represents what the icon bearer is best known for, so saints of a particular cathedral will hold on to a miniature cathedral, and Saint John the Baptist holds his own severed head - something that throws back to gory uncanniness or an Addams Family prank depending on how orthodox you are.  

So, the angel is going to be holding the entire Universe.  Anybody have any concept on how to draw that in a circle about the size of a Canadian nickel, please e-mail me, I'm wondering on this myself.  It's the biggest reason I haven't painted anything in that lower right corner yet. 



 

Monday, December 18, 2017

1444 - Hostesses/Mostesses Redux


My wife brought me to her Christmas party with her friends and co-workers.  Hot friends and co-workers, I'll be honest.  We had a great time!  I adapted the sketch from the last time we went to that Christmas Party (yes, I make sketches of parties I go to) to account for one of our hostesses thoughtfully dressing up as a reindeer for the photo booth. 

See the previous sketch from JSVB Post #1182 by clicking here.









 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

1443 - Old Turtle IV (Ungood Edition)


Well, today is the thirteenth of the month, which means Ungood Art Day on JSVB.  Previously, I had posted a bunch of old turtle artwork from the 1990's.  I had found a small stack of old archived artwork in one of my storage boxes, so without too much shame I used them to pad my JSVB post count.  

This one, well, it's an old Turtle too (an inside joke).  My friend Earl returns to his most natural form: the Star Trek Captain.  The girl is a friend who somehow didn't become his wife.  Well, I was never all that good at drawing her, so I guess not having to make any more portraits of her is a blessing for all of us.  




 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

1442 - Archangel Gabriel VIII


Eyes!  Putting the eyes into the face transforms it away from being an uncanny yellow mask.  Unfortunately, I got carried away with the clothing - too shiny and angular - but I can fix that.




Sunday, December 10, 2017

1441 - "Kookie The Christmas Ghost"


That netherworld between Hallowe'en between Christmas, where we are routinely announced the countdown of shopping days until gift-giving time, needs a mascot.  Well there's Jack Skellington, but he's shackled to The House Of Mouse for eternity.  

I needed something cute to cheer up the pre-winter interholiday span, and I knew I had a winner when I went the bank to negotiate my line of credit (I tend to shop early).  At the teller's window was an old Hallowe'en ghost figure, the sort you'd pick up from a dollar store to decorate a bank that measures annual profits in the billions. Too disinterested in the tiny ghost to remove it after October 31st, the person in charge of corporate holiday cheer simply put a red Santa hat on the ornament.  Now our spectral friend was ready for the next holiday!  

I knew I could draw that, and it made so much sense at a time when the stores are packed with simultaneous Hallowee'n and Christmas decorative overlap.   So, when you dream of Disney-free pre-post inter-hallowed-mas shopping time mascots, please think of Kookie!  


 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

1440 - Archangel Gabriel VII


Would Captain Gabriel Lorca from Star Trek appreciate the icon of his namesake?  Would Jason Isaacs?  (He's the actor who portrays the strong-willed Captain.)  Useless things to be pondered while correcting several mistakes in my icon.   




 

Monday, December 4, 2017

1439 - "Princess Hamster"


So here's a picture of our hamster Zhora at the window of her new castle.  She seems ready to wave regally to her loyal, cheering subjects!  

--- --- ---

EDIT: My friend Moose says: "Romeo!  Romeo, where fur art thou?"

I wish I'd said that!




Sunday, December 3, 2017

1438 - Princess Hamster Castle II


I should have posted the Hamster Castle pictures sooner, but I forgot.  Here is a shot of the castle nearly finished.  




 

Friday, December 1, 2017

1437 - "Ire Robot"


I discovered this angry robot drawing amongst my archives.  It's on ACME-punched paper, so I sort of recall drawing a bunch of these for animation.  The robot is definitely my own design, I remember going through a couple of dozen tries before it looked right.  Note the diesel engine backpack it uses for its power source.  There's gaps in the artwork since that's where the animation likely was supposed to go.  I recall that the hole rendered in the robot's side was because it had been shot in some automated war, and now that it was missing some of its critical internal components it had gone mad with rage.  

I think I may have drawn this somewhere around the year 2000 or so.  It's not new artwork, although if I need another angry robot I might use this one again.




 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

1436 - Hyde Creek In Late Autumn



In late autumn, nearby Hyde Creek is loaded with fall colours.  A tickertape parade of leaves fall from the trees to greet the arrival of salmon which have come to spawn here.  

This is close to the same vantage point I used for my Hyde Creek artwork in JSVB Post #112, way back in May of 2010.  Please click here to see it! 




 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

1435 - Old Turtle III


Query: How many more of these turtle drawings from 1995 will I post on JSVB?

Reply: How many more pictures do I need to adequately pad my post count?  




 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

1434 - Hallowe'en Holocaust


Is today's JSVB Post all that bad?  I don't think so.  However, the picture of shelved holiday decorations does resemble a mass grave, so if genocides disturb you (they should), please do not scroll down.  Thank you!











































Hallowe'en this year was a massive disappointment - what a thing to say!  At midnight of November 1st, we grumpily tore down our holiday display.  We had a number of serious things to deal with, so we simply dumped our skeletons on the floor.  For a couple of weeks, this was how they lay.  I thought a picture of them might capture the sombre mood; even though they are just plastic stand-ups, these skeletons seem to have picked up on some recondite eldritch zeitgeist* of the season. 

(*some recondite eldritch zeitgeist - please vote for this as the awesomest catchphrase of 2017!!) 




Monday, November 20, 2017

1433 - Old Turtle II


I guess in the 1990's I went through a phase of drawing turtles.  Over time, I've also had phases with robots, dogs, birds, spaceships, etc. 




Friday, November 17, 2017

1432 - Archangel Gabriel VI



White is a stinkeroo choice for acrylic paint.  While it covers fairly well, if you mix it with another colour, you get a chalky look that sometimes ends up being streaky. 




Monday, November 13, 2017

1431 - Curse Of The Red Underwear


The thirteenth day of every month I try to feature my Ungood Art on JSVB.  Ungood Art is some version of a project I am working on that started off with the best of intentions but somehow the artwork went awry.

This bit of unfinished artwork has a long history with unhappy associations. I've hung onto it for a while before deciding to catalogue it with my JSVB Ungood Art file.  

It was going to be a comedic documentary piece about the supernatural effects of red underwear, something that I know very little about but apparently is a strong belief in equatorial locations around the world.  Specifically, as you might judge from the stereotypical sketch of the happy latino, I was going to look at the topic from the point of Mexico.  That's where I discovered the cultural mystery of red underwear: Mexican lingerie outlets were running out of red clothing on account of the solar eclipse.  Local belief was that wearing red underwear would ward off any evil effects of the eclipse on August 21 of this year.  

So, being lazy on the subject,  I delayed working on this art piece since it was just for my own amusement and a provided chance to practice drawing using the dreaded Bézier tool in Photoshop (not shown in this version of the artwork).  I started drawing on September 5 or so, with the plan to publish on the 6th.  On September 7th and then again on the 19th, Mexico was heavily rocked by violent earthquakes that destroyed much property and killed many people.  Shocked and depressed by this coincidence, I decided I'd better not publish the piece, and I never finished the drawing.  

Worse still, JSVB seems to be developing a track record for predicting natural disasters.  I drew a similar comedic piece involving an earthquake in Japan.  I published JSVB Post #296 (click here to see it) on January of 2011, and the massive tsunami hit in early march of that year, a little more than a month from my post.  

Coincidence, yes, but I still can't help feeling rotten about that. This discouraging sentiment continues to dog me to this day.  




 

Friday, November 10, 2017

1430 - Old Turtle I


A sketchbook picture of a turtle, pretty certain I drew this back in 1994 0r 1995.  





Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1429 - "That Bear Photo"


Walking through the forest, I revelled in how the clear sunlight poured down through the green and bronze leaves like wine from a decanter.  I doubly delighted in the simple wisdom of remembering to bring along my camera.  

Salmon make busy, sinewy water splashes as they spawn.  When I hear that sound, I go to the creekside to see what the fish are doing.  Sometimes, I'm not the only one attracted to the salmon.  

This bear was as far away from me as you'd be from your television set watching a movie at home.  My camera doesn't have any special lenses, so there was no fancy zoom as I snapped a couple of quick pictures of this particular junior bear feeding on salmon.  Then both the bear and I chose to go our separate ways: the bear took the salmon and I kept my photos.  




Sunday, November 5, 2017

1428 - Autumnal Creek Bed


Hyde Creek, a well-used salmon spawning ground, glows golden in afternoon sunlight. 




Friday, November 3, 2017

1427 - "Railroad To Fun"


I pulled this art piece from my filing cabinet the other day, and gosh, it's twenty years old.  I can barely recall drawing this.  My style has changed quite a bit over time, and my methods and art media have improved a lot.  

"Town Haul" (JSVB Post #960, please click here) might be the closest I've come to "Railroad To Fun" using contemporary style. 









 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

1426 - Archangel Gabriel V


Digital painting, which I prefer, allows for the omnipotent Undo command.  Real painting does not allow that.  

There are two ways of correcting mistakes.  The first is to take a clean brush loaded with water and try to mop out the error before it dries.  A wet fingertip will work if the mistake is fresh.  

If that doesn't work, a mistake must be painted over, disguised, or cleverly incorporated into a new design.  There's a story about an artist who made the mistake of wearing his best formal shirt while touching up the piece he was going to present at a party: he splashed indelible ink on one of his pristine cuffs.   Rather than try to wash the ink out - there was no time anyways - he took a pen and drew damask designs on both of his cuffs and his collar to cover up the stain.  The artwork was well-received and his shirt was the hit of the party.  It's like a Mentos commercial!




 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

1425 - "Abbey Groaned"


Introducing "The Deadles": from right to left - George, Paul, Ringo, and John, celebrating their hit Hallowe'en single "Abbey Groaned".

This is likely the best photo I have of our Hallowe'en display for 2017.  In past years I've taken to posing plastic skeletons in evocative ways.  I figured with four skeletons, I could recreate Abbey Road with the Beatles.  Our neighbours seem to be thrilled with these dioramas, and our renters at least tolerate them.  Nobody under the age of thirty seems to remember The Beatles, but even though the kids don't understand they appreciate the effort.

Some kids are scum-sucking deviant motherless uncultured pea-brained visigoths, though.  The neighbourhood watch security cameras caught a dozen hooligans knocking down this display and ripping the heads of the skeletons, meaning that we had to make a trip to the hardware store to get replacements.  The original display had the Beatles' poses exact to the inch, the replacement version is more haphazard.  Also, the Volkswagen is on the wrong side of the picture.  

So Hallowe'en 2017 isn't going to be all that joyful for us, or for our neighbours up and down the street who  also had their things vandalized.  

As improbable as it seems to me, someday those hoodlum lunkheads will grow up, find mates and reproduce, and so will spawn neighbourhoods of their own of an ilk even stupider and more destructive, and the cycle of driving out to the hardware store to find replacement decorations will renew. 

Here's a couple of my previous skeleton poses: please click here and here  to see them.  Also, please click here to see another JSVB version of Abbey Road.  




 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

1424 - Princess Hamster Castle I


I've begun a new art project.  Some time ago, I found a large balsa-wood castle at Michael's (the Canadian craft store - did you know that 18% of Canadians make crafts? Every fifth Canadian you meet is crafty!).  The castle is a perfect fit in our hamster cage, and our hamster Zhora loves it.  You can see how she's chewed on the upper left battlement.  The castle is intended for dolls, but it's also a good scale for pet rodents.  There is a tiny and unnecessary magnet that needs to be removed from the drawbridge before the castle can be given to little ones.

I've been working on the underpainting. I should have primed the wood a lot more, since the paint soaks right in.  Also, I am using cheap student-grade water-based pigments.  I've always said that cheap art supplies makes for cheap art, and this project is no different.  The pigments easily separate from the watery filler, casing the ochre and white to combine in an eldritch shade of lilac. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

1423 - Stein After Stein


Me at the Persephone Brewery on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. 




 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

1422 - Archangel Gabriel IV


Here you can see some of my palette choices for Gabriel, yet when the paint goes on, it's primary red, blue, and yellow, kind of like Superman. 




 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

1421 - Now That's A Big Leaf


Either a large leaf, or my wife has shrunk.





Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1420 - A Really Old Dog


Despite the copyright claiming 2017, I think I drew this skeleton dog back in 1995.  




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

1419 - Old Chums



The local salmon have appeared for the purpose of spawning.  These two females seek strong mates and good hiding places for their eggs. 




 

Monday, October 16, 2017

1418 - Archangel Gabriel III


I've been labelling this as Gabriel, but I might be making another Michael. Visual descriptions of angels tend to be nebulous as compared to how one would describe their mother-in-law for example.  Wings, robes, and haloes.  

Michael gets a speaking part in the Holy Bible: "May the Lord rebuke you," he says to Satan.  In Jewish scripture, Michael and Satan fight over the body of Moses.  Jude recounts this dispute in the Christian Bible.  Later, in Revelations, Michael skewers Satan with his sword, so sometimes this archangel is depicted with a blooded weapon.   Gabriel I suppose is coequal to Michael, only Gabriel has more lines to speak ("Hail Mary...") and less violence.

Michael and Gabriel could be androgynous, as there are male and female versions for both.  (The lightbulb illuminates now vis. Star Trek characters).  My version is so ambivalent, I might even make it Michael at the end.  




 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

1417 - Birthday Plate


Yesterday was my wife's birthday, I think she's 22 or 23 now.  Something with a 2 or a 3 in it, anyways.  Yesterday was also JSVB Ungood Art Day, so we agreed to put her birthday post a day late.  Happy Birthday sweetheart!  These birthday cake batter beaters aren't half as sweet as you. 




 

Friday, October 13, 2017

1416 - Fozzie The Bread

So just what happened to Fozzie The Bear anyways?  On Ungood Art Day, maybe my oven has the answer...
 
 
 
Well, it's a stretch, but JSVB needs Ungood Art above all on a Friday the Thirteenth.  I made this hearth bread just a few minutes ago.  The other side looks like a perfect loaf.  When I flipped the bread over, it had this delirious smirk

"Quick, put some eyes on it, and you can post it as Ungood Art," my wife says.  The eyes are from a collection of Hallowe'en stickers we've been saving over the years for defacing (I say enhancing) smiley-faced vote-for-me political posters.  




 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

1415 - Stork With Twins

I've given my Stork mascot twins, in honour of editor Jen who is expecting as much. 




 

Friday, October 6, 2017

1414 - Archangel Gabriel II


   So why Orthodox iconography?

   I'm not particularly religious.  Likely, I'm in the bottom ten percentile of Catholicism.  I'm told that God loves us all beyond what we accomplish or destroy in life, so that's positive.

   Getting into iconography was my wife's idea.  She wanted to get me out of the house.  I write or paint icons with a small group, so I do get some interplay with other artists, mostly swapping corny jokes. 

   I also get some time handling a paintbrush, which is way different from a pencil, pen, or stylus.  Slowly, stroke by stroke, I'm learning to lay down paint.  Orthodox painting does limit design, but not creativity. 





Friday, September 29, 2017

1413 - "We're Nearly Famous"



   My wife and I are on television!  We're face-painted and costumed for a football game between the BC Lions and the Ottawa RedBlacks.  This clip lasted about two seconds, and we had no idea it existed until some of our cousins started begging us for autographs.   Well, they were laughing about it, but they did spot us on TV before we knew that we had been broadcasted internationally.

   I ended up photographing the television screen for this keepsake.  It's worth mentioning that it was a very good thing I had painted my face, otherwise I would have been green.  I had a really bad stomach virus that day that kept me from eating much more than dry toast, and this on an excursion where free food was included.  

   The image is courtesy of TSN, however since it's us, we retain the rights... I think.  Who knows?  The catchphrase "We're Nearly Famous" is a twist on the ultra-renowned slogan of my friend Earl, "I'm Nearly Famous!".  Thanks, Earl.

   Might as well check in on the old Personal-Fame-O-Meter.  Last time I did this was back in 2014.  Has my personal fame changed?  Let's see:



Nope.  Oh, well.  Funny how some of the other non-JSVB entries have changed since then.




Sunday, September 24, 2017

1412 - Steampunk Ottawa


   I recently had the opportunity to visit briefly Ottawa city, Canada's capitol.  I was struck by the congruity of gothic and modern architecture.  Ottawa boasts several different architectural types, including Gothic, French revival, Art Deco, American Colonial and Modern.

   Shooting this photo into the sun, I saw a Steampunk landscape.  Steampunk is fanciful, it combines the gothic ethos of pointed, cathedral-like stone architecture with the dawn of industrialism, coincidentally a period when global exploration would be exploited by mass media.  You take this confluence and bring the technology to modern standards without changing the aesthetic, and you get steampunk.  It's gritty and intimidating, but also exciting as well, the idea that Nature can be tamed through superior technology.

  Steampunk is a companionable opposite to Art Nouveau (see JSVB Posts #1404 and  #1408) where unruly Nature breaks through the confines of the man-made world.  I've been looking around: I've been seeing some really great new Art Nouveau style pieces, call it Nouveau Art Nouveau.  We're reaching the same point in our culture that was perceived by the artists of the original Art Nouveau period: our technology has become powerful enough once again to sublimate our society and it remains to be seen how Nature will react and adapt.  Historically, that process has been most painful.





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1411 - Greek Salad For A Hamster



   Zhora is the name of our new hamster.  She's named after one of the characters from Blade Runner (1992).  She doesn't yet pose well for the camera, so I don't have any good pictures of her so far.  

   My wife wanted to spoil the little critter with a treat from a book she bought called "Happy Hamster" by Mathijs van der Paauw.  Mr. van der Paauw is an accomplished chef for rodents.  He makes tiny little meals that look like human food but are healthy for hamsters.  

   Above is our attempt at a Greek Salad: the bowl is made from the hollowed end of a cucumber, and the salad is chickweed with bits of walnut for croutons, edible flower leaves for colour and a little tiny bit of shaved Parmesan cheese.  

  I set up my camera to take pictures of Zhora eating this miniature delight, but the moment she saw it, she seized the bowl in her jaws and made off with it into her castle hideaway.  I never saw a hamster move so fast before.  Good thing I took a picture of her meal before I put it in her cage! 




 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

1410 - Domestic Bliss



   As I worked it was a beautiful sunny day, and warm, luxurious light poured in through our glass patio door.  I looked up from my task and saw what you see in this picture.  I snapped my wife's photo without her being aware of it.  

   Simple, sweet, sunny, cluttered, lucky, loving domestic bliss.  




 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1409 - Rockfish


  The thirteenth day of every month on JSVB is Ungood Art Day.  If I am not producing much art, then there isn't going to be a lot of Ungood Art, and that's Ungood as well.  

   The closest I can get to Ungood this month is a sort of visual pun: it's a rockfish.  I hope you see it. 




 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

1408 - "Invoice"


   Although I haven't been posting to JSVB regularly enough, I have been working at least for a while.  Now I find I have to bill my clients, and this despite having entered my phase of Progressive Summer Laziness (PSZ).  The business aspect of art I find daunting although as my wife will point out I do like money enough.  

   I decided that if I had to write up a bill, I may as well make it something worth looking at, and to try to enjoy the process.  I co-opted the Art-Nouveau drawing of the girl on a swing from JSVB Post #1404 (please click here to see it) into a full-page design.  I've blocked out the particulars, but the basics are that I tend to charge $40 an hour.    

   The design incorporates a number of things that I can see if I go on a walk around the block:  fruit and berries, dragonflies and cat-tails, running streams and wild salmon.  I did try to include a bear in the picture, but it got too cluttered.  

   The client wasn't expecting this invoice and has been stunned into submission, which I see as proper.   




 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

1407 - "Science Bong 600"

   Among many of the things I had wanted to post to JSVB but didn't in time were some entries on the solar eclipse of August 21st, 2017.  Many of my friends went to great lengths to travel to the United States to view the full eclipse.  My wife and I had the day off, but we stayed home and watched the partial eclipse which maybe is less exciting and not much to post about. 
   Not willing to shell out money for proper eclipse glasses, but also unwilling to sear our retinas, we chose to view the eclipse indirectly.  The hole made by a pin through a piece of paper is a sufficient lens to project an image of the sun onto a screen.  This much I recalled from grade school science; I was half my height and a quarter of my current weight the last time there was a significant eclipse of the sun where I lived.  

 
   My wife found the materials we needed to make a pinhole lens viewer.  She took an old packing tube and poked a hole at one end and covered the other with paper.  She carved a viewing port in the side.  I christened it the Science Bong 600.  When you line the Bong up with the sun, you see the solar image image in the viewport. The lunar occlusion changes the apparent shape of the sun projected on the screen as you can see above.

   In retrospect, I should have painted and decorated the Science Bong 600, but all of the weather forecasts for the day called for clouds and rain.  My wife quickly built the Bong prototype when it turned out the forecasts were all wrong and we were blessed with a clear view.  




Saturday, September 2, 2017

1406 - Crikey, Crickets!


Today's JSVB Post shows my wife eating crickets.  If this kind of thing disturbs you, don't scroll down.  At least they were cooked first. 





































   The Pacific National Exhibition, or PNE, has been reversing dwindling attendance numbers by featuring more and more outlandish thrill rides, thought-provoking exhibits, and exotic food and drink.  I remember in years past the craziest thing you could buy in the park were hamburgers made from ostrich meat (verdict: good, but very lean - a healthy burger!)

   This year it's the latest protein fad, yet one that may presage the apocalypse: fried crickets.  You could eat a cricket burger, but we chose crickets in gravy on french fries.  The gravy was thick and salty and the fries were greasy, maybe all to disguise the cricket-eating experience.  Verdict: it's not all that bad, but it's not all that good, either.  The little guys taste peppery and nutty, which is okay but you're going to have trouble pairing wine to that.  Maybe a fresh Gewurtztraminer?  The mouthfeel of crickets is a bit off-putting, a very delicate and airy crunch with just a million tiny drumsticks to get stuck in your teeth.  They are their own toothpicks.