Weak as a kitten starting at about 7:30 tonight. I think maybe I have heat exhaustion.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
|Art by KC Green, 2013|
Welcome to the coolest summer of the rest of your life. Edmonton is expected to enjoy (to varying degrees, pun intended) temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius and above every day this week, more +30 highs in just a few days than the region has experienced collectively in the last five years. Of course, weather is not climate and even outlier events like these cannot be definitively linked to global warming, but the problem is...when are extreme weather events like this no longer outliers, but the new normal?
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Saturday, June 26, 2021
However, I must say that I enjoy John Ottman's Superman Returns soundtrack almost as much. While Ottman draws heavily on Williams' themes, he also contributes a good deal of original music, and the best of his work captures the bittersweet melancholy of the film. Superman Returns is far from a perfect film, but Ottman helped some of the story's most important moments land successfully. This track, "How Could You Leave Us?," beautifully expresses the wonder of a flying alien contrasted with his own personal heartbreak and the anguish people felt when Superman left Earth in search of surviving Kryptonians.
Friday, June 25, 2021
When nuclear holocaust was humanity's greatest fear, a handful of key films explored what effect a nuclear war might have on civilization. Dramatic pictures such as Threads and The Day After and documentaries like If You Love This Planet painted pictures so unbelievably grim that some people my age still shudder with dismay at the memories. It's hard to say how much films like these pressured the world's peoples into making nuclear arms less acceptable and therefore led to the nuclear arms reductions of the 1990s, but there was at the very least some subconscious impact on the public consciousness.
The movies I mention above were released in the early 1980s, one of the heights of the Cold War, a time when nuclear war seemed to some not only possible, but perhaps inevitable.
Why then, I wonder, has there not been a single big-budget, mainstream drama about the end of the world due to climate change? I'm not talking about farcical disaster films, but serious dramas that truly capture the existential threat.
I suspect that one reason is the different natures of the catastrophes. Nuclear war happens suddenly, with worldwide devastation wrought in mere minutes. Climate change is, in human terms, more of a slow-motion crisis. Plus, it's easy to understand the immediate threat of big bombs; the threat of drought, crop failure, sea level rise, and a rising number of extreme weather events feels less like a disaster and more like something that might happen, sometime after I'm dead, in places far away from me.
I won't be surprised when someone makes this movie, though; a sprawling epic told across decades, from the days in the mid-20th century when the danger was first recognized to the end of days when the world's societal and economic systems can no longer cope with the increasing rate of change and we collapse together into barbarism.
I hope whoever it is makes it soon, though, because the general public and world's movers and shakers need the emotional gut punch of a Day After or Threads to push us back on track. It may already be too late, of course, but one can hope otherwise.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Tonight I experimented with this miniature stone bridge, the first piece I've painted from the massive Dungeons & Lasers project I Kickstarted last year. Having spent an entire evening painting last night's miniature for rather mixed results, I knew I needed to attempt some of the tricks that other painters use to speed up the process. This is important because I have literally hundreds of pieces of terrain to paint, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing it. The idea is that these bits of plastic and resin and steel are meant to be played with, so finishing is important.
In the case of this stone bridge, I threw caution to the wind and tried to approach the piece more by feel than analysis. The piece was molded in dark grey plastic, a good base, I thought. I started with a base coat of slightly lighter grey, then inkwashed it. After that, I drybrushed a coat of still lighter grey overtop, just letting my hands guide me without trying to second-guess where the brush strokes were taking me. I painted the flowerpot tops red to represent roses, dotting the bridge with a couple of fallen "petals." Finally, I added just a tiny bit of dark wash to each flowerpot.
All told, it took me about 20 minutes to paint this bridge. As a bonus, I'm much happier with the results than I am with yesterday's lich. Feels like success.
Monday, June 21, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
I painted this generic fisherman mini in colours I thought fitting for the profession: orange boots, gloves, and hat, yellow rain slicker, a red and white first aide kit, etc. At this close range, you can see all the flaws of my paint job, and the lack of any sort of depth or nuance; this guy is strictly paint-by-numbers. I think it's partially a matter of confidence; this miniature has a lot of very tiny details, so I focus on trying to "colour between the lines," as it were, while avoiding any complicated techniques.
Monday, June 14, 2021
I'm pretty happy with these; hopefully the rest of the pieces will look as good.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
It is not the end of COVID-19, nor even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Earlier this afternoon, Sylvia and I received our second doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. While caution remains necessary, it's still an exciting step. To anyone who's ever visited the blog, I hope you and yours are staying safe and that your own vaccinations are coming soon.
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Wednesday, June 09, 2021
Here's a 28mm John Carter of Mars. I like him well enough, though he didn't turn out quite as well as Tars Tarkas. I do like that he has some definition in his face, though, and the metallic parts of his harness provide a hint of realism.
Tuesday, June 08, 2021
In this case, I painted the model's separate pieces individually and then glued them together once the painting was done. This allowed me to reach spots on the model's chest, abdomen, and arms that I wouldn't have been able to access if I'd assembled the model first. It was a bit of a pain, but the effort was worth it.
Monday, June 07, 2021
Sunday, June 06, 2021
Saturday, June 05, 2021
It took many, many coats of white paint to accomplish even this level of whiteness, which as you can see isn't exactly uniform. It is, however, much better than it was for most of the painting process.
I haven't quite finished. I'll add a light ink wash and some weathering effects to make this look like it's been soiled by the dust and debris kicked up by construction.
Friday, June 04, 2021
1. Macadamia nuts. Balanced moisture, superb flavour, splits into pleasing halves, satisfying crunch, excellent with chocolate.
2. Brazil nuts. Excellent nutty flavour, nice moisture, good crunch, large size.
3. Pistachios. Pleasing green colour, excellent flavour, balanced moisture, but must be shelled; sometimes shells are impossible to crack and put teeth and patience at risk.
4. Cashews. Technically a drupe, not a nut. Pleasing shape, divides into halves nicely, chewy texture, sweet nutty flavor; size varies widely.
5. Filberts. Solid crunch, splits nicely into halves, savory/sweet flavour, but only medium-sized at best.
6. Walnuts. Large size, excellent moisture, strong flavour; suffers in that the meat must be broken into pieces to enjoy due to the structure of its shell.
7. Peanuts. Signature peanut flavour, good crunch, medium moisture, but small size.
8. Pecans. Unsatisfying, over-soft texture, decent flavour, no crunch, medium-sized at best.
9. Pine nuts. Weird flavour, too soft, tiny; best used in pesto or other recipes.
10. Almonds. Sharp, bitter flavour, very dry, medium size, has an unappealing "skinned" or "bleached" variant.
Thursday, June 03, 2021
Her mission accomplished the
Nunja follows the passage that
Leads to the now-peaceful street
As is her habit, she pockets her
Somewhat fussily beats the dust
From her black and white robes
Then the brave Nunja
Thanks God for giving her strength
And asks His forgiveness
For the violence
She doesn't know
God fixes them up right after
And nurtures the sparks of righteousness
That bloom with every Nun-chuck'd bruise