Archive for April, 2009

It’s Tough Being a Sharks Fan


Photo from sjsharks.com

Well that series was craptastic.

And a lot of good being number one in the regular season did you, Sharks. Put the shiny President’s Trophy on your shelf because you were destroyed by worst possible team to be eliminated by…in the first round!

I used to be a somewhat of a starry-eyed optimist, but I’m now joining the ranks of longtime, jaded fans. The stats from the last decade really illustrates the frustrated Sharks fan’s plight:

  • 1997-98: Lost to Dallas in the Quarterfinals
  • 1998-99: Lost to Colorado in the Quarterfinals
  • 1999-00: Lost to Dallas in the Semifinals
  • 2001-02: Lost to Colorado in the Semifinals
  • 2002-03: didn’t make the playoffs
  • 2003-04: Lost to Calgary in the Conference Finals
  • 2004-05: Stupid lockout
  • 2005-06: Lost to Edmonton in Semifinals
  • 2006-07: Lost to Detroit in Semifinals
  • 2007-08: Lost to Dallas in the Semifinals
  • 2008-09: Lost to Anaheim in the Quarterfinals

I guess no further commentary is needed–there’s plenty of that around the ‘net (a good rant by Mac, if you’re looking to read one).

Go Red Wings!

The Hard Truth

The creepy Easter bunny

Last night Caleb whispered to Chesney and I:

“You know what? When I saw the Easter bunny, I went behind the bench, and I saw a PEOPLE NECK! It’s a person dressed up like the Easter bunny!”

We quickly diffused the situation by informing Caleb that the Easter bunny is really busy that day and has people dress up like him so kids can get their pictures with them.

Caleb is getting older…we’ll have to prepare for the Santa questions later this year.

Also, Easter bunnies, remember to cover up your necks.

The Great Communications Blackout of 2009

iPhone has NO SERVICE
Photo by dbrulz123 via Flickr

Yesterday, something like 50,000 people in the south bay lost their cell service AND land line phone service. If they were DSL subscribers, there goes the internet too. Unfortunately, we fell in this category. Our house was without phones and internet until 5pm. I was at work all day in San Jose, and if Chesney or I had some kind of emergency, there was really no way to get a hold of each other (or the police!) unless we got in the car and drove.

And this wasn’t just residential – businesses, too were without phones and internet. I know that OfficeMax in Santa Cruz was effectively unable to open their store until later that evening because all communication with the store databases was down. OfficeMax in the whole region estimate they lost $14k in sales that day. Some other stores did not even open at all. Banks and ATMs were also offline.

Early that morning, we were half-joking that it was probably a new terrorist cyber-attack. Later when the news came out that it was, in fact, sabotage, we find out that we weren’t that far off!

Jack is Awesome
Yeah, Jack saves the President again.

Feeling a little vulnerable? To me, it all seems a little too easy. Sure, it was 10 feet underground, under a man-hole cover, and you had to have some expertise to cut those lines, but it still seems like for not too much effort, you can knock out communications to a huge area. It’s kind of like how all too easy it was for those terrorists to take over the White House in this season’s 24. Well maybe not that easy.

This begs the question: are we as a society today a little too wired? I love the computer/internet age and all improvements in the quality of life that we live – I owe my whole livelihood as a web developer to it – but times like these make me want to go out and buy a battery-powered radio, walkie-talkies, and stash money under my mattress.

Read about the whole incident on SFGate and Mercury.

Webcomic Art

A long, long time ago, in another life it seems, I was an art major. Now that I am in web development, I rarely get the chance to pick up a pencil and draw. Sometimes, I get to incorporate some cartooning into a design. Those who have seen timches.com over the years have probably noticed the evolution of the caricatures of my family in the header of the site.

I have always admired web comic artists like Scott Kurtz of PVP online, Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade, and Scott Johnson of Extralife. Lately I have been reading up on the techniques that comic artists use nowadays for producing their strips, and have been itching to give it a try. I am pretty pleased with what I came up with:

Me. Blah.

Now for some of the process. It all starts with a sketch, of course, and sketching the drawing is probably the easiest part for me.

Sketch

Tracing the image in Illustrator takes a bit of finesse, especially without the luxury of a tablet. This tutorial on Vectortuts.com introduced me to the notion of creating my own custom brushes, to get the “hand-drawn” feel, rather than the computer-perfect line-weights you’ll see in the timches.com caricatures.

Traced

Coloring really brings the art to life.

Colored

Drop in a nice background–my favorite color blue–and done!

Done!
What a cool-looking guy…