Sunday, June 29, 2014

Random Thoughts on New Layouts in the Dad Zone

Random Thoughts

You live, you learn, and you learn to live with regret.

What? Not all of my random thoughts are going to be happy and/or funny.

Tales from the Dad Zone

Since my son was born I've learned a few new things, like how much I can really get done on less than six hours of sleep a night (hint, it's not as much as you would like to think). I've also learned that changing a boy's diaper has an entirely set of do's and don'ts, like don't lean to far over your son while changing him and do keep your mouth closed at all times. Most of all I've learned one seemingly strange, random piece of information. It's this: boys stink. Here I'm  not talking metaphorically like, "raising a boy is hard tiring work that should be done by...someone else." No, I mean the literal olfactory sense of the word, "stink," as in "smells bad." Let the boy go two or three days between baths and you can smell him coming. My son has this tangy acidic funk. The first time I noticed it was in the kitchen, and I thought I'd accidentally got some balsamic vinegar on him after fixing dinner. Turns out it wasn't vinegar. When  my son gets funky he smells like salad dressing.

New Layout

I'm experimenting with a new layout, and I'll probably be tweaking it as I go. I'm not wild about displaying the full text of every post, but this layout does give me some flexibility that Blogger's dynamic themes do not. Most importantly it lets me add custom items to the sidebar. Like the "Donate" button, which I'll explain a little more, below. Until I settle on a look and configuration I like there will probably several changes over the next few days, weeks. Bear with me. It's my hope that it's leading to bigger and better things.

That Money Thing

A notable new addition to the sidebar is a "Donate" button. I'm a thirty-something lefty so I believe in net neutrality, and I believe that content on the Internet should be free, and I will do my best to continue to provide free comics, commentary, doodles, and...don't-les (for lack of a better non-word). What I've found over the lat couple of years of doing this is there are soft-costs associated with providing "free" content (with what Internet Service Providers charge it's more like paying for a monthly pass). Some of those costs include art supplies, getting a better website for Geek Speak, upgrading my digital capabilities, buying and learning new software, getting a better and/or second monitor, and (yes) my time. Further down the road map is merchandise like shirts, mugs, books, and prints, but a donate button is a step I can take right now. If you've enjoyed Geek Speak, sketch dumps, and my commentary, please think about pitching in the price of your favorite coffee drink at Starbucks.

Sketch Dump

I'm not going to leave this post there like some kind of public broadcasting pledge drive (but seriously, I support public broadcasting). Here are more doodles from my notebooks at work. 

This handsome fellow is me taking a stab at drawing the character of "Gluttony" from Full Metal Alchemist. I don't watch a lot of anime, but I got hooked into this and Attack on Titan as a way to pass the time while feeding my son. In Full Metal Alchemist I really love the idea of equivalent exchange; the idea that you can't get something without giving something in return. The concept of this balancing force is a huge theme in the story of the Elric brothers. 

One of my projects required daily email notifications to go out to a list of users. To spice up the daily email to my co-worker on the communications team I started adding some of my drawings. After a while the text of the email messages started to reflect the theme of the drawing. 

Something that will probably become a recurring theme in my sketch dumps is "drawings I can't freely share around the office." This is one. It's not really "NSFW," but she is showing a lot of leg and some side-boob, which is...less than professional. In a way I couldn't help myself. I love the classic femme fatale in her elegant gown, perfect hair, holding a gun, and killing you slowly with a smoldering look. 

Nothing much to say about this other than the obvious; I took a stab at drawing Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes. 

Started this out going for the titular character of the amazing Battle Angel Alita manga series. I didn't quite get there, but ended up liking the result nonetheless. 

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