It was the end of a long evening for Mrs. Austin. She was on her way home from shooting a wedding, the kind of wedding where she worked hard into the dim, bleary hours of early morning. I would see medical tape on her feet the next day from where her shoes had forced them to blister.

It was after this long day and long night that she was witness to a car accident near our house. There were just a couple cars involved, but several people stopped to help. It was apparently bad. After one man was taken from his car by Mrs. A and some other samaritans, Mrs. A proceeded to start CPR on the nearly dead or already dead accident victim. She pumped his chest and blew air into his lungs for a good 20 mins until the call was placed and EMS arrived.

When they did arrive, there was no talk of what happened, no exchange of thanks for taking time to help possibly save someone's life, the EMS dismissed her with a "Thanks, we got it. Go." Mrs. A began to ask questions, wanting to know if the man was going to be ok, but the EMS workers were stalwart. "Just go."

She later tells me the EMS was so curt because in Texas there's a reverse Good Samaritan Law that says you can be held liable for any harm you cause an accident victim. I was incredulous about this to say the least, so I did some checking and found this. I think the understanding is that if you start to give aid, you have to continue to give aid until train help arrives or until the situation changes (ie your safety is somehow compromised.) In for a shilling and all that.

I don't mean to post that last bit to prove a discrepancy in her story, but I think if there's a misunderstanding about the law, people will of course not stop and help.

It reminds me of a story a college friend once told me of her experience at a bus stop in a northern suburb of Denver. We were fellow art students and had graduated high school together and took the same express bus from Broomfield to downtown. One day I don't see her at the stop and later that week I asked what had happened. Turns out an elderly lady was walking across the parking lot, slipped on the ice, hit her face and her broken glasses cut through her cheek. As we all know, faces bleed profusely and so there's this older lady unable to right herself like a turtle on its back and leaking life plasma onto the frozen pavement.

Not one person made a move to help.

The next part is sketchy in my mind and I mean no disrespect by my clouding of the events.

It turns out, she went to help the lady after a few agonizing moments? minutes? of nothing happening from the rest of the crowd. Her hesitancy was due to her either fear of contracting or passing a disease, the kind you can only get from open sores, wounds, bodily fluids. If I remember correctly, she had something (not nefarious but possibly merely unfortunate) that made her initially balk at the idea of rendering aid. In the end she overcame either her fear and was able to right the listing elder and get someone who apparently thought more of themselves to use a phone and call for help.

So, why did everyone at that bus stop hesitate? It was an old lady, bleeding from her face. How utterly sad that something so pathetic doesn't garner any sympathy let alone a rush of assistance from those nearby. In the end a jaded college artist was the one to offer a hand. Was it because people were afraid of gushing blood? Retribution if they slipped again and killed her? Were they too self important to bother? Were they in shock? Maybe they didn't notice...

...and old woman doing a pillbug impression on a growing crimson splatter field.

It's sad we have to have a law that says we as humanity don't hold you responsible for trying to help even if that help makes it worse. People don't want to hand out E's for Efforts, they want to hand out subpoenas and settlements. I'm sorry you were trying to save my life, Miss. But now I have these broken ribs. I hope you like your wages garnished for the next 15 years paying me back.

I understand there's responsibility in action and if you don't know CPR or if you think someone has a broken back, don't move them or touch them. But if a car is on fire or someone has fallen and is bleeding to death, I think any action you take would be considered helpful. What upsets me is the people who don't recognize this and will actually try to sue those whose intentions were at least right.

Jeez, I've gone and blabbered all over myself again. I need to put this soapbox on craigslist.

Carry on.


Old Friend

Originally uploaded by xadrian.
This is an old friend of mine from before the age of reason. I can't exactly remember but I think it was 2nd or 3rd grade. In Jr. High and High School we ran with different crowds and then years later (just recently actually) I hunted him down like the net stalker I am.

He's got a beautiful family and a job doing web design which makes me slightly envious. Off all the people I've known over the years, he's the one with the biggest "net presence." Scratch that, only net presence.

Oh, and the first choice of song for the video was "That Boy Could Dance" but it was too short. He'll appreciate that.

Carry on.

Mrs. A-bot

First vid with the original photo in it. And yes she paid me for this one.

More of these to come as I just finished my big commission. Hey ma, Grandpa Joe'd be proud. Just got paid for my art. Go me!

Not to say I haven't been paid before, but this was some serious commission. You can see the work here.

Carry on.


Week End Wrap

Milk Bone
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Rollman.
Something I've somehow failed to mention in the last few meaningless updates is that Mrs. A is going to be featured in an upcoming edition of Texas Monthly Magazine. She's not too sure on the details - whether or not it's an interview or profile or they just feature a photo of hers for a story - but it's still really wonderful news for our resident photobug. She's been working 28 jobs lately and I think her hard work is starting to get her noticed.

Nothing new to report on the kids. Their sleeping habits are ironic in that they have none. We've got them on a bit of a routine now which involves circus ponies, a tub of lemon Jell-O and a nightly visit from Bruce Campbell who does a hilarious if not creepy reading from The Lorax.

Little Miss Austin can't sleep unless she's in our bed. The sheets are apparently silkier and the bed is warmer. Honestly, I think she doesn't like the way her bed smells. We wash her sheets almost weekly but she's almost six and kids just tend to smell funny at that age. All that playing in the heat and all those glands starting to kick in and all those magnets in their skin holding on to the dirt. Mrs. A and I have slept in her bed before and it really does smell like her.

We put one of those kid proof door knobs on the inside of G-man's door so he can't get out and go write his Sharpie Manifesto on our flat panel monitor at 4 in the morning. Seems to work well, now all he does is sleep by the door and shout under the crack when he wakes up. And yes I've opened the door into his head...a couple times.

I'm mercifully close to finishing this commission I'm working on. I don't mean to be down on the project or the client. I've enjoyed drawing them. It's allowed me to be an Illustrator in the basest sense and it's been fun. I'm just looking forward to doing my own things again. I want to do more Robot Portraits and I want to really sit down and look at the possibility of planning out the option of maybe some day looking into what it would take to think about how I'd go about setting up and working on opening up some time to allow myself to consider possibly going back to working on my comic book.


I don't know. I realize I've said some negative things about comic books and my abilities to start, work on, finish, promote and sell them. It's going to take some serious willpower to get back on that horse. It doesn't help that I haven't bought a comic book in almost two years. It's like being a mechanic but riding a bicycle everywhere. It's not that you don't know your craft and have a love for it, but it seems you have an external appreciation of it not being involved more.


You can see the characters I'm working on here. Some of them were fun to do, some were nothing special, just drawings.

Small update on the 100 Artists Project. I may have found a local binder that will be able to handle odd paper types. However, out of the six Single Mailer pieces I've received, two are already the wrong size. I don't know how I could have made it more clear, but if you're reading this, it's 9x12 inches! Thank you.

I've received six pictures so far and this weekend I'll be plotting all the addresses in Google Maps (if anyone has a good way to automate route plotting, I'd love to hear it) and then sending off the Big Sketch book once I buy it and draw something in it.

I'm such a slacker.

Carry on.


The Taste of It All

So I missed Heroes on TV last night but caught it online today. It's funny how nitpicky we are with our television viewing. I only watch certain shows and then I hate watching them because I feel they could be doing it better. I won't spoil it for any of you fans out there, don't worry. I'm a fan of the show in that I watch it regularly and I debate it with comic nerds. That's about where it stops. Heroes didn't grip me the way Lost did. It hasn't put up shop in my heart and soul the way Battlestar: Galactica has. It's a good show, but there's something about a super hero show on network TV that you just know will be about 80% drama, 10% action and 10% dumbing down to the average viewer.

An example would be this most recent episode. The LA cop who can read minds stops and asks the nuclear guy what an EMP is.

Really? An EMP? A 12 year old boy knows what an EMP is. Anyone who's seen any movie in the past 30 years involving James Bond, nuclear warheads, super heroes or asteroids knows what an EMP is. Why the writers have decided they need to make a completely functional character into a drooling baboon is beyond me. Do they honestly think we don't know what that is?

The writers on this show are not great, I'll have to freely admit. They've set up their own world and then not played by the rules. One minute a kid can tell his mom's different when she changes personality, the next he can't tell some shape shifter is pretending to be his mom. (Crap, spoiler, sorry.) The good guys are able to finally knock the bad guy out, he's laying on the floor unconscious and yet they don't use the gun THAT'S IN THE ROOM to finally rid the world of the evil. No, they take a cab ride up to the west side.

As with any show of this ensemble largess, you need to understand that we're not following an entire story, we're following bits and pieces that make up the story. That may seem obvious, but what happens is the plot then has to be drug along by omissions and dramatic edits instead of decent writing. A good writer would have remember the bit about Micah and her mom. A good writer wouldn't have made a cop (a cop, someone who presumably can read and understands weapons, may have been in the military at one point) ask "What the hell is an EMP?" A good writer wouldn't have painted themselves into a corner in the first place and need these dodges to get the show back on track. Either the story is strong and can sustain itself or it's not and it should be let go. Anyone with half a brain can smell a hack job a mile away. Have you ever seen anyone yell at their TV during a non-sports related broadcast? It's because they know what's going on and you've let them down first of all by writing so pedestrian that the flaws are spotted and second by not following through and being bold with your pen.

I don't pretend to be a screenwriter or author of any chops, but I know a weak story when I see/read it. Is it because I'm older now than before? Perhaps. Maybe some people just have a gift of insight and can sense bullshit better than others. Maybe some people can tell when they're being handled and manipulated. I want to be carried along with the story just like everyone else. I want to escape. I want to be entertained. What I don't want is to get that sudden snap realization that the writers are involved. I don't want to feel while I'm watching the show that someone is trying to tell me something. I want that feeling to come after. I get the same feeling watching crappy writing as I do when I see video that's purposely going in reverse so as to meet some lighting or movement requirement that apparently forward moving shots couldn't provide. Mrs. A can't see it and she thinks I'm crazy, but there are bits of film, TV, commercials, that have edits in them of backwards moving video and it drives me crazy. It's the same feeling as being in a movie theater, totally engrossed, and then having the sudden sense that you're in a movie theater. The suspension is totally lost.

If you're watching a show and your suspension is lost, the writing team hasn't done their job. All shows can't be winners, but when EACH shows leaves you saying things like, "Man, I want to like this show, but they can't seem to play by their own rules," then you haven't done your job as a writer.


I had a realization today that the coffee I get from Starbucks is good but not because I like the flavor of coffee and hazlenut, but because I apparently I like hazlenut coffee flavored whip cream. After the whip cream has melted and I've lost the taste, I almost don't want the coffee. I think I'll start asking for that instead. Just a giant cup of whip cream with room for a dash of coffee.

Carry on.


El Diablo Robotico

Sadly this is the last commissioned Robot Portrait I received, so it'll probably be the last one for a while, couple days at least. I can't get the blogspot site linked anywhere and it's just either not novel enough or good enough to rate more than 5 orders. Big thanks to Len at Jawbone and ApeLad for linking it when it started. I have a commission I have to get done over the next week, but I guess look for more of these at some point next week.

I'll be going back and doing some Flickr contacts and taking videos of them, but they're just for fun. So if you'd like one, head over here and place an order.

Carry on.



100 Artists Update

The new site for the 100 Artists Project is complete and online. Well, as complete as it's going to get until more content comes in. I have a form I want to put in place for the sign-ups but that can wait for now.

I hope you're enjoying the robots. I'm almost done with the ones people have paid for so if you'd like one, get over there and sign up. I'll be going back to doing Flickr contacts for fun.




Quick Update

Happy tax day. LMA thinks it's a day off of school and was wondering why it wasn't. When I tried to explain to her what Tax Day was, she got that sallow and distant look that always accompanies daddy's long winded explanations about boring shit.

So I quickly summed it up with, "It's not a day off of school."

Some news real quick from the home front. My 100 Artist Project has reached 100+ artists. I need to get a sketchbook purchased and drawn so I can send it out. I also need to finish the site. I know a couple of designers, but they're either busy, recovering from surgery or for some reason ignoring my tube messages. At any rate, I'm going to slog through getting it built so there's a nice home for the project.

I also received a handful of Robot Portrait requests that I will be fulfilling tonight. I may not be able to video them very well but they'll at least get done and sent out.

In a couple weeks I should be able to post up some drawings I'm doing for a commission for this company. It's a neat little project and I'm excited to be working with the guy.

Mrs. A is still insanely busy and I think she's close to cracking. I've tried picking up the house stuff more so she can concentrate on work, but I tell ya, we're burning it at both ends lately. Something's gotta give.

LMA was accepted to the Gifted and Talented program. I'm not sure if that goes for a full district or just that school. Seeing as we're considering putting her in a different school next year it's kind of a weird thing to receive. Still, good for her. She's still a 5 year old emotionally, and it shows more often then not, but we're very proud of her.

G-man chews on blankets and sleeves lately. I don't know. I've started giving him his old frozen chew ring because everything I bump into lately is wet.

That's about it.

Carry on.


Testing YouTube Postings

Rowan Atkinson is a genius. This is obviously old, but new to me.

My site is giving me HORRIBLE fits. No idea what I'm going to do with it, and frankly I don't have time, so here it lives for the foreseeable future. Please check out all the links on the sidebar, they are projects I'm working on and could always use your support.



Another Move

You're hopefully reading this because my web server has finally decided I have too much free time.

So, this weekend I'll be figuring out how to back it all up and move it off to a hosting company where the power runs constantly and the software is already installed.

I can't believe I've waited this long to do it.

Carry on.