Hi, I'm Erik Maldre. This is my blog about art, design, technology and various cultural observations. It's a Chicago-style hot dog blog. Over 1800 blog posts have been made since 2004 and new posts are made every single weekday.
The seller sent me a message saying "the stamp" has been shipped and the following warm message, "May you enjoy the use of the stamp."
Here's my reply:
"I'm in no hurry to receive the crucifix, so no worries there. Your message mentions that I'll be receiving "the stamp". I just checked your completed listings and you recently sold a kitty cat stamp. Hopefully I won't be getting the cat stamp in place of the crucifix. If that is indeed the case, I actually wouldn't raise a hoot about it. I could use the stamp for my six-year old daughter. She loves cats. The question that would remain is if the kitty cat stamp buyer is happy receiving a crucifix. If they are, then I would consider that a blessing. Whatever the matter or lack of matter, I'm sure it can be resolved."
The drama will build over the next couple days until the package arrives.
On ebay there is regularly someone selling a box of game-used Major League baseballs. The photo accompanying this listing offers great visual interest. In fact, it would serve as a good example to any Foundational Art course.
Repetition. That's easily noted. You wanna be an artist? A reliable foundational technique is repetition. The inherent order provides framework for variety within.
Compare the textures from baseball to baseball.
Compare the presentation of the seams. Most of these show the "face" of the baseball with slight variations to their angles, but it's interesting to see the one baseball that's completely off. Breaking the repetition is another great tool.
The photo was taken with the box lying down, but look at the photo as how it's presented: vertically. All the balls, but one, look to be stacked on one another. That one ball in the upper left corner adds an incredible sense of mystery and thus intrigue. It's just floating there. Remarkable.
This effect is attained only because the photograph is cropped in such a manner so that only the box interior and the balls are showing.
Today Amazon announced Amazon Coins. This is quite a clever piece of marketing. As I visited amazon.com to research Pietro Cavallini the large presence of gold coins on their homepage announcing this service was striking.
Want a clever way to enhance your product? Have its core imagery based on gold coins. Certainly the desire for gold dates back thousands of years. Just look at the skyrocketing value of gold in the past 10 years (it has tripled since 2006) to further compound gold's value right here, right now.
I looked at amazon's ad and instinctively thought, "I want that coin. Give me that coin."
It is rather comical how the ad features a giant gold coin, then there's a big pile of gold coins behind it mixed with amazon app icons. Boy, those apps must be as good as gold! And as if that wasn't enough, there's a pile of gold coins behind a page curl at the bottom right implying the entire page is FULL OF GOLD!
Please note, I receive zero dollars from amazon for this blog post.
How the advertising will really appear in Wrigley Field's outfield and Jumbotron
Today, the Chicago Cubs shared more images of their proposed changes to Wrigley Field. One image is particularly misleading.
A somewhat detailed look can be found at the Chicago Tribune along with a caption (to the second image above) explaining where actual advertisements will be placed (Full caption pasted in comments below). To the Cubs' credit, they probably don't yet know which advertisers will appear on these new surfaces. So they placed in simple graphics that blend with their surroundings. When has advertising actually blended with its surroundings?
The first image gives a more realistic idea of how those advertised surfaces may look. Feel free to download and share.
I'm a Cubs fan who wants the public to be properly informed about the Cubs' plans.
Today's Opening Day win for the Chicago Cubs might turn out to be a microcosm for the 2013 Chicago Cubs. Rizzo homers. Castro scraps together a couple hits, but looks dazed as he wanders the basepaths aimlessly. Everyone else has no clue when they're batting, especially any third basemen. Jeff Samardzija turns out to be an ace. (I have a hard time saying that.) Soriano is a complete non-factor in every facet of the game. Marmol is wildly unpredictable and eventually will be released (not traded, but outright released). Jeff Russell becomes one of game's best set-up men. Fujikawa is a legit closer.
With that said Anthony Rizzo continues to impress. Every clip of the dugout from the TV broadcast showed Rizzo engaging with various teammates. You could also tell he was nervous in the post-game interview and such humility is always nice to see in a ballplayer. It's clear this guy is the leader of this team for years to come.
Also of note, this is the 2,000th blog post on unlikelymoose.com. 2,000!
Today I visited Buswell Library at Wheaton College. Visitors are required to sign in at the circulation desk. The attendant asked if I was a visitor as I was signing the guest book which seemed a redundant question. I politely answered, "Yes." He then asked if I was a prospective student to which I smiled and replied, "No, I am here to read." He looked perplexed and I quickly continued on my way to, y'know, read.
my comment left on flickr:
Incredible painting. The "x" on the person really fills the void of the painting. Pairing this "x" with the red border is quite dynamic especially since the person was painted on top of the red border. It has an eerie sense of dimension. I'd like to know how the artist got the legs to extend below the edge of the painting. This begins to have a sculptural quality. Though the flat "x" on his chest reels him back in the surface. This back-and-forth play on dimensions intrigues.
Word on the street is that Jack Lew is going to be appointed the Sec. of Treasury. What's that matter for a blog about art, design, technology and other chicago hot dog randomness? Lew's signature. It is simply pure awesomeness.
I love patriotism on stamps. I'd like to see a stronger return to patriotic elements on our stamps. The whole cultural recognition on stamps (Simpsons stamps, movie actor stamps, etc.) has become pretty silly and worn out. You can't wear out the idea of showing a U.S. President or a flag on a stamp. But the general awkwardness and clumsiness of the current 3 cent stamp's design does not appropriately represent American patriotism.
The main star is mostly red, but it's legs are blue. I understand representing red, white, and blue, but making the bottom part of a star in this manner is rather clumsy. It almost seems random.
There's a white star in front of the blue/red star attempting to stir some negative space dynamics. Instead it's creating an awkward space in the red/blue star's armpits.
There's also a strange void between the blue section of the red/blue star.
It's kinda neat to imagine the white star isn't there. The blue parts start to look like chop sticks or scissors. They also look like legs. How this represents patriotism I don't know.
The angle is weird. Why angle this graphic? It becomes cartoonic.
This stamp has been around since 2002?!?! It's time to retire this stamp. I don't get it. It looks like a really bad logo for a bank, insurance company or one of those bad reverse mortgage retirement commercials.
From the USPS website: "This 3-cent "make up rate" stamp was first issued in June 2002 and features a star highlighted in red, white and blue."
It's interesting that they recognize only one star in this design.
The only place we'll find an answer to the Connecticut tragedy is Jesus on the cross. That is the means God chose for demonstrating His love by the sacrifice of the Son for the world's sin. For the number one characteristic of God is love. It's impossible to find His love when we search this fallen world outside of Christ.
When we look for answers beyond Christ, we only have ourselves to solve this riddle and we travel further down our desperate path of self-interest and self-preservation. We're all sinners and the truth is not in us. When we deny God's means, then we become gods to ourselves.
God has the answers, yet He chose to be hidden from us. Why? Being "hidden" is different that "hiding". It is impossible for humans to stand in the presence of God. His mere presence would surely destroy us (as stated throughout God's Word in the Old Testament). So God remains hidden from us for our good. And he choose His means for us to receive His love and salvation from sin via Christ on the cross through His Holy Word and the Holy Sacraments.
It is only through the cross that we can truly receive reconciliation for our sinful condition. Christ suffered for us out of love. He is our blessed exchange. He took our sin upon his back so that we may have life with Him. He takes our sin. We receive life. He does this out of pure love and grace. He states this promise in the gift of his Word. We cannot deny it. Who are we to call God a liar?
Suffering and pain and anguish surely exists. The level of which for those involved in this tragedy is surely immense. We are not to push aside this pain. Any comfort that is to be received is truly found in Christ. He suffered terribly. He suffered the wrath of His neighbors and the hatred of the devil to its full extent. He also suffered the wrath of God over sin. He knows suffering and He died for each and every one of us. Christ is our Saviour from our sin and the sin of the world.
I share these thoughts after listening to Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller speak on the podcast, Issues, Etc., following the Aurora, Colorado murders. (The line about suffering wrath of neighbors, devil, and sin is a direct quote from Pr. Wolfmueller)
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
I'll give you the #1 reason I don't watch late night talk shows. It reminds me that it's late at night and that I should go to bed. When it's late at night, I do NOT want to be reminded of how late it is.
Time is to be ignored in the late evening hours.
That said, a fond childhood memory of mine is being sneaky and watching The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In this case, the intent was to watch Johnny Carson with the purpose of knowing that I was staying up late. Perhaps that vivid memory influences my current approach to late night talk shows.
Y'know a logo that has oddly aged well? Little Caesars Pizza. At least this version that popped up in an ad on pandora.com. Though I looked up Little Ceasars logos on google and none are nearly as nice as this black type on orange version.
The font is notoriously early 80's blobby serif, but here it works. Maybe at least for me it does. It conjures up childhood memories of sitting in a very dark Pizza Hut with red checkered plastic table cloths and those mysterious transparent red glass with the marble texture. We didn't eat out much growing up, but when we did Pizza Hut was on the list.
There's something about the honesty of this logo. It proudly demonstrates its 70s/80s heritage without confusing the design by meager attempts to "modernize" or "refresh" the logo with other design elements. Little Caesars says, "Here's our blobbie serif. We're going to set it in simple black type. We're going to center it. And we're gonna keep our old cartoon logo too. So deal with it. And we're gonna make it a nice design by setting it against an orange background thus uniting the cartoon and the text. I like that it's a square so that it's a subtle connection to pizza boxes.
My only complaint is that someone added the word "Pizza" and they did a pretty poor job. The x-height is too low.
Pandora.com played me a song from New Order's Substance album. The album cover's design struck me. So beautifully simple. It's only black and white, no gray, certainly no colour, with one font delicately centered vertically and strongly centered on the horizontal plane. The single graphical element of a line ties everything together while providing a sense of order and symbolizing the word "substance" in a powerful manner.
In such a strikingly simple design, it's a rather bold move to include the publishing year on the cover. It's not part of the album name. This lends a timeless feel something akin to seeing Greek numerals in elegantly simple ancient temples. Bravo.
I did some digging and I'm going to take a rather educated guess that the font is Berthold Bodoni Light which comes from a great family. Coincidentally while I was listening to the song I was designing a book cover where I selected Bodoni Bold Condensed as the feature font.
Make eye contact and yell at the coyote(s)
Wave your arms to appear as large as possible
Use a noisemaker or a whistle
Throw things at the coyote
Clap your hands
Run toward the coyote to scare it
Spray a hose toward the coyote.
Interesting. My first instinct when encountering a coyote isn't necessarily to throw things at it or better yet, "run toward the coyote". My guess would be, well, walk away, go inside, don't pick a fight with a wild animal, especially since I don't usually carry any sort or weapon or firearms with me.
"Things" is a rather vague term for something to throw at a wild animal. Maybe this policy allows me to throw fluorescent bulbs or used cans of paint since Wheaton really has no policy for recycling those materials.
I have two sets of 2012 MLB playoff predictions. See image above. I want the Orioles to win it all. I've always liked the Orioles. But I think the Yanks pull it off again. It would be pretty sweet to see an Orioles-Senators Series. I'll take A's-Giants, too, but that ain't happening.
last time two 100-loss teams played each other MLB
Tonight begins what could be an historic series in Major League Baseball. The 60-99 Chicago Cubs host the 53-106 Houston Astros for a three-game set. If the Astros win one of the first two games, then we will see two 100-loss teams face each other.
The last time two MLB teams with 100 losses played each other was on September 30, 1962. The 58-103 Chicago Cubs played the 40-119 New York Mets. The Cubs won that game 5-1 resulting in 59-103 and 40-120 records for each club. Casey Stengel was manager of the Mets and Charlie Metro was manager of the Cubs for that game. The Cubs had four Hall-of-Famers on the '62 team: Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Lou Brock. The '62 Mets had one HOFer: Richie Ashburn.
Since 1962 there have been ten instances where there have been two 100-loss teams in either the National League or American League. Here's the list:
1962 Chicago Cubs 59-103, 1962 New York Mets 40-120;
combined losses: 223
1964 Washington Senators 62-100, 1964 Kansas City Athletics 57-105;
combined losses: 205
1965 Boston Red Sox 62-100, 1965 Kansas City Athletics 59-103;
combined losses: 203
1969 Montreal Expos 52-110, 1969 San Diego Padres 52-110;
combined losses: 220
1978 Toronto Blue Jays 59-102, 1978 Seattle Mariners 56-104;
combined losses: 206
1979 Toronto Blue Jays 53-109, 1979 Oakland Athletics 54-108;
combined losses: 217
1985 Pittsburgh Pirates 57-104, 1985 San Francisco Giants 62-100;
combined losses: 204
1993 San Diego Padres 61-101, 1993 New York Mets 59-103;
combined losses: 204
2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 55-106, 2002 Detroit Tigers 55-106;
combined losses: 212
2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 61-101, 2006 Kansas City Royals 62-100;
combined losses: 201
2012 Houston Astros 53-106 (as of 9/30/12), 2012 Chicago Cubs 60-99 (as of 9/30/12)
It's been four months away from the ol' blogg-a-ro. I had about 200 spam comments to clean up. The current flavor of the spam has been stuff like, "I love your blog. You're so smart." I actually enjoyed reading these comments despite their completely hallow meaningless nature.
I had to approve this one, "Oh rapture yes. This is the exact reason I was born.
To find you, my long lost blogger soul-mate." by someone calling themselves, "wedding cake decorations".
It's always interesting to read into the different strategies employed by real estate brokers/agents in home listings especially when there's an exact character limit.
This one cracked me up. It ends with "Stunning yard w/ waterfall & rock garden. STUNNING" That waterfall and rock garden really must be something special that they felt the need to repeat the same adjective and then shout it with all caps. The lack of a period is interesting too. They just want to keep talking about how stunning the waterfall/rock garden is.
And yes, if you look at the photos of this house, there indeed are two pictures featuring a gong in the living room. STUNNING
Welcome people of Earth looking for spray painted salted pretzel sticks! I can offer you no spray painted salted pretzel sticks, but I can offer you this note talking about spray painting salted pretzel sticks.