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Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– for April 15

Originally I had planned on doing something related to the Doomsday clock (something about “tax day, deadlines, that sort of thing), but scrapped it doing the “idea” stage. Then I got involved with prepping for a phone interview, and next thing you know, we’re on Sunday and I haven’t done anything for a couple of days. So, once again I need to catch up.

Growing up in the late 70s/early 80s in PR meant that, more likely than not, you were exposed to a lot of anime (Japanese animation), way before it would become fashionable in the US. Local tv was inundated with all sorts of Japanese imports– among them an animated, serialized version of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, Captain Harlock, Candy Candy, Battle of The Planets, and a slew of mecha.)

My favorite mecha was also the most popular– Go Nagai’s Mazinger Z.

Domo arigato gozaimasu, Nagai-san ©2010 rafael armstrong
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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– for April 14

My piece for 4/14 centers around Remo Williams,  one of my guilty pleasure 80s movies (MegaForce is another, but we’ll leave that for another day) . Joel Grey’s character, “Chiun”, a Korean master of Sinanju, has some of the best lines (two of my favorites are “you move like a pregnant Yak” and “you drive like a monkey in heat!”). This one, on the nature of fear, has stuck with me for years.

Enjoy!

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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– for April 10

This is the first of 3 pieces that I’m putting together today(4/12) in order to catch up from a slight derailment caused by technical issues on Saturday.– r

Some thoughts on today’s CSED:

This wasn’t exactly what I had intended for Saturday, but after spending  more time than I wanted to on Saturday night dealing with a malware issue on my computer (<sarcasm>which is what just about everyone loves to do on a Saturday night</sarcasm>), and missing my Saturday CSED deadline, this is where my head ended up– figuratively speaking.

©2010 rafael armstrong

I decided to scrap the original idea and start from scratch. I’m sure everyone can relate. Hope you enjoy wallowing in the little misery that I was in. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome.

BTW– I cleaned out whatever caused Gmail and Outlook to go all crazy, and things are back to normal now.

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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– April 6

Today, while enjoying the outdoors for a bit (read: doing yard work), the word “cucubano” came to mind, and with it a song (of the same name) popularized by Tony Croatto (and, if I’m not mistaken, covered by Menudo as well). In case you’re wondering what a cucubano is, the wiki entry (found here) sheds some light, and the blog “Speaking Boricua” has a short and sweet explanation on Tony Croatto here.

I always thought cucubanos were fireflies. It appears I was wrong about that. Anyway, today’s CSED was inspired by the song’s title and part of the lyrics, which translate as follows:

I am a star of the night
in the mountains as well as the plains

Enjoy! As always, your thoughts and feedback are most welcome.

©2010 rafael armstrong
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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– March 14, 15 ,16

A quick-fire of the #daily365 pieces that would correspond to 3/14-16…

March 14: Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

©2010 rafael armstrong

March 15: Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box”

©2010 rafael armstrong

March 16: Ruben Blades’ “Decisiones”

©2010 rafael armstrong
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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– for March 12

Still staying in the world of Spanish language music. This time it’s a Salsa classic by Rubén Blades. The song, “plástico”, uses its lyrics to criticize those people and societies who spend their time living a shallow, materialistic existence.

©2010 rafael armstrong

A live performance of the song by Rubén Blades

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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– for March 7

So my attempt at catching up has been less than successful, and at this point, I’m about a week behind. So, without further ado, here’s the CSED that corresponds to 3/7.

Some thoughts on the CSED:

I picked up The Kentucky Headhunter’s Electric Barnyard at the library the other day– purely on a nostalgic whim (my uncle had made me a copy on tape a lo00ng time ago). On the album there’s a cover of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky”. I’ve always dug the original’s fuzzy guitar riff, and I find it amusing and oddly ironic that a Jewish man would be singing about having a “friend in Jesus”– apparently, as I understand it, he added “Jesus” to the lyrics because he felt it worked better in the song. Go figure.

©2010 rafael armstrong
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daily365

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– For March 6

So, as of today (March 9), I’m still behind by a couple of days. It’s my fault, really. I set a challenging goal for March, and it’s proving hard to keep up. But I’m determined to catch up on these in the coming couple of days. In the meantime, here’s today’s piece.

Some thoughts on today’s CSED:

The 80s were, in my opinion– musically speaking– a schizophrenic decade. On the one hand you had pop music being put out by the likes of Culture Club, New Edition, Cindy Lauper, and yes, Michael Jackson. Somewhere on the other end of the spectrum you had rock and metal, with hair metal becoming quite popular thanks to bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, Ratt, and countless others.

And then, in ’87, Guns n’ Roses hit the scene, and things changed.

So, I decided to use the band’s debut album as a jumping-off point. Here, then is my (rather quickly cobbled together) take on what has, over the last 20+ years, become a rock and metal classic.

All images used can be found in morguefile.com ©2010 rafael armstrong
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life randomness software

Adobe apps– which one’s your fave?

I’ve been seeing on-and-off for a few days now various blog posts and tweets asking and discussing if such-and-such app is better/more useful than this other one. And, because the last couple of days I’ve spent a fair amount working in InDesign (probably the Adobe print app that, over the last few months I’ve spent the least amount of time in doing work), I figured I’d ask out loud:

Which of the Adobe Creative Suite apps  is your favorite?

It could be it’s the one you spend the most time in, or it could be the one you know the best, but don’t really spend that much time in anymore. Or, it just happens to be the one that crashes the least. Whatever.

My short answer is Illustrator. I started out as a Photoshop phreak, but once work-related circumstances pushed me into the deep end of the Illustrator pool, I found that it wasn’t the big scary, foreign-looking interface and app I had made it out in my head to be. In fact, I found I liked it and, to stretch the metaphor out, the water was fine.

I still use Photoshop (and InDesign, Dreamweaver, et al) whenever appropriate, but if I just want to noodle around with ideas and concepts, Illustrator’s where I go. A digital moleskine of sorts.

So, which one’s your favorite?

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Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– For March 3

I’m almost caught up!

I was in the library earlier today looking through their music book section for anything that might have substantial amounts of Blue Note imagery to use as reference and inspiration for this month’s CSED. Alas, I found none today. So (and to briefly digress), in an effort to catch up with my daily posting, I decided to forgo the theme for this (yesterday’s piece).

Some notes on this piece:

I was going to write this whole long-winded piece on how I love the 80s and its films, and how WarGames impacted me as a geek growing up then. Over the weekend, and purely by chance, I caught on one of the local channels what could only have been a direct-to-video (or are we just saying direct-to-dvd now?) sequel of WarGames. Sadly, it was mostly a thinly veiled re-hash/updating of the original. But it inspired me to dust off some Photoshop effects I had not used in a while in order to create this:

How about a nice game of chess? ©2010 rafael armstrong

Hmmm… Maybe I should go with a different theme for March?

Thanks for sticking around and reading this. Your comments and feedback are always welcome.