Watercolor Work for Abbott and Gooseberry


These images show the "work in progress" for creating a handful of "shells" for Abbott and Gooseberry.
Adding some of the colors is very basic at this point. Nathan's hair is usually yellow (unless there's been a rebellious attempt at coloring it) Farmer Butt will usually always be blue and orange.



I will go back with colored pencil and fill in some details. The watercolor portion of this is a little flat, but the paint did what I wanted it to do.
The green parts worked out quite well. I kept mixing in a little more yellow. The watercolor sets that I'm using come from at least three other "tube" watercolor sets that run less than $20. This is not the cheap stuff, but it's not top of the line, either. I mix it in the dish and clean the same brush--I work too quickly, I suppose. I did all of this (save the first two images on the upper left) in less than forty-five minutes.

I will have to add peach for skin tones and touch up that wicked looking pitchfork. A little silver and turquoise here and there, maybe.

Overall, I should slow down. Chasing that bubble of watercolor paint around is good fun.

This is Why I Love Rummage Sales

Teddy Bear and Friends Magazine, a mustWhen I found this issue of Teddy Bear and Friends at a rummage sale in Maryland last year, my heart leapt for joy. I am a huge Teddy Bear collector. I have in the neighborhood of 6,000 Teddy Bears, many of which are worth at least five or six dollars apiece. Apiece!

I like rummage sales. Nothing says "oh my God, we have to sell our crap and run NOW" like a good rummage sale. I think this is a bit sad, however:

Nicaraguan mother Lorena Aguilar hawks a television set and a few clothes on the baking sidewalk outside her west Phoenix apartment block.

A few paces up the street, her undocumented Mexican neighbor Wendi Villasenor touts a kitchen table, some chairs and a few dishes as her family scrambles to get out of Arizona ahead of a looming crackdown on illegal immigrants.

"Everyone is selling up the little they have and leaving," said Villasenor, 31, who is headed for Pennsylvania. "We have no alternative. They have us cornered."

The two women are among scores of illegal immigrant families across Phoenix hauling the contents of their homes into the yard this weekend as they rush to sell up and get out before the state law takes effect on Thursday.

The law, the toughest imposed by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration, seeks to drive more than 400,000 undocumented day laborers, landscapers, house cleaners, chambermaids and other workers out of Arizona, which borders Mexico.

I'm convinced that people who want to work hard without whining will do fine. This is a forehead-smacking moment. You don't expel law-abiding citizens who work hard, pay their taxes (yes, they do pay taxes and that's a fact), and raise nuclear families without so much as a complaint. You kick out underproductive college boys who can't hold down a job for more than three weeks because they can't give up their addiction to beer, hotties, and chicken wings.

How about passing a law that says that any man, aged 22 and older, who lives with his parents, is to be forced to join the military? I'd vote for the clown who could pass that law. Wouldn't you?

Arizona is quickly going to rue the day that this law was passed. When everyone who does the so-called "menial" tasks leaves the state, a lot of fat white boys with backwards baseball caps and fatboy shorts are going to get food poisoning eating off dirty plates in restaurants with terrible service. One minute, that hale and hearty fellow who is 80 pounds overweight will be spooning up some sauce from his plate and the next thing you know his unshaven mug will be heaving six oversized meals into a toilet that hasn't been cleaned since the Bush Administration.

I've been to Arizona, mostly as it pertains to my work as a Gentleman Bounty Hunter. If you want to know what is going to happen, think of an Outback Steakhouse running at 20% capacity, barely able to find someone to dunk the veggies in tepid rainwater. Think of hundreds and hundreds of businesses forced to operate without enough hired help. Think of Manhattan, in other words, only without the ambience and the subways and the ability to function without a car.

My friends, let me speak to you as if I were a saner, healthier version of John McCain. Arizona, you're going to be hurting in about three months. Broken-down cars will soon litter your freeways for want of basic maintenance. Sales of Pepto Bismol are going to be through the roof. Oh, yes. McCain warned everyone about this nonsense. But then, he sold his soul to the devil and now the devil is taking him for a ride on the one bus that doesn't have windows that open. It's over for him. McCain is rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi from his state, and he's being forced to actually campaign and shake hands, which for him is like eating a shit sandwich, served on a bun no one was qualified to toast.

Which reminds me--I have to dump a little investment money into whoever makes that pink bismuth stuff. Their sales are going to surge once people in Arizona start consuming thousands of pounds of rancid fast food. Shamble off to the pay toilets, you rotting carcasses. You did it to yourselves. 

Posted via email from An American Lion is on Posterous

What Did I Tell You About Rummage Sales?

Ansel AdamsThis has turned a pauper into a prince:



Rick Norsigian's hobby of picking through piles of unwanted items at garage sales in search of antiques has paid off for the Fresno, California, painter.


Two small boxes he bought 10 years ago for $45 -- negotiated down from $70 -- is now estimated to be worth at least $200 million dollars, according to a Beverly Hills art appraiser.


Those boxes contained 65 glass negatives created by famed nature photographer Ansel Adams in the early period of his career. Experts believed the negatives were destroyed in a 1937 darkroom fire that destroyed 5,000 plates.


"It truly is a missing link of Ansel Adams and history and his career," said David W. Streets, the appraiser and art dealer who is hosting an unveiling of the photographs at his Beverly Hills, California, gallery Tuesday.



Amazing. That kind of money can buy you a wonderful home in Southern California nowadays. Remember that the next time you sneer about the treasures being found at rummage sales.

You Can Find a Lot of Bargains at Rummage Sales

Teddy Bear and Friends Magazine, a mustWhen I found this issue of Teddy Bear and Friends at a rummage sale in Maryland last year, my heart leapt for joy. I am a huge Teddy Bear collector. I have in the neighborhood of 6,000 Teddy Bears, many of which are worth at least five or six dollars apiece. Apiece!


I like rummage sales. Nothing says "oh my God, we have to sell our crap and run NOW" like a good rummage sale. I think this is a bit sad, however:



Nicaraguan mother Lorena Aguilar hawks a television set and a few clothes on the baking sidewalk outside her west Phoenix apartment block.


A few paces up the street, her undocumented Mexican neighbor Wendi Villasenor touts a kitchen table, some chairs and a few dishes as her family scrambles to get out of Arizona ahead of a looming crackdown on illegal immigrants.


"Everyone is selling up the little they have and leaving," said Villasenor, 31, who is headed for Pennsylvania. "We have no alternative. They have us cornered."


The two women are among scores of illegal immigrant families across Phoenix hauling the contents of their homes into the yard this weekend as they rush to sell up and get out before the state law takes effect on Thursday.


The law, the toughest imposed by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration, seeks to drive more than 400,000 undocumented day laborers, landscapers, house cleaners, chambermaids and other workers out of Arizona, which borders Mexico.



I'm convinced that people who want to work hard without whining will do fine. This is a forehead-smacking moment. You don't expel law-abiding citizens who work hard, pay their taxes (yes, they do pay taxes and that's a fact), and raise nuclear families without so much as a complaint. You kick out underproductive college boys who can't hold down a job for more than three weeks because they can't give up their addiction to beer, hotties, and chicken wings.


How about passing a law that says that any man, aged 22 and older, who lives with his parents, is to be forced to join the military? I'd vote for the clown who could pass that law. Wouldn't you?


Arizona is quickly going to rue the day that this law was passed. When everyone who does the so-called "menial" tasks leaves the state, a lot of fat white boys with backwards baseball caps and fatboy shorts are going to get food poisoning eating off dirty plates in restaurants with terrible service. One minute, that hale and hearty fellow who is 80 pounds overweight will be spooning up some sauce from his plate and the next thing you know his unshaven mug will be heaving six oversized meals into a toilet that hasn't been cleaned since the Bush Administration.


I've been to Arizona. If you want to know what is going to happen, think of an Outback Steakhouse running at 20% capacity, barely able to find someone to dunk the veggies in tepid rainwater. Think of hundreds and hundreds of businesses forced to operate without enough hired help. Think of Manhattan, in other words, only without the ambience and the subways and the ability to function without a car.


My friends, let me speak to you as if I were a saner, healthier version of John McCain. Arizona, you're going to be hurting in about three months. Broken-down cars will soon litter your freeways for want of basic maintenance. Sales of Pepto Bismol are going to be through the roof. Oh, yes. McCain warned everyone about this nonsense. But then, he sold his soul to the devil and now the devil is taking him for a ride on the one bus that doesn't have windows that open. It's over for him. McCain is rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi from his state, and he's being forced to actually campaign and shake hands, which for him is like eating a shit sandwich, served on a bun no one was qualified to toast.


Which reminds me--I have to dump a little investment money into whoever makes that pink bismuth stuff. Their sales are going to surge once people in Arizona start consuming thousands of pounds of rancid fast food. Shamble off to the pay toilets, you rotting carcasses. You did it to yourselves. 

Mitch Albom Has Always Been a Hack

Some sports writers get by on talent; some by dogged determination. Mitch Albom gets by on air and bullshit:



On June 25, the Associated Press Sports Editors did a “curious thing,” in the eyes ofDave Kindred, a former sports columnist.


That night, the group gave Mitch Albom, the longtime columnist for The Detroit Free Press (and author of books like “Tuesdays With Morrie”) its Red Smith Award, the organization’s highest honor.


Mr. Kindred wondered whether that was wise. Back in 2005, Mr. Albom filed a columnthat described two former Michigan State basketball players at a Final Four game that hadn’t yet happened. The athletes didn’t make it to the game, but Mr. Albom’s column ran as written.


In a column published July 16 on the National Sports Journalism Center’s Web site, Mr. Kindred, himself a former Red Smith winner, wrote of Mr. Albom’s transgression: “Note to journalism students: This is known as fiction. It can get you expelled.”



I have never seen a more self-serving sports writer, save that other regular pair of jackballs that I cannot stand: Mike Celezic and Mike Lupica. Celezic is hardly considered a sportswriter anymore since they make him write fluff pieces and human interest blurbs. Lupica is, quite possibly, the most unsavory sports writer still living, and that's saying something.


No one wants to remember Albom's transgressions. It makes giving him the awards his editors have lobbied for him to receive even that more difficult to stomach. People don't get awards for being good anymore; people get awards because their money-making status in the industry demands that their second-rate hackery be recognized and given accolades that would normally go to powerless drones, struggling to make ends meet. There's a lot of money driving the Albom franchise and much of it comes from the sale of treacly nonsense read by old ladies. What self-respecting sports writer would sell his soul for the Readers Digest crowd?


Hey, anything for a buck. Anything for a buck. Newspapers are dying. The Internet doesn't pay very well. And ESPN is the only game in town. They know they can get people for peanuts. I suppose if my dignity and my soul were all that was necessary to give up, I'd take that sappy train to big money town, too.

Taking Out the Old Watercolor Paints


For The Chasseurs project, I will have to reintroduce myself to watercolors. These are photos, not scans, of what I am putting together.

I have a lifelong aversion to watercolor painting. I can either make it work or I end up making it a sloppy mess. I tend to try to use the watercolor paints from the tubes as if they were oils. I suppose my penance for that transgression will have to be trying a little harder to make the medium work...

Posted via email from Warren Jason Street

Taking Out the Old Watercolor Paints


For The Chasseurs project, I will have to reintroduce myself to watercolors. These are photos, not scans, of what I am putting together.

I have a lifelong aversion to watercolor painting. I can either make it work or I end up making it a sloppy mess. I tend to try to use the watercolor paints from the tubes as if they were oils. I suppose my penance for that transgression will have to be trying a little harder to make the medium work...

Posted via email from Warren Jason Street

It's Nice to Have all Four Characters

Belgian Sheep Dog Laekenois

Brittany Spaniel

Danish Broholmer

Red Poodle
Some variation of these four breeds will constitute the main characters of The Chasseurs. I think the Brittany Spaniel will be the lead, as evidenced by the painting that kicks off this project, and the Red Poodle will represent the oldest and most experienced of the characters. The other two characters will have their own characteristics. I like the idea of the Belgian Sheep Dog being an organizer of all things great and small and the Danish Broholmer being more apt to question everything.

I do not want the typical dynamic; all of these dogs are survivors and have great talents and abilities. To introduce a weak character would be to suggest that the weak always survive. No, the weak do not survive the conditions of the Napoleonic War.

Still Burying the Dead of World War I

Aerial view of the Fromelles battlefieldHere's an example as to how honor is upheld:



The last remains of scores of British and Australian World War I troops recovered from mass graves will be reburied in northern France later.


Prince Charles and relatives of identified soldiers will attend a commemorative ceremony at the new Fromelles Military Cemetery.


It comes 94 years after the soldiers were killed in the Battle of Fromelles.


Work to excavate and identify the 250 soldiers began two years ago, after the bodies were found.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was behind the work to exhume the bodies.


Of those recovered, 205 have now been identified as Australian, three served with the British army and 42 are still classified as unknown.



It is no less tragic, nearly a hundred years later, to read about the senseless loss of life.

A Lost Battalion Awaits a Proper Burial

8th US Cavalry Regiment CrestSomewhere on the Korean peninsula, there are the remains of countless American soldiers who have fallen in battle but were left behind, thousands of them. They await a proper burial:



Trapped by two Chinese divisions, troops of the 8th U.S. Cavalry Regiment were left to die in far northern Korea, abandoned by the U.S. command in a Korean War episode viewed as one of the most troubling in American military history.


Sixty years later those fallen soldiers, the lost battalion of Unsan, are stranded anew.


North Korea is offering fresh clues to their remains. American teams are ready to re-enter the north to dig for them. But for five years the U.S. government has refused to work with North Korea to recover the men of Unsan and others among more than 8,000 U.S. missing in action from the 1950-53 war.


Now, under pressure from MIA family groups, the Obama administration is said to be moving slowly to reverse the Bush administration's suspension of the joint recovery program, a step taken in 2005 as the North Korean nuclear crisis dragged on.


"If I had a direct line in to the president, I would say, 'Please reinstitute this program. There are families that need closure,'" said Ruth Davis, 61, of Palestine, Texas, whose uncle, Sgt. 1st Class Benny Don Rogers, has been listed as MIA since Chinese attackers overran his company — I Company, 8th Cavalry — at Unsan in late 1950.



It would be fitting to give the families closure and to give these men a marker of their own.

Sketches for a dog's head


Simple sketches, based on what I did here with a simple crayon:

Not very fair for the dog, is it?



It looks like a great dog, though. Would someone really have an ethical problem with posing a dog like this? Or is this that "art" thing I keep hearing about?


Either way, I like this photo and I like the dog, even better.

George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)

George Steinbrenner on the cover of Sports Illustrated

While this post should be about George Steinbrenner, it's actually about the 300th post of a wonderful idea that has never really taken hold. I'll leave this blog up and running, and I may revisit the idea of commenting or writing about sports in the future, but the reality is that writing about sports is no longer any damned fun. I believe there's a place for what I'm doing here, but I haven't quite figured out what that place is as of yet.

With the loss of George Steinbrenner, an era of jackassery in sports has come to pass. Oh, sure. Mark Cuban is still alive. Al Davis might be alive, but who can tell? And when the rank amateurish jackassery is dying out of sports, what fun is it to write about?

I'm sick of writing about Tiger Woods and I'm sick of sports, in general. I get no joy from it anymore. I truly believe that hockey is the greatest sport. I might just make this a hockey-only blog when the season resumes. I don't know. I also have come to realize that sports is now corporatized and controlled to the point where it doesn't make sense to tell people that ESPN has ruined it for me. It has ruined it for everyone. Sports is now the province of the scold and the moralizing buffoon. Thanks again, Jim Gray. Being mediocre and bought off ruins it for the rest of us. I am going to take a few weeks and think about how to fix this thing and make it better.

How many other sports bloggers are suspending their sports blogs for a few weeks in honor of the biggest jackass to ever find himself flush with cash, drunk with power, and capable of buying playoff victories at well-above-retail prices? Hopefully, I'm not the only one who will point out to you that, at the height of Steinbrenner's ownership and personal involvement in the running of the New York Yankees (1979-1995), they were awful and didn't win hardly anything.

Sure, the man had his rings. But for over fifteen years, the Yankees were an overpaid clown circus worthy of ridicule and a Bronx Cheer.

Interesting terms from the Napoleonic Era

Words and terms that seem to be worthy of further development for "The Chasseurs"


A relatively small house on an estate to which the dowager would retire when the new heir took up residence.
facing
Material of a different color that shows when the cuffs and collar are folded over. In the military, different colored facings implied different regiments.
faradiddle
Variation of “taradiddle” — a falsehood or lie.
faro
A card game in which players bet on the order that cards will appear when dealt from the bottom of the deck.
freebooters
A person who robs and plunderers, especially pirates and smugglers. From the Dutch “vrijbuiter” and the German “freibeuter,” meaning to rove freely.
French leave
To take French leave is to go off without taking leave of the company: a saying frequently applied to persons who have run away from their creditors.The allusion is to the French soldiers, who in their invasions take what they require, and never wait to ask permission of the owners or pay any price for what they take.
fribble
An effeminate fop; a name borrowed from a celebrated character of that kind, in the play Miss in her Teens (1746) by David Garrick.
Friday-faced
A dismal countenance. Friday was a day of abstinence.
half pay
A military officer who was not on active duty received half his usual pay.
harridan
A bad-tempered, disreputable old woman. Probably from the French word “haridelle” meaning a worn-out horse.
Hessian boots
High boots coming to just below the knee that have tassels on the top. Named for the German soldiers called Hessians who introduced them.
high in the instep
Haughty or proud.
parson’s mousetrap
Marriage.
pockets to let
Broke; without money.
queer in the attic
Peculiar or crazy.
sawyer – top sawyer
One who excels at driving horses.
Smithfield bargain
A bargain whereby the purchaser is taken in. It is also used for marriages contracted solely for monetary gain, a reference to women being bought and sold like cattle in Smithfield.
toad eater
A sychophant or flatterer; a toady. Either from the Spanish “todita,” meaning factotum, or from the practice of charlatans who would have their assistants eat toads in order to “cure” them of poison.
touched in the upper works
Crazy.
Town bronze
Polish or style.
vingt-et-un
The card game known as “21″ or blackjack, where the object is to take cards until one is as close as possible to 21 without going over. From the French meaning twenty-one.

Those Sorority Girls Are Harmless



Sorority spring formals call up visions of young women in colorful dresses dancing the night away — not vomiting on tables, urinating in sinks or having sex in closets.
The drunken shenanigans of three sororities at Miami University in southwest Ohio sound like something out of "Animal House" and were especially startling for a school that frequently makes the top 50 in a U.S News & World Report academic ranking but never makes lists of big-time party schools.
The school suspended two of the sororities and put the third on probation. A task force is reviewing discipline and education policies on student behavior and alcohol, and the campus group governing sororities says it will begin teaching new members to speak out when they witness bad behavior.
There is little evidence excessive alcohol consumption is any worse at Miami than other colleges, but students are worried the antics will damage the school's reputation.
"It's embarrassing," said Christina Zielke, 21, a senior from Cleveland, who doesn't belong to a sorority. "This kind of thing gives a bad name not just to the Greek system but to the university and students like me who aren't in the system."
Whatever, grandma.
The economy is to blame for all of this. The schools are full of young women (because of the young men had to either join the military or go to work full time in the mine) and they're bored. They're partying because they know that there aren't any jobs for graduates of state schools out there. Where a Yale or Harvard or Brown grad might be able to find a position with a reputable company, a graduate of Miami of Ohio is going to have to work retail until things sort themselves out. A lot of them are going to have to become strippers if they want to pay off their student loan debts (strippers never have money and never pay their bills, but they always have fifty pairs of thong underwear that they don't like anymore).
If I was attending a state school, I'd get drunk to relieve the stress of knowing there aren't any jobs, too. I'd love to see these girls party. I'll bet they do things that would make a sex tourist who frequents Thailand blush.