Saturday, April 30, 2016

Shrimp Frestival 2016

Today I went to the Isle Of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach with my brother and nephew. As usual, we set out early and got up there about 10am. It takes about an hour to drive. We ignore the interstate and have a more interesting drive past all the beach houses. What's nice is that we always find a (free) parking space relatively close to the festival! 

So, the part we take part in is the art show! The artist booths are set up on a main street, with more artists and vendors on side streets. There is the odd food vendor on most corners, mostly selling funnel cakes, lemonade, and other non-shrimp offerings. Oh, one or two have some shrimp, but... Well, we work our way down one side of the booths and side streets. 

At the end of the main street is the waterfront. They have a main stage for events there, as well as food vendors. To be honest, I counted maybe 10 vendors. They were mostly church or school groups, and not much variety in the offerings. The plate of food we got, while generous with the portions, wasn't anything special. In fact, I could have bought all the components at the grocery store (frozen foods section) and made it myself. But hey! It IS fried shrimp, so it was still good!

The lack of food vendors makes me sad, however. There used to be a LOT more, and much more variety! We used to get better food. 

After our lunch, we head back to the main street, looking at the artists and side-streets. Admittedly, on this side, the offerings on the side streets devolve from lesser artists, to antiques, to "this looks like yard sale material". We lose interest when it hits the antiques part.

Didn't buy any art this year (I'm saving $$$ for MegaCon in a few weeks). We all had a great time hanging out! Now, I think it's time for a nap... 

I did take some photos... mostly of buildings (or the tops of buildings). There are only so many "look at this crowd" type photos one can take... I didn't take a lot this time around either, but hopefully you get a feel for it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Political Advice (non-partisan)

The following is a letter I submitted to the local newspaper's editorial section. Not sure if it'll see print, but I thought I'd share it here. 


Dear Politicians,

With the Presidential Elections on the horizons, I have some advice for you all. Please pay attention. In fact, that is the first thing. Pay Attention! You serve the people who voted you into office. Serve them, and not your political party.

Republicans, please remember that this is 2016 not 1916. It’s past time for equal rights for all American citizens. That includes women, blacks, gays, hispanics, asians, trans, and anyone else. We need our country to move forward, and you are keeping us from doing so. Pick up the pace. It’s okay to be conservative. We need that. We also need you to listen, and do what’s best for the people you represent.

Democrats, please remember that this is 2016 and not 2116. Sometimes people need time to adjust to new ideas. This doesn’t mean that they are Evil Incarnate for not immediately falling into line. We need our country to move forward, but that means that you need to slow down some. It’s okay to be liberal. We need that! We also need you to listen to people, and do what’s best for those you represent.

To all politicians, I don’t care about your religion. That’s your personal choice, and it’s your business! I don’t want to hear about it. If religion means more to you than your position and the people you represent, please turn in a letter of resignation. Church and State are separate for a reason, and the beliefs you choose to live by does not give you the right to impose them on everyone else.

To all politicians, listen to the other side! Stop demonizing and criticizing every single word out of the oppositions mouth. Listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to agree, but you have to work with these people. Stop making enemies of them. Part of what makes this country great is that we all have different ideas and opinions! Let’s listen to one another, and work together to find solutions to problems.

To all politicians, remember that your way is not the only way. A problem may have more than one solution. The force a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that may have multiple answers. Do what’s best for all those you represent!

This country has it’s problems. Both sides present legitimate concerns. Shut up and listen. Then work together to find a solution! Put your ego and your political party aside and work for the people! Show up and do your job. If you can’t do this, please tender your resignation so we can find someone who can.

To the voters, remember to research all the candidates! It may be time to vote someone out of office, even if that person belongs to the political party you’re affiliated with. Vote for who you think will do the best job, regardless of political parties. Stand up and vote! And don’t be afraid to make your voice heard! Contact those who represent you, and let them know how you feel on topics. Follow the advice given to the politicians.

It’s time to keep America great, not by going back to some perceived idea of greatness, but by moving forward, accepting our fellow Americans, and working together.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Missing In Action? No, just depressed....

So, I really have posted much here lately. To be honest, I've been very uninspired lately. I recently realized that I'm really depressed. Yesterday, while thinking about what I wanted to say here, I even figured out the trigger for this depression episode. >sigh< Well, I can say that I'm working through it. I've even been more physically active lately. I'm doing yardwork, as well as walking. Exercise is good for fighting depression. Even if all you can do is walk around your house for 10 minutes, it can help! 

Another part of this depression revolves around my internet sales. eBay sales to be honest. They've been down, which does happen at this time of year. As a photographer, I've earned my coin by selling prints as collectibles. In this digital world, who is still collecting prints/physical items? And how do I reach my audience?

Like many artists, marketing is not a strength of mine. I just don't know what to do with it. I've used Fiverr to try and get some help. I can get eyes on this blog, but no subscribers. It seems like I can get some traffic to sale sites, but not sales.

As an artist, I have a variety of interests. I'm not focused on any one thing. This can be a hurdle, but I'd rather produce pieces that I like and that interest me over just producing one type of piece in order to make sales. Maybe I should find a balance.

In my email group, I asked for some help. I'll ask here too... 

1) Does anyone know of any affordable web hosts where I can post my photos for sale without worrying that the "beefcake" content will be too "adult" for the server?

2) While I have the digital Sans Shirt series available for the Amazon Kindle, what kind of digital product would you like to see me produce? It can be anything from my comic art to beefcake photos to digital abstracts, etc...

3) This final one is a favor to ask. Please click on a link, find a product you like, and share it through social media. Share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc... And not just for me - do this for other artists as well. Even if you can't afford to buy, maybe one of your contacts will. Share something every day. It would help all of little guys.

4) Also, I encourage you to share your stories in the comments... outside of therapy and prescriptions, how do you manage your depression? 

I manage depression in a variety of ways. Sometimes it's with distraction. Sometimes I have to just stop what I'm doing, grab a book and read for awhile to escape. I'm getting back in the habit of walking, and have been doing yardwork (even when I don't feel like it). I'm also able to just sit and work. It may only be tedious things like scanning or uploading to deviantArt, but I can make myself do it.

To end this on a positive note, I did a drawing the other day of public domain hero, Silver Streak. It was an experiment in loosing up my style a bit, both with the pencil and ink work. Gonna do some more like this. I penciled a second one this morning (Polka-Dot Pirate this time). 

Take Care everyone! I will have another post this weekend as the Shrimp Festival looms large on my calendar! Woo hoo! Get out and do something fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Now, this one's overdue! For Easter / Spring I made a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake for the family celebration. For the curious: the family celebrates Easter, I celebrate Spring. No biggie. 

Anyway, I hadn't made an upside-down cake of any kind for many years! I bought the package of Duncan Hines Pineapple Cake mix, and followed the recipe on the box. With an exception or two...

1) I used pineapple juice, reserved from the canned pineapple, in place of the water. Works and tastes great!

2) Ignore the time listed in the recipe and bake for the pan you're using. For example, I used a 9x13 pan. The cook time for it was 10 minutes less than what the recipe suggests.

The cake turned out great, and everyone enjoyed it! I got a nice, clean turn-out of the cake, which does not always happen. I was pleased with it. Now, I gotta dig out my Peach Upside-Down Cake recipe and make that!

Note: I'm not posting the recipe here since it's on the cake mix box. This is an easy and fun recipe to do. It would be great to make with your kids! Get them involved and teach them how to bake! 

Wishing you all the best!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Retroesque Mix 4-2016 Volume 1

* Karma Chameleon (DMC Mix) - Culture Club
* When I Think Of You (DMC Mix) - Janet Jackson
* Walking Away (Select Mix) - Information Society
* Doctor Doctor (Culture Shock Mix) - Thompson Twins
* Groove Is In The Heart (The Reflex Revision Remaster 2016) - Deee-Lite
* Never Gonna Give You Up (DMC’s Tell You How I’m Feeling Mix) - Rick Astley
* True Blue (DMC Mix) - Madonna
* Funky Town (DMC Mix) - Lipps, Inc.
* Decadance (Art Of Mix New Decade Mix) - Duran Duran
* Only In My Dreams (Select Mix) - Debbie Gibson
* Somewhere In Time - DJ Plasticine
* People Are Lonely (NORD Club Remix) - Gravitonas featuring Army Of Lovers
* I Surrender (Gremly Remix) - Samantha Fox
* David Guetta Triple Tracker (Mastermix)
* Hot Stuff (Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper Director’s Cut Signature Mix) - Donna Summer
* You Blow Me Away (12" Vocal) - Paul Lekakis
* Everything Changes 2010 (DMC RKL Remix) - Take That
* Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy (Cutmore Club Mix) - Billy Porter & Cyndi Lauper
* The Pop Kids (The Scene Kings Extended Mix) - Pet Shop Boys
* Turn Around And Count To Ten (Razormaid! Mix) - Dead or Alive
* I Was On Pills! (With Nude Remixing) - DJ Kor
* The Terrible Secret Of Space - The Laziest Men On Mars
* Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (DMC’s Go Wham Go Mix) - Wham
* Love Missile F1-11 (DMC Mix) - Sigue Sigue Sputnik
* Pop Music (DMC Mega Pop Mix) - M