Archive for January, 2010

friday robots: design edition

The robots are rather abstract today. In the first image you’ll see downtown Portland (including OHSU on the hill) in all its fall glory. The second image layout was stolen from a WPA poster from the 1930’s. The textures are all from pictures I took in John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon.circles-over-portland tree-flag


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The Sound of Falling Rock

Ever wonder what it’s like to draw Welcome to Falling Rock National Park?
My friend, documentary filmmaker Andy K, recorded my process and made this short video.

Cartooning requires skill, patience, and of course a xylophone.

harry potter as…

…a farcical comedy:

Does anybody else think Hugh Grant is the grown-up Harry Potter? Now that’s a movie I’d like to see.

ominous signs for ominous times

This is a redhead, also known as a ginger.
It’s actually me.

See how normal I look? Not at all like I’m descended from a cat, or an alien-human hybrid. The reason I mention this is because apparently people type these things into Google all the freaking time.
These are the top suggestions you get when you type “redheads are” into the Google search engine. “Redheads are gross” is the top search people have performed, followed closely by “redheads are aliens.” I certainly prefer “redheads are trouble,” because that’s 100% true.

I’m surprised that so many people think there’s a secret laboratory in which Scottish scientists grafted alien bone marrow onto a human baby to create the first ginger kid. That is 100% false.

Redheads are apparently a misunderstood creature. Some people say we’re going extinct in the next 50 years. Well, I certainly don’t plan on dying that soon and I know gingers younger than I who don’t either.

Redheads are so popular, in fact, they appear in the mainstream (liberal) media. Petey, from the comic strip Cul de Sac, is one of the greats.
Don’t fear us; we can’t help how awesome we are. And please stop typing weird stuff about us into Google.

the great mug review, part 1: mug season

L1010639   Wintertime is mug season. It’s cold outside, the days are short and dark. What better way to pull through than with a piping hot cup of tea? That was exactly my mindset when the unthinkable happened: my mug broke. More specifically, I broke my mug while I was trying to wash it. I stood there at the sink, holding the broken mug, unable to put my grief into words. How would I cope with the rest of winter?

The good people at provided me with the answer. They supplied me with new mugs in exchange for a few words on this here blog. Today’s post is part one of that review.

The mug I am reviewing is an iittala Teema mug. Clocking in at 10 oz., this little black mug boasts a remarkably wide handle and a good base-to-brim ratio. As seen above, it looks good in any kitchen because, hey, black goes with anything. It really classes up my kitchen, for sure. It certainly puts the old mug to shame.

Good design was obviously key for the Teema’s creators. Although some of you may say “a mug’s a mug,” the little differences really make this a unique specimen. Light construction makes this mug look deceptively small. There were no excess materials used, which make it both economical and environmentally friendly. When I poured the hot water in to make tea, I was amazed at how much liquid it held. The wide brim oxidized the tea effectively. One of my chief complaints of other mugs is when all the tea settles in the bottom of the mug. Not so with the Teema: the base, being only slightly narrower than the brim, did not “trap” the tea at the bottom.

Another benefit of its color: it will never become stained and unsightly even after years of tea drinking.

Of course no test of a mug is complete in the ideal kitchen setting. I enlisted my friend Andy to help conduct a field test of the Teema:
You may be able to make out the steam rising from the mug on this chilly January night.
L1010625I’m glad to say the Teema passed the field test with flying colors. It kept the liquid piping hot, even in adverse conditions.

I’m happy to give a enthusiastically positive review for the Teema. It is truly a magnificent mug.

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