Architecture and Urban Planning, Artists, Urban Sketching

I found this wonderful piece in the historic conservatory of the One Sansome Street building in the heart of the San Francisco financial district.  It is one of the many pieces by Stirling Calder (Alexander) created for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The Star Girl - Stirling Calder (Alexander)

The Star Girl

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Urban Sketching, Watercolor

We took the kids to the Open House at Cloverleaf Ranch in Santa Rosa.  They had lots of fun.  I even had fun sketching this view of their barns from the pool.

Cloverleaf Ranch

May 15, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (watercolor on paper)

Cloverleaf Ranch

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Art General, Urban Sketching, Watercolor

I finally got the chance to sketch the giant Medusa head that’s been lurking behind wind-screens and barbed wire fences in the heart of Petaluma, California.  Before I set to work, I had a chance to meet the wizard behind this creation, Kevin Clark, a local artist known for his restaurant designs and the Rhino Redemption art car.

He graciously gave me a tour of his workshop and a detailed explanation of what this giant Medusa head really was.  It’s actually called Medusa Madness and it uses over 100 gallons of propane in full fire-breathing mode.  The snake bodies were made from over 800 steel barrels in construction and the face was based on a mold he took from his wife face.

Medusa Madness

“Medusa Madness” Petaluma, California May 17, 2016 (Watercolor and ink on paper)

Medusa Madness

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Arduino, Do It Yourself (DIY)

IMG_2388

Santa brought my son this super cool Arduino powered DIY Gamer kit by the folks at Technology Will Save Us.  Naturally, I had to check it out for myself.

It comes in two models, soldered and unsoldered.  We got the soldered one because my son asked Santa to do all the hard work.  Wink!  Wink!

We put it together in about fifteen minutes and began loading the fun little games from their Gamer library.  You got some mad coding skills Santa!

There’s even an tool that you can use to build animations like this crashing wave (see pic).

DIY Gamer Fun

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Art General, Culture and Religion, Museum Collections

My free copy of this totally awesome children’s book has arrived.  Historium, by Richard Wilkinson and Jo Nelson (Big Picture Press link), brings the museum right to your lap at any hour of the day.  It’s filled with illustrations that truly make the reader feel as if they are standing right in front of the glass case housing the objects.

I was already a fan of their previous books Animalium and Maps before they approached me.  Big thanks guys.  I’m very honored to be part of this cool project!

Historium

My photo on Flickr
Frieze of Archers
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Historium arrived! Thanks Templar Publishing

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Art General

In the land of Andylucia wa Rahoul, there is a popular brand of soup, Camel Soup. It’s always hot, never dry and full of colorful flavors.  See this and more designs at: http://society6.com/mohammedshamma

Camel Soup

Camel Soup

Camel Soup

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MINDCUB3R
Do It Yourself (DIY)

MindCub3r is worth it’s weight in Mindstorms

Let me start off by saying, I’m not “into” Legos, robots or the Rubik’s cube.  My son is, however, so that makes me an honorary fan.  He’s seven years old and just recently discovered the Rubik’s cube.  He loved it so much that he couldn’t stop watching all the various solving videos on YouTube.  Then he came across the ultimate solving video, a Lego robot solving the cube, a.k.a. MindCub3r.  If you don’t know what MindCub3r is, prepare to be amazed.  My son loved it so much he insisted that I build one.  Well.  I just couldn’t let him down.  Luckily, the instructions and software for MindCub3R are all online at mindcuber.com.  I bought the Mindstorms EV3 kit from Lego and we set out building this thing with very little knowledge of Lego Technic and the Mindstorms software tool.  The instructions were easy to follow.  And once you get a hang of the software, it’s pretty simple as well.  David Gilday, the MindCub3r designer, was also ready to help, if we had any issues.  Lucky for us, we were able to resolve them.  The mutual cooperation and problem solving was a great father/son bonding experience.

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