Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sparrow Mission Successful

I’m happy to say that after a week or two of being cared for by Caitlin and I — not that we did much, we just made him a “bird sanatorium” in a giant cardboard box with some fresh water and birdseed — that our sparrow seems to be completely healed and back to normal. When I brought him in, he had a severely damaged wing and leg and couldn’t stand, fly, walk, or even hold his head up straight. We were pretty sure that he was not only fatally wounded but also brain damaged. But I’m able to report that he’s walking normally and quite able to fly and can hold his head normally and seems to have typical bird behavior. It was still “fall weather” when we brought him in, and since then it’s a lot colder and there’s snow on the ground. The weather is supposed to be much warmer tomorrow, so we’re going to let him go in the morning. Figure that will lessen the shock since he’s been in a warm space for a while — and tonight we’re putting him near the garage door so he’ll start cooling down. Definitely nice news though, we did not have our hopes high that this would be a successful rescue, but it seems to have been.

Other than that I have just started remaking the mold for the two women’s size skull rings a few minutes ago, and while I was at it I also cast a lego guy for fun (the head is double-sided if you’re wondering why it looks backwards). Not sure what my plan is with that, but now I can cast metal lego guys if I want. I did some clay pre-work on the mounting holes so he should actually mate to plastic lego normally. I might also take the product of this mold and carve it a bit and then re-mold the result. We’ll see. It was mostly so that any excess silicone from making the ring molds wouldn’t go to waste. It’s not cheap stuff so I hate having it go to waste.

We have been watching season two of the special effects make-up show Face-Off so I think perhaps now I may make myself some acrylic teeth for fun since Caitlin is off at a friend’s baby’s first birthday party. I’ve been meaning to do that for a long time, and my jaw keeps falling off my head which is shockingly and acutely painful for hours until it settles back into the joint, so I need something to distract me from that. I have always been able to dislocate my jaw at will (which makes a quite horrible noise that seems to deeply disturb those that hear it) and it’s never been painful, but since the muscles in the area started dying they don’t seem to be able to hold the joint together properly any more, mostly on the right side of my face. The same thing happens with my hip, ankle, and knee joints — if I stay in one position for long (if I’m reading or sleeping for example), the joint seems to loosen and separate, which hurts like crazy and is quite a sharp pain as well (whereas I’d describe the muscle pain as “dull”). I imagine from a diagnostic or treatment point of view it falls into the TMJ category of disorder, even though I’m quite certain it’s cause is the main genetic muscle disease. Either way in some ways it’s the worst pain yet because it’s so acute and because it’s so conceptually close to my mind I think.

By the way, the main reason that I bother writing this stuff down is not to share it or to complain, and I’m definitely not looking for feedback — it’s actually been a very useful diagnostic tool in tracking the progress of my issues. I’d actually urge anyone with a progressive disease to keep some sort of a journal, public or not. It’s quite hard to answer questions like “when did this problem start” precisely, especially years after the fact, so having a written and dated record gives your doctors a level of precision that can be extremely helpful. Memory is not as objective as one would like, whereas my blog posts don’t automatically edit themselves retroactively based on my current emotion. Although when I look at some of the embarrassing things I’ve written from time to time, sometimes I wish they would, hahaha!

Yes, I’m ashamed to say we watch reality tattoo TV

Caitlin and I have been watching the various tattoo reality shows on TV, which currently means NY Ink (featuring Ami James formerly of Miami Ink), and Spike’s Dave Navarro hosted Ink Masters, which is sort of a “Top Chef” or “Project Runway” of the tattoo world. Ink Master actually kind of stands out as a show because it has a lot of talent (you can see the cast bios and portfolio samples here) on it competing for the $100,000 prize. Except for one unfortunate guy that goes by “B-TAT“. We are literally talking scratcher-level stuff. I have no idea how they expected him to hold his own against the other artists, many of them top of their game. For example, the first challenge was tattooing a skull (of your own design — you could do anything you wanted as long as it was skull-themed) on a pig carcass. Here is the piece of junk that he did:

I wish I was pulling your leg but I’m not. It’s embarrassing, a tattoo artist that’s completely incapable of drawing a skull. I mean, the average child can draw better than that. It’s nuts. It became clear that he was one of these people that can’t draw at all but decided to become a tattoo artist anyway, with the reasoning that the job is mostly tracing (and admittedly it can be — there are many “tattoists” that can lay down a solid piece of flash but can’t draw an original creation to save their life). The second challenge, which was also the first elimination challenge and the one that got him kicked off the show, was a little better but it was still crap. The challenge was to do a cover-up, and he did some foo dog flash (while it seemed like everyone else drew their own custom work) with no changes of his own thrown in. Here’s how that went:

It might not be totally obvious in the photo but the tattoo is completely chewed up and will probably heal poorly, to say nothing of the horribly inconsistent linework (look at the curves and curls), incompetent symmetry, horrible shading, and so on. This guy wouldn’t even be a good tattoo artist in prison.

We’re suckers for reality TV here, I’m sorry to admit, so I’m sure we will keep watching the show. But it does have potential. There are one or two duds remaining to be kicked off, but beyond that, I’d feel confident recommending almost everyone competing to friends looking for a tattoo artist. We’ll see how the “drama” aspect of the show evolves. I suspect that some of them — “Al Fliction” springs to mind — may end up being more embarrassed about their behavior than “B-TAT” was of the tattos he did.

I could also fill pages snarking about Ami James. First of all his so-called “old school” behavior toward his employees is completely reprehensible in my opinion, but given the level of tattooing he does, he’s in no position to be judging (or teaching) others. He’s capable of doing a solid, black-outline, flat traditional tattoo that would have been acceptable in the mid-nineties, but he’s way out of his league in the modern tattoo world and doesn’t seem to be improving. For example, on a recent show a woman came in wanting a custom tattoo of butterflies all over her back. Here’s what he did to her:

I truly hate slagging someone’s tattoos, especially when they have a “deep” emotional meaning or purpose for the wearer, and I’m not going to say it’s an outright crap tattoo, but I will say that it’s a lazy, uninspired, sloppy, poorly thought out, badly laid-out tattoo that is way below the calibre of what people should expect these days. Like I said, this is a tattoo that you’d get from a street-level shop in 1995. Caitlin sums Ami up in one word — “mediocre”. However, he starts ever episode saying that his vision is to have his shop and his artist roster be not just the best in the city, but the best in the world. Tattoos like this are not going to get it to such a level. In fact, they’ll keep it from ever getting there. I feel aweful saying that, I hate being mean to people. But Ami doesn’t seem to have any trouble dishing out criticism on his apprentice, so maybe I am only the truthful voice of karma.

Other than that I had a disquieting day. I was sleeping in the front room of our studio rather than upstairs in the bedroom loft because the stairs are unneccessarily unpleasant. Normally I am an early riser but somehow today I slept until 10:30 and I would have slept longer had Caitlin not woken me up because she was leaving for work. Since then I’ve had a pounding headache, which on one hand is rare for me, but on the other hand I have been having them more often lately, feels like all the time. I can actually barely type and keep misspelling words, more like shuffling the letters into a randomized order, and keep pressing the spacebar in the middle of words. It helps a bit when I close my eyes to type oddly. Maybe I’m imagining that, but I am definitely not imagining how much my head hurts. And I’m sweating like crazy, gross, I know. Still feel dizzy, mentally tired, disoriented, confused, and… well… you know, here’s how I don’t feel: I don’t feel like complaining. So enough of that. Hope I make it through another night, because I still have a lot to do.

I also made a gigantic 16,200×8,400 pixel collage of my paintings and uploaded it to the custom fabric printing site Spoonflower and ordered a couple of yards. I think we’re going to make big floor pillows out of it or something. Not sure. But it’s inexpensive enough to justify the experiment. If it turns out nicely I may do some more with it. I’m also slowly chugging away on some software that converts my WordPress blog (or anyone’s I suppose) into big journals suitable for on-demand printing. I’m looking forward to turning my blog into a book. I was actually thinking that someone should write a Facebook app that at the end of the year takes all the photos you uploaded that year, arranges them into a scrapbook with people’s comments and all that, uploads it to an on-demand print company, and sends you this awesome yearbook. I’m sure there are millions of people who’d absolutely love to have that sort of 21st century photo album. Maybe this already exists. If it doesn’t, maybe I should write it… Unfortunately I have more good ideas than time.

I may have mentioned this before, but I LIKE ROCKETS

TL;DPR. As in: Too Long; Didn’t Proof-Read.
Sorry about what I’m sure are many typos and gramerrors.

One of the “problems” with our current roster of space ships and space stations is that they’re built to be as light as possible due to the extreme per-kilogram cost of lifting things into orbit and beyond. You can practically punch your way out the side of the International Space Station, and the entire space station, three hundred and sixty feet long (the length of an NFL football field), two hundred and forty feet wide, and almost seventy feet tall only weights as much as 280 of my truck (which is not particularly heavy at 1,600kg) even though you could park over seven hundred of them in its shadow. I know I’m being a little loose with my comparison because it’s not a solid mass and much of that space is solar panels, but point is, it’s built as light as we could get away with building it. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to spend time in a kill-you-real-quick environment as hostile as outer space, to say nothing of bombardment of micrometeorites, I’d rather be in something built like a tank or a U-boat than something built like a tin-foil pie plate.

What we have versus what we should have?

As I’m sure you know, the ISS was built in orbit, which arguably increased the complexity and risk and cost of construction. This is because, as the ESA website points out the obvious, we don’t have a launch vehicle big enough to lift its entire 450 ton mass into space in a single launch. Almost exclusively we used the Space Shuttle, which can could lift an admirable 24,000kg to low earth orbit at a go. So far it has taken 31 separate launches with more scheduled. While the official cost to date of the ISS is $150 billion, with 27 Shuttle launches, 2 Proton, and 2 Soyuz launches, I’d ballpark that the cost of the launches alone — not including the cost of developing the launch vehicles (for context a Space Shuttle costs) — was probably somewhere in the realm of $12 billion dollars. For context that’s less than a month of Iraq war spending, and the cost of building the Space Shuttle Endeavor was $1.7 billion, or about 80% of the cost of a B-2 Stealth Bomber. When you look at it that way it didn’t really cost a whole lot. That said, as long as it is a logistical nightmare to lift stuff into space, it’s dubious whether we’re really ever going to do anything all that exciting, at least until there’s a commercial interest.

Flying skyscrapers… These things are about 350 feet tall!

The biggest heavy launch vehicle we ever built was the Saturn V rocket that lifted the Apollo missions (above left). The Saturn V was able to lift an incredible 120,000kg into LEO at a cost of $185 million in 1965, or $1.1 billion in 2012 dollars. Using the Saturn V we could have lifted the ISS (and then some) in just four launches — or four and a half billion dollars, about a third the cost of the “modern” systems we used. We have had much larger launch vehicles on the drawing board, but for largely political reasons — it certainly wasn’t technical reasons — they never ended up happening. To understand why, peek over at the Soviet space program of the sixties. They also had a moon shot, and a lot of people thought that they were going to beat America there because of their many space firsts — first ICBM, first satellite, first animal in orbit (and later the first ones to return alive), first telemetry from space, first moon probe, first images of the far side of the moon, first person in space, first Venus probe, first EVA, first lunar orbit, first space docking, and so on, and all of that happened before the Americans got to the moon. In some ways their moon program was smaller and less ambitious than the American one — it was certainly much lighter, which meant a less impressive rocket was needed — but this was mostly because of the fact that their main focus was Mars. They didn’t end up going with the smaller rocket that their moon proram needed, but instead worked on a rocket similar to the Saturn V called the N1 (above right), initially sized in 1959 to be large enough to carry their TMK-1 manned Mars mission (which also included a flyby of Venus on the way home) scheduled for 1971. Unfortunately after the Soviets exploded four N1s (one of the explosions still stands as the biggest non-nuclear kaboom we’ve ever created), they never made it to the moon let alone Mars. As a result, the space race lost a lot of its steam and the Americans stopped going to the moon, canned their own Mars program, and a million geek hears broke.

Because the Americans kicked the ambition out of their space program and decided to invest in the Vietnam war instead, they closed down NASA’s Future Projects Branch which was developing a number of heavy launch vehicles intended for the Mars program. The one that is most exciting to me is a gigantic rocket called the “Sea Dragon” (above) because it also seems the most realistic, both for back then and for what should be dusted off today. The Sea Dragon is an interesting rocket not just because it’s incredibly powerful, capable of lifting 550 tons into LEO — that is, the entire current International Space Station plus another hundred tons for good measure — but also because it’s wildly inexpensive. TRW estimated numbers as low as $59 a pound — compare that to about $750 a kilogram in the dollars of the day for the Saturn V. The reason it was so cheap is that a significant percentage of the cost of a rocket is that it’s a highly complex piece of advanced engineering using advanced materials built to precise tolerances and expensive fuels. And then gets wrecked after launch. Also, the costs are such that the raw materials are only about 2% of the final cost, so the price difference between rockets of different sizes is much less than intuition would suggest. So the Sea Dragon was built with the philosophy that it should be as big and as low tech as possible. The whole thing was just a giant steel sheet metal tube 550 feet long. It had one gigantic engine fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen (which also meant that it was clean, producing only steam as exhaust) and forced through the system by compressed nitrogen (ie. compressed air basically). The rocket was water launched, and the fuel — oxygen and hydrogen — was produced on site by splitting water into its component hydrogen and oxygen. The plan at the time was to do this with electricity supplied by a nuclear aircraft carrier, but if we were going to resurrect the idea in modern times, I’m sure we would just use wind generators. Sad that this isn’t going on. What a different world we might live in if we could inexpensively lift space stations and moon bases in a single launch. But I suppose we have wars to pay for.

Gawd damn. I hate thinking about the trillion dollar price-tag on the Iraq war. We could have colonized both the moon and Mars for those dollars. I mean, what makes more sense? Killing a bunch of Arabs? Or having thriving human civilizations on three worlds? I know, I know… it’s killing Arabs, right?

They are Muslims after all!

There are so many interesting launch vehicles I could go on about — there’s a nice list, including some speculative and fictional ones, here on the Atomic Rockets Surface-to-Orbit site. I love reading about crazy mega-rockets like Nexus (above picture includes a model) that could lift 900 tons in “normal” mode or almost 5,000 tons when spewing nuclear pollution. Dream big, dream dirty. I love the quote (from the first link in this paragraph) about the Aldebaran launch vehicle that was supposed to be able to lift 60 million pounds — “water take off and landing because there isn’t a runway in the world that could survive that monster.” Ah, back in the days when engineers when men.

Now, $60 a pound is pretty impressive, but it’s not the best we can do. That would be Project Orion. We did the on-paper and early testing (including accidentally) for this nuclear pulse launch system that was capable of much, much heavier weights for a much lower cost, but again for political reasons (very different ones this time) it was scrubbed. What I’m about to write is not a typo. We are talking launch systems capable of lifting as much as 4,880,000,000kgYes, five billion kilograms into orbit and for well under a dollar a kilogram. Even the “small” versions, which were about the same size physically as the Saturn V rocket were capable of tossing 1,600,000kg into orbit, or 1,200,00kg to the moon, or 800,000kg all the way to Mars with enough fuel left over to get back in a single go. That’s unheard of. It basically means that in a single launch you could throw twenty of the largest cruise ships in the world to the moon. I’ll admit that the way it does it is a little problematically. Your cargo sits on a platform, which sites on top of immense shock absorbers, which sits on top of a giant pusher plate, under which five hundred to a thousand nuclear bombs are detonated in rapid sequence (given the size of our nuclear arsenal, you could argue that using up the fuel instead of letting it rot makes a lot of sense — sure makes more sense than the intended purpose). I have to repeat that this is not theoretical — Freeman Dyson, who headed the project, got it to the testing phase, which you can read about in a great book written by his son or watch in “To Mars by A-Bomb (The Secret History of Project Orion)” that I just noticed some SOPA-antagonizer has uploaded to YouTube and all sorts of other direct-download sites. Highly recommended.

(Those pictures are from DRB’s coverage of Orion.)

Anyway, the short version as to the politics of it all surrounds the fact that it was nuclear bomb powered, which came with three big problems. First of all, it made it a military venture. Second of all, it made it highly classified, and made doing the required research on clean nukes and so on extremely difficult to sell to politicians. This was compounded by the fact that America’s space program had been put under the largely public civilian agency NASA. And finally, when America signed off on the Partial Test Ban in 1963 stopping above-ground nuclear detonations, it effectively shut down the program. There was a brief period in the fifties where America was debating whether to go with chemical rockets or nuclear rockets, and I have to wonder what space would look like if weight requirements were simply a non-issue. What would it be like if we could launch a small city in a single shot? If we could dump whole collections of factories on the any moon or planet in our solar system. And don’t get me started on the interstellar possibilities — Project Daedalus, a mission to Barnard’s Star, was based on similar technology, and Dyson considered a trip to Alpha Centauri since Orion could potentially get there in less than fifty years. It’s both inspiring and heartbreaking.

I will mention that we have actually recently dusted off the nuclear pulse technology because it’s the only thing we have that could push an extinction-level sized asteroid out of an impact path.

Up above I said that nothing interesting would happen in space until there’s a commercial imperative, and that wasn’t just a throwaway sentence. Multiple big mining companies are now seriously eyeballing both the moon and the asteroids. On one hand that sounds nutty, but on the other hand, mining already costs a small fortune. A big oil rig costs a half billion dollars, which is way less than Space Adventures private moon flyby mission is costing them. Big mining equipment costs a fortune — $150 million plus for some of the big excavators and draglines — and billions are spent on exploration alone, let alone the many, many trillions spent on mineral extraction itself. The dollars spent on mining right now dwarf the Apollo program’s cost. Hell, they dwarf the amount of money spent by every nation on space, ever. NASA and others are currently putting more and more serious feelers out to determine the exact mining value of the moon, but as soon as we can make a solid gamble at it, be it for precious metals, rare elements, or even Helium3 once we figure out fusion, there will be dozens of mega-corporations scrambling to loot the moon. And then it snowballs. In many ways — to say nothing of environmental issues — mining the moon and the asteroids is less problematic than mining the ocean. And all we have to do is get a couple mining operations up there, with factories and processing facilities, and boom, all of a sudden we have colonized the moon. Even if we never build a modern Sea Dragon or Orion, and we have PayPal fly up the first factories bit by bit in their new Falcon heavy-lift rockets, after a short while we won’t have to carry stuff up there — we can just build it with the moon’s own resources. And then maybe moon mining will discover arcologies from the past, right? Now that would be exciting.

That picture is completely UN-ambitious. Fail.

It’s gonna happen and it’s gonna happen soon. Stuff like this makes me really wish I was going to live longer and really excited about the kind of world my daughter is going to get to be a part of. World? I spoke wrong. The kind of worlds she’s going to get to be a part of.

Worlds. I like that.

Healing What Is Broken

Sorry about any typos and other issues in this post — it’s the first one I’m making from my tablet.

Yesterday I started a new pain group — CBT to be specific. Isn’t that funny? Of course the first thing I thought was “Cock and Ball Torture” but in this case it actually means “Cognitive Behavior Therapy” or something, basically adjusting your thinking so that you deal with pain better. I’m not too sure whether it will be helpful to me because all things considered I’m a remarkably positive person and think I have a pretty good attitude about the pain from my condition. That said, the doctors have pretty much run out of treatment options so before I either drop dead or go jump off the Golden Gate Bridge because I’m sick of living like this — and believe me, there are a great many days when that seems like the sensible thing to do — I figure I ought to explore every single long-shot option that might help. So for three incredibly boring and unpleasant hours twice a week I’m stuck in a room hanging out with other chronic pain sufferers obsessing over the worst part of our lives. Personally I’m having some trouble seeing how it’s helpful because every time I have to talk about pain I end up feeling like shit for the next day or two. I’d much rather be out doing something that’s as far removed from obsessing on pain as possible.

There was a fair amount of whining from other patients about how they can’t do anything because the pain is holding them back and it seems insurmountable and they’re always exhausted because they can’t sleep due to the pain, and on and on and on. I told them that I could relate to what they were saying — it really is a very easy hole to fall into, that pit of despair that seems more difficult to get out of the longer you stay there — but that it was bullshit and they weren’t doing themselves any favors. I think I have had periods where I’ve been like that, but when I finally got my diagnosis and realized that, while I didn’t have a traditionally “terminal” disease like nasty cancers, I did have a finite amount of quality life left. Every hour that went by was an hour less of functional life I had left. I guess in a way that’s true for every one of us, but for me it was made much more real when I was told that the time remaining was quite short and there wasn’t a damn think anyone could do about it. So I said to myself that until the day I couldn’t take the pain and other symptoms any more that I was going to squeeze out every bit of life that I had left. With less and less time left, there is more and more that I want to do. I try and value every moment. I know there are things I’m working on that I won’t see to completion, but nonetheless I am going to push at them with passion. While it is true that since making that decision my condition has gotten worse… much worse… at the same time, every step I take makes taking the next step a little easier. Or at least it reminds me that I am able to take the step.

So I tried to explain that to the people expressing hopelessness. Mostly what they got out of it was how horrible it is to have a condition that is undiagnosed — I guess the main thing they heard was that it got better for me after I had a diagnosis. I’d say that 80% of the people in the group, if not more, have either an undiagnosed or “vaguely diagnosed” condition, or a condition that is dianosed but should not normally be painful, which is emotionally the same thing. Now, it is true that getting a diagnosis is wonderful, because when you don’t have a diagnosis, not only are you treated badly by the medical community — they wonder openly if you’re just drug seeking, or if you have a psychiatric condition — but you’re also treated similarly by your friends and family who can’t see the invisible grim reaper that’s pulling you down into the abyss. But worst of all, you start to second guess yourself. But anyway, maybe that moment of “I can do it” is just something you have to do for yourself on your own schedule. Kind of like beating depression. It’s true that in the end the answer is simple “snap out of it!”, but it doesn’t do you any good to have other people say that to you. You have to figure out how to say it to yourself and really mean it.

It is interesting though hearing some people’s stories. Obviously out of respect for their privacy there’s very little I can repeat, but almost a quarter of the group members are TTC streetcar drivers!!! Not only that, but they all have post-traumatic stress disorder, and all the aweful psychiatric disorders that cluster around PTSD, which they tell me is worse for transit workers than police or firefighters. The stories of commonplace assaults were shocking. One of them is actually there because he was doing a rear door loading on a streetcar, and a woman in a car behind the streetcar was angry about having to wait for him. He has minor spinal bifida so he already has back problems and moves slowly, but it was made so much worse because this woman, instead of just screaming or honking, actually rammed him (as in his human body with her car) repeatedly. When he fell down on the ground, she got out of her car and started beating him and trying to drag him out of her way. Crazy. To make matters worse and really push it into PTSD territory, no one on the streetcar or sidewalk stepped up to help. They just sat there and eagerly watched, and when the police finally showed up, not a single person was willing to provide a witness statement. Terrible story if it’s even partially accurate. Everyone in the group has a hard-luck story in one way or another, even the whiners. I guess for some people it is comforting to know that they’re not alone, but for me it just makes me sad.

In more positive healing-of-the-broken news, the little bird we rescued may actually make it through. For the first week he spent most of his time lying on his side with his head usually tucked down. It seemed like he actually could not hold his head up at all, and as if his neck was broken it would just sort of roll around randomly. Very disturbing. We were pretty sure he’d suffered brain damage because his behavior was so messed up. He would also spasticly jump-slash-roll around and it seemed like he was completely out of control of his behavior. However, I am happy to say that he does seem to be getting stronger — and he has been eating and drinking regularly — and today for the first time seems to be able to hold his head up and look around. I am beginning to think we will be able to successfully release him back into the wild, which is good because I was getting concerned that all I had achieved was extending the torment of a severely injured half dead little lifeform…

Great Videos, Great Rings

I’ll start with a video, then some promo, then another video. I want to begin with an animated version of Munch’s famous painting “the scream” (set perfectly to Pink Floyd). It’s a weird sort of not sure if it’s a nightmare or just a weird dream experience that I feel like I can relate to. Some of the neurological effects of the calcium building up in my brain include prosopagnosia, micropsia, and macropsia, specific distortions in my ability to connect the visual information my brain is getting to the correct internal symbology… Other than the obvious, mundane “what’s happening”, it’s hard to describe how it feels, but I’ve gotta say this video feels like it grabs a bit of that sense of unease and creeping suspicion that something is not quite right about the world.

Of course, I’ve done such massive quantities of acid while listening to that song that it does always make me feel a little strange. University was an unhealthy or at least dangerous time for me, albeit a period of great growth.

Now I also must promote that I have finally popped the last dozen skull rings that I’ve made, all special in one way or another, into my Etsy shop. The first one in the picture set has a pair of star sapphire cabochons for eyes and they look amazing. The next two in the top row are my “failed” prototypes from the women’s sizes, so they’re in a size 7 and 7.5 if I remember right — the one has sort of a mutant mongoloid look, and the other one makes me think of an alien in Mars Attacks with those big moonstone eyes. They’re the only ones I’ll be making in the short term because I have to fix the molds (that’s why they’re wonky). Click the picture to jump to the shop’s skull ring section for more info.

I will try and add some soap and candles and more stuff tomorrow.

Finally I wanted to end with one more video that I thought was great, this dystopian surfing through the apocalypse video… It really makes for an amazing movie trailer or teaser piece, but it seems to be just something that a guy made to show off his skills (or to promote a camera, I’m not sure).

And now to make a phone call for a reservation so I can take Caitlin out to dinner!