30 December 2005


One day a friend sent me pictures of pavement drawings made by the artist Julian Beever. They are amazing! They were drawn on sidewalk and are naturally flat, but when viewed at one certain angle, they look three-dimensional! That's how I got interested in the art of anamorphosis.

The web link above to Phillip Kent is a very good site about all things anamorphosis. Normally we look at art at 90 degrees, straight on. However, with anamorphosis, the drawing is made at an angle different than 90, more often at a very odd angle such that when viewed at 90 degrees it looks out of proportion, at least as we normally take it.

I cannot mention anamorphosis without providing a link to Julian Beever's web site, so here it is, http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm . My favorite is the Batman and Robin drawing. If I ever get to meet Beever, I will bow to him while chanting "We are not worthy!", in the fashion of the dudes in the Wayne's World movie.

Also great is Kurt Wenner's drawings, http://www.kurtwenner.com/street/. In my mind, they are both great. How in the world do they visualize the drawings? Great sense of perspective these artists possess. Not only that, it take days to draw as the artist meticulously fill in the artwork square by square.

Not one to have the talent or the time to draw anamorphosis art, I gave Phillip Kent's Anamorph Me! software a shot but so far the outcome has been disappointing. The more I used it, the more I thought, "Hey, isn't there a filter like this in Photoshop?" I think Anamorph Me! can be great at making cylindrical anamorph, but first I have to get some mylar sheets to create the cylinder. So far in my office's neighborhood in Jersey City, NJ, no store carries it. I am tempted to just buy one of the fun book mentioned by Kent, but eventually if I want to give away anamorph and cylinder I still have to be to make them myself.

Oh, yeah, Happy New Year!

20 December 2005

The Day The Subway Stood Still

They've done it! Monday night I stayed up with my hand-crank radio to find out if there would be a transit strike at 12:01 am Tuesday, but alas nothing even at 1am, when my old body could not stay up any longer. At 6:30am, something woke me up and I quickly resumed listening to the radio. It has happened! At 3am, the strike took effect. Maybe it's the less of the two evil, I think it's not right that there's a law preventing the union from striking - it's just too much power for the MTA to abuse. I wonder if anyone went to jail or was punished for keeping two separate accounting books at the MTA...

The first day wasn't so bad for me and my family. I had all my gears ready for a work-at-home day. My wife used her last sick day, my son had an extra hour or two of sleep as school opened 2 hours late. My elder brother stayed home, unpaid, while my elder sister carpooled into the city. Tomorrow can be a bit tricky, as my wife wants to go back to work instead of using up her remaining vacation days, which she wants to carry over to next year. Her brother-in-law won't leave for Chinatown in his minivan until 10am, so she may try to use the dollar van, a subway station away from us. On the way back, she wants to take the ferry from Pier 11 to somewhere in Brooklyn, then I have to pick her up. Not fun. If it's the Army Terminal she needs to get to, she will definitely be seasick by the end of the trip. I don't have a problem with motion sickness and sometimes ride the ferry from Newport to Pier 11, but I would be dizzy if I read the newspaper on the ferry. I think she's better off crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot. Still, having to drive out to the bridge to meet her doesn't sound thrilling at all.

15 December 2005

Will They Strike?

It's about 30 minutes away from midnight, when subway and bus workers supposedly may walk off their jobs. Millions of people will be inconvenienced if the strike happens. The government threatens union leaders and members with heavy fines for the illegal strike. I feel sympathetic to the union. Supposedly some Taylor Law stated that it's illegal for government workers to go on strike. Doesn't that give the government the power to abuse the workers then? The MTA has been such a jerk with their overpay and hidden funds, it would server them right to have a union giving them pain.

I secretly wish there will be a strike so that I can work from home a few days. My company already issued memo telling us to resort to all means to arrive at work, but then they also tell managers to expect lateness. So for us who can work from home, wouldn't it be more beneficial to the company for us to put in a full 8-hour workday from home, or rather have us come in late and leave on time? Why waste hours in traffic? It wouldn't surprise me if the current management disagrees with me...

The last time there was a strike I was just a junior high school. I think I walked to school back then. We lived in the Bronx and my dad worked at some paper factory in Queens. He stayed at an apartment of some co-workers in Elmhurst, Queens. After the strike, we all moved to Queens for him to be closer to his job. Alas, a few months later he was laid off from the job.

11 December 2005


In one of my circle of friends in the office, we joke about one of our friend, S., as being a freegan. It all started when she brought to our attention the practice of living off other people's garbage, aka freeganing. It was reported in an issue of the free daily newspaper AM New York a few weeks ago. Now, don't confuse these people with homeless people. Freegans are really activists against the world of overproduction at the cost of nature. In a way, they are environmentalists but they have gone a step further by refusing to pay for anything, or at least pay for as few as possible. They forage garbage bags in search of just-expired food that the stores just threw out, reuse other perfectly good stuff that others threw out simply because their apartments ran out of room, etc. They do dumpster diving to rescue furnitures and other items that can be re-used. The website link above is full of useful information if you want to, uh, dive in. One article that I find amusing, while scary as it takes one on a fine line between breaking the law and causing misunderstanding, is about taking food from supermarkets. Supposedly, some supermarkets collect expired food and store them in the backroom. One can wander in and pretend to look for an empty box, then help oneself to the expired food and walk out the back door. One can easily be misunderstood for a shoplifter, too, no matter that the food would be thrown out. It's somewhat like a burglar breaking into your house only to steal your garbage. Sure, the garbage will be thrown out soon, but while it's in your house, you wouldn't want anybody take it.

I admired these folks for doing what they do. I cannot imagine myself ever doing it - I mean the foraging for food in store's garbage, even if it's a gourmet store. However, I do practice the 3R's to a great degree. Recently, I even practiced some office freeganing myself. On my floor, a whole department was fired recently as a result of some consolidation - it always happens with mergers. I recall from my first job when there were waves and waves of layoffs there would be these big cloth dumpster throughout the floor for people to dump stuff into. I rescued countless ring binders, folders, dividers, and other office supplies. This time around, there aren't any dumpsters yet, but I am pretty sure some day the janitors will come around and dump the content of drawers or sweep away desktop. So far, I've rescued a few USB mice with scrollers, keyboards, docking stations, dry erase markers (perfect for my cartoon board), paper napkins, pens, pencils, and more. It's just too much of a waste to see all that simply thrown out.

01 December 2005

Qaptain Qwerty 2006 Qalendar

So it's fun to dig through old documents and photos to find out info about the living and the dead for my family tree project, but I really should be spending more time promoting my cartoons through the Qaptain Qwerty 2006 Qalendars. For the third year in a row, I give away to my office colleagues monthly calendars with my cartoons in them. They get to choose the 12 pictures to appear above the 12 months, but this year I give them the additional choice of a cover picture. That way throughout 2006, 13 of my drawings are always out there to bring greater fame to me. I've gotten a few "orders" completed and my own eldest sister put in a real order of 10 calendars for $100, God bless her (OK, I'm an atheist, but the phrase is very appropriate to use here, especially because my sister is a believer.) Maybe if I get more requests, I will work harder at producing and promoting the calendars.

Available to the first ten requesters, I'll somehow get a calendar to you, just for the asking. Visit http://homepage.mac.com/linusly/calendar/2006 to customize your Qaptain Qwerty 2006 Qalendar. If you provide an email address only, I'll send a PDF version of the calendar and you'll have to do your own printing. If a snail mail address is supplied, I'll send you a paper calendar. Use your office address if you can, just to lessen the chance of any identity theft happening. I prefer snail mail address, because that way I'll be able to re-use some of the paper I have lying around the house. For my colleagues in the office, it's safe to re-use office paper, but for the public Internet at large, I'll be more discrete with the type of scrap paper used. We receive lots of junk faxes - INVEST NOW IN HURRICANE RELATED COMPANIES! FREE CANCUN VACATIONS FOR THE ENTIRE DEPARTMENT - and I save them, they will be perfect for the calendars going to someone outside the firm.

FYI, I print the month pages on a Brother HL-5040 laser printer. To produce the color artworks, I use an HP DeskJet 5550 inkjet printer. I then use the GBC ProClick hole puncher to make holes in the paper and bind the pages together with GBC ProClick spines. Lastly, since I use scrap paper, i.e. paper that has been printed on one side, I staple every two pages together. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I love it.