I went back to Grant County Park today after 10 days of cold, wet & windy weather. I set out hike the .2 miles of Eagle Trail, between the Brush and Cañada de Pala trails, that I missed the last time I was there. After covering that short stretch I headed north-east on Cañada de Pala till it crossed the San Felipe Creek. After a week and a half of rain there was now a flowing stream. I didn’t want to risk falling in or getting my boots soaked so I stopped there. I didn’t go back right away. I stayed a while and drew in my sketchbook. Soon after, a lady came down the trail from the other side of the creek. She sounded surprised to see the water too. I asked if it was her first time on this trail and she said yeah. She then hiked up her pants and crossed the creek by stepping on two rocks sticking out of the water. Like a boss! After she walked away I started drawing out the scene in my little sketchbook.
Here’s my sketch for the project I mentioned yesterday. The idea would be to paint the names of all 50 states on concrete and make it as colorful as possible. I’ll wait to see what the organizers think before finishing this in case they have other ideas.
An opportunity came up today to design & paint fun interactive paintings on concrete at housing project in downtown San Jose for kids to play on. Think hopscotch & four square. This opportunity came via the arts nonprofit Local Color. I and a couple other artists are waiting on more information from the organization, and for dry weather, before we can begin.
In other news, I penciled the this 3 eyed vampire kid as a Thank You card for me to ink later.
Last night I drew the Extra Super Duper Jumbo Size soda & fries. Tonight I drew the cheeseburger to match. Both sketches are really small at about an inch and a half tall.
I didn’t do much today besides clean and do laundry. I did do a little bit of sketching with a number 2 pencil tho.
I’ve been changing my car’s oil & rotating the tires myself for a while. A few years ago I made this doc to help make the process a little faster. I print out a copy when it’s time to change the oil and every time I write notes and make edits to help improve the process. Tonight I geeked out a little extra.
I finally got a physical copy of the Wet Bandits' CD, "Elysian." I did the cover artwork then the CD layout at the end of last year. The only thing I'm not too happy with is the way the setting sun gradient came out but oh well.
I pressed some new buttons tonight. I also removed the pins and glued magnets on a bunch of them.
If you’re reading this and want custom 1.5” buttons of your own... send me a message for pricing info.
I hiked a few new trails at Joseph D. Grant County Park and took some pictures. I’m almost done hiking every trail there. It’ll probably take me 3-4 trips to cover the perimeter and a couple more to hike the trails I missed.
I did some cleaning, organizing, a few loads of laundry, a bit of online shopping, played some old video games and sketched this on the iPad...
I visited Henry Cowell State Park today for the first time. I went with some friends. We parked somewhere along highway 9 and moved fast towards the San Lorenzo river. By the time we reached the water we’d already gone on a few sketchy trails and we were gonna go on more questionable trails along the river towards The Garden Of Eden. A few of us didn’t feel comfortable going that way so we all turned back the way we came then followed the train tracks to the swimming hole. There were a few people there, including an annoying group playing music really loud on their portable speaker. We hung out for a little while before following the train tracks some more then heading back to our cars. The maps I brought, and my phone’s gps, weren’t very helpful because we didn’t enter through any of the designated entrances and there weren’t any trail markers anywhere. I still had fun but next time I’ll come better prepared and take my time and really enjoy it.
The plan was to go on a short hike at Grant Park today because I’m going to Henry Cowell State Park tomorrow morning and don’t want to over do it but when I arrived at Grant I just wanted to hike as many new trails as I could in the 3 hours before sunset and did 6.35 miles. When I got home later I started researching the hike to the Garden of Eden at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Apparently there’s a route from the main entrance that crosses the San Lorenzo River but the seasonal bridge might not be up so it might require going across the water. There’s also another route that avoids crossing the river by parking at a different location and taking a different trail. I’m going with friends so I’ll let them decide what to do.
The HDMI switch I ordered arrived yesterday and I hooked it up tonight to make sure it works, and it does! It’s got 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out plus one 3.5mm audio output to connect speakers. Now I can use my spare monitor, with a single HDMI por, to connect a Roku Streaming Stick for movies & TV, my Raspberry Pi computer running Retropie to play old school video games, and use it as the viewfinder on my DSLR camera when I record myself drawing. Now I gotta figure out how to neatly mount everything so it’s not on top of the desk but on the rig instead.
It feels like an adventure, exploring new places with the help of a map. Instead of carrying a sword I got a small pocket knife. My phone’s gps serves as my compass. Grant Park has wild pigs and Hyrule has moblins. Today (Wednesday) I came across a hallowed out tree that looked like the the entrance to level 1 from the original Legend of Zelda for the NES. I was wearing my Zelda: Wind Waker mask today too FTW.
I did something I’ve been avoiding for months, if not years. Getting wrapped up in a video game. I didn’t want to spend countless hours in front of the tv but here I am. I started playing “The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap” a few days ago and now I’m hooked. I spent all day Tuesday playing it and even though I’m enjoying it, I’m also feeling a little guilty, like I should be doing something productive.
This is my 500th blog post! It'd be cool if I had some profound shit to write about. Instead I'm sharing the collection of maps I've printed, highlighted and carried with me on my hikes over the last couple months. I've thrown them away and fished them out of the trash at least twice now and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them.
The whole thing started after Covid struck and my gym was forced to close. I started going to Lake Cunningham Park to walk & run until that got boring so I started hiking the Eagle Rock Trail at Alum Rock Park. I kept hiking the same trail over & over till I decided to explore the rest of the park. In November I decided I was going to hike every trail at Alum Rock before the end of the year. I finished Alum Rock sooner than expected and moved on to the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve and managed to hike all those trails before New Years. Now I'm working on completing Joseph D. Grant County Park and I'm about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way done. Since Grant Park is so big, and has tons of trails, I've been selecting my route and printing a portion of the map (middle pic) to carry in my pocket. When I get back home I highlight the trails I hiked that day on to the full map (bottom.) I'm hoping to finish Grant Park in February and starting someplace new. I'm thinking Ed R. Levin Park.
...with the EMN Layla-Mae & Phoenix project. I printed them out on adhesive vinyl sheets and cut them to size tonight. The blue fill on Phoenix’s stickers didn’t come out as clean as the green fill on Layla’s which I’m not happy about. It’s something to do with the vinyl sheets. All I gotta do now is find an envelope to ship them out.
I’m making it sound a lot cooler than it really is but I went on a 6 mile hike this afternoon and covered new trails, bringing me a tiny bit closer to completing the whole park. I saw a few animal bones, large moss covered rocks, a fallen tree obstructing a bike trail, a tree that looks like it belongs on a motivational poster, the ass-end of huge grasshopper or something and views of Lick Observatory & the valley below from the top of the Yerba Buena Trail. When I left the park I drove further up Mount Hamilton Road to check out the Twin Gates parking lot & trail head and the Smith Creek Fire Station. On the way I up a saw a coyote eating a dead snake on the side of the road (see video) then again posing for sunset photos on my way back down.
The Layla-Mae & Phoenix sticker sheets are ready to print! I’m waiting on the client (my cousin) to let me know how many of each he wants. Then I’ll print them out on adhesive vinyl sheets, cut them and mail them out. While I’ve been waiting I pulled out the spare Raspberry Pi, attached to a 7” touchscreen, that I had laying around. I installed the latest OS and managed to get Disney+ to run on it, but not very well. I also tried installing Retropie, to play old school video games, but had no luck getting that to work. I’m on the lookout for something cool to with my second Pi computer but everything is either lame or above my skill level.
The day started off with an early morning hike at Grant Park with my friend Martine. I was already running late due to phone issues then I was stuck behind a slow moving fire truck for miles going up the narrow winding road leading to the park. Then the hike was cut short after realizing I’d made a wrong turn and we were headed backwards. After coming home, a little disappointed in myself, I showered and got ready to go shopping. I went to the new Costco Business Center near the house, Office Depot across town, a regular Costco, then to the Safeway back home. I had about half a cart full of groceries and was next in line at the check out stand when I noticed the guy behind me only was buying a single bouquet of flowers so I let him go in front of me. After he paid for his flowers and left I loaded my items on the conveyer and walked up the cashier who said the guy had given her $20 to pay for part of my groceries. How cool was that? And as an added bonus I received an additional $10 discount at the register. What an awesome way to end a long day.
Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol Building today and I've been watching news and videos all day. I hope there are serious repercussions from all this but I really doubt it.