Nothing exciting to write about today. I just did laundry, answer emails, and a few other to-do’s. I drew and colored this random character a few minutes ago just to say I did something artsy fartsy
I went to Ed R. Levin County Park for the first time on Sunday. I wanted to hike all of the Agua Caliente Trail but I had to turn around, with less than .6 miles to go, so I could be out of the park by closing time. It was beautiful. Saw lots of animals including 2 snakes, one on the trail and the other in the dog park being escorted out by security. I can’t wait to come back. I’ll probably start hiking all the trails at Ed R. Levin when I’m done with Joseph D. Grant.
My legs were no longer sore and I was feeling good so I went on hike at Alum Rock Park. The South Rim Trail, from the No Horse Bridge to the Sycamore Switchback Trail, reopened after being closed all of last year so I hiked that. I saw some wildlife feasting, drew in my sketchbook a few times, and found spring water bubbling out of a hole in one of the parking lots. When I got in my car to leave I felt something on the back of my neck and found it was a little green worm. Gross!
At 7.43 miles, and almost 1,000 ft of elevation, this was a great warm up for my upcoming hike at Joseph D. Grant County Park. Hopefully my legs aren’t completely dead tomorrow.
The next time someone requests my design services and drops that line, I’m charging double! I’m currently working on two design projects for friends and both of them told me the same thing and gave me little to work with, expecting me to pull ideas from the ether. I came up with an idea for one of the projects, after asking my friend a bunch of questions regarding what they need from the design, and sent it it to her today. Sure enough it wasn’t what she was looking for. She then sent me a photograph as a reference to what she wants it to look like. If she had sent me the reference picture at the start it would have saved us both lots of time. So the next time a friend, or client, says to do “whatever I want” I’m gonna raise the price then offer to discount it if they come to me with a better understanding of what they’re looking for in a design.
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.
I spent most of the day fixing images I created in Adobe Fresco, on my iPad, then converted to printable formats on my computer. First were these 6 drawings of mine. My brother is going to get them printed and framed. I think they were in RGB format on the iPad then became dull when I converted them to CMYK on the laptop. It took me hours to figure out the best way to select the individual colors within the images, based on how I drew it, and finding approximate color matches. The next problem was when I exported a PDF from Illustrator that I originally drew in Fresco. In the PDF I there were thin lines around every brush stroke that wasn't showing up anywhere else before. My buddy Adam needed the artwork I made for his band's album, "Elysian," minus a the background, to put it on merch. He requested a PDF and I thought it was going to be as simple as one-click. Now I'm reading a 31 page guide trying to understand transparencies because I think that's what's causing the issue. I sent Adam some hi-res JPGs, hoping that they'll work for him, until I figure out how to fix this. I thought computers were supposed to make things easier for us.
The sticker I left at the top of the Sycamore Switchbacks Trail at Alum Rock Park was claimed. I left it yesterday about an hour before the park closed. I thought maybe some kids had found it but it turned out to be a hiker who I crossed paths with at the bottom of the trail. He picked it up soon after I left it and he DM'd me on Instagram today and let me know. The Gram's been pretty quiet all day while we wait on the presidential election results. I uploaded my latest creation which was a picture of my head with a body made out of multiple pictures of my head. It's simple but fucking weird and it made me laugh out loud. I also got back to redrawing the letters on the Layla-Mae project, Next I'm gonna ink the background. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
Incase you missed it... a fly landed in Vice President Mike Pence's hair during the vice presidential debate tonight. It hung out for a little while and the vice president didn't even notice it. Instantly, all the social media platforms lit up with "flies on shit" jokes & memes. Kamala Harris is lucky it didn't land on her head too.
I watched the presidential debate. It was a shit show but these Snapchat filters made it a little better.
As if 2020 wasn't gloomy enough... the sky was orange all day Wednesday, in San Jose and the bay area, from all the smoke caused by wildfires. I found a satellite image and saw there was smoke all along the coast from southern California all the way up to Oregon and making it's way over the Pacific Ocean. There was a lot of ash coming down so I stayed indoors all day with the windows closed.
It really sucks that while we're over here in California avoiding wildfires there was another incident of a police officer shooting of an unarmed black man caught on camera. This time it was Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI. He was shot 7 times in the back but didn't die though he might not walk again. The shooting naturally led to protests in Kenosha then some piece-of-shit 17 year kid from out of state, openly carrying a rifle, who was protecting a car dealership, goes off and kills two protesters and injures another. After that he walks right past the police with his hands up and weapon around his neck and the police let him walk right past them. He wasn't arrested on site, instead he was arrested at his home 20 miles away. Yes, there is a lot of nuance to both sides but those are the biggest take aways. The Kenosha police shot an unarmed black person in the back and days later let a white teenager armed with a rifle, who just shot people, walk right past them. All of it caught on camera. What a fucking mess.
I read an article posted on Facebook that it made it sound like my neighborhood was being warned to evacuate that got me worried and confused because there were no official evacuation orders or warnings given, from Cal Fire, for my neighborhood.
San Jose officials urged residents on the eastern edge of the city—particularly in the Alum Rock, Berryessa and Evergreen neighborhoods, as well as areas to the south of Evergreen—to “have your bags packed and ready to go.”
I then watched a fire update from the mayor of San Jose and the fire chief. About 10 minutes into the video the mayor says there are no evacuations within the city limits of San Jose. It made me feel a little bit at ease but I still was worried and checking for updates all day long.
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire continues to spread but luckily hasn't moved closer to my home since Wednesday afternoon. Today I pulled away from constantly checking online for updates to work on a design job that's been on hold since the fire started. I'm really liking how it's turning out so far and I can't wait to finish it.
The two affected areas of the SCU Lightning Complex fire have merged. Thankfully it hasn't moved south-east, where I live, but I'm constantly keeping an eye on the this map, the Cal Fire website and evacuation order & warnings page incase we gotta go. Besides refreshing the same 3 websites, I did a wellness check on an old friend, as a favor for his sister who hasn't heard from him in a while. He was home, and alive, so I asked him to please call his sister. I also heard that the flames were visible coming over the mountain top so I drove around and across town to see for myself but I never saw any flames.
What a crazy day! The SCU Complex Fire is still burning over the east hills while the air down here is smoky and unhealthy to breath. I only slept a few hours this morning and I've been checking the map of affected areas and updates on evacuations orders and warnings all day. The fire closest to where I live (yellow marker on the left) hasn't moved closer but it's spreading in all other directions. It looks like it'll soon join the bigger fire to the east. This fire (SCU) is only 5% contained and part of many other fires currently burning in California. What a fucking mess we're in.
I made the animated gif below using 5 screenshots taken over a 20 hour period.
The lightning storm on Sunday morning caused some fires in the bay area. I didn't realize how close they were, or had gotten till, a few hours ago when my friend posted a picture of the glow from the fire on Mt Hamilton. She said her parents, and other residents who live up there, were being evacuated and she was waiting for them at the bottom of the hill. I drove around after hearing about it and was able to see the glow. I'm back home now but don't know if I'll be going to sleep tonight.
I spent hours today trying to transfer the images from my old blog posts from Weebly to Wordpress and couldn't figure it out. All the videos I watched and pages I read didn't help at all. I was able to transfer all the text but, if I don't figure out how to copy the pictures, most of what I reference isn't gonna make sense. I've been frustrated with this all damn day.
I tried using a Weebly to Wordpress exporter to move my blog but got the error message below. The Wordpress dashboard shows that my old blog posts came over but the images did not.
I sketched this out a few days ago and cleaned it up today. It was after a few days of constantly reading the news on my phone, mostly scrolling past headlines, and reading about all the fucked up shit going on with covid and racism. Apparently it's called doomscrolling.
I did my stretches & workout at home, cooked dinner (chicken & mushrooms,) went for a 3.3 mile walk in the neighborhood, came home, ate left overs and made microwave-s'mores. The only thing that would have made today better would be if they arrested all the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor (only one has been fired)
There's not much for me to report on. I stayed in yesterday and today, cleaned, did some errands and worked out. All things I've put off the last few days. Tomorrow (Friday) there is an NAACP-hosted "Die-In" outide of San Jose City Hall from 4-6PM which I might attend.
A die-in, according to the Wikipedia article, "is a form of protest in which participants simulate being dead... protesters simply lie down on the ground and pretend to be dead, sometimes covering themselves with signs or banners. The point of a die-in is to disrupt the flow of people on a street or sidewalk to grab the attention of passersby."
Friday's die-in is to raise awareness & protest the murder of Breonna Taylor who was shot to death by Louisville police who entered her apartment in plain clothes with a "no-knock warrant" on March 13, 2020. The police were looking for a drug dealer who they didn't realize was already in custody. There was gunfire between Breonna's boyfriend Kenneth Walker and the police. The police shot Breonna 8 times and killed her. Afterwards, her boyfriend Kenneth was charged with attempted murder but the charges were later dropped. Breonna's birthday was June 5th, she would have turned 27 on Friday.
I don't know if this is true, I could be totally wrong, but it feels like the protests in San Jose have become less violent. This afternoon I went to downtown to attend a press conference held by the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP & local community organizations outside of City Hall. It was to address the killing of George Floyd, police brutality, racism, and to get people (us) to go out and make a difference. There were quite a few speakers, all with important messages, but the one that stuck with me the most was the lady who read out a long list of names of black people who were unjustly murdered. She asked the everyone to say "Say Their Name" after she read each one from her phone. I was getting choked up repeating,listening and watching her scroll thru pages on her phone. There are way too many names on that list. It's ridiculous. After the conference I stayed around for a little while before going back home. Tonight, after being off social media for a couple hours I logged back on and saw video of protesters getting tear gassed by police in Seattle. Fucking brutal.
Friday started off great. I met up with my buddy, Jon, at Lake Cunningham and we went on a (socially-distant) walk around the park. After one lap Jon split and I stayed to do one more then ran into another friend, Adam, who was getting off work at the park. He drove up to show me he was rocking my San Jose shirt. That made my day! I didn't realize I was wearing my San Jose shirt till afterwards. On the way out of the park I snapped a picture of this awesome hand-drawn found-dog flyer posted near the entrance. When I got home I showered, ate lunch, did some crossword puzzles, and started drawing. It was an awesome day up until that point. Soon after, I heard about protesters downtown and on the 101 holding up traffic. They were protesting in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police. Soon I was seeing friends videos on Instagram of people smashing car windows, police firing tear gas & rubber bullets, crowds throwing objects at the police, a trash bin on fire in the middle of the street, a car running over people, people looting a Starbucks, a cop getting knocked out. This shit is crazy and there are protests/demonstrations/riots happening in multiple cities across the US. I wonder if this is going to continue through the weekend and what will happen in its wake.