Known Johnson

February 23, 2009

On the move

Filed under: Boring site stuff — Tom @ 6:40 am

Hang on – adjust your links – we’re moving the island!

island-deisappearing-03s.jpg

(Yes, this is the last post here. Stop looking. It’s over. Let’s move on.)

February 12, 2009

You take the good, you take the bad

Filed under: Creations,General,Kids,Music — Tom @ 2:18 pm

. . . and there you have the Facts Of Life. Thank Alan Thicke, and Scrubs a couple weeks back, for that one.

To All The Girls . . .

I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique until recently, when I finally “got it.” Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Sure, it’s full of ridiculous, pedantic rhymes, but the music, oh man, what they did was incredible. Nothing before, nothing after (because The Law put a stop to this kind of sampling) matched the creativity or wit of what they and the Dust Brothers concocted. This new remaster is of the “good” kind – it simply makes it sound better, which that old CD was in dire need of. As their website says, it now has enough bass to crush your one frozen testicle. Thanks, I needed that.

Broken suspension

You know, I love my truck – a Honda Ridgeline, if you didn’t know. But there are times when I realize that it’s built by a car company, and the picture above is an example of one such time. I’ve never had this truck off road and yet one of the suspension components is broken. On top of that, this component (the left rear sway bar link, if you’re curious) is pencil thin. This is ridiculous. You don’t have a 5000 pound truck bouncing around on top of something that flimsy. This is what happens – it breaks. And there are no aftermarket replacements – I’m just going to get another one of these and hope for the best.

Rainbow in the dark

It’s just nice, isn’t it?

Asleep, again

Sleepy head.

Flash train

A piece drawn for a project for work, done completely in Adobe Flash. This took friggin’ forever. FOREVER. It is incredibly detailed. Flash is definitely not the tool to use for this kind of illustrating, but I wanted to try it because many of my coworkers draw their stuff in Flash rather than Adobe Illustrator, which is far more exacting. I would have saved a lot of time and frustrating going my normal route with Illustrator, but I’m still rather proud of this train. It doesn’t exist in real life, by the way – it’s an amalgamation of who knows how many trains I looked at online for inspiration. If you ever wondered what it is I do for a living, this is it.

February 11, 2009

Wake up laughing

Filed under: Weird — Tom @ 10:52 am

I woke up laughing last night. In the middle of the night, I dreamt something funny and it made me laugh, and I woke up laughing. I laughed the kind of laugh that you do when you’re not supposed to anything out loud, so as not to wake up Alissa. It came out my nose more than anything, a stuttering sneeze-like sound, so I stuffed my face in my pillow to muffled the sound, where I laughed some more. And then I thought of what made me laugh again, and I laughed more. For a few minutes, I couldn’t help but burst into periodic fits of strained, near-silent laughter, thinking of what woke me up laughing: the non-word “quuck.”

February 10, 2009

Give me my money back, you bitch

Filed under: Annoyances,Music — Tom @ 10:21 am

A couple months ago, you might have seen me writing about Ben Folds releasing an audiophile version of his recent album, Way To Normal, to fanclub members, and if you joined before this week, you too could get a copy. Well, I fell for that wording too and joined – read my piece and you’ll see that I wrote that it was for fanclub members. WRONG. It’s in stores, today, right now . . . if they’re carrying it, of course, but the fact remains that you, anyone, can buy it, meaning it’s not exclusive to fanclub members, but that’s sure how the missive on Folds’ myspace page felt. I’m not interested in fanclubs, t-shirts, or exclusive access to tickets. I just want the damned music.

And, you know, you can choose to go “Ah, well, woe is me, I didn’t think this one through,” because, well, technically, nowhere on the page did they say “exclusive.” But, then again, nowhere on the page did they say “available in stores February 10,” either. It’s deceptive, and it’s intentional, and that’s gross. So I chose the other route. I bitched. I wrote an email, a strongly worded email, and said I wanted my money back (leaving out the “you bitch” part from Ben Folds Five’s “Song For The Dumped.”) I really didn’t expect much – I figured I’d get an infuriatingly nicey-nice email stating how great the fanclub was, and that it was too late to refund my money because the membership packets, with the CDs inside, had just been sent out, or an infuriatingly snide response – such as when I complained about Andy Partridge of XTC releasing a box with all 8 of the Fuzzy Warbles at a far lower price than they were separately, but because I bought them separately, I bought a “partial box” with the last parts of it, which was technically cheaper, but still brought the total price for all discs and box to house them to a ridiculously high price (the box should have been free to those who bought the whole set, and it wasn’t.)

I got a response fairly quickly – they’d refund my money. Nice. Good. (But they did want to remind me that Ben would be signing each and every copy sent to fanclub members. That’s okay – I’m not an autograph collector. Refund please.) Is this a sign of the times? Are artists doing dishonest things to their fans because of the economy? Die-hard fans are notoriously forgiving, but duping others into excessive purchases can backfire in a big way – this could very well have put me off of Ben Folds all together. I’m not saying that I’m a fair-weather fan. I’m saying that I’m not a huge fan, but if I listen, I want to hear the best version of an album that I can, and that is what I opted in to the fanclub for. But because I’m not a die-hard fan, and this music doesn’t mean the world to me, a situation like this could very well simply turn me away all together. Is that worth it to Folds and his fanclub? Maybe not for me, one simple fan, but how many others are feeling duped, too? How many others will approach his music with a bad taste in their mouths because of this, and slowly drift away, not purchasing anything more of his? And what about the impact it has on other “exclusive” releases by other artists? Does it make buyers wary to believe they truly are exclusive? These are things that artists, especially smaller acts, need to think about today, when they absolutely need to build a strong, loyal fanbase. Because ticking off a few fans here and there may seem like a small thing right now, but it may just destroy the ability to build me into a big fan later on.

February 1, 2009

Twin girls, three years apart

Filed under: Baby makes FOUR — Tom @ 11:31 am

Danielle at 2 months, at left, and Amanda at about 45 days, at right. Pretty weird, huh?

A happy girl 2005-10-15-033-s

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