Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

POLAR BEAR TOILET PAPER EMPORIUM

Where do you go when you want the industry's finest, top-of-the-line, most up-to-date toilet paper? Yeah, you got it, POLAR BEAR!

I apologize for the crappy quality of the cel phone photos

This place is THE bomb (no pun intended) when it comes to launchin' one. Located conveniently near the border of East Van and Burnaby on Hastings Street (the pooiest street in North America), Polar Bear has cornered the market in anal-hankies. No one else can offer you the selection and reputable service at such a reasonable rate. At Polar Bear, their number one goal is your wiping satisfaction.

Other stores that sell toilet paper don't specialize in it. Think about it. Whenever you have bought toilet paper, it's been in a super-market of sorts (or maybe the occasional convenient store), but wake up you turkies! These stores don't really give a crap (no pun intended) about your rectum's needs. To them, toilet paper is just another item. At Polar Bear, it's nothing BUT (no pun intended) toilet paper.

They've got single-ply, 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply and, it is rumoured that if you say the magic word "Touchdown" they'll take you to a room in the back where they keep the legendary (and some say mythical) 5-ply and 5-ply quilted toilet paper. They've got industrial toilet paper, military toilet paper, gay toilet paper, recycled toilet paper (ie used) and toilet paper made of the living tissues of rodents (Egad, that's just too "out there" for me, sirs and madams!!)

Head on over (no pun intended) to Polar Bear and treat your posterior proper!

VIDEO TOASTER

Years ago, Craig McEwen and I made our first music video for a local band. Our budget I think was about 850 clams. We shot it on super-8, some 16mm (give or take a millimeter) and some video. Our editing equipment was the Newtek Video Toaster. At the time, we were just happy to be able to edit video via a computer (still linear mind you as finding an Avid was kinda difficult and/or expensive). We used to laugh, even then, at how cheesy some of the effects and transitions were and vowed to one day be the first people to ever use a Kiki Wipe and receive praise on how well it worked. To this day, no one has yet used a Kiki Wipe without jeers so Craig and I are still hopeful. I wish we had a copy of the music video but it's sadly misplaced somewhere along with a bunch of porn rags. Have a look at the raw power of THE TOASTER.



Check out the Kiki wipes on this video!



Monday, April 28, 2008

OVERHEARD AT IKEA...

I found myself quickly dashing into Ikea to get one thing and while quickly following "the arrows" I passed a husband and wife and child. The husband looked like a muscle-man (let's call him "Muscles" from now on), the wife, average Plain-Jane (let's call her Jane from now on) and their son (let's call him "L'il Bugger-Face from now on), about 2, was a curly long-haired red-head with bloodshot eyes, a cold and was wearing a god-damn tie! Who knows, maybe they just got out of god-damn church? I don't know.

So anyhoos, Muscles and his family are walking through Ikea and he says (and I'm quoting him word-for-word) "They got EVERYTHING here!" My first thought as I passed him was "first time in an Ikea?" and then, after a beat I hear him continue, "Everything you could POSSIBLY imagine." I had to turn around and take a look at this guy and his face was that of extreme confusion and awe. I phoned my buddy John Dryden (let's just call him Fuck-face from now on) to tell him what I just heard and he laughs and laughs and says that Ikea's new slogan should be "Ikea: We have everything a muscle-man can possibly imagine."

Just one sample of the many things a muscle-man can think of.

Friday, April 25, 2008

JANE GOODALL SPEAKS AT TED

My wife and oldest son, Kai, had the great opportunity to meet Dr. Goodall when she was in town a couple of years back when Jane opened an office for the Jane Goodall Institute at the Chief Dan George Centre.

Seen with my family and Jane is our family friend Chief Leonard George (Dan's son).

This video of Jane at TED, is just shy of a half-hour but it's worth every minute. She's such an amazing person and wish she could be Prime Minister of the World.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

AMERICAN FASCISTS

This is over a year old...

SID & NANCY BY YOUR PAL BEADLE

My friend, John Dryden commissioned your pal Beadle to do a Sid & Nancy painting. John and his girlfriend Kayt went as Sid & Nancy for Hallowe'en last year. When John had put his costume on he phoned me in tears laughing at how terrible he looked as Sid. He writes:

I couldn't bring myself to wear a swastika on my shirt. I made one,
but I couldn't wear it. I'm not a Jew, but I'm Jew-ish. For the life
of me, I couldn't find a decent "Punk Rocker" wig. It was actually
ridiculous. They had every single walk of life represented in wigs,
except "Punk-Rocker". There was something that sort of looked like
Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie. It made me think of a circa 1980's
science fiction movie prostitute. Totally gay. They even had a "1930's
Millionaire Railroad Tycoon" wig, but nothing even remotely resembling
Sid Vicious's hairdo. I went with an "Austin Powers Shag" wig. I wet
it and put gel in there. An hour or two later, it went back to normal
and I looked like Sid Vicious had he joined the band Blur. Fucking
disappointing. Kayt looked rad, but what the fuck else is new? She
must have told everyone that night, "FUCK YOU!" She was really in
character.


JOHNNY LEE AT TED DEMONSTRATES HIS Wii REMOTE SYSTEMS

I've blogged about Johnny Lee's newfangled ideas before but here they are together as he talks at TED.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

KNIFE FIGHT

Two weekends ago I found myself in a bad situation -- a knife fight. Fortunately I was wearing my wrist band with metal eyelets and I was able to deflect a number of slashes without any injury but by the end of the first half-hour, I sustained 3 slashes to my chest and shoulder and a deep gash to my knife hand. Near the one-hour mark I made a serious mistake. Having watched Mr. Steve Brule's Last Resort Fighting I decided to try out his techniques. I went with tip #1 "Kill 'Em With Kindness" and told him that he smelled nice but that only enraged him more; calling me a "queer-fagging honey boy" just before he landed another successful slash. I knew by the look in his eyes that tip #2 "Playing Possum" was not an option and I would have to rely on what I knew; a good solid kick to his cock and balls with one of my steel-toed work boots but I missed my mark and ended up off balance. My attacker took advantage of my clumsiness and plunged his knife right into my spine. I'm not going to lie to you, it hurt.

Now if only I had seen this video instead of Mr. Steve Brule's. This guy has everything worked out and I think he and his friend are pretty radical guys who know what the hell they are doing and want out of life and to top it all off their video offers a very special treat at the very end. If you're an editor from the 90's you'll know what I mean.

LAST RESORT FIGHTING

Thanks Beadle!

I've posted this once before but it didn't have "Playing Possum."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

STORM HAWKS STRATOSPHERE SNEAK PEAK

Over at my "professional site" I've been getting tons of requests from Storm Hawks fans to post a preview or trailer or even the entire episode of #29 "Stratosphere." I hated saying "NO!" so I made this for them...

video

Monday, April 14, 2008

FRED & SHARON INTERVIEW

Here's a Halfsquatch EXCLUSIVE! Earlier in March I had contacted Fred Spencer of Fred & Sharon's Movies and asked for an interview. Since Fred & Sharon posted their "Who Needs A Movie" on YouTube, they've become quite busy. Fortunately Fred was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time.

HALFSQUATCH: Hi Fred, thanks for taking time out to talk to Halfsquatch. Can you tell me a little bit about yourselves? Where are you guys from? There's mixed reports of where you live ( Kelowna, Vernon, Peachland, Crazytown?).

FRED SPENCER: Sharon and I will have our 18th wedding anniversary this year. We have lived in (from North to South) Winfield, Kelowna, Summerland and Pentiction in the Okanagan Valley. We are currently living in Kelowna but I still have some business interests in Summerland. I was born in Montreal Quebec and lived there until I was 20 and I am in my sixties. Sharon was born in Prince George BC. And she doesn't give out her age but she is quite a bit younger than I am.

HS: How long have you been making movies and videos? Is this your background?

FS: I got my first movie camera when I was in my teens and as I remember it was a beaut. It had 3 lenses and could do slo-mo and fast-mo. It was an 8 mm, not even super 8. In those days when you bought film, processing was included in the price. I later acquired a 16 mm camera and took a limited amount of footage with it. It was a Bolex but was quite old and worn out when I got it. I did use it to do about 30 seconds of experimental animation, all hand drawn. I also got into darkroom work with still photography. In 1968 I started a small film company which never made a film and never got off the ground. Around this time I took a film course at Sir George Williams University in Montreal.

Bolex.

HS: And you've been making movies since?

FS: I was not active in anything to do with 'movies' from 1968 to 2007 and did not have a movie camera during that period. I took a lot of still photographs in relation to the business I was in at the time but it was not a photography business and the photos were incidental to the business.

HS: So how did you get back into the craft?

FS: In 2007 my brother sent me a digital still camera which was capable of short video clips but did not have a microphone. Around the same time a friend of mine who was in the computer business recycled a couple of fairly up to date computers with Windows Movie Maker on board. The coincidence of these two events rekindled my interest in movie making and I started uploading on YouTube. My videos started getting better and I started to seriously think about getting into the movie business. I got a better camera, better software and started doing animated drawings. I created the 'Who Needs a Movie' video when I established a Web Site to get the business started.


HS: What kind of gear do you use? What kind of camera? What kind of operating system? What kind of editing program? How do you do your keying/green screen and effects? What do you do your motion-text and graphics in? What kind of 3D software are you using?

FS: I have a very good quality Camcorder, a good still camera and 3 cell phones with limited capability for video and still photos. I try to have a camera with me at all times, hence the inclusion of the cell phones. My lighting consists of 7 sets of lights with clamps for affixing them to various surfaces. I try to use as much natural light as possible. Lighting is always tricky. I have several editing programs, including Windows Movie Maker, Pinnacle, Magix, Nero and Art of Illusion. Some programs can do some things but not others. Which one I use depends on the task at hand. At the moment my favorite program for drawing is Open Office Draw. There is a fairly long learning curve to getting the most out of this program and I am sure I am not there yet. When I first started to use it I gave up on it for a while but gradually have managed to unlock some of its secrets and have started to get some decent drawings efficiently.


HS: It seems like the two of you kind of popped up out of nowhere and suddenly WHAM! You're taking the internet by storm! How did this shock wave of internet fame begin? Did you have a game plan or know that you'd get this much attention? Is it fun or frightening? Both?

FS: I am not really sure why we got so popular on the Internet so fast. I think that my 'Who Needs a Movie' Video had a catchy title and that helped. I did try to place my web site address www.fredandsharonsmovies.com strategically on Facebook and other internet sites. According to the video tracking web site Viral Video Chart it caught the attention of the blogs on March 7, 2008. Recently it appears to be taking off again.

The whole experience has been mostly fun but a bit frightening.



FS: I never expected to get all of this attention and I wasn't really ready for it. Having said that I also was not entirely taken by surprise. Put it down to a belief in myself and Sharon and a sense of confidence in what we are doing. The attention has caused a great deal of short term inconvenience primarily due to the fact that our phone number appears in the 'Who Needs a Movie' video and we got bombarded with calls from around the world.


The two phone lines that were included in the video became essentially useless and we had to turn off those phones. Fortunately we did have two other phone lines so we were able to cope. We had to shut our Web Site down for a few days. The host, who is a personal friend of mine, runs a fairly small hosting business and his bandwidth was swamped. We than instituted a $1.00 charge to view the site, primarily to slow things down. We have now removed that charge, hoping that the volume will be manageable again.


HS: With all this fame and attention comes many words of praise and support but at the same time, you've received a lot of harsh comments. How do these negative comments affect you or does it? Have you been receiving a lot of attention from your local community?

FS: The whole experience has been mostly fun but a bit frightening. Some people have taken advantage of us. I was quite upset to find that a racial superiority fanatic was plugging up my bulletin board on my YouTube channel. I abhor the idea of racial supremacy and this really bothered me. I think I've got the bulletin board problem under control but I do try to check it regularly, just in case.


HS: What's with the snake wrapping itself around you in the "A Tribute to Students & Troops" video? Maybe it's just me but I don't get it! It seems so absolutely out-of-left-field but maybe there's more to it? I love it, but I just don't get it and was hoping you could explain.



FS: Re: 'A Tribute to Students and to Our Troops' I knew when I posted it that not everyone would get this video. I can tell by the comments that quite a few do! I don't really want to say too much about it because it is meant to be thought provoking and a little twisted. If you were in University in the sixties in Vancouver you probably would get it. I suspect that quite a few University students of today will get it as well. I was hoping, when I posted it, that this video would get a kind of 'Cult' following amongst young people. I knew that this might be difficult due to the (initial) dry nature of the subject. It hasn't happened yet which does not surprise me. If it does happen it will probably be a slow but accelerating build up, or it may just die.


HS: What inspires you? Not just in making movies, but in life? What do you and Sharon do when you're not working or making movies? What really gets your goat and makes you angry? You guys seem like really nice people with a good sense of humour. What makes you guys laugh?

FS: Sharon and I like to have fun. We enjoy going out to dinner and we enjoy watching old movies on TV. We enjoy films that have an interesting story We don't care for films that employ excessive stunt work, violence and show close up of gory body parts. I am particularly disturbed by the genre of films that promotes the philosophy that 'might is right' or 'the end justifies the means' or 'if it is for my country it is justifiable'. We believe that each of us, as individuals, has a responsibility to be harmonious in our dealings with other people and to seek solutions that benefit all concerned, not just ourselves.


HS: I hope you don't take this the wrong way but the biggest question everyone's asking is "Are you and Sharon for real? Or are you taking the piss out on all of us?"

FS: Sharon and I are definitely for real. We are trying to produce interesting and thought provoking videos. Yes much of what we have done up to now has a certain rawness about it and yes it is honest and direct. My resources are limited. I am not a big budget Hollywood Producer. When I get carried away trying to create perfection I remind myself of the following two principles:

1. It is important to have an interesting story, drawing or action.

2. It is more important to have an interesting story,
drawing or action than a perfect one.


I am not striving for imperfection. On the contrary, I fully intend to produce better and better movies. I just don't want to get bogged down in circles trying to produce perfection and in the end producing nothing.


HS: How would you describe your art form?

FS: How do I describe my art form? Well I hope it is broad and varied, a mix of serious and humorous. I hope it gets people to look at serious ideas in a light hearted and non threatening way, so that if they have an inflexible point of view they may be able to see a side of things which they hadn't permitted themselves to see before.


HS: Finally, have you been receiving any work due to the exposure?

FS: Yes I have received work because of the exposure. I am hopeful that it well keep coming in.

HS: Thanks so much for your time Fred and thank Sharon for me as well. I wish you two success in the future and I can't wait to see more of your work!

FS: Thanks so much! I hope your blog is doing well for you and grows to whatever size you want it to be.

?WHAT IS IN THE MYSTERY CASE?

ORWELL RE-ISSUES WITH SHEPARD FAIREY DESIGNED JACKETS

Coming out this July 3, Penguin Books is re-issuing Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm with jackets designed by Shepard Fairey. They are pretty sweet.

ISBN: 978-0-141-03614-4


ISBN 978-0-141-03613-7

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

FLIGHT 404'S VISUALIZATIONS

Flight 404 creates music visualizations through processors and digital witchcraft. Check out his other experiments!


Solar, with lyrics. from flight404 on Vimeo.


Magnetic Ink, test render 01 from flight404 on Vimeo.

VIEWFINDER: FLICKRIZING GOOGLE EARTH

VIEWFINDER'S ABSTRACT:


Viewfinder” is a novel method for users to spatially situate, or “find the pose,” of their photographs, and then to view these photographs, along with others, as perfectly aligned overlays in a 3D world model such as Google Earth. Our objective is to provide a straightforward procedure for geo-locating photos of any kind, and our approach is to engage a community of users for a certain amount of human help. We specify that a 10-year-old should be able to find the pose of a photo in less than a minute, and we are convinced that this goal is achievable. While we are not entirely there yet, we are getting closer. This is our progress report.

April 3, 2008






Tuesday, April 08, 2008

SENOR T AND THE GOON

Yesterday when I arrived to work I saw a Canada Post truck outside and I thought "Hmmmm...I wonder if that painting I ordered arrived! I got in and YES! There was a huge box with my name on it! Here's the painting! It's called Senor T and it's by Steven Murphy.

As you can clearly see, it's Mr. T
and he's a god damn snake.


I ordered it through this sweet little boutique/gallery in Portland called Moshi Moshi which sells funky collectibles and Japanese thingamabugs as well as art. Recently they had an art-show / fund-raiser for a bunch of 5th graders. Check out a Flickr set of the show!




If that weren't enough, today I got home from work and there was a package sitting in my mail box!

I have no idea what cabbage pants are. Or wing-wangs.

Inside was the hard-cover The Goon Fancy Pants Edition #2 which is severely autographed by Eric Powell himself.

Me: Severely satisfied with The Goon's arrival.

RETARDED POLICEMAN GOES "TAZY CRAZY!"

Monday, April 07, 2008

NEMO GOULD'S LITTLE BIG MAN

Nemo Gould's metal sculptures aren't really my style but they sure are impressive. Check out his "Little Big Man" animated sculpture. It's 8 feet tall! Click here for more pictures of it and some video of it in motion.


I like the idea of this trophy-kill but wish it wasn't illuminated. Still, it's kinda neat.

Friday, April 04, 2008

AM-EX FOR TEENS!

Another from the cock monglers...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

THE CRYSTAL TAPE

Those cock-mongling Duncan Brothers have a new short!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

LADY ELAINE FAIRCHILDE


Lady Elaine Fairchilde is an abomination. Mr. Rogers' cross-dressing alcoholic junky with cysts on her cheeks is one of the most hideous things ever created by man. I honestly believe if you look you'd find on-line support groups for kids and adults who suffer anxiety and nightmares from this vile red-blotched plague-ridden abhorrence of revulsion. As a child, I was honestly disgusted by this puppet. DISGUSTED.

The creator of the Lady Elaine Fairchilde puppet, Dennis Char, now makes Surrey, BC his home and when I heard which park he frequents, I met up with the man asked him a few questions:

Halfsquatch: Hi and you are?

Dennis Char: Yup, I'm Dennis.

HS: You used to make puppets? Tell me about that.

DC: Yup. I used to work for various stage groups as a set builder and carpenter. I made puppets as a hobby. One day, I got a job to work on the Land of Imagination set for Mr. Rogers. While building the King Friday's castle I noticed that there were puppets being brought in and I got excited because I love puppets. So the next day I brought in 3 or 4 puppets to show Fred [Mr. Rogers]. He was a very nice man and thought that he could use Jonesy for one of the characters.

Dennis Char. Ex-puppet builder. Ex-convict. Murderer.

HS: Jonesy is who Lady Elaine became right?

DC: Yup. So Fred took Jonesy around to various crew members and producers and asked if they thought Jonesy could be the Lady Elaine Fairchilde character and I guess they thought that he could 'cause after a bit Fred came over and asked if it would be okay to buy Jonesy from me which was great. My first professional sale I guess. Oh and I told them that Jonesy was a boy. They added the red blush stuff to his cheeks to make him look more like a girl. Jonesy didn't have that crap on his face. They kinda made him ugly. At least I think he's ugly. Uglier than before anyways.

HS: How much did they buy him for?

DC: I think they gave me around 50 dollars.

HS: Sweet!

DC: Back then 50 dollars was like 100 so yeah, it was!

HS: What happened to your puppet career after that? Did you do anything else?

DC: Nope. I caught my wife with another man and I shot them both with a shotgun while they were taking a shower. I served my time in the shoe and now here I am. Can't say I've made all the right moves, you know?

HS: The night you killed your wife and her lover--not a good move?

DC: Well the hell do you think? Jesus Christ! It was a really bad move on my part!

HS: Are you okay now? How are things?

DC: Jesus Christ.

And with that Dennis got up from the bench and made his way out of the park.

Dennis Char makes one of his puppets years
before the murdering of his wife and her lover.