Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #79: Pantryspace

Last Week as you recall…

Jeeves and Ms. Teresa Phillips had decided to  explore the pantry, in an effort to see where all these cats had come from.

They had been walking for four hours when Ms. Teresa found a door.

-=fig. 559: the door in back of the pantry=-

"Jeeves, " she said. "I have found the other side of the pantry."
  "Very good miss.  Is there any indication as to why we are suddenly infested with furry beasts?"
  "It's a pet shop!"

-=fig. 560: pet shop=-

"Well. That explains quite a bit."  Said Jeeves, as he turned to walk back to the main house.
  "But don't you want to know why there's a pet shop at back of your pantry?" Goaded Ms. Teresa Philips.
This hadn't occurred to Jeeves, because as a robot he had very little capacity for scientific discovery.
 He was about to relay this information to Ms. Teresa Phillips, but she was gone.
   And the door was ajar.
    That is to say, it was open.
 Dr. Smith had expressly told Jeeves that he was not to let any harm come to Ms. Teresa Phillips, and who knows what terrors await behind that door? 
 Jeeves ran into the pet shop, to discover Ms. Teresa Phillips in a conversation with the pet shop owner, a conversation he was not privy to, because he didn't speak Russian.
  That was when the pet shop owner handed Ms. Phillips something.
  "What did he give you, Ms. Phillips?" Jeeves asked, as they pretended to examine a display of monkeys.
   "An industrial strength EMP."
    "Oh, that's ni–"

-=fig. 561: sick bed=-

"That's the last thing that I remember, Sir, before I woke up in this…Russian prison."
 Dr. Smith, with rapt attention, asked the obvious question.  "How did you escape?"
  "That's what I have been trying to tell you for days now, Sir, I didn't escape."
 Dr. Smith was confused.  "Ha, ha.  Very funny Jeeves."
   "I suppose it is, Sir, to someone who's taste in humour runs towards the particularly morbid, but Sir, I'M NOT LAUGHING."
   "But if you are in Russia, how can you be here?"
 "Oh, this.  I whipped this up one day, it was easy, I already had the plans.  This is a perfect copy of me, but wired up to be a telepresence unit, so that even if I were, say, captured by the Russians, you may never have to go without your Tea, Sir. "
  Dr. Smith knew what he had to do, the doctors had said he was getting better, and he couldn't let the biggest enemy of the grand nation of Legopolis have the advanced technology he had created in Jeeves, so he tried to stand up.

  He stared at where the ceiling would be if the room had had a ceiling.
   "Jeeves, Help me off the ground."
   "Very good Sir.  Sir, If I may, I have a device ready for just this occasion."
  Jeeves helped Dr. Smith into his device.
   "What is this?"
   "I call it a 'Wheeled Chair'.  It was designed so that invalids such as yourself may perambulate, just like normal people."
   "Gee, thanks."
    "I'm glad you like it Sir."
          "Fetch my hat. We're going out."
-=fig. 562: wheeled chair=-

"I'm afraid I can't come with you, Sir."
  "What? Why not!"
   "Sir, If I could have used this…Other Body to rescue myself, do you not think that I would have done it by now?"
  Dr. Smith had to concede that Jeeves had a point.  Not a very satisfying point, but a point nonetheless.
  "So… I guess I'll go rescue you, by myself."
    "Very Good Sir."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PSA InfoGraphic: The Hot Demitasse Trick

I Also made a neat little PSA to go with it:

Fun with Phonograph Speeds

I have fun with the different speeds on my newly fixed Phonograph.
‘Terry’s Tune’ by Paul revere and the raiders.
 I just have to say, playing 45's at 78 is the Most Hilarious Thing Ever.
Even Funnier than Cats Jumping into Boxes and Falling Over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #78: Infestation

Last week as you recall…
-=fig. 556: tea=-

"Sir?"  Said Jeeves.   Dr. Smith hadn't heard him come in, although that wasn't surprising. Jeeves was a butler, and therefore he was well trained in the art of silence.
He was also a Robot, so that helped. 
"Come in Jeeves." 
  "I am in, Sir." 
   "Come in more, then. What is it you want?"
  "I brought Tea, Sir.  It's good when you're sick, so it should help with body-wide decomposition." 
    "I'm not decomposing, Jeeves, I'm recovering." 
      "Very Good Sir." 
        "No, don't leave, I'll take Tea anyway, thanks." 
            "Very Good Sir." 
"Last time you were here you left me in suspense, what happened next?  After I left?" 
  "Well.  I had just discovered the furry beasts in the pantry…" 
-=a week or so earlier=-

-=fig. 557: cats=-
Ms. Teresa Phillips felt that she had to point something out.  "Jeeves, those aren't furry beasts.  Those are kittens.  Infant Cats."  
   Jeeves looked at the squirming, furry, sharply clawed eating machine in his hands, and couldn't see it ever growing into something as tranquil as a Cat. 
  "Furry Beast." He persisted.
    "Where'd you find the kitten?"  Asked a bystanding child. 
"The pantry.  It and its brethren were eating all the remaining food."
 "Well that's one mystery solved," Said Capt. Brown "And as soon as Zachary comes back with more food, you shouldn't have any more problems.  But another mystery presents itself, where did the kittens come from?" 
   Another child who was watching the scene raised his hand and without waiting to be called on pointed out the obvious. "Well…They came from a…mother cat."
 Everyone laughed.  It wasn't all that funny. 
   "What I meant was," Said Capt. Brown once the laughter and nervous coughing died down "How did they get in the house?  Zachary has never been a…pet person."
  Ms. Teresa Phillips had an idea. "Let's see this pantry."
"Wow. How big is this place?"  Asked Ms. Teresa Phillips. 

-=fig. 558: pantry=-

"This particular room is six feet across and more than three miles long." Replied Jeeves "The House, Being essentially a house, has no sense of spatial perception, so one foot and one mile look exactly the same to it."
  "How come the food looks the right size, then?"  Persisted Teresa, 
"Because The House can't do food.  I went out and bought this food from stores with The Master's money."   When Jeeves spoke you could hear the Capitalized Letters.
  This is hard to do, unless you're a robot. 
"What's at the other side?"  Asked Capt. Brown, it was a good question because Jevves Didn't have a good answer. 
"I've…never been to the other side."
 "Well, then, lets go!" said Ms. Teresa Phillips, cheerfully. 
   *Beedle-eep! Boodle-oop!*  Capt. Brown examined his pager, "I would love to help you guys find the other side of this pantry, but the team needs help setting up a french-flag burning party, and there's been reports of mob-type activity at the pizzeria.  I have to go. Bye."
  "Bye…Captain." Said Ms. Teresa Phillips, dreamy-eyed. 
  It was probably all the pollen in the air. 
"Captain Brown, on your way out, could you make sure the hoard of children finds it's way out of The House?  I believe they have been detained from their families long enough."
 "You got it, Jeeves.  The School is on my way."  And with that he closed the door.
 The Pantry loomed in front of them. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My record player works!


 The song is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'Der Schauspieldirektor' known in english as the 'Impresario Overture' {c. 1786}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vintage Film Photoshop Effect

No, I really couldn't think of a better name.

I Really like the effect I used to make this photo, so I thought I'd share it here. 
It's actually really easy:
Start with a picture

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #77: Clinically

Last Week as you Recall…

Dr. Smith's mind, comfortable in the warm, pink fog of nearly-awake, sighed. 
Unfortunately, you can only be nearly-awake for so long. 

-=fig. 553: stuck=-
Dr. Smith sat up in the warm, cozy bed.
  "I feel…Great!"  He said.
   "You should," replied Capt. Brown, who was sitting nearby. "They pumped you so full of pain medication I was starting to get worried you wouldn't want to wake up."
Dr. Smith took stock of his flowery surroundings.
   "Where am I?"  He asked.
    "According to the plaque on the door, room three-seventy-seven a.   It was the first one that the E.M.T's came to."
"So I'm inside The House?"
"Yeah, it's just a flowery room."
 Dr. Smith became aware of the remarkably uncomfortable clothes he was wearing.
   "What am I wearing?"
   "Scrubs.  It was either scrubs or that dress thing they make the patients wear.  And it's only because I'm loud they didn't put you in the dress thing."
   "Thanks, I guess."
    "You're welcome."
Dr. Smith looked at Capt.  Brown, he looked pretty good for a stabbing victim.
   "What happened to you?  You were stabbed!  How come you aren't in the hospital?"
    "Oh it was just a—" Capt. Brown winced "—Flesh wound.  I got out days ago."
"Oh."  The meaning of the words took awhile to reach Dr. Smith's heavily medicated mind.
   "Wait… 'Days ago'?  How long have I been out!"
 Capt. Brown shrugged.  "About a week, But you haven't been asleep the whole time, you came and went.  You did sustain some pretty serious brain damage.  But I got the second-best brain surgeon in the city to look after you."
   "What was the first-best brain surgeon doing?"
   "Being operated on."
    "Oh, yeah, that's me isn't it.  I forgot."
 Dr. Smith tried to stand up.
 Twelve minutes later he woke up in bed.
 "What happened?"
 "You passed out.   You may feel great but that's just the medication talking.  Don't move."
"For how long?"  There was more than a note of complaint in his voice.
  "The docs said not to let you move for at least another week."
    A thought occurred to Dr. Smith.
   "But what if I have to…?"
   "There's a ceramic bowl underneath the bed."
They both shuddered.   No one was looking forward to the ceramic bowl.
Dr. Smith sighed. 
  Laying in bed for days is great if you're asleep, but if you're awake it is one of the most boring things ever, Second only to clothes shopping.
  After the second day Capt. Brown was called away on matters of city-wide importance that seemed to mainly consist of mounds of paperwork, and  Once Capt. Brown was gone, the doctors came back, they were proper doctors and as far as Dr. Smith could tell not one of them was Romanian.     
Sometimes Jeeves would come in with food,  and it was through Jeeves that Dr. Smith learned what had happened after he had gone out to look for food. 
"-zzz I Repeat, the war is over!  The french have finally surrenderedzzz-"
Capt. Brown turned off the radio.   
"I guess that mean I have to go." He said. 

-=fig. 554: goo-goo eyes=-

"Will I ever see you again?"  Asked Ms. Teresa Phillips.
  "Probably." Capt. Brown answered, softly. "But you never know.  I may…never return." 
"Oh James!"  Ms. Teresa Phillips said, in a ridiculous voice. 
  "What, Jeeves!"  Capt. Brown said, annoyed that Jeeves had ruined his romantic-ish moment. 
 "I have found the reason the food disappeared." 
 "And what is the reason, Jeeves."   Capt. Brown's tone suggested that he didn't appreciate the interruption. 

-=fig. 555: furry beasts=-
 "We have been infested with furry beasts." 

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm a Hat Geek

I Made this first:

But I wanted to print it, so it became this:

It got printed, 

This bit is where mom took over, she knows how to solder. 

The construction of it at this point is an optometrists lens, the paper, then a huge chunk of wood.
What you can't see there is that the whole thing is wrapped up in solder like a York {®} peppermint patty. 
 I didn't like it. 
I Suggested we ditch the wood, in favour of metal tape.  That worked. 

I love it.

Thanks, mom.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I am implementing a new social-commenting system called Disqus.
Try it out in the comments below, tell me your reactions. 

Is it Cool? Too Hard? Failing?  Did you like the old way better?
I'm talking to you, Seth, Louise and anyone else who reads this blog whose name I don't know.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #76: Zombification

Last Week as you recall…

"START ZE MACHINE!" Yelled Villiam Von TipRău, evil, foreign villain.
He realized then that no one was there in the machine-control box. 
  "Vhy must I do everyting myself!"
  "If you unchain me, I'd help." Said Dr. Smith, who was chained to the machine. 
  "Ha ha. I not zat stupid."
 Von TipRău made his way over to the control box, and turned on the computer that contolled the whole mess. 
  From where Dr. Smith was restrained, he could see the reflection of the start-up screen. "Welcome to Windows" it said. 
   Dr. Smith felt all-of-a-sudden a lot safer. 
    "MWAH HA HA HA!!!!!  Vhen I pull zis svitch,  You vill be brianvashed!  Any last vords?"
  "Too bad!"

-=fig. 549: the svitch=-
The switch was flipped. 

Von TipRău's entire system had crashed. 
Capt. Brown chose that moment to reveal to Von TipRău that he had escaped. 
 "But, But, But how?" Stuttered Von TipRău, as a huge hand closed around his throat and he rose into the air.
"Aluminum Handcuffs?  Really?  What, were you on some sort of budget?  I could bend that with one hand.  I didn't before because A. I wasn't in control of my limbs until just now, and 2.  I was worried about the bubbling green stuff you had suspended me over–" 
  "James, Put him down."  Called Dr. Smith "But don't let him out of arms reach."
Capt. Brown dropped Von TipRău onto the metal floor, where he proceeded to bleed and whimper.  "Alright Zachary, how do I get you out?"  
  "There should be a button."

-=fig. 550: the buttons=-

"There's four." 
  "Restart it then choose a red one." 
 Capt. Brown Restarted it. 
  "A red one?" 
 Capt. Brown chose a red one. 
 Von TipRău started giggling.
  The machine started up again. 
  "JaaAAMES!" Dr. Smith yelled, as he fumbled with his restraints. 
   "Coming Zachary! 
The machine's huge glowing bit, which seemed to be of some importance, glowed brighter. 
  But there were other things too, pointy things, crackling with electricity, that rotated in their fittings until they were pointing at Dr. Smith. 
  Capt. Brown took it at a run. 
   Then he took what would have been a flying tackle if football had been introduced at that time.  

-=fig. 551: the tackle=-
Capt. Brown was six-foot-seven, and muscular.  
  Not exactly the sort of person you want launching at you with speed. 
 Dr. Smith flinched. 
  Dr. Smith went down, and the momentum carried his slight figure in a long skid over the riveted floor.
    The machine went off. 
  The light was blinding. 

Dr. Smith examined his day. 
  He had been beaten until he was nearly dead,
   Dropped to the bottom of a shaft, 
   Dropped to the bottom of a different shaft,
   Had an impromptu-lobotomy,  
   Been chained to a brainwashing machine, 
  And now he was being crushed by his only friend. 
  " *arghkt* Can't Breathe!*kughlrr* "
  "What? Oh, sorry."
 "I think you broke one of my ribs!" Dr. Smith said once Capt. Brown stood up. 
  "Want me to reset it?" 
 Dr. Smith remembered the last time Capt. Brown had tried to reset one of Dr. Smith's broken bones.
  "NO!…urrp…It's fine. I prefer a…ACK!…broken rib to a brainwashing…any day." 
   "Good." Said Capt. Brown. "I'll go check on Von TipRău." 
 Von TipRău was gone.  
   Capt. Brown hadn't really expected less. 
  He walked back to where Dr. Smith was suffering. 
  "He's gone." 
  Dr. Smith nodded.  "…urg. I Forgot, …AAAAHHH! THE PAIN!…In Romania, Red Means…URGH…Go…AHRG" 
  Capt. Brown picked Dr. Smith up like he was a child. "Here. lets get you to a proper hospital this time."  
  "ahgrkurglurss"  Agreed Dr. Smith. 
   "Here now, what's this?"  Asked Abram, Rooftop Patrolman {Third class}
  Quentin Shrugged. 

-=fig. 552: the trap=-

 "It looks like The Doctor was trying to make a clone army, like in the comics." 
  Quentin made a gesture that suggested ambivalence, He didn't read comics. 
 "So you are ze cavalry, eh?  Vell, I vas expectink somting better, to be honest.  But you take vat you can get." 
 They turned around too slow, they fired to late, the clones got them. 
    The machine flashed brilliant. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #75: Manhunt

Last Week as You recall,
 Dr. Smith managed to get the sewer-cover open, and climbed down the ladder concealed inside. 
  This was made doubly difficult by the fact his limbs weren't obeying him.
Dr. Smith lay on the cold metal floor, this was as good as place as any to recoup.

-=fig. 545: recuperation=-

The homeless men thought so as well. 
  In too much pain to move, he watched from inside his head as they stole his hat, jacket, and looked for his wallet. 
  Little did they know he didn't carry a wallet. 
 Eventually they wandered off, squabbling among themselves for the rights to the spoils. 
Several of them seemed to be carrying on a pretty good argument alone. 
Dr. Smith looked around, there usually was a—There. 
 He pulled himself up on the rungs of the ladder and whacked at the first-aid box mounted to the wall until it opened.   Inside was a small bottle of antiseptic, half a roll of bandages and a mutli-bladed pocket knife. {For on-the-spot amputations.} 
The box seemed to have been stocked by people who had never needed a first-aid kit, and whose medical experience stopped at aspirin. 
None of this was going to help, really, but he needed to stop the bleeding. 
 If it were just his nose bleeding, this wouldn't be a problem. 
  If his brain was bleeding too, which is what he suspected, this was going to be slightly more difficult.  
    Mainly because if his brain was bleeding the blood was in danger of building up and compressing his cranium, which is very, very dangerous.
Dr. Smith relaxed. 
  It had been difficult, be he had done it. 
It had been disgusting, but he had done it.  Nothing had healed yet, but at least his brain was no longer in danger of being compressed by blood build-up.
 Let's just say, he had installed a release valve of sorts.
  Blunt-forced trauma was so bothersome, and Dr. Smith looked more like a zombie than he ever had before.
   Which was saying something. 
Dr. Smith Swore, but quietly.  They must have followed him down here!
He pulled himself gradually through Dr. Smith-sized tunnels until he thought he was sufficiently far away from his point of entry. 
The spot he chose to rest was cold, and wet. 
But It was also dark, and private. 
  The air had a sharp, harsh smell, almost like…

-=fig. 546: the worst assignment ever=-

Abram {Rooftop Patrolman, Third Class}  swore as he hit his head on yet another pipe. 
 He hated being enclosed like this, he longed for the freedom of the rooftops, the fresh-ish air, the light.
 But his partner,  {Quentin, Rooftop Sniper Third Class} was having an even harder time. 
  "Q, I told you not to bring that rifle.  'It'll only get in the way' I said, And have you had a chance to use it? No. There's no room!"   
  Quentin couldn't reply, Not only because he wasn't going to sink to Abram's level, {it would only encourage him,} but also because he was mute.   This had never interfered with his job before, snipers aren't big talkers regardless, but down here underground a lack of auditory communication could be a problem.  
  And Abram's constant talking was beginning to get on his nerves.
 Quentin lowered his gun, it had only been one of the many homeless men who roam the sewers.  
  Good thing he had only winged it.  
   "I take it back Q, If that had been our quarry we would have been heroes.  Next time though, give me some warning, eh?" 
The spot he chose to rest was cold, and wet. 
But It was also dark, and private. 
  The air had a sharp, harsh smell, almost like…

-=fig. 547: the captain's predicament=-

 Dr. Smith almost shouted, then he remembered himself.
   The green liquid {which Dr. Smith suspected was radioactive} bubbled and spit, The chain Capt. Brown was hooked to gradually lowered, and somewhere close-by a Madman laughed maniacally.
 Dr. Smith had to do something, Capt. Brown was getting lower by the second, and the laughing wouldn't stop. 
  He peeked his head into the room. 
 That was his first mistake. 
 "Ah!  Doctor Smith!  How kind of you to join us!  I vas expectink you.  Zacharice?"
  Dr. Smith found himself being lifted to his feet and frogmarched by…himself? 
Or to be exact, two himselfs.
   At this point, nothing was all that surprising.
"Put him in…Ze Machine." 
   "Hi Zachary!" Capt. Brown said, his face lighting up. 
  "Hi James.  Just like old times, huh?"
"Yeah.  Hey, remember that time we were in—" 
 "ENOUGH!  I Am not STUPID!  I know that you haf some kind of secret code based unt your previous adventures!  No more talking!"

-=fig. 548: in the machine=-

"Whatever you say, Doc."  Capt. Brown said with a grin. 
  "Unt Stop Smiling!  It is drivink me crazy.  So, I assume you vant to know my evil plan, Yes?  Don't answer.  Vell, it is this.  I haf already made ze clones of you Doctor Smith, But zey are stupid.  I need your Superior Intelligence {Superior yet still subordinate to mine, you understand}  And vith zis new-unt-improved mind-scrubbing machine, I vill do just that.   Unt vhen I yam done, your brain vill match your appearence unt you vil be nothink but a mindless Zombie! A slave to mine evil plots.  Mwah Ha ha HA HA HA HA!!!!! " 
 Dr. Smith made a note of the five Exclamation Points.   "But what about the Captain?" Dr. Smith asked, "You just going to melt him?" 
  "Of Course not!  Zat vhas just a roos to get you in ze door!  A city vithout it's leader falls into ze kaos, So he vill be found, alive unt vell, But he vill be brianvashed unt completely unter mine control!!!   Mwah Ha HA HA!!!"
   Dr. Smith saw the opportunity coming up, sighed, and said it.  "You fiend.  You'll never get away with it."
 "Unt vhy Not!?" 
   "Because as we speak, the sewers are being flooded, not with sewage, but with the entire body of the Legopolis City rooftop police force, it is only a matter of time until they find me, and by extension, you." 
    "I find zat hard to belief." 
  "Would you believe Half the Legopolis City Rooftop police force?" 
      "The sniper section?" 
      "An angry Boy Scout?" 
      "An Angry…Girl Scout?" 
      "Doctor Smith, no von knows you are here, unt even if zey did, zese tunnels stretch for miles,  Under ze whole city!  By ze time your imaginary saviors find us, My plan vill have already been put into effect."
Dr. Smith couldn't help it, he made another mistake. 
  "Not if you keep monoulging like this!" 
   "Zat is very right.  START ZE MACHINE!"