Saturday, February 4, 2017

As promised, the music festival poster

Last week, I spent about an hour creating a poster for a mythical musical festival.  I included Buddy Wayne and all his musical colleagues at Little Boy Records, the label I founded for him some years ago.

I could not save the InDesign file as a JPEG, so I had to create a package within InDesign that included a PDF, open the PDF, and finally shrink it down to a size for which I could see all of it on my computer screen.  After that, I used Snipping Tool to make it a JPEG file.

Now, some of the type may not be readable, so those are the captions:
  • First line below "also featuring": Brittany Spears, Bubba Brister, Blinky Blink, betaBOOZEbrain, Melanie MacMelville
  • Second line below "also featuring": Kimberly Shawnelle "ButtaFly" Wimberly, Bellamy Wood, LaRayne McLamb, O'Neale Timberlake, Barefoot Boys
  • Below that: "Also with comedy from Barney Laughinghouse and a lip-rock performance from The Honey Bees (some of Miss Hambone's friends and distant relatives)"
  • The next three lines are the date (July 15, 2017), the location (Fort Bragg), and the fictitious contact website.
Fort Bragg is a huge U.S. Army base just about 35 miles from the Barefoot home; both are in North Carolina.  After Christ returns to Earth - and of course ends all war on this planet - the military base will probably become recreational and residential space; among the new uses would be for large-scale outdoor events like musical festivals.  In 2016, the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves in a regular-season Major League Baseball game there, the first any major American-based sport had ever conducted on an active military base.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Checking in for the first time in 2017

I know some of you want to know why I have not posted so far this year.  Well, the short answer is that I have been bouncing back and forth between several personal projects:

  • I completed the episode summaries of Brandy and Bunky: R.O.A.M., for which the first episode is posted in detail here.  After leaving Jamaica, they moved on to Ireland, Italy, the Congo River, Kashmir, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, and Mexico before returning to the U.S.  In all, they were on the road for 62 days as they visited some of the places and people that will be most affected by the New Earth that would be ushered in by Jesus Christ.
  • I put together in my head the first episodes of season 6 of Gone Barefoot (or is it season 11? Even I'm not sure).  The least you need to know is that, with Brandy and Bunky touring the world and Miss Hambone has starting a six-month stay in Alaska to be with her boyfriend, a real-life person named Gabe Brown (who's on the Discovery series Alaskan Bush People), the show now follows some distant relatives of the remaining cast.  Among other things: Blake competes in the javelin throw of the U.S. Games, Randy races vintage race cars at a local track, and "Bear," a U.S. Army veteran, runs a discussion group of veterans from the American Civil War to the future Armageddon prophesied in the Book of Revelation.  But I haven't forgotten about Buddy Wayne: He has a statue put up in his honor at the Singing Grove in Benson, NC.  It shows him running with a checkered flag while a guitar is propped over his shoulder.
  • BMN Superfan Junior has begun with 10 contestants, five of each gender.  It would have started on Jan. 4 with host Matt Rogers and judges Mikel de Vries and Brooke Liptrap.  Last week's highlight was a series of paintball matches inspired by Bryson's love of all things Western.  Duos battled in a "Western ghost town" with the members of the winning male and female teams battling for the individual wins.
  • Finally, I have come back to InDesign.  I am considering another entire book - this one depicting New Year's Eve celebrations around the world, specifically tying in to Jesus' impending return - and plan to create a music festival poster with Little Boy Records singers and rappers.  The festival will take place at a post-millennial Fort Bragg, also in North Carolina.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Robertson clan helps me with "big picture"

On occasion, I have hinted at a "friendship" between the real Robertsons of West Monroe, LA and the fake Barefoots of Meadow, NC.  With the photo manipulation you are about to see, this relationship has been taken to a whole new level.

I have created a personal InDesign file which shows a "family reunion" which would have occurred after the return of Jesus Christ (but which I dated 2015, when this obviously did not happen).  Adobe allows me to publish it online, but my DSL connection, unfortunately, will not allow it.  So I have excerpted Buddy Wayne's welcome letter to the gathering, which is based on the biography of a real person named Miles Vinson Barefoot, who everyone called "Pink":

Other than God, family is the most important element of an individual’s life. Celebrating one’s ancestry can educate, motivate, and inspire current and future generations.
The Barefoot family motto is, “What was before, will one day be again.” In other words, no matter how much things change in the outside world, we have developed a system of core values that will always endure.
This event is the most tangible symbol of the love we have for one another. And there is no better place for it than on the land first settled by Miles Barefoot and his family, then passed down to his son “Pink” nearly 200 years ago. Over time, it became the place that he and so many others of his clan were buried.
Today, with Jesus Christ having returned to Earth and making all of us immortal celebrants of eternal life, Pink is back to welcome all of his descendants to his spot of destiny in Meadow township, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Enjoy all the days’ activities, and more importantly, enjoy each other’s company at this glorious reunion event!

I then published 10 sections of photographs and reports, representing each of the descent lines I imagined from them.  One of them is the John Noah clan, begotten from who would have been one of Pink's grandsons.  And along with that comes this photo, with captions for everyone pictured:

For this, I started by placing the Barefoots' heads on the Robertson's bodies - all 84 of them!  The original photo was taken in January 2014, at a get-together organized at the request of Mia Robertson, the daughter of Jase and Missy Robertson.  Then 11 years old, Mia was about to undergo her third surgery to correct the cleft lip and palate that she was born with.  The reunion, which included a special guest appearance by professional wrestler "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, was filmed for Duck Dynasty and shown on Mar. 26, 2014.  Ideally, my version would have had the Barefoots wearing more comfortable clothes for a summer day, but I found that to be too much work to try to match the entire body profiles.

In addition, four more people - including Brandy and her dad, Daniel - were dropped into the montage to allow them to pose together, and a few others were added to fill in blank spots.

Not only is this a large-scale view of the immediate and distant relatives that Buddy Wayne has, it's also - if inadvertent - a fitting tribute to the Robertsons, as Duck Dynasty is in its last season on A&E; the final show will air in January 2017.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Latest Super Bowl survivor pool results (better late than never)

Last fall, I ran the third annual National Football League survivor pool among my characters, their friends, and real life people.  However, I have not released the results - until now.

Luke Muellerleile, a former "student-athlete" at Carleton University in Minnesota, won this year's contest, as the Minnesota Vikings outlasted all other teams through six weeks of competition.  Muellerleile won the pool on Oct. 16, when the Vikings were 5-0.  Now, the slumping team is 6-5 and out of playoff contention, but there's still time left to salvage their season.  Nonetheless, Muellerleile still wins the grand prize of a VIP trip for four to Super Bowl LI and associated pre-game events, courtesy of NFL On Location.

He outlasted first-timers such as talk show host Patrick MacLeamy and NASCAR wife Sherri Pollex, as well as veterans like Billie Barefoot, Brooke Liptrap and Josh LoMonico.

Here are the complete results:
Arizona - Billie Barefoot (3) Eliminated 9/11 (23-21, NE)
Atlanta - Rhett Jeffers (2) Eliminated 9/11 (31-24, TB)
Baltimore - Brooke Liptrap (3) --> Seattle --> BAL Eliminated 10/9 (16-10, WSH)
Buffalo - Jim Brinson (1) Eliminated 9/11 (13-7, BAL)
Carolina - Steve Post (1) Eliminated 9/8 (21-20, DEN)
Chicago - Patrick MacLeamy (1) Eliminated 9/11 (23-14, HOU)
Cincinnati - Brittany Raylene (3) Eliminated 9/18 (24-16, PIT)
Cleveland - Dustin Fox (2) Eliminated 9/11 (29-10, PHI)
Dallas - Billy Bob Ribble (3) Eliminated 9/12 (20-19, NYG)
Denver - Sherri Pollex (1) --> Carolina Eliminated 10/2 (38-21, ATL)
Detroit - Harvey Barefoot (2) Eliminated 9/25 (21-14, GB)
Green Bay - Katie Von Hinz (2) Eliminated 9/18 (17-14, MIN)
Houston - Bamm Bamm Plumpkin (2) Eliminated 9/22 (27-0, NE)
Indianapolis - Rita McBuddy (2) Eliminated 9/11 (39-35, DET)
Jacksonville - Barbie Blank (3) Eliminated 9/11 (27-23, GB)
Kansas City - Brendon Bump (1) Eliminated 9/18 (19-12, HOU)
Los Angeles - Blinky Blink (1) Eliminated 9/12 (28-0, SF)
Miami - Brittany Ramos (3) Eliminated 9/11 (12-10, SEA)
Minnesota - Luke Muellerleile (2) --> Washington --> MIN (season winner)
New England - Marc McBrien/Anthony Buttinelli (1) --> San Diego Eliminated 10/2 (35-34, NO)
New Orleans - Ricky Hooter (1) Eliminated 9/11 (35-34, OAK)
NY Giants - Ron Barnes (2) Eliminated 9/25 (29-27, WSH)
NY Jets - Jake Stubblebine (1) Eliminated 9/11 (23-22, CIN)
Oakland - Bobbington Brandt (2) Eliminated 9/18 (35-27, ATL)
Philadelphia - Bud Strickland (2) --> Arizona Eliminated 10/2 (17-13, LA)
Pittsburgh - Josh LoMonico (3) Eliminated 9/25 (34-3, PHI)
San Diego - Alecia A. Moore (1) Eliminated 9/11 (33-27, KC)
San Francisco - Ralph Ortiz (1) Eliminated 9/18 (46-29, CAR)
Seattle - Brian Warner (3) Eliminated 9/18 (9-3, LA)
Tampa Bay - Alonzo "Popeye" Barefoot (1) Eliminated 9/18 (40-7, AZ)
Tennessee - Lyndsey Rowley (1) Eliminated 9/11 (25-16, MIN)
Washington - Lyman Bowling, Jr. (1) Eliminated 9/12 (38-16, PIT)

Names in red are those of actual people.  Numbers in parentheses are the total number of contests for each contestant.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Busy week on Photoshop

I have played around with Adobe Photoshop a lot over the last week.  Here are three of the items I have completed.

First, I retrieved a photo of a North Carolina-based rock band called The Aviators, who performed at a recent festival in Harnett County.  Since they aren't well-known figures elsewhere, I simply placed the photo in a new file and re-identified them as members of betaBOOZEbrain.  I created them as a group with boy-band looks that record harder-edge rock music, so imagine if the Backstreet Boys had a playlist similar to Pearl Jam or KISS.  I imagined them as a four-piece band, but expanded it to a quintet by adding another guitarist, to match the setup of the actual band.  The name was borrowed from the 1989 game show Now You See It, which as I mentioned before is a favorite TV show of mine, and one I wish was more available in reruns.

Up next is a picture of British actress and singer Keisha Buchanan, who I have re-labeled with the coolest stage name I have ever imagined, and you'll see it below in the caption.  I have seen listings of people named Kimberley Wimberley in What's in a Name? Confessions of a Name-Dropper, a book by Paul Dickson, and of Kymberly Wimberly, a former valedictorian at a Mississippi high school, so I just re-spelled those.  "Shawnelle" actually came from a male basketball player who played in major college and the NBA, Shawnelle Scott.  As for "ButtaFly," it has two meanings: "butta" is African-American slang for someone who has a laidback demeanor, and "fly" refers to a sharp dresser, so envision the two concepts put together.  Also, a butterfly transforms from a cocoon, so it means Kimberly has grown personally and professionally.  My "ButtaFly" character is a spoken-word artist.

Finally, I have used head-and-body substitution to imagine Brittany Raylene (Buddy Wayne's wife) together with her mother Rebecca, grandmother Mildred, great-grandmother Ruth, and great-great-grandma Bertha.  Now, five living generations in one family is very rare, and that's almost certainly what such a picture would not really look like.  But, in the new Earth world I have created, anything is possible!  (The bodies are those of "characters" in the TLC reality TV series My Five Wives.)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Brandy and Bunky's new "spin-off series"

Those who have followed this blog over the years know that I have passed along some of my personality traits and passions to my character.  For example, I love to travel and explore new places, even if it's just by reading about them or watching TV.  The siblings Brandy and Bunky Barefoot (two of Buddy Wayne's first cousins) would feel the same way.

I have written that their love of travel would have gotten them on the CBS series The Amazing Race had they existed.  However, their run would have ended well short of the finish line.  Brandy and Bunky returned home with the resolve to create their own dream trip next time, one without the pressure of competition and possible elimination.  The changes in the world since the glorious appearance of Jesus Christ would provide more incentive for the siblings to travel the New Earth.

Of course, the whole thing would be documented and captured in a new TV series.  They chose the acronym R.O.A.M., Ramble On A Mission, for the name of their project.  The resulting show is called Brandy & Bunky: R.O.A.M.

Here is the detailed summary I wrote for the premiere episode, which would have aired on Sep. 11.  I will continue to run through the season in subsequent posts.


As the show begins, Brandy and Bunky prepare at home.  They pack all the food and clothing they'll need for the first part of the trip, plan out the stops along the way where they will get additional provisions, and study the stories of Marco Polo, Lewis & Clark, and others who explored the world using traditional methods.  Brandy and Bunky also inform their local church so the parishioners can pray for them, as led by their uncle Ralph.

Brandy also reveals that she has been cast for The History of Dance, a new live entertainment show to take place in the new Jerusalem.  It is a multi-act show produced by rapper/dancer Blinky Blink and her portion showcases ballroom dancing.  She is joined by Hylton Tripp, who she met at the local dancing school in Meadow; they have been together professionally for nearly a year.

On the day they leave, the siblings board a 80-foot-long boat, Pink's Ellie, designed and built by great-uncle Popeye and uncle Harvey (who is Popeye's son).  They take it down Oliver's Creek to the Black River, then to the Cape Fear River, eventually to the port of Wilmington, NC.  From there, it's a trip down what was once the Atlantic Ocean - now a series of smaller lakes and connected rivers - to the Caribbean land of Jamaica.  Specifically, Brandy and Bunky make a call at Port Royal.

Port Royal, once known as the bawdy headquarters for Caribbean pirates, was destroyed in an earthquake in 1720.  After Christ returned, Bertland McSween - a pastor and entertainer - found the old plans and convinced the Jamaican government to rebuild it as the centerpiece of post-Christian life in both the country and region.

McSween hosts a tour of the port and downtown.  He points out that Port Royal is now a thriving, multicultural city with four languages - English, French, Spanish, and Dutch - that are commonly spoken in the various neighborhoods.  McSween is especially proud to show off Blackbeard's Playhouse. 

It is where he conceived of Port Royal Review, the Caribbean entry in the King David International Festival - the same entertainment event at which Brandy and Bunky performed as part of Back Down Home.  On this night, the siblings enjoy two of the acts that were part of that review: R&B/reggae diva Zellie St. Brown1 and steel drum virtuoso Lewis Pipersburg.

The next day, McSween takes Brandy and Bunky to a sugar mill that was founded by British colonials but now run by descendants of the same slave labor brought in to work there.  The employee owners share their gratitude of being able to enjoy the results of their harvest.  One of the workers, Lucille, pointed out that economic deprivation is why - despite the natural paradise they grew up in - so many of them had to immigrate to other countries.  That evening, the siblings join the locals for jerk chicken dinner, followed a dessert of cake made from the local processed sugar.
1Short for "Battimamzelle," Old French word for dragonfly

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thanks for your patience!

I know, it's been two months since the last time I added a post to this blog.  I can explain this absence with a number of factors:
  • I had to change computers twice in a 60-day period.  First, I replaced my seven-year-old Dell Inspiron with an Acer Aspire on Aug. 19.  Unfortunately, the Aspire had a serious power issue which caused the machine to shut down at random times.  After quite a few times of this, my mother and I agreed to return the computer to HSN to receive a full refund.  Then on Sep. 26, I bought a Dell Inspiron 15; except for a problem toggling between programs using the taskbar, there have been no significant issues since purchase.
  • I had to re-install all my software and apps each time I replaced the computers.  That left me less time to start or restart new personal projects.
  • With all that, I simply forgot about this blog!

That being said - since the story is set on the southern edge of Johnston County, NC - I must report that the lives of my characters were impacted by Hurricane Matthew, if for no reason except nearby roads and the one-room schoolhouse Bryson and Belinda attended were closed the week it hit.  The school would probably have re-opened this past Monday, one day before the county's public schools did. (This is because all the students live nearby and the school runs as a separate operation.) Otherwise, I can give no specifics, because the local newspaper that serves the area has provided no specific coverage of Meadow.  The chances, however, are that the power went out for at least the weekend after Matthew hit.  Then again, it may well have minimized the impact on the farm house, since it went off the grid about the time Gone Barefoot began taping.

I will end with a special reward for all of you: Remember Blondie - not the new wave band but the pianist I created as one of the label mates for Buddy Wayne Barefoot?  Here's a revised "publicity photo" of the versatile performer, who knows everything from Beethoven to Billy Joel.  (Please note that the bottom text was just to fill white space and all contact information is fictional.)