Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pitches and another wedding photo

Today, I began to publicize my new picture book in earnest.

This morning, I went to Brady Poirier's Photoshop class at ABC Adult School for the first time since the spring of 2013.  I had a presentation of about 15 minutes in which I summarized the book and tied it to what I learned in Photoshop.  As in the introduction to the book, I explained the reason I signed up for the class was to use the program to bring the characters I created to life.

Coming in, my biggest concern was how the students would react to the cover price of $54.95, of which I will get $1.60 per copy sold as a royalty.  When I went to my current location at Cabrillo Lane and asked an office worker who I thought might be interested in the book, the worker told me that she had no discretionary income to pay for it, in part because the office was closed in the entire month of August and she was not paid as a result.  Thankfully, no one raised a public objection to the price, and I hope this is a good sign for what's to come, as well as the fact that everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation.  (I didn't explain it to them, but they can also look at a free sample download before they commit to buying it; that's available on the sales site at Lulu.)

Up next, I tried to get the local libraries in my area - George Nye and Iacoboni - to post flyers with sales information.  However, I was told that Los Angeles County policy prohibits book sales for personal gain on their property.  I was bitterly disappointed to hear that, because library patrons would make great customers for obvious reasons.  But there is a Friends of Lakewood Libraries program at Iacoboni which sells books and magazines to help pay the expenses the county won't, and I will contact it to see if it will work with me somehow.

This weekend, I will post at The Way Christian Fellowship in Lakewood, the church I attend, and then on Tuesday I will present a conference call to an online forum about sports and sports media for which I have been involved for years.

I will end the post with a "followup" to one of the pictures on page 13.  That shows B.W. and Brittany's first wedding photo.  However, as I have written before, that marriage was not what they wanted since it had to be so hastily arranged.  What I have below is their re-commitment ceremony, which I set last year, or three years into their marriage.  It was a real ceremony in North Carolina, with Ralph being the officiant and a full reception afterwards in which the traditional first dance was replaced by their duet "When the Bough Breaks," which was inspired by their relationship.  (I've made up the title and hope someday to write lyrics, though that's not guaranteed.)  The wedding photo is the cover of the 2014 bridal guide in The Daily Record (Dunn, NC), the bridge is from Raven Rock State Park from the same newspaper, the water comes from a lake put into the teacher files by Brady Poirier, and the font for the wedding announcement is Monterey BT, which is a great cursive font.  To create the "different strokes," I had to duplicate three rasterized layers with the same type and erase unwanted strokes from each of them.

NFL "survivor" league, part 4

This is part one of my blog "doubleheader" for the week.  It is a continuation of the 32-person contest among my favorite people, real and imagined, in a made-up contest for a VIP trip to Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona, courtesy of NFL On Location.

After the games of the third week, the field is down to three contestants, all of whom have been given a twist worthy of reality television.  Here's the explanation: At the start of the season, contestants were assigned a team to follow for the entire season and they advanced if those teams continued to win.  It has worked well to this point, but now the open dates begin (and will continue right until Thanksgiving).  Two of the three remaining "survivors" - Brittany Raylene (Bengals) and Billie Barefoot (Cardinals) - have teams that are not playing this week.  To ensure competitive integrity, they will be asked to continue play with another team that has been eliminated.  And to be completely fair, Deb Holmes (Eagles) also must change teams.

So what new teams did they choose?  Each arrived with new teams in three very different ways:
  • Holmes chose the Chiefs because current head coach Andy Reid was the Eagles' head coach from 1998 to 2012.  Reid has more victories than any other coach in Eagles' history and has one of their two Super Bowl appearances.  The Chiefs will host the Patriots this coming Monday night.
  • Brittany originally wanted the Broncos (husband's team), but the Broncos have a bye too.  In desperation, she turned to Facebook and held an option among her friends.  They were asked to pick among the 25 other available teams and bid for Brittany's use of that team with the highest bidder winning.  Krista Bamburg Ribble won with a bid of $35,000; she selected the Saints, which was her team at the start of the contest.  So that will be Brittany's team this week as they travel to Arlington, TX to take on the Cowboys. (Ironically, Britney Spears, the fallen pop star who caused me to create the Brittany Raylene [Spears] character in response, grew up in Kentwood, LA, about a hour's drive from the Saints' home field in New Orleans.)
  • After a brief flirtation with the Cowboys (he went to graduate school in Dallas), Billie the chiropractor decided to go with the Chargers.  Why?  He had narrowed his choices down to the three teams the Cards have beaten this season - Chargers, Giants, and 49ers in that order.  For advice, he then called a talk show and spoke to co-host Ron Wolfley, who also analyzes Cards games on the radio.  Wolfley wanted Billie to pick San Diego since Wolfley thought that was the best chance to win among the three.  Billie accepted, so now he will root for the Chargers this coming Sunday in their home game against the Jaguars.
There are plenty of scenarios this weekend.  Consider those involving Holmes:
  • If the Chiefs win, Holmes is guaranteed no worse than advancing to week 5.  With both Chargers and Saints losses, Holmes is off to Arizona.  If one of them also wins but not the other, Holmes and the other winner move on for one more week; they would then have to choose between their old teams and their new ones.
  • If the Chiefs lose, Holmes is out unless both other teams lose; in that case, the contest resets and continues into week 5, and all three players get their old teams back.  If only one of the Chargers and Saints win as well, Billie or Brittany are Arizona-bound.  With both wins and a Chiefs loss, Billie and Brittany continue in the game with the same option as above.
Finally, here are the latest eliminations, all on Sep. 21:
  • Brandon McLamb (Bills lost, 10-22, to Chargers)
  • Bam Bam (Texans lost, 10-31, to Giants)
  • Buddy Wayne (Broncos lost, 20-26, to Seahawks in overtime)
  • Bobby Ray (Panthers lost, 19-37, to Steelers)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Something new, something improved

After some time off, I did some Photoshop work after all.  I guess being roused up late at night by unbearably warm temperatures throughout most of the week in the Los Angeles area did that to me.

Up first is an update of an earlier photo montage showing my favorite country/blues artist Bubba Brister.  Originally, I used a picture of the real Adam Brister when he was the lead singer of the short-lived Southern gospel band the Revelators.  Although I touched it up a bit, it was still blurry and part of the face was still very dark.  Also, I didn't like the Hobo Standard font (as in the 1970s hit TV show The Dukes of Hazzard) as much as I thought.  So I went to a photograph I picked up about two weeks ago on a casual visit to Brister's Facebook page and found on a file called "Old Pics."  It had also appeared on the Bubba Brister Band page on which had been taken down.  That was taken several years earlier when Adam Brister attended high school in Wyoming.  It's of better quality and all I had to do was fit his head over the 2012 Facebook photo I used earlier.  The font is Birch Standard; it's larger, has a stroke to improve readability, and is over a larger available area within the background picture.



Below that is my rendition of a rainbow lobster.  I first saw the phrase on the 1989 game show Now You See It, of which my love for it I've written about earlier.  It's not to be confused with cherax quadricarinatus, which is an actual freshwater crayfish that is native to Australia. (So it actually exists, unlike, say "barbell boycott" and "earmuff etching" from the same show.)

For my version, I started with a photograph of a lobster about to become dinner at a restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  I then used layers showing different colors, and each with lowered opacity, to complete the look of the strange fish.  The colors are green, black, and blue in addition to red.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NFL "survivor" league, part 3

The number of participants in my world's NFL "survivor pool" league, continues to dwindle, with just seven contestants left at the conclusion of week 2.  Here are the latest eliminations.
  • Josh LoMonico - eliminated Sep. 11 (Steelers lost, 6-26, to Ravens)
  • Bubba Brister - eliminated Sep. 14 (Titans lost, 10-26, to Cowboys)
  • Luke Muellerleile - eliminated Sep. 14 (Vikings lost, 7-30, to Patriots)
  • Brittany Ramos - eliminated Sep. 14 (Dolphins lost, 10-29, to Bills)
  • Ralph Barefoot - eliminated Sep. 14 (Lions lost, 7-24, to Panthers)
  • Lyman Bowling, Jr. - eliminated Sep. 14 (Falcons lost, 10-24, to Bengals)
  • Brian Warner - eliminated Sep. 14 (Seahawks lost, 21-30, to Chargers)
  • Beth Barefoot - eliminated Sep. 14 (Jets lost, 24-31, to Packers)
  • MacMoose brothers -eliminated Sep. 14 (49ers lost, 20-28, to Bears)
Each of the remaining contestants will have their teams face a different opponent this coming week:
  • Buddy Wayne Barefoot (Broncos - at Seahawks)
  • Bobby Ray Barefoot (Panthers - home vs. Steelers)
  • Brittany Raylene (Bengals - home vs. Titans)
  • Brandon McLamb (Bills - home vs. Chargers)
  • Billie Barefoot (Cardinals - home vs. 49ers)
  • LaBundrick Plumpkin (Texans - at Giants)
  • Deb Holmes (Eagles - home vs. Redskins)
Conceivably, this could be the last week of the pool, or it could lead to a new twist in the contest which could have some of the remaining contestants being forced into hard decisions.  Details would be posted next week, if applicable.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

NFL "survivor" league, part 2

Here are the results of the "survivor pool" featuring 32 members of the various circles of Buddy Wayne Barefoot.  Remember that the competition ends when "their" team loses, and the eventual winner goes to Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, AZ.

Eliminations are in exact chronological order based on the time that the games officially ended.
  • Wayne VandenLangenberg - eliminated Sep. 4 (Packers lost, 16-36, to Seahawks)
  • Shandi Finnessey - eliminated Sep. 7 (Rams lost, 6-34, to Vikings)
  • Alonzo "Popeye" Barefoot - eliminated Sep. 7 (Redskins lost, 6-14, to Texans)
  • Bobbington Brandt - eliminated Sep. 7 (Raiders lost, 14-19, to Jets)
  • Harvey Barefoot - eliminated Sep. 7 (Chiefs lost, 10-26, to Titans)
  • Brooke Liptrap - eliminated Sep. 7 (Ravens lost, 15-21, to Bengals)
  • Barbie Blank - eliminated Sep. 7 (Jaguars lost, 17-34, to Eagles)
  • Dylan Bryan-Brown - eliminated Sep. 7 (Patriots lost, 23-33, to Dolphins)
  • Bunky Barefoot - eliminated Sep. 7 (Bears lost, 20-23, to Bills in overtime)
  • Rob Ritchie - eliminated Sep. 7 (Browns lost, 27-30, to Steelers)
  • Krista Bamburg - eliminated Sep. 7 (Saints lost, 34-37, to Falcons in overtime)
  • Hylton Tripp - eliminated Sep. 7 (Buccaneers lost, 6-20, to Panthers)
  • Billy Bob Ribble - eliminated Sep. 7 (Cowboys lost, 13-28, to 49ers)
  • Beanblossom twins - eliminated Sep. 7 (Colts lost, 24-31, to Broncos)
  • Melanie MacMelville - eliminated Sep. 8 (Giants lost, 14-35, to Lions)
  • Blinky Blink - eliminated Sep. 8 (Chargers lost, 17-18, to Cardinals)
  • Josh LoMonico - eliminated Sep. 11 (Steelers lost, 6-26, to Ravens)
Of this week's remaining games, only three have undefeated teams playing each other and one of them is especially intriguing: a "Barefoot Bowl" between the Lions, the team chosen by Rev. Ralph, and the Panthers, the team chosen by co-resident and nephew Bobby Ray.  Another game will see either Brittany Ramos advance with the Dolphins or Brandon McLamb with the Bills, and the other battle of unbeatens is the Falcons (chosen by Lyman Bowling, Jr.) at the Bengals (Brittany Raylene).

Nine others are possible elimination games: Bears vs. 49ers (MacMoose brothers) on Sunday night in the official debut of Levi's Stadium, Eagles (Deb Holmes) vs. Colts on Monday night, Patriots vs. Vikings (Luke Muellerleile), Cardinals (Billie Barefoot) vs. Giants; Cowboys vs. Titans (Bubba Brister), Seahawks (Brian Warner) vs. Chargers, Chiefs vs. Broncos (Buddy Wayne Barefoot), Jets (Beth Barefoot) vs. Packers, and Texans (LaBundrick Plumpkin) vs. Raiders.

The other three games have no bearing on the contest, as both contestants were ousted with losses in Week 1: Saints vs. Browns, Jaguars vs. Redskins, and Rams vs. Buccaneers.

Belated news on NFL "survivor" league

It didn't take me long to get a new idea as to how to use the characters I have made up and introduced into Buddy Wayne Barefoot's life.

Yesterday, I began formulating an idea for a 32-person "survivor pool" involving NFL teams.  For those who have not heard of the concept - and I only know it due to my involvement with the forum connected to the506 website (free membership required to view) - contestants in such a pool predict the winner of a certain game each week.  Win and continue in the game, lose and be eliminated.  It's like fantasy football, only with entire teams and with an open-ended "season."

This pool consists of B.W. himself, members of his immediate and extended family, colleagues from his musical career, staff members from his TV show, past contestants from BMN Superfan, and even a real-life namesake chiropractor.  The grand prize I would have offered is plum: four tickets to Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, AZ, tickets to the NFL Experience and National Football League Honors, and an interview tour on Radio Row and NFL Network.

When the season began on Sep. 4, just before chaos broke out in the NFL universe, here's who got which teams (asterisks indicate real persons):
  • Arizona Cardinals - Billie Barefoot*, local chiropractor
  • Atlanta Falcons - Lyman Bowling, Jr., head of new Confederacy
  • Baltimore Ravens - Brooke Liptrap*, contestant, BMN Superfan season 2
  • Buffalo Bills - Brandon McLamb, B.W.'s publicist
  • Carolina Panthers - Bobby Ray Barefoot, former area resident who still holds season tickets
  • Chicago Bears - Bunky Barefoot
  • Cincinnati Bengals - Brittany Raylene
  • Cleveland Browns - Rob Ritchie, post-production coordinator, Gone Barefoot
  • Dallas Cowboys - Billy Bob Ribble, bull-riding legend
  • Denver Broncos - Buddy Wayne Barefoot
  • Detroit Lions - Rev. Ralph Barefoot
  • Green Bay Packers - Wayne VandenLangenberg*, contestant, BMN Superfan season 2 (and also The Biggest Loser)
  • Houston Texans - LaBundrick Plumpkin, cast member of Blacknecks and former high school football player
  • Indianapolis Colts - Laura and Heather Beanblossom, stars of "reverse porn"
  • Jacksonville Jaguars - Barbie Blank*, contestant, BMN Superfan season 1, former WWE "Kelly Kelly"
  • Kansas City Chiefs - Harvey Barefoot
  • Miami Dolphins - Brittany Ramos*, winner, BMN Superfan season 1
  • Minnesota Vikings - Luke Muellerleile*, former football player at Carleton College
  • New England Patriots - Dylan Bryan-Brown, cultural director of the New Jerusalem
  • New Orleans Saints - Krista Bamburg, barrel racer
  • New York Giants - Melanie MacMelville, singer/actress
  • New York Jets - Beth Barefoot, local baker
  • Oakland Raiders - Bobbington Brandt*, contestant, BMN Superfan season 2
  • Philadelphia Eagles - Deb Holmes*, winner, BMN Superfan season 2
  • Pittsburgh Steelers - Josh LoMonico, contestant, BMN Superfan season 1
  • San Diego Chargers - Blinky Blink, rapper/dancer/actor
  • San Francisco 49ers - Tyler and Caleb MacMoose, stars of adventure series Don't Try This on Earth
  • Seattle Seahawks - Brian Warner, director, Gone Barefoot
  • St. Louis Rams - Shandi Finnessey*, host, BMN Superfan, Miss USA 2004
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Hylton Tripp, Brandy Barefoot's dance partner
  • Tennessee Titans - Bubba Brister, country/blues artist
  • Washington Redskins - Alonzo "Popeye" Barefoot
I will post the results so far next.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Where will this blog go?

I have decided to change my course of studies at ABC Adult School for the next semester.  Starting Monday, I will return to ballroom dancing and medical billing/coding classes that I took in 2011-12.  After that, in the quarter starting in November, I will take a line-dancing class for the first time.  For someone who's trying to be a country boy at heart, that class will be appropriate.  (In case you're wondering why I can't take it earlier, the beginning class is at the same time as medical billing/coding, which I am taking to reinforce my skills for a possible job opportunity I hope will happen someday.)

What does this has to do with my blog?  That means I will likely have little if any time to work on Photoshop, which has been the lifeblood of the blog for most of the past year.  So I'll have to decide the content I will use in the future.  Will it be first-person "diaries?"  Fake press releases?  Something else entirely?

In the meantime, I can report that I have updated the Gone Barefoot seasons 4&5 page to reflect the latest episodes, including the New Jerusalem world's fair performance season finale.