A wolf! A wolf!

A late appearance in the Christmas piccy stakes, entered after the closing date through the power of rampant favouritism. (Hey, I made the rules, I interpret the rules.)

Hrian headshot (600×800, 100KB)

Hrian is a plain grey Canis lupus, at least for part of the time. The colours on this went a lot more red and blue than I intended, making him look more Mexican (see what I mean?). I ran with it and offered the recipient an alternative desaturated version, but he preferred the original.

I might take another shot at this… Oh, and I kinda like the sketch, possibly even more than the finished article, so there it is.

Posted in animals, artwork, dogs, werewolves | Comments Off on A wolf! A wolf!

A Christmas picture: kitty / new WordPress release

(Drafted before I posted the prev entry, delayed until I was sure the recipient had seen the picture.)

Eye candy first! Here is Mai (800×600, 63Kb)

Not much to say about this one. I wasn’t kidding when I remarked to Ree that she’s about the only person in the world for whom I would possibly consent to draw a Japanese1 World of Darkness2 catgirl3

I’m still getting used to the new admin interface in WP 2.7. The “write post” screen feels more cramped in its default-ish layout, but I’m already loving being able to hide such things as the useless ‘post slug’ field (I just use numbers; I hate wordy URLs. They smack of shameless SEO and are untidy), and to drag my less-used options somewhere out of the way.

I think I’ll rearrange it further to get it down to two columns, so I’ll have a bigger text entry field. The “Media” field is calling me to take a look into its eyes post stupid audio or video entries. Maybe…

edit: Hang on. I’m mighty angry that wpuntexturize has disappeared. I loathe WP’s auto curly quote behaviour, and the only replacement I’ve found that works requires you to add a custom field to every post. I’ll try reinstalling wpuntexturize and see if it works… (edit2: Seems to, after I edited it manually to add ellipsis to its array of things to un-replace. Why they don’t let you turn the loathesome texturize behaviour off in the first place is a mystery to me. WordPress fail.)

1 (Note for new readers and silly literalists: I don’t really have a beef with Japan or the Japanese. I know next to nothing about Japan – except, naturally, for a good bit about Shinto and Buddhism, which goes with the job. No, my beef is with the good people of Wapan… who also know pretty little about the Japanese, but that doesn’t stop them.)

2 (Another note for new readers: I definitely do, however, have a beef with White Wolf. GTFO of my mythology.)

3 “This isn’t kawaii AT ALL!”

Posted in animals, artwork, web | Comments Off on A Christmas picture: kitty / new WordPress release

A Christmas piccy: tattoo face

I’ve done two of the three Christmas-pressie pictures I agreed to do. I’m not sure the recipient of the first has seen it yet (check your inbox, MissyRee!), so I won’t show that one yet; so here’s the second, drawn tonight.

This one needs a little explanation: it’s from a sketch done by a friend, and it’s a tattoo design, hence the stark blackness. In fact, I was influenced by the brushy/pennish/inky look that Anke does a lot of. All I did was draw out my friend’s design while tweaking the lines a little to try to get the effect he wants (sarky demon. The best kind), which is why it’s not signed.

Ves’s tattoo design (smaller than the version I sent him)

I call him Sinistral McLopsypants.

Posted in artwork | Comments Off on A Christmas piccy: tattoo face

Finished. *collapses*

SMALL version of dad’s birthday picture. The full thing is A4 sized at 300dpi, so absolutely massive on a screen.

Finished and sent to him at 23:58 last night, so still technically his birthday…

Right, he’s seen it now so I can post this. He kinda seemed to like it, sort of. And told me about some other painting of her that she’s just got in the last few weeks, that one by a friend from some museum.

Posted in artwork, family | Comments Off on Finished. *collapses*

#26, Pub Crawl RSVP

The work email poet-pirate strikes again…

Context needed. Someone in Religion sent around a blank-verse invitation to come pub crawling for his leaving do, mentioning bars called Odder and Long Legs. (Jabez Clegg is another bar along Oxford Road.) I’m still on holiday leave on the date in question, so:

Pub Crawl RSVP

With deep regrets, etcetera,
To turn down such a lyric lure
I find myself away that day
Upon a quest obscure;

For secretary’s siren song
Informs me I have leave to burn
And must essay some holiday
Or lose it, in my turn.

So raise a glass for absent Herms
And happy quaffing, one and all:
Be odd, be clegg, be long of leg –
The better pubs to crawl.

(Oh, and I’m well aware the last line can be interpreted in more than one way. “To crawl the better [of the] pubs” or “The better to crawl pubs”.)

That takes me to 26 poems, half my target for this year (52). I’m quite happy with that, especially because I’ve also started digi-painting again in the meantime, which I hadn’t expected to do.

I may even bubble up with some more poetry before the year’s out, if all my creative juice isn’t spent on paintings and writing the Twine Wars opening.

edit: A few people have emailed me back with things like “Brilliant!”, “You really are very good at writing poetry. Have you written a lot? Have you published anything? I’m properly impressed…”, “I loved your poem back to [colleague] – good work!” and “Bravo!” Fun to get compliments and hopefully give other people a chuckle out of their afternoons. *danceydancey*

edit2: reply from sender:
“Its bad form to send a reply so witty
It make the author of the invite feel rather shitty”
Awwwwww… haha. (Don’t worry – he didn’t mind really.)

Posted in creative, poetry, work | Comments Off on #26, Pub Crawl RSVP

Egyptian wolf art

Because I can’t resist it when someone mentions Anubis. Another for the Jack forum art exchange.

Treads-the-Path (800×453, 95KB)

I took “treads the path” literally (Deed name? White Wolf does NOT exist in my world.) and wondered what sort of ‘path’ an Egyptian werewolf might tread…

I’m growing to like Photobucket’s tagging. It lets you add URLs.

Posted in animals, artwork | 1 Comment

This weekend's quick artwork

Featuring Green, a dragon.

Reclining Green (800×600, 133KB)

For reference, her body (disregarding the neck, etc) is as big as this bullock.

(Oh, and the dog isn’t a self-insert. That would be an Irish Wolfhound up to trouble. This is a spaniel cross.)

Posted in artwork, dragons | Comments Off on This weekend's quick artwork

#25, Riddle 4

I like riddles. The final one written for that roleplay thread.

My first begins a Song,
my next’s the end of time;
my third’s in neck and scratch,
my fourth in sword and prime:
a comb upon its side;
a headless scarecrow-frame;
now put my parts together
and you shall learn my name.

(Be wary of the comments in case the answer’s given there, of course.)

Posted in poetry, Profusion | Comments Off on #25, Riddle 4

Blank hCard templates

I promise after this we’ll hear enough about microformats for today. I’ve found myself referring to my own posts on this, so I’ve created a microformats tag and am making this post with blank forms that I can copy and paste at work.

Blank hCard template for company

<div class="vcard">
  <span class="fn org">
    <span class="organization-name"></span>
    <span class="organization-unit"></span>
  <span class="adr">
    <span class="extended-address"></span>, <span class="street-address"></span>,
    <span class="locality"></span>, <span class="postal-code"></span>

Blank hCard template for individual

<div class="vcard">
  <span class="fn n">
    <span class="given-name"></span>
    <span class="family-name"></span>
  <span class="title role"></span>,
  <span class="org">
    <span class="organization-name"></span>
    <span class="organization-unit"></span>
  Phone: <span class="tel"></span><br />
  Email: <a href="mailto:" class="email"></a>

Consider this an informal licence to use these templates for whatever you like. No credit or link required; point folks at my posts on microformats if you think they’ll be helpful.

(If you use them for a site or page that is pro-religion or is about sex, alcohol, smoking, cruel treatment of animals, or disreputable or illegal activities, please don’t link back!)

Posted in microformats, web | Comments Off on Blank hCard templates

Reaction to the latest pic

AAAAAAAAAAAAH OMG HELLMUTT THAT IS FREAKIN’ GORGEOUS HOLY FRIJOLE! You got it right, he didn’t get the ear injury until meeting Arty :) –Vinci’s writer

Squee! This is about this, if you hadn’t guessed. I guess the fluff did turn out quite good, after all.

And she reacted like that to everyone’s, but definitely I got the most capslock in her latest round of comments. ;) Vinci’s writer goes on:

You guys are way way WAY too nice to me and you still all have A for awesome.

<3 exuberance. Really, a lot. It’s just what I’ve needed recently.

Posted in artwork | Comments Off on Reaction to the latest pic

Yet more fun with hCard microformats

Another few tricks with hcards.

These guys’ details are freely available on the web, so I hope they’ll forgive me for using them as examples.

Example 1

Paul Rodgers, Editor, 6 Music
Phone: (020) 7765 4763
Email: paul.rodgers@bbc.co.uk

When someone’s email address contains their organisation’s full name, it’d be churlish to refuse the opportunity, and no little thing like lower-case letters is getting in my way.

A couple of points to note in our first example:

  • Paul’s job title also includes the department he works for (well, controls, actually). That’s fab, since it lets us kill two cats with one ballbearing.
  • You’ll also notice a big org span, which has to encompass his department (organization-unit) and company name (organization-name) and a bunch of other stuff.
    • I’m hoping this is ok semantically. As I understand it, when both unit and name are specified, anything else should be ignored; and indeed, exporting to Notepad through Operator shows that it seems to have been interpreted correctly.
<p class="vcard">
  <span class="org"><span class="fn n"><span class="given-name">Paul</span> <span class="family-name">Rodgers</span></span>, <span class="title role">Editor, <span class="organization-unit">6 Music</span></span><br />

  Phone: <span class="tel">(020) 7765 4763</span><br />

  Email: <a href="mailto:paul.rodgers@bbc.co.uk" class="email">paul.rodgers@<span class="organization-name" style="text-transform:lowercase">BBC</span>.co.uk</a></span></p>

Which creates:

Paul Rodgers, Editor, 6 Music
Phone: (020) 7765 4763

Example 2

Second example:

Robert Gallacher, Editor, Planning & Station Sound
Phone: (020) 7765 4373
Email: robert.gallacher@bbc.co.uk

And Robert’s department isn’t stated here, so we’ll just mark it up as a role, which is easier. The org span can now go just around the letters BBC:

<p class="vcard">
  <span class="fn n"><span class="given-name">Robert</span> <span class="family-name">Gallacher</span></span>, <span class="title role">Editor, Planning & Station Sound</span><br />

  Phone: <span class="tel">(020) 7765 4373</span><br />

  Email: <a href="mailto:robert.gallacher@bbc.co.uk" class="email">robert.gallacher@<span class="org" style="text-transform:lowercase">BBC</span>.co.uk</a></p>

Which creates:

Robert Gallacher, Editor, Planning & Station Sound
Phone: (020) 7765 4373

Please note the date on this entry. It could well be that these people’s details are no longer accurate. View them as examples only.

Posted in coding, microformats, web, work | Comments Off on Yet more fun with hCard microformats

#24, Riddle 3

‘Tivo may appreciate this…

This makes no sense out of context, but hey, puns. Again, a rhyming ‘clue’ written for a roleplay board: this one refers to some things that have been lurking in the background all the while.

Riddle 2008:3, 9 Nov

The beast is dead; long live the beast!
Your quest moves on a-canter
But hark, what things are stalling here
Attending to your banter?
We blow no horn; we sound no bell;
We’re neatly groomed and stable,
All creme except one à Palouse –
Now find him, if you’re able.

The servants in this scene are all wearing horse masks. One of them, as one of the characters noticed much earlier, has a black spot painted on him.

Hmmm. If I make it to half my 52-poem target for the year I’ll be quite satisfied.

Posted in poetry, Profusion | Comments Off on #24, Riddle 3

Random stuff and #23, Country Road Meeting

I think Piper has an injury to his white eye. There’s lots of gunk underneath, which I keep cleaning away, even though there’s no cut visible. There’s also a little dirty patch on the edge of his white ear (same side), which I suspect is a small injury too. Piper is clearly a menace to society with his hard-drinking, roustabouting, bar-brawling ways.

Since I’m awake anyway, a poem. Amphibrachic tetrameter because I can.

Country Road Meeting

An Anglian roadway in whistling November.
No sign of the taxi; no signal, no money,
A cardie from Primark ‘tween her and the weather,
Suspecting she’ll come to regret the stilettos.
Some headlights: the taxi? She moves to the hedgerow
And hopes she’ll be visible. Funny, no engine.

It comes round the corner; she shivers. What is it?
It looks like a calf but it’s burly and shaggy
And looking at her with those luminous eyeballs!
Its claws make no clicking, no noise on the roadway;
No steam from its muzzle. It’s not even breathing.
“If this is a pisstake,” she mumbles, “it’s working.”

It passes her swiftly, the muscular creature,
So close she could touch it. You’re kidding. She doesn’t.
Intent on its business, it wholly ignores her.
A roar from behind makes her jump. A Fiesta
With spoiler and skirts and a strip light beneath it.
A hundred and fifty or more, never slowing,
It bombs down the roadway, so close it could touch her.

The dog—was it hit? Where’s it gone? Shit, she’s blinded.
She rubs at the afterglow, loses a contact.
The car’s disappeared and, it seems, so’s the creature.
No body. No impact. No blood. Must have dodged it.
Her sobs become mist as she turns and examines
The tracks of the tyres in the place she was walking.

A few minutes later, the cab driver finds her.

Posted in animals, black dogs, poetry | Comments Off on Random stuff and #23, Country Road Meeting

Red Dragon film review

I saw Red Dragon (2002) over the weekend because it was on TV. It’s a horror/thriller with investigative aspects and I found it surprisingly good plot-wise.

I don’t know why, but because I’d vaguely heard it was a prequel I was expecting something different from Silence of the Lambs. It wasn’t, though; very similar format, which was a good thing in this case because SotL was excellent.

There was just one detail at the end that I didn’t understand and needed to have explained to me. It concerned a substitution deception that wasn’t very well explained; or maybe it was the noisy people eating pizza, talking and texting in between me and the screen.

And there was a reference to William Blake’s Woman Clothed with the Sun, which I was able to explain to my brother just before it actually became plot-significant. Which was cool.

The film comes with a content warning for people with hangups similar to Suitov’s: Dolarhyde goes to the Brooklyn Museum, beats a museum secretary unconscious, and eats the original Blake watercolor of The Red Dragon. (from Wikipedia)

Fans of tattoos will like it.

Posted in films | Comments Off on Red Dragon film review

#22, Easy Riddle 2

Riddle 2008:2

A-standing on my tippy-toes,
As sentry I am thorough:
And if a whiff should meet my nose
My pointy face will furrow,
I’ll bark to rouse you out your doze
And scamper for my burrow.

I know, I know, requires American pronunciation. (For English, spell it furro’ and burro’.) And a bit of “bad English for the sake of meter” that needs fixing. No prizes for answering this correctly, but don’t look in the comments until you’ve worked it out if you don’t want spoilers.

Written this morning for a mate’s birthday.

Posted in poetry | Comments Off on #22, Easy Riddle 2

#21, Easy Riddle 1

Riddle 2008:1, 25 Oct 2008

Shiny and brown in the face,
Headstrong and tough in our cups,
Heavily falling from grace—
Found among apples and cats,
Fattening piglings and bears,
Squirreled away ’til we hatch.

I know, I know, imperfect rhyme. No prizes for answering this correctly, but don’t look in the comments until you’ve worked it out if you don’t want spoilers.

Written last week for a roleplay board.

Posted in poetry | Comments Off on #21, Easy Riddle 1

More fun with microformats

Sneaking microformats into here. And testing them until they work with Google Maps.

To see and use microformats in Firefox you currently need a suitable extension. If they get wide uptake, though, expect that to change.

(It’s such fun updating this old site. Once you get used to the tables and can skim through them blindly, at least.)

An hCard microformat worked example

Firstly, refer to a vcard syntax glossary like this one. There is also a hcard microformat creator, which works best with a little common sense added.

Both of those were less than 100% helpful in marking up some of the addresses I was doing today, though, so here’s an example of a fully marked-up company name and address with some tricky bits.

(This address is available freely on the web and was the first example I had to hand, unsurprisingly.)

In this example the address needs to show up as “BBC Media Management Scotland, Zone 1.02, Pacific Quay, Glasgow”.

With microformats you can’t put information in attributes (so you can’t do <span class="org" address="1 Balloon Street">Company</span> or similar). All the text you want to mark up has to be there, displayed on the page.

That’s a problem. There is no post code here.

Well, I found an incomplete post code for Pacific Quay, Glasgow on the web. G51—that’s enough to help your mapping software out, at least. How to include it without making it visible? I just cheated and told the browser to hide it: <span class="postal-code" style="display:none">G51</span>

Similarly to the post code, the country (Scotland) is not shown separately. This time it’s because the page is only aimed at people in Scotland, so it would look patronising and possibly US-centric at worst, merely bloated at best. So much for the site visitors, but mapping sites are almost all American and will assume the country is America unless told differently. Well, I could add another hidden span here, but wait a second. What was that organisation name again? BBC Media Management Scotland. There’s a usage of the word that already exists, ready for me to throw my class="country-name" around.

The full organisation name, then. There isn’t actually a company called called “BBC Media Management Scotland”. “Media Management Scotland” is a subdivision of “BBC”. A human reader will grok that, and with microformats we can get the computer to grok it too. <span class="fn org"><span class="organization-name">BBC</span> <span class="organization-unit">Media Management Scotland</span></span>

Or with the extra country-name: <span class="fn org"><span class="organization-name">BBC</span> <span class="organization-unit">Media Management <span class="country-name">Scotland</span></span></span>

And yes, you need to add both fn and org for it to understand that this is the name of an organisation. hcards were set up for people and org really refers to the company at which the named person works.

The address is fairly straightforward except for that “Zone 1.02”. Experimenting with Google Maps, I found that “Zone 1.02, Pacific Quay” turned up no results, even with the country name and partial post code included. “Pacific Quay” on its own does turn up the correct result. I could just not mark up Zone 1.02, leaving Pacific Quay as the full street address. But that’s changing reality to please Google or Multimap, which is dumb, and besides would be unhelpful to your readers if they want to export the full address, say to print some labels.

Luckily hcard microformats have a class called extended-address, I discovered after some digging. The examples I found used it for things like room or flat numbers in a building. That’ll do. <span class="extended-address">Zone 1.02</span>, <span class="street-address">Pacific Quay</span>

I think that’s all the tricky stuff in this example.

Full thing:

<span class="vcard">
  <span class="fn org">
    <span class="organization-name">BBC</span>
    <span class="organization-unit">Media Management Scotland</span>
  <span class="adr">
    <span class="extended-address">Zone 1.02<span>, <span class="street-address">Pacific Quay</span>,
    <span class="locality">Glasgow</span> <span class="postal-code" style="display:none">G51</span>

Naturally, you’d want to remove the whitespace to get it to display inline without unsightly gaps around the commas. And you could replace the outermost span with a div to make it block-level.

Example on the web

Posted in microformats, web, work | 2 Comments