Blue Nile Crocodile Smile

Dora has warped my kid’s sense of where crocodiles should normally be found. He now dashes around the living room shouting “kokodyle, kokodyle” in mock fear as he leaps from safe island to safe island formed by the couch and nearby chair. He despairs when he gets stranded on the chair.

During this evening’s imagination-fueled rush around, I ad-libbed a little poem that I delivered in my best Monty-Python falsetto cockney accent to cheer him up:

The Blue Crocodile
Of the Nile
Goes around the floor
Looking for more.
When he find his pile,
He can’t help but smile.
The Blue Crocodile
Of the Nile

He didn’t like it.

Everyone’s a critic.

DeviantArt Spotlight: Telling a Story With Your Art

Artist Florian Mellies from Germany (DeviantArt handle SpOoky777) certainly knows how to tell a story with his illustrations. He is also clearly a huge Battletech fan. These two features come together nicely in his piece below, No Parking.

Don’t park here. We’re busy repelling an attack.

His gallery is interesting because it contains an eclectic mix of different science fiction subjects and his progress as an artist is visible.

On toddler’s intellect and their safety

Despite initially gloomy weather reports, today turned out to be a beautiful day. We were working in the yard, enjoying the sun, and letting our toddler run amok in the grass with a small beach ball. Two wires suddenly crossed in his head, prompting him to drop the ball and dash towards the open garage while howling a long, ululating cry of joy.

Such behaviour is not uncommon, as he typically reaches the garage, turns towards a bin of toys we keep there for him, rummages around quickly to find whatever gizmo seizes his goldfish’s attention to play with for a nanosecond and ultimately discard on the lawn, only to repeat the cycle ad infinitum. Our garage is separate from the house, and doubles as a shed, so there are no cars in it, and there are lots of his toys piled in there. Strangely, very few garages around here actually seem to contain cars. I ‘ll have to dig into that.

After a minute of silence, our spider senses began tingling. All was quiet.

Quiet is bad. A kid can be screaming their head off to all mighty Heaven and will generally be okay. It’s when they get quiet that you have to be worried.

My wife and I drop what we’re doing and walk towards the garage to see what kiddo is up to. He’s not playing with his toys. Nope. He’s nowhere near the end with his toys in it. He’s not even playing with a chainsaw. I could dig him getting into juggling chainsaws someday. He’s playing with the barbecue. We berate him as he runs away from the various knobs and buttons he was playing with. This implementation of discipline for playing with something big and shiny is somehow devastating to him. He collapses in a gooey ball of tears and snot. My wife checks on the valve to the gas cylinder. All is in order. The garage isn’t going to get blown to Kingdom Come. Not this time, at least.

She checks the burner dials and finds that they are all out of whack. She immediately flashes the laser eyes at me. “You didn’t shut these valves off the last time you used this.”

“I did! I only used one of the three burners.” I offer back in my defense.

“He doesn’t know how to use a push and twist knob yet.” Her gaze hardens.

“Babe, he knows how to use an iPad.”

Kapow! Realization dawned on her that our little cherub is one smart cookie. I guess we’ll have to keep a closer eye on him. And mount the barbecue on our roof. It seems to be the only place he hasn’t figured out how to get into yet.

Deviant Art’s Eugene, from Russia

In continuing my series on exposing some of the tremendous artists I’ve come across on, here is Eugene, from Russia. He goes by the handle “soft-h” I wish I had more, but you can dig around his gallery here.


Transformers are never far away from a sponsorship or two. It’s what keeps them going when the energon runs low.


Behind the Scenes: Sesame Street in the ’70s

I found a link to the following Tumblr site floating on Twitter today. It shows several candid behind the scenes shots taken from the sets of Sesame Street back in the ’70s. These are probably from some of the episodes that many of us grew up on. They bring back lots of memories, and manage to spark marvel in my heart as they hint at the work and technical expertise needed to pull off what looks like an effortless performance to entertain kids.

As a side note, I hadn’t realized that Ray Kurzweil had a part on the show. I mean, who else could that be with the bow tie and white suspenders?* He must have figured out his life-prolongation bit a while back, because he certainly hasn’t aged since this shot was taken.

Mr. Kurzweil’s homies hangin’ out on da Zezmee Street.

As you can tell from the image below, the resemblance is uncanny. You’ll probably never be able to watch Sesame Street in the same light again. Sorry for ruining your childhood for you.

Mr. Kurzweil, time traveller?


* Please note that any resemblance with current Google guru Ray Kurzweil is entirely theoretical and may simply be an indication that he will at some point in time perfect time travel.

Programmer’s humour

Yesterday, software engineer Alex Shchepetilnikov (Twitter handle @irqed) graced the Twitterverse with a programmer’s take on the song “99 bottles of beer”. I feel compelled to share it with you, if only so that I can keep it close and remember it:

99 little bugs in the code
99 little bugs in the code
Take one down, patch it around
117 little bugs in the code

If you’ve ever tried your hand at programming, this should resonate with you.

Mr. Shchepetilnikov, my hat is off to you!

Breathtaking work on DeviantArt

Okay, so I’ve got a bunch of bits and pieces that have been building up in my notebook that I eventually have to get out on the blog. As Real Life has been busily clamoring for my attention of late, they will have to wait for another day. Part of real life has been waiting for a work laptop to run its way through a variety of self-checks and system updates that have been taking ages to process. As I have been waiting for the poor device to splutter back to a semblance of life that I can make use of, I have been crawling around the galleries. I’ve come across some spectacular artists with a wonderful eye and humbling talent. I’ll take the next few days to share some of the stellar work I have found there, hopefully piquing your curiosity sufficiently for you to go out and discover more of their work.

I will begin with a Star Wars urban combat piece by Kai Lim, who goes by the handle Ukitakumuki.

I like my stormtroopers gritty and cinematic.

On Accountable Leaders

It’s hard being boss. © 2013 – Max Shields

Accountability is a vital part of anyone’s character. Responsibility for one’s actions, and those of one’s team is critical to ensuring peak performance.

Read the full article over at Coded Gamer.