Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valen from Breath and Bone by Carol Berg

Last weekend, I found myself procrastinating the completion of my second round of edits on my master's applied project (like a thesis, only better!), and drew a bunch of pictures instead. Go figure.

Some of them are mangas to be used in a YouTube book advertisement for Master of Emotion by D. Ogden Huff. I have completed 6 of the 10 planned scenes from the book so far. Note: It takes me 4 to 6 hours per drawing, so this is a decent accomplishment over the last 3 weekends. The last 4 scenes are roughly penciled out, but need to be finalized, inked, and then colored. I will post when the book advertisement is up on YouTube.

BUT...I was still feeling weirdly unsatisfied (from an artistic frenzy standpoint) when I finished the Master of Emotion mangas.

So I drew my favorite character from Carol Berg's Lighthouse Duet (Flesh and Spirit + Breath and Bone).

Meet Valen (as I imagine him):

a.k.a Magnus Valentia de Cartamandua-Celestine
I will have the opportunity to attend Ms. Berg's book signing this Saturday at The Reader's Cove in Fort Collins, Colorado. I am thrilled to be able to meet her and buy my copy of The Daemon Prism, her latest work. Since I discovered the Rai-Kirah novels in 2004, I have been a dedicated fan of her writing, world-building, and excellent characterization.

So wish me luck in Colorado, and look for more mangas in February. I hope you like my rendition of Valen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sometimes I miss my rabbits

Okay, I lied, I miss them all the time. I keep looking at the cage and it takes me a second to realize I am down to 2 rabbits from the 5 I used to have. So in loving memory...

Pebblesaurus Rex, a Mini Rex (softest fur in the world) - died 2/2011 at 8 years old

Cocoa Rex, the sister to Pebbles Rex - died 1/2010 at 7 years old

Miss Peanut, a rescue from California - died 11/2011 at unknown age, but estimated to be 8 years
Miss Precious (gray) and Mr. Scrap (black, and the sister to Precious), Dutch rabbits - still alive and well at 6.5 years!

Cocoa and Pebbles both died around Martin Luther King Jr Day, hence the timing for the post. And no, Shadow did not eat any of the bunnies - they all died of natural causes/old age. Rabbits are the greatest pets!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Industrious Hygienist's brother-in-law built this out of dominoes after we gave up trying to play a game. Pretty spiffy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sometimes pictures come out way cooler than you intended. PART TWO

This is what used to be the Freeport McMoran main office at 1 North Central in Phoenix, Arizona.

Looking down from the 20th Floor.
Looking up from the 13th Floor.
This neato staircase stretched all the way up from the 13th Floor to the 20th Floor, and I had fun going up and down the stairs to perform an inspection of the building materials present. They've since gutted the entire space and are rebuilding it to suit the new tenant. So this staircase exists only in memory and pictures now.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 5S Standards

Recently I did some industrial hygiene work at a facility that practices the 5S Standards.

For those of you not familiar with the 5S standards, they are a workplace organization system that is focused on efficiency (time, space, personnel, etc.) and have gained a strong following in the United States.

The 5S Standards according to Wikipedia are:
  • Sorting
  • Straightening
  • Systematic Cleaning
  • Standardizing
  • Sustaining
The client had sheets posted on every workstation and surface imaginable, making sure employees knew what to expect and how to achieve it. Each workstation had a picture showing the ideal configuration and cleanliness of the individual desk area.

I was a little weirded out at first. I went to go fill up my water bottle and saw that EVERYTHING was labeled and had a designated spot. Even trash cans and a water cooler had a label identifying it and a designated/taped off spot. The trash can did not have a labeled/taped-off area, so I moved it to the side (next to the water cooler) and then centered the water cooler in the designated area. I think this was around 1:30 in the morning. Overnight shifts tend to bring out the crazy in me, but this one was shaping up to be a doozy.  

But then I started getting stressed out about it. Something about the labeling and taped-off designated areas ignited my inner clean freak (not OCD, I swear), and I set about moving everything in the common areas into its correct spot. I left the fridge alone, though, since people tend to get grumpy when you move their food. After I calmed down and everything was in its "rightful place," the cleaning lady came in. She was ecstatic to have someone to talk to while she cleaned the office area, and she talked my ear off (in a nice way, I'll admit I was slightly bored and her presence was a welcome distraction).

Once she finished and moved to the next area, I went to check on the workers and freaked out. All of my attempts to instill order on the universe were thwarted by her sweeping and mopping. I mean, sure, the trash can is still technically in the box labeled "trash," but couldn't she see how off-center it was? AARGH. I checked on the workers and then went about re-fixing all the items in the common area so that everything was in its proper spot and centered. It took a good hour of my time, and no one noticed but me, but I felt that the spirit of 5S was upheld by my efforts. :)

If I worked there, this would make me a little bit insane.