Dale Stephanos
October 2007
Information Week
Whenever Mary Ellen Forte from Information Week calls, it sounds like she doesn’t think I’ll take the assignment. Information Week is, as it’s name suggests, a Weekly, and as such, the deadlines are fast and furious, which is my preference. This time around, Mary Ellen mentioned  “A group of Penguins walking around, going somewhere. And they have to have personality”. My first reaction was to kill off most of what might constitute a “group” of penguins and focus on just one or two, and simply suggest the idea that there are more out there.

The focus of the article is where Linux will go next. I’d say my biggest challenge here wasn’t giving the penguins a personality, but trying to ignore the multitude of penguin personalities that Hollywood had thrown at us in the last couple of years.

The penguin is the mascot of the Linux operating system, for those of you who don’t know. Apparently, Linux devotees are like Apple users, only geekier, more devoted, and they actually know how a computer works.
I thought I'd make a model of the penguin to see how the light would fall.
I know how popular Sculpy is around here, so I felt an obligation to use the stuff.
Red Sox Win!
So the Red Sox won the World Series last night, sweeping the Colorado Whattayacallits in 4 games. When the Sox won the series in '04 it was like the lancing of a black festering boil that had taken over the region over 86 years. People had been born, lived long lives, and died without ever seeing their beloved Red Sox win a World Series. The way it is now, my kids have seen 2 series victories in their short lives. Don't get me wrong, it's great, but it's not that 3000lb weight off of our collective shoulders.

This all got me in a "Careful what you wish for" frame of mind when a friend sent me these photos. This poor(?) little guy chased down a porcupine, caught him, and got what was coming to him. Now, am I saying that sports fans deserve a mouthful of quills? Well, many do, yes indeed. But many don't. I guess my point is that the chase is often just as, if not more, rewarding than the catch. You can insert whatever equivalent platitude suits you here. My main point is damn, winning can really hurt the next day.

Go Pats!
Dead Tie
This is something that came out of pieces of sketches that were rejected, or just not chosen, or didn't work for whatever reason. I'd been doodling this image for a couple of months, so in between jobs I thought I'd pick away at it. It's more a product of absent minded drawing while doing something else than hard thinking.
I messed around in Painter to try to get some morte painterly textures...
I think I used just about every brush I could find for the flesh.
Ah, Halloween, the season of ghosts, ghouls, and… Giving!
Around here, the kids have a Halloween tradition that’s right up my alley. It combines juvenile delinquency with kindness. It’s called “Ghosting”.

I had never heard of this until my daughter brought the idea home with her a few years ago. Here’s how it goes: At night, a bunch of kids go around the neighborhood to their friend’s houses, creep up the stairs, quietly place a paper bag in front of the door, ring the doorbell, and then RUN LIKE HELL!

The catch is that the paper bag is filled with candy, along with a note that the recipient has been “Ghosted”. You’re supposed to put the sign up on your door so you don’t get repeat offenders, but somehow, that sign never seems to stay up for long, and before you know it your doorbell’s ringing again.

Since this is an activity that requires exacting parental supervision, I end up driving the getaway SUV. It’s a lot of fun really. We stake out a good out of sight spot, and after the kids do the deed, they come sprinting back to the car, pile in on top of each other, panting, sweating, and screaming “GOGOGO! “and I lay down some serious rubber getting out of there. The next day at school is the great guessing game of who ghosted whom.

As I said, I had never heard of this game in particular, although I have heard stories of a paper bag, dog crap, a match, a doorbell, Mrs. Smith, parents hanging up the phone, and a spanking. Maybe I saw all that in a movie. Maybe not.

*Traditionally, the tag accompanying the bag o' candy is your basic photocopied, handwritten affair. I thought I'd show up the local moms and show what you can do with a computer and 10 minutes.
The way I saw it.
Like many of you, I start the day with the biggest, strongest bucket of coffee I can rustle up. There's a Starbucks up the road and the drive up there is a pleasure. I go past the local farm where the change of season presents itself daily, I get to play “beat the crossing guard”, and that guy who stands in front of his house pacing and chain smoking all day never let’s me down (such dedication!) The early morning joggers, walkers, bikers, and exercisers of all stripes get me inspired to go out and chase them all down.

One of the things I snicker at every morning in a pompous, superior way is the "The Way I See It" campaign that 'Bucky's has printed on their cups. They're all inspirational-ish sayings that you would hear on Oprah if you weren't actually trying to make a living. This morning's was something about warning us not to turn into our enemies in the pursuit of justice. Good point, but I feel like a tool when I get my wisdom from overly sentimental tripe that’s printed on a coffee cup.

*reprinted from yesterday's edition.
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