Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Chris Gethard Show

Play along with me here for a moment. Imagine a live call in show. It can be any show; something on CNN, a QVC segment, a telethon, whatever. Now image how the person hosting that show would react if a five year old called in and wanted to talk. Now see how Chris Gethard of The Chris Gethard Show reacts.

I found out about this New York City local access show through the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show podcast on Wednesday. Jeff had Chris, of Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater, on to talk about his local access show which is really hard to describe. I enjoyed the interview and decided to check out the show. I spent two and a half hours watching old episodes, then watched the new hour long episode that night. The show is incredible. It features bands, live call ins, and extremely creative stunts, bits, or exercises; whatever you'd call them. Oh yeah, it also features the Human Fish and Mimi the hula hooper. The show seems so simple, it is effortless to watch and to be sucked in by. There is this nagging feeling of smarts and positivity just under its surface. I was in impressed by this week's new show in particular. The hour felt like you were watching gladiators in the circus in ancient Rome. I won't spoil the episode for you, but I will say it might have been the best hour of entertainment I have watched in the past few months, if not year. If you are going to check it out, I would recommend watching entire episodes instead of the highlight clips on YouTube. After one or two shows you really feel like you get to know the featured players on the show. I can't recommend this enough. I do realize that TCGS is not for everyone, but if you ever had any interest in improv, Jackass, The Tom Green Show, or MTV's old show Oddville this one might be for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Found Type

Here are a couple pieces of "found" type. I say "found" because they are merely screencaps from one of my favorite guilty pleasure shows, American Pickers. Yes, its pretty much the same show every week. Yes, sometimes I want to punch them in the face when the show gets a little too reality-ish, and set-up. But I also find myself getting pulled into the fun and anticipate what something will be worth. I am an avid crap hunter. I love hitting Goodwills, junk shops, and garage sales whenever I get the chance. So, I can identify with that feeling of seeking hidden treasure. In any case, nice typography right?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TOC 120

I have been making robot sculptures for a little while now. I have had a hiatus for the past year or so, partially due to work we had to do on our house, but I want to get back into the workshop soon. I am going to start posting some photos of the creation process for my bots. This guy was built a little faster than the others I've made. It was a thank you gift for my friend Dave. See the thing about Dave is he likes to collect things. He collects frog photo calendars, banjo books (possible the worlds largest collection, no really!), Altoid tins (this is an old photo of a small portion of his collection on the Altoid Wikipedia page), William and Sonoma catalogs, photos of banana peels found on the street, and so on. He has many collections. When he found out I used found objects in my robot sculptures Dave started picking things up. It started as a rusty bolt here and an interesting plastic piece there. It quickly escalated. Instead of a piece here and there he started stockpiling. So every other week or so he would bring me a big zip-lock bag of, well, trash. This would disturb some people, but I loved it. More parts means better robots. Here is a photo of some of his finds.
And yes I did clean everything; lots of spraying and bleach baths. This is a small percentage of Dave's contribution to my already too large collection of scrap metal and plastic. So I made this little guy for Dave. It is fully pose-able. I made all of the joints by hand, which was a first. The pistons behind the legs move in and out. The button at the bottom twists and winds up the dish at the top, which spins. I think that function has expired, but it was cool while it worked. The bottoms of the feet have strong magnets on them and stick to the base I made for it. Here are some pictures of it before the paint job. Click the photos to see them larger.

Here is a list of the objects used to build TOC 120

Here are some images of the finished piece. The concept here is that TOC 120 is a mapping robot that travels around this landmass (his map is of Pangaea) and double checks the map with GPS tracking. He takes little notes here and there when he finds inconsistencies.

TOC 120 next to the packaging I made for the piece

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rocky Horror

My wife, Deanna, and I were checking out the annual Greek Festival near our apartment in Baltimore on Sunday and stumbled on a poster for the Theater Project's Rocky Horror Picture Show. We were intrigued since neither of us had seen it on stage before. We went up to the box office and lo and behold they were having their final performance of the run in about 45 minutes. So we had a fun spur of the moment night out. The show was great. It was nice to see that even in the context of Rocky Horror there was still room for Baltimore to make it even more kitschy. It was my first Theater Project show, and I was really impressed. The costumes were a really nice departure from the iconic look of the characters. The stage was very minimal, but they did a lot to create scenery in your mind's eye. I'm sure we will return for more shows. One of the highlights was the poster created by David Plunkert of Spur Design. He has been creating Theater Project's posters for years now and they have many of them are on display in the theater's lobby.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I have always been fascinated with robots. We had a set of Robotix toys when I was younger that was a constantly being configured into different plastic monstrosities. I continue to tinker with and draw mechanical things (here's the robot section of my site) and was really taken aback when I saw this video posted on MakeZine this morning:

No, this isn't some viral marketing CG creation for a new movie. This is the PETMAN robot from Boston Dynamics, the same group that created the BigDog robot a couple of years ago. It is quite astonishing, and yes, our days are numbered.