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Blog Posts for November 2006

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Saddam

 

The reaction of people to Saddam's guilt is whacked. Read the comments at digg.com. It's absurd.

Also noted Glenn Reynold's observations on the coverage in TV media.

Turned on the TV. Fox was covering Saddam, but CNN was running an election-themed piece on stem cell research, and MSNBC was reporting on the hot prospects for the Harold Ford campaign. You'd think this would deserve more attention than that . . . .

Oh, wait, they just teased a coming story with "Will Saddam Hussein's sentencing spark more violence in Iraq?" I should've figured on that spin, shouldn't I?

The coverage of news in this country repulses me. My son, as he and I talked of the Saddam verdict, remarked to me that a soldier came to his school recently and talked of the good being done in Iraq and then Nick said, "Why don't we hear about that in the news? They never would have reported just negative stuff in WWII." And then we talked of the declining numbers in newspaper circulation figures. They get what they deserve with those.

Saddam is a horrible human being who killed his own people by the hundreds of thousands and permitted no freedoms that we ourselves enjoy in this country. Of course he deserves death. Cutting out tongues and raping and meat grinders... to make any comparison of Saddam to Bush is utter and sheer idiocy. But there are many who do, including those who the report the news. Anyone who believes in such a comparison has no moral compass whatsoever that is worth trusting because of the equivalence they make. That depth of bias deserves no audience.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/5/2006 10:41:30 AM
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Republican = Dumb; Democrat = Cartoon

 

As anyone who reads this site knows, I've been none too happy these days with the Republicans. As a swing voter - Clinton in the 90's, Bush in this decade - I have a few issues that prompt my vote.

  • National Security
  • Taxes and Monetary Policy
  • Reduced Government
Those issues should put me square in the sights of the Republicans. But no... the failure on border security and the heavy-duty growth of government and pork-barrel spending (today called "earmarking") under Bush and the Repubs has me wondering just what the heck happened. They took me for granted. Earned some equity? Intend to spend it? Um, sure...

I voted for Bush mostly for his leadership on security in 2004, but I was also heavily influenced by his endorsement of the "ownership society," with which I wholeheartedly agree. But that has fallen right off the radar of every Republican representative in Congress, and so they lost me. Dang, cuz I liked that idea.

Republican = Dumb. Republican = Liars. Republican = Greed.

I seriously considered the Democrats this time around. Except that I was the only one serious - they're not serious. At all. They have no plan for anything. Literally. Okay, sure... Pelosi has a 100-hour plan. Is that really as visionary as she gets? That's 4 days... not even a standard work-week. But okay... Pelosi aside, what about the rest of the Dems?

If the Democrats would get serious about national security, I'd give them a look. They're not serious. They don't like border security and they want to pull out of Iraq prematurely. I long instead for Daniel Patrick Moynihan and watch in great sadness as the Dems treat Lieberman as a pariah. Good gravy - party of tolerance my ass. The guy votes Democrat and liberal from here to Manhattan, but I guess he just isn't allowed to be serious about fighting Islamic terrorism.

Democrat = Cartoon. Democrat = Anti-[fill-in-the-blank-here]. Democrat = Clueless.

So I went to the polls today and voted, liking no one. That's the first time that's happened. No one excited me to vote for them. So enjoy my write-ins, fellas. I want no one in power to be in power. I vote a clean slate.

Long live Suzie Ownership and Joe Security. I hope they get re-elected several times.

ETC: Hey, looks like Bush is jumping parties. Not that anyone would know the difference by looking.

Since Bush has jettisoned leadership of the country, now is the time for some strong-necked soul to come forward and speak with authority. Someone who

a) believes that open and porous borders is a really bad thing
b) is allergic to giving people's money away to others
c) thinks that using political office to benefit family and friends is immoral
d) understands the nature and necessity of clear communication
e) knows that Islamic terrorism threatens the world and us - right where we live
and finally, f) knows that the Bill of Rights doesn't declare our freedoms so much as it limits the power of government to interfere with those freedoms.
I don't care what party they belong to. Any takers?

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/7/2006 5:52:29 PM
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A Tale of Two Frames

 

Two of my paintings were recently framed. One uses a non-reflective/non-glare glass. The other uses regular glass.

And...

I never really thought much before about the glass used when framing, but the non-glare glass is much better.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/8/2006 8:33:20 AM
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Ahem

 

Those who think that last night's election was a referendum on Iraq would be wrong. If that were the case, in very liberal Connecticut, Lieberman would have lost and we'd be toasting Senator Lamont today.

It wasn't about Iraq. It was about the GOP forgetting what it stood for.

One other thing... Rush Limbaugh heralds from Missouri. I think his family still lives there. He knows Missouri. I think he lost the election for Jim Talent in Missouri with his attack on Michael J. Fox. I think he knows it.

Rush is a brilliant guy. Love him/hate him/whatever you feel about him - he's a brilliant guy.

Is he really so stupid as to come out swinging against a Parkinson's victim and mocking him as he did? I don't think so. Again, he's a very smart man.

I read on Hugh Hewitt's site (can't find the link now) that talk radio pundits come out ahead with the election results that we see. No more defense of stupid Republican tricks. Now they can go on offense. I get that... as I'm sure Rush does too.

So either Rush is extremely crafty and self-centered, or Rush has peaked and can't do "excellence in broadcasting" any longer.

Him and Hannity - both of them can wither on the vine. The GOP would be wise to dissociate themselves from these guys. They're not helping.

 

21 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/8/2006 11:24:15 AM
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Fierce

 

I find art to be a great metaphor for many things in life. Sometimes we sketch when we don't know what we're doing quite yet. Our touch is light, because we haven't yet applied a confidence to it. We're still feeling it out.

I was watching a comedy thing on Letterman the other night with Tamara and there was this homely Jewish comedian guy who was hanging out with Playboy bunnies. He asked one of them what she found attractive in a man (asking in effect, "Could you find a guy like me sexy?") and she said that she found confidence attractive.

Take a look at this picture below:

This isn't my work; I found it here at WetCanvas, a painters site.

That's good work. I like the highlights, especially on the face. Nice illumination, nice coloring. The face is well-shaped and realistic. It makes me want to mess around with colored pencils.

Now look at it with a twist of "bold" thrown in...

Same artwork, but I've strengthened the colors via my computer. Like it better? I do. The colors are stronger and more pronounced. Less timid. More, well... confident. Wouldn't you say?

Confidence is sexy and attractive. It's not half-assed. That first sketch is good, but half-meek. The second sketch is daring. Where the initial sketch was cool the first time, compared to the second sketch it now looks washed out.

Think about your life and your approach to it. Are you the first sketch or the second sketch? And what if you lived as though you were the second sketch?

ETC: I need to clear up something based on a couple of emails... in no way am I critiquing this good art. As you read above, I compliment it - it's well done. If the artist wanted to go with the light approach and achieved the desired result, then it shouldn't be any different than it is.

I am using this work to make a point, and therefore I'm remixing it, if you will, to achieve a message. That's all.

But it does bring up something... the question of medium. Would colored pencils allow the boldness of color I created with the computerized tweaking that I did?

To achieve the result that you want in your daring splashes of color and boldness in your own life, do you have the right medium? Sometimes our efforts are inhibited by our choice of materials...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/10/2006 9:14:34 AM
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Tying Everything Together

 

I've worked to make both this site and the Art By Brett site work more closely together. The gallery here at beatcanvas now displays and links all of the cards available for sale.

I've also started to grow a representative network. For stay-at-home moms, for example, they can sell Art By Brett cards and make decent money doing it. If they sell just 3 Connection Packs in an hour, they'll earn $12, or $4 per Connection Pack sold. It's slow getting folks on board, but it is happening.

And the Christmas card orders are trickling in.

The only major to-do that I have is to integrate a new payment gateway for internet orders. Currently, I'm using PayPal's methodology, but PayPal occasionally scares off folks who don't trust it, so I need to offer both. Some people swear by PayPal; others won't touch it.

I now offer 23 large cards. This time last year, I hadn't even finished my first acrylic, and it wasn't until December that I printed my first card. A lot has happened in these past 12 months. I've spent over $6,000 to get this venture going and I've made about $1,500 to date. I hope to turn my first profitable dollar in the next two months. In the next two years, I want to make my living doing this.

My recent search engine optimization efforts have spurred a very remote sale. A guy in British Columbia found my art via Google and bought 100 Morning Tree cards. Pretty cool. More of that please...

I had hoped to start my next painting this weekend, but I don't think that will happen. Too much web site work and other things going on. That's okay.

Here's a year of my life in paintings...

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/12/2006 1:49:56 PM
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Partyless

 

I don't mind the GOP losing the mid-term elections. Not that I'm excited about the Democrats (Murtha backed by Pelosi??? Yeah, there's leadership for ya...), but holy good god. Rumsfeld sacked the day after the election. Bush excited about illegal amnesty. And Mel Martinez chosen to run the RNC.

I'm now officially an independent. Goodbye, GOP.

Read the comments at the link I give. An awful lot of conservatives are ready to bail.

Limited goverment.
Tight tax and fiscal policies.
Strong, America-first defense and foreign policy.

First come, first serve. There's a whole bunch of voters looking for a home.

 

12 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/13/2006 7:44:44 PM
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Feedburner

 

Spent some time earlier this morning reworking the RSS Feed links for beatcanvas and for the Art Gallery. They each sport their own RSS now. And they're hosted through Feedburner. Very nice.

Click on them and give them a whirl.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/14/2006 9:10:46 PM
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Holiday

 

For the next week and a half, I'll be in Georgia, which is where Tamara's family lives.

Time to meet the parents.

My sons, Nick and Aaron, are going with us and we expect to eat too much and laugh a lot and have a good time.

I want to take some of my painting gear with me and explore color temperature. I have a few experiments that I'd like to try. Seems like a good time to explore.

There will be no posts during that time, unless I figure out a way - but frankly, I expect to have fun with Tamara and my boys and her family. Woo hoo!

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/16/2006 2:09:24 PM
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Random

 

And finally... congratulations, Traci :)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/17/2006 9:13:39 PM
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Days Alive

 

A while back, I implemented a "days alive" calculator into the web site (see the Things To Do menu up above) because I think it's an interesting perspective on our lives to think of how much happens in each day, and then to consider how many days we truly have. The number seems both huge and small.

If you type "How many days have I been alive" into Google, this web site is the number #1 entry for that. And a lot of people use my calculator. So about two weeks ago, I started storing the birthdates of those who use the calculator. In two weeks, over 200 people have entered their birthdays into it, with the average age of the people entering their birthdate (or the birthdate of someone they know and love) being 33. The dates are in a range from 11/3/1903 to 8/9/2006.

How cool is that?

I hope people realize how truly important each day is. Not to be taken for granted at all... nor the people in it.

I encourage you to be sure to take today to tell the people in your life how amazing and wonderful they are, and how much richer your life is for them being in it. We all make ripples in the lives of others. Go make lots of waves today.

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 11/18/2006 10:27:49 AM
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The Trip

 

I'm back from my trip south (east, actually) to Georgia and we all had a great time.

I'll write more about it next week, but I couldn't have asked for a better trip. It was wonderful, and I look forward to seeing them again soon :)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/28/2006 2:12:08 PM
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Portrait Painting

 

I've had a few people ask me in the past if I would paint a portrait. Time to publish rates:

MaterialsWorkTotal
8 x 10$15.00$110.00$125.00
10 x 13$20.00$130.00$150.00
16 x 20$30.00$220.00$250.00
24 x 30$50.00$300.00$350.00

While I can reproduce a portrait picture, if asked, my preference is to work from something that depicts the person or people doing those activities that best characterize them. Reading a book in a favorite chair, playing basketball, etc.

You can reach me at the email link above in the upper right. I'll be glad to talk with you about it.

 

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Read the whole story of "Workin' on the Dream"
by Brett Rogers, 11/28/2006 2:22:36 PM
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Makeover

 

beatcanvas needs a makeover. I tweaked it last night and didn't like it. Moving furniture and all that. Blegh.

After skating at Des Moines' new outdoor rink last night, I'm thinking about my annual winter beard. I love the feel of cold so gnarly that it grips my face and pinches hard. Of course, my guy reaction to that is more facial hair. Which doesn't help my ears. Thankfully.

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/30/2006 8:57:33 AM
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The Butcher, the Baker

 

The leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hates Israel, which owns real estate that he wants Muslims to have. So he writes a letter to us "noble Americans."

"What have the Zionists done for the American people that the U.S. administration considers itself obliged to blindly support these infamous aggressors? Is it not because they have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors?"
Him and Mel Gibson would get along great. The difference though is that one wields a camera and the other wields nuclear weapons. One was drunk, and one is very, very sober.

So there's the Butcher.

And here's the Baker...

A bipartisan commission next week will unveil long-awaited recommendations for a new U.S. policy in Iraq that a published report said would call for a gradual pullback of U.S. troops there - without a timetable - and direct diplomacy with Iran and Syria.
Led by Bush Sr.'s guy, James Baker, the idea of negotiating with Iran to alleviate the stress in Iraq is a solution. Oh.My.God. Here's a leader of a country very close to nuclear weapons and he has stated repeatedly his disdain/disgust/hatred for the state of Israel, and we want to trust him? I'm not much on Nazi Germany metaphors, but if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck... what the hell is this group proposing?

If W goes along with this idiocy, he's going down in my book as the worst and stupidest president ever. Accepting that recommendation makes even the very unappealing John Kerry look appealing. You know, maybe instead of running for president, John could now make candlesticks... nah. That requires manual labor. I don't think he's up for that.

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/30/2006 9:20:41 AM
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