Dog King John: Page 7

2019-02-02 Bony Express Glider (DRAFT)

This latest  installment in Dog King John and The Stolen Syrup depicts a Bony Express Glider.

For those of you just tuning into our program: Dog King John is  story I am writing for my grandchildren, but when I finish the story I am planning on publishing a book version either through Amazon or Kickstarter. The story actually has two types of pages, with the story being told on the right-hand pages and background material presented on left-hand pages. Right now I’m only sharing the right-hand pages – a move that is both a  marketing measure for the eventual book as well as a way to keep things special for the grandkids.

Spacing out the pages also gives me a chance to correct/tweak details as ideas come to me throughout the process – which makes each book I make for the kids an artists proof.

One change will be a subtitle: printed below  Dog King John and The Stolen Syrup will  be a line that states “a story for the precocious fifth-grader in us all.”

CCC: Creative Curmudgeon Commentary 1

Saturday Morning Rerun for 09 FEB 2019. Up to this point I’ve been re-running life-stories but I’m switching to professional commentary for awhile. This post figures in long-term plans for a book on the business aspects and technical aspects of a creative career and if nothing else a rerun/relook this gives me a chance to refine things a bit.

David R. Deitrick, Designer

This has nothing to do with the Great Depression (Civilian Conservation Corps)

It has nothing do with U.S. Army’s FM 100-5 (Command, Control & Communications)

 The Cyrillic acronym for “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” (CCCP) is right-out as well

 “CCC”?  Creative Curmudgeon Commentary!

Also known as all the stuff I wish I’d known before I took on this line or work.  College gave me little-to-no preparation for the practical side of creative work nor had I any mentors when I launched “Pendrake Studio” in May of 1953. As is the case for gaining parenting skills,   professional development usually meant taking the test first and then getting the lesson.

 At times it was like I was playing tennis with a hand grenade for the ball – with the pin half-pulled. No one should have to work that hard or end up that crispy for a career so at…

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Bladeship Model

bladeship

I designed the bladeship to be Starfleet’s primary Special Operations support vessel – a concept that kicked off a short but brisk discussion that recently spread across WordPress and Facebook.  Essentially an SR-71, an AC-130 and a submarine rolled into one ship, the bladeship was central to an (unfortunately) unpublished special operations supplement I wrote for FASA’s Star Trek role-playing game back in the day. The fact that at the time I was also serving as the battalion S2 (intelligence) for the 1st battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (ABN) UTARNG was most definitely a factor in the whole project

The aforementioned discussion got me thinking about all the work that went into the project and how it could be of enough interest to support a couple of posts. Unfortunately, I started the original bladeship project thirty-four years and seven houses ago, and as I learned in the army “three moves equal one fire” …so I’ve essentially been burned out twice since 1985.

I still have  some “stuff” left, including this Styrene and Bondo ® model built in scale to the original AMT USS Enterprise model. As I think about this I’m pretty sure I’ve already written a post or two  about the bladeship but A) it’s been awhile and B) the pertinent files have proved to be elusive.

What I Looked Like Once Upon a Time

I wish I had a better copy of this photo. It was taken at Ricks College in the autumn of 1973 during the most successful semester of my collegiate career, but like most of my undergraduate semesters I was flat broke and couldn’t afford any of the photo print packages. This image was scanned out of a yearbook published back when color printing was a luxury rather than the rule.

This is the first time in forty-six years I’ve looked at this closely, and as I look it over two questions come to mind:

  1. Who wrote “Wow!” along the left-hand margin?
  2.  At what time  in those intervening forty-six years did I learn how to correctly fold down my collar?

 

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Jadex: Newest Member of the Herculoids

JadexHerculoids

Relax!

No need to dig out the old Hanna-Barbera VHS tapes – there is no “Jadex” among the Herculoids, at least anywhere outside of the Deitrick household. My Star Pupil and I spent last Saturday morning doing what Saturdays were made for: watching cartoons. We spent a lot of time with the old H/B action shows like “Herculoids”, “Jonny Quest” and “Space Ghost” and once I was able to muzzle the internal critic complaining about the absence of all three Laws of Thermodynamics we had a good time

We were at most seven minutes into our session when it became evident the team needed an extra member bearing a strong resemblance to my Star Pupil.

1962: Gary’s Birthday Party

Nothing much to say other than this is today’s Saturday Re-run and I hope you enjoy it.

David R. Deitrick, Designer

scan0001Most folks tried at least once as a kid to play one parent off another. As for me:  My spider-sense went off at full volume the first time I heard a friend talk about asking for a “yes” from one parent when the other parent had already given a “no”; that sort of action would have earned me an instantly butt-kicking so the idea never really came to mind on its own. However I finally tried it, but only after being goaded mercilessly (see Wikipedia entry “peer pressure”). I got caught in the deception almost immediately and was punished “almost immediately” as well.  It wasn’t a kicking my butt got, but it was close enough.

After some analysis and interpretation (a spook even as a kid!) after the swelling went down I reasoned that there could be an alternate method.  By trial and error I figured out that that if I wanted to…

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A Time and A Season for Everything

“May you live in interesting times”. 

It’s allegedly an old Chinese saying and has been alternately described as a blessing or a curse, but in this case it’s more of an observation. This past year has been interesting but I managed to survive and learn a little bit. I’ve inched up the scale on my  cripple-ometer but the new upstairs studio continues to be a blessing and losing my job at the college has turned out to be a much better development than I anticipated, if for nothing else than all the URI’s (upper respiratory infections) I’m NOT getting.

My blog-world has changed for the better as well with many more followers and some genuine friendships into the bargain so I’d like to extend a gift of sorts in return

The four symbols below were developed as a feature of a deck of cards designed in grad school years ago.  Instead of the traditional heart/club/diamond/spade designations I divided my deck into winter/spring/summer/autumn suits. I also designed the royalty figures (king/queen/jack) to age from suit to suit – spring: youth, summer: adolescence . autumn: adulthood and winter: elderly. (I’ll show the art another time.)

The images from those new suits can be found below and I’m sharing with you all today as tattoo patterns – if you read this blog you’re welcome to use them in that manner. Some of the solid black areas have washed out a bit (perils of using designers’ markers on unfamiliar vellum)  but they’re still great patterns to work from. There’s no need for any kind of payment – all I ask is that you keep karma in mind when you do use them i.e. don’t steal credit for their creation, don’t take unfair advantage using them for profit and don’t use them for something other than tattoo art.

I’d be happy to answer any questions and I’d love to see photos as long as they’re in good taste. I’d rather not have to explain a tramp-stamp to my grandson.

CeltWinterLogo

CeltAutumnLogoCeltSummerLogoCeltSpringLogo

Music: Ghost of A Chance (Rush)

 

Teaching at Lincoln Memorial University was a good news/bad news type of situation. On one hand the school’s expectations weren’t too high, I had a tremendous amount of freedom in the way I handled my class and there were  a few fairly competent students. On the other hand the pay was terrible, the administration gave scant support and most of the art majors avoided my class because I actually expected them to work.

I just told myself I was fortunate to be teaching somewhere.

Capping it all was the miserable commute: while the school was located only 50 miles to the northeast there were several ridges and valleys to transit, and I spent as much time going up and down as I did moving forward. My schedule also had me returning to town in the middle of the evening rush hour which made the last 5 miles as tedious as the preceding 45.

It was a wet, sloppy evening in early November, I was tired and cold, and it was a strain to see through the rain and slow-moving traffic. Struggling to stay awake and alert, I turned on the radio and tuned into the local classic rock station – which like every classic rock station ever had a playlist shorter than a five-year old’s attention span.

I was surprised – instead of hearing the inevitable “Freebird” or “Stairway to Heaven” a young man was talking about Carl Gustav Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, a topic which caught my attention in the same way dog whistle rattled a collie. I’d discovered Jung in graduate school, became intrigued with this work, and worked at integrating some of his concepts into my thesis project but just as I was piecing together what was being said, the speaker stopped, and the song he had been so long in introducing started to play.

Electric guitars shot out a very basic but compelling tune which repeated  like a car alarm, accentuating the tension and stress of the surrounding traffic. Negotiating this nerve-wracking commute had my pulse pounding so hard I could hear it in my inner ear and when a vocalist suddenly started to sing it took me a moment to hear past the thub-thub-thub.

Like a million little doorways
All the choices we made
All the stages we passed through
All the roles we played

 There was no mistaking that voice: Geddy Lee, which meant I was listening to the Canadian rock trio Rush, most appropriate for my situation as I didn’t have the soundtrack for Mad Max in my CD player. Lee continued to sing, his voice getting more forceful and strident:

Somehow we find each other
Through all that masquerade
Somehow we found each other
Somehow we have stayed

 Voice and instrument continued to build to a point of frenzy, then suddenly it was like cresting a mountain or going into free-fall:

In a state of grace

Languid guitar chords lead into a restful interlude devoid of the song’s previous intensity::

I don’t believe in destiny
Or the guiding hand of fate
I don’t believe in forever
Or love as a mystical state

 The cardiac pounding in my ear eased off as I relaxed a bit

But I believe there’s a ghost of a chance
We can find someone to love
And make it last
And make it last

Guitar chords echoed and a feeling of calm continued to envelope me, but then the chaos abruptly renewed with strident vocals and crashing guitar chords once more

Like a million little crossroads
Through the back streets of youth
Each time we turn a new corner
A tiny moment of truth

The quiet, calm returned:

In a state of grace

I believe there’s a ghost of a chance
We can find someone to love
And make it last

This time when the pattern broke  the lead guitar began an improvisational guitar solo that caused my heart to sing as well.  It  also helped me  tune out the lurching/honking/swerving and I was startled to find myself on the last leg from the freeway to my home, free of the tension and chaos of rush hour as the song returned from the solo to the calm of the dreamy interludes:

I believe there’s a ghost of a chance
I believe there’s a ghost of a chance
We can find someone to love
And make it last

…which transitioned into a measure or two of a slightly mournful, slightly wistful echoing guitars. I pulled into the driveway, turned off the engine and sat listening to the tick-tick-tick of the cooling engine. Rush was not a particular favorite group of mine; while I had respect for their talent and dedication, their music and their message usually did not resonate with me … but I had no doubt that at this point Ghost of A Chance was stealth scripture – truth given in an unexpected manner that would have otherwise been ignored, and at this very low point in my life it contained a very important message for me.

Tomorrow morning I would get up bright and early and face another week head on:

  • submitting job applications to colleges sure to ignore me
  • canvassing art directors who routinely told me I was too old
  • worshipping in a congregation that cornered the market on cliques
  • teaching students who regarded study as a process akin to hustling free t-shirts at a concert

….but right now as I walked in the door…

You know I read somewhere that the onion is a distant relative to the opium poppy. Maybe that’s why I felt calm and happy as I walked into the house,  maybe I was getting a contact high as Lori was browning onions in preparation for making soup, but I knew there was more to the warmth I felt. I drew it all in as I shelved my teaching binder and hung up my coat: music was softly playing on the stereo and my sons had their yearbook open, scoping out the young ladies while conducting a post-game wrap-up of the Oldest Game Ever. Wrapped in the warmth of my family I felt the very essence of joy.

It may be that life was getting the best of me, that the academic and creative arenas in which I fought daily were more than a forty-year man could handle, but as long as I had this wonderful home and family as a place of refuge I had a chance, albeit a ghost of a chance.


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“Ghost of Chance” Songwriters: Neil Peart / Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson

 

 

1967: FIREWORKS!

This week’s Saturday morning re-run, or should I say Saturday afternoon re-run. Re-runs were a topic of discussion with my Beautiful Saxon Princess earlier this week when she wondered if the practice came off looking like padding. The reality is such that I had a lot less followers when some of these posts were written (in this case about 1/3) and reposting allows older & otherwise overlooked work to be seen.

thanks – d.

David R. Deitrick, Designer

A word of fore-warning: To the best of my ability I have thoroughly “MacGuyver’d”  this manuscript, taking out any useful “how-to” information, but just to be sure: Don’t try any of these stunts.

My good friend , fellow veteran and gaming superstar Marc Miller once posed a question: “ Why is it in news photos we always see RPG-7s ( Rocket Propelled Grenades) in the hands of young “freedom fighters” all over the world. Why are so many anti-armor weapons found in hot-spots that are relatively free of tanks? “. It took me a minute, but the answer flashed in my mind: “They’re the world’s largest firecrackers!”There followed some chuckles and comments about Freudian symbolism but no real answer came about.  I forgot about the conversation until the other day when I looked at some family photos from our first years in Sterling, a time smack dab in the…

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