New Blog

I’m working with another designer and some writers on a new site called All Stats. It’s a project to take user submissions and set up illustrated info-graphics about the person, place or thing. We’ll take anything for a suggestion – a celebrity, a character, a cartoon, a brand, a country….etc, anything that you’d want to learn about.

We’re pretty stoked on the things that have come in so far. In the first 8 days of running, we’ve put up statistics about Ray Arnold (Samuel L Jackson from Jurassic Park), Zack Morris and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Posters will be for sale in limited runs of 20 for every info-graphic. Check it out and let us know what you think!

allstats.tumblr.com

Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K

I got a pretty unusual amount of site traffic this past week with search terms related to Obama’s 2012 campaign. I got a little curious to see how a search engine ranks my garbage site, so I ran a search and found my Obama artboard at a few different sites.

I’m flattered some people enjoyed the artwork.  I’m pretty stoked people think the samples look legit enough to be real.

TailormadeTalkRadio.blogspot.com:

Edit – Patrick gave me a credit. Thanks Patrick!

TheModerateVoice.com:

jkshaws.wordpress.com:

Cynthia Yildirim’s posterous account:

and some weirdo New World Order paranoia blog:

Declancashin.com

Even this person from http://reddiogenesclub.wordpress.com,
that did a hilarious job grabbing the logo and poorly photoshop’ing around it. Couldn’t even match the type either, I guess?

Amuricuhh!!

I’m messing around with a few ideas for the Obama/Biden 2012 campaign for a few of my friends in Oswego that are looking to do shirts and posters. Here’s one of the artboards. Let me know if you have any thoughts on them.

Obama Biden 2012 Campaign Logos

Throwaway Thursday

My friend Kyle asked me to make a little poster to put up or hold up at SU home games this year. I guess he threw a few up around campus but other than that it’s not getting used, so I decided to toss it up here as scrap.

*Don’t tell Steve Berra I used that Thursday thing as my title or he might sue me.

Turn off the water

I’m in Boston for a few days at a VMware gig and it’s been pouring for 12 hours. The drive out was the sucks. Why is it that 18-wheelers can cruise straight for hours, but right when you attempt to pass them, they drift into your lane?

Anybody out here in MA want to skate tomorrow morning?

Since We Last Spoke

Well it’s been a while since I’ve been here. I’m a little older, a little wiser. Here’s what I’ve been up to since I last updated.

I went to a zombie pub crawl.

I went to a Halloween party and I dressed up as Mugatu.

Julie got SU season tickets and brought me to a game.

I met J Woww.

I lost 15 consecutive games of FIFA Soccer.

I still can’t play guitar (or sing).

I drew a Panda.

Rest of my vacation post

Continuing on with my vacation post…somewhere around Pennsylvania there was a car that rolled off the road or something. Nobody really seemed to give a shit.

So I just kept driving and ignored it. There really isn’t much to post about. I normally have somewhat interesting shit to write, but honestly it’s been so long since I was supposed to put this up on the site, that I forgot anything cool to actually post. So all you get are pictures of the beach, me driving, and me eating food.

At this point…it’s like 8 hours into the trip. Maryland sucks. West Virginia sucks.

This dude does not look stoked to be driving.

Awesome advertising.

I had something funny to say about this, but I forgot it. Whatever. Phillip Morris has a campus that’s fucking gigantic. Cigarette business is a booming cousin!

I’m in Virginia now by the way.

I’m pretty sure this is where they filmed a crucial scene in Flight of the Navigator.

Oh that’s why I came down to NC – to visit my brother and my nieces. This is my niece Campbell. Her favorite things to do are beat me in Candyland, beat me in Candyland even more, and jumping on me from the top of the couch.

We’re wearing matching shirts because we’re awesome. We also played Hide ‘n Seek with her sister Greyson for about 3 hours.

Campbell continuing to kick the living crap out of me. I’m not sure, but I think Campbell could be the reason that I had back problems for 2 weeks after this vacation.

Me and Greyson were the best hide n’ seekers ever. One time we thought we seriously lost Greyson. She wedged herself between an open door and the wall. I forgot kids are like little magicians that can just disappear.

After the family time, we headed down to Wilmington where I took almost no pictures.

I called this croc a pansy right to pansy his face.

Hanging out at the aquarium in Wrightsville was pretty boring. I was trying to cheat and get forest shots to lie and say I was just randomly in the wood, but it doesn’t work when you can see the steel ceiling above. Busted.

Animal discrimination. The white croc gets his own place to chill all by himself.

…and for some reason the staff trusted these little guys outside of their pen. They were just running (kinda) around coming/going as they pleased. I tried to steal one but the 15 year old aquarium employee was just waiting to kick me out.

Hey, look. Nature.

A fish that semi-resembles a girl I knew in 6th grade. We’ll call it a Caitlynfish.

“Chubs…you took his hand..!”

The only thing interesting about this place besides the rad animals that eat meat, was the fact that it’s by the ocean and will be about 20 feet underwater if there’s ever another bad hurricane. Which brings me to the question – Why would you ever build this in a spot known for being flooded by hurricanes?

Fuck yeah! I’m finally going to the beach!

I spent every day after this on the beach just sleeping and walking around trying to figure out how I can make this into a career – beach walking and sleeping, that is. I came up with any idea to buy an island and run my own LOST type vacations on it. People will pay men and I’ll drop them out of the sky onto an island with 20 other vacationers. They would have to survive for 2 weeks with air-drop rations, run in’s with the island’s “others” and a bunch of other rad stuff. Pretty sure I just want to do it so I can go there and pretend I’m stranded on an island.

Getting my John Locke on.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but this is the USS North Carolina. I think I’ve mentioned it pretty heavily on my last trip, but if you get the chance to tour it – do it. This thing is awesome.

…and this is about where I stopped taking any pictures of any kind. The rest of the week was going to the beach at 9am until about 2, grabbing lunch at Tower 7 in Wrightsville, hitting a historical spot for a tour, going to dinner and then out to the bars.

Bummed on my Buffalo wrap. Southerners have a ton of food on fucking lock-down, but this is unfortunately one of the ones that needs to stay up in NY.

It was 104 most days in Carolina. It cooled down to a brisk 100 on the day that we drove back.

There sure is a lot of shit on fire during this trip.

…and of course, I had to conclude the trip with the finest of fine cuisines that America has to offer…Bojangles.

@BP

You guys are really going to kick Tony Hayward out now?  C’mon!  He just got interesting! #BPcares

I tried to shoot a panoramic shot in Wilmington for something to frame and give to my Mom. Here’s the roughly edited version of it. There’s definitely some paralaxing and lighting conflicts, but not terrible for scrubbing 12 images in Photoshop.

Vacation Days Are the Best

I just took some long needed vacation time to drive the coast and visit my brother and neices. My Mom and sister left a few days before we did so I could take my time and drive the coastline.

There’s a string of rural highway in Virginia that has the raddest plantation houses and farms. I never gave a shit about scenery or anything like that before a few years ago. I can remember my Mom being really excited about pretty sunsets on camping trips, and I’d just be like “Who cares? I want to go ride my bike”. Guess I’m all grown up now.

Happy birthday America.

I went to Centralia, Pennsylvania on the trip. I have a weird interest in ghost towns and deserted cities, so I found out about this place and wanted to check it out for years. It’s an abandoned ghost town, maybe a half hour to and hour southwest of Scranton. It was a booming coal-miner city up until the 1960’s. An underground coal fire started and the city had to be evacuated. It went from over 2,000 residents, to 5 residents currently. The coal fire is still burning underground, and people guess that it’s going to burn for 100 years.

I’ve wanted to go there for about a year. It’s the city that inspired the movie ‘Nothing But Trouble’ and the plot line for the ‘Silent Hill’ movie. I’ve never known anybody whose been there, so while I was passing by I made the detour to find it.

It’s not on most maps anymore since the highways are all re-routed, but here it is. This is the adandoned PA Route 61. They’ve blocked it with piles of dirt on the entrance and exits.

The 4-lane highway was shut down because it’s super unsafe. There are gaping cracks with smoke seeping out all over. I walked some of it with Erica and we could actually feel hollow spots in the road that will collapse soon. We didn’t go too far down the road because the hollow spots were freaking her out, and there are warnings everywhere about random sink holes.

The photo above doesn’t belong to me, but I yanked it from a random Flickr to show some of the gnarlier cracks in the road.

Like any other abandoned area, it gets frequented by teenagers that are looking for party spots. The highway is covered with dark and creepy spray painted message.

It’s comepletely overgrown. But weirdly, there were dozens of rabbits in the area. They looked weird. It must be an area where they don’t have predators and the gases from the coal fires don’t harm them. Without humans to bother them, they’re literally scampering all over the place.

Some talented artists must live in this area.

Party spots galore. No cops can get up in there from the closed highway so kids just get wasted ontop of the hills overlooking the ghost town.

The only things that get any maintenance anymore are the graveyard and one lonely closed down church.

This is one of the million warning signs that tells you to back the hell up from the woods. Sink holes open up randomly and drop you down to a potential hot spot where your ass will be cooked alive.

These are two of the last three houses left. Residents on the right are patriotic as hell and decorated like no other for independence day. Funny, since nobody comes here to even look at their decorations. The streets used to be literally lined with houses built side by side like this. Unfortunately they’re all leveled. These are the last few die-hards existing in the area. The brick columns on the sides aren’t chimneys. Those are to keep the houses from falling over, since they were designed to be braced by surrounding buildings.

…and a whole lot of nothing. There were general stores and buildings on this street 30 years ago.

This giant blue boner was pointing out of the woods from a distance, so we went to check it out and it’s the remaining building from a Russian Orthodox church. It’s the creepiest thing ever, I shit you not. I was expecting dudes from ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ to run out and kidnap me at any second.

“Hi. I’m a Russion Church, and I’m super sketchy looking.”

Somebody still maintains the grounds at the church. There’s this memorial at the church that has flowers, as well as a memorial outside of town that’s made of two bath tubs cut in half with the virgin Mary statue just chilling in between them. Deliverance type stuff.

The view from the Church, overlooking some roads and the cemetary.

Dead adandoned roads. Completely silent most times. We ran into another family passing by and apparently the mother was from a neighboring town in the 60’s. She got pretty emotional explaining what it was like when the city evacuated. Apparently she hadn’t come back to the area since she was a teenager.

An old basketball hoop backboard nailed to a tree in an old yard. There was a deflated, moss covered basketball at the base of the tree.

The third of three remaining houses. An old guy lives here and he didn’t look stoked to see us snapping photos of his town. One of the die-hards. I heard this guy drives around in a truck and yells at teenagers that use his old town for drugs and sex. I have no idea why he has a mailbox because I’m told they stopped delivering mail here years ago.

More bunnies. They were all super curious and followed you around when you were on foot. When you started a car, they ran away immediately.

More party spots. Kids just bring down junk to sit on and light fires everywhere. The weeds behind the car seats are littered with Stoli and Jack Daniels bottles.

There are a few places where the road just ends. That’s it. Trees and bushes just took over and you’re cut off from the other side.

Each repaved spot is an area where the road was broken up from the fire below. Super empty and quiet.

You could see yards with stairs that used to lead up to the front door of a house. Stone walls that were probably the yards of the wealthier people in town.

The same Russian church as seen from down in the down. The blue boner is hideous but it gets your attention.

Roads are completely overtaken by the forest now.

The grass and weeds are just hiding everything that we see in civilization on a daily basis. Hydrants behind the weeds. Sewer grates under the bushes. I’ve said it before, it’s super creepy, but it’s really worth it to see this place.

This used to be one of the main streets. You can see the vague curb and the double width sidewalk. It used to be super busy back in the day – bars, stores, businesses were just expanding like crazy. I’m sure you’re bored with the town’s history now.

So I went off and found some of the dangerous areas.

Up on the hills it smells completely terrible. Almost like cat piss mixed with old vegetables or something awful like that. Apparently that’s the toxic gases venting out from the coal fires. Glad I found out after I breathed it in for a half hour.

There’s smoke rising out of the ground. The ground itself is hot to the touch.

This is the most well known spot where the fire seems to be focused.  Notice all of those tree roots? Trees in this area burn up from the roots to the tree. It’s crazy to see all of the red grass, black trees and smoldering rocks. It’s literally fields of this around the town. Since the light dying off, the pictures don’t really do it justice.

One of the toxic gas vents sticking out of the ground. It helps to vent the fire and keep all of the dangerous gas from pressurizing underneath the area. It’s even better at making the whole place smell like a 40 year old toxic gym sock.

Found you little bastards!  These are two kids just randomly hiding out in the woods smoking weed and taking pictures. She got real stoked on us having a decent camera. I think their names were Erin and … who cares. Look at that ridiculous teenage facial scruff. You know they’re up to no good.

Kind of towards the center of town, on the border of the dead zone, there’s this sign talking shit to the Penn. State Government. People are bummed because they’re being kicked off their land and they’re not even getting paid for it anymore. Sound familiar?

I hitchhiked the rest of the way back on my trip. Nobody showed up though. Apparently I didn’t show enough leg.

So that’s our American History lesson for the day. I promise the rest of the posts about vacation will not be super boring, with pictures of ghost towns, talking about shit that is on fire underground. If you’re ever in the area of PA and you have absolutely NOTHING to do, I suggest you visit Centralia and check out some weird stuff.