Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Monkey.

New illustration here, inspired by my brother's 30th birthday. (Silly, I know.) Actually, I began a different illustration similar to this one, but didn't finish on time. The illustration I began for my bro was a monster, in the same setting, wearing Laker purple and gold. Still toying with that one, but in the mean time I started and finished (I think) this one. Probably will tweak the feet and hands, though. I'm pleased with how my experimenting with texture with vector is working out. Still using inkscape. Click image to see it larger.

Edit: added two more balloons. See the changes.
Also, now available for purchase as a birthday card. Read my post about them. Buy one.
Happy Birthday Monkey (editable text) card

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trigger Point Therapy: Foot Pain

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition

Foot Pain
: I had foot pain that began inexplicably. No moment of injury, just pain that came out of nowhere. I found a name for it, plantar fasciitis, but no cure. Plantar fasciitis, it seems, isn't much more than a description of the area of pain, without doing much to say about its cause or how to heal it.

It was really weird pain, more so than my knees, which had been somewhat inconsistent, but always there if even slightly. But my foot pain would disappear almost entirely when I would run hard in a game of ultimate (frisbee). I'd feel it now and then in the course of the game, but for the most part it went away, but came back strong afterwards. And this was pain that was sometimes excruciating to the point of barely being able to walk. Over a long stretch of days when the pain remained fairly high, I was concerned I might even have a stress fracture. But this highest level of pain would usually only come if I was on my feet for long periods of time. So, it hurt if I walked, but largely went away if I ran. Say what? Some days it hurt, some days it didn't, others days it came an went. Strange.

I ultimately attributed the source of my pain to a pair of shoes I wore that were cushy, but mushy, and didn't provide the support my feet needed. But, I don't really know if the shoes were the main factor, or if perhaps my part time job spent walking around the bookstore and frequently going up and down the stairs combined with my often brisk walk to class up a hill were the main cause. I ditched the shoes for another pair, but it didn't cure me.

Eventually I discovered plantar fasciitis discussed in The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. My foot pain had nothing to do with my feet, but with the trigger points in my lower leg muscles. Go figure. Properly treating the trigger points relieved my foot pain, but I wasn't as diligent as I needed to be, so it never fully went away. However, I stopped experiencing the occasional stop-me-in-my-tracks pain. Later on I developed the same pain in my other foot, but I just didn't work on the trigger points sufficiently to get anything more than mostly relieved. Being that it wasn't a pain that was constant, but only occasional, I didn't think about it often enough to treat it as frequently as necessary.

Foot Pain Gone
The pain finally went fully away, strangely enough, after an athletic tournament where we played six games in two days. My legs were pushed to their limits, and my only explanation for the foot pain going and staying away after these two days was due to the muscles being stretched and worked to their limits, and for whatever reason, this released the trigger points, which are small nodules of contracted muscle. I'm assuming the contracted muscle, these trigger points, couldn't keep their hold through being pushed through such a rigorous athletic effort. Certainly, whatever the full explanation, the foot pain was certainly not due to any sort of injury, but the trigger point explanation seemed to me to fit perfectly. The trigger points were finally released somehow through vigorous, force-my-legs-to-get-up-and-move-again-for-one-last-game tournament.

I don't recommend that as a treatment, but it may work for you, who knows. But I can confidently recommend trigger point therapy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Over at there is a an article written by Ahmed Alrefaie aka owaikeO, detailing how he created his illustration titled Scribble. It's longish, but an interesting look into his process.

Friday, July 17, 2009


What with a family reunion last weekend and getting some kinda stomach bug, I've been running behind schedule in the blogging world. By necessity I've kept up on the garden (minus weed control), and harvested these beets the other day. If you've never had beets, you gotta trry them at least once, if only for experiencing the pink colored pee. If you do like beets, you may be interested in reading about how I prepared them with orange sauce here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baseball History and More

Jack Clements Digital ID: 55745. New York Public Library
This here photo is of Jack Clements, putting out the vibe even as he throws the runner out at second. It's no wonder that historian Al Glynn said that Clements "certainly was the best left-handed catcher in all baseball history."

Over at the New York Public Library (NYPL) website, they have a nifty digital gallery providing open access to over 685,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more."

The above photo is from this collection.

It's a fun browse, and if you have a hankering to use an image for editorial or commercial purposes, you can do so for a reasonable fee. Pricing can be seen here, but note that while my Firefox 3.5 wasn't opening the pdf link today, my Safari 4 did.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Choux Buns, Food Photography, and Strobist

Strobist is a smashing good blog for learning photographic lighting. Presently, the author is putting his readers through a boot camp, the second time he's done so. The above photo of choux buns is my current submission for Strobist Boot Camp II. Although, I've another idea I want to try. If you're interested in this kind of thing, I did a small write-up on food photography over at Cooley's Kitchen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cooley's Kitchen Is Alive and Kicken

My new cooking blog is now live and rolling. If you'd like, check it out here.