Posted by toadstar on 2:24 PM

I figured that I'd start of the New Year by giving out a fancy new desktop wallpaper. So here you go. Just click on it to get the larger image then right click and save as. Enjoy and have a Happy New Year!

Posted by toadstar on 4:11 PM

My wife just called me to let me know that it's snowing over at the house. While on the phone with her I could hear Lucas in the background yelling, "it's Christmas, it's Christmas!" I'm kind of sad that the first time he gets to experience snow is without me. At least I was kind of there.
I love snow, I grew up in Colorado and snow is one of the things that I miss most. So to celebrate this wonderful cold snowy day I give you the first part of a story that I'm working on called "The Faerie Queen's Groom". I'm still editing it, but I'll give you a taste:

The storm clouds slowly gathered above the Rocky Mountains, and made their way east, over the continental divide, down through the foothills and slowly started to unload their cargo over the sleeping population of Denver. I was one of the unfortunate few who could not sleep that night, and I had resigned myself to another sleepless night drinking Earl Grey and reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. Ray Smith and Japhy where camping out in the high Sierras searching for enlightenment, but tonight enlightenment wasn’t waiting for me in a book. It was waiting outside my window.

In a weeks time I was going to move to Houston, a move that I didn’t want to make. I had planned to spend just two weeks in Houston with my family for the Christmas holidays, but somehow two weeks had turned into indefinitely. I had lived in Denver almost all my life. From the time that I was four years old, this had been my home and now I was leaving it, and I wasn’t ready to go.

I had sat and watched the snow begin to fall outside and I realized that this might be one of the last times I got to see snow. I had watched the first few flakes flutter down to earth like little white butterflies slowly spinning down towards earth and thoughts began to oscillate through my mind. I remembered when my father first told me that we were moving to Colorado. I had thought he had said that we were moving to Avocado. Immediately I thought of a tropical island with white sandy beaches and tropical birds. I had quickly learned that Colorado wasn't tropical, in fact it was cold, and the only white sandy beaches were lake shores covered in snow, and the only tropical birds were found in pet stores and cages in peoples homes.

I had imagined myself playing in the snow and building snowmen and I quickly became excited about moving to Colorado. I wasn’t disappointed when we finally got there; our house was still being built, so we spent the first couple of months living in a Holiday Inn. Finally one night it snowed. No matter how often I see a fresh blanket of snow, it never fails to amaze me. Everything is so quiet and peaceful and there is just this breathtaking beauty. Everything is as it was before the snow, but yet, covered with several inches of snow it looks so different and surreal. Everything seemed to be swallowed up in whiteness leaving only the hotel and the parking lot visible, while the rest of the world was swallowed up in snow and fog. The next day the sun came out. Although it was still cold outside my parents took me to a park right on the edge of the Denver Basin called Daniel's Park. This is the place where the plains meet the foothills. The land builds up higher and higher until it drops off in to a great valley, which covers the entire horizon, and on the other side of the valley the foothills and then the mountains, which then rise up into the sky like giant cathedrals to nature. We had found a picnic area near a big empty field. To the left of the field there was the picnic area made out of a stonewall and a wood roof, inside there were tables for people to sit and eat. All around the field were trees and scruff and you could see a little further off a herd of Bison standing guard at the foot of the plains.

When we got there we played in the snow and made my first snowman-I named him Frosty. Mom and Dad let me play on my own while they went off to make sandwiches for lunch. I had made my way to the edge of the field near the trees, when suddenly I noticed a snowshoe hare. He had stopped moving when he saw me, and he looked up at me. Our eyes met and it felt as if I could understand what he was thinking, then suddenly he appeared to beckon me forward with his front paw. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! The hare slowly broke eye contact with me and started to move along the trees, I quickly followed along behind him. Up ahead there was a break in the trees and the hare turned into it, the break turned out to be a pathway in the snow, surrounded by thick undergrowth and tall trees that were as dark as night and almost made an arch over the path like an isle in a church. The hare stopped and turned around to make sure that I was still following behind him, and seeing that I was he turned and went further up the path. I should have been afraid of this path through the woods, but for some reason I wasn’t afraid, I felt as though I was being pulled along and that whatever met me at the end of the path would not hurt me.

We came to the end of the path and there was a large circle, the trees towering above me now twisted and twined upward making a dome shape, and if you looked just right you would swear that you were not surrounded by trees, but in the high alter of a church. Suddenly the wind began to pick up and in the center of the circle the wind began to swirl around, picking up snow and making a tornado of sorts. Just as soon as the wind had started it stopped and in the center of the circle there was now standing a woman. She was wearing a white dress and on her head laid a crown of gold and diamonds arranged like fell boughs of rowan. She was the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen in my life; she wore her reddish-brown locks in a pile of curls atop her head and had the most amazing blue eyes that I had ever seen. She reached out her gloved hand to me, and I reached mine out to take hers, but as soon at we touched, she vanished into thin air. I had closed my eyes in disbelief and shook my head “She can’t have disappeared” I thought to myself, and I fully believed that when I opened my eyes she would still be standing there in front of me. I slowly opened my eyes only to find that I was no longer in the trees, but in the middle of the field. I looked all around, but I couldn’t even see the break in the trees, there was only a solid wall all the way across.

I hope you like it. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section. And stay warm.

Posted by toadstar on 6:12 AM

While up in the attic getting down my Christmas decorations, I stumbled across a box of my old drawings from 1988-1989. I was in Junior High in the 8th grade and at the height of my sk8r days (as you can tell from the artwork). I figured that I'd scan some in and share them with the world. The first one is of Christian Hosoi. He was such an amazing skater, I'm glad that he's finally gotten his life back on track.

I can't for the life of me remember which deck this is from, but it's a detail of it, whatever it is. The cool thing about it was that I drew in while we were on vacation up in the Colorado mountains somewhere. I had just finished it and left it on the table while we went out to dinner. When we came back I realized that we had left a window open and a light misty rain blew into the drawing. It actually ended up creating a cool effect on the blue hands. So it was a nice happy accident.

Santa Cruz Speed Wheels-I just loved the hands and the arteries making up the text. Gross but cool. This was one of the first times that I drew a successful hand. Later on in high school we had to do drawings of our hands-I just had to revisit this theme.

I think that this was a Pushead ripoff-combined with a TSOL logo. When I pulled this one out to scan it, Lucas said - scary monster Daddy. Then I scanned it and it was up on my computer screen and he looked at it, then up at the scanner, then back at the screen, and you could just see the wheels in his head turning-Hey Daddy, your drawing is on the computer....

Thanks for indulging me in this trip down amnesia lane. I have some more so if I have time I may just post some more.

Posted by toadstar on 7:43 AM

On January 20th, 2009, President-elect Obama will deliver his inaugural address. His words will set the tone for how we as a nation will rise to meet the crises we face, and how our allies abroad will respond.

We at Worldchanging believe the inaugural address must call on all Americans to prepare for a national transformation: to turn America into a climate-neutral nation by 2030. This is a monumental challenge, but it is an even better opportunity. The things we must create to fight climate change are also the things we need to generate a strong economic recovery: livable cities, clean energy, green jobs, new technologies, better transportation, healthy forests and thriving family farms.

With your help, we will show that the people of the United States are ready and willing to accept this challenge. And we will ask Obama to issue a call to action with an inaugural address that set specific goals to do the following:

  • Set a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions
  • Launch a national campaign to curb sprawl and encourage smart growth
  • Set national building standards that will require all buildings to be carbon neutral by 2030
  • Redirect all funding and support for fossil fuels into clean energy development
  • Give policy support to small farms, local food, and better food quality in schools and low-income neighborhoods
  • Take a leadership position in international climate, trade and development talks

Please sign below and add your name to the letter that will urge Obama's administration to deliver this vital message in his very first speech as President.

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Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas