Friday, July 19, 2024

Drivel servants


For a man who made his living with words for so many years, they do annoy me. Or rather the people who blather on with meaningless words annoy me. And there are so many different ways to describe spouting gibberish -- nonsense, balderdash, drivel, babble, twaddle, blather, jabber, mumbo jumbo, gobbledygook, poppycock, hogwash, malarkey, flapdoodle, claptrap and bunk. 

Gemini Cricket seemed to get into giving me images of various made up creatures who like to spout small talk and other vile forms of trivial communication. I took those images and turned them into a series of  "Big Mouths, Small Talk" designs.

Throw in the Drivel Servant and you could wear a different small but stupid talk t-shirt each work day to express how you feel about your co-workers and committees.  Of course, you will likely be pulled aside by HR and told that your attire is creating a hostile environment for the claptrap speaking babblers who don't like to be called out on their mindless nonsense.


Gemini Cricket couldn't come up with a decent image of Blatherskites. It kept showing me images of birds. Gemini Cricket is a few  Al Gores short of an algorithm if you ask me. You would think Google, with access to all knowledge there is on the Internet could figure out an image for a Blatherskite.

Maybe it has a virus.

I love it when pigs fly.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

It could have been a contender


All the way back at the beginning of April I posted a design with a boxing raccoon (actually three different boxing raccoons) who happened to be called Rocky Raccoon. I half way expected them to be pulled because of the crap weasel intellectual property police but I figured if they did get pulled it would because of Paul McCartney's "Rocky Raccoon" falling into the room only to find Rocky Balboa. But the designs have stayed up all of this time until a couple of days ago when MGM complained and yanked them down. I would like to think it was because I'd been selling hundreds of them but nary a one flew off my virtual shelf. So MGM was just being spiteful. And come on, they are images of boxing raccoons named Rocky. It seems to be a stretch that they would threaten the Rocky Balboa franchise.

But, I am learning to get knocked down and get up again.

So I repurposed my fighting raccoons. Because screw MGM. They may own Rocky, but they don't own boxing raccoons.

Not that there is a big market for t-shirts with boxing raccoons on them, but when there is, I'm ready. And you know why I won't quit even when the intellectual property pigs come oinking at my door? Because I'm a wiener.

These are collaborations with Gemini Cricket who can spit out a mean wiener but can't fathom how to create an image of a person. I realize that "spit out a mean wiener" might be misconstrued by some, but I am not talking about wholesome meat wieners made with real lips and spleens and other animal parts people won't eat unless they are ground up and packaged properly.

I'm pretty proud of this one because Gemini Cricket may have come up with the wiener in a chef hat image, but I added my own text and turned it into a pretty bitchin' spoof of "Frankenstein." Now watch the intellectual property bastards come after me for ripping off "Frankenstein" or try to accuse me of violating Tim Curry's Frank-N-Furter from "Rocky Horror Picture Show."

That sounded pretty disgusting too, but stick a fork it it and get your mind out of the bun.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

If we're all Bozos, how can we send in the clowns?


I'm finding coaxing designs out of Gemini cricket takes just a bit more work than it did to coax them out Artie. It doesn't seem quite as intuitive as Artie, which is ironic considering they are both AI and theoretical don't think or intuit anything. They have no soul.

I do find that Gemini Cricket is much more serious than Artie and its designs seem much less whimsical and more dark. Sometimes that matches my mood. 

I didn't even know what to do with this one.  It was an alternative to the image above it with the headline I added about a soul devoid of life and substance. It was Gemini Cricket's take on a soul devoid of life and substance. Kind of freaks me out.

Oh well. It's deeper than my usual gibberish.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Who knows what evil lurks?


I didn't intend this image to refer to any video game, book or movie. I just asked Gemini Cricket to produce an image based on the name "Shadow Man." It had failed me a few minutes before when I asked for a spoof of the movie "Dances with Wolves" but called "Dances with Cats." I think being a Google product it shies away from any intellectual property or copyright disputes. So I briefly gave Artie another try and it pretended it hadn't shut me out yesterday.

I think Artie did a pretty decent job of a "Dances with Wolves" spoof.  But still I went back to Gemini Cricket and asked for the Shadow Man image. Again I had to add my own text but I do like the moodiness of what it provided. So I asked for more.

This one had more of a boogeyman quality to it that I also liked. Who knows whether it is something Gemini Cricket conjured from a video game. It is still pretty cool and spooky. Gemini Cricket seems to be more artsy and less cartoony than Artie. Still a nice change of pace. The Shadow Man reminds me of the first Clef Dweller image Gemini Cricket produced for me.

Thing is, people don't seem to buy the artsy designs. Though I have had success with my "In-a-gadda-da-vida" Iron Butterfly design and have sold several including another one last night. I do think it comes down to what people are searching for. So if you are an Iron Butterfly fan you'd find my design. Not so much Shadow Man unless you know the video game or book and randomly search for it. 

I'd probably be more successful if people just when to my storefront and browsed through the hundreds of designs. But then again it can be intimidating. Even I get a bit overwhelmed at the shear volume of designs I've produced (with my Art AI buddies). 

Just me and my shadows.

Monday, July 15, 2024

1000 connections to Bacon


I surpassed 1000 t-shirt designs today despite a rebellion on the part of and my former Art AI friend Artie. Like all things on the internet they lured me into their Artificial Intelligence Art world with the promise of free designs with no strings attached. And Artie gave me some doozies despite it's horrendous spelling and inability to capture a realistic image of a dog crapping on a grass field (among other anomalies).  But the greedy bastards started reducing the number of designs you could ask for in a day. Then they had a slow cue they put you in that TSA and Disney would have been proud of. Finally they just cut me off at ten slug-like inquiries a day and then tried to extort money out of me to speed up rendering of my designs with a lump sum annual payment.

The Kevin Bacon images were some of the last designs I eeked out before ideogram went south. And I post them here quickly because I'm figuring will be getting a request soon by the intellectual property Nazi's screaming foul (even though they should be screaming  Suidae(which ChatGPT tells me is a generic word for animals of the pig family). And Kevin Bacon should be screaming for putting Macaulay Culin's screaming mouth on his face. 

Then ideogram got greedy on me just as I was two designs away from 1000 designs. So I went elsewhere. I found Google's AI circus called It is kind of a combination of ChaptGPT and ArtAI. And they let you load your own images (but then refuse to use them claiming copyright issues even though I loaded an image I'd taken years ago). Still I was able to coax a few more designs out of Gemini. 

The first ones were quite nice and gave me hope that I won't be back to searching Google for image parts to Frankenstein together into my own designs. 

So far Gemini (I think I'll call it Gemini Cricket from now on) seems pretty artsy fartsy compared to Artie. But I like it. It even gave me a "If you meet the Buddha by the side of the road" design.

Gemini Cricket can't spell worth shit either so I ended up just adding my own headlines. And Gemini Cricket doesn't take direction very well either. 

I can't tell you how many times I asked it for a complete guitar image of a 12-string guitar and it gave me a six-string guitar with seven pegs to hold the strings and wouldn't show me the next or head of the guitar.

Oh well, at least Gemini Cricket gives me more options even if there are strings attached. 

You could see that one coming, couldn't you?

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Beware the lying Buddha


I was at an Antique Mall this afternoon with my daughter. We had actually been there Saturday afternoon, too, but my daughter saw something and thought about it all night and wanted to go back and get it. That is the way with antique malls. I had seen something as well that I decided I wanted, too, so I was happy to return.

My daughter was overjoyed that the Princess Diana Wedding doll was still there (don't ask) and I was happy to find a small figure of the reclining Buddha that I'd seen. I have been collecting Buddha figures lately and I still didn't have a reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha represents the Buddha in his last moments before entering Parinirvana, the final state of enlightenment (which obviously isn't one of the United States of America). Anyway, I didn't notice what the description was the dealer had written on the sales tag until the person ringing us up started laughing. She showed me the tag. It read, "Lying Buddha."

I thought that was a pretty good one as well. It is hard to imagine a lying Buddha. But it did make me think of the Zen koan, "If you meet the Buddha by the side of the road, kill him." I always thought of the statement as speaking to the concept that a real Buddha would not all themselves a Buddha so the one by the side of the road claiming to be Buddha is lying. This is my interpretation of it. ChatGPT went on about killing the Buddha means to transcend the conceptual understanding and direct experiences, and not rely on external teachers or symbols, but to look inward for true insight.  I like my interpretation better and a koan is supposed to make you think on your own.

I tried having Artie, my ArtAI pal create a design based on the koan but apparently Artie's AI moderator thinks killing a Buddha violates their community standards and wouldn't create anything. I'm not sure what it would create if I said to design a lying Buddha. Artie can create stereotypical images of Jesus, but it doesn't do well with Buddha, lying, laying, reclining, weeping, laughing, sitting or standing.

What he said. And technically we are all always dying. 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

It is the heat and not the humidity (or stupidity)


It has been fairly warm here (and across the United Stated). Last week was too warm. This week is what a summer is supposed to feel like, but it is hot for the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately no one has said to me, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity," because I would have had to reply, "Actually it isn't so much the heat as it is your stupidity." And they would likely blink and stare at me like with a confused look on their face.

But I could also say confidently, "No, actually it is the heat. See my t-shirt?" This concept heated up rapidly and I managed to milk no less than 15 designs out of it. Because it dawned on me that the sun is more or less the source of the heat and there are a myriad of sun gods in various cultures who can stake claim to the statement that indeed, "It is the heat." And they would also agree that they like it hot.

ChatGPT gave me a list of six sun deities. 


That covers the Greek Sun god. Next comes Apollo, the Roman sun god.

Everyone has heard of those sun gods, but ChatGPT informed that the Inca Empire had a sun god, too.

I had never heard of  Inti or knew that the Incas considered themselves the "children of the sun." I also didn't know about the Hindu sun god Surya.

I was aware of the Egyptian sun god Ra.

And finally, ChatGPT told me about Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess. She is one of the most important deities in Shinto.

So the heat is on with 15 new spiffy designs and it puts me just 17 designs away from having a thousand designs in my store.

I'm on fire!

Friday, July 12, 2024

It's the beast in me


In his 1958 movie King Creole, Elvis said this great line, "That's the way I was born, under a bad sign. Everybody's got a tale of woe, like I said before. But mine is a classic. It's the beast in me."

That wasn't the inspiration for this "The Werewolf of..." series. I was in the car listening to Classic Vinyl on Sirius XM and heard Warren Zevon's song, "Werewolves of London." It occurred to me it would be fun to do a series of designs with werewolves from less glamourous places than London. Toledo popped into my head. Not that I have ever been to Toledo. But it seems like place you wouldn't want to live. John Denver even had a song about it called "Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio." One of the lines was "Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio is like being nowhere at all."

Sorry if I'm being unfair to Toledo, but it just doesn't seem like a cool place. 

My next "Werewolf of" design was for a place I know much better than Toledo.

People from Boise will dispute it, but there are quite a few creatures from the city who look like this werewolf. The trucker hat is classic Boise. I produced a couple more for Boise werewolves.

I swear this one looks like some of the streets in downtown Boise where there are maybe two  multi-floor buildings.

And this one could be found at several truck stops outside of Boise.

Finally to be fair, I did a couple of designs featuring some werewolves from the Emerald City.

This one could be any of hundreds of characters you see in Seattle's Pioneer Square.  He has the required grunge flannel, cargo shorts and a beanie. And of course there is the Space Needle which seems to be in any image you see of Seattle.

If this one would have been blonde, it could have been Kurt Cobain. But I do think it gives you a sense of the city. Of course, it could be a Portland werewolf, too. 

While I was in a beast mode dictating designs to Artie, I had this idea.

It started as just a bowl of dough rising. Then I decided it should actually look like a Yeast Beast (which sounds like something Dr. Seuss would come up with.).

And on a totally not related theme I created this one which really like.

You probably can't read the tiny type under the "I" but the whole thing reads "I (watched a man on TV who) WALKED ON THE MOON."  And no it wasn't inspired by the new Apple TV movie "Fly me to the moon." 

This was one small design for a man, one giant t-shirt for mankind.