this is not a picture of detroit, michigan

buickstand-blogIt happened again for the second year in a row.  I was in Chicago (Illinois) for the Chicago Auto Show today, and I took this particular picture with my smartphone.  It’s a perfectly conventional view of the Buick show stand, as seen from the edge of the Cadillac stand.  The two exhibits were in the same places last year, and when I took a similar picture in 2016, the Google in my phone decided that I was in Detroit, Michigan. For the rest of my visit, it kept me up to the minute on the weather in Detroit, informed me of important developments in Detroit local news, and suggested nearby restaurants (in Detroit) where I might want to have lunch and interesting Detroit landmarks and attractions in case I wanted to extend my stay.

This morning it did exactly the same thing. It was midafternoon and I was most of the way home to Indiana before the Google realized I was not in the Motor City.  I can only conclude that Buick’s stand at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (always two or three weeks before the show in Chicago) features the same staging and cars and is set up in a part of the hall with similar architecture, and that Google’s image recognition software can’t tell the difference between shiny new Buicks at the Cobo Center and the same Buicks at McCormick Place.

Stupid Google.  Also, slightly creepy.  Never take a picture with your Android phone that you don’t want the Google or its algorithms to look at.

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hulk-ku: thing to do

  • That Thursday all set.
  • Evening, Hulk go Home Depot.
  • Learn build cupcake stand.
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troll-cat sighting

Now that we’ve determined that in sketchbook world, a three eyed humanoid character is a troll and a three eyed beastie is a troll animal, the current label for Yum Yum Ale (from local artisan brewery Three Floyd’s Brewing) features a troll-cat.

Meow! And a Persian troll-cat at that, looks like.

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coffee kit

Or the day I spent way too much time trying to photograph a stainless steel teakettle with a phone camera. 
My goal of spending a year without a major purchase lasted about five weeks, six at the outside, as I have just added this seamless teakettle and Bodum pour over coffee maker to my collection. These two are not the cooperative photographer’s models I was hoping they would be, but together they make a pretty fine cup of coffee.

(More attempts on Instagram: @kekiongacomics)

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fifty superheroes: number 5 (color special!)

05-babetheblueox-2-color-blogFifth of the fifty new superheroes from last year’s drawing of the day sketchbooks is Babe the Blue Ox.  I guess she’s called that because she is blue, has horns and hooves, and is strong as an ox.  (And yes, a bit of a babe, but if you mention that in a disrespectful tone of voice she’ll step on your toes, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Babe is a classic mutant hero, and my guess is that her powers, like those of her namesake, revolve around strength and toughness.  Her costume is designed to recall the Golden Age “girl heroines” who have been co-opted by young feminist heroes who identify as women, and she is pretty definitely a politically active “good guy”  with a progressive bent.

(Above is the “Color Special” version of the original drawing of the day: the sketchbook version is below.)05-babetheblueox-2-blog

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my little ??

Best treat name ever. (In one pound “pack leader”size!)

 And the intended consumer, my little *dire* wolf.

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black and white and green (and yellow) all over


I’d rather photograph it than eat it.

Not a fan of this particular vegetable, but I really like the graphics on the carton, and even the real thing in the package below is pretty photogenic.  ( The Fuji X100T visits Costco.)

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best of the drawing of the day: snowflake color special


My friend Paul Sizer designed a superhero called The Snowflake recently as an art exercise. (Or is it just Snowflake?  I’ll have to look again.  Minor fail of either memory or paying attention. These details are important in superheroics.)  I was motivated to take his skintights-mask-and-boots, “real” superhero costume and reinterpret it as a Kekionga style improvised costume, featuring a hand-knit sweater designed to match the Snowflake symbol and black and white colorblock pattern. (Whether this person is a Snowflake fan/cosplayer or a “real” alternate universe superpowered hero is entirely up to you.)

Anyway, I had so much fun doing it that I decided to color it to see if my design would work in a “real” four color universe and I think it sort of does.  My favorite thing about the color version is the way the flood fill tool reacted to the broken pattern of the dry brush designs on the ground, leaving the small isolated bits in black and white. It actually looks a bit like snow or ice.  Note that the falling snow in blue and white in the background is purely digital, added in the coloring phase without ever being inked.  I am sort of starting to enjoy working this way, at least in moderation.

All colors are taken from the growing collection of “official” Kekionga color palettes.

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contrail sunset

It may be Super Bowl (or Superb Owl) Sunday, but around here it was just a beautiful day, and sunset, for contrails.  

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One of the best things about photography is that, because you are usually behind the camera, you very seldom appear in the photographs.  But a while ago, a friend of mine who has also taken up the art took a snapshot of me that I don’t actually hate.  So, in the interest of full disclosure, this is what I look like, more or less.  Her image, my square crop and slight tweaks.  The focus point is technically slightly misplaced, on the brim of my hat, but that’s part of what I like about this shot.



My thanks to the photographer.


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