Monday, May 20, 2013

Treesizeverse's Fold Top Rucksack & Carry All

I love bags. Really, the best part of making a new acquisition is the part where you find something to carry it around in. I've had really cheap bags that I loved (and still love) and expensive bags that were too much bag, even for me. Looking at Etsy is always a dangerous activity if you like bags, gizmo carriers, and similar.
There is a wide array of stuff out there, but the stuff that always caught my eye seemed to all be made by the same guy, Ronald Ceuppens. Even from the pictures, I could tell this guy was an artist relative to how his bags were crafted and arranged. His shop is featured on Etsy here.
My wife noticed I was looking at his wares longingly and asked which bags I liked the most, and she'd get one for me for my Birthday. Turns out she got me two.To say I am blessed would be an understatement.
The Carry All is built kind of like an old engineer's bag you can sling over one shoulder. It's crafted of emerald blue waxed canvas with leather handles. It has two interior pockets within the main compartment and expands to carry a lot of stuff. It's tall, so you could roll up a light jacket and stick it on top and probably still zip it up.
The rucksack fold top is made very similarly with almost the same leather and the a similar waxed canvas. Unless you look really closely you cannot tell they aren't a matched set. The rucks sack is very svelte but holds a lot of stuff due to it's height and width. You could put an 11" MacBook or Lenovo Yoga in lengthways and the buttoned interior pocket would be perfect for and iPad or Surface RT/Pro but you'd want to be careful setting the bag down if the device didn't have it's own case.
The snaps on the outside are tight enough you could put a light jacket or similar between them and the outside of the rucksack. there are two spacious exterior pockets that don't get entirely covered by the flap, so I wouldn't keep gizmos in there if it's raining, but everything in the main compartment should be really comfy and safe.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jetpack Librarian

Last year my wife asked me if I would design a mascot of sorts for use on literature and a web presence for the Southwest Idaho Library Association. The SWILA conference has come and gone so it's alright for me to share this. Thanks Elle and Nick for all your advice relative to creating this. The one below was my first attempt. In hindsight, I think I'd just seen Prometheus when I rendered this one.

Monday, May 6, 2013

18 Days in Wichita

The new workspace.
I woke up this morning and headed straight to work. I had my online meeting, which I wasn't really awake for and had my breakfast. It felt like a normal day.

The morning mail arrived bringing a large envelope and a box. In the envelope was our mail from our home in Boise, collected and sent to us by friends. In the box was my battle mat left mistakenly at the last table top game I ran in Boise. Also, there was a box of plastic zombies begging to be assembled, painted, and unleashed on unsuspecting D&D player characters.

Reminders of my old home and the friends who still lived there.

My wife and I have been in Wichita for almost three weeks now, and being the adaptable guy I am, things already feel pretty normal here. I kept a travelogue of our journey and even wrote several blog posts in the time we've been here. None will probably ever see the lights of the Internet.

Writers write to write.

In logging time, I've been less productive in Wichita than I was in Boise, but in moving to a new place, people take a happiness hit. There's also all the time spent trying to reaffirm and redesign relationships and connections with the people you no longer share a county with. I feel like much of that has been sorted out.

X-Files night happened via Facetime, I'm making a Pathfinder Character for a table I'll be telecommuting to, and I'm already planning to keep up with all my old friends via similar methods. The Internet provides in that regard. Even as I still struggle with routers and connectivity on both ends, it still works. I get a glimpse of the faces I want to see.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of my uncle and cousins in Kansas City, exploring Wichita, and meeting more new people. I really had no doubt we'd make it all work, it's just that the mind can't always conceive of the outcome, however certain, and this produces a certain amount of anxiety.

Sadly, I continue to ignore my novels in favor of creating textures for a Windows Phone 8 application and doodling in my spare time. It took a lot to get me to render visuals (sometimes called artwork) when I live in Boise. The past week or so, I've really wanted to draw and I've had to put my knee to the back of my poor old Intuos 4 pen tablet once already. (They bow with use.)

Fair weather artist, winter writer? Maybe. The happier (or sunnier) I am, the harder it is to write and easier it is to make visuals.

Our new home in Wichita is really nice, located on a quiet street, and near to all kinds of places my wife and I have enjoyed visiting. It even has a basement suitable for some old school table top gaming. I went with a sitting desk this time around, because I wanted to be able to sit across from my wife while we worked or played in the evenings.

Moving can put stress on a relationship, and there were certainly moments when my wife and I struggled to communicate amidst the process. The moments when we worked well together really happened as a result of my Father and Brother coming with us. Liz and I did the whole journey in the truck together which really helped in avoiding and mitigating some of the trouble encountered along the way.

Wichita is an interesting place. It feels like a really big used book store where you have to wander the shelves to find what you're looking for and wander you will. The good news is that we've found some pretty nice places to eat, shop, procure used books, and wander for it's own sake. In between those places are vintage buildings looking for renters, old industrial areas, and neighborhoods that look to have been forgotten by time.

I like driving in Wichita (a big compliment coming from me) and I'm looking forward to finding places to ride my bike. I've been told there might be a bin of used RPG books at a particular used book store not far from my home. Having already found a few treasures (GAZ2 with map!), I'm enthusiastic about engaging in more exploration.