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3,339: Mexican Minipops Week

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Buenos días, y’all. Day four.

🇲🇽🎤 Juanga 🎤🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Juan García Esquivel 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 El Chavo del Ocho 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Rafael Márquez 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Moctezuma II 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Vicente Fernández 🇲🇽

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German Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.
Mexican Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.

Written by Craig

May 25th, 2017 at 1:54 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,338: Massive aircraft hanger

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There was this massive aircraft hanger. Really big. It looked like the shield thingy that covers the Chernobyl reactor. Inside that was a mall. No shops. Just white walls where the shop fronts would be. The escalators worked. Upstairs on the third floor was a multiplex cinema. Ten screens. You could hear a lot of talking from each of the rooms. Excited talking because, you see, these were all fans of Harry Styles. And he was going to play live. It wasn’t one of those live streams they do in some cinemas. It was more interesting than that. Slightly evil. Harry Styles would be playing inside one of these cinemas. There were armed riot police lining the corridors of the multiplex ready for the immediate aftermath of him coming on stage. Fans had bought tickets, you see, for the event. When they arrived they chose a room and sat down. When one screening room was full, that one was blocked off. This went on until all the rooms were full.

Harry came on stage in the 7th room. Not the biggest, not the smallest. As anticipated, the people in the other rooms weren’t happy. Nine rooms of disappointed people. That’s when the police moved in. They asked people to leave. A lot did just that. Others were dragged out. Why Harry’s people hadn’t foreseen this is anybody’s guess. The people in the 7th room had a jolly good time. He played some new songs, some One Direction songs. He was only onstage for about 40 minutes, but everyone was happy.

On the train leaving the hanger, everyone became aware that a contagious disease was spreading. There were no symptoms, but we all knew it was happening. We all knew we could die. But we were unable to vocalise this. We couldn’t tell people that we were contagious. People made a collective decision, through telepathy, that they would stay on the train. Contain the disease and hope it didn’t spread any further than amongst those who were already doomed.

A tiny man, a real human, no taller than a packet of cigarettes grabbed my trouser cuff. He tugged at it. He bit my ankle through my sock. Others on the train were experiencing the same thing. After we’d been bitten by the tiny people, we abandoned the containment plan and tried to get out of the train. We smashed windows and pried the doors open. We had to get back to our friends, we had to tell them about the disease. But, of course, we couldn’t vocalise this. The only way we could tell them was by giving them the disease. It was a vicious disease.

Not everyone died. Most of the people on the train did, though. I survived. I flew to Los Angeles. I wanted to get away from Europe. I saw Harry Styles with the other members of One Direction sat outside a cafe. I stopped and told Harry that I was there. He introduced me to Robbie Williams. Me and Robbie got along quite well. He liked my paintings. He had a proposal: I could live with him in his mansion. I could use the pool house as a studio. It was like the pool house in The O.C. On the last day of every month, he would come into the studio and choose one painting and that would be my rent. I could sell the rest.

And I sold the rest. Robbie’s Hollywood friends loved my paintings. I painted every day. I swam in the pool. Robbie and I played a lot of ping pong. Life was good. I had survivor’s guilt, though, and you could see it in my paintings. And that’s why they sold. People wanted to hang my guilt on their walls. I felt even more guilty. I couldn’t keep these feelings out of the paintings but the success of my paintings only made the guilt stronger, like I was profiting from the deaths of those people on the train. This extra guilt made the paintings even more successful. And on and on it went. I could afford to buy my own LA mansion, but I knew I could never leave Robbie’s. I would make an effort to do shitty paintings. I wanted it to end. While I painted them I was sure they were rubbish, but by the end I would look at them, and they were still good. They were loved. They sold. I hated my work. Everyone loved it.

And, as you may have suspected, just like season nine of Dallas, it was all a dream. Which, while true, is a shitty end to the story. But that’s how I felt when I woke up, so, y’know.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Hasta Que Te Conocí by Juan Gabriel

On this day
67 hours, 25 May 2007. So much of these 67 hours are still quite fresh in my head: flying from Berlin to London to Athens to London to Berlin, all in the name of watching a football match. With no sleep.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
The Love Unlimited Orchestra

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Written by Craig

May 25th, 2017 at 1:32 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,337: Mexican Minipops Week

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Day three of Mexican Minipops Week.

All the important aspects of life covered today: the arts, the sports, and ¡revolución!

🇲🇽 María Félix 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Hugo Sánchez 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Emiliano Zapata 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Japhet Amador 🇲🇽

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German Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.
Mexican Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.

Written by Craig

May 24th, 2017 at 1:41 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,336: Bierpinsel

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In the Steglitz district of Berlin, there’s this wonderful building. It was designed by Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte (who also designed the excellent ICC that I wrote about recently), built in the early Seventies, and was originally a restaurant and nightclub. It’s been closed for over a decade. In 2010, it was painted by graffiti artists. And yep, it’s cool as heck. Some poor quality photos from my crappy phone below. The Internet is full of better pics of the Bierpinsel should you feel like googlin’.









The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Carolina by Harry Styles. I’ve listened to the album quite a bit now. I like 1D anyway, and the Sign of the Times single was ace. The album is pretty good. If you heard it in a cafe or bar and didn’t know who it was you’d be interested to know who it’s by. It’s a 7 out of 10, I reckon. And there’s enough good stuff there to think that maybe he will end up having quite a long and fruitful career. Good for him, cos he comes across as an exceptionally nice young man in interviews.

On this day
It’s Grim Up North, 24 May 2013

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Love and Dancing

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Written by Craig

May 24th, 2017 at 1:33 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music,Photos

3,335: Mexican Minipops Week

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More Mexican Minipops…

🇲🇽📺 Odisea Burbujas 📺🇲🇽

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🇲🇽🎤 Paulina Rubio 🎤🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 Vicente Fox 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽🎭 Cantinflas 🎭🇲🇽

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🇲🇽⚾️ Fernando Valenzuela ⚾️🇲🇽

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German Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.
Mexican Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.

Written by Craig

May 23rd, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,334: Mexican Minipops Week

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Back in April, I did a week of German Minipops. I called it German Minipops Week. It was fun. so I’m gonna make an effort to do something similar every month. This week (starting a day late, somewhat appropriately) it’s Mexican Minipops Week.

I enjoyed doing the German Minipops Week in April, so I'm gonna make an effort to do something similar every month. This week (starting a day late, somewhat appropriately) it's Mexican Minipops Week 🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽

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🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽 Blue Demon 🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽

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🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽🎤 Timbiriche 🎤🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽

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🇲🇽 EPN 🇲🇽

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🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽 Subcomandante Marcos 🇲🇽🎉🇲🇽

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German Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.
Mexican Minipops Week: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.

Written by Craig

May 23rd, 2017 at 10:08 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,333: Three

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Three is, as we are all more than aware, the magic number.
Yes it is. It’s the magic number.

First interesting thing about the number 3 is that the version you sometimes see with a flat top bit was developed to stop people changing it to an 8. Source.

Obviously, there’s the Holy Trinity: the Taylor, the Charli, and the Carly Rae.

It’s been retired six times in Major League Baseball: Babe Ruth (Yankees), Earl Averill (Cleveland’s baseball team), Bill Terry (Giants), Harmon Killebrew (Twins), Dale Murphy (Braves), Harold Baines (White Sox).

And Fun Boy Three. A fantastic short-lived group formed by three members of the Specials. I really liked them when I was a kid. I was eleven or twelve years old. They still sound ace, though. I can distinctly remember the feeling of joy I had when, after “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” was by Fun Fun Three with Bananarama, there was “Really Saying Something” by Bananarama with Fun Boy Three. That made me happy. And even though we’d already had Motörhead and Girlschool doing a record together, but the idea that two complete bands could do a record together was mind-blowing to me.

All of their excellent singles:
The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)
It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)
Really Saying Something
The Telephone Always Rings
Summertimes
The More I See (The Less I Believe)
The Tunnel of Love
Our Lips Are Sealed

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Shy Boy by Bananarama (entirely a coincidence, by the way, but a nice one).

On this day
Ballpark in the forest, 23 May 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Martin Rushent

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Written by Craig

May 23rd, 2017 at 2:10 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,332: Fußball in Berlin, games 23 and 24

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Friday night was another local derby for Tennis Borussia, the last of their eight Berlin derby games of the season, away at FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf. I went to see Hertha 03 in March. Nice little stadium. It was grim and rainy and cold that day, Friday was a lovely warm evening. The weather and the visiting team made a big difference to the attendance, too. I’d been told that a lot of Tennis fans went to this game last season, and it was no different the other night. Hertha 03’s average attendance this season has been 183. Their previous highest attendance of the season was 275. On Friday, it was 407.

They had laid on extra staff, too, compared to the last time I was there. Someone grilling sausages, a couple of lads sorting out the beers, and someone else selling cakes, the proceeds of which were, if I remember correctly, going to the girls team.

It was a monumentally fun atmosphere. Chatting, singing, balloons. The deeper one gets into being a fan of Tennis Borussia, the more rewarding it is. I like that when I walk to get a beer, I can now say hello to someone I’ve spoken to at another game along the way. It’s not the football quality, of course, it’s a feeling of being part of a group. This is obvious. But I have struggled with the idea of fandom over the past few years. I had issues with the New York Yankees to the point where I just stopped supporting them, I’ve not felt comfortable with some of the things the Cruz Azul ownership has done, and the Diablos Rojos del México’s new policy of only hiring Mexican players makes me very angry indeed. But here, with the Tennis fans… it sounds sentimental, a bit mawkish maybe, but it’s so nice to feel at home even though I’ve only been to seven of their games. And that’s entirely down to their fans.

Tennis took a 1-0 lead into half time. And made it 2-0 just after the break. They lost 4-2.

On Sunday, I went down to Neukölln. A part of the city I never really went to when I initially lived in Berlin. But since I’ve been away, it’s become the cool part of town, because of the cheaper rents. A friend and I went to see SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken. This is the Berlin Liga, the sixth tier of football, one tier below Tennis Borussia’s division. Before the game, Staaken were top of the league with four games remaining. A victory over third place Tasmania combined with a loss from second place Eintracht Mahlsdorf would give Staaken the title. Staaken won 1-0, but Mahlsdorf won their game, too. Champagne on ice for another week when the title is purely in their own hands: win one game, and they are champs.

In a way, Tasmania’s ground Werner-Seelenbinder-Sportpark is kinda perfect. It’s small, has some seats in the middle, and terraces either side of those seats on both sides of the field. One end of the field, where several balls were hoofed, there’s some trees. The other end, some benches and tables were a bunch of people sat, drank, and watched the game. I went to this game with a friend. It was her first live football game since seeing Arsenal at the [Name of Airline] Stadium. Thankfully, she enjoyed it. As always: live football is fun. Be it a shit game or a good game, there’s usually something to enjoy.

While we were there, I met Ben, a British photographer living in Berlin. He takes great photos of football in the lower leagues. If you like photos and football, he’s worth a follow: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Web site. His photos are very much better than mine.

My next game (Thursday) should be an exciting one: it’s the Berlin Cup Final between FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin and Berliner FC Dynamo at my local stadium, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

And, finally, the old style naming of the Berlin Fußball Project now seem a little pointless. What started out as an inside-of-my-brain school project to see the eleven Berlin teams in the top five tiers of German football was completed in the middle of April. I am, though, still writing about football in Berlin. So I will continue to link to the posts until the end of the season.

Fußball in Berlin:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Mecklenburg Schwerin, (30/4/17)
1. FC Frankfurt v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (7/5/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Grün-Weiss Brieselang, (12/5/17)
SV Empor Berlin v SV Tasmania Berlin, (13/5/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (19/5/17)
SV Tasmania Berlin v SC Staaken, (21/5/17)

A wee bit of artwork
Minipop Nos. 1,312 and 1,313: The Horrors and Reggie Watts


The song in my head when I woke up this morning
What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber

On this day
Animated GIFs for IBMblr, 22 May 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Happy Birthday (Altered Images song)

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May 22nd, 2017 at 9:11 am

3,331: Embedding the week

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Schwarz Sauer

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Blackbird and sparrow hanging around, listening to the Boo Radleys with me

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Polar bear and sal de gusano

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The late night platform wait.

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U-Bahn legs

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
It’s Not Me by Supergrass

On this day
Yellow bumps, 21 May 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Altered Images

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May 21st, 2017 at 1:57 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,330: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Every morning when I wake up I take a photo out of the window. Previous morning views:
Weeks Nos. 1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

A wee bit of artwork

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
True Love by Coldplay

On this day
She sells sea shells, 20 May 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
One Dove

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Written by Craig

May 20th, 2017 at 5:15 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,329: There’s a band playing on the radio

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There’s a radio in the bathroom. And there’s a bathtub in the bathroom. Those two things make for an enjoyable combo. I, as disc jockeys often tell you to do, keep it locked on one station: Berliner Rundfunk 91.4 It’s an oldies station. Back in the day, their slogan was something like “the best of sixties, seventies, eighties, and all time.” You would hope so, really. I mean, that’s what oldies stations do, innit? Apart from Craig Robinson FM which will play the most average songs of the sixties, seventies, eighties, and all time. It’s 10.34am, and this is “Living in a Box” by Living in in a Box.

Aside from the fact that they seem to play Cat Stevens every time I’m in the tub, it’s a joy-filled time for me. There’s pretty much always something I can sing along with. There are, of course, times when I wanna listen to something different, like E2-E4 for example, which I listen to in the bath at least once a month, I’d say.

But, yep, Berliner Rundfunk is the business. Oh Yeah, (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, You Make Me Feel Brand New, Young Turks, Live is Life, Dreadlock Holiday, Forever in Blue Jeans, Mississippi, Sweet Home Alabama, Red Red Wine, . I could go on, naturally.

And once I’m done lying around doing nothing in the tub, time to sit up, clean my bits, then I’m right next to where the shower head holder thing is on the wall. It’s time for singing into the fisheye lens effect of the shiny metal. That can last quite a while, I’ll tell you that for nothing. Shrivelled skin on my finger tips, but heartily singing along – totally nude! – to Sloop John B.

A wee bit of artwork

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Live While We’re Young by One Direction

On this day
Something for the weekend, 19 May 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Andrew Weatherall

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May 19th, 2017 at 2:38 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,328: Horses

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On Sunday, I went with some friends to see some horse racing. First time outside of Mexico, where I’ve been to the Hipódromo de las Américas in Mexico City a couple of times. This one, though, was at a place called Galopprennbahn Hoppegarten, just outside of the eastern edge of Berlin. A few people looked like they thought they were at Ascot with the hats and stuff. Most people, though, were like us: in normal clothes. It was Irish Day, which seemed to just mean some people playing Irish music on a stage outside of the racetrack area, and far far away from the rest of the booze and food, you could buy a Guinness. There was a stand from the Irish Embassy, too. Maybe I should’ve tried to stay there. Claimed political asylum, escaping from the evil Brexit regime.

Like being at a zoo, I have mixed feelings watching a horse race. Am I mentally silencing objections simply because I quite enjoy being there? In one race, a horse was way behind all the others. He pulled up in front of where we were. Something was wrong. A couple of cars and a horsebox came out. They put up a screen so the people couldn’t see the horse. And they shot it.

They didn’t really shoot it. When they removed the screen, the horse had gone into the horsebox, and they all drove off to the stables. Where they shot the horse. I don’t know if that happened, but why let the truth get in the way of what I feel might be the case. It worked for those fucking awful Brexit voters, so maybe I should start living like that.

I bet on three races. In the first one, I bet a whole euro on Amigo. The rider has an orange shirt with black arms. It came second. It was in the lead for quite a while, though. Not sure that counts as winning, though. Then I chucked another whole euro on Bebe Cherie. That one came 14th out of 16. In the last race we bet on, I went hell for leather, betting two euros on Ostana. And whaddayaknow! It won! €16.80. Victory! Quit while you’re ahead, son. We celebrated with a plastic bowl of pea soup. And it was good pea soup.

What else? Hmmm. Oh yeh, “Horses” by Patti Smith. It’s one of those albums that I just can’t get my head around. Like “London Calling” and “Astral Weeks.” Good gosh, I’ve tried to like it, or even just appreciate it. But, nah, it’s not happening. I do like “Careful” by Horse, though. That’s a good song.

This is a Minecraft horse:

When it gets hit by lightning it turns into a skellington:

I think that’s the end of this horsey post. It’s good, though, that Wikipedia has THREE SOURCES for this sentence on its Pony page:

Okay, one more thing: I always think of two players when I think of Pony sportswear. Tony Cottee and Matt Le Tissier.

(And yes, sorry, I amused myself quite greatly by not having any photos of horses from Sunday. Dumb, I know.)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc

On this day
Three football stadiums, 18 May 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Papua New Guinea (song)

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May 18th, 2017 at 1:17 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,327: Jungle

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Here’s a new digital painting of jungle done with the Procreate app. It’s been a while since I’ve done any jungle stuff and it was very nice to revisit it. So maybe it’s interesting to have another look at the older jungle stuff, too. New one directly below these words, older ones below that.

The older ones are digital (usually the Procreate or Paper app) and real paint. I’d like to get to a place with these where the paint ones are closer to the Procreate ones. Those types both have qualities I like, and if I can get a bit more of the Procreate-ness into the acrylics, then we are in a good place. Royal we, obvs. You might already be in a good place. If you are: high five.

These three are acrylic on board:


These are the weakest bunch, I think. They were done with the Paper app:



A couple done when I was playing with the Adobe Sketch app. It’s quite nice, but I don’t really use it anymore.:

These are all Procreate:







And this self portrait was done with the old Brushes app:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Ink by Coldplay

On this day
Sucks ass, 17 May 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Papua New Guinea

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May 17th, 2017 at 12:26 am

Posted in Artwork

3,326: Sportslounge Berlin

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Quite near to my apartment, there’s a bar. A sports bar. They have a kinda funny silhouette painting of a football player doing a dramatic aerial kick on the metal window shutters. I walk by this place quite a lot. And it never fails to make me smile a little. So yesterday, I took as straight and flat a photo as I could, then when I got home imported it into the iPad app Procreate, and painted over the silhouette to see what he might look like if it weren’t a silhouette.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Steal My Girl by One Direction

On this day
Consecutive items on my Tumblr dashboard, 16 May 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
French Polynesia

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May 16th, 2017 at 1:18 am

3,325: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary games Nos. 10 and 11

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Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Grün-Weiss Brieselang on Friday evening was my fourth TeBe home game, sixth overall. I could get really used to this. I’m totally happy going to football or baseball games alone. I’m absolutely fine doing it. Indeed, in the Berlin Project, I went to all but two games alone. Less than a month ago I went to a Tennis Borussia game for the first time, and on Friday night, I spent a significant part of the game chatting to people I didn’t know back then. It sounds sentimental and mawkish maybe, and it’s spectacularly obvious, but it’s good to be reminded of these things sometimes, that football isn’t actually about watching Live And Exclusive Euro Mega Cup Semi Final On Expensive Cable Channel. That has its place, of course (especially during the World Cup) but going to see a few average games, then seeing a really enjoyable game, chatting to people who were strangers in April: that to me seems to be what this is all about. Tennis won 3-1, I had a couple of beers too many, the PA played True Colors by Cyndi Lauper at the end, and I nearly fell asleep standing up on the S-Bahn on the way home.


(see it a bit bigger here)

If you’re interested in the lower leagues in Germany, there’s an incredibly useful Web site called FuPa.net. It has detailed sections for every region of the country, and the Berlin section has been one of the most-visited pages in my browser for the past couple of months. It covers everything from the fourth tier Regionalliga Nordost down to the 14th tier Kreisklasse C.

All the levels, should you be interested: 1. Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga, 3. Bundesliga (These top three levels are all national and fully professional). Then it gets regional, so the next two tiers – Regionalliga Nordost and Oberliga Nord cover Berlin and chunks of the former East Germany. Below that, everything is within the city of Berlin: the sixth tier Berlin-Liga, then two parallel divisions of the Landesliga, three parallel divisions of the Bezirkliga, four parallel divisions of the Kreisliga A, six parallel divisions of the Kreisliga B, four parallel divisions of the Kreisliga C, then the Kreisklasse A, two divs of the Kreisklasse B, and down at the 14th level, the Kreisklasse C. There are ten teams in that lowest level and with two games of the season remaining, it’s pretty close at the bottom to see who will be the worst team in Berlin. Currently in 9th place are FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf IV, with four points from 16 games. (One win, one draw, 23 goals scored, 86 goals against.) Just one point below them in the last place in the whole of Berlin is 1. FC Marzahn 1994 III. They have one win, fifteen defeats. Their goal difference is -91.

The last two paragraphs were a long intro to saying: I looked at the Web site to see what games are going on at the weekend, and saw that Empor Berlin, the team based just around the corner, had a home game against Tasmania Berlin on Saturday afternoon. It would be churlish not to go, right? And after having lived on the same street as Cruz Azul in Mexico City for three seasons, I liked seeing games that are super close. (That last sentence is ridiculous, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t like only having to walk five minutes to go and see something they were interested in?)

I was also quite interested to see Tasmania. Partly because of the name, partly because they are the successor club of SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin who were once a Bundesliga team. Wikipedia explains it well:

In 1965, Berlin’s only Bundesliga side, Hertha BSC, had its license revoked and was relegated for breaking the league’s player salary rules. The German Football Association wanted to keep a club in the city of Berlin for political reasons and this led to one of the strangest episodes in the Bundesliga’s history.

Both Karlsruher SC and FC Schalke 04 tried to avoid being demoted by laying claim to Hertha’s place. It was decided to suspend relegation for one season and increase the number of teams in the league from 16 to 18 to accommodate the two teams which would normally be promoted from the Regionalligen (the Regional Leagues being the leagues below the Bundesliga at the time). Cold War politics led to a space being held for a team from the former capital city to replace Hertha.

The winner of Regionalliga Berlin, Tennis Borussia Berlin, had failed to advance to the Bundesliga through the regular promotion round that saw Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach move up. After the Regionalliga second-place finisher, Spandauer SV, refused an offer of promotion, the way was clear for third-place club Tasmania 1900 to take up the opportunity to represent Berlin in the Bundesliga — just two weeks before the start of the 1965–66 season.

The successor club were as high as the third tier in the 1980s and first couple of seasons of the Nineties. They dropped as low as the eighth tier in 2009-10. But here we are, in the Gregorian calendar year 2017, and Tasmania Berlin are in the sixth tier, the Berlin-Liga.

Six euros for a ticket, two for a beer. And rather pleasantly, at the beer place, I bumped into a couple of Tennis fans that I’ve gotten to know. I hadn’t know this, but apparently the two teams’s fans have a decent relationship and some of them go and see both teams. It reenforced something that I have beginning to recognise: live football is an incredibly normal and intrinsic part of people’s lives. I’ve made an effort at recent games to, if I remember, ask people the same couple of questions so that I can have a bigger sample size: 1) do you watch the Champions League? and 2) do you follow the German national team? The answer to the former seems to depend on if they have a residual rooting interest in one of the country’s bigger teams, the answer to the latter seems to be a universal “no.”

Just like Friday’s game, for me it was closer to a social event. Bar tables replaced with a small terrace, flat screen TV replaced with 22 people on some grass on the other side of an athletics track. Empor took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Tasmania equalised in the 38th. A local evangelical church was having a street market/fair thingy on the street that ran along the far side of the field. There were samba drums. They were a bit annoying. Tasmania scored a second. Then a third. Then a fourth. A Vahit Engin hattrick. Peep peep. Tasmania won, and high-fived their fans, who seemed to make up quite a decent proportion of the crowd which was, I dunno, 40 or 50-ish.

By the end of the game, I had found out an answer to the question I could’ve found out just by looking at the aforementioned Wikipedia page: the original club owners liked the idea of going to Tasmania, so named their club after that desire. Maybe, by that way of thinking, I should start a football team called Buenos Aires Berlin. Which, come to think of it, is an aesthetically pleasing few words to see next to each other, and it sounds good, as well. I enjoy the way German football club names work. I like the abbreviations SV and SpVgg (Sport-Verein and Spielvereinigung, which mean something like sport association and game association). I also like the foundation years being in the name. So maybe SpVgg Buenos Aires 17 Berlin. That’s a good name. Now I need a crest, though. Team colours, too.

If I were to invent this team, (and let’s not pretend I’m not totally excited about this fake team already, even though I’ve only been thinking about it for three or four minutes, and yes, I am indeed still 12 years old mentally), if I were to invent a team, it should have a combo of the colours of the teams I already like. Liverpool, Lincoln City, Cruz Azul, Tennis Borussia Berlin. That’s red, red and white stripes, light blue, and purple. Hmmm. Now it’s time to have a break in typing and open Photoshop. I’ll be back in a moment. Not that you, dear reader, will know that I’ve been away because the colour combo biznizz will be right below this sentence.

Just looking at those four colours together is a bit weird. It’s gonna be a bit of a mess, right? But let’s give it a go. I’ve always liked the idea of striped jerseys, so that’s what I want. I also like it when socks are a different colour completely to the jersey and shorts. Let’s try some colour combos.

So there you can see the work process. Purple/blue stripes and red-blue stripes are a bit off. The blue-white stripes are bit too obviously Argentinian. Purple and white stripes, though, looks pretty good. Feels like something that might’ve existed in the early days of football. The last one is good, I reckon. Light blue trim on the jersey. A nice detail, I think. I imagine in 120 years, someone seeing Buenos Aires 17 for the first time asking a fan about the colour scheme, and a future drunk person explaining, “aaah, well, the club was started by a fan of blah blah blah…”

Time to do a crest. I quite like a thing that is fairly common in Berlin: a flag with a bit of flag pole and rope twisting around it. Like these:

Let’s keep it simple, eh, cos I’ve just checked the time and I’ve got other things to be doing. So a quick bit of Photoshoppery: circle, text, big German word because big German words are cool, name of team, and a simple-but-colourful flag that would also look pretty good on a massive flag that some fans might make when the mighty SpVgg Buenos Aires 17 Berlin are on the verge of winning the Kreisklasse C…

But of course: do I actually want to run a team? Not really, no. It’s like when I would imagine a perfect little bar in Mexico City. Music that doesn’t dominate the atmosphere, no TVs constantly showing heads talking about things on ESPN, a nice long bar to sit at alone or with friends. A place to have a drink if you’re feeling happy, need to relax, or just feel miserable with a beer or mezcal. Fun in my head, because I wish somewhere like that had existed in my neighbourhood, but not really that much fun to do. I like to fantasize about it, not do it.

So yes, I’m a silly child that still wants to invent his own football team. Which, I suppose is progress towards normality after inventing a whole league of left-handed baseball teams or imagining what baseball would be like if it had five bases instead of four.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Three Extra Games Of The Extended-And-Renamed Accessible By S-Bahn Fourteen Team Project:
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
SV Germania 90 Schöneiche v SV Altlüdersdorf, (29/4/17)

The Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Mecklenburg Schwerin, (30/4/17)
1. FC Frankfurt v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (7/5/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Grün-Weiss Brieselang, (12/5/17)
SV Empor Berlin v SV Tasmania Berlin, (13/5/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Perfect by One Direction

On this day
Some pictures, 15 May 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Fatu Hiva

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
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Written by Craig

May 15th, 2017 at 1:47 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,324: Embedding the week

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Complete strangers said things to me on the street yesterday.

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Breakfast of champions

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Here's something I drew last year for @ozomatli. Super fun project, really enjoyed it. They're using elements of it on their merch.

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Schwarz Sauer.

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Tropical Berlin

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Modern life. Escalator don't escalate.

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Dream sequence

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Don't go right. Vote Labour.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
One Thing by One Direction

On this day
Museu Naïf, 14 May 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Natural resource

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
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Written by Craig

May 14th, 2017 at 2:16 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,323: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Every morning when I wake up I take a photo out of the window. Previous morning views:
Weeks Nos. 1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Sign of the Times by Harry Styles

On this day
Folded rainbow, 13 May 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Overexploitation

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

May 13th, 2017 at 3:27 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,322: 18 years old

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Eighteen years ago today, I transferred some HTML documents, GIFs and JPGs to my little bit of space on freespace.virgin.net, and Flip Flop Flyin’ was born.

Eighteen seems like an important age. One of those ages that is important in your own life. In terms of a Web site, though, 18 is actually pretty ancient, innit? Flip Flop Flyin’ is older than MetaFilter, DeviantArt, CollegeHumor, and Wikipedia.

The first version of the site is a bit of a nightmare to move around. It’s archived here. Annoying navigation, and a pointless splash page with a basic animated GIF for every section. There were some digitally fucked-with photos I took in New York the previous year, some scans of Polaroids, digitally coloured scans of sketchbook doodles, something called People (which was just a photograph chopped up and made into a few GIFs that faded in and out lined up next to each other), and a links page.

The links page seemed important on Web sites back then. The Internet was a lot smaller. And once you’d found your little corner, you linked to the things you liked, and hoped some of those people might like and link you back. Pre Web 2.0 is something I look back on fondly. I still have links on my homepage specifically to keep that spirit alive.

In the early versions of the site, I really thought that redesigning the whole site every month was a good idea. Looking back, that was a lot of wasted time that I could’ve been using doing other things, but in a way, it was important. I started a site because I was I wanted to do something online that I was doing already in sketchbooks. Drawings, photocopies, collage, Tippexing and Letrasetting over those things. Designing every page of a sketchbook. I think that only settled down once the Web site became the blank sketchbook itself, and the layout was just there to help people find specific chapters. And just like culturally the Sixties didn’t start or end at the start or end of the actual 1960s, it took a couple of months for Flip Flop Flyin’ to start to become what it should be.

I’ve marked this anniversary on the blog four times before. In 2005 I wrote about wanting to do bigger, longer, more substantial things. In a way, not much has changed since then. I still feel that desire to do that without the concentration levels to actually do it. Very specifically, there’s one picture story/comic strip type thing that I’ve been slowly planning on and off for about a year-and-a-half. I’ve got it pretty much planned as a bunch of notes and a fairly solid story outline. The stumbling block in this plan is drawing the main character. Once I know what that person looks like, I think I’ll be off and running. I do fear, though, sitting down and actually drawing that person is a self-made block that allows me to continually put off starting the project.

On the seventh anniversary in 2006, I looked at a few of the things that I’d done that I liked the most. I still like most of them, actually, which is a good sign. I need to re-do some of them one day, though, cos they are Flash animations and those don’t seem to work too well on mobile devices. (This is a general thing about the site, actually. It’s long overdue a redesign. I last did that in 2009, before mobile devices became such a big thing.)

In 2009, on the tenth anniversary, I made a wee comic strip with 1999 Craig having a chat with 2009 Craig. I think I will revisit this strip and do a sequel in 2019.

On the 15th anniversary in 2014, I wrote something that was a bit more reflective. The kind of post I would do today, frankly. One good thing is that the regret I expressed about letting the blog slide away eventually turned around, and now is running better than ever. Less readers, but that’s life. I am well aware that the Internet has changed, and people are less likely to read blogs nowadays. Not to diminish my role here, because I really did neglect it for quite some time. Here’s to you lovely people that are still reading! [raising imaginary glass of champagne]

I’m happy now, though, that the blog is properly back as a thing. For my own enjoyment, really. 205 posts since I committed to doing it properly again on 5 October last year. 205 posts in 220 days is something I’m pleased about. As for everything else, I’m glad to be doing Minipops again. I have weird feelings about Minipops. Some positive, some negative, but on the whole I’m glad I had the idea. They’ve been good to me, and I’m glad I appreciate that again.

I need to look at what I’m doing, though. The main thing is deciding how I want the site to exist in the future. I put new things on Instagram and Twitter before I put them on the blog, just because it’s easier. And sometimes it’ll take a while for those to appear on the main site. The modern Internet dictates that that is probably an okay way to go about things, but at some point, when a redesign is getting going, that will be addressed.

Anyway, seeing as though the site is ordered chronologically, I figured on this coming of age anniversary, I’d have a look at my current favourite thing from each year. Self indulgent? Yes, of course. Necessary? Not at all. Fun for me? Indeed it is.

1999: Minipops
It would be churlish to choose anything else from 1999 even though the Minipops of that year were quite crude and, in my opinion, only started to get good (as in the actual drawings) around 2002-03. It really was (in my own head and in terms of response) what turned Flip Flop Flyin’ from a little side project on the Internet to the thing I thought about all the time. The first reference to Minipops was on 18 July. On the home page, writing about the new content, I said “First there’s Minipops. Absolutely nothing to do with the slightly dodgy TV programme, it’s just some tiny pop stars.” It is genuinely bonkers to think I’m still drawing tiny pop stars. Here’s a brand new one. And seeing as though we are now 18 years old, let’s get a little bit after dark with Minipop No. 1,311. He’s not a tiny pop star, though. Well, I guess he is in one sense of the word “pop.” It’s pornographic actor Ron Jeremy.

2000: Fun fun fun
Fun fun fun seems like a pretty crucial moment in the development of what I was doing. The Minipops style was making me happy, and Fun fun fun was a nice way to expand on that, bring more my brain into it.

2001: George
And this one is the other side of my brain. The melancholy sentimental side. George was my grandfather’s name. And the woman looks a bit like my grandmother. These weren’t intentional choices, but I guess it must say something, right? (It’s a looping animated GIF, you will notice where the start and end is.)

2002: Pete and Bob
Two dancing owls that I will always love. Possibly the thing that brought me the most joy while actually doing it.

2003: Uibbles
There wasn’t much good stuff this year, but these little animated GIFs are still kinda nice, I think.

2004: What if…
Very self-indulgent, imagining lots of different possible lives up until that point in my life and into the future. None of the future ones are actually close to being accurate. Some closer than others, though. Others still seem like a nice idea. The more realistic ones.

2005: Witham and Woodhall
This is one of those things where I wish I’d put in more effort, cos I really like the idea. It’s simple, silly, and had lots more potential. In my head it’s still an ongoing project, but in reality, I’ve not touched it or the list of unused ideas in a decade.

2006: FFF pictorial atlas of the world
This was the beginnings of what became the Atlas, Schmatlas book. The book has many flaws. But I’m still proud of it. For its relatively tight deadline, the decent amount of writing and drawing that was needed, it turned out okay. I’ve often thought of George Lucas-ing the whole thing, doing a second edition online. One day, maybe.

2007: Die Wunderbäume
Weird looking back to imagine there was a time when I didn’t enjoy living in Berlin. I really didn’t appreciate it back then. I had had enough. I can’t change that. I wish I could, though. But there was always Mauerpark. Mine and Billy’s park.

2008: The real Paraguay
Really solid idea, I think, which is kinda lost in the poor execution. Another thing I’d happily do again if I found a way to stop time for a few months just to focus on those things.

2009: Sleeping laptops
This year was probably the worst year of FFF. It’s probably not a coincidence that it was also the year I started doing Flip Flop Fly Ball, my baseball-themed site, which took up way more of my time and creativity. That last sentence neatly glosses over the personal stuff from that year which also had a fair amount to do with things. This was a nice light moment, though.

2010: Where do I belong?
A year of quite a lot of change. Starting in Berlin, ending up in Mexico City via a few months in Toronto. Main focus of that year was working on the Flip Flop Fly Ball book. I think the best thing on FFF, though, was something from a less-upbeat time in Berlin: a snow globe spray painted entirely black which seemed to perfectly express how I was feeling in the immediate aftermath of 2009.

2011: Hungry man
A drawing done with the Brushes app on iPad, which has been my tool of choice for most of the decade so far. I’ve switched to using Procreate now which is probably better on the whole, but in lots of ways, Brushes is still my favourite iPad app.

2012: Beastie dots
After four or five years doing sporty infographics, I kinda liked the idea of doing something that was closer to data art, and these two graphics and Beastie Boys songs are probably the best non-sports things I did.

2013: Ciudad de México
For a while I’d had this idea. I began it in 2010. I wanted to do a digital drawing like a mural. And when I saw Diego Rivera’s mural Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central, the idea sort of clicked into place. A modern version, just with the impressions of a foreigner who’d been in Mexico City for a couple of years. I also did a London one in 2014, and I’m currently working (slowly) on a Berlin one.

2014: Flower
While I’d never stopped doing pixel drawings, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I had in the past. That all changed with this. A tiny drawing that grew into a massive drawing. (The first version is below. Much more more at the link.) It only grew so big because I’d fallen in love with pixels again.

2015: This season’s flags
I went into the reasoning behind this on the blog at the time. Basically, though: treating flags in the same way sportswear companies treat football kits.

2016: Mein Berliner Würfel
A sentimental drawing of the city that I think of as home more than any other.

2017: Nature thingies
This was something I did over the course of a weekend. A quick idea, quickly executed. I’m not sure it’s the best thing I’ve done so far this year, and I hope it’s not the best thing I will do this year, but it’s the best thing that is on the site as of today.

The best thing from this year is, I think, the painting I’ve been doing, getting to a place where I was happy with what I am doing. I had an idea of where I wanted to be with it, and it took a few months to get there. And now I’m at that point, having done this process on paper, I’m ready to (and working on) producing a series of works that will all be bigger acrylic on canvas pieces. I hope to show you those later this year.

For now though. Thanks for reading. Thanks for visiting Flip Flop Flyin’. I really do appreciate the comments, emails, tweets. If I die tomorrow, Flip Flop Flyin’ is a decent thing to leave behind. In the grand scheme of things, I’m well aware that it’s not really that important, but it has made me quite happy for 38.6% of my life.

Other business
As well as being the day I started this Web site, 12 May 1999 was also the day that Saul Steinberg died. An absolutely incredible artist. It’s still my dream to one day do a drawing for the cover of the New Yorker, and a big part of that is because Steinberg did such great work for them. Here’s lots of his New Yorker work. And here’s a New Yorker article about him from 2014. Here’s another New Yorker article about his love of baseball. And here’s the Saul Steinberg Foundation site.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Live While We’re Young by One Direction

On this day
Foul ball, 12 May 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Tragedy of the commons

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

May 12th, 2017 at 2:11 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,321: Pixel food

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As you may have noticed, I’ve drawing a bit of pixel food recently. More than anything it’s a) fun, and b) really good pixel practice. Doing precision is pixels is time consuming, but relatively easy. Buildings, machines, trains, etc. Once the shape is right with those things, the rest falls into place. I find food a bit harder, mostly because food doesn’t have too many straight lines, and drawing things with random shapes (like the edge of a fried egg, for example) takes a bit more work. Getting things to look random usually has way more attempts than a straight thing. Colour is also hard. My natural tendency is not to have too pronounced an amount of chiaroscuro. And that, combined with how I rarely use black outlines on my pixel work (in the way that Eboy do, for example), means getting the slight changes in colour can be a challenge. The white of a fried egg is a good example of that. Don’t want the whole thing to be too grey, but need some highlights.

A decade ago I did a Big Mac. Felt like it turned out okay at the time. Fairly sure I’d do it differently today, mind.

In 2015, while not strictly food, it’s food-related. One of those self-ketchuping hot dog sculptures.

A first attempt at a fried egg.

A better attempt at a fried egg from 2016, mostly because it’s a fried egg sandwich.

Here’s one of my favourite FFF things, Neptune Fish Bar. I liked the idea of a fish and chip shop trying to go a bit upmarket by pretending it was a sushi restaurant. I am planning a new Neptune Fish Bar thing. It’s probably gonna be “taco nite at the chippy.”

Some more stuff from the last couple of years: sushi (these were part of the process for the Neptune Fish Bar thing), a taco al pastor, a pop tart, piece of Battenburg cake, Marmite on a crumpet, a teabag, a cosmic potato, and a hot dog with toothpaste instead of mustard or ketchup.

That all brings us up to date. The recent flurry: a pretzel, the wurst triptych (bratwurst, weißwurst with a slightly different pretzel than the previous one, and currywurst), Weißer Spargel mit Holländische Soße und Kartoffeln (white asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes), a piece of Stilton, tacos al pastor (I’d totally forgotten I’d done this before), and yesterday’s fish finger sandwich.

And here’s a couple of new ones: baked beans on toast, and the king of all food, Marmite on toast.

Looking at all of those tells me, amongst other things, that I really should start drawing some healthier things.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Solid by Ashford & Simpson

On this day
Madonna, 11 May 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Traffic congestion

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

May 11th, 2017 at 1:43 am

Posted in Artwork

3,320: a self-published ebook synopsis

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A wee bit of artwork
More pixel food: a fish finger sandwich

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Perfect by One Direction

On this day
Romantic, 10 May 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Public transport

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

May 10th, 2017 at 3:14 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah