Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
January 23, 2007
DVDs, Daleks, images, and anniversaries (!!!)

Becky is right -- if those DVDs mentioned here had been $4, I probably wouldn't have put them back. (They were actually only $6 -- maybe even $5 -- but oh what a difference a dollar makes!) $4 price tags were enough to get me to pick up Election, Pump Up the Volume, and The Island of Dr. Moreau at Best Buy last week, and I've never even heard of the second and have heard horrible things about the latter. But I like Christian Slater and Moreau is one of those movies that I knew would sooner or later come into my possession simply in virtue of the subject matter, so I figured I wasn't likely to find a better price. Besides, even if it's terrible, the presence of Ron Perlman, Marlon Brando, and Fairuza Balk make it worth a viewing in my book. And Election is just hilarious.

It is a desk clock.

So the other weekend we found this while cleaning the basement. It doesn't work anymore -- it was apparently a promo thing given to my dad by some drug company many years ago -- and there doesn't appear to be any way of replacing the batteries, so it would otherwise have been thrown away... but I have other uses for it. Any guesses as to what I could use it to represent? Read on for a hint...

The DALEKS are coming!

Okay, that may be kind of a giveaway, especially with the clock on its face and all -- kind of makes its function a bit obvious, don't you think? -- but still. And speaking of DALEKS, thanks to De for the hot tip yesterday -- those Daleks were completely sold out by 8:00 PM, but I was lucky enough to get my order placed before then. Between the paper Dalek army and the Cult of Skaro, the Doctor will have his hands full whenever he makes his Scary-Crayon toy comic debut! And speaking of toy comics, here's a new TMNT-related comic I posted the other day. Non Turtle-fans probably won't get the joke, but you can still admire some of the new techniques I used to improve the look of the comics. I'm not sure that the tradeoff is worth the amount of time it took me to complete the comic -- after all, the joke would've been the same whether I added the background elements or not, and I suppose I could've added sepia toning or something to date the central image -- but it does look kind of neat. No? I've already completed another comic along these lines and think I will keep it up, but for future comics that take place in the Turtles' lair (and in the Batcave, whenever I get it set up) I will continue to use my playsets as the background instead of cutting the characters out and pasting them against separate images.

And speaking of backgrounds, check out this alpha channel transparency test. You may not be able to see it if you're using IE6 or lower (in which case I'd be curious to hear what you do see), but folks browsing with IE7, Firefox, or Opera should be able to see it. In each of the color blocks below, the Daleks and the clock are the exact same image -- the exact same file -- as the one above, yet the red outline blends in with the various colored backgrounds of the blocks. Kinda keen, no?

The DALEKS are coming!

The DALEKS are coming!

The DALEKS are coming!

The DALEKS are coming!

The DALEKS are coming!

Admittedly, I don't have a whole lot of use for this feature. It would be neat if, say, I planned to change a website's colors across all of the pages without replacing certain graphics -- but since generally speaking I choose the colors of the image based on the background color (note that the red glow hardly looks as good on the colors below as it does on black), I likely wouldn't want to do that. Plus, the file size tradeoff doesn't make them ideal for things like simple title graphics, which is really the main place I would use them. They would be useful for things like rounding box corners (or giving them ragged edges, which I may try to do someday), but I'm not sure a minor visual tweak like that would be worth the effort to pull off. After all, I care more about what's inside the outlines. 🙂

And speaking of which, SC's three-year anniversary is this Thursday! This blog (as in The Blog of Wes, assuming we consider Wesoteric to be the continuation of it) already had its three-year anniversary on January 16th -- which I do tend to forget because of its convoluted origins, as noted here. My, how time... crawls. Slowly. Like languid snails.

Okay, that's all for now. Until next time, minna-san! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 11:43 pm | Comments (4)
  • the Jax says:

    I'm at work, using IE6, and the Dalek pictures show up on a white background with a colored border. Nice glow, though. And happy anniversary/passage of snails.

  • Reader says:

    The battery can be replaced, I am not sure what model you have, but it should take a strandard AA battery. You are a good toy maker, did you ever think about opening a toy shop?

  • Jenny says:

    Oh my god, Island of Dr. Moreau is one of my favorite movies, and I think it might be right up your alley.

    And this review, written about it in 98, is perhaps the funniest, most accurate endorsement of a movie that I've ever read:,,284621,00.html

  • Wes says:

    Jax: Thanks for checking it out for me -- I suppose I will have to wait until alpha transparency png files are more widely accepted before I start using them extensively in layouts. 🙂

    Reader: There may be a way to replace the battery -- but seeing as how there is no battery slot and there aren't any screws on the thing I can't see how one would go about it! I suppose one could try tearing off the padding on the bottom (or breaking the marble -- yikes!), but I'd hate to go damaging such a nice prop.

    Jenny: I will have to e-mail you my extended comments about the film, but shame on you for calling The Island of Dr. Moreau one of your favorite movies! I admit that I enjoyed it because I went into it with exceedingly low expectations, but I'm extremely hesitant to call it a favorite or even use "good" in reference to it (unless, of course, that word is followed immediately by "bad"). And thanks for sharing the EW link -- that review is definitely accurate (not to mention amusing)! 😀

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