Groundhog Week

This is the midpoint of winter, when we crest that long uphill climb and see down the slope into spring. Legend has it that the groundhog will pop out of its hole and do the weather forecasting thing. Statistically, a cold, wet, sleepy rodent is more accurate than college educated meteorologists with billions of dollars worth of satellites and sensing equipment. People cry about global warming while we've had three consecutively brutal winters. I am very confident in natures ability to counter humanities interference. The more stuff we do to the planet, the more the planet reacts in ways that are not necessarily pleasant to us. Oh course we've only been keeping weather records for less than 200 years so our idea of what is "average" is like describing the average corn stalk based on one plant, somewhere in Iowa.

Back to the drawing board.

Drawings from last night.

Drawings from last week.

It's been a few weeks

I haven't updated my drawings in a few weeks. I really look forward to the drawing sessions starting again after the new year but the first one on Jan 6th was disappointing. Both my drawings and my mood. Even so, a few were OK. The week after that we had one of my favorite models [I wish I had a bigger pool of models ... anyone want to earn $30 for two hours work?] but the long pose was not finished. I sometimes will work on them beyond the class and this will be one of them but I don't want to post it in progress. Now we come to last night. I was becoming bored with the gesso quick studies so i switched to ink. I like what i got so i am going to keep it up. New work can be seen here.

Ad blog schmad blog

I saw an advertisemnt this weekend that put an idea in my head.It was the latest ad from H&R block[heads] where, if you play thier scratch-off game you can win double your tax refund. This struck me as very predatory. Perhaps it is my 20+ years in the advertising business but i see EXACTLYwhat they are trying to do and it, in my opinion, is reprehensible. The ad states that if you "play" and you "win" you will get double your income tax refund, up to $10,000.00 The problems I see are first, you must, in fact be getting a refund. If you are not, then the whole pointis moot. And how do you find out? By letting H&R Block do your taxes [for a substantial fee]. Second, it states UP TO $10,000,but in fact it'sonlydouble your refund.When was the last time [or the first] that anyone got a refund that large? The average refund is around $1,000 so you would only get ten percent of the maximum, on average IF you "won". Finally, they do not tell you the odds, so there may be only one winning ticket. So, after paying them to do your taxes, only then can you find out if it was worth it. Unfortunatley i am sure it will be a great success at the expense of the confused or gullible [or wishful thinking, led on by subtle deception.]

I was thinking of doing a weekly evaluation of ads - good or bad, and divulging the techniques used to sell as well as if i thought they were honest, effective and ethical.

Winter is official.

The precise moment of the 2004 solstice will be December 21, 2004 at 7:42 A.M. EST (12:42 UT).

All right, who's hosting this year's Bacchanalia? I could really use a day of drunken debauchery. Just say the word and I'll grab my toga, laurel wreath, ready to sacrifice a virgin or two.