Sunday, December 19, 2010

famicom cartridge art

Every year a video game store in Japan creates a gallery of famicom cartridge game art. I always found that the art on the box or package of games was usually a stylistic interpretation of what the game actually was... Some were realistic, and others were wildly exaggerated.

These cartridges would make some pretty cool games:

More cartridge art can be found at

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

there's treasure everywhere

On a routine stop at the local thrifty store, I ususally find something awesome.

At the electronics section(ha. I have to stop there. I sometimes laugh even considering some of that crap electronic), I saw the usual pile of Nintendo Gamecubes and like twelve Playstations, and a N64.

Sidenote: I pretty much abandoned Nintendo and jumped on the Playstation bandwagon in the late 90's. The games were better in my opinion. I never really played N64, but they had some nice enough games. If I could, I would probably get one, just for the cartridge nostalgia. All the abandoned Gamecubes are a result of everyone getting a Wii, which also plays Gamecube games.

But then I saw something incredibly rare: three NES's sitting there. After some scrutiny I picked the one that looked the least beat up, found some power cords and TV connectors and took it home.

So the NES needs some TLC. I cleaned it up, and powered it on. The red light blinked so that's a good sign. A lot of old consoles have faded or yellowing plastics from UV exposure. The NES I picked up has some UV fading on the front and left side of the unit, which is pretty awesome considering how old it probably is. Who ever owned it probably just left it on the shelf. My SNES looks terrible, almost like it was baked in the sun. It has something to do with the cheap plastics that were used in Japan, and after 10 years or so, most of them deteriorate. The 72 pin connector inside the unit is probably dirty and corroded like most Nintendos. I'm going to have to open it up and replace it with a better one, or try and clean the contacts on the games I have. An old NES is a temperamental beast, but I think I can resuscitate this one.

Now I just need some controllers and games. That shouldn't be too hard. I've looked for my old NES at my parent's house, but it was probably lost when we moved to UT. All the cords and connectors were probably lost too. I did manage to find four cartridges though, and with some cleaning, I can probably get them playing soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

post 555

My brother has been running. He even attempted his first Ultramarathon last month, completing 30 miles before he had to DNF. He finished the half marathon that Halloween and even got a medal. I do not run. I prefer to walk/jog to the pantry to eat Oreo cookies like they're going out of style. I hate running, and I don't think that I'll be finishing an ultarmarathon anytime soon. I've got other plans.

This weekend is the El Tour de Tucson bike race. The 109 mile race circles the perimeter of my old hometown. It actually passes by close to where I used to live. My dad rode the El Tour a long long time ago on a crappy mountain bike, and I think there's an embarrassing photo of him from the early 90's somewhere. My goal is to be ready for next year's race, and I think I can do it. I just need to keep riding.

I'd like to try the Utah Lake Century before I go down to Tucson next year. I guess my real goal is to try and finish a century next year. That'll show my stupid running family.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

the ride there (again)

I had a hard time riding into work this morning. I don't know if it was breakfast or if I just didn't get enough sleep. I made it into work ok, but felt really tired. Here's a song that I had in my head this morning, and the video works because it got me pumped up for my ride.

Remember Nada Surf? They had a hit or two in the late 90's and then fading away like everything else. This song "Whose Authority" came out a couple of years ago and features Michael Moronna of Pete of Pete fame riding his bike throughout NYC as a bike messenger. Enjoy.

(edit: on the ride back I saw two girls smoking pot and walking a goat. It was crazy. I found out that my rear wheel was rubbing on my frame or brake pad... That's why I had a hard time this morning. I was flying on the way home. Whoa.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

the ride there

Rode my bike 10 miles into work this morning. It was the first time in a long time (I might get rained on the return trip). There's always a sense of urgency on the way to work... like I'm not going to make it on time. I pulled into work almost 20 minutes early.

Some things that I saw on the ride:

A pirate skull and bones eyepatch.
A stuffed bunny
A phillips screw driver
Multiple dead animals
and a girl who got pulled over by the Lehi PD.

I put my iPod on shuffle:
  1. Transmutation - MDFMK
  2. Hang on - Dr. Dog
  3. Spoonman - Soundgarden
  4. I Can't - Radiohead
  5. Inside - Moby
  6. Pet Toy Designer - Bud Light Real Men of Genius Radio Commercial (I have over a hundred of these)
  7. Change Clothes - Jay Z + Danger Mouse
  8. Over Now - Alice in Chains
  9. Burned - Better Than Ezra
  10. Minarets - Dave Matthews + Tim Reynolds
  11. Alone, Together - The Strokes
  12. Uncle Johnny - The Killers
  13. Rental Car - Beck
  14. Quake Theme - NIN
  15. Obscured - Smashing Pumpkins
  16. Daylight - Coldplay
  17. Right Start (unfinished outake) - Talking Heads
I need to clean up my my ipod. I usually hit shuffle to see what comes up. I hope the ride back has a good mix.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Here's a quick pixel doodle I finished a while back. Some of the most interesting things I notice while playing old Nintendo games are the textures that someone painstakingly programed to make buildings, floors, walls, and bricks. It isn't as easy as it looks.

I like the cold weather.

That's it.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I don't know what to blog about.

I'm tired.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Famicom? what?!

Today. I had another awesome day with my son, but I felt like we had to brave the rain and get out of the house. Beware the wall of text that follows...

I went to the local thrifty store today. I went and checked the usual spots: records, gadgets, bikes, misc stuff, books, etc. I ended up with two awesome blue ties, an Elton John album, and a very old, near mint copy of Nintendo Power. It is the May/June 1989 issue with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the front cover. When I came home and flipped through the issue, it brought back some great memories about the NES which I'll talk about later... But yeah- the magazine previews the first TMNT game, Mega Man II, and other things. I found it funny that people would actually write the magazine for tips on games like The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear, and other classic video games. An eight page strategy guide for Ninja Gaiden totally made me smile.

I also forgot how awesome some of the artwork was. The magazine extensively used the talents of Katsuya Terada and others to bring some... life to these 8-bit games. His creative concept art for The Legend of Zelda is some of the best:

This was kinda brought on by my recent re-interest in chiptune music.

I'd like to get my grubby hands on an original NES, as I believe that my old Nintendo was probably thrown away a long long time ago. I'd also like to get a Commodore 64 (and I almost did... but chickened out at the last moment). All these old consoles and computers are put to good use by new music software that take advantage of the sound chips found within. blah blah blah. Here's a song from BitShifter:

In my research I found out that the Japanese Famicom had extra sound channels that were utilized in many games, but it was not used in the North American version of the NES. The Famicom Disc System had an extra sound chip. Did you ever look on the bottom of your Nintendo and wonder why there was a unused adapter on the bottom? Yep. That was it. Never used.

Disappointed? Yes I was after I found some sound examples that showed that some of my favorite games had inferior sound quality and music when compared to the Famicom versions. The solution? Get a Famicom of course. ha.

Here are a few examples:

Here's the Japanese version of Metroid.

Here's the American NES version. You'll notice a difference.

One more example. A mix of both versions:

Castlevania 3 is one of the best examples of the sound quality differences between Famicom and NES. After watching footage of other games, it just makes me sad. Sound effects, and the sonic components of the games are no where to be heard. I would definitely go back and play the Japanese versions of these games just to see the differences. I just need a plane ticket to Tokyo where all this stuff sells for a few hundred yen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Well I'm not sick anymore. That totally sucked by the way. I hate being sick.

Now I'm just hoping that someone calls me back for a job interview. Hopefully.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Yeah, I've been sick the past couple days. It started with a stupid sore throat and then I had a fever that made me delirious (It seriously did, ask Nat. I was saying the weirdest stuff and laughing uncontrollably. Like the time I was on painkillers). So I've had a boring time. Lucky for me Shark Week has been going nonstop on the Discovery Channel. I've had nightmares about sharks before, but it doesn't stop me from staring down the gapping maw of razor sharp teeth.

I've been looking for new jobs. I've been looking for over a year now, and it is difficult to find a archive/historical preservation gig right now. No one is hiring and my resume just gets lost in the shuffle (who the crap has 7 years experience in anything? Seriously!). I went to a resume clinic and found out that I was probably doing it all wrong. How was I supposed to know? I haven't had a serious job interview in like six months and before that I can't even remember. So I'm taking it from a different angle now. I think I can try again and figure something out before the end of the month because I can't go back to my old job. It just won't work. There's too many crazy people there.

Still drawing. Should post some more stuff in the future. I should have studied art history, or been a graphic designer. I have too many interests and a short attention span, so college didn't work so well for me. In the end I know I'll have to go to graduate school, and I've got to do better on the GRE. The last time I took that test I pretty much fluffed it...

Rambling aren't I? I wish I could stop coughing.

So yeah. Stuff is going on. The year is winding down. My son is awesome, and he's growing up so fast. We got a package in the mail today. It was from one of Nat's relatives and they got us a Bumbo. It's a hard foam seat that forces your kid to sit upright. It looks like a torture chair, but at the same time looks incredibly comfortable. I wish they made them in adult sizes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

more blogs

I've cleaned off half of my desk. The rest of my office is still disorganized, but that's ok. I can probably get some work done finally. This summer has been flying by so quickly, it is hard to catch a second or two to check some things off the list.

I found an old hardcover sketchbook that I've had (and been too afraid to use) for many many years. I'm going to start sketching away and make sure to include it in my usual bag of tricks. Things I'm interested in drawing: architecture, landscapes, and people. It will be ugly, but I'll probably scan in some results later on my Angry Peasants blog. I plan on updating it more frequently. I'm still working on ideas for the webcomic. Everything up to this point has been kind of experimental.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

the long blog

My brother and I attempted to climb Flat Top Mountain again last Thursday. Our last attempt ended in failure after I had read the map incorrectly and took a wrong turn, which placed us on the wrong side of a ridge. With more determination this time, we left early and made our way to the trail head. The rutted mining road required some 4x4 expertise. After navigating the rocky road, we hit the trail, but like the previous hike, we ran into some problems.

right off the bat we found ourselves mixed up in a maze of elk and cattle paths that criss crossed all over the mountainside, creating a maze of waist high bushes. Each turn seemed to point in the right direction, even though we were probably close enough to the trail. After twenty minutes of bushwhacking and trail hunting, we gained some elevation and found the real path. I yelled at my brother because it seemed like we were just hiking parallel to it for some time.

Finding the real path helped us cover some good distance pretty quickly, despite the tough incline and sudden increase in elevation. Coming around the first ridge, we could look back at our tiny car, and see the peak we climbed a few days earlier. The sun was rising fast and the heat and bugs were starting to get to us. After a rest, we continued forward and the trail soon took us through a thicket of aspen trees and tall bushes. By the time we had emerged from the trees, we had lost some elevation and the trail again. We were at the mercy of deer trails and the maze. Using the map we knew where we should push ahead, but the scraggy bushes just clawed at us making the climb twice as difficult. By this time the sun was in full force destroying our will to go forward. Looking up at the side of the ridge, I saw an outcropping of rocks and we used that as a bearing to wade through the brush.

From that outcropping we could look down and see the telltale signs of a solid path, even though it was overgrown. Taking that trail we had to make a steep ascent to the saddle. By this time, I think we were probably at the halfway point. We found a small campsite with shade and some logs to sit on so we rested. Looking up we could see the main ridge and the summit of Flat Top. Summit fever overtook our senses and we pushed ahead. Again we lost the real trail, though I was later glad that we did.

We found a worn deer trail through the forest we had to cross in order to climb up the ridge. For the most part, we were in the shade and only had to climb a few fallen logs here and there. My feet had started to hurt, but I ignored it. After coming through the forest, we faced another scratchy climb through thick brush to reach the ridge. Once we did, we could see for miles and miles. The view from that ridge was worth all the cuts and scrapes. We looked down into utah county and could see most of Tooele county. I could see my house from there! ha.

After coming so close, we both decided that it would be too hard to keep going. We were honestly a few hundred feet from the summit. Being extremely tired, and not fond of scrambling over sharp rocks, we backed off the mountain cautiously. The combination of the steep hike, physical exertion, and lack of a real trail really made things hard for us. On the hike back down we managed to stick to the main trail even though it was overgrown most of the time. Coming off the ridge was tricky, steep, and put us against the edge of a very steep cliff. I'm glad we didn't climb up that way. Even though we were able to climb down quickly, just being physically exhausted slowed down our descent. We reached the campsite again, and agreed that we could make it back to the car by 4:30 and out of the canyon by 5 p.m.

The remainder of the hike was really steep. My knees began to buckle, and as time went on the sun beat down on us. I had enough water for the trip down, but the lack of food kept me from keeping my energy up. After trudging along the trail, it became clear that I had the initial signs of heat exhaustion. I was overheating, my stomach started cramping up, and I thought I was going to fall asleep walking. It was a death march back to the car.

Hard hike for sure. Not something I'd try again soon. Given the lack of use, I'm sure the trail will fade away in a few years to the overgrowth. I underestimated the elevation and time it would take to go there and back, but oh well. I'm scratched up and sunburned. Yay for adventure.

I've posted a new picture to Angry Peasants. I'm planning to post some more pictures soon. Just need to get around to it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Haven't bloggered in a long time. Been busy, let's be honest here.

My son was born on june 30th. He came early, but there were no complications. He's growing up fast and makes us laugh all day long. My dog seems to think he is either a human baby or a toy that can move. She'll figure it out someday. I'm a happy dad, and can't wait to pass down all my secret geek knowledge to him one day. So now I'm at home taking care of my family this summer. I wouldn't say that I'm bored because before I know it, the day is already over. Crazy. I've taken this time from work to look for other jobs and to get things done around the house that I haven't been able to get to.

Yesterday my brother Ryan and I went on a hike that kinda failed. I misread the map and took a wrong turn, and we ended up forging a path up a mountain, which sucked. I got all scratched up and then we found out that we were completely in the wrong place. So much for that. We did find the entrance to an old mine, and a teetering cabin. I got to test out my four wheel drive on a crazy mining road. Looks like we'll have to go back and try again.

Other than that.... I guess I'm here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I've been cooking more because nat and I have taken part in the local farmers market thing. I pull up to the local school and get like 25lbs of produce for like $15. Really good deal. Nat makes salsas and i cook potatoes and sauté vegetables. Pretty sweet. Lots of fruit to munch on during the week. I don't know what to do with the coconuts I got though. Kinda weird.

Nat came up with a super ice cream combo. She combines rocky road, cookies and cream and strawberry ice cream to make this uber Neapolitan blend that is pretty awesome. Yep. For sure.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


A bunch of my friends got together to go camping over the weekend as a celebration for mr. Dan getting married next month. We went down to Scranton, an old mining ghost town up a canyon in the middle of no where. We had lots of fun exploring, burning stuff, shooting guns, and just shooting the breeze. I was bummed out that all the mine entrances were destroyed or covered. Its getting hard to find a dangerous mine these days. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. We had lots of fun. I of course got sunburned and felt sick once I got home. I wish I could get out and camp more often. It was awesome to see the stars and just sit by the fire.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

5 minutes later

Very quick and sloppy idea. It looked exactly like this in my mind. I get really impatient when I draw- so it comes out kinda sketchy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Redspring village, your next home away from home.
I drew this map for our d&d game night. Below is an action shot of the party about to kill off some monster badness. I made the pixel art for the monster tiles and mark was a rolo.

We all had a really good time, laughing and getting into the groove of 4th edition d&d. This was the first time many of us had ever played d&d, and after a quick introduction we dove headfirst.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This comic from PVP online pretty much sum up my addiction to Foursquare, the location based game for your cellphone. I will go anywhere now... just for the sake of checking in and earning more badges. Nat says Foursquare is used by people to track and kill you. We'll see. Right now I'm the mayor of seven different places... and I plan on keeping it that way.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

shout out

Just wanted to give a shout out to the Mormon crazies that threatened to disrupt and incite violence at a Fireside because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was invited to speak about his conversion story. Guess he wasn't Republican enough. I don't know what to say.

I was going to write a long essay about what's wrong with the conservative/mormon universe and this situation, but I'm not going to. If you want to know what I really think about all of this, you can email/tweet me.

On another note: The iPad cometh. Art thou tempted? Anyone buying one?

Let's wait until ver. 2.0.

And I need a root canal. ugh.. I've been putting it off too long.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

less talk more rock

Sword & Sorcery EP: A video game project by the awesome pixel artist Superbrothers is coming soon!

Read his ideas on video games:

I just have to say that I am excited to see something like this: a true attempt at video game storytelling without all the stats, clutter, and talk to mess it up. Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


More Angry Peasants today. Still working on some new music. I'll send some stuff out later this month probably. It is a slow process.

Some things I'm interested in right now:

Pepperbox Revolvers from the 1850's.
Leatherworking- Specifically gun holsters from the Civil War period up till 1900.
Bookbinding. I really wish I had more experience in that department.
Progressive Rock from the 1960's and 70's. YES.
Genealogy: Mid 1800's immigration and Queens, New York City.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

you're a ... cartoonist?

Took me awhile, but I finally scanned in a new Angry Peasants.

Friday, February 26, 2010

long weekend?

Working on that RPM Challenge. I forgot how much work was involved in song writing (which is probably why I've put it off for the better part of 5 years). I've been working on songs that are new, songs that are kinda old (2 or 3 years), and one that is probably from 2005. I decided that I need to just clear them all out. So I've been finishing lyrics, and figuring out chords for most of them. I know I was supposed to start with brand new material for this thing, but I figured since I was going to have to redo everything anyway that it would count for the challenge.

I have a feeling I'm not going to get this done in time. Well... I hope so. I have to get it mailed off on the first. With all the work that has to be done, it looks like this will be a recording marathon on Saturday or Sunday. Long weekend.
When I get everything recorded, I will post songs here and on my RPM profile for listening enjoyment.
New Angry Peasants beginning in March! It will probably be a once a week thing for now. Wednesdays?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Working on stuff.

February seems to be a busy month. I'm trying to tie off some loose ends and revamp some of the other projects I've been working on forever. I've elected to participate in the RPM Challenge. Which is cool because I've been working on some new music ideas for a couple of months now. Everything is hooked up and ready to go, I just need to finish it on time. Since there's a real deadline involved here I probably have a good chance. I like the idea behind this, which is similar to the Album-A-Day project (a very challenging idea in itself). Working with what I have already... I've got one song in the works and ideas for 3 or 4 more. Working between two computers, I should have this in the bag.

I'd like to give a shoutout to Mark for allowing my music to be part of his awesome short film Lincoln. Look for it as part of the x96 film festival and throughout the internets. I give Mark credit for pretending to like all the short 30 second clips I've given him (I should put out a whol album of 20-30 second clips of music). Can't wait to see new episodes of Nottblock in the future.

I've finished drawing new Angry Peasants. I just need to ink, scan, and color them. I haven't been able to do that because my resources are being focused on music projects. I've come to terms with how hard it is to be a syndicated cartoonist. It seems like a relentless struggle to keep up with the pace. Even posting cartoons three times a week seems like a hard goal to reach. Once I get these last few drawings finished, I'll start posting them. Not sure how frequent it will be though. I have like 30 ideas backlogged, and it's just a matter of time and execution.

I been asked to run sound for the Lehi Arts Council production of Singin' in the Rain. I haven't heard anything from them in a few weeks, so I'll assume that once serious rehearsals start in March that I'll jump on board.

I'm tired all of a sudden.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

more to come!

After a brief hiatus: More Angry Peasants... Soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

music overload

I'm out of touch with music.

I've been this way for a long time now.

And here's my best guess as to why: most of my iPod is based around 90's alternative bands, and I refused to listen to the radio between 1999 until about 2006. Now there's a flood of Indie bands with strange names... and music that seems completely foreign to me. The musical guests on late night talk shows are either so different from what I usually listen to or just something I would never buy or download in the first place. So strange. Everything from commercials or soundtracks of artists and bands have seemed so... unknown. I refused to go to local concerts because all the bands were trying to copy Death barf for Cutie.

I'll be honest- I think I like most of my 90's alternative because many of those bands based their sound from 70's rock: early metal bands, progressive rock, etc. I love 70's rock. But I can't really figure out where all these recent indie bands get their sound from. Folk music?! Is it 80's alternative (because I never really liked that stuff that much)? Some of these groups seem like they've brought back the art punk/new wave/alternative idea of music that rebelled against the sound of the 70's. Who knows. Or is it an original art form that can't be defined? Some of these bands have been floating under the mainstream radar for so long that they have many many albums to listen to.

When I think about it, sometimes the indie scene is just another "my-obscure-taste-in-bands-is-better-than-yours" type of thing. So what? It can be said that the mainstream umbrella term of "alternative rock" that conquered mainstream radio in the 90's allowed this lo-fi, independent underground music to thrive until it too became popular a few years ago.

So I decided to look at the lineup for the Coachella festival this year, and every band that I didn't recognize, I decided to download one of their albums. I'm probably going to hate it, but it will save me the price of tickets to see the actual show. About 80% of the entire lineup was completely new to me. In a future post I'll review my findings. I might make a graph or create a musical degree of separation chart.

To the select few that read my blog:

What music/bands are you listening to right now?

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Geez... what a long day.

I think it's just this time of year again. From January until whenever the snow melts is the crappiest time of the year. I guess it's the cloudy days mixed with the cold. I just want to stay indoors and sleep until April or May. Why can't humans hibernate? wuh?

Nothing really to report. Looking for a better job (almost seriously this time), though I doubt the internet abyss will help me in that endeavour. Updating my resume. My blackberry is set to stun. There's something out there with my name all over it.

Listening to new music. Going to start Angry Peasants soon. I'd like to make some music soon too.. but I'll probably never get around to it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I've been busy since christmas trying to beat the new super mario bros wii.

Let's see... what have I done?

I repainted my electric guitar blue. It is now a cloudy guitar. I'm not sure how long that will last.

Haven't really drawn any funny pictures lately. The process is time consuming. meh. I guess I'm just tired.

Watched a lot of movies.

Ate lots of candy

Guitar Hero 5.

Things I got for xmas:
A new headlamp
Chia pet
Awesome pots and pans
And some other things.