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new flag

Somebody suggested that, as a country, we needed a new flag. Sort of a rebranding, I suppose.

This is a Carrick Bend. It's my suggestion for the new flag of the United States. It's a little on the nose as far as symbolism, but I don't care. I like the look of it. And really, that whole thing about "the stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars are the number of states, the red is the blood of patriots" is pretty over the top already, right?

But the flag is our holy sky-cloth as the kids say these days. Americans project a lot into it (or is it, onto it?) I like my design because it's simple and you can dance to it. I also like the graphic quality (which I stole, legit!) and its throwback-to-old-times look. I mean, America was originally a sea-faring nation, yadda yadda yadda... Plus, red, white and blue!

Now here's a different flag that a lot of people are proposing as a new representation of their feelings about the country.

thin blue line

I like the lack of color in it- it's got that dystopian look that death-worshiping Americans love, especially with the distressed effect in the light areas. I guess it represents "our values" under attack by... forces... maybe alien forces?

I dunno, the symbolism totally escaped me until I looked it up online and found out that it represents the police protecting whites from people of color. I don't think the designer should have been so concerned about retaining all 13 stripes even though they didn't give a shit about the number of stars (unless there's some significance to the number 44, which, by god, there could be!) But they changed the overall geometry of the flag. The actual proportions of width to height are very important. Just not feeling this one.

Say, here's a similar flag, said to honor first responders, with the correct proportions. I mean, how hard is that? It doesn't look all fat and dumpy like the blue-striped one.

thin red line

I could go through the other suggestions for new American flags, like the yellow snake one and the stars 'n bars, but they are even worse than the official U.S. flag. Come on people, we need a rebranding! The flag that represents concentration camps in Texas and the genocide of indigenous people and the nuking of the Japanese and the unending wars waged to protect shady "American Interests" just doesn't stand for what I believe in. It took a long time to learn that.

Oh well, here's the Steam Powered Banner, something I came up with in 2009 to represent the studio and the Stokers and just good fun in general. Sky-cloth.

sky banner



This greeted us at the end of an 800 mile drive the other day. (click thru for the big picture)

So much better than the previous year, with heavy rains for ten hours and cars hydroplaning off the road.

One cloud at the end. I'm thinking of joining the CAS now.

the girls

Some hot weather we've been having. I see these gals racing for the little pool at the end of their pasture as I'm coming home from work.

The way they're standing in a bunch, all facing different directions, it's difficult to tell where one cow ends and the next one begins. This is their perfect defense against wolves and lions.

Continuing along the effects pedal path.


This was used at GC, only I thought I was buying the larger version. The larger version has another knob, and allows you to choose between three patches with a toggle switch. Do we still call them patches?

No matter- this little one has the same guts. The patches can be customized via TonePrint , which is amazing, as it can transmit program changes to the pedal from the speaker of a cell phone through the pickup of a guitar. I hadn't heard that modem sound in a long time- might have to sample that.

Those TC folks have been nothing short of amazing since I first heard of them, with the 1128 digital equalizer in the 90's. At Clair Brothers we helped them develop a user-friendly interface that acted like the typical graphic eq. Wish I had one of those gadgets now...

I was a little disappointed at first when I saw that my pedal had only the three knobs, for dry, sub 1 and up 1 signal levels, but the TonePrint software lets me adjust everything in the box from a computer, including what the knobs on the pedal control. It has the capability to do three seperate bands of octave shifting, interval shifting, distortion, eq, and modulation, and it's easy to dial in tones from the editing software, because the changes you make update in real time when connected via usb. You toy with it until you get the sound you want, then save that patch to the pedal and/or computer. Really easy.

Add the true bypass feature and this is a lot of bang for the buck. I never knew what I was missing with these octave boxes!