Surf ‘n Turf Dept.

July 24th, 2007 | Posted in General

Right now I am trying to work ahead in anticipation of a short trip to NYC this weekend with The Lovely Anna and the kids (sans The Animated Elizabeth, she hates anywhere but her house and her videos). After getting assigned a short deadline piece for MAD yesterday, there is not a lot of time for blogging, so here is one of those cheap posts about some websites to visit:

Freelance Switch- The Daily Cartoonist, which is itself a must visit concerning news about the world of cartooning, had a great link the other day to a blog called Freelance Switch. It’s billed as “a Community & Resource for freelancers of all varieties – designers, writers programmers, illustrators, photographers …”. It is a great resource, chock full of useful posts like this one called “8 Simple Online Time Management Tools for Freelancers” or this one called “10 Essential Steps to Avoid Freelance Headaches”. A definite bookmark for anyone in the freelance business.

Renegade Fitness- My personal trainer, Ryan Branson, left Lifetime Fitness and has started his own PT business. This is his new website. Ryan is a very knowledgeable trainer and has helped me progress in the last two years even after I had achieved some pretty significant physique changes in the previous three years with my original trainer, Rich Dolan. Rich left to pursue a life in the service of God, and he hooked me up with Ryan before departing. Ryan’s site is new and a work in progress. If you want to see where I came from and where I’m at with my training, check out his client testimonials page for a brief article by me and some shocking before and after pictures.

Audible- is the best source for reasonably priced audio books for download. It has quietly added one of my most eagerly awaited books to it’s library. I never thought I’d see it, but Dune by Frank Herbert is finally available, unabridged, for download as an audiobook. I’m a big Dune fan, really loving the slow burning books stuffed with social, political, religious, geo-scientific, economic and caste-system themes and concepts amid an inventive and far reaching science fiction universe. I hope this is the first of what will eventually be a complete collection of Herbert’s Dune series on Audiobook. I haven’t listened to it yet, but it looks to be a cast recording as opposed to a single reader. It will be fun to hear it brought to life.

Finally, a few posts ago I was talking about MAD and advertising, and mentioned how nobody complained about the Spy vs. Spy Mountain Dew commercials. That may have been because they were so darn well done. Here’s some I found on that bastion of copyright infringement, You Tube:


  1. Mark Hill says:

    The freelance switch blog is terrific. I had just decided a few days a go that my email-checking was like that of a kid with a bad video game habit. (When I’m working on multiple projects I’m always looking to see if sketces are approved, etc., and it can get ridiculous. “Have they responded yet?…No? Rats…How about now?” The suggestion there is great.)

    As for your trainer change and the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, wow — congratualtions! Based upon what is visible in the photos alone, that’s quite impressive. I’ve been fairly dedicated with weight training for about 15 years now and I completely understand the difficulty in making transformations like that — and also pushing past plateaus. (A lot of alliteration there at the end…sorry.) One of the biggest benefits of weight training for me, (and I imagine for you as well), is that it almost always clears my head of anything that might be bothering me. It’s my personal therapist.

    Have fun in NYC.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for the compliments on my workout results. I am not big on scales, measurements or taking pictures, so I didn’t really have much info or many pictures that really show the difference. The sunset picture was after about 3.5 years of training and the pool one was just this past April, at nearly 5 years of training.

    I completely agree, it’s a stress reliever.

  3. Mark Hill says:

    Everyone’s entitled to their own method of keeping track of progress, but I’m the same way about scales, measurements, photos, etc…If my wife likes what she sees, I’m happy.

    I started training when I was in my early 20’s, so I hadn’t yet encountered the usual changes that come from age, sitting behind a drawing board all day, or eating food intended to please kids’ palates. (I was just a tall, praying mantis-like fellow.) After working at it, (no drugs), things have changed. Every once in a while, I’ll run across an old photo and be reminded that I would’ve made a perfect ‘before’ model for an old Charles Atlas cartoon ad. (If it’s possible, I think I was even skinnier than the guy they portrayed.)

    I really look forward to my time at the gym. It’s too bad that the stress relief aspect of weight training isn’t publicized as much as the physical benefits.

  4. saamvisual says:

    I love the adverts. They weirdly acknowledge the spirit of the strips while bringing something more and special too – which is the best use of imitation in another medium.

    On the freelancer blog. I really appreciate the site, but feel that the stock photos jarr with the general gist. Why they no use some original material? The rest is authentic.

  5. Casa says:

    Concerning the Spy vs. Spy commercials:

    Where is the video with the canopy? It has obviously been deleted from Youtube. Can I find it anywhere else in order to put on my iPod?


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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