Oh, and also

I asked one of those AI art programs for your phone to create an image based on the words “Mr. Siler” and “Mr. Siler in his classroom,” and I find the results utterly delightful:

Nerd project!

Yesterday, I had too many dice.

Today, I have too many dice and they are displayed on my wall in what is technically two nail polish racks, but who’s counting? Not me.

There is room for more, which is good, because I still have about seven or eight sets of dice that need to be displayed.

It is difficult to put into words just how happy this stupid little project has made me. My office is so much nerdier now.

In which these are not the giraffes you’re looking for

I have sung the praises of Potawatomi Zoo more than once in this space; our local zoo is genuinely a highlight of northern Indiana and we’ve been members for quite some time. They’ve recently acquired four new giraffes and have spent a lot of money extensively renovating a large swath of the zoo to construct a proper habitat for them. The zoo is typically closed during the winter, but once a month or so they have Zoo Days anyway, where they open for a few hours, rain or shine, and well, you see whatever you might be able to see. However, today was the first day that seeing the giraffes was possible, and the high today was a rather unseasonable 68 degrees.

We were going to the zoo.

Unfortunately, so was everyone else in South Bend. When we got to the zoo the line to get in was a block long, and the parking lot is a mess under the absolute best of circumstances, and “perfect Spring day featuring the public’s first real chance to see four hotly-anticipated new animals” is, uh, not the best of circumstances. So we did not go to the zoo today. And as soon as we decided we weren’t waiting in the line, much less whatever horror we might have encountered inside the zoo (they were limiting access to the animals, letting in a limited number of people for 10-minute blocks, so who knows how many a “limited number” is) we immediately drove past two perfect parking spaces.

We came home, opened all the windows, and I put shorts on.

There is a 60% chance of snow on Monday. Because Indiana.

If you want to feel like a celebrity for a little while, post the words “looking for an artist” on Twitter. Because holy shit are there a lot of people out there who very clearly have programmed a bot to reply instantly to any use of that sequence of words. And the funny thing is that I can tell from referrals how many people clicked back to the article, where I clearly describe what I’m looking for, and the vast majority of the 43 people who responded to that tweet or however many more who immediately DMed me did not (possibly because they were not human) click through the link on the Tweet to see what I was looking for.

Hilariously, however, I got a recommendation in comments almost immediately, and while I haven’t contacted the artist yet her style is exactly what I had in mind, so I think I’ve got somebody. I’ll take some time tomorrow or later today to go through all the comments I got and then delete the original Tweet just to do my diligence, but … man, asking the Internet for something worked this time.

Seeking an artist

Pictured to the right here is the current logo I’m using for my YouTube channel. I like the basic idea of it; it looks enough like me that anyone who knows me recognizes it instantly, I actually own that shirt, and he’s playing video games.

That said, the look on his face is … off, and it’s really obviously a Bitmoji; the style of those things, even if you don’t recognize the particular pose the image is in, is instantly recognizable.

I know some artists, but I’m not sure any of them are appropriate for what I’m looking for: I want to redo the logo image for my channel, and I want something that is reminiscent of this, and in a cartoony style (that’s where everyone I know falls down; none of them are what I’d ever describe as “cartoony”) but I want something that is unique and looks like me without obviously being from some specific site on the internet that is reproducible by anyone who can find the proper settings.

If you know anyone, please let them know, or if you feel like you are such an artist, drop me an email with pricing and a portfolio link. We can talk details then. To be clear, this is to be a planned gig; I have a budget in mind and I don’t think it’s an unreasonable amount, but we’ll see.

A review of an actual book

I’m a hundred percent certain I’ve talked about this before: my wife and I both love to read. I read a lot faster than she does, but we have fairly similar tastes in reading material for the most part, so she only very rarely actually buys books. Generally once she finishes something she’ll ask me what I’ve read recently that she’ll want to read, or just go looking through the bookshelves that are slowly taking over our entire house until something strikes her fancy, and then she’ll read that.

There is a critical difference between the two of us here, because while we are both readers, I am also a book collector and my wife very much is not. She has very gently suggested to me a couple of times that we might possibly have too many books. I do not recognize that as a legitimate state of existence. “Too many books” is, for me, quite simply not a thing.

Which brings me to a little dilemma I’m having with James Islington’s The Shadow of What Was Lost.

I don’t like the story. I am not enjoying reading this book. The reasons aren’t especially interesting and fall into my Don’t Shit on Books Unnecessarily policy; I’m just not enjoying it very much, 200 or so pages into its 700 or so page length, with two more volumes already concluding the trilogy that are available but I haven’t bought.

The problem is the actual book— not the story, not the part you’re supposed to, like, look at, but the actual physical object itself that you hold in your hands– is amazing, at least in the paperback edition. The pages and especially the cover just feel great, and the book is exactly the right size, and it even smells good, and I know from seeing them in bookstores that the entire trilogy looks great on a shelf. So much so, as a matter of fact, that I’m considering going ahead and ordering the rest of the series just so that I can touch them and so that they can be on my bookshelves together, effectively as art pieces and not as things that convey a story. I mean, would I ever read them? Will I even finish this one, or will I DNF it and move on to something I’ll enjoy reading more? Or will I just keep reading it so I can hold it for longer, because it’s so pleasant to have in the hand?

This is … not a thing my wife understands. As marital incompatibilities go, I’ll take it, believe me, but if I end up ordering the next couple of books I might have to find a way to put them somewhere she won’t find them. Not quite sure how that’s gonna work, but we’ll see what I can come up with.