Guerilla Drive-In last Friday Night: “Cannonball Run II”

Last Friday night was a Guerilla Drive-In showing. We had planned to show Cannonball Run II at the Marsh Creek Speedway (check out those AWESOME seventies rental go-karts, which still run and are for sale), but the Friday night racing got rained out.

So we showed the movie at TheNote instead, which is the new music venue in West Chester. Here’s the best my iPhone could do: (BTW, “Cannonball Run II is the full Rat Pack’s last appearance on film, which is why you see Dean and Sammy here):

Guerilla Drive-In: "Cannonball Run II" at Bam Margera's new club The Note

I asked them at the 11th hour (lunchtime on Friday), and they had four bands booked that night, but they were really hospitable and squeezed us in anyway. Which lead to some surreal moments — like when I was setting up the screen and the tripod, and a genial fellow asked me what I was showing, and I was telling him, and then I realized I was talking to Phil Margera. Bam Margera is an investor in the club.

Jackie Chan’s fight scenes got lots of applause from the bar behind us, and professional sound-guy Vaughn (sp?) patched the Commando Projector directly into his sound board, with the result that it ACTUALLY SOUNDED LIKE WE WERE AT THE MOVIES for the very first time, instead of enduring a wave of pain. I have a _lot_ to learn about sound. While the movie was going on, the bands were getting set up behind the screen.

The Note has a great stage, and has only been open for a few weeks — if you’re in West Chester, you should definitely check it out! There’s a feed of upcoming events.

The next Guerilla Drive-In showing is coming up on October 25th, and it’s going to be a good one.

Guerilla Drive-In last Friday Night: “Cannonball Run II”

Needlepoint Nitrogen Motorcycle Tattoo Tank Cozy

The 29th annual Chester County Restaurant Festival is coming up on Sunday, and I’m gonna be giving airbrush tattoos on Mary Bigham’s red carpet. What tattoo does a foodie get? Not a sailor’s anchor, but a FORK, naturally! Expert pixel-pusher Jason Tremblay lent me the vector art for the Restaurant Festival’s fork logo, and Dave Moroz-Henry at Barking Dog signs is cutting the stencils.

I’ll be using the sidecar rig with the five-pound nitrogen tank. Since the Restaurant Festival is a foodie event, I thought I’d dress the tank up a little bit. WITH NEEDLEPOINT! This will go on the front of the tank:

Quick needlepoint project: Nitrogen tank cozy!

I’m using 13-count mono canvas, with a damn swanky silk/wool yarn. The canvas is two inches wide (26 threads, not counting the four I’ve folded under on each side for a finished edge.) I took it off the frame after stitching the black, and I’m already pulling it into a parallelogram after only a few rows of white background. But this yarn is stretchy; maybe if I just sew it to some stiff Velcro hook tape, that’ll pull it back straight. Blocking things with finished edges definitely is something I’d like to learn to do better.

Anyhow, if you’re in the area, come out on Sunday to get your own fork tattoo! Get your picture taken with it, and win a prize. More information about the Restaurant Festival is on the WC Dish site.

UPDATE: I had a great time at the Restaurant Festival. I gave tattoos from 12-3, and Toren gave tattoos from 3-6. When I came back, he had developed a new overhand grip on the gun, and was giving tattoos better than I was. And his jokes were funnier! Bastard. You can see him keeping the crowd spellbound below: (click the photos to see them on Flickr)

Chester County Restaurant Festival Tenedoreados Nitro Tank The MASTER at work

Needlepoint Nitrogen Motorcycle Tattoo Tank Cozy

Nerdlepoint pattern in 18-ct canvas

Nerdlepoint patch
I finished stitching up and binding a nerdlepoint canvas in 18-count mono canvas. I used a two-step binding stitch on the edge, which makes a braid, but MAN is it hard to keep the braid steady.

This is one of those things where knowing how it should be executed doesn’t really help: you just have to practice and be okay with the fact that it’s NOT gonna be the way you wanted it the first few times. You can also see the row of holes around the edge where I blocked the canvas using stainless steel T-pins. I’m not sure how to block a finished canvas like this without leaving those holes.

The QRCode that I stitched here contains the proxy URL “nerdlepoint.com/cat“, which right now is directed to a YouTube video. The Nerdlepoint patterns use the same back-end as the p8tches.

Nerdlepoint pattern in 18-ct canvas

P8tch 2.0 Prototyping: Now With Frickin’ Lasers

I’m prototyping p8tch 2.0. I want these things to be like futuristic ranger badges, except by "futuristic" I mean like "original Star Wars futuristic", or "Syd Mead Alien futuristic", where stuff is actually heavy-duty and shows actual wear. That means incorporating industrial materials, leather, and hand stitching. Plus juxtaposing white plastic and leather, naturally.

Anyhow, here’s a piece of Rowmark Reverse LaserMark. It’s clear plastic, with a white backing. Mike from Hannah Manufacturing in Augusta, Maine took a design from me and cut away the white substrate using a laser table.

The result is a piece of plastic that’s smooth on the front. It’s white, except where it’s MOSTLY clear (the laser leaves a bit of a rough surface.) The plan is to paint the back, leaving a nice, contrast-y black and white design. You can see the original blank here, and then after I spray-painted the back:

P8tch 2.0 Prototyping: Reverse LaserMark P8tch 2.0 Prototype: Spray Paint on Reverse LaserMark

Here’s the view from the front after the back has been painted:

P8tch 2.0 Prototype: Backfilled Reverse LaserMark

In my mind, I had imagined a crisp contrast between pure white and de-e-e-e-p black. However, the laser leaves a rough surface, and so I get a kind of 70% gray showing through to the front, with some striation where the laser had passed back and forth.

I want to explore:

  • Maybe a slightly deeper engraving would reduce this? (update: Mike says “no”)
  • Maybe I need to apply the black paint with a brush, really grinding the paint into the irregular surface?
  • Maybe I need to buff the laser-engraved surface before painting?
  • Maybe I should explore engraving clear plastic, etching away the WHITE and leaving the black clear?
  • Maybe laser engraving isn’t really the way I want to go, and I should apply two layers matte vinyl to the back of clear plastic instead (first black, then white)?

Anyhow, it looks pretty cool already. My rough plan is to epoxy this to a die-cut piece of black saddle or patent leather, which Joe from Pisano & Son would have stitched to velcro. At that point, I’m thinking it’ll be the most Syd-Mead-y thing I own 🙂

By the way, the URL on this prototype is http://p8t.ch/zesil, which at the moment is configured to redirect to Tikaro Interactive’s main page. Using the p8tch system, I can change the redirect target on the fly. You can (ahem!) get your very own p8tch for the low, low price of clicking on this link! Plus money.

P8tch 2.0 Prototyping: Now With Frickin’ Lasers