Blathr Wayne Lorentz

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Showing blathrs with the tag “Art.”

Peak nerd

Saturday, September 2nd, 2023 Alive 19,121 days

It took me a while, but I finally managed to buy each of the original cartridges released with the Atari 2600 in 1977.

The sticking point was Star Ship. It took almost a year for one to show up on fleaBay for under $50.00. My budget was $5.00. So when one finally appeared, I was all over that Buy It Now button.

To mark the occasion, I put them in a stack on the dining room table, and took photos which I then turned into i-device wallpapers. They look pretty good on my iPhone. I haven't tried them on an iPad yet, but I made them with plenty of space around so that they'll work in both portrait and landscape on an iPad.

iPhone X screenshot of Atari cartridges pile
iPhone X screenshot of Atari cartridges in a helix

You may notice that the screenshot with the cartridges arranged in a helix has squiggles where the time should be. This is because on weekends, I don't want to know what time it is, and iOS doesn't allow one to remove the clock, so changing it to a language I can't read is almost as good.

It's also not possible to remove the date bar, but I can replace it with the weather, which is less awful than seeing the cold, bony hand of time scratching across the top of the screen.

The original wallpaper files I created are here:

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Looks grate

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 Alive 18,942 days

Security grates

Security doesnʼt have to be ugly.

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Nice bike

Sunday, November 27th, 2022 Alive 18,842 days

A big, big bike

This guy looks in my bedroom window.

Not the one with the camera. The one with the bicycle.

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Leaf me alone

Friday, August 19th, 2022 Alive 18,742 days

A cup of coffee with leaf latte art from Greenway Coffee

I wonder what kind of leaf this is. To me, it looks like a philodendron, left in the corner office of a skyscraper after everyoneʼs switched to work-from-home.

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More like an onion

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 Alive 18,740 days

Latte art from Greenway Coffee. I think it looks a bit like the iris growing in my garden.

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Alley art

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive 18,733 days

Graffiti in North Garland Court at East Lake Street in Chicago

Chicago has better graffiti than Houston has legitimate murals.

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Blackity Black Black

Friday, May 27th, 2022 Alive 18,658 days

An electrical shutoff box, in pink and Blackity Black Black

Pull that switch, and youʼll cause a Blackity Black Out.

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Rebel without a clue

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 Alive 18,655 days

An artist at work in a CCʼs Cafe

The sign on the outside reads “No loitering or sitting here.” The artist on the inside is clearly both sitting and loitering as he works his watercolors.

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Nice gams

Monday, May 23rd, 2022 Alive 18,654 days

Three downspouts

Two historic downspouts, crafted in the shape of grotesque fish. Between them, a boring corrugated plastic tube. All serve the same purpose, but two of them are signs of an advanced civilization, while one is a sign of people being cheap.

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Head cases

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 Alive 18,653 days

Mount Rush Hour

If you drive into downtown Houston via I-45 from the north or I-10 from the west, you will be greeted by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen F. Austin, and Sam Houston.

Each of them weigh two tons, and are the work of exurban sculptor David Adickes. He made them, and 39 others, in 2004 for a theme park in Virginia that never opened, so the entire bustle of busts never left Houston.

These four were relocated to a cut-off corner overlooking the freeways at 1400 Elder Street. Officially, itʼs called American Statesman Park. But most commuters know it as Mount Rush Hour.

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Pane point

Saturday, March 12th, 2022 Alive 18,582 days

Stained glass above an entrance to a Chase building

On my evening promenade, I came across this stained glass window above one of the entrances to one of the Chase buildings in downtown Houston.

It looks like a battle scene, and this being Houston, that means itʼs probably San Jacinto, or the Alamo, Goliad. Or maybe one of the other Texas battles that are less famous and didnʼt get their own state park, tourist attraction, or flag.

There were so many battles in Texas, that thereʼs an entire Wikipedia article just for the ones fought during the Texas Revolution.

I know there are lots of plaques inside this building, so one of them could probably clue me in. But itʼs Saturday night, and Chase is closed.

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Ride ʼem allegorical cowboy

Saturday, March 12th, 2022 Alive 18,582 days

The 3100 Travis Building, with artwork by E.Z. Galea in 1951

Buildings do a great job of preserving history, if you know how to read them. A building may change owners, colors, and names, but its height, setbacks, floor spacing, materials, and other fundamentals can tell you a lot about it.

In some cases, buildings wear their history on their sleeves. 3100 Travis in Midtown Houston is one of those. Above what used to be the main entrance is a nice Texas-flavored bas relief featuring an oil well, and what may either be a pipeline or a railroad connecting McAllen with New York.

A lot of early- and mid-20th-century architectural decoration featured allegories, often of “Progress” or “Commerce” or “Engineering.” I donʼt know which allegorical figure this is supposed to be, but this is Texas, so heʼs riding a horse.

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Your beret is crooked

Thursday, November 4th, 2021 Alive 18,454 days

The Picasso/Calder exhibit at MHF/H

If a museum stages an exhibition of Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder, youʼre obligated to photograph it in high-contrast black-and-white.

When in an art museum, do as the art students do.

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2021 Alive 18,445 days

An airplane avoids an Anish Kapoor sculpture
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Pile it on

Saturday, September 25th, 2021 Alive 18,414 days

A weathered piling

Time and tide conspire to turn a piling into a cylinder of art.

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Sunday, January 13th, 2019 Alive 17,428 days

Inside the Armargosa Hotel

What do you do if youʼre a New York ballerina who reopens an abandoned opera house in the middle of the desert all by yourself? You paint your own audience members and support dancers.

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Saturday, January 12th, 2019 Alive 17,427 days

A desert art museum

Itʼs a New York museum in the middle of the desert. Because… art!

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Saturday, October 6th, 2018 Alive 17,329 days

A painting of Vanity

Selfie. 1930ʼs style.

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Sunday, June 24th, 2018 Alive 17,225 days

An overdone art car

Not all artists understand thereʼs a difference between an art car, and a barnacle-encrusted Spanish galleon.

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Run with it

Wednesday, June 1st, 1988 Alive 6,245 days

The cover of Run magazine, July, 1988

One of the biggest computer magazines in the country has put me on its cover.

Tonight a U.P.S. truck pulled into the driveway and gave me a long cardboard tube with next monthʼs issue of Run magazine in it. On the cover is one of my pictures, and thereʼs another one inside, with a short biography about me.

I remember someone contacting me on QCS about my computer pictures, but didnʼt think much about it. That was months ago. Now, here I am in living printed color.

And itʼs not just the magazine, there was also a check from IDG Publications for two hundred United States greenbacks inside. Thatʼs more money than I make in a month stuffing coupons into Sunday New Jersey Heralds from 7pm to midnight every Friday and Saturday night.

Knight by me.

The picture on the cover is called Knight, and is based on a chess piece on my shelf. My sister went to Mexico and brought back a coral chess set. The Commodore 64 doesnʼt have the right colors to paint chess pieces so they look like coral, so I painted it in shades of blue so it looks like itʼs made of ice.

The 64 has a lot of colors for a computer, but theyʼre in an order that someone decided would be most needed, and not necessarily what an artist might use. The closest you can get to a range of colors is by using various blues, grays, greens, or reds:

Black Blue Light Blue Cyan White
Black Gray 1 Gray 2 Gray 3 White
Green Light Green White
Brown Red Orange Light Red White

The colors arenʼt arranged in groups, so you have to play with them to get an understanding of how they fit together. I like to use color changing to create a fade-in-fade-out effect when I write demos, or for cursors when I write games. If you change the colors quickly enough, people donʼt notice if theyʼre not quite right. Like going from brown to orange to pink and back. Do it fast enough and it passes for glowing monster eyes, and not just a kludge.

Sunrise by me.

Inside the magazine is another picture of mine called Sunrise, which depicts the sun rising over Upper Highland Lake West with a little Sunfish sailing in the foreground.

I included stars in the dawning sky because it reminds me of the times that Scott and I would swim across the lake in the middle of the night, with the water black ink around us, and a cold, distant moon directly above showing us the way to shore.

I donʼt know how wide the lake is, especially on the route that we would take. My guess is itʼs a mile or two. We steered far away from the earthen dam near Breakneck Road because of all the rusted metal barrels leaking orange goo at its base, and away from the island and Turtle Rock because it gets shallow there. I donʼt like touching the bottom.

Iʼve heard it said that Turtle Rock is part of an underwater rock wall that once divided a farm that was flooded when they made the lake. Who knows if thatʼs true. But I can tell you that thereʼs an awful lot of catfish in that lake, and that they love American cheese.

The picture of Sunrise is accompanied by a little biography about me:

If youʼre a QuantumLink user, the chances are that youʼre familiar with the work of Wayne Lorentz. Lorentz, who lives in Highland Lakes, New Jersey, and is pursuing a B.A. In computer graphics, has been creating drawings on his C-64 since 1983. Heʼs probably best known for the colorful, detailed screens heʼs done for Q-Link, including the Rock Link and Bonnieʼs Bar title screens. For graphics programs, he favors KoalaPainter, Doodle! and The Advanced OCP Art Studio.
Run, July 1988, page 46

The part about “pursuing a B.A. In computer graphics” is a bit of wishful thinking. I told them that so they wouldn't think I was 16. Hopefully I can eventually get into the Rochester Institute of Technology to do that.

Also in the article are a few of my friends from QuantumLink: Joe Ekaitis, Peter and Paul Hughes, and James Hastings-Trew.

I donʼt know James very well. Heʼs far above me in both technique and skill. The Hughes brothers everyone knows because they put out so much quality work.

Joe I know better than the rest. Iʼve actually spoken with him on the phone. My BBS, The Nowhere BBS, has carried his comic strip T.H.E. Fox almost since it was first published back in 1986. From The Nowhere BBS, it gets relayed over the ARB network to dozens of other systems up and down the East Coast.

The “T.H.E.” in T.H.E. Fox stands for Thaddeus Horatio Eberhart, so the main characterʼs full name is Thaddeus Horatio Eberhart Fox. Naturally, heʼs a fox, and like most cartoon foxes gets into all kinds of trouble.

Also in the strip is Rapid T. Rabbit. The “T” stands for “Transit.” Joe is a big fan of buses, and seems to know everything there is to know about how big bus lines run.

Once we were on the phone and he asked me to give him a pair of cities. I donʼt remember what pair I chose, but letʼs say it was something like “New York and Denver.” He was able to instantly quote me a list of the buses Iʼd need to get from New York to Denver, including departure and arrival times. It went something like this:

Take the 10:30am New Jersey Transit bus 194 from Port Authority in New York to Warwick, New York, arriving at 2:10pm. Transfer to the Adirondack Trailways bus leaving at 4pm to Ithaca, arriving at 9:15pm. The next morning, get the 7:05am Greyhound bus to Pittsburg, transferring at 10pm to another Greyhound bus to Saint Louis…

He must have had all of the timetables memorized because thereʼs no way he could have looked all of that up instantly while I was sitting there on the phone with him. Rapid Transit Rabbit, indeed!

He told me that heʼs going to try to get a TV show on cable. We donʼt have cable here, but they do where he is, and he thinks they may give him some time. I donʼt know if itʼs going to be animated like The SuperFriends, or if heʼs going to dress up in a costume, or what. Some day Iʼll have to go visit him to watch cable TV and see what he does.

When I told my fellow overnight paper-stuffers at the New Jersey Herald how much I made, they didnʼt believe it. Not in a “Wow, thatʼs really cool!” way, but in a “Youʼre a fucking lair!” way. They donʼt think anyone will ever make any money with computers.

When I countered with “What about IBM?” they had no idea what I was talking about. And thatʼs why in a couple of years when Iʼm off at college in Rochester making computers do amazing things, theyʼll still be surrounded by stacks of crumpled newsprint at midnight trying to fix the coupon insertion machine.

An excerpt from page 46 of the July, 1988 issue of Run magazine.
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