Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Philosophy Club

Monday, October 22nd 2012 by Pat

Rule 1: We do not think about Philosophy Club

I made this comic because I thought it would be fun to draw René Descartes, he just looks like a total bad-ass French dude. Kant makes an appearance as well, playing the part of the stuffy philosophy club president.

I haven’t studied much philosophy, maybe one class somewhere along the trail, but I sure do think it’s a romantic pursuit. I’m not sure if being a philosopher is a profession these days or if it’s just a collateral occupation to anyone who thinks about the world.

My favorite contemporary philosophers have mostly disguised themselves as comic creators – Bill Watterson, Randall Munroe, Kazu Kibuishi. I also like Malcom Gladwell and Michael Pollan. Bob Ross. I think he counts. Yeah, Bob Ross definitely counts.

As it happens, I’m writing this from France, just a few blocks from Voltaire’s house. It’s nice outside. I’m going to go explore, that’s what a philosopher would do.

Bear on a Wet Tin Roof

Thursday, September 20th 2012 by Pat

Bears are fairly common in downtown Juneau, this guy was climbing around on our roof yesterday. He sure was itchy and incredibly agile.

This bears was probably drawn to downtown Juneau by garbage and other delicious aromas. This particular alley is often littered with trash from local winos and must have smelled appealing.

There’s been an effort to enforce bear proof garbage containers which has done a lot for the problem but “bear proof” doesn’t always mean bear proof to these clever animals and sometime they get bold enough to skip the bin and break directly into homes and businesses.

I know several people who have had bears in their homes and while I haven’t heard of them hurting anyone, there’s a frightening potential for a physical encounter. My dad had a few cubs wander into his house and my mom had a bear climb in her bedroom window and get away with a bag of sugar a couple years back. Live here long enough and you’ll probably have a bear story too.

The story of this particular bear has a sad ending. He was hauled away and killed not long after being darted. A news article mentions that this is likely the same bear that invaded a downtown yogurt shop and was seen climbing on another rooftop in the area. He was a repeat offender and was getting far too comfortable around people. I don’t know if it would have been possible to relocate him but some attempts to relocate has been unsuccessful and expensive.

If you’re concerned about bears, please keep Juneau tidy and store your garbage indoors until garbage day.

Shark Week

Friday, August 3rd 2012 by Pat

Ahhh yes, Shark Week, that nostalgic time of year when the people of the world set aside their differences. When families gather around the warm glow of a television to watch cartilaginous predators snack on nature.

If only there were more holidays based around marine biology, I think the world would be a better place.

I wrote this song with Marian Call and I have very little musical talent so allowing me to contribute a few words was a big thing. A bit like translating my clumsy sentiment into a new language… probably more similar to lending me wings.

I have great appreciation. Even if it is a silly song.

If you want to support us making more songs and movies you can pick up this track for a dollar at bandcamp. You’d be surprised at how many people contributed to this tiny song and Marian has a nice detailed list of the recording credits posted there.

The music video was shot at my cousin’s house and features Marian Call, Lael Rogers, Izzy Christensen, the Keltner family and a number of fierce and salty pirates.

The excellent shark fin hats, aprons, and oven mitt were made by Carol Race & Carol White.

Thank you everyone who helped with the singing and dancing and filming!!

Chomp! Chomp!

Zeus

Friday, July 27th 2012 by Pat

I got back from Comic Con last week and realized it’s been way too long since I was publishing web comics with any kind of regularity.

I’ve decided I’ll be doing this more often. It makes me happy.

Zeus is Poseidon’s older brother and king of the gods. He chases skirts, skips meetings, and he’s quick to anger but he’s a good dude anyway.

He would have been the youngest sibling but his dad, Chronos, swallowed all the other kids and barfed them up in reverse chronological order which somehow makes him the oldest.

Comic Con 5k – 2012

Tuesday, June 26th 2012 by Pat

I’m going to Comic-Con this July and I’m going to eat a ton of ice cream and get a bad case of booth hunch. It is known.

I thought I’d combat the problem by bringing my running shoes, wearing a Flash shirt, and going for a run along the waterfront.

If you’re free I hope you’ll join me. Saturday afternoon looks ideal and I’ll announce a time once I get a look at the schedule.

I’m kind of over flash mobs but I haven’t seen nearly enough Flash mobs so if everyone wants to dress up as The Flash, that would be cool. Or the Juggernaut or Quicksilver or some other running themed comic characters… or yourself. Of course you can come as yourself but I hope you feel out of place dressed as a normal human and at least wear a red shirt with a yellow lighting bolt taped to it.

Right. Disclaimer. This isn’t an official event, this isn’t any kind of event, running is incredibly dangerous and not for the faint of heart. I can’t be responsible if you trip on an invisible jet and skin your knee.

Kes Woodward

Thursday, June 7th 2012 by Pat

I was recently commissioned by the Rasmuson Foundation to create a mini-doc on Kes Woodward, a visual artist from Fairbanks and the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Artist Award.

Kes was an incredibly gracious host. Lou and I arrived at a time when he was between studios, between homes, and between lives but he found room for us and carved out two days from a very busy schedule.

We talked about life and art and wandered around in the birch forests of Fairbanks as the summer greens were beginning to overpower the chalky dusty colors of early spring, it was a wonderful experience.

We shot way too much footage for this tiny documentary and there was so much more I wish I could have included.

Kes reads every Wednesday morning to a class of Kindergarten students, he’s active in his community and church, he’s an explorer looking within and without to discover truths about the world and he shares his discoveries with anyone who is willing to listen.

Kes has a rare and subtle enthusiasm that fills you with curiosity and a calming sense that the world might be an ok place.

This film also features the poetry of state writer laureate Peggy Shumaker and the instrumental compositions of Marian Call. It was quite an impressive group of Alaskan artists on board for this project.

LEGO Robotics Challenge!

Monday, May 7th 2012 by Pat

The big gallery opening wasn’t the only event we had going last Friday. We also participated in the Lego Robotics Corporate Challenge, a fundraiser for the youth robotics teams in town.

This year we were cramped for time so at the last minute we gave up on all of our careful plans and built a chaotic smash-bot to destroy, rather than solve, the puzzles on the board. It was glorious. The theme was food safety and our little Monsantron got good and dirty out there crushing cattle and smashing rats with the Chop-tor 0′ Doom.

A big shout out to our team members in the Lego Robotics Division – Ty & Brevin Keltner, Ben Sapp, Jamie & Jen Karnik, and Tara Greenwood.

Thanks also to Susan Keltner for putting up with the strange noises coming from her basement at 3am.

Tara gave the newspaper what must have been a solid, full-page quote, the best unending line of pure unadulterated bullshit I’ve ever heard.

“It’s a non-deterministic universe and we are sort of moving out of the classical ideas of, you know, you have these inputs and you have a known output and in these chaotic times we wanted to tap into the interconnectedness of all things and to see what happens if we go back to the elementary and primeval … our algorithms are in some ways primitive or even shamanistic … it’s not just about destruction.”

– Tara Greenwood

You can read the rest of the article at the Juneau Empire.

Alaska Robotics Gallery Opening

Tuesday, May 1st 2012 by Pat

I’m excited to announce that the Alaska Robotics Gallery will be opening this Friday, May 4th.

The Alaska Robotics Gallery is located in the heart of downtown Juneau at 220 Front Street and it’s a beautiful space where we’re selling our prints, cards, shirts, and a huge selection of graphic novels.

I hope you’ll join us this Friday for some fancy cheese and help us warm the house.

Alaska Robotics Gallery

Photos from the JoCo Cruise

Monday, March 19th 2012 by Pat

Adventures were had, coconuts were drunk, I was drunk, it all went smashingly well. Here are my photos and sketches from the Jonathan Coulton Cruise.

If you’re thinking about going next year, do.

Nerd Cruise

Thursday, February 9th 2012 by Pat


I’m going on a nerd rock variety cruise with Marian. We’re going to have fun, I’ll take some pictures.