Alien pods or harmless pine cone?

Alien pods or harmless pine cone?

My father and I went camping this summer, just like we try to do every summer. We set up camp in an area that, in addition to the normal Ponderosa pines and aspen trees, it also had trees with these really interesting pinecones on them. I’d never seen them before, so I thought I’d sketch them and look them up when I got back someplace that had a signal. A photo posted by aaron thomason (@aaron_t) on Jun 21, 2015 at 11:54am PDT Turns out the trees were Douglas Fir trees, and this is what their cones look like. Apparently the only other Douglas Firs I’ve ever seen were chopped down and and bundled in Christmas tree lots. Also on Relatively Average: The Whining Pig Feeling patriotic Pabst Blue Ribbon can design...
It’s bike-riding time

It’s bike-riding time

Finally, with the cooler weather and fading Monsoon season, bike-riding time has come to Phoenix. And none too soon. Making-of video Also on Relatively Average: Phoenix DinoCon Hanging out with the full moon Dinosaur...
Geocaching, version 1.0

Geocaching, version 1.0

“That just sounds like organized littering” is the response my wife gave when I was trying to explain the ins and outs of a newfound hobby, geocaching. She’s right. At the base level, at least. From the outside, these caches are little more than small collections of meaningless junk that get stowed under park benches and in light poles and inside hollowed out logs, in tupperware and old prescription bottles and Altoids tins. But packed with stickers or dollar-store toys or sometimes, nothing at all but a log sheet to sign, these little treasures are part of a world-wide scavenger hunt thats been running since 2,000, which is when technology finally allowed regular people access to GPS. The found knicknacks are part of the games honor system: if you take something, you’re supposed to leave something at least as good, but preferably better. Up to a few weeks ago, I had only ever been geocaching once before, with a coworker while at a conference in San Francisco. Wandering back to our hotel from the day’s event, he asked if I minded if we find a nearby cache and since I had no idea what was involved, I agreed, and he fired up the app on his phone and we went hunting. We found three caches that night, one behind a loose brick in a wall, one near a statue on the pier, and one in a magnetized Altoids tin stuck to the bottom of a sculpture. Even after what one could consider a successful night, I can’t say I was really even interested in it. It seemed like a good...
Dinosaur Hunting

Dinosaur Hunting

A while back, I saw a cool illustration of a Tyrannosaur following a truck (probably one of the Ford Explorers from Jurassic Park) through a dense forest. Unfortunately, I forgot where I saw the image and haven’t been able to find it online. This weekend, I decided to make my own. Drawing in the crash-tastic ProCreate for iPad application, I sketched it out as best I could remember, then colorized it. The original I saw was predominantly red, I believe, and while I liked the urgency that created in the image, I went with the early morning cooler tones of the purples and blues…this could be the part of the scene where the occupants of the car don’t realize they’re being hunted yet, although I’m sure that will come soon enough. Even though I lightened the image up in Photoshop prior to posting, it’s still way too dark. The top of the image contains fronds and vines hanging from the trees, and the bottom third has plants and reflections caused by the illumination of the trucks headlights. Sadly, on the iPad, it really has a nice balance of light and dark. The “making of” video: Also on Relatively Average: Justa Poboy – An Edgar Allen Poe Illustration Zinno Good Night, Robin...