The Tamale Hut Café presents:
Kinetic Color
A collection of abstract artwork by Stephanie Bieniek
Only at The Tamale Hut Café
8300 W. Cermak Rd. North Riverside, IL
708-442-0948 - tamalehutcafe.com

Artwork will be on display until January 7, 2018
during normal Tamale Hut Café business hours:
Mon-Fri:7:30AM-7PM, Sat:8:30AM-7PM, Sun:8:30AM-6PM


For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!

01/31/05: I am constantly amazed at the proliferation of hoax e-mails. You know the kind: Bill Gates is going to give you money, or frozen water bottles cause cancer. I'm not even talking about the ones trying to scam you, like the dead guy in Africa with the same last name as you with the large bank account, but messages that well-meaning friends send you, like the one warning about using cell phones at the gas pump (which was actually posted on the bulletin board as fact at my employer, a major petroleum company!) And don't get me started on those "send this to 20 of your friends" chain e-mails.

I understand that if you get an email about a missing child, you feel like you can't ignore it, on the off-chance that it may be legit. But when you plug some of the text into Google or Yahoo, and your search finds dozens of web sites with the same message, usually word-for-word, saying that it's been circulating on the 'net for years, the odds of the contents being true drop to almost nil. And it has the "Cry Wolf" effect, where something that is real will probably be ignored as another crackpot looking for attention.

That's why I keep a couple links in my browser's bookmarks for hoax sites. Snopes.com and Hoaxbusters contain hundreds of general purpose hoaxes, and Trend Micro, F-Secure, and Symantec have plenty of phony virus-related messages. I always check there first when I get something suspicious.

People nowadays are smart enough to use the Internet for lots of things. They should be smart enough to spot a fraud. Or at least skeptical enough to look it up.


01/05/05:     What a crummy way to start the New Year. I just found out that my favorite comic creator, Will Eisner, passed away Monday from complications after quadruple-bypass surgery. Recently (well, maybe not so recently) I mentioned here that I was going to write him a letter, to thank him for all the years of entertainment that he provided for me, but alas, I dawdled too long and now he's gone.
    My first contact with The Spirit, probably Eisner's most well-known creation, was in grammar school. Literally, in school. I was sitting in St. Pancratius' library, probably daydreaming, and my pal Wesley sits down next to me and pulls out a comic book. It wasn't like any comic book that I had ever seen. It was as big as a magazine, the cover looked a little like Famous Monsters (since all Warren magazines had a similar style), and there was no color in it, but it had this great picture on the cover with this big guy with a hat, gloves, and a mask...
    I was a little intimidated by it. I thought it was an "adult" comic, because it was Wesley's big brother's book, so of course it had an air of sophistication to it. Plus, I mentally grouped it with the other magazines they sold at the Music Box, which were off-limits to our little eyes for reasons that became apparent as I got older. I did flip through it a little, but the teacher came in and we had to put it away.
    Years later, after amassing quite a collection of The Spirit (and other Eisner works), I still think it's an "adult" comic, but not in the same way. The artwork and storytelling still stands head and shoulders over most, if not all, of the stuff on the comic racks before or since. I have read these stories over and over and over and I'm always finding something new to enjoy in them. I would heartily recommend any of them to anyone, young or old. And thanks to DC's current series of hardcovers, they're readily available. I'm buying them again in a form that should last me well into my years when I should have lots of time to re-read them.
    I have a couple signed books, and a couple prints signed by Mr. Eisner, but I bought them already signed. Unfortunately, I was never able to meet him in person. He was supposed to be at the last Comicon I went to, but he wasn't able to attend. I talked several times about writing him a letter to him, but I could never get started. I usually thought "He's probably heard from thousands of fans, some people more important than me, and I had nothing new to say, other than 'Thanks'" so I never wrote. That was stupid of me. I realize that he was in his late 80s, but I always hoped that I would be able to shake his hand and thank him personally for all the hours of joy he gave me over the years, but now I know I never will.




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