It’s been a long time. My last Creativity Journal entry was October 24, 2002. I have written little since then, but I have not been entirely devoid of creativity.

The band formerly known as Flat Rabbit has started getting serious; we added a couple of members, and our first gig is a benefit for the victims of the December 21st Summit Apartment fire in Thornton, Colorado. See the band’s website for further information.

I spent my lunch hour throwing that site together; I expect it to change much in the coming days and weeks.

One of my vices in the last three months has been a game called Motor City Online. It’s an online racing game, and I’ve become hopelessly addicted to it. Even this has not been uncreative, however. I have experimented with building my own skins for the game, and the results are below.

I chose to use my character’s ’65 Mustang for the experiment, since that is the vehicle referred to in Agamemnon’s Skinning Tutorial. Also, I knew I wanted to build a Denver Bronco themed car, and what better car to use than a pony car? The picture below is an in-game screen shot of my first attempt on the Mustang.

Not bad, but it has some problems. Most notably, the orange mane of the Bronco logo washes out next to the orange car. Bad design idea. Here’s attempt #2:

Much better. The blue really sets off the logos and is consistent with the Broncos theme. It was a lot of fun to build the skin, even though I’m the only one who can see it in the game. To everyone else online, this is simply a standard, red ’65 Mustang.

Technically, I did attempt another skin before these. It was a modification of an already modified ’73 Firebird skin, the closest thing to a second-generation Camaro that exists in the game. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well because the model that the skin wraps around is much more true to the body of the Firebird than the Camaro. I may post a shot of that car if I can get a good angle on it. Originally, it was an attempt to replicate my old 1970 Camaro Z/28, a car that I miss dearly and should have never sold. I may give it another try, now that I’ve learned a little about skinning.

Thanks to all of the people who sent me e-mail about the site recently. Two of the e-mails were guitar-related, one from a person wanting my final opinion of the Carvin Bolt kit (which gives me some incentive to finish documenting that project) and another from one of the primary guitar playing influences in the early days of my playing, Peter Neds. You can read why Peter is one of my favorite guitar players in “The Zone,” one of the first pieces I wrote for this site, five years ago.

Broncos and Friends

I did nothing creative today. I did, however, watch the Broncos beat up on the Bills and spend time with my friends, the Cooleys. Sometimes that friend time is necessary, and since committing to writing and music a couple of years ago, I don’t see them very often. I consider myself lucky to have friends that are willing to let me go after my goals, even if it means less time with them.

Thanks, guys

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Terrell Davis was ready, but his knee wasn’t. TD took the field on Monday Night Football in full dress, knowing that he’s probably played his last game, barring some miracle surgery that can rebuild his knees. He’s still holding out hope, but reality indicates that the on-field career of the the best-ever Broncos running back is over.

For my part, I wish to thank TD for his commitment to Denver, the Broncos, and the fans. Oh, and for his part in the Super Bowl victories, too.

What does this have to do with creativity? Not a damn thing, and I need to get back into the flow of things. But I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to say thank you to Terrell for all his hard work. I’ll get back to creativity topics soon enough.

Denver Broncos

Hanging in the hallway of my apartment is a piece of … well, history. It’s orange and tattered and just about the right size to fit (tightly, perhaps) on a small 12 year old. I remember wearing it, watching the Broncos fight all the way to the Superbowl under command of Craig Morton, aided by Haven Moses, Lyle Alzado, Randy Gradishar, Rick Upchurch, Rob Lytle and the incredible #57, Tom Jackson.

I used to sit on the edge of the couch, hunched forward (especially during the 4th quarter) with my elbows on my knees, right knee determinedly bouncing about once a second. You see, I used to be able to influence the outcome of Bronco games — or so I told myself. I just knew that if I stared enough energy into the screen they would win. And sometimes, they would make incredible plays and support my conviction. The times that they didn’t, I just wasn’t trying hard enough.

I’ve changed some since then. For one thing, I don’t follow football nearly as closely as I used to. And I don’t put quite as much stock in my abilities to influence John Elway’s arm through the television. But I’ve never forsaken my Broncos. I’ve never been a fair-weather fan. Even when they had “poor” seasons, they were still my favorite NFL team. When I was living in Phoenix, I rooted for the Broncos whenever they came to town against the Cardinals. (Of course, most of Phoenix did …)

Another thing I’ve never changed is my respect for John Elway. When he first came into the league, refusing to play for the Colts when they drafted him, he caught a lot of negative press, even from Bronco fans. I think a lot of people felt he would only be here a short time and then go after the highest bidder. After all, he was just a cocky hot-shot, right? I didn’t have this feeling about him. I liked him from the start, and was determined to enjoy his play no matter what the people around me were saying (yes, you Dad!) Fortunately, John did not come here to give up.

Now, in his 15th year with the league, John Elway is still piloting the high-flying Broncos, and better than ever. He has a formidable group of guys behind him in Terrell Davis, Tyrone Braxton, Ed McCaffrey, Shannon Sharpe, Bill Romanowski, Ray Crockett and the incredible Denver front line. The country is behind him, knowing that he has to be close to the end of his career — even someone as tough as John can only take about 20 years of this stuff! Much of America wants to see John Elway win a Superbowl, and I believe that he and the rest of the Broncos can pull it off if they can tap into that positive energy.

Besides, they have to win. I’ll have my tattered 20-year-old Bronco shirt with me on Game Day!