How To Paint a Motorcycle With Spray Paint and Get Great Results

Categories: Random Ephemera

Photo by Chris Lane
The supplies I ended up using. I'd estimate all of it cost me about $150, far less than the almost $3,000 I was quoted by the pro shops.

Several months ago I bought a used chopper from it's original owner. Great bike, but it had a ridiculous looking "Tribal tattoo" paint job that was pretty much the exact opposite of anything I would consider cool.

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The Best Comics in August Part 1: Barack Obama as Superman

Categories: Comics

Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.

The Fade Out: To me Ed Brubaker is like Led Zeppelin; I fully recognize the inherent genius of his work and 99 percent of the time I still can't stand it. It's weird, became I read a Brubaker comic and I can see the quality and brilliance, and I just still don't like it.

Fade Out is the one percent.

It's another noir tale from Brubaker, but this time around he has enough mix of old Hollywood setting and a perpetually drunk and amnesiac screenwriter/reprobate that it's much easier to dive into. If I had to put a finger on what I don't like about Brubaker's stories it's that he is just too damned dedicated to the mystery aspect and tends to lose me before a book's end. Fade Out is much more straightforward. You don't know who killed actress Valerie Sommers, but the rest of the cast falls nicely into place and doesn't require a ton of different threads to keep track of.

Rating: 7 of 10

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Pop Rocks: Latest Celeb Naked Photo Leak a Reminder That Data is Never Truly Safe

Categories: Pop Rocks

Not as safe as they thought.
It was revealed over the weekend that compromising photos of numerous celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Rhianna, Kate Upton and others had been swiped and posted online, mostly on the 4Chan message boards. Hackers managed to get into victims' iCloud accounts through some type of vulnerability. Prior to the latest version of the iPhone, photos were not able to be synced across devices like phone numbers, emails and notes. Now, they are and these are the kinds of things that can happen.

And this was not some vindictive ex who decided the whole world should see his old girlfriend's boobs for spite. These were hackers who deliberately wormed their way into protected databases so they could exploit people, which is why no one should be blaming the victims. It's like blaming someone who got burglarized because he forgot to turn his alarm on. He should be able to leave his doors and windows wide open all day and night without incident because the thieves are the assholes here.

Having said that, this is a cautionary tale for anyone who has ever thought it was a good idea to text a naked photo to someone or have a Skype session that includes more than just talking. Even chat transcripts can be used against you, particularly when you are famous.

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Shop Fall's Best Trends in Houston

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photo by Christina Uticone
Distilling all of this into three things you should wear. You're welcome.
Trend reports should be reviewed with a skeptical eye (are military-style coats or all-white ensembles ever out of style?) but there are a few genuine, of-the-moment opportunities in fashion right now. If you've managed to digest all eighty-thousand pages of the September issues--seriously, have you seen Vogue?--you know that a few of the crazier trends include colorful, fake fur, sportswear couture, and head-to-toe knitwear. (Like pajamas? It's hard to say.)

If you find head-to-toe knitwear or bright purple fake fur a little impractical, you're not alone. So let's take a look at some of the more wearable fall fads.

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Thank God My Daughter's Class Isn't Just Full of White People

Categories: Parenting

Photos by Lynda Rouner
As my daughter and I were walking to her third day of kindergarten I had a really proud moment as a parent. Amid the endless monologue being constantly recited came this exchange.

"Saanvi* and I are really different, but that's OK," she said.

"How are you different?" I asked, expecting the answer to revolve around her tablemate's Indian heritage.

"She doesn't have an electric toothbrush," replied the kid with the utmost sincerity.

That's the sort of thing that makes you really glad you live in a city as diverse as Houston is, and the benefits of exposing a child to people outside their own race as often as possible. My daughter's class has the widest ethnic range I've ever seen. Pretty much the entire list of options on the census card are represented.

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Prep for Fall With a Few Small Tweaks to Your Summer Wardrobe, Because It's Still Hot

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photos by Keith Luter, Jr.
As the Northern hemisphere starts preppin' for Fall, we Houstonians, really everyone in the Southern United States, scoff and keep trucking along in our cut-off shorts and flip-flops. Our temperatures happily remain in the high 90s through the end of September, if not October. Some years, we see Thanksgiving before the first blustery wind blows through the Bayou City, which creates a bit of a challenge for the fashion minded members of our society. We never get to enjoy fall trends like the rest of the country.

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Venice Film Fest: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence Is More Honest Than The Act of Killing

Categories: Film and TV

In 2012, documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer made a splash with The Act of Killing, in which he sought out members of Indonesian killing squads, individuals who murdered thousands of innocent citizens accused of being communists after a military takeover in 1965, and invited them to re-enact their crimes in the style of Hollywood movies.

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The Changing Face of Houston: The Heights Then and Now

Photo by Chris Lane
Nice older homes display much of the appeal of The Heights area for residents.

I lived in the Heights area as a child in the late '70s, at that time one of Houston's well-known neighborhoods with a long history, and an area that had changed a great deal over the previous decades.

Today, the Heights is considered by many to be one of the most desirable Inner Loop communities and seems to exist in a continual state of metamorphosis. More than many cities, Houston and its neighborhoods seem to always be in a rapid state of change, and the Heights today reflects that trend.

The origin of the Heights is a tale of the type of entrepreneurialism that many Houstonians still consider a basic part of the fabric of the city. In the late 1800s a self made millionaire named Oscar Martin Carter, who had made his fortune in Nebraska and Colorado, saw the Houston area as the perfect place to create a new type of utopian community, perfect for the fast approaching 20th Century.

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Venice Film Fest: In Birdman, Michael Keaton Is Haunted by His Superhero Past

Categories: Film and TV

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
The gent at the Delta check-in counter back in New York sighed when he saw where I was headed. "Romantic Venezia!" he said, and the comment stopped me short, because film festivals located in the most beautiful settings in the world have a way of making you forget - almost - that you're in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The Venice Film Festival - this is the 71st edition - is held not in Venice proper, but on Lido, a summertime island where winter seems impossible, resplendent with dusty pink and ochre stucco villas. It is also the home of the formerly grand Hotel des Bains, where Thomas Mann wrote Death in Venice, and which, sadly, closed in 2010, destined to become a luxury apartment complex that has not yet materialized. I haven't yet walked by the Hotel des Bains on this trip, but I hope it's looking more cheerful than it did last year, when it sat dejected behind its majestic iron grillwork gate, a sad relic of past glory that even a Venetian Miss Havisham might find hard to love.

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The 5 Best Fashion Stories of the Week: NFL Style for Women and Worst Looks from the Emmys

Categories: Fashion

Photo by ahs.bae via Instagram
Lots of breaking fashion news hits the interwebs and I don't want you to miss one bit of it. So, I present some of the biggest headlines each week for your reading pleasure.

Click and enjoy!

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