Posted by Alan on July 06, 2013
project sitemap

My Resume

Charles Remembers a Pizza

Posted by Alan on June 16, 2013
This is somthing I did for fun a few years back with Charles Wyrick who owns Lucky Dog Studio. Once again, a combination of Flash and Vegas.

Abandoned Kicks

Posted by Alan on February 25, 2012
What's the deal with all of the abandoned shoes on the interstate? On my short drive during lunch, I saw three individual shoes in three different locations lying "de-feated" on the shoulder of the road. I could almost understand if they were in pairs or if there were other articles of clothing nearby. This could almost be attributed to poor bungee cord technique and the subsequent highway fodder that is obviously due to the loss of luggage, but a single shoe is hard to explain. Have you ever known anyone who drives around and casually hangs their foot out of the window? Not only does this seem extremely unsafe, but it would also be terribly uncomfortable. Even the lowest of the low-ridin’ pimps can’t get that low. I've also noticed that the shoes are generally not haggard-gnarled-Dollartree-flip-flop type material, but instead, are high dollar sport shoes. What makes this even more difficult to comprehend is this: It takes me ten minutes just to get this type of athletic sport shoe on or off the petite foot of my two year old son, yet a gust of wind can manage to gingerly whisk one off a full-grown adult appendage.
How can this happen? The answer?... It can't.
So what is the persuasion that would cause a person to chuck his left Nike-Shock out onto the shoulder of I-24? What happens when they get where they are going? Do they just cautiously limp into the IHOP? The sign doesn’t say, “No shirt No shoe no Service”, it’s clearly marked as being plural. If guys are simply walking around sans une chaussure, do they occasionally have to purchase only the jettisoned one? Can they even do that? I always assumed you had to buy those things in pairs.
If anyone knows if there is a purpose, please step forward. Could it be a gang-territory sign? Perhaps the work of Juggalo's?...A symbol for “free WI-FI here”? …A cheap advertising campaign for Nike, “Just Do It”? Or, most horribly, could there possibly be a disembodied foot within?
Who knows?

John: The Carney

Posted by Alan on February 22, 2012
I bought this old car at auction. It's a '77 Plymouth Volare coupe with a manual trans, V8, and no AC. It prob'ly used to be brown, but the tone has reddened a little since the rust kicked in. She's not pretty, but she taught me to drive. Lost a clutch and loosened the gears pretty good in the beginning, but she's smooth shifting now. I used to like to take her up highway 189 from Lawrenceville to Suffolk and then through that swamp where the sulfur smell would seep through every crack in her frame, no matter how tight the windows were rolled. That's how I came across Patterson the first time. I was taking the curve at mile marker 58 when those lights caught me by surprise. Red and yellow swirls flickering and flashing and such like I had never seen before. Understand, I had seen a carnival before, and I guess my momma dragged me to one or two when I was a little kid, but I had never been startled by one so bright, so bold on such a big empty stretch of highway. I was so taken by this site that I had almost forgotten that I was on the road at all. I was drawn to it. It looked like... well, like home.
Almost to spite myself, I pulled her off at the exit, took a couple of turns, and slowly rolled up in front of this place. Those flashing lights, swirling sounds and smells, were all that my mind could hold. The Volare door creaked open and my feet hit the sticky gravel. A fresh coat of cotton candy, vomit, and cigarette butts lay heavy across the grey stone, surely a proud contribution by today's visitors. There were a couple of other cars in the lot too, prob'ly drawn here just like I was. The smell of cotton candy and hot oil wafted through the air thick and sweet as molasses. I could hear the subtle screams of a few kids as they whipped around on the track of the mousetrap and swirled repeatedly on the Himalaya and the scrambler. In the distance, I could hear the crackling midway loudspeaker as the caller tried to guess a young man's weight and age. (...more to come)

Web Pages

Montage for CELA / PHS

Posted by Alan on March 16, 2011
This is a still image montage I put together to showcase my workplace. I created this using Vegas Video and Flash.

The Wages of Sin

Posted by Alan on March 11, 2011
Divine intervention, Please?
Near my parents home in rural Cottontown Tennessee, there is a small Country Church that rests in a thick grove of trees off a narrow winding road. Easily, this church could have been depicted in any number of stoic Norman Rockwell paintings: A white, wooden rectangle with an economical steeple bearing a plain metal cross. Stained glass windows fill the barren void with sparse splashes of color and images of Jesus on the cross and Mary looking down at her newly-born infant. Nearer the road there is a painted metal sign that has been there as long as I can remember. On the sign, a painted message intended to inspire and motivate passers-by with it's holy God-granted words.
The message is this:

"The Wages of Sin is Death"


This single sentence has driven me crazy for years. It just doesn't sound right.
Shouldn't this be written, "The Wages of Sin ARE Death?" ... or even better, The WAGE of Sin is Death?
Yet, when I type this sentence into Word, I get no annoying squiggly red lines. No personified paper clips or happy little doggies creep onto my screen to tell me I'm doing it wrong.
...So what's the deal?
Perhaps it's because this is a direct quote from the King James translation of the scripture, and no one with such divine guidance could ever make a grammatical error.

Can anyone with exceptional sentence diagramming skills give me a hand with this?

I know that the prepositional phrase, "of sin" can be removed with no structural recourse. We end up with, "Wages is Death". Death must be the subject, so we can turn this around and make it "Death is Wages", but there's only one "Death" so shouldn't there be only one "Wage"? Either that or plural deaths (which makes sense since there are definitely more sinners than just one out there). Perhaps it should have been phrased,
"Multiple Deaths are the Wages of Sin"
or "If You Sin, Your Gonna Pay by way of Death"
or "Sin?, Your credit's no good here... NOW DIE!"
or simply, "You Sin, You're Dead!".

No matter how it's phrased, it's pretty harsh ...
Point taken.

Haunted: Why I Sleep With the Light On

Posted by Alan on March 11, 2011
Haunted (or Why I Sleep with the Light On)
I guess it started when I was about four years old.
Was it a dream? ... I'm still not sure.
All I have now is a shadow-gray memory of an event… a sketch from an instance of sleep that was abruptly interrupted. On the night in reminiscence, I awakened with a start and stared into the darkness wide-eyed, attempting to absorb any bit of light that crept into my room from under doorways or beyond window shades. The effort was futile and only the swirling images of darkness filled gaping pupils. I can recall a sick feeling of exposure... or maybe vulnerability is a better term. It became consuming in the darkest moment of night and no amount of covers pulled overhead could diminish its power. On this particular night, the feeling was overwhelming. All senses, with the exception of sight, were heightened to superhuman levels. I was frozen in position: straight-skyward, white knuckled, covers bellowing from flared nostrils, invisible in the darkness. Short panicked breaths escaped my body and enveloped the room with sound. Something was about to happen and I new it. I could sense it.
That was when I felt something…
Something physical this time.
There was no alienesque monster, no maniacal disembodied laughter, no tunnel of light, just a simple and deliberate tug… then another … and another.
Slowly and methodically the pillow that occupied the space between my head and mattress was being pulled from its comfortable residence. I was terrified and unable to move, speak, or scream as the tugs became a steady pull and my head came to rest on the harder surface of the bed. I watched with wide eyes... The pillow drifted overhead and the contrast of its white surface became consumed by the blackness as it disappeared into the abyss.
I laid there quietly on my back for a long time and waited for the next thing to happen, but the next thing never came. Eventually, exhaustion overcame fear, eyelids closed over dry eyes and I drifted back into sleep. By mid-morning the next day, I had successfully convinced myself that this had only been a dream. The one disparity in my theory was the pillow that was still absent from the head of my bed. I remember asking my mom if she had seen it, to which she replied, “No… but I’m sure it’s around here somewhere”. To my recollection it was never found.

This could easily be called my “haunted house” story, or it could be put off to some hazy memory of a childhood overactive imagination, but the most unusual and eerie part of this story is not what occurred on this night, but the events that have followed ever since. I have had at least one such occurrence in almost every house I have lived in:

Homedale Dr.- Told my parents I heard “footprints” around my bed at night.
Wilmington Ct. - Had a dream that someone was calling my name. Opened my eyes to hear it called out one last time. Everyone else in the house was asleep.
Lischey Dr. - Everyone agreed that this was an exceptionally creepy house. It was built in 1803 and came complete with the original family plot next to the driveway. One night while sleeping in this house, I had the same sense of vulnerability I had had as a child. It became equally as overwhelming, and when it had reached the pinnacle of sensation, I knew that something was about to happen. Suddenly, the bedroom light overhead came on by itself causing me to scream and, subsequently, Kristy to almost go into cardiac arrest.
Fairwin Ave. – Kristy’s brother, Steven, helped us move into this house. We had unpacked, plugged a few things in, and were calling it a night over a couple of beers. Steven looked at me and said, “You know, this house has a much better vibe than the last one (Lischey).” Just then the answering machine that was six feet away came on and played-back our outgoing message. Our phone service was not yet turned on, so it couldn't have been caused by an incoming call.
Brookmeadow Ct. – This was a brand new house, but the strangest things happened here. The smoke alarms would go off in each room, one after the other, but only for about one second each. The doorbell would ring randomly. We would go to answer the door and there would be no one. We assumed this was a practical joker so we left the door opened and watched through the glass storm-door. It was only a matter of minutes before the doorbell rang again. We were both watching (Kristy and I)… and still … not a visible soul.


We haven’t had too many strange occurrences in the new house, or really any since the kids have come along.

…Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and heard Lucas crying. I dragged myself out of bed, went up to his room, and stuck my head in the door to see what was the matter. “I think I had a bad dream,” He said. I sat next to him on the bed, gathered him up, and reassured him that everything would be ok. “Daddy?” he said quietly as he pulled himself up close to my ear. He whispered, “Have you seen my pillow?”

PHP Project

Posted by Alan on March 10, 2011
http://alanjohnstone.com/myproject

I created this page (linked above) for a class project. The assignment required learners to develop a PHP-based shopping cart site with a MySQL back-end from scratch. I used Notepad++ to develop the PHP pages and MySQLAdmin to develop the database. This isn't fancy by any means, but it shows what you can do with just a text editor and a little bit of knowledge.
**Note that there is no checkout button because I don't really have the stuff to sell!