Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sellin' Stuff Featuring My Thistle Drawing (Again, and Again, and Again...)

One time in an online spat, I was called a "prick with nothing to do but bash others through social media and draw thistles".

He, he. I can't help but to think of that statement whenever I sell items featuring my thistle drawing. I don't know how true the first part of that statement might be, though I admit I can be a prick at times (especially when dealing with certain individuals who rub me the wrong way). However, I try to treat decent people who don't rub me the wrong way decently enough, and I actually have PLENTY to do - just ask the publisher patiently awaiting my completion of all those illustrations for my illustrated science fiction and fantasy poetry collection-in-progress!

However, the second part of that statement, the part about drawing thistles is true, in a way, in that I did draw a thistle design once, for use my stores. Even so, to be quite honest, it's MORE correct to say that I drew one thistle once and now I work at promoting and selling items featuring that thistle drawing (in two different permutations). And I DO sell such items, over, and over, and over again!

Just over at Redbubble (just one PoD site through which I sell merchandise featuring my artworks and designs) I'm one sale away from 100 sales of items featuring my "Thistle". On the same site, to-date I've sold 54 items featuring my "Scottish Thistle and Saltire" (which used the same drawing, but this time on a blue-and-white saltire). Just this morning, I sold four small stickers, two medium stickers, and one large sticker featuring my " Scottish Thistle & Saltire" to a customer in the UK (that's the United Kingdom, for those who don't know).

So, I don't see the fact that I drew a thistle for use in my stores to be an insult, not at all. In fact, 'twas definitely a good thing.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Illustration for "Wondrous Gobbledygook"

My latest completed illustration for my rather Seussian sci-fi poem "Wondrous Gobbledygook", specifically, the lines that go "On the puboo of a keckleschmeck / I spy a blue-green fuguwordle / Crawling upon an etafal leaf".

Friday, February 15, 2019

More Anti-Vaxxer Nonsense

In that same Facebook thread where I ran into an anti-vaxxer troll who equated vaccinations with communism, I also came across a couple of extremely ignorant comments. As a matter of fact, if these people are not Russian trolls stirring up dischord, then they must be some of the dumbest people I've ever run across online.

One dummy responded to the news about pregnant women being targeted by antivax ads online and the recent measles outbreaks in general with this:

Interesting that the ONLY place i ever heard anything about measles, is on facebook lol.
Not reality.
Never heard of anyone talking about a single incident, not even at the hospital ive been visiting to see my newborn neice [sic].
Fascinating.....the outbreak is soooo bad, you cant even find evidence of it in reality.
This person allegedly studied biology? All I can say is "Good grief!"

Maybe this person should spend some time off of Facebook and, you know, spend more time in the real world. At the very least, when on the crazy-net, they should read some news and science articles from credible sources. They might be amazed at how much goes on beyond the limits of their own vision. They might also find that acquiring knowledge, becoming informed, is a cure for ignorance.

Unfortunately, ignorance seems rampant nowadays. I thought the comment above may have been the dumbest ever, but I underestimated the crazy-net's capacity for extreme idiocy Another commenter came out with another doozy when she said this:

That would be a great arguement [sic] if kids actually died from measles...Probably check out some actual statistics before posting next time.
Not wanting to let such blatant stupidity and ignorance go unchallenged (and knowing the statistics called for are so easily found via a quick google search), I responded thusly:

Um, hello! People DO die from measles. People HAVE died from measles. Fewer people die from measles today because MORE PEOPLE ARE VACCINATED!!!
Here are some of those actual statistics (from the CDC):
"Before 1963 Vaccine Development*
- each year measles caused an estimated 3 to 4 million cases
• Close to 500,000 cases were reported annually to CDC, resulting in:
48,000 hospitalizations
1,000 cases with encephalitis (brain swelling)
450 to 500 deaths"
And (from the WHO):
" 2017, there were 110 000 measles deaths globally, mostly among children under the age of five."
And (from the  ECDC):
"...the highest number of measles cases in the EU since 1 January 2018 were in Greece (1 008), Romania (757), France (429) and Italy (164). Seven deaths have been reported from these 4 countries – Romania (3), Italy (2), Greece (1) and France (1)."
"Measles is a severe disease and since the beginning of 2016, 57 deaths due to the disease have been reported in the EU."
I know actual evidential facts are meaningless to those who cling to "alternative facts" and have abandoned reason for madness, but with the recent arrival of twin grandbabies, the issue of proper vaccinations (and herd immunity for those too young to receive their first measles vaccinations) has taken on a greater personal importance as-of-late.

Then again, I wonder how many of these apparent idiots might be Russian trolls spreading disinformation and discord. I would hope people aren't that dumb, but I do know better. Yes, some people truly are THAT dumb!


Trolled an Anti-Vaxxer Troll

Last night, in a Facebook thread about pregnant women being targeted by antivax ads online, I think I ended up trolling an anti-vaxxer troll! (Or should I say that I out-trolled a troll?)

When one trollish commenter tried to equate pro-vaxxers with communists, I replied with this:

Ignorance can be cured by knowledge.
However, it appears that one of the greatest afflictions affecting our society today is willful ignorance.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an effective cure for stupidity.
Equating those who advocate for children to be vaccinated with communists is beyond stupid, it's downright nutty! I'm having trouble following the convoluted twists of logic (or should I say illogic?) in that particular line of thought.

And this:

Also, I do not think communist means what you think it means. Seriously.

If you are somehow trying to argue that refusing vaccinations is exerting one's freedom of choice, and to do otherwise is akin to following the orders of a totalitarian regime, let me just point out that freedoms come with responsibilities. Refusing to vaccinate one's self and/or one's children for no credible reason (one that the medical community recognizes as credible) is irresponsible. Quite honestly, it could be argued that such a refusal is a moral abuse of the freedom of choice. It's certainly a selfish choice (for all I know you're one of those Ayn Rand cultists worshipping at the altar of selfishness).

The troll's reaction? This:

I dont give a fuck what you think

Oh, my! It seems I actually got under his skin. Yes, I think I out-trolled the troll! My response to being told "I don't give a fuck what you think":

Ooo...what language! Strike a chord, did I?
Just so you know (not that you care), I have studied history (among other things). I also know how to use a dictionary (as something of a wordsmith, I had better). I know the definition of communist. I understand what it means. It seems to me that you do not.
A wise person would at least consider my thoughts on the matter. Alas, it seems you're nothing but an asshat and a troll.

Today, the back-and-forth continued for a bit after the troll said (in reply to another person's comment) that he's no expert. Not letting such a golden opportunity pass me by, I commented thusly:

[Name redacted] said "I'm no expert..."
That's become painfully obvious! 🤨
When you've actually studied science, and history, and political science, come back and talk to those of us who HAVE studied such subjects (or, at the very least, those of us who have a clue about such things). Until that happens, your contributions to the discussion are worthless. Your thoughts and opinions are insignificant. It's isn't worth the effort arguing with an ignoramus.

And this:

I wonder if the guy screaming "communist" whenever someone advocates for children to be vaccinated is himself a Russian troll (not that Russia is a communist nation nowadays, but it does make one wonder). Then again, maybe he's just a run-of-the-mill American idiot, a product of the dumbing down of American society. Either way, his idiotic and ill-informed connection between pro-vaxxers and communists cries "TROLL!"

The best the troll had in response to that?

Richard Fay you goin HAM 

I replied to his rather lame retort with this:

Now I'm a ham! Projecting, much, are we?

And this (my final word on the matter):

BTW (and this really ought to be my final word on the matter), if you think your idiotic illogical argument will make me turn my back on the actual scientific evidence and actual medical statistics, you're quite the fool!

Of course, I also ran across this article on the BBC which has me wondering:
Russia trolls 'spreading vaccination misinformation' to create discord

Monday, February 11, 2019

Call Me Grandpa, x 2!

Call me grandpa, x 2! Samantha Leia and Dean Luke (named after the characters Sam and Dean in SUPERNATURAL and Leia and Luke in STAR WARS) were born via emergency C-section just after 8 pm last night. Samantha weighed in at 5 lbs 11 oz, while Dean weighed in at 5 lbs 10.8 oz. Mom and twins are doing okay, though Samantha was being held in the NICU for observation for 12 hrs as a precaution. Dean was allowed to stay in the room with Steph.

I believe the first photo is Samantha and the second Dean. Everything happened so suddenly and surprisingly that I didn't have my camera with me, so Michele took these with her phone:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Zazzle Sales Slump Over, For Now

My most recent Zazzle sales slump has ended, and in a big way. This morning, I've seen the sorts of sales I wish I saw on a more regular basis. If I saw sales like these regularly, I would actually come close to making a living doing this PoD thing. At the very least, if I saw sales like these a couple of times a week, I would reach the $50 payment threshold each month.

SOLD 2/10/2019 through Zazzle (3rd party referred) and being shipped to a recipient in Newtown, PA:
one White Rose of York Coffee Mug,

White Rose of York Coffee Mug

White Rose of York Coffee Mug

by richardfay

the design from White Rose of York Coffee Mug transferred to a Taylor Corp glass tumbler,

one White Rose of York Stainless Steel Water Bottle,

White Rose of York Stainless Steel Water Bottle

White Rose of York Stainless Steel Water Bottle

by richardfay

the design from White Rose of York Coffee Mug transferred to Zazzle soup mug,

one White Rose of York Keychain,

White Rose of York Keychain

White Rose of York Keychain

by richardfay

and one White Rose of York Ceramic Ornament.

White Rose of York Ceramic Ornament

White Rose of York Ceramic Ornament

by richardfay

It appears that the same customer who bought a number of White Rose of York items today through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store (via a 3rd party) ALSO purchased a couple of White Rose of York items through my CafePress profile/shop.

SOLD 2/10/2019 through CafePress (Marketplace) to a customer in PA, US:
one White Rose of York Water Bottle,

    White Rose of York Water Bottle

  White Rose of York Water Bottle
    Richard Fay
  Find more
  unique gifts at CafePress

and White Rose of York Travel Mug.

    White Rose of York Travel Mug

  White Rose of York Travel Mug
    Richard Fay
  Find more
  unique gifts at CafePress

Thanks to this one customer, I'm having a good PoD sales day today. Very good indeed.

Thank you, buyer! Greatly appreciated! :)

Friday, February 1, 2019

Slow January

Well, sales-wise, that was certainly a slow January for me.

I saw a measly 6 Zazzle sales this January. That's less than half the 16 sales I saw in January 2018.

I saw a mere 4 orders over at Cafepress this January, again less than half the 10 orders I saw in January 2018.

I did see a rare DesignByHumans sale, so that's something.

I also saw one sale through Merch by Amazon, so I'm holding to the pattern of one-to-two Merch sales a month.

The brightest spot was over at Redbubble, where I saw a lucky 13 sales this January, 2 up from my 11 sales in January 2018.

I hope things pick up elsewhere this month. That was a worrisome drop in sales.