Friday, December 2, 2011

I Be Railin' - Part 1

I love Amtrak. I grew up taking the train down from Fresno to LA with my grandparents every other week. Even today I take the train down to the Bay every so often.

The service is frequent, not too costly, and rather comfy. In all fairness, I tend to prefer it over going on the 80 and 99, though I'll get further into that later. Over the summer, I got to experience something I've always wanted to try, true long-distance 'National' Amtrak.

Now, what's so special about 'National' Amtrak that I have to refer to it as such? Well, those frequent and affordable Amtrak trains I was talking about earlier? They're ran by the state, under 'Amtrak California', designed for more local trips akin to a (rather lengthy) commute. Amtrak in general is typically twice-a-day, long-distance, interstate travel. In a sense, they're like different rail services altogether.
Typical Amtrak Superliner, with added notations
(click image to enlarge)

First, I'll start off with the National Amtrak. I had the opportunity to go onto the Coast Starlight three times in the past few months. Technically, 'Coast Starlight' is a misnomer. While the train does parallel the coast on its 36-hour journey between Seattle and LA, the only time one sees the coast is for 2 hours on a stretch between Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara.

Granted, the journey is nonetheless a scenic one, and (largerly) more 'relaxed';one can take things more leisurely with, unlike most other forms of transit, freedom to move around easily. One can dine with a (limited) variety of (semi)gourmet meals at various(ly limited) times, rest casually in coach, or like what I tended to do, loiter around in the lounge nomming snacks and eying the scenery.

For me, the trip lasted around 15-hours. Given the high variations between the three trips I took, I'll just quickly sum things up - I wake up at 4 in the morning to catch the Coast Starlight a few hours later (I have a slow wake-up process). I leave Davis at around 7 am, with an assigned seat near the rear of the train, and proceed to have breakfast in the Dining car, where, given the limited space, I'm usually sat with 2-3 other passengers, which can either be fun or really awkward. We pass through the Bay Area, taking extended stops at Oakland and San Jose, before briefly entering the foothills and into Monterey county (albeit without seeing a bit of the coastline), speeding through farmland in the area around noon-ish, having lunch either in the diner or in the lounge. The farmland gives way to hills, giving way to mountains and a long series of ascending tunnels and descending curves into San Louis Obispo. After a long stop, the train skirts by Pismo Beach with hints of the Ocean, and we skirt along foothills and canyons, before finally seeing the coastline around 4 pm. We continue skirting along the coastline atop jagged cliffs, through Santa Barbara, and up until Ventura, where the train turns east... then north... then east again into canyons and tunnels as we enter the San Fernando Valley. By this point, the sun would have set and all that can be seen is the lights urban Southern California. It is also at this point, actually rather earlier by Santa Barbara, where the train is frequently delayed by both the Surfliner and Metrolink, local SoCal trains. Depending on rail traffic, arrival in LA will be no earlier that 9:30.

So, yeah, talk about a quick summary =P

Well, this certainly became a tad long-winded. For the sake of convenience, on my and your end, perhaps it's best that I split this post into two posts. So, until next time,

Hasta Marflebark!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

CaliFolf Commissioning

I've been meaning to do this for a while, plus I have been asked on occasion, so I figured I better start offering commissions!

Here is my pricing as follows with availability. If you need any clarifications, please contact me.

Sketches (Traditional only) - 3 spots
Quick character sketch - free
Example -

Images (Digital only)

Character 'bust' - 2 spots
Simple color/ two-tone 'fade' background - $5
Examples -

Character w/background - 1 spot
Simple setting - $15
Action/'story' setting $15-$20, negotiable

Examples -

Multiple Characters
$1 per additional character in addition to above pricing, max 5 chars per commission image

Landscapes - $25

Badges (Traditional + Digital) - 5 spots traditional/3 spots digital
Simple color - $3
Simple Design in background - $5
Multiple colors w/ optional design (Digital only) - $6

LimitationsPG 13 MAX. I will not draw anything overtly violent, bloody, gory, squeamish, and/or ridiculously depressing. If you have doubts on something, contact me, 'tis negotiable. Please keep in mind that details take time, and that one can't rush art. I will not draw my fursona, or any of my characters (Valleydog included) in such situations. I will not draw anything that is considered illegal.

Please be specific with what you want when commissioning, saying "draw what you want" will lead to your disappointment and the result won't be your money's worth. Rough lining will be sent to you to track progress and allow input. Only in the rough stage is the work malleable. Work on commissions will begin only once payment has been received. If, outside of external influence (illness, overbearing schoolwork, tech problems, or other emergencies) with prior informing of the commissioner, I fail to finish said commission on or before the estimated deadline, I will refund you. Please be reasonable and understand I have a life as well; please do not ask me every single day about the status as I will keep you personally posted on that. I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

If you are interested in commissioning, please email me with what you have in mind. I look forward to hearing from you all!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time Flies

So, thus ends another summer and begins one final year of school. Quite frankly, I'm surprised with how fast the break went; almost like it was over before it began.

Time flew... fast. I could've sworn that there wasn't enough time to do, well, anything.

Admittedly, I guess after taking the Amtrak Coast Starlight to LA twice (which I'll discuss on a later date), holding a furmeet, impromptu-ly attending a (rather small) Anime con for the first time, preparations for a move, and working on dogs of dales in between, I guess I did do much throughout the summer.

Looking forward, I honestly can't believe I am now, officially, a senior. It seems like yesterday I was a mere 9th grader, with today still far ahead of me. It's a bit of a surprise how quick this came. Personally, I hope to make the most of it. After all, this year only happens once, and while it won't matter much later on, it's still best to take advantage of it while you can, and so far, it's off to a good start!

Anyways, that should do it for this personal update. If you're wondering as to why Valleydog wasn't updated last Friday, Rikux, I and one other person (TBA) have been working on a few improvements and surprises that'll be ready by this Friday. =3

So, until then,

Hasta Marfle!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Greetings, fellow readers!

I have been curious on how I'm doing, so out of curiosity and to avoid the evil and narcissistic "I r uh graiyte arteest" mindset X3, I'd like to hear from you all, my fellow watchers. ^.^

So, as such I hath created a fun little survey of sorts. I'd like you all to honestly and thoughtfully respond (ideally more than a word, and nothing sarcastic, either) to the questions below in a comment. What will I do with these? Read them, make notes, and put them into consideration; one of the best ways to improve is not only through practice, but constructive critique and feedback. I look forward to hearing your input!

Note: If you have responded to this elsewhere (like on FA and dA), then feel free to overlook this post.

1. How did you find me/what motivated you to watch me?

2. What do you like most about my art?

3. What is something that I could improve on in my art?

4. Of all the submissions I have posted on here, which one is your favorite? What is it about that submission that you like?

5. What style do you think my art best fits/is reminiscent of?

6. Out of curiosity, what would you like me to post more of and/or try drawing? (excluding the obvious, of course)

7. Looking through my gallery, would you say that I have improved over time?

8. Overall, how do you feel about my artwork?

9. Cookie? =3

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Of Comics and Viewership

Just thought I'd punch some numbers before going to bed and compared the average viewership of Mark (remember that? =p) and Valleydog, the result was surprisingly not surprising:

Mark average viewership (based on averaging FA views of all 19 strips) - 40

Valleydog Average viewership (based on the last four update days) - 374

While it is a shame that Mark didn't last, we all have to move on sometime, and I have a feeling Valleydog is going to live to its potential ^.^

Saturday, July 16, 2011

SoCal Trip in Review

Hello there! I may be a bit late in posting this (I returned on Sunday). But hey, better late than never! =^.^=

The rail trip was fun, save for the massive red-light delays, retro-80s trivia games, and phones dying from forgotten chargers. I have thoroughly enjoyed the features not found on the California Trains (like true Dining cars and lounges), and save for not getting to the Coast for much of the trip, the view was outstanding! Of course, aside from those plusses, it made me realize that California runs their trains a lot better than the National Amtrak, but that's another story that I'll elaborate on in a later post. Regardless, I have realized that the clickety-clack of the trains makes it difficult to draw well; no matter what medium you're using, you're bound to make a mistake due to sudden movement x.x

Anyways, I spent the following to days in LA visiting Family, going to the LA County Museum, as well as Universal. The museum was larger than I expected, and was pretty neat. They had a Tim Burton exhibit going on, which was...interesting. The huge contrast between his early, cartoony work and the current 'Nightmare Before Xmas' Style is rather jarring.

As for Universal, I'll some it up like this:
* Good, but could be better
* BTTF > Simpsons
* Too many rides squirting water at you, to the point that it's an obvious gimmick.
* Terminator is dated, a Portal ride seems like a fitting replacement.
* Regardless, I feel Disneyland still has a better value, although Citywalk is pretty neat.

And People do, indeed, use LA's Subways (yes, they do exist) - I could hardly find a seat on the crowded trains @.@

Anyways, to avoid the broken record syndrome, that should do it. Now, to get some sleep! ^.^

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacation Trip Time

'tis summer, and thus time for my annual tradition of a California Coastal Trip!

However, there's a twist to this; I'm taking the Coast Starlight train down to LA instead of the usual Pacific Coast Highway. This shall be an interesting trip. X3

Save for the day of rail travel to LA, I'll spending the weekend down there, heading to places that I haven't been to in a while and, on a side note, will be performing a 'combo breaker' in the process (Every time I went to LA since '06 I've also visited Disneyland, but this year, that will not be the case).

Typically, this usually means logging off until I return, but since the advent of smartphones, this is impossible..... kinda (certain tasks are difficult on a small screen). And I might bring my computer along, so I could keep in touch depending on connectivity (Apparently the Coast Starlight has WiFi)..

For those interested on a 'live' report, and would like to see oceans, mountains, and tourists, you know where to go. ^^

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Annual Fourth Bloggal

Happy Fourth of July to all Americans! Have fun, be safe! ^.^

Oh, and happy belated Canada Day to all Canadians!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dear Mother Nature

Thank you for the cool weather in the summer, it was much needed.

However, It;s not supposed to rain here at California in late June.

Please double-check you calendar next time, for such weather wasn't as desired yesterday.


A (formerly) wet folf.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Valleydog Stuff

Hello again! Just posting about some Valleydog-related stuff.

First off, we have an ad! It's on SoFurry (as while I did submit an ad to FA, it mysteriously disappeared along the way and I haven't gotten a response back), go check it out!

Also, if you frequent Wikifur, could you clarify on how to nominate a comic? Rikux and I have been trying to figure that out. Apparently you need a Wikifur article on the comic (done), with an image/logo (done), and support (lacking/unknown).

So, yeah, that's it for this minor 'comic'-al update. Any support for is appreciated, thanks!

End... for Now

So I am done with another school year.

This was, personally, the best year I've had so far. Finally got the hang of things, controlled my workload (much of the time), enjoying much of it, made friends, and even met some local furs for the first time ^.^

All-in-all, it was fun. It was also a constant reminder of how fast time flies - next year is my final year before moving on to college, and the thought of that has kept me wide awake at times pondering about my life, and how I should be upon reaching that time. It is, to me, shocking how fast time can go without you noticing. In fact, it seems like February was last week, and I'm not talking about the weather!

Call me weird, but I love my school. I love the students, the welcoming atmosphere, and the way of teaching. There is just something about it that makes me wanna go back every day. As such, it's gonna be tough for me to get adjusted to several weeks without it, and I am definitely looking forward to August. ^.^

Thursday, May 5, 2011

CoffeeCoffeeCoffee 8D

(Cross-posted from FA)

I broke my embargo from fully-caffeinated coffee on Wednesday.

That morning I had a small cup of regular coffee as part of breakfast. Immediately after that, I biked en route to school. However, knowing that I would eventually crash in an hour or so, I detoured to Starbucks and ordered a Venti Double-shot White Mocha.

Queue the massive jolt.

As soon as I entered class, the effects of caffeine started having a major effect on me (something that hasn't happened in months) and my hands started slightly shaking; I couldn't type without making typos, and it took some effort to write well. On the upside, though, I was more lively and talkative than usual. I felt like a stereotypical fox.

Around lunch time, I started to feel the effects wear off, so I did something I now regret - going to the convenience store and getting another cup of coffee (french vanilla flavored). No effect, save for massive body rejection shortly after school.

Now I did go to a coffeehouse afterwards, though to work on Valleydog and other art under air conditioning (it has become rather hot recently). Rather than getting coffee, I opted for italian soda (which, I must say, seems quite light and is rather tasty).

So, all-in-all, I've learned that day why I stopped with (caffeinated) coffee for months now - despite being beneficial at first, it can be rather awful if one drinks a lot in a short period of time x.x

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Hello there! Time for another blog, lol. I guess this makes it my third attempt. :p

Well, as they say, third time's the charm! =^.^=