Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The FIRST Amendment

Show me a Republican who understands the separation of church and state as a part of the constitution and doesn't use religion as a selling point and I will listen... 

There isn't one.

Till it happens I am a Democrat.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clarification: War is Hell

I didn't make it clear with my Afghani fast-food post that I am pro troops but anti-war.  I want to make that clear now.  I think we need to leave, and I think that the longer we stay the more we are hated and the more we fail.  But I don't blame the troops for following orders.

I have had several friends who were ex-Vietnam vets and they were screwed over by our government and our people when they returned.  I never want that to happen again, no one who knows better does.  Troops do horrible things under orders, under fear, in the name of survival...some of it is choice, some of it isn't, and it needs to be looked at piece by by piece, but war makes people crazy. They will never be ok again.

And for what purpose?

Europe is pulling out of Afghanistan, the US needs to as well.  We all fucked up, time to go.  We backed the wrong guy, we made the place worse than it was and can't fix it.  President Karzai...I suggest you  run. (away)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Picture is Worth 1000 (10 Great) Words

Some pictures speak for themselves and others live for a caption.

[click on photo for larger picture, and on site names for link to more laughs and giggles]

            I Can Has Cheezburger

            Oddly Specific

            Epic Win, FTW

           Very Demotivational

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Few Guests at the Tea Party

The CBS news poll on Tea Partiers is really interesting, and should be looked at by Tea Party supporters and those that aren't part of the movement (IE: everyone should look at it) because it is eye opening in view of how much attention they are getting.

Tea Partiers insist they speak for the majority of Americans when in fact Tea Party activists and supporters are no more than 18% of Americans in total.

Some of the most surprising (and not so surprising) things in the poll are:

*84% of TP (stands for Tea Partiers from here on out) say "the views of the Tea Party movement reflect the views of most Americans. But Americans overall disagree: Just 25 percent say the Tea Party movement reflects their beliefs, while 36 percent say it does not." (I have no idea what the rest of the 39% believe: 'sorta, maybe, I don't drink tea'?)

3D TV is a Happy Fun Ball!!

The list of warnings Samsung has given on its 3DTV basically excludes everyone except absolutely healthy people between the ages of 20 - 50 who also aren't pregnant, drinking or sleep deprived.  Wearing the glasses any time you aren't using them to look at the tv can be "physically harmful" (fall down much?) and weaken your eyesight.  Even using the set-up correctly can cause dizziness and headaches.

"Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided.

Viewing in 3D may cause disorientation for some viewers. Accordingly, DO NOT place your TV television near open stairwells, cables, balconies, or other objects that can be tripped over, run into, knocked down, broken or fallen over."

I am surprised the list doesn't call for a designated watcher -- and it has given me an idea on how you can murder somebody.   ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I finally found the paint bucket

...and the polygonal lasso and the burn tool and and several things I have never seen before. (what does the exacto knife do?)  Well at any rate, I no longer have the feeling that Photoshop is broken, or since I got the program at a reduced price (because I bought a Wacom Tablet) that I got the cut-rate version.  I was truly getting upset. 

I was thinking about uninstalling and reinstalling till I right clicked on the lasso (hadn't tried that yet) on the side tool bar...and there were all the lasso's.  Then I did it for every tool -- total relief.  When I told my mom, who has Photoshop but hasn't used it in years where it was that I found everything, she says "oh yeah, that's right, sorry."  It only took a month to figure out.  Now the only thing I can't find is the impressionist brush...anyone?

There is a lot to be said for intuitive programs and failing that, a set of basic instructions, neither of which can be said for Photoshop.  Even so, I wouldn't be without it.

Touch My Monkey

In a bit of absurdity (serious as it is to some)...

In case you need to travel with your helper monkey through airspace, here are a few things that you need to know about security (but leave home with lots of time to spare)...

*When the handler and service monkey go through the walk through metal detector and the detector alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening. [it might be a knife throwing circus monkey in reality -- you really do have to be careful]

*Since service monkeys may likely draw attention [slow down everyone else getting through security, what with the rubber-necking], the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on. Only the handler will touch or interact with the service monkey. [they can bite off a finger]

*Security Officers have been trained to not touch the service monkey during the screening process  [insurance probably doesn't cover monkey ravaging]

*Security Officers will conduct a visual inspection on the service monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection.  [this is why a prehensile tail comes in useful]

*The inspection process may require that the handler to take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection. [treat the monkey nicely or it may use the contents of its diaper in protest]

Brackets are mine.

thanks BoingBoing for the link to the TSA special needs page.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Having Too Much Fun In Afghanistan

Our troops who are stationed in Afghan deployment hubs are to no longer be allowed to have fast food (except coffee and doughnuts for some reason).  Why?  Because 'they aren't there to have fun'.  Did Burger King actually figure out how to make hell fun? I love whoppers but I have never felt I was having fun because of one. 

If some idiot signed a contract that meat patties would make it to the base before bullets, I can understand why you would crush the idea.  But to give the troops a taste of home and then decide that is too frivolous and happy making...

Smoking in The Boys Room (on an airplane)

In more airline news...

I smoke, which is why I don't drink when I fly (my ciggy consumption shoots way up when I drink and drinking without smoking would be like stabbing myself in the leg).  I always have ancient nicorette gum in my carry-on in case I go a bit withdrawal crazy, but I don't exacerbate being stuck in a people-filled no-smoking closet for 9 - 11 hours by drinking.  I sleep instead.  I take an anti-histamine or valium and do my best to ignore the whole thing.  I have gotten to where I don't mind so much if I am not smoking on a plane for hours on end.  (the mind is a strange thing)  I do light up the second I step outside, of course.  Head Rush.  If I am ever to quit smoking I will have to move into a grounded airplane for a week to get it out of my system.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

'Ryanair' is the 'Spirit' of cheap flights

I guess some people have uses for ultra cheap airlines that charge for everything in dribs and drabs -- but personally it infuriates me and makes me feel somehow sub-human. 

I have only been on Ryanair for one round trip and everything about it pissed me off so much that when the plane tilted and swerved crazily as it landed -- half the plane screamed (has anyone ever heard a bunch of people in a plane scream?  I have, once and only once) but I just swore, it managed to piss me off even more!  The landing the other way was bad too, just not as bad.  I want to know how long their pilots have been flying.  (either period, or how long their shifts are...because they are either new at it, tired, or pissed off as well)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Header #2

I have made another header picture, and so far I quite like it.  I made it from another tutorial, and though I changed parts of it to fit the idea of the blog better, I really like the original idea from Graphic Tutorials found here.   It is called "Text Within Text".

The cloud background I made myself in Elements a number of months back when I discovered the impressionist brush: 

Just in case I decide to play musical headers (highly likely because there are so many other text tutorials I will end up doing that I have try out as a header), I will put the picture of it here as well -- as a record of my continuing remodeling of the blog.  This one is a definite improvement on the last one, don't you think?

-Header #2-

Monday, April 5, 2010

New blog look again, and I am sure it won't be the last!

I just had to change the look of my blog again, but decided against the cartoon kitties and blinking naff what-not. I doubt I will stay with this set up either, but the green of the old blog layout was beginning to bother me and it was clashing with what ever colors I put in via my photos. Is all it too black dark gray now though?

I would try one of the new 'blogger in draft' templates, but I have been looking at the blogger forums and it appears there are a LOT of kinks to work out before I go that route. This sudden auto-pagination thing  is making people crazy a month on, as well. I am new to blogging so I think I will wait till everyone else has figured out how to fix the problems before I end up adding to the list of "Help!"  In my first post I did warn that it was a work in progress and subject to being different at no notice.  Everyone read that, right?

Nothing is permanent, except for the post urls, I have discovered.
**Black has been disapproved of, but what about this gray?  Leave a comment if you have an idea what the background color should be (I am trying to stay away from plain old white)**

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Twitter, bah humbug

 I have 2 twitter accounts, one for this blog which is 3 weeks old and has 3 tweets (so consider it stuffed in a back corner), and one that is about 8 months old that has 33 tweets, mostly used to rip on Arthur Kade's absurd tweets and to follow a few people who are really interesting or funny like Stephen[Colbert]AtHome.

Chocolate is the new text for the day

I did a full scale photoshop text tutorial and though I messed up a bit (I was too far along by the time I realized how and why -- the shadow should be directly below the letters).   I think it still turned out really great! I will definitely be using this, and parts of this, tutorial again. I would tell you how I messed up but I doubt anyone else will do the odd thing I did. (now I have to figure out how to reset my rulers because of the odd thing I did) [click on chocolate for a larger image to see how metallic the lettering seems to be]

-the more I look at the word "chocolate" the more it looks spelled wrong-

I want to thank PSAwesome.com and Eren Goksel for the tutorial that can be found here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Step one, make something that interests you but you aren't invested in.

I am not actually a master of Photoshop CS4, but I did finally make something with it. The new header up top -- which I probably won't keep for long before it starts to bother me -- gives me hope that I will be able to grasp the workings of CS4 eventually. Hey, the window alone was 5 layers! I also followed two tutorials on making rain: one using noise and another using dots.

[edit: It bothered me, I took it down, look below]

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The first day of a new month!!

What an interesting week I have had so far. I have completely mastered Photoshop CS4! (I still can’t find the paint bucket though) Just look at this photo totally hand drawn picture I did of my cat “Lady”. I call it “Lady Sparkle”. Getting her fur to look realistic was much easier than I expected, though I had trouble figuring out how to crop lay out the design. I had a lot of fun putting the sparkles on her whiskers as the finishing touch. I am about to start tutorials of my own, so stay tuned.
"Lady Sparkle"
I also spent some time back at the drawing board, it has been a while since I picked up a pencil and my water colors, but I saw a rabbit through my binoculars in the field next to my house, lazing in the Irish sunshine, and drew this. It seemed so effortless! It did help me with the whole fur thing though, which came in handy for “Lady Sparkle”.
-A masterpiece, if I do say so myself-
I almost forgot. I was really bored last night. Look what I made out of really stale cheese!  Inspiration struck.  I whittled away and this is what was I came up with. You need an really sharp knife and really hard cheese and good light, but that is about all it takes to come up with something as cool as this -- just don't hold it too hard or parts of it will snap off like you see here :(
-I might make this my new hobby-