24 June 2017

Dinner conversation snippet

Dad: I'm not that social.

Me: It's OK, T*, I'm not that social either.

Dad: You are my guiding light.

Made me laugh so hard.

Me: I'm not sure that's what you should be going for.

10 years ago on TTaT: The Longest Journey

23 June 2017

Life of Art SitRep #384 More Gift Bags & Favor Boxes

Started the week off with a trip to a museum to see a guitar exhibit. It's always fun when you can photograph inside museums even if it's dark and the results aren't great. Shot 104 photographs and 8 videos. Culled 2 videos, 33 photos, rated rest.

Also shot 10 thunderstorm videos. Culled 6, rated rest.

Expanded my lines of Gift Bags, Tent Favor Boxes, and Gable Favor Boxes a bit further:

If there's a design at Rocklawn Arts you'd like on a gift bag or favor box that isn't, just let me know and I'd be happy to make it for you.

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Gift Bags at Rocklawn Arts! and New Favor Boxes at Rocklawn Arts! (latter posts next Tuesday).

Updated some wrapping collections to include items above.

Learned that collections now need a minimum of 7 items to be viewed on product pages, so I created another Rainbow Bullseye shirt for the Geometric Rainbow Pattern LGBT Pride T-shirts collection.

How was your week?

12 years ago on TTaT: Not cutoffs

21 June 2017

A Low Growl

Went for a walk today and when I reached the top of the hill, I heard a low growly bark. I paused scanning the area but couldn't see the dog past the bushes and landscaping.

I continued, slowly.

I heard the jingling of dog tags and paws on the driveway to my left jogging towards me at a good clip.

"Rosco, no," said his owner, also out of view. However, I could hear that Rosco was still coming.

When I reached the opening to the drive, I saw the sizable black dog charging towards me.
Here it's worth noting that I've had issues with dogs in my life. I like them but the first dog I gave a hug when I was little bit me in the forehead. The dobermans next door used to chase me up trees. The airedale we had was as tall as I was standing when he was sitting down, and he terrorized me, no doubt, for the sake of play but it was never fun for me.
I stopped at the end of the driveway, and in a calm voice told Rosco, "Hey, you know me. It's fine."

For once, the mantra "show no fear" didn't even cross my mind because I didn't feel it. Nor was I tensed and prepared to fight Rosco if he were to attack. I didn't even feel my heart rate pick up.

Rosco slowed down and stepped right in front of me blocking my path. He leaned into me, and I tentatively patted his head with one hand and petted his back with the other. The dog shifted and I said, "So you want to step on my foot?"

His owner having caught up to us said, "That's what he likes best. Sorry about that. Rosco."

Rosco took a few steps away from me.

"You can't lie down in the road," his owner said and Rosco turned around.

I continued walking, we were right by the circular turnaround at the end of the road. Rosco was lying in the shade under a bush at the end of his drive when I passed him on the other side of the road.

He didn't bark or growl at me that time.

10 years ago on TTaT: Noticing oddities

17 June 2017

Mae, Volume 1

Mae Volume 129. Mae, Volume 1 by Gene Ha

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sisters with complicated history embark on an epic adventure to a fantastical world that one has lived in for years while the other never knew it existed.

Talking animals, scifi pop culture references, young women leading the action: what's not to love?


10 years ago on TTaT: And there it is

15 June 2017

Things In Common

I've seen the extrovert at the library a couple of more times since last I wrote about her. Both were brief and she didn't make an effort to overly extend our interactions, so I concluded that she's not interested in me, just friendly with people in general.

Today I stopped by to pick up a couple reserves that had come in. She didn't refer to me by name but she knew without asking which items on the shelf behind her were mine.

She placed them on the counter and said, "May I ask where you heard of this book?"

"Which one is it?"

She flipped it around so I could read the cover. "Amanda Palmer," I said.

"Yes!" She was genuinely excited which made me smile. "She was so great on Tim Ferriss' podcast."

I don't listen to his podcasts but elaborated, "She's great. I love her. I saw it in Tools of Titans, probably what I got most from that book is a lot of other books I want to read."

She nodded and asked, "Have you seen her in concert?"

"No, well, I've seen her webcasts live."

Another enthusiastic, "Yes! I just ordered one of her CDs, Theatre is Evil."

"It's really good," I said.

She looked me in the eye and said, "I knew it," as she raised two fingers below her eyes and flipped them out towards me in an I'm-watching-you gesture that in this case conveyed we are simpatico.

Dig it.

I nodded and smiled, returning the gesture.

10 years ago on TTaT: Not quite the breakfast of champions

10 June 2017

Tao Te Ching: A New English Version

Tao Te Ching: A New English Version28. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version by Lao Tzu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a literal translation of the Tao Te Ching, this is not it. Stephen Mitchell takes liberties which make it more readable but always points out in the notes where he's improvised.

I did appreciate that he alternates use of he and she when referring to The Master since in Chinese, the 3rd person pronoun is not gender specific.

Mitchell, having spent over a decade in zen training, has aimed to interpret Lao Tzu's meaning rather than always sticking to archaic imagery.

The foreword and notes are definitely worth reading as well.

11 years ago on TTaT: Original Broadway Cast Recording

09 June 2017

Life of Art SitRep #382 Hosta Leaves with Raindrops

This week, I edited a new photograph, Hosta Leaves with Raindrops, and added it to my shop on custom wall art, cards, iPhone cases, throw pillows, wrapping supplies, and other select items:

Check out the rest of the collection of Hosta Leaves with Raindrops products.

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Hosta Leaves with Raindrops photograph at Rocklawn Arts (posts next Tuesday).

Added hosta items to appropriate collections.

Created some new templates for favor boxes and gift bags.

Added a couple of designs to tent favor boxes:

Reorganized store categories.

Watched "7 hidden tricks/tools in Photoshop" and read "How to make the colors match between different photos in Photoshop" from Colin Smith of Photoshop Cafe.

Watched "6 Things I Do for a Happy + Productive Day" —Chase Jarvis RAW

Made end of month backups. Have you backed up lately?

12 years ago on TTaT: It's a fat girl's name

02 June 2017

Life of Art SitRep #381 Soaking In Art

Over the holiday weekend, I went to an art museum's opening of its expanded campus. Music, food, performances, cool art and architecture. Good times. I'll have to go back to soak more of it in.

While there, I shot 203 photographs and 13 videos. Culled 74 photos, rated the rest.

Selected a photograph for my shop and am just about done editing it. Going to take a fresh look at it tomorrow before I call it done.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Get Ready To Celebrate Your LGBTQ Pride.

Watched Going Mainstream & When to Upgrade Camera Gear | Daily Creative by Chase Jarvis.

Updated LOA file for end of month.

How was your week?

12 years ago on TTaT: Day 2- Umbros

01 June 2017

The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It

The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It27. The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It by W. Chris Winter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So is my sleep totally awesome now that I've finished reading this book? Not yet, but I feel more confident that I'll get there. In addition to more in depth sleep hygiene tips, the book spends a fair amount of time addressing attitudes towards sleep. I understand how some people will push back on those ideas, but I do find that shifting my expectations has helped.

The Ice Bucket Sleep Challenge sounds brutal but effective for resetting your brain to sleep well. I'm starting with less drastic measures, but I may try a less extreme variant of it down the line. Counter-intuitively, you restrict the window of time during which you'll sleep. Sleeping more is not necessarily better if you spend all the extra time trying to fall asleep or get back to sleep; it makes your sleep less efficient which makes you feel worse.

Board-certified neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Winter has a sense of humor, so the book is an entertaining read as he describes how sleep does and doesn't work and what to do about it.

Not everything is a simple fix, but it makes sense to start with what you can control.

10 years ago on TTaT: So much cooler than a spreadsheet (GoodReads, as it happens)

27 May 2017

Tools of Titans

Tools of Titans26. Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Going into this ~700 page tome, know that Ferriss's goal is that you'll like 50%, love 25%, and find 10% indispensable. Why didn't he cut the book in half? What people found useful or worthless varied widely from person to person so you are left to wade through it on your own. There is no index.

Profiles are loosely broken into 3 categories: healthy, wealthy, and wise.

He encourages you to look for patterns amongst those profiled and points out a few. What I noticed most is that the book features a lot of dudes. Since Ferriss interviews people to learn how to enhance *his* performance and life, it's not surprising he would mainly seek out other men. There's still a lot of useful info in the book for anyone, but it kind of feels like watching TV or movies where nearly all the main characters driving the action are men. (I don't really watch those anymore.)

If you are looking for actionable tips, you might want to start with the non-profile chapters. If you read one and like it, usually the profile preceding it also relates to it. Otherwise the contents are just a list of the people profiled in the book.

My copy is full of small pieces of torn paper for bookmarks. Alas, I don't have an eidetic memory, so I need to go back through to see what caught my interest. I do have a long list of more books I want to read, some are in the list at the back of the book but I liked reading why people liked them in their profiles and also added books they'd written in some cases.

A lot of the book's "tools" are really about mindset. However, there are also diagrams of acroyoga poses, a chapter on computer privacy settings, specs for a barrel sauna, info on psychedelic drugs and angel investing (not at the same time). A wide range of topics are included. You're bound to find something that interests you.

I'm generally curious so I found most of it interesting though not necessarily useful or applicable. The small chunk that is really helpful is not easily found again amidst everything else, so that's why I rate this 3 stars.

9 years ago on TTaT: I continue to loathe health insurance

26 May 2017

Life of Art SitRep #380 A more reflective week

I started the week (in this case, the Friday to Thursday week I chronicle here) watching more of Photoshop Week on Creative Live:
How to Work Faster in Adobe® Photoshop® CC with Chris Knight

How to Shoot and Composite Levitating Objects with Bret Malley

Creating Fantasy Landscapes with Bret Malley

Urban Landscape Post-Processing Techniques with Serge Ramelli

Also watched Become A Master Communicator with Vanessa Van Edwards—Chase Jarvis interview.

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Samsung Galaxy S8 OtterBox Cases at Rocklawn Arts (will post next Tue.)

Culled 19 photographs from last week's shoot.

Rated images in 4 folders from last year.

Looked through images considering what to work on next.

How was your week?

10 years ago on TTaT: Don't think, just write

19 May 2017

Life of Art SitRep #379 Incipio DualPro Shine iPhone 7 Plus Cases

This week, I added select designs to new Incipio DualPro Shine iPhone 7 Plus Cases. They have a cool faux brushed metallic finish that comes in gold, silver, or rose gold. (Yes, it's possible I'm partial to silver. Any case can be easily switched to the finish you prefer under the Color option on the product page's sidebar.)

Shot 55 photographs. Culled 1. Haven't properly looked at them all yet though.

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Eye-catching Google Pixel Cases Collection, New Rugged Google Pixel XL Case Collection, and New Samsung Galaxy S8 Carved Cases at Rocklawn Arts. The latter two will post next week.

Watched some classes during PhotoShop Week on CreativeLive (more airing for free on Friday and Saturday):
Cloning, Healing and Removing Distractions in Photoshop with Matt Kloskowski
Digital Printing using Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® with Daniel Gregory
Creating Advanced Masks with Chris Knight (this one was really great!)

How was your week?

11 years ago on TTaT: Nature's lawn mowers!

17 May 2017

Note to Self, vol. XXVI

When it's tremendously windy where you are pumping gas and you want to clean your windshield, stand upwind when you pull the squeegee out of the wiper fluid.

Fortunately, it's ridiculously warm today in the mid 80's, so it didn't feel too bad when the liquid spritzed my bare calves. Just as well I was wearing shorts for the first time this year.

10 years ago on TTaT: Eight, at last

12 May 2017

Life of Art SitRep #378 Samsung Galaxy S8 Cases with Wood Inlays

Finishing out this week, I went to a Nasty Women art exhibit which reminded me that there are others out there who think like I do, that women are people who deserve equal rights, equal pay, health care, and safety in our lives.

Shot 13 nature photographs, culled 6, rated rest.

Created select new Carved Samsung Galaxy S8 Cases:

Created a couple of Case-Mate Tough Xtreme iPhone 7 cases and upgraded others to the Tough Xtreme case option:

Created Eye-catching Google Pixel Cases and Rugged Google Pixel XL Cases collections:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Google Pixel Cases at Rocklawn Arts and New Google Pixel XL Cases at Rocklawn Arts.

Made monthly backups. Have you backed up lately?

12 years ago on TTaT: today's thought...