30 April 2015

The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body

The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body31. The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body by Jill Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book to own and keep not on your shelf, but flipped open beside you as you try a new rolling sequence.

Jam-packed with info on anatomy, proprioception, personal stories, and techniques for rolling out knots and kinks in your body.

If you want more control over how you feel in your body, strategies to tackle pain and tightness while improving your mobility, this is a great resource.

It's got loads of photos demonstrating the ball rolling techniques, but you can also see videos online to get a feel for it. I was sold on her approach before I read the book as I have a couple of her DVDs. I often roll out my upper back and feel better for it. It's rare a day goes by I don't roll out something.

Highly recommended if you want to put more of your well-being into your own hands.

4 years ago on TTaT: Perspective on the decay of beauty

26 April 2015

Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues

Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues (Angel & Faith, #2)29. Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues by Christos Gage

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So glad I finally got a chance to read this one. Some epic library snafus had me ready to give up on it, but it was worth the wait. (Seriously, I was surprised to find I'd read volume one in November of 2012.)

This one ties back well to the original Buffy tv series. I really enjoyed it.

Fingers crossed that volume 3 doesn't take as long to get.

Two years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #168 Screw Fear

24 April 2015

Life of Art SitRep #272 Wine or Bust

Maybe this week feels like a bust because the day I'm writing this (Thursday) was. Had a checkup appointment and my doc was an hour late. Even his med assistant was running a half hour late. She was kind enough to apologize. My doc never does. By the time I left, the office was a ghost town. Argh. Shake it off. Deep breath.

Let's see what I did get done this week.

Wine Totes, how apt! I created a series of templates and started adding my designs to these. Get ready for picnics or make that bottle of wine you bring to a party more memorable with a reusable tote.
Rainbow Chevrons Wine Bags
Rainbow Chevrons Wine Bags by RocklawnArts
Browse Picnic Wine Totes online at Zazzle.com
Abstract Green Water Wine Bags
Abstract Green Water Wine Bags by RocklawnArts
Find other Picnic Wine Totes at zazzle.com
River Water Ripples Wine Bags
River Water Ripples Wine Bags by RocklawnArts
Pursue additional Wine Bags at Zazzle
Red Linen Texture Photo with Monogram Wine Bags
Red Linen Texture Photo with Monogram Wine Bags by RocklawnArts
Check out Picnic Wine Totes online at zazzle

Updated descriptions for my Chevrons products.

Shot 57 photographs.

Made some small changes to the About Store section of RA shop.

Started reordering design descriptions into batches by type, adding new products goes much faster, huzzah!

Put some design images in folders by type on Zazzle. More clicks but less back and forth between browser and text edit. Jury's still out on this one.

Continued watching Build a Stand-Out Business with Tara Gentile.

Not too bad amidst computer crashes and site specific issues.

How was your week?

A year ago on TTaT: Tip of the Day

22 April 2015

Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond

Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond27. Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond by Bruce C.N. Greenwald

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found the investor profiles in the third section more useful than the rest.

Some of the earlier chapters are followed by short appendices, those were helpful.

In some cases, the approaches discussed involve investing enough money in a business to have control over its direction which isn't practically useful for me.

Also, published in 2001, it felt dated as it heralded investment research strategies used before the internet and thus financial data was widely available. Even the book often admits that finding businesses that are like the ones found by the great investors discussed and, this is key, not everyone else, are hard to come by today.

4 years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #63 In the realm of distraction

19 April 2015

Triumphant Anxiety

Two facts: the batteries in my camera were low, and my camera wasn't in my room.

One fear: a bear would pass through the yard and I wouldn't be ready to capture it in photographs.

I woke up and flung my navy curtains wide. The biggest black bear I'd ever seen was in the back yard. Do I have enough time to grab my camera before it's gone? I debated for a moment and decided yes, I had time if I was fast.

The bear was still there when I got back. I started photographing, hoping the batteries would last, getting closer to the window so I could open it.

Then I saw the bear wasn't alone. There was a lion with a full mane lying on the grass. The pale tan lion was easier to get a good exposure on, so I shifted my focus. Besides, lion! I didn't have any photos of a lion in the back yard.

In my peripheral vision, I saw a group of about 7-10 kids taking photos of the bear and lion with their smartphones. The kids, 10 years old maybe?, were 10 feet away from the animals and getting closer.

"Stay back!" I yelled, "It's not safe!"

The bear and lion ran past the children around the side of the house.

I struggled to put fresh batteries in my camera and dashed downstairs.

The young group was still snapping shots. The bear had disappeared but the lion was lying down again.

Cautiously, I got within 15 feet of the lion and started taking photos. I eased a few feet closer saying, "Hello there," in a soothing voice.

"Hello," said the lion.

I put my camera down in surprise. "I didn't know you could talk."

"I didn't know you could talk," said the lion.

Suddenly the lion wasn't as big as before. He looked friendlier.

"May I take your portrait?" I asked.

"Oh, I don't know. I never look good in photos," the lion answered.

"Don't worry, I'll make you look great."

A year ago on TTaT: Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art

18 April 2015

Micro Story of Spring

Relentless leaf blowers and mowers strain my goodwill.

Are they getting paid by the hour?

The yard next door isn't that big and they have all the equipment to expedite their endeavor.

It's over 70, beautiful day out, but I can't cope with that constant, loud mechanical whine.

Five and a half hours is enough already. Fingers crossed they'll pack up soon.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #219 Fits & Starts

16 April 2015


The night before last, I had a dream I was on a first date with Evan Rachel Wood. (OK, wow, looking at that IMDb link, she's a bit younger than I'd thought. Not that she looks 30, it's just she's already performed in so many films and tv shows that it seems like she should be older. Our age difference is still within the age/2 + 7 formula, so we'll call it good. Besides, it was a first date. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

We were at a restaurant but there was some sort of problem with dinner. I agreed that ERW was in the right as she was deciding what to do. I don't know what the actual problem was, but the manager offered her two immense raw steaks in recompense. And I mean huge foot and a half long, foot wide, two inch steaks.

She was reluctant to take them because I was a vegetarian. I told her I didn't mind, which I didn't. As I'm not actually a vegetarian, that makes sense.

Not that the rest of the dream did. It became a montage like the #EvanRachelWould ad campaign for Wildfang. Seriously, go watch it, it's a lot of fun, and perhaps you too will pull that spirit of merriment and enthusiasm into your dreams.

A year ago on TTaT: Clues

12 April 2015

Birds of Prey, Vol. 10: Club Kids

Birds of Prey, Vol. 10: Club Kids23. Birds of Prey, Vol. 10: Club Kids by Tony Bedard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyed it. Picks up the story after Gail Simone's run and does so well.

Couple of sequence things to note. Before you read #112 "The Hawks Want You!", key story elements occur in The Death of the New Gods. You can read it anyway as I did, but I want to know what the heck happened in that other graphic novel.

Another quirk is that this book collects #109-112 and #118. When I read #118 "Club Kids," I felt like there was background story I'd missed, and I was right.

Birds of Prey, Vol. 11: Metropolis or Dust contains issues #113-117.

So if you're getting these from the library, get both at the same time if you want to read the story in order.

Two years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #166 Veronica Mars!

10 April 2015

Life of Art SitRep #270 One Step At A Time

The glitchiness of last week continued which slowed progress considerably. I'm not the only one having batch creation issues with the site which is some consolation. Nonetheless I did make some progress.

I created a White on Black Geometric Equal Sign Pattern and added it to a small batch of products one at a time. There will be more coming.
White on Black Geometric Equal Sign Pattern Porcelain Plate
White on Black Geometric Equal Sign Pattern Porcelain Plate by RocklawnArts
Check out other Black and white Porcelain Plate at zazzle.com

I added some more wallet cases with inverted pairs of patterns:

Shot 148 photographs.

Updated descriptions for the rest of my Rainbow Designs.

Deleted a bunch of old templates I'm no longer using.

How was your week?

(Links to my store or products on Zazzle are affiliate links to help me earn more so that I can continue creating photographs and designs. The links do not change the items' price.)

4 years ago on TTaT: The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human

04 April 2015

10 Years of TTaT!

Ten years, whoa.

Happy 10th blogiversary, TTaT!

In honor of this anniversary, I finally updated my Best of TTaT post which you can also find in the header under Highlights. The new additions cover posts from 2010 to now.

So... of those 2196 posts (not including this one), which are my favorites?

Ten years of Taller Than Average Tales, ultra-condensed

Goblets of beer: a tale of perception, paranoia, and standing out.

Hamlet was my undoing (Part I, Part II, Part III) and its sequel,
The Prom: Take Two (part 1, part 2, part 3): an epic tale of teen love, angst, and rivalry.

Higher altitude: a verbal snapshot.

Blue gloves: a trip to the dentist, revealing unexpected connections.

The Road is my Favorite Place: Day 3: I love being on the road, able to stop and photograph whenever I choose as long as there's somewhere to pull over.

Formalwear Claire: the trials of finding formal wear last minute.

Claire's Bears: the ultimate backyard bear sighting.

Before dinner...: the camera at hand. Look at that sky!

After dinner...: I love this serene sequence of photos so much, I made it my twitter background so I can see it every day.

Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. xv) A photo montage.

Favorite semi blurs

Observations in my parents' kitchen: word play.

Sketchbook, page 58: Self-portrait

Biggest Bear Yet

Flame whoosh

Bona fide tower

Temporal Transportation

Are you ready to Jummmbbbllleee?

Inner Badass

Fractional Storytelling #1, Fractional Storytelling #9, Fractional Storytelling #12, Fractional Storytelling #14: An adventure broken into tiny stories.

Left to my own devices...


Evening Stride

Random Act

Christmas Eve

2015 (so far):
Best Part of Winter

My First Haircut

Thanks to all of you who have read and commented over the years!

If you have a favorite post that is or isn't on this list, please leave it in the comments.

A year ago on TTaT: Nove!

03 April 2015

Life of Art SitRep #269 Glitchy

Happy Birthday, Cheryl!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

First it was the website I needed to use, then internet servers/speed, and finally, to my greatest dismay, computer crashes. Glitchiness abounded this week.

Shot 21 photographs of a ranunculus flower. Computer crashed while I was uploading the files to my computer, ack! Fortunately I got them all. Need to reformat that card before I shoot anything else though.

Updated descriptions for Flower photographs and 4 Rainbow designs in my shop, Rocklawn Arts.

Heavenly Blue Morning Glory Close-UpTwo Oriental PoppiesEpimedium FlowersRed Dianthus With Raindrops

Flowering Rhubarb StalksRed Hibiscus With Raindrops

Checkered RainbowRainbow BullseyeRainbow ChevronsRainbow Stripes

Updated LOA file for end of month.

Finished reading Textiles: A Handbook for Designers by Marypaul Yates.

Made monthly backups. And several additional smaller scale backups given all the crashes this week.

Have you backed up lately?

(Links to my store or products on Zazzle are affiliate links to help me earn more so that I can continue creating photographs and designs. The links do not change the items' price.)

4 years ago on TTaT: Lay down a list of what is wrong

02 April 2015

21. Textiles: A Handbook for Designers

Textiles: A Handbook for Designers21. Textiles: A Handbook for Designers by Marypaul Yates

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is aimed more towards designers wanting to work with textile mills. Published in 1996, it doesn't address digital fabric printing and when it mentions computers, it's that they're being used more.

I imagine that computers (scanning, Illustrator, Photoshop) are far more integral to the process of textile manufacture now.

Nonetheless, if you want to create designs by hand, this a good resource. There's a cool chapter on artist materials that gets into specifics of brands and where you need to invest your dollars for good results.

There's quite a bit of helpful information about painting with gouache: the paint consistency you want, throw out the oil that comes out of the tube when you first open it, mix enough of your color to finish your design, clever techniques for painting perfect stripes.

I also now want a screw pitch gauge which I'd never seen or heard of before reading this book.

A good resource for designing fabric by hand. If a section's not relevant to you, don't give up entirely, skip ahead, you'll probably find something of use.

Two years ago on TTaT: Fleeting Phenomenon