Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Funnies

Software Development Cycle

  1. Programmer produces code he believes is bug-free.
  2. Product is tested. 20 bugs are found.
  3. Programmer fixes 10 of the bugs and explains to the testing department that the other 10 aren't really bugs.
  4. Testing department finds that five of the fixes didn't work and discovers 15 new bugs.
  5. Repeat three times steps 3 and 4.
  6. Due to marketing pressure and an extremely premature product announcement based on overly-optimistic programming schedule, the product is released.
  7. Users find 137 new bugs.
  8. Original programmer, having cashed his royalty check, is nowhere to be found.
  9. Newly-assembled programming team fixes almost all of the 137 bugs, but introduce 456 new ones.
  10. Original programmer sends underpaid testing department a postcard from Fiji. Entire testing department quits.
  11. Company is bought in a hostile takeover by competitor using profits from their latest release, which had 783 bugs.
  12. New CEO is brought in by board of directors. He hires a programmer to redo program from scratch.
  13. Programmer produces code he believes is bug-free...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Great Quote for Today

“There are no wrong turns. Only wrong thinking on the turns our life has taken.”

- Zen saying

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Funnies

Got this in an email from a friend the other day.


A woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after work cocktail with her girlfriends when an exceptionally tall, handsome, extremely sexy, middle-aged man entered. He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off him.

The young-at-heart man noticed her overly attentive stare andwalked directly towards her. (As men will)

Before she could offer her apologies for staring so rudely, he leaned over and whispered to her, "I'll do anything, absolutely anything,that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for $20.00......on one condition."

Flabbergasted, the woman asked what the condition was.

The man replied, "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words.

"The woman considered his proposition for a moment, and then slowly removed a $20 bill from her purse, which she pressed into the man's hand along with her address.

She looked deeply into his eyes, and slowly and meaningfully said.............

"Clean my house."


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The truth - upside down

HT to Brian at The beautiful Heresy. Be patient and watch it all the way through, it's about 3 minutes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Funnies


Wacom Tablet Drawing

So, I made a good sale of photos the other day and used some of the money to buy a Wacom 4x6 tablet. It rocks!!!!

Did my first "drawing" with it tonight and although I'm not very good at drawing, it felt pretty good to just mess around with the tool and was happy with the result. The pen is a little heavy ended for me, it doesn't seem balanced well, but, it'll feel better with practice I'm sure.

Took me a while to figure out I didn't have to draw in black and then go back and color the picture in like a coloring book, that I could just draw with the color I wanted. Once I quit using the following madding method...drawing, magic tool, eye dropper, paint bucket and just switched swatches I was a happy camper.

For alot of people this "drawing" is no big deal, but for me, it is. I haven't even tried drawing anything for a couple decades. I loved drawing as a kid, but stopped doing it after giving my uncle a picture I'd drawn him of a horse when I was about 8. He made a comment about it, as adults often do, without thinking, but that critisism stung! I was humiliated and hurt, so I just stopped drawing after that.

Took it up again in college in a 2d class that was a pre-req for a photo class I wanted to take. Turned in my first drawing with trepidation, but got a B+ on it. I was pleasantly shocked! Gave it up again when I had to drop the class when my dad got sick.

I consider all this art stuff healing even if my drawings are rubbish to other people. I'm having a grand time and finding a part of me I'd thought long gone.

Doing the 9 faces exercise nearly every day has paid off. I'm much more comfortable with the idea of drawing and am getting better at some of the details. Last night I even drew face with a nose that almost looked like a nose!! Wooo Hoooo!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas in a box

Went to Hobby Lobby today to get some mats cut.

They had an “artist’s paint set” all boxed up with watercolors, oil paints, pencils, brushes etc. It was like Christmas in a box. For $24.99!!!

I put my hands on the box, looked at all the goodies inside, thought, “oh man, this is COOOOOOL!!” and then walked off.

What the heck??? Why didn’t I just buy the dang thing?? Am I really that cheap?

Or just that scared…..

Monday, December 3, 2007

What I learned today


Water color paints come in tubes!! :-O

I had no idea! I thought they came in little cakes like the ones we all had in elementary school and thus, would be easy to carry when I travel again. See, even the picture here shows them that way.

Also, did you know there are about 1,000 kinds of paint brushes??! Well, I didn't....

How in the world do you decide which to buy first? No wonder artist's studios are always a mess. I've just thought it was that artist's are simply, by nature, not very organized. But really, it's because there are so many tools you have to have lying around.
Decided that in my soul, I'm a painter as well as a photographer. Can hardly wait to have a messy studio of my own!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Quote of the week

Nothing makes people in the church more angry than grace. It’s ironic: we stumble into a party we weren’t invited to and find the uninvited standing at the door making sure no other uninviteds get in. Then a strange phenomenon occurs: as soon as we are included in the party because of Jesus’ irresponsible love, we decide to make grace 'more responsible' by becoming self-appointed Kingdom Monitors, guarding the kingdom of God, keeping the riffraff out (which as I understand it, are who the kingdom of God is supposed to include.) - Michael Yaconelli in Messy Spirituality

The definition of insanity!!

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20071130/twl-sudan-crowd-call-for-teddy-teacher-g-3fd0ae9_1.html

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Raul Midon

Just discovered this guy's music tonight and I'm a fan! He's fantastic and he's a NM native!
Good feeling music with positive lyrics!
He has a new album out with a wonderful song called "All the Answers" which you can find at his myspace page.
http://www.myspace.com/raulmidon

Like this song alot too.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

IF by Joni Mitchell

Posted by my friend elsewhere.
All I can say is wow...thanks G!

If
by Joni Mitchell

If you can keep your head
While all about you
People are losing theirs and blaming you
If you can trust yourself
When everybody doubts you
And make allowance for their doubting too.

If you can wait
And not get tired of waiting
And when lied about
Stand tall
Don’t deal in lies
And when hated
Don’t give in to hating back
Don’t need to look so good
Don’t need to talk too wise.

If you can dream
And not make dreams your master
If you can think
And not make intellect your game
If you can meet
With triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

If you can force your heart
And nerve and sinew
To serve you
After all of them are gone
And so hold on
When there is nothing in you
Nothing but the will
That’s telling you to hold on!
Hold on!

If you can bear to hear
The truth you’ve spoken
Twisted and misconstrued
By some smug fool
Or watch your life’s work
Torn apart and broken down
And still stoop to build again
With worn out tools.

If you can draw a crowd
And keep your virtue
Or walk with Kings
And keep the common touch
If neither enemies nor loving friends
Can hurt you
If everybody counts with you
But none too much.

If you can fill the journey
Of a minute
With sixty seconds worth of wonder and delight
Then
The Earth is yours
And Everything that’s in it
But more than that
I know
You’ll be alright
You’ll be alright.

Cause you’ve got the fight
You’ve got the insight
You’ve got the fight
You’ve got the insight

Copyright © 2007; Crazy Crow Music
Printed from the official Joni Mitchell website: JoniMitchell.com

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Funnies

According to a news report, a certain private school in Victoria, BC recently was faced with a unique problem.
A number of grade 12 girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.
Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back.
Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night.
To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.
He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.

Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

9 Faces



Thumbed through this book at the bookstore and found a great creative exercise on which I've been doing for about 5 days now. The idea is to draw 9 circles on a piece of paper, then turn those 9 circles into human faces. They suggest that you use different kinds of media on different days and that you don't spend alot of time on each face, just draw.

It's been a brain stretcher that's for sure!!

First day was pretty timid with my drawings, but now, I've drawn all the faces that were already in my brain, and am needing to get more creative with expessions etc in order to draw new faces. Also, finding myself looking at people on tv, magazines and real life for details and patterns. We look at faces every day, but do we really LOOK at faces?? You will if you try to draw nine of them every day.

For some reason, I'm finding drawing faces more meaningful and fulfilling than doing the 3 morning pages suggested by "The Artist Way".

Give it a go and let me know what you experience after a couple weeks of daily drawing.

You can see the exact wording and example by looking up the book on Amazon and doing the "search inside option" for "faces" or look for page 177.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1581804385/ref=sib_dp_pt/104-6155437-3658360#reader-link

Monday, November 19, 2007

Find out who your friends are

I love this new song by Tracy Lawrence!!

The guy on the video reminds me sooo much of my brother when we were younger. He and his buddies were always getting stuck some ditch or mesa somewhere and needing a tow! They looked just like that guy too, with their pickups, caps and cut off shirts.

Also, a good reminder to be thankful to the folks that stick around after the sh*t hits the fan and, for me anyway, to always remember where you came from.




and yep...that IS George Jones.

Beat Bullying Week

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Funnies

This made me laugh till I cried...I love the expressions on their faces when they see the shapes!!

Community

Today I got to thinking about how I'm becoming a part of this great little community that's forming round the coffeeshop and how it's all because I took one little risk.

For a few months I saw signs at the market advertising African Drumming Sessions at this little coffeeshop. I wanted to go, but could never work up the courage.

Then, one day, I did.

I went over to the cafe, talked to the owner, and found out there was loads of activities going on there and that drumming was just one small part.

Just working up the courage to go speak to the owner, who turned out to be a total sweetie, has lead to the following cool stuff happening in the last couple months:

- Learning african drumming
- Meeting some terrific, creative, positive people
- Worked up the courage to hang my photos
- Put my first product (journals) for sale
- Have a place to sell more products (cards) once I get them produced
- Sold some work
- Got invited to participate in my first arts & crafts show
- Just landed my first advertising project from someone who owns a local business

What's all that got to do with community you may ask.

Well, everything.

It's because we're part of the community that we go pay $15 a week to drum whenever the instructor is in town. We could do it for free elsewhere.

It's because I'm part of the community that the owners hung my work in an easy to see, but out of the way place so it could hang longer than the normal 1 month.

It's because of community that my drumming friend asked me if I wanted the advertising gig. I thought she wanted some help learning how to use her computer so I said yes when she asked if I had some free time to do lessons.

It feels good to be a part of something that's organic, local and engergetic after hanging out at a virtual "community" that basically sucked the life out of my soul and wounded me for a while.

I love the positive energy, and way this group is starting to look out for each other in little ways.

Who would have thought all of that would come from a flyer in a supermarket.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

ASBO Truth

Man, I can sooo relate to this one. And no, it's absolutely no fun at all!! Still looking around waiting for the next round of "bullets" to come flying by even though I've removed myself from the target range.

The worse part is still not knowing who the snipers are, and who is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Someone the other day told me that all he wanted was the "benefit of the doubt". But how in the hell can you do that without opening yourself up for being a target again? At what point does that become less about forgiveness and more about stupidity?

That's what snipers do, they ceate doubt and fear where there could be trust and healthy relationships. The cowards aim to destroy one person or group and end up destroying much, much more without even knowing it.

Jon's right, it's no fun!!

Find more cartoons here: http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/



Sunday, November 11, 2007

TED Talks Larry Lessig

This is one of the best TED talks I've seen to date. He does a fantastic job with his presentation and with his content.

Check it out here.
http://www.kinnon.tv/2007/11/larry-lessig-te.html?cid=89500966


Thanks Bill ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Catching Up

AWESOME drumming session last night!!
We had about 15 people in a little coffee shop, drumming our brains out! That's the best group of folks and we all get along really well. Lots of sore hands and muscles from playing and laughing so much. Didn't want it to end.

Get to play one more time next week, before the instructor does his yearly journey south to Mexico for the winter.

Feel balanced and grounded after that session.

Finally found out that it was the gal that owns the coffee shop that gave my name to June and Crew. Apparently June hangs out at the coffee shop from time to time and saw my stuff down there. So, that's cool....

Hoping to have a 6 month project in Calif coming up very shortly. Not sure if it'll work out, but I'm really hoping it does. Really hoping!! It'd be a great gig, lots of hours but they'd all count towards my project management certification, so that'd be worth it. Plus, could use the $$

Been thinking alot about how much cynicism there is in the environments I'm in these days. I don't like it. Want to have something different for my life and I'm finding that the less I hang in those places, or with those people who have gotten in the habit of being cynical, the happier I feel and more productive I feel like being.

Don't think creativity can grow and thrive in an environment of constant cynicism and I want to live a more creative life.

Still working out what that means exactly.

Excited to be spending the weekend at a photo workshop taught by this guy:
http://www.lewiskemper.com/homepage.html

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Funnies

Thought this was pretty clever.
You can find more here at Peculiar Poetry:
http://www.peculiar-poetry.com/funny-adults


What Do You Want Bud?

I saw a Buddhist monk today
At a hot dog stand
The cook stood at the griddle
Doing his thing
“What can I make you” was his
Gruff demand
The monk replied, “Make me one
With everything”

Copyright © Paul Curtis. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wooo Hoooo!

Just got an email from the drum instructor.
We're having a drum session on the 8th!!
Drumming is the best way to get the brain cranking out the ideas!

Can hardly wait!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wild Horses

Today is the first time I actually listened to the words of this Natasha Bedingfield song.
The lyrics and music are wonderful and the sentiment perfect for where I find myself lately!!


Great Quote!!

Malicious talk, therefore, is a serious and troublesome matter, for it is the sustenance and recreation of some people. You should not, however, accept empty hearsay, lest you become a receptacle for other people’s evils.

Keep your own soul unlettered. For, by accepting the foul-smelling garbage of words, you will introduce stains to your prayer through your thoughts, and without cause you will hate your associates.

- Life of Syncletica
Quoted in Essential Monastic Wisdom: Writings on the Contemplative Life by Hugh Feiss.

From Sojourners Verse and Voice http://www.sojo.net/

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mystery Invitation

Last week I received a voice mail from a woman I'd never heard of, with an invitation to show at an art & crafts show, in a neighboring town, benefiting an organization I'd never heard of.

Today I returned the call and spoke with one of the co-chairs of the event. I've never heard of her either. Our conversation was quite funny because I was trying to get across the fact that I knew nothing about this event except the date but she wasn't quite getting it.

Our talk went something like this:

Her: .......oh, so you know June
Me: No, I don't know June. I don't know how I got on your list. I just got a phone call from Darlene
Her: Oh, you know Darlene...
Me: No, I don't know Darlene. She said she got the list from June.
Her: Oh, so it's June you know...
Me: No, I don't know anyone. I'm not even sure how I got on your list. I've never even heard of your organization. I just got a voice mail asking if I'd be interested in this show, so I called back.
Her: Oh, you haven't spoken to anyone.
Me: Yes, I spoke with Darlene. She told me the date and the place but she didn't know the details, like the size of tables and the time of the show.
Her: Oh, you know Darlene.
Me: No, I don't know Darlene. She called me, left me a voice mail. I called back, she told me the date and time and told me to call you for more details. So I'm calling you.
Her: Oh, so you don't know anything about this.

I kid you not....that's how the conversation went!! After all that, I found out that this is the first year this group is doing an arts show. Prior years they've done silent auctions. They have a "huge" turnout (wonder what that means exactly), there's a potluck at the same time, and the food is really good!

Frankly, that last line sold me.

So, I'm going to put my stuff up for sale to benefit an organization I've never heard of, at a place where I don't know anyone, and for I don't know for how long, or what time exactly (they haven't worked that out yet) or how many people will be there!!

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks to whomever gave my name and number to whomever you gave it to!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dia De Muertos

Went to my first ever Dia De Muertos celebration tonight. Which is odd, seeing how I grew up in a part of the US that is mostly hispanic. For years, I've considered the skulls, skeletons and costumes as something evil to be avoided. This year I decided that was stupid. To be afraid of pissing off God or the church or whomever, by refusing to have a good time with those in my community just because someone else said it was bad. Had to check it out for myself...

Turns out it was a GREAT time with dancing, music, food, art, celebration, color, fun and laughter with loads of people from the community. Tonight's party was the kick off to a week long festival celebrating the lives of those that have gone before us.

Instead of being evil or scary as I'd always been warned, it was quite funny to see ghosts, skeletons and "spirits" dancing a jig!! It took the fright out of death and put the emphasis of joy into life.

Best part of the whole evening was when a 91 year old woman, won the costume contest!!! The crowd roared it's approval at her laughing at the face of death! It was fantastic to watch her dance around, wearing a full black dress, hat and painted face! Amazing!

Next weekend will be even better!! There's a community wide offerena (rememberance altar) where I plan on adding pictures of my dad, my grandparents and the couple that lived next door to my parents for my entire life. Those are the people I want to honor, and celebrate this year.

There will be a parade and then parties in various places in town. I'm going to hit as many of them as possible!!

Viva Los Muertos!


Image from a mousepad which can be purchased here:
http://VistaLatina.etsy.com.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My inner European




Your Inner European is Irish!



Sprited and boisterous!

You drink everyone under the table.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Budgeting Blahs!

In an effort to get enough class hours under my belt to qualify for the PMI certification, I'm taking a Budgeting and Resource Management class right now. Thought I'd share a little of what the textbook says on this subject.

and I quote

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, costs, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, expenses, blah, blah, blah, senior management decides, blah, blah, blah, investments,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, over runs, blah, blah cash flow, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."

for 289 pages....

Well, that's what it looks like to me anyway!

The mathematical formulas look like graffiti and the software is unintelligible.

Where's the "soft skills", the people management, creative thinking etc...that's the stuff all textbooks should be made of. Who the heck thought this stuff up??

OK, I feel better now! Still don't understand a damn thing the book is saying, but at least I feel better about my ignorance, having gotten it off my chest. ;-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Funnies

A classic in honor of the playoffs tonight!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Retailing...

Took 3 journals with one of my images over to the coffeeshop today and we put a price of $10.99 on them to see if they'll sell at that price. The shop has the worse set up for sales like this in the world. They use an old, non-working, deli case to display people's wares. That's all well and good...the problem is, they have a huge table sitting right in front of the display case so no one can get over there to see what's for sale. There's also the world's messiest table next to it so that's distracting. There's all kinds of junk (papers, CDs, telephone books) etc sitting on that table...but it's not being used for anything good. It just looks cluttered.

Of course, no matter what any of us tell the owner, he agrees while we're there, and then puts it right back the way it was as soon as we leave. ugggggggh.

Oh well, some day he'll figure it out....

In the meantime, if someone really, really skinny wants to squeeze between the seats and the table to get to the display counter....maybe they'll buy one of my journals!

ELSEWHERES

I'm absolutely in love with this site!
They have the coolest stuff for sell from independent designers. Not only is the stuff uber cool, but the prices are quite reasonable too. Getting lots of good ideas just looking at the wares. Check it out!

http://www.elsewares.com/commerce/index.php

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Funnies

Holy chalk dust Batman, that's awesome!

found it here: http://www.funnyjunk.com/

Friday, October 12, 2007

Point to Ponder

Have lots of thoughts about the habit of cynicism, but I also have the beginnings of a nasty cold, so for right now, this quote I ran across today will have to do.

"The opposite of creavtivity is cynicism" - Esa Saarinen

Monday, October 8, 2007

Phone Order!

Just got a phone call from someone who saw my work down at the coffeeshop and wants to purchase one of my pieces. He said that he saw a copy of it down there with a "sold" sign on it but he'd still like a copy so he called.

AWESOME!

That's 4 (that I know of) prints sold at the coffeeshop now. Feeling pretty good about my decision to show stuff there!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Someday I Will - Jimmy Buffett










I see a white sail
skipping 'cross a blue bay
and I say Someday I Will
I see a young man
strumming on a green guitar
and I say Someday I Will

I don't have a plan
It's not that kind of thing
I'm not Martin Luther King
I don't have a dream
It's just sometimes I know
That's the way I'm supposed to go

I see a flying boat
and I get a lump in my throat
and I say Someday I Will
Someday

So whatever thrills you
Anything you love to do
Just say someday I will
Don't need to know who
May help you make it come true
Just say someday I will

Don't have to work it all out
Don't have to tear it all apart
All you need's a place to start
And if it never worked before
Try it just once more
That's what your heart is for

Whether it's big or small
If you have a passion at all
Just say, someday I will
Someday
Someday I will
Someday

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Memory Loss

Arrrrrrrrrgh!!

The other day I posted on someone's blog about the new NBC show "Journeyman". I was on about how the lead actor mumbles so much I can't hardly make out what he's saying. I really wanted to know what the person who's blog I left that note on thought of the mumbling.....but I can't for the life of me remember who the heck's blog that was or how the heck I got to it in the first place.

Dang it!! If only I could travel back in time like on that show! The guy probably told exactly how he did it and I couldn't hear him!! DRAT!

Anyway, if it was your blog and you've found your way over here...could you point me back to where we started??

Cheers!

Free Burma


International Blogger's Day for Burma
http://www2.free-burma.org/index.php

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Are you kidding me?

Now it's the fault of the US and the EU that terrorist (that's what they are) went into the AU peacekeeping camps and killed at least 20 people??

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20071002/tts-uk-sudan-darfur-cff01a2_1.html

Last week I went to see the documentary film "The Devil Came On Horseback".
http://www.thedevilcameonhorseback.com/

It's about US Marine' Captain Brian Steidle's 6 month experience working as part of an AU team investigating the attacks on villages throughout the region. The people were slaughtered, there's no other word for it. The film presents graphic visual evidence of the atrocities in that country as well as describes some 80 reports that were sent up through the bureaucratic channels to "who knows where".

The US embassy received 4 of them.

In one particularly poignant scene, the one I'll remember long after I forget the rest I'm sure, Captain Steidle talks about how he and his crew had calculated, based on previous patterns and the direction the terrorists were traveling, which village would be attacked next. They wanted to protect the village but were not given the resources by their new commanding officer. Instead, they were just permitted to fly over the village while it was in the process of being burned to the ground. Torched, one home at a time.

As soon as they saw the helicopter, those setting the village ablaze piled into 2 trucks and drove off. All Captain Steidle and his companions could do was take their pictures as they weren't issued guns even to protect themselves let alone the villagers.

During that portion of the film, he spoke about how utterly helpless he felt at that moment. I felt it too. The producers of the film put that scene together so that, as he told the story, we looked at the photographs he shot that day. Pickup trucks, filled with masked men holding guns, driving away down an isolated dirt road in the desert. The same exact scene that is included in nearly every Hollywood "action adventure" film!

We all know the very next scene is supposed to be of the hero taking out a huge missile launcher and blowing the bad guys to smithereens, saving the elated villagers who then throw a massive party to celebrate. That's the way it supposed to happen.

It's not supposed to be a US trained Marine captain, armed only with a camera, shooting frame after frame as they get away. Nor, is it supposed to be that same US Marine Captain going back hours later, to film the hacked up, burned and raped bodies of those left lying outside the looted and burned huts they once called home.

It's not supposed to happen like that!!

This week I told a friend a little about this movie and he said to remember the story of the starfish so I didn't start feeling hopeless. I wasn't quite sure what he meant. In the story, a young child goes to the beach at low tide and starts picking up starfish, throwing them back into the sea. An adult comes by and asks the child what she's doing, what she's doing isn't going to make any difference, there's too many starfish, she can't possibly save them all. "It makes a difference to this one" the child says as she picks up another and tosses it back to the sea.

What did that have to do with Dafur?

I thought his point was that at least something was being done to help at least one person in Dafur, but now I think he meant something much different. I think he was saying that although we, individually, can't do something to save the people of Dafur, we can all do some thing about something some where and we should!

Perhaps he's right, all I can do to help the people of Dafur, is to spread the word that something TERRIBLE is happening there and that We as a nation, and as a generation who is supposed to have learned from the history of too many genocides before, aren't doing anything about this one. The consequences of that apathy rests on all our heads!

It most certainly rests on the heads of those in the Sudanese government, that have not only refused to admit there was a genocide happening in their country, but as the film alleges, are supplying the arms and training to those who are decimating their own people.

This current raid, and the blame game that is sure to follow, is just further evidence of a world gone crazy! Where innocents are slaughtered while the rest of the world blames each other and does nothing about it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Funnies


I just love this guy's cartoons too!
More to say about him later!
You can find more of his work here:

Da da da da da....


Another one, PERFECT for the day, from ASBO Jesus.
Says it all way better than I ever could...Really! Thanks Jon!




Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Favorite Paper

Discovered Ilford Galerie Smooth Fine Art Paper yesterday. Printed 2 things -after a short wrestling match with my printer because it didn't want to accept the paper through the paper feed. Have I mentioned how much I hate this printer yet? ;) - Now I'm addicted!
This is AWESOME paper with great color saturation and fantastic texture. It's rag paper so it feels wonderful!
The only problem is that it is a bit pricey, well for my budget right now it seems pricey anyway. Box of 10 sheets was $14. But that's really not going to be a problem cause I'll never buy a SMALL box again!
I love this stuff!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Exactly!

From Jon Birch here:
http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/

I have a feeling that there were at least a couple pew warmers saying the very same thing!



Monday, September 24, 2007

SOLD!

Went to pick up my photos from the fair today and there was a business card attached to my paperwork. There was a note written on the back asking me to contact them, so I did.

The guy just wrote back and said he wanted to buy a copy of my merry go round pix!! He hadn't done so at the fair because he would have had to drive about 3 hours back into town today in order to pick it up.

Very happy to now have met my goal of selling at least one image to someone I don't know.
Yippeeee

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Camera Position Podcast

Jeff Curto has a great podcast called "Camera Position" which you can download from itunes. The thing I like about it is that he talks about the creative side of photography and photographing and not so much about the technical aspects.
He has a supplemental web site where you can view the photographs he's discussing with each episode here.
http://www.cameraposition.com/

Good information on historical photographers, books, and techniques.
Check it out and let me know what you think.

Sunday Funnies




Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blog Nazis

Is there really ever any reason to kick a polite, well studied and respectful person off a public blog just because they happen to disagree with the majority opinion? I don't think so!
But I saw it again today at a place I used to frequent. It was pretty sad actually. A guy that was respectful, polite and in no way derogatory got banned simply because he wasn't saying the "right things" in the way that the majority of the "ruling party" wanted them said.
They basically got tired of talking to him, claimed what he said was "poison" and banned him. No warning, no "please refrain from speaking about this topic here", nothing.... just a sudden "No blog for You"

NEXT....

Bullseye Composition.....uggggggh

Spent the day at the State Fair Weds and while there, went in to check to see if any of my images had sold (nope). I had a GREAT experience though, when I unexpectedly met one of the judges of this year's contest.I asked him if he could mind giving me some quick feedback on my images and ended up getting what amounted to a 30-45 minute "master class".

IT WAS AWESOME!!

One of the first things he asked me was if I was going to show in a gallery. (Insert shocked face here) I told him that I would actually like to do that some day so he proceeded to tell me how to make some changes on my images to make that happen.

First, we spent some time going over the image that won in my category. He talked about how good the composition was and how your eye was led through the image because there was a diaganol line created by the center of the flowers. Ok, fine, now I understand.......but I still don't like that picture. ;-)

We then moved over to talk about my images. I figured he would say that my presentation (mats) weren't up to snuff, but instead he told me that my composition was off. (insert another one of those shocked faces here). No one has ever told me my composition was off. In fact, that's something people usually tell me is a strong suit.

The first thing he told me was that my door image (for those of you that have seen it) was too symmetrical. He said "good composition has no symmetry". He also said I was "still using too much left brained thinking". That really stuck me as odd since I think that photography is the least left brained thing I do. Spent alot of time thinking about that comment over the last couple days though.

In fact, today I dug up the first 2 images that I'd entered in the fair many years ago. I won first place ribbons both of those years. I was totally surprised by to see that both of those images had "near perfect" composition and neither of them were symmetrical in the least!! Now I'm wondering what the heck happened? When did I get so "balanced" and "orderly"?? Is it the IT work I'm in that's done it to me, is it just being visually tuned out for all these years, the desire for shooting images to "report" back to friends and family about what I saw, or is it as simple as the viewfinder on my crap camera sux? I do know I'm conscious of the fact that I can not trust the viewfinder on that camera to give an accurate view of the final image the way I can with my SLRs so I consistently take one giant step to the right before hitting the shutter button. Perhaps,the awareness of having to make that adjustment iss making me "more left brained thinking"? Not sure, but I do know that whatever "it" is , it's showing up in most of my recent images and now it's annoying me. Need to ask for exercises or ideas on how to loosen that up.

Next we looked at my merry go round shot and he told me that the reason it hadn't ribboned was that it had "Bull's Eye Composition". That means that the place that draws the eye's attention first, in this case the purple of a rider's outfit, was smack in the middle of the image . I honestly hadn't seen that before but he was spot on. My favorite saying of his, and one I'm going to make my motto for a while...."If you have Bull's eye composition, then you have no composition"

He said some nice things about how my stuff definitely had great impact, color saturation and presentation. It was only my composition score that kept me out of top place and from getting another ribbon. I was only down .9 points from the winning image score though so that's not too bad!

Thought for sure that my french red store shot hadn't ribboned because of the black matting, but he said that wasn't it at all. It was, yep, you guessed it, the symmetrical composition. He pointed out how the doorway, smack in the middle of the frame, is solid black and different than any other part of the photo, thus drawing the most attention. He said although it's nicely done technically, it's not going to score higher because of being symmetrical. Drat! Funny how I didn't see I was doing that before I turned them in, but now that he's pointed it out, it's glaringly obvious in a lot of my recent images. Uggggh.

He did say that he thought I "had something" with the door image and that with a few tweaks, if I wanted to enter into other competitions I'd probably do well with it. He gave me some great suggestions about making it bigger, not putting it into the 4x5 ratio, using a photo shopped border instead of a mat and printing on metallic paper (at only $5 a sheet. Holy COW!)

Thought it was cool when he said my work was "really more 'fine art' than the scenics and still lifes" they usually see. Not sure what to do with that information, but I thought it was a cool never the less. He also said I obviously had a very good handle on how to use photoshop and that I obviously understood the "judge's lighting". Huh?? ..never even heard of "judge's lighting" until that day...Of course I didn't tell him that. ;-)

He was very gracious to give me as much time and constructive feedback as he did and I'm grateful for the lesson!! Not only that, but he was kind enough to give me his email address so I could follow up with him for feedback on another image I have done recently.

He happened to be the judge at the camera club competition the next night, so I got to hear another 2 hours of his critiques on over 100 other images. My brain is soaking with information now.

Good Stuff!!

My mood today

Not sure why, but I've been listening to John Denver for hours now while studying. This is my favorite John Denver song of all time....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I just like this

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Talking

Tonight at our Toastmasters meeting my friend Dan mentioned that he'd helped me with pricing my art and that I'd put some stuff up at the coffeeshop. Then he said if I wanted to say anything about it I could. My first thought was to say "no thanks" or make a joke about it. But, instead, I decided to take myself seriously and speak about it for a minute or so.

Not even sure what the heck I said, but I'm glad that I said it.

One of the reasons I've postponed the "opening party", besides the fact I'm not even sure my stuff is actually hung up yet, is that Paul, the owner suggested I could have a talk about my work. Well, what the heck would I say?......"Hi, my name is Laura and this is some of the work I've done over the last year. Hope you like it, now whip out your wallet and buy a couple pieces."?

How does one start talking about themselves and their work in that way? It's a total brain shift of identity really. How does one pull it off without sounding pompous or full of shite?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

DANG-BLASTED-NABIT!!

Stopped by the coffeeshop today and it ends up that they hadn't really sold those 4 images after all! Basically, they decided to rearrage my stuff after they hung another person's on another part of the wall. So...they were moving my stuff around but didn't tell the gal that I talked to yesterday. Grrrrr

Feeling a bit disappointed and slightly irritated at the folks that own that shop right now. She said she over booked the space because although she knew I was going to turn in my stuff for sure, she thought the others weren't going to because the last 2 people she scheduled, didn't show up. So she over booked the space! Uggggh

Now, because we're friends, my stuff is getting shuffled all over the shop and rearranged over and over to make room for other people's work.

Have to say it's really hard not to just get a "diva" attitude and insist that she puts my stuff where she said she was going to in the first place. Definately have learned a valuable lesson about getting the details in order during the committment process. Wall space, pricing and commission fees are part of the negoiation process from now on!

So, the bottom line is there's been no sales...

YET!

Friday, September 14, 2007

How you Ever Gonna Know?

Went by the coffeeshop today to help hang the rest of the photos and found out that at least 4 of my images were sold already! I've been in shock the whole rest of the day.

Not sure if I've accomplished my goal of selling to one person that doesn't know me or not, but frankly, right now, I don't care so much who bought them. Just the fact that any one would willingly part with cash in exchange for my work stuns me.

Tomorrow there's a birthday party for Paul, one of the owners of the shop. Gonna go hang out for a while during the party and talk to whomever is around and see if I can sell even more. As my friend Bob says, it's all about networking! It's scary and exciting at the same time.

Why do it then? you may ask. I find one of the best answers in the Garth Brooks song "How you Ever Gonna Know?" It's off his "Sevens" album and is a great song to play whenever you need to dig down and find the motivation to just push through whatever it takes to get you to the next level!

Wish I could find a video but all I have is the lyrics.

"How You Ever Gonna Know?"

That old wind that's whipping out there
It's whistlin' your tune
That wind blew pyramids to Egypt
And footprints to the moon

And that old star that you been wishin' on
Is shinin' mighty bright
But it's the fire inside your heart
That's gonna lead you to the light

How you ever gonna know
What it's like to live there
How you ever gonna know victory
How you ever gonna know
What it's like when dreams become reality
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold her
How you ever gonna know
What it's like to dance
How you ever gonna know
If you never take a chance

You know failure isn't failure
If a lesson from it's learned
I guess love would not be love
Without a risk of being burned

Anything in life worth havin'
Lord, it has its sacrifice
But the gift that you're receiving
Is worth more than the price

How you ever gonna know
What it's like to live there
How you ever gonna know
What you never knew
How you ever gonna know
If you're down here doin'
What the good Lord put you here to do
How you ever gonna know
If you could have done it
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to fly
How you ever gonna know
If you never dare to try

Listen not to the critics
Who put their own dreams on the shelf
If you want to get the truth to admit it
You gotta find out for yourself

How you ever gonna know
What it's like to be there
How you ever gonna know
If you're the best
How you ever gonna know
What you believe in
If you don't put it to the test
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold him
How you ever gonna know
What livin' means
How you ever gonna know
If you never chase the dreams

How you ever gonna know
Your potential
How you ever gonna know victory
How you ever gonna know
What it's like when dreams become reality
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold her
How you ever gonna know
What it's like to dance
How you ever gonna know
If you never take a chance

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Done and Dusted!

Tonight I officially became a professional photographer!

Having my first ever photo showing at a very cool local coffeehouse. Very excited to have finally accomplished this goal which I orginally set back about 4 years ago but which has been a dream for about 20 years.

I'm really happy with how the images looked in their matching black metal frames mostly white mats. Had a pretty good variety of images of what my friend Bob called my "coffeetable book travel of stuff and my 'I'm baring my soul' stuff" Think I had too many images but I really didn't know how much space I was going to have nor how many images would fit in that space. I'll know more tomorrow about which images they chose to hang first. Really, the important thing was taking the risk of putting myself out there for others to see and judge my work. That's what payments are after all, judging your work to see if it's worth exchanging their hard won income on. Because taking the risk and following through on the dream was the goal, it doesn't matter to me where they hang them, just that they hang them.

My next goal is to sell just 1 image to someone that doesn't know me. ;-) Although...if you know me and you still want to buy something, please feel free!

This was a much more time and money consuming project than I had anticipated at the outset. Definately need to buy my own mat cutting equipment for the next go round! Spent about 3x as much as I would have if I didn't dislike cutting my own mats so much that I'd rather pay through the nose than do it myself. Need to get over that or be skint (broke).

The number and intensity of emotions I experienced during this time has been quite surprising. All the books about "living the dream" make it sound like following your passion leads only to sheer bliss. Well...that's not exactly true. On the way to bliss, some times it leads to sheer terror. Will people laugh at me for thinking I'm any good at this? Will they just think "oh man, those suck"? Will they think I charged too much and I think too highly of myself? Is it merchandise or is it art? What if NONE of them sell? What if I'm really not that good at this after all? What if, what if, what if....

Well...what if? What if all that happens? Then what? The worse thing would be that I've spent an inordinate amount of time and money to create something that made me very happy. That's a good thing in and of itself so who cares? It's the process of creativity and the process of risk taking that matters here. Not the outcome of making money. I can make money at my "regular" occupation, this is about something else all together.

The thing I'm most proud of, the fact that I actually had everything completed and turned in to meet the deadline I'd arranged with the owners. Any of you that know me in "real life" know what a MAJOR accomplishment that was! ;-)

This has pretty much taken up all my time, energy and concentration for weeks and weeks and I'm happy with the effot, the process and the outcome and I am proud of myself for taking the risk and "baring my soul"

Now....on to the next thing.

If only I knew what that was....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where were you?

Fortune Cookie

Took a break from framing pictures for tomorrow's deadline to go eat lunch at the local Chinese place.

Got this fortune in the cookie

"A trip down south will bring you more happiness than expected"

One of the companies I've been interviewing with told me last week they were going to try to get me hooked into a big project in Tenessee.

It's a sign. ;-)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Love Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate realationship with my printer.

Today, it's HATE! Damn thing KNOWS when I have a deadline, I just know it does.....

Blast!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Throw me a rope!

How many times to you think God is sitting up there (or wherever) head in hands thinking “Dang…what do I have to do to get that one’s attenion? I’m throwing out a life buoy to them and they reject it saying that if I was going to save them I’d use a rope? I just want them to grap ahold of the dang buoy. I’ve thrown it a hundred times, knocked them upside the head with it a couple times thinking that might just get their attention, but no….keep missing it because they insist on a rope! uggggggh”

I’m sure he’s done it with me loads of times. I want a rope, he throws a buoy…..

Egypt or Bust!!

Few weeks ago a very good, long time friend was in town on sabbatical from Cairo, Egypt where he and his wife teach school. They invited me out for a visit any time I wanted and tonight I decided to take them up on that offer. Just sent him a note letting them know!

I have no idea exactly how I'm going to work it out, or when I'm going to go, but I'm definately going to go. Now I just have to learn as much as I can about the language, culture and geography as possible in the next few months. Don't want to be an "ugly american" tourist.

Decided that I'm going to continue working in my current field for at least the next 3 years and in that time go to as many places in the world as I can so I can build up my portfolio and my bank account.

Next stop...Egypt!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Farewell Madeline

Author Madeleine L'Engle died on Thursday. Her Wrinkle in Time books were some of my favorites as a kid and some of her work for adults is pure beauty. She'll be missed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/08/books/07cnd-lengle.html

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's official

Tonight I attended an event for early viewing of art entered into competition in our state fair. It was hugely successful. Way more people that they anticipated which is great news for people who were selling their work!! I won 2 ribbons this year in the photography competition.

All the competitors were given plastic name badges as we entered the building. The badges had our names, hometowns and the word "Artist" printed on them. The laynards said "2007 State Fair Artist" on them.

So, it's official then, I can call myself an artist!!

AWESOME!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Theme for the Day

Has nothing to do with this being a love song....It's all about the title and the "feel" of the song. Two things happened today that made this the theme. The one I'm comfortable talking about here is that my printer FINALLY decided to cooperate with me. Shocking!! That machine and I have been at war with each other for weeks now. As of this morning, it was winning. Ah, but today for some reason, it decided to give me a break and printed all my shots for an up coming show most beautifully!! Woooo Hooooo!

So, grap a glass of your favorite wine, sit down in your most comfortable chair and soak in this wonderful song....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One Word. No Explainations

1. Yourself: Random
2. Your spouse: nonexistent
3. Your hair: brown
4. Your mother: strong
5. Your father: gone
6. Your favorite item: laptop
7. Your dream last night: dunno
8. Your favorite drink: tea
9. Your dream car: british
10. The room you are in: Living
11. Your ex: forgotten
12. Your fear: glass
13. What you want to be in 10 years: healthy
14. Who you hung out with last night: strangers
15. What you're not: tall
16. Muffins: Blueberry
17: One of your wish list items: DSLR
18: Time: Night
19. The last thing you did: Yawned
20. What you are wearing: Jeans
21. Your favorite weather: Sunny
22. Your favorite book: bible
23. The last thing you ate: Chex
24. Your life: Rocks
25. Your mood: Calm
26. Your best friend: Sweet
27. What you're thinking about right now: Sleeping
28. Your car: Messy
29. What you are doing at the moment: Chillin'
30. Your summer: Different
31. Your relationship status: Single
32. What is on your TV: Nothing
33. What is the weather like: Clear
34. When was the last time you laughed: Today


HT to Erin at http://biscotti_brain.blogspot.com/

What if God gave a Press Conference

Well worth the read.
HT to David over at Fearfully Human for point it out.


NEW YORK—Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

"Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again," said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers. "Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand."

Worshipped by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, God said His name has been invoked countless times over the centuries as a reason to kill in what He called "an unending cycle of violence."

"I don't care how holy somebody claims to be," God said. "If a person tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again."

The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries, deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.

"I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you'd get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important," said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. "I guess I figured I'd left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?"

"But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody's spouting off some nonsense about, 'God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it's God's will,'" God continued. "It's not God's will, all right? News flash: 'God's will' equals 'Don't murder people.'"

Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur'an.

"To be honest, there's some contradictory stuff in there, okay?" God said. "So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it—My bad. I did My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into Leviticus, and everybody thinks it's God's will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall."

God praised the overwhelming majority of His Muslim followers as "wonderful, pious people," calling the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks rare exceptions.

"This whole medieval concept of the jihad, or holy war, had all but vanished from the Muslim world in, like, the 10th century, and with good reason," God said. "There's no such thing as a holy war, only unholy ones. The vast majority of Muslims in this world reject the murderous actions of these radical extremists, just like the vast majority of Christians in America are pissed off over those two bigots on The 700 Club."

Continued God, "Read the book: 'Allah is kind, Allah is beautiful, Allah is merciful.' It goes on and on that way, page after page. But, no, some assholes have to come along and revive this stupid holy-war crap just to further their own hateful agenda. So now, everybody thinks Muslims are all murderous barbarians. Thanks, Taliban: 1,000 years of pan-Islamic cultural progress down the drain."

God stressed that His remarks were not directed exclusively at Islamic extremists, but rather at anyone whose ideological zealotry overrides his or her ability to comprehend the core message of all world religions.

"I don't care what faith you are, everybody's been making this same mistake since the dawn of time," God said. "The Muslims massacre the Hindus, the Hindus massacre the Muslims. The Buddhists, everybody massacres the Buddhists. The Jews, don't even get me started on the hardline, right-wing, Meir Kahane-loving Israeli nationalists, man. And the Christians? You people believe in a Messiah who says, 'Turn the other cheek,' but you've been killing everybody you can get your hands on since the Crusades."

Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: "Can't you people see? What are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism... every religious belief system under the sun, they all say you're supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It's not that hard a concept to grasp."

"Why would you think I'd want anything else? Humans don't need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you've been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!" God said. "The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?"

"I'm talking to all of you, here!" continued God, His voice rising to a shout. "Do you hear Me? I don't want you to kill anybody. I'm against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don't kill each other anymore—ever! I'm fucking serious!"

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God's shoulders began to shake, and He wept.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Funnies

A man runs into the vet's office carrying his dog and screaming for help.

The vet rushes him back to an examination room and has him put his dog down on the examination table. The vet examines the still, limp body and after a few moments tells the man that his dog, regrettably, is dead.

The man, clearly agitated and not willing to accept this, demands a second opinion. The vet goes into the back room and comes out with a cat and puts the cat down next to the dog's body. The cat sniffs the body, walks from head to tail poking and sniffing the dog's body and finally looks at the vet and meows. The vet looks at the man and says, "I'm sorry, but the cat thinks that your dog is dead too."

The man is still unwilling to accept that his dog is dead. The vet brings in a black labrador. The labrador sniffs the body, walks from head to tail, and finally looks at the vet and barks. The vet looks at the man and says, "I'm sorry, but the lab thinks your dog is dead too."

The man, finally resigned to the diagnosis, thanks the vet and asks how much he owes. The vet answers, "$650".

"$650 to tell me my dog is dead !" exclaimed the man ....

"Well," the vet replies, "I would only have charged you $50 for my initial diagnosis. The additional $600 was for the cat scan and lab tests."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fortune Cookie

I've been in the half hearted pursuit of new employment lately. Had a very promising interview this morning. Then ate chinese for lunch and got the following fortune cookie message:

"YOU WILL SOON FIND NEW ADVENTURE IN LIFE"


It's a sign! ;-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Funnies

My friends are living in Egypt and so I've been thinking a bit about it. Was looking for Egyptian music to listen to on Youtube and found this silly song. Love the camel!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Accidential Creative

Interesting site about Creativeness with blog and podcasts worth some attention.

http://www.accidentalcreative.com/blog/

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kick The Bottled-Water Habit

In 1783, George Washington visited the natural springs of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Along with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, he took a keen interest in the supposed medicinal qualities of mineral water, a subject of much scientific research at the time. The following year, a friend wrote to him to describe the difficulty of bottling the strongly effervescent Saratoga water. “Several persons told us that they had corked it tight in bottles, and that the bottles broke,” wrote Washington’s friend. The birth of the United States thus coincided with the origins of bottled water.

More: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/14/3172/

Monday, August 13, 2007

Marine Poet

Beat poem about America by a US Marine. Powerful words and passionate delivery.
HT to Steve over at Preacher's Fishing Hole.

Sunday Funnies

Found on a t-shirt here:
www.whatonearthcatalog.com

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Devil Came on Horseback

New documentary film about the Dafur crisis by Breakthru Films.
This is the kind of work I believe we should be supporting and encouraging film companies make more often. You can see a trailer and release schedule here:

http://www.thedevilcameonhorseback.com/

Short article where Becky Garrison interviews photographer and author Brian Steidle here:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2007/08/becky-garrison-an-american-mil.html

You can buy Brian's book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Came-Horseback-Bearing-Genocide/dp/1586484745/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-4659200-5583911?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173362565&sr=8-1

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Posters


A friend posted these at another blog. They are pretty dang funny so I thought I'd post the link here. Kudos to this crew for their sense of humour and for poking fun in a very creative way!
The cool part is any one is welcome to print them off or post them on their own blogs if they link back to the site.
Awesome!


http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Where's Paul Harvey when you need him?


Would love to hear the "Rest of the Story" on this one...



Giant Lego man found in Dutch sea
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A giant, smiling Lego man was fished out of the sea in the Dutch resort of Zandvoort on Tuesday.

Workers at a drinks stall rescued the 2.5-metre (8-foot) tall model with a yellow head and blue torso.
"We saw something bobbing about in the sea and we decided to take it out of the water," said a stall worker. "It was a life-sized Lego toy."
A woman nearby added: "I saw the Lego toy floating towards the beach from the direction of England."
The toy was later placed in front of the drinks stall.

This is the kind of day I had today!

Nothin' better than Great Big Sea & The Chieftains together eh?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pixelated Image

Love this guy's work, both visual and written.
Thanks for sharing the great pix and lessons David!


http://pixelatedimage.typepad.com/pixelatedimage/

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday Funnies



Continuing with the "serves them right" theme of the week.
From Reuters....




Chicken and rice ends Indian thief's toilet trauma

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Dozens of bananas failed to do the trick but an Indian thief has finally produced a gold necklace he had snatched and then swallowed after police fed him a hearty meal of chicken, rice and local bread.

Sheikh Mohsin, 35, grabbed the 45,000-rupee ($1092) necklace from a woman in the eastern city of Kolkata on Friday and popped it into his mouth when cornered by police.

Officers then fed him 40 bananas over a few hours believing they would act as a purgative, and sat back and waited for results.

Mohsin passed an uncomfortable night in jail, but not the piece of jewellery.

Police said on Sunday he was then given more substantial fare.

"Now he wants to go free and doesn't want to even hear about bananas any more," senior officer Gyanwant Singh told Reuters.

A tired and rueful Mohsin was, however, staring at 3 years in jail if convicted, Singh added.

"Bananas were good enough for another thief who had swallowed an ornament a few months ago, but Mohsin was definitely a tough cookie," said one clearly impressed police constable.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Perfect!!

From the Albuquerque Journal, Thursday, August 2, 2007
T.J. Wilham


Picking the wrong bank cost Herman Chavez a lot more than a bad interest rate.

It cost him, his brother and girlfriend a trip to jail. On Tuesday, the three pulled up to Bank of America's drive-through at Juan Tabo and Brentwood NE and tried to withdraw $350 from Dr. Craig Steichen's bank account using a driver's license that police suspect was stolen from the dentist's car.

However, the teller working the drive-through window happened to be a longtime patient of the dentist and called him at his office. The teller kept stalling the trio. About 27 minutes later, police arrived and took all three into custody.

Chavez, 21, his brother, Matthew, 27, and girlfriend Jenna Saganitso, 21, were in custody Thursday evening at the West Side jail on various theft charges.

"This serves them right," Steichen told the Journal. "Things happen for a reason.
This just proves that Albuquerque is still a small town."

About two weeks ago, Steichen parked his car at a gas station in the 7000 block of Montgomery NE and ran inside to buy a cup of coffee.

When Steichen returned to his Ford Excursion, he discovered someone had broken in and taken his wallet, briefcase, laptop and handgun, police said.

A few days later, someone used the dentist's credit card to make online purchases, police said. And then on Tuesday, Sanchez and the trio pulled into the bank's drive-through.

"I guess they figured that they didn't have enough money, wanted to try again and it blew up all over them," said Albuquerque police Detective Sammy Marquez. "They picked the wrong bank, and it caught up with them."

The teller who alerted police was working her last day on the job. She started her retirement Wednesday.

"What a way to go out," Steichen said.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Funnies


From a trip to Stockholm.
I have no idea what this says, but I know exactly what it means!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My heart is here today

The flooding in England is vastly affecting the Midlands, my old stomping grounds. I've driven nearly every inch of Worcestershire and 1/2 of Hereford while I worked there and know these towns mentioned in the article well. These folks are are near and dear to my heart since they were my friends, colleagues and clients for nearly 2 years.

If you're a praying person, then please pray for their safety.


http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20070721/tuk-uk-britain-weather-fa6b408.html

What You Do With What You've Got

This performance is a beautiful example of the exact point where talent, teamwork and passion meet. The song seems to come up out of their souls, through their bodies, and out, as a blessing to cover the entire audience.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thoughts on Spirituality

One of the goals I've set for myself on 43Things is "Explore My Spirituality". It's been an interesting task so far.

Ever since I was in my 20s I knew that the stuff I grew up hearing was not something I really believed. That's when I had series of nightmares about the "rapture" and my lack of belief in what I'd been taught.

Lately, I thought about those dreams again and started exploring what it is I do believe and what it is I don't believe, even though I'm "supposed" to. Still not 100% sure where things will end up, but thanks to being reconnected with a much loved friend from my childhood church, I do understand a bit more about WHY I believe some of the things I do and why "christianity" as I've known it just doesn't make sense.

A few months ago, I was ready to completely walk away from the church, Christianity, God, whatever you want to call it, but through our discussions, I've come to learn that the stuff we were taught was just plain wacked so perhaps I haven't really given it a fair chance after all. Maybe I should spend some more time exploring before moving on to something else.

I'm not quite sure how to sort the wacked from the unwacked, however, the one thing I know for sure, is that the universe wasn't created by itself. It's much too complex to have been created out of some cosmic accident or big bang. There has to have been something that created everything and that's true even if there was no Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark or Jonah and the Whale. Even if there was no resurection Sunday, Friday or Monday (which ever day it was)
Even if everything else we've been taught in Sunday School is wrong....

The universe just couldn't have created itself. Think about it....Nothing could have naturally evolved into a cockroach....or broccoli.

For everything created, there is a creator. Simple.

There’s a big debate going on right now between converative christians and a group of folks called the emerging church. Actually, the debate is a bit one sided. The conservatives are the only ones interested in debating as far as I can tell. The emerging folks are too busy living their lives.

The group of emerging folks I’ve found myself most attracted to are highly creative, open and prefer to spend their time creating communities, art and music. They engage people in various locations by various means. I've been watching how they relate to and with each other, and they are wholy supportive with each other's exploration ideas of God, Jesus and the big questions of life. It's been through recently participating in this group's innovations, not effort, that I've found myself reconnecting with God. It's been a relief frankly, to find that I'm not totally shut off from Him because I don't have the "right" thoughts about Him.

Meanwhile…the conservatives are off nitpicking each other and everyone else to death. Condemning to hell everyone that doesn’t believe exactly like they do, sharing each other’s "sins" for all to see and refusing to listen to the voice of anyone with whom they disagree. To me, American Evangelical christians have turned so far inward and become so afraid, that they can't create anything, except chaos and fear. That's not where I want to live the rest of my life.

Even if they are "right", they are so miserable, that most people prefer being "wrong".

After spending the last year or so amongst some of the conservative group and now doing the work of recoverying creativity in The Artist's Way, I am sure of one thing more. My spirtuality is not one of being consumed about figuring out “right thinking” - of reading the right books, knowing the right quotes, following the right men. Instead, it's about being more open, pragmatic, and expressive.

Perhaps I'm a heretic, castaway or a backsliden pagan...I'm not sure exactly what label applies here and frankly, I don't give a damn any more. I'm sick of wearing everyone else's labels.
Heck, I might even try something new, ambiguious or downright brazen and see what other kinds of labels I can aquire. I have quite a collection already.

Which of course means, at least according to my old friends, I'm destined to hell for sure. Some how the threat of that has lost it's hold on me. I just know I'll never have all the "right" answers, I'll never pass God's "cosmic quiz for perfect christian living" and it's gotten to the point where I just don't even want to try any more. I give up.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe God does want us to spend our life here on Earth miserable , studying all the time and tearing down those different from ourselves.

Somehow, I just don't think so.

Do you?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Funnies


Meat Cake. Even the words are funny! Reminds me of Marie Antoinette's famous phrase, when she was told the peasants were starving, "Let them meat cake" ;-)

I have NO doubt that this is destined to become a new tradition in our family. As soon as the guys see this, they are going to want one of their own. No question! It'll go along with the meat salad we saw in Munich which they talked about for days afterwards.
The description of how this cake is made is worth the time to read. Very creative and funny! My favorite bit is the part about how to pronounce Worchestershire. That's the part of England where I worked and it took me the better part of a month before I could say it without thinking about it. Her explaination made me laugh!
Then be sure and look through the Meat Cake picture gallery for a few more laughs.
(HT to Jeff at Flyministry for the link)


Thursday, July 12, 2007

The F Word

The Forgiveness Project is a place where people deal with conflict resolution, forgiveness and reconcilliation through the power of story. It gives voice to people who have encountered violence, hatred and prejudice and who share their lessons on forgiveness with others.

There are some very strong people represented here and every one of their voices deserves to be heard.

Thank you to those willing to share their stories with the rest of us and to those who provide the place to do it!


http://www.theforgivenessproject.com/stories/salimata-badji-knight

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reading Allowed

Whew!
Finished the week of Reading Deprevation which frankly, shocked me.

It was tough because reading is such a habit for me. I take a book every where I go and read to keep from becoming impatient while waiting, bothered when I'm on a plane or pitied when I'm dining alone. It's the thing I use to keep myself from getting completely bored with the rest of the world at times.

Not having that defensive tool was a bit anxiety provoking at times this week. I felt myself becoming a bit irritable and out of sorts on occassion.

The most difficult part was keeping myself from sitting in the recliner at the end of the day, playing something off iTunes and “numbing out” by reading blogs. Found myself “cheating” a bit on that one from time to time out of habit and was surprised at how much time I just sat there staring at the screen, bouncing back and forth from blog to blog, mindlessly reading but not posting. No redeeming value at all really. Exactly like mindlessly watching tv.

Think this exercise was worth doing because it forced me to be aware of other places to put my energy and attention. Being on a reading fast meant I couldn’t just pick up a book and ignore the pile of laundry in the hamper or the stack of dishes in the sink. Oddly, I found myself glad to see the stack of dishes because honestly, I was getting as bored as a kid on the third month of summer vacation.

I got quite a bit of housework done, listened to lots of music, listened to 6-7 TED Talks, talked on the phone to my nephew and brother, went out with a friend for coffee, and other friends for dinner and went to bed early. Most importantly, got all my photos organized, catagorized and edited.

The exercise is designed to get people to stop living in their heads and instead using all the senses to engage the world around them. That was definately the case with me. Although I felt a bit frustrated at times because I didn’t know what to do with my time or where to focus my energy, I got more done than I had been lately. Also, I slept alot more soundly than normal too.
Once I got passed the anxiety of not knowing what to do with myself, I felt more peaceful and serene too. More "centered" and focused too.

Hopefully, this exercise has begun to teach me how to take advantage of opportunities to be more fully present with the world instead of being face down in a book or a computer screen.