Wednesday, July 23

The App Store

My husband has been getting all kinds of Apps from the Apps store, and I've been adding what he's downloaded, but tonight I found a cool one. Comic Touch. It allows you to add comic conversation bubbles to any picture on or taken with your phone. Do you need it? No. But you don't really need an iPhone either - it's just incredibly fun. Oh, there are other special effects and an e-mail photo button as well. If I weren't so tired, I'd post an example so you'll just have to take my word for it for now. You can see how it works here.

Ripple Effect

There was a downpour when I left work, so no kayak racing tonight, but here's a pic from when B and I went out last.

So You Want to Be a Graphic Designer?

People ask me what I do and I like to say kayak lakes and creeks, hike in quiet pockets of forest around my home and read mentally delicious books because I feel I should be defined by the myriad of things that I love, not the singular thing that makes me money. (The beadmaking could keep me in supply of Ramen noodles, but no roof over my head, hehe.) Yes, you say, but that is how you afford to do all the things you love. And you are right. Because I really love snowboarding, and man, that isn't cheap. Sometimes I do answer that I'm a graphic designer, and people always get a little starry eyed, and say, "That must be a lot of fun! I was starry-eyed myself, and thought it'd be a lot of fun once, too. Honestly, though this little video is what it's really like in real life. Daily. So consider what you think you want to be very carefully. That said, creating is really fun when you get to work on top-of-the-line Macs with the newest software available (I'm not bragging, just grateful; I was on Photoshop 5.5 and Freehand 8 for the last decade), but just be ready for whatever you make to end up barely recognizable from where you began and you struggling to keep it from looking hideous. This is truly what your job is. Take all the changes they give you and keep it from looking hideous. Because at the end of the day you want to be proud of what you made, but some days you just have to resign yourself to the reality of the job. You just keep a copy of that first design as a memento of what could have been.

Restoring the Faith
On another note, being able to work in InDesign and Illustrator again (and Photoshop on a computer that will let me move something and not have to go to lunch and come back before it catches up) has rekindled a few twinkles again. InDesign alone is so intuitive that I actually remember why I wanted to do this. I guess there is still some fun to be had, and I have made it my new mission to master this program and as much as I can of CS3 in general. Treading water does nothing but let you keep breathing in place.

Saturday, July 19

Back From the Market

I love going to the farmers' market. I am lucky to have one close enough to ride my bike to and come back with my backpack full of fresh goodies. It is incredibly oppressively muggy out though and after my 3 mile run, I drove down instead.

Today I came back with fresh sweet corn, plump little blueberries, zucchini and yellow squash and bright red-pink radishes. The radishes were an impulse buy. They were just so pretty wrapped in a bundle with their leaves and roots still intact. Oh, I got some roasted pumpkin seeds, too. A co-worker shared some at work this week, and they were tasty but so salty. I nearly started coughing when I ate them that's how powerful it was. These are hulled and lightly salted so are much milder going down. Still, I do kind of like munching on that shell though. It's very tactile.

The Dark Knight

Everyone is raving about this movie, and so will I. It is dark, maniacal and intense. Heath put past Jokers to shame, and to be honest I could just watch Christian Bale lean against a building all day. Tall, dark and handsome just like my guy. Plus he has "the nose," and I'm a nose girl. I joke with B that I married him for his nose; it's just a bonus that he's an awesome guy. The two of us met up with V and enjoyed coffee and conversation at Tim Horton's post-movie. Actually only B had coffee, but coffee and conversation (which I copped from B's Twitter) has such nice alliteration.

Spoiler Alert: Did you think the prisoner would push the detonator? Me, too - and then felt guilty for it. I like how the director included us all in the social experiment.

Favorite Line: Madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

Wednesday, July 16

Is it Your Imagination?

No, it's not your imagination. The iPhone has sucked me into a vortex that has not allowed me to blog, but I have momentarily escaped for a short post. Shhhhh. Sure, I can blog from the phone, but I'm doing so many other things with it! Okay, the truth? I'm still perfecting my typing skills. I am not a big texter so this two-thumbing it is newish for me. The touch keys are really responsive though, and I can see how I could be blazingly fast in the future.

Let's see. What's new? You know you're putting on muscle when the Fed-Ex guy at work notices, LOL. I had to sign for a package since the receptionist was out, and I was the nearest human. Seeing me in my sleeveless shirt that is against the dress code (take that dress code police!) he said, "Wow, look at the muscles on you. Good for you!" How very complimentary! The best part is he is not skeevey (like the DHL guy), and it was just a compliment. Thanks Fed-Ex guy! That weekly kayaking racing is toning the arms.

Here's something new for you fellow graphic designers. Stop copying and pasting! Say goodbye to command C, command V. Just click your object, hold down the option key and drag. Presto! Hold option and shift to constrain it like I know you'll want to. How did I not know this?

Also new to me: Changing the colors of things in drop down menus in InDesign. I'm always doing Paste Into, and I kind of have to look for it, but now that it's orange, it stands right out! Hmm. Now where did I find that? Maybe under Change Menus or something? I'll look it up if you're interested. Let me know.

Friday, July 11

Journey to the 21st Century's 3D

Holy crap, Journey to the Center of the Earth in RealD - the new 3D technology is out-of-this-world, slick, tasty eye candy. This is better than IMAX 3D.

Take your kids. Take your grandma. Take your eyes and put them back in your head when it's over.

RealD Cinema

I'm going to have technology overload today. I am just about to experience RealD - the new 3D!

iWent. iWaited. iPhone!

Yay, I got my new phone! This I-just-like-my-phone-to-make-calls person has been assimilated - and I don't even have it working yet. It's pretty cool folks and it's fun. Sitting in our comfy camp chairs in line chatting with our neighbors was amazingly enjoyable. Corey, e-mail me so when my husband and I go to Japan someday we can pick your brain on non-touristy, must-do things.

When was the last time outside of being 10 you remember being excited about a piece of plastic? It's the same thing, but this toy can actually help me get back home when I am lost. I also want to say Kudos to Apple on the minimal packaging. It comes in a slick little box with just enough room for what it comes with: a booklet, outlet thingy, charger cord and ear buds. I have a protective covering on the screen already and it's resting in the box until iTunes stops stressing out so I can activate it. B and I may go see a movie to kill some time.

Thursday, July 10

AT&T or Apple Store - Help Us Choose!

So today is iPhone eve. Tomorrow B and I will be headed to get our twin iPhones. Should we go to the Apple store or AT&T? 

Apple Store stats: In a mall. 40 minutes away. Would there be a mad dash through the mall once the doors are open? Cool factor: 10

AT&T: Stands alone. 15 minutes away. Could sit outside in lawn chairs, cook, chat, etc. Cool factor: 2

Comment and let me know what your vote is! 

P.S. For those of you who know me, I just like my phone to be able to make a phone call. No bells and whistles for me. But this has GPS! I will never be lost again, or better said, I will always be able to find my way home. I'm pretty excited about that. I don't know that having the Web at my fingertips every waking moment will be good for me. I'm sure there will be a period of voracious activity, and then I will coast into a more respectable manner of use.

Wednesday, July 9

Do the Salmon Dance


I love this! You might, too. Just give it one chance. Salmon have a keener sense of smell than a dog or a bear? What?!

Fourth Photos

B and I usually spend the Fourth of July enjoying solely each other's company getting dirty biking or wet kayaking, but this year we spent it with family.  Friday was so wonderfully enjoyable at my parents' first cookout in their new house.  We picnicked in the front lawn that my dad has been hard at work making pretty.  You know those cooking shows where all the friends come over and everyone is outside and it just looks like the best time?  That was the mood.  My mother-in-law came and we all ate and chatted the afternoon away.  

In the evening we headed to Midway - the place I learned the joy of riding amusement park rides.  It's actually a state park now.  My parents and B and I played Skee-Ball until the quarters ran out.  Finally we plunked our chairs down on a good spot on the grassy lawn in front of the park and shivered until the fireworks started.  My dad went to grab a blanket, and B and I pulled it up to our chins.  The show was very bright and colorful and set to movie music.  It would better be described as music playing while fireworks are set off as most set-to-music fireworks seem to be. We headed to the car and my dad muscled us out of the crowd.

Saturday I helped my niece find her bedroom floor.  Not that she's messy, but her family has just moved, and I decided if I could help with just one room that I'd feel like I'd help make a dent for them. The bonus turned out to be her going through her clothes and making a pile she didn't want, and it all fit me.  Yay, new clothes! I wore one of the shirts to work today and garnered a bunch of compliments.  I think they were just glad to see me in something different.  I know I'm sick of my wardrobe, but too cheap to go buy stuff.

It turned out I did get some biking in after all when my arm was twisted by my other niece to chase her around the yard on her sister's bike.  Seeing myself for what I was - a lame adult if I didn't - I took my turn and then handed the bike to my brother-in-law and later my husband who looked the funniest because he's 6' tall and riding a pre-teen girl's bike.

P.S. My sister-in-law made her ice cream cake which I proceeded to have a small piece of three times.  She uses ice cream sandwiches, caramel, hot fudge, whipped topping and sprinkles.  FAB-U-LOUS!

Friday, July 4

Fireworks in the Frosting

Happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy the weekend!
I got creative with the frosting last night.
What do you think?

Thursday, July 3

A New Product

A lot of people see my beads and think, "Wow, those are cool, but what am I going to do with a loose bead?" Have me put it on a cord (and not just any cord, but a completely adjustable natural fiber cord) for just $5, I tell you! Change your necklace from 24" long to a choker in just seconds. It's really fun to be able to change it on a whim.

Twitter Withdrawal

Aw, Twitter seems to be down, and I'm suffering from withdrawal. I turned on my computer just to say I was making cupcakes.

Salmonella, you don't scare me - I am going to lick the whisk AND the bowl!

I'm using Pillsbury Devil's Food with dark chocolate and vanilla frostings. Mmm. I put yogurt in place of the 1/2 cup of oil - so moist and so much better for you!

Tuesday, July 1

Tonsil Gnats (Yeah, You Read That Right)

I just went for a quick 3 mile bike ride around the block to blow the stink off the day.

I was really enjoying myself sans helmet, wind sweeping under my hair. I started singing, "I love love; I love being in love; I don't care what it does to me..." when a gnat landed squarely on my right tonsil. Why don't I learn to keep my mouth shut? Proceeding to work up spit and spew it out - sorry mom, I know you don't like spitters - did nothing to alleviate the feeling of a foreign visitor on my tonsil. It still feels like it's there! I would have taken a picture of my real tonsils instead of posting this anatomical drawing, but you have to be in my private circle to see those monstrosities - they're huge! Hmm, makes me wonder if there is a Flickr group for giant tonsils.

Later in the ride I saw one of those big plastic garbage cans the town gives you, and the owner had painted their house number on it. What was interesting is the numbers looked just like the ones that that guy on Sesame Street used to go around painting on people's heads. I distinctly remember him painting the number 8 on the back of a bald man's head who was floating on an inner tube in a pool. Was the guy sleeping? How do you not wake up when someone is painting the number 8 with a 2 inch thick brush on the back of your head...and taking their time about it? Holy crap, I just found the video of the exact episode I'm talking about! He's actually on a raft and not sleeping, but hey, we're talking about a remembrance of over 25 years ago. Enjoy!