Monday, February 28, 2011

There is "battle" and then there is "battle...

All of my intentions of writing went out the door. First of all the simple ride to the hospital with my husband turned out to be anything but simple and then when we finally got back home hours later I was too tired to write. Then it was our youngest sons birthday and I think I have a cold and I'm in more pain than usual and ... many more excuses.

When I finally got around to going to battle it was not the battle I had intended. After years of frustration over the spam on Yahoo Answers I finally went to the Suggestion Board found the Spam Battle thread and followed the link to Chatzy to find out more. Since then I've spent many hours battling spam, chopping heads of the Lernaean Hydra and killing giants. Spam, I understand now, I much more than what meets the eye and the spam that's easily recognizable as spam is only one part of a much larger beast.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Going to battle.

I've reached the part of the story that I've dreaded the most. It's time for battle. It's crucial for the story and it has to be done but I don't know how to write it. I'm not particularly interested in wars, strategies and tactics but I still have to write something that will seem credible somehow.

I'm going with my husband to the hospital today and that will give me a little more time to think it over before I start writing. I'm also thinking about asking my sons about it since they both have great imaginations and both are role players. If all else fails I'll have them "roll the dice" for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HC SVNT DRACONES (here be dragons)

animation,dragonI've spent most of the weekend trying out animations and making gif images. There are other and better things I could have done with my time, but it has been so much fun that I happily ignore that. I've tried UnFreez and Advanced GIF Animator (the free trial version) to make several different animations. UnFreez is quick and simple to use, as I've said before, and most importantly of all, it's free. It's a great plus for people like me that do things once in a while just for fun.

animation,dragonAdvanced GIF Animator was a big "so what" to me. I'm already making and editing my images in Paintshop Pro and I didn't find the editing tools necessary or even helpful. It's easier to add and move frames, but that's not really that hard to do in UnFreez either.There is a banner on the gif  animations made with the trial version and I won't bother to post one here because of that.

animation,dragonThe three animations I've had most fun doing in the order I made them, top to bottom to the right. The frame is a picture tube image and then I made a basic wall with a texture brush. I've used a background I made for a blog once with a red landscape and dragons and then I added shadows to the dragon silhouettes and lightnings to get some action. I wanted the frame to sparkle as if it was an electric device and I felt that the first try sparkled too little, but after seeing the second try I went back to more basic sparkle instead and tired to time it so that it sparkled more when there were lightnings and less when the image was dark.

This is my favourite time waster ever and I'll be making more in the future.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Note to self...

Gif Created on Make A Gif
Make A Gif
I put notes to my self in my Google calendar. "Remember to enjoy yourself." "Have a nice day!" "Learn how to bake something new." "Learn something new."

This is my "Lean something new" day and I've spend the day making animated gif images. I've done it in the past when I still had Painshop Pro 7, but haven't given it a try since then and it's years ago. First I tried Make A Gif to make an animation online. It's easy to use but has a limit of 12 pictures in the animation. Next I tried a free program called UnFreez it's also simple and easy to use. There is no limit (that I have found) to how many images you can use but, I'd like the animation to move slower than the slowest setting there is in some cases. I've also experimented with transparent backgrounds, but the result this far is terrible.
UnFreez with transparent background

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I like the winter, the snow and the cold weater.

The Brook
I think I'd be miserable living down south during the winter. The snow makes the world brighter and it isolates the house, it also softens sounds. Winters down south has to be dark, dull and grey when compared to the snowy winters here.

I'm still happy that the daylight lasts for longer and that warmer days are on the way. February is a cold month, we've been having temperatures around -25 to -27 C for days now and I'm tired of it.

It's also strange to think that the world in had record high temperatures in 2010 while we had temperatures that were far lower than normal. I've always thought that global warming would be globally spread without leaving areas somehow "untouched".

Monday, February 14, 2011

Star Trek Enterprise

We're going through our old saved episodes of Star Trek Enterprise now that we're both ill. I really like the creativity of the makers of all the Star Trek series and the more "lighthearted" spirit of the series. Yes, there are bad guys, stupidity, bigotry and many other things but there is also hope.

I'm also learning new words now and then and my new favourite word is "harbinger". I looked it up when I saw it to translate its meaning and suddenly I had solved the issue that has kept my writers block alive for quite some time now. Today I'm full of creativity and I've already finished the chapter and started on a new one.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Suddenly it happens...

The Surrogate - Patricia Piccini
I like images and photos and I admit that I do the "right-click" every now and then without remembering to write down the source. Even though there are reverse search engines such as Tineye it's still very difficult to find the source of images that's not watermarked and I have been looking for some for years now.

Last year during the Swine Flu Hysteria there was an image that was circulated through email as a joke about what could happen if you got the swine flu. The creature on the image was so fascinating that I saved the image and started looking for the source, but I found nothing. Yesterday I was mindlessly sapping through the WebEcoist (a favourite time waster) and I stumbled over a photo of a creature that seemed to have been created by the same artist, and there was link. Bingo! I now know the source. =) The artists name is Patricia Piccini and the backside of the creature is even freakier than the front side. You'll find the creature under the tab that says "Nature's Little Helpers" and then "The Surrogate".

Friday, February 11, 2011

Writer's block.

My own digital art
I'm opening the story that I'm working on every day, I write a few words and then I delete them. Since I can't write I decide to do "research" instead and end up browsing web pages on different topics that has nothing to do with what I'm writing. Am I learning something? Probably. Is it of any value to me? Not the slightest.

The problem is a dream. I have to write a prophetic dream that will show the future that i have not written yet. There is a general plan about how that future will turn out but how to I put that in a dream right now without getting it so wrong that I have to rewrite it. I've been rewriting large parts of several chapters and I'm tired of it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My new nephew

My nephew
I've only seen him on photos this far and he's as cute as can be.

It's been 20 years since I gave birth to our oldest son and I would never have been able to imagine what the world would be like today. Now I wonder what the world will look like when my nephew turns 20. Most of all I hope that many things have turned for the better so that he can look at the world around him and feel confident about his future. His generation will be the ones who rule the world when my generation is too old to have a say anymore.

Monday, February 7, 2011

No older than before...

Tulip from my birthday flowers.
It's strange how my birthdays comes and goes and I never feel any older. I logically know that I'm older of course, but I had expected to feel more mature and "adult" somehow, maybe even a bit wiser.

As a child I wished that I would never have to grow up, now I know that I never will.