Category: Misc

Seen the bullshit over Obama’s speech ?

Some school systems are caving to the pressure from rightwing lunatics.

I sent an email to our school superintendent today, thanking him for his SANITY. He answered me immediately, with a thank you for your support.

Have people gone completely insane ?!? How can there be THIS many ignorant hateful people around me ?

Reading the comments online about this on our local newspaper website has given me a splitting headache. I’m embarrassed for these people, and I’m also somewhat shocked.

wow. go lynn, go obama !

..the appointment of Lynn Rosenthal as the new White House Advisor on Violence Against Women…

New WhiteHouse Advisor on Violence Against Women

Wow. If I were to consider ALL the amazing women I know, there is no-one better for this job than Lynn.  She is the most TENATIOUS woman, incredibly passionate and articulate.  And wow, someone I know has been appointed by the Obama administration as an adviser to the white house ?? Geez that’s weird, what a grownup I must be.  Wow.

I knew Lynn back in my Clinic Days, she took over my job after I left. She was one of my first circle sisters, was Jill’s nextdoor neighbor and a fabulous friend. I remember a night at her house when I was prenant with Morgan, verrry pregnant, my last traveling before the birth, she reassured me, held my hand, and we laughed hysterically at everything and everyone, especially our own lives.

Way. to. go. Lynn !

Summer Solstice

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We went to Wilsons Creek to celebrate Father’s day and the Summer Solstice.

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We pretended we were Andy Goldsworthy, watching our creation return,

[image title=”wheel” size=”thumbnail” id=”1119″ align=”none” ]
and marking the day with rock symbols.

We were the Elemental Tribe..

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The brown green look ?

I’ve temporarily changed the interface here, I’m testing a theme for a friend. Be a pal and if you see anything that looks bizarre on your particular setup of OS, browser etc, send me an email and tell me what looks off and how you are viewing it ?  I’ll send you a gold beta tester star or something.


The economic downturn (ha, what language ! I mean the economy tanking like a 3 ton lead ballon) has given me reason to slow down and reflect, to think about what I’d rather be doing anyway. Something I’ve wanted to do for years is teach digital art.  I couldn’t see past the gigantic paycut, so I haven’t acted on that desire.

But everything changes and I’m considering what it might look like today.  One barrier for me is not having the credentials. Actually there are very very few people who do, things are too new and there hasn’t been time yet to crank out graduate programs in this field. So in addition to searching for grad schools that actually have something I could perhaps adapt into what I need, I’ve been playing with the tools to create screencasts. Even if I find a graduate program that seems right, maybe the thing to do is just start.

The dream I have in my head is more than just how2 tutorials on using software to create digital art, much more, but that seems like a fine place to start. Lately I’ve been showing Ron (who has a degree in art education but a wicked aversion to technology) graphics programs. The addition of the tablet and stylus made a huge difference, it feels much more like traditional art. During one of those playing with Painter evenings I heard the words I’ve heard so many times before “I hate layers, I just don’t get them, too confusing”.  I’m sure I launched into my “oh, you have to get layers if you want to create in this medium” rant, even while acknowledging that everyone goes through a layer-aversion phase initially.

So when I decided to explore sceencasting tools, explaining layers was an obvious choice for a trial run. Like anything else (when will I learn ?) it took about 3 times longer than I anticipated just to complete a test demo. The tools themselves are actually fairly simple, but even simple takes time to adapt to.

There are some major-players in this category of software, but I was looking for the low investment route. I settled on these:
iShowU – for screencapture (shareware)
iMovie – for editing (I had it lying around though I’d never even touched it, and assumed it would be easy, which it is)
Adobe Media Encoder CS4 (for the final conversion, I’m sure there are inexpensive ways to do this part but I already had it)

I’m not a sound or music person, in fact I’ve been known to pontificate on how computers should be silent, but thanks to Ron I had access to a good mic and the connectors (it’s always good to have a musician around).  You can tell from the results that even a good mic takes some getting used to, and I’m not there yet.

I’ll need to redo this for it to be even a decent tutorial, but before I do that, I’d love some feedback. Does this make ANY sense to you ?  If not, what would help it ? And… do I really sound like that ?

I’m also posting it because I think it’s kind of hilarious (in that techno sense, when you attempt something and all the flaws are left unairbrushed) and because instead of the day I expected this would take (half a day to cruise the software, an hour or so to produce it) it took about three days to get it to this point.

So here you go, Laurel’s first stupid attempt at screencasting :)

[flashvideo file=wp-content/uploads/2009/06/layers.flv /]