March 23, 2010
Don’t Tread On Me (Navy Jack) GIF
Many of bloggers who share my passion for the US Navy, and Individual Liberty have taken to proudly displaying the Navy Jack on their websites.
Me? My Navy Jack flies from the front of my house (thanks Ken). But I did want to also include it on Carmichael’s Position in some fashion.
Normally I am not a big fan of animated Gifs filling web pages, but in limited number some are entertaining. I’ve been working on my Photoshop skills of late, and thought I’d take a crack at creating an animated GIF of a full glory Jack flying from a staff.
My 4th version is what you see there in the upper left side bar. If any of you graphics experts out there have some recommendations for improvement, I am all ears. It was actually fun to work on though.
If any of my compatriots would like to display this on their site, please feel free to do so (a mention to the author won’t be necessary, but not unappreciated either ;-) )
The fourth one includes a bit of shadowing and close to the best speed (although a bit more smoothing between frames couldn’t hurt… this is where I would seek y’all’s help).
February 03, 2010
Quote of the day…
“But it was not clear whether using the internet causes mental health problems, or whether people with mental health problems are drawn to the internet.”
I vote “Present!”
September 04, 2009
Don’t be a victim!
If you get an email titled "Nude photo of Nancy Pelosi," DON’T OPEN IT!!!!!
It contains a nude photo of Nancy Pelosi!
November 06, 2008
Well sort of...
I've created and published my first book, "We Own the Airfield and the Airspace!" It is actually an experiment in using the popular book making organization "Blurb."
I have to say I'm mostly happy with the experiment thus far. The process of creating (layouts), editing, and writing were all fairly easy.
I learned of Blurb through an announcement on my Smugmug account and, not too long ago, I had received a book published in a similar way from a good friend of mine. So I wanted to see if I could assemble a compelling photo essay of something that most interests me... as Brad Wilson so noted in a recent comment to one of my more political posts... "Shiny Airplanes!"
"We Own the Airfield and the Airspace!" is a photo essay of the Grand Junction 2008 Airshow, emphasizing the US Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron. Other aircraft featured are the US Air Force F-15 Eagle and F-16 Viper, as well as warbirds like the P-51 Mustang and B-25 Mitchell and Civilian acts like Gene Soucy and his Showcat and Les Shockley in his rocket truck "Shockwave"!
The process involves signing up as a Blurb user, very standard. Then you will need to download the FREE formatting software, which is actually a great way to do this as you can assemble, write, format etc... entirely off line if need be.
Blurb is very well connected to a number of photo sites and blog sites making importing your content from your Blog or your online photo albums a breeze! I grabbed my photos both from my smugmug account and my hard drive.
The software makes formatting super easy! You can select from a large number of pre-built themes or create one entirely of your own. The select the aspect ratio of the book you want (portrait, landscape, square, big coffee table size, etc...) and then soft cover, hardcover jacketed, or hardcover image wrap. Once complete with the preliminaries, you are free to create! the internal pages have a wealth of templates to choose from that render very professional outcomes. All you have to do is simply drag and drop which of your image you want on the page into the gray area designated... and voila' it shows up there, where you then have the opportunity to resize and manipulate the image to you liking. Editing text is a similar easy process.
Once you have what you like... you click "Publish" and your software connects to the Blurb servers (under your account) and begins to assemble your book, you'll be prompted to answer a few questions, then you will want to order your first copy. It is HIGHLY recommended you order one for yourself to receive a "Proof" if you will... because unless you are a super dedicated photographer and have calibrated your screen exactly to match color, your exposures colors and image quality will be off slightly. You can use the first copy as a guide to change your book's photo quality, color, brightness, etc... before you take the plunge and expose your work to others! That's right you can sell your creations right from the site! They even allow you to set a price (above their cost of course) so if you have a quality product, you might even make a small profit.
I received my first copy today (8 business days after I ordered it) delivered via FedEx ground. And indeed the cover and binding are very professionally done and easily meet up to most professional publishing standards. The internal pages are well binded and printed. I ordered on premium paper, and I would recommend always doing so, I've seen the other and... well it lacks! Even so, the internal page quality of premium paper could use an even higher boost, but in all honesty it is quite adequate for amateur publishing. But again... if you choose to make a book, I would not waste time with anything less than the premium paper.
Also, one other slight (and I do mean minor) drawback was in the creation process of the cover, I wanted more flexibility in creating my title. Blurb does provide a plethora of fonts, colors and scales to choose from, however the effects offered are extremely limited (not much much more complex than an e-mail editor... limited to bold, underline, italics...) I could not locate simple additions like shadowing, embossing etc... Fortunately I have Photoshop at my disposal to create a title look I am happy with, but most of us do not ($600.00 for photo editing software is not in most people's budgets).
All in all I am quite happy with the results, certainly the service has been exemplary. I would like to see slightly higher quality internal pages, but again it is probably a limit of the "On-demand" publishing agencies used.
If you would like to preview my book, click here: "We Own The Airfield and the Airspace" you will be able to virtually thumb through the first 15 pages. And hell, if you want to contribute to the Carmichael Enterprises (
Guinness fund) bottom line please feel free to purchase a copy. Especially if you like Shiny Airplanes!
August 25, 2008
Cartoonist Could Use Your Help
I have long been a fan of political cartoons, I love the ability of an artist to convey a poignant message in a minimal amount of space. I've enjoyed both Conservative and Liberal cartoons if the imagery and message is delivered well.
I've long been a fan of the creative musings of Berke Breathed, Garry Trudeau, Cox & Forkum (John & Allen) and many more... One of my recent favorites, I stumbled upon a couple of years ago in a blog post, is Chris Muir, the writer and artist for Day By Day.
Chris blends a edgy even sexy artistic style, with mainstream political issues we face daily. He weaves together thoughts and philosophies of both Left and Right through the lives of 4 main characters and often illustrates the simple naivete of a position taken by today's political headliners, PAC's, and fringe groups by pitting one against the other in his characters' actions and words.
Chris obviously falls more on the Right side of the political spectrum, which I find refreshing (Duh...) because as seems to be the case with everything artistic or media related, the majority of cartoonists come from a left leaning slant, understandable considering idealism and passion often drives great art. Two traits the left has a PLETHORA of and two traits we conservatives often have to ask advice on how to.... um....
fake... learn! Yeah... learn!
So I was a bit dismayed this morning when I read the following from Chris Muir:
Unfortunately, technology finally ended my main job ... , which left DBD my only income.
He is left to turn to his readership for donations in the form of a fundraiser to continue publishing Day By Day. Which I actually respect a great deal. It is never easy to ask for compensation... when was the last time you asked your boss for a raise? But Chris has a bit more of a difficulty, we are his boss, all of us who enjoy his strip daily, intermittently... whenever.
Chris is following capitalism in the truest form... he is asking for donations to the cause. Personally I think it is more an issue of we consumers, pony-ing up and paying for the quality of writing and creativity we all enjoy. Idealistically Chris obviously produces Day By Day because it is what he enjoys... Pragmatically however he cannot continue to focus on creating these daily gems and pay the bills without some compensation. He is truly an independent publisher. And much like a server at your favorite restaurant... his livelyhood weighs heavily on... for lack of a better analogy... "TIPS!" from his patrons. So if you like the service/product you've been consuming and want to consume into the future, he requests that you show your support in the most pragmatic way... with your wallet.
Here's his deal... He is looking for donations to keep things going, in his words.
...according to 'The Long Tail' theory of Internet readers, there's usually a core 1% that come through for Internet publishers. All donations are critical, and I also ask again of that '1000'. Look what Leonidas did with the 300-except I don't have a 6-pack, I'm not a leader, and the thought of all of you in G-strings frankly worries me a bit.
But we share the same beliefs, I think.
The site's been redone, there's a forum coming up, there's an email subscription, searchable archives, new avatars, a new DBD banner that shows the strip in a popup (so you have more advertising space on your own blog),twitter, free Wowio DBD ebooks, and when you donate to DBD you receive pdfs of never released drawings of DBD's start back in 1998 (yes, 2 years before DBD went up), examples of just how different Jan, Damon, Sam, and Zed were before 2001.
Depending on which of the 4 Donation Levels you select, there is also a DBD Playing Card deck, Sam posters, plus Original DBD hand-written script sheets complete with hand-signed strips that derive from those scripts.
That was the carrot, now for the stick, and...I don't have a stick.
I'll still try & get DBD out.
I think you can tell from the strip that I'm something of a minimalist. I drive a Honda that was new when Arsenio was hot. My first vacation in 12 years, and I go to Iraq to research for the characters. This isn't for sympathy, but clarity. I love doing DBD. Every hard-earned dollar you send here is for one purpose-to make it possible for me to improve and continue DBD for you (and me!).
In a PC correct era, DBD's characters speak with you on issues you find important. PC still rules the MSM, whether newspapers, the networks, or well-funded 'pundits'. DBD connects with people directly, the only comic where the readers are the source and the feature. You might depend on DBD, but the reality is DBD depends on you.
Help keep our voice out there. In one day, all of you got DBD more than halfway through 2008. Again, whatever amount is donated, I'll give directly back in DBD strips.
And yes. This time I will leave the Fundraiser up for a month, not a day.
If you too would like to contribute to Chris's work, I recommend you go here and throw a few bucks his way! [Link]
June 20, 2008
You're Free to Go Now...
I am a bit saddened by the news I received yesterday. I've learned though my extensive network of former coworkers, that my previous employer (A software company in Denver CO) in an effort to refocus the business to a degree, has had to take the difficult action of sending a few fine folks on their way.
I am not privy to the behind closed door conversations leading up to yesterday's actions, but I am sure they were numerous, painful, and probably even cantankerous. As they should be. The action of terminating anyone's employment should never be taken lightly! I know most all of the execs, I consider most of them friends even, and I know that despite the dictating business reasons, a decision to reduce the labor force was not an easy one for any of them. I am sure many lost countless hours of sleep (and probably still are), knowing the grief, anguish, and shock they have likely created in the lives of the unfortunate few for whom the bell would toll. I even know a few who would have traded places (good people they).
I also know most of those who received word that their services were no longer needed. I've worked closely with them, shared good times and troublesome times. Laughed with them, yelled at them, been yelled at by them... even Photoshoped a few for my infamous "Photoshop Pfridays" and... to the person... each is a dynamite performer in their respective vocations.
My previous employer is well known for hiring "Rock Stars" and even these who are now "Free to Go" are still rock stars, far surpassing the capabilities and competencies of 95% of the work force. This is a Windfall for all those businesses seeking quality people and make that well know claim of "You just can't find good help anymore."
Not true! I know a few who you might could use!
So, I offer this prediction to each of my friends now out of immediate work, I seriously doubt your acute condition will last for any length of time.
Now to the rest of my readers, I know a number of very high quality individuals who are now unencumbered with the daily grind of a job! Who may be able to help you in your company's pursuits. Here's a brief list of department types I can provide you immediate access to if so needed.
- Software Technical Support
- Graphic Designer
- Software Developer
- Web Developer
- Technology Consultant
- Network Systems
- Marketing Assistant
- Content researcher, Writer, Author, Musician, Taxonomist (NOT A DEAD ANIMAL STUFFER! Look it up knucklehead!)
I know I have a national readership, and I do not know if any of these fine folks are interested in relocating, but do not hesitate to reach out. And as for you hiring managers here in the Denver Colorado area in need of excellent employees... If you would like more details on any of these folks, please leave me a comment and I will put you in touch. If you have a position you need filled, you're welcomed to leave a description of it here in the comments as well.
Let's see if this Web 2.0 social networking really works. Click comment below, and have at it!
January 25, 2008
But I Do My Best Work In There!
I've be told before, that I do my best work sittn' on the porcelain throne! I'm pretty sure those who offered that opinion did not mean it as a complement. But in reality I think many would be surprised how many "Innovative Ideas" were arrived at as a result of a few minutes of semi-uninterrupted "Private Time".
So I had to laugh today upon hearing about a Plaque Brad Feld, the Primary VC at my former company NewsGator, paid to have installed at a Bathroom in one of the University of Colorado's new buildings.
Brad contributed $25,000 to have the honor of a restroom in the University of Colorado Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society, (ATLAS) building named after him. The Plaque reads:
"The best ideas often come at inconvenient times. Don't ever close your mind to them."
I like that... Brad continues to do things that, usually when we are drinking with our buddies, many of us simply talk about doing . Action!
... Feld, managing director at Foundry Group and Mobius Venture Capital, both based in Boulder, said he wanted a plaque "to inspire people as they walk in to do their business."
Some of his best ideas have come while he's on the toilet or in the shower, he said. "It's a good time to reflect. It's a quiet moment."
That last sentence is debatable in certain circumstances, but otherwise...
I tell you... All the more reason to find a idea or invention that you can take to market to become EXTREMELY WEALTHY!!! So you can do these types of things. I'm just not sure which breeds which? Does money breed eccentricity or the other way around?
Time for me to think this through a bit... pass the prunes!
January 10, 2008
The Future of Screen Interaction Technology
Computer,TV, HDDVD, what ever your poison, this is the next technological step in the process.
We are already seeing advanced touch screen technology in Apple iPhones and iPods and Microsoft's Surface. But expect the explosion over the next coupla! Find your investments where you can!
January 04, 2008
"Vista continues to improve..." Duh, can't help but to!
From my friend Glenn Berry from his Blog "Glen Berry's SQL Server Performance"...
If you are running Windows Vista, you should consider applying these two updates from Microsoft.
First is the December 2007 Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update that fixes lots of issues with 3rd party and Microsoft applications. Second is "An update that improves the performance, responsiveness, and reliability of Windows Vista is available", which fixes issues with hibernation and improves disk I/O performance (by up to 15%).
Windows Vista continues to improve and mature.
Duh... It can't help but to improve! Am I going to download the updates? You bet! Like a cancer patient going to Mexico in hopes of the miracle cure, I am praying that the upgrade will miraculously convert my OS to XP or MAC OS "Leopard"! And like those desperate afflicted souls, I too am anticipating I will be disappointed in the outcome, and my Vista infliction will continue. Hmmm, wonder what the side effects will be?
In this political year where perception is EVERYTHING! Microsoft is losing the Perception War of quality and usability. Hell, Window's ME is looking appealing compared to Vista! I have been, as well as thousands of others, very frustrated with "Vista." It is cumbersome, slow, hogs the RAM, and I too have run into numerous incompatibility problems relating to installation and reinstallation of various software applications!
I just bought a Toshiba Satellite X205 T7100 1.8 w/2 gig of RAM. It has Vista Home Premium on it. Ohhh for XP! I have a severe case of "Buyer's Remorse," and I'm telling you my next computer acquisition is going to be a MAC! If I'm going to have to relearn an OS, it might as well be a GOOD OS!
January 03, 2008
Would this be an "Apple iPoo'd" ?
Sorry Bored... Oh and what ever you do... DON'T CLICK THIS LINK!