May 17th – DFW Adobe User Meeting

I will be giving a demonstration of Illustrator CS3 at the May meeting of the DFWAUG user group. The meeting will be at the usual location Nerdbooks, and will be held on Saturday, May 17th.

Hope to see a decent turnout for the event. I generally get the call for the Photoshop or Lightroom gigs. It will be a nice change of pace to flex a little vector muscle, and see what folks are interested in.

If you haven’t registered for the DFWAUG newsletter be sure to goto their website now and sign up.

Let me tell you a story…

Storytime starring the Mad Pony girlsGoooooooooood evening dear readers!

Another busy week kicked off here in Dallas metro, but I took a few minutes today to whip up another stellar photo essay for you folks. This evening’s story was inspired by a recent photo post over at Mad Pony headquarters. I thought it odd that Kristin & Lauren would post some pics, but leave the captions out.

That’s where yours truly comes in. A single picture from the Mad Pony entry sparked the synapses, jump started PhotoShop and BING BANG BOOM out popped some content fodder.

Here’s a quick read I like to call Death Comes Hippity-Hop. (Link Opens In New Window)

Finding my groove…

Woo Hoo! Yeah Me!

If I could go back in time and do this all over again I suppose I would have chosen a slick alias or at least thrown up a disclaimer like Tony Pierce to keep readers wondering about my true intent. But then as Ryan “Hardcore” McGee says it’s not about actual truth, but rather emotional truth. The idea of leaving a piece of me out there for all to see isn’t that difficult, but having to factor in who may be reading my blog at any given moment is.

Those close to me know that I’m the type of person that needs to vent. Good, bad, happy, sad, when I’m feelin’ it I’ll pick up the phone and dial a number. It’s probably the reason I’ve kept in touch with peeps even though the majority of my close friends live several states away. Many of my friends were pen pals back when mail was delivered by the post office and a long distance phone call came with a long distance phone bill. My pen pal ratings tripled once Compuserve came along (that was on a 386 DOS platform using x-modem long before AOL & the Internet kids).

The past few months have been extremely busy for me outside the blogosphere. As I’ve mentioned my weekdays are crammed sunrise past sunset with both work and school. It hasn’t allowed me much time to post, but it’s also affected what I choose to write about. Public recognition for a blog is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it’s great when people come and read your entries, it’s another thing entirely if the subject of an entry takes offense. (Not that I have offended anybody, but you can imagine the ramifications on the job if I posted about the classes I taught and students filed a complaint) The same can be said for any personal relationships. When you’re partying with your family & friends it’s cool to upload the pics and recall events, but airing your dirty laundry or venting can lead to some much larger problems.

Therein lies my content problem. I would have been happy to paint you a mental picture of the two ladies who attended my PhotoShop class only to get caught airbrushing some Chippendales dancers at break. The content fodder on students alone would rival the Tard Blog. Not really appropriate, however funny. It probably would have been therapeutic to vent on domestic issues lately, if for no other reason than to sort through the ramblings in my head. Again, not the best choice towards resolution.

What started out as a way for me to share pics with family & friends has grown into something I hadn’t really planned or anticipated. I thoroughly enjoy the experience that is this blog provides and it has helped me to recapture a love a writing I only experienced once back in the sixth grade. This rekindled feeling has probably heightened my sense of posting anxiety as I try to satisfy myself and the masses.

Recently, I received a lot of positive feedback about this website. Yours truly was picked as this week’s Honorary Hose Monster. Add the compliments by Tony Pierce for my recent photo essay, Rob pimpin’ my new DVD, the props from Ryan “Hardcore” McGee and I feel especially lucky to be recognized by those writers that inspire me to be better at this blogging thing. I’m also thankful for YOU my loyal readers, fellow bloggers, your continued patronage and comments carry over more than you might expect.

A minute’s rambling…

photo of twinsI envy those folks that have the ability to write at a moments notice without the need for repetitive editorial processes. I seem unable to tap that part of my brain that allows me to instantly put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and just write. I would post more frequently if it weren’t for the fact that an entry for me could literally take an hour’s worth of time. I’ll type & retype, read & reread, spell check, then read again and that’s if I haven’t spent 20 minutes editing a photo. Because I don’t just want to resize a photo and post, I want it to look good. So what my photography skills lack I make up for with some decent PhotoShop know-how.

Of course, time is a commodity these days and Michelle will be the first to tell you we don’t have enough of it. I recently made an agreement with Michelle that I would spend less time on the computer because her perception has been that it’s a must have for me. She’s probably correct, if I’m not reading any number of blogs then I’m knee-deep in world news. Of course this leaves little time for me to actually churn out an entry which means I have to be way more efficient doing so. But I worry, will the quality of this blog suffer? Do you folks actually give a damn about the quality of this blog? Categorically speaking, I’m probably all over the place. The Mad Pony girls have cornered the market on “all fluff, no stuff”, Dawn & Jared cover both ends of the political spectrum, while Sarah and the Hose Monster make any topic seem interesting. And there’s all the questions I have yet to answer for Katie. I can’t imagine they spend countless hours going over their entries before posting, but somehow I do.

(imagine that 20 minutes and counting)

Moving on to last weekend. [keep writing, don’t proof read] Michelle & I had a wonderful time in Austin. We got to see her nephew Michael play in a baseball tournament (really some unranked practice matches) and of course her sister’s twin babies are a bunch of fun. (We love other people’s children because we can spoil them and give them back when we’re done). Mother Nature gave us decent weather all weekend and Sunday she held the rain off until the last game was over. I’m happy we weren’t here for the hail storm that hit Dallas.

The only part of the trip that sucked was the driving. Not the actual drive because Michelle & I traded 8 hour road trips every weekend for a year, but dealing with STUPID DRIVERS can really wear on my nerves. Here’s a couple of ideas I think should be turned into law:

1. The left lane IS the fast lane. If you suddenly feel the urge to cut me off by moving into the left lane don’t immediately slam on your breaks because you think I’m too close. Nobody should be too close in the left lane. If I’m too close, you’re going too slow and should move to the right.

2. Big rig trucks should not be allowed to change lanes. I think truckers enjoy cutting off other vehicles. It never fails, I’ll be zipping along in the fast lane and notice two trucks following each other in the right lane. Just before I pass the rear truck the driver will change lanes and pass the front truck. I’m sure they’re on their CBs saying “Wait for it… wait for it… NOW!!!”.

OK, I’m just going to spell check this entry and post it… any urge to rewrite it completely will be ignored for at least 10 minutes…