Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Business Card

I've really been into Photoshop and the other Adobe Creative Suite programs lately--been doing some work for the new company Dad's a part of. I thought that after my success at creating various business cards, it was about time I had one. Here's the result.

For all you Photoshop crazies (including myself) the leaf was super easy to create. You just have to create a path with the shape tool, and then load and apply whatever style you like (styles are on the far right in the color palette). I did a blue gel rollover with dropshadow, but there are all sorts of options. You will need to scale the style: open the Layers dropdown menu go down to Styles and at the bottom you'll find the Scale option. This allows you to adjust the overall settings of the style, ie. the extent of the bevel, highlights etc... Dad's printer is really nice, so I made a few hard copies as well.

Oh, and I finally figured out how to upload pics to my profile. It wasn't so much a matter of how to do it, but finding a suitable picture. So I decided to do a solo photo-shoot. I had to do it in the bathroom because I needed the mirror to see the camera's viewfinder (the thing was pointing right at me, so there was no way to see what it was seeing). Anyway, I got some good ones, and experimented with some different backgrounds in Photoshop. If you want to know more about selections look up the Quick Mask function. It essentially lets you 'paint' in your selection, allowing much more control than most of the other selection tools. I'd probably die without it.

Quote of the day:

"You can stockpile your socks easier than you can sockpile your stocks"--Who knows...:)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Various Oddities

Last week I was on a walk, and coming back from the gate I spotted a little ball perched in a tree, silloughetted against the sky. It hardly looked like a bird, but what else could it be? Once I got close enough for scrutiny, I was surprised to see a tiny little owl staring at me. The thing was about 3-4 inches tall and didn't look like it was planning to move any time soon. I scurried back home, grabbed the camera, hopped on a bike and went back down. It was tough to make the little critter look my way, but I managed to get a few decent pics. Here's the one that turned out best (it's cropped).

I looked it up and found out that it was a Northern Pygmy Owl, and not seen very often. Anyway, that was kinda' cool.

Quote of the day:
"And then I began to see daylight. What exactly was the trouble I didn't understand, but it was evidently something to do with the good old Artistic Temperament, and I could believe anything about that. It explains everything. It's like the Unwritten Law, don't you know, which you plead in America if you've done anything they want to send you to chokey for and you don't want to go. What I mean is, if you're absolutely off your rocker, but don't find it convenient to be scooped into the loony-bin, you simply explain that, when you said you were a teapot, it was just your Artistic Temperament, and they apologize and go away."--P.G. Wodehouse

I've got to go babysit at the neighbors so I can't write more, but I might get to it tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

'There Was Much Debate'

Hello again. With little to do, I guess I've gone picture crazy. Anyway, here are a few from last weekend's debate tournament down in McMinnville OR.

We're such a great team...

What a scholar!!

Look at those gestures!

Dad posted about it in more detail on the family blog (see links). D & I went 3/1 (won 3, lost 1). In 3 weeks there's another practice tournament in Oregon, and possibly another the following month. Then there are two speech qualifiers around the time of the only team debate qualifier in a few more months. I'll probably compete in speech since I'd like to get to nationals one way or another (it would be more comfortable to go for speech anyway. Debate is stressfull!). There's tons of stuff I need to get done in the next 3-4 months--I won't bore you with details. Talk about overload!

Die Katze

I was browsing through some photos I took of our cat Tailbiter last summer. Our last cat had a few batches of kittens and we kept a few. He's a great pet--friendly, loyal, pretty, and a good mouser! It's pretty rare you get all those qualities in one cat, but he's an exception.

As a kitten

All grown up. I thought the contrast and strong lighting called for black and white.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"I am not worthy"

Luke 7:2-9
"Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him.
When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant.
And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.”
And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.
Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

Listening to this passage I found the difference between the centurion and the Jewish elders quite interesting. When the elders found Jesus they “pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him.” But when Jesus approached the house, the centurion sent word saying, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.” It was his realization of his own unworthiness that caused Jesus to say of him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” This passage illustrates why we must come before God without any self-righteousness—we shouldn’t expect Him to answer all of our requests to our satisfaction. Rather, we must realize that He operates in His own sovereign will, and whatever he decrees is for the good of those who trust Him.

An Ammendment to a past post: I hold these truths to be self-evident, that banjos and mandolins are created equal. How's that? No, I'm not compromising--they're both cool (in different ways). I would like everyone to make note of my remarkable humility as shown by this confession.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Lewis Carroll

Has anybody read L.C.'s poem "Jabberwockee" or "The Hunting of the Snark"? Here's a link to the latter.(read the preface!!)
  • The Hunting of the Snark

  • WARNING: His poetry is Strange (with a capital "S") but humerous and worth a quick read.

    "They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
    They pursued it with forks and hope;
    They threatened its life with a railway-share;
    They charmed it with smiles and soap."--Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

    QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is it weird to eat peanuts, shell and all?

    Excuse my randomness. Give me the weekend to think of something worth posting...

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    I Got Tagged

    I couldn't come up with the 5 weirdest things about me but here are some nominees:

    1. I’m pretty good at sewing by hand (buttons are a breeze)
    2. If I’m writing something on my computer I generally save it after every couple of sentences
    3. I’m crazy about flashlights
    4. I like the smell of boat-motor smoke
    5. I kind of like pink and purple (I’m an artist, what can you expect?)
    6. My bed is always a wreck (it’s the bed’s fault, not mine)
    7. I get upset about scratches, dents or tiny nicks in almost all my belongings
    8. I wear an apron sometimes (...when I’m painting:)
    9. My computer cursor is shaped like a banjo
    10. I won’t eat anything that’s fallen on the floor/ground—unless it’s candy (that’s pretty weird in our family;)
    11. Apple computers rock (some friends would think that’s strange)
    12. Banjos are better than mandolins (it’s true!!!)
    13. Someday, I’ll cover my desk with little cactuses
    14. I can’t stand cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or avocado

    Here's a weird quote for ya!:

    “I’m perfectly normal—my siblings are all isotopes”

    Good night...:)

    A Quote

    "We don't attend a one-room schoolhouse, we have a one-house schoolroom!"--Me

    Daniel, welcome to the blogging world. May your posts be frequent, may the entire world rave about your writings, and may you never receive a negative comment!! :) He's posted at least 6 times already--good start! I've linked to him on the right.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    Duck Stamp

    A few months ago, I discovered the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, an art contest designed to encourage conservation through the arts. Here's the link-->http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/junior/PARTICIPATE.htm. It's encouraging to see contests that encourage realism these days (the NRA youth wildlife art contest is another example). So far I've come up with a unique and fairly original design (below) which, because it's quite different from most entries I've seen, has the potential to do well. The contest is arranged so that each state holds it's own subcontest, the winner of which goes on to the national competition. Unfortunately, it looks like many states elect inexperienced judges who may judge more according to modern tastes than according to realism and all that. Anyway, I'll give it a shot. Oh, and if I can find a good way to get photos of my work-in-progress I may post some of those later.

    I used Adobe Photoshop to compose my painting from several different photos. If you're into photo editing, graphic design... you need this program!! I've found Adobe's "Classroom in a Book" course to be very helpful in learning all of it's incredible features.

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    Schaeffer: Art and the Bible

    Francis Schaeffer has written a small booklet with this title, dealing with how art relates to God and religion. If you haven't read it, I'd encourage you to. BTW, it doesn't just have to do with painting--it's relevent for music, architecture...etc. Though I agree with most everything he says, there's one point on which our opinions conflict. Here's a quote from the second half of the book entitled "Some Perspectives on Art" (pg. 51).

    "Christian art should be twentieth-century art. Art changes. Language changes. The preacher's preaching today must be twentieth-century language communication, or there will be an obstacle to being understood. And if a Christian's art is not twentieth century art, it is an obstacle to his being heard. It makes him different in a way in which there is no necessity for difference. A Christian should not, therefore, strive to copy Rembrant or Browning."

    He goes on to say (pg. 54), "While we must use twentieth century styles, we must not use them in such a way as to be dominated by the worldviews out of which they have arisen...Therefore an art form or style that is no longer able to carry content cannot be used to give the Christian message."

    What do ya'll think? Can we communicate more by being different, or by using the world's language?

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Deep thoughts (and some not-so-deep)

    I recently started reading Gary DeMar's series on America's Christian heritage called "God and Government." Here are some thoughts on the first chapter. Comments are always appreciated. :)

    Chapter 1: Self Government and Family Government

    In this chapter Mr. DeMar presents the basis for the unraveling of America. The series is designed to examine the Christian basis of our nation, and this chapter deals with how the transfer of all governmental rights to the state has affected us over the centuries. More and more, “special interest” groups try to reverse biblical forms of government—our nation is on its way towards the ruinous state described by Isaiah, when he said, “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them...The child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable...Women [shall] rule over them.” Men have little if any self-government—women choose a corporate career over staying at home. Families disintegrate when the father abandons his responsibility to provide, leaving that to his wife, who then cannot train the children, who are sent off to government schools to be brainwashed with evolution and unbiblical concepts, training them to grow up and live exactly like their parents, if not worse. Mr. DeMar emphasizes the underlying importance of self government—until people can control themselves, families will continue to fall apart, and the state will continue to claim more authority than Scripture gives it.

    It’s very interesting how Noah Webster’s 1828 definition of government differs from modern explanations.

    He defined the word “government” as 1.) Direction; regulation. 2.) Control; restraint. 3.) The exercise of authority; direction and restraint exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies, or states; the administration of public affairs, according to the established constitution, laws and uses, or by arbitrary edict. 4.) The exercise of authority by a parent or householder.

    Today, “government” is thought to only mean the “state,” with no reference to self or family government. The state, in fact, has tried to take over the government of the individual and the family—not by adhering to Biblical standards, but by expanding the boundaries to legalize behavior and family structure far exceeding the limits established by Scripture. John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” No wonder politicians try to manipulate and change the Constitution today. Our country is no longer “moral and religious,” thus our ruling document must be ‘adapted’ to the needs of a new society. Abortion is somehow legal under the 4th Amendment, which applies specifically to unwarranted searches and does not extend the ‘right to privacy’ to the point where a woman may have her unborn child killed. The whole mindset of relativism and the subversion of the founder’s original intent has provided the loophole through which the state institutes some of its vilest edicts.

    With the onslaught on the traditional, Biblical family, Christians must not conform or be afraid of ridicule and oppression. The only way to change the government is to change the people; the only way to change the people is to change their hearts; the only way to affect a nationwide change of heart is to spread the gospel. Providing a good example of self government, and family soundness is a good way to start.

    And, as I promised, here are a few select journal entries from last year--some less serious than others.

    January 18, 2005

    I’ve never known caffeine to noticeably affect one’s ability to perform a task, but it seems that this is a distinct possibility. After 3 cups of the stuff, viz. tea, in the course of a few hours I feel like a wet mop that is having a time of it dragging its sorry corpse across a morass of sticky linoleum. Sitting with a cup of tea at my computer reading Wodehouse just about sums up my afternoon. But maybe I’ll muster the courage and strength to get something done…

    March 31, 2005

    Terri Shiavo died this morning, after a long drawn-out right-to-life debate. I think it’s terrible that anyone could support the purposeful killing of another human being. Hopefully, Christian leaders will take the opportunity to promote the sanctity of life and many other important issues which have arisen during this controversy. What is our country coming to?

    June 27, 2005

    A conversation between me and Jeremy—guess who’s who.

    Do you want to learn to play banjo?
    Do you want to learn to play as good as me?
    Do you want to learn to read tab?
    Dat is weird, tab.

    September 26, 2005

    Last night I was considering issues about art and music and all that. I had listened to most of a message by S. M. Davis called “Are you a giver or a taker?” and I realized that when Christians create art, they are not to use it as a means of venting their emotions, but rather of giving praise to God. Likewise, they must make the message they are trying to communicate clear; if it is something only the artist can decipher, he is not giving any edification to his audience, he is only taking all the credit for himself. Christians must always redirect praise to God. Additionally, someone can’t just thank God for their gift of music, and then go and play in a rock band. We must praise God through our gifts, not aside from them. It is hypocrisy to thank God for a gift and then go misuse it on something that does not glorify His name.

    After reading a short article in God’s World magazine, I became aware of one of the great paradoxes in our culture. Pro-death, abortion supporters mourned over the thousands of deaths caused by terrorists on 9/11, and then turn around and coldly condemn millions of unborn American children to death under the excuse of ‘mother’s choice.’ It makes me sick to think that they are now going even further, claiming that the mother’s emotional status is equally as important as the physical. Therefore, if she doesn’t want to have the baby, it would damage her emotionally if she did—thus an excuse to kill one of God’s most precious creations. All the while, our leaders stand by and do nothing. They focus on the war in Iraq; we must protect those people from terror and death. What about our own nation! Before we protect Iraqis from Sadam, we should protect our own unborn babies from the abortion clinics! It is no surprise that God is judging our nation today.

    Sorry about the length. I spared you my really long entry on last year's mission trip to the Colville Indian Reservation--if you saw it, you'd thank me. One more thing, I need some help figuring out the formatting on my blog, ie. links, pics... Oh, and feel free to link to me if you think it's worth it.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    Journal entries

    I was looking through my old journals and thought I'd post a few of my better entries from the past few years. Here's an article I wrote on November 19, 2003:

    Stunning discovery made on the week of November 9th:
    Microsoft Word Office is proven to be actually useful
    By Geustab Herrinker

    The long disputed Microsoft Word Office Assistant debate has come to an alarming climax, when presidential candidate Benjamin Berkompas found the Office Assistant useful for finding out how to use superscript. Stunned reporters asked Berkompas what he formerly thought of the Office Assistant and how his opinion has changed. He responded,
    “For as long as I have used Microsoft Word, I have never found a use for the Assistant. It was like a thorn in my side, every time he appeared. However, with the recent breakthrough, my opinion has been altered, and I now realize the enormous impact this discovery could have on society… this little fellow is the window into the future, and the mirror of the past. It’s tools like this that will make our country, and give it hope in the years to come. As president, I will uphold the good and worthy policies of government, and tear down the bad, creating a free country, which will work to enhance education through computer technology…”
    Anti-Microsoft Word Office Assistant radicals are taken aback with Benjamin’s sudden change of mind. This disclosure could either make or break his campaign. Police are concerned that rioting may break out in some of the major cities at this news.

    Just to clarify, I still generally dislike the Office Assistant, I am not running for president, and I would never really say that!