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family

07

Dec

Bull in a China Shop

Hello all. I named this entry “Bull in a China Shop” as an homage to my mom. I used this lovely phrase on Nancy today and I was amused that she had never heard it before. I said something like, “You’re like a damn bull in a china shop!”, which is just about what my mom would say to me. It’s really a wonderful way to insult someone with style and sass. Thanks mom! 🙂

I’ve also been programming all day. I’ve worked out all the logic and most of the main components for a new gallery module. It will let users of my software add dynamic flash slideshows to their site. They can add unlimited amounts of slideshows, and each show can have as many images as they want. I’m also adding the ability to add new slide show modules as well, so you’ll be able to add new transition styles and effects for the slide shows. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish by tomorrow. I’ve incorporated this great new piece of code as well. It allows you to resize and crop images through a flash interface. This will be used on the back-end site when people upload the images for the slide shows. You can see and example snipit of how it works here:

Crop Image Example

You can change the size of the image and also reposition it as well before cropping. This will free users from having to size everything in photoshop before uploading. After I get the slide show module integrated using this I’ll be incorporating it into the rest of the back-end. This will mean that only one full size image will have to be loaded going forward and the detail and thumbnail can be created on the fly dynamically. It will be a huge time saver in terms of both producing images and uploading them. Ok, enough computer geek talk!

I had some time to watch a few more Tom Green skits. This one made me laugh quite a bit, enjoy!

02

Dec

Thanksgiving Follow-up

I finally looked at some of the pictures from Thanksgiving. I thought I’d throw some up here for your enjoyment.

This was Thanksgiving day at my parent’s house:

Thanksgiving 2007 at the Cool’s

Olivia and Tess of course. These two kept us quite busy during our stay! I enjoyed our little hike with the dog as well.

Olivia Cool

Tess Cool

We also took a day trip to Pittsburgh as well. This is a quick shot I snapped from Mount Washington. It was too cold to stay out of the car any longer! All my winter clothes are still in Georgia! It’s a special kind of torture I’ve created for myself.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

OK, so I hope you enjoyed the pics. Here is a quick snapshot of the last two days for me:

-Show Nancy’s parent’s house to prospective buyers.
-Read countless blogs and sites and forums about teaching in Indonesia and Korea.
-Work on web client projects.
-Checking out Miro video player. You should do the same!
-Studying Ruby and deciding if I should tackle learning this for development projects instead of continuing with PHP. Object Oriented Programming is still new to me, so it may be a good time to switch. I’m also considering Ruby on Rails as the implementation of choice for my gallery software.
-Trying to remember to update this blog!
-And of course, drinking prodigious amounts of coffee!!! 🙂 mmmm… coffee…

Cheers and good night.

15

Oct

Busy Times

It’s been a long time again since I posted. I’ve been busy with many things. I’ve spent a lot of time now reworking this website. I added too many things to mention. Nancy and I just finished redesigning the entire back-end administration area of the site. It’s so much more functional now! It still has a long way to go, but I’m planning on releasing this gallery software as some kind of open source project. I’m not sure when yet, but as soon as I can fix some more admin flaws, I am going to release the software publicly. So I’m looking for developers and admin types to help me get this project going. If you know anyone, pass the word.

I’ve managed to process and get a lot of artwork on the site as well. I just added another artist book today. That makes four new books in the last week or so. I’m finishing one more now and that will make seven total on the site. My parents visited a while back and brought a box of artist books I had stored at their place. Thanks for remembering dad! 🙂 Some of the books are a bit dark, don’t get too frightened. I logged my dreams (and nightmares) for a period of years. Some of the images in those books came from recurrent nightmares that I would have. If you are a psychologist, let me know if I should be committed! hahaha. I’ve been working a lot of the video section as well. I added some new videos as well. I’m having a lot of problems with the programming on that page however. Integrating DivX, Quicktime and Flash has been problematic. I have a love/hate relationship with javascript. I do have to say I think it’s a wonderful language, but I’m frustrated because of my limited knowledge. I’ve learned a whole lot but I wish there were better resources out there for handling media files via javascript as well as DOM issues. Which makes me start to think about this whole browser mess, and how frustrating it is to have to test on like 10 browsers on each platform, so like 20… and none of them work the same way twice! UGH! When will standardization kick in??? I know competition is good and all that, but jeez… It may make a lot of programmers out there go bonkers!

We’ve helped Nancy’s parents out settling quite a few things and now I think we’re actually going to buckle down on the job search. I’m having trouble pulling myself away from programming though. It’s very rare to be able to have so many continuous hours to devote to programming! I doubt this moment will come again. So I’ve really taken advantage of it! But alas, we really must be on our way it seems. I’m really going to focus on trying to find an ESP (English for Specific Purposes) job. That way I can teach computer related English, and hopefully get paid more as well!

The changing season has been a wonderful experience. Fall time is my favorite, and it’s the first time I’ve been able to experience it in probably seven years or more. The air is starting to get more crisp and there is a feeling in the air. The light is changing and so are the leaves. I really am savoring this time! I’m planning on trying to take some photos over the next weekend or two. I don’t have any pictures of fall, and I really want some. Hopefully I will have some images to show within the next week or two.

I have been jogging with Nancy about 4-5 times per week. We’ve been going for 3 miles each day for two days, and then taking one day off to recover. My left knee has been giving me major hell though. The feeling of a knife under your kneecap should be a good enough mental image. It’s really my own fault though. I never stretch! Well, almost never… And when I do, I never have pain and feel much better in general… hahaha… My goal is to start doing more yoga. Tomorrow I’m finally going to try out this yoga video. It’s my “off” day from running, and my knee is killing me, so hopefully I’ll be on the mend with some stretching for the next days run. We’ll see!

On that note, it’s off to bed… Once before 2-3am this week, yay! hahahah… Hope all of you are safe and well out in lala land… besos…

07

Sep

humming birds

humming birdA humming bird feeding at my parents house.

OK, so when I was visiting my parents in Pittsburgh (well, near Pittsburgh, about an hour’s drive, out in the country with lots of cows) I was catching up on a lot of sleep lost during my TEFL training in Wasington, DC. So I would go out on their beautiful covered back porch and lay down on this comfy reclining lounge chair and relax by going into a half-coma/sleep state. I kept waking up to this buzzing sound every few minutes. Then I noticed the humming bird feeder and all these little humming birds darting in and out to get their sugar high. I had the urge to take pictures but didn’t want to disturb the warm comfort of my present seat. I set up my tripod and put on the remote shutter release setup for the camera. I put the 80-400mm lens on the camera and the SB-800 flash on the hot shoe and waited, in my comfy chair of course. The problem I then had was waking up in time to press the button on the remote. Is this a pathetic story or what? The height of laziness! In the end I only managed to wake up and snap a few shots. Those buggers were fast, and the strobe pretty much freaked them out so they would sit in the tree across the way and stare at the feeder, scared to death of the bright light awaiting them. As you can see, the strobe only syncs up to 1/250s, not nearly enough speed to freeze those wings. I would have loved to take more time shooting birds at my parents, maybe next time.

30

Jul

Weekend Family Gathering

The Cool FamilyMy family back together again.

This weekend my parents came down from Pennsylvania to visit us in Annapolis at my brother’s house. It has been a long while since we have done this sort of thing. So it was nice to get everyone together. I wish we had more time to spend with them, but we did end up doing a lot of homework. But it was still fun and I think my brother’s girls are happy when everyone is around. We setup the camera on a tripod and I got the chance to try out my new remote shutter release. You can see me holding it in my right hand over my brother’s shoulder. Aren’t tech gadgets just the best? OK, I’m sure most of you are bored at this point in the conversation, but I just couldn’t help mentioning it for the geek factor. 🙂

We’ll be staying with TJ in Washington DC this week as his brother just left for Jordan. The last week of classes we’ll spend back at my brother’s to do some dog sitting and then we are done. I’m hoping to do something fun that weekend to blow off some steam after this crazy training is over! Then we will be off to my parent’s house near Pittsburgh for about a week. We’re planning on having fun but I’m also planning on digging in and starting the really nitty-gritty research and job application phase in preparation for departing for Korea.