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Another great weekend, and another fun class!

----- 01.29.2007 --------
This weekend was great! Both Jen's Mom & my folks came to our place for a visit. Jen put on an amazing spread as usual and we dine gourmet. We even had a chance to pop by the new condo to see how it was coming along. And with that visit to the sales center came some good news. There was only 1 feature I wasn't really excited about with the new place, and that was the 8' ceilings. Well, I guess the builder got a new zoning permit or something, but the ceilings have been heighted to 9'! :) That makes me quite happy because our ceilings now are about that and it was a welcome change from the 8 footer in my old place. Although probably different dynamics then a pot is to a plant, I still like to think that taller ceilings would let me grow taller ;) Anyway, it was a really nice visit and we enjoyed the company.

And class? It's going well... still having lots of fun playing in photoshop. Here are reduced versions of today's work in class. For each, we were given photos and had to arrange them. 2 of the examples were constrained in the sense that there were backgrounds supplied and we had to crop, resize, transform, and whatever else we felt like to a group of pictures to add them. The 3rd, which was a bit of a rush job that I had a bit of fun with, was just that. Something fun to work on. Remember my first post back from my first class? Well here are some more retarded pics for the fridge :) Enjoy! I gotta run.... Heroes was on while I had class and I wanna watch it off the PVR! G'nite!

----- 01.22.2007 --------
Wow, Time flies! I can't believe it's already been a week since my last post! Well, similar to my last post, I have a new before & after pic from tonight's class. Tonight was a little different though. We worked less time on more photos. As a result, most of the work I did tonight wasn't all that impressive in any given photo. This one I probably worked the longest on... my guess is 15 - 25 minutes. It's really hard to say... I start class, start to play, hear about a break, and the next thing I know, 3+ hours are gone! It's great :) Tonight's main focus was on light & colour correction. We were also introduced to a few effects. This picture specifically was done with the colour replace tool, as well as the colour replace brush. It's more a proof-of-concept then a work of art, but hopefully it will stand as a reminder of a technique down the road, if I've forgotten these techniques and happen to be flipping through my archive.



What else is new since my last post? I've been true to my New Years' resolutions so far and officially started a diet. It's "The Abs Diet", brought to you from the friendly folks of Men's health magazine. I've been on it 1 week, but have been reading it just over 2. What's the difference? It took me quite a while to get into the book and read about the science behind it before actually getting me started. The only reason I mentioned this is because I was changing my eating habits for about a week before I technically started the diet, but was not following as close as I could. Now I am following it as close as I can. Why does that matter? Because I want to know how well I can do in 6 weeks. So... that first one didn't really count. Or did it? Anyway, I was 211 lbs 2 weeks ago, but 208 at the "start" of the diet (1 week ago). My scale was telling me I was a disgusting 24% body fat. And for those of you who don't know me in person, I'm 6'1" and 29 years old. This matters because I'm hoping to lose 20 lbs of fat in the first 6 weeks (5 to go). I've started regular exercise since I rang in the new year, and have also stayed smoke-free for a whopping 3 weeks now (almost). I'm down to 204 lbs and feeling great! Having never had a 6 pack before, that is the goal.

Besides the normal "getting healthy" bit, I've also been having some fun. Last Friday night was poker at my buddy Mike's place. Although I walked out without the $20 I walked in with, I had a few good hands and had a fun night. Saturday morning came too early and Jen & got in the car and headed to Windsor. On the way, we stopped in London and I helped my Dad with my sister's basement. We got the plumbing done for the shower, and I got the floor (linoleum) cut to size. After that (which was too brief a visit to get too much done, we continued on the Windsor. The main purpose of the trip was to pick up "Sally", a stray beagle from the humane society in Windsor. Jen, who many of you know, is part of Tiny Paws Dog Rescue. We picked up Sally and let me just say one thing about her: What a sweetheart! A real lovable dog who's background is unknown. She came to the pound as a stray and is now in need of a "forever home". Below is a pic of her. Well folks, that's about it. It's late and I better get to bed. Hope you're all doing as well as I am :)

For Adoption: Sally the Beagle

----- 01.15.2007 --------
Well, I had class tonight... week 2 of "Introduction to Digital Imaging". It's a stepping stone on my way to achieving a certificate in Digital Photography. Since the classes are fun and I don't want to simply have my work deleted after class, I figure I'll start posting it here. Not to show off the pictures. It's more like those retarded ones you drew as a kid that your mom put on the fridge to humour you. (Thanks Mom!). Well, this is my fridge. And these are my retarded pieces. Class is 3 hours and there's a 15 minute break in the middle. We sit at Macs (yes... I still feel like I'm sinning, and quite frankly, the experience is doing NOTHING to improve my view of macs) all class and play around. It's great! There's a bit of instruction in there, but it's more hands-on then not. So, tonight I came out with 2 pictures. The other reason I want to post them is so that I can go back in my archives and recognize them as the retarded drawings on the fridge. But if you can think WAY back to when you did that drawing, it was a masterpiece! Well, I guess that's a perfect analogy.

In the one sample, we started playing with colour. In the other, we were manipulating the image. I decided to use the old man's head on all of them, but it was up to us which we used. I couldn't refuse his glasses! Please note that these images have been reduced in size and compressed a little to make them a little web-friendlier. Enjoy, and tune in next week for more :) Here are the before and afters... It's pretty obvious which is which!

----- 01.08.2007 --------
For those of you who read my last post, I made a couple resolutions: Get in shape and quit smoking. Although not far into 2007 and I have a long way to go, I have atleast started on the right foot. I've been back to the gym a few times AND quit smoking. Not the typical "quit on the first" gig, but it was a quit on the 3rd :) Closest enough! Too soon to celebrate? Probably, but I am almost at my first smoke week. Yes, I have a little help... the same parachute that helped me 3 years ago. The patch. It's a great aid! And working out....? Feels GREAT to be back at the gym. Not-so-great after the gym... but that's the sign of a good workout. Within a week or two, I'll miss that pain when my body has become used to it.

Also new this year: I had my first class tonight! For those of you that didn't see my post back when I enrolled, I am attending George Brown for a digital photography certificate. It's 8 courses and I hope to gain some better skills with my camera, as well as photoshop and other digital masteries. Tonight, being the first class, was a lot better then expected! We went straight to work on the computers and dove into photoshop. It was good having some experience with it and I can't believe how much easier CS2 is then the version I was using!!! (ver 7). And even better... I get student pricing on it! A HUGE savings on software costs!!! I liked the pace of the first class and our first assignment looks like fun. We need to retouch an old photo to seemless take the scratches and water stains out of it. I'm looking forward to it! :)

Now for the bad news.... The Weather. I know what you're thinking... how can I possibly complain about the weather? It's been beautiful out! Heck, it even hit 14C last week! How can you complain about weather this nice in January? That's the problem... we're not supposed to have weather like this in January. It's supposed to be cold and snowy! Now anyone who's had more then 20 minutes or so with me lately has heard me ramble on about Global Warming. I know... it's on the tips of everyones tongues. But after seeing "An Inconvenient Truth", I came to realize just how inconvenient this is. And even worse, up here in Canada we have been by far the worst offenders... but we can certainly clean up!!! And other countries that don't clean up? Well, let's just say that wars have been waged for less!!!! After all, this is the entire planet we're talking about!!!! And the irony of all of it is the wars that have been waged over oil, one of the main drivers behind the destruction of the environment as we've grown to loveit. Well, I won't go on and on about this... atleast not in this post. Your assignment? Go see "An Inconvenient Trusth" (available on DVD) and I want you to remember the example with the frog. We here are, gently being warmed in this nice bubble bath.... think again! I'm sure I'll have much more on this topic in the posts to come this year! Keep one thing in mind about the movie... the data only goes up to 2005. By 2006, everything had been shot and was being worked on to getting it released. Now if you are shocked by what you see... just remember that 2006 was a hell of a lot warmer then 2005..... and 2007 is off to a VERY warm start! And Vancouver with all their snow? I think it's safe to say our Ocean's "conveyor belt" is screwed! And those HUGE ice.......... OK, I wasn't getting into it. Yet.

Take care folks. And if this weather bums you out? Don't let it. Enjoy it.... suck up every ray of sun you can and enjoy it while you can. Life is precious and it shouldn't take a scare for us to come to these realizations. But if it takes one for you to enjoy life? Then great... it's about time! Whatever the catalyst... love life! And try to allow another generation or two to do the same, will ya? Thanks for listening.


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