Monday, February 18, 2019

Blue Lou

Today we have a guest star -- Lou the cat, all the way from Australia. (Technically Lou lives in Davis now, but she did make the trip from the southern land last year.) The request from Lou's owner Laura was to make her blue. I think. I didn't write down the color so I may have remembered incorrectly.

In any case, I found that it's a little harder to add color to a cat with dark tortie spots. I tried to lighten her up a bit but wasn't completely successful. Anyhow, I made a couple attempts. I may try again at some point...

I think I probably should have taken the whole picture to B&W instead of just Lou. Next time...

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Gradients and Masks

Playing with gradients on the mask to hide the fact that I'm not very good at selecting objects that aren't straight... It might need more lasers shooting from Guido's eyes.

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Big Dog Watercolor

The GIMP filters really do make things easy. I mean, I'm pretty sure there are Instagram filters that would do this just as easily, but this way I can say that I used sophisticated photo editing software.

(Click to make it bigger -- it looks better that way.)

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Root of Cubism

Today I learned that if you do a slapdash job of selecting part of an image, the cubism filter will hide that fact. I guess that's not all that useful -- the final photo is, you know, sort of cubic.

It does make Ginger look even scruffier than she normally does, but that's not really a drawback.

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Glass Tiles

This one is just a filter, but I thought it was kind of interesting (maybe not for this particular photo, but for a different one in the future).

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Laser Eyes

I found the filter menu and made some waves! Once again I've left subtlety in a whole different building, but this is kind of fun.

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Magic Road

Someday I'll figure out how to do wavy shapes, but the dogs are informing me that we need to go to agility right now so wavy shapes will have to wait for another day.

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Big Foot

Again, I have no taste whatsoever. But I'm having a lot of fun.

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


I was going to add texture to a picture, but the process turned out to be complicated so I did this instead. It's like an Easter egg except with the little dog (which is an improvement).

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Full of Stars

I was just trying to do something fun today...

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Friday, February 8, 2019


I was messing around with a few things that would have required a lot more thought than I was willing to put into this tonight. Then I hit on the warp tool and I thought it made an interesting effect with this photo.


It adds a little motion to a static photo.

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Big Dog Pops Out

Lessons learned today:
  • Somewhere there must exist a mouse that works, but I don't own it. I don't know if it's the mouse (which is not the first with this problem), the cat hair on all surfaces, or the desk (although I've tried using a mouse pad and that worked even less well), but I either get no movement at all or... okay mostly it's just no movement at all and then every once in a while it will move and skip over what I was aiming for. Very irritating.
  • When using GIMP, keep an eye on the active layer. When it just isn't doing anything at all, it's probably either made another layer active or added a whole new layer while you weren't looking.
Anyhow, here we have it -- the big dog popping out of the photograph!

And the layers for anyone playing at home:

 Next time -- something that doesn't require fine control over the mouse...

I'm making one image a day for Thingadailies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Rainbow Ripley

I'm letting Ripley's inner light shine through here. I feel like I've hit peak 70's locally-produced-tv-show with this image.

The original for comparison:

And in case you want to play along at home, here are my GIMP layers:
There's an unnecessary layer at the bottom but when I started messing with the middle layer I wasn't sure if I would need it or not.

I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with creating layer masks from images now. This could be dangerous...

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


I have to walk the dogs to agility in a few minutes, so I just did something quick with the gradient tool. Next time I'll play with using the gradient tool in the layer mask to control how the mask fades in. Maybe.

Bonus fun:

Me (to Noxgear support): I have two Lighthounds that I absolutely love and use every day, but I've lost one charging cable and the other did not survive a run-in with Effing Scooter (the cat).
Can I order another charging cable through you? Or is there somewhere else I can get one?

Noxgear support (in less than 12 hours): (Offer to send me replacement cables for free.)
On a semi-related note, I'm dying to the cat's real name Scooter and Effing Scooter only when you're angry?  Or is he Effing Scooter all the time?
(Thank you for making my morning.)
I sent them back my thanks and a picture of Effing Scooter.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Texture Hodgepodge

It's Monday, otherwise known as the day with no brain power left after 5pm. It's currently 6:15pm.

I took some pictures over the weekend of different textures. Tonight I threw a bunch of them together over a photo of the little dog. It suggests some possibilities for later trials...

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Changing Coats

A few years ago I wanted to color one person green (like the Grinch) in a photo as a joke so I pulled up GIMP and got really frustrated and eventually gave up.

Turns out it can be done by adding a layer of solid color, and masking around the subject.

I added another layer in between to switch the cat's color to black and white first, but I'm not convinced it was really necessary. (Also, Guido is a solid grey cat which brings up the question of why I thought it was a good idea.)

So... I've made him very, very purple. But at least I know how to make someone green the next time I want to.

Saturday, February 2, 2019


It's the second day of Thingadailies, when I'm playing with photo editing software. Today I duplicated the layer, desaturated the image to grey, then added a masking layer and removed the layer over the dogs to allow the original image to show through.

Here's the original:

Here's the modified version:

It looks a bit like the dogs have moved to a place with snow. Also, because of the slapdash manner of the mask editing, it looks a bit like the dogs are levitating or that the original picture didn't have the dogs in it.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Thingadailies #1

February is Thingadailies month. I've decided to spend some time playing with photo editing software. I mess with editing software about once every three years, and usually I make a big mess and get frustrated. My plan this time is to just play around with no goal in mind. It will give me a chance to learn how the tool works with no pressure.

And in the meantime -- horrible images for fun! Here's the first one!
(Pretend it's not a typo and that the cat sleeps in snake sleepwear. I fixed it once and then undid the fix and didn't notice it.)

Maybe I should watch a video or two...

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Pick a Line, Any Line

There's a section on the freeway near work where they are doing... something (and really, at this point I don't even wonder what's going on any more), and apparently they needed more room at a few spots in the median.

So they took something that looked like this (fourth lane not shown):

And then they scraped the pavement to get rid of the paint in the section they wanted to change, which really means they made lane lines that are 1/4" into the asphalt instead of white paint sitting on top.

And then they painted the new lines, so you're driving forward and it looks about like this:

This is all happening at about 70 mph.

Some people notice the painted lines, other people go with the scraped-off asphalt as a guide, and a significant number of people just split the difference. It's a bit like watching bumper cars except I have yet to witness and actual accident here.

These are the days I wish my car was a lot smaller.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Stay Connected

My new laptop showed up this week, so now I'm switching from the so-old-IT-won't-even-support-it HP Windows (ptui!) laptop to a brand new MacBook Pro. Aside from the crapware that the company loaded on the new laptop, it works great.


I work in three locations. With the ancient HP, I had three identical docking stations. In fact, I had three docking stations and a file cabinet full of backups in case one broke because I'm one of the last people who is still using that laptop. I have seven monitors spread out among those three locations, but all I have to do is dock the old laptop and everything magically works.

I have one docking station for the MacBook. So... right there you can see there might be a bit of a problem. Still, I was in the main office on Monday and I had the docking station and I had a drawer full of monitor cables and I thought for sure I'd be able to hook everything together without too much trouble.

Reader, I was naive.

The laptop connections:
  • USB C
  • HDMI
The monitors:
  • VGA
  • DisplayPort
  • DVI
Cables I had:
  • DVI - DVI
  • VGA - VGA
  • DisplayPort - DisplayPort
So then we opened the other big box 'o cables under my boss' desk and dragged out a few more. We eventually found a DisplayPort-HDMI cable that they used back when the Super Bowl was in town. Granted it was twelve feet long and I could have hooked it up to any of six computers in the area, but at that point I didn't really care. I'd at least be able to get one of the monitors connected.

It didn't work. I have since googled and it turns out it is a unidirectional DisplayPort to HDMI adapter which was exactly the opposite direction of what I needed. There's apparently some technical reason that those adapters are unidirectional and can't be made in the other direction and I'd probably understand it if I hadn't slept through my original degree, but I have accepted the bottom line which is that it doesn't work because *reasons*.

And people wonder why I start laughing when movies show hackers breaking into alien computers in fifteen minutes...

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year

Well, 2019 still has that new car smell, and we haven't dented the fenders yet, so I guess this is the time I'm supposed to write resolutions. Except I don't really do resolutions. I occasionally have goals, and even then I tend to go shorter term (ie, the writing goals of the month which I keep on the other blog and we aren't going to mention my failing grade for December because now it's January, yay!).

I guess the closest I'll come is listing habits I'd like to acquire or reinforce. That doesn't seem so scary or a path to failure. Here are all the ones I could think of:
  • Exercise the dogs more. We get at least one walk in every day, and I take the big dog along when I jog, but they would like to get out more and I could certainly use the exercise.
  • Write in this blog more consistently. I used to come up with something twice per week. I think that's possible again.
  • Continue to eat more fresh vegetables.
I mean really, that's about it.  I don't have any non-writing grand goals for the future. Maybe get rid of my car? Win the lottery and quit my job? I can't really control that last one although I'd have to start playing the lottery first.

The timer just went off for my fresh vegetables habit (autumn pot pie) and I even mostly followed the recipe (or at least as much as I ever do).

Happy New Year!