Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Evidence that Cindy is an amazing artist

My wife, Cindy, is an artist. She works in a number of media, though most commonly acrylic paints or colored pencil. She has a distinctive style that she calls "humorous surrealism". In most cases, it is very colorful. Her online portfolio can be found here.

During a break yesterday, I found this:

"She Could Be Anyone of Us" by Cindy Schnackel© Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. Please do not pin this or any of her work to Pinterest.
"She Could Be Anyone of Us" by Cindy Schnackel
 © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. Please do not pin this or any of her work to Pinterest.

The medium is an online drawing tool called "Scribbler Too", that she used for some other things. It was done in response to a Breast Cancer Awareness challenge by a group called Scribblermania on the reprint on demand art site RedBubble.

This is not a typical thought process for her. Reading her description, though, she has captured something totally different. 

"This ... is very outside what I normally do. For the challenge, I imagined how terrifying it’d be to stand in front of a mirror and find a lump, or have that first look after a mastectomy. I purposely left the woman’s face featureless. She could be anyone of us. (Even men get breast cancer.)"

- Cindy Schnackel 

This is another instance where I am blown away.

Simply amazing...

Think different...


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Something I liked, and decided I really should share...

I have a general appreciation for clever. People who know me well would probably say I like clever a little too much.  I saw something not too long ago that I just felt warranted mention. It was clever and made me smile...

T-Mobile had three young people, ladies it appeared (it came and went quickly enough that I can't be absolutely certain), riding bicycles in close formation down the bicycle lane on Centennial Way (yes, West Washington Street) in downtown Phoenix. Each bicycle was towing a small two wheel trailer holding a well secured approximately 6 foot tall and 2 foot wide advertisement for T-Mobile and one of their latest phones.

It was June, this is Phoenix, and it was probably at least 100 degrees.  I will say, though, that it was definitely nowhere near as horrible as that might sound for the people riding the bicycles.

I didn't get a picture.  I wish I would have.  Once I had decided there was a potential post that I should take a picture for, they were far enough away to not be a good picture. Even with the quick picture feature in iOS 5, on my iPhone 3GS, it is quite slow to get the camera ready.  This was a situation where evaluation, appreciation and application occurred slower than the actual event.

Still, this was well designed, well executed, eco-friendly, good exercise, and clever. Clever enough to get me to switch to T-Mobile? Well, no.  I have too much invested in my iStuff, and remain sufficiently satisfied with my current provider not to change.  T-Mobile does deserve credit and mention for thinking differently, though...

Think different.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Wow... I mean... uh... WOW!...

In the interest of getting out of the habit of posting novellas, this one WILL be short...

I don't know how truly legible the pictures on my last post are. To some degree, I intended for it not to be. I wanted to convey that I have a ton of ideas for these blogs, without giving away too many of my secrets. And for the intellectual property curmudgeons out there, I have no intent to plagiarize content, commentary based on my own views and experiences IS my intent.

That disclaimer stated, if you are actually able to read it from my pictures, a large number of my links are annotated "Code Project" followed by a date... That indicates that the article in question was brought to my attention by the Code Project Insider Daily Developer News newsletter. As my profile states, I am a professional software developer, and I work nearly exclusively on Microsoft platforms. For me, the Code Project is my number one tool outside of the explicit Microsoft umbrella for when I am having difficulty. Chris Maunder, David Cunningham, and their team deserve all the commendations I can give them.  It is an excellent resource.

Uh oh! Becoming another novella. Better make my point.

Despite having an outstanding repository of community contributed materials for Microsoft-based development, The Code Project is not strictly Microsoft-based. Far from it. Thus, some days (maybe half the time), the Daily Developer News contains nothing of special interest to me. As a result of today's edition, however, my list grew by five items. This is out of twelve non-sponsored links! None of them are even Microsoft-centric. While probably four out of the five are items that could help me do my job better, could possibly be incorporated into my work and that may or may not end up as something that is explicitly referential here (i.e. a useable general thought process, not code per se), one item has me completely floored, and WILL be a significant (and referenced) part of a future post either here or on my software blog. I certainly could tell you which one, and to some degree why, but that would be premature. Besides, I want you to have another reason to want to come back... :)

Guess I have to give some context since these are early posts, but I have to ask... Better?

In the end, though, just thought I should share...

Think different.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Where does the time go, and what is wrong with these pictures?

Wow. It has been more than six months since that first post. I cannot say that it has been a situation of losing or forgetting my presence here. I have had a few incomplete posts for some time, and this one is a edited combination of two of them. No, there is some component of irritation to this post being only the second post here.

Additionally, a while back, I made an interesting and maybe a little disconcerting discovery. The Blogger for iOS application DOES allow for posts to be drafted while completely disconnected from the Internet.

What does this really mean? Oh, that's easy.  There have been a ton of things that I could have started writing on any of my network of blogs (ok, it is only three.  Four, if you count an available journal feature at RedBubble...) truly at any time without consuming mobile wireless bandwidth on my iPad (or, of course, my iPhone, but that is beside the point...). Of course, also, the best example of "truly at any time" is during my bus commutes!

However, that does bring up a pretty important point... Though I had always suspected that the app would, could and should have that capability, I mean, what good would it be if there was NOT some caching mechanism for those more-than-you-would-expect situations where there either isn't an Internet connection or it would be exceedingly expensive, (well, on the other hand, yes it is a free app on a competitor's mobile platform), something inside of me took a small measure of comfort in the thought that the untested possibility that the Blogger app may just not work disconnected allowed me to NOT write a LARGE number of things that it would probably be beneficial to me to make public.

For people who are extremely critical of themselves as I can be sometimes, there can be an ability afforded to let errors made from mistaken perceptions or inexperience take over, but an important key is to not allow this to happen. We know this now, just move on...

So, then, what is wrong with these pictures?

Just what are these pictures you may ask? It is a snapshot of the list of links, with references to how and when I found them, stored in Microsoft OneNote.  (Yes, I am using Microsoft OneNote 2013 Preview on Windows 8.  I love virtual machines. :) )  Most of these links are there because, on first blush, they were thought provoking enough to have given me ideas for potential posts. Some are not. Some are just links for other purposes, such as a couple links I think may be helpful in various aspects of self-improvement, like a couple of sites that explain how to learn to juggle.  The vast majority, however, are links to articles that provoked enough thought to create ideas worthy of sharing. These are just the ones I have been collecting, obviously, since January 4th.  For the record, this is just two of over five pages.  I, also, have several ideas stored in the reminders application on my iPhone.  So, I think you get the idea.  What is wrong with these pictures is that expression of these ideas does not appear here or on one of my other blogs!  Clearly, I don't lack ideas for source material.

Two issues, that I accept are really excuses, are:
  • A perfectionistic streak - I know that when I make spelling, grammatical or syntax errors, it is easy enough to edit, but this is the internet, post it, and even if you edit your discovered (or pointed out) boo-boos later, it is on your permanent record! That metaphor WILL be covered another time.  There is some element, as my favorite tech blogger, Scott Hanselman, posted a few months ago (OMG, that was almost a year ago!!!), of fearing being or exposing myself as a phony. I, also, don't want to appear in Google as a phony.  I may not have always earned As in English class, but I did receive grades indicating some skill with grammar and spelling, and that is an effort I do put forward.  Closer to true for this discussion, is a fear of being perceived as a phony.   Another topic for another time... :)

  • Integration issues - this fits with what I have already said about Blogger for iOS, but is inclusive of some other things like picture and other multimedia integration, which also harkens back to posting the "perfect" post... That will appear on my permanent record, too.
Ah, another novella... I know it just doesn't have to be this way. This has to stop.

I wonder where the time goes? I hope I get better at this, and may be why I am doing this...