Sunday, June 26, 2011

Best photo of the week is the Catnip Twins

Instead of writing this summer, I have been spending a lot of time taking photos of jewelry (aka learning to take photos of jewelry) for Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery. But some of the best pictures that I have taken have nothing to do with jewelry, such as this one. The Catnip Twins (Georgie and Balteshazar) is the best picture that I have taken all week. It is the type of picture that I have seen at craft and art events, such as the Cherry Creek Art Walk, printed, framed and selling for big money. I am proud of it. I am also slightly amazed that the Catnip Twins cooperated with me; after all, they are cats who are constantly in motion. (For the curious, the plant you see at the bottom of the photo is a catnip plant.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What would my father think

Occasionally, I wonder what my father would think of my chosen profession. Then I shrug my shoulders and get back to work. Truth be told; it doesn't matter what my father would have thought about my profession.

My father actually learned that I wanted to be a writer before he died. He was one of the few relatives that I admitted the truth to. Even today, I avoid the subject with most of the relatives that I have contact with.

Now, he probably would not approve of how little progress I have made on my business over the years. Of course, he would also probably have a good idea about why I am moving so slowly. After all, he lost a business (it was an unhappy time).

He would also note that while I have been moving forward slowly, at least I have been moving forward. Like today, he would have given me credit for setting up a blog and a Facebook fanpage for my wife's jewelry and pottery business---Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery---before it was needed. He would be able to spot the fact that it was actually a hidden advertisement for my own stuff (it goes on the resume).

But I also know that he would be able to spot the worst part of that statement---that I am more capable and willing to work on (what is ultimately) someone else's business than my own. Of course, he would also remember why that is. And he would tell me that times change, and that I need to get back to work.

*sigh* There are days I miss my dad. And this was one of them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am a bad Twitter follower

One of the things that you are told about Twitter by those "who know how to use it properly for business purposes" is that you are supposed to follow everyone that follows you on Twitter.

I am a bad Twitter user. I follow most, but not all, of my Twitter followers. This may be because I am more prone to looking for story and article ideas, along with a few mintutes of entertainment than trying to run a business from Twitter.

Instead of giving you a list of the type of people I follow, it would be easier to tell you who (what) I won't follow on Twitter---tweets in languages and characters that I do not understand (Chinese and Russian mainly), machine-driven spam tweeters, and people who are going to tell me (loudly) that my religion is wrong.

The one I can look at and see that it is in a language I do not speak or read. I do follow some French and Spanish tweeters (I was surprised to learn that I could read some tweets in Spanish). The other is based on fair guess---if you sending out articles links detailing Christmas gift ideas in July, I am guessing that you are actually a machine. The last is typically loud Christian Republicans who openly state that all Wiccans (Witches) and Democrats should be burnt at the stake---you can hardly miss spotting them as they try to set you on fire.

I will admit that I do have a few people that I follow who fall into these categories. For instance, I do follow a few tweeters who use robots to tweet, but occasionally they (the real human being) comes along and posts something that looks personal. But most robots I ignore. The other categories also have their special cases---entertain me and I will follow, no matter how dubious your personal habits or the related language difficulties are.

Now I will admit that I have some weird tweets coming up---I have an article up on Associated Content about listening to Christmas music in July. But the article is actually meant to be read in July (or December if you are into Christmas music).

Anyways, if you follow me on Twitter and I do not follow you in a 48 hour period---this is probably why---you are a Pagan burning and bashing Christian spamming robot.

As always if you have discovered an useful reason for following everyone, even people you do not understand, please feel free to leave a comment. Remember it may take me up to 48 hours to get back to the computer and approve comments, and that I send spam and flames directly to the round pixel file.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What would my guidance counselor say

 I sometimes wonder what my guidance counselor would say about my career choice today. Back in high school, my goal of becoming a writer was not encouraged. At least, not by anyone in a position of authority.

None of my career choices were thought highly of. I remember one day I told Thomas Wooley, one of my high school teachers, that I joined the army. His comment was at least honest---"Is the army out of targets?"

I am not sure what he would have thought of my goal of becoming a writer. Due to factors beyond my control, I was not a member of the yearbook or school paper groups. Wooley oversaw both of them.

If Wooley would have told me that I was wasting my time trying to be a writer, I might have believed him. But the subject never came up with him.

It did come up with the guidance counselor. They steered me towards the army. That worked out real well. Obviously, they thought that I was always going to be a mere cog in the machine.

(Depending upon the day of the week and the moon, my account of my worth as a potential member of the military varies. We will never know for sure---I left during boot camp when my father died in a truck accident.)

Today, I have two questions for my high school guidance counselor. Is aiming to be a writer such a bad choice in a world where there is three hundred applicants per job opening? And do you still have a job?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let me show you my weiner

No, it is not time to mock Representative Weiner, who is doing a good enourgh job of that on all his own this week. No, it is time once again to mock my spam, those junk emails that make me go Huh?! Today's winner was an email that said that I could see photographic proof that a certain male enhancement treatment actually worked. Ok, I suppose if I was in the market for such things, perhaps that would be something that I would be interested in. But...and it is a big but...I do not want to see the mutant member that was attached to the name of the sender...which just happened to be a woman's name. I am not reprinting the name, just in case it is a real woman, who decided to actually take this medicine and now has photographic proof of the size increase. Nor was I willing to click on the link to see the proof. The very thought of a enhancement treatment that effective scares me. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A lousy boss

I have recently branched out into photography. My wife started making jewelry with handmade ceramic pieces, and started up a little Etsy shop called Celtic Soul Jewelry. As the dutiful husband, I have been taking photos of her work. But there are moments, I want to tell the micro-managing boss to take her own d*** photos. The worst of it was on Wednesday. I had taken a bunch of photos to replace the bad ones that were already up on Etsy (bad lighting and background). I handed her a flash-drive with the shots I had taken that day, and she promptly started to criticize what I had done. The really bad part was that she didn't understand what I had done. Recently I had to switch cameras (the old one died); the new one takes photos at about four times the pixel size of the previous cameras. I no longer take "close-ups"; with this camera, I have to take "reasonable distance" shots and then edit them to get my close-ups. Seriously, I have tried doing it her way, and all I get are blurry, unusable pictures. I had to do an emergency "I am a professional, trust shut up...shut up...let me prove that I know what I am doing...just give me a bloody minute to prove that I know what I am doing!!!!" session. And what did I learn from all this---my wife makes a lousy boss. Good thing I love her because I would so quit this job otherwise.