Monday, July 11, 2005
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on.

-- Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3

But let's not tar all the apples in the barrel with the same can of worms.

-- Dave Barry

nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly

my Uncle Sol's farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who'd given my Uncle Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scrumptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and

i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol's coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle

and started a worm farm)

-- e.e. cummings

Friday, July 01, 2005
Mildly recommended

If anyone wants to watch some training video movies of Windows and Macintosh applications, I would recommend looking at www.vtc.com and www.lynda.com

For a monthly subscription of about $25 or $30, you can watch an unlimited number of tutorial videos on Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Outlook 2003 (nice for those moving up from Outlook Express), Mac OS X Tiger, Garageband (surprisingly interesting to those of us who play guitar or have a MIDI keyboard), and dozens more topics. Always make sure you're watching the videos for the latest version or the version you own -- they sometimes only have training for the previous version of an application rather than the current version.

Both sites have free demos you can watch. The VTC site offers the first three chapters of any series without subscribing. Lynda.com also has free demo movies of each series.

Of course, many series are designed for absolute beginners, so don't expect to find deep content on the .NET or C# movies.

If you ever wanted to master Photoshop and like me you brute-forced your way when editing images, you can watch an instructor with design skills walk though any of the features. You can also learn Photoshop with the DVD-based training from TotalTraining by Deke McClelland. I went through all the DVDs and just by watching can now use Photoshop as a mechanic, though not as an artisan.

So if you enjoy watching demonstrations by enthusiasts of some application you'd like to learn, you might want to browse the table of contents for these sites. You can sign up for a month if you have some free time or want to immerse yourself in learning a new skill over a weekend.

And you can watch any of the demo movies to get just the info that interests you (you don't have to go thru a series sequentially). I enjoyed watching the 3-D drawing features in Illustrator CS2 at Lynda.com, for instance, and for a marvelous demonstration of artistry, check out any of the Bert Monroy Photorealism Part 1 and Part 2 movies.
Words about people and things and ideas that you might find useful, interesting and enjoyable.

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