Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas


Cross of Stone, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I hope everybody is having a great holiday and looking forward to the new year. I've been quite busy and haven't had much time to post, but I wanted to wish everybody a great holiday season.

Peace.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

End of Journal


Solo Red Leaf, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The Red Leaf Diaries have officially come to a close for the winter. Yes, it's true. I've found myself suffering from a newfound fascination with Christmas (and holiday) lights. The temperatures have dropped enough that I no longer want to spend any quality time outside, under the trees, and the wind has blown what was left of our "fall color" off into the sunset. Time to close the chapter on another season. Time to dust off winter, pull her up, and take her out for a spin. The east coast, it would appear, is already out in front, what with a foot and a half of the white stuff falling, with more to come. We're catching up, not with snow, mind you, but it has been a bit nippy around these parts. Time to bundle and drink a lot of warm tea, I guess.

I'm not completely immune to winter this year, however. I have important news on that front. I have just recently started the application process to attend a workshop with Joyce Tenneson in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Come March, I hope to be in the thick of it (well, whatever "thick of it' happens in Santa Fe in March.) Come March, I hope I can catch a flight out of Austin Bergstrom and head off into the wild blue yonder. Come March, well, all I can say is that I hope we do not have an ice storm that will leave me grounded. Fingers crossed, mountains await, and I'm shaking in my boots knowing that one of the world's greatest photographers is going to take some time to look at my work.

In less "horrifically frightening" news, the floor dudes are to show up this week (Thursday) to drop off the lumber and construction begins on December 26th which should give me just about enough time to clear out all of the rooms. Since I have to "get cracking" as it were, and it is the holiday season, expect a few less blog postings in the coming days.

Finally, in more "verbiage-oriented" news, the publication for which I used to write regularly (NetPerformance.com in case you weren't paying attention) has changed hands. The "new owners" (as it were) have seen fit to pull me over to the dark side. Expect the software performance-related journal to rise from the ashes and make an appearance sometime in the new year. I don't know when it's going to happen and I don't have a URL for you just yet but my popular "Developer's Corner" column will come back in a new format. I'm more than "slightly excited" about it too, since now it's out from under the guise of my employer and will become a truly independent publiction. Less politics and more concentration on subject always make for better reading, don't they?

So there you have it. The red leaf marks the end of one diary and the start of another. Life is but a series of interconnected journeys. Oh wait, maybe that was the internet itself. Well, either way, if the intertube fits and all....

Until next time...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Body

This one selected for SpunWithTears photo challenge: body.

It's as close as I can get to a body without going totally figurative on you. And, um, it's a body of water too.

Mom's floor was complete today. She had a hard time getting the men to show up and, once they did, I managed to convince her it would be best for all involved if she came over and watched Top Gear. She now thinks the three British dudes are "cute as a button" and wants to "put that cute one [Hampster] under my arm and take him home." Ah, dearest Mother. It would work for a while but then he'd try to fix the car and, well, we'd all be stuck walking. But, yeah, I get it. He is kinda cute (in an "I don't want to walk but he's still kinda cute anyway" sort of a way.)

In other news, I'm officially going to offer up a free print as part of a contest. To celebrate my completion of NaBloPoMo, look for a more formal announcement soon.

Until next time...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mundane Things


OrangeLeafClusterNo2, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Some mundane things to keep you busy this Friday.

For starters, the floor dudes are going to my mother's house tomorrow. She'll be the first to have the new floor laid and we're looking forward to it-well, all except for her. She's all stressed out about it and worried about the dogs, and the noise, and the whatever else. I'm trying to convince her to come over and watch British television (I get BBC America and she doesn't) instead of sitting there with the jackhammers. We'll see how that goes. Of course, I'm not sure those Top Gear dudes would be much more relaxing, but, damn, are they funny. (I finally saw the episode where they build amphibious vehicles. ToyBota, anyone?)

Kathy has written me that she's arrived in Florida and she's going to stay there for a few days (weeks, maybe months...who knows?) Glad to hear she's near the ocean again.

Flickr has released statistics. All I can say is, Wow! Holy number crunching, Batman! I never knew so many people liked guitars or used Yahoo! search anymore these days. It's like a whole 'nother world in there. I'm lost. Somebody save me before I start using API's to make pie charts.

The Christmas party was a blast. It was a film noir night, complete with fog and mist, but still a lot of fun. The food was great and I, somehow, magically scored numbers 1, 2, and 5 in the lottery so I got to go home with some fabulous prints for my bad self. My prints weren't too unpopular either, so I'm happy about that.

Next up, I'm about to setup for some grand camera swapping. Long story but the prices on the old digital rebels have dropped because a new digital rebel is coming out end of January (Feb or maybe even early March are the rumors actually.) So, thanks to this, I might be getting a newer Rebel XT on the cheap. Except to hear more about this and my newer projects in the coming weeks (months, years, you get the idea.)

Finally, we're nearing the end of the year and so, as a tribute to all things lensbaby, I thought I might showoff some of what the "bad boy" plastic fantastic lens can do. Culminating with my selection for "Carol's Shot of the Year" I'm going to start posting next a "Great Gallery of Blur" brought to you by the little bellow that could. Expect the shots to start as soon as the red leaf diaries are over which should be sometime soon.

All that and I hope you are having a great holiday season.

Until next time...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Primitive


TikiManNo12, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

There's something primitive about Tiki Gods. They were born of primitive people who believed that primitive carvings, made out of primitive wood, could protect them from primitive predators.

If you look especially closely, you can actually see the chisel marks in this Tiki God. You can actually see how some man, long ago, in a place far away, took the time to hammer and chisel out an icon he thought would protect him. Protect him from the ravishes of the sea, protect him from the Heavens, protect him from the Earth, or maybe just protect him from his primitive imagination-we'll never know. All we know is that his protection came in the primitive form of a small wooden icon, erected outside his hut, thought to protect him, thought to be an image of the first man himself.

There's something elegant too in primitive culture. There's an elegant sophistication somewhere buried deep in the notion that a hand-carved wooden icon can take all of your troubles away.

Don't you wish your troubles could go the way of the Tiki Gods? I know, I do.

Until next time...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Bandido sans Lobster


BlowingYellowNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The Christmas Tree Bandit is back! The Christmas Tree Bandit is back!

For those who don't know who the Christmas Tree Bandit is, allow me to explain (because, afterall, this is an, ahem, "educational website" right? I mean, where else can you learn how to boil an egg? Nevermind, don't answer that.) Every year in Austin, some "mystery" person goes out and decorates the trees along Highway 360 (the road to work!) as Christmas trees. Garland is strung, tinsel is placed, Christmas balls are hung, the works! On probably more than 100 trees, Christmas decor is adorned.

The people of Austin don't seem to mind the Christmas trees. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, we actually LIKE the Christmas trees. And, do notice I said "Christmas trees" not "holiday" trees or "winter" trees or (oh the horror!) "seasonal" trees (the Christmas Tree Bandit is, it would appear, very politically incorrect when it comes to yuletime.)

So, where does the "bandit" part come in? That's a good question.

You see, the City of Austin has, in it's infinite "wisdom" (do notice it's pronounced with the word "dumb" right in the middle of it) have decided they want to "crack down" on the Christmas tree decorator. So, they organized a task force (did nothing) and eventually called for the police to step in to catch this wild free-roaming outlaw (do note that the purpertrators of the yogurt shop murders are still out there, mind you.) So, rather than catch actual murderers, rapists, or even holiday muggers, the Austin Police now have to try to catch this Christmas Tree decorator, or the person I like to call the "Christmas Tree Bandit."

So, how do they set out to catch the bandit, hot in his tracks? Easy enough, they start stopping people and asking (ok, maybe actually "demanding" would be a better word seeing as they have this penchant for using tasers and large caliber sidearms as they wish) for a description.

So now we have the APD, stopping random holiday shoppers, demanding to see a driver's license (or some form of ID) and demanding to know (least ye be tased, oh merry shopper thee!) "Have you seen the person defacing these trees?"

As you can imagine, the descriptions of the Christmas Tree Bandit aren't very accurate. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they are complete hogwash, but, well, you probably could have guessed that already.

To give you an idea of how outlandish they are, here are a few, ahem, "choice" ones:

He was tall with red hair and a yellow beard
He was a short, fat black man
He was wearing a ski mask (given on an 80 degree day)
He was hispanic and had light hair-bleached yellow
He wore a goatee and had a club foot
He had a tattoo covering most of his face
He looked like a woman to me
He was dressed up like Santa Claus

Now, for those of you, ahem, astute readers out there (all 3 of you, waves!) you might remember that, one time last year, completely unexpectedly, I did see the Christmas Tree Bandit. Of course, I didn't know he was a bandit at the time (if I had known, I would have done my part to help him, mind you.) I mistakenly thought he was employed by the City and was supposed to be putting up the Christmas tree decorations. (Silly me! I thought Austin would like all that extra sales tax revenue this normally slow time of year.)

And, I'm here to tell you now that, while I couldn't get a good look at him because I wasn't really paying that close attention to him, he was wearing glasses.

Go, Bandit, go!

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

End of Year Madness


RedOnPinkBlowing-1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

It's shaping up to be a crazy end of the year. I know it's supposed to be Christmas, and I'm supposed to be all happy and cheery but, this year anway, I feel a bit stressed out.

Got word that the floor people will be dropping off the lumber for the remodel on the 20th and then coming to install on the 26th. There's a photo workshop I want to try out for coming up in March but I need a portfolio to get in (and a real one, not one of these like "little" ones that I typically do) so I'm stressing over that, and then there are the usual print exchanges that happen this time of year, and, well, I'm really stressed out about those.

I never like print exchanges. I do such bizarre work to begin with, so I naturally assume that nobody will like it. I always feel like I show up to these things and I'm the one with the prints nobody wants to get "stuck" with. If I try to bring something popular, it ends up looking "snapshotty" and some people ask me where my "good" work is. If I try to bring something I think is "good" it ends up going to somebody who doesn't want it and doesn't appreciate it (and, well, I guess, doesn't think it's "good.") Oh the humanity!

I thought about doing these red leaves because they are kind of pretty (they look better "in real life" too, trust me on this one-they really have more of a pretty pinkish backdrop to them) but most folks think these too abstract. I could try to do one of my hula at sunset photos from Hawaii but some folks might not like that at all. Ah, I'm confused.

Maybe I'll just go sit on a copy machine and try to pass that off as "high art." Think that'd work? (Nevermind, don't answer that.)

Until next time...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Red Leaf Diaries


RedOnPinkAbstraction, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The red leaf chronicles took a turn for the strange this weekend, as I happened up a tree that had turned completely....yellow. You read it right, yellow.

Now, I'm not really fond of yellow leaves. Not nearly as much as I am of red leaves but this tree was entirely yellow. It was a big gigantic yellow ball of, well, "tree," I guess. I mean, it wasn't just like "a little" yellow, or maybe "yellowish" if you squint at it. No, it was freaking YELLOW HELLO, I'M YELLOOOOOWWWW. Wow. What can I say? It made other yellow trees green.

In my search for the red, I've hit an entirely different color of the spectrum. All that and, I have to mention, it was just pretty. It's good to have autumn, isn't it?

In other more "tree trunk-erly" type of news, the floor people are coming soon. Hopefully, sometime this week, the floor people will be coming to drop off the cartons of lumber, boxes of trim, and buckets of adhesive needed to install my new floors. I'm so looking forward to getting my house back together again but I so don't want to finish taking it apart. I have to go move stuff, but I don't really want to. I'm tired and I want to go to bed.

But, you know, autumn and lumber from Home Depot waits for no man so off to moving I go. (Wish me luck!)

Until next tree time...