Sunday, May 22, 2005

Blog Master 5000

See other Apartment Improvements

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Work or Ultimate?

Well, the summer semester has begun, and it's pretty much into full swing already. I thought it was hard to concentrate on doing work last semester, but it's has got to be 10 times harder when the weather outside is perfect for playing ultimate. My friends and I came up with care vs. time plot some time ago describing how a person's care level decreases slowly diminishes over their 4 or 5 years of speed school. I don't think we took into account summer semesters because these data points would definitely be extreme outliers.

I guess it's a good thing I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It would make sense that I can dedicate three days a week to doing work and then have 4 days off for myself. But it hasn't been working out that way so far. Whenever I have a free moment, I want to be outside enjoying the weather. I don't know what I'm going to do when the pool opens. Actually, yea I do. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Graduation Day

Today we CCM seniors started off the day with a senior mass. The mass went very smoothly, however for me, getting there before 8am didn't go so smoothly. I set my alarm for 6:30, giving me plenty of time to get ready and eat some breakfast and warm up my voice before I left. I always have to eat my breakfast as soon as I get up because I'm starving within 5 minutes. This morning I did not wake up at 6:30 though. I think I know what happened. Someone called me at 5 in the morning. I woke up thinking it was my alarm, and turned it off. I then realized it wasn't my alarm so I went to see who was calling. I did not recognize the number so I went back to sleep and did not turn my alarm back on. I woke up at 7:36am and in a frantic, threw on some clothes and ran out the door. To warm up my voice, I sang to O.A.R. fairly loudly on the way. Not surprisingly, I made it to the Interfaith Center before Matt Parris did :).

Before Mass we were invited to sign a cloth, and write any "inspiring words" on it. I chose to write a prayer version of this passage:
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.

~Jeremiah 29:11 (NAB)

We used the Mass of Light today...and the entire thing was sung by
Fr. Lou and us. It is very beautiful when it is sung. Mary and Matt gave us some reflections after Communion describing how far the Catholic Campus Ministry has grown over the past 4 years. It really has. I remember freshman year when there was maybe a total of 10 people that would come to Mass. Now, we can hardly fit everyone in the room. It has been a real joy seeing this community grow over the past 4 years. And it looks like I have another year to see it grow even more.

I leave you now with some pictures of the Newman Interfaith Center because I think that most of you have not seen the inside. I promise it's not as bad as it looks on the outside.

This is the room where Mass is held.

Holy Water - You can't touch if you're not Catholic :) (Joke b/w Adam and I)



Friday, May 13, 2005

Fun With Photoshop

Andy requested that I explain what I did in Adobe Photoshop® CS to make the images for this blog. Here goes...I will try to explain it the best I can without actually showing you...

First off, I took the pictures displayed at the top as a header. Two pictures were actually taken: one being of the "globe" up close and another being farther away. Using the picture of the globe up close I used what is called the "magic wand tool" in Photoshop to cut this image out as it appears on the right-hand side of the header. The way this tool works it that after you select a part of the image you want to cut out, it automatically selects surrounding areas of similar color, thus making your job a little easier. However, it doesn't just take one click of the mouse to highlight the entire globe and only the globe. This is because the globe is not one uniform color, and the background (tree) colors were similar to that of the globe. Once I had the entire globe selected I used the "eraser" tool to delete the background areas that had been selected. Finally I ended up with what you see pictured at the top.

Using the picture of the globe at a distance I cropped it to the size shown above and including the necessary parts (ie: the globe). I then flipped the image horizontally so that the globe would be on the left-hand side of the image rather than the right-hand side. To obtain the swirl effect, I used the "radial blur" filter. I adjusted the "center of radial blurryness" to be concentric with the globe. I did this because I wanted to extend the circular effect of the globe, and I also thought this fit in well with the idea of solar system rotation. I then overlayed a transparent to white radial gradient over the image, again centering it at the globe. The reason I did this is because I didn't want there to be a lot of activity on the right side of the image and interrupt to larger right hand globe.

I didn't do anything fancy for my name. I just added some text in a font I liked and used the "eraser" tool to erase parts of the text to make it appear like it is passing through the globe.

The way Photoshop works is that it deals with separate layers of the image you are making instead of the image as a whole. That means you can move individual parts of the image separately from the whole, and apply different properties to them. This helped in all of the images, but it is most noticeable at the top of the sidebar. The top layer is a green object, and under it is the bottom of the globe. I set the transparency of the top layer to 38%, thus achieving the effect shown. Also, a simple dark green to light green color gradient was used at the top.

Well that about does it I think. Go enjoy Adobe Photoshop my Padawan. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Another Look?...Sure Why Not?

This new template is, again, not complete, but it will be soon. It features some sort of "arrow globe" that my mother displays in one of her many gardens back home. I really like it because I've always been interested in astronomy and it reminds me of the Sphere de Copernic, kinda...

Sphere de Copernic

Here are some other things mom has on display...

Wind Chimes

A spirally wind spinny thing

And Flowers

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Flying Pig Marathon

Saturday, volunteers including Dave, Steve, Michael, Smess, Carrie, Kristy, Ryan, and myself served a carbo loading dinner to runners at the old Applebees down on the levee. It was fun meeting runners from all over the US. I met another relay group from Wisconsin. I talked to them for a while and ended up seeing them the next day.

Drake's Runnin' Pigs ran the marathon relay again this year. Only this year, we kicked more butt than last year. The team consisted of Kris, Anson, myself, and Vail (Anson's brother), who filled in for Lisa because of her injury. Going into the race I was a little worried we weren't going to do as well as we did last year. Kris' shin were bothering him, Vail was recovering from knee surgery and hadn't run since August, and the training that I began the first half of the semester didn't carry over into the second half due to the extreme class load. Jokingly, I told Anson that she was going to have to pull us through this race. We ended up doing much better than I had expected; coming in 5th place out of 236 teams in our class(open coed) and 22nd place out of 453 teams overall. We all did very well and ended up cutting ten minutes off our total time, finishing in 3:18:26.

This year we were joined by a new team, also running to raise money for the Drake Center (rehabilitation center), called Drake's Little Piggies. CJ Fryer, Anne Rutterer, Scot Rawe, and Michael Fay ran for this team, and also did very well; finishing 28th in our class and 67th overall.

If you would like to donate to the Drake Center, or start other running teams, please visit our website for more information.