Wednesday, March 31, 2010

holy software

What do you do when you run across a product, in my current case, software, that does that thing where they stick scriptures and fishes all over their site to tell you that they're Jesus-y? I find it really off-putting. If it were a plumber, I would skip that guy. The best thing he can say about himself in his business ad is that he might go to church? Fail plumber.

But I just ran across some free organizer software that is currently running an Easter sale (complete with scriptures, clouds and dove) it you want to upgrade to the not-free version. I downloaded, but haven't installed yet. But I'm wondering what I'm going to do if I decide I want the upgrade. Do I want to give them money to pass along the godness?

Probably won't be a problem, since I'm big into free software. The only software I can think of where I prefer paid to free is my graphics software. Poser over DAZ|Studio, and Photoshop over anything that is not Photoshop (including Photoshop Elements, which should really be called Fauxtoshop). Granted, those are the software packages I learned on, and I'm most familiar with. I'm not a fan of learning curve. Although I did switch from Bryce to Vue for landscapes, because there's just no comparison. (No offense to DAZ, on the Studio and Bryce fronts. Or on Carrara, which I also do not use/understand.)

Anyway, I wonder if it even occurs to people that sticking their god all over their site comes off as unprofessional and off-putting. What if I were a Wiccan selling totally-unrelated-to-Wicca software? Should I hold a Beltane sale, and decorate the site with pentacles and triple moons?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Return of the Muse

(Note that if any of this doesn't make sense to you, it's in Poser/DAZ-speak. Visit DAZ 3D to see what I do.)

Didn't see this coming. Smith Micro is having an upgrade sale for $30 off Poser 8, so I decided to go over to Content Paradise and get it. Which, well, I haven't been actually doing anything arty lately, so it wasn't exactly a justified purchase. Since the last time I actually released a product, I have also bought Vue 7 Pro Studio (upgrade), Blacksmith 3D Paint, Photoshop CS4 (got it for 2/3 off when I bought a tablet!!), and DAZ Studio 3 Advanced 64-bit. Oh, and Windows 7 for both my and Justin's desktop machines, which I haven't even installed. Oops. There are probably a couple more, too. But I can't stand to think of them just now. Not to mention the bajillion free software packages I've downloaded and not learned yet. (And did I mention that after I bought Poser 8, I bought a bunch of lights for it from RDNA?)

So anyway, I have decided that I need to stop buying or start using. So I hauled out the partial Victoria 4 texture I've been working on, and loaded her and it into Blacksmith (this is a program that lets me paint directly on 3d models). Watched some tutorials on YouTube, and got going. Once I even out the lighting on some of the skin resource photos I'm using, I should be good to go there. And if I'm feeling extra ambitious, I'll do a custom morph for her. But at that point, the Photoshop vampire-energy was still kicking in every time I opened it.

Today, I went over to DAZ, because they are having the end of their March Madness sale, and I hadn't spend my $5 monthly voucher yet. I got a couple of sale items. One was a V4 character texture by my friend Amy, the other was a V4 dress by my other friend Mada. Total cost after $5 voucher: $.70. W00t! I got the dress because I wanted to texture it. I think some nice blood red and black textures would look nice on it. They look nice on everything, really. lol. Then I realized that I lost a ton of fabric resources when I had that hard drive crash. The ones I bought, I can re-download. But the ones I got free when I was a product tester are gone. I tested at 3 different stores over the years, so there were quite a few. Plus a bunch of them that I made myself are also gone. Hard drive disaster + backup CD/DVD fail = loss of graphics.

So I decided to go ahead and make some new fabric textures. And maybe buy some. Except I don't really want to spend any money up front on this. Once I get some more income coming in, then I can think about that. So I start working on some, using some techniques I already know, and going through a few tutorials to learn new stuff. And then I'm thinking I should have some ornaments and/or trims to put on them. Going to need tutorials there. Anyway, I think my long-comatose muse has woken up and taken an interest, because I haven't fallen asleep at the mouse/keyboard/tablet yet.

Anyway, while I've been endeavoring to get my head around what I want to make, I was noticing how there are a ton of crosses in Goth textures. And it kind of annoys me. What is the point of them? It it just because they are on Goth churches? Are people trying to fight vampires with pewter earrings and velvet chokers? Maybe it just looks cool to some people. I don't see it, but I don't get a lot of Abrahamic-religion-related things. And I do think that pagan symbols look cool on clothes and jewelry. Then again, pagans don't generally use torture/execution devices as holy symbols.

Anyway, I need to go get some sleep now, before I decide to start working on one of my projects again. It's kind of nice that I want to work on projects again, though.

edit: I just realized that I read in the Poser 8 product description that it includes Wardrobe Wizard...? That would be handy. I have a ton of clothes for other models that Victoria 4 and Michael 4 would like to have fitted to them. I will have to investigate this further.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Think Progress » Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers.

Think Progress » Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers.

I am running out of ways to ask what the hell is wrong with these people. These Holy Bag People who screamed about how "pro-life" they are, are threatening to kill children? Why, because they've already been born? I've had enough republicrap to last me forever. All the Fox morons need to be put on the plane to Costa Rica with Rush. Sorry, Costa Rica. You can ship them somewhere else, once they get there. Or refuse them at the airport, as long as you don't send them back here. Or maybe shoot down their plane! That's what they would do if the situation were reversed! And their god would tell them it was ok, because he hates the same people they do!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warned About Abuse, Vatican Failed to Defrock Priest -

Warned About Abuse, Vatican Failed to Defrock Priest -

Oh, look. Pope Evil was involved. I'm just not even surprised any more. I couldn't finish the article.

Thanks to Marlee Matlin for the link.

Thanks, Senator Brown

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Scott Brown for giving me the chance so early in his one term to say, "I told you so." So to all those stupid people who said they weren't voting "for" him, but "against" Martha Coakley, all those bozos who insisted that he was some kind of independent thinker, and anybody who was fool enough to think he wasn't Mitt Romney: The Next Generation, I told you so. First chance he gets to show that he's got a brain of his own, and he's right on board with trying to overturn health care reform.

All these potato heads are somehow surprised about this. ZOMG, he's acting like a Republican! Yeah, there was a warning label next to his name on the ballot to let you know he might do that. Looked a lot like (R). But apparently here in Massachusetts we have that saying like they do in Texas and Tennessee, about can't get fooled again. (Yes, that was a Bushism reference.) Because all of a sudden, I'm seeing 50 posts on the Globe site saying "Scott Brown: One and Done." Buh-bye, Brownie. I'm looking forward to 2012.

Severed gas line found at home of Perriello brother | Charlottesville Daily Progress

Severed gas line found at home of Perriello brother | Charlottesville Daily Progress

So there they go with the batshit crazy again. Notice how once again, we're dealing with the RRR (Religious Republican Right)? The rules don't apply to them, because they have a god on their side. Clearly, they need to bash the rest of us into agreeing with them by any means necessary.

Against the Will of the American People?

Ok, so I've been trying to figure out why I get all these sidebar ads on Facebook for conservative/Republican things. My profile identifies me as a godless liberal. I thought maybe that wasn't specific enough. So a couple weeks ago I changed my political views to Democrat. Technically, I'm registered as unenrolled. I was a lot more of an idealist when I originally registered to vote, so I didn't want to join any political party. Fast forward past the Bush wars, the Republican theocracy, the Great Republican Recession, and the Party of No. Well, the odds of me ever voting for a Republican as long as I live, are... small. So even though I'm not actually a registered Democrat, I figured I was close enough for Facebook purposes.

Now, I know at least some of those ads check my profile to see if they are correctly targeted for me. I said I like Star Trek, and I get ads for sci-fi MMORPGs asking "Like Star Trek?" I said I like Stargate-SG1, and I get ads for some Corin Nemec fanclub. These ads prominently mention that he was on there (although they do not specify that he was only there for one season). I said I like Lord of the Rings, and I get a billion different kinds of offers totally unrelated to LotR, that feature pictures of various cast members or mention Tolkien. I said I like Quantum Leap, and I got about 12 million ads for Scott Bakula's new show. Liking Buffy got me ads for Tom Lenk's Broadway show (which I already knew about, since I follow him on Twitter - closing night was tonight, btw). I also get ads that ask me if I'm 40, or if I graduated in 1987.

So for the love of all that is chocolate, could they please stop putting up ads expecting me to support Glenn Beck and Rush Limburger? Just a few minutes ago, I got one about supporting the Republicans' effort to repeal health care reform. Even though I've clicked "like" on every single pro-reform ad that has popped up (I think there were two of those. Maybe three.) Anyway, the one I just got said that Democrats passed HCR "against the will of the American people." Excuse me? The American people who voted for the Democrats who passed it? Or maybe the American people who have been cheering about HCR on Twitter ever since it passed. How about the millions of Americans who are not going to die for lack of health care now? Guess what? You are not the majority, Repuggers. America wants this. And you know what? Next up is single payer universal care. Choke on it. Because like my new buddy Joe Biden said, "it's a big fucking deal!" I <3 him for saying that. He just turned into a guy I want to live next door to. For somebody who looks like a typical Washington White Guy, he's pretty damned normal.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Todays Thoughts


And #2: What Keith Olbermann said.

Keith has hit the nail on the head here. Republicans are so far gone, that they're out of control. This is exactly what I've been thinking lately. Lately, while I've been moving in atheist blog circles, I've been running into the GOP party extremist thing. And suddenly it's a lot more like mainstream than extreme to be a hateful, bigoted, abusive bully.

For example, I've been following Angie the anti-theist on Twitter since she live Tweeted and video blogged while going through the process of an abortion using RU-486. The comments she gets from these right-wing "pro-life" nutjobs are horrifying. I mean, is it "pro-life" to tell her that you hope she has to watch her young son torn limb from limb in front of her? Because someone said that to her.

And this is the problem with today's Republican party. You don't want to die giving birth (Angie's doctor said she most likely would have)? They answer with violence. You have Parkinson's, and want to see health care reform passed so you can pay your medical bills? They answer with insults and mocking, while throwing dollar bills at you. Dare to be a Democratic politician? Hoo boy. Take your pick. You're either a ni**er, or a fa**ot. Maybe they spit on you. Maybe they throw a brick through your office window. Maybe they try scare tactics like wanted fliers placed on your chair. Maybe they shout "baby killer!" and disrupt Congress. Or maybe they just decide that "there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year." (SO glad I voted for President Obama.)

Well guys, it's all backfiring now, isn't it? You suck. Let's do a post-Reagan score check. I'll let Reagan slide. We lived in terror of nuclear war, and in the middle of a raging cold war, but we didn't blow up. I'd call him close enough to even for my current purposes. But let's see. George H. W. Bush. (i.e. Bush 41). Promised us peace and prosperity. Gave us war and recession. Buh-bye. Parting gifts to us: highest national deficit in US history (Reagan's military e$calation did not help here.) Bill Clinton: pays off debt and we are in the black. Does not start any wars. Republicans waste our time yapping about his personal life. Is this the US government or the National Enquirer? Please. George W. Bush (i.e. Bush 43). Hey, we're in the black? Not for long, boy. You have misunderestimated my spending capacity. Not to be outdone by Daddy, he gives us a Bigger War, and a Huge Recession! There, top that, Jeb! During the whole Bush administration, anyone who dared to criticize President Bush ("Our" President, for whom I did not vote) was a communist, a traitor, should be shot, blah, blah, hate.

Now flash forward to 2010. Criticizing President Obama (who *is* my president, and for whom I *did* vote) is suddenly their patriotic duty. If he shows understanding to other countries, he's being soft. If he gets angry at them, he's making too big a deal out of it, and should let it slide." And by the way, they also hate gays, abortions, sex education, atheists, Muslims, poor people, health care, Mexicans, France, Canada, and brown people who don't play major league sports. And some of them, too. The hell? What don't they hate? Other white heterosexual Christians of their same denomination.

Now I'm not saying *everybody* who votes Republican falls under this description. But I am saying that if the party keeps on this same road, everybody who doesn't agree with all that garbage is going to leave the party. My parents left years ago. They were die hard Reaganites back when he was Governor of California. They voted for him every time his name was on anything. My mom quit the party when Bush 41 ran for president, and she never looked back. I hope many Republicans follow her example and just walk away. Sometimes it's best to start over without the baggage. Take your moderately sane contributors and start or join a different party. Because the crazies own the elephant now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

In Which I Re-start the Blog

Yeah, so I've totally blown off writing this blog. Topic blog + ADD = Bored Now. So from now on, I'm just going to have random thoughts from a godless, liberal, nerdtastic, 3d texturing mom. Don't worry. Most people don't know what I mean when I say that last bit. I do 3d texturing and some modeling for Smith Micro's Poser and DAZ3D's DAZ Studio program. DAZ Studio is free, so if you are exceptionally curious about what it does, go download it.

Anyway, about the blog. I may be changing some design/layout elements as I go along. Not sure about the current theme. But I will try to post more often (shouldn't be harder to post more than nothing). The sidebar thing with the recent books I've read is obviously way out of date. Arthur C. was still alive when I was reading those, IIRC. So I'll see if I can get around to updating that, too. Meanwhile, I'll give some thoughts on what I've been reading and watching lately.

Recent Books: I'm re-reading Lord of the Rings. Haven't read it in years, so I figured it was time. Now I remember why I had trouble keeping track of all the characters when I was 12. I'd forgotten how many weren't in the movies. But I still approve of almost all of the changes Jackson made. Faramir, not so much.

Recent Movies: The other day I watched K-Pax. It was pretty amusing. Kevin Spacey as Prot from K-Pax made me laugh. I don't think it was supposed to be a comedy, though. The plotline was odd. I still don't know if he was really from space or not. But anyway, I'd probably give it about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. Tried to watch Population 436. Got halfway through it and decided that it wasn't likely to stop sucking. I'd 1 star, and only because I did get through half of it before shutting it off. I think it was supposed to be an overlong Outer Limits episode or something. It was about a town whose population is always 436. So when somebody is born, somebody else dies. It was a curse or something. Hey guys in 436land? Leave town. The end.

Recent TV: I don't have a TV. Well, I do, but it's the old kind that doesn't get the new signal. And I live too far away from both Boston and Springfield to get any reception without paying for cable. No thank you. But over the last couple of months I've marathoned Lost, Doctor Who (9th & 10th Doctors), Torchwood, and Heroes on Netflix, and I was watching Dollhouse on Hulu. Thumbs up on all of them. Obviously I liked them, or I would have cut short the marathoning. Which I did with Legend of the Seeker. Yawn. There's derivative fantasy, and then there's DERIVATIVE fantasy. This was the second kind. Zero originality. And then I remembered that I tried to read Wizard's First Rule (the Terry Goodkind book on which LotS is based), and that was boring, too. Didn't finish it, either.

Anyway, to sum up the shows that I did like:
Lost: Makes no sense whatsoever, and yet I can't stop watching it. There are so many groups of "others" on that island that they're going to have to build condos to house them all eventually. But I particularly liked the part in one episode where John's father insisted that the island was hell. If I die and wake up in Hawaii, I'll change my mind about there being an afterlife. And I'll send a postcard.

Doctor Who: Liked the 9th Doctor. Loved the 10th Doctor (David Tennant - drool). But I kind of don't want to watch the next guy. Neil Gaiman said that happens with every new Doctor (I read that in one of his tweets). But I don't know. Change and I are not particularly friends. As for the some of the other cast members, Billie what's her face that played Rose is one of the dumbest-looking people I've ever seen. I think Jessica Simpson beats her out, but it's close. It's like you want to knock on her head and ask if anyone is home. But I loved Martha. She was awesome.

Torchwood: Weird, interesting, and entertaining. But they seem to have not really known what to do with it. I hear the guy who made it is a Joss Whedon fan. Which makes sense, given that toward the end of the series... well they did what Joss would do. Rocks fall, everybody dies, the end. We hope you have enjoyed the show. This one could have been so much more than it was. I've heard they're going to make a US version (presumably without the gay characters, so the god-bots don't have to think about gay people existing). I also hear that it will be on Fox. I expect the US version to suck.

Heroes: This thing is all over the place as far as which characters are acting sanely at any given moment. And now I know why, I've been referring to Spock from JJ Abrams' Star Trek reboot thing as "Evil Spock." Because that guy has been playing a psycho killer on here for years. But then he's all of a sudden sticking on a pair of glasses and he's this nice, yet confused guy. Also, he's really hot for a guy who's too young for me. lol. But yeah, pretty good show. Mad about some of the characters that have been killed off, though. There are at least 3 that I want back, damn it.

Dollhouse: OMFG! Why does Fox have a hate-on for Joss? Firefly only got one season, and now Dollhouse only gets two. WTF is that about? This was easily my favorite show. They've basically got Total Recall + Fantasy Island going on there, and yet somehow, Fox couldn't manage to pull in ratings for it. Hint: promotion beyond the first episode would have been nice. But yeah, they have all these hot-looking men and women who get their minds wiped, and then rich customers pay for them to be programmed with their rich-person fantasy. Meanwhile, the mind wipes aren't working right, and the "dolls" are waking up and becoming aware of what's going on. And they canceled this. Un. Real. If someone else had made the same show and put it on a real network, Enver Gjokaj (Victor) would have walked away with an Emmy. Dichen Lachman (Sierra) would probably have gotten one, too. I already bought season 1 on DVD, and now I'm waiting for the season 2 DVD release, so I can watch it again.

So there we go. More ramblings on other things later.