Fun With Paintshop

Sunday, 14 November 2010, 23:06 | Category : Mississippi, Photography
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While I was waiting for a process to finish this afternoon on a test upgrade I was running, I went to a 6th-floor balcony of our office building and took a couple of shots of Mississippi’s Old Capitol dome. Here’s one of the pictures I took:

Old Capitol dome

Then I started playing with Paintshop Pro, and after several other trials, I found this rendition using the colored foil enhancement:

Old Capitol dome

I rather like it, if I say so myself.

Random Reading

Tuesday, 9 November 2010, 21:55 | Category : Books
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Through my years of going to the library, I’ve observed that some days I can’t find anything I want to read. And some days, it seems like the books practically throw themselves off the shelves at me. Those are actually not much more enjoyable than the days when I can’t find anything to read. And reading is a big part of my life. I’ve always read – history, science, politics, philosophy, science fiction, some fantasy, some other fiction – there aren’t many genres that haven’t interested me. I’ve spent many hours seeking my “next book”. I’ve found it in many ways – a new book by a favorite author, a continuation of a series, a new history book. But a few weeks ago, I found my “next book” in a rather extraordinary way. My wife is the librarian at a local high school. Some of the students started a book club earlier this year. After they finished their first book, they were trying to decide on the second. They went through several suggestions, without coming to a decision. Finally one student got up, walked over to the nearest shelf, and simply grabbed a random book. That became their next book, and they loved it. My wife decided to read it, and she loved it. She kept trying to get me to read the book, and finally I picked up a copy at the public library. And discovered that I love the book.

There’s something you need to know about this book. It’s “targeted” at the young adult/teen audience. I found my copy in the juvenile section of the library. But it’s one of those rare books that transcends age brackets. The book is “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. It’s a World War II story about a young girl in Germany, her foster parents, and the people of the small town outside Munich where she lives, narrated by Death. And it’s a fascinating book, one of the best fiction books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.


Thursday, 4 November 2010, 16:57 | Category : Politics
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…in the form of Mitch McConnell. If that man will just keep talking like he is now, the Republicans will be so hated that their gains this time may be completely rolled back next time. Hubris is apparently not a term with which he’s familiar. On the other hand, we know now what it takes to make John Boehner look reasonable.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010, 19:28 | Category : Politics
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Erick Erickson at Red State says our own Roger Wicker should be on the Tea Party’s hit list for 2012. I wasn’t aware anyone outside Mississippi even knew who Wicker was. It’s not like he’s been doing anything.

The Song Remains The Same

Wednesday, 3 November 2010, 16:32 | Category : BlogStuff
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After all the noise and haste of yesterday’s election, despite all the dire predictions and impassioned pleas and anger and foaming at the mouth – after all that, you’ll be relieved to know that the visits to this blog are still as they were. By far, the two big reasons that bring people here are:

  • swamp
  • Pluto

I’m not sure why Pluto is still so popular, it having been deposed as a real, actual planet, but this picture:

has been at the top of my search stats for several years. It has, in the past months, been demoted to second by this picture, dredged up by those using “swamp” as a search term:

Cypress swamp

I don’t really know how to explain this, except possibly as a side effect of the political campaigns we’ve had to suffer. Regardless of why they come here, they don’t stay. I have daily drive-by visitors by the dozens. If nobody actually reads any of this, did I really write any of it?