Dilemna (I mean DILEMMA!)

We have ivy all over the front of the house, and lots of little birds live in it. They also crap all over our front entranceway. Eli and Nancy like to watch them out the window in my closet; it’s almost totally covered in ivy and you get an up-close view of the birds.

So we are having the house resided, partly because all the ivy has worked its way inside the siding, but it’s also pretty dingy and old. The siding will all be ripped out, including the ivy. The kids are crying and upset about the birds, but I don’t know what we can do about it. They are cute, and make pretty bird noises and flutter/fight around, but there are also bees and wasps living in there too (it’s a jungle). Sometimes the birds fight with the bees! I bet there are fairies living in there who will make all sorts of bad things happen to us.

Anyways, I wonder if there’s anyway to save the birds; E and N were crying so hard Jeanne told them the birds would move to the tree, but that ain’t happening. Oh well.

Comparing the anti-aliasing properties of Illustrator and Photoshop (cs4)

I’ve read (can’t think of where at the moment: UPDATE: Jonathan Hicks pimps fireworks here:http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/branding-firefox ) articles applauding the pixel preview functionality of AI, especially when it comes to designing low resolution icons. I investigated this a bit and here’s what I found:

ai_closup
16x16 circle in Illustrator, snapped to 1x1 pixel grid
ps_closeup
16x16 circle in Photoshop, made with a shape, snapped to grid

Compare the above. Both are 16×16 pixel circles, but the Photoshop one is superior. Note how Illustrator adds grey pixels to the left and top of the icon. I’m not sure why it does this, maybe someone can explain, but for now I’m sticking with Photoshop for my icon design. Here they are at actual size:

illustratorphotoshop

Can you guess which one is which (hover over each for the answer). IMHO, the one on the right is better.

1-13-08

Worked on some c4d stuff today. I think it will be a major part of what I do for the project. Sketches first, then move into c4d, then photoshop.

I also have to keep this blog updated.

Dreams

3 Dreams last night:

1. I was at a church, saying something about having to keep church stuff in mind at your home. I was like preaching this, even though I wasn’t the priest. Everyone was like “yeah”. The we drove up Brookside Ave (back in LI) to a baseball diamond. There was one of Grif’s friends dads up in a tree there, in a white bear costume. But then I saw a real white bear on another tree branch. IT wasn’t a polar bear, it was smaller–weird. So it started creeping toward the dad. I yelled, he dropped out of the tree, and the real bear ddid too, and started chasing him. Then it was chasing me, into the baseball diamond (). It turned out it was another guy in a suit, but he was old and had been living in the woods around the baseball diamond. He was trying to bite me/eat me because he was some kind of rabid zombie. I think he got a bite in on my foot before I woke up.

2. I was in the backyard, and it was swampy. But under the water were like smooth stones, kind of like in the iphone app Koi Pond. The water was shallow, and I was walking around back there. It was very peaceful-winter, grey, but stragely warm. In parts of the yard, the water got deeper. Soon I was up to my knees. A goldfish swam up to me, and it wasn’t scared. Next thing I know, I’m swimming in it. It’s warm, but I wonder if it’s dirty. I go to get out, but there’s these kelp/weeds in the way of the concrete ledge. I heave myself out though, and I’m standing on the ledge. So I jump back in on the other side, and see a hand floating in the kelp. I go “Wow, a dead person!” and I grab the hand. It’s a little hand, my son Eli’s. I push him up out of the water; I’m in too and it’s hard to hold him up. His eyes are open, but his mouth is closed and I wonder how I can get him on the ledge to give him CPR; I’m panicking and grief-stricken, wake up.

3. I drive up to my house in Snyder. It’s a beautiful day, and the sun is out and warm, even though it’s winter. Maybe it’s spring. My dad comes running up to me. He’s much younger; his hair is dark and he has glasses on like me. I hug him and I’m super happy to see him. He’s come for a trip in his pickup truck. In the truck it’s really messy, with a unch of Bud cans lying around, and a sixpack of unopened bud. He wants to drink some with me and my brother Bri who has just shown up. I look around, and the garbage we put out hasn’t been picked up. Lying on the blue bin is an enormous party pizza that has not been touched. My dad wants to eat it, but my brother goes” it’s nasty, there’s little black bits all over it” and he pretends to take a huge bite by sticking his head right on it. There is scaffolding on the front of the house as the workers are residing. I wake up.

Sabbatical

So, for my sabbatical rundown of things to do:

  1. Design the icons for the project.
  2. Keep learning wordpress.
  3. Organize the attic, especially all the artwork
  4. ??

Wordcast

Last night I was on wordcast, the podcast for wordpress users. David and Kym and I talked about the whole icon project. You can listen to the podcast at http://www.wordcast.com

Logos

I’ve given up asking clients for logos before just checking for them at from brandsoftheworld.com. I can’t fathom why every company’s logo ends up as a jpeg.

Trip to CT

Just got back, it was fun and another landmark in my long string of trips down there. The drive bakc was great. The sunset coming down the 90 was very intense, augmented by a nice Annie Lennox channel on Pandora. I broke down and gave Nancy my pristine new Moleskin which she proceeded to fill half of up with her flowers and letters and clouds. Oh well, it kept her happy. Maybe she’ll be an artist, but lately she’s been saying veterinarian and singer so we’ll see.

Busy day coming tomorrow.

Rethinking web design instruction

I’ve taught Web Design for many years now. I started out teaching students how to use the now defunct Adobe GoLive. I realized quickly that wysiwyg editors such as GoLive and Dreamweaver were effectively bad ways to teach students how to build websites, and moved into html and css.

I”m seeing a new trend in web design that may make me rethink how I teach it. It seems that the big open source CMS packages, drupal and wordpress, are taking over high-end website design. If your site isn’t built on one of these two platforms (OK, maybe there are one or two others), it ain’t cutting edge.

This summer I’m undertaking two major site designs, one in drupal and one in wordpress. The drupal one is finished: http://www.msja.org (assuming they’ve launched it). The wordpress one is under construction.

My hope is to gain a deeper understanding of how to build within these two environments, and begin to shift the focus of my classes from building sites from scratch, to starting with basic CMS templates. This fall, I’m teaching Intro to Web Design again, and my summer projects will definitely bear some weight on the material.