Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Be there or be square

in 6 months from now I will be THE BIG ONE. You know, FOUR-OH. yikes.

2 years ago as I realized that I was fat and tired and unhappy I decided to take control of my life and my eating and my health. I lost 70 pounds, yet I was still 20 away from my goal weight. Things were going great, I was feeling well, I was looking great. I was able to wear clothes I hadnt fit into in years. Life. Was. Good.

Little by little some of that weight I had lost started to creep back in. Little by little my healthy eating habits fell by the wayside as I stopped by McDonalds on my way home from work. Little by little the excuses for not running started creeping into my brain and my thoughts and my words. Little by little did my portions become a little bigger, a little less healthy, the food I had eschewed working its way back onto my plate.
As I stepped onto the scale this morning I realized that the past 9 months I have undone a chunk of all that hard work.

So I decided to get back in gear. No more excuses.
 I have decided that in order to do that I have to do something big.

So in about 6 1/2 months I will be posting my big reveal. No excuses.
I need to do this to keep accountable. I need this challenge in the back of my mind egging me on to do what I need to do.
I dont want to embarrass or humiliate myself, so I think this will help me work harder.

July 20-  Be there or be square.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Greatest American Hero Reboot

Ok, so when I was a kid, one of my FAVORITE Television shows was Greatest American Hero.
I watched it religiously for all 3 seasons. I LOVED it. I loved the theme song. I loved everything about it. I loved the fact that a regular Joe Schmo could become a super hero and not be very good at it, that he just kind of fought crime by accident.

Premise of the show:  A public school teacher named Ralph Hinkley(William Katt) is given a red suit by  Aliens and told to collaborate with FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) to help solve crimes. The Attorney who handled Ralphs divorce, Pam Davidson(Connie Sellecca), sometimes accompanies the boys on their adventures.
 The Red suit gives Ralph super human powers when worn, unfortunately, Ralph hates the suit and loses the instruction manual. He can fly, but has no skill at landing (so every flying episode usually involves him crashing unceremoniously into a heap). The powers tend to kick in randomly often with comedic results.
As the show progressed we find that Hinkley was not the first to be given a red suit (another agent had but used the suit selfishly so he had it taken away), and that the Aliens (whose own home planet had been destroyed)were trying to protect the Earth as it was one of the only remaining Garden States.

This theme song became a HUGE hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Charts and staying on the top 40 for over 18 weeks.

So I heard a  rumor that they were going to remake this classic show, and I don't really know how I feel about it,  It was a GREAT show when I was a kid, can it really translate well into todays mindset?  Here is what I think the biggest hurdles will be with this reboot- (please note I am not saying I have anything against climate change, military personnel, nerds, the gay lifestyle or liberal vs conservative agendas. This is just what I think they will do because to be quite honest most producers have very little original ideas left in their brains and many of todays shows are all the same)

Protect the "Garden State"- Can the producers do it without relentlessly harping on the whole "Climate Change" and "save the Earth" and "Humans are the biggest Threat to our Planet" theme that they throw into EVERY movie now. I, for one, just want to watch a show or movie that doesn't have some sort of underlying political agenda.

Cast of Characters: Can we keep the characters kind of the same without injecting the whole overdone/overused Hollywood equation into it?  Please don't turn Ralph from a Special Education teacher into some sort of Uber- Brainy/awkward  College Professor of Astronomy or something like that.( And they will probably rename him something "nerdy" or "brainy" like Sheldon or Leonard, or Howard or...oh wait, wrong show).  Don't make Bill Maxwell(probably now called Rob or Ryan) some sort of Jack Bauer/Homeland/Counter Terrorist Unit guy with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove after returning home from a useless war over oil in the Middle East. I can see the flashback scenes now...
, Pam Davidson (Attorney at Law) is now  Pete Davidson and he has a secret crush on Ralph.  Peter probably handled Ralph's divorce and has been harboring feelings all the while trying to get Ralph to reciprocate. Oh, and he will also be the sassy friend to help spruce up the Red Suit. ("mmmm red spandex is Soooooo 1980's. It's time for a makeover!!" )
Can we just keep it as close to the original storyline? Is that even possible?. Sadly this country is a different time and Era from 35 years ago so my beloved show will definitely get mutilated and revamped beyond repair to mirror more closely todays sensibilities
(And I swear if you get They Might be Giants or Bare Naked Ladies or someone like that to do the intro theme song-I'm out. )

WHO WOULD I CAST??  If i am trying to keep it as close to the original as possible(based on looks from original Casting, here are my picks.)

Jon Heder as Ralph. (Mostly I thought of his Napoleon Dynamite hair).  But he is a goofy charming sexy in his own weird way.

Timothy Omundson as Bill Maxwell.  He has been Detective Carlton Lassiter on Psych for many seasons now and has the whole "FBI thing" down.

Sarah Lancaster as Pam Davidson. She was Ellie Bartowski in Chuck.

 Who would YOU choose in the new reboot??

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

5 (more) free and creative font pairings

So in response/pins to Sundays post about the creative font pairings I have decided to create and post more of these fun pairings and ideas for photoshop, MS word, or any windows based program that you would use your fonts in. At least once a week I will post some fun fonts and ideas you can do with them. All of these fonts can be found pre-installed on your computer, or found on DAFONT

Downloading and installing fonts on  Windows is super easy.
1. Pick the fonts you want, click "download" on each one that tickles your fancy, and voila.
2. When you have downloaded all fonts you are interested in, go to your downloads folder . Now,  I like to sort my downloads by date modified, so all the newest things are right at the top and I can find them.  They will be in a zip file.
3.Select all the fonts in their zip folders and right click with your mouse. You will "extract files here".  In a minute all those files will be unzipped.
4. (at this point I like to arrange my downloads and do a sort by "type".)  Find your fonts  (the icon will be a sheet of paper with a pi looking symbol on it, or an O on it)  Select all those files and right click again and choose "install". It will automatically add them into your windows font folder and automatically upload to your photoshop etc.

At this point you are ready to go, but  I also like order and neatness. So at this point I move all these fonts to a separate folder , just for organizational purposes. Right there in my downloads I have a folder that says "font downloads" and I just move everything into there. You dont have to do that but I like everything neat and tidy on my desktop.

MAC USERS: (I believe dafont and other font sites has an option on their fonts to download them for MAC. Go into their FAQ and find out the exact instructions. It has something to do with which type of files Mac will recognize and how you unzip/install them)


Again, remember some good rules of thumb for combining fonts:
opposites attract
curvy works well with straight
bold works well with delicate
all caps pair well lowercase

best rule(and my personal favorite) : find fonts you like and PLAY AROUND .Just have fun. Pair what YOU  like.  
This is just an idea of what you can do, and give you an idea of types of fonts that pair well together.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

5 Favorite (and free) creative font pairings

I LOVE fonts. I love Photoshop. I love combing various fonts together for customized and cool looks.
I have used this to create watermarks for my photos, I have used this to make address labels, I have used this to make letters/newsletters and other things "pop". I have used this in all aspects of my creative life.

Unsure about who what when where why or how??  Here are a few basic "rules" for combos:
1. Opposites attract.  If you Have  a thick and heavy font, try pairing it with something light and airy.
2. Girly scripts go really well with basic text fonts
3. All caps go well with lower case
4. Big and bold + small and delicate= amazing

Here are 5 totally adorable font pairings that you can use. All of these fonts are FREE and available on Dafont.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Thrift Shop Find- Joseph Rodgers and Sons Carving Knife set

Found this beautiful gem today at the Thrift shop.  It was sitting on a shelf, all innocuous and innocent.  I had to snatch it up. It is a beautiful reminder of years gone by.  I don't know the exact age on it, but I do know it is at least 60 years old.
(The stamp on it says "cutlers to his majesty", with the initials G R, which to me says one of the King Georges. )

This is a Joseph Rodgers and Sons Stag Horn Handled Carving Knife Set. 3 pieces, includes a carving knife, a sharpening stick and a meat fork(?) with a grasping arm.

These were made in Sheffield England, which is renown for its high quality cutlery and knives.

Joseph Rodgers and Sons, a brief history: (Taken from the Egginton Group Website): " . It is claimed that a cutler called Joseph or John Rodgers operated out of a building in Hawley Croft close to location of Sheffield’s present day cathedral. In 1730 what are claimed to be his two sons Maurice and Joseph took over.
The mark of The Star and Maltese Cross was originally registered in March 1682 by a Benjamin Rich. However, it is with Rodgers that this mark will forever by associated and they registered it in 1764.
With increasing business in what is thought to have been exclusively Pocket Knives, in around 1780, the firm moved to larger premises at No. 6 Norfolk Street. Eventually, as Rodgers expanded, it would acquire surrounding property until the famous Norfolk Street Works occupied the entire plot. (The property was sold in 1929...)
Around 1800, Rodgers’ product range broadened into razors, table cutlery and scissors and in 1821 the firm was appointed cutlers to The Royal Family for the first time...Around this period and inspired this prestigious title, Rodgers opened their first celebrated showroom in which they proudly exhibited their wares...Rodgers focused on producing the finest quality knives and looked for the best in every aspect of knife production from materials to workmanship. Each knife was branded with the Star and Cross as a guarantee of its superb quality. It has been claimed that so great was Rodgers reputation for producing only the finest products that the word “Rujjus”, a variation on “Rodgers” entered into the Sinhalese dialect as a general expression of superlative quality. Joseph Rodgers’ success is evident in the firm’s appointment to five successive sovereigns - George IV, William IV, Queen Victoria, Edward II and George V.
Despite Royal recognition and overseas trade, the company could not escape the decline of Sheffield's cutlery industry. In the late 1900’s the firm endured a tumultuous time. There were a number of changes in ownership, one of which in 1971 even brought it together with its once fierce competitor, George Wostenholm. The Egginton Group bought the rights to the name and trademarks in 1986 which meant that fine Joseph Rodgers knives would continue to be produced in Sheffield, the home of cutlery.


Original wooden box (some sources say walnut wood)

Original lining and velvet .

Close ups of the makers marks:
Star and Maltese Cross. G (crown) R, Cutlers to His Majesty

G R- Obviously King George. (so is it IV or V?)

The Lining on the inside of the box:
according to sources the address used in the stamps indicate this was made before 1930.

You can see how much use the carving knife has had. At one time it filled the entire mold, but had been used and sharpened to much it is a shadow of its former glory:

The handles are stag horn. They have been worn from years of use

If anyone knows anything about this carving set, please comment. I haven't found anything definitive on them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Psycho Killer Clown??

So The other night We had an "incident".

The following story is taken word for word from Hubby's Facebook account. He told it better than I could have. ...(FYI: 1.the oranges are our two orange cats. 2.I am Sarah. 3. A shillelagh is a club of sorts 4. Joseph is seriously about 19 pounds. All muscle no jiggle. No lie. He is like a panther)

So about 9:30 tonight, the oranges were standing with their noses at the screen of the storm door, as they like to when the door is open. Suddenly, I hear some loud growling and hissing (cat fight) and came over to see what was going on. Rusty was walking away in a huff and Skittles was watching him. We've had these cats since they were little kittens and have never heard them fight like that before. I figured one of the neighborhood roamers had come to the door and Skittles growled at it which upset Rusty, who likes to socialize.
Fast forward to about 10. We were in bed when I heard what sounded like a squeak toy from downstairs. I don't believe we have any squeak toys, and I don't know if cats would/could use one as loud as it squeaked. I woke Sarah asking what the noise was (I didn't know she had fallen a sleep) and she made some groggy comments before rousing enough to respond she hadn't heard it. She probably was thinking by this point that I had finally gone over the edge (I did, after all, wake her up right after she had fallen asleep - something no sane person would do to mama bear). Then it squeaked again.
Sarah asked, "are the doors locked?" Great, up to this point I've been thinking the cats have found some old squeak toy I didn't know they could use, or even existed. Now I've got visions of psycho clown standing downstairs squeaking a toy to see who's dumb enough to come investigate the noise. And my shillelagh's two floors down!
So the person who was dumb enough to investigate the noise opened the door and headed down the hall. All silly nervousness was relieved by the sight of Joseph sitting calmly at the foot of the stairs. Joseph is the 17+ pounds of pure muscle with all four sets of claws that runs and hides whenever anyone comes to the door. If he's fine, then psycho clown got tired of waiting and already left the house (or was accepted as a member of the family - either would be plausible).
Downstairs, Rusty was on the table below the bay window actively looking outside. When I was a child I had an irrational fear of looking outside windows at night. I was convinced something would jump out in front of the window and scare me. Remember, Rusty is the social one. Psycho clown must be out on the front walk. Well, I bravely went and (carefully) peeked through the skinny window by the front door and flipped on the porch light. No psycho clown (phew!). No friendly happy clown either (double phew!).
Now with the confidence that the front walk and yard were free of any clowns, I boldly stepped next to Rusty to gaze out the bay window and see what he was looking at... Did something just move next to the tree? Oh wait! It's in the tree! It's much too small to be a clown, right?
I spent the next half hour trying to get the perfect picture. You'll have to wait until Sarah gets up tomorrow to see what I got instead.
For the record, I'm not really (usually) afraid of clowns.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(end of story)

So the next morning I get up and upload the photos and post the following:

For those of you who read Charles saga of his daring encounter with a psycho killer clown and its nefarious plot with a squeaky toy...let me show you what REALLY happened.

The tree

can you see it yet?

he even smiled for the camera

Monday, April 20, 2015

Vintage photos- Family History Chuck and Gretchen

I was at my mom and dads the other day and we were going through some old pictures and I came across a few photos of my dad and his sister from the early 40's and 50's.  I posted them on Facebook in a family history album and had a ton of likes. My cousin thanked me for posting them because she had seen very few pictures of her mom growing up. I have decided to start posting old photos under family history a little more regularly. I really enjoyed the comments and the back and forth with my aunt . She was able to remember dates and where they lived at the time etc.

My dad, Chuck (or when he was little his mom called him Chuckie) grew up in MI with an older sister.  He was almost called Fritz, but thanks to  WWII and anti German sentiment at the time,  a nice Anglo name it was. Charles.

I love these pictures.
Chuck and G--- probably 1943??



G--- said my dad was SO HAPPY when he got this cowboy outfit for Christmas.  to me this picture SCREAMS "A Christmas Story". 

My grandparents (L and R) and Aunt G in the back of the sign.  In 1958 they went to Sequoia National Park. I think my dad must have been taking this picture.

I am going to try and post more family photos on a regular basis. I love throwbacks.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Photos from Easter- The Birds and The Bees and a Cat Named Oliver

Yesterday we went to my mom and dads house for the afternoon.  I took my trusty Canon sx50 and played around again.  A perfect spring day.

My parents have recently started urban beekeeping. My youngest son thought it was cool and has really gotten into it. I thought if he can do it I can do it too.  Although I appreciate bees (from a distance!), I am not anxious to go stick my person in their area and start meddling. But I did.

lets suit up!

Me and my dad checking the frames

the smoker

The hive.

Then Finn suited up and helped.

It was really actually pretty cool. I thought I would be terrified, but once I got up there I realized they werent interested in attacking and stinging. They pretty much ignored us.

After we were done with the bees we sat out on the back patio and enjoyed the weather.  Their cat Oliver was outside with us roaming around.  This boy is my buddy.

Towards later afternoon the bluebirds and chickadees started showing off.

Love this camera.