JoeTennies's blog

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Coming To Visit

If you happen to be passing by town, you should be able to stop by starting sometime the end of the week. We do reserve the right to completely ignore you depending on the baby’s mood. On the other hand, don’t plan a trip for a couple weeks. We don’t want you coming by and getting ignored. (You are all interesting and important to us, just not as interesting an important ;)

General rule of thumb, drop us a call/e-mail as we do have some plans to get out of town for family events too.

Pictures

We’re starting to go through some of the pictures. We’ll post a fairly complete listing on this site at some point, but for the cream of the crop thus far, goto either my Facebook page or my Zoto page. I’m sure we’ll be updating this before we leave the hospital.

Update: Looks like I can’t easily upload a lot of pictures to Facebook, so just click that Zoto link. (yes THAT UP THERE is the link.)

It's Official

Chloe Anne Tennies

It's a girl!

She was born at 1:02AM on 14 June 2008. 7lbs 11oz 21 inches. The name is yet to be determined.

Progress Report

Anne just got drugged, so she’s sleeping through contractions.

4:00 – got to hospital 2cm dialated
9:00 – 4cm but fully thinned – broke water

Looks Like Today's the Day

This is a last minute blogging action.

Anne’s starting labor, so I suppose anyone that wants to see a baby should drop a call Monday at the earliest.

I MAY be able to send a quick message out about the name, weight, time, sex, etc to my jaiku. Look at http://joetennies.jaiku.com/

Photo Editing the Free Way

I know most people out there have heard of “Photoshopping” an image. Most of the time this is a term for a way out the effect like putting someone’s head on someone else’s body. The term Photoshopping refers to an Adobe product called Photoshop that is actually quite expensive. I’m going to point you to some free alternatives to sprucing up your photos.

The first program is the GNU Image Manipulation Program, which ends up with the name GIMP. This program is a direct competitor to Photoshop. It’s main focus is on manipulating raster graphics (pixels). This program is pretty optimal for editing the photo (resizing, cropping, color balancing, etc) as well as removing things (dust spots, zits, your ex, etc). A Windows installer and be found here. Now, the interface does take some getting used to, but they are working on a new interface for 2.6 as well as some more professional-level features (CMYK, higher color depths, non-destructive editing, etc.). The main place where the GIMP has proved problematic is on very large pictures. I’m not talkin 10-12 megapixel. I’m talking LARGE like mattes behind a Hollywood movie.

The second program is Inkscape. This program does not focus on raster images but vector images (shapes and lines). A vector object should become infinitely zoomable without ending up pixelated, though you may end up with corners you didn’t notice. This makes it optimal for things like logos, cartoons, or tattoo mockups. “But I thought we were talking about my photos… that doesn’t sound like how I want my photos to look,” I hear you saying. Well true, but you can actually make shapes and put textures (like your photo) on them. This allows for crazy effects like things popping out of a photo, drop shadows, and more. I’d argue this is more of a program for adding things into photos. Now, if you are used to Photoshop or the GIMP or Paint, this program is not immediately going to seem familiar. Some really cool tutorials on how to use it are here. And yes, for all you Adobe people out there, this is like Illustrator. (No idea how it differs, as I’ve never used Illustrator, but the big open source artists (TigerT and jimmac) have switched to using it from Illustrator several years back. In that time a lot of new features have been added.)

Once again, I suggest watching the Inkscape tutorials or just search YouTube for tutorials on these programs for some really cool effects.

PyCon 2008

Okay, so I’m completely dorking out in Chicago right now. PyCon is the annual Python convention. This is Python as in the programming language and not the snake or Monty Python, though all of those are well represented.

I’m sure I’ll be post more info about the things I see, but I need to go grab some food.

Thank You Mom and Dad

During church today, our pastor mentioned that she will be out of the state during the primary elections. She went down to city hall to find out what she needed to do and when she could get a ballot. She found out they were available now, and she just needed to fill out the paperwork. She did and got the ballot. She looked at the Democratic side of the ballot, and there was a Black man and a woman. She started crying right there because all that she and her generation fought for had finally come to fruition. She was very proud to have seen this day, and she was proud.

I want to say that though that, though I know in my head that this is a momentous occasion, my heart does not think that this is such a big deal. THAT is what she and her generation should be proud of.

Mugshot.org

I have been using an online service for a while, but I haven’t really made good use of it. The main reason I haven’t used it much is that I don’t have enough friends on it. The reason I haven’t had too many friends is that I didn’t really know how to sell it to others. Well, I think I finally did, so here I go.

Mugshot.org is an online social network. I know, I know, yet another one. Well, the Mugshot guys (who are actually the RedHat guys) understood that too. My biggest problem with the whole social network thing is that it’s yet another place I have to go to to see if anything has happened and to post any new info. Certain people don’t like services. This resulted in me having a MySpace account, a Facebook account, a blog, a Digg account, a Linked In account, etc. I’m also an old school IM person with a ICQ account, an AIM account I killed, and a GoogleTalk account. Throw in my accounts at Amazon with reviews and wishlists, and the end result is my information is stored in bunches of separate places that not even I can remember all of.

Also, as I said, I’m an old school IM user. I honestly miss being able to just log in and talk to people that are online, but I’m honestly rarely online anymore. I could e-mail the person, but I’d have to have a reason to stop on that person’s name in my list of 20+ people I really ought to talk to. And what was the best part of instant messaging? Finding out what people have been up to, of course, but also to discuss things we’ve discovered and to razz each other about their idiotic beliefs =)

This is where Mugshot comes in. Yes, it’s yet another network, but luckily you don’t really need to make a new account with another password. You login using a link sent to your e-mail, using your AIM account, or setting up a password. It then combines many of the sites you already use to share what you’re posting. These sites include:

  • AIM Accounts
  • ICQ Accounts
  • GoogleTalk Accounts
  • Jabber Accounts
  • A Link To Your Website
  • Blogs
  • Amazon
  • Del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Google Reader
  • Last.FM
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • Netflix
  • Picasa
  • Reddit
  • Rhapsody
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

And that’s just at this point. They are working on adding more. Honestly, they’re interested in suggestions for the sites they’re missing. You can also do what they term as a “Web Swarm.” This is basically posting a link with a bit of a description. This is particularly useful if you don’t use del.icio.us, as I don’t.

Now you got all this information about the music your friends are listening to, the websites your friends are linking, pictures your friends are posting, news articles your friends are reading, movies your friends are reviewing, etc, and this leaves you with only one thing to do. You go and you send them a comment about how much you like what they posted or how wrong they are. In other words, you are given the springboard to normal conversation.

You can also form and join groups of people with similar ideas and add website RSS feeds to the group to discuss.

Finally, there’s a program called the “Mugshot Stacker” that is like an RSS reader or IM with all that info on your friend. You can also post a read only web version that you can post to webpages or on your MySpace account.

I hope I can convince more of my friends to use Mugshot.

Here’s my account link: http://mugshot.org/person?who=R4kgNGdjbKbmWZ

You can find out more at: http://mugshot.org/features

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