A Mixed Bag Post for Today
I realized that I have a few things that I wanted to discuss, but they’re just short items that weren’t worthy of their own post. So here’s a few tidbits in a mixed bag post for today.
I’m Back on Flickr
My Flickr “Pro” account expired back in April and I honestly had no intention of renewing it. In fact, I was disturbed that Flickr wanted to hold my photos hostage until I paid up again, as it only displays the most recent 200 images that I uploaded. The rest were held in purgatory.
I have to give RC Concepcion credit for my change of mind. During Photoshop World, he made a good case as to why it’s still useful to be on Flickr. Plenty of people go there to search for images that they want to buy or license for use. I knew he was right, because that’s how the guy from the United States Congress found me to request use of my image. After I signed up, I noticed that I had a message from someone else — three months ago — asking to buy one of my images for a commercial project. By not being on Flickr, I lost out on that business. So kids, I’m a Flickr-er again. You can find me at http://flickr.com/wbeem.
In most cases, I hate jumping on the bandwagon of posts repeating news that we’ve all heard. Many of you may know that Google bought Nik Software. I see that a lot of my friends are thrilled by this development. Not me. This news sent a cold shiver down my spine. While the news headlines are about Snapseed, Nik makes some outstanding tools for post processing. I love Color Efex Prpo, Viveza and Silver Efex Pro. Unfortunately, I fear for the future of those products.
Google, and many other tech companies, often have specific ideas in mind when they acquire a smaller company. Sometimes they incorporate the acquisition into a new product or service. Many times they kill it off because they wanted the technology or talented development staff. Here’s a list of Google Mergers and Acquisitions kept on Wikipedia. The table has a column to show where the technology went into a Google service. Unfortunately, it’s often not a one for one adaptation. Some great products have gone to Google and died as a result, with just bits and pieces implemented in an existing service.
Many of my online friends are rife with ideas about processing images in the cloud and things like that. I’m dubious. Some of my images are several hundred megabytes in Photoshop. I don’t really envision that much data moving back and forth between my iMac and Google’s servers as a viable plan or speed improvement, as some have postulated. Will it just be instructions moving back and forth, or does my image have to live in the cloud to get around bandwidth issues? What if I don’t want my image or my program living on another server because I need to develop an image without available connectivity? There are many questions and no answers at this point. When the information isn’t forthcoming, I have a hard time trusting dubious ideas. Call me when you can explain just what the hell is going to happen.
In short, I think this really sucks. I use Google, but I don’t trust Google. I’m not a Google fan boy, so I’ll wait to see what happens. Neither Google or Nik is talking yet about what’s going to happen to the Nik products. Maybe something good will come of it, but I doubt it.
When I got back from Photoshop World, I knew that it was time to change things because I was unhappy with my weight and appearance. That meant exercise six days a week, revising my diet, and getting back on a healthy track. At the end of the first week of my program, I got an email from NAPP with this photo in it. I’m the fat bastard in the center. Bloody hell! My face doesn’t look that fat in my bathroom mirror. On the other hand, just look how white they got my teeth!
There are magic mirrors in my bathroom. I look great in those mirrors. I still have a jawline in those mirrors. Nevertheless, I’ve gained much more weight than I ever wanted and already knew it was time for a change. Then this picture hit my inbox. Although a small part of me was pleased that the nice folks at NAPP featured a photo of me with my friends Kevin Stohl and Michelle Hedstrom, a larger (no pun intended) part of me was just severely depressed. This is not the reflection I see in my magic mirrors.
No matter. I’m lifting weights Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I’m cycling Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Every Monday, I meet with a registered dietician and she’s really helping to improve my nutrition. My old trainer is reviewing my workout logs and helping me make adjustments. Basically, she tells me to lift heavier objects. That’s OK, I’ve learned that I need accountability. Both of these women are really cool and do a great job of helping me stay on track.
Believe it or not, this isn’t about weight loss. It’s about how I live my life. If I do that right, I think the weight will take care of itself. Having that mindset helps me do this day by day. If I were trying to hit a specific weight, then my mind would explode as I tracked and measured myself to death. This way, all I have to do is make sure that I’m doing the right thing at the moment without worrying about some deadline or objective. It’s less stressful for me and still yields good results.
If I never see such an atrocious photo of me again, that will be worth the change in lifestyle.