Friday, August 28, 2009

Studio Upgrade

I am ready to say goodbye to Pinnacle Studio forever... I got Adobe's CS4 Production Premium Suite. For those who don't know what the difference is, CS4 Production Premium is Adobe's pro-level suite for editing video and pictures. It includes Premiere Pro, Photoshop Extended, After Effects, Flash Creator, On Location, Bridge, Illustrator, Encore, and Soundbooth. I am super-excited!!!

Premiere Pro running an AE composition

I spent an hour and a half this morning trying to figure things out, and produced this SHORT little video. Just presets, and a little modifications, plus a tiny bit of creativity. I'm still figuring out how to use it, so don't think this is really how I do video. Besides, it has no audio at all. Not very impressive, but I had fun figuring out a whole different way of doing things now that I have a pro toolset.

Now, I have a fully professional video and audio studio. Finally!!! Ready for customers... (eventually)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Update on Jester

We took Jester outside this evening. He flew around, and sat up in a tree for about an hour. He is staying inside the house tonight though. We're not giving him total freedom - not yet. Here are some cute pictures of him and Matthew.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Here's the latest update on our feathered friend Jester...

He gets nicknamed everything from Chirper to Chester to "the bird"... He loves to fly around in our house, and land on our heads... or our necks, as in this picture.

From Jester

We feed him about every hour with a worm, or maybe 8 to 10 grasshoppers that we catch. We are going to release him soon, because he is becoming a fine little mockingbird.
From Jester

From Jester

Isn't he cute?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another video...

I found this video hidden away on my hard drive. I had made this one in May, of a performance at the Arbuckle View SDA church. Thanks to Aubrey for running my camera. Sorry about all the background noise - people were talking in the hall, since it wasn't during a church service. The song is Bach's Prelude from his Solo Cello Suite No. 1.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vivaldi Guitar Concerto

Hi everyone,

I guess if this is "Disciple of the Guitar" then I really need to put up a video of one of my performances. So although more will come, here is the only recent one I have edited right now. I'll try and get a few more up here as time permits...

Vivaldi Guitar Concerto, RV 93, second movement

Performed on location at OKFCM, April 2009, at Wewoka Woods, with some of my good friends from campmeeting - Sean and Joshua Nebblett, Aubrey Seiler, and Kristen Downs. Thank you all for playing!

I had a little fun at the end with the credits, so if it looks strange, just consider it experimental. And don't turn it up too loud because I put some sound effects in too. :) Just a warning to save your speakers. :) Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Here's the latest update on our feathered friend, Jester (as he is now named). Jester, an appropriate name for a mockingbird...

He is getting much more used to us, takes food from our hands, and loves to be held. The only problem is our finding enough food for him to be satisfied. He has a huge appetite...

Here are a couple videos of Jester being fed... Not too good quality, because they're from the cellphone.

and another...

Friday, August 7, 2009

A tale of life's unfairness...

I guess I'm posting pretty often. So don't think that I'm going to be putting up a long post every day. It just happens to be close together.

This is the story of a baby mockingbird that we found in the yard. We are handraising it, and having a lot of fun. It, on the other hand, is not having a lot of fun. I decided to tell this from the perspective of the chick. So, here goes...

I was born on July 27, 2009. My mother took wonderful care of me for most of my life. I lived in a nice, soft nest; and Mommy tended to my every need and cry. I had several brothers and sisters too. Life was just wonderful in every way. I was so happy.

One day, when I was about a week and a half old, I was trying to learn how to fly. It looked so easy when Mommy did it. I was practicing, and everything looked like it was going to be really good until a big gust of wind came and blew me off course. It happened like this: I was on the branch where my nest was, and as I said, I was hopping around and a big gust of wind came, and knocked me right off the branch. I screamed, terrified, hoping Mommy would come and rescue me. But although she saw my predicament, she didn’t seem to be able to do anything to help me. I complained loudly, but she didn’t do anything. Finally she decided there was nothing that could be done, and went to find some food for my siblings.

Suddenly, a huge creature, such as I had never seen, walked up to me and tried to catch me. I shouted for them not to do that, but he ignored my plea. He chased me around for a long time, and when he finally caught me in a box, I let him know just what I thought of him. But this didn’t seem to deter him at all. He told me that I needed to just relax, and that everything would be alright. He even said that he was going to take care of me. I knew he was lying. He meant to make a meal out of me, for sure. Why else would he capture me in such a cruel manner? Take care of me? Hmmm… He must have meant take care of me, like eat me or something like that. I didn’t even want to think of that.

But he didn’t eat me right away. He carried me in his prison box a long way, and then set me down in a place I had never seen before. I was still in the prison box, but the sides were clear, so I could see a little bit.

Then these huge creatures, even bigger than the first one, came and stared at me. They must have thought I didn’t look good enough to eat at the moment, so they just left me in that horrible prison box. Life wasn’t wonderful anymore. I knew at any moment that something worse could come soon…

After a long time, one of the bigger creatures put its hand into the box and tried to grab me. I wasn’t feeling too good, and I missed my chance to escape. So this thing held me in its hand, and looked at me, and talked towards me. It was the greatest trial of my entire life. Whatever happened to the good old days?

Finally, after a long time of looking at me, and discussing what to do, they took some sugar water in an artificial beak, and stuck it down my throat. It was very uncomfortable, but at least it tasted good.

Later, I felt a little better, and when they took me out of the prison box again, I saw my chance at freedom. Mustering all my strength, I wrested myself from their grasp and ran away at top speed. But they soon had me imprisoned again.

The worst thing was when they took some pieces of worm and tried to shove them down my throat. They forced my mouth open and stuck their artificial beak thing down into it. They put big pieces of worm in there, not nice little pieces like I used to get when life was easy. Oh, how many bad things have happened to me already in my short life!!!!

They apparently intend to keep me prisoner for life. But I guess they couldn’t do much to me that’s worse than they already have. I have a plan though. I am going to be so grumpy and mean and irritable and nasty to them when they come to feed me that they’re just going to get tired of it and let me go. I think I’ll start right away…

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A handful of clay...

I came across this story in my reader this week. It was really impactive for me.  I hope you're blessed by it.

A handful of clay...

By Henry van Dyke.

There was a handful of clay in the bank of a river.  It was only common clay, coarse and heavy; but it had high thoughts of its own value and wonderful dreams of the great place which it was to fill in the world, when the time came for its virtues to be discovered.
Overhead, in the spring sunshine, the trees whispered together of the glory which descended upon them when their delicate blossoms and leaves had expanded. The forest was aglow with fair, clear colors, as if the dust of thousands of rubies and emeralds were hanging in soft clouds above the earth.
The flowers, surprised with the joy of beauty, bent their heads to one another as the wind caressed them. "Sisters, how lovely you have become!" they said. "You make the day bright."
The river, glad of new strength and rejoicing in the unison of all its waters, murmured to the shores in music.  Its song told of its release from icy fetters, its swift flight from the snow-clad mountains, and the grandeur of the mighty sea to which it was hurrying.
Waiting blindly in its bed, the clay comforted itself with lofty hopes. "My time will come," it said. "I was not made to be hidden forever. Glory and beauty and honor are coming to me in due season."
One day the clay felt itself being taken from the place where it had waited so long. A flat blade of iron passed beneath it, lifted it, and tossed it into a cart with other lumps of clay; and it was carried far away, as it seemed, over a rough and stony road. But the clay was not afraid or discouraged, for it said to itself, "This is necessary. The path to glory is always rugged. Now I am on my way to play a great part in the world."
But the hard journey was nothing compared with the tribulation and distress that came afterward. The clay was put into a trough and was mixed, beaten, stirred, and trampled.  This treatment seemed almost unbearable. But there was consolation in the though that something very fine and noble was certainly coming out of all this trouble. They clay felt sure that if it could only wait long enough, a wonderful reward was in store for it.
Then the clay was put upon a swiftly turning wheel and was whirled around until it felt that it would fly into a thousand pieces. A strange power pressed and molded the clay as it revolved, and through all the dizziness and pain, it felt that it was taking a new form.
Then an unknown hand put it into an oven, and fires were kindled about it - fierce and penetrating fires, hotter than all the heats of summer that had ever brooded upon the bank of the river. But through it all, the clay held itself together and endured its trials, in the confidence of a great future. "Surely," it thought, "I am intended for something very splendid, since such pains are taken with me. Perhaps I am being fashioned for the ornament of a temple, or into a precious vase for the table of a king."
At last the baking was finished. The clay was taken from the furnace and set down upon a board in the cool air, under the blue sky. The tribulation was past.  The reward was at hand.
Close beside the board was a pool of water, not very deep or very clear, but calm enough to reflect, with impartial truth, every image that fell upon it. There for the first time the clay saw its new shape - the reward of all its patience and pain, the consummation of all its hopes.
But what a disappointment! The clay was not a beautiful ornament at all. It was only a common flowerpot, straight and stiff, red and ugly. And at last it felt certain that it was destined neither for a king's house nor for a palace of art, because it was made without glory or beauty. Therefore the clay murmured bitterly against the unknown maker, saying, "Why have you made me thus?"
Many days it passed in sullen discontent. Then it was filled with earth, and something - it knew not what, but something rough and brown and dead-looking - was thrust into the middle of the earth and covered over. The clay rebelled at this new disgrace. "This is the worst of all that has happened to me yet, to be filled with dirt and rubbish in this manner. Surely I am a failure."
But presently it was set in a greenhouse, where the sunlight fell warm upon it and water was sprinkled over it. Day by day, as it waited, a change began to come to it, a certain sense of peace and rightness, a felling that even here, not all was lost. Something was stirring within it, a new hope. Still it was ignorant, and knew not what it all meant.
One day the clay was again lifted from its place and carried into a great palace.  Its dream was finally coming true; it would have a part to play in the world after all. Soon the clay found itself surrounded with flowers. But still it could not understand. So it whispered to another vessel of clay like itself, which had been placed beside it, "Why have they set me here? Why do all the people look toward us?"
The other vessel answered, "Do you not know? You are carrying a royal bouquet of lilies. Their petals are white as snow, and the heart of them is as pure gold. The people look toward you because that flower is among the rarest in the world. And the root of it is in your heart."
Then the clay was truly content and silently thanked its maker. For though it was an earthen vessel, the clay held a treasure so great that it was beyond price.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The deadly DHMO

Dihydrogen monoxide. Check out this website, and leave a comment if you figure out what DHMO is. I had quite a chuckle over it.


Hi everyone,

I wanted to share some pictures that I took yesterday morning. An incredible sunrise! I love cloud pictures, and so I took a bunch. I’m sharing some of the ones I though came out better. I have one of these as my desktop backgound on my computer.

Sunrise Pictures

Only an awesome, powerful, caring God would give us such beauty for free! We don't even have to work to see it, just look. What a wonderful Sabbath morning view!