Condominium tower for wildlife

Picture of the Moment

A condominium tower for wildlife.

The seagulls have the view but the seals are closer to the swimming pool.

Buoy with seagulls and seals

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Moving the mouse in a straight line in Photoshop

How I Did It

It’s no secret that ever since the advent of the computer mouse, those of us working with drawing programs such as Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator wanted a way to draw a straight line. It didn’t take too long before Corel and Adobe gave us the ability to draw those straight lines.

Recently I was wanting to draw a perfectly straight line in Photoshop, and that’s when it occurred to me that since Photoshop also is an Adobe product, there just might be a way to draw a straight line.

A simple Google search told me how:

Select the Pen tool.
Position the Pen tool where you want the straight segment to begin, and click to define the first anchor point (do not drag).
Click again where you want the segment to end (Shift-click to constrain the angle of the segment to a multiple of 45°).

I’m pretty much a keyboard person, using the mouse only when the keyboard is awkward, like drawing lines.

While I was drawing lines, I inadvertently hit the shortcut key to get to the eraser. In my haste and not realizing that I had switched to the eraser, I clicked where I wanted the line to begin, Shift-clicked where I wanted the line to end, and voilà!, I erased in a perfectly straight line!

My mind started working.

Some experimentation indicated that I could do anything in a perfectly straight line simply by clicking where I wanted to start and Shift-clicking where I wanted to end….

pen tool – yep
eraser tool – yep
clone tool – yep
spot healing tool – yep
brush tool – yep

Doesn’t seem to matter what you need to do, if you need to do it in a straight line, try Click, Shift-click.

Lastly, does anyone have a recommendation for software that will record my screen while I do things? That would have been very convenient for this post.

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Do you have BWS?
I have the answer:photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Christmas is just around the corner, so order today!

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPETS (11-18-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I have had WordAds for 3½ months, and I’m averaging about $25 a month. However, in order to get paid, you have to have a minimum of $100, so I’ll get paid about $110.00 next month.

SNIPPET #2

The Internet, especially Facebook, has brought the world’s population closer together. Whether or not that is good is a question that I’ll leave to historians who probably have not been born yet.

When my paternal grandparents adopted me in 1965, we lived in Kingsville, Texas. However, my granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad…. in Taylor, Texas.

Kingsville to Taylor

One of my friends on Facebook has a birthday today. I don’t remember how we became Facebook friends, but we have three things in common: He is in real estate, he graduated from Texas A&M University, and he was born in Taylor, Texas.

Real estate doesn’t surprise me, and neither does meeting someone else from Texas A&M University since it has 55,000 students and about a million alumni. However, after moving from Texas in 1993, I never thought I’d meet someone from Taylor.

SNIPPET #3

Back in 1982, I was running for a volunteer position as Section 42 Chairman of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. It was a one-year position and I already had been Chairman for the previous year, so it was a re-election.

There were 16 college chapters in Section 42, and every chapter, bar none, told me that I was the best Chairman they had ever seen. I had been to their chapter meetings, their service projects, talked on the phone weekly with chapter officers, and had the coolest newsletter (this was in the days when personal computers were just hitting the market, and I had one!).

I lost.

Why? Because with all the positive comments, I thought I was a shoe-in. I forgot to ask people to vote for me. Several people told me after the election that they didn’t vote for me because I didn’t ask them to vote for me.

I learned.

Although I have never run for another position, I have learned to ask people for things that I need or want.

SNIPPET #4

Zoey the Cool Cat has taken to climbing under the bed covers with me, but only when I take a mid-morning nap. No other time. However, my mid-morning naps are usually 30-60 minutes long, and she is quite happy to stay under the covers after I get up, for as long as six hours! As she rolls around and repositions herself during that time, this is what I sometimes see:

Zoey the Cool Cat

When I look under the covers, I see an upside-down cat stretched out as until it can stretch no more. I’ve tried to get a picture, but as soon as I uncover her, she’s up and outta there.

SNIPPET #5

I try to post a daily inspirational quote on Facebook, so if you’re not yet following me on Facebook, click here.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the past week:

Curiosity

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American poet and short story writer.

Butterfly forgets

SNIPPET #6

I have been making daily use of IBOexchange (see my post here). Does it work? I can say unequivocally that it does. I have two places where IBOexchange members can visit, here and my Facebook business page.

On my Facebook business page, it seems that once you get to about 500 likes, Facebook basically shuts you down unless you pay them to promote your business page. Well, most of those business pages and small businesses probably like me, not yet able (or willing) to pay $25 per day to have Facebook promote me. So IBOexchange it is.

I was stuck at 582 likes and averaging one new like per week. Since I have been making use of IBO exchange, 13 days now, I’m up to 762 likes. Take that, Facebook!

SNIPPET #7

So why do we care how many likes we have on our Facebook business pages? Several reasons.

More likes gives the impression of longevity, and longevity in business usually is good. With longevity comes experience, satisfied customers, etc. After all, would you rather have brain surgery from the 24-year-old doctor who graduated yesterday or the 60-year-old doctor who has done 500 brain surgeries?

Over here at my WordPress blog, more visits mean more ad impressions with WordAds, which means more money into my bank account. My creditors like money in my bank account so that they can take it out!

SNIPPET #8

In 1980 when my best friend graduated from Texas A&M University, I was pretty irreligious. He, on the other hand, was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, supervising child care one day a week, working with the elderly, singing in the Chancel Choir.

When I asked him what he got out of church, he didn’t proselytize, which is what I was expecting. Instead, he simply said that church was like a big family, giving him the opportunity to work with people who could be his great grandparents to people who could be his children.

I saw his point and joined First Presbyterian.

SNIPPET #9

I have not been a member of any church since I came to San Diego in April 1993. I spent my first 11 months in San Diego studying the world’s great, and not so great, religions while relaxing on the beaches. I was able to determine that none of them had much to offer a person who had decided to live his live as an openly gay man.

My opinion has not changed in the ensuing 31 years, mainly because of people like Eric Cantor, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and other so-called religious people. If they are people of God, I want nothing to do with that God.

On the other hand, if I sat down for a meal with Pope Francis, he might be able to convince me to return to the Catholic Church, into which I was born in 1955.

SNIPPET #10

A couple of months ago I started collecting memes that showed up on Facebook and which I liked.

Most of them are either political or religious, and they say in much more precise words what I think.

This morning I was cataloging them.

Here are two of my favorites, both religious:

The Dark Ages

Religious freedom

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (11-17-14)—With a little help from my friends

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

A couple of days ago a friend posted on Facebook that he was at the beach alone “like a loser.” Fortunately, he deleted it within minutes. He doesn’t live far from me, so he could have come over and played a game of chess!

That reminded me of the time when I was 11 and wanted to go out with friends on a Saturday afternoon. My wise old grandmother said no; she had every reason to say no since she had just adopted a juvenile delinquent—me!

I had to spend the day alone, or as I thought at the time, “lonely.”

As I continued to complain about being lonely, she finally said to me, “There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. If you are lonely, turn that loneliness into an opportunity to be alone.”

I didn’t know what she meant then—I was 11 and wanted to be with my friends!—but I do now. Heck, there are times when I’m with a huge group of people and feel very lonely.

I thought for today’s Music on Mondays I’d look at some good songs about being alone and loneliness.

“All By Myself” by Eric Carmen

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“Circle of One” by Oleta Adams

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“Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol

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“Killing Loneliness” by HIM

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“Lonely People” by America

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“One” by Three Dog Night

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“Pretend That You’re Alone” by Keane

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“You’re Only Lonely” by J.D. Souther

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And that lets me end with this solution by The Beatles:

“With A Little Help From My Friends”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Some things should be shared

Inspiration

When I’m depressed and suicidal, I often resort to reading and listening to lots of music—since October 16 I’ve been averaging over eleven hours a day of music.

My reading in these situations often is stuff that makes me laugh, think, cry, love, wish, share….

My first circumstance with such thoughts came when I was in high school in 1971. Just a lad of 16, I fell in love with two people, one female and one male. I didn’t know what was happening to me. That was when I discovered Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Coupled with anything and everything Beatles, I worked my way out of depression. Nowadays, of course, they have meds for that, but one has to be able to afford getting to a doctor to get a prescription for such meds, or have very good health insurance.

So that leaves me, still, with music and books.

The book that I am reading through right now is “If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People” with the subtitle “Smart Quotes For Dumb Times,” by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. The authors previously graced humanity with their book, “The Book of General Ignorance.”

Here’s a thought for today that I got from “If Ignorance Is Bliss….”:

Happiness shared

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Look what yesterday brought!

Inspiration

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend was having computer problems. Sounded like a fairly easy fix so I zipped up to his house yesterday afternoon to see what was going on.

Got a nice picture of the sunset:

Sunset in Vista, California, on Veterans' Day 2014

It took about thirty minutes to solve the computer problem, so all is well there.

When I got home, I checked the mail.

One of the items from the mail now is proudly placed on my office whiteboard:

Mail from Japan

The picture, which is a postcard, was in the envelope, and the envelope is from Japan, from Takami.

The sunset was great, but the mail from Japan made my day.

Thank you, Takami!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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There’s someone worse off than you

Inspiration

For all of my adult life I have been interested in helping people, an interest that was developed in me by my wise old grandmother. Her standard reply to me every time I would complain about something was, “There’s someone in the world worse off than you.”

When I got to high school, which was grades 10-12, I joined Key Club because their banner hanging in the main hallway said, “There’s someone worse off than you. Let’s help them!”

Key Club International is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. Its goal is to teach leadership through helping. It was started in 1925 by California State Commissioner of Schools Albert C. Olney and vocational education teacher Frank C. Vincent at Sacramento High School in California. Interestingly, female students were not admitted until 1977!

At Texas A&M University, I joined Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. After college, I continued for several years with Alpha Phi Omega but also took up with the American Heart Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, Red Cross, and many others. I was looking for a job with a charitable organization so that I could spend the rest of my life helping people. Sadly, I never made it to where I wanted to be.

However, I still continue giving of my time, money, and skills wherever I can. It’s the least I can do.

One of the organizations where I spend some money is DonorsChoose.org. I like them because, as stated in the name, I get to choose how to spend my money with them. Earlier this year I donated to help a teacher at a low-income grade school get some news magazines for her students. Last month, I got eight thank you letters from the students:

letter 01

letter 02

letter 03

letter 04

letter 05

letter 06

letter 07

letter 08

letter 09

Made my day.

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