ARCHIVES:  October 8-15, 2005

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October 15, 2005 - Saturday

Animating Things Myself

I love animating things. I think it is easy to make most things blink. I did try to make the tail move and blink. It looked okay, but the simple blinking just seems better. I'd like to make stars twinkle around it or a tongue stick out. If I only had more time to play with this!



October 14, 2005 - Friday

Halloween Photos

We've had 3 mornings in a row with heavy fog. It has been funny, sad and eerie walking in this thick stuff. I saw a deer - they are so shy. Other than accidents, walking in the fog is a nice change and being surprised by whatever person suddenly pops out is fun.

Do you have a cell phone camera? If so, you can send pictures to a Halloween sights public photo blog. Send them to (I've posted a couple myself). The photo collection can be viewed at -- Photos do not have to be anything critically amazing -- just snap a picture of whatever you see around you that puts you in the mood for Halloween (lately, that's been nearly everything for me).

Here's what I saw on this morning's walk. Good thing I had my camera with me. The day before, I saw this scary ghost. (And I found the picture above of a cat and Jack O'lantern online and tried my hand at animating it.)



October 13, 2005 - Thursday

A Spooky Morning

I was walking out in very dense fog this morning - the worst I have seen in a long time. Suddenly, I heard a man moaning loudly in pain. I walked over to him and found a cyclist lying on his back on a bridge beside the road. He had an elderly friend with him. I told them that I had a cell phone and offered to call for help. I also said that I was trained in first aid and would be glad to assist.

His friend told me that his wife had been called and was on her way and that they would be okay. The man was continuing to moan loudly - so much pain! His friend explained that he had likely broken his arm and had a concussion. It sounded like a good case for an ambulance where his head could be stabilized; I almost called one anyway.

Instead, Bob came running close by. He's a triathlete competitor friend, and Bob kindly came over to help the man when his wife arrived with her car. They were able to get the wounded man inside. I will likely never know, but I hope it all turned out okay. I know it is dangerous to move someone with a possible neck injury without bracing them first.

Dense fog can be a nasty thing. It coats everything with moisture and things can get very slick and dangerous.

It was truly a spooky morning -- indeed, it is turning out to be a spooky week all together - first, I walk into a restaurant that is eerily empty yet the tables are set, then I nearly brush a black widow spider, next I walk alone in the middle of the thickest fog I can remember and now this poor cyclist. I do not want to know what comes next.



October 12, 2005 - Wednesday

Black Widow Spider

I was visiting my daughter earlier today. As we were leaving to go to lunch, I blissfully walked out the front door, shut it and headed to the car.

When my daughter walked out, she hurried over to the car and asked me to come take a look. Inches from the door handle sat this black widow spider! I had not even noticed.

Her neighbor who works for a pest control company came over with some industrial-strength pesticide and took care of the matter. Before he did, I got some photos. I know -- I know -- I am crazy, but it was cool to have photos.



October 11, 2005 - Tuesday

Columbus Day

My husband and I decided to celebrate this famous Italian's day yesterday by going to an Italian restaurant. We picked one near home and took off together for lunch. When we got to the restaurant, we went inside. It was strangely quiet. Nobody met us, so we walked further into the place, looking for employees.

A phone started to ring ... and ring ... and ring. Nobody answered as far as we could tell. We walked over to the dining rooms. They were all set and ready to go. The lights were dimmed, but some restaurants do that.

Still, it was eerily quiet. We figured they must be closed, but had accidentally left their door unlocked, so we left and ate at the German restaurant next door. Still wanting to do something Italian, I ordered their "Italian-Encrusted Grouper." It was very good, but grouper is not Italian. (I asked an Italian friend about grouper. She had never heard of it.)

Oh well, I hope you had a good Columbus Day yesterday.



October 10, 2005 - Monday

What Kind of Cat are You?

Speaking of cats (from yesterday) and thanks to a link from Catnip & Catnaps, I took the test to find out what cat personality I resemble. (The test is HERE -- it is drowning in ads, but the questions can be found in the middle of the page.)




October 9, 2005 - Sunday

Strange Photos in Recent News

My dad sent me this fake photo of "the world's smallest cat" which got me looking for real photos of recent strange events (and the Guinness-certified world's smallest cat). Here is a great photo album of the most recent 99 strange things in the news from

I know I've said this before, but I have to say it again. Don't believe ANYTHING you get in e-mail without verifying it yourself with places like (unless its from me). On second thought, it might LOOK like its from me, but it could another person faking my return e-mail address. (very easy to do). And it might say that it has been verified already (but don't EVER believe that, either -you have to verify it yourself).



October 8, 2005 - Saturday

Animated Dolls-How to Capture One

Previously I posted about making a doll for yourself. You could save a still image of the doll from that site, but there was no easy way to save the animated version. It consisted of several animated GIF overlays all place in one spot on the page. The site author was kind enough to let you save all of the individual GIF elements in a doll you created, though it was impossible to save your doll as an animated image.

I downloaded a (free for 30 days) screen and video capture program which worked very well for me at PixelMetrics. I let it run to capture the animated doll I created online from the webpage.

It made an AVI file which I then opened in QuickTime Pro. QuickTime saved the file as individual PNG images.

Next, I opened the images in AdobePhotoshop and made a single multi-layered image from the captured files, only using the ones I needed before the image recycled itself (about 16 files).

I switched to PhotoShop's ImageReady area and created the animation (very easy once you learn how to do this), set the delay for each image at .01 and exported an optimized version as an animated GIF.

Whew - yes it was a lot of work, but I loved learning about animation - I used to have an old clunky program for this and discovered that Photoshop does a much easier and better job.

(P.S. I had to take DIGG off of my front page because sometimes it caused a big slowdown in page loading. It is still on my Weather Page where I plan to check it often.)