Monthly Archives: December 2010

A Fibonacci Sequence Would Take Too Much Render Time in Bryce

But nonetheless, Photoshop and Bryce should automatically come with a built-in Fibonacci effect. Otherwise, trying to calculate it mentally/manually would be much too complicated. It’s hard enough calculating the rate of the spiral replicate of the cactus knob things below. What are they called, Stan? Yes, I know, it’s not an anatomically correct cactus. That’s not the point.

Actually, KPT Scatter does some great Fibonacci radial effects. Maybe I’ll post some later. And there’s a filter in FilterForge, “Sunflower” by Sjeiti that must use some actual fibonacci equations because it’s included in the description tags. It is one cool filter.

I probably wrote about this before, but somewhere I read that someone had an art prof that says never to use kaleidoscopes or spirals in art. The guy probably paints with his own bodily fluids (“it’s really hard to get blue tones”) and his favorite subject is probably himself. Supposedly these things are never found in nature. I laugh. Guy probably never gardens. What an idiot. First of all to state that one must only paint shapes that are derivative of something “natural” is ludicrous and antiquated. It’s so antiquated that it’s not even relevant to discuss in this time, let alone in the early 20th century. Second of all, those things *are* found in nature. He’s wrong on both points.

Glass Cactus Trinket with Funhouse Mirrors by Ann Stretton
Glass Cactus Trinket with Funhouse Mirrors by Ann Stretton


After being a pet owner for many years, one of the questions I start asking myself as soon as I get a new animal and name it is: “what will its nicknames be?” Nicknaming is an organic process that just evolves. It’s not like naming your animal, which has been a much more thought-out process, usually dependent on the many interests and activities in our lives, like with the dogs. Hieronymus: art (after Bosch); Plato: philosophy; Lucifer Sam: Pink Floyd (the song); and Jasper: decorative stones.

The cats’ given names had stranger beginnings. We got a small iguana shortly before we got our first cat. We named it “Boris.” I don’t know why. So we named our cat “Natasha.” To go along with the Russian name theme, our next cat that we got six months later we named “Vladimir.” After we lost Vladimir, we ditched the Russian theme in favor of classical antiquity. But we stuck with the brutal bloody ruler theme with our next cat, because it makes for a sweet cat. Go figure. And it did, hence, Caligula. Well, we also chose that name because of the little boots. Then came Apollo, again classical antiquity, and we chose the name for his bright sunny yellow color and Leonine sun sign (born August 1), like a sun god of the same name. Nothing to do with 1960s space flights.

But nicks just happen. We usually can’t control them, because some of the nicks are almost embarrassing. Or downright odd. Some nicks get applied to all animals, like “Nutty Buddy.” And some nicks are sacred–like Pappit.

Pappit was Plato’s nickname. Sometimes we referred to him as “The Pappit” when talking about him. Other times we addressed him by “nickname” and called him “Pappit-dog.” Plato also had other nicks like “Pippy” or “Bunny Monkey.” I’ve called Jasper those. But no matter how much Jasper will sometimes remind me of Plato, I will never intentionally call him Pappit. There was only one Pappit, and he is gone. Jasper will probably be the only “Little Boing Boing…but I don’t know. Maybe another Boston in the future (if there is one…if Jasper doesn’t outlive me) might be bouncy too, and inherit the Boing Boing nick.

Here are a few of the other strange nicknames we call our current animals:

Caligula: Bootcake (keeping the “Little Boots” theme, and adding a “cake” at the end because he’s so sweet), Bootcake-Fruitcake (because it rhymes), Fruity Boots

Lucifer Sam: Snoft (contraction of SNuggly and sOFT), The Snoft, Pug (well, I guess that one isn’t so odd), Pug Doodle, Wiggy (I think we also called Hieronymus the latter names as well, but definitely not The Snoft, as there is only ONE Snoft), Wiggly (pronounced “wig-o-wee”), Silly Willy, Snoftages

Apollo: Iddy Bee, Itsy Pids, Itsy Pidders, Itsy Pitsy Kitsy (those sound awful, don’t they?), Appy Pollo Wollow (I think I got this one from Alex of A Clockwork Orange who said “appy polly logies” instead of “apologies”), Wee Kitten

Jasper: Boing Boing, Little Boing Boing, Goofball, Puppin’ Stuff, Puppin’ Wee, Wee Puppy, Puppy, Puppy Puppy Nut or Puppy Pup Peanut

Collective Cats: Fruits and Boots

Collective Dogs: Nuts and Butts, Nutty Buddies, Nutty Butts

Fractal Organics

(This is a repost from over at eyebalm, which I have revamped and added an art gallery and blog for updates for purchasing my digital art as prints through Zazzle and Imagekind).

I was going through some old art files and found these digital art pieces I had done several years ago but never finalized. I cleaned them up and added them to my Imagekind Gallery, and will soon add them to Zazzle as well. They are created in Photoshop with Corel (formerly KPT) Fractal Flame, although they look like collages of actual found organic matter. In fact, the way I create them is more in the way one would create an actual real-life collage, it’s just done on a computer.

Fractal Feathers Blue by Ann Stretton
Fractal Feathers Blue by Ann Stretton

Fractal Feathers Pink by Ann Stretton
Fractal Feathers Pink by Ann Stretton

Fractal Silk by Ann Stretton
Fractal Silk by Ann Stretton

Fractal Ferns by Ann Stretton
Fractal Ferns by Ann Stretton

Fractal Grasses by Ann Stretton
Fractal Grasses by Ann Stretton

Sanctimonious Idiot

I was listening to the Kathleen Dunn show today on WPR. They were discussing food stamps and various safety net programs. Some holier-than-thou @#&% calls up and is complaining about people she saw with food stamps. She griped about how she saw one woman buying ORGANIC FOOD with food stamps. Oh the horror…poor people shouldn’t think healthy, should they? No, they should just eat chemically-laden mass-produced factory farm crap, right? After all, they’re poor, they should buy the cheapest junk possible because we, the tax-paying, non-food stamp public, who is oh-so-careful with how we spend every penny of our hard-earned (never easily earned, as in by investing) money is paying for the bad food stamp people’s meal ticket. Please. She had the attitude that SHE can’t afford organic food herself, and therefore why should some lesser being than her be able to get it? Oh, and then she complained that she saw a woman buying food with food stamps who then buys an expensive candy bar with her own money (because you can’t buy candy with food stamps). No, if you’re on food stamps, that means that you ONLY BUY FOOD that is covered by food stamps (never organic, however) and you cannot buy any treat like a candy bar. (And how did she even know the candy bar was for her? Maybe it was a gift for someone…I guess if you’re on food stamps you can’t get gifts either) NO, you food stamp person shall NEVER TREAT YOURSELF because you are POOR and you must be punished for being such, and therefore denied all treats and pleasures that us HARD WORKING people that PAY TAXES and PAY FOR YOUR FOOD STAMPS get to enjoy.

That teabaggin’ “I got mine–screw everyone else” is totally destroying this country. I can’t believe the parsimonious attitude of that woman. Denying organic food? Denying a candy bar? You try living on potatoes and macaroni and cheese, &!%@#, see how you like that. I bet you’ll want to treat yourself to a candy bar or get some good organic food every once in a while.

Enjoy your moron-elect, Snot Walker too, while you’re at it. In 4 years he’ll have all of us eating roots out of our yard. Not because he’ll be doing some healthy organic grow-your-own garden program like Michelle Obama, but because we’ll be forced to out of necessity like Russian peasants. The poor caller might have to sell one of her cars. Sad.

Astronomical Odds

Neither Stan nor I are social butterflies. We have a few close friends…not a big network. That makes the friends we do have very special to us. We already lost a good friend we knew in college who we had fallen out of touch with, around the same time we lost our dog Plato. A couple weeks ago we got a call from a very close friend in another state, saying that he had just had surgery over the Thanksgiving holiday. This was a few months after *he* had lost his stepfather. Common surgery, nothing removed that one cannot live without. He is doing fine now, however.

This is very hard for me to write about this.

Last week we were in the hospital for four nights visiting another very close friend. He is not doing fine. He has been through so many health problems. He had a stroke 7 years ago, heart surgery a half year after that, and has been plagued with everything…migraines, sinus infections and more, and now he recently had a bad infection that was affecting his heart surgery from before, which landed him in the hospital. Yesterday, he had a brain hemorrhage and that resulted in emergency brain surgery.

Even if he pulls through this, there is no hope for him getting his life back to what it was. But I fear we will lose another friend this year. What are the odds?

He was always connected to our dogs. He fell in love with Hieronymus when he met him, and never a time would go by after we lost Hieronymus that he wouldn’t come up in conversation with us. The strange thing was that he got his stroke the year Hieronymus died. It is so not surprising that this would happen to him the year Plato died.

Back in 1996/97, Stan’s parents lost their dog that they had had a long time, and a few months later Stan’s father died.

I always had a feeling that when Plato died, someone close to me would die. I am afraid it will be prophetic.

Some People Should NEVER Buy on Ebay.

Seriously, I really only visit the ebay store board forums for information regarding all sorts of advice with the best way to improve selling on ebay and all that is related to it, but I sometimes get sidetracked by the melodramas that evolve there as well. Not only are these ebay soap operas entertaining, but they also alert sellers to the true loons that are out there. I’ve had a few…everyone does if they sell enough for a long enough time. But NOTHING could compare to a recent buyer that was brought to the attention of recent ebayers reading one of the selling forums.

A seller sells a brand new wool coat to a buyer. Buyer pays, and then unleashes these demands on the seller:

Please, no fragrance or scents of any type OR DOG /CAT or any other animal HAIR/DANDRUF due to our allergies. Wrap securely using a box. Use the FREE shipping label provided by Paypal or EBay with FREE delivery confirmation; kindly send me the confirmation number. If any of the preferences above cannot be met, kindly let me know PRIOR to shipping. Also… Recently I have had a lot of sellers sending items in boxes that are too small, new with tag resulting in, old with tag. If the postal service cannot supply a large enough box for my purchase, you are to buy a NEW box from a stationary store or store like KINKOS. Do not send me item in a previously used box OF ANY KIND. Dumpster boxes will get you a negative even if the product passes my inspection. If I am purchasing a pre-owned item from you, you need to purchase Allersearch Allergen Wash Laundry Detergent, and wash the item(s) twice in hot water. DO NOT hang outside to dry, DO NOT put any kind of dryer sheet in dryer, even unfragranced ones. You can air dry inside the house, only if all windows are closed. Please use a sticky roller prior to shipment on every surface of clothing, inside and outside, new or pre-owned as fibers may cause allergic reaction. Put clothing item used or new in a SEALED plastic bag before inserting in box, as allergens can penetrate cardboard or come in through seams in box. I am an honest buyer and I ask you to please write to me prior to shipping if there is anything you think I should know about the item or its shipping, that is what I tried to say above…..I sincerely need your help on this, I don’t have money to ship things back to you, I truly don’t,

Seller comes to the forum to get advice on what to do. The buyer obviously cuts and pastes the demands for all her purchases, and she has left many negatives for sellers who either refund her money after they receive the demands, or they don’t accommodate all of her demands.

Seller decides the best thing to do is to try to cancel the sale with the buyer. She attempts to call her and the phone doesn’t ring, but she gets a message: “You have reached my home. I need to know who you are and what you want before I answer, please speak now, a speaker is on and I will hear you. State who you are, and what you are calling for, and instructions will be given”.

The seller announces herself and why she is calling. A voice in the background says “OK, you may call back in 15 minutes, and announce yourself with number 327 in the phone”. Seller calls back later and finally gets ahold of the buyer. The seller tells her the only thing she could not fullfill from her list was that she does not ship through PayPal or eBay (actually…that’s one thing on the list that I can easily accommodate, but everyone has a different MO) that she ship directly with the post office, Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. The buyer says that is unacceptable because she doesn’t trust going directly to USPS for an eBay item, and she will only accept packages where the labels are printed from eBay or PayPal.

WTF? I mean WTF? It’s ok for this buyer to ship directly from home with PayPal labels, but not to go to the post office? I mean the package has to go through the post office anyway! WTF??!?!?!?

The buyer and seller mutually agree to cancel the transaction, but the poor seller (and she truly does have my sympathy) is still waiting in fear for what may possibly be an inevitable negative feedback from this…person.

Some day I’ll tell all about some of the weird ones I’ve had.

I mean I sympathize with being allergic and all, but if someone’s allergies are so severe that they can be triggered just by a receipt of clothing that *might* contain a wee trace of an allergen because the seller owned a pet (as most households in the US do), then the sensible thing to do would be to never buy on ebay or any venue where the seller may be either selling used items or selling from their home (even if the items are new).

I developed a severe rat allergy when I had them as pets, so that if I handled a rat and accidentally got any of their fur or dander near my face, my face and eyes would swell up. Horrible. I had to miss work one day because of it. But I would never dream of putting demands on a buyer: “Please do not roll a rat around on the beads/book/DVD/gadget/thingamabob before mailing it.” 😀 Of course, most people wouldn’t think of wiping their sellables on their rats. But also, most people wouldn’t dream of having to launder their sellables in some expensive hyperallergenic soap either, and line-dry inside (yes, everyone has room for that…everyone has a nice big dry basement). Some people are just so unreasonable.