Posted by: Leslie Sigal Javorek • Date: Fri, Oct 23, 2009 12:09 am
Back around 1986 when I was playing around with my beloved Mac-Plus (that I had just upgraded to have 4 whole MB of ram!) and a 2400 baud modem (think of “Inch Worm” to get an idea of that connection speed), I came across a website that had some monochrome desktop pictures that could be downloaded for free. This was one of my very first encounters with the generosity of the early software and digital graphics pioneers. Not only were they offering the fruit of their labors for free to anyone stumbling upon their site but they would share with you their tricks and techniques, brainstorm with you on a new concept of your own, and introduce you to others with similar interests who may be of help. While I grew up in a family of extremely successful entrepreneurs going back several generations and consider myself to be a deeply ingrained capitalist at heart, my parents also taught me by example, how important it is to share your knowledge and skills as well as the fruits of your labors with those first starting out and hungry to learn and with those who simply have no where else to turn. So while the sentiment of the early freeware-shareware movement wasn’t foreign to me personally, it was a bit of an anomaly among the rest of the Me Generation when, according to the media, “everyone” was out for themselves and “Greed is Good” was their motto. I think this is one of the major reasons that I am proud to be a Geek. If it were not for this generous community, I would never have had the opportunity to learn as much as I have over the years nor have been encouraged to try my hand at skills that others outside of that online community told me were beyond my ability and that it was ridiculous to even try.
So, back to that first website I mentioned. It was one of those hosted by CompuServe(one of the earliest portals for us mere mortals with personal computers and not mainframes) and there was a desktop picture I came across that I thought was the most creative, clever concepts ever that was an Art Parody which merged the work of M.C. Escher and the popular toy by Ohio Art, the Etch-A-Sketch. While it was executed quite expertly, because of the state of the technology I owned at that time (limited to 2-bit graphics) it was incredibly crude compared to what can be done these days with 32 or even 64-bit graphics and millions of colors. Unfortunately, I cannot recall who had originated the concept of the “Escher-Sketch” to give him or her their proper due (if any of you knows, please put it in a comment to this post!). In honor of that anonymous wizard, I’ve created an updated version which makes a perfect backdrop for my Chiquita Series of icons. So without further ado, here’s tonight’s late night snack,..
Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day
Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1600px X 1200px)
Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1920px X 1200px)
Have you ever noticed how little kids will latch on to a favorite hat, or shirt, or pair of socks that they just HAVE to wear every day and act as if it’s the end of the world if you suggest they skip a day so you can put the beloved piece in the washer? I’ve never done a study on this but I’m guessing that this phenomenon it’s probably one of the stepping stones to becoming independent (weaned from their mother’s breast, consoling themselves with their own thumb, parenting their teddy-bear in the ways that they learned, and now, gingerly taking those first steps out in the world as a “big kid”, where lugging your stuffed animal or blankie everywhere you go is no longer socially acceptable.) Looking back to when my son began that phase brings such a smile to my face as he was just so enthusiastic about everything . Rob’s particular obsession was in wearing this jacket I had made for him out of an old pair of blue jeans that had a secret pocket on the inside to hide the treasure maps he had made. At recess, he’d pull them out with a flourish and lead the other kids around the playground “capturing after bear”. What a grand time he had and I admit not feeling the list bit guilty for conspiring with him to figure out a way he could get past the unreasonably strict principal who forbid the kids from taking anything outdoors to play with.
I wasn’t nearly as creative as my son when I was that age, but I did have a fixation for a while on always wearing a little white sailor hat (after I saw a picture of my Dad in the navy) and created tattoos for myself (an idea I got from Popeye, not my father!) by plastering my arms with those little blue oval stickers that came on fresh bananas in the early 1960’s from the Chiquita Banana division of United Fruit. If you’re as ancient as I am, you probably remember and can still sing the happy-go-lucky jingle sung by a Carmen Miranda-inspired character pitched by that eras “Mad Men”. It was all fun and innocence in those days, before the Banana War in South America and before we realized such abuse existed in our own country on the farms in California. As painful as it was to face the truth and to make strides towards ending (or at least no longer condoning) such practices, I can’t say that I long for the “good old days” of socio-political naivety. I do still enjoy though every once in a while, humming that happy little ditty to myself and wondering whether or not my son ever caught that elusive bear.
Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day
Posted by: Leslie Sigal Javorek • Date: Tue, Oct 20, 2009 2:43 am
It was a lovely day I’m told, up here on the north coast of the USA at the edge of Lake Erie. One of those clear, crisp, bright and colorful autumn days, perfect for a walk around one of Ohio’s incredible state parks. While it’s been years since I’ve been able to do that myself, I’ve been blessed with such vivid memories that I just close my eyes and can hear the crackle of the dried, fallen leaves beneath my feet; the smokey, vaguely meaty smell of a wood-fire rising through a chimney at a nearby lodge; the distant creaking and gentle laughter of children playing on the swings; the peaceful honking of geese flying in a perfect “V” formation on their way down from Canada and passing through to reach Georgia for the winter; and the taste of crisp, tart winesap apples in my mouth. Just thinking of these sensations brings a smile to my face. You just can’t beat those simple pleasures. So while I slept through most of the daytime hours (a consequence of the flu shot I had last week because of my almost non-existent immune system), my imagination served me well with the next best thing.
As a follow-up to last night’s premier of my Russet series of icons, tonight I’m serving up the balance of that series, which includes a coordinating wallpaper (packaged in 3 different sizes). Enjoy!