The Bronze Killer and Me (+Patriotic Desktop Pix)

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Still trying to catch up to where I left off before my trip. Too much to do but my body and mind just refuse to cooperate for more than a half-hour at a time. I am truly thankful for the fact that I don’t suffer from the huge mood-swings or periods of sudden rage that often accompanies Hereditary Hemochromatosis, at the same time though, I’m really frustrated by the increasing inability to focus both my mind – and my eyes. It’s like I’ve suddenly developed ADHD at the age of 56 and someone keeps moving my monitor closer than farther away then closer then… Well, you get the idea. HFE is such an odd disease in that it can have so many manifestations and it seems that no two people have the exact same combination of symptoms and the mix changes constantly.

Read More about Hemochromatosis Awareness Month

I’ve got great doctors – but none of them have HFE so they can’t really relate to what I’m going through, and I’ve been searching for other who have HFE to compare notes with. Through those searches, I came across a reference to the book “The Bronze Killer” by Marie Warder and on Amazon.com there were a ton of reviews of the book that were all just raving about how it’s considered the BEST book on the subject of HFE and more specifically, on the experience of the author’s husband and both children having it and how it’s affected all of them. Marie’s husband is like me in that he was not diagnosed until after he had already suffered permanent damage to his liver while her children were fortunately diagnosed before the disease had advanced that far. I ordered the book on Tuesday and received it Thursday. I used to read at least 1 book a day but those days are long gone and so I’m only on page 11. I’ll fill you in as I get farther along.

Completely off-subject but appropos for this weekend when those of us who are blessed to be Citizens of The United States celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th of July, I’ve created a few patriotic icons as well as a Desktop Picture (in 3 different screen sizes) for you. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons & Wallpaper of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Star Spangled 1600x1200

1280×854 px 1600×1200 px 1920×1200 px

Old FlagColumbia

Freedom Flag

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FELT BETTER? (Felt System Icons)

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I’ve actually been having a little fun with this latest icon set. With the framed kelly green felt wallpaper on my desktop, I created a bunch of empty folders and set their icons to a bunch of the felt images from this new series and just played with them creating pictures and stories around them. Just like being in Kindergarten again! I’m thinking of maybe doing a kids book with these. Better yet, maybe some of you guys out there that have young children can let them loose with these and then send in your screenshots and stories that the kids make up and I’ll put them together in a download-able/printable book format for everyone to share and enjoy! Whaddya think?

Tonight I’m posting some basic system icons for those of you that want to have a more practical use for this series. Coming up over the next several days will be everything you need for your system, applications and user folders. I’ll close off the series in a week or so with characters and toys and animals so the young ‘uns (and those young at heart or just plain immature like me) can create their own villages and tales.

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Felted-Fonts

Felted-Folder Felted-Folder-Smart

Felted-Burn

Felted-TB-Delete3 Felted-TB-Eject

Felted-Library

Felted-TB-customize Felted-TB-New

Felted-TB-Find

Felted-TB-Picture Felted-TB-Public

Felted-MultiMedia

Felted-TB-Music Felted-World

Felted-TB-Fav

Felted-Computer

I’ve FELT Spring In The Air!

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With the sunshine and warm temperatures this week, we have crocuses in bloom all around the yard and a family of 5 deer arrived to feed on them. As much as I love the blossoms, I just don’t have the heart to shoo the deer away. So much construction in the neighborhood the past 5 years has just about wiped out their feeding grounds and the poor animals are starving. The suburb I live in has made it against the law to feed the deer (along with the occasional bear and mountain lion) because it allows them to survive and proliferate. In other words, they want the wild life to starve to death, else they’ll become “pests” and have to be shot.

Now, I’m not a fanatic by any means and I understand that humans have needs and rights, as well. But the theory behind the law is a lot harder to take when I find myself face to face with a doe and her fawns. Somehow, being near the top of the food chain isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Yeah, I admit it. I’m a wimp when it comes to Bambi and Thumper.

What bugs me most about it though is that while all this “new” construction has replaced what had formerly been woodlands, there are blocks of homes and commercial buildings that stand unwanted, empty, and rotting and attracting their own brand of “wild life” as a result. It seems so wasteful and cruel to allow this sprawl to continue while there already is land to be used. From my experience working in the construction field, I’m well aware of the costs and other possible negatives of having to demolish an existing building and do environmental clean-up. But such endeavors are in the best interests of the whole community so those costs should be off-set in part through tax incentives and other public funds. That’s how it works in some neighborhoods or for certain types of buildings – but not all. And so the creeping blight and hungry deer continue to grow.

Sorry, folks. I hadn’t intended to get into a rant here tonight.

What I did intend to do was to welcome my second favorite season of the year – Spring – and note that Easter is early this year and just around the corner. To celebrate it all, I’ve created a great big icon/clip art set in a style that mimics those felt cut-outs we made back in grade school and bright green felt desktops and scrapbook album pages to serve as a suitable backdrop. Along with the Easter themed images, I’ve included a new alphabet (also felted) that includes all capitals, small letters, numerals, punctuation and some commonly used symbols. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Felted Violets

Felted-Bunny-1 Felted-Bunny-2

Felted-Poppies

felted-egg-2 Felted-Egg-1

Felted-Rose Felted-Egg-3

Felted-Easter-Basket

Felted-Alphabet-Preview

Download is a zipped file containing #26 Capital Letters, #26 Lower-Case Letters, #0-9, plus assorted punctuation and common symbols.

Felted Desktop Preview

Download is a zipped file contains backgrounds in the following sizes: 1920×1200 (px), 1600×1200 (px), and 1024×768 (px).

The “Real” Hemingway – Or Not.

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Tonight I’m concluding my series of images that celebrate a tiny slice of the passions and achievements of Ernest Hemingway. More than half a century after his death, the appeal of this enigmatic macho-man continues to grow and remain relevant due to the eloquence of Hemingway’s prose and universality of his characters thrust into a rapidly changing world where conventional values, relationships and expectations no longer have meaning and tomorrow is the ultimate unknown, all woven together with exotic locations and varied adventures and all with the core theme of man as an individual and the compulsion to seek challenges to triumph over himself and his environment. From the point of view of characters dealing with the reality of living in the eye of the storm, life is at once thrilling, horrifying, compelling, alienating, inspiring, depressing, life-affirming, destructive, ancient, modern and seductive. But in winding up this series, I’d like to address an issue I feel rather passionate about: the perpetuation of bias and hatred against people due to the race, religion, or sexual orientation and a rarely used tool to help combat it.

Much has been written about Ernest Hemingway, the “Man’s Man”, full of bravado, machismo and courage. Not the least to have extolled and claimed these qualities was Ernie himself. Yet in the past 10 years (fifty years after his death) there has been a new focus by certain theorists cum biographers/scholars who have steered the conversation away from two-dimensional character portrayed in the popular media to reexamine the softer side of the man. While such attempts to discover the “real” man behind the myth are laudable, because these publications were released shortly after the tragic death of Hemingway’s youngest child, the scholarly value of such books or essays as Ernest Hemingway: Machismo and Masochism” and Hemingway’s Masochism, Sodomy, and the Dominant Woman”, both by Richard Fantina, “A Matter of Love or Death: Hemingway’s Developing Psychosexuality in For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Marc Hewson, and “Hemingway’s Quarrel with Androgyny” by Mark Spilka, strike me a less than certain.

Editor’s Note — My concern is in large part due to the very public revelation that the 69-year-old woman who died of natural causes while incarcerated in a Miami Florida women’s jail for indecent exposure was in fact Gregory Hemingway, the youngest son of author Ernest Hemingway who had just 3 years earlier undergone a sex-change operation.

It is unknown to me whether the research and conclusions about Ernest expounded by such works were initiated due to their author’s knowledge of Gigs Hemingway’s “secret”, or evolved independent of such knowledge, and/or whether the publisher’s release date was intentionally timed to capitalize on the tragedy, or whether the close proximity of the release date to that intensely personal family tragedy was instead just a reflection of the Publisher’s gross insensitivity to the Hemingway family, to the Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender community, and to the scholarly reputations of these authors. But regardless of the true circumstances, it strikes me as hard to deny the potential cloud placed over the credibility of the author’s conclusions about the inner-life of Ernest Hemingway nor the potential harm to the G.L.B.T. community as a result of feeding into the already existing misperception of the general public who not only consider such people as “freaks” or worse yet, as “sinners” but who either overly believe or inwardly fear that homosexuality, trans-genderism, as well as any other “non-standard” sexual preference is not only a “disease” but one which can be “caught” by an innocent bystander and therefore must be protected against by ostracizing and punishing the “victims”.

Of course, biographers and scholars are not responsible for the biology, psychology or circumstances of the person(s) about whom they are writing and the farther a biography or critical analysis strays from the facts and reality of their subject’s life the less credible their treatises become. So the dilemma for them and their publishers becomes:

  1. How to ensure your analysis of a deceased person’s psychological make-up doesn’t get tainted or inappropriately influenced by a combination of the biology, psychology and circumstances of the lives of other deceased persons and, perhaps, your own personal cultural biases?; and
  2. How can you (as author or publisher) help prevent your readers from using your analysis about one specific person as confirmation of their own pre-existing bias’ applied to an entire category of people?

Unfortunately, I have no sure-fire answer as to how to prevent the initial bias but certainly having Editors and Publishers as alert to such weaknesses as they are to grammatical errors and typography should catch it at the gate. On the latter question, to those of you who may presume that anyone intellectually smart enough to even be interested in reading such publications are also culturally intelligent enough not to misinterpret them, I ask that you simply consider the evidence that intellect does not necessarily correlate equally to cross-cultural understanding or empathy (for example: Thomas Jefferson was intellectually brilliant yet owned many slaves, Richard Wagner was a genius composer yet was stridently anti-semitic). And to those of you who may feel it is unfair to even ask biographers, scholars, essayists, and journalists take such questions into serious consideration before they finalize and release their efforts to the public, I ask that you reflect upon the fact that if the skills of these authors are such as to create compelling enough material that not only attracts many readers but presents their theories in such an effective manner that convinces their readers to accept those theories, then in situations where there is a reasonably perceivable risk of faulty conclusions and abuses of their tomes, doesn’t it make sense to ask these writers to use their considerable skills to complete the circle of education by expressly pointing out what are or are not valid applications of their theories beyond their specific subject while they still have their reader’s attention? And wouldn’t this create even greater value to their works and benefits to society?

It’s something to think about at least.

And now, for the lighter side of tonight’s post, I present you with 3 different 1920×1200 px-sized pictures created specifically to coordinate with my Hemingway Series of images, suitable for use either as a background for your desktop, scrapbook page, or ….? -Enjoy!

Free Desktop Pix of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 1024px X 768px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

Hemingway-San-Fermin

Hemingway KenyaGold-Screen

Hemingway Havana-Screen

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IconDoIt’s Homage to Picasso’s Homage to Cervantes

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I’ve found that serendipity abounds when I keep my mind open and seek knowledge whether for knowledge’s sake or for specific purposes. My experiences today are an excellent example. I began by working on an idea I had for a new desktop wallpaper that paid tribute to my “hero”, Don Quixote and one of my favorite painter’s, Pablo Picasso. I’m pretty pleased with the result and wanted to share it but because I had incorporated the footprint of Picasso’s own famous tribute to Quixote, I thought I had better check out whether or not I would be guilty of some infringement. Enter Part II of my day, when I took a break before embarking on researching this legal question by catching up on some of my e-mail and unread blog subscriptions…

Bruce Carlton posted on his blog, Legal Blog Watch, an article that caught my interest as being particularly apropos, titled : ‘Copyright Abolitionists’ Fight for Freedom-Based Distribution of Artistic Work. After reading the article, I followed two of the links within it, first to another blog, Against Monopoly, and then to QuestionCopyright.org. The central theme of these sites is to educate people about the fallacies of the benefits of copyrights, the resultant harm caused by copyrights, and a call to arms, so to speak, to help fight against expanding of the existing copyright laws which is being actively considered both by US Congress and the Supreme Court as well as by many other countries around the world at this very moment. While I am a die-heart capitalist, I have also always been a firm believer in the open exchange of information, culture and inspiration, but have never been quite sure how to explain why those two positions were not in contradiction with each other. Nina Paley, artist-in-residence at QuestionCopyright.org is far more articulate than I, in both word and picture, and has produced an award-winning, animated short documentary that shows in a delightfully entertaining and informing manner, just how copyrights actually serve more to suppress creativity than protect economic interests. Among the many points makes in this one minute animation titled “All Things Are Derivative”, Ms. Paley also illustrates the difference between “plagerism” and “derivatives”.

All Things Are Derivative ……

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Interesting. But even more interesting was how my research concerning Don Quixote and Pablo Picasso’s painting ended up coming full circle to the very points made by Ms. Paley and the organization Question Copyright. Recently voted The Greatest Book of All Time by the Nobel Institute, Cervantes book, Don Quixote, Part I, was first licensed for publication in 1604, released to the public in 1605, and within six months, several derivative (“pirated’) editions were already in the works. In the intervening years, the great novel has spawned an astounding number of further “adaptations” (another term for derivatives) not only in literature but also in music, film, dance, art, and even social organizations. It is impossible to deny the vital influence that Cervantes book had on Western Culture and how culturally impoverished we would likely be today if the creative heirs to Cervantes imagination had been denied the right to build upon his works with their own imaginations and sweat. What adds to the greatness of these various derivatives though is that not one of them claimed to have been the innovator of the characters or plots their own work derived from, but thoroughly acknowledged Cervantes as the original source and genius, and that their subsequent works were in homage to the master.

It is in this same spirit that I offer my own creative works, where all I seek from those of you who may choose to make derivative works, is that you publicly acknowledge the source (‘attribution’), and send me a link so that I, too, can marvel at what clever ways you have chosen to adapt my work and allowed it to grow and ferment into something bigger and better.

Free Icons of the Day

The following image is a reduced size preview of a 1920 x 1200px Desktop Wallpaper. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the it to your desktop. If your monitor is set to a different resolution, send me a note via a comment below with the size required and I’ll post it for you. As always, my Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

GoldenLaMancha

And a generic folders to coordinate with this wallpaper.

LM_folder

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Quilting With Snakes

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It’s been a whirlwind week for me with my time and attention spread out into every nook and cranny of my life but the good news is that the majority of it was rather uplifting for a change. I heard from several long, lost friends and colleagues and better yet, I finally had the ability to respond to them.

THANK YOU MY FRIENDS

for being so loyal and sticking around during

my prolonged intermission from life!

For those of you who look forward to my usual offerings of unique graphics for your desktop pleasure, I’m posting tonight a new wallpaper/desktop picture sized just right for the High-Def setting on a Mac PowerBookPro (1900×1200 pixels). If you feel left out, BUY A MAC! (or post a comment with the resolution size of your monitor and check back for when I post the modifications. For the rest of you, Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following image is a reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the full-sized file to your desktop. (1900px X 1200px in .jpg format) As always, my Creative Commons license applies (Click on the red CC button in the sidebar for details)

Quilting-with-Snakes

QUILTING WITH SNAKES - 1900px X 1200px

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“CSI – Mac” ?

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There are a number of old sayings that declare this trait or that is a sure-bet reflection of a person’s character. Variations on this theme include: “You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep”, “The clothes make the man”, and “You can judge a person by their book covers”. Most of these adages are centuries, if not thousands of years old and most of us have heard them repeated since our earliest childhood. Whether or not such sentiments are a matter of training, self-fulfilling prophecy, or merely observation, I’ve no idea but while these clever little generalities are hardly fail-safe proof, there appears to be a universal tendency for people to unconsciously make snap judgments of others based on such accessible clues. Well, I’ve got new candidate to nominate as a suitable, superficial reflection of human personality in this first decade of the 21st Century: Computer Desktops!

Think about it. Or better yet, look around your office or dorm, classroom, or peep at the screen on the laptop of that guy sitting against the window next time you’re at Starbuck’s and tell me what you see. I believe you can learn a lot about a person’s temperament, dreams, priorities, habits, weaknesses, strengths, loves, and moods by (surreptitiously) checking in on the state of their desktop every once in a while. While I don’t advocate making snap judgments like this if you’re on a jury, are a cop, or parent of a teenager, or in any other situation that calls for more than speculation, still, developing the skill as a “Forensic Desktop Reader” could be the next big thing to show up as a TV series or be a great new career move. Whad’ya think?

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews of 6 new “Metro” series Art Deco desktop pictures. You can download all 6, at 3 different monitor resolutions, in one convenient zipped archive by clicking the “Download Now” button below. As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.