Well, well, well. Hasn't this been a most interesting year. But what else can you expect when the major presidential candidates are quite possibly Geronimo skull-fuckers. (I wouldn't say "probably", I'm more of the belief that the Skulls And Bones Society uses Geronimo's skull in their vomitorium instead, but that's only because of that one picture.)
But since the year has begun, I've been laid off yet again, only to pick up a piddlin'-pay gig on contract for six months. Already I think I should keep my eyes open for better openings. At least I don't forfeit unemployment insurance as a result, and Washington has an "at-will" employment law, so I can always say, "No thanks" at the end of the contract. So we'll be OK money-wise as long as we don't go hog wild. The downside is that it is looking bleak for my attending X-Day.
Except that there's the question of who'll escort Rev. Dr. Big Boy on his pilgrimage to the Colomnibus of Endless Star Wars Movies. If I'm travelling as far as Ohio, why not at least make an overnight appearance? Dobbs DID say we HAD to party, and in that aspect I have been sinning badly lately, but I now seek redemption. Shit, I might even let Legume Bobtise me this time, just to make sure the non-party stink stays off.
But then there's the matter of taxes--as in, we owe. OH, WOE, WE OWE!
Hard times, yes. But that's a good thing in its own right. That which doesn't kill us, makes us bitch loudly, and yet I can't help but to look at the plusses. Having a well-paying job gets you fat; being married gets you fat; finding passion in Asian cuisine and Mexican food gets you fat; and most of all, sitting on your ass for hours at a time gets you fat. Being broke means I have to bust ass more and eat restaurant food less. Fuck Atkins--try the Bush Diet and watch the pounds melt away! The secret is in the arsenic!
But, you know, never mind the weight loss tips, for despite all this craziness, I have truly, no, REALLY been blessed. I've received the first true, sizeable donation to LVF Ministries, Fools' Press, SSUCC, Church of the Skullfarmer's Daughter, Brute Force Productions, and whatever other whimsical weird name I've made STUFF under. To wit, a brand new Power Mac G4. Considering that my beloved six-year-old G3, Wanda LePetomane, finally decided it couldn't go on anymore, however, it's not entirely as if it were truly something for nothing. Soon, I need to yank Wanda's poor hard drive out and see if a little Lazarusin' can be done on the data. If so, and if I have a space for it, I may just leave the other drive there and start consolidating data. Maybe one day I'll actually USE the data for something. Could happen, I reckon. Maybe.
And so, with OS X 10.3 running, and X11 installed without any deep UNIX voodoo. Why X11? Partially, it's so I can run OpenOffice.org and be able to handle others' icky Microsoft files without actually installing Microsoft code. While the program itself doesn't come with an installer (expecting the voodoo) there are many freeware installers designed to install OpenOffice.org automatically. Some install X11 first. But never mind all that. The real, deep, true, honest reason for all this is... The GIMP.
That's "GNU Image Manipulation Program"--GNU originally being an interoperable alternative to UNIX And GNU means "GNU's Not UNIX"--*NIX geeks love self-referential acronyms almost as much as they love weird, filthy, dangerous acronyms and command names. In UNIX, "man kill" is a valid and useful command. So is "fsck". That's the true reason why geeks love UNIX, Linux, BSD, and all the other operating systems. Using it is just like cussing, and so it's the perfect OS for any computer.
Anyhow, GNU started a concept of free software--not open-source, mind you--with a flexible but legally rock-solid licence, so it happens that when the idea of a free Photoshop-like program for UNIX came around, they'd wind up giving it that name. I figure they were thinking about the kind of gimp who's constantly bound, gagged, and hooded in his/her owner's dungeon, and not about amputees, but when it comes to UNIX geeks and their fetishes, there really isn't ANY telling.
GIMP, too, is now ridiculously easy to install on Mac OS X. As long as X11 is already installed, you just drag and drop it onto your hard drive, and then you start it like any Mac appy. Feature-wise, it's like Photoshop 4 but it can do things that no version of Photoshop can, like being able to mix-and-match tabs full of pallettes, tools, functions, layers, channels, etc. in any layout you like, or the Script Fu feature
which requires writing code but allows for an incredible amount of automation that macros can't touch. And, it works great. Aside from the learning curve of a somewhat different graphics program, you can do quite a bit. The picture here should show you what I mean.