Spring is finally here.

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Blossom Cloud

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Just checking in

I wanted you all to know that I’m sorry I haven’t posted lately. I miss you guys. My dad had a heart attack 2 weeks ago and I have a new job. I’ll be scarce for awhile.

Take care my friends!

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Gap Inc will raise the minimum hourly rate for U.S. employees

It’s a start. Good for The Gap.

Early this morning, we notified all our employees that starting here in the U.S., Gap Inc. will make a strategic investment to do more for our employees by increasing the minimum hourly rate for our employees to $9 in 2014 and $10 in 2015. This will ultimately benefit about 65,000 store employees.

Gap Inc will raise the minimum hourly rate for U.S. employees in 2015.

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“Living in poverty is like being punched in the face over and over and over on a daily basis. “

This is painful to read but I hope you will take the time to do so. Reading it can’t be anywhere near as painful as living it.

Can we as a society afford to continue turning a blind eye to poverty and income inequality? Raise the minimum wage NOW.

 

Thank you to Jenn for sharing her personal story of living in poverty right now….

Today, I did something I never thought I’d do. I yelled at my son for being hungry. Oh sure, there are many parents nodding in agreement because they’ve done the same thing. Many have yelled at their kids for asking for one more snack right before dinner was served or for wanting to eat junk food out of boredom. That’s not why I yelled. I yelled because I didn’t have extra food to give him and I was taking my frustration out on him. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. He’s just a kid, a 7 year old who is full of energy and constantly growing. Of course he’s hungry often. That’s what kids do. However, I didn’t have enough food for anyone to have extras. Everything has to be rationed out over a week or more. Food stuff needs to be stretched. Already angry and frustrated with our situation, I lost my cool when my child asked a simple question – because I knew there was nothing I could do to change it in that moment. My anger turned to worry, another constant feeling in my daily life, as I wondered if this would create food issues in my child. Will he be afraid to eat, knowing that we might not have enough the next day?

Read More at :Jenn’s Words: “Living in poverty is like being punched in the face over and over and over on a daily basis. “ | Poor as Folk.

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How’s Your Weather? UPDATE

It’s hard to see the snow falling in the photo because it’s very fine, but heavy. The camera had trouble focusing, but this is a half-hour’s worth of snow already. We are expecting up to 12 inches of snow by tomorrow.

What’s it like in your neck of the woods?

Half-hour of snow.

Half-hour of snow.

UPDATE: February 13, 2014

We now have about 14 inches of snow and expect more before the night’s over.

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Do you like taking photographs?

You don’t have to be a professional photographer, or go to school for photography to love taking photographs.

I thought I would share some sites that I have found inspirational and helpful for ideas and techniques I’ve never tried before.

Digital Photography School

The website Digital Photography School has tips, tutorials, reviews of equipment, weekly photo challenges, and most anything you could want to know about taking photographs. If you’re not interested in taking photographs, you can enjoy looking at the many great photos posted on the website.

Digital Photo Mentor

Do you want something more personal? A site where you can communicate with other photo lovers and get feedback? Try Digital Photo Mentor. There are interviews with photographers, tutorials, and challenges in which you can participate.

B&H Photo

Are you ready to take your photography to a level above just taking snapshots? Need new camera equipment? I highly recommend B&H Photovideo. The website has a great collection of cameras, lenses, and all the accessories you could ever need or want. Their customer service is outstanding. I recently purchased a corrective diopter for my camera and accidentally ordered the wrong one. They exchanged it and didn’t charge me for shipping for the replacement. I depend on the reviews on that site when looking for anything to do with photography. I used B&H back when I was doing film photography in school and purchased all of my film and photography paper from them as they had the best prices and service.

Share Your Favorite Photos

Do you have some favorite photos you would like to share? You can upload a photo in the comments section. Please keep the file limited to 72 dpi and the largest side of the photo at 600 pixels.

I look forward to seeing your pictures.

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Are crows the ultimate problem solvers?

I love crows. I thought this was fascinating.

Are crows the ultimate problem solvers? – Inside the Animal Mind: Episode 2 – BBC Two – YouTube.

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A Limited Time Offer for Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5

Anyone who has ever purchased a full version of Photoshop knows how incredibly expensive it is. Unless you make your living using Photoshop you probably don’t want to shell out the big bucks each year or so for the major upgrades – and who wants to live without the latest and greatest upgrades?

Now you can have both Photoshop and Lightroom and get all the upgrades immediately upon release……the cost is $9.99 a month. No longer do you have to spend $600 to $700 for just Photoshop or over $100 for just Lightroom. You can sign up for the $9.99 a month special  HERE.

When I purchased the $9.99 plan, I also got the newest Adobe Bridge free, 20GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration, and a Behance ProSite.

I had Photoshop CS5 and the full compliment of Adobe Web Premium software already. So, why would I choose to pay more and update my Photoshop? I did so because technology is changing quickly and the new features in Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) are just too good to pass up.

Here are just some of the new features:

  • All-new Smart Sharpen
  • Photoshop Extended features included
  • Intelligent upsampling
  • Camera Shake Reduction
  • Adobe Camera Raw as a filter
  • Adobe Camera Raw 8
  • Editable rounded rectangles and other shapes
  • Multiple shape and path selection
  • Improved 3D painting
  • Real-time image asset generation and Adobe Edge Reflow CC connectivity powered by Adobe Generator
  • Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify
  • Mercury Graphics Engine
  • Content-Aware Patch and Content-Aware Move
  • On-canvas 3D controls at your fingertips

I’ve never used Lightroom before, but it has some pretty incredible features. I won’t list them all here, but you can find all of the new features in Lightroom 5 here: Lightroom 5 Features

One of the features that I love in Lightroom is the ability to export a batch of photos with a logo or watermark.

I know many people who say they would love to learn how to use Photoshop but find it too difficult to do on their own. For anyone who wants to learn how to use Photoshop or Lightroom, you can find a vast array of video tutorials here: Video tutorials

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Is a Change Coming for Windows 8?

UPDATE: Free Windows 8.1 update available. Instructions HERE

Microsoft miscalculated when it came out with Windows 8…it screwed up. Yes, many people are going to tablets, but businesses and many home PC users aren’t and that was the miscalculation. Windows 8 is probably a good operating system if you have a touch screen tablet, but if you don’t, it is an exercise in frustration for users.

This isn’t a Microsoft bashing post. I know it’s considered cool by many geeks to hate and trash Microsoft, but I don’t subscribe to that argument. I appreciate the fact that Microsoft brought home PCs to the world. When I went to buy my first computer, only Apple had anything available that was worth looking at and the price was exorbitant. I had to wait for a good number of years for the personal computer to be affordable, and I attribute that affordability and availability to the operating system that was much more user friendly than Apple’s operating system.

I’ve used many Microsoft products going all the way back to Windows 3. MS has had some real dogs of operating systems. ME and Vista are two that come to mind, but it’s also had some winners, which in my opinion are Windows XP and Windows 7.

Windows 8 will probably join Vista in the dog category for many users, but MS is taking the initiative to actually fix it so it’s more user friendly. I hope a lesson was learned – don’t change things just to change them, and don’t assume one operating system fits all. A tablet is a tablet and a PC a PC and trying to force one operating system as the OS of choice for both didn’t work and probably never will.

If you purchased a computer and were forced to accept Windows 8 and hate it, hold onto hope. I change may be coming. And if not, you can always install Windows 7 on your new computer.

Microsoft reportedly planning to go back to Windows desktop default

While much of the recent chatter surrounding Microsoft Corp. may be centered around the successor to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, another change may be in the works for software giant’s Windows 8.1 operating system to cater to core users.

Recently, reports indicate Microsoft MSFT -2.85% is planning to update Windows 8.1 by having the system boot to a desktop option by default, something traditional desktop users have been wanting.

SOURCE.

Do you have Windows 8? If so, please share your experience with it. Do you love it, hate it, or just don’t care? Do you use a tablet or PC?

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Sweet Irony

Sometimes it is the little ironies in life that add the humor and spice.

Rep. Michael Grimm didn’t know whom he was dealing with on Tuesday when he threatened to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto off the US Capitol balcony and “break you in half. Like a boy.”

The journalist is related to Anthony Scotto, former head of the Brooklyn longshoremen’s union and a former boss in the Gambino crime family.

“Michael is a tough reporter, and in true Scotto fashion, he’s not easily intimidated!” “Good Day New York” host Rosanna Scotto, Michael’s cousin and Anthony’s daughter, told me.

“Grimm’s outlook may be grim,” laughed one Brooklynite. “Is he nuts, or what?”

Source

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