Category: Images


Leafless tree

Trees bravely shed their leaves. What can my soul release? What things are good enough to keep?


Making it personal

Zero to Hero day 7 assignment: Create and upload your own header.

I didn’t think my chosen theme would take a header, but upon checking this page, I found that it would support a 220×220 pixel image.

I decided to make some kind of image collage of my face. Luckily I have plenty of pictures of myself. Call me a selfie-aholic.

I decided on these shots:

The four images I used for the collage
The four images I used for the collage

The first three versions I made were too dark for the title text to be visible. I worked in Photoshop CS6, by the way.

Too dark for title text to show.
First version
2nd version of header image.
2nd version of header image still too dark

I finally decided to put a white stroke of paint in the middle so the text would have a nice contrasting background. I don’t totally love it, but it’s good enough for now.

Final version with stroke of white paint
Final version with stroke of white paint

And here’s what it looks like:

The header as it looks on the page
The header as it looks on the page

In other news, I did the forward bend segment of Rodney Yee’s A.M. Yoga for Your Week DVD this morning. I had a little bit of an emotional breakthrough after the session.  I have to get serious about my yoga practice! It might be the key to everything, or at least to a lot of things.

I have a secret

The secret is that I might like the Fall
I might like the way the sky looks when red and orange leaves dance
playfully across it
I might enjoy wearing sweaters
and seeing pumpkins
and opening the car window on my drive across town
Don’t tell anyone
I’m known as a complainer about Fall
and a Winter whiner
I’m the one who declares that she wants two seasons, Spring and Summer
Please don’t tell anyone that I’m getting soft on this cool weather stuff
That I thought today was beautiful
I’ll deny it to the very end


This Thistle


This morning was wet, warm, soft, and gray.
I parked in the lot adjacent to the torn-down buildings and climbed out of the car with my purse, lunch bag, and iPad bag slung over my shoulder and across my chest. My iPhone was nested in the back pocket of my jeans, earbuds plugged in and stuck in my ears.

I began my walk to the CIB (IU’s Cyber Infrastructure Building), the place I work. I stepped from pavement, to grass, to concrete, to the dirt that used to be under the recently demolished Wrubel Computing Center (a place that I used to work).

I saw this dying thistle in the tall native grass that adorns the sides of the Data Center building. It was standing solitary among its browning surroundings.

I don’t know if this thistle was planted intentionally by an IU groundskeeper, or is the product of some wayward seed. Perhaps a bird, hoping to contribute to the landscape, brought this thistle here.

In any case, I saw it and was beguiled by its strange beauty. I say strange because this thistle’s beauty was not conventional. It appears to be dying, breathing its last few breaths of the summer. We’re not supposed to see beauty in death, but isn’t death a part of the cycle of life that we claim is so beautiful?

So I stopped and took some iPhone photos. For the first, I was standing too close. I edged closer and snapped another. I tried two more from different angles. The second shot, the best shot, is the one you see here. I think that the grayness of the morning enhanced the purple; or is it lavender or some other color?

The photo doesn’t begin to do the thistle justice. Seeing it with my own eyes evoked emotion, brought me closer to the infinite. Yes, I really do believe that. But the photo is all I have. My memory of those moments I spent looking at this thistle are fading. They fade with every passing second.

Tomorrow, this source of enchantment will be different. I may take a different path so as not to see it and face disappointment. I may pass it again and find it to be even more beautiful. I may encounter a new source of enchantment to photograph. Or I may walk all the way to the CIB with my head down, carefully watching my steps so as not to get tripped by those ever changing surfaces.

Flowers, data, and a dumpster

About Today

I went over to the Poplars building today to learn about PowerPivot for Excel. I found a parking space right away in (case you were wondering).

On the way into the building I saw some sunflowers.

Sunflowers behind Poplars building

Then I came to this decorated dumpster.

Dumpster with graffiti dog

I had to take some pictures. Is that dog a character I should recognize? I Googled “cartoon dog” but couldn’t find one that looked like this.

So I learned about data cubes today today. My team is creating training for users of the new Business Intelligence system at IU, so I’m learning all about Business Intelligence. It’s more interesting than you’d think and something I never dreamed I’d be exposed to. Life’s full of surprises.

In other news, it is the shoes!

I had been wondering  if gluten was causing my leg problems, so I went off of gluten for a week. Then I got new shoes. They’re the kind of Nikes with an air bladder. They are awesome and my legs feel fine. I’m also doing exercise to strengthen my arches and I think that’s helping too. Things are looking up! I’m still committed to  avoiding sugar because I want to lose about 15 pounds.

Something Profound?

Not sure if I have anything profound to share today. I decided I want to chart my dad’s blood pressure using MS Excel. I’m going to look for a template so I don’t have to figure out how to express the top and bottom number without Excel thinking it’s a fraction. I wish I could transfer the data from the blood pressure machine to my computer. That would save a lot manual data entry. Anyway, that’s yet another new project of mine.

On the Twitter front, I’d like to tweet on a theme. Maybe a new theme each month. I want to  make my Pinterest pins more meaningful too.

So that’s it. Here’s a little doodle.

Little Doodle

Heck if I know what to write about

or about which to write

The world is bright today. That is to say my world in Bloomington, Indiana. The sky is blue, the clouds are white and fluffy, and the office is full of natural light. I just took some pictures of those marshmallow-y, pillow-y clouds.

I’m drinking water because I need to drink more than I do. I won’t cut my coffee consumption, but I will increase my water intake. I considered giving up sugar, but I don’t think I can, so instead I will add healthy things to crowd out the empty calories. I had three Clementines today.

Clementine peels in a mug

I was reading someone’s blog earlier today. It included what I think of as grand ideas, lofty thoughts. I don’t think I care to speak so grandly. It seems like all of those things have been said before.

The scent of Clementine peels is lofting out of the mug and into my nose. It smells like garbage.

What I’ll do now is end this short post and visit the kitchenette to get coffee and to throw away my stinking peels.