Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Couple Of Cool Days

High 60’s - Low 70’s

Lots of roses

The flowers are loving this weather. Many of the Treehouse fall flora are showing up for November photo opportunities.

Josephs Coat on Monday

One of my favorites is the Josephs Coat rosebush on the corner of the patio and sidewalk.

Josephs Coat on Tuesday

I have to remember to water that tiny bush. The soil under it doesn’t hold water for long. I suppose one could say that that spot has good drainage.

Phil and John  (Photo credit - Margaret Miller)

The Phil Seymour Band played on Sunday for the Jefferson State Blues Society. We were the first in a lineup that included, The Blues Rollers, and Mike Brown’s band.

A good time was had by all.

Pink rose on Tuesday

Another good time was had on Monday at the Treehouse Jamboree with the P & P Duo. It was a great couple of days worth of spirited singing and playing. I am a lucky man.

Like holding a little bird

I am currently reading an interesting book about nature’s orchestra, from which we humans learned music. It is called, “The Great Animal Orchestra - Finding The Origins Of Music In The World’s Wild Places”, by Bernie Krause.

As one who also makes recordings of nature with condenser mic’s and a field recorder, I can relate to Bernie as he describes his epiphany when he first recorded nature’s sounds.

He discovered the difference between hearing and listening when he listened, through amplified headphones, to the magnificent orchestra of our natural soundscape. This world will never sound the same to Bernie Krause.

Hiding in the bush

I am inspired to go out to  my favorite natural sound environments and make recordings using some of the new equipment I have accumulated since the last time I  recorded at the source of the Sacramento river, ( where water springs forth from the base of Mount Shasta after 50 years of slowly filtering through the mountain ).

A new rose appears

The bushes that have been bare for a month or two, are waking up again. It feels good to recognize and share the spirit of life with as many animals, plants, rocks, natural forces and features as possible during my time of opportunity, here on earth.

What a place. What a gift.

Today’s Video;

Aye, Aye, Yie, Yie

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Birds

The Spring Hatchlings Are Grown

Morning view

The latest crop of birds have been singing in the trees outside my windows. They are announcing that they are grown up and ready for some action. They sing, chirp and chatter throughout the days, filling the Treehouse soundscape with their singing love letters.

Open today

Today I tried the new version of iMovie. I have some video projects that I am ready to produce, so I figured I would start today.

The new version is not acceptable.

Most of the features I use for video production have been stripped away, and a simplistic iPhone type of play-toy movie maker is pretending to be an improved version of the iMovie video production application.

More grand openings

I swiftly wiped that thing off my MacBook Pro and replaced it with the ‘real’ iMovie, (like I did when I got rid of that insulting Pages 5.0 upgrade the day before).

Time Machine to the rescue, again.

Turbines on Hatchet Ridge

I rated both Apps as one star at the Mac App Store, (If they had minus stars, I would have used them). I wrote honest reviews about each application that warned unwary customers that the new Pages and iWork are not up to OSX quality standards. Then I advised them how best to remove the ungainly travesties by replacing them with previous versions.

I also suggested that Apple executives apologize to their loyal Mac customers.

New rose by Kathern’s gate

I suspect that since Steve Jobs is gone, there are some previously subordinate employees who think they can do things better than Steve Jobs did. They thought they could sell a lot more Mac computers if they made Mac software look and perform like the stuff on iPhones and iPads. Then, they figured the iPhone people will want to buy Mac computers.

Who they ignored are the millions of loyal Mac customers who use their iMacs and MacBooks for business, design, music production, video production, print ready graphics, and other purposes that require sophistication, and advanced user tools.

Another view of the new rose

It makes me wonder what other foolishness those misguided executives included in the Mavericks operating system? I may want to reinstall Mountain Lion if I don’t notice any big improvement in Mavericks performance.

I am glad I have some options to make things right, again.

Now it’s time to listen to the pair of horned owls outside, calling to each other. They call back and forth until they, and the separate hoots, become one. They harmonize in ‘perfect’ thirds. The female sings the tonic, and the male sings a third above.

I love this place.

Today’s Lovely Video;


Thank You Mother Nature

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How To Fix Pages 5.0

Replace It With Pages 4.3

Just before sunset

After a sufficient amount of ranting, letters to Apple, and puzzlement at such a knuckleheaded remake of the best designed, ‘graphics to print’, application ever made, I realized that I had the perfect tool to undo the damage.

Another driveway rose in setting sunlight

Time Machine. One of Steve Jobs fine visions is still intact, at least in the version that I use; It is an easy to navigate backup system that still operates with Apple ‘magic’.

I took a trip back in time, to October 17th, and clicked on the ‘friendly’ Pages icon I have enjoyed seeing for the past 4 years.

Opening soon

Time Machine offered to replace the austere, baby poop colored, new icon with the robust, fully featured, Pages 4.3 program, and it’s well designed, ink blue icon.

I accepted, gladly.

In less that 2 minutes, the real Pages program was restored to the MacBook Pro. The stripped down, artless, Tim Cook insult, was banished to the trashcan where it belongs, (If there were a virtual dung heap, I would have sent it there).

Mount Lassen this evening

I opened up Pages 4.3 and produced a new greeting card from one of the pictures I had been playing with in FX Photo Studio, just to make sure the older version would work in the new Mavericks operating system. No problem.

Made printer ready in Pages

I guess the new guys thought that Pages was just another document program, and if you want something more, you just drop a picture or two on one of the dozens of prepared Templates, type your information in the appropriate box, and you have a flyer, newsletter, letterhead, or birthday card.

So, they got rid of the tools that graphic designers use and simplified the program to be the same as the economy class version of Pages that runs on iPhones and iPads. Good for teenagers and baby picture albums, bad for artists.

Thankfully, the real Pages will run on Mavericks.

Down at the east end of the driveway

I went to John’s shop, yesterday, to see how the new viola, and violins are progressing. He had just carved the feet of the viola bridge so they would fit properly on the arch of the top.

Viola corpus and unfinished bridge

When I stopped by today, he was already well into carving the scroll. He will finish shaping and carving the bridge when he gets ready to string up the viola.

I brought my guitar and a new set of strings with me to the shop. John prefers stringing my guitar, rather than see the messy results of my stringing method. They stay in tune better when John puts them on, too.

A closer look at the F holes

We rehearsed, and made small changes to the arrangements on some of our new songs. My guitar sounded really good with fresh strings.

This Sunday, The Phil Seymour Band will be the first of 3 bands playing for the Jefferson State Blues Society at the Moose Lodge on Lake Blvd. We start at 5PM, followed by the Blues Rollers, and then our drummer, Mike Brown, plays with his band.

Another driveway/sunset rose

The piano player for the Blues Rollers, Bill, will likely play first with us.

Bass player Mike Rader, will be playing with me, then later with Mike Brown

After playing with me, John will play guitar later in Mike’s band.

After singing and playing in my band, I will go home and eat dinner.

Today’s Video;

Musical Musician Chairs

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Mavericks OSX

Installed Tuesday Night

Along the driveway

While I was writing last night’s blog on the MacBook, I was downloading and installing Mavericks, the new Apple OS X operating system. I like it, so far.

I write posts for this blog using Google Docs. It’s an online document/design App. That means I can use any computer, or combination of computers in the process of writing and editing it. When it is ready, I use Blogger to publish Phil’s Place on Blogspot. I like it. It works for me.

Character study

Just because I have used Apple computers since 1985, doesn’t mean that there aren’t some other products out there that I find more useful.

Like browsers. Apple makes the Safari browser, but I rarely use it. Why?  Because Mozilla Firefox is the browser that works much better for the things I do online.

Neighborhood vulture

Google provides Google Docs as part of Gmail, and I find that works best for my blogging needs.

But, when it comes to graphic design and printed materials, there is no program that suits my needs, better than Pages, the Apple document/graphics App.

At least until tonight, when I tried out the new version of Pages that loaded as part of the new Mavericks operating system.

Brilliant colors of Fall

I opened up the new Pages 5.0, expecting snappier performance, and a few new features.

Instead, there was this gradeschoolers drawing of a document making program, after they had seen a picture of Microsoft Office!

Flowers in the sunshine

What the heck? I spent about an hour getting all the pre-formated crap off of the work page on my screen. Because, a blank page was not a blank page.

Unlike the real Pages, where one could shrink or enlarge the inspector and place it in a discreet location on the desktop, the new inspector is right smack on the page, taking up a third of the work area. The ruler only showed on top, and took up too much space.

I don’t miss slide photography

The useful controls, options, and editing tools that once were grouped where they could be part of the creative design flow, have been moved ‘willy nilly’ into places that make no work sense.

Pages is now as cumbersome and anti-creative as Adobe products and Microsoft Office Suite. What a travesty.

Stand out beauty

I wrote to Apple and gave them my review of Pages 5.0.

I don’t know if the new guy will listen. Like any new manager, he wants to put his stamp on Apple, even if that means ignoring the elegant graphic design and natural flowing user interface that made Apple the only computer for the world’s creative community.

But all is not lost. I have 2 MacBooks, and my older MacBook sill has the Mountain Lion operating system with the previous version of Pages intact. So it is available for all my graphic design projects, at least until the ghost of Steve Jobs scares the stupid out of Tim Cook, and we get the previous version of Pages installed on Mavericks.

Then, maybe a real designer can try to come up with a useful upgrade.

Today’s Video;

Out In The Wind