I envisioned Hang With Friends including wide ranging discussion, public as well as private topics. But I've set a bad example by sticking mostly to news and opinion. It's past time I set an example of opening up.


I've been obsessive compulsive this past week. Lots of stress, eye operations, my new cat is still scared of me after two months, and we just paid $6,500 to get mold assessment and the first stages of mold remediation. I'd hired incompetent roofers, and leaks created a serious mold problem. For three days a crew of four tore out the walls of our sunroom and the back wall of our master bedroom. I spent those three days escaping into my hobby, playing with fonts.

I enjoy making animated gifs to welcome new members to Atheist Nexus. Although I have well over a thousand free fonts, many of the most interesting ones are expensive. So I've used Snaggit to capture a sample of those, saying "Welcome" at MyFonts.com, to use as raw material. For three days I snagged font images in jpg format.

Then I tried to make gifs, and discovered that the jpg format introduces a cloud of pixels, as an artifact of lossy compression, that messes up the edges.

See the jagged stroke around this Blue Parrot font?

Stupid! Oh well, live and learn. It was still better than getting drunk or screaming.

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I wish I understood how to do any of those kinds of things.  Afraid all my creativity has more to do with cooking, and food.  Sadly, I can't send you all the latest chicken noodle soup I made, or some cookies, or my pineapple upside down biscuits.  I would if I could.....

Thanks, Rhonda. Good wishes help. :)

Ruth, hope the surgery went well.  My father in law had eye surgery yesterday, and it seems to have helped a lot.  The roofer thing is irritating, I am sure.  Hope it all gets worked out for you.

Thanks, Rhonda. It's been an emotional roller coaster. Yesterday I spent most of the day being seen by the eye surgeon and a retina specialist, because I'm getting flashes of light. *scary* But they didn't find any problems. * huge sigh of relief*

Wow, Ruth!  Sorry to hear about all your issues.  You certainly have earned the right to be stressed out.  I wish we could get together and have a pity party and keep each other company.  As long as we're sharing stories:  yesterday I tripped and fell on my way home from work.  I'm now on crutches with a bone fracture in my right foot!  Of course this had to happen at a major bus terminal with dozens of spectators watching.  (Drum-roll......Ta Daaa!!)  I live by myself, so last night when I got home from the emergency room I called and had three days worth of Chinese food delivered.  On a positive note, I had a fabulous Vicodin-induced nap this afternoon.  Looks like I'm going to have some time here at home to catch up on all my atheist podcasts and also some Dark Shadows episodes from Netflix.  I'm glad you have a hobby to keep yourself busy and to share with us.  I've always had some sort of hobby or  collection to escape into ever since I was a kid.  Currently I'm in the process of categorizing my collection of antique Chicago postcards.  I also need to practice my saxophone music for an upcoming concert this month on the 24th.      

Ouch! Thank you for sharing your story. I'd get tired of Chinese by the second day. I hope it doesn't hurt too much.

Here's a "get well" present, a "South Park/Atheist Nexus Welcome Fairy", Ruth 

A lovely present, indeed! Thanks so much, Richard.

And thanks, too, for telling me about South Park Character Creators online.

Ha ha ha! Ruth, FTW!

I look very mellow...

Here's a track from my SoundCloud account to go with the animation:

Slide/Amp demo by beerijuana

Yeah, there are at least 6 or 7 different SP character creation sites, they all have different + and -'s.

Those are so cool!

Clever! Are you the musician?


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