Category Archives: Challenges

About hope…

Melanie over at Sparks from a combustible mind nominated me for this “quote” challenge. I’m a good sport. I’ll play. Kind of. I’m not the nominating type. Especially since I don’t actually follow that many people, sorry y’all, I just don’t have the energy to actively follow people on social media. However, if you want to take part, consider yourself nominated.

So anyway, here’s the deal, I’m supposed to post some quotes about the topic of the day which is “Hope” and then nominate people, also thank the person who nominated me.

Iron Man Eye Roll GIF

Thanks a lot, Melanie. 😛

Just kidding ^_^

Mostly. I mean, I’m okay with being “nominated” once in a while for things like this — so long as it’s not an “award” (see side bar). I am. Just so long as people are okay with me ignoring them when they do so. Because a lot of the time I just don’t have the energy to do things in a timely manner.

So anyway, I can’t just plop down quotes and call it a day — another reason why I don’t play along with these things as often as other people would like. I have to dust off my Photoshop, find pictures and paste quotes on them. And I had a whole big blog post written in my head — it’s still there, but I’m just too tired to write it all out for y’all. So I’m just write the gist of it.

Hope, dear reader… hope is what gets people up in the morning. It is the spark that moves people. Even in the deepest, darkest depression, if someone is going through the motions, they have hope. Those without hope, they stop moving, stop living because hope is the flame in the dark. It is that spark of life that everyone has. For some it is a beacon that lights the way for other people and for others it is a single ember that struggles against the overwhelming darkness.

But everyone, and I do mean everyone, dear reader, who goes through this life has some kind of hope. Because without it, there’s no point in going further. Even those who protest that they hate life and hate living have hope, hope that it will get better, or hope of a better afterlife. Something keeps them living day to day.

I see a lot of negativity on the internet, and even among the hate and vitriol I know that there is hope for humankind because, dear reader, I also see everyone simply living from day to day. I see them seeking out laughter and music. I see them helping and sharing good things. That, dear reader, is hope. And it is everywhere. I’ve shared this one before, but it’s still true:

And I always see helpers. Everywhere. People sympathizing if nothing else. People sharing what they can when they can. That is my hope. I carry it with me everywhere. This, is my favorite “hopeful” saying, it’s my mantra, and it’s carried me through many a dark time:

One more, about living in the Now, I’m too tired to write a good segue, but I spent a lot of time making these, so y’all will just have to deal with the abruptness of it all. ^_^

And that’s it. Thanks Melanie for nominating me. I really mean it. Hope y’all enjoyed my showing off my mad Photoshop skills. hahahaha! Hey, it gave me something to do today and yesterday. You know? I’m still coughing and wheezing. I’d go back to the doctor, but we are between insurances. Maybe next month.

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge — Blue and Yellow

So, I normally don’t do Cee’s fun Photo Challenge, but I saw the prompt (blue and yellow) and this screenshot came to mind:

Okay, it’s a bit muted, but play around with the curves and levels and the yellow on the roofs of the houses will really pop against the ice blue of the mountains…

Either way, it’s blue and yellow… It’s not exactly a photo, but I honestly just don’t have the energy to go out and take pictures. But as I said to someone not to long ago, I can walk forever in Skyrim. Enjoy.

Inspired by Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

Cee’s B&W Photo Thingie

I haven’t done one of these in a while for… reasons. But I dusted off Photoshop and thought I’d give it a go this week. I also dusted off this photo for this week’s theme which is Anything Related to Music. Long time readers might remember this screenshot as one of my early attempts at Photoshop. The original picture had a dude in it standing over the lady playing the lute and I thought it would be fun to see if I could remove him from the picture. You can view the original screenshot if you’re interested here. I made a lot of mistakes with that picture, but I was still way new to Photoshop and I think I did a good job all things considering. I’m still learning, to tell y’all the truth, but I’ve learned a bit more since then.

Anyway, on to today’s theme. I pulled up the altered picture and fussed around with it a bit. I was playing as a bard in Skyrim, which is why my player character has a lute in the first place. But Skyrim is a dangerous place, so of course she has arrows and a bow. 🙂 Anyway, the altered picture in color:

So I fussed a bit and messed with the lighting and got a good monochrome picture out of it here:

Then I thought… something looks off. It’s way too bright (I wanted her to be in the spotlight because there’s actually a fire in front of her.) And it hit me, she’s not casting a shadow, and neither is the pole behind her. So I searched for how to make shadows online and this is my first attempt at creating shadows in Photoshop.

Hope you enjoyed. See you next time.

Via Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

Cee’s Black & White Photo Thingie

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these — I’ve been tired y’all. Just tired.  I meant to do one last week, but just… didn’t.  Anyway, the theme this week is Anything that is Hot and / or Cold which works out for me because I kind of had this screen shot in mind for last week which was “field” and this is kind of a field of ice… but it fits better for this theme. 🙂

Anyway, as most of y’all know, I usually use screenshot from my Skyrim game for these. As is the case with most video games, one reaches a point where the player character just cannot go any further.  The edge of the world.  This screenshot is taken at one such place in Skyrim. The edge of this map stops in the water, and there’s ice all around, I can bring my character to one point and then I will hit an invisible wall and have to turn back.  In the game, there’s a blue filter that looks pretty awesome in game, but in the screenshot… not so much. Here’s the original screenshot: 

I mean, it still looks pretty and all, but you can barely see the College of Winterhold and the statue of Azura in the distance because of the blue filter. Like I said, it looks pretty awesome in game. It just doesn’t translate well into a screenshot. A few minutes fiddling around in Photoshop though, and it looks as well as it did in game: 

With a black and white filter of course, and some other stuff to bring out the contrast. Skyrim really is a beautiful game. I play it because it’s so beautiful.  I don’t have anything hot to share, but I hope you enjoyed this picture. 


Via Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge


So, Sadje of Keeping it Alive tagged me in this little thing  called 3.2.1. Quote Me! which was started by AGuyCalledBloke over at A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! in which we’re supposed to:

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when

And the topic of the day is Imagination.

So, thank you Sadje, for nominating me. I appreciate it. Here is one quote: 

It’s one of my favorite quotes about imagination ever, because it’s true. Those who do not believe in magic will never find it. Those who close their eyes to the wonder that is all around them will only see the misery and despair that they seek. There is beauty and wonder everywhere. And I do mean everywhere, if only one has the eyes to see it. Which brings me to my next quote: 

I dunno who said it, but I have a vague memory of reading it on a Christmas card when I was a teenager, and it stuck with me. I’m probably remembering it wrong, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, and the thought is that one should keep their childlike sense of wonder throughout their lifetime.  

Not long ago, a well-loved man died. Stan Lee, the creator of Spider Man and many other comic book characters and worlds.  And for many many people, it was a sad day. Now, I didn’t mourn his passing because I didn’t personally know Stan Lee, and I don’t think death is a sad thing in general — other than for those who will miss having someone in their life. However, I understand that people are sad when someone passes from their world.  I mention the passing of Stan Lee because another “famous” person — Bill Maher — publicly announced that he didn’t understand why so many people were sad that Stan Lee died. After all, didn’t Mr. Lee only make comic books and comic book movies? And weren’t they for children? Why were all of these “so called adults” sad to see him pass?  Then he equated the love of things like comic books and video games to a “world where Trump can become president”.  Which doesn’t make sense to me because the demographic that voted for Trump are the “adults” who don’t do things like play video games or read comic books. But that’s neither here nor there. 

What I want to say is that I’m am honestly and truly sad for Mr. Maher and other people like him who don’t understand how people my age can find joy in “childish” things. People who cannot even read fiction (as Mr. Maher says he does not). Because, for me, a life without imagination is a sad life indeed. I may not be rich or “successful” in the traditional sense, but my cup overflows in many many other ways. And imagination is one of them. I’d rather be an eternal kid with a rich imagination than be people like Mr. Maher’s definition of an adult any day of the week.  I’ll endeavor to keep my childlike sense of wonder until the day I die, because I would hate to live in a world without wonder. And I will find magic in the world around me, because I look for it everywhere. 

Thank you Sadje for nominating me. I don’t do the nominating thing. I’m a rebel like that. If you, dear reader, find this an interesting “challenge” then feel free to carry on the torch.  Consider yourself nominated. 

A quick note

Just to let y’all know I’m still here. There isn’t a lot going on right now. Doug and I have been lazy daisy these past couple of days. Just taking it easy.  I’ve been fussing with my Skyrim game and he’s been doing… whatever it is he’s doing over there. I don’t pry… much. We plan on going shopping today. We totally avoided the whole “Black Friday” thing because we just don’t do that kind of thing. 

I didn’t exercise yesterday, and I figure walking around the stores today will be enough exercise for today, but tomorrow I’ll hit the play button again. 

I’ve also been messing around in Photoshop a little (who’da thunk it?) I was going to submit these for Cee’s Black and White thingy this week, but they don’t quite fit the challenge, which was public transportation.  See, in Skyrim the public transportation is the carriage, but I don’t have any screenshots of the carriages because, why would I? ^_^  Otherwise, people in Tamriel (the Empire Skyrim is a part of) walk or ride horses, and horses would be “private” transportation, right? So the closest thing to public transportation is walking. I have a bunch of screenshots of people walking.  Here are two that I changed to monochrome: 

Original screenshot

I um… “fixed” the so called armor of Aurelia, who insists on showing her boob to the world: because why not I suppose. Well, I fixed it a little. At least her nipple isn’t showing anymore. That drove me crazy. Like, that’s supposed to be netting on that armor, and that would chaff. You know? And I took out the “Talk Aurelia” prompt — which was a pain, let me tell you that, dear reader.  Then I sharpened up the characters in the back so they wouldn’t fade away when I ran the picture through the monochrome filters. All in all, I think it came out pretty good.

Next screenshot: 

original screenshot

This is just a random merchant added by a mod that I’ve forgotten.  The main problem I had with this picture was the lady’s face is blurry, because she was in motion when I snapped the screenshot, and if I sharpened it up too much the rest of the picture would be too sharp. But I fussed with it a little, and I got it okay. I wish I could have gotten her clothes a little more defined, but in the end, I’m okay with the results.

Other than that, I haven’t been doing much.  This diet and exercise hasn’t given me any new energy to speak of, even if I am slowly losing weight — well at least I’m not gaining weight anymore.  ^_^ I’m still exhausted all of the time, but it’s early days yet. We’ll see.

Cee’s Black & White Photo thingie

Okay, let me see if I can figure out how to do this new editor with adding media…  The theme this week is “flowing water”, and as anyone who’s followed me for any length of time knows, I usually pull things from my Skyrim game.  And let me tell you, dear reader, one of the reasons why I still play Skyrim is because it is a beautiful game.  And the remastered edition improved the water a lot from the classic edition. Add mods that improve the water even more, and the game becomes downright breathtaking at times. I honestly don’t even care about the combat most of the time. I walk around just to look at how beautiful it is. So anyway, I know I have screenshots of waterfalls but I found these two pictures first… and honestly, I’m tired, so y’all will just have to make do with them. ^_^

Here’s the first: 

So I left the characters in color because the process of making them monochrome kind of blended them into the background.  Here’s the original: 

The next one is also from Skyrim, a different area of course. 🙂 The swans and ducks are added by a mod. Up close they look a little funky, but from far away, they look very peaceful and calming. This mod also adds peacocks (not pictured)  and I love that. 🙂 Anyway, I’ll put the original first then the black and white. 

And here’s the black and white: 


Just as an aside: I’m not unhappy with this new editor, but it’s going to take some getting used to. My first reaction was: This is awful, what the actual fuck?  But I got used to it pretty quick. It’s actually interesting.  The only thing I don’t really like is I can’t find where to change the text color, and that’s annoying.

Via Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge