Playing with transparent Graphics

I think I’ve moved out of the ‘coloring book’ phase – couldn’t resist adding texture and background to this one…

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My Coloring Book page 4

Lisa and I were at the Rocket in Ypsilanti yesterday. I noticed 2 additions to the “grown-up coloring book” genre: Mazes and Extreme Dot to Dot. So, I couldn’t resist making a maze.

Try it! It should print fine at 8.5X11. Try to get from either X to the other. And yes, there is definitely a solution.

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Now, I have to get busy and catch up on 3 days worth of email I’ve been ignoring while doing yardwork, playing guitar, and drawing pictures.

ADHD Coloring Book page 1

Coloring books for adults seem to be the Big Thing right now.

I thought it would be fun to take some of my drawings and post them so folks can print and color them themselves.They were created to be 8.5X11″ and the download size is about 250Kb, so really small.

Now, being that this is site is ADHD-related, the drawings are mostly impossible structures, so have fun. These kinds of drawings make sense to me, they challenge the idea of concrete reality in a way I find really appealing.

More to come.

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Kite Flying, Yard Work and “to do” List

Sometime last summer (or maybe even the summer before), I got it in my head to fly a kite. There’s something I’ve always loved about it, the idea that something is out there, that high, the wind supporting it and keeping it aloft, even while it’s buffeting it from side to side.

And on the ground, always that fear that the wind is going to fade and the kite will lose its support and drift back down to earth. I don’t worry that much about it going out of control and getting eaten by a tree – that’s just part of the experience. I expect it now.

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But there’s something metaphorical in that thing being up there that’s attractive and engaging. Partially because it’s being supported by something invisible and that’s a certain of magic. It’s the same feeling I get watching drops of oil suspended in water or air bubbles in a bottle of honey. Natural magic.

Something else I like about – about using something natural. It’s just THERE, waiting to be used. We can use it to cool off, we can complain that it’s blowing our papers all over, we can power windmills to grind flour or generate electricity, or we can just ignore it. I could have bought an RC plane or the new drone-ish crafts they’re selling (and I still might! I’m not lecturing or judging, just observing) but instead I went to the dollar store, bought a Donatello plastic kite and went outside on a windy day and let ‘er rip.

Last summer, I looked all around town for kite string. Surprisingly, no luck. It was late in the summer so maybe out of season, but no luck. Lisa and I were up in Mackinaw and dropped in a kite store there and bought a 500 ft. spool. This summer, it got the end of that entire 500 ft. I felt pretty good. I laid back on the grass and just watched it for a while. A long time. I think this must be the feeling people get when they’re fishing and know they’re not going to catch anything. You just enjoy seeing the string going off into infinity.

I’d get a tug on the line every now and then as the wind grabbed the kite and pulled it one way or the other. And since I wasn’t fishing, I didn’t have to do anything but enjoy it.

About the rest of the title: Yard work and “to do” List – May was a big month for me, the M.A. performance, giving the message at the Green Wood service on the 16th, teaching 5 week Improv for Rec and Ed, and the Amy Concert on the 23rd. I have nothing pressing in June so am planning to dedicate it to doing things around here. There’s plenty. We want to paint the house this summer and re-do the front yard. (Years back, we opted to replace the grass with wood chips, rocks, and some plants. It’s now … um … out of control.)

I also need to repair my motor scooter. 2 years ago, the sidecar came off. Something happened with the axle. The guys who put it together are out of business and the guys who sold it to us (Scooterworks in Chicago) were no help the couple of times I called them. So, I’m going to try and fix it myself. I have some helpers – friend of a friend does metal parts work – so the odds are pretty good. Fall back plan? Sell it. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen, I love the ride.

“Let’s Go Fly a Kite”

For some reason, getting a kite into the air has been on my mind for the last few weeks. Nostalgia? Too much free time? Avoiding working on my ADHD performance? Who knows?

Anyhow, I went shopping. They are not as easy to find as they used to be. I knew I wouldn’t find the old paper-and-balsa kites, but I didn’t expect them to all be $7.99 character ads. (How did I not expect this…?) 

Anyway, I found two of them on sale for $2.99 and bought them. Michelangelo and Sponge Bob.

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kite bit the dust yesterday when my over-ambitious brain told me I could both play fetch with the dog and get a kite into the air at the same time. Don’t try it. It won’t work.

Today, I took the other kite out and launched it. After several cycles of gust-and-calm, I finally got it into the air.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting. (I use that word a lot.)

The kite comes with about 3 feet of string. Well, maybe 100 or so, but clearly not enough. And, nobody in town seems to have kite string. K-mart and Toys R’Us sell kits but don’t have string. (What’s that all about?”

So I got the idea that I’d use some of my beading thread to extend it. A spool is good for a few hundred feet and it’s lightweight. What could go wrong?

Here’s a hint: 

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The kite took off and sailed skyward in all its glory (as they say). I:spooled out the string (wearing leather gloves, I remembered those string burns) and let it climb and climb. And then, the inevitable. A simple turn, a swoop, and it buzzed the treeline. I tugged the string and watched it climb, clearing the treeline.

That worked the first three times. The fourth time was different. The wind shifted and the kite went into a nosedive. I started reeling it in, but it was too high and moving too fast. I wound as much of the thread in as I could and finally had to just close my eyes and snap what was left.

All in all, it was probably up for ten or fifteen minutes. That’s plenty. Besides, if it hadn’t crashed, I’d probably still be standing there, thinking “where else can I find more string?”

I’ll check the tree the next few days to see if it frees itself and I can give it a decent burial.