Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fireflies In The Garden

Fireflies In The Garden
I think it had the potential for being a very good movie, but it just didn't feel finished to me.
Good actors.
Worth a watch.

1. Julia Robert's part is very small. Her character bugged me because she allowed the abuse of her son, but would tell him that she loved him so much. Yuk.
2. The ending is abrupt, unrealistic, unsatisfying, didn't fit the character development. (No transformation of the father, Charles Taylor.)
3. Unresolved, unexplained, unfinished stuff. (What was the deal with the young Jane Lawrence.)
4. Supposed to be based on the director's (Dennis Lee) life? It was mentioned but not really explained on the DVD feature. He emphatically states that his father was nothing like the movie character. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me because the abusive father is such a dominant part of the movie. He was evidently talking about the mother aspect of the movie. Julia Robert's does not participate in the feature, which is weird.

Large high quality pictures
Written and directed by Dennis Lee, the film premiered at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, but did not get released in the United States until October 14, 2011.

"Fireflies In The Garden" References:
1. Robert Frost poem.
2. Name of Michael's book.
3. Memory of batting fireflies in the dark.


I liked the music in this movie so I did some digging on that.

imdb was pretty much worthless for info.
There is a soundtrack, but several show up at Amazon with different artists, so not sure about that. More specifics below.

I looked at the DVD end credits.

The opening song is
Over The Moon (grooveshark) 2nd FAV
by The Innocence Mission

The last song during the movie is
Happy Birthday (youtube)
by The Innocence Mission

The song that plays during end credits:
Don't Hold Me Back (youtube)1st FAV
Alex Cornish (grooveshark)

Follow Me (myspace)
by Makepeace Brothers (also bandcamp)

Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (youtube)
by Icicle Works (grooveshark)

No One Moves, No One Gets Hurt (youtube)
by Bedoin Soundclash

Amazon soundtrack related details:
Jane Antonio Cornish
Listed as Orchestrator and Producer in movie end credits.

Alexander Malter
Listed as Pianist and part of the Vincent Trio in movie end credits.

Multiple Artists
No track list at amazon.
Alexander Malter is already mentioned above.

Javier Navarrete (Amazon says Composer, but I did not find this name in the movie end credits.)
Shows up at Youtube and here. Just a few examples.

Jonathan Stockhammer (Listed as Conductor in movie end credits.)

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (Composer)
Vincent Trio [End credits listed as Alexander Malter (Piano), Christian Stadelmann (Violin), Dietmar Schwalke (Cello).]
Movie end credits says the Vincent Trio performs
Piano Trio in A Minor (op. 50) which was composed by Tchaikovsky.

Dresdner Sinfoniker (Listed as Orchestra in movie end credits.)

There were more artist names along with instrument played listed in the credits. I'm not sure where they all fit in.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I like the lyrics to these India Arie songs.
b. 3 Oct 1975 in Denver, Colorado
Not my usual genre (R&B) so she is unfamiliar to me.

A Beautiful Day
...Early in the morning
It's the dawn of a new day
New hopes new dreams new ways
I open up my eyes and
I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today...

Make me want to take a road trip.
The time is right
I'm gonna pack my bags
And take that journey down the road
Cause over the mountain I see the bright sun shinning
And I want to live inside the glow


Image1 creation notes: Gradient from scratch, VM Natural Lightsplash, Glow on Heart Preset Shape
Image2 creation notes: Gradient, Feedback, Layer Blends

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Everlong And Nature Sounds

Some interesting versions of this song:
piano cover
slow it down


There's also:
naturesoundsfor.me in that above reddit link.
Here's a screenshot of the one I made and exported to OGG:

music reddits

Everlong image creation notes: Gradients, VM Shoutin' w VM Origami, Layer Blends

New Story

Image creation notes: Gradient and radial blur.
Follow Through

Image creation notes: Gradient and radial blur, text drop shadow.


Binder Clip Love

Wrap Headphone Cord on Binder Clip
I wonder about wrapping the headphone cord because a lot of times what wears out on my headphones is the wires break inside the cord and then no sound on one side. Although I haven't had that problem with my JVC headphones which I LOVE. I usually drop the cord inside my shirt so it's out of the way when I exercise. (Video demonstrates earplug type headphones, but would work with my headphones as a cord shortener.)

9 Binder Clip Uses
Yes, I use the clip on the toothpaste tube.
I also have a clip on my keys. Used mainly when I exercise outdoors. Either secure the keys to a pocket so they don't fall out. Or if I don't have a pocket, I clip them to my pants waistband.

I hadn't thought of removing the ends and combining the clips in the ways shown in the link (binder clip dock) so this was interesting.

Alaska DVD Set

Found this DVD set (at left on image) cheap at Target and bought it.
(The 4 DVDs at the right on image are from NatGeo. See below info.)
No menu.
No subtitles.
4 DVD's stacked on top of each other with nothing inbetween them.
So creation and packaging is a little strange.
Note that a few of these date back to the 1990's.

So far I watched the first DVD, "Braving Alaska" and thought it was interesting to watch.
I like to live in sparsely populated areas, but not *that* isolated.
Off the grid, eat moose at every meal during winter months (moose quiche, moose enchiladas, corn moose tongue sandwiches etc. 45:30), get your mail by plane twice a year (your only visitors), and you doctor yourself. These were families with young children birthed in the Alaskan bush. Brave hearty souls.
"Although the Brown family together consumes about 5 gallons of animal fat a year, they don't worry about cholesterol. (20:40) Randy, who tests reasonably low, feels the extreme temperatures and heavy work burn the fat off."
One guy froze his feet, so ended up eating his sled dogs to stay alive, but still starved to death before anybody found him in the spring. (48:45)

Narrated by Martin Sheen.
"There is a place, even today, where human beings are rare."
"In Alaska, the population of the entire state is about the same as many cities elsewhere."
"And deep in the North woods, beyond mountains and rivers that have no name, there is virtually no one."
"The largest of the United States, Alaska sprawls across 591,000 square miles. 99% of this immensity, untouched by pressure or progress, remains uninhabited and wild. But a sprinkling of people have chosen to move here and live off the land. Widely scattered and far from roads, stores or medical care, they must rely almost solely on their own efforts to stay alive."

2010 population: 710,231
North Dakota
2010 population: 672,591

Looked up the DVD info on the Internet:
Alaska: Into the Wilderness
DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009
DVD Creator:
Alaska into the Wilderness
Standard Definition DVD
Join four families as they face the daily challenges of basic survival — food, warmth and fending off grizzlies — in the Alaskan wilderness. Then, travel deep below the frozen tundra, see places rarely touched by humans and get dangerously close to the largest carnivore on Earth in three other amazing wilderness films!
Run Time: Approximately 4 hours
Featuring four films: Braving Alaska, Bear Island, Alaska’s Last Oil and Giant Bears of Kodiak Island
Yes, NatGeo has these - individually and at a much higher price:
Braving Alaska DVD Exclusive
c. 1993
60 minutes
Imagine living hundreds of miles from your nearest neighbor or grocery store and having mail delivered by airplane a few times each year, and battling the long, harsh winters with temperatures that plummet to -51 degrees Celsius. Such are the living conditions chosen by the hearty few who inhabit America's last frontier: the Alaskan bush—a spectacular land of rivers and mountains so remote that you'll enter the lives of four families who have turned their backs on civilization to fulfill their dreams of living off the land. Join the modern day pioneers as they face the daily challenges of survival—hunting for food, staying warm, and fending off grizzlies. You'll experience America's pioneering spirit through these remarkable people who are Braving Alaska!
Bear Island DVD
c. 2007
52 minutes
The majestic Alaskan brown bear is the largest predator in southeastern Alaska, but its ancient haunts are under siege. As modern worlds close in, the great bear's world is shrinking and encounters between humans and bears are on the rise. Join researcher LaVern Beier as he uses cutting-edge technology to protect this extraordinary species. To observe on their own turf, without risking life and limb, LaVern attempts to deploy National Geographic's Crittercam, until now used almost exclusively on marine animals. Vern and his colleagues are on the cusp of a revolution in terrestrial field science: the opportunity to vicariously walk with bears into the deepest comers of their habitats.
Bonus Program: Crittercam: Black Bears.
Alaska's Last Oil DVD Exclusive
c. 2008
52 minutes
The world is addicted to oil. But now the easy pockets of oil are gone and the race is on to find new sources. Nowhere is the battle more intense than in Alaska—source of nearly 15% of America's domestic production, and home to the nation's largest wildlife preserve, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where companies are pushing to drill. National Geographic travels back millions of years to see how oil was created, and looks to the future to ask how far we'll go to find every last barrel and at what cost.
Giant Bears of Kodiak Island DVD Exclusive
c. 1994
57 minutes
Follow the largest carnivore that walks the earth, the great Kodiak bear, down ancient feeding trails, up salmon-rich rivers—even into a den where a mother nurses her newborn cubs. You'll watch cubs learning to fish, bears gorging in berry-laden fields, and a remarkable scene of bears consuming a beached whale carcass. The setting is Alaska's Kodiak Island, where 4,000-foot mountains rise from hundreds of miles of jagged coastline. Today about 2,700 of these larger cousins of the well-known grizzly bear still thrive there. But change looms on the horizon. Portions of the island are open to development. Dramatic home videos of dangerous tourist/bear encounters capture the uneasy clashes of Kodiak's modern and natural worlds. Enjoy this rare look into the lives of the Giant Bears of Kodiak Island, produced and photographed by renowned wildlife filmmaker Wolfgang Bayer.

Henry David Thoreau quote at the end of DVD 1, Braving Alaska:
Walden, Chapter 2
THUR-oh or Thor-OH?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Deep Thoughts


Via reddit

Image creation notes: Gradients and warp brush clouds preset.

Burn Notice

I haven't kept up with the show Burn Notice.
But I saw Season 4 DVD in the store and bought it on impulse because the Jesse character (Coby Bell) sounded like an interesting addition.
I liked it.

Image creation notes: Text and background are gradients I created from scratch. The bumpy water was made with Displacement Maps. I manually cut the bottom of the letter t and then added a drop shadow to the text.
Inspiration was this Burn Notice logo.

Dealt Cards

Image creation notes: PSP pattern fill, MuRa's Meister Copies Cards Preset.

Darkest Hour

Heather Nova song lyrics.

Image creation notes: PSP pattern fill and touchup, multiply layer blends.

Purple Tranquility

google it

Image creation notes: Gradients and warp brush clouds preset.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fresh Cut Flowers

Five dollar bouquet I bought at the grocery store.
I don't know why I don't do this more often.

Wild And Precious Life

This poem captures what I feel when I'm in nature looking thru my telephoto lens and taking pictures.

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

(3:18 into the mp3)

Image Creation Notes: A gradient and radial blur.

The Sun

The Sun
Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen anything
in your life more wonderful

than the way the sun, every evening,
relaxed and easy, floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills, or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--and how it slides again
out of the blackness, every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love--
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure that fills you,
as the sun reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there, empty-handed--
or have you too turned from this world--
or have you too gone crazy for power, for things?

google it

Image Creation Notes: A simple gradient.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I missed the excitement around 5:30pm last night.
My partner grabbed my dslr w tele and took the photos.
He's been seeing snowys a lot this year on the way home from work and finally one camped out near our place so he could take photos with a decent lens.
I hope I get to see one of these snowy owls too.


I got some snowy photos too! Same area and same time. Mine weren't as good, but still fun to observe and I got to see him in flight also. Thank you, Mr. Snowy.

The moon was out at this time so I shot a few moon photos and then layered it in to the owl photo. It was easy to do because similar colors and lighting.


Turtle Ice Sculpture

I was taking photos of the chunky river ice and I thought this one looked like a turtle.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Hoar Frost on the Prairie

Finally, something interesting to photograph out there this winter.

Ponderosa Pine:


Hark a Lark:

I thought that was unusual to see a horned lark hopping around in February, but references say "year round" resident in North Dakota.
His pose makes me laugh.

hmhbooks peterson field guide
Yellow brow (Northern race) vs White brow (Prairie race)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Help

This is the best movie I've seen in a long time.
I loved all the characters.
I laughed. I cried.
I guess some thought it wasn't harsh/blunt enough, but to me, it showed plenty.
Especially the more subtle corrosive every day devaluing of human beings.


Aibileen Clark to 3-year-old Mae Mobley:
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important."