Don't mind me I'm just talking to myself...    
~Digital Art, Crochet, Photography, Life....
“Writing is like talking to yourself, just in a way that makes it look like you're not crazy!” 
~Mary Kate

With everything that went on this year, so close to the holidays, I really didn't have the time to come up with something more than a generic Christmas scene. Last year I reused a scene I had created a few years ago with Santa in a bar only for the 2020 card I added a couple of his elves, alcohol, hand sanitizer and a mask to mark the type of year we'd had. This year I altered another image I had already rendered but changed quite a few things. I changed the Christmas Tree, got rid of the flask and whisky glass and added hot chocolate and holiday treats to show Santa taking a break. I had been watching youtube videos on lighting tutorials in Daz Studio so I applied some of what I had learned to add more of a firelight to the scene. I also added last years photo of the kids to the wall and one of my favorite pics of Jim and I, taken at Kaitlyn's wedding. Just as I was about to render it out print size I noticed that I only had 4 stockings. Well that just wouldn't do as I needed one for the son-in-law and when I originally created the image he wasn't in the picture (and now I thank God he is) If I'd had time to adjust the image further I would have changed out the room itself. The room I used is designed to look not quite modern. In fact, I use this room for my "Jacob Marley Ghost" image. (which for some reason is not in the gallery, once I find it I'll add it here)

Kid #1 will be here tomorrow for a few days. (Yay!) He's here in the state at a friends house currently. I really should warn him just how thin the fridge and pantry are right now. With just Jim and I we aren't stocked up like we used to be when the kids were home. I only make one meal a day for myself and it's just a protein and a vegetable. Jim usually has more interesting food but we really need to hit up Sams Club. I finally found a meal program that works with my arthritis and auto-immune issues and I've lost 22 lbs on it so far. (It's slow going for me what with the evacuation and then f'ing off to Disneyland recently but I don't care, it's working, slow or not) I was worried the bars and shakes were causing a flare up but then I realized that I had been taking my immune booster almost daily. Well, when your immune system attacks your body that means that boosting it doesn't always work to your favor. I had been around a lot more people during the evacuation so I had been taking more than usual and realized that was what was causing my flare up. Apparently I can't boost my immune system against C0v!d without my auto-immune disease turning on me. Welcome to my life.

I think we're having the family Christmas party at our house this year so I'm getting ready. If Jim remembers to grab some butter from the store on the way home from his golf dinner I'll even make Ken the first loaf of pumpkin bread tomorrow. I found a pattern for Christmas stockings that is super simple and a great way to use up yarn stash if you have the right colors. Hell, even if you don't have the right colors I mean, not everyone is traditional. I may even work up a rainbow stocking. :) Last year I gave my daughter the Christmas Tree skirt that I had made but I definitely do not have time to work up another one. It was beautiful though. I used a white, super bulky yarn, the type you could "arm knit" with. Her Christmas designs lean towards blue and silver and she misses the snow so it when we went out there to her house last year I brought it. It fit perfectly. I'll make a new one for next year.

This may be the longest blog post I've written in ages but I'm in the mood to share so... it is what it is. Even though it's been cold and rainy and I'm in pain it's actually been a productive day despite having a hard time keeping the house warm. Everything is ready for tax deduction #1 tomorrow including new sheets and comforter in the guest room. He's a food safety specialist so I always re-organize the fridge before he comes home. (did you know certain types of food belong on certain shelves? I do now. :) )

My latest render… background painted by me in photoshop, ship from, postwork in photoshop.

I remember my dad absolutely loving Star Trek. I grew up hating it. This was back when television was so analog you had a small handful of channels and if there was breaking news or the President wanted to address the nation you literally had no other options. My brother and I were the remote control and if you wanted your brother to leave your channel the hell alone you simply pulled the knob off the tv set. (didn't work since a pair of pliers also worked)

Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Lieutenant Uhura, et al were a staple in our house. I grew up during the syndication so it always seemed to be on. When the first movie came out in 1979 we, of course, saw it in the theater. I barely paid attention and in fact the most remarkable thing about seeing that movie for me was the horrific previews for The Shining. Omg... that was nightmare inducing and disturbing.

Dad loved Scifi though and when Star Wars came out and he wanted to see it we balked. Omg! Not another space movie! We wanted a Disney movie! (Ironic, eh?)

Fast forward a bit and it turned out Dad wasn't quite so wrong. Star Trek was f'ing fantastic! Lieutenant Uhura was a role model, Captain Kirk was... well.... Kirk and I began to realize that when your genre is scifi there is literally no limit to what stories you can tell. Hell, you can defy the laws of gravity if your story calls for it! How cool is that?

Reality has made leaps and bounds since the 70's. I remember doing the math on how old I would be if I made it to the year 2000. I was too young to see the USA set foot on the moon first, I watched the Challenger disaster in high school, and I've seen and heard the landscape of Mars from the Mars Rover. I've watched the photos of our universe get better with technology to the point where it almost feels like you're out there. And now... my artwork is dominated by scifi. (look at my gallery) My favorite fandom is Joe Mallozzi's Stargate Atlantis My writing attempts are Stargate Atlantis fan fiction. I absolutely love science fiction. Who knew?

So yeah, the man... the show that was the beginning of my love of scifi... going into actual space is pretty amazing. I plan to make sure my dad (who is the same age as William Shatner) is watching. (psst.... don't wear the red shirt Bill!)

"You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as the unknown — only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood." - Captain James T. Kirk

Drawing of my daughter by an artist at the old Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton just before it closed.

15 hours of rendering and then a bit of postwork in photoshop. I love this new character but I have to say, the Daz PA who created it needs someone else to put his final product together. There's very little help with regard to which textures belong to which geo shell and his thumbnails are no help. One texture even tried to pull from a file that only exists if you have one of his other characters. I had to create that file folder and copy everything over to it just to get it to work. Very, very sloppy. He creates great scifi characters and I'll probably purchase again but Daz is just as sloppy considering they've received complaints about him and all they do is shrug it off and say that he doesn't respond. Daz needs to implement a bit more quality control.

It's finally beginning to feel like summer is ending. Layers are definitely needed up here with mornings and evenings dropping down to the 40's and the middle of the day reaching up to the high 70's. My arthritis is definitely feeling it. I woke up yesterday to pain in my knee (the new one), my right hip and my hand. Last winter was difficult so I'm not looking forward to this one. We're putting in a little putting green next weekend... sadly just in time for colder weather since the caldor fire interrupted our attempt to install it in August.

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