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Thursday at work I didn't turn a doorknob far enough and slammed my face into the metal door. It was NOT forgiving. Then I reached for my ipod while sitting in my van and pulling my hand back knocked most of the contents of my water bottle on my leg and seat. Uffda Thursday to me. Today I thought that I'd become Super-He-man-Hercules and push our old fridge up the stairs, since our other fridge's compressor went out, and was thoroughly defeated in the task. I tried and tried for over an hour taking small breaks to catch my breath. All I got for my efforts was sweat-soaked clothes and a big bruise on my shoulder. Uffda Friday to me. Now I may need to ask for prayer cover in the near future if this trend continues. I think there is even small creases in my skin on my shoulder!
In lighter news, Mary and I got a Wii for our gift to each other and boy, is that fun. Bowling, golfing, tennis are what we play the most. We tried the boxing once and afterwards we were sitting on the floor sweating! We don't play that one much anymore.
In great news, Mary finally got an RN position at a community clinic in Fargo. She will be working with the homeless in the clinic and out in the shelters. It has been six months of applying places and no one here in town was responding. We may have to move because there isn't much here for her. It's weird that there is so many openings for RN's but no one is willing to hire. Uffda job hunting to her. But the good news is she finally got her foot in the door as an RN! Just pray that door in more forgiving than the one I "ran into".
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The weekend before last I started to rip the railing off our deck. It was bulky and the paint was peeling off so it looked terrible. Of course, as with anything with this house it wasn't easy to demolish. The previous owner lag bolted it, nailed it, and screwed it down. Lag bolts came out fine but the screws he used weren't even for outside use, they were regular drywall screws, so you can imagine that they were completely rusted. I had to rip the railing out with my bare hands and brute force every last bit. One railing was eighteen feet long. I cut it down so the city will pick it up for our annual spring clean up but it was so beefed up and the circular saw wasn't cutting it all the way through. So I stood in the middle of the railing and picked it up and shook it hopping it would snap, it did not. I thought that maybe if I threw it on the ground it would break, and so I did. But, the brilliant Norwegian I 'am didn't think of the cross piece that was directly behind my legs. As I threw it down the one-by-4 cross piece hit the back of my calves and down I went with the railing. I have bruises all down both calves. Of course were I ripped the railing off some of the decking broke. I went to Menard's and got three replacement planks and replaced them. Mary came home and liked the look of the deck without the railing and seeing the new boards down thought that it would sure be nice to have the whole deck like that, I agreed. Plus I had thought of that earlier. So Sunday was spent ripping out the other deck boards. And as you may have guessed, all the decking was screwed down with completely rusted drywall screws! I, again, with brute force had to snap and break just about every 35 boards off the joists. Longer story short, by the time I was done and laid down on the coach in the early evening I became very ill. I don't think I can remember a time that I was that exhausted and painful. This past weekend I finished installing the new decking, screwing it down with triple coated deck screws and cutting of the overhangs, sanding the cut pieces and the printed brand name off the surfaces of some. It sure will be nice not to see chipped paint all the time. I will allow the treated wood to dry out until next summer and then seal it for even longer life. Next up is to put up a fence so the dogs can run around freely in safety. I hope that it will go smoother. All we are really going to do is take the chain-link fence that is already there and extend it to the house in the front and the garage in the back to close it in. Here's hopping it will all go well.

The Oscars

Feb. 5th, 2010 07:44 pm
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This is mostly for my parents, others I'm sure have read this on Facebook.
I'm very excited to say that my old high school friend, Joel Harlow, who if you recall, is a two time Emmy winner for special effects make-up in major motion pictures, was just nominated for an Oscar on Tuesday morning, which just happened to be his birthday as well! What a birthday present! He is on the ticket with two others for their work in the new Star Trek movie. Joel was the prosthetics make-up supervisor and was in charge of sculpting and making all the prosthetic ears for the Vulcan's and Romulan's and was Mr. Nimoy's make-up artist for the movie, he also made the cool tattoo on the villain's forehead, Nero! Joel continues to astound me and I'm so very glad for him and all that he is doing with his career. We are friends on Facebook now and I sent him a Congratulations for the nomination. I believe that he will win. I will have to watch the Oscars this year for sure, I usually don't, and look for him if they win and get to go up on stage to receive the award. I saved the email he sent me last summer saying that he remembered me and that he was glad that I was drawing again. As I perused his photos on Facebook and his website, I can't even imagine the life that he is living, what a blast to be rubbing shoulders with celebrities like Leonard Nimoy and Johnny Depp and so many, many more!
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Ryan has left the valley for a brighter and warmer future. He has packed up his car with all that he has and is headed out to Florida to make his fortune. We will miss him but we know that he needed to go somewhere that can offer more for him and his talents. It is always a scary thing to leave your parents for the first time to go off on your own but Ryan did it with braveness and resolve! One comfort for us is that he will have family in Florida, staying with Mary's mom, and having uncles and cousins to help him through the tough beginning stages of starting over somewhere new. We wish him all the luck and pray for his safety and success! Go get 'em Ryan!
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Raven Shadow went to play with Sammy at approximately 11:30 this morning. He is survived by his new brother Jack and newer sister Willow and two loving human parents. Mary was not able to be there but she was there in thought and prayer. Our hearts are very heavy once again. Raven has been a part of our lives almost our entire marriage! We have very little memories that don't include him, and are going to miss him terribly. He was very independent and strong. We called him our little box of nails. In his youth we've never seen a dog so crazy for ball, that was his most favorite thing to do; to run and fetch! To him that was what life was all about. In his elderly years, because he was such a box of nails, he pushed and pushed himself unaided to be independent and to still be his own dog. He was never much of a kisser, unless you had popcorn, but showed his unconditional love simply with a look that was unmistakable. He had the most beautiful coat of fur that, after a bath, would hold the shampoo fragrance for weeks afterward. We are thankful today as well, thankful for Raven to have been a part of our lives for so long, and that we knew him and that he knew us.
Goodbye my old friend, let Sammy know we still miss and love him too. Goodbye my best buddy, I will long to see you again. I 'am glad that I was there for you all the days of your life and unto the very end.
I bet your playing ball right now, are you?
We love you Raven!
Love, your mommy and daddy.

P.S. Mary once said that when Raven passes it will be an end of an era, and it truly is!
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Watched the new series in the Stargate franchise, Stargate Universe. It was really bad. I read some posts on the SyFy Wire about it's premiere and many people had nothing good to say about it. Oh, there were some positive posts of course, but the majority was negative. Stargate is my most favorite show, that being SG-1 and SG-A. This new one was an exact rip off of Battlestar Galactica. I don't know why the writers chose to change the formula for Stargate that has worked for so many years, fifteen between SG-1 and SG-A. It's a good thing that I haven't seen much of SG-1 and will be tuning in to the dvd's at some point. SG-1 has ten seasons so I'll have plenty to watch until, hopefully, they change the formula back to what it should be.
Signed, Gateless.
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I don't think that I've ever had anything that was this much fun as my airbrush! It's been so long since I've done anything artistic, I had forgotten how much fun it is to create pieces and be creative with my imagination. The Druid series I'm doing actually came out of me just practicing with painting skulls. I messed up on the skull and started to blacken out some areas. I then painted a nose and outlined for hair. But as things started to take shape I saw something else within the shadows of the paint. The hairline then became the cloak's edge and so to go with the cloak, I turned the face into something of a freaky thing. When I was done I thought it looked like a Druid Priest, or something to that effect, and that gave rise to a series of Druid pieces. I think Druids were weird and evil anyway, so I guess the faces reflect that persona.
I won't be having any series that depict unicorns or rainbow fairies. I've always been, in my art I'm talking about, a bit on the dark side. That's not to say I won't do wolves or lighthouses, those things are on the list. I've got all the supplies I need to do all kinds of airbrushing and 'am looking forward to getting better and better.
Have a great week. John Van Gogh.
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I have recently run into some computer problems with my Gateway desktop. All of a sudden without any warning, it decided not to load any of my drivers for my video card because it said that the device has reported problems. It locked my resolution in at 640X480! You can't do anything at that resolution! And nothing I did could change that resolution. Okay, now I've had that video card for about two years with no problems what-so-ever. I'm not sure what sort of problem it has, but I have never had an issue with it before. I hate Vista, it is by far thee worst Operating System ever. It makes me reluctant to get a new video card because how do I know if it will suddenly prevent me from using that one? Someone said recent updates that Microsoft put out for the OS are causing all sorts of problems. I found where my OS was keeping my list of reported problems and clicked to send the information to Microsoft. I HAD 203 PROBLEMS WITH MY COMPUTER! WHAT? I know that pc's are number one in targeting by viruses and hackers, but that is ridiculous. I told Mary that I think that when the time comes to get a new computer that we should seriously think about paying a little extra and get a Mac with OSX or whatever the new OS is at that time. I've watched a lot of videos about OSX and it really looks wonderful, all the things that you can do with it is really first class. I loved the video editing software you can get, that would be fun. Apple was the only computer company to actually gain revenue during the economic slump, I believe. So, now I'm here with the "on board" video accelerator, which of course, looks a million times better than before. At least I can use it again. And I haven't been on my laptop because some little princess, Willow, chewed right through Mary's power cord to her laptop, so I had to give mine to her until she can order a new one, which is kind of expensive, actually it's really expensive, about seventy dollars. So, thanks to princess for that.
My airbrushing is very cool. I like it much. I'm learning a lot about it and 'am excited to keep learning so that I can create some nice pieces of art. Techniques will come with time and so will my own style. Right now I'm focusing on drawing and it is coming along nicely. I'm just about done with my dragon! It is very cool. When I draw, I detail just about everything. It takes time, but the end result is cool. It takes patience and a very sharp pencil.
John.
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Willow is such an amazing girl. She has been sleeping with us in the bed since day one, because she made it abundantly clear she does not want to sleep alone in the dark in her room. She sleeps through the night and doesn't jump down and potty anywhere. There are a few accidents of course but nothing drastic. She is such a love, she'll kiss and kiss and kiss anyone or anything. She kisses Jack and Raven, our elbows or ankles and toes. She's been playing a little more each time with Jack, but we have to monitor them 'cause Jack can get a little rough, but other than that they play great together, and that is a plus we were hoping for.
And now for something completely different:
I ordered my airbrush system today! I'm very excited about learning to use it and becoming skilled in the art of airbrushing. Some of the techniques and effects you get are just amazing. I started thinking of when I used to draw and do lots of sketches of things, and after seeing what my classmate Joel Harlow became (two-time Emmy Award winner for movie make-up effects) I decided to blow the layers of dust off my sketch pad and pencils and retrain myself in drawing. At first that was all I was thinking of doing, then it occurred to me that I should go beyond the pencil and learn a new art form. The airbrush was a logical choice and one the I actually have considered in the past even pre-Harlow as it were, but I couldn't justify the cost. That was until shopping on the internet became more safe. I found an airbrush system, the same brand name that professionals use. It is called Paasche.
Pronounced Pa-shay. I bought a Paasche duel action airbrush kit complete with an air hose. I got a Paasche air compressor with regulator and another duel action airbrush from Master Airbrush. I've been watching free videos of airbrushing basics on the web and have learned about the basic functions and techniques. Now I can't wait to try them out. Once I've become well trained in the art form I want to do some pieces such as Jack in an SG-1 uniform standing in front of the stargate. Some pieces whimsy and others serious, I think it will be really fun. Plus if they are good enough maybe I'll hang them in the house or shop somewhere.
Good Day my gentle viewers.
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Mary and I went to the Humane Society this afternoon to see our latest adoption. We are going to name her Willow Marie. She is such an adorable little girl. She has already been spade and something removed from one of her eyes. She is on antibiotics for about ten days and we will be able to pick her up on Friday next week. We paid for her today and did all the paper work so all we have to do is show up on Friday morning at nine and take her to her new home. We are excited once again. I'll have pictures up of her on Facebook, Twitter, and LJ. She had a bit of a rough beginning like Jack. I think we are supposed to help her. It will be interesting to see her character come out in these next few months, like Jack's did. We may give them voices at home, but we don't give them personalities, they have that in spades, no pun intended. We don't give them emotions, they have that in abundance as well. We don't give them feelings, they can feel love and happiness, contentedness and the like. There are many things we don't give them, but they give us so much in return without hesitation. I think there is a lesson in there somewhere. There was a quote on the wall at the Humane Society that said, "if you've never loved an animal, than part of your heart is left unawakened." That's a paraphrase by the way and I can't remember who said it, but I agree. Dogs aren't for everyone, but for Mary and I, and many others, they are just little precious angels for us to take care of while here on this earth. Willow will be our last adoption, we can't rescue them all, even if we really would want to. We can only save the ones we can.
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Last night was fun. I had my laptop set up with all my networks and my desktop was firing off episode after episode of Stargate SG-1. I was Facebooking with my niece Amy for a bit and kept track of her little pool shark outing. I set up a Twitter account and got that right where I want it, then today set up on Twitpics. I think there is a Twitvid too. I made a few little skits, with my webcam, concerning a Norwegian bed and breakfast owner.
"If your toilet is runnink, yus give dat handle a little yiggle."
"Breakfast will be at eight, and ve are havink lutefisk, lefsa, and sun buckles, mmmmmm."
So, anyway, I carried on for far to long and the next thing I knew it was almost 2am! Couldn't believe it.
This morning I took Jack for a nice long walk and now this afternoon will be one load of laundry, and home office stuff, followed by laundry room shenanigans, followed by living room monkey shines, followed by kitchen tom foolery.

Twitter

Aug. 29th, 2009 05:24 pm
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I'm a follower of Dreamwidth on twitter, was wondering if anyone else is on it. I did a search for mark smith but was unsuccessful.

WOW!

Aug. 28th, 2009 03:40 pm
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I was on Facebook today searching for some long lost school mates when I remembered a high school chum named Joel Harlow. So, I typed his name in and saw a picture of him but couldn't be sure if it was the same guy. We are all a bit older now. Him and I hung out for a while in high school and both loved drawing and scary movies. My name was in the Grand Forks Herald with a few others that were working on a "movie" Joel had envisioned. I still have that paper today. I knew that when we graduated he would no doubt be successful. I just didn't know how much until today. The last time I met Joel was when I was working at Albertsons grocery store in the late eighties and he came in to pick up some pictures he had developed there, and we ran into one another. He was currently in New York going to a renowned special effects school. He showed me some of the photos of New York and new friends and colleges. I remember he said to me, I used to make fun of you because you had this earring and would shake everybody's hand all the time. Now here I 'am with an earring and shaking everybody's hand too. I took that as a compliment. It was great seeing him again and we shook hands, haha, and went our separate ways. Not too long after, another article about Joel hit the Grand Forks Herald, this time it was of Joel receiving an Emmy award for his make-up effects on Steven King's "The Stand". I thought: good for you Joel. News of our home town celebrity seemed to wain and I did not keep up with Joel's career. It has been many years since I have even thought about him and how he was doing. Then, today, I was completely awestruck at what I found out. I don't want to type all the accomplishments of Joel here, it would take too long. But I will say this: he has worked on movies and tv shows that we all love. He was make-up artist on a lot and also for several movies he was the make-up supervisor! For instance Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2,3. Bootstrap Bill was his creation and had influence on many other characters from that movie. He was make-up artist for Buffy the Vampire Slayer! He started his own special effects company called HarlowFX to handle the work load for Buffy.
Here is just a few major motion pictures that feature his creations:

JJ Abrams Star Trek! Vulcan and Romulan prosthetics and Leonard Nimoy's make-up
Currently is working on: Alice in Wonderland with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.
A.I.
The Matrix sequels
National Treasure Book of Secrets
The Sandlot
Bicentennial Man
Lord of Illusion, with Scot Bakula
The Chronicles of Riddick
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Magnolia
X-men
War of the Worlds
Constantine
Christmas with the Kranks
Domino
the list goes on.

TV shows include:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
House
The Stand
The Shining
HBO's Carnivale
DS9

Whew! I can't even begin to imagine the life he has already had. His website is: www.harlowfx.net.
You can peruse his freaky mind there.
I remember how much he ate, drank, breathed, slept, and down right lived his passion for art, sculpting, and movies; especially horror.
I sent him an email today, but I'm positive that his team will weed it out as someone trying to reconnect from his past and not forward it along. That's okay though, I just dropped a note to say how happy I was for him.
One thing that really bothers me, and did back then, is I lost my school yearbook that had Joel's writing in it to me. He also drew a little werewolf under his signature. Wish I had that back.

Completely blown away,
John.
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Thank you for the three invite codes! I shall pass them along to whom it may interest. Perhaps my niece Amy will like to journal. I don't really know of anyone at work who would be interested in journaling but I'll find two more people I'm sure.
Today is day one of my four day weekend and it's cloudy and there's a threat of rain this afternoon so I axed the yard care for now. Just the usual suspects, laundry, journaling, internet surfing, music listening, house crap.
I took Jack for a long walk this morning. We went a little further than what Mary walks only because I took a wrong turn and ended up having to go down a bunch a alleyways to finally get back to a sidewalk. It must have been humid because forty-five minutes later my shirt was no longer of any use to me, had to change.
Mary is at orientation in Crookston for her clinicals that start next Tuesday. She is going to be very, very busy these next nine months. But time will go by quickly, as it often does, and she will be a full-fledged RN!
I continue to be amazed at her intelligence and smartitude.
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Dreamwidth, cool name. The width of ones dreams are limitless. Today is just going to be a relaxing day at home, it is the sabbath you know anyway.
Our yard sale yesterday yielded 89 dollars, and that is just from all the small stuff. The washer and treadmill are still here, all our printers and my old monitor are still here as well. I thought for sure that all of those would sell. It was a cold and cloudy day for being the dog days of summer, but that's North Dakota for you. Jack was left out while we were gone today and did excellent, nothing chewed up or peed on. Mary starts back to school tomorrow and will be quite busy. I will do my part and keep up the house and other things while she is studying. I probably won't see much of her even when we're home together. But at least I'll know where she is.
I'll post more later, just wanted to get my first post in on Dreamwidth today.

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December 2010

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