Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guitar Pull Offs

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Image Source: http://img.youtube.com

Often Pull Offs are grouped together with Hammer Ons. However they are not exact opposites of each other.

What they do have in common is that they allow us to play two notes faster, form triplets easier, and add expression and fluency to our playing.

The tablature for a pull off is usually written to include a "P". The diagram below indicates that we are going to play the 7th fret note, and then do a pull off which will then play the 5th fret note:

|-------------| 1st String
|---7-p-5-----| 2nd String
|-------------| 3rd String
|-------------| 4th String
|-------------| 5th String
|-------------| 6th String

Here is step by step how to actually play the two notes:

  • Place 3rd finger on the 7th fret of the 2nd sting.
  • Place 1st finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd sting.
  • Pick the 2nd string to play the 7th fret note.
  • Pull your 3rd finger down (not bending the string) so it essentially plucks the 2nd string again.
  • This will play the 5th fret note, because our firstg finger is still pressing on that fret.
Eg. Our 3rd finger will be lifted up and the 5th fret note should now be playing.

The best thing to do is to watch some video tutorials on how to do Pull offs.

Here are some great videos from http://www.5min.com









Here is Part 2 of the previous Pull Offs video. This lesson moves from open string pull offs, into fret to fret pull offs. It also includes Alex Lifeson from the awesome Canadian band "Rush" showing a practical example of using pull offs in a guitar tune.














Here is Part 3 of Pull Offs that continues with fret to fret pull offs, and includes putting several pull offs together into a basic run.












Here is the fourth and final part of the Pull Offs lesson. This clip continues with doing the consecutive pull offs run of notes to form a descending scale.












Here is a great 10 minute lesson from one of my favorite online guitar teachers. The lesson goes all the way through from learning a pentatonic blues scale, through to playing hammer ons and pull offs.











Here is a good video clip that explains hammer ons and pull offs, and provides some exercises to do to practice these with all of your fingers:












Here is a really great video clip on how to use hammer ons combined with Pull offs for playing metal riffs: (At last we get to do something constructive !)












There are hundreds of other guitar lesson videos available for free at http://www.5min.com

Simply click on the left hand side menu on "Music" and then on the next page click on "Guitar" and start working your way through.


Or on the home page use the search boxes to do for example "guitar vibrato" in the first box, abnd click to select "in guitar" in the second right hand corner box, and then click the yellow "FIND" button. This will then bring up plenty of free video lessons that we can do.


So get busy on your own axe, and with strong plucky fingers see what you can pull off in the way of great rocking riffs.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, March 26, 2010

Robotic Friday Funny

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Image Source: http://www.ur.umich.edu

This week we decided we would have a look at some of the great things that Robots can do. These fearless metallic machines are such an integral part of our modern lives. It's hard to think what we would do without them.

However, this Friday the emphasis is not so much on laugh out loud, but more on the weirder it is, the better it is !


With any robot, there's bound to be a failure now and then, like this one:




Here is a Robotic short horror film about a very antisocial little red bot:



Cardboard box Robots are a great way for recycling to meet up with some art and drama. You definitely don't want to mess with this big boy.
He is one bad mother trashy cardboard Robot.
He even has his own "Mini-Me":


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Image Source: http://sushiandrobots.com

Continuing with the bad boys in cardboard theme, here is a new and questionable way to meet women:

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Image Source: http://blamobot.com

What about this out of control killer robot:

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Image Source: http://blamobot.com


Here is a rather lonely and sad looking Homeless Robot.
Nice and nerdy touch that he has his begging sign written in binary:

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Image Source: http://blamobot.com

The "Blamobot" site is a great reference for real enthusiasts, check it out sometime at: http://blamobot.com

All right then. Here is a look at our hand picked weird and wonderful collection of Robot videos from You Tube.

The Transformers are a wonderful set of Robots, and here is one of the new car-bots destined to star in the upcoming movie sequel:




Robot Dancing that involves humans is something a bit out there; but very skillful. Check out these guys, they are really good !



However, not everyone is totally enthused about Robot Dancing. And when there's competitive agro in the audience, things can end up running quite amok:



When we think about Robots on TV, we immediately think Futurama.
Bender the Robot is always good value, so we just have to include this clip:



Okay brace yourself for the weirdest scream rock metal Robot video of all time. (The metal guitar work is actually quite good !). I bet none of you have seen this one before: (and will want to see it again and again?) One thing's for sure, it is fresh exciting and unique entertainment. And that's enough for it to have earned its rightful place here at Passy World.




You know they even have Robots for making Japanese Sushi food (one of Big Passy's favourites, and truly excellent with hot wasabi):

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Image Source: http://extras.mnginteractive.com

So that's it for this week's mechanical madness. Enjoy the weekend, and tune in for more of the bizarre and humorous in next Friday's Funny.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shiny Search Engines

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Introducing the web's hottest new search engine: "Passy Find" !


Click here to go to the Passy Find Search Engine

And what's more, our engine is just as good as Google, because it is Google!
It's just that it's been
pimped up using the "Shiny Search" website.

Here are our Top 10 favourite Shiny Search "Passy Find" themes:


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

If you would like to know how to make a Flickr Slideshow like this one, then
Click Here for a detailed PDF document on How to Use Flickr for Slideshows .

Shiny Search at: http://www.shinysearch.com/ is a great example of a simple to use fun site, where we can make our own customised web page for Google searching, but give it our own unique name and style.

We can then set this customised page as our Home page in our web browser by following the instructions given to us by Shiny Search.

Here is a four minute Jing video about how it all works.

(The screen will go white for a few sections while the video loads in from the Jing screencast site).

As soon as the video starts playing, click the very bottom right hand corner "full screen" icon.

This should make the movie full screen so that it can be viewed clearly.
You might have to also turn up your speakers to hear the audio narration.
To return back to this Blog, press the Escape key.




Here is a direct link to the same video at screencast.com :
http://www.screencast.com/t/MzU1Y2ZhNDYt


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Excel 2007 Pie and Column Graphs

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In this post we are going to look at how to make Column Graphs, and Pie Charts, using Microsoft Excel 2007.

Here is a five minute Jing video that shows how to make a basic column graph.

As soon as the video starts playing, click the very bottom right hand corner "full screen" icon.

This should make the movie full screen so that it can be viewed clearly.

You might have to also turn up your speakers to hear the audio narration.
To return back to this Blog, press the Escape key.



Here is a link to watch the above five minute Column Graphs video at Screencast.com : http://www.screencast.com/t/YjI0MDk0


Creating an Uncluttered Horizontal Axis

When we added the cm units onto our Foot Lengths, the Horizontal axis became very cluttered with them jammed up against each other like this:

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We can make an Alt-Enter carriage return in front of every second measure, eg. 24cm, 26cm , 28cm etc and this staggers the horizontal axis labels.

It then makes everything look and fit better:


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The previous Jing video above, included a demonstration on how to do this axis labels staggering.


Making Pie Charts in Excel 2007

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Here is a five minute Jing video that we made here at Passy World. It is all about how to make a Pie Chart in Microsoft Excel 2007.

(The screen will go white for a few sections while the video loads in from the Jing screencast site).

As soon as the video starts playing, click the very bottom right hand corner "full screen" icon.

This should make the movie full screen so that it can be viewed clearly.

You might have to also turn up your speakers to hear the audio narration.
To return back to this Blog, press the Escape key.



Here is a separate link to go view the above Jing video full size on the "screencast" website:


See the "How to Pie Chart" video full size at Screencast

Further Information

There are some good free tutorials, as well as very useful add-ons that can be purchased for Excel 2007 at this website:

http://peltiertech.com/Excel/Charts/

SOME FURTHER INFORMATION WE WOULD LIKE FROM OUR READERS IS THE REASON WHY THEY VISIT OUR SITE.

PLEASE DO OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE. JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fine Dining Friday Funny

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Image Source: http://www.eatingwa.com.au

This week we are having a look at the funny things that happen in restaurants. First up we have a one minute classic Faulty Towers video all about coming the raw prawn:



There are all sorts of thingss that can happen to food in Restaurants, with serious ramifications to the patron's long term health:

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Here is another classic Faulty Towers restaurant foul up:



Had the Rat been "Road Kill", it may have been a whole different story.

Here is a wonderful "Road Kill Grill" menu from the good old U.S. of A.
It features all sorts of furry friend dishes, from basic drive-thru to exotic
cordon bleu :


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There are also not just funny menus, but restaurants all around the world with very funny names:

Here is a website of 35 of the worst restaurant names in the world. Use the scroll bars to work down through the pictures.




Here at Passy World we have decided to declare March as "Mr Bean" month.
So here is a classic episode of Mr B celebrating his birthday at a very fine restaurant:



Then of course, there are always those prank phone calls that people make to restaurants. Most of them are far too racist and obscene to put onto this site. However, this Howard Stern prank is hopefully not too "out of bounds":



That's it for this week's "Funny", if you get hungry for more laughs, be sure to visit us next Friday.

HERE AT PASSY WORLD, WE ARE STILL HUNGRY FOR PEOPLE TO DO OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE. JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Statistics with Excel 2007

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Image made at Passy World using Wordle and Adobe CS3 Fireworks


In this post we are going to take a quick look at how we can do basic Statistics such as Mean, Median, and Mode
averages. We will look at how to mathematically caluclate them manually and with Excel.

The following five minute Jing video shows how we calculate these values manually, as well as how we can use Excel 2007 to perform the calculations.

Mouse over and Click the bottom right hand corner rectangle icon in the player, to go full size, and then the Esacpe key to return to this blog.

(Note that there might be a minute or two of blank white before the video loads in and starts playing.)





Here is a direct link to the above Excel Statistics video at Screencast:
http://www.screencast.com/t/MmQzMWYwZ


The following Slideshare will allow you to view and download the Powerpoint 2007 Presentation, by clicking the Menu button at the bottom of the player.

Click the full screen icon at the bottom to view the PPT full size online, and then press the Escape key to return to this blog.



So that my friends is a lean and mean look at basic Excel Statistical functions. It was sure hard to fit it in under the Jing five minute video limit. (Just like too much hot wasabi, it almost left me breathless !).

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Funny for Schoolies

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Image Source: http://farm1.static.flickr.com

This week we are taking a look at funny things associated with schooling.

Let's start off a bit of schoolboy "Tom Foolery", with some new millenium filming You Tube style.

Warning: Do not try this at school - you could get into trouble.




Here are some snippets of conversation recently overheard in the classroom:

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it was H to O.


Do not try this in Science or Art Classes:




TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No Sir, it's the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.


It can be a very testing time being a Schoolie. Here are some helpful videos to get you through your next test or exam.




This guy is by far the smartest kid in the class, (well in a streetwise sense anyway):



But he can't beat good old Mr Bean for taking a test in this ten minutes of total shananigans:




One thing every schoolie needs is a great set of Homework Excuses. Perhaps the following suggestions might be useful for some of our younger readers:

List of Homework Excuses

A sudden gust of wind blew it out of my hand and I never saw it again.

My friend fell in the lake, and I jumped in to rescue him. We both survived, but my homework drowned.

I used it to fill a hole in my shoe; you wouldn't want it now.

My father had a nervous breakdown and cut it up to make paper dolls.

My pet gerbils had babies, and they used it to make a nest.

I made a paper plane out of it, but it got hijacked.

ET stopped by my house and he accidentally took it home with him.

I lost it fighting this kid you who said you weren't the best teacher in the school.

I was mugged on the way to school and the mugger took everything I had.

Our puppy toilet trained on it.

Some aliens from outer space borrowed it so they could study how the human brain worked.

I left it in my old ripped shirt which got donated to some homeless people.

My little sister ate it for breakfast.


Apart from tests and homework, another problem any schoolie might face is getting into fights. Here is some great advice on how to handle these tricky situations.




Finally, let's do a bit more quality "Back to School" time with Mr Bean:



So make sure you do your homework, and don't waste your life sitting around watching silly videos on You Tube, (like your teacher does!)

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jing Video of Screen Actions

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Jing is a free application from TechSmith, which allows us to capture a still or video session of onscreen action from our computer screen. We can then share it with others, as a link, or an embed on a web or blog page.

A couple of years ago we used an old PC magazine trial version of TechSmith's "Camtasia" to do
similar things.
(Camtasia is the "big brother" application to Jing).


The Jing website is located here:
http://www.jingproject.com/

Jing can be downloaded from this site, and only takes about 5 minutes to install onto a computer.

To find out how to use Jing, it is best to go to the page: http://help.jingproject.com/
and start reading and watching the excellent “How To” videos.

The following PDF document gives a review of getting started with Jing and making your first screen captures movie.




If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.


Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:





Here is a five minute Jing video that we made here at Passy World. It is all about how to make a Pie Chart in Microsoft Excel 2007.

(The screen will go white for a few sections while the video loads in from the Jing screencast site).

As soon as the video starts playing, click the very bottom right hand corner "full screen" icon.

This should make the movie full screen so that it can be viewed clearly.

You might have to also turn up your speakers to hear the audio narration.
To return back to this Blog, press the Escape key.



Here is a separate link to go view the above Jing video full size on the "screencast" website:


See the "How to Pie Chart" video full size at Screencast

The other really cool thing about Jing is that we can also save our Video as an SWF file, (about 12 meg for 5 minutes of video). We can then have this on a USB memory stick, and run our presentation on a laptop any time, without having to connect to the internet.

There is also the Jing Pro upgrade, (which costs around $15 US per year). It provides MP4 quality, with direct upload to You Tube. We might upgrade to this at Passy World just to try it out, but for what we are doing at present, the free Jing is probably good enough.

So that’s about it for Jing....It is indeed a wonderful thing !

Enjoy,

Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Keen on Keane Music

Sorry Picture Not FoundImage Source: http://www.jacuzzikillers.com

Who are Keane ?

They are a band that Big Passy has been getting into recently, ever since a friend gave him one of their CD's to listen to. Since then we have brought all three albums and love them to death.

Keane are:
  • Tom Chaplin - Lead Vocals
  • Tim Rice-Oxley - Bass, Piano and Keyboards
  • Richard Hughes - Drums

From Wikipedia:

Keane are an English piano rock band that was formed in Battle, East Sussex in 1995, and took its current name in late 1997. The group currently comprises of composer, bassist, and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, lead vocalist Tom Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes. Their original line-up included founder and guitarist Dominic Scott, who left in 2001.

Keane achieved mainstream success with the release of their debut album, Hopes and Fears in 2004. The album won multiple awards and was the best-selling British album of 2004. Their second studio album, Under the Iron Sea continued the band's success, topping the album charts in the UK. Their third album, Perfect Symmetry was released in 2008. In May 2008, both Hopes and Fears (Nbr 13) and Under the Iron Sea (Nbr 8) were voted by readers of Q magazine within the best British albums ever, with Keane, The Beatles, Oasis and Radiohead the only musical acts having two albums in the top 20.

Keane are known for using a piano as their lead instrument instead of guitars, differentiating them from most other rock bands. The inclusion of a distorted piano effect in 2006 and various synthesizers were a common feature in their music that back then combined the piano rock sound used during their first album and the piano rock sound which developed on the second and third albums. Keane have also used instruments like the violin, saxophone and acoustic and electric guitar.

Here are some You Tubes clips covering songs from their most recent album: "Perfect Symmetry".

Keane - Perfect Symmetry (Title Track)

This song reminds me of early U2 with the drum backing, and the haunting Yamaha electric grand piano flowing throughout. The soundscape is very U2 October, but modernised but not over produced.



Here is another song from the "Perfect Symmetry" album. This has a nice keyboard brass sound, along with piano and great percussion.

Keane - Spiralling




Keane - Any Wonder

This is from the "Under the Iron Sea" album, and has a nice U2 feel about it.
I am a roller coaster
addict and so the film clip is a great concept as well.



Keane - Again and Again


This song has a great big full sound very reminiscent of U2 and Simple Minds, with some extra nice echoing piano and keyboards added into the mix.




Keane - You Don't See me

This is one of the best songs I have heard so far this year.
The use of piano octaves in the recurring theme is so simple and sweet sounding, and works like a wonderful golden thread that stitches the whole song together. The rest of the tune is then left to Tom Chaplin to showcase his superlative vocals. This is indeed a brilliantly produced piece of music.

I don't think this is the offical video, (because the lip synching is not 100%), but is rather a video that someone else made and has put up onto YOu Tube? Anyway, enjoy.





Keane - The Lovers are Losing

The clip for this song is full of interesting scenes. However, it seems to bear absolutely no resemblance to the story being told in the lyrics.





Check out You Tube for plenty of other Keane music videos, especially the "KeaneVEVO" ones.

There are three Keane albums that we have here at Passy World, and all three are good.


1. Perfect Symmetry - Released: 13 October 2008.

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2. Under the Iron Sea - Released: 12 June 2006.

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3. Hopes and Fears - Released: 10 May 2004.

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So if you are looking for some great piano rock to add to your musical library, then get keen on Keane !

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Online Virtual Makeover

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Let's get one thing straight before we begin. Big Passy is not confused about his sexuality, and did not play with his sisters' dolls as a child !

However, recently some multimedia students showed me this excellent free online "Virtual Makeover" program
that is on the "seventeen.com" website.

Teenage girls can either upload their own photo, or pick a teenage model from the site, and do a complete makeover: hair, makeup, lips, skin, eyes, basically everything.

Here at Passy World we were so impressed by the technology
, that we thought it certainly worthy of review. (We are also big on diversity, and so why not include some female orientated content onto our site anyway).

If makeovers is not your scene, browser button click away now !


The online "Virtual Makeover" app can be found at this web address:
http://www.seventeen.com/hair-skin-makeup/salon-virtual-makeover

We first need to choose a female model to work with:

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We then work our way through doing her Hairstyle:

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Next we can change the hair color. However the changes here only seem to slightly alter the tint of the hair, and do not make wholesale changes from Brunette to Blonde for example. So we added some faint orange highlights to produce the following look:

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Next we move on to doing the Skin, and here we have to do Foundation, Tan, and Blush. This is where Big Passy got way out of his depth, (eg. totally clueless). But stubbornly refusing to enlist any female help, we clicked away, and this is what we ended up with:

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At any time during the makeover we can click on the bottom of screen "Before/After" button, and check how things are going like this:

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Next we have the eyes and eyebrows to do (again something Big Passy knows very little about). But we can click buttons, and we've done a bit of photo-shopping in our time, and so here is what we came up with for the eyes:

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Doing the lips is very simple. All we do is adjust the slider to make more smile, or less smile. Then click on the color tab, and change the lipstick color.

So we did this, and then we played around with the "Edit Face Shape and Size" button. This was our resulting final look:

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Virtual makeovers is something a bit different, and here at Passy World we are very impressed with this application. It does everything so realistically, right down to even changing the length of the eyelashes.

Here are the final Before and After Images:

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As we progressed through the makeover, it also told us exactly what brand and item name we were using, such as: "Chanel Gossimer in Rose Sand" lipstick. So I guess the idea is that the girls who use their own photo can then go and buy all the products that they need to get the same makeover done in the real world.

We are left to wonder about what clever marketing and advertising deals have been done in relation to this branding aspect of the application.

There is also an option to save the makeover onto the seventeen website, but only if you have joined up as a member of the seventeen.com site. (Which we believe is free, and only requires giving an email address).

So that's enough of Big Passy getting in touch with his feminine side.
Time to go and play some heavy metal guitar and get the testosterone levels back up to where they should be !

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, March 5, 2010

Old Folks Friday Funny

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Image Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com

Hmm... those two certainly look like they need a laugh.

Let's face it, we're all getting a bit older each day. Some of us are doing it faster than others, it all depends
on your attitude I guess.

Some people get a bit too stressed about this whole getting old thing. Let's face it there is a multibillion dollar cosmetics industry devoted to trying to stay young. Then of course there is always the Plastic Surgery, stem cells, and colagen injections.

So this post is all about seeing how much fun life can be as an old person, because we're all going to be there one day.

Here is a video of some typical old people going about their daily business:



And for some old people, their driving certainly won't be improving with age either:




Signs You're Getting Older

1. Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.

2. You feel like the morning after and you haven't been anywhere yet.

3. Your little black book contains only names that end in M.D.

4. You look forward to a dull evening.

5. Your favorite part of the newspaper is "20 Years Ago Today."

6. You turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic reasons.

7. You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.

8. Your Pacemaker makes the garage door go up when you see a pretty girl.

9. You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.

10. You buy a compass for the dash of your car.

11. You would rather go to work than stay home sick.

12. You take a metal detector to the beach.

13. You wear socks with sandals.

14. Your ears are hairier than your head.

15. You got cable for the weather channel (referred to as "Old Folks MTV").

16. You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

Source: http://www.basicjokes.com

Old people certainly know how to have fun with Photoshop, as demonstrated in this video slideshow:



Top Old Folks' Party Games

1. Sag - You're It!

2. Pin the Toupee on the Bald Guy

3. 20 Questions Shouted into your Good Ear

4. Kick the Bucket

5. Doc, Doc, Goose

6. Simon Says Something Incoherent

7. Hide and Go Sleep

8. Spin the Bottle of Mylanta

9. Musical Recliners

Source: http://www.basicjokes.com

And here is a rather long video about all the sorts of problems that old folks have with computers, cellphones, and telemarketers.

Carl Hurley has some great stuff on You Tube, check it out some time.




Finally, just remember that there are three signs of old age. The first one is loss of memory. The other two I seem to have forgotten!

(Golly Gosh it's hard to be funny when you can't remember anything!)


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Image Backgrounds in PPT 2007

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Back in the days of PowerPoint 2003, if we had a clipart picture with a white background, we had to use Photoshop or Fireworks and "magic wand" remove the white. We could then save our image in .PNG format, which would preserve the transparency. It was then a matter of importing the image into our PPT using "Insert" and "Picture from File".

Here is a PDF document on How to Remove Backgrounds using CS3 Fireworks.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:




However in PPT 2007, we can remove the white background from within PowerPoint. All we have to do is Format the image, open the"Recolor" tools, and choose the “Set Transparent Color” tool.

The following PDF document gives detailed step by step instructions on how to remove backgrounds from images, using PowerPoint 2007.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:




There are some other really nice new features in PowerPoint 2007, but more about them another time.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi