F 1 D 0 - 2003 05 17 at 1400

A good day.

When closing "A Day in the life of Ivan
Denisovitch", the author said, "almost a
good day." This day was better than almost.
It was very good.

As a time saving measure, I'll plagarize
my own recent email on the subject.

Let me see. Ann and I did a lot of things together
today. It began with a mild complaint that I was slowly
ruining the kitchen, so that was my cue to build the final
steel shelving unit. It went together well.

This set the tone for a wonderful day, actually. By
handling this instantly, rather than delaying for a
better time, cheered us on to the Lunch Bunch thing.

They have not seen us in a few weeks, so we were warmly
greeted. One of the profs, Helen, brought some Olivia
books. This is about a piglet, who is like many young
girls growing up. If you see it anywhere, read it over.
I like how it uses the colour Red.

We took our time coming back home from Lunch Bunch,
and look! it was 5pm or something. Along the way,
we stopped at Radio Shack. They had a sale on MP3
players. I wanted to see if the one they had for 
69.99 was much better/worse than the RCA I only
just picked up from Zellers for 129.99 - reg $200.

This KOSS unit had better amplification. Nicer buttons.
Worse display (mostly numeric). I'll bring an MP3 disk
over to Radio Shack, and may get it IN ADDITION to the
one I have already.

I should contact the Unitarian Church. They're not
far from here, and now four different people have 
suggested them as a place for my dance. I should
delay no more. I'm not sure why I remembered this
in the middle of my day report, but anyway.

So I didn't get the MP3 player, but we did pick up a
nice Epson Scanner Printer Copier all in one printer.
It's now all set up. It works fast, it works well, the
colour is much better than the old Canon Bubblejet we had.
It's the Epson Stylus CX5200.

The software is fine on Ann's machine, but on mine it
is a light form of spyware. It sends a copy of anything
I print over the internet. Very weird. If I don't let it
talk internet, it doesn't send the file locally. Grrrr.

Still, all is well. It's working. It's scanning. It's printing.
And it copies. Works on cheap paper, good paper, photo paper;
everything. 

It came with a USB cable, so I went back to Radio shack
to get the 20.00 plus taxes. After that, I noticed a big
sale at Burger King (whoppers for 1.00) so I went. After
that was when I realized I was missing dancing. Sigh. I
got there at 906pm, but because the sets were full, and 
it was just a new dance being taught, I didn't actually
get started until after 930pm. Got two dances in. Oh well.

After that,  I went to Safeway's for Skim Milk, Bananas,
Apples. Stuff. They're open until 1100pm. Then I rushed 
to meet Ann at the studio. We hung out there until 
almost 100am. I guess I didn't have to rush, but I did.

- -

I've returned to a project I set aside ages ago. Trying
to Colour By Numbers. If you search for Paint by Numbers,
you'll get a popular Asian game, but not the familiar
outline and colour numbers.

One product ColorBN http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/11696.html
was so complicated, I wasn't able to learn how to get it
to do my bidding.

Here is what it *does* do. It knows about certain professional
colours of paint and crayons. It will let you pick which ones
to use, up to 32 of them.  Once it has finished its magic,
you can print the colour key, print the outlines which will
get painted, or print the simplified picture it made of your
JPG.

So, that's the good news.

The bad news is, most of the choices of regions and colours
use a very artistic (drug induced?) system. I'm sure I have
the power to alter its choices, but I wasn't able to figure
it out last night.

I woke up this morning, and realized that Corel Draw had
a program called Corel Trace in the suite. When I checked
on version 7, they've combined OCR and Tracing. 

Again, it wasn't a load and go thing. Some learning
was required. But this program was much closer to what
I was looking for. Its purpose was to convert a picture,
like a JPG, into a series of vectors (regions of filled
polygons, as many as are needed) to describe the same thing.

This was the ticket. It was a bit of fiddling but I eventually
got what I wanted. 

1. Corel Trace. 
a. load the jpg
b. convert it
c. save it as a CMX file
2. Corel Draw
a. load the CMX file
b. save it as CDR for safekeeping
c. print if you like
d. save it again CDR with a new name
e. select the entire image
f. choose FILL (paintcan), X (means NO fill, please).
g. panic. Image disappears!
h. choose OUTLINE (fountain pen), thin line (not the one with two arrows, but the thicker one)
i. breathe. Image returns as outline only.
j. save, print, whatever. Job is done. Done enough.

That's all I know.