Background Investigation

I am a very fortunate man, in that I live with a very low-maintenance wife. She isn’t a nagger, she doesn’t have a spending problem, she doesn’t gossip; she’s just a very cheerful, easy-to-live-with person.

Except for one thing: she must have variety.

This is at odds with my personality, because I tend to find one thing I like and stick with it until the end of time. Still, many husbands have a lot more to put up with, so I grit my teeth and bear it.

In the case of our blog, Kathy can’t stand to have the background be the same, for more than a month or so. Earlier this week I made the mistake of creating a new background image for our dear friend, Tina, on her blog. As soon as Kathy saw it, she knew she ‘needed’ one too.

“I’m tired of these boring old snowflakes,” she sneered. “We need some sunshine.”

Remember this lovely image?
I remember when these snowflakes were ‘all the rage’.

Do you remember when I said that my wife wasn’t a nagger? That’s true, except when it comes to her need for variety. It went on for days. “Where’s my sunshine?” “Why haven’t you put a new background on our blog?” “Why does Tina have a new blog background, but not us?” “What kind of a programmer are you, that you can’t even give us a new background on our blog?”

Yellow and shiny
“Too dull,” she said about this one.

Nope.  Not this one either.
“Too green,” she said about this one.

It was more than a simple programmer could stand, after even a few hours of the incessant bombardment. I tried several different images, but none of them met her exacting standards. Finally, I hit on this one:

Just right!
Even Goldilocks would have liked this one.

“It won’t work,” I told her, gloomily. The way backgrounds work, they tile horizontally and vertically — you’ll see lines and such, and it will look funny. But then an inspiration hit — I could alter this image so it would work.

First, I trimmed out all the excess stuff around the edges of the image, using Photoshop Elements. (I wanted to use Gimp, my favorite free image editor, but Kathy wants me to learn Elements.) I ended up with this image:

No more ugly stalks

This will still result in ugly lines, so I doubled the size of the canvas, made a second copy of the image, and flipped it both horizontally and vertically so that it would blend into itself when tiling. I cropped it on the left so that the flower would show, until I had this:

Flipped around and doubled

And so, we have a new background on our blog. If you don’t see it, try holding down the shift key and hitting refresh on your browser.

I hope you like it. Don’t get too attached to it, though, because its days are already numbered. “Oh, that is so February 2008,” she’ll say, rolling her eyes. “We need something more, Summerish.”


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11 thoughts on “Background Investigation”

  1. Not meaning to cause any further dissention, but Kathy is right, snow season is over, or SHOULD be over, right? The new flowers are very cheerful and uplifting, just like your wonderful wife. :)

    You did a great job Tim, should I tell you now that I am looking out for an interesting textile to take a picture of for my next background, or wait until you have recovered from this creation?

    Thank you blog master!

  2. I love it!! Sunny flowers and blue skies. WHEE. But where is the snow?? We have the blue and sunshine but WHITE WHITE ground.

    Love you, sweet Timothy. Aunt Kate

  3. Very purty. It’s important to keep changing your blog in order to keep reader’s interest. Otherwise they have to be entertained by the actual content. And that’s just too much pressure.

  4. Tina — you’d better watch yourself, Missy. One more remark out of you, and I’ll chmod all your photo directories so you can’t upload (again) and, if I’m really provoked, I’ll un-widgetize you. :)

    What’s the fun of being a programmer if you can’t bully the people you serve?

    Ronnica — very good point. I’d hate to have to rely on actual content. We’re all about fluff, here at the Duckabush Blog.

    Aunt Kate — thank you for always commenting so faithfully. You are so kind to always find something to say each day — we really look forward to your comments. We love you! Are you teasing me about “where is the snow”? What kind of background image do you see when you look at our blog, or do you only see the e-mail version? Browser image caching is tricky — some people probably still see our red background from Christmastime … ?

  5. I did call you blog master, didn’t I? :)
    Hey, I just noticed you added me to your blogroll! I think that means I have arrived somewhere in the world of blogging, right? Perhaps I will get a couple of readers now. :) Thanks for linking to me!

  6. Very nice, springy look!

    Of course, it is very cold, windy and snowing again here in the northeast. Those daffadils must be blooming somewhere.

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