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.”
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?”
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:
“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:
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:
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.”