Summer Is Here

It has rained nearly every day and everything is the yard is green and thriving! I have started on the summer catch-up around the house and have a ton still to do! I made a dent in it today and I will keep at it – like everything else I am behind because last summer was all about taking care of Dale. We got the word today – he has the green light for transplant as far as his health is concerned – now we just need a donor.

My friend B.J. is on a road trip and has promised to blog it. He has already uploaded some photos to Flickr as you can see here.

CadillacRanchBumgarner.jpgHe is in Tucumcari and has already published an entry on I’m looking forward to taking the trip without ever leaving home! He did say that gas ranged from 2.97 up through 3.31 a gallon. Sounds like you need a bank loan to take a vacation anymore!

I shared a link with him for Comic Life which is an application that comes on the MacBook but now is out in beta version for the PC. That means there will be some bugs but when they get them ironed out it will be great. This is a fun application that easily lets you make comic strip like documents using pictures and then adding speech bubbles. It comes with preloaded templates – you just choose one and drag the photos to where you want them. Choose the shape of speech bubble and type in your text and you’re done. Today on Bionic Teaching I read about a class that is using this application to create ads for Greek gods and goddesses selling products. There are also some great creations there on copyright licensed under creative commons.

In 2006 Jeff Han gave a demonstration at TED Talks on an interface-free touch screen -and last night Microsoft announced the Microsoft Surface Computer which you can see here. I would love to play with one of these. Instead of spending hours learning an interface just start moving things around any way you like with your fingers. They also show loading things like pictures and maps onto someones phone from the surface. It won’t be on the market til winter 2007 but it will be making it’s appearance at different conferences and events. You can check back on their site to see where it will be shown next. It will be exciting to see how this evolves and if it makes it into the mainstream market. Imagine being able to do desktop publishing by simply dragging your documents and images around on a template and seeing the text flow to fit. Don’t like it? Just drag it somewhere else. Add voice recognition and we really will be using something that like what we only used to see in science fiction movies. The uses just boggle the mind. I’m sure it won’t be making an appearance in Paris Texas anytime soon but maybe next year at TCEA! You can read more about it here.

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