Red Eye Removal & The Bug's Return

Corrected my first red-eye photo today. Took some great shots of the Bug this week and the best ones all had red-eye.

Both Photoshop & GIMP have a tool designed specially for this purpose. Picasa, too, which is also free. [ For PS, you'll find it tucked under the Healing Brush grouping. ]

Simply select the tool and click inside the red-eye. Voila! Couldn't be easier. (Might help to zoom in first.)

I tried playing with some of the adjustments (Pupil size & Darken amount » both of which default to 50%), but didn't notice much of a diff - if any.

Fancy PantsHard to believe I haven't used this tool before. Maybe I thought it'd be complicated.

Red-eye is common at night, when the pupil is wide open and the flash reflects off the back of the eye.

These photos however, were simply too good. And the red-eye was very bad. The shots caught the Bug & two (older) girls huddled around a laptop, playing Fancy Pants. (Cool game.) All summer brown & sunkissed.

They were all focused on the main character (» Mr. Fancy Pants), who scurries about here & there, displaying acrobatic prowess. So I was able to catch the kids in their 'natural' state.

[ There's also a Fancy Pants 2, which looks even better than the original. ]

You know how kids can get when a camera is pointed at them. He didn't know I was taking pictures. (Or maybe they just didn't care.)

I'd like my family & friends back East to see WHAT I SEE » the Bug smiling, happy, engaged, handsome, playful, sensitive, silly, thoughtful. Difficult to get intimate photos when they're on guard .. posing for a shot. ('Cheese')

I also got some pictures of them running around at night with sparklers left over from the Fourth. Not easy however, to ignore the flash at night, tho. So those aren't as intimate. [ Would love to post some pictures for you, but the judge says I can't. ]

My favorite shot is the one where he looks happy & playful (big smile); my second-fave is the one where he looks thoughtful & handsome.

The Bug's eyes are blue. The Photoshop tool turns the red parts gray. So the result is that his eyes end up looking blue-gray. Kinda cool. Looks totally natural, tho.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Father / Son bike ride»» "You're a good dad"

Speaking of the Bug .. I hadn't seen him in a few weeks. He was back East on vacation. An hour after I picked him up, he said:

"I think the reason God made you my dad is cuz you're a good dad."

Totally outta the blue. Very cool feeling. Wow. Never knew I could feel like this. Few days later and I'm still tingly & light on my feet.

The 'reason' this feels so gigantically special is twofold » first: he's old enough to know. And 2: people have long tried to get him to tell the police I was not. I'm tired of talking to detectives (.. even tho they've been my biggest 'support-group' .. legally speaking).

Is that right? I said (.. as we rode our bikes down the backstreets).

Yeah, he said, I think He did it when you were like .. 18. =) [ Last one back to the house is a rotten egg. ]

So much of parenting is simply unappreciated, exhausting work. So when these little gifts drop out of the sky, they're cherished. Even dads need a little encouragement now & then. Right?

He has been traveling back East for vacations & holidays since his first birthday. So these reunions have become quite special. [ It would be difficult if he ever moved away. ]

I make it a point to tell the Bug how I am the luckiest dad in the world .. cuz I got HIM for a son.

This was also the first week where he said, Go on, dad. I'll catch up with you. A ways down the road I pulled over and looked back. Vigorously waving his arm, he shouted, Goooooo! [ Feeling more independent, now that he's a graduate. ]

Despicable Me»» DESPICABLE.ME

We saw Despicable Me. In raging 3-D. Our local theater has $4 days on Tues & Thurs. All tickets for everybody » only $4. All day long. That might tell you a little about the local economy.

[ Got my hair cut last week at a school where they teach. Free on Friday. Met the girls at a coffee shop. Looks the same as my $16 haircut. Maybe better. ]

The world's meanest, most-despicable guy turns into a big softie when 3 kids come into his life. Cute. The 3-D is simply amazing. Costs extra. Trailer. Strong reviews. Certified fresh.

Check out the cool URL at » Sorta like mine » index.rad Custom web suffix. I've always liked sites that do creative things with their domain name. [ Maybe I should change the home page to something like » gnarly.rad. ] Apache mod_rewrite does that.

The Bug has never seen a movie (at a theater) that was NOT 3-D: How to Train your Dragon, Despicable.Me, and Toy Story 3 (twice). He must think all theater movies are 3-D.

Fatherhood. »» RAD_DAD

I'm certainly no old salt when it comes to parenting, but I've been at it long enough to learn a thing or two. 

And the thing that's become most clear is » This (parenting) is something you don't wanna screw up. The consequences are so .. lasting. You know what I mean.

In my Kids First co-parenting classes (on the beautiful campus at Chapman Univ, comprised of 16 Saturday mornings, all court ordered), where we had PhD's for instructors & other speakers with tons of experience, I asked, What are the most important years for child development? The PhD-guy answered:

"First 6 years are crucial. After that, the bread is done baking, so to speak. Then it's mostly maintenance."

The Bug is 5½, so I am eyeing that 6-year mark. I have made the Bug's first 6 years a priority (.. despite nuclear-grade opposition). And to think I owe it all to my nuclear training, which taught me how to do 6-years 1-day at a time. Ya learn to roll with the punches. =)

Don't wanna be laying on my deathbed, wondering if I didn't do everything reasonably possible. (That must be a pretty sukky place, no? Maybe even hellish. ) But I have him less than half the time. Sooo...

Another thing I learned is that the 'idea' of having kids .. and the 'reality' of having kids .. are 2 different things. Yes, very different indeed. 


Raising kids feels like something for which there is no redemption .. if you screw it up, I mean. In Christianity, we're taught that redemption is always available. Even for the reprobate. Recall those 2 thieves hanging on either side of Jesus?

Talk about "knock-knockin' on heaven's door." 'Never-too-late' is the message there. [ « Ooh, might wanna grab your headphones for that. A great song deserves a great voice. Never heard that version before. She sings so clearly. ]

But parenting doesn't feel that way. Because, if you get it wrong, you can't go back. Can't revisit the past and put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Psychologically speaking. Can't go back and undo the damage.

So it would seem important ("crucial"?) we do everything possible (now) .. to give them what_they_need * .. so they grow into happy, healthy little people. No?

[ Our kids' future looks increasingly 'mortgaged' .. thanks to a cozy synergy between Wall $t greed, political dysfunction & regulatory anemia. It might be legal, but is it moral? (.. to spend our kids' future?) And if it's not moral, then maybe it's immoral.

Could this really be the beginning of the end? Or does it just feel that way some times? How is it the foxes are allowed to write the rules governing the henhou$e? Oh that's right » they pay a lovely $fee.

The people who have the mo$t to gain write the rule$ (law$) so they also have the lea$t to lo$e .. and in many cases (such as with AIG) they lost nothing.

We like to criticize Wall $t for their arrogantly conspicuous greed. But that only goes so .. cuz after all, can you blame a leopard for sporting spots? The real thing we can't understand .. is why our elected officials let them.

Is it *really* that bad? Does Wall $t really own Washington? (.. our government, ergo us) Or does it just look that way?

You need a psych eval to work with a reactor, but not to run the country. Odd, no? The principle here is » 'keep-nutcases-away-from-powerful-things-that-can-do-damage.' Where is the screening?

But I digress. Back to the redemption-less aspect of parenting. ]

* What we can do » Attention. Affection. Patience. Play. Games. Stories. Books. Sunshine. Fresh air. Silliness. Curiosity. Fun. Fishing. New experiences. Encouragement. Understanding. Exercise. Throwing. Nature. Rest. Love. [ Notice no tickets to Di$neyland. ]

My goal is that the Bug need never entertain the question: 'Did my dad love me?' I'd like him to know the answer on a deep emotional level. Would rest a little easier on my deathbed knowing that was true. Maybe even muster a smug grin. =)

Don't screw it up.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on July 25, 2010 7:25 AM.

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