Upgrading my Vacation Pictures with Gimp

So I am not a great photographer, however I have some skills using photo editing software. Not for anything did I had an A on a course on digital image manipulation. Even if I am not the world most creative and artistic person I have been able to master a couple of tools to make my pictures just the way I wanted or at least close to it.So while I was in Veracruz I took some pictures of me and my girlfriend. Really nice Pictures by the way. I enjoy the time we were there but even if the hotel was just a street away from the beach we didn’t go to that beach as much. However Irina had fun in that beach and I had fun watching her splashing in the waves from that beach.I snap a few pictures of her in the Sea and even if it was a bit cloudy I tried to configure my camera for the perfect pictures. However I realized I failed misserably as I put the wrong filter which make me had some images a bit yellow.So after watching this vidcast called MacBreak I was able to see some Photoshop expert working on this image to make it look dramatic. I inmediately have this feeling of, I can do that without using Photoshop but instead my trusted Gimp program and I did exactly that.I shoot out my Gimp program and I started looking for images I really wanted something more on them. I saw the Veracruz pictures and man I really think they could have looked better, so I open them.


This is a bit embarassing not just because of my geek belly fat which is a different thing but also because I want the day to be not so well… yellow.So I open the image on the Gimp, and the next thing I did was go to the Curves. Curves are strong and have a really nice impact on the color set of the image without damaging the context on them. I have to say that I am not very familiar with the actual edges of the curve and I just deal with the middle node.First I notice that Blue is the key curve to modify, this enables me to bring the curve a lil bit higher. Not too blue as this might actually damage my not so blue skin. I just want the see and sky to look happier.The next is also bring the red so my skin can contrast again keeping the balance alive. I have notice that I dont usually substract which makes my modification at least simpler.After the curves are done, the contrast of colors can be seen right away but usually there are other variables such as overal light of the image. Here is where I use the second tool which is the Brightness and Contrast.


We really want to avoid the actual sliding bar and concentrate on the numeric level. The changes should be very very subtile. Make a range of +10/-10 to assure that the levels wont get out of control.Contrast and Brightness sometimes look like directly opposed so be careful when using it.Finally the last tool I use in case the Brightness burn the pictures and strip it of it’s warmness I go to the next tool, the most subtile of all, the Color Balance.

Color balance is an interesting tool, it has 3 levels, Shadows, Midtones and Highlights and the official RGB,CMY levels. Play arround with the combinations, remember where your shadows are, to have a better view you can also look at a thershold and see where the shadows actually reside and where the highligts.In the end I couldn’t get rid of my unathletic belly but at least I make as if I knew what I was doing with the cammera.


Thanks Gimp


Updating Mandriva from the CLI

With the Mandriva operating system you have a control panel that will go through the process of updating your system. However the package manager can also have a command line interface which makes it really easy to update. However the CLI is not so explained to do the things you do on the GUI, like updating the system with the latest packages.

After looking around the internet I finally came to a good FAQ with detailed question and answer. With URPMI will be able to configure to the full ammount. There are many options and will make them go through.

  • –update
  • –keep
  • –fuzzy
  • –parallel alias
  • –wget

To view the whole list you can go here however I couldn’t get the auto-update and auto-select.

Film of our life

So today I saw a movie that I should have watched ages ago. I remember Irina triying so hard for me to watch it and I end up falling asleep and even if I watched it I really didn’t feel it. — I am sorry for that babyLast week while she was with me she finally saw both movies (there was a second part) and told me to rent it asap. So today i did that and watch them from start to finish.I now see why she was so eager for me to watch it and I just sink in this sea of emotions. A really interesting movie that relates a lot with our relationship.I mean cmon, guy travel the world, then guy meet girls, then guy say bye to girl and then guy lives a miserable life.Not saying that I will live a miserable life or whatever, but my life really has been horrible without her. I really loose any focus on it since I left her and yes, I sound like a soap opera girl who waits for that magic moment when they live happily ever after and make the whole audience vomit.Anyway the movie is great, is an independent movie which I love and I used to watch a lot when I was living in Boston. The cable back then used to put Independent Film Cinema which was sometimes bizzare and sometimes wonderful. It was always an experience watching that channel.


My Girlfriend is just beautiful

OK so I might sound like a guy that is just pumping my GF head to maximum dimensions but really, she doesnt even read this podcast anymore so this is entirely just me thinking and realizing how beautiful she is. She has gone back to her country and while I am spending most of my time re-arranging the hundred of pics we got I really find myself staring at some of her pics. And she just look adorable, like really adorable and wanted to dedicate a post about the reflection on why I think she is so beautiful.Now i am not really a fan of this style of beuty, the euro-centric concept of beauty is not really something I am a follower. Sometimes I even wonder why I am with her if I really am fascinated with more darker kind of girls.However I honestly have to say that she captivate me with her beauty on this pictures she took. Maybe is the wet hair, the really subliminal lightning that look a bit angelic.Now really, look at her:


Her eyes are really calm and they look so serene while her lips just look so sexy, the wet hair was just amaizing and the blue sky just enhace that exclusive captivity on the way she look at the cam.


Great time in Cancun

So keeping up with the marvelous weather that we had in our summer break my gf — Irina, and I spent the best time in Cancun. She was specially delighted by the sea of Isla Mujeres which is really calm and excelent for just be laizy and swimming for ages. And thats exactly what we did.

She was so impressed that she wanted to tell everyone about the sand softness and clearness of the water. Comming from the black sea Cancun is definetly something different. We really enjoy our time there and we are going to remember as the best time I have spent in those beaches.

Too Cool for IE

So september 1st is the intenational day to get rid of IE. I just use IE a few minutes ago when I had to install (remotely) a Linux server for a friend who has a windows store.

Full of IE boxes and no firefox except for his own box the setup is rather odd since there is simply no way that people will react to Firefox. With this international day on get rid of IE might be a nice excuse of him to spread the word.

There is only one problem, is technically impossible to get rid of IE.

Irina in Mexico

So for the past 2 weeks my girlfriend Irina came to mexico and stayed with me for a really big while. We spend a lot of time doing things together. From ice skating in the middle of the jungle to wonderful pristine beaches near downtown at peak hours. But what we loved the most was the time that we were together.I love the way we went through happy moment after happy moment. I think it never really stop, even if we had some odd things it was just a dream. The word to put on this is perfection. We just loved each other beyond our expectation which was considerably high.In the end it was all about us, and even if we will say bye again, we will know that this moment was our moment and not even time will take it away.I love you Irina.


Arjuna Thoughts: Episode 11 – Drugs

There are not that many disieses that require all this drugs.

Actually the way I remember this dialogs was that there is really not that many drugs in this world. But the most impacting thing is that the surge of drugs was caused out of industrial waste. The chemicals once made for biowars was now used in small dosis for human consumption.

This statement might be shoking for some people it might be tolerated, really drugs all they are are chemical fusions just like bioarms industrial components and everything this world is really functioning on fuel combustion.

Gasoline is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons and enhanced with benzenes to increase octane ratings, used as fuel in internal combustion engines acording to Wikipedia.

So this world is really made of our own wastes, yet we still waste much more. I really hope humans were as efficient as surviving on their own waste, that means the recycling programs were a success. Unfortunately this is not the waste that will improve our development. As more synthetic medicine, and synthetic food (genetic food), and products are slowly starting to cause new disieses and new viruses that are having a toll on humanity.

HIV is an example of a modern day virus that has hit and take a big toll on human development. Bioengineering is now becoming more powerful and this will expose us to a whole new level of development, vaccines and also viruses that the humans most endure. Nanotechnology waste might be even a bigger threat than chemical waste. The question is how much is this waste will impact not just humanity but the earth itself.

This post really makes no conclusions and instead wonder on more doubts than solutions to the problem of drugs and chemicals in our world.. Living at one point in Eastern Europe and with people recent memories of the Chernobil disaster and really the fear of the unknown. What part of the radiation is on their bodies, what will be the new effects of this radiation on their childrens. Drugs don’t need to kill humans to affect them, remember the mad cow disease and the bird flu.

Episode 11

Preparing for Vacations

So finally my vacations will start on what I hope to be my best vacations ever. My girlfriend will be fliying from Romania to visit me for 18 days and hope to enjoy and spend the most time together and happy.

I will also divorce from computing and also face some odd scenarios with my family and my gf. It will be interesting how this atmosphere behaves. Also there have been some discussion about the moral involved in sleeping with my gf while I am at my parents house. However everything got digested and now we can move forward on that.

The pool is still being in repairs and even if the most of the work has been done there still minor details to have it usable. I hope this issue gets solved by the time we are back from it.

So the itinerary will be the following:
– We will get together in Mexico city around 6pm at the airport and spend the first night there.
– Then we will move to Veracruz and have a nice time at the beach and downtown veracruz as well as Boca del Rio.
– We will spend 3 nights in Veracruz and then we will see if we move to coatzacoalcos or if we will go to my hometown.
– We will go to Villahermosa, and either stay for a long time or will just be for a few days after going to cancun.
– In cancun we plan to have the most fun of everywhere and will be all over the place. We plan to stay there for 3 days also and then go back to Villahermosa to then go to Mexico city and say bye to her.

So in total it will be just 17 days which will include 2 day to on Mexico City, 4 days in Veracruz, 1 day in Coatzacoalcos and 3 days in Cancun which will total 9 days.

So I will be spending at my place for 7 days and with a budget of 2300 USD. I hope everything works out for the best and that we come to have a good time. I will be posting some pictures regarding our vacations.


Arjuna Thoughts: Episode 10 – Mental Shields

When I was young, I remember a class where they taught us how to defend ourselves not with our fiest but with our minds. Similar to what RZA said in one of his verses on Graveddigaz:

Have you not heard, that words kill as fast as bullets /
when you load negative thoughts, to the chamber of your brain

So this technique was to deliver what is mental shields this make the words people throw at you not reach you. Usually with people that you have lived so much, you tend to be more resiliant to their words. So even if really awful things come of their mouth, it might not hurt since you know that person to know his true feelings.

Words are good because it let us express our emotions, but words are bad because it limit our message and emotios too. This is when we can’t really reach the other one by simple words, simple thoughts and emotions that are disipated by these mental shields.

Is really important know how to manage this shields but also how to break through it. Some people might listen but not understand, communication is a broken system however is the only one we have and we need to strive to make it as acurate as possible.

The problem is the missinformation and missrepresentations, everything really is missrepresented since two humans really can’t think alike on their uniqueness they will represent things slightly different. We need to make this representations as similar as possible.

There is really no true solution, but just a description on how much humans need to break free from words into other means of communication.

Episode 10