User’s Manuals are for Wimps!

A while back, thanks to a generous gift from Grandmother (she’s up in Heaven now, singing with the angels and probably dancing too, if I know her at all), I purchased a fancypants sewing and embroidery machine and an excessively confusing yet powerfully useful program to use with it, then after about 6 months of trying to figure it out on my own, a book to help learn it, step by step.  I am, in many ways, like a man, especially in the “I don’t need no stinkin’ manual!” sort of way. Only…this time, I needed the manual. Now that this barrier has been broken, maybe I’ll get a manual to learn how to use Photoshop Elements, which I’ve had for a couple of years now, but since it’s not as straightforward as it SHOULD be, was abandoned.  Photoshop could be used to make vector and raster images that can be made into embroidered designs…whatever the heck THAT means! Oh, I am sure some of you can explain all about rasterization and vectors, and since I am a relatively intelligent person, that will all get figured out and I’ll feel all smug and stuff about it and say things like “rasterize the image then determine the fill patterns and choose the Pantone color number to fill specific yaddayaddayadda” and people will go OO AAH and then I’ll fall over on my face and spend 2 days wandering around with biscuit dough in my hair, because that’s how I roll.

I am not really capable of doing anything in small bits, or slowly and carefully in baby steps so as to learn it fully. Never have been. The first thing I ever cooked (at 8 yrs old) was yeast bread.  The first thing I ever sewed (I was 9) was a dress with set in sleeves, a zipper, and a waistband. As a teenager, I’d been taking piano lessons for a good long time, but hadn’t advanced very far due to an intense dislike of practicing. I was bored with the rinkydink songs set at the level of achievement I’d achieved, and purchased a copy of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

As a kid, I listened to Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic’s version of this song endlessly. So I knew what it was supposed to sound like, that helped with the learning to play it.

And not the toned down version either. Mrs. Wooten, my piano teacher. warned me that it would be way above my pay grade, and she was washing her hands of the situation. Nonetheless, after a year of careful noodling, one painful measure at a time, I was able to play through it.  I couldn’t do that now, though, because that would have required practicing. Later on, upon decided sculpting looked interesting, clay was purchased and the commencement of making realistic figures commenced. That was fun! Once that was mastered, on to different things like tile mosaics, then crewel embroidery, then rose gardening. I have a short attention span and no desire to read the instructions.  The only things I’ve ever stuck with my entire life have been the sewing and cooking, probably because those are not only practical, but endlessly variable.

However, it is time for instructions. Maybe it’s maturity and the realization that allowing that someone who knows more about it to teach me how is not an indictment of character and ability. Maybe I’ll even start piano lessons and actually PRACTICE this time. Assuming the instructor can provide songs that are interesting to play.  And only after learning how to rasterize*.

*When you open a vector image in a bitmap-based editing program, you are usually presented with a dialog box of options for rasterizing the image. These options are where you would specify the pixel dimensions, color mode, and resolution of the imported file (see below). A vector graphic can also be rasterized by exporting it from a vector-based application to a bitmap format. Anti-aliasing and dithering are also options that may be offered when rasterizing an image.  Oh yes, that totally makes all kinds of sense. especially the dithering part.  And isn’t anti-aliasing like…NOT aliasing, which means you’d use the ACTUAL NAME and not an alias? How does that apply to graphics on a computer? I am so confused.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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3 Responses to User’s Manuals are for Wimps!

  1. jeanieinparadise says:

    “spend 2 days wandering around with biscuit dough in my hair, because that’s how I roll.”

    Laughed out loud at this!

    I actually do know a teensy bit about the black magic of which you speak – or did, now I am confused. How did you do that?

  2. Barbara says:

    Aye, the need for an actual instructor of things is exactly why I never learned anything. Not that I haven’t tried, but books and tapes and youtube can only take you so far. I need interaction.

    For years I have SO wanted piano lessons, but from what I can find out I’d have to quit my job to be able to take them when they’re offered and I can’t afford them anyway even with my job at least until my son graduates from college. So, oh, well. Ce la vie.

  3. I surrendered when I bought my sewing machine and took a couple of “how to” classes to figure it out. I’ve never been able to understand the instructions and usually can’t find the book anyway!

    High Five for learning to play the piano! Never in a million years could I do that!

    xo jj

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