Page 3 – Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park, Scotts Valley, CA

I finished a complete overhaul of my computer workstation. I sold my last iMac and got another Macbook Pro Retina – this time with 16 gigs of RAM as my main painting computer. I have a major painting project coming up that may take me a year to complete. I am making a new format for my I Am Totality website. All my text an illustrations will take place in a painted garden redwoods setting: six pages. I'll do it with the help of software that is comparable to a Google Map. You can see an example here. It is called Zoomify. This allows me to have a very large image to scroll around while intelligently managing file-size. The pages may be 5000 pixels wide. I'll make good use of my mountain redwoods location for resource material. Many times I found that I can get more work done laying down, so I'm trying this restful posture for my workstation.

My TV is across from where I sit up on the bed. An HDMI splitter runs the signal to the second TV facing down with the Macbooks.

The mannequin will be used in my paintings to walk through the forests and find areas where I explain the ideas. On the top of my support board are three back gadgets. To the left is my Blue-ray drive for encoding movies. In the center is my iPhone charger base, and to the right is the new wireless Wacom Intuos5 Professional Pen Tablet. That is what I paint with, but it also is a touch-screen so that I can use my Macbook like an iPad if I want. It sits here on its shelf when I am not using it. Actually it works out surprisingly well while I'm laying on my back. Prior to this I used the Wacom Cintiq Interactive Pen Display, but I found that overall, this is more comfortable to work with even though there is no display to see under my pen.

I inserted pictures in both sides of the cabinet above. In the center, the urn symbolizes the container of data or artistic information stored below in the workstation.

I got the urn from the same on-line architectural source as the decorative piece on my bathroom door.

Would Steve Jobs roll over in his grave if he could see how I treated his industrial minimalist design with my Beaux Arts aesthetic? Or maybe with the Apple slogan in the 90's, "think different", he would enjoy my difference.

This lower longer connector is called the Thunderbolt cable. It’s twice as fast as USB-3: two channels of 10 giga-bits per second. It goes to my 4 Tera-byte RAID hard drives. USB-3 hubs are finicky and don't daisy-chain like Thunderbolt.

This box in the center are my external RAID Thunderbolt hard drives. People get these who do audio and video editing because they can be configured to run both hard drives in parallel, which speeds up the data rate. They can also be configured to write the same data to each hard drive so that if one fails, the other is there with the safe data. In my case I am using one for my files and the other for Time Machine. Time Machine backs up the entire Mac hourly, weekly, and monthly. The individual hard drives pop out easily if you want to replace them with another. It is sitting on three layers of felt and has a felt strap holding it in place. The felt is to absorb the shocks when driving, not to soften the sound. This is the quietest, coolest hard drive I've ever seen. I can't hear it spin unless I touch my ear to the case. I covered it here with my fabric called Florentine. Under the RAID is my second TV facing down.

At the top here on the others side is a USB 3 one-terabyte external hard drive that runs Time Machine on my second Macbook Pro Retina. The last connector in the center is a TOSLINK cable. That is a digital audio connection that uses optical fiber instead of copper. I encode my movies is 5.1 surround sound and this connection sends it to my home theater. Notice that all my cabling is light gray to match Apple cables. This second Macbook Pro is used for movies, music, email, and general surfing of the web, whereas my center Mac is mostly for content creation, like painting, or the writing I'm doing right now. Actually most of what I'm writing here is dictated with my Mac. The new Mac dictation is similar to Siri in the iPhone. It sends what I speak to the Mac servers on the web to figure out what I spoke. Then it sends it back as text. It works quite well. In this way I don't have to reach up to the keyboard as much. I just tap the function key twice and it starts. Dictation is also on my iPhone. I do my writing in the Mac word-processor called Pages. If I am looking at a document on my iPhone or iPad or Macbook, and that document is open in any of them, I can speak dictation changes to that document and it shows up on all devises instantly – even if my Macbook Pro is asleep. It's called Power Nap on my Macbook. So if I'm out on the road and get an idea, I just speak it into my iPhone and it's back home on my Macbook open to read.

This is an iron strap that supports the Macbook from the bottom. It carries most of the weight.

It is covered in soft plastic to protect the aluminum from scratches.

This metal cylinder, also covered in soft plastic, holds the Macbook up from the display side. With a twist of both cylinders, the Macbook is released from its support in a few seconds. Just to be safe, I take them down if driving the RV.

Over the years, I have become accustomed to my Kensington Trackball. On top is a switch that allows me to toggle between each Macbook. the switch is lighted green when connected to my painting Macbook.

A close-up of one of my decorative pieces.

On the opposite wall at the top is my Apple Airport Extreme. That is my Wi-Fi router that includes a 2 Tera-byte hard drive. The green light says it is connected to the web. I store my blue-ray movies there which can be accessed from any device. The slim black boxes across the blue shelf is my hone theater, here ended with a 12 inch gold tassel.
So there is my tour. Hope you enjoyed.



Out to Big Basin State Park. Mid-October was like summer. I was sweating just casually walking around in my t-shirt.

Just got a Canon EOS-60D and trying it out. In addition to 18 mega-pixels, it has plenty of bells and whistles to keep me busy. Normally I would not need photos 5200 pixels wide, but I often use only smaller cropped areas. The LCD panel not only sits flat on the back to view, but swings out like a cam-corder.


It is a cam-corder since it takes 1080p movies. Just for the fun of it I may shoot a redwoods movie and then paste in 1080p Hollywood blue-ray clips. Maybe cutting to a take of this guy coming out of the forest?




Or how about Bigfoot?









Or how about Mr. Bean needing to find out for himself if that redwood tree really is 235 feet tall?








Camera manuals tell you the how but not the why. I got this book that is very user friendly and gives you exercizes to test what you've read. I'll sit down and go over it.

This is my Benro tripod. It's made 8-layer carbon fiber tubing and magnesium. It moves smooth as silk. That's why it lists for $630. It only weighs 2.5 pounds and folds down to 16 inches to fit in my backpack. One leg detaches to form a mono-pod. One reason for the tripod is to take multiple exposures and then assemble them in Photoshop, so that the result is more the way the human eye sees.

No fooling with the tripod please!

Up into the unknown – to Sempervirens Falls.

Sempervirens Falling.

Cool. Lots of creeks here.

Sometimes it helps to have a third wheel.

A classic redwoods shot.

I drove up on the road overlooking the basin and looked down on the "big". The cloud layer over that mountain is sitting in the ocean at Santa Cruz. I'm coming back after a good rain when everything is nice and cool and moist.


The final touch to my computer workstation. It took a little while to order it.
This is called a tree-topper, normally used for a Christmas tree. Hey, why not Christmas all year round? The gold millwork just below it is a funiture leg from Home Depot turned upside-down.




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