Martin Hour (Takes a) Holiday 2010

And by "holiday" we really mean that Deke and I are eschewing the lounge this week for time with our respective families. But lest you feel neglected, Deke has created this special graphic, which perhaps captures the true spirit of Martini Hour. Yes, I am, in fact carrying Deke on my back in this photo. That's why he looks so happy and relaxed, and I look so strained yet determined. Are you surprised to learn it was Deke who chose this photo for our holiday greeting?

Martini Hour Holiday 2010

The image was shot by our good friend Jacob Cunningham (staff director/cinematographer at lynda.com) as part of a shoot he did at the request of Bert Monroy, to use as reference for Bert's latest painting. Fortunately, Bert chose a different shot when he recreated us for his Times Square piece, so I won't forever be stuck in time (square) lugging Deke around. Actually, in Bert's final piece, Deke and I are contemplating a much more civilized form of transportation, a taxi, driven (if I'm not mistaken) by a young Bert Monroy. We're definitely blessed with talented and sympathetic friends.

Not the least of which is you, our beloved, intrepid dekeItarians. We do sincerely wish you and your respective families a peaceful, fun, restorative winter holiday of choice. In truth, it's the funny, irreverent, curious, patient, wise. and ever-charming dekeCommunity that makes the work not seem like work (sometimes). Peace, joy, and creative freedom to all of you. We'll be back in the lounge with a new podcast next week. Cheers! Read more » 

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I Completed the Last of my CS5 Video Courses, "Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery"

'Tis the Season, so I suppose 'tis likewise a bit optimistic to think squillions of folks are paying attention to my site this week. But, hey, what with the solstice and the full moon and the lunar eclipse and everything else that's been going on these last few days, anything could happen.

So I figured I'd write and let you know that I managed to wrap up my final general-training CS5 video course before the end of 2010. The course in question, Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, won't go live until late January, but my work on it is done. While it's just eight chapters long, it comprises 134 movies. (Which, frankly, is diminutive by my standards.) And as usual, the course sports all-new project files, including the incredibly uncool one below.

Naturally, this course will be part of the massive and exhaustive lynda.com Online Training Library. In the meantime, here's the breakdown: Read more » 

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Martini Hour 095, In Which Chris Brings the List (and Deke Drools over the Items on It)

No, not Kris Kringle, Chris Breen, Senior Editor of Macworld Magazine, who joins us in the dekeLounge this week to discuss some of his favorite gift ideas for the tech-lover in your life (even if that tech-lover is you...or Deke, who seems very interested in many of these toys). For the record, this show is airing a bit early for us, because neither Deke nor I believe in actually shopping until the 20th of December. But, after I finally kick off my new boots (courtesy of santaDeke, who bought them before the official dekeLounge shopping season) we launch into Chris' delightful list of his favorite tech things for the season.  

Here are some of Chris' wonderful (and lust-producing) suggestions: Read more » 

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Back Yo Ass Up & Let Me Channel Mix

About 50 people have emailed me this CollegeHumor link now, and for good reason. It's hilarious, catchy, and brilliantly executed. Plus, the Photoshop tricks are spot on. As you might imagine I have read and watched a few zillion imaging tutorials, and the quality wanders a bit. The above is an entertainment video, and yet it does a better job of imparting best practices, accurate terminology, and sly techniques than just about anything I've seen lately.

If it doesn't play right away, click pause and click play again.

Seriously, essential viewing. (Warning: Truly sensitive listeners will enjoy the faux-raunchy language.) Click here for some lyrics. Read more » 

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Xmas Xharbor Xlights

Xmas Xis Xupon Xus. Which is awesome, because it means every Who down in Who-ville has begun putting up its lights. (Even Coldplay has noticed!) And the lights are so pretty. It makes me wish the Whos did this all year long. Although, for all I know, they do. I rarely get down to Whoville anymore.

Anyway, tonight, I thought I'd act on my fleeting sense of Xmas Xspirit:

I stared off from the deck of the Holiday Inn,
looking down at the harbor, I held tight to my gin.
And what do you suppose captured my fascination?
Than a boat full of lights changed with Hue/Saturation.

Xmas Lights

Oh shucks. The mood is over. That holiday tickle is so fickle. Meanwhile, I'm nearly done with my Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course for lynda.com. I just knew you'd want to know.

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