The Kirk Build

Let me start by proffering my abject apologies. I’ve had my head so very buried up the back cover of a book that I’ve had little time to come up for air.

Natasha beacons to Kirk

Insanely cool contest to follow . . . 

So anyway, good news: While I was blowing you guys off, I had some great times with my two little sons. We had 2nd-grade science night the other evening. Made a volcano. Explored how to make invisible ink. The next night, at Scouts, we made a bird feeder. During which I experienced the singular joy of having my finger hammered by my eldest, Max. Damn, he knows how to let loose with the mighty mallet. Oh Thor, oh Odin! Which is why I’m so glad fingers are expendable.

But that’s all beside the point. Just to prolong the anticipation, don’t you know.

Here’s the actual point: Recently, there was a certain dekePod, where I made a promise. And there was a certain beloved member who nudged me to come through on my promise. To which I additionally promised deliver a posting Monday morning. Which turns out to have been a lie, b/c here it is Thursday morning. Which, for anyone with a calculator, is later in the week.

Anyway, rather than provide a long-winded description of the technique, I offer to you, members of dekeOnline, the real, actual Photoshop comp of the mysterious Natasha, retrofitted as l’objet petit a Captain Kirk.

But I have a challenge, and I’m suggesting this to just those of you who are dekeOnline members. And this challenge is very real, no screwing around:

  • Download the PSD file of Natasha. (This is the 3rd link to the file, in case you clicked on one of the other ones.) She’s 12MB, so prepare for a time investment.
  • Watch dekePod episode 009, “Sixties Space Siren.”
  • Compare the many-layered Natasha file that you just downloaded to that movie. And be aware, the file is no pushover. It’s a layered file that contains a smart object that itself contains nearly a dozen more layers. Deep inside you’ll find the original image.
  • Here’s your challenge: Reverse-engineer and write a detailed step-by-step description of how the final image was achieved (minus money effect), in classic One-on-One style. With figures. And context. And submit it as a comment to this dekeStuff post.

Whoever does the best job wins. There will be one and only one winner. I will announce that winner on Wednesday, Nov. 19 (in just a few days). The reward will not be a book or a video or a trinket. But rather, I will personally write you a check for $124.99 (the highest amount of money conceivable by the human brain) and mail that check to you, by standard snail-mail post. You can then frame it or cash it, up to you.

Wow, this is exciting. I feel so space-tingly.

Next entry:Chuck Joiner Interviews Me Again

Previous entry:Winners (or “For the Love of Deke’s Giant Head”)


  • Natasha…

    I’m just getting some crazy code when I click the Natasha links, guys.

    Weird stuff - like it’s from outer space or something.

    Anyone else?

  • yup

    Try right-clicking and choosing “save link as” or something to that effect…

  • That worked

    I’m embarrassed that I didn’t think of it before.

    Thanks, Gaber. smile

  • No problem! I overlook the

    No problem! I overlook the obvious stuff at least a few times a day. wink Now i have to decide if I want to even attempt this daunting challenge…looks like a lot of work! And I’m sitting at work right now so I should probably be…working? But since I’m a graphic designer this counts as “research”, right? Skillz-honing?

  • Absolutely!

    It’s on-the-job training, and they should pay you to closely examine every Deke file ever offered. It helps you - and while you’re being the best you can be (through Deke, natch), they will also greatly benefit as they become more competitive due to having exceptional designers thanks to the power of Deke².

    It’s a win/win situation. How frikkin’ cool is that?!


  • Classic One on One style…

    So I’ve been to our two small book stores in Rotorua, and to our underfunded library, and couldn’t find a Deke One on One series book to get a feel for layout in your ‘classic’ stylee.

    But I’m determined to tackle this using my new trial copy of PS CS4 and would love to be true to the classic One on One style - so is there any chance of a snapshot of a typical page from the One on One series, so I can try to match it a bit?


  • Good News Petra… 43 Pages!

    The O’Reilly web site lets you view sample chapters from their books. To download and view a 43 page PDF of chapter 4 of Deke’s new Photoshop CS4 1-on-1 book, go to:

    Once you get to their web site, right click the link to the sample chapter PDF and choose “Save to Disk” from the contextual menu.

    They provide sample chapters from their other books as well (Deke has other books you can snag chapters from there) if you need more.

    good luck!


    Thomas Benner

  • Woohoo!

    Thank you, Thomas. Much appreciated. I tried Amazon, but they didn’t have the look inside function available.

    Will you be giving it a go, too, Thomas? The more the merrier, eh!


  • Retracts \“Woohoo!\”

    and replaces it with “Oh, shit !!!” before hiding under the bed in terror….

  • Ok, I’ll give it a shot.

    Sixties Space Siren in 10 Steps - McClelland Style

    (Please excuse my language mistakes, I am still learning smile

    What we have: Natasha


    What we try to achieve: Kirk Seductress

    space siren

    1. Alright, first thing to do is to load the original Natasha image into Photoshop, so go to the File menu, choose Open… and double-click Natasha.jpg. (Or whatever you called it. If you haven’t done so you’ll have to rip the original image from the finished Kirk_build composition first). To make Natasha comfortable in her new starship quarter environment, we have to seperate her from the background. Although the background has a fairly uniform color, the selection tools or color range command probably won’t do us any good because of the fine hair detail around the edge. These usually call for a channel mask, so that is what we’ll try first.

    Click the Channels tab to go to the Channels palette, below the composite RGB thumbnail you should see the black and white versions of the red, green and blue channel of the image. (If you see colored versions of the channels press Control+K (Command+K on the Mac) to go to the Preferences Dialog Box, select the Interface tab and uncheck the “Show Channels In Color” Option.) What we are looking for is the channel that provides the greatest contrast between the area to select and the background.

    As our model is a human being (or at least humanoid enough to attract Kirk) there are a lot of flesh tones going on which results in a bright red channel. The background turns out to be fairly bright too, so although the hair looks ok the red channel is probably not the best way to go, especially the shoulder area lacks contrast. The green channel definitely looks better, her face is delimited by hair on the left and some pretty dark shadows on the right. In the blue channel the shadows are even darker - which is great from a contrast point of view - but as a result of its blueish hue, the background turns very bright and starts to eat up some of the hair detail. So in this case we’ll go with the green channel. To create a mask we first copy the green channel by clicking and dragging it to the “Create new Channel” Icon at the bottom of the Channels palette.

    To copy a channel, drag it on the icon
    copy channel

    Rename the copy “Mask” (or whatever you like) by double-clicking the name next to the thumbnail, then press Ctrl-I to invert the channel. (If, like me, you tend to forget if the black or white parts of a mask will be turned into a selection, recite a hundred times: white selects, black protects).

    The inverted alphachannel
    invert channel

    To get rid of the bright area to the right select the lasso tool and roughly drag around the head (make sure to stay clear of the fine hair detail though) and invert the selection by pressing Ctrl-Shift-I. Then fill the new selection with black by pressing Ctrl-Backspace followed by Ctrl-D to deselect everything.

    Select roughly around the head, invert the selection and fill it with black
    fill outside mask

    What remains is the area between black and white that contains the stray hair, this will take some trial and error. The first step to isolate the details is to increase the contrast of the mask. Press Ctrl-L to go to the levels dialogue box and lower the white point from 255 to 160. This will brighten the highlights to the point just before her shoulder blows out. To darken the shadows raise the black point to about 50, but keep an eye on the hair detail so that none of that gets swallowed.

    Increase the contrast using the levels command
    mask levels

    The left edge looks pretty good now, on the right however we still see some nasty midtones which we will correct manually with the brush tool. This turns out to be the most tricky part of the whole thing, keep your hand on Ctrl-Z as you’ll probably have to undo some strokes now and then. First, select the brush tool, set the size to about 300, the hardness to zero and the foreground color to white. We want a pretty large and very soft brush to do some subtle adjustments. Finally set the Painting Mode to Overlay, reduce the opacity to 40% and rather click than drag over the stray hair using only the edge of your brush. This will brighten the hair just ever so slightly without harming the darker areas to much, don’t overdo it. It is easier if you keep the center of the brush within the white area of Natasha’s head and then click along the edge carefully.

    Keep your brush inside of the red areas
    mask brush

    Now that the hair is brightened, we still have to get rid of those greys and one way to accomplish that is to use the burn tool. Select it from the toolbar (it might hide behind the dodge tool) or press O. Set the size to 300 with a soft edge, select “Shadows” from the Range dropdown menu in the control panel and reduce the exposure to 30%. Again, start to paint over the gray areas carefully with the edge of the brush to darken the shadows. It won’t hurt your highlights within the head but if you overdo it some of the hair details will get lost. Don’t try too hard though, we’ll work on that edge again later in the process. After we have darkened those areas all we need to do to finish our mask is to fill the interior of the head with white.

    Select around the remaining black portions and fill with white
    fill inside mask

    As our edge is almost complete with the exception of a piece of the ear and the hair tie, we can use the lasso tool to complete the job. Just drag around the remaining black areas within the head and fill the selection with white by pressing Alt-Backspace. If you want to be thorough you can use the elliptical marquee tool and the magnetic lasso tool for the ear and the hair tie. That’s our mask, by no means perfect but ok.

    2. After all the work we can finally go on with the fun part. Press Ctrl-N to create a new document, name it “Composition” or whatever you like and set it to a size of 1499x840 pixels. In the Layers palette, click the “New adjustment layer” icon and select Solid Color… . Dial in 250° for H, 25% for S and 75% for B and hit OK. With the adjustment layer selected Click the “Add layer style” icon in the Layers palette and choose Gradient Overlay… .

    Gradient editor and layer style dialog box
    edit gradient

    In the Gradient dropdown menu, select the second option “Foreground to Transparent”, then click the gradient next to the dropdown menu. That will open the Gradient Editor. Doubleclick the first color stop and change the values to 330°H 40%S 40%B and click OK twice. In the Layer Style Dialog Box set the Blend Mode of the gradient to Multiply, the Opacity to 100% and the Style to linear. Change the angle setting to -80° and reduce the Scale to 40%, then click OK to accept - thats it for the background.

    3. In the next step we bring in a background picture to add some atmosphere. Press Ctrl-R to show the rulers, rightclick on one of them and set the unit to pixels. Now drag out a horizontal guide to +75 and a vertical guide to +780 pixels. With the Move Tool selected Alt-drag the blurred background picture from the final composition into our image, this will automatically place a copy in a new layer.

    The finished background

    Then align the top left edge of the background picture to the intersection point of the guides. Rename the layer “Background Image”, Done. (As our image has the exact same pixel dimensions as the original you can also Alt-Shift-drag to paste the copy into place, it will register at the location that it had in the source file)

    4. With the background finished we can now bring in Natasha. But before we do that let’s apply our diligently created mask to her. Go back to the Channels palette in the Natasha image and Ctrl-click the mask thumbnail. This will load the mask as a selection outline which can now be turned into a layer mask. Return to the Layers palette and click the “Add layer mask” icon, the mask should appear next to the layer thumbnail.

    Click to add a layer mask
    add layer mask

    Now Alt-drag her over to the composition as you did with the background picture, then align her top edge to the top edge of the background and her right edge to the vertical guide. Now at a closer look against the lavender background we see that we run into a little problem.

    Color weirdness
    color weirdo

    Although we put so much effort into our mask there is still some weird color fringing going on in the hair. Depressing. But no need to despair, we’ll snatch a trick from his Dekeness. Press Ctrl-J to make a copy of the Natasha layer, rename that copy “Normal” and hide it by clicking the eyeball icon. Then go back to the original Natasha layer and set its blendmode to “Multiply”.

    The Layers palette

    Good: the edge weirdness disappears. Bad: Natasha gets burnt into the background.

    The Multiply blend mode
    natasha multiplied

    Now if we could just keep the good edges of the burnt Natasha and combine them with the face of the original Natasha - that would help out a lot. So lets just paint away the bad edges of the good Natasha. Go to the “Normal” layer that you copied before, unhide it, click its layermask thumbnail to activate it get your brush tool. Set the brush size to 100, hardness to zero, blend mode to normal, opacity to a 100% and the foreground color to black. Now we paint inside the mask along the edges of her head to conceal the “bad” hair and to reaveal the “good” hair from the multiplied layer below. How cool is that.

    5. Still, having a properly pasted Natasha doesn’t make her any more exciting, so let’s add some lighting and make-up. We’ll start with the red glow on her face. First, select the “Normal” layer and press Ctrl-Shift-N to bring up the new layer dialog box. Name the new layer “Background Lighting”, set the blend mode to normal and click OK. Select your brushtool and set the size to 100, hardness to 20%, dial in 5°H 77%S 86%B for a bright red and paint over the edge of her face (If your color selector is set to RGB click the little down arrow in the top right corner to change it to HSB).

    Paint in red glow and mask it
    paint away red glow

    Back off the layer opacity to 70%, then Ctrl-click the layermask thumbnail of the original Natasha layer to load it as a selection outline, select the “background lighting” layer and click the “Add layer mask” button in the layers palette to mask it. Click on the layermask thumbnail and use your brush tool with a soft brush and foreground color set to black to paint away the glow from the earring.

    6. Now, after hours of hair refinement we learn from Dekepod that stray hair wasn’t popular at all in the sixties so lets mask it away smile To keep our Layers Palette tidy we create a group for the Natasha layers. Click the “Create new group” button in the Layers Palette, name it “Natasha” Shift-select the “Natasha”- the “Normal”- and the “Background Lighting” layer and drag them into the new group.

    Click to create a layer group
    create layer group

    Then select the group and click the “Add layer mask” button to create a fresh white mask. Click on it and use the brush tool to carefully brush away the hair, for the red edge use a brush size of about 50 pixels with hardness set to 70%.

    Paint away the red glow with the brush tool
    paint red glow close

    For the hair on the left you can go bigger and smoother, for fine details around the earring and the neck zoom in and use a smaller brush.

    The finished edge, looks like a bad bruise smile
    clear edge red

    7. Next step: Cosmetics. Let’s start by blurring the wrinkle below the eye, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool on the “normal” layer to select roughly around the area and press Ctrl-J to copy the selection to a new layer which you name “Wrinkle”.

    Select around the wrinkle


    Then go to the filters menu and choose Blur -> Gaussian Blur, set the radius to around 10 pixels and click OK. Now Alt-Click the “Add layer mask” button to mask away the blurred piece, click the mask thumbnail and paint inside of the mask with white to reveal parts of the patch. If the effect is too strong take down the opacity to about 60%, done.

    Paint away the wrinkle with the brush tool
    patch wrinkle menu

    8. To make the eyes piercing we need to add some brightness to the irises, press Ctrl-Shift-N to bring up the New Layer dialog box, type in “Irises” as name and click OK. Set the brush size to 40, hardness to zero and paint over the irises with white, change the blend mode to “Overlay”, that’s it.

    Hue and normal blend mode

    Next, create a new layer, call it “Shadow”, leave your brush as it is, just change the color to 273°H 23%S 74%B and paint over her eyelids and irises. Finally, set the blend mode to hue.

    9. The last step of beautification is to add some lip gloss. Click the “Create new adjustment layer” button in the Layers palette, choose “Curves” and throw away its layer mask by dragging it into the trash. Then grab the Lasso Tool, select around the lips, press Shift-F6 to open the Feather dialog box and enter a radius of five pixels, then hit OK. Click the “Add layer mask” button to create a mask from the selection. Now doubleclick the adjustment layer thumbnail to modify the settings, at an input value of 50 drag the RGB curve up to an output value of about 80, at 128 drag it up to 180 and at 192 drag it to 220 to make the lips brighter. Then select the green and the blue curve separately from the dropdown menu and drag them up to about 150 at the center, which creates the cool frost look.

    Setup curves to create a frost effect on the lips

    As a final step to finish the effect we’ll add a glossy highlight to the lower lip. Frankly I have no idea how this was originally created, in the video the Curves palette pops up, you hear some clicks and suddenly it’s glossy all over the place. So as a workaround we’ll try to do it manually. Create a new layer and name it “Gloss” then select the brush tool and choose chalk, set the size to ten, the foreground color to white and the opacity to 50%. Zoom in on the lips and paint in the highlight carefully, that should do an ok job.

    Paint in a glossy highlight with the chalk brush

    10. Ok, we are almost there. In the last step we throw all the stuff we have finished so far into a smart object and apply some final polish. To do that select all layers, right click any of them and select “Convert to Smart Object”.

    Convert several layers into a Smart Object
    convert to smart object

    After Photoshop has finished stuffing everything into one box, all that’s left in the Layers palette is that new smart object. To bring it into a sixties TV set compatible format, crop away the empty right part of the image. To give it a real retro look we’ll apply two more effects, the first being more blur, the second being film grain. Select the smart object in the Layers palette, then go to the Filter menu and choose Blur -> Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to 20 pixels which might look a little over the top, so hit OK and doubleclick the filter blending options icon. Take down the opacity to 30 percent, that should please the captain.

    Doubleclick to open the filter blending options

    Now the final last step is to add some film grain to the scene. Create a new layer, name it “Grain” and fill it with 50% gray. Go to the Filter menu, choose Noise -> Add Noise, raise the amount to 350%, set Distribution to uniform and click OK. Go to the Filter menu again, choose Blur -> Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 1.5 pixels, hit OK. Finally, set the blend mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 20%.

    Reduce the opacity value for the film grain effect
    set grain to overlay

    Done, here is the final composition.


  • Okay, I’m just going to say

    This is amazing.

    I haven’t had time to plow through every bit of it—it’s a nice, hefty tome!—but if you are seriously suggesting that English is not your first language, then I think I speak for the rest of us native English speakers when I say, I wish I understood any language as well as you seem to have mastered this one.

    Excuse me whilst I go say “ug” to the monkeys.

  • Nothing so \“classic\”

    All’s I’m actually asking for is a step-by-step description.

    Hint: I’m overwhelmed like crazy with my professional paying-customer duties this week. And the next. And the next. And until I extract this Channels & Masks book out of my . . . happy place.

    So instead of documenting this technique myself, I’m encouraging y’all to take a swing at it.

    Clever, don’t you think? Me too.

    So don’t get hung up on the form. The first person to accurately backward engineer the file—a file that attracts and beguiles none other than Capt. Kirk—gets the hugest sum of money ever imagined on this planet or any other:


    I’m officially extending this contest until Wednesday. I want to see participation!

    Fear is not an option!

  • Oh, goodie

    Thanks for extending the deadline, too, Deke. There’s no way I could have met the previous deadline. But I will make a solid effort to meet the new one. smile

    By the way, do you ever sleep? How do you manage to keep up the pace? Are you….um, how can I ask this tactfully….a real, actual human being; or are you some kind of mutant space warp speed demon from a hyper planet where everyone is superman and needs no sleep or rest?

    tongue laugh

  • Wow, fabulacious

    You rule, dude!

    And your english is better than many native speakers.

    Beautiful tutorial. Well presented; easy, conversational style; good pics.

    Where are you from? Are there many tutorials available in your language? Perhaps you have a future in writing ‘How To’ books in your native tongue?

    Dig it. smile

  • Thanks guys,

    glad you like it. As for the language, let me put it this way (long rant to follow, favourite subject of mine): Have you ever tried to watch an episode of, say, the Simpsons in German (which is my native)? Although the voice acting is great, the translation is not. Sure, it’s not an easy task to capture the atmosphere of the original, but it’s no fun at all when half of the humor miraculously gets lost along the way. Example: Chalkboard gag - “I will not surprise the incontinent” German translation - “I may not throw unchastity off its guard.”

    I see. Funny. Of course it’s not that bad all the time, but you’ll miss out a lot of the subtleties. And thats true for the majority of imported movies, TV-shows, video games and books. So if you outrightly avoid dubbed material you’ll learn English pretty much automatically. (Or at least a funny Oxford - Hollywood movie - Internet forum - mix version of it)

    Which is nice as you’ll find better jobs, get in touch with considerably more people and can, of course, watch the cooler video tutorials. Seriously (though I don’t want to praise Deke too much as I am secretly afraid he will go Britney Spears one day and do his next dekepod bald and without his pants on) there is nothing remotely comparable here when it comes to interactive learning. In Germany, reliability and credibility still seem to equal seriousness and tediousness. If you write a scientific text in German make sure to use as many foreign words as you can, always make the sentence as long as the whole paragraph and never attempt to explain anything, trust me you’ll be well respected. And there is hardly any change as only few authors dare to challenge this tradition. Modern courses of study pick up new ideas - and luckily I’m in one of those, I do technical writing and journalism - but a true change of thinking is not in sight yet.

    That’s why the One-on-One series is so fresh, it teaches me Photoshop, improves my language skills and inspires my work. Ahh, what more could you ask for. Well, I do suck at cooking, could you please do something about that Deke? Thanks.

    Petra - this is my first tutorial, but I it was really fun to write so I absolutely hope a “How To” book/video/series of articles or something along those lines will happen in the future, thanks for your encouragement!

    Best wishes


  • German, eh?

    I was born in Bad Aibling, fab - do you know it? It’s about 50kms south of Munich. Where in Germany are you?

    And if that was your first tutorial, then I’d say you definitely have a bright future in that field. Don’t dream it, be it - and best of luck!

    As for Deke doing his next dekePod bald and with no trousers - that ain’t something to fear, man. It’s something to look forward to! :-D

    Oh, and “Chalkboard gag - “I will not surprise the incontinent” German translation - “I may not throw unchastity off its guard.” - rofl.

    Nice to meet you, fab. smile

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-on-One (the book)

    Just started working through it and cam to p. 23 about Metadata wherein I am asked to open the folder Balloon Thief which is in the Lesson 01 folder on the disk.

    The ensuing instructions are all about manipulating 6 photos.

    I’d dearly love to, but there is only 1 photo in that folder. (I just double checked and opened it directly from the disk.

    Seems to be an omission.


  • Fabulacious Does it Again

    Nice work on the tutorial Fabulacious!

    Looks like all three of us previous winners are of German descent (mein grotz-vater war von Schwartz-Wald und ich spreche und verstehe ein bissen).

    Good to see a Deutschlander here. As to the English, just remember we usually don’t speak for several paragraphs before we throw in the main verb and tell people what the heck we are speaking about… just joking. Your English ist sehr gut!


    Thomas Benner

    The Art Institute of Austin

  • Missing baloon thieves

    Just loged onto this site to record the same problem.  This book needs an errata site.

  • Lol…

    anyone here who is not German? But Bad Aibling -> Bavaria and Schwarzwald? Come on, you are both more German than I am, und Du sprichst sogar Deutsch Thomas! I live in Bonn (am Rhein) atm, how boring is that? No Weisswurst and Lederhosen whatsoever within a 400 km radius smile

    “As to the English, just remember we usually don’t speak for several paragraphs before we throw in the main verb and tell people what the heck we are speaking about… just joking”

    Rofl, I pity anyone who has to learn this language. Honestly, whoever invented German grammar deserves slapping with a rusty bed of nails, thank God I Iearned it when I was small.

    Oh and btw, nice to meet you too guys, looking forward to the next ps battle

    cya fab

  • Thnx Fab

    I am holding my sides in and trying to stop the laffing…. but it just won’t stop! Thank you so much for the Mark Twain link on the “Horrible German Language”.... I have long been a huge fan of Mark Twain as well as most Germans and am in your debt for this link. Indeed we think alike as I had him in mind when I wrote to you earlier.

    Back to our regular scheduled Photoshop programming,



    Thomas Benner

    p.s. Frohliches Danksagung (Happy Thanksgiving!)

  • I’m gonna miss the deadline…

    Lyn (my elderly friend with Alzheimer’s who lives with us) doesn’t know who I am today. Last night I thought she was a bit more discombobulated than usual, and today she is in a panic about where she is and who I am. Poor old girl. Poor old me, too - I’m drained and in need of some respite care.

    Anyway, I’m going to miss deadline - so if you have no other entries, then congratulations to fab for a job extremely well done. smile

    I’d still like to tackle it, because I like the challenge - but if it’s okay, I’ll post mine (when it’s finished) after deadline, just to see what you think of it and let me know what I missed or where I went wrong, etc. It’s all good learning.

    In the meantime, I’m going to take Lyn to the Alzheimer’s society to see if we can get some more help - and maybe some respite care to give me a break.

    Meh. Gotta go - sounds like she’s finished in the bathroom.

    Hope I die before I get [too] old. Sad. :-(

  • I’m so sorry

    You can post any old thing any old time. You have bigger things to take care of.

    You, for example.

    Life is hard. Living is harder. Dying is hardest. (Let’s all hold hands and never grow old.)

  • We have a winner!

    fab has won. For three reasons:

    —fab was the only one who took up the challenge. People, do you know what General Motors could do with $124.99? GMC, why did you not submit an entry?!

    —fab put in the effort. I admit, this was a challenging exercise,. But this detailed description rose to the challenge! I love it!

    —fab innovated. This isn’t quite how I approached the project. But I’m intrigued to find out if any step might have made the technique better.

    BTW, fab, where are you? Will a check work? Or do you need cash? B/c I suddenly have a lot of Nigerian money. (Some King died and left me his inheritance. I’ve spent $12,750 in transfer fees, so it’s looking good.)

    The rest of you, more contests to follow. Stiff upper lips. Happiness = risk – loss + gain.

    + the joy of having tried.

  • Splendid

    thanks a ton! I’ll go with the Nigerian cash please, seems more reliable than a dollar check these days. This man sure doesn’t look like a scammer to me.

    Anyways, if - unexpectedly - something should go wrong with the heritage, I’ll take the check. I’ve never tried to cash a foreign one (I live in Germany), but if the fees turn out to be exorbitant I’ll keep it for my grandchildren to tell the story of how this fine contest was won for lack of competition. Colleen, do you still have my contact info?

    Thanks again and best wishes


  • Cheers

    Would you believe a urinary infection has given her deleriums? Antibiotics to the rescue. And none of the elderly care homes will take her without putting her in a secure wing (because she’s a wanderer), and I won’t agree to that because I think it’ll be too cruel for her. She likes her walks outdoors. And her actual relatives don’t give a shit, so what can y’do? Nuthin.

    *holds hands with everyone to stop growing old*

    Congrats, fab! Well done! :-D

  • Bank cheque

    If Deke sends you an international bank cheque/money order, then you shouldn’t have any fees to pay. They just give you whatever the cheque is worth on that day. That way, you wouldn’t have to bank on a man with 10 kilos of butter on his head.

    Well done, Fabian. grin

  • Thanks

    Petra, I hope you and your friend will be fine. There is nothing worse than seeing a loved one suffer and you really can’t do anything to help. I wish you all the strength to keep up,

    best wishes to you and your family


  • That would be perfect

    I’m completely clueless about international money stuff, thanks for the hint Petra. Though I think it’s bread on his head, but what difference does that make? None whatsoever of course.



  • Check arrived

    today, thanks a lot. HA, in your face recession, I get my money elsewhere now! One thing caught my attention though. Whenever I do my missionary work and try to convince friends and internet folks to convert to the beautiful belief of Dekeism I misspell the man’s name. I forget that extra C in McClelland. Always. It is kind of annoying as Google’s each-time-suggestion “Results 1 - 10 of about 1,680 for Deke McLelland Did you mean: McClelland?” reveals to the seeker my obvious ignorance.

    Now today I get that letter. All shiny with stars and stripes stamps and stuff and the most beautiful Christmas style address sticker ever. Then, it pierces my eye:


    Now what? I don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong anymore. Or is it completely random after all? Please Deke, tell us your real name!

  • Congrats on the goodies!

    Weird about the name, though. Makes you wonder if his real name isn’t something like ‘Squeak McLolly”.

    Nothing surprises me anymore. wink

  • Yeah

    isn’t he mysterious? I guess that makes him even hotter…

    PS “Squeak McLolly” - rofl

  • Avec the big C

    Those address labels came from one of the charities I donate to. My bookkeeper uses them whether they’re spelled right or not. But I don’t care, as long as you spell Dique right.

    Hope your missionary work is going well. wink

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