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- Bill "reader_from_metro_Atlanta" - Don't Miss This Magical Montreaux EveningWow. Again wow ! Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Santana and fellow artists for a magical evening, a musical and rhythmic feast, a true rock music Tour de Force of guitars, multiple percussionists and vocalists, bass, horns, and organ.
This concert shows Carlos Santana seasoned and shaped by so many years as a creative artist and popular musician on a spiritual journey that you will feel in your heart, your gut, and in your dancing feet that will not be able to keep still. Mr. Santana's musical prowess, his grace, beauty, and humility are felt throughout the performance with his extremely talented and tightly knit band.
The set list covers Santana's entire career back to the enduring beauty of Woodstock Days, and includes tributes to other greats, such as BB King, John Coltrane (A Love Supreme) and Cream - Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker (Sunshine of Your Love). The alchemy of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Truck's contribution in "Make Somebody Happy" was a nugget of emotional, spiritual, musical gold.
This is a performance delving into so many musical dimensions with dynamic, ever changing rhythms and energy that build to an oh-so-satisfying climactic conclusion. There are so many layers to be experienced in this concert for those of us that missed that evening at Montreaux, this wonderfully produced and edited HD DVD is a treasure well worth its price. Bless you Santana & Company, and thank you for blessing us with your art and this performance.
- Justin - So much potential..... but falls short because of bugs. (Updated)Edit:
I feel guilty because it took a comment on my review to remind me that I even wrote this. I was just reading it and it almost feels like a stranger wrote it. So here is my updated review:
It took 3 days but someone responded to my question. They didn't resolve my issue, but that doesn't matter at this point. Clearly, Autodesk pays attention to what people put on the that forum because they patched it a little bit later and now all the bugs I was experiencing are gone. The memory leak seems to have been patched as I have used it for hours at a time without issue. I also replaces the tablet I was working on, which may have helped with the draw bug I was getting. It was a budget tablet and the drivers were kind of shot. They also had a memory leak that resulted in the tablet taking 2 of my 4 Gigs of RAM.
Take all my cons and throw them in the trash. The software is super intuitive, as I stated before, it has all the most important features of the big boys and you can do work that is just as good as you get on Photoshop. The only thing you get with the bigger programs is ease of use as far as features such as layer masks and Alpha Channels. If you don't happen to have $1000 kicking around to get it, then this is well worth it. I usually start in this and if I have to use Alpha's or anything like that, I import into Photoshop for some easy changes that you only get with the functional ease of use it offer. If you want a complete art suite, I would suggest this in combination with ArtRage Pro. You have it all from a functional art perspective for around $110 total.
The only thing I'm waiting for is a new version. I checked out their Sketchbook Design program, and it's good too. It comes with this included, but at $450 it's hard to commit.
Anyway, this is well worth the money. Get it and you won't regret it.
Let me begin by saying that I have worked with some of the largest software, even as a hobbyist. I was using this with a budget Pen Tablet because I didn't have a lot of money when I bought it, but that budget pen tablet is pretty damn fantastic. I'm gonna borrow my buddies Wacom Bamboo just to check it out, but I get the feeling that I won't be in the market till I have money for an Intuos.
1.This has the best interface out of them all. They worked so hard and made the interface so intuitive it's scary, it's like they were in my head when they designed it. You can just effortlessly go from one tool you need to another without any issue what so ever. After about 5 minutes I was completely comfortable with it.
2.The price is fantastic, even brand new this software only ran about $80.
3.It has features that all the major programs have. It has layers, blending tools, picture rotation, awesome brushes, etc.
1.It seems to eat memory up. When I get to 5 layers or more it slows down a whole lot. It will stop responding and will sit for 10 seconds at a time.
2.After about 15 minutes of use this strange glitch happens that may or may not have to do with zooming. I will start to draw a line from around the center of the piece and it won't be drawing. Then if I keep going to the right it will all of the suddenly start drawing it as if I started off the left side of the page. The only way to get it fixed is to restart it. I went to the forums to see if there was some kind of fix for this, which brings me to my next point:
3.The forums are completely dead. I posted on their yesterday and didn't have to bump my post because no one put up any new posts after I did that one.
So, I essentially wasted $55 on this. It's painful because the UI is amazing. But the bugs seem horrendous. Between the lag, the draw bug and dead forums, I would say to give this one a pass. I checked to see if there were any updates and the software on the disc was completely up to date. You can get the Student Edition of Painter 12 for $99 from the Corel website. And it doesn't have any of the problems this does, unfortunately it also doesn't have the UI. And I can't get a refund either, so it was a gamble and I lost. Hopefully others won't make the same mistake.
- enjoy true stories - Outstanding ReadThis book was hard to put down. Elizabeth recounted all the relevant details as discreetly as possible while sharing the depths of her feelings. I had a good sense of the passage of time and the hope and despair she experienced. The incident about the cup of fresh water by her pillow was a miraculous and heartwarming story. I can feel the warmth of the bubble bath when she finally made it home!! I loved her strength in the courtroom too. I highly recommend this book.
- Matthew Robbins - A Balanced, Heartbreaking Look at the Issue of HomosexualityI decided to read Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill based on Abraham Piper's recommendation on his blog, 22 Words. Hill is close friend of Piper's, and Piper described the book as "unique and important." I could not agree more.
Washed and Waiting is basically Hill's story of what it looks like for him to seek to live a godly life, walking by faith in Christ, and seeking to be more like him daily. He describes his struggles against sin, his resolve to keep fighting, and how God has been teaching him things through the Scriptures and people that have been put in his life to support and teach him.
One other thing: Wesley Hill is gay.
I've read other books about the tension between Christianity and homosexuality, some good, and some very bad. I have to agree with Piper, though, that this was very unique. Hill is a believer, and believes the Bible is God's Word and thus has authority in his life. He knows that being a believer means not only relying on the finished work of Christ for salvation, but also seeking to live in a way that brings God glory as the inevitable result of that faith. He also believes that Bible is clear that homosexuality is not in line with God's created intent for homosexuality and thus a sin. Therefore, Hill has made the choice to live as a celibate, homosexual Christian.
This book is packed with interesting and heartbreaking sections. Hill is a very good writer, and is able to relate narrative from his life in a detailed, engrossing manner. He's succinct (the book is only 150 pages) while still feeling thorough. He also discusses biblical doctrines in ways that feel very real as he shows that believing biblical truth isn't the same as attempting to live it out when some of your core desires go against that truth.
Here's probably the best summary statement made in the book:
"Washed and waiting. That is my life - my identity as one who is forgiven and spiritually cleansed and my struggle as one who perseveres with a frustrating thorn in the flesh, looking forward to what God has promised to do" (p. 50).
This book served two purposes for me:
1) It made me stop and really think about how hard it must be for gay people, especially believers who struggle against it. Imagine being told all your desires for intimacy could never be acted upon, that you could never look forward in this life to having that level of closeness with another person. Hill recognizes heterosexual believers have faced a similar struggle if they never marry. The difference, though, is that the very desires themselves seem sinful for the gay person.
2) It made me stop and re-frame some of my own struggles with sin. There's a fantastic section of the book that deals with the idea of unfulfilled desires, and how the believer is told not to simply obey their impulses. This applies very uniquely to the gay person, but it also applies to all believers. Our physical appetites, our sexual desires, even our desire for sleep can become sinful things to fight against because of our sin nature. This type of thinking made Hill's discussion of the redemption of all things feel extremely hopeful, as he looks forward to a time when he won't be attracted to other men, and I won't have to fight against my sinful desires either.
Christianity has struggled to find a balance with how to address the sinful nature of homosexuality without demonizing those who recognize their need to fight against it. This book strikes that balance for me. Hill is very clear about the Bible's teaching, but that doesn't make his obedience to it easy, and it's obvious he's only made it through because of supportive believers in his life. I wish every gay believer had these kinds people to love, support, and encourage them. If more people read this book, more of them probably would.
- Randy Garsee - An InterReview by Randy[Note: Randy Garsee is a broadcast journalist in Tucson, Arizona and frequently interviews authors.]The True Story Behind
"The Water and the Blood.
You might say "The Water and the Blood," Nancy E. Turner's second novel rose from the ashes of an actual event in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
"There was a time when I belonged to a church that had been burned down while I was a member of it," said Turner. "And I remember just how devastated I felt."
Turner is referring to a church fire in 1996 when the First Southern Baptist Church, a Tucson landmark, was torched by an arsonist.
Turner's novel begins with a church fire, but the story is set in the 1940's and the church is in east Texas, not Tucson.
The reader will discover an intermittent theme of racism in this novel, but possibly not in the context one is used to seeing it.
Turner spent several weeks in East Texas researching her book and most of that time was spent in Jasper, Texas. Jasper attracted national attention after an African-American man named James Byrd was chained to the back of a pickup and dragged to his death. Three white supremacists were convicted of Byrd's murder.
"Interviewing people and trying to go back into that time and be accurate and yet not be brutal was really tough," said Turner, who talked to people in Jasper about racism. "What I found was that if you just spoke to them, they were all friendly. It didn't matter what color or shape or size or anything. I didn't have any preconceptions of what it would be like. Having spent most of my life in Arizona and California, that kind of racism is so foreign to me that I felt like it was kind of a mystic thing. It was almost like something I was trying to understand from either side. And so I think there's a lot of that in this book, too. These lines have been drawn and they've been there for so long, that I just had never been exposed to in that way. You hear things growing up, but it's not like living it."
The main character in the novel is a girl named Frosty. Turner said of Frosty, "I wanted a main character who was so naïve to wickedness that she really didn't even see it around her. She can look at people's hearts and not their skin color."
The other main character is Gordon, a Navajo Code Talker. His story takes the novel into battles of World War II. For the descriptions of war, she gives credit to her grandmother's brother, a U.S. Marine.
"The descriptions that he gave," said Turner. "He said, `You know, I came up through the tide pools and bodies washed back and forth like minnows in a bucket.'"
Turner received some critical praise for her first book, "These is my Words."
"The Water and the Blood" with its wonderful prose and amazing characters should launch Turner into the national spotlight of modern day writers.