Friday, September 14, 2012

Cookie Dough & Cool Tools

Good afternoon, friends. Hope you are enjoying some good weather
wherever you are. Tulsa broke all heat records this summer with
most days well over 100 degrees. Finally, last night a storm blew
in and we are now enjoying a sunny cool day in the 70's. God is good.

A quick thanks to everyone who expressed interest in helping my
daughter with her fund raiser goals for her school vocal team.
She did manage to raise enough funds for her assigned goal and
she couldn't do it without your kindness and generosity. I regret
the online store did not sell cookie dough as advertised. I was
only able to provide cookie dough to local Tulsa folks. We
ordered some, too. Looks like good stuff!

Today, when I woke up, I was dreading paying the bills. I just
knew there wasn't going to be enough to make a dent in the
growing stack of envelopes on my office desk. I hate paying
bills. Back in the 1990s when money grew on trees, I always paid
early and spent freely. But over the past ten years, I've
struggled daily to hold onto what I have and to keep it working.
It seems even with my return to corporate, money is still tight.

Anyway, as I looked down at the bills this morning I prayed a
special prayer and asked God to divide my money like Jesus
divided the loaves and the fishes to feed the 5000 on the mount.
After an hour of work, I did it. The stack was gone, and
everybody I owed money to either got paid in full or received a
modest payment towards balances due. It was nothing short of
a miracle. Did I say God is good?

This month I wast to share some product reviews of a few cool
tools that have passed my desk. A few weeks ago, the Corel
Corporation asked me to review a bunch of their software
products. One of them is Paint It!. This has the feel of a mobile
app. You simply load a digital photo, choose a type of painting
filter to apply like impressionistic, and then click a button.
The results are very neat. You can see an example of how I
transformed a photo of my daughter into a really cool painting

For those of you who dabble in graphic design and want to update
your logo, you really need to try Logo Creator from Laughing Bird
Software. I've known the creator, Marc Sylvester, for more than a
decade and all of his graphic design tools are fun and easy to
use. Check it out here:

If you are looking for a very cool way to make your
logos, brochures, presentations and web pages take on a really
cool personality of their own, then you need to check out Mascot
Creator Toolkit. You can use PhotoShop or GIMP to create your own
male and female mascots. I think this is one of the cheapest,
coolest graphic tools to cross my desk in a long, long time. I'm
playing with it non-stop to create "people" to use in all my
creative projects. Check out the samples here:

I know many of you like to create your own book covers. You
obviously have two directions to go in - either software or
PhotoShop actions. If you like easy software, try eCover Software
Pro. You can add your own art work and churn out all sorts of
different product shots.

If you own either PhotoShop or GIMP (free tool you can download
that mimics PhotoShop pretty well), you should really consider a
membership to Cover Actions Premium. This club adds new PhotoShop
actions every few days, so your annual membership gives you
access to hundreds of unique layout and designs for everything
from books to DVD to jars to banners and much, much more. Check
out the examples on their site and you'll join in a NY minute.

Well, that's it from me for now. I've got to catch up on other
things around the house. Again, thanks to those who supported my
daughter, and I hope to be shouting out to you again next

Take care,


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