Trey Gowdy is very very very Annoying!

Let’s revisit term limits for the good folks on Capitol Hill.

Vote in November

thank you.


Kathleen Senzell, Fine Artist, Paints Scenes from the Wild West and Much More

Artist Spotlight

WHO: Kathleen Senzell, Northern California Oil Painter


Kathy’s work is clean and bold, with strong colors and contrasts of light. She paints beautiful animal & bird portraits, both wild and domesticated, stunning landscapes featuring iconic places, commissioned portraits, and a category I like to call “storytelling”. Her painting, Game for the Deed, (shown below) is a perfect example.


Her great love of all animals,  support of animal rights all over the world, as well as her accomplishments as a horsewoman provide many of her painting subjects; she is also deeply interested in historical aspects of the  American Southwest, reflected in works such as Chief Joseph (below).

Chief Joseph


A California native, Kathy studied art in Southern California schools and colleges before moving to Oregon where she immediately fell in love with the wilderness and the animals that inhabit it. As word spread about her ability to capture the “look” of the animals in her paintings, she began doing commissioned work.

Excerpt from her Artist Biography page

She can be contacted through her website . Drop her an email if you are interested in the purchase of an original oil painting, limited edition prints, or commissioning an original work. And don’t forget to stop by her website to see more of her unique works of art.

My Portrait , Abby, is awarded Editor’s Choice by Photoshop User (NAPP). Woo Hoo!

How proud I am of this one. NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) has a feature each week called EC or, Editor’s Choice. A handful of images are chosen from members’ portfolios and singled out as exceptional. This one means a lot to me, let me tell you!

The image is a “portrait “of my sister Abby.

Here is the page from the NAPP website

Avatar of Larry Becker

NAPP Image of the Week 10.19.12

by Larry Becker on October 19, 2012 in News


In spite of surgery and some other craziness this week, I’ve been able to make it back to the office and wrangle Pete Collins into a fresh round of judging from among 50 great images uploaded this week. (There were hundreds uploaded and 50 made it to the final round for Pete’s review.)

Topping the list is our new Image of the Week honoree Johnny Gregg with his image Yellow October. Pete and I both love this image. His words were things like “rich,” “dreamlike,” and a beautiful scene. He said it could easily be the featured on a calendar because it’s one of those images you could enjoy for a month or more.

Matt Hernandez is a talented composite artist and the photographic composite Prayer is a well lit image that Pete said would make Joel Grimes proud. I like how the background and grass is muted but the subject retains color in his skin and uniform. And the light beams from the stadium lights are just like Joel would do. Nice work.

Pete threw a bunch more one-word descriptions at me when describingValerie Ryan’s piece Viola Pegs & Scroll. He said, “Pure. Simple. Elegant.” He described the image as having “breathe-ability” and said is has great tonality. I like the white negative space and how it creates a natural vignette for the subject. (If you read my LarrysCheapShots blog this week, you know I have an affinity for vignettes).

As we flipped through the images this week, we both knew right up front, that this image was going to be featured.Abby.jpg from sara silver is a great design that displays a true graphic talent. The combination of words and graphic elements, shadows, depth, composition, and the meaning of the words themselves, all joined to create a beautiful work of art. Pete said he could tell that Sara was having fun while creating the piece and I have to agree that the artist was obviously connected emotionally to the piece.

There are a bunch of different reasons that we both like the image Haloween 2 by Crixx. First of all the composite and lighting are great for this image and the cuteness of a young kid in costume trying to be scary while draped in Halloween garland, is funny and sweet. It makes a strong statement about an image when the emotion and story are the first thing you notice and then the technical details are secondary. That means the image is strong on its own with no distracting flaws due to technical shortcomings, and you just get to enjoy the experience. Then when you do concentrate on the technical details, it is just as good.

Nice work this week and a bunch of inspiring images to enjoy. If you don’t already take time to review portfolios weekly, let me encourage this habit. It will definitely pay off! Until next Thursday… have a great weekend!

Tiny Startup Dwolla Pushing Back Hard at Credit Card Companies, Paypal and Google Checkout

…and changing the way we buy (and sell) goods and services on the internet and around the corner.
I have been hearing a lot of good things about Dwolla, a startup based in Des Moines, Iowa. Their founder wants to do away with credit card companies in the next decade, and is already succeeding in replacing their bloated ripoff fee-heavy system with a new, simpler, transparent, and, yes, better way.

According to their website Dwolla is “a new payment network that works with your financial institution to offer a cheaper, safer, and overall better payment experience.”

This is so cool- you really should sit down, then read this excerpt from their blog written by Ben Milne, the mind behind Dwolla:

“Dwolla gives everyone the ability to exchange money without paying interchange (credit card fees). This is the core reason our network was created and we’ve grown considerably by concentrating on solving that single issue.
High fees, while exchanging money, is a pain point that millions of people share.

However, as we began solving that pain point, we began to realize just how fundamentally broken the whole system is, and that the fees levied were in place to subsidize the costs of an expensive legacy architecture that is over 50-years old. Consumers are losing their identities as merchants are eating the costs of compliance, and we are all paying the price:

    Why should you exchange your financial well-being for a latte every time you swipe your card?
    Why do billion dollar industries, which feed off of securing the financial information inside credit card transactions, need to exist if the data doesn’t need to be there?
    Why should transactions under $10 be considered “cost-prohibitive” for merchants?
    Why do you need a Harvard MBA to understand the fees?
    Why are there so many costs?
    Why can’t members be in control of their information?

So we built Dwolla, a new network that allows people to exchange money without bringing in the fees of other payment options. We deconstructed the rails, changed the game, and built our own.
How? We removed the threat of credit card fraud, built unique privacy controls, created new security standards, eliminated financial information from transactions, integrated new social technologies, and provided the nation with its lowest-cost sustainable payment network. More importantly, we created a company dedicated to finding and solving pain points.”

Wow, right? (I told you to sit down, silly blog reading person!!).

I love the idea of a company successfully offering an alternative to mega monster banks and especially greedy credit card companies. Theyu just implemented another facet of their service theu are calling “Instant” which gives loans of up to 500.00 without a bunch of inflated fees in real time, hence the name Instant.

Sounds too good to be true, but my instincts tell me this startup is legit and has promise. The press page on their site has hundreds of articles listed, most in very mainstream, venerable publications such as:
Business Insider
NY Times
The Atlantic
Fox Business News
…the list goes on…

Visit their simple and straightforward website to learn more, then spread the word. I mean,  if they have something,  we ought to be trumpeting their name from the highest mountaintops.

Really, have any of you ever tried to deal with Google Checkout as a Merchant or tried to borrow just a small amount of cash for a short period of time? Still waiting to hear about that loan, right? Can’t believe the fees on every payment you receive from a customer with a credit card? Still waiting to get an answer from Google Checkout’s Customer Service? Yeah, me too…
Their site’s URL is
I might just sign up…

It’s Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics

Can We Fix Our Government with Get Money Out?

It is past time to get money out of politics. For far too long special interest and back door politics have put corporations ahead of people.

Imagine what our country could be like if our politicians weren’t bought by the highest bidder.

Our economy, our environment, our children’s schools – we need to get money out of our democracy.

How can our democracy work for the people when corporations decide who runs and who wins?

Read The Petition! Sign The Petition!

Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, massive organized wave advocating a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

We are using our ability to influence media outlets as a platform to force this issue to the center of the 2012 elections. We are using The Dylan Ratigan Show to build this digital wave, so join us. As the petition grows, the wave grows. Email, Facebook, Tweet — GET MONEY OUT.

To sign the petition visit their website :  Get Money Out

Article content excerpts are the  property of Get Money Out, Please visit their website for more information.


My Brother, Special Olympics Medal Winner!

The photo above is the property of The Special Olympics and The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation

I truly am very proud of my brother, Sam Silver, today.

He was the first member of Team USA to win a medal in this year’s Special Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

He won a Bronze medal in the 800-Meter Freestyle event; it exhausts me to even think about it.

He has always been a great swimmer, both in swimming pools and his first choice, open water. I will be looking for him in the exhibition Open Water Event on Friday, should I actually find it broadcast or recorded anywhere.