I finally present to you the completely finished (and framed) color-fade blackwork piece. It's not exactly what I wanted, because I didn't start with a large enough piece of fabric but it does look pretty.
Plus it gave me a lot of ideas for color fade pieces which I could then do properly. Before that I need to bulk up my thread collection. I have a ton of embroidery floss, but not enough oranges and not enough blues and missing some important reds. It feels like I never have the colors I want.
I got a new computer, as mine was getting run down (especially in the touchpad department) and I'd like to have a backup that still works normally. The new machine is running Linux because holy crap I hate Windows 7. I thought I just disliked it, but having to use it for more than two minutes at a time amped the dislike right up to despise.
We used Linux on all the computers at my high school (a tiny boarding school) so I'm not completely unfamiliar with it (though even if I was Ubuntu is SO intuitive that it should be easy for anyone to use). The best part for me is downloading all the free applications. I got a geography lesson program and can now identify all the countries on all the continents and a number of island nations. When something big happens in Moldova or Togo I'll know just where they are! I'm beyond psyched about this.
So thank you, Microsoft, for completely screwing up the operating system I grew up with and liked using. You even managed to make networking my two computers a pain and not workable. Now that's talent. Change for change's sake is always a bad idea.