Here i sit in the AA lounge, having been productive (kind of) in the last couple hours by cataloging my writing projects and re-familiarizing myself with them, and now I sip a glass of wine and await boarding time in a few minutes. I’m sure this is a weather delay based on the hurricane, so all things considered, it ain’t so bad. I’ll still totally sleep on the plane.
It’s been too long, Clapboard. I’m coming back to creating things, even if it’s just long, breathless rants about nothing. Time to get creating again, and putting words on paper (figuratively) is the best way to get started. No specific plans, but it’s happening, folks.
After the break, I’m sticking in a weird 5.5-minute video about re-upholstering chairs that I shot yesterday and edited today. I haven’t been as successful as I’d like to be with the whole creativity thing this winter, although I have been better. Then again, I could hardly have been worse.
Anyway, I re-covered my dining chairs and they’re glorious. This project has been sitting for… 2+ years? Jesus. I may not be the world’s best upholsterer (but man, that’s a fun word to type), but it’s not hard enough that I fucked it up, either. In the process, I took a lot of pictures and used my old GoPro to make a time lapse (time lapses being the primary use for GoPros since most of us who bought them are fat and lazy), and now I’m presenting it for your enjoyment. Or teasing. Because my voiceover skills really need some damn work. Or a script. Probably both.
Okay, enough of this. Click the title and tell me what you think!
I may be the auto industry’s version of a basic bitch. Rains for one day, i run out and buy new wipers for both cars.
Also, when some poor sap was trying to valet for me the other day, I noticed that my center brake light was out, so I bought a new bulb for that, too. The last lightbulb (on the top right here) lasted 15 years, so if that trend holds true, that photo holds 45 years of lighting right there. Impressive. Also impressive is how easy that thing is to change. I forget sometimes that there are a handful of things in this world designed by humans for humans and it’s always nice to find them.
Anyway, my wipers really needed replacing, so I did it. I feel like I’ve been a little better recently about doing the little things like that when they need doing, because for so long it’s just been me ignoring things while the world slowly cracks apart around my ears. So I climb out, bit by bit, back into a world where I actually do something about the things that break, about the things I can fix and, more broadly, the things that I want. Let’s keep it up.
Also, my jeep had a dead battery yesterday, so I stuck the charger on it and let electrons trickle in all night. I’m about to go try to start it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for good luck. I don’t wanna replace a battery. But thank god for chargers. At least I can get it started (probably) if it’s absolutely necessary.
At some point in the last month or so, I apparently broke the filter on my main lens. Sucks, right? Yeah, we’ll, that filter was stuck today when I discovered it as I went to use my camera. I tried, and it wouldn’t budge. I used grippy rubber, and it just laughed at me. I grunted and screamed, heaved and hung my head. That filter would. Not. Fucking. Move.
More after the jump.
Yeah, so that’s good.
The holidays are always busy, expensive and fraught with uncertainty, and this year isn’t any different, it turns out. No steady work? No problem – there’s always something going on, and sometimes the shit even pays. I might not get a paying job in December, but then again, the month is young and life is crazy. By way of example, it’s the 6th and today is my first day “off” of the month, and by Friday, I’m back to running about again. Better take advantage while I can!
Videogames, content creation and sleep. Those are the goals.
What a rip off! Everyone else can get their ACO working (of course there were a TON of launch-week problems, now mostly buried by Google’s “helpful” algorithm), but I can’t. I’ve reduced cores, run the “Gaming Mode” option on my CPU’s configurator designed to make poorly-programmed games run, and disabled the second video card, unlinked all my monitors except my main AND even tried 1080p on my main monitor, all to no avail.
I posted about it on the Steam forums here on the off chance that anyone is interested, and I’ll update if I ever find a solution.
For the first time in years (5+?!) I’m completely rebuilding my computer, and this is that story. I’ve decided to live-blog the process somewhat, because I take pictures with my phone as I go and it’s fun to make the updates while i wait for something or try to come to a decision. Part way through, it turns from a live-blog to an after-action report written not from my phone, but from the finished computer, so the verb tense situation is all kinds of messy.
Fair Warning: this post is LONG. Click through with care.
After the break, I breakdown the parts and process, as well as the thought process behind this build. Problems, pictures, commentary, ideas, asides and failures all lie ahead.
So there was this thing called a solar eclipse yesterday. The hype and my travel schedule almost burned me out, but at the last minute I put together three ND filters and a holder and went up to a parking spot on Mulholland to take a couple pictures. It didn’t occlude enough to really see with the naked eye and my filters aren’t dark enough to make the sun look like a cool red fireball, but there are some interesting ones here nonetheless.
I’ll just post ’em sans additional comment after the break, and you can tell me what you think in the comments. Per usual.
Also, Hi! I know it’s been awhile.
Okay, I don’t hate it, but man, it can be tedious and frustrating. Frustrating because my computer, good as it is, decides randomly to fail to analyze frames for Warp Stabilization in After Effects, but only randomly. If it fails once, it might succeed next time, the 3rd or maybe the 5th try. It might also just work the way you expect it to, but only sometimes. Tedious because when it DOES work, then I have to go through and remove 100’s of sync points by click-and-dragging around my actors every few frames and then waiting for the recalibration. It’s taking me 90+ minutes to do this 27-second shot, which, admittedly, is a long shot, but still, more than 90 minutes.
The good thing about post production is that you CAN do all this stuff. If I’m anal retentive and crazy enough, I really can smooth out the shaky footage I shot with my glidecam (the BMPC4K is just too damn heavy for it AND for my damn weak arms) and make it look way better. And I’m learning all sorts of tips and tricks to make the stuff look a ton better in the final edit, so go me.
That all said, I have another mini-shoot scheduled tonight, so that’s good. one way or the other, I’ll be finished with this by then…
Life’s been weird the last six months. I’ve done a lot of thinking about travel, some actual travel (including my first cruise?) and some shooting recently. Let’s see if I can keep the new shooting trend going, because between gigs, I definitely want to be shooting more, and doing something about it (and learning a lot in the process) is actually really fun. More writing to come, too.
Back in May of 2013, I visited South Africa’s wine country an hour or so north of Cape Town for a couple days and loved it. As you can see by the pictures below, I couldn’t get enough of the mist atop the mountains on morning 1. The views were breathtaking and the weather was perfect.
Pictures and such after the break!
Here’s a test of a “places I’ve been” map. It’s not complete, but to match with the “bucket list” post, I think I have to have a list of places I’ve visited. Blue is work-only, violet is vacation, touring, travel – something with actual, meaningful time spent in-country. If you click on a country with a description, you might be rewarded with a link to a post about that country.
The map is, as always, after the break.
Late-breaking addition: this is my 15ooth post.
From bizarre museums to beautiful baths, Budapest really had a lot to offer. Again, more than a year later, I’m thinking about the things I didn’t photograph and wishing I had, which is strange for someone who takes so many pictures. But nothing of our weird AirBnB accommodations, nothing of the baths (which was, I believe, against the rules anyway), and nothing of any of the places we ate, which, while not spectacular, were at least enjoyable and unique.
I loved walking up to the Buda Castle – so much to explore, and going up and coming back down different ways was a real treat. And we certainly met our step goals! The rain held off long enough that we stayed dry, too, which was true pretty much across the board for our trip. Lucky us!
With all this talk about travel, it occurs to me that during my 2+ year layoff where I didn’t post, some things happened that I’d like to have record of, here, somewhere, wherever. So I’ll break those things up into some posts and put them up as I think of them.
Today, I want to talk about Champagne.
I don’t feel like my pictures were very successful here, and maybe that reflects my sort of general inability to do things right on this leg of the trip. I didn’t book us very many tours (three), and we didn’t get accommodations till like the night before. That turned out okay, but then there was the drive, where getting out of Paris was stressful, but ultimately trouble-free.
Reims is a beautiful little city and it really does feel like a gateway to wine country – like they’re celebrating you for having arrived and wishing you well on your journey onward. While our journey onward was not to Bourgogne but to Budapest, we had plenty of champagne for the ride, which helped us make friends and have a great ride (or as great as it could have been, under the circumstances) all the way to Hungary.
40ish pics after the break.
Travel is important. It gives us perspective. It challenges our perceptions. It teaches us problem solving. It comes with great food. It interrupts the normal flow of our lives and reminds us that there’s so much out there to see and do.
Travel makes us better. We could all use to be better.
I’ve been thinking a lot about travel these days (both because I don’t have the money to do it and because I’ve been going to lots of places I’ve already been), and to that end, I thought I’d make a travel post. Well, that, and the fact that I haven’t posted in a REALLY long time again. Whoops. It’s been nice seeing all these old photos from trips as I’ve been running through the site, too.
I think it’s a good idea to keep a “Bucket List” of places that we want to go. I hate the phrase “Bucket List,” but I’m using it, and I promise not to put it into quotes anymore. Keeping a list, and keeping it updated, is a good way to keep your longer-term goals in mind, after all. This is, however, only a “Places I Want To Go” list with a smidge of “What I Want To Do When I Get There” thrown in for good measure. It is, by no means, intended to be an exhaustive list of all the shit I want to see, accomplish or experience in my life.
After the break is my current list. In the vein of “fuck it, let’s post,” I’m putting it up even though it’s not “done” or even “ready” because, damnit, I never post anymore. So click through and tell me what you think.
We did get to spend a day out at Mt. Ste. Michel, which was every bit as beautiful than it was 20 years ago, albeit unexpectedly crowded. After a long half day at Versailles, we visited the town of Chartres, too. The town itself was beautiful and charming, and I’d never paid it much attention before, so that was a nice surprise.
I’ll even be making a real binder with printed photos and little keepsakes for the first time in years. I like binders and I like printed photos, so that’s nice, too! A souvenir of souvenirs, if you’ll excuse the gratuitous use of French in a post about France.
Also, I got to eat a lot of ice cream.
Pictures, as usual, after the break.
I’ve messed with a bunch of ways to display this data, and I think for now, a regular, boring PDF is best. It’s only the mounts I want (and don’t yet have), so it’s skewed pretty heavily towards flying mounts. If you think I’m missing stuff (which I am, obvi), let me know and I’ll add it. If you send me the base mats and such, so much the better!
This data comes from my Warcraft XLS and should be updated on the regular. If it’s not, let me know and i’ll update it to the latest version.
In the first half of the 90s I played a lot of volleyball on the sand at the Franklin Mint sand volleyball courts. That was back when the Mint was, as was its namesake, based in Philadelphia. Nowadays, they’re a shell of their former, volleyball-loving selves, and I digress in the way that all old men do. Point is, they had great courts and I had a great time playing on them.
Now, 20+ years later, I’m playing whenever I can on the beach in Southern California. Whenever I can isn’t nearly as often as I’d like, but it’s often enough that I can say that I play again. It’s fun! Sometimes I even play well, but not as well as I would if I were in better shape.
I figure it’d be fun to post a couple pics here of the current iteration of the games look like to me. I’ll probably manage to post another photo or two here, and if I can figure out how to refresh this post to the top of the site. Maybe the “Aside” post format will do it for me?
Anyway, after the break are a couple of photos to show off my almost-40 prowess.
Last night, I went up to the Santa Monica mountains and tried to get pictures of the Perseid meteor shower. While messing with my camera definitely affected my overall viewing ability, I had a great time trying it out. I even got a selfie, as you can see above. A handful of awesome pictures are after the break.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been consumed by work on two videos for the JAZZMIN Vocal Band, a vocal group that includes at its core, my mom and Rod.
I went up to Vegas twice to shoot footage, once at a live event and once as a production day on a green screen where each singer came in in turn and performed his or her part. The production went basically according to schedule, considering, and the footage looked good. Changes to the project after the shoot as well as creative hangups and differences hindered the edit process, as did my own ignorance of certain key (and keying!) elements, but all of these got overcome or steamrolled and the project got finished.
I’ve cut a couple of Director’s Cuts to reflect more accurately the vision I had when I was shooting, and after the break, I’ll share them with you.
Believe it or not, it’s time for Yet Another Computer Refresh and associated post. These are really nice for me to be able to reference, so I post it for all to see and to judge. I expect to field “Why aren’t you using Intel/Nvidia, you n00b?!?” questions starting anytime now. since these things tend to be long, I’m going to put the entire post after the fold. There will be pictures, both ones that I took (dusty computer innards!) and press shots of components I’ve stuffed in here.
To skip the 2.0 history and jump right into this week’s build, click here.
Back in April 2015 I flew down to Buenos Aires and then, with a little help from my good friend Silvana, drove cross-country to Mendoza (an 11-hour ordeal made longer by jet lag and police checkpoints), then had three beautiful days in an amazing wine region. The pictures below barely do the place justice, but they’re a step. A mildly out-of-order step, at least, because there doesn’t seem to be any way to organize the photos in a gallery by simple file name (clearly, I’m missing something), but a step nonetheless.
Over those beautiful days, I got to eat and drink some of the best fare the region had to offer, from cosmopolitan restaurants in Mendoza to food trucks by a famous apple tree. I didn’t get the full story on that one, unfortunately. I did take pictures.
I fell in love with a town south of Mendoza proper called Tupungato – it was quaint, pretty, and perfectly situated in wine country. Analogous, maybe, to Solvang as it relates to Santa Barbara, although thankfully without the absurd Danish influence. I didn’t take enough pictures there, but I did have a couple of very nice meals and some good wine (one from a house called “Finca Flichman” that I found particularly fun).
More trip and winery details follow the break!