A journal of questionable quality

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Raining - just not possible

What is this stuff that is falling out of the sky? We haven't had rain in so long the lawnmower committed suicide last month. Too little to do.

Excellent weather for tow trucks (it stays in your blood) with people blissfully unaware that the accumulation of 4 months oil and dust will cause braking to be not only ineffective, but probably dangerous as well.

Risking life and limb I commuted to the range on the other side of town and fired 200 rounds of 9mm 115 grain FMJ down. 115 grain is not a load that will get you out of trouble in a hurry, but rules are use club ammo with a club gun, so fair enough.

The new model Glocks are actually quite a nice handful - heavy enough so you don't feel like you're floating onto the target, with nil recoil, but, with that ammo, a healthy bunch of spark, smoke and shit. Pleased I don't have to clean the things.

Feeling so much better risked life again and made it home without incident to continue work on the newest of new projects, the POTD Flash menu - soon to make it's public debut - thank you Dana for pointing me the right way. All I have to do now is find a use for the bloody thing after all this fuss.



Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mum, he's on the phone again....

Nothing is sacred anymore - I can even inflict my voice on people..

this is an audio post - click to play


This is the first one on the new blog - sent in by mobile phone, whilst driving around Brisbane, Australia - don't ask why.

It seems I've finally managed to hook up Audioblogger to this bloody thing again.

I caused a huge internal drama with both Blogger and Audioblogger by changing the blogs over - something I may have to keep in mind for future 'moving' work.

There is a reason I really needed to fix this - but having done so, I can't remember why.



So, Audioblogger rides again

What we like about doing this from the wrong side of the World is the insanity of the thing, the total insanity of phoning all the way across the planet, to have it recorded and placed on a site for the rest of the World to listen to.


this is an audio post - click to play

So, it simply has to be done, anyone with a brain can see why - can't they?
I can see why anyway, which is all that counts around here.



Friday, August 27, 2004

A new beginning

Getting closer to Spring. Today is one of those ones you get as a sort of an 'advanced screening' to show you what the real deal will feel like in a few more weeks.

Spring is wonderful here, warm days, mild nights, always that hint of the impending summer, just around the corner.

Time for me to wake up, shake off the winter slumber and get out on the beloved bike to lose whatever weight I managed to put on over the 'hibernation' phase.

I had been hoping the buggy would start pulling weight off me but it seems to be doing a better job of muscle building than weight losing, damn it.

The bike is always good anyway - the only place, often, where I get a clear enough head to think.

To think without the constant whine of a hard drive in the background.

Without the constant stare at a screen just inches away - instead being able to see a full 360 panorama, complete with blue sky and sunshine.

Without the bitching, the moaning, the whining of HTML customers and consumers, intent on creating vast empires in cyberspace for reasons that we have yet to fathom.

The only thing that mars the biking experience is the distinct likelihood of getting run down by some frantic, diet pill popping, multitasking house wife, in charge of a car, but not of her brain. They breed out this way, and the minute they get out of the house and into a car I know I am in danger of getting flattened.

Nothing like a bit of danger to keep you interested in staying close to the side of the road



Thursday, August 26, 2004

Blogger hates me

After 3 hours of messing around with templates for this very blog I have come to the conclusion that Blogger, and perhaps the rest of the World, hate me.

I believe I am the only kid on the block who has the new Blogger toolbar reaching only half way across the top of the screen.

I checked all the other 'zoetrope engineered' blogs, thinking I had some fundamental coding error somewhere, but they all came up ok.

I changed the template, toolbar does the same thing - looks like an errant line break or something has crept into the layout tag.

I made a new one - woo hoo! The toolbar lives in the correct place!! But, how do you get one set of blog entries to fit into another - without doing them one at a time?

Can't be done - so more messing about with various code tryouts, removing anything I have put in there just in case. Still no joy.

Solution - none. Blogger do seem to have a toolbar problem, according to the status report, and I have emailed them as well, but there's really no need to be jumping up and down, after all, the thing is free.

In the meantime you will have to put up with the odd bar placement.

Hang on, if I hadn't mentioned it no one would have noticed....



What is this thing in the driveway?

Proud to say she finally got a car. After what seems like years of looking, which was in fact about a week, Yvonne has managed to land a car that she likes to replace the (very) aged Commodore.

The new one is something called a Daihatsu Pyzar, a name I have never heard before, a name that probably no one has ever heard before.

Brilliant, eye searing blue, it looks like a little box with wheels on each corner. Little wheels.

An engine the size of a motor mower is going to be expected to power the car, the air conditioning, the power steering and the auto trans all at the same time.

Good luck.

The good of all this? I don't have to wake up every morning wondering if it will be the day that the venerable Commodore, twice stolen, once broken into, once rammed by another car, will give it's last gasp and simply refuse to move ever again.

It has been a wonderful thing, a product of the eighties, a time when it didn't cost triple digits to fill the fuel tank. It has endured all manner of horror - bearing the brunt of her youngest childs 'I will indeed destroy everything I touch' phase, emerging with holes in the door speakers, all the dash knobs destroyed, lost, eaten and various unidentified stains all over everything capable of retaining fluid.

Now let's see how long it takes them, now 10 years older, but still destructive, to destroy this one.

At least she can fill the thing without having to run about looking for the old leaded fuel that has been gradually disappearing as our government tries to convince us it's for our own good.

Still sad to see the Commodore go after all this time - a staunch and forgiving car that we really should keep - put out to pasture in the backyard - something for the kids to play with.....



Wednesday, August 25, 2004

nose now runs everytime I eat...

What is this thing that everytime I eat my nose starts to run?

Is that a normal state of affairs, something that always happens that I have failed to notice this last lifetime? Or, is it the beginning of the end, some sort of strange signal to give up eating?

Not sure, and not even sure that I care.

I'm watching other people now to see if they have the same reaction.

They don't seem to like being looked at when they're eating is the only thing I have noticed so far.

Perhaps I'm standing too close. I've already tried binoculars, but people seem taken aback. I wonder if I should just ask people. Conduct a poll. Make it official and everything. Get a badge to wear and go from door to door. 'Does your nose run when you eat?' - this is an official poll - look at my badge.

Maybe I'll worry about some more tomorrow, I'm already all worried out for today.

Buggy time yesterday means I have pain from all over the place today. (It's called buggy body)
The wind was a bit of a problem, but we managed to get good solid pulled muscles in both shoulders, thighs, and sore wrists to boot.

Nothing like a good bit of pain to make you appreciate a good dose of codeine. Mind you, there's no real need to wait for pain to have a good belt of it - might as well have some for pain you MIGHT get sometime in the future.

So, pain free, off we go to find some good examples of 'stencil graffiti' - something that I was convinced that I had invented until I found several thousands of sites devoted to the subject. Can't be first at everything then can we?

Already running a risk of becoming the oldest graffiti artist alive, I was struck by how good it would be to have a simple stencil always ready to apply an image to anything that looked like it needed it.

Seems I have been spending too much time inside again - and all around me the world has been overtaken by a bunch of people who have been doing that for years.

Undetered I still intend to fire up Photoshop and build me a stencil, something that I can apply when I'm out and about, just so I know I've been there.

It's an oddly exciting thing. Don't ask me why. Ask the thousands of viewers of site such as Stencil Revolution - an Australian site, one of many.

If I ever get a usable, likeable stencil done I'll post it on the site as an EPS so that we can do a global thing. Mail me if you want to be involved.

Still doesn't cure the runny nose thing.



So, now zoetrope77 is zoetrope101

It could only have happened here in the land of deep sleeps.

I have been after zoetrope101, the blog name for months, checking every now and then to see if the lazy bastard who owned it would ever post anything on it.

Never saw a post, never saw any movement in the thing - a great blog name for us, being, as we are, zoetrope101.

No amount of searching about for an owner, no amount of hoping, nothing seemed to be going to work.

Until today, now, when, confused by all the dramas the zoetrope77 blog has been beset with since they changed the toolbars over - after spending another three hours fiddling with the bloody templates to see if that made any difference, in a haze, thinking about something else, I logged onto Blogger, entered the blog name wrongly as zoetrope101 and entered the password, click through and found I was here at the much wanted zoetrope101 blog.

Seems that some months ago - perhaps even longer, on the way through Blogger, I have grabbed the name zoetrope101 thinking it would come in handy, only to forget it existed as soon as I shut down for the night.

Amazing, but here we are with the correct name, and even a proper toolbar up the top.

Let Zoetrope101 begin.



Tuesday, August 24, 2004

accessibilty blues..

OK, who's idea was the accessibility thing?

Sounded like a nice little project to keep me amused while the wind refuses to appear.

Zoetrope is now sporting a menu complete with access keys, as in 'alt+z' type stuff for people who don't use a mouse.

Some project - it all needed hand coding, virtue of the way I had done the menu in the first place.

Could have avoided it all by doing it at design time, but was, as usual, in too much of a hurry to get the thing running.

Most of it done and refreshed now, 9 hours later than I expected, after drifting off, hanging off the phone talking to Brother Singh, old mate, business partner, him driving through the mountains of Canada, me sitting in a cold home office in Australia.

Seems he has himself a new hobby that involves driving a semi around the place. He was never a good driver here, and now he's driving on the wrong side of the road!!

I miss him. We were in cabs together years ago - him a licence owner, me the fleet manager of a cab company, then a cab lessee, we had a lot in common, still do.

Pussy and substance abuse seem to spring to mind.

Not always in that order.

Wants me to go over right away and have a look at his latest scheme.

Getting into Winter, as we are, with him getting into Summer as he is, provides a compelling arguement, but not one staunch enough to pass Yvonne who will no doubt see it for what it is - a trip for the hell of it.

Ahh, but while there is life, there is hope.



Monday, August 23, 2004

upgrade time for the beast

It's time for a new machine.

This one is to go to the kids desk, give them something else to fuck up. I'll take the one from there to use as a server and replace this with something appealing.

It looks to be Dell that's winning the war for my dollar at the moment.

1Gb of RAM won me over, although I fell in love with the idea of the 2Gb they offer as an extra.

Hard drive size has these days become unimportant - they're big enough now to not have to worry about that sort of thing, but we will need to look at over 100Gb to make it fully ludicrous. Was a time a few years ago when that sort of size just plain didn't work, causing all sorts of partitioning dramas. Doesn't happen now.

I'm still bitching at software manufacturers who insist on demanding XP or 2000 as a 'minimum operating system', but it looks like they may get their way because we are damn near locked in to XP Pro.

Doesn't mean I need to give those greedy bastards any more money for upgrades though, fact is, if I can I intend to keep all the 'pre XP' software - failing, as yet anyway, to see the need to swap from what I'm used to already.

In our case it means the difference between Dreamweaver MX and Dreamweaver MX 2004, a bloated sprawling minor upgrade on the brilliant MX.

Same goes for Photoshop - What does Photoshop CS really have that makes it work the update from our current version 7? Not a lot, except for more bloat, and more paranoid anti piracy dongles.

Get over it software developers, just get over it. You people take yourselves way too seriously.

Seems you think that we cannot live without you, and should therefore pay through the nose for the standard bug ridden shit that you all trot out.

No one seems to have told you that there is an entire world of freeware, opensource stuff out there that does the job just as well.

Take Gimp for example - an image editor that I rate as being right up there with Photoshop, the difference being the price. The Gimp is free, and the Gimp is fast.

People are starting to catch on - the more the better.

You want to do high end sound work - Audacity - free, opensource, better than anything I have, and believe me, when it comes to sound I have all the bells and whistles, I just never use them.

Anything you want, anything you need, you can get from the much vaunted SourceForge - the home of the free. Go there have a look at the sheer amount of freeware that's available. Then think long and hard about whether you really need to pay the $1700 for Photoshop, because you don't.



Sunday, August 22, 2004

..and back to normal

Things are returning to normal suburban blandness after the Mother left on Wednesday.

I can only hope she had a good time - seemed to be happy enough. I even managed to take her to the airport myself - something that doesn't happen a lot - she usually leaves at outrageous times of the morning, times that I don't know very much about. Times I may never know anything about.

A celebratory trip to the kite park, the buggy out in hideous conditions, anything does to test the new foot straps, designed to stop me from waving my feet in the air, something that happens to me more than it should apparently.

I also had to be the first on the block to order a new Libre harness from BrisKites new Libre catalog. It was about the only thing I could afford.

So, as you should be able to make out, BrisKites is now your local Libre dealer. Go there, now, buy Libre gear.

If you're buying I'll take a reasonable sized Bora if you want..



Grafitti has got me again.

This time not so much graffiti, but a close relative - stencil art.

Suits me down to the ground, I can grab anything I like, Posterize it in Photshop, print it out in each colour, laminate the things, cut out the right bits and there ya go - instant muti colour / greyscale, stencils ready to adorn some building that richly deserves it. Saves me worrying about the shaky hands, all I gotta do now is line up the registration marks.

I may win an award for being the oldest graffiti artist still standing.

In the stencil side of things we even have an Australian site Stencil Revolution, well worth checking out if you're in to that sort of thing. And if you're not in to that sort of thing you're not keeping up, and if you don't keep up we'll assume you need to be killed...

It's simple really.



Monday, August 02, 2004

midway and Mums still alive

It looks like she might survive - the Mother I mean.

She's managed a few days without me having to resort to violence.

Park visit today, to show the buggy in action and hopefully run into some of the guys. Managed to show her Alan, Jason and Janine, so at least she knows who I'm talking about when I'm filling her in on details by phone as we do.

Plenty of bad wind managed to make the buggy aspect a risky proposition, but had to have a go anyway.

Got buggy legs and arms out of it, but had a good time anyway. (Buggy legs are what you end up with when you're pushing hard on the foot pegs to hold yourself in the buggy because the kite hates you and wants to pull you out and drag you along the ground. - if you needed to know that.)

Two weeks without the wonder drug Celebrex (arthritis people will know) and it's beginning to look like the knee might have to be done.

This was an entirely unexpected outcome. I had assumed, pain free as I have been, that the knee had sorted itself, but these two weeks 'clean' have proved there is something not quite right with the thing.

Perhaps, when I get time, I will worry more about it. Perhaps I will think 'fuck it' and just leave it alone. They're still making painkillers and I have been addicted to codeine for years, what's a few more?

Go here http://www.forgetfoo.com/ and see what you think of the styling. He had a great way of doing CSS mouseovers for buttons which impressed me, as did his substantial collection of pure babes that he has kindly made available.