A journal of questionable quality

Monday, January 31, 2005

grid systems involving swimming

Weekend spent. All gone. Rather quickly I thought.

Worked, my version, Saturday. Sunday, the part of the day not taken up by getting up late and lazy, lay about reading LeCarre. Yvonne adopting the same attitude with some needlework she has. Makes us old. Not the day, the look. Sitting out the front, cat on the grass in front of us.

Grid Systems/Josef Muller-Brockman arrived. Quick check to see if I have committed any glaring design crimes. Looks as though I may pass, may in fact be able to commit a few. The Golden Rectangle (1.618) sprinkled about within the book - lucky. A hangover from index trading (which requires an intimate knowledge of Fibonacci if you're to pick the turn points) manages to already show through into some of the work I have been doing already. How many places is that equation going to turn up?

Another grid layout - back to the local pool today, again with Yvonne. I was to have been redesigning the look of this poor long suffering blog this morning, but found it too be a too abrupt entry into the new week.

Gridded up and down the pool a number of times, Yvonne festooned with all manner of embellishments that have appeared from the children's collection. Flippers, kick boards, goggles. I feel underdressed for the occasion. All I do is float, by the least energetic means possible, from one end of the thing to the other, and back again.

Whatever rings your bells I guess.

Home, endorphins kick in and I think pleasant thoughts about people for the minimum amount of time required by law and revert back to my normal hideous self.

Surprising the people you think of when you're having an endorphin attack.

Monday. Yvonne books tickets to New Zealand via the internet and manages to get the receipt eaten by some over protective software. Handy. Recover receipt. With prejudice. Since when did Outlook Express decide what goes where?

Back to the only thing worth having on a Monday - the Holy Grail of design, freshly arrived, awaiting my full attention.

The redesign of the blog seems to have slipped away for the day.

Better to plan the week ahead, this week being the one where Yvonne is required to entertain her own children during all their waking hours (and plenty of their sleeping ones as well), transport them to where they simply must be: air cadets, tennis, friends, video stores, clothing stores, pizza stores. Feed them on the hour with the required amount of sugar and fat and be thankful when they don't bitch about being bored, underprivileged, over worked. A rare thing indeed.

Suitable for me to be well out of the way so as not to confuse the issue. It is amazing how attractive work, involving something away from the house, becomes. I manage to make the weekend work stretch to both days, all the better to avoid the sight of a grown woman ingratiating herself to her children, which is what happens.

An amazing sight.



Friday, January 28, 2005

no rain..

OK, what's happened to the rain?

My life has changed to accommodate the never ending stuff and now it refuses to continue. Is there something here I am supposed to divine? Some sort of weird reverse psychology thing with the weather?

Undaunted I, this time with Yvonne in tow, arrive at the aforementioned swimming establishment and proceed to dutifully do the up down thing.

I'm starting to like it. I'd like to say I go because of the good looks down there, but without my glasses on they could be anything. Shame.

Rest of the day as a rest day - sort of like the rest of the week. Investigating the well known Mr Hockney's photomontages, getting ready to do something similar here (yes, I know, along with the long planned panoramic, and a multitude of other things photographic), the on to John Singer Sargent, a fine painter indeed, something to rest my eyes on before getting off into the inevitable quest for the perfect propaganda poster.

A normal day then.

The bike is still anticipating the worst. Rightly so.

New Zealand trip now almost narrowed down to late March, all the better to coincide with Mum's 76th birthday. Still convincing myself that the weather will not kill me. Still unconvinced.

Buddy, partner, mad Sikh, long lost to the wilds of Canada reports that the snow is making life a tad difficult for them with a reason to go outside, but seems to be able to handle it. It is, after all, his fifth year there. Six years since he was here and we were lurking all over the place hell bent on bad intent - a long time to go without such a staunch friend.

Times coming we have to get together again over a few dangerous substances and catch up on what's going on. Current discussion revolves around heading to Canada for an extended sojourn, all the better to decide if we too should live there.

Too soon to tell. Seems like if I mention it here I am creating a 'must do' scenario, you know? You say you have to do something enough you eventually force yourself to get off your arse and do it.

Time is now not on my side - I'm 50, I'm getting slower. The only thing that seem to have stayed with me is the adrenaline junkie thing.

And a love of fine looking women.



Thursday, January 27, 2005

more of the same..

Australia Day yesterday.

Rain, wind, wet, remain.

A day investigating various styles of some of the better known Australian illustrators, my very favorite being Ashley Wood, go there this very moment and see what a wonderful style that man has. I would have informed you of his abilities months ago, even longer, but I misplaced him somewhere in the BigMac sized collection of favorites I burden IE with, finally found him again after remembering that his name was Woods, not Smith as I has named him.

Still in Australia, in deference to yesterdays holiday to celebrate all things Australian, Design is Kinky, remains a unique collection of all things design, requiring a daily visit by me so that I may be in formed of anything I need to be exposed to and plenty that I don't.

Interestingly, what little I know about Ashley Woods I gleaned form a profile done on him by DesignisKinky.

Ben Templesmith, another unique artist, from West Australia, same as Ashley Wood, maybe it's something in the water?

Whatever it is it's good, great actually, art, a style that suits my brain (not always a good thing), and a style that seems to have the effect of making you want to pick up a brush and have a go too. In my case it would be double click the Painter icon and set about trying to emulate them.

I have to inform the world that Painter 9 is the nearest thing to actually working with the real thing, if I was wise enough to buy a tablet I believe I could have myself a fine time with it.

The sheer naked ability of the program really is brilliant, and that coming from someone who views all software that promises to emulate real world as evil.

But, before the abortive attempt to copy someone with real talent, by someone with no talent, another trip to the pool.

First, step into the garage and stare threateningly at bike. Makes bike remember who's boss. Makes bike appreciative that I don't try and ride it in the rain. Bike remembers last time.

Pool. This time fully confident, strutting even. Reflection of shaven headed paunchy male waddling toward glass door makes strut stop immediately.

Double the amount of laps. Impressed. Still have to stop at each end and check if heart is actually going to keep beating that fast.

Madly flailing along an approximately straight line brings me into conflict with a vacuum hose attached to some crustacean like equipment waiting on the pool floor for people like me. Huge fight ensues. A draw. The pulsing noise I had heard in my ears was in fact the underwater sound of the machine not my heartbeat as I had previously thought.

Manage to stagger from pool, apply shirt to body backwards, unable to remove because of wet/sweat cling. Major fight under my own clothes, flapping about looking like a person with no head.

Pleased to be home.

All that one day after Australia Day - too much for one week in my life. Weather attempting to clear, bike cringing.



Wednesday, January 26, 2005

swimming pools to keep out of the rain..

Cyclonic conditions prevail.

Bike tube repair does not mitigate vast amounts of vertical water conspiring to make me lose it in a very public way on first corner.

Glass wearer's should not expect to be able to see well in this weather.

Swimming pool - major experience.

Much noise. Screaming children learning how not to drown. Major effort from stereo as well provides atomosphere for competition for noise output.

Distractingly slim girls man the office. Pay money. Swim. Seems simple enough.

Last time in any form of outdoor water - San Fernando, Philippines, beach resort, relaxing there as a respite form Manila. Sea lice tried to eat me.

Shock of water immense, driving the air right out of me, much spluttering on reaching the surface again, praying not enough for them to launch into some rescue operation.

Hard to tell, no glasses mean no vision, no chance to perve on female swimmers, but enough to make out the unmistakable shape of the feminine form in black lycra.

6 faltering laps. Stopping at each end to deal with massive tightness of chest presumably caused by lack of ability to breath.

Chlorine - great smell, clean smell.

Indoor swimming pool with open sides allows swimming while watching the driving wind and rain outside. A unique experience.

Purchase another 20 entry passes, for me and Yvonne should she feel the need.

It could be another way of losing this weight when the roads are deep in these sub tropical conditions, it could be another way of getting used to leaving the house, a major event for me, a person who hates interaction with the outside world.

It could be just a handy thing to do for the hell of it.



Mums well. New packaging a requirement..

In celebration of the news my Mother's liver cancer is not getting any bigger, any more aggressive, in fact not changing at all over the observation period, and possibly out of sheer relief that I have at least some control over the timing of the forthcoming visit home to see her, it has been decided that we should take a more militant approach to our projects.

Just why this decision would come about as a result of my mother's health is not easily explained, perhaps I should confess that it just seemed like a good time.

Sometime ago we mentioned somewhere - perhaps even this very blog, that we had fallen madly, deeply in love with a CD / DVD presentation system called Jewelboxing, devised by the obviously very bright people at Coudal Partners. We mentioned then that the product really was the only way to go if you are looking for a quality delivery mechanism.

Now we're saying that you don't have a choice anymore - if you are a client, if you are a potential client who requires CD /DVD presentation you have just had the choice of jewel case taken out of your hands.

The reason for this?

I've had it with the normal case, it breaks, it scratches, it discharges it's contents on the floor without warning and the little spindles break off leaving you with no cover.

I'm over it. It makes us look bad if we have gone to all the trouble to get the content right only to present it in packaging that always makes me think it should be glued to the front of a magazine.

No if's or but's, no discussion. If you're engaging us to do a CD/DVD presentation you are up for Jewelboxing products. Simple - you get them in for us, or we will, but you will be using packaging required by us.

The cost is not high but the first impression is major, and that's what we're looking for. You might not care how your product is delivered, but we do.

Oh, I do love a bit of design assertion - makes me feel all powerful and arrogant. Next I'll be joining The Designers Republic and telling you what you can have and what you can't.

Hang on - we already do that.



Monday, January 24, 2005

grid systems, 13 klms and sore feet

It had to happen eventually, I had to make a conscious decision to comply with something - enter Muller-Brookmans 'Grid Systems in Graphic Design'a book that has been around since 1961.

..this text is still useful today for anyone working in the latest computer-assisted design. With examples on how to work correctly at a conceptual level and exact instructions for using all of the systems (8 to 32 fields)..

.. Right, doesn't that sound like an 'up all night to find out what happened in the end' type of tome?

John LeCarre stand back, this little number is bound to end up right next to your 'The Little Drummer Girl' such will be it's popularity.

Why do we need this? Why do you need any text book? It's time to brush up on our rather shoddy design skills, not necessarily to get any better, rather not to get any worse.

Grid systems instantly evoke images of 'uber wise' design minimalists all crowded together in some suitably stark cafe in Switzerland. Well, they do to me anyway.

Grid systems also help explain the Swiss mania for order - even their railway station signs are aesthetically pleasing and nicely grided.

Expect experimentation.

Other than attempting to conform to some serious design rules today was of note for the fact that I walked further than the bathroom to the computer and back again, in fact I even left the house.

Broken hearted as I was yesterday, to find my trusty but well underused bike lacking a method of containing air in it's front tyre, I struck the first blow for weight loss / general fitness of body and mind, by walking 13 kilometers.

Shock treatment indeed. Sore feet, symptom one. Sore legs, symptom 2. All will be better with time, we have been here before, and progressed to riding up to 70 klms a day at one stage when the obsession was biting hard.

It's where we need to be again.

Tomorrow, assuming I can actually manage to work out how to fit the offending wheel back on the bike, we should manage a few kilometers - in trial mode, expecting nothing, hoping for no rain though, as rain and me and bikes never seem to be able to get on together. One of us always seems to end up on the ground.

All this in the name of physical fitness. Why were we not informed at or around our birth that we would eventually have to submit to some rigorous activity to burn off periods of accumulation?

Where is the warning tag about that then?

Why is it that since I have been forced to give up the habit I loved, smoking, all the better, so I am told, to keep me alive and fit, that I have slowly but surely turned into a slow moving, slow thinking, overweight, oddity?

I was happy smoking, I was faster smoking, I would like to think I was fitter smoking.

I gave up smoking in December 2000. And I have gone downhill since then.

Some would say advancing age is the problem.



Sunday, January 23, 2005

sunday, more weight, less gain

Sunday, 2.5 hour, sweating job leftover from Saturday cleaned up - literally. Hot upstairs, but the magazines are always a good look so I have to scan them before the floor gets done.

Home. Prepare for a whole new look on the week ahead - we're going to do a shock treatment fitness upgrade, pump up tyres on bike, front one immediately goes back down, in fact faster than it went up, sign of needing something else to do tomorrow while it gets repaired - I failed bike tyre repairs at kindy and don't intend to start learning now.

Net. No progress on the thorny little number of the xml feed to a remote bot - some interest, appreciated, but more suggestion to stay with Flash interface - will do.

Bot. Still needs help pattern, something to do when all else fails.

Net. Text to speech and back again - project, text / screen reader to speech recognition software and back again - sort of a infinite loop - been done - scratchdisk did it, entitled 'analog+information', so I'm hardly at the bleeding edge, no wonder it seemed to be too good to be true, undetered we will continue with variations.

At least it saved me forking out for Dragon Naturally Speaking or whatever is the standard recognition stuff - far better range on a Mac, with iListen software already onboard so I am told by a Mac fanatic. As if there is anything but a Mac fanatic. They've got it good.

Back at the PC and it probably is time we added some form of voice recognition to the box, I had a valid reason a while ago but buggered if I can remember what it was.
I think it has something to do with the very same thing I have been looking at this time, these things tend to get consigned to a note on a sheet of paper somewhere (I'm paranoid about losing good thoughts), which I instantly manage to misplace. The good bit is I usually remember that I saved it - just need the location, this time however it seemed both the memory and the sheet of paper went somewhere.

Anyway no time for such frivolity, losing weight and being able to walk more than 50 feet without a rest are the pressing things, being able to fit into some jeans if I am going to have to face the New Zealand autumn are other, related, requirements. I haven't had a pair of long pants on for about three months, no need, not going anywhere, more comfortable in shorts, conspicuously undone when I sit down.

That or sitting in the buggy, using more arms than anything else, hardly a recipe for keeping fit.

It's what you get for being a hermit, it's what you get when you don't move from this chair day in, day out, it's what has to go, and go soon.



Friday, January 21, 2005

day one, no weight lost...

OK, that was not the way to swing into the new weight loss way of life. Multiple pizzas for dinner - Yvonne had been out to do the shopping and we looked like eating at midnight if she cooked.

Last night there didn't seem to be anything wrong with the idea, including the deviation of adding some odd looking pasta salad on top of it, however, in hindsight... if we could actually apply hindsight it's reasonable to assume we could have avoided a few world wars, look where they got us.

Meanwhile, a more pressing matter had come to my attention - the bot has been unable to tell the time correctly, and a fix had become available, so it was naturally a priority - wasn't it?

Go here to the bot you cretinous time wasters and bask in the glory of the thing. It even knows some people by name now.

Then the other bot vexation, my complete inability to make the thing reside in a local page rather than referring to their server all the time. Currently we achieve this with some rather snazzy Flash gear, but I had hoped to be able to swap it for some good old HTML. No such luck, and a pox on anyone like me that thinks they can do it.

I am proud to say I am but one xml text field away from being able to do it, but out of patience on this 36 degree day, I have been forced to ask on a 'bot group', causing shame to land on the family name.

I still have a bot to do for BrisKites, a kite specific one, but that will have to wait until phase one of the weight loss program has been completed, a task that may take months... (feels deep shame, contemplates bashing head against wall, gives up)

I feel the need to take up swimming - (rapid change of topic due to manic tendencies discover recently - diagnosed as virtually no threat to society)- swimming is good, chlorine smell brings back my childhood when most sexual experimentation was done in and around the local swimming baths, probably because it must have been summer for swimming and people are more inclined to remove their clothing without too much bitching in summer.

I am going to have to run the gauntlet of the local pool, see what rules I must comply with, what hoops I must jump through to be able to get at their water (everything worthwhile has rules attached now in case we enjoy it too much).

Should I find myself able to comply with the rules I may very well be found huffing and puffing up and down the pool, hopefully to emerge, sooner rather than later, looking like a modern day Atlas.

Stand back you adoring women, stand back lest my magnificence blind you.



Thursday, January 20, 2005

8 kgs - must go - now

OK, I must admit the last six weeks of sitting here all day basking in my own brilliance may have contributed to a minor weight gain.

I swear I did move, occasionally, sometimes as far away as the bay, where I could lie in the buggy while using virtually no energy, but getting a good suntan.

Fact 1: Getting a suntan does not make you lose weight.

Fact 2: You cannot convince a Doctor that Fact 1 is true.

Fact 3: You do not lose weight by writing miles of rubbish on Blogger.

Fact 4: I am required to get rid of this weight, and my attitude, in that order, before I get to visit the wonderful Dr Mary Ellen.

Fact 5: I really do what she tells me - for some reason she seems to make sense.

It's back to the bike, luckily a pastime that I love, it's just the bit about getting run over by cars that makes me unhappy.

I have no more excuses to stay off the bike. Bugger.

I am also enamored with the idea of the local indoor swimming pool - all I have to do is try and be there when there is likely to be minimum chance of anyone I know seeing me flapping about in a pool.

Me seeing them is not possible as without glasses I wouldn't recognize anyone until I banged into them.

To facilitate all this I have made some quick changes to other site - blanding it out even further, updated the bot so it can almost hold it's own in a conversation, now sporting a new lo-tech courier font because - because. Primed it with a few name recognition entries lest Angelina Jolie slide by, you can never be sure when she will.

We are reasonably up to date on all the other projects, the video is in the can as we say, just that there is no can involved. Pleased to clear the project stack which was a massive 3Gb by the time it was finished.

Post production - naturally handled by us as well, and I'm as proud as hell of it.

Now, back to the tricky situation of getting rid of massive weight before having to wing out to New Zealand to see the Mother.

I have now resigned myself to getting there in the colder weather, I'm over worrying about it now, in fact I'm trying to sell it to myself as a good idea.

It hasn't appeared as one yet.



Wednesday, January 19, 2005

another day another biopsy...

So, after all that, Mum spent the entire day in hospital, I spent the entire day here, in another country, in front of a computer telling Blogger that I was doing exactly that, I found some sort of conclusion, more than Mum got from the New Zealand health system. Seems that now, for the second time, they have managed a complete failure.

This time it was the machines fault, last time it was because she didn't exist, I suppose there is some advance in there somewhere.

All this to an elderly lady who has been told she has terminal liver cancer, the biopsy merely to confirm what mode of treatment is possible.

Yesterday's antics threw some serious doubt into any findings - they simply could not locate a suitable lump to investigate, seems it eluded them, their equipment and their common sense.

Amazing - if I find it excruciating imagine what it's doing to me dear old Mum. Her life effectively put on hold while they scramble, at a crawl, if that's possible, to find something to kill her with.

Our lives here put on hold, waiting to see if any treatment is going to be applied, trying to work out a suitable time to travel to see her, preferably before the depths of winter manage to grip the place, as they do, as we notice coming from here.

Advantage for me is that my life isn't on the line, merely my comfort. I wish I could say the same for Mum.

Mind you the 2Kg of chocolate fish she sent over this week (it's a Kiwi thing - don't even try to grasp it) certainly went some way to putting my life on the line - sick, sick, sick. Too many chocolate fish can do that to you, and they did.


Meanwhile, back at the electronic tinkerbox, a chance discovery of the site of the venerable imaginary forces indicates to me that my current mania for stop motion and overlays is indeed the style.

Just when I thought I had invented it. Seems the reason it is so familiar is that it is used in just about all the opening credits for David E Kelley television stuff - something that imaginary forces do a lot of.

If you look real close at some of those credits - Ally McBeal, The Practice, you will see a hat tip to Saul Eastlake, the man behind all animated leaders, nice to see.

Expect to see me overcook the style until it lies mortally wounded, bleeding from every orifice, on the footpath, and then some.



Tuesday, January 18, 2005

addressing the bot..

I had forgotten all about it - luckily we got mail on the subject or it would still be saying the wrong thing.

Seems when Telstra decided we needed to change our IP address from the second longest address in the world to the absolute longest we forgot to advise poor old Bot - Bot has been telling people all over the place to go to the .com, instead of the .net.au.

Added a link to him/her from the new menu as well - something else I had forgotten. Look under Broadcast>speak, and you will find.

There is also a link on the Padorabot site here that operates as well - rather a brilliant service I think.

Had to spend the morning asking the bloody thing questions and correcting the answers when I found the misinformation. It was a kite buggy morning by the look of it, but the threat of rain was enough to make me stay here and fix the bot - that and the fact that Yvonne has all the kids away ice skating so I have the house to myself.

It's a good day to be home anyway - not only is my Mother getting a biopsy of her liver done today, all the better to tell her where the cancer that she has there came from, and what course of treatment they propose, but news last night that dear friend, one time boss, and generally good person Averil who lives not far from Mum in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been found to have some form of cancer of the spine, if reports are correct.

Averil, at one time married to the hapless, and now dead Phil, employed me as a cab driver in the seventies when I was back in New Zealand licking my wounds over some affair gone wrong, or simply hiding from the police, it's hard to say, too long ago.

But, a cab driver I was, a job I loved, working for Averil. She also worked for the same cab company in the radio room so we had ourselves a pretty good time. Me out there on the air, her in there taking the phones and dispatching.

I eventually left, probably to come back here - I don't remember, and Averil eventually got rid of Phil, then almost died following a stomach stapling operation, survived to see the now estranged Phil die of a heart attack on the day he opened his new bottle shop, survived that to see her eldest son lose the plot and descend into depression, eventually throwing himself off the cathedral in the center of Christchurch.

It's been a hard road, and she has managed to get this far, now only to find that this new drama has arrived.

It now looks very much like the trip to New Zealand is going to be to visit more than one sick person. Do you ever feel like the entire population is losing the plot on you?

Everything goes great for a long time and then, one crack appears, followed, it seems now, by a series of others.

Perhaps if I sit here quietly tending the bot everything will turn out ok.



Monday, January 17, 2005

the possibilities are amazing...

Editing videos is slow, time consuming and satisfying I have decided. Managed to belt out a few 60 sec stings for BrisKites while I was spooling up other stuff.

Currently we're running at about 45 seconds of final cut a day - I was expecting somewhere in that region, but had hoped for more.

I'm not seeing a compelling reason to let go of my old copy of Premiere in favour of the new Premiere Pro - as I mentioned, the bloody thing is 200 MB bigger and still manages to crash as frequently as 6.0. The trial version I am using also seems to be equiped with a memory leak the size of the Hoover dam - a common event with the new Adobe products - what do they think, we all have unlimited memory? By last years standars I do, but it still seems to not be enough to keep the thing going.

Work halted for the weekend - latest delivery from Amazon arrived bearing two new Elmore Leonard and one John Le Carre - enough to make anyone decide to relax with a book.

The Le Carre - 'Absolute Friends' is back into Europe, and as brilliant as ever. Elmore Leonard? Well, what can I say - there has never been a bad Leonard book.

There might be a great big internet out there, full of all sorts of delicious goodies, but there will never be a replacement for sitting down with a good book. Must be something to do with the paper - maybe I'm addicted to the smell of (acid free) paper?

It's something to do with printing - with me it's anything to do with printing. I notice still, in this screen bound age, that decent designers are offering real live prints of their work, gratifying to see.

Photopolymer plates still rule the roost of obsessions - this is one that has been going a long time now, started by one Dianne Longley, a South Australian lady who wrote a book about the process.... and so the story goes on - almost, at that time, lead to the purchase of an etching press, stymied by the reluctance of sweet Yvonne, suspicious of any connection with an unknown woman, and an unknown medium...

All history now, but still the brilliance and simplicity of using photopolymer plates as a basis for engraving, etching, grayscale prints, multi colour, the possibilities were as expansive then as they remain now. The one connection with photography that bridges from print to engraving press - using negative or positive.

Last week I was bemoaning the fact that editing took me to a world of long ago, this week I'm checking sites, noticing that they are offering prints and sinking into some other reverie about the printing process - I suspect I have no real life - just one made up of various memories, books, glimpses of time past, chapters of books, scenes from movies, possibility is I don't exist at all - I think therefore I am is not right after all.

Bugger.

It all proves there is still hope for paper. Still hope for newspapers. Not much hope for trees as a result however, but what's a man to do, I gave up hugging trees when I found that the hippie lady tree hugging population often suffered from dubious personal hygiene.

That's one thing that the net is good for - at least, at the moment, there is no known method for sending smell through the browser, so good high quality porn remains wonderfully fragrant, no matter what shithole the participants where dredged up from - finally, a positive note for the long suffering web, I was beginning to fear there was none at all.



Wednesday, January 12, 2005

and comes back to life..

24 hour onsite service is a reality - the Dell lives, I can breath again, so can the rest of the World.

Speaking of excessive heat - 8 people dead from one bush fire in South Australia - what is happening to the elements - have we been bad? Water, fire, what happens next?

Incredible service form Dell, even I have to admit - from fried to wired in 24 hours is not bad, but threw my entire week out.

Assuming being down for at least a week I promptly forgot everything I was doing and went to try and catch some of the wild wind generated by a cyclone off the coast - South to South East, perfect for the park and buggy, 20 - 30 knots not easy for the driver, but you don't get a wind like that too many times.

Managed to get to the shop opposite the park, but didn't get any further - one of those quirks of modern society where it is considered impolite to wander off when someone is blaming the entire world for all his woes - seems endemic on that side of town.. before I could get properly brain fried Yvonne was on the phone - the tech was here - impossible, we had been expecting minimum three days, and god damn it, a wind was blowing, where is the justice in all that?

Home to the loving arms of the Dell, short 512Mb of memory because I had neglected to seat one stick properly - rectified that this morning.

Scramble to remember what the plan was - editing this week, that's what the deal was, now I sitting here with a new power supply, new fans and no inspiration, how vapid is that?

Tisk, I've got till the end of the week to pull something out of the bag - splices of Duran Duran with war footage?

Something will come to mind - it always does, well, usually it does, ok, ok, sometimes it does.

It's Dells fault anyway - Dell and a cyclone - drained my brain of inspiration, getting too close to negative retailers, it all conspires to rob me of ability, flare, enthusiasm, I'm done for.

On the subject of being done for - my beloved Mother, booked a month ago to submit to a biopsy on her liver, to find the extent of the cancer that they have diagnosed, dutifully turned up yesterday at the appointed place and time, only to be told everyone was on holiday or too stupid, uniformed, stupid will do, to be able to assist her.

How come I can get overnight health service for my lowly PC and my Mum can't get any help with aggressive liver cancer - should I perhaps ring Michael Dell and ask him the secret of service.

Seems to me a better option would be to walk in with a decent sized flame thrower strapped on and start cooking walls, floors and people till someone sat up and took notice. A health 'service' - you must be having me on.



Monday, January 10, 2005

Dell dies...

It's dead. It died overnight. It was quick, I think, I wasn't there to see it.

Fan died, fan died and that stops the thing from going - luckily - a 3.8Ghz processor rendering a 60 sec video - which is what I had planned for today, would have died in moments with out the fan(s) running.

An hour on the phone to Bangalore, unplug, replug, reboot, unboot, unclip, un everything, re everything - I thought it was a power supply, he demonstrated it was a fan - lucky I listened for once, I was about to start screaming for a power supply, which would have made me look like a fool.

Result - maybe a two / three day wait for the fan and someone to put it in. They don't seem to trust me. Result - strange happiness, no deadlines all of a sudden, no pressing need to have stuff ready to go out the door - blame Dell, blame anything, and not feel guilty.

..happy day spent cruising about the net, for nothing in particular, like a holiday, found a wonderful collection of exploitive images used in advertising, all parked neatly for me on some feminist's, 'all men are pigs' site, thank you for making that effort - I had been looking all over the place for the D&G 'video' collection, featuring stills of shameless women all attached in one way or another to multiple video cameras - you'll see it soon, I just have to use it for the sheer brilliance of it.

An excellent series that made the entire feminist movement damp up with rage at the exploitation - or was it jealousy at not getting a spot on the shoot? We think the later.

Also gave me all the other 'exploitive' adverts - some of which I had never seen - thank you brave feminists, now go back and grow more hair under your arms.

From hairy, outraged women to Microsoft's offering in spam control - really. Go to Microsoft and look for a spyware remover they are giving away - in Beta at the moment, but it managed to find 300 entries on this, the kids machine, directly after I had run AdAware - good stuff.

Please don't tell me this is the start of Microsoft putting something back - I don't think I could stand it.

I'm off the 'road' for as long as it takes to get a fan, maybe during that time I can get a life?



Friday, January 07, 2005

friday again..

Got here, made it to Friday without blowing anything up.

One big edit to do and I have to relearn Premiere - being that long since I actually managed to do something with it. I must say 1Gb of ram does certainly help the renders along.

Time to trial the newest version - Premiere Pro 1.5, apart form being 200Mb larger the trial version seems to come without any real export choices - supposedly to stop people from doing ... what?

All I did was drop the Cleaner plugin from Premiere 6.0 into Prem Pro and there we have a decent export option. An odd thing to do considering the bloody thing won't manage to make it to the 30 day limit - too big. Great app, but too big for what I do.

All this while having to stare in lust at the wondrous sight of Asia Argento, a lady who came to my attention because I really needed a break from doing vid stuff - I mean to say, that's what Google is actually for isn't it?

The trouble with that sort of image service is that you tend to forget where you were, or in my case not only where you were, but where you should be.

I do like a girl who smokes. And who has what can only be described as an adventurous spirit.

Meanwhile, back at the cutting room. Man, I am so old I remember being taught to edit real film, with real razor blades and real tape, by a lady employed by the then New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation - a wonderful lady, a good film editor and a wonderful lover, just a small problem with the redhead temper.

We existed together for quite some time. Everytime I do any editing I think of her. I think of her without editing to do too - we had some fine times.

Meanwhile, having to think about all that, I was required to check this thing out - go here - and have a look. It's a big file, but hey, well worth the load - you tell me, is it the real deal or what?

At last, a real use for the internet!

And here was me reminiscing about something as mundane as a torrid relationship with a wonderful woman - there's much better stuff out there!

I'm still to get back to the cutting room.



Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It's building up outside..

..into what looks like a rather large and exciting storm, should it ever get here.

This would be suitable for me to sit and watch, sitting and watching being the only available options today after a considerable sun exposure yesterday left me thinking I had sunburnt eyeballs this morning.

Whilst engaged in the sitting and watching a quick drive around the net attracts me to RealFlow - the fluid dynamics engine that seems to be featuring in so many things. An impressive piece of gear indeed, but this years resolution is not to fall in love with anything (in the way of software) that cannot be put to immediate use, lest I become some sort of weird software collector or something.

SkyCaptain and the World of Tomorrow, the movie, due out here in February, has been an ongoing obsession. The colouring technique has been heavily debated around these parts, looking, as it does, like an old, faded postcard effect. Turns out that the explanation had been living on the Apple site all this time as the edit was done in Final Cut Pro. Seems the effect is easy enough - diffuse filter the whole thing, save it out as black and white, and run it back through adding a nicely blended colour back in. Thank you Apple.

Now that we have managed to clear that up...

Inking appears to be on it's way back in, a move I like the idea of - the hand drawn look is good, and one of the better of the species is Jasper Goodall who has has been producing some particularly fine work for as long as I can remember - go there now and admire.

While we're on the subject of excellence - if you're into CD/DVD packaging, look no further than www.jewelboxing.com, the home of the ultimate CD case - if you think I'm joking you are way off, it's timie someone made a decent CD /DVD case, and these people do.

Meantime, back in the real world, where jewelcases always, always, fall apart, break, look hideous, we have run into the much vaunted 37signals>37 express - the place to go for a redesign of a site we are told, the place to go for usability and all sorts of good things - they promise to do one page of your site, to demonstrate what a vast improvement they can make, in one week, for only $US2500.00.

Seems the only thing we have been missing is the price. We've been doing page revamps for free, but they just went up. Our price - a paltry $AU2000.00 - what a bargain, especially if you take into account the exchange rate. Roll up, roll up.

What in hell have we been missing? For those of you who keep asking about the deluge of entries - it's because I have the time right now.



Tuesday, January 04, 2005

must lose weight, munch, must lose...

First day of what normal people call 'normal' - people shuffling off to work again, hungover, stuck with the realization that what they built up for for all that time is gone - been, gone.

Now they're back to the same old thing, resolutions blown as soon as they found that the world was indeed not a different place after midnight December 31, 2004.

I'm luckier than most, my existence doesn't really change that much, all I get to do is get back in the same chair and all is go.

Yvonne is essentially the same - open the door, in come little day care horrors, entertain them for 8 hours, piss them off out the door.

First day back for normal people means I have park to myself again, no danger of running into vast amounts of people having the obligatory 'good time' down near the bay.

Naturally the first day back after savage sunburn took most of the skin off my face and legs two weeks ago manages to cause what looks like turning into the same thing again if the heat in my face is anything to go by.

Bugger.

Still, a good three hours roaring backward and forward across the park in near gale conditions, almost standing up in the buggy on the gusts is bound to do something other than the blisters on fingers from kite handles and legs muscles that feel like lead.

First day back and I am 'supposed' to be editing a showreel for an outfit that has no sense of humor - I originally added a few fast flashes of heroin chic fashion into the pull back, just to see, as we say, if they were awake.

I liked the effect, but it seems I may have been the only one that did, so we're back to the clip bins looking for something more suitable.

Anything with Milla in it is always good for a spot, but by now they will be ready, armed with stop frame remotes to check for anything out of place..

So much for a clean start back - sunburnt and already doing rework. Does this bode well for 2005?