A journal of questionable quality

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rain, I mean rain?

what happened to the weather
We have been in a drought for the last year at least. The main dam that we rely on for our water is now below the 30% level.

Water restrictions apply; no hoses, watering plants can be done by bucket if you feel the need to keep them alive, washing cars has to be by bucket too - no hosing the thing off. The fountains in the city have been drained and decommissioned -
making them look rather odd, especially the one filled with a new flower garden.

Anytime we have had rain in the last year we get the same message from the media; "it wasn't in catchment area", like a fucking mantra, a catch phrase for anything to do with water, to the point that people automatically say it for them.

Previous rain has been serious downfalls that are quickly disposed of by a warm westerly wind the next day. Almost without fail.

It has been raining on and off now for the last three days; we haven't had a drying wind in between, which means the rain may well have some effect. With it staying on the ground instead of evaporating, even if it "isn't in the catchment area" it will
help, because people won't feel the need to bucket water to their gardens. Maybe the dreaded catchment area actually got some of this anyway - but that will leave the media with nothing to report.

When this finishes (the rain) we will have full blown spring. The wisteria is already popping buds in anticipation.

Even what's left of the lawn is trying to green up. Things are going to look good until we get a warm dry wind through the place again.

Now, to the television for the weather man to explain to me that it's not in the catchment area, and to the news to tell me that New Orleans is about to get flooded or something similar - seems to be a globe of weather extremes. No one's been messing with the ozone layer again have they? George Bush - is that you that's been fooling with the weather?

Bagged and tagged under:

300th post.

300 posts
Amazing. 300 times I have bored the eyes completely off people. Two years and 4 months this particular blog has been going. Ten posts a month.

Didn't know I had that much to talk about. I don't actually. The posts must have snuck up on me when I wasn't looking. Maybe a phantom blogger is doing them for me. Or, it could be that I have spent what seems like an entire lifetime parked here in front of the screen because of the shoulder drama. You sit in front of a screen long enough surfing the web, you soon get bored enough to start spouting on your blog.

It's amazing what is out there in the webosphere to distract you; hell I spent an entire day Google Mapping the exact street addresses of Hitler's lady Eva Braun, and his cousin for good measure, then comparing what I could see on the satellite view with what was described on a site I found. Spent the next day trying to track the Berlin Wall through the streets of a Berlin that would rather forget the thing. Not easy, but at least I got some idea of where it went.

I have run into some brilliant sites, and some absolute dogs. It takes all types and I seem to have found most of them.

I have signed up for so many things that I can't keep track of them all. I have more blogs, wikis, photo sharing sites, geo tagging sites, sites for sending postcards to people, sites devoted to specialist photography, sites for anything, than everyone in this suburb combined by the feel of it. My 'new projects' bookmarks reach the bottom of the browser window.

I blame all of this on my shoulder. If I hadn't managed to have that little incident I might have been blissfully unaware of the scope of stuff out there. Bummer. Double bummer; I still have more than six weeks to go before I can start to get physical.

By the time I get the all clear to get serious it will make almost six months that I have been ruled, day and night, by this thing. It's a stunning amount of time when you think about it. Anyone else would have just broken a bone and be out and about by now, but I do have to go for the big one.

No wonder I'm at the 300th post.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, August 25, 2006

Open source rules

Open source does good
I am a fan of open source. I always have been. It just sounds like I prefer to spend gazillions on software. Sometimes I think I work to support my software habit.

I've got this twee setup on a USB; AbiWord does the word processing honors, Gaim does it for IM stuff, I even have a portable version of Nero around somewhere, but I feel it may be of dubious legality so I haven't bothered loading it. Thunderbird Portable does the email; in fact it lives on the desktop too so I can use it when I need spell checking in my mail, as you may not know Microsoft punishes those who don't use their Office applications by not supplying a spell checker in anything else. Amazing. No wonder people hate the outfit.

If I need any imaging stuff I simply reach for Gimp. It's all there.

The thing with the USB? I can carry the gear around with me - no more pissing about with a client PC trying to find even the most basic applications - they're all with me, all of the time.

And, so do online apps
Writely; I've already done the rave this week about it. I love it. I'm a convert. Online collaboration and storage. If I smoke a hard drive, so the theory goes, I will be able to pick up where I left off. Security should be a concern for some people using online apps. Not for me - I couldn't give a shit who reads what. I just have a suspicion that in twenty years when we're all too respectable to need shit sticking to us, someone will unearth a cache of once 'confidential' files, and on the story goes.

ThinkFree; another doc editor, collaboration tool, even does PowerPoint presentations. I thought PowerPoint had died a decade ago. Sorry. I'm old and obviously senile.

Same rules with ThinkFree - everything stored online, all secure and healthy.

Same advantages.

Instant Messengers; No more the forced download of some highly questionable software that will pollute your machine for the next 20 years, Trillian springs to mind. No more inability to interact across networks requiring you to run a half dozen different and competing applications to keep up. It all comes in one now; Meebo, my favorite. I log in to Meebo, I also get MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and Jabber. All in the one screen. Easy. Too easy to bother getting code locked in to someone's idea of good a application, spewing forth another 100 registry entries.

Calendars / Scheduling gear; Google takes it out here with their online based Calendar. From one Google sign on I can have my email, news reader, calendar, messaging gear, Froogle, the online shop; the entire package, all from the one place.

The outcome, as always, will be that attrition takes out the apps that failed to make the grade, the fittest survive. The ultimate software test.

It's a good time for people on the screen side of the net.

Bagged and tagged under:


Early summer Friday

heating up early - a taste
Brilliant fog bound city this morning. Hanging like a wet blanket, everything dripping. Means only one thing here - hot day following.

We topped out at about 29 degrees - it's always hotter here in the Western burbs. The cat still demanded the heater on. It's his opinion that there is something about that heater that keeps everyone in the house and close enough to pat him when he feels the need.

An oil heater on full with the window open catching what breeze there is to be had; this is how we cruise in to summer.

and the pain
Sling free. Seemed like a good idea to go see what's up at the shops. Yvonne is the shopper. She knows where to go. Me, I would just stand and wait if it were left to me.
The weight and awkwardness of the sling free arm is amazing. I had no idea I had lost that much condition. By the end of the visit I had to hold the bloody thing up just to get some relief.

Managed a haircut. The first one in at least 6 years. Haven't had any hair to worry about courtesy of my ability to shave it bi weekly. That ability stalled because I can't get one arm up enough to get round the back of my head. Yvonne seemed keen to see what hair looked like on me.

I was beginning to think I might never see any hair - thought it might have gone altogether, a possible side effect of the implants, or at least thinned out. Nothing doing - it's still there, incredibly, but seems to have adopted a shade of grey that pervades the entire head. Age. What do you do?

A barber is an experience; long before I took to shaving my head I had the luxury of a lady hair stylist who would see me at her place, or come to mine. Did the very best job too. Must be near 20 years since I have walked in to a barber. Another experience to blame on the shoulder.

I might even keep the hair for a while - trimmed at the side now it's not pissing me so much, wondering what it will look like longer..

Yellow Arrow looks like it might need a headstone
It's not looking good. I heard from them about the lack of journal thing, but we had all that when the phone number blew up - no hope of me holding my breath on this one.

The good news is it will take a new arrow, so I will manage to post the remaining arrows, and then I suppose it just falls into what? A large hole I expect, I really don't know. What I do know is it has been a good experience watching the rise and subsequent fall of an internet entity.

Bagged and tagged under:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yellow Arrow decay

screaming monkey death
I think that's what's happened. Yellow Arrow, the project to take over the world, seems to have begun fraying at the edges a bit.

We first had the debacle with the phone number, where they managed to print one on the arrows that was in fact not supported. Well, it was supported but I suspect because of the low take up rate here in Australia it stopped being supported.

Support or not we got around that by simply writing the main number over top of the Australian one - making it look a bit of an amateur job, but keeping us in touch, except for the poor buggers who had found existing arrows and were valiantly trying the Australian number.

During these sling bound days I have been confined to the screen as such. Investigating what needs investigating on the web. Not that there is a lot of that.

Yesterday I felt the need to report some of my findings on the Yellow Arrow journal - the all important addition to the Yellow Arrow presence - a place to add impressions, thoughts, what have you. Not anymore. It seems we are beginning to slip in the web site maintenance stakes. Looking like a Web 2 failure happening, and the Yellow Arrow site doesn't rate as web 2, it doesn't have enough shiny stuff.

Getting a little loose around the edges? The journal space seems to be unable to add anything anymore. Sent off the usual email - response = deafening silence.

You don't get too much of a say with free space provided by sites; if they don't feel the need to maintain it you haven't really got a say, except here where we actually paid for the arrows. Way I see it I get to bitch if something don't go when I have an investment in it.

I think we are looking at a terminal patient. It had begun to slow to a trickle of entries until someone put some serious effort in to a project in Helsinki which has puffed a bit of life into it, thank god, but I think the patient is very, very ill.

I think in the very near future we will see many more startups hitting the deck. There are a shit load of ideas out there but only so much money to keep them going, and if Yellow Arrow can't maintain itself backed, as it is, by Counts Media, and being, as it is, a paid subscription based site if you think about it, then what hope does that offer the average 'free to air' site?

Gentlemen prepare to hit the lifeboats. The iceberg has arrived.

Bagged and tagged under:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Goodbye sling, thanks.

Hello arm, pleased to meet you
Morning. I don't do good morning. Cab late. Traffic everywhere. $55.00 cab fare. (I am once again in the wrong job - no, I mean it, me and cabs go back a long way, there's some serious money out there in cabs, just no one tells you.)  10 minutes late to appointment. Luckily everyone else is late too.

Physio - do this, this, and this. Pain. Very much. Quick rub down of the area finds more pain. I cannot put my arm above my head. Yet.

Physio, sling, gone, good. It feels like some sort of release when you know for sure that you don't have to have the bloody thing attached to you all the time. Impressed, but unable to do the thing I want to do most - stretch, big time, over the head, out to the sides. Bugger.

I was unaware that I had such restricted movement. For some reason I had been building up to this day; the day everything comes together, arms work, shoulder does shoulder things and I can finally pick something up in either hand.

Not today. Specialist arrives, has a look at his own work. We all do. Good job, well done. I'm actually the sincere one, I am proof of a good job. I think it looks great, what there is to see. Scope job, virtually no marks; three small holes is it.

He seems to agree. Physio agrees; she does five other specialists in the area and tells me he does the best work. Not hard sell, simple statement of fact.

The questions list:
Swimming: no, kiting: no, thinking of buying a kayak, speed the process up:no, golf driving range, get a bit of power happening: try putting, options tumbling, falling away. Concentrate on these things we have caused you pain with and get back to us in six weeks.

In six weeks. Everything seems to be six weeks away. I thought I already did six weeks? I did, this is another set.

Doesn't really matter, I'm looking at being at full strength as the summer boots in. Swimming, buggying, maybe not biking, all will be happening in that most attractive of seasons, high summer. I'll even be back in my side of the bed.

what happens now
Apparently I go see the physio lady, Mary, on a regular basis for a time. I don't know how long that time is. She will stretch, pull, and beat me into some sort of shape so that everything keeps going. Or going better.

I will learn to drive again. I will get used to being able to put outer wear on both arms again. I will enjoy the freedom.

The sling will be stashed, after being thanked for doing such a good job.

Bagged and tagged under:

Monday, August 21, 2006

Berlin the order of the day

indecent obsession
I have always had an obsession with Berlin. The last, therefore the only time I was in Germany I skipped Berlin because I wanted to make it the subject of a special trip. Just Berlin, the wall, the music, the night life, the drugs. One special trip from London where I had decided to live; twenty years later I am still hanging out for Berlin, the life in London long gone, the Berlin wall long gone.

Time passes, things get silly; you stay too long in places you know you shouldn't be (here, in Brisbane for one), you get another day older and deeper in debt (hmmmm), and worst of all they knock down the wall.

I love Le Carre novels. I have them all. I re read them all the time. His writing is brilliant. His description of Berlin during the cold war is brilliant - just the way I want it to be now.

so, off to berlin we go
Today, the penultimate day to seeing the specialist. Almost a certainty that the sling will be retired. An important day. Today I'm just waiting. For tomorrow. There seems to be an extraordinary emphasis on the visit. I have built it up in my brain for reasons I do not comprehend. I wish I hadn't.

Today - distracted, making sure everythings ready for an early start. (I don't do early starts as everyone knows, but when this guy says early, I'm there early.) Amused myself with the new Writely - mentioned below. Google snapped it up awhile ago. I already have an online doc editor but I particularly wanted Writely because I couldn't have it. Naturally. Think Free does all anyone could want and more. So does Writely. There's a case for saving docs online - collaboration is one thing.

Anyway, today, distracted, jumpy, looking for something... maybe a few Flagr flags. Crank up Google Maps, and decide to check out Berlin.

I am now current on Berlin. I've Googled all over it, looked at the layout of the wall, even found some still existing. Looked at every building mentioned in any book I have read. Looked at every address I had remembered. The absolute tourist, from satellite. Brilliant using 'Maps' because you can actually put the address in and zoom on to it.

I spent the afternoon cruisin' Berlin. I know the layout in my head now. I am ready for the time you take me to Berlin. Take me and I will show you the place I have learned by satellite. I will take you to places you have never seen. I will take you to places I have never seen.

So, in the manner of a London cabbie riding around for a year or two, getting 'the knowledge', I am on topic when it comes to Berlin.

It comes down to tomorrow - what will happen tomorrow. Let's get rid of this bloody sling.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, August 18, 2006

The breaking of twitter

It's not all beer and skitles ya know
I'm not entirely sure I know what beer and skitles would be like, but that won't stop me from using it as a term.

Twitter is broken. Again. Twitter seems to break quite a bit from where we are observing it.

I awoke, all a twitter, determined to let the world know I am alive and well here in the Antipodes. Grabbed the mobile, as you when you have a mission to bore a bunch of people you have never met by telling them that you are alive, awake, and receptive. And, to do this good thing, this superlative deed, you use the latest web 2 upstart, startup, whatever, and it's name is Twitter.

Reported on extensively in this very blog, Twitter allows me to bore the knickers of anyone who is unfortunate enough to be around Twitterdom when I send in an SMS message. The message is slapped immediately on the Twitter public space, sent to anyone who knows me and appears on my 'friends' list, and, fired off to wherever I have set up a little Twitter box, in this case in the middle of the post below.

Having done the deed; having spread your SMS seed for the world to observe you are entitled to take most of the rest of the day off, such is the excess of karma that all this causes.

Alas. A very big alas. This very morning, leaping with great vigor and excitement from my bed, and being freshly showered with spanking clean teeth, I deemed it an absolute must that I inform the world, as defined above, that my status was 'awake', by the all important SMS.

Having done that you are compelled to then go to the very site of Twitter, which provides a method of doing all of the above without needing a phone, but that would be less fun. And less expensive. Arriving at the Twitter site you are encouraged and satisfied to find your text message, the very one you just sent through the phone, appearing on the 'public' list.

Except if Twitter is broken. Then you don't get to see your message. You don't get your gratification. A man without gratification is a sad man indeed. A man without Twitter gratification is just plain sad.

I'm a crushed man. I have no Twitter to tell everyone I have nominated as a friend (currently none)where I am, what I am doing. The little Twitter box below forlornly displays a manual message I put on while I was grappling with all this. If in doubt go manual - that's the catch cry. Isn't it?

The rest of the day passes in a blur. I am too distraught to do anything (other than play with the other 100 startups I have signed up for), seeking solace in the crimlibrary dot com's list of mass murderers, serial killers, and complete wankers.

Naturally I have had to send an urgent call for assistance to the founders of this wondrous thing, this Twitter thing, and I expect they will manage to get it back on the road again sometime soon.

Like Yellow Arrow, the Twitter network is having trouble with the phone number used to send the SMS to.

Unlike Yellow Arrow who have been supposedly grappling with the problem for the last 6 months and will never bother to come up with a solution, I expect Twitter will be it's usual speedy self and have it running again soon.

And then all will be well with the world. I will be able to send SMS messages to people boring them with the most trivial details of my day. This will be a good day and Zoetrope will see this and smile and all will be well.

Fade to the trill of children's laughter...

Bagged and tagged under:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Meanwhile back in the burbs

how the rest of the world keep in touch
A test. A test of Twitter. The new idea for keeping everyone you know, and plenty you don't, updated via text message.

The inclusion of a custom background image makes it even better.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The weekend was back there.

things i didn't do
There went the weekend.

Things I didn't do (1) - Work, unable, trussed, bound and generally tied to myself with slings made of foam. Yvonne, as she has for the last two months, went and did the cleaning jobs.

They're my jobs. Hand picked. Had one of them for years. Probably as long as I have been playing the 'good citizen' thing. Real work. Demonstrable employment. Save all the drama of explaining to people what I do for a living. You tell them 'cleaning' they don't ask anything else. Not able to do them now until I get out of this sling. Even then drama will occur, but we will prevail.

Things I didn't do (2) - Get Twitter working. Twitter is the latest obsession. It must work because I want it to. There are a few pretenders but Twitter does the job. Well, it doesn't do the job right now, but I'm sure it will.

Text Twitter and your friends get the lowdown on where you are from Twitter. Sounds simple, sounds sensible. OK, OK, in my case it sounds stupid because I have no friends. But still it might be useful. One day I might have a friend and then it really will be useful.

Things I didn't do (3) - Make any attempt whatsoever to update anything to do with the site at all. Inspiration lost. Brain gone. Seems the increased 'nutter pill' dosage ordered up by my Doctor to tide my loose emotive state over the crisis caused by the 'sling thing'.

Bit fogged in the thinking state. Bit too fogged. I think I might need to drop back to the previous 'don't kill innocent people' dosage.
things i did do
I did manage to finish off the previously mentioned Philip K Dick book, The Man in the High Castle. A good read. I was probably the only person on the planet who hadn't read it.

I did manage to formulate a plan to rebuild shoulder strength when I get the go ahead; Kayaking. Hell, we have a serious lake here, just down the road. I should know, I'm the one that crashed riding around the bloody thing.

Kayaks can't be too hard to master. Can they? And the fact that I can swim may be an advantage should the vessel sink/overturn/get hit by a torpedo.

That should form some sort of shoulder workout. Shouldn't it?

I did learn how to make prints using diazo paper and Windex. Sounds like a cool project. Full details at Flickr. I just forgot to get the URL. Go there, type in something about 'blue prints' and you'll find it. Or, hang around here long enough and I may amange to produce one of my own. There seems to be a serious amount of possibilities for this technique - needs looking at.

I did manage to spend an entire daydream trying to find a way to invoke a silent print command from within Flash. Now that I have this cool Rasterizer thing going I was figuring on copying Pulse - the movie - and having people's printer spitting out huge rasterized/halftone portraits of - me. Enough to scare anyone.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, August 11, 2006

The later on Friday report

I have seen the future
I have seen the future and it's imaging. In case you wondered. Photography and video are the only enduring topics that remain on the blizzard of paper work, notes, reminders, etc around here.

This has been a month long investigation. I kept all the daily notes, collated them today and studied what I make the most notes on, made the most plans for.

Photography and video are the clear winners. Video encompasses Flash (.flv) Video as well naturally.

It's all too easy now that I have managed to get up close and personal with the little Canon. I am slowly being dragged (sucked sounds better) in to the digital way of doing things. Instant gratification. It might not have the look of real film, but it's not an issue with the 72dpi web. Who, after all, can tell?

On the other end of the scale, HDR seems to be a new, exciting thing to get into. At it's most basic it could be as simple as the blending of a range of exposures into a single image. The good ones look like paintings. The good ones are breathtakingly intense. I see some in my future.

Using real film is, luckily, still in vogue. And for that Lomography thanks you. The Lomo manifesto? Shoot from the hip. Succinct. Now to apply it.

The list is enormous. Panoramics. Photocollages - Hockney stuff. Pinhole. Lomo. Anything at all.

Get this shoulder back in action and anything is possible.

Speaking of random photography - engage yourself with the Sisley site - upload your own stuff, comment on others.

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The Friday report

another week
Having said last week that there was only two weeks to go for the specialist visit it turns out I was a week out.

Now it's two weeks to go. Should get the OK to get rid of this sling. What happens then I don't know. I presume the arm just hangs there and the shoulder learns to hold it up again.

Should be able to tell you in two weeks.

the business of waiting
The week has been spent messing with the internet. The most comfortable place remains right here in front of the screen.

I should be reading or something productive. I even have a book here - Philip K Dick, The Man in The High Castle. I've been intending to read it for years. Now that I have the time I don't have the concentration. I'll still get through it. Eventually.

The days have been passing reasonably. We went to the movies - 16 Blocks, Bruce Willis and others. You won't miss anything if you don't see it. Still, good entertainment for the physically disadvantaged.

Yesterday it was across town to the favorite lady doctor. Maybe explain why she has been getting a heap of mail from specialists that she never sent me to. Ask her how she went on her holiday in Europe.

Every time she takes a few well deserved weeks holiday overseas I manage to have some sort of major drama. Looks like a good serious case of Munchausen's syndrome to me. I have decided I cannot be without her but she seems to disagree.

The rest of the time has been a blur of signing up for just about every Web 2 start up that exists. We are now members of things we don't even understand.

If I can't be out there finding places that need a Flagr sticker, or a Yellow Arrow, I might as well be pursuing what else there is out there.

spanking new
You will remember my enduring love affair with Odeo. Odeo has sprouted. We now have Hellodeo as well, a well thought out little video number. You will be pleased to know I still have to record something for all the world to admire.

So, Odeo and Hellodeo, and now, the exciting bit - Twitter, a brand new mobile phone application, and one that we here in Australia should be able to use. Exciting stuff. Twitter enables you to post you whereabouts, thoughts, anything, for your friends. With the minimum of messing about they can be informed of your every move, and you of theirs. Handy for me - someone who never leaves the house.

I have included the mandatory 'widget' below, so you may know, for your pleasure, what I am doing at any time of the day. How lucky are you?

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

So, what happens next?

Two weeks to go
Two weeks today and I get looked at by the specialist who put my shoulder back together. It is mooted as the day that I will also be able to do away with the omnipresent sling. No, really, it's on all the time. I wear it to bed. I have it on now, slackened so I can use the mouse.

The way the bedroom is set up I walk past the walk in robe everytime I use the bathroom. The thing that catches my eye, everytime I pass, is the collection of three pairs of Speedo's that are arranged on top of a drawer, with a towel added. The idea was, once when I was on my swimming trip, that I only had to stop in there, like a one stop shop, to get organized for my daily swim.

This time last year I was swimming up to ten kilometers a week. Obsessing wonderfully in the warmth of the local indoor pool.

The reason I have three pair of Speedo (which I hasten to add, are not the infamous 'dick' togs that seem so popular in gay circles, but a 'legged' short) is because of a total and complete lack of any pride and any sort of quality control on behalf of Speedo, covered in depth here.

Speedo really are an arsehole company and they sell a substandard product. Just in case you needed to know. Ian Thorpe wears Speedo, and look what happened to him.

Not matter the reason, I still own three pair of these things, and I see them on a very regular basis.

It's become important that I do. There seems to be a direct correlation between the Speedo's and the return of my shoulder to full working duty. Swimming. Someone, somewhere has mentioned swimming and I have managed to apply it to the healing process. Given the state of my shoulder with it's refusal to extend correctly, it seems improbable that the Speedo thing is going to happen, but I am fixated, and that's the way it's staying.

Now, two weeks away from what I had resolved would be my freedom I am beginning to have doubts about the return to the pool. Did I make it up? Did the memory of all those people fronting up to the pool for their physio make me think that's where I would be heading too?

What does happen in two weeks? What does happen when I get rid of this sling?

I have suddenly come to the realization that the magical 'two weeks' may mean nothing. I'm not going to remove the sling and suddenly do cartwheels. I'm not going to climb the side of inner city buildings.

I'm beginning to wonder what is really going to happen. I'm not looking forward to it as much as I was.

I'm still seeing those Speedo's.

Bagged and tagged under:

Blowing into August

same time each year
We always know it's August. The city has a thing lovingly called 'The Ekka' - Australian for Exhibition, where all the farm people come to show their finest produce and animals and city kids go to act cool, go on rides, eat shit, and get sick. You have the same thing. Everyone does.

Brisbane decided a long time ago to have it in August. The coldest month of the year. A month with a guaranteed daily westerly wind that will kill. August also brings on things like massive flu outbreaks and chicken pox goes through all the schools. We even have a day off for it. Ekka day. Then we have a pupil free day for schools in case the teachers are overtired after having been to the Ekka. Mind you, we have pupil free days for everything. Our teachers don't get paid very well so we get punished with pupil free days. Near as I can tell that's how it is.

indoor sports
So, August, what you do is stay indoors as much as you can, out of the wind. No problem for me at the moment. All I can do is sit here anyway. Shoulder still a major impediment. Getting to me now. Just a bit. Constant pain will do that. Am I supposed to still have constant pain? Have I done something to make it happen?

Indoors almost always leads to the internet, for there we find things that amuse us. Reading a book (currently Philip K Dick - The Man in the High Castle) is good better but we have a comfort problem. When I get my arse in my favorite reading chair I am unable to get comfortable anymore - something to do with the shoulder.

Back at the keyboard and all I can see is Web2 startups everyday. By the hundreds. It's not good enough to have an idea an run with it. Now you have an idea and another thousand people run with it as well. I pointed out the social bookmarking thing. Add to that a mobile capability. Use you mobile to tell your 'group' where you are, take a photo and upload it to a map so everyone knows where you are, or to point out a place that is worth going to. All very advanced. Almost none include Australia - yet. Doesn't stop me from signing up for things though.

Then there's blogs and the spin offs. I have joined and created content on another five 'world beaters' this week alone. These are the things a man does when he has too much time on his hands. What I intend to do about unique content is another thing. Even in my present state I don't do enough, discover enough, to manage standalone entries. I wonder how they do it?

The advantages of all this indoor stuff is that I have found numerous places willing to host my videos and images as well as podcasts, audio, you name it.

I have to confess I did ignore my own advice about indoors - Yvonne took me to the movies today for a bit of an outing - air me off a bit - let me smell fresh air.
'16 Blocks' - Bruce Willis with many others I don't know. Not his best. Not anyone's best. Still something to pass the time.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, August 04, 2006

Getting better.

things are starting to move
And, about time too. A week on and I have noticed some more movement in my shoulder / arm. Some feels good, some feels decidedly bad. I have decided to treat both with optimism to try and counter last weeks pessimistic outlook.

I figure both feelings mean that something is getting it's act together in there somewhere - hopefully in time for the next specialist visit in two weeks.

Meantime we get a letter from the health fund asking if there is any way at all I might be able to prove for them that someone else is to blame. I figure they are looking to try and recover the costs. The pity is that I can't pin this on someone. It's a bit hard to say anyone other than yourself was in the wrong when you have just bounced off the back of a parked car.

meanwhile - passing the time
Lomography, photography and HDR imaging seem to be filling in the hours.

I managed to run across a great little program called Rasterizer, which takes an image, blows it up to any size you feel the need for and then is kind enough to produce a PDF file containing all the pages ready to be printed out in a halftone pattern.

The way I see it I should be able to make stuff big enough to cover a wall. Photos will be posted when we have a success.

By extension, because that's what seems to happen to me, using the printed sheets as a template, I see something big enough to cover the side of a building, halftoned and happy. Might as well include cars, trucks and anything else that will stay still long enough to get painted.

Don't know what halftone is? Get really up close and personal with a magazine image and you should be able to see a pattern which approximates halftone.

It's fine having all this gear, now all I have to do is stop making notes about it and get out there, camera in hand, and grab some imaging to work with.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More light

photography is still the topic
Lomography. Mentioned in the last post. I'm a fan. Have been for a long time. Now I have a piece of Lomography of my own - http://www.lomohomes.com/zoetrope101 - lets call it my commitment to the movement.

I'm so fucking low today that I can barely move. The shoulder thing is getting way on top of me. Really. Really. I'm too old to have these things happening to me, or so it seems. I'm going to end up healed, almost 100%, but with a fear of riding bikes. With a fear of anything to do with my shoulder. I can't move out from under that weight of fear at the moment. I haven't slept for more than an hour at a time for more than three weeks. I'm starting to spin out.

When this happens normally I am able to pull myself out of the downward spiral by fixating on things I enjoy, photography is good for me, videography is good for me. I'm adding these things in to my brain as quickly and firmly as I can so I have something to concentrate on rather than incessant pain and total discomfort mixed with a large dose of feeling useless.

So, Lomography. I'm not going to explain it - go there, read up on what they have been doing for years, all for the love of photography.

Buy a camera off them. They have a shop in Sydney if you have geographical mind blocks. The selection has increased in a big way since I last looked, now sporting cameras up to $3500.00. You don't want one of those. You want the stock standard, no frills, no nothing model.

Now they even stock several types of pinhole models as well, although I'm not sure I want to pay big $'s for a wooden one.

As I said, I joined up, I have my own space, (nothing unusual in that I blog space, photospace, general space, in about a hundred other places as well), and hopefully I will be able to populate it with some images, manage my album, and have a small bloggy type thing there as well.

We're doing it. Pinhole. Digital. 35mm. The old fold out 120 Kodak. Polaroid.

I keep saying that 'real' photography should be maintained, revered, collected, displayed, and I have to start doing it.

Polaroid is ringing some bells - the movie Memento springs to mind - Guy Pearce taking Polaroids (essentially the only type of photography that cannot be altered after exposure, and as such still used by police investigators and insurance companies). The old, but hopefully still available '600 Notepad' film. The stuff that comes out with ruled space on the bottom for remarks, observations, whatever.

Maybe I need to be handing them out to people. Maybe I need to be trying to incorporate it in to something Flagr, or Yellow Arrow related. Is anything ringing a bell yet? Not right now, maybe soon.

Right now it's all I have to hang on to.

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