The word of the week is inchoate.
Jan 15 - Glowforge is Ready! But...
Last week, an email arrived I've waited YEARS for:
My GlowForge is FINALLY ready to ship to me!
Except... I'm not quite ready for it.
Firstly, if I tell them to ship it now, it's just going to sit at the holding depot in the USA, costing me money every week it idles until my lady and I have to make the trip over to the USA to pick it up. Since she's moving to her new place this coming month, it's just too much to ask( she agrees )and we've no compelling reason to add to her stress.
Also, I've still got the website to complete, not to mention the import papers, which are key: I've almost got things figured out to where it will 'only' cost me a few hundred dollars at the border, but rushing a pickup might cost me big time.
Lastly, there's the issue of insurance, which maddeningly I've not been able to get a straight answer to from a few places regarding a home business. I'm stepping up my efforts again this month, to see what I'll have to pay to operate here safely.
Details, details... the devil's always in them. But:
IT WILL BE THERE WHEN I'M READY - AT LAST!
Jan 16 – Goodbye, Dolores
Goddang it, not another gone...
Today we lost Dolores O'Riordan, of The Cranberries, at the WAY-TOO-EFFING-YOUNG age of 46... only a few years older than I, and a tragic loss.
I first heard Dolores when Linger hit the air, shortly after I was done high school and deep into the magnificent mess that was university. While I was introduced to a great deal of new music in those years( par for the course )like Sarah McLachlan, only The Cranberries stuck: I knew years later that it was because of Dolores.
This piece from The New Yorker eloquently describes the impact that Dolores had on the world, and the legacy that she leaves through her music that has touched millions. Below is my favourite song, Dreams, which has held many meanings for me over the last twenty-five years... and will likely bear more, as I listen to it again.
Jan 17 – AI Authors?
Sometimes the future can be... frustrating.
Now, don't get me wrong: I love most things to do with the future, as I'm usually an optimist and can see great potential for humanity given our strengths... while hoping that our weaknesses don't undercut us too much.
Such as shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to technology.
As many of you know, I'm a writer, and I hope to be a published author sooner rather than later. Yet sometimes I wonder about the future of the publishing industry( as do many people who are currently in said industry... )when articles like this one pop up:
While I was initially discomfited by the video, that gave way to some milder contemplation, as nowhere did the creators of Quill mention HOW its writing capabilities work. For all we know, what it turns out will be laughably pedantic and bland, suitable for travel brochures and quick-burn website content only.
I doubt that we'll see AI Authors turning out books on par with human authors anytime in the next few decades, at least. Though I won't discount the low reading standards of the general public, who seem to lap up films like Twilight and novels like Fifty Shades Of Bleh...
Best I get my books out soon, eh?
Jan 18 – Street LEDs?
Sometimes change sneaks up on you.
While I was walking around the city this week after dark, I noticed that some areas looked... different. At first I couldn't put my finger on what was off, but then I realized it with a start: the shadows were different!
It seems the city has been quietly replacing their old HP-sodium-vapour streetlights with new high-power LED lights, and as you can see from the image above, the change is startling. Gone are the mushy outlines and vague shapes of shadowed objects: every line is now sharp and clear, and the light has a spotlit-feel, as though you're on a sports field... no more 'golden glow' to the streets, as this article laments about the loss for the city of Los Angeles' film industry.
Change is sneaky, but the light's gone on for me now...
Jan 19 – Almost-Awesome Animation
Why do I find out about the cool stuff AFTER it's been cancelled?
As some of you know, I'm a fan of MWO( MechWarrior Online )which is set in the BattleTech universe: giant heavily-armed robot 'mechs' stomping around. Good times, and back in the mid-1990's there was even an animated BattleTech series... which wasn't so good, but at least they made it in the days before CGI.
Fast forward twenty-three years, and someone had the bright idea to make a NEW series, based on the animations in MWO but with cell-shading to appear 'animated' rather than pure-CGI: genius!
Unfortunately, the folks who owned the rights to Battletech shut it down hard, and all we have left to see is an 'official animated advertisement' for MWO - sigh.
Just goes to show we can't have nice things when lawyers are around, and when it comes to the BattleTech universe, there's a LONG history of legal bickering.
Makes me want to climb into my Catapult and zap things with lasers...
|This is how I roll... er, walk. In MWO.|
Jan 20 – That Looks Like...
There was a time when I saw spaceships everywhere.
Though that was when I was much younger, just a boy, I still do on occasion: my creative muse points out "Hey, that thingamajig looks like a space fighter!" or the like - and it usually does. Just goes to show my imagination's always working.
While I went into the wordy side of the arts, others with the same spaceship-gaze as I took a different path, and it's served them well - take a gander at this guy's work:
|Potato peeler and can opener? Not any more!|
I must admit it came in pretty handy when playing as a kid, when anything could become a spaceship - and often did. I was fortunate to have quite a toy supply to muck around with, and I supplemented it with as many 'found' spaceships as I could...
What I'm saying, I guess, is: you can never have too many spaceships!
Jan 21 – Happy 10th, io9!
Wow, has it been a decade already?
Two months after I moved to BC in late 2007, I ran across a cool looking website with an odd name called 'io9.com' and I've been visiting regularly ever since.
io9.com is, for lack of better words, a 'g33k mecca' where all the different threads of g33k culture were woven together into a single website that collected news, articles of interest and videos from all over the Internet into one place - sweet! Even better, they fostered an amazing community, whose Comments sections never developed the petty ping-pong of many other sites, thanks to vigilant mods.
I was able to satiate my hunger for Star Wars news at the same place that I could find information on being an author and check out what people were saying about the latest movie news. It was a breath of fresh air in that it acted like a portal: I could be confident in going there first to check things out rather than combing through the scattered results from random Google searches.
As the video above shows, a lot of love's gone into io9.com over the years, and it's stayed the course when many other places like it have come and gone( looking at you, IGN... )which goes to show its impressive attention to g33k culture.
Here's to another fantastic ten years!
All right: this last week was SOLID! I swam twice in the morning before work, spent five FULL days at my desk( seated AND standing )and I felt great going into the weekend... no tendon aches, sore core or even a headache; yes! While I didn't end up being as productive as I'd hoped over the weekend( I did a tech support visit to my parents )it was a good one overall, and I feel balanced heading into my work-week. Normal Is Good!