I spent a bunch of hours late last night fixing some things, and creating the above image, as well as creating a new table of contents, and book cover. I finally finished up and came to bed close to 4am this morning.
I feel like shit today, but I got my goal met, and I’m very proud of how it all turned out. I had to bail on hiking with my brother today because I feel like I’d die trying to come back up from the Gorge. I had intended to sleep in but I failed. Now my brain feels like mush.
I have been neglecting this blog because I’ve been super busy, but also because I get so tired of computers after spending all day on one for work, that it’s sort of tainted it for anything fun. I do however want to make several posts over the weekend, but for now this is it.
Now I’m going to attempt to catchup on some sleep before Holly and the boys get home.
Roan brought this home from school the other day. It’s a letter he wrote to Mother Earth. I love it.
Dear Mother Earth, I will try to help by putting more plants, pick up garbage at the Gorge. Because animals will start to die. People will start to notice the world is getting more and more polluted. You will see when it happens. My future depends on you. Don’t waste it!! Maybe shut down big huge factories that make smoke come out. I always hated seeing that in Toronto.
If anyone is looking for badass knuckle tattoo ideas, I’d like to suggest ‘dont wast’.
Yesterday morning I was cleaning up a bit while Roan was eating breakfast, and when I took some recycling downstairs I noticed a floater in Roan’s fish tank. I’m not sure if it died of natural causes or as a result of Tabbouleh’s constant attempts to grab one – I figure she either successfully grabbed one, or her unrelenting attacks took a toll on one of their tiny hearts and it just croaked. Either way I figured she’d have some fun with it, or possibly eat it, so I used the net to fish it out (weird how you fish fish huh?) and brought it up to show her. I showed Roan and he was sort of bummed for a nanosecond, then I said “Should we let the cats play with it?”. He instantly changed his mood and was all for watching them destroy what little dignity that dead goldfish had left after floating unnoticed for who knows how long.
We decided to put the now mostlygreyfish in their water dish, and Oliver came over right away to inspect. He licked it a bunch, but as always licking noises near the food dishes alerts the Chubster. Once she saw what was up she pushed him out of the way and started trying to eat it. I ran upstairs to grab my camera and the rest is all above.
Afterward we gave it a proper burial next to some lovely birthday cake remnants, and pop tarts wrappers in the trash bin.
*Weird how blanking out letters can automatically turn something harmless into something that seems disgusting.
I almost forgot to post this guy. I made him one day because I wanted to make something new but didn’t have much time. He’s super simple, and after I made him I decided it would be awesome if I had a rapid-prototyper and could make a much cooler version of Barrel of Monkeys using pudgy little robots. That’s where this image began, but I couldn’t figure out where to go with it so it became a robot eating robots. I still might make another rendering that tries to mimic a kid playing Barrel of Monkeys with a big pile of robots.
I also liked the way he looked in the dark, but his emitters weren’t enough to illuminate all of him (or even enough of him to make out the overall silouette) on their own, so I added a second robot, then a third, and it still wasn’t enough. I decided to add another object that was positioned infront of all the models which emits bright light. It brings the light up enough for me, but I have no explanation as to what it is, or why they are crowded around it as a family. If I wasn’t thinking about a million book related issues right now, I’d spare some brain and make up a back story. For now, just enjoy the pretty pictures.
The last few days roan has been hounding Holly about going to see the kitties at the Humane Society. He is always talking about how I have Tabbouleh, Holly has Kanika, and Gage has Oliver. He has no kitty, so he insisted we take him to find one that would be his.
He only had a half day of school today, so he was home around noon. He and I walked to his friend Zoe’s house around the corner and found a lovely sight. We came back and I hung out with my friend Ryan for the rest of the afternoon. Holly got home around 3pm, and immediately Roan was on her about going to see the kitties.
Holly hadn’t intended on bringing one home per se, but apparently this guy was too cute to leave behind, and he even “chose” Roan. I was outside on the front porch when they pulled up, and I instantly noticed the box in the back seat.
His name is Shakespeare. Apparently his name wasn’t Shakespeare, but rather a Shakespearian character’s name which was too hard for the Humane Society people to pronounce so they changed it to Shakespeare for ease. It’s a decent name so Holly decided to keep it.
He’s super lovable, and not even remotely shy. The other cats are hissing and growling at him a lot, but he doesn’t seem at all bothered by it. It’s quite the contrast from when Tabbouleh came home and camped under the bed for two weeks. I wasn’t thrilled to hear he was all black, but after spending five minutes with him I can tell I’ll never have to worry about him doing something like this:
That’s what my brother’s asshole cat did to him last week for no reason whatsoever. Clearly not all black cats are dicks.
Just a few hours in, and he’s already sleeping on the couch between the boys like he’s been here forever. None of the other cats like to chill with people, so hopefully this little man will. He’s super soft, and awfully cute.
I made the above image hoping to learn more about lights in Indigo, because I dig the way these images with no outside light source look. It’s a tribe of primitive positronic pygmies dancing around an illuminated alter (ya, that’s an alter). I’m not sure why, but it doesn’t really matter.
All that matters is I learned not to mix high wattage light emitters with highly reflective materials, unless you have a massive amount of processing power or time. This image I let render for about 50 something hours while I was out hiking and enjoying the nice weather last week.
Holly took Friday and Monday off (probably for my birthday!) so we hung out a bunch, did some seek and find games on the internet, and cleaned the house. I decided to try rendering the same image again using a background light source since I knew I wouldn’t be doing any work on my machine for the next couple days.
This one rendered for about 43 hours before I stopped it so I could disassemble and clean my computer. I much prefer the darker version, but this one looks more “render-y” even though it rendered for less time.
I think this means the light reflections render faster when they aren’t the only source of light. Or, it means the speckling is less noticeable when there is other background light.
I also created an image of a giant robot feasting on some tiny Barrel of Monkeys type robots. This one rendered for about 20 something hours and looks pretty cool. I think I will turn it, along with the others, into desktop images. I don’t know what else I could do with them. I would have left this to render longer, but I needed to use my machine to get some actual work done. I want so badly to buy the full version of Indigo just so I could render at larger resolutions. Then I could fit more stuff in.
On a side note, I recently purchased a replacement PS3 for mine with a dead Blu-ray drive, so I’m looking forward to fiddling with the old one and seeing if I can use any of it’s power to render faster.
This weekend we celebrated the Cobra Calendar’s completion with cake, cake, and cake.
First up was Friday night’s cake courtesy of Subs Plus, commissioned by Holly. It was a Star Trek cake (in case you didn’t figure that out, or you read faster than your browser can load images) complete with a scaled down Enterprise with working lights! and strawberry filling! It was a huge cake and there was tons left over since Holly’s entire family bailed at the last minute.
Then Sunday we went to my parent’s house for BBQ and two more cakes! There was a spice cake (above) for everyone who was too afraid of the awesomeness that is my annual cheesecake (below).
Not surprisingly, when I stepped on my mum’s scale I am now almost 20 pounds heavier than I was at this time last year. It’s time to get serious-er about the gym I think.
I miss my bike.
I’ve been going on mini-hikes in the Gorge regularly with my brother now that he’s in his exam week and the weather is getting better and better. Mini because we’ve both got things we need to do, but can’t resist nature in the sun.
I also can’t resist a chance to grab some fresh nip for the kitties, and right now it’s perfect for picking. I even tried to bring an entire plant home and transplant it into the side garden close to the basement window where the cats sit all the time, thinking they could “hit it” without even having to pick it. I’m not sure it’s going to survive since I did pick a huge plant, tear it out brutally, then not even water it. So far it’s still alive but terribly wilted.
One of the days we got there and the carving shop at the top was open. I went in and asked for information about the courses they offered and talked to the owner/operator/instructor. He said they only offered kids courses, but if I was really interested I could stay in touch with him by visiting there regularly and possibly in the fall work with him in his shop. I would love to learn even a small fraction of what I’ve seen him create. Although I think most of what is on display out front of the shop is stupid, what he had for sale was awesome.
While talking to him I realized he wasn’t a decent carver with poor taste, he was a great carver who was stuck carving ridiculous shit like Sponge Bob because the people here don’t appreciate native art at all. He told me he was from BC originally but moved here to teach traditional native carving. No one here is interested in culture or heritage, or at least not to the degree you see out west. He said he’s forced to carve what draws the crowds, and unfortunately that means cartoon characters. Out west you see beautiful stuff everywhere, and almost no graffiti or vandalism of any type. Here, this guy carves one totem, puts it on a public access path and has to repair it a half dozen times before giving up and just leaving it broken.
I’m hoping he was being sincere, and not just saying what I wanted to hear so I’d leave him alone. I’d really like to master hand carving one day.
The weather has been nice for the last few days and the work has been sort of at a stand-still, so yesterday my brother and I went for an afternoon hike in the Gorge. It was pretty quiet down there, and we only saw about 10 other people in total. On the way up the wooden stairs I felt like dying, but I managed to make it all the way up without a break.
This morning my legs are stiff, and my back is killing me. I don’t recall doing anything specific to my back, but it feels like I tried to lift something I shouldn’t have. The only thing I can think of is perhaps when I was skipping rocks I twisted a bad way and something didn’t like it.
Today is just as nice, and if i didn’t hurt so much I’d love to go do it all again. It’s supposed to be shitty this weekend apparently, so if it’s nice tomorrow I’m finding a way to go hiking again (back pain or no back pain!). If I’m trapped inside all weekend I might as well do some work and enjoy the sun when I can.
I miss the ocean a lot. I wish it could come hang with us.