Archive for July, 2004

Online comics

I was a comic page reader from way back. I grew up on Peanuts, Garfield and later discovered Calvin and Hobbes, the Berke Breathed efforts and the more politically geared works like Doonesbury. My current active reading list is just three. They’re listed in the links on the right. This topic deserves more discussion than my brain is willing to give it right now, but I will get back to this in the future.


Generally speaking…

Once again, in an effort to start moving stuff from my old site to this one, here’s a general post regarding graphics. This one will hopefully get quite a bit more attention as time goes on.

It is true, as I mentioned almost 4 years ago in that original posting, that I’ve always been fascinated by the visual aesthetics of things. I think, with the possible exception of people who are born blind, that everyone, likewise, does have a certain ‘taste’, in art. Color combinations they find appealing, shapes and overlay and combinations of layers that strikes them as pleasing to the eye, and such. I would also say that most people never really develop this sense. They simply accept what they perceive as fact, and never delve into the hows or whys of it, nor do they ever really find any way to enunciate it clearly, or find particular art or artists that particularly exemplifies the things they like.

I won’t say I’m any expert in art. Far from it. I’d say I’m more in the ‘discovery’ phase of things. I do know some artists that I particularly enjoy…. Escher, Dali, Klimt, Giger and Mandlebrot, to name a few. Don’t know that last one? Well … it is definitely a name that doesn’t really belong with the others, at least in the traditional sense. But it does bring out one aspect of art that I’m particularly fond of. Benoit Mandlebrot was one of the formative scientists in the field of fractal, or chaos theory. One of the more popular ‘sets’ of data, or more accurately, formulas describing data is named for him as well.

Eventually, I’ll link in several of the research documents on fractal theory for those who want to pursue it deeper. In the meantime, go google it and see what turns up. The crux of it though, is that these researchers were finding ways to describe patterns they observed in nature, in seemingly random things (cloud patterns, for example), with formulas. The visual representation of these formulas were strikingly similar to the kinds of things we’d see in the summer, cloud filled sky. Soon after, they starting using these formulas for a whole series of predictive simulations, many in the weather related fields (as well as others).

While this research is all very interesting, one of the more appealing parts of this is the sheer visual splendor of the images these formulas are capable of producing. Eventually, there were people out there doing nothing but investigating new ways to make these fancy formulas produce pretty images. Dozens of tools exist out there today, and producing these is pretty trivial. No understanding of the core math behind it all is necessary anymore. Which, to some extent, is good, because its pretty high-powered stuff.

Anyway, fractals led me to look more closely at the computer as a source and creation tool for art, and is where any of my current efforts at producing anything are focused. Mostly, this has produced just some nice wallpapers and such, but occasionally, something pretty nice spits out. The graphic on the top of this page is a good example. Thanks again to Tom for help ing with that one.

Enough for now. Eventually, I’ll post some example images, and integrate some kind of graphics database or something into this page.


Another switch

Let’s see….

Kathy Jo
and now Rory. 8 manager switches in less than 4 years. Not too bad. The one positive thing to come from this, I think, is that Rory will be the first technical manager I’ve had at SUN. While not required while I was an instructor, everything after that really required one. On the one hand, its nice not having your decisions questioned …. on the other hand, its nice to have validation for those same decisions.

Ah well, time will tell.


And so it ends….

Another vacation coming to a close. Back into the fray, as it were. This is not going to be an easy time, SUN is not “being all it can be”. Here’s to hoping our esteemed colleagues in upper management can defy gravity, nature’s laws and lawyers, and turn this all around. That’d be nice. 3 more years. 3 more years. Its like a mantra.

And what then? Who knows, but its got to be better than this. Ah well … *tips a glass* … back into the fray.


Vacation thoughts

It almost seems as if I’m on vacation from myself. I forgot everything I was supposed to do for work. It required force of will to remember those things again. Man, apparently I really needed a break from all this.

It was a fairly low profile week. Played a decent round of golf with Jason, and then subsequently, probably one of my worst rounds ever with Sky, John and Rob. Ah well, I got some good advice from them, so it was definitely worth it. If I can find some time, I’m going to grab a lesson from someone. Golfing, if nothing else, is another sport where you’re sort of competing mainly against yourself (first and foremost). It reminds me of pool (billiards) in that regard. Body control, perception, consistency, assessment, etc. They are all elements of both.

I should listen to my own advice that I give others when teaching them pool. Start with the absolute basics. In this case, I still need to learn what all those are. Stance, grip, body position, arm position, backswing, etc. Once again, all the same terms from pool. I need to either rent some video or something, or spend some time with a pro who can get me those basics. Once those are consistent, then I can start working on all the nuances that make up the rest of the game. Before then, the rest of it is silly to focus on. It’ll get there.

Talk to Sky about the pool league team. I’m going to sit the next session out in order to make sure the whole team can play without hindrance of worrying about ranking out of a match. The APA has a rule that says that you can’t have more than 23 “points” of players play in given week. The ranks vary from 2 to 7 in 8-ball. Since I’m currently shooting as a 7, if I play, that means (currently) that not only MUST Ella play, but we also can’t play two 5’s in that week either. Me sitting out a session will get the discussion going as to what to do with the team longer term. Sky and I discussed splitting into two teams, etc … but I think we’ll just wait and see what happens this session and how the discussion develops.

Played alot of WoW and AC. Go figure. In AC, StormWlf was around this week, and Friday night, we had the Queen’s Quest which I went on for the first time ever, and got the kill! Holy smokes. Lemme see if I can link in a screenshot of that…. there we go QQ.png (148K). Quite a fun ride. Thanks again to all the PL, and Lyc as well, who joined us for the mayhem. We will definitely be doing that again.

WoW has been pretty crashy since the last push. Seems like they’re trying to push alot of new function in at once. This last push was Auction Houses, the beginnings of the talent system, level cap raise, etc. Its been hard to quest with how much its gone down. But then again, thats what Beta is all about, right? They’re definitely making progress though.

Ah well, more later.

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