The Unofficial Start of Summer – Here at Last!

As far as I am concerned, summer has started! The weather is awesome, it is a long weekend, and I am feeling good. I think with the sunshine outside, that is what is making me feel good. But it is here: the long weekend. I slept like a log last night. I did not get up until noon, although that is when I normally wake up anyway for my day job, but it still feels like I slept in. So many plans, will I have the energy to do them?

I ran outside when the Sun was fall over the horizon, to take this photo. You could say I was going for the golden hour, which creates the best light for photography in. When I saw the sunlight through the tall leaves beside my patio, I went into camera mode. It reminds of the jungle. I like this shot, as it caught my eye when I went outside. These plants shot up in the last week, and eventually they will turn into these awesome red and yellow dragon flowers, which I have shot before and posted on the weblog. They bloom around August and September.

Later on tonight I want to take a drive, and perhaps do some night sky photography, if the clouds are not to bad.

I had more cows last night on my way to work. I call it a Cow-Jam, when the damn animals crowd the road, and refuse to leave, no matter how many times you honk the horn at them. I actually had to get out and push one of them from the middle of the road so I could get by. I know, farm country in all, but sheesh, they do not belong on the road, stopping traffic. I usually give myself lots of time when I go to work. I have two sets of railway tracks, and a hundred intersections with traffic lights to cross, so it can take anywhere from twenty to forty minutes during my commute. I never factored in cows, nor a Cow-Jam, into my commute!

Anyway, it is the long weekend. Tonight, I have a cup coffee going, and a movie to watch in a bit, then off to sleep. Tomorrow, we will see. I have no plans tomorrow, but my end up cleaning. I have lots to clean, and sort out. The never ending battle with clutter.

My Late Bloomers

What keeps me sane from my job? Well, it is sometimes my photography. Getting outside, away from the house, where I can focus on shooting picture rather than on my day job. Like my working life, the flowers around my place are messed up too. These guys, the red flowers that grow by the well house, always seem to bloom a month later than the same ones do in town. I guess it is becuase I live behind a hill that blocks my Western view. I figure I have about six hours less sunlight becuase of it. But anyway, when the flowers do bloom, I jump on the opportunity to grab my camera and do some shooting.

Now, about work. It is crazy. With the spring season ramped up, I hit full speed, and do not stop until I leave. Right now my body is just in a state of numbness. All I can do is sit here, and type away, or stare at my screen. What a life, eh?

I see the good weather coming. The leaves on the trees are hitting their full size now, and most of the flowers in my flowers beds have started budding. It is amazing how fast nature has rebounded since having such a late spring here in the Fraser Valley. Today is much warmer too, which will speed things up too out in the garden. Now I can only hope that the weather does not go the other way, with to much Sun and not enough rain. I like it nice and even, but who know how messed up our climate is now.

First Try: When You Learn From Your Mistakes

I laughed when I first rendered this. I was trying to create a simple 3D walk cycle animation, re-learning the ropes becuase it had been so long since I played with animating moving objects. When this spewed out, I thought I had created a good animation, but when ran it, it quickly became apparent that I needed to do a lot more work with it. But then I thought, maybe I did succeed with this result, and I was closer to a polished animation than I could have been if I was learning this for the first time. Nonetheless, I am posting this becuase it is funny to watch.

Oh, before you read this, unless you have some knowledge of using 3D software, like Blender, this maybe a pointless post to read. If you are remotely interested, then why not check out the Blender website. Blender is free, and is open source, and works on all major platforms.

The first problem that I saw, even though I was using the Inverse Kinematics Constraint, I made the legs straight. Having that natural bend in the legs would have prevented the way the knees seem to buckle backwards each time each leg moved upwards.

The second issue I see, I should have added more leg meshes (or blocks), so I would have had a dedicated knee mesh–something that would pivot while the leg and thigh moved independently.  If I had five blocks in each leg, then I think the armature (or skeleton) would have worked right the first time. This ties with having a natural bend in each leg. In this case, I kept the legs straight in Pose Mode, so Blender assumed that the knees would work forward or backwards.

Still, I made this in about an hour, from start to finish. After getting used to Blender’s interface and the work-flow, it took no time to create. But tweaking this “Egg man” guy, may take from time to prefect. Will I do it; hard to say.

Hey, it killed a Friday night before it was my bed time. 🙂

Eighty Balls and Cash Trained Employees

What a day. Between work and my home life, things seem to be going crazy for me. Lack of sleep, and having too much on the go, I think it is all having a toll on me. I am taxed right out; low energy and no enthusiasm–at all. Gee, could be time for change? Regardless, today was a bad day. You know when you do stupid things, make choices that are right out of left field, you get that feeling that you should quit while you are ahead. Well, I had that moment, right when I had eighty basketballs bouncing around me becuase I made a bad choice. Yes, I should have stopped, spent a moment to think, then move forward. Instead, I now had a mess on my hands, and that feeling of “stupid” on my face.

When logic and physics clash, it is often when you cannot tell what should go on top, or the bottom, becuase you cannot tell what would hold up, when stacking stuff with a forklift. On one hand, the bigger of the two means it should go on the bottom, when as the type of packaging and the amount of materials that go into the packaging should say otherwise. For example, if you have a skid of say, eighty basketballs, you would make that the top pallet, right? But say you have a small pallet of, say, power tools, that seems to be less than one fifth of the total weight of the basketball skid, then by rights, it could on top without any troubles, right? Well, my poor logic, and lack of thinking, caused eighty basketballs to go shooting everywhere in the warehouse because they should have been the top skid. I cleaned up my mess, but with some criticism from my co-workers. Yes, I deserved it. I am humbled–my bad.

But things did get worse. Because of the demands that are placed on me at my work, I sometimes get sent off to other departments to help out.  On one such excursion, I was ask to man a cash till becuase so many cashiers had phoned in sick. I was never trained on cash, but the day supervisor thought I was just saying that to get out of working up at the front end. It meant that I had to waste time arguing with her, and getting the H.R. Manager involved, while my department was imploding with the back-log of stuff that needed to be done. I was happy to have found out that H.R. had supported me one hundred percent, but a shamed that it took a half hour before I could leave the office to go back to my department. Later, I found out, it was all a mistake due to someone checking off the box that said I was “trained as a cashier” beside my name, when it was clearly a mistake. This seems to be how desperate they are for front end labour. When I think about it, it was funny–me on a till. Gosh.

So, at the end of the day, I thought, maybe it is time for a break.

Right now, I am too tired to think, and too sore to move. I think I need about forty hours of sleep to catch up. Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz

May the 4th Be With You!

Other than it being May 4th, today also can be a day Mother Nature (praise nature) turned up the heat on us. Aside from the usual complaining about the weather and work today, it was a good day becuase I upgraded my home PC’s CPU, Yay! I am super happy about that. I ordered the chip about three weeks ago, and the wait almost made me go mad with anticipation. Outside, the day was gorgeous, until the thunder storm crept over top, after that is was a “stay inside day” playing with my freshly upgraded machine, running my 3D graphic software.

The nasty side effects of climate change could not be more apparent than what I see outside, right now, all around me. My thermometer is telling me that it is 21C, with the relative humidity at 99 precent. Heck, why not just say, … 100 percent! It is so muggy out, I feel like I am living back in Toronto, in the middle of July. This is crazy. I have a fan turned on, blowing air outside, so I can get the cooler air into my bedroom. My clothes are sticking to my skin, and my scrotum is welded to my thigh–I am also ready to jump in the shower after I type this out. I ask myself, how could anyone say this is not unusual?

Cool, I just saw a flash of lightning right above me in the sky, by my bedroom window. So, the storm is coming up from the South. This should be interesting. Yup, here it is—hail! Lots and lots of hail.

Oh yes, my new fancy-shmancy CPU. Well, I bought a eight core AMD processor for one hundred clams from a wholesaler on Amazon. I was debating whether or not to keep this Motherboard, or just do a complete upgrade. Since I maxed out the RAM on this board, 64G, I figured I might as well save the money, and just do a minor upgrade instead. I have a Asus M5A97 mainboard, and I guess I can still get parts for it. It is doing a great job for me, so why not keep it for a little while longer. Sadly, it did take a while for the shipping and handling. I did not want to buy it from U.S. becuase of the taxes, so I bought from a place in Calgary. The dirty little secret is, no GST. Heh heh heh. And they seem to be hungry for business, so I went with them instead. It was a great deal. The place I normally do business with, I Surrey, BC, is, well, let me just day that the CPU would have cost me over two hundred clams–and leave it at that. Buying local can be a bad thing too.

So, May the 4th be with you! I hope you enjoyed the day as I have. Adiós amigo!

A Lovely Day in the Neighbourhood

The Sun poked out through the clouds, and I was up, and I had my camera with me, so I took the “shot of the day.” Here it is, just to prove that we had some awesome weather today. It was nice; for a change. I decided to blog about it, just becuase.

I had an evil thought today. I thought, is it time to shut down this blog, and give it a rest. After all, it is getting on twelve years now, and I notice that my web traffic is a mere fraction of what it was back in the day. I do not know, just thinking about it, for now?

There are two main reasons why I blog now. First, I like writing. Writing is the most difficult thing for me to do. And I know this goes for most people that I know. Writing is a though thing to do, especially in English, which is just a dog’s breakfast when it comes to technical writing, and the spelling and grammar police that comes with it. But I write on, and now I love it, or else I would not be putting these lines of texts here. My second reason is my love with photography. The website is a means to express that love for my art, and post it for all to see on the world wide web. This web site is loaded with images. Since I graduated up to semi-pro gear, so to has my volume of images as well, and this is the place to see that. But still, I have kept a huge number of photos from my point-and-shoot days with hundred dollar camera. But these are it, my reasons for doing it.

 

72 Hours of…. nothingness. :)

I call it, “time off for good behaviour,” but it is all the same, a long weekend form work that I have been salivating about for weeks now. I really need this! I mean, in March we have no statutory holidays, so it was long four weeks on top of dealing with an already crummy winter. I got paid a day early, with did not matter, as I would wait five days for my credit card to register my payment, and for some goods I bought on-line from China to pop up on my delivery tracker. Anyway, which way you slice it, I do not care, I just want the time off becuase I am staying home.

Already I have my first day planed. I will go into town, buy a coffee and sandwich, then catch up on all the updates for my O.S. This, after I sleep in for an extra hour or two first. Once I got my PC up and running in good order, then I will focus on cleaning. Other than that, I am staying inside, unless it is nice outside, then I will read on my deck, but I doubt that it will be nice out. Our weather has been crappy of late.

OK, now to clean the grime off my body with a good ten minuet shower, then off to sleep. Oh I cannot wait! Weekend, here I come. Good night.

I Saw the Sun!

Wow, but typical. Monday, and the sun is shining–go figure. One of the benefits of working afternoons is, I get the mornings to myself before head in. Right now I am outside on my patio, with a glass of orange juice and my laptop, typing this power out. Sadly, in a couple of hours I will have to start my work day. Right now, the sky is clear, and breeze is warm and the Sun feels so nice on my skin.

As much as I am looking forward to the short week–yes I get Friday off as a Stat. Holiday. I know it will be chaos at work as I know my employer is going to cram five days into one. It is the way of the beast, as my co-workers always say. Actually, two of them will most likely say, “it is what it is…” I find that one a little ambiguous, and often used like a phrase of defeat. But, who cares; I am happy! If my employer wants to load us up to fill the weekly quotas, then “go ahead,” as I only work so hard for my few bits of money per hour. I have been looking forward to this short week for a while. I have plans, and so much to do. Bring it.

My taxes were done over a month now, but I have received two letters from Revenue Canada since. The first one was to let me know that they will be holding off on my assessment until they have had more time to look over my maths and deductions. The second one was asking me to send them more information on two separate incomes I claimed. So last night, I spent five hours franticly organizing and documenting the requested data they wanted. I felt foolish for the amount of work I put into this, been that I balanced my year end taxes. I believe that they are more interested in the people I worked for than little old me. Oh Big Brother. LOL

Well, off to work I go. Let us see what kind of week it will be.

No April Fool’s Joke Here, but I Uploaded a Video

April already, and as expected, I saw a few pranks out in the cyber universe, mainly the one on the KODI website which claimed it was taken over by the U.S. Government. Other than that, the other April Fool’s pranks were tame this year, that I could see.I was going to do a prank, but then decided against it. Not becuase I feared the consequences, but more towards my lack of energy and enthusiasm. With the head cold and a lousy week, I was spent, and slept in.

Today, I spent most of it preparing my small video for upload onto my YouTube channel regarding my first few attempts st using the Blender 2.78c 3D software’s Physic Engine with animation. I call the video “Smashing Cube 01.” I had been working these little video clips over the last two weeks, and though it would be neat to edit them altogether and then upload it to the net. Please check it out.

With laundry and my other weekend to-dos, I think I will spend it at home. It is trying to rain out, and the weather is cool and mild, so staying at home, in doors, will be as far as I go today.

Just An Update To End March Off With

Sure, I’ve been busy. So busy that I have been neglecting my on-line duties, and letting everything else slip into disarray. Oh ya, not to mention that I’m just coming off of a head cold that started last weekend, and today my nose is still plugged. But in all, it has been not a bad last few weeks. The weather is changing for the better as it warms up with longer days, and flowers are starting pop up, albeit weeks later than usual for this time of year. So much, and so little time as we move into the spring season.

I missed Earth Hour, simply becuase I was at work when it took place. I could say that my lights were out on the 24th, but that would be lying a smidgen. But apparently British Columbia did not-to-bad with power consumption dropping a few megawatts. I’m not quite fully switched to LED lights in my home, but I’m getting there. I figure once my incandescence and CFLs burnout, then I will replace them with the LEDs, as they will all end up in the landfill anyway–might as well get the full use out of them.

My work has been interesting as well. It is a place that has a high turn-over and sometimes you never get to meet someone long enough until they move on. Well, this month I have seen a few people leave that I knew fairly well, and was shocked when they came out and said that, “today is my last day.” For the last two weeks I have had five people tell me this. Since I’ve been there, I can say nearly thirty precent of the people there are newer than me. That is nearly a three year period. When I was on nights, there was a constant loss of half of that shift never lasting longer than six months.

As the grass begins to grow and the trees bud, I am so happy that we’re going back to the warmer weather. I can’t wait until I can sit out my patio and absorb some Sunshine. I think I would reflect enough light back that you could see me from space, with my white skin. LOL