My personal website
This is a site for experimenting and keeping references and samples.
War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
This is a site for experimenting and keeping references and samples.
I have noticed in advertising for upcoming movies and TV shows a lot of nostalgia and other revisits of the past driving productions.
Ten-ish years ago I found in new SF books a tendency to a more opposed attitude - a cynicism that ideals would never be met; constant failure or exploration and disaster for space colonisation.
Is there something meaningful in that? The art that used to optimistically look forward now increasing in cynicism as the more popular arts withdraw into the past?
There's a story I used to like that left an impression on me, always recalling it's line "The stars in their course favour China"; putting aside that China was one of two sides in the story I often had a feeling that should have been "the stars in their course favour baby boomers" - am I noticing the depressive cynicism some believe is being left in their wake?
So for about the third time in my life I've shocked myself with 240 volts.
This time by not realizing I was touching the metal part of my multimeters probe while checking which wire was which as I was replacing a motion sensor.
And for the first time I've noticed after effects. When I sat down to watch some TV (after succesfully replacing the sensor) the menu of media on my F-off big OLED TV looked like it was fuzzing.
I couldn't quite tell if my TV was glitching but I was sure it wasn't just blurry vision - so I got up close and it was clear the TV was fine.
My eyesight was just buzzing which I presume is an effect of shocking myself.
I like a good aphorism and enjoy the elegant concise expression of ideas (the quotes randomly appearing above come from a collection of such expression).
I sometimes wonder about the similarity of my mulling this sort of thing compared to reading help and advice columns...
She may look relaxed, and you might think you're bigger than her, but she's armed for bear.
Trudy bought me a go around a race track in an Aston Martin, but someone had broken it before I arrived. So I went around in a Ferrari 360 instead.
These cars are definitely different to drive and I wouldn't want one for any kind of daily use, but blatting around a track was fun.
The story of my hot chocolate making.
I've been watching reviews of new electric vehicles, and wow there's a lot being built with much innovation on the way.
And I just saw an excellent example of UI design in the Nomi assistant built into Nio vehicles.
It's a little sphere on the dashboard which rotates to face who addresses it and displays very, very simple but elegantly designed iconography on it's small facing screen as it responds.
Youtube has some videos of it in use. I find it an elegant interface, with feed back, for A.I systems.
Although the second video is a bit entertaining with comments about "making a better world" comparing amusingly with "Silicon Valley" parodies of self importanmt tech people.
These are three cropped photographs I took of sunset on the Masaii Mara in Kenya, printed on canvas it's a devil of a job to get them all hanging level and aligned.
I've long wanted a painting by a class mate from high school who's work I occassionally see referenced and promoted online and in stores.
I bought one of her smaller pictures as a wedding gift for friends because (if I remember correctly) it happened to be in a store I browsed at present buying time.
So I found her website online and ended up commissioning a work (as I couldn't quite find one they were selling that I wanted) that I'm now waiting on.
I liked the idea so much I decided I'd like to commision a work from a friend who, though now retired, also sold artwork in the past.
In that instance I need to prepare elements of a still life, which I'm calling my little art project.
I already have a water colour by another one of my once art class mates (I happened to see her and the painting on a local tv stations show one day).
I bought this MAME cabinet this year - even though I've had the parts to build one for years I was never going to get around to making it. It's lots of fun but surprisingly irritating because all the different games really require different control layouts.
I'm contemplating building interchangeable boards with different control layouts - putting a door in the cabinet front and storing them there.
But that's a big job - it's a surprisingly complex issue when you consider the software .
This years holidays were in Fiji, and I'm creating a page with photo's and videos here about it. Currently I'm editing the material and haven't presented it. Watch this space.
Finally the weather cleared up enough for me to get out and have a look at McNaught. About four days after it's peak appearance it's still mighty impressive. Supposedly the second brightest comet ever measured for brightness it covered about 20 degrees of sky. Much more impressive than Halley's or Hyakutake
Took my camera out and made my first astronomical pictures. At first I left it's battery in the charger. And after getting it I took the wrong lens. Oh well, they didn't turn out too badly.
I've bought a Samsung Tab 7 to use as a digital drawing pad. An iPad Pro has better commercial software, but I don't require that.
My plan is to resurrect some stagnant drawing skills, in a modern fashion.
The traditional british navy grog is;
This is the best liquor I've ever drunk, yummy as hell. I took a litre to a New Years party and was quite sozzled before I finished it - didn't get a hangover but my legs felt funny the next day.
The story (and images) of our 2015 African Adventure.
While my house was being repaired of it's earthquake damage we went to the Sandy Beach Resort in Haʻapai, Tonga and swam with humpbacks.
Although the whales in this video are juveniles, they're still bigger than they look (without objects to compare to). We didn't know they were under our boat until we jumped in the water intending to swim towards others.
I was chasing stingrays across the Bora Bora lagoon the same day one killed Steve Irwin.
While snorkelling in Bora Bora I found this moray. He was gorgeously coloured (underwater photography without lights washes colours out a lot).
He was something like six to eight feet long and I remember his eyes as being richly coloured and beautiful flecked with gold.
While driving to work today I saw a ~four meter long fibreglass model of Thunderbird 2 parked on the roadside. Très cool!
Guess why I love Rafe Dominguez? If you recognize that design of his you'll know why straight away.
While visiting the Agasha family of gorillas I was bumped by a Black Back on his way to some sweet bamboo.
I ate some of that bamboo - down at it's roots it's heavy with moisture, a bit like a fibrous carrot.
No, really, I really did. And here's the picture to prove it. That's me up on the monument at Thermopylae a few years ago on a trip from England to Istanbul (and most of the way back).
I saw 300 last week and, eh, it was okay. The best bits were stylish stagings of the comics panels - but comics transcribed as movies don't have good scripts or dialogue (Sin City also demonstrates this).
The most interesting thing I noticed, given the debates and anger the movie aroused, is the addition of some dialogue: when Leonidas meets Xerxes emissary early in the story he warns the emissary he'll be held responsible for his words as if they were his own - a clear warning that this messenger may be blamed for the message he is about to deliver. This is not in the comic.
So the producers demonstrate they know there's something unseemly about Leonidas in this story and attempted to defuse it by inserting language to moderate his character. If they now reply to accusations of producing propaganda with claims to only have been reproducing another work of art in a different medium, without responsibility for the story, they will be lying.
This should be our new flag. It's design is solid, makes good sense and combines a lot of New Zealand in a clear distinctive flag.
2014 holidays were in a small island south of Espiritu Santos in Vanuatu which the locals lease to a resort. Good food (for once I didn't lose weight on holiday) and decent snorkelling.
I was stung by a jellyfish and stalked by a shark. Good times. Picked this resort because you can get there in a day from Auckland and avoid the usual two nights wasted time travelling.
I used my Go Pro underwater. They really work well with a red filter.