It's Quiz Night, so just a quick roundup.
-- I'm trying to catch up with the times, user interface tools-wise, as I'm working on what I want to do with this space as I make my changes. Before I even get to actual new code, I've stumbled on a different issue. I've found I hate the "new" look & feel I'm being told is what everyone wants. I'm not talking about my personal fondness for a given color or what have you - I'm talking about functionality. They're difficult to navigate, they bury information in stupid ways, and are so information-sparse as to be useless. I will write up my concerns in more detail as I think this through in my own-right. There's got to be a way to design that makes a better compromise between the bigger grain of the touch-interface and the rest of the computing world.
-- We have our first introduction class to the SnoCo Maker Space on Saturday. We're going to get the low-down on the new large-format laser-cutter. I've already chosen a project to print off once it's done. I found a pattern for a small rigid-heddle table loom that looks like an awesome starting point.
We joined SnoCo Makerspace last week, and we've been in heavy planning mode ever since.
In case you don't know what they are, a makerspace is basically a gym for crafty stuff. Just like you join your local gym for their Nautilus equipment for you to use, we joined this because they have 3d printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, welding equipment, woodworking tools, and all manner of other useful stuff as well as a space setup to use them correctly and safely. The community part is going to be nice, too.
They are big on safety, and you're not allowed to use a kind of equipment until you've taken one of their classes on that particular stuff to prove you know what you're doing. I like that.
So I'm working with Claire to come up with some plans for a few things to start off with, and we're going to get to making!
I'm rearranging my living space, and that means I've got everything all in a kerfubble.
It's always the thing. It works like one of those sliding tile puzzles. To move the couch, I've got to move the table. To move the table, I've got to get that cabinet moved and setup. To setup and move it, I've got to get the wall behind where it's going to be painted....
It just keeps going.
There's a term often used for this -- yak shaving. It comes from a comedian who described a day where he started off trying to clean his room, and ended up, step by step, shaving a yak.
I'll know this out. Hopefully before I end up in Nepal. ;)
Realism is always a struggle for me with props-making. My philosophy has always been it's easier to actually do something than fake it. So, for example, when I do mail I do historically accurate mail with actual metal rings as much as possible.
But sometimes, it's just not a thing that works in today's world. I've got some briar wood and hawthorn wood, and I was looking at making some Harry Potter wands. They're described as a type of wood, with a core of something fantastic. That's where it gets interesting.
My plan is to take whatever I choose to use for the core and cast it in resin and put that in a hole drilled into the butt of the wand. I have a bit of hawthorn stripped and I've begun planning it's ornamentation. But what to use for the core material?
Dragon's heartstring is obviously not real, but how close to it do I go? Believe it or not, a heartstring is actually a thing. There are tendons that help manage the valves and whatnot in a heart, and those are what we traditionally refer to has heartstrings. If I wanted to go as realistic as possible, I could try to find a way to get my hands on the cardiac tendons of a lizard. But I'm not going to murder something just for this.
Should I use heart strings from another animal? I could get a beef heart at the store, butcher them out of it and dry them. Or would any tendon work? I have some actual moose sinew from a repair project on a pair of Native Alaskan beaded mukluks. Or should I say bag this nonsense entirely and use a bit of stretched chamois, with some strategic dye to make it look like a hunk of tendon?
The silly bit is no one will see this unless they break the wand. It's my own sense of aesthetics that is driving the entire internal debate.
(I had a long post here, but my editor ate it. I'll re-write it at a sane hour. In the meantime, here's the picture.)
I'm thinking seriously about making a version of this for my office wall with a pretty monogram pattern I have. ;)
Today would have been Fred Rogers' 90th birthday. That's a sentence that in and of itself isn't all that urgent or important, but there's a quiet revolution calmly flowing from underneath. His message of love and peace and learning has come around again, and it's doubly welcome in today's avalanche of awfulness.
To celebrate, Twitch is running a marathon of 90 of the most popular episodes from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on twitch.tv/misterrogers, followed by a run through all 886 episodes of the series running 24 hours a day starting today. I'm echoing it on my channel, if you are concerned about the possibility of questionable comments in the main feed's chat stream. There's nobody in that chat, for sure. ;) I've had it running in the background all day, and it's been a great accompaniment to the things I've been working on around the house.
My gang used to love the show, and not just because it was on right before Mighty Morphin' Mind-Suckers. It was fascinating to see how every day things were made. I'd forgotten how much I loved Picture Picture, too. I remember how the one about making toothpaste stopped a huge debate at my house.
So, happy birthday Mr. Rogers. And I hope thinking of him makes a lot of us think about the ways we deal with our world and our own neighborhoods.
Went to Owajimaya yesterday while we were Downtown to pick up a few things, and managed to make it out of the model area with only this small, snap-together model of one of my favorite Gundams. I'm doubly proud of myself because I managed to find the strength for the stern act of will required to walk away from a very, very nice model of the Arcadia, the ship in Captain Harlock.
The instructions are printed on the inside of the box. I'll post a pic tomorrow, hopefully with it arrayed in all it's tiny glory.
As I've mentioned before, writing has always been "nice work if you can get it" for me. Well, I'm still working on trying to get that work.
I was using a Patreon, but after their fee-changing fiasco and some problems a friend of mine had with them, I'm re-thinking using their service. I have a couple other choices I'm looking into. Whatever I choose, you'll see it here first.
Another thing I'm working on is a store to sell my writings here, and also with Amazon. I don't know if that's a good idea, but leaving that just sitting around seemed dumb.
I'm lucky in that I have the skills and tools to put it together, but this is a lot of work. There is a surprising amount of infrastructure involved in even going with Amazon. Anyone who tells you how self-publishing is easier than traditional publishing is confused, I think.
I was in the middle of the local pub trivia weekly contest last night when the MC took a moment to let the room know that Stephen Hawking had died. Mercifully no one thought it was one of his more tasteless jokes. It quieted the room, and it took a few minutes for even this bunch of mostly drunken norms to get back into the game.
A lot of other people with far more credentials than I have plenty to say about his prodigious impact on the rest of the world. For myself, I can say that what he brought us was a rare ability to speak about very complex topics in a way that made it approachable, and understandable within the realm of the average person.
His life was been one long series of impossibilities, starting with even living it at all. But he did it - he lived, he had a family and a brilliant career pushing back the limits of our understanding.
I hope he's somewhere in the Hereafter getting the run-down on life, the universe, and everything.