Going to friends only

Hey all - I don't post a lot, but I think I'm going to follow other folks' example and make my journal friends only. When I have art or other such things that I want to share with a wider audience I'll unlock those posts.

I've got a good post ready to go, but thought I should probably update my friends list since I'm horribly bad about that.

Less than Meditative, but whatev...

Ok - well much ado about nothing. I fought and fought to get a decent output file that YouTube would accept which involved much dinking with Quicktime, AVI, converters, uploads, and 90+MB video files and when it all came down to it, I decided to just use the regular .swf format that Flash does so well and it turned out that it loaded and played quite admirably. However, if anyone knows how to make Flash play nicely with YouTube, I'd love to hear your suggestions.

So here's the link - and since it's playing the swf file, there aren't any built in controls for stopping, starting, pausing, etc like on a nifty flv player or in YouTube, but I'm considering throwing together some Flash controls in it - I just haven't learned buttons yet.

I was going to go into my process about how I did it and blah blah blah - but right now, I just want it posted. So enjoy!


Flash Piece FINISHED!

Well, technically, it's not *exactly* finished since I need to do some credits at the end that will appropriately pimp my work, but the piece itself is done. I'm very very happy with the way it turned out, and as usual, it ended up being way more involved than I had originally intended, but well worth the effort.

Considering how challenging the last few weeks have been, finishing this piece feels like a good transition point. I had hoped to have it done on the Equinox, but this is close enough I suppose.

Anyway, all that's left are the credits and a bit of testing out the best way to share it with folks. The Flash file itself ballooned to about 93MB, but the the resultant .swf ended up only being 1.5mb which is astounding as far as I'm concerned. Even still, my first test runs with the SWF file weren't satisfying since the end of the piece has so many objects and so much movement that quite a few frames were dropped - and that's running locally.

I believe that I can upload to YouTube and that the .FLV will run smoothly, so with luck I'll have the credits done today or tomorrow and then I can finally finally share it with everyone.

Stay tuned!

EDIT: It's finished and uploaded... I'll post shortly with the link.
EDIT Part Deux: I *thought* you could upload .swf files to YouTube, but ya cant. So I'm working to get it written out as QuickTime and then I should be able to upload.

YouTube Funny

Ok - so I almost never post YouTube stuff, but I have a co-worker that has found some really funny ones. I'm not even attempting to do any sort of embedding or whatever because that's just more of an investment than I care to give to it, but here are three fun links in (in my opinion) increasing order of funny:

Charlie the Unicorn goes to Candy Mountain

Mad TV spoofs Steve Jobs and iPhone

And by far the funniest one of all: Ross the Intern from The Tonight Show meets The Croc Hunter

I totally needed some funny today and that did it.

Day Light Savings Moron

So everyone is aware that our daylight savings time changes are different this year than last right? Three weeks earlier for the spring and three weeks later for the Fall. Why? Because GW had someone tell him that would save energy and make him look like a hero. Or some such shit.

What I'd like to know from any of my tech savvy, obsessive compulsive types (I'm looking at you, d2leddy *grin*) is whether anyone has done a cursory cost analysis on the amount of money it's costing US companies to patch all the systems that are not aware of President Moron's decree. I wonder how much we'll be "saving" in energy costs vs. how much we're spending to make all our computers deal with it. I know that we're having to shoehorn in at least a week or more of work to try to patch all our systems - Solaris primarily - and all our applications to deal well with the change. We've got several services that rely on keeping their time synchronized to function correctly, so not only do we need to patch our NTP servers, DB servers, fileservers, etc, but we will have to investigate whether we need to patch our the host of applications that run on those servers - Oracle, web apps, Java containers, and on and on... just to deal with this stupid stupid stupid change.

I've got so much to do on my plate it's not even funny and this particular task makes me stabby.

It doesn't help that my perspective is uber-skewed after being on call this week. Whether it was Mercury in Retrograde, my own negative, hateful thoughts about the company or just random chance, every little funky problem that could possibly come up did. Mercury is especially high on my shit list because all the problems had to do with miscommunications. Monitoring applications not seeing things they should, network connections failing, e-mail problems, synchronization problems, etc... each one more random than the last and 90% of them being things that no one else in our company has a clue on how to fix.

Tonight, and for the next 14 days, I'm not on call. If things calm down a bit at the office, I should be recovered from this on call period by this time next week which will give me a week of relative sanity before I start again. We have apparently had an offer accepted for a Junior Sys Admin and are waiting to hear back from a Senior one - which would put us up to 4 people in our group instead of the 2 we've had for the last few months, but still not the 5 senior folks that we are allowed to have. It will get better, I know it will. But right now, I'm frazzed.

When will I be able to upgrade my hands?

I work out of our home, so I’m still employed with the company I worked at in San Fran. Today I received a large envelope from my HR department. Inside was a folded legal mini poster.

Sticky note:

Dear Soren,
Pls. Post w/other workers
comp postings.
Thank you,
H. R. Drone

My other workers comp postings?

I open the poster and found a copy of the Worker's Compensation Act . It had been dutifully filled out by both the HR Director and her drone. I guess my house has become the New Mexico office. Where's my watercooler? How can I post this if there’s no watercooler?

It seems interesting that I was just recently complaining to my HR director how shitty our new insurance was. And I've also gone to the facilities manager to try to get myself a new office chair since my back is been bothering me. And oh have I mentioned my hands are starting to really give me problems?


And now I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dictate my journal entry, because my hands hurt too much to type.

When I opened up the poster the first thing I saw was:

“If you suffer "permanent impairment," you may have the right to receive partial wage benefits for a longer period of time.”

I'm glad all the employees of the New Mexico branch finally have access to see this little bit of information.

Did I mention I was on call again?.

All righty then.

All the Knowledge of the COSMOS!!!!

Or at least all the course work of MIT...

I just got this link from one of my geek newsletters and I'm totally boggling with possibilities.


I vaguely remember hearing about this around the time they started, but there was very little there at the time, but now ... holy crapola:


It's non degree course work, but to just have access to some of the inner workings of MIT courses, is enough to make me seriously hard. I'm planning on just browsing the site this weekend to see if anything catches my eye. There's audio and video lectures. Book lists. Course Notes.

Perhaps something is wrong with me that I find this to be one of the greatest things that the Internet has ever provided for me. I remember when I started working with the internet back in the 90s, this was the type of thing that I dreamed of, but thought it would always be too much effort for people to actually do it.

And they're spreading... they are a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, encouraging other Universities around the world to join in. It's like the internet equivalent of the Library and Alexandria.

This is my giddy face.

EDIT: Speaking of food for my Spicy Brain Meats, May I present - Waking Life - DVD from the director of A Scanner Darkly with the guy from Slacker and Dazed and Confused. I know its from back in 2001, so I'm late to the party, but whatev. Diggin it hardcore. Watching again soon.


Thank you Rob, you're the BESTEST.
Fire Pan

Solstice Transformation

Maybe this is a bit late, but I wanted to post a little project I did in conjunction with my Solstice work.

Behind the link is a brief overview of my Solstice work both at the Labyrinth and personally. Oh and there's a nifty animated gif I made in Flash, but it's kinda big.

The theme for Solstice this year was taking what's mine and letting go of the rest.

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Fire Pan

Milking Yet Another Project out of the Snow

I've got a lot of interesting things on my plate in the New Year, but I've balked against any kind of proclamations of resolutions. I do feel that I'm at a good place to get some interesting things done and I've developed a few intentions.

One thing I want to keep doing this year is to continue exploring the options for earth works art. Check Rob's journal for pics of the 6 foot tall Griffen Ree and I made (It's since been destroyed by the neighborhood kids...) I've never had a chance to work with icicles before, so it was fun to make my own little Fortress of Solitude.

These pics were taken by Rob, but I've done no retouching, just resizing for your viewing pleasure. As usual, my pics are more about the construction but Rob chooses for different visual pop... so maybe he'll post more pics of it soon.

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