Monday, March 25, 2019

Camera Purchase Notes 3/25/2019


Too many choices, it is confusing and unclear which path to take. And be sure that whatever path you take (nearly) forever will your destiny be affected.

Intended use: generating imagery to support computer graphics (textures, macro photography, plates), also handheld available light photography, also low light architectural photography (urban archaeology)

Prime lenses only, shooting aperture priority, no flash, manual focus.  Probably a roughly 50 mm equivalent, a 21 mm equivalent, and possibly a macro lens.

Remote and programmable computer control preferred.  If a Fujifilm body, then possibly the two Zeiss lenses.  


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Global Climate Change?

Anyone else notice that the predictions for global climate disaster keep getting closer and closer. It used to be in the indefinite future, now its more like 2050. Well, 2050 is right around the corner. You and I may have kicked off but your kids are likely to still be here. And boy, are they going to be mad! Ha ha! Ooops!

Dear Google Maps!

Found the feedback button on google maps!  Yeah!

I was in Joshua Tree, CA during the recent blizzard and Google Maps INSISTED on taking me off the main road and down some side roads which were closed off and covered with snow. I got stuck and would have died if some local people were not there to help people get unstuck who had been sent there by Google Maps. I guess you guys are not too smart. Maybe you want to fix this, I dont know.

Google Maps took me "The Turnpike Roads" in Orange county on my way to Laguna Beach. Turnpike Roads tried to extort several hundred dollars from me because I used their toll road. FIX THIS RIGHT NOW. Do not take people down that road. If this happens again I will sue you assholes.

[Of course I will not really sue Google, but I wanted to indicate how mad I was at being forced to interact with the criminals at The Turnpike Roads.]

Planetarium in Santa Barbara


The Museum of Natural History has a planetarium!  And a 20" telescope in their observatory!
The Monseignor has said that I can spend 1 day a month outside my crypt helping them in the planetarium!

Contact Google Maps?


Does anyone know how to send feedback to Google Maps? In the last few months they have (a) tried to kill me and (b) worked with Republicans in Orange County to steal several hundred dollars. Is this deliberate or (more likely) just stupid programmers?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Three Test Images for the Dome in Arnold


One image made with a fisheye lens whose field of view is 180 degrees, one whose fov is 270 and one whose fov is 360.  The "Arnold" watermark is there because I have a demo / unlicensed copy.

These images were fast to compute and trivial to technical direct.

Special thanks to the nice people at Solid Angle for helping me out.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Feral and Venom in Santa Barbara


I am walking to my local pharmacy, CVS.  I go in the back way, talking on my phone, as usual, in this case about superhero movies and stereoscopic conversion.  I say that some of these movies are too dark to be great in stereo and trying to think of an example, someone says "Venom".

She is working in the back of the store, attractive some would say, that is if you like hot, slender women with 1/2 " hair that has been bleached white, skintight jeans, ritual scarification, and excellent knowledge of the Marvel superhero cinema.

We agreed that the relationship in Venom between the antihero (youre a loser, eddie), the ex-girlfriend and the symbiont ("I like her."  "This may be the last chance you might have to apologize to her") is charming.

Her name is Feral.  She talks to me three different times while I am at the store.  I practically run away.  When was the last time I actually talked to a non-gender specific girl type person who I might ask out?  Long, long ago, in a different life.

I hope she works there, I might be able to see her again.

If I was in a playwriting class, I would write this up as a skit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Democrats Are Too Afraid


We are back at the same old issue. Democrats too afraid to take a stand on principle for fear of ... fear of ... fear of ... what? Rousing the Trump base? I have bad news for you, the Trump base is not only aroused, they are never NOT aroused. I like Nancy Pelosi, I am not too stupid to understand what she and Shumer (whose name I can never spell) are talking about. But my patience with these people is over. I expect the Democrats will nominate Biden, I expect that Biden can win over Trump. Who cares?

Yes, I know what is going on.  I know what Pelosi is thinking, and why it makes sense.  But I am a little broken issue on this issue.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Steve Gano


A good friend recently passed away, unexpectedly.  Steve Gano was a graduate of the Media Lab and a mutual friend of dozens of people I know.  Very sad.  Very sudden and unexpected.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

Captain Marvel.... Dont Ask Dont Tell?


I am having a complicated (aka "meh") reaction to Captain Marvel.

On the positive side I should make it clear that the opening night audience in Santa Barbara had no reservations, they liked this movie. Second, this is certainly some sort of solid representation film with standout feminist and pro-cat sensibilities. But is it really that solid if we have a "dont ask dont tell" situation going on here?  A very strong cast, but to what end? I saw it all coming a mile away. Carol Danvers/Brie Larson is hot in her BDSM-inspired latex onesie, or whatever that was.

At the end of the day, this felt more like a classic movie for TV but repurposed for the big screen. I think it could have told a very similar story but been much stronger.

Notice that they carefully look away from each other... Oh no, we are not in the closet, not us!

But then I realized, after a day's thinking about it, that this is perfectly in period, It would be an anachronism for two gay women in the USAF to come out.  It would hurt their careers at the very least.  So of course they would be in the closet.  So in retrospect, this is an entertaining nuance.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Corrupt American Justice System


The sentencing today of Manafort convinces me that our legal system is in denial about what is going on here.   The system failed again and there is very little chance that relying on a corrupt and failed system like ours will result in justice.  A black kid who steals food would be given more prison time than Manafort received.  

Dont these people understand what is going on?  No, I guess not.

Monday, March 4, 2019

GAN Generated Rainforest Flower Images


Generated by a variation of a GAN from rainforest flowers as suitably modified.

Assume that these images are used in a large rendered scene where the textures are also used to generate suitable geometry.

[3/19/2019 Notes: Back in the day, this would have been enough to get me into many magazines and get lots of publicity!  Not anymore!  Now I must walk the path of ascetic renunciation of all worldly fame!  Sad!]

Liza Keith Memorial March 3, 2019


Memorial for Liza Keith at Restaurant Hama in Venice on March 3, 2019.

Allen Battino, Phillipe Bergeron, Joseph Goldstone, Jerry Weil

Darnell Williams (Rosa Ferrer is waiting out in the car)

Donna Tracy, Di Piepol, Debbie Goydos Nelson

Reid Baker

Picture of Liza Keith (on the right)

Aliza Corzon Chaimedes, John Nelson, Scott Anderson

Jane Stefan and Jimbo Hillin

Tom Lynnes and Joan Collins

Scott Anderson, Jimbo Hillin, Donna Tracy, Mark Hardin

Scott Anderson and Aliza Corson

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Naming a Project is So Annoying


If at first you walk down the dark path, forever is your destiny affected.  What you name a project may indeed be changable later, or it may not be.  So, choose wisely.

A piece of software to assemble various elements to create a single render stream for an image shall be called ... what? 

Contenders (to be updated)


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Short Trip to Joshua Tree (postmortem)


Instead of just hauling ass down the road for a month or two, I decided to start off slowly and do a few day trip to Joshua Tree.  Many interesting things were learned and here is a list of a few of them.

 1. Check the weather.  We had a record setting blizzard during the exact time I chose to go.  It was exciting but maybe not the best choice.  For the kids and adults of Joshua Tree, this was a peak experience.  They had not had a snow storm like this for at least 11 years, according to one native.

2. Many exciting new symptoms seem to be present when I travel when sick, without the usual medication and in a blizzard.  Memo to File: Do not do this again.

3. Just a little further down the road from Joshua Tree is a 24 hour medical center.  The staff was very nice to me and let me hang out until I felt better.  They were particularly impressed with the blizzard. A reminder that even medical workers on the night shift can act like big kids.

4. The Safari Inn was a perfect little motel for a great price.  

5. The Crossroads Cafe was very good and I immediately fell in love with the hostess.

6. The mexican restaurant is just so so, but it is open 24 hours which is nice.

7. Google Maps does not check the weather when giving directions and nearly got me killed.  

8. Joshua Tree is really nice when there is a foot of snow dumped on it.

9. Azuza, CA apparently stands for A - Z in the USA.

10.  CalArts is right on the way to Joshua Tree if you take the Santa Clarita route.

11. Its important to pack critical items (like vitamins, medication, food, etc) in a place where you can trivially find them in your car when you are sick, havent slept for 24 hours, you are in the middle of an amazing snow storm, and everything in the car has been shuffled several times.

Other Notes:

12.  The wind farm on the way to Joshua Tree is really interesting.  Plays on size and scale.

13. There is a nice donut store back up the road from Joshua Tree in Yucca Valley.

For Those of You Attending the Academy Awards


For those of you who are attending the awards tonight, I have compiled a short list of things to remember to help make everyone's experience more rewarding. 

First, remember to wave at your fans as you get out of your car. They have waited since last night to get a glimpse of you. Second, dont walk too fast down the red carpet, you want the best chance possible for the TV cameras to linger on you. Third, its never a problem to get a date to the Academy Awards (tm) but think carefully about whether the person you choose will send the correct optic to those who are in a position to help your career. Fourth, as men get older, they are advised to either grow a beard or go clean shaven. The unshaven look just looks disreputable over a certain age. Fifth, and finally, on the one hand you should remember to thank the little people when you pick up an award, but dont overdo it as that would be tiresome. 

Good luck tonight!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Dream as reported to Geoff Allen in Ireland


Near a hill in Ireland. Sleeping there to find out where to dig ... something.  Rabbit/hare shows me a hole/place to dig. I set off fireworks to alert the people. They come by and ask could I not wait until morning?  Then they discussed rock and roll (Cream?)  in gaelic. Or what my sleeping brain thought was gaelic, god only knows.  What does it mean?

According to Geoff this may mean that it is time for me to do a "walkabout"  He never thought I was very aboriginal.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Called My CongressPerson


So I called my Congressman, Carbajal, CA-24, and talked to a nice intern.  I asked to leave a message to ask Congressman Carbajal, and wanted to know when they were going to impeach Trump and the rapist Kavanaugh.

I am really getting tired of this shit.  Too bad the american government failed.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Anne Adams Feb 3 2019

My friend Anne Anne M. Adams is in a hospice and is not expected to regain consciousness. She did an amazing job of fighting cancer and the chemo worked very well for years. She was completely Anne until less than a week ago when she stopped being lucid. I worked with Anne at Degraf/Wahrman and Viacom, and she worked at many of the early "multimedia" companies as well. She really did not deserve this. It makes me very sad. The picture is from her farewell party less than a week ago.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Nancy Pelosi For President

I love Nancy Pelosi and I hope she becomes POTUS.

Metropolis at the Arlington on a Wonder Morton

I finally saw Metropolis by Fritz Lang, and not only that, I heard the track played live on a Wonder Morton at the Arlington Theatre at the SBIFF!


Read about the Wonder Mortons and where they are today:

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hunter vs Carbajal


Once upon a time, I lived in CA-50, the district of Duncan Hunter, one of the more obnoxious right wing congressman in the house of representatives. I called and left a message, and was treated very well. I emailed him, and would get call backs from the 212 area code (Wash DC). Maybe every other letter, and these letters were quite inflamatory, would get a response, perhaps a position paper on the topic (net neutrality). Of course this was all his office not Congressman Hunter himself, and of course it made no real difference but it was nice, it felt engaging.

Now I am in CA-24, Congressman Carbajal, a Democrat, and after 5 emails and one office visit. Nothing. Zip. Do not exist.

The result may be the same, but I much preferred being represented by Hunter.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Channelling Concept Art from A Horror Movie


More entertaining accidents from my tests of GANs and machine learning.  Perhaps concept art from a horror movie I did not know I was working on?