Non-AV post

So, dry dock continues.

I’m not hugely productive, alas.

I just can’t seem to build up momentum to get a whole lot done in a day. I suspect a large part of it may be how horribly messy AV is right now. I’ll spend as much time as I need tomorrow in cleaning up.

So, other stuff.

A List Apart is a really cool website. I’ve done enough web design to find the articles very interesting, and was just reading some of the ones about typography. I think I need to work on my blog to make it a little more beautiful to read.

It’s unfortunate, I spend just enough time on the web and doing designy things to not be comfortable using the default layouts and all that, and want to make my own, but not enough to actually be able to do it very well. So the titles & dates, on this blog, for instance.

I modified the design last year while on furlough, and, having not spent enough time to really get my brain all the way around EMs and ENs, alignment, leading and everything, used something of a hack (I think) to get the date and title of each post a little closer together.

It looks OK to me, currently. However, if I forget to put a title, then it shifts up the date do that it overlaps some of the blog text.

Not good.

So, the answer, of course, is to insert a non-breaking-space into the title block.

But blogger won’t let me do that! So, instead, I’ll just have to keep on remembering to put in titles.

I’ll be thinking a lot about vertical rhythm of text layout, and possibly make some changes to size and stuff later. I like learning these things as it helps fill in gaps in my head.

I sometimes wish for a fuller education. But given that I’m interested in EVERYTHING, it could take a while. Someone suggested I take a Liberal Arts degree or something like that. But then that doesn’t really cover physics, electronic engineering , accoustics, psycology, software design, or that. It might help my spelling, I guess.

If I get a chance (which means, a bunch of years in a stable job with enough free time), then I may try and do something like that by corrospondence. But otherwise, I have wikipedia, a list apart, google, and the other tools of the 2009 home-educator’s mind…

Drydock ’08

The sweat drips from my nose, and splashes, sizzling, onto the soldering iron.

It’s roasting hot, and the cables are all around me, as squashed into a small space behind the audio rack I put the finishing touches to the new audio lines I just ran across from the desk opposite.

It’s dry-dock again.My third, now, and this time, I’m just not enjoying it.

I have quite a lot on my plate at the moment, what with trying to sort out many technical issues in the A/V equipment, and also get as much as possible done to allow us to expand and use what we have better throughout this coming year.


Also, the other members of the A/V team are busy with other projects, and I’m helping out a bit again with the deck ladder-repair and making crew.


Bink!

That’s the sound that the lights make when blackouts happen.

We just had another powercut.

Vrum bzzzzzt! Klunk! Klunk! Klunkklunkklunkduhduhduhduh!

That’s the sound that the fanrooms make when the power comes back on again.

The power just came back on again, by the way.

So, anyway. Right.

Yeah, there’s another fairly huge but unofficial project on which has pretty much sucked all the free time out of one of my team for the last 10 months – even from well before he joined AV – and also has been increasingly impinging upon the time of the rest of us.

They created an(other) unrealistic deadline to finish it before the end of this drydock, and I knew he would push all his time and energy into it.

So I pretty much gave him his work time to get this thing finished.

Which is good, I guess.

I mean, he’s not dead, which if we’d pushed hard at the AV jobs as well, I think he would be.

He just wouldn’t have slept at all.

We barely did anyway.

I was up until 3 one night working on an animation for the project.


Anyway.

Many of the AV tasks I had (I wrote down 58 jobs I’d have liked to either do, or investigate the feasibility of) have not been done, and most of them I didn’t even get a chance to investigate how possible they were.

So.. somewhat frustrating.

The first version is done now, which is good.

Anyway.

Still plenty of logistics and miscommunication issues to sort out.

So.

What else…

I’ve been making sure I keep time for myself, not burning out, and part of that includes focussing more on painting and artwork.. we’ve begun “creative communities” on board – basically an internal art/photography/creative writing club, with picking a theme per month.

The theme last month was “Freedom”.

This month it’s “Love”.

Here’s a painting of mine – “Searching for Love”

I helped out a bit with the ladderwork again this drydock.

Pretty much the same as last year.. this time we stretched the rope slightly more thoroughly.. Check out before and after stretching:

Quite impressive.

I feel somewhat drawn out and stretched myself.


I don’t think I’ll snap.. but hopefully I’ll be all the more resilient to whatever life throws at me in the future because of it.

And my current work in progress.

More photos, and not much time left

Dear readers,

I’ve found that blogger has kindly been putting my photos I upload here to the blog into a “Picasa Web Album.”. Wasn’t that kind of them? So, it’s possible to look at all the pics in one place. Very spiffy.
The link is right here:
It also can do flash slideshows and all sorts. So I’ll be playing with that. I need to update this blog design a bit anyway.  I also will try and write a perl script to make the picasa album appear as the old fliker one does in the sidebar ->.
I don’t have much time left in Cyprus.  We’re going as a family to Egypt this evening, for 4 days, and then after that I leave about 5 days later.  Kind of scary how fast time has flown.
Then it’s off the UK for 2 months, then to Doulos.
Here’s another couple of boat/sailing sketches. The one on the left could be a Wayfarer, but the one on the right is way bigger.
I’ve been trying to make a video about Doulos to show later this week (once I’m back from Egypt) to people, and will probably post some of that later on.
I’m not very happy with Apple right now..  I had to reinstall the computer *again*. That’s like 7 times since I got back from Doulos. Why? Well, many of the times is not Apple’s fault, it’s true.  I did replace the hard-drive, with a bigger one. That was moderately monstrous. They really hide those hard-drives well inside the poor laptops. Virtually impossible to get out.  Anyway, the reason I had to this time was because I upgraded to Leopard, but alas, half my software doesn’t work properly with it.  It’s a much nicer OS than tiger (looks-wise, but also technology like Quick-View, Spaces, and so on.
The version of Garageband that came with my laptop (only 3 years ago) doesn’t work with Leopard. I’m supposed to pay for the upgrade, which I’ve read may not work on this old a mac. This old?! Good grief.
Then Final Cut Express 4 doesn’t capture video properly on Leopard.  It does about 3 mins, and then freezes.
Also Protools doesn’t work (even though I don’t have a copy, we were using it at the office for the show of Esther audio last month, and had to keep a Tiger machine around to use it…).
Anyway.
However, Apple Keynote is a very nice programme. I’ve used it to make some presentations, about Doulos, and now I’m actually working on an animation about the ship.  It’s so basic, for animation. Almost too basic, I think I’m kind of pushing it’s limits, but it works.  Once I’m done, I’ll post the video here.
I really have so little time left, and so many ideas and projects I wish that I’d spent more time in.  Part of me feels really worried that I’ve wasted this time, and not used it as I could.  On the other hand, I have this other either lazy, or else wiser, part of me saying 
There’s *always* good projects about mate, and if you try to do all of them, all the time, you’ll never get any of them done, and, you’ll burn out.  This is the only time you’ll get for just reading and reading and hanging out with your family and cats, so enjoy it.”
Oh well. I need to start cleaning up my desk…

I saw 2 ships come sailing in …

I’d like to spend a few minutes waxing lyrical about ArtRage2.
This is one of the coolest programmes I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a computer art / painting package, is relatively cheap ($25 USD), and very easy to use. Here are a few of my latest works:

Which is my dad and I sailing, on his boat. (Wayfarer, MK2). And…


I feel kinda homesick for the big ol’ rust bucket named Doulos. Both from memory, (well, I did check the number on the sail for the wayfarer, and I did have to check where the name was painted on in relation to the Anchor (sad!), but other than that, no ref. photos or anything.)