Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Monday, July 30, 2001

What a load of pseudo-mystical crud! There is no such thing as a fleshling. And I think it's pretty weird that Gali and Lewa are so cheek-by-jowl with Throwbots even if they are of a kind..
Scuba is now once again by my side. But the fleshling is mad and should be dealt with.
This communication with the non-Bionicle is untoward. We will keep our own counsel.
You can't swing a dead Roborider around here without hitting another Throwbot. Don't you think it's time we cleared the decks a little for some breathing room? I mean, how many Flares are there around here? Three? Four? And what's all this talk about a problem monster or whatnot coming down the pike? Bah.
We thank you for bringing us to our friend Amazon. We see no need to grieve over her hurts received in glorious battle. Bring us to our friend Turbo and there may be peace between our peoples.
There is a possibility that I can extract an entire Turbo from the BPoP and the Fusion. That might be the sign that sages have been seeking for untold ages.

Sunday, July 29, 2001

Throwbot Amazon

I was able to extract most of an Amazon from the BPoP, but the right torso and arm were unaccounted for. I replaced them with black parts which give the impression of a functional, yet uncosmetic surgical repair. She looks pretty dangerous.



Scuba, Torch and Ski are now represented in their basic, non-Fusion form. The players are almost all in their places. Soon the music can begin.

Saturday, July 28, 2001

Amistad and Hot Shots: Part Deux have arrived. Also, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea from FSM.
LEGO parts have arrived: the big pile o' parts, which seems to include an Amazon Throwbot (oooo!) and almost certainly an entire destroyer droid (ahhh!) plus two or three Throwbots of undetermined identity. Actual Throwbot kits have also arrived: Ski, Granite, Scuba and Torch. Granite is redundant but parts is parts. (Turbo remains to be represented in toto.)
I can see the Sea Fair parade from my window at work, but it's pretty dull from 16 stories up in the twilight.

Tron

Tron. The non-existent CD.
UPDATE: That situation has been corrected. There is also a DVD now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Wyatt Earp and The Chamber arrived today. I'm concerned that Amistad has not arrived from Django's.
So many twigs! So many!

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Just ordered:

  • Eiger Sanction


  • Far and Away
Heh. Age. Heh.

I caught the last 15 minutes of Picnic this morning and I'm looking right at that guy, you know, the big star, the one who was married to Stephanie Powers and died prematurely and ... I cannot remember his name!

This racking of stupid, stupid brain goes on for a while (I ID Arthur O'Connell instantly, though!) until the phone rings. I say 'hello' and William Holden's name comes to mind unbidden and luminous.

Monday, July 23, 2001

I'm in the middle of the first listen to Prometheus' Rio Lobo. Jesus, it's hissy! I've been spoiled by the miracles wrought at FSM, I guess. The tracks are in order depending on the tape-source, which might make sense from some point of view, but the musical effect is questionable. The notes, perfectly readable, are movie-centric. Not much discussion of the music.
Thanks, Vince.

If I was any good at all, those little pics would be the result of a time-dependent script that would add and remove them automatically. If I was really really good, the camera would function as its own inventory-taker: recognizing the objects and creating a page reflecting the dynamic contents of the surrounds. The scripts would also create a transparent overlay (or heads-up display) with links, mouse-overs, pop-ups and frozen daiquiri dispensers. Unrecognized objects would either be ignored or disposed of. (Grabber arms or lasers, I can't decide.)
LOVE the snazzy "New!" .GIFs in use on the right hand directory of objects.
Sorry! Webcam wedged!

Sunday, July 22, 2001

New corporate / government crapola:


Slashdot | Sklyarov Arrest Follow-up

EFF Alerts

a quote: "Nah, we have found the natural evolution of American activism: outsource our patriotism to Russians. Let Russians stand up for our rights. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Nitrozac's take

Scottish webcam

Live JavaCam Video and Control

This is just brilliant:

"The lava flow, 400 metres across at its widest, has damaged several chairlifts dotted over the volcano, which is also a popular ski resort. Tourism representatives have said the magma is so hot that it is unlikely any snow will settle this winter."

Etna spews molten lava towards village

Saturday, July 21, 2001

Just received FSM's Between Heaven and Hell and Soldier of Fortune by Hugo Friedhofer. I haven't listened all the way through yet, but it's less Golden Agey than I would have thought. I have to confess that when I was a little kid I thought Hugo Friedhofer was a funny name. Kids are so ignorant.
Quick takes:



Saving Private Ryan - it's affecting and beautiful. But it is a bit dull. Deserves some more listens.



Sleepers- OK, I guess. I'll give it another shot.



Telarc's Music of Jerry Goldsmith - Except for the grandiose version of Room 222, there is nothing here at all. I really do not care for the concert arrangements. I'll probably sell this.

Cabana Boy No More

Don't worry about me, mistress! I have new friends now. I had hoped to tell you some other way, but I've fused with Turbo, Ski and Torch. Ski says I don't have to be your cabana boy anymore.

Friday, July 20, 2001

Sneakers and Jurassic Park III have arrived.
Re-ordered The Chamber (received July 25). Ordered Hot Shots, Part Deux (received July 28). Both from half.com. I think it was JJH on the FSM board who pointed me at half.com. Damn that day.
You amuse me, Gali. I'll sort your parts last.
Your strange words dismay us, fleshling. Return my servant, Scuba, and we will overlook this mad talk.
Although I have spent a little more than I wanted to, I now have the means to provide the Bionicles with a real challenge. Tarakava? Bah! Mana? Bah and bah again! From the depths of a package from Illinois will come a creation so terrible, so ruthless, so, so, so ... really, really mean that even working together with their rivals, the Throwbots and Roboriders, they cannot hope to prevail! Muah ah ha ha ha!

Lego

Oops. I won an ebay auction that I really didn't think I would. Still less than retail or Brickbay. Mostly.









Thursday, July 19, 2001

Saving Private Ryan, The Man in the Moon, The Fugitive, The Battle of Britain and Telarc's The Music of Jerry Goldsmith arrived in today's mail. The Chamber, alas, will not be coming anytime soon because the seller "found a problem" with it. To be fair they refunded my money (in cash!) and sent me a copy of, er, A League of Their Own. They also promised to send me a copy of The Chamber if they find one. I won't hold my breath for that one. We'll see.



I had ordered the Telarc ages ago and I thought the order had been cancelled ... oh well.
Little children came to my door asking for work. It was positively Dickensian. I sent them away without a single copper.

Bread nº 2

Second in a series of photos of freshly baked bread. Consistency is the key word here.

The project was to time-lapse film a block of ice melting. The gag was that I had frozen a Bionicle inside. I had hoped that the time-lapse would look like the figure was emerging from the ice. Well, it didn't. The ice just melted and that's what it looked like. It was interesting from a "how DOES ice melt" perspective, but it had no drama at all. Oh, it melts strictly from the outside in. If there is a supporting structure (say, a Bionicle) it will melt UP. So, the ice just shrinks.

The first test was a disk of ice with Kopaka. That fell over several times. It was pretty amusing to watch it skid around as the center of gravity changed. It quickly became annoying. The second test was a tall cone of ice with the Fire guy. This actually went very smoothly. For almost the entire melting, the block of ice was supported by the model's feet. The first thing that melted was the bottom of the cylinder where it touched the drain plate. So, here's this quart of ice with two little feet sticking out.

The cam set up is a bit disarrayed, it'll take a little doing to get it back in order.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Spider MOC

You can make a cool spider MOC from Onua but bad things happen:

Danish toy in a Danish freezer

Danish toy in a Danish freezer:

Gali the upperclassman

Gali can be pretty mean to her devoted priest Nokama.

Ladybug

A lady bug came into my house! I put it outside.

The fridge door will be replaced. Hooray! No mere service representative has a chance against Ginny. That's gotta eat into the ol' profit margin. Oh well.

Onua sat on a wall, Onua had a great fall ...

The Bionicle toy known as Onua fell off my desk onto a fan that was sitting on the floor. Not to worry! No harm done. Amazingly, his claws stuck in the finger guards in the most realistic way:





Monday, July 16, 2001

Fridge door

The new fridge has arrived. It is all that was promised. A fine, efficient refrigerator with a small footprint.



One problem - the stainless steel door has a blemish. A smudge, a scratch, an oops. But it's right in the damn middle of the door! Argh!

Lookit here.

Sunday, July 15, 2001

Looking for Richard - Howard Shore



General Album Info - Liked the movie. Liked the music in the movie. Was not unreminded of Doyle's Henry V.



Very First Impression - Good.



Tiny Little Nutshell - Too much singin' Choral arrangements are a tad monolithic.



Track by Track



1. Richard, Duke of York 4:09

General Effect - Generally sad with bits of anger and desperation.

Highlight - The low horn fanfare.

Notes - A series of broad chords, evocative of an overture quickly usher in a full chorus singing a very Shore-like tune. Tympani strikes presage a Poseidon-like fanfare in low horns. The chorus reacts unemotionally to interruptions. A muscular rocking figure underpins a section where the men's voices predominate. A "Jesus" chord occurs near the end.



2. Queen Margaret 3:13

General Effect -

Highlight -

Notes - A sea-like figure in the cellos prepares the ground for chilly violins playing long sustained chords. Distant, occasional drum strikes impart a dawn battlefield aspect. Deeper strings come in on different lines, creating a denser sound. An organ chord concludes the cut.



3. Lady Anne Neville 10:29

General Effect - episodic

Highlight - march-like section

Notes - Starts off with a string figure and choral treatment right out of Henry V. As wind accents and layers are added, the Shore orchestrations predominate for a bit. The middle strings + oboe line really evokes Doyle. The chorus is in a less declamatory mood than before. Solo tenors a la Gregorian chant are introduced as part of a contemplative section. This is interrupted by a war-like, halting march. Trombones and tympani exchange lurches for a bit. A bit of seeming whimsy is performed by the bassoon for a brief stretch before giving over to high strings and clarinet. This transition leads to a section of women's chorus, who have picked up the staggering broken rhythm. The men respond in kind. A cappella women introduce an elegiac section only lightly supported by the orchestra. Tremolo violins and very high sopranos exchange a few notes with a high clarinet. The Doyle-like music is re-introduced with the addition of isolated triangle strikes. The general effect toward the end is that of a funeral cortege.



4. George, Duke of Clarence 11:42

General Effect - Still more dire happenings

Highlight - Big crescendo

Notes - The introduction is rhythmically cluttered, but clearly martial. The chorus is a tad more agitated, but still in a cold, unemotional state. Silences punctuate much of the material. The briefest glimpses of a calm resignation peep through a cloud of dire pronouncement. An insistent rhythmic figure (which somehow reminds me of High Noon) introduces a stretch of brass mutterings. This gives way to a calmish bit with the full orchestra,sitting on top of some Mahlerian brass voicing. The subtle organ has slipped in again, as well. Near the middle of the cue, a trumpet calls out. A solo soprano sings "Deus testificeteur." A quick, massive crescendo featuring strenuously sawing strings soon gives over to a canon-like construct in the strings. Soon the strings are much in parallel in an aria-like motif. Low men's voices along with low orchestral voices, somewhat subdued approach a liturgical mood. This mood is immediately amplified by an organ-accompanied paean which concludes the cue.



5. William, Lord Hastings 5:22

General Effect - Post-battle recriminations.

Highlight - Fanfares. Ostinato.

Notes - Trumpet fanfares. Alternate with introspective lines from low winds and strings. An ostinato under distant men's voices. Timpani crescendo. Brass accents. Louder ostinato. Dramatic finale.



6. Ghosts 4:05

General Effect - very violent

Highlight - descending figures

Notes - Driving string figure underneath full orchestra. Voices are still emotionally distant, but there may be recriminations in there. Broad-shouldered, descending figures predominate. Tuba pedal points. Field drums pick up the tempo in a deliberate and violent way. Men's voices, much agitated pronounce "Solus."



7. Henry, Earl of Richmond 6:02

General Effect -

Highlight - Giant crescendo

Notes - Distant tattoo on field drums is underpinned by a string bass drone. The chorus appears. Pining strings build up textures during a long crescendo culminating in a brass explosion. This volume is maintained, Goldenthal-like, for a considerable period. Trombone declamations break through the volume. The chorus continues to declaim their Latin. A few chords of resolution are allowed in the generally downward-trending chords. Men and drums pronounce the last word, "Domine."
Order has been restored to the webcam universe at least for a little while. I don't know what these machines were doing while I was at work.
I was browsing Django's (aka Cellophane Square) and ordered Cop Land.
And another poll. This poll is harder to answer because I already own all the obvious must-haves. This is a battle between tadpoles in a shrinking puddle. Or something.

Saturday, July 14, 2001

On a recommendation from the FSM message board. I picked up an extra cheap copy of The Man in the Moon (received July 19) from half.com. While browsing, I came across a Carter Burwell score, The Chamber, (refunded July 19) for not very much. These will also be experiments.
Posted another poll. This one is about James Newton Howard.

The web cam controller was down all day. The fix is available - I'm just too lazy to install it.
Every so often I find myself thinking that I have not listened to enough James Newton Howard. That sort of thinking led me to buy Restoration, a perfectly fine but not overwhelming piece of music. I thought the same thing about Wyatt Earp, but I never did buy that.



Title                         Composer            Used$     Amazon$   Intrada$  ordered

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave Howard 9.99 14.99 -

Devil's Advocate Howard 7.99 15.99 15.99

Diggstown Howard 16.99 16.99

Dinosaur Howard 16.99

Dying Young Howard 9.99 14.99 -

The Fugitive Howard 2.99* 9.97 9.99 received

Grand Canyon Howard 7.97 11.97 11.99

Guilty By Suspicion Howard 7.99 16.99 16.99

Junior Howard 4.99 16.99 16.99

Just Cause Howard 9.99 16.99 16.99

Mumford Howard 16.99

Outbreak Howard 6.89 16.99 16.99

A Perfect Murder Howard 14.99 -

The Postman Howard 10.99 14.99 16.99

Primal Fear Howard 6.89 14.99 -

The Prince of Tides Howard 6.89 14.99 -

The Saint Of Fort Washington Howard 16.99 16.99

The Sixth Sense Howard 14.99 15.99

Snow Falling On Cedars Howard 16.99

Space Jam Howard 4.99 15.99 16.99

Stir Of Echoes Howard 16.99

Unbreakable Howard 9.99 14.99 16.99

Vertical Limit Howard 14.99 16.99

Waterworld Howard - 9.97 16.99

Wyatt Earp Howard 7.99 - - received
I've used the pre-order function at Amazon to order these soundtracks. It'll be an interesting experiment.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Eiger Sanction: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Expires: Jul 28, 2001 (canceled)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The River: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Expires: Jul 28, 2001

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Angela's Ashes [IMPORT]

Expires: Aug 11, 2001

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993 Film)

Expires: Aug 11, 2001 (canceled)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kelly's Heroes (1970 Film) / The Cincinnati Kid (1965 Film)

Expires: Aug 11, 2001

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Expires: Aug 11, 2001

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Far and Away

Expires: Aug 11, 2001 (canceled)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So many titles by John Williams that I meant to get around to buying.



Title                         Composer            Used$     Amazon$   Intrada$  ordered

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amistad Williams 7.99* 11.97 11.99 received

Angela's Ashes (Decca) Williams - 29.49 26.99

The Eiger Sanction Williams - 16.99 16.99

Far and Away Williams - 11.97 11.99

The Missouri Breaks Williams 8.00 14.99 15.99

The Patriot Williams 8.99 14.99 16.99

Penelope Williams - 15.19 14.99

Presumed Innocent Williams - 11.97 11.99

The River Williams - 14.99 16.99

Sabrina Williams 4.99 11.97 11.99

Saving Private Ryan Williams 6.95* 11.97 11.99 received

Sleepers Williams 4.99* 15.99 15.99 received

Stanley and Iris Williams 4.99 14.99 16.99

Stepmom Williams 4.99 14.98 16.99

Posted a poll (using a canned script) about some John Williams scores.

Friday, July 13, 2001

Very interesting about the cam skewing magenta. I love it that slightly wonky technology can contribute an artistic flair. BTW, the shield boss is not someone I'd want to meet in the back alley...Lego Fire Department nearby or not. Did I mention: MOBILE CAM? How about a toaster cam? It could move up and down, and show us the fresh toast.
Added a link (up there at the top) to a new blog: notes on film scores, There's no content (except for a wish list).

The webcam controller is kaput again.

Danish refrigerator will arrive on Monday. Whee!
Well, this is more of a wish / shopping list





Title Composer Used$ Amazon$ Intrada$ ordered

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A.I. Williams 13.99 17.99

Around the World in 80 Days Young - - -

Atlantis Howard - 13.99 16.99

Battle of Britain Walton 11.19* 13.99 15.99 received

Cinema Paradiso Morricone - 14.99 19.99

Come Seee the Paradise Edelman - 16.99 16.99

The Conversation Shire - - 19.99* received

Final Fantasy Goldenthal - 13.99 17.99

Frankie and Johnny Moross - 16.99 -

Jurassic Park III Davis 11.99* 14.99 16.99 received

Kelly's Heroes Schifrin - 15.19 14.99

The Matrix Davis - 14.99 15.99

Mists of Avalon Holdridge - 14.99 15.99

On the Beach Gordon - 15.99 15.99

Quiet Man Young - 14.99 15.99

Rio Grande Young - 13.99 15.99

Rio Lobo Goldsmith - - 19.99* received

The Score Shore - 15.99 15.99

Sneakers Horner 5.95* 11.97 11.99 received

Shield

There's something chilling about this shield boss.

Manjit blogs. Kyle is not alone.
re: old pictures. That's really unlikely. Feel free to put up any old pictures of me that you might have.
Does anyone else post things to Kyle's website besides Kyle? Hmmm, doesn't look like it.
We would like Kyle to post some old photos of himself on the website. Preferably high school prom pictures. If Kyle is our friends, he will do this small request for us.

- the NOC

Turquoise Balls

The turquoise balls that are near the 2001 scene are giving the camera fits. Interesting fits. Weird. When the balls are filling the top of the picture, the rest of the image is skewed - way skewed - to the magenta part of the spectrum.
It had escaped my attention that today is Friday the Thirteenth until just now. And me having put together a calendar only the day before yesterday.

Oh, Vince, the mobile camera will happen in its own sweet time. The mobile camera does not measure time the same way that we poor mortals are bound to do. When you are a dried-up frizzle of a 120-year-old man being tended by mysterious aliens in orbit around Jupiter, perhaps then the mobile camera will come to you and say, "Look! Look around the corner from Kyle's office and behold the wonders there!" The mobile camera is coming, but the time and manner of its coming is known only to the mobile camera. What seas must the mobile camera drink and mountains it eat before the mobile camera will make itself known? What stars will burn away their iron hearts in impatient fury before the mobile camera might appear? Is your heart ready to be filled with the love of the mobile camera?

Thursday, July 12, 2001

The ways of the internet are indeeed mysterious. With no intervention from me, the main webcam server has spontaneously reappeared with all services running. I can only assume that it was never actually down.
The main webcam server apparently went down at 4:09 Pacific time. I'll look in on it as soon as I can.
Kyle, as much as we love this stuff...WHEN will you have a walking, rolling, or otherwise mobile cam??
Added a link to a calendar that shows my wacky work schedule.

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Went to a computer store with the intent to buy a so-called KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switch. I experienced severe sticker shock for such a non-essential item. (I suppose if I only had one monitor, I'd think it more essential) so I re-thought the whole problem. The answer: two more Bionicles!

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

The Roborider MOC naming contest is over. The winning name is ...

MUMPY

I cannot resist a challenge. The other Bionicle is picking up a Biggie fries and a chili.

Overview

An overview

A certain charity takes appliances away for a small fee but there is a condition: the appliance should be "on the level" or "on the first floor."
So, I mention, there are the stairs to the front door on the first floor. Is that a problem?
How many steps? they ask.
Six, I say.
We'll do five.
What if you take it to the door, do the top five steps, I'll do the sixth step, and you take it to the truck?
OK.

!!!
I heard a really hard trivia question today. It'll be on that millionaire show soon.
That bread was delicious.
My "that bread looks delicious" comment doesn't seem to show up on the page. Anyway, I bought one of those 3M Precision Mousing Surfaces. It's fantastic. It's almost as cool as a Throwbot overcoming two Bionicles in the drive-thru at Wendy's!

Friday, July 06, 2001

Good old Brickbay! I found some Throwbot parts.

  • Projectile Yellow Technic 8 long liftarm with round rubber bumper   4

  • Black Panel 3 x 5 Solar/Clip-On/Deltoid   12

  • Black Technic Wing Back   4

  • Dark Grey Technic Connector with Axlehole   6

  • Green Technic Ankle, 2 x 3, w/ cross block (Part is GREEN)   16

  • Light Grey Radar Dish 4 x 4    4

  • Light Grey Radar Dish 8 x 8   2

  • Tan Technic 32173 Leg, 3 x 7, w/ ball joints (Part is TAN)   24

  • Tan Technic Throwbot Head   20

  • Turquoise Round Ball, from Cyber Slam set 8269 Cyber Stinger   4

  • Black Cone 2 x 2 x 1 & 2/3 Octagonal   10

  • Dark Grey Cone 4 x 4 x 2   4

  • Tan Technic Ankle, 2 x 3, w/ cross block (Part is TAN)   24

Thursday, July 05, 2001

The panning motor pulley has slipped! No left and right tonight.

Wednesday, July 04, 2001

Throwbots at work

Granite and Spark hitched a ride to work. Here they are playing with a password generator. Ha ha! Funny Throwbots reading the password files! I'll have to wipe their memories, of course.

91°F

Ack! 91°F! That's almost 33°C!

Hot!

Am I hot or not?
WebBrick server rebooted at 10:30 am Pacific time.
It's the Fourth of July! I, however am at work.
My workplace is notable for a lack of air conditioning during weekends and holidays. I'm going to take a thermometer in and monitor the heat. (The thermometers in the thermostats don't seem reliable. Now we can calibrate.)
WebBrick server rebooted at 8:24 am Pacific time.

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

USER: recognized

The cam is happy to note the presence of a new observer:

Gali

You are dead meat, fleshling!

Gali-cam

Gali-cam! Ha ha ha ha!
Great news for those who like to drive the pointable cam: I've switched cameras. This means that the fast camera, the LEGO cam, is now attached to the internet-enabled mount. The old Quickcam, the eyeball, has been relegated to just being pointed at things. The big benefit is much faster throughput on streaming video. This is less a camera problem than a server problem. Small and slow is bad. Big and fast is good. Unless you're a car, in which case, the opposite holds.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 02, 2001

Recent changes:

  • Adjusted inventory page

  • Added "Pohatu as Atlas" slide show

  • Added "Monkey" slide show

  • Added "Unnamed MOC" slide show

  • Added image maps to title pic

  • Added start/stop video to second webcam

  • Added 'archives' link

  • Put second webcam on its LEGO mount and pointed it out the window.


The name-the-MOC contest will end, oh, I don't know ... in a week. 11:59:59 PM on Sunday, July 8. The submissions so far have been FANTASTIC. Outstanding. Just outstanding.

Dear Suck

Ouch. Suck's next-to-last article contains a not-inaccurate blast at the phenomenon of the blog.

Apple(b)logue archive