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WOW June 19, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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Advancements in technology, coming to a store near you – Microsoft’s Photosynth.  Found over at Twenty Sided.  Oh, we won’t see it in widespread use for a few years, I expect, but it really gives you a sense about where this whole computer thing is going.  Amazing times we live in eh?

Product Endorsement June 18, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Art.
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I just tried StarKist “Gourmet Choice” Yellowfin Marinated Tuna Fillet – Roasted Garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Verdict:  it’s delicious.  

Normally, I only buy solid, white albacore tuna preferably packed in oil.  The “packed in oil” stuff is getting harder to find these days, though.  The chunk light stuff = cat food, IMHO.  I came across this new variety just yesterday and had to try it.  I was a little suspicious of the product right after I opened the can and tried to drain it – nothing came out!  Highly unusual.  My hopes sank after I fully opened it and looked inside.  GAH!  CHUNK LIGHT!  I’d brought a backup can of SWA in water just in case, and I thought I’d be opening it up.  Still, I tasted it anyway, and was pleasently surprised.  It did not have the really fishy taste typical of the CL variety.  It has a nice flavor with a hint of roasted garlic – not really heavy and the olive oil is nice and light, giving the fish a nice moistness to it without making it feel slimey or greasy.  I had it on sourdough bread with mayo, lettuce tomato and onions.  Hmm – tuna, garlic and onions.  I Hhhhhhhhope the people at work won’t hhhhhhhhhhhhave a prohhhhhhhhhhblem with thhhhhhhhhhat!

In related news there’s no touching at Kilmer Middle School for the students there.  I feel sorry for kids growing up today, the insanity in gubmint schools is reaching, well, insane levels.  I have an image in my head of everybody holding their fingers a couple millimeters away from everyone else and everyone saying “I’m not touching you!  You can’t get mad, ’cause I’m not touching you!”

Shoe Finished – New Project June 14, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Home.
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I took the day off today to work on The Shoe and also to attend my HOA Board meeting.  With my class at night I can’t do after work hours, and our property management company guy doesn’t do Friday nights.  Thursday afternoon it was. 

I blew yesterday off, and paid for it today.  I really struggled with the final assembly and time was not on my side.  A couple of my original ideas turned out to be totally unworkable and I had to come up with new, workable solutions quickly.  Deadlines can do wonderful things to focus the mind at times.  I was able to finish the thing just before the meeting thankfully.  No pictures of the finished project though – it’s sitting in the classroom for the weekend.  It turned out pretty good.  Not as nice as I hoped, but pretty danged good for a first effort at wire sculpting. 

Our next project, after the plaster carving one, involves doing something with a book.  I don’t know the details, but it involves taking it apart.

Class Pictures June 12, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Art.
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Paper bug I assembled at the last minute:

Paper Bug


I Am Not Dead June 12, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Juggling.
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Just really busy at work and at class until nearly 10:00 pm and my computer at home giving me fits.  I dare not turn it off anymore – it takes 2+ hours to boot up.  I don’t know what the problem is either.

Some updates:  I finished my paper project barely on time – just before class started in fact.  I threw some bug thing together with tubes.  B+ for a grade.  I’ll take it.  (All of my pictures are at home so I’ll throw those up later).  We started our wire shoe sculptures and mine is going well.  I hope to mostly finish it tonight. 

We have our next project as well – plaster carving.  We have to meld some organic shape with some sort of man-made shape.  We all had to come up with 10 ideas for each.    First an organic form was selected from each of our lists by the instructor.  Mine was ram’s horns.  We then found out that we were NOT going to use the selected form from our list, but that someone else would get it.  We then went through the man-made form lists with the same expectation, but this time we kept our man-made form.  Then we randomly drew from the pool of organic forms.  I have to sculpt something that melds snakeskin with the Mandlebrot Set.  Did you follow that?  Snakeskin =  somebody else’s idea, and Mandlebrot Set = my idea.  And we’re not allowed to do anything with color either dammit.  Could be worse – one guy in class has to do something with a seahorse and a rake.

Well, work beckons.  Type at you later.  And pictures!

 Fixed post so it’s not total gibberish anymore.

Sculpture Class – 1st Night June 4, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Art.
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We did the usual first class stuff – go over the syllabus, calendar, class rules (no personal music devices!!!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!) and general discussion about what is art, sculpture, etc.  We also got an idea about the materials we’re going work with:  casting in plaster, carving in wood and plaster, construction with wood and metal using power and hand tools and even welding!   I hadn’t thought we would get into that sort of stuff in a beginner’s class.  No stone carving though.  Oh well.

Our first project is to make something out of a largish piece of paper just using the paper.  No glue, or tape or staples.  No non-original origami either.  It actually has to be something too – no paper wad “boulders”.  It’s due the beginning of class tomorrow.  I’m still trying to come up with an idea of what to do.  Tomorrow we are to bring a shoe to class where we will draw the shoe a couple different ways, then sculpt the shoe out of wire.  I already have a good notion about how I’m going to do that.  I’ve never worked with wire before but now that I’m contemplating it I’m really eager to do so. 

Hmmmm –wire!

Gun Fun June 3, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Science & Technology.
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Today I went out and shot at the desert.  It didn’t seem to mind, as it’s been shot at by whole butt load of people before me and a lot of others after me, I’m sure.  I’m getting before myself though.

Recently my boss and I hired a guy into our little team of three.  He was in the Marines before he started working for our organization and he’d been out in The Shit in Iraq.  Not only had he been shot at, he’d actually been shot.  Twice.  In the chest.  Luckily for him he was wearing his body armor and the rounds did not penetrate it.  Anyway, he has guns.  Lots of guns.  Soon after we hired him he proposed that we go out play with some of his armament sometime.  Today was that time!

He has two automatic pistols:  9mm Beretta, and a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson.  I brought along my little .22 rifle and a Crossman pump-action BB gun :-D.  We met at a gas station on the far south side of town, right before you start leaving the Las Vegas environs entirely.  He led us down the road a bit further and then off on a little trail on the side.  Up and down a few hills, and around some corners, and then we just stopped.  We were in a little valley with a bunch of broken and shot up stuff lying around.  And shell casings.  Hundreds, if not thousands of shotgun shell casings were everywhere, and probably casings of every other kind of ordnance available too.  You mostly notice the shotgun shells because of the size and color of course. 

We plinked around a bit with the .22 and the BB gun and then got set up for the Main Attractions.  Among the wrack and ruin was a sizable piece of plywood of many holes that we set up against some other junk and we taped some paper targets and clay pigeons to it to shoot at.  Our Master at Arms explained the general workings of the two guns he brought, shooting range etiquette with proper trigger safety, and we loaded up some magazines.  He has two ammo boxes filled with rounds.  They sparkled like little, lethal jewels.  We took turns with the 9mm first.

I was the last to take a turn and I was a bit nervous.  Like I said, I’d never shot any sort of handgun before and wasn’t sure what to expect.  One of my biggest fears was dropping the damn thing.  POW!  Huh.  The recoil was a bit more jarring than I expected, but not as much as I feared.  The trigger was the bigger surprise – not much pressure at all was required.  Just the teensiest bit of a of pull and POW!  The fact that I wasn’t hitting the targets at all wasn’t a surprise.  I was hitting the board though, so at least I can hit the side of a barn.

We did the 9mm a couple times and then moved up to the .40.  It’s a heavier round with more recoil, but it’s a little heavier gun so it seemed like I had a little better control.  Maybe.  I dunno – just more practiced perhaps.  Anyway, we went on loading up magazines for both of them and shooting at targets for a while.  Often my best shots were my first ones – I nailed a clay pigeon on one of them with the .40.  Oh, we were shooting from about 12 to 15 feet away from the targets.  I thought we were kinda too close, but our Gun Guy said that handgun ranges were usually about 7 to 10 feet. 

It started to get hot a little before 11:00 so we packed it in.  We had a blast and we’ll definitely do it again.  Next time I’m gonna bring my shotgun and Gun Guy is gonna bring his assault rifle. 

Now I want a handgun.  I’ve said this before, many times, and never followed up but now I really want one.  That was just too much fun.  I want to shoot under more controlled circumstances at a gun range so I can get better practice.  It’s hard to see how you’re doing when you’re shooting at a target with other people’s holes.