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Mini update! [Aug. 11th, 2012|04:39 pm]
Growler
So we went a bit mad and bought a 1963 Mini, intending to rebuild it and enjoy driving it. Except we haven't made much progress in the actual rebuilding stage, because we've been buying all the tools and upgrading the workshop.

First up we needed a parts washer, so an old dishwasher was modified to do the job. Then a media blasting cabinet was built, which meant we needed a larger compressor, and of course all the fun air tools (air chisel, flanging tool, drill, die grinder, etc).

The old MIG welder has been upgraded to fan-forced cooling, and a giant Argon/CO2 bottle installed. A Mini is mostly held together with spot welds, so we bought a handheld spot welder.

Upgrading the wiring in the workshop to handle all the new toys meant putting in a dedicated 30 Amp circuit for the welders, plus a bunch of extra power outlets, along with double the number of fluorescent lights.

It seems every time we start working on something, we come up against the lack of another tool. So much so that we're talking about doing another Mini once this one is finished- the second one should be much easier.
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Int eh US [May. 23rd, 2012|06:24 pm]
Growler
Hullo all! We're in Seattle for a brief holiday, so far we've been camping with the Border Riders and one Rainbow (Wayne), been to the Microsoft campus where all the happiness was drained from our souls and my Nexus phone crashed and needed rebooting (it's NEVER done that before. Spooky.)

The next few days are a bit hectic- still plenty of people to catch up with and lots to do! And then we're in Napa for relaxation. Yay!
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(no subject) [Feb. 22nd, 2012|11:07 am]
Growler
I just saw Martin Scorsese's "Hugo". For a film giving tribute to the early pioneers of the medium, is sure goes out of its way to ignore established conventions of character and plot development, and wholly disregards current film language and pacing. The whole thing, from beginning to end, is a plodding, plot-defying montage of cameos and set pieces, drenched in the highest of fructose eye candy.

(I'd warn you of SPOILERS here, except the plot is so disjointed and secondary to the pretty images that it's pretty much spoiled from the start.)

The writing and dialogue is execrable: for example, if someone takes the most important thing in the world from you and wants to know why they should give it back, "Because it's mine" is a terrible answer. (Admittedly, saying "Because it was my dead father's and means a lot to me, and it's the key to finishing the restoration of a very complicated automaton" would have effectively ended the movie then and there.) If someone said "You're a thief!" to you, perhaps "My Father is dead and my Uncle is an alcoholic, and I have kept the station clocks maintained and running for months on my own- I only take food to keep myself alive" would be a more believable answer than shouting "No I'm not!" and running away. Again, if you have to resort to this sort of pathetic dialogue to keep the plot of your movie going, perhaps you need a better writer. And maybe a director who can stop wanking to the pretty pictures long enough to ask if the movie makes any sense.

Modern film has a language- you tell the story to the audience as much through camera work, pacing, and shot construction as through dialogue. Modern audiences are very aware of this, and when a director ignores that film language and relies on dialogue, it comes out sounding clunky and contrived no matter how visually compelling the associated images.
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(no subject) [Oct. 11th, 2011|06:41 pm]
Growler
Much business around the house- in the last 2 days I have:
-Installed an extension to the kitchen shelves
-made a coffee whacker (for emptying out the coffee grounds from the espresso handle)
-cast 2 more garden steps (4 to go!!)
-cast 5 more pavers (273 to go!)
-Modified the first of our 8 window sashes to accept modern double glazing units and draught excluders.
-Installed a rack to organise the pan lids in the kitchen drawer.

There's plenty more fun things to do (like re-wiring the lighting circuit, installing the ceiling fan, and vast quantities of dirt to be shovelled in the garden) but I might take a break tomorrow.
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Very much work [Sep. 22nd, 2011|11:47 am]
Growler
I'm working on projections and graphics for another play (Theatre, dahlink). It's fun to see that I haven't lost any of the old skills, all my hotkeys are still in muscle memory, and I still have a huge library of stock footage, fonts, and effects.

Unfortunately I've also been reminded what it's like working with your typical creative director who thinks in words and concepts, not in pictures. Translating and negotiating a mood or feeling into something I can put on a computer screen is slow going, and with the play only 2 weeks away I'm beginning to get alarmed. Which means I'm starting to procrastinate.

Hell, I'm even posting to LJ. It must be bad.
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Mushroom mushroom! [Sep. 5th, 2011|10:56 pm]
Growler
Well hello internet, yes it has been a while, about a weekend I believe. I didn't miss you all that much. Sorry.

Badger was awesome this year. 50 will do that (Hi Jason!), and I'll say more later, but there's something special about being able to bawl your eyes out in front of 200(?) dirty leathery bikers and receive nothing but support and camaraderie. Beast missed a good one.
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Sous vide [Jul. 20th, 2011|11:46 pm]
Growler
From Instant Upload


Brian has gone mad. He's ordered a bunch of parts and assembled them into a smart temperature controller capable of keeping a water bath at a VERY precise temperature for hours on end.

Perfect for sous vide cooking then. Tomorrow we shall have perfect eggs for breakfast. Or salmonella poisoning. (We've read the books, done the research, and are doing it properly, so not much chance of that happening.)

Speaking of reading the book: Douglas Baldwin has an excellent online guide to sous vide cooking here. Lots of geekery inside. Very excited.

(In the photo above we're testing it with the kettle as a water bath, but for reals will be using the deep fryer or the crock pot.)
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Sucky! [Jul. 14th, 2011|11:18 am]
Growler

We have the technology!


Well, half of it. The PID temperature controller is still on a rowboat from the US, so our sous vide ambitions have been delayed. In the meantime, I shall vacuum pack EVERYTHING IN THE FRIDGE just because I can.
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Fanboy I am not. But... [Jul. 3rd, 2011|02:58 pm]
Growler
Having recently been assimilated into the Apple borg I still haven't reached raving fanboy status, and probably never will.

I do, however, keep noticing mind-boggling design features on my Macbook Air. I mean, apart from being as thin as a Ginsu and utterly rigid. Today I just noticed that the sprung retaining clips in the USB ports are not the usual cheap stamped steel things, they appear to be honest to god ball bearings with springs behind them.

The retaining clips on my USB ports will outlast religion. It's ludicrous, ridiculous, and factors beyond overkill- and it pushes all my buttons.

The ports themselves, however, are still full of dust.
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Hello melbourne! [Jun. 8th, 2011|04:54 pm]
Growler


Just a quick update, we've arrived in Melbourne just fine, Matt is taking us around the city on an orientation tour. Saunas, gay bars, shopping- just the essentials.

I think we're going back in tomorrow, since I have Bear New Zealand flyers to distribute and gorilla feet shoes to buy. Maybe.

Posted via LjBeetle
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