Turin Bell Tower Tour Revisited

Bell TowerSince it has been a long time since my last content upload on my YouTube Channel, I decided to make a quick update to my Turin Bell Tower model.

I have nearly finished the modeling portion of the project. As mentioned in the video, I’d like to add some decorative window panes; after that, I’m calling this done.

Then it is on to UV mapping and the texturing process. It is a little intimidating for me because texturing is not a strength of mine and LightWave 2018 has completely changed texturing and lighting. What little I know is no longer valid! I’m sure that I’ll use Substance Painter for much of it.

But I have learned a lot with this project. Hopefully the next project is easier because of that education.

Shanghai Skyline Model Complete

Shanghai SkylineProcrastination got the better of me (again). I didn’t take a photo of the finished model until this past Sunday.

As usual, I used my 50mm Prime lens but I don’t have any depth of field on this one. Truth be told, I am running out of room here to display these models. I’ll have to invest in a decent bookcase or shelving unit – but that would have to wait until I move some place better.

Moving is something else that I am procrastinating! I hate moving nearly as much as I hate this building I am in. But I digress.

This was an interesting model to assemble. The twisting Shanghai Tower is the most eye-catching and the way it goes together in Lego is just as cool. Ingenious!

Happy 101st Birthday Grandma!

grandma-Aug-2017My grandma Garstin was born today over a century ago in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. She attended Carter Lane Public School. I often wonder about visiting Mansfield to see it today.

She was nine years old when the family immigrated to Canada. My great-grandfather worked in the new gold mine up in Timmins, Ontario. Had he told the immigration people that he was a coal miner, the family would likely have lived in Nova Scotia and I wouldn’t be here today.

I try to visit my grandmother every weekend that I am not on-call at work. I often read to her from her memoirs that she wrote nearly 20 years ago. That always brings back memories and opens up talking points. Sometimes my dad or my aunt can call my cell phone from Australia and talk to their mom.

My long-term goals are to preserve grandma’s extensive journals and memoirs. She detailed her world travels thoroughly and they can be fascinating reads.

Happy birthday grandma! I wish I could visit you today!

A Week In Hell…

Recently my blog posts have had a somber tone. Bad news for my family and personal interests. This past week at work has been brutal; it drained nearly all my reserves for getting through each day.

We hit a new variation on a known bug in SQL Server 2016 that nearly caused an outage. So much of the week was consumed with tracking that down and monitoring for new occurrences. If the problem happens again, we should get a filtered minidump to Microsoft for analysis. One of my systems had other headaches to deal with. On top of all that, I was the on-call DBA.

Fun times…

I finished the Shanghai Skyline Lego model but did not get a photo taken yet. That will happen later today.

This is a long weekend – Monday being “Family Day” in Ontario. So tomorrow I will visit my grandmother (which I try to do every weekend that I am not on-call). On Wednesday, she turns 101 years old! So we’ll have a few glasses of sherry to celebrate.

I need to get out for a photo-walk somewhere on Monday. It has been ages since I’ve taken new photos. The shot of creative adrenaline will hopefully be what I need to recover from the last seven days.

R.I.P. Uncle Michael

Just received word from my mother that my uncle Michael passed away last night.

This was not entirely unexpected. He had appeared to be suffering from dementia – he was 84 years old – but it was moving fast. So about a month ago, a doctor ordered a brain scan. They found an very aggressive tumour.

Farewell uncle. You’ve earned your rest.

R.I.P. John Perry Barlow (1947–2018)

http://www.davidmcelroy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/John-Perry-Barlow.jpgYesterday morning, Grateful Dead lyricist and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow passed away in his sleep.

Rolling Stone has nice obituary for him.

It was Barlow’s lyrics and Bob Weir’s music that had the earliest influences on me when I was first turned-on to The Dead. Throwing Stones and Hell In A Bucket from the album “In The Dark” made their early marks. Mexicali Blues from “Skeletons From The Closet” and Estimated Prophet from “Terrapin Station” followed closely. Then others, such as Looks Like Rain.

I had been passingly familiar with JPB long before I knew his music though. In high school, I found a long article in Harper’s magazine titled, Is Computer Hacking A Crime? It was a long chat-room transcript from The WELL (a pre-world wide web bulletin board system). The chat included JPB, early computing luminaries such as Richard Stallman, and a hacker who would later become more widely known

Hacking was more of the exploratory, curious and creative nature back then. I still vividly recall JPB referring to our ancient ancestors as engaging in “fire hacking.” In that chat article, hacking was a force for good that drove our species forward. The word was only just gaining its nefarious, darker pall for the renegade and destructive activities it is known for today.

Like the other members of The Dead Family before him, John Perry Barlow will be sorely missed.

Thank-you for the EFF. Most importantly, thank-you for the music!

World Machine 3 Is Finally Available

World Machine has been at version 2.7.9 for years. It truly appeared that it was going to remain there and that 3.x was abandonware. However, several months ago, the sole-developer behind World Machine came out of hibernation and began working earnestly on the version 3.x code.

I know it was frustrating for third-party developers like Quadspinner to keep updating their code in pace with the new beta releases. That pain is finally over.

World Machine has given up on version numbers though. Preferring to name their releases. So now World Machine Mailbox Peak is the latest public release. I think this is a silly trend because numbers provide an inherent sense of how old or new some code is. Names don’t do that – this will be fun for a few versions but the novelty will quickly wear off.

I can’t wait to start playing with the new version.

There is even bigger news brewing in the digital terrain community – but that will be for another blog post.