January 2002 Archives

The Perfect Program

I'm reading When things start to think and it's full of all these lovely ideallistic interface ideas for life machines. That combined with amount of realism that our computer art and games are achieving lead me to this epiphany A perfect computer program will be identical to nature :-) Nature v2.0

Baybe Rayme

It's probably not fair that I post these, but I'm NOT FAIR. We were posting baby pictures on the bulletin board at work. Rayme didn't have any and wasn't motivating. So, I had his sister in Juneau ship them to us. Here they are. It's not real nice to put them on the web. But I have to archive them for late blackmail plans (which are also not nice). Get over it!...pics

Orchid Medic

I was Killing my orchid...softly. 1) I accidentally sprayed it with bleach water instead of fertilizer water. 2) I had it in a ceramic pot (an Alaskan no-no). 3) My matrix was too dense (duh?). Miah looked at it and via teleconference with Olivia was able to revive it. It's now happily on it's way to blooming....pics

New Bed

I got a bed. This is my first adult bed. I started sleeping on the floor somewhere during my teens. It's a firm matress with a mountain of goose down stuff and pillows. It's funny because at the Banff Mountain Film Festival one of the biography movies had a skit with a hardcore mountaint type pointing out and contemplating his newly acquired bed. That's about how I felt, "I hope it doesn't make be soft, but it's worth the risk."...pics

What jim likes to eat

Kati Says yeah- jim likes to eat lots of poop!. I know it sounds wierd, but it really is some upside down term of endearment. See this article for more poop scoopage. It really has presented some hilarity to the days. You should have heard me trying to order flowers with Kati eats poop on the greeting card over the phone ;-)

Book Review: Fstr

Faster by James Gleick was oddly enough a book I didn't read fast. This was my lunch and break book at work. Gleick is a great writer. He ties culture, research, and humor into a concise ball of a book. Fstr is a look at time as it relates to the human situation. The book is full of anectodes that put your understanding and use of time into some manageable perspective. I really like his noting that we spend equal amounts of time on paperwork as on sex. I also had a good government-employee's chuckle over the government agency assigned to study time usage in government. The Zen of the book is, Don't be frenetic even though you can't help it

Book Review: 100 Years Of Solitude

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Thank You John Field 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most confusing and profound books that I've read in some time. It's the story of a Spanish family in a town called Macondo accross 5 generations that parallel the development of civilization itself. Much of the book's content is soap-operish detail about the family and town's history. But it is so eloquently wrapped and so mystically close to the human experience that what I would normally call tedious was a joy to read.

A joy to read, but difficult at times. 100 Years of Solitude is very non-linear with lots of flashbacks and fades. It makes it difficult to focus on the plot. But ultimately, the details of the plot turned out to be less important than the prophetic and recursive theme.

I have to admire Marquez's style of prose. First, his balance of plot, theme, and detail. Second, his ability to really touch your humanity and even primality with the calibar and breadth of his characters. Finally, and in my opinion most admirably, he conveys so much depth of interpersonal relations with so little dialog.

This is my first read by Marquez. I think that Marquez's writing is very similar to that of Anne Proulx author of The Shipping News (which is coming out as a movie!). I've since aquired books by both authors (thank you dad). I look forward to reading them.

New Years 2001: Dinner and Rustic Alaska

New Years Rocked! A family friend Davina and I had the pleasure enjoying a beautiful meal with Wally, Marcel, Mike, and Christy(sp?). Southside Bistro, one of Anchorages best kitchens and winelists, has an 8 course single seating New Year's sense-fest. The service is personable and prompt, and because of the single seating there is a real shared rhythm to the meal. Oh and did I mention the wine list, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Carmenet Sem-Chard, Penfolds Bin 128 Pinot. Mike has a fine palette for wine and Davina is a cullinary arts student. between the two of them the menu forcasts were right on. But wait it get's better. I dropped off Davina at her friend's party and then hauled ass out to Eagle River to meet up with my party. After, the 4 mile snow mobile ride. With only one tipping the mobile accident. None of the beer that I brought was damaged ;). I got there 45 seconds before the midnight struck hearing the sound of fireworks and opening beers. Inside the cabin people had taken up instruments and were playing familiar tunes by gaslight. It was so pleasant and simple. Plus, there were racks of skis everywhere as most people had skiid in. I didn't capture a picture, but there was the cool baby sled that Nate designed that a skier could attach at the hips and travois the baby behind you. All in all it was awesome. Happy New Year! This one is gonna R00L!...pics

How many words is a picture worth?

I'm processing my new years pictures with Photoshop. I'm going about my rotate, crop and short title as per normal. Normal? I didn't used to process pictures this way. I've honed this procedure down to a fine art. Added some HTML here and there, tweaked picture sizes for faster loading, and came up with a nice date based folder layout. But the real difference between now and then is I don't type any text about each picture! I don't even give each picture a title. There is no textual description. What happened?

I used to pamper each image with a name, a description. Heck, I might even give each picture it's own date and author tag in the JPEG info. Then I reduced that just an aptly named file. Well that gets real tedious with any file browser (explor, finder, nautilus etc.). So then I started collecting my pictures in sets. Named buckets of nameless unexplained pictures.

Have the pictures lost their value? I'll bet other people with digital cameras have this same sentiment. It should feel strange. If one spends exactly as much time fiddling with pictures as taking pictures. That's two moments of time spent on one moment or archival. No wonder I'm hesitant to burn time on them.

If you think that is tough try video. It takes equal amounts of time to take a video, review a video, and digitize a video. So, It takes 1 moment to record; one moment to review the tape at your computer; and since the computer rips the video only as fast as the play speed of the camera it also takes on moment to copy the video onto the computer. So, 3 moments of one's life to archive 1 moment, and that's a highly conservative estimate. Now if you process from a disk consuming DV codec to a more web worthy codec like Sorenson QuickTime or MPEG then production could takes many moments. I'm lucky to have a fast dual processor computer. So, it takes me about as long to process/compress the video as it does to record it. Now, we're at 4 moments of work per moment of video. Want to add an audio track and a fade effect yet? You probably don't have time.

Don't be disheartened. Just because my pictures don't get the lavish descriptions of old, doesn't mean that they aren't important. Remember that God likes motion and not position, It's not the destination it's the journey. The only constant is change. Get you're 'δ' on! You see in the end when you're reviewing your media, whatever medium you chose, the important thing is not each picture. The real meaning will be gleaned from the story they tell from the differences between the pictures.

I think the real feng shui of personal archiving comes in using your time wisely. And finding a happy minimalist compromise that still retains the spirit of my story. Remember I'm out to be doing, not watching. PS This same principle goes for spelling errors ;-)