Thursday, September 18, 2008

Evening Leaves

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New(ish) Pierce

Just saw this today, and absolutely fell in love. This is a newer fire engine for Alameda County, this one stationed in Castro Valley. It has a very different look from the truck that used to be here, which was a very 80's looking long nose International.

I like the short puggy nose on this one, and the added Old Glory radiator grille.

Of course the early evening light conspired to add to the overall appeal of the scene.

More Photos in my Picasa album
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Gaudi from Google

Now I'm impressed. So we are all used to seeing Google Maps, and being able to use satellite, street view, traffic, ride finder and all the other good bits of that service. We are also just getting used to Picasa being able to recognize people in your albums as "the same person". Now I've just found a wonderful new Google service, "Google Audio Indexing".

It seems they are running speech recognition on YouTube videos, and then you can search for key-words and phrase. Now it's not perfect, I searched for "Sacramento", and I saw that someone said "from Sacramento", and the text read "in Sacramento", but still, this is a powerful tool. Where will Google end?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

So what did we learn today children?

1) Copper is malleable. This means that it will bend and deform under the right pressure/torque.

2) Read the instructions twice, then have someone read them to you, this way less mistakes are made.

3) Keep your garage/workshop tidy so you know where your tools are.

4) Water is very wet, and T-Shirts absorb water.

5) Light is as important in plumbing as in photography.

Now all said and done, it is nice having an under the sink water filter and non drippy faucet which is tall enough to get our big pan under while there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ever Changing

Think back to the 1970's.

What if someone told you that everyone would carry a telephone in their pocket?

What about the idea of putting a little CO2 canister in a beer bottle?

How about TV's being on in restaurants at lunch time?

What about being told there will be no payphones in public?

Smoking would not be allowed in pubs.

Imagine being told light bulb technology would change from filament bulbs and fluorescent tubes to something new.

There are more recent changes that I didn't really notice. Today in the airport I passed a bar which has 5 CRT TV's. That's right, those big old tellies they used to use a few years ago. I guess flat panel screens are so prevalent that these actually looked clunky and out of place.

There is a new shopping mall in Anaheim opposite the theme parks, they have fancy LED lighting all over the place. You could blend RGB with incandescents, but nobody did. Yet now the color scheme of the mall changed noticeably every 30 seconds.

We are so used to change that we are almost immune to it. My parents were in the generation which saw teabags become adopted widely, I saw the introduction of round teabags, tetrahedral teabags and teabags which have drawstrings to squeeze the flavour out. What's next? Everyday something new. Everyday some old favourite obsoleted. How many types of Ritz Cracker can there usefully be?

This must all have something to do with my impending birthday.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Anime Women and Reality

So what was that comment about real women, porn women and cartoon women?
I think I’ve got a pretty sensible head on my shoulders. The anime chicks I like are not the big busty ones, though I do have a certain fondness for Kim Possible, and the E-Surance girl.

I think it nice when the toon girls have almost human proportions, but the expressive eyes are helpful to the image. Of course I have a preference for lean and toned anime girls. I’ve not settled on a preference for hair length or colour. I think I again prefer them to be more on the natural shades, rather than the bright pink or powder blue. I don’t fantasize about possibly being with cartoon women, they just sometimes are pleasant to look at.

I’m pretty much the same way with “real” women, actresses on TV or on the silver screen. You won’t find any Pamela Anderson in my collection, or running around in my fantasy world. I don’t have TV drools as such, but if I get a chance I’d watch Kaylee in Firefly, or Gabby in Xena. I want to see Battlestar Gallactica, but mostly for Grace Park in the role of Boomer. Sure, all three of these are pretty, but they also have interesting personalities. I guess for the most part they are personalities that wouldn’t intimidate me.
Of course these girls also have a strength to them; either in a warm sharing way, or a bit of an ass kicking way. Maybe I want a girl to protect me.
In the anime I watch and manga I read, it’s interesting characters like Mimiru from .hack//sign, and Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, or Triela from Gunslinger Girls, or Lain from Serial Experiments that I latch onto.
Triela is a 13 year old who was fatally wounded, and made into a cyborg by the government. She still carries an interesting personality with her, is immaculately dressed, and is one character in a show which carries a weighty social commentary. The title is where the cheesiness ends.
Mimiru is such a fun person, and a little reminiscent of a college friend of mine. She is a little goofy, sometimes her youth shows through in some childish behaviour. She looks like an Amazon because that is the character she chose to play in “The World”, the on-line game which the show is set in. Despite being a heavy sword, she has a big heart.
I do also like just looking at good looking women. I also like looking at good looking fire engines too. But again, it’s the good looking I’m looking for, not the big boobs stereotypical porn star. This cowgirl is about as busty as I take them.

So Lego girls in leathers and anime chicks are quite prevalent, nothing but a hint geeky. Of course if I had thousands of them and preferred them to “the real thing” then I’d be worried. I do actually like the real thing too though. Again, nothing over the top; not trolling for porn. If I wanted a biology lesson, we have Grays Anatomy on the shelf.
Sometimes it’s nice to just gaze upon soft curves and gentle lines, as in this picture taken from “The Pillow Book”, a film by Peter Greenaway. Or maybe the following image from the Domai website, a site which is dedicated to simple nudes. This one is uncharacteristically close to “fine art”; they normally are casual, relaxed pose nudes.
Of course, admiration, or objectification of women is not the only way of seeing soft curves, or pleasing tones, as illustrated with this picture on an early 60’s American La France, above, or this black and white photo of a DC3,
or even in this low resolution image of a Morgan.
I guess all I can do is leave you with this montage of Kaylee that I found on-line. Or add some more pages.
This rambling post was originally a letter to my friend.