Friday, May 29, 2009

What's playing in the jukebox

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I don't have a lot of time for writing, work and school loads are quite big.

I have a very interesting relationship with Blues. I like it, but only in the upbeat happy versions.

This is a song I first heard in the soundtrack of Blues Brothers 2000. Supplemented with strippers dancing made it even better.

The song was originally done by Clarence Carter in 1967.

I could not find the clip from the Blues Brothers movie, but i have found a clip from "Another Day in Paradise" with James Woods/melanie Griffith, where it was actually performed by Clarence Carter.

Lookin' for a Fox. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am about to sing...Juke-box

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I started listeing to swing about the time it became popular again, in the 90's. I have a large collection of neo-swing bands in my BigPod. I still listen to a lot of swing music ten years after its revival.

One song that I still like to listen to, with windows rolled down, is an oldie sang by a band with a interesting name, Cherry Poppin' Daddies.

The clip has some excellent Lindy Hop dancing.



Enjoy.

Weekend happenings

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I have done something on the weekend that I don't think I did ever. I went to see a late night showing of a movie. Yes, I went to see Startrek alone. A lot of folks have written a lot of words about the movie, so all that i am going to say is that I enjoyed it. There were several pieces that did not make sense to me, or I thought the movie could do without, but that's to be expected.

The Little One participated in a Russian school recital of sorts. She did great, even though she was a bit scared in the beginning. I am very very proud of her.

And that's it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The last experiment

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This is the end of experimentation. I did it using Default Max scanline render, which allowed me a bit of a greater flexibility with Depth of Field, rendering it as a camera effect.



And with less artifacts.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Experimenting with composition

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I haven't done much 3D in the last couple of months.

I created this picture because I wanted to have an original wallpaper for myself. The composition is very simple. The point of the exercise was to experiment with raytracing materials and depth of field for a more-or-less realistic look.

The pixelation of blurred regions is due to a smaller sample size on the render. The render itself took about 20 minutes. If I have increased the sampling size it would be exponentially longer.

Little patience I have.



The image is big 1680x1050 px

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An Update.

Watching couple of tutorials I have achieved a better grasp as to how to do the depth of field. I have also switched to a different material type, using only raytrace.

Here is the end result. The white artifacts due to insufficiency of processing power of my laptop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My jukebox

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There are several bands where mine and my wife's tastes in rock music differ.

This Finnish band is the perfect example - Nightwish. The band was fronted by Tarja Turnunnen who possessed the pipes of an opera singer. The band's music revolved around her beautiful voice.



But here's a piece that always gives me chills. Her rendition of Phantom of The Opera.



Enjoy. Or don't. Nightwish is an aquired taste.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Castle quote of the week

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I like Castle. The show is funny...here's the quote from last Monday's show, which was DVRed.

Becket: Doesn't it bother you that they (boobs) are obviously not real
Castle: Well, Santa is not real, we still like to unwrap the presents.

A proud parent

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I realized that I haven't posted since last week, but the week was a bit hectic. The after vacation week is always hectic, since you are trying to catch up to the stuff that happened while you were out.

The Little One's Russian school is hosting a bit of a show this weekend. There is a puppet theater, where she will recite a known Russian ode to the Teddy Bear. There is also a bit of singing involved, about which we weren't notified. It seems there is a song about a Bird (the words we don't know yet, but the Little One should know them), and she is donig a solo on a famouse Russian Toon song about a Blue Traincar (originally sang by a Crocodile).

For my Russian readers, I think enough hints have been given to figure out some things. For the American friends, not knowing any of this does not belittle you in any way, nor will knowing it will significantly improve your lifestyles.

If it happens and I happen to shoot the video, I will post it.

She will also have a dance recital in her ballet school. We have to pay for the dress, AND for the tickets!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obscure TV references..

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This were several cartoon series on WB produced by Warner Bros and Mr. Spielberg. Animaniacs, Freakazoid, and of course these guys.



Narf. Zoid.

"Gee, Brain. What do you want to do tonight?"
"The same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to take over the World!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A fool's promise

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Yesterday, over at Jim's, I have made a fool's promise to work a certain turn of phrase into every post.

Well, I am impulsive in that way. I like the idea, accept it, and then often enough I live to regret it. Truth to tell I don't have "...hairy dangling bag-O-marbles... " big enough to use it in every post I write. I doubt that I can actualy use it more than once a month.

This blog is read by people who are close to me, and I want them to believe that I am a well mannered nice Jewish boy, which I think is very close to the truth. I shudder at the thought that Mom or Dad, who I have never in my life heard of uttering an explitive, would read that here.

So a promise I can keep, is that references to the fauna's genitalia will be kept to a minimum.

Although I can not promise the same for the blogs I read and comment on. That's the backstabbing son-of-a-bitch I am.

-------------------------------------------------------

On a a less self-centered note. Last year I have planted a small bush of lilacs in an empty corner of our backyard. Me and my wife love the smell of lilacs in the early summer. By the end of last summer, the bush looked all sickly, and we thought it wouldn't survive or bear flowers. The surprise came yesterday, as the bush is showing new sprouts, and actually blossomed. It's still pretty small, and the flowers are not the usual heavy clusters you see hanging from the bushes on every corner. I think that I will feed the plant a little this summer, and keep it clean from weeds and parasites.

Here the picture.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Books ahoy!

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In my usual fashion I am currently reading two books at the same time.

While on vacation I almost finished Steve Erickson's Gardens of The Moon. You know something, I think I like this book. I still can't make all the connections (yay for surprizes, should any come). I like the pace. I like the world and the magiks involved(although still not overly explained yet). I like the flawed characters all over the place, with agends that are not clear to be good or bad. Some of the agendas even fall in the category of simply being agendas, for selfish (good/bad/unknown yet reasons).

I hope I won't be dissapointed by the ending.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Travel notes.. the end

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We are back home.

I can't do more than 7 days of doing nothing. I am hardwired to move around. We said our goodbuys to the gulf today, with the throwing of pennies into the water. Old Russian tradition you know.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work, and finish up with the Quiz for Finance class.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Travel notes...

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The weather has been at a steady 90F all week without a single clowd in the sky.

The gulf is warm, the pool is warm, life is good, although coming to an end in two days.

Just a couple of pics to show my reader how good the life is.

The view from the balcony.



The obligatory sunset shot. The Little One wanted to touch the sun.



A here is one winged friend, decided to walk among us humins.




We've also seen dolphins jumping along the beach more than ones. A sting ray jump the water couple of times. One of our friends getting stung by afore mentioned stingray (maybe a different one), and that's about all of the exitement one needs one one's vacation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Travel Notes past due...

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Here are couple of thoughts I missed or forgotten...

Orlando reminds me of Vegas. Hotels, hotels, hotels, malls, malls, malls, Disney parks are the casinos, and jungle instead of the desert, but overall the landscape is almost identical.

West Coast Florida beaches are very similar in archetecture to Miami. It seems that the art deco stylings have been frozen in time here, and no architectural breakthroughs have been made since the Cuban revolution.

I love lazy vacations, the only things that are worrying me at this very moment is finding the prettiest possible seashell for the Little One.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Travel Notes ... cont

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Is it me, or does Florida has more tattooes (added .. and mustaches) per capita than any other state?

Everytime I see five pelicans flying in a broken V formation, I duck and expect bombs to start flying. These bastards fly really low and have shadows like B-52s.

While you baing lazy take this quiz. I found it at Roger Ebert's blog.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx

Your Results
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.

1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (96%)
3. Nontheist (79%)
4. Liberal Quakers (79%)
5. Neo-Pagan (78%)
6. Theravada Buddhism (71%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (69%)
8. Taoism (58%)
9. Reform Judaism (56%)
10. New Age (51%)
11. Sikhism (50%)
12. Mahayana Buddhism (49%)
13. Baha'i Faith (43%)
14. Scientology (41%)
15. New Thought (40%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (40%)
17. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (36%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (33%)
19. Jainism (32%)
20. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (31%)
21. Eastern Orthodox (28%)
22. Islam (28%)
23. Orthodox Judaism (28%)
24. Roman Catholic (28%)
25. Hinduism (23%)
26. Seventh Day Adventist (16%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (6%)

Travel notes .. days three, four, five?

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Boogie boarding is not as easy as it sounds or looks. I keep tipping over into the wave. Of course I like tipping over, it is a fun activity in itself.

The water in the gulf is warm. Usually to break in, I run like hell into the water and dive right in. Today I just walked in, so warm is the water.

Yesterday foray into the Seaworld (before we left Orlando) was awesome. Playing with dolphins is as much fun as everyone thinks it is. However, the dolphins are pretty much like dogs. If you don't have food on you, good luck attracting attention.

If I wear a hat my hair gets all scraggly and weird.

While driving in a car:

- Daddy, daddy you hair is beautiful
- Well, thank you sweety
- Yeah.... just like a girl's

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Travel Notes day 2

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Well, we didn't follow Jason's advise to pace ourselves, and did 12 straight hours of Disney Goodness. Three parades, one fireworks, and oodles of fun rides. Tired as hell.

We came back from the park about 20 minutes ago, everyone except me is asleep already.

I'll do a full report later tomorrow, either before the Tampa drive, or after we arrive to Tampe.

The clock on the post lies, it's 11:50 pm EST.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Travel Notes Day 1

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Budget SUCKS! S-U-C-K-S! The Flight to Orlando was uneventful, if a little bouncy. We picked up our luggage and went to the Budget counter to get our car. The line want not very big, but it took us HOUR AND A HALF to get into a car. There were three cashiers working, and one of them left as the line grew longer. When we complained about the long wait, the clerk actually told us that this is the busy time for them. When we asked him whether it would be more prodent to have more clerks during the busy time, we only got a blank stare.

Anyway enough complaining. The accomodations are great. The first day's trip to Seaworld was awesome.

First we went to see Blue Horizons, a show with acrobats and a lot of dolphins. The dolphin show in Sheed Aquarium pales in comaprison. Then we went to see a sea lion/pirate show. It's great for kids, got a few chuckles out of adults, and overall enjoyable time waste. Then, we went to see the sharks, and the penguins.

The shark thing is great. They swim right over your head. The have couple of huge sting rays and a general assortment of sand and local small sharks. No great whites or tigers.

After the sharks and small showing of penguins we went to see Shamu. Now, you think that two adults would figure out what soak zone means. Nope. The big bad fish has slapped some water that flew out about 60 feet and drenched the staduim. The Awesome Wife swore to have brushed off fish scales from her dress.

Me, I of course had the Little One sitting on my lap, using her as a small shield against the liquid onslaught.

After that, we went to have some ice cream and a bit of rest while little one enjoyed a kiddie coaster. Her Dad (me) got a great picture of his bald spot, while sporting a Whoo-Hoo expression on his face.

The last thing we did I think was spend a bit of time watching Jack Hannah show some of his great animals. The amount of animal knowledge this guy has is absolutely awe-inspiring.

Anyways, the day was great, but we came back to the hotel exausted. Tomorrow is Magic Kingdom, so I expect it to be worse.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Saying goodbye.

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I must be strange.

I have never seen the point of saying "Good Bye" over the telephone. "Good Bye" is something personal that needs to be said while seeing the person, especially if the circumstances will perevent us from seeing each other for a considerable duration of time.

Saying "Good Bye" over the phone has no meaning for me, as I can always pick up the phone and talk to that person again, regardless of where I am, I am not seeing that person anyways.

Anyways, I hope I explained that well. If not, oh well. Just needed something to say.

We are going on vacation starting today. Hitting Orlando and Tampa. I refuse to say Good Bye, since I will have access to the internet, so it would be as I have never left at all :)