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Entries from May 2016
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Birdus Migratorius (31 May at 23:23)
Sorry team, not much new to lay forth for May. As usual, the gears turn, the projects mature or go into cold storage, the TODO list continues to demonstrate its asymptotic superiority to my work output. I have a brief story about a bird,

At the start of the month this bird showed up and started trying to build a nest in a pretty silly spot, right in the corner of a window near my front door. However, its nesting was totally ineffective; all the straws just fell to the ground and accumulated on my porch:

Straw everywhere


It got a lot worse than this, the pile I mean, and while I'm pretty cool with a bird building a nest on my house, it just seemed sad and useless for it to be trying all day to build a nest and making no progress. And why doesn't it just get the scraps that fell on the porch and try again with them? I mean rather than root around the neighborhood for new bird sticks to drop on my porch? To deter the bird from returning in a humane and brand-appropriate way, I put this sculpey monster on the window sill right next to where she was trying to make nest:

It DOES have a mouth. It IS a frowning mouth.


Which, kind of amazingly, worked:



And I didn't see her for a few weeks. BUT THEN a few weeks later, that bird learned how to make nests, or a different bird who already knew, came back and was not scared by the tiny motionless monster any more, and set up shop for real. Since she is not so easily spooked, I put my Nest camera (née Dropcam) up there instead of the monster, so that I can check on her antics and make the pun "Hot Nest-on-nest action" (the camera does really get pretty hot; someone should check on that). Example:

Hot nest-on-nest action


I've since cleaned up the mud on the window and inched it much closer when she's away eating worms. If I get any good nature on camera that's not too heart-breaking, I'll post pictures or video. We've already got some eggs which I'm pretty sure is the first step in nature:

Two Robin's eggs in a nest


These eggs remind me of the color of a song.

And don't worry, I'm not in danger of becoming a bird-man. But I did learn one funny fact; the scientific name of the American Robin is... Turdus Migratorius.
(4 comments — 3 weeks ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from April 2016
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New T7ES mini-album: DTMF Jam for Dummies for Dummies (30 Apr at 20:13)
Good day! Since moving (I think I have mentioned here that I bought a house last year?) I have not actually hooked up much of my music gear, probably because I'm wary of the outcome where they get shittily fixtured because it seems like too much work to organize them into some modestly better arrangement, and so they stay embarrassingly messy (i.e. XLR cable across the middle of the floor) for years. So I'm trying to only take stuff out of the boxes when I have a good place to put them. This includes my Roland SC-880, which is a fancy MIDI machine that I pretty much only use to generate sawtooth waves and square waves for my Tom 7 Entertainment System "band." So for a while I've been without the sawtooth waves, and this is weird because a very common habit of mine is to sit down for an hour and write a little idea of a jam and then not finish it and leave it on my hard drive. So since this thing is not hooked up, I've been screwing around with software synthesizers, which are of course completely capable of making sawtooth waves and so much more, but also have way too many knobs for my liking and often generate stupid and annoying sounds. So I made a bunch of songs and left them on my hard drive, and then today I gave myself a monster headache by finishing some of them up and dodging the clipped bits and putting together a mini-album, since it's been a few years!

DTMF Jam for Dummies for Dummies
DTMF Jam for Dummies for Dummies


All these songs use ridiculous synthesizer sounds, which I feel is sort of cheating, but maybe you like. Heart emoji indicates favorite, with Facebook Phone being like on the rainbow dolphin sex end of the spectrum and Wires comin' out being on the alien death disco side.

1. Theme from Facebook Phone (favorite)
2. Permanent signal
3. Superior olive
4. Theme from Bosch proportional servo valve
5. Wires comin' out everythin' ev'where (favorite)

You can of course download the whole album in a zip file. I also just updated the T7ES site which it turned out was missing my second-most-recent album. I believe it's comprehensive now.
Categories:  t7es  mp3 (5 comments — almost 2 months ago)   [ comment ]
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SIGBOVIK 2016: Snacks, 3D Zelda (02 Apr at 12:57)
Sup team! Yesterday was SIGBOVIK 2016, and as usual I had some entries that were more work than warranted by a joke conference.

The minor work was Reordering the Snacks is Effective and Just, which concerns an operational and ethical question in office snack behavior. Probably not worth it unless you go for the deep cuts.

The thing I poured a month into is The glEnd() of Zelda, which is a hack to automatically emulate NES games in 3D. I spent a lot of time crafting a video demonstration and explanation with my typical non-SAG "acting", which even seems to go over well with non-nerds:

Click here for Automated 3D NES
Click here for Automated 3D NES


I sort of ran out of time on this one, so I hope to have some more refinements to the code and to then post a download in a more user-friendly form. But you know how these things go!
Categories:  sigbovik  hacks (10 comments — 3 weeks ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from March 2016
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Null / undefined (31 Mar at 23:19)
Hi, i have been working all month on my SIGBOVIK project, but i can't reveal it until tomorrow, so I have nothing to post. Check back tomorrow!
(2 comments — almost 3 months ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from February 2016
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Winter Vacation 2016 (29 Feb at 18:02)
Go ahead and blame the victim, but my head is covered in epic scales of sun-burn, which dead-ass skin also seems to have absorbed the entirety of the sun-tan, so these large size dry-ass patches are substantially darker than the enreddened prematurely newborn skin beneath as it peels, and it's peeling in these interlobing elliptic scales, so that my forehead looks like I accidentally forgot to finish my human makeup, outing my true reptilian shapeshifter form. It's kind of gross. I know how to use sunscreen and everything, at least I'd claim that, knowing that I totally sprayed it on all parts, then wiped it with my hands to get even in the secret spots where sun-burn can penetrate, like the sensitive inner lining of the eyelids. In fact I'd say it's pretty good proof of proper use that the sunburn is fully uniform, absent only in the contours where the body in running pose shades itself, like the undersides of my now terrifyingly highlighted pectoral muscles. Due to the uninterrupted and voluminous shedding I have vowed to not commit any crimes where I could be implicated by reptilian DNA evidence, for the next few days.

Same sun as always toasts us, but this one was from the vantage point of the tiny island in the Carribbean, Curaçao. I still can't figure out if it's technically a country or not, but if so it's surely the smallest country I've ever been in. We went there for vacation and I burned myself running across its girth, at approximately its widest part, the first time I've run across the girth of a thing that may be a country at approximately its widest part, unlocking that achievement.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED
Ran across a thing that ...


(Running may be an overstatement, though—the north parts are pretty remote, there was no shade, and I ran out of water, so I did plenty of walking so as not to hurt myself.) Even though Curaçao is an island and gets lots of sea-mist, it's basically a desert, sort of like an inverted oasis for the ocean itself. On my run it was comically hot and dry, like literally there were dead dry-ass cactuses and dead dry-ass buzzards (probably not actually buzzards, but I imagined them as buzzards for comic purposes) and dead dry-ass skeletal apocalypse horses, e.g.,

...
...


The north coast is super beautiful and a great payoff, though. It's this tall coral embankment that's being eaten away by the waves from the underside, which eventually causes reptilian scales to disintegrate from the coral, exposing caves and giant tidal pools, like so:

These could be anywhere beneath your feat
These could be anywhere beneath your feat


A full account of the trip would take more space than this tiny margin could contain (but seriously, isn't it also getting kind of funny how narrow this page is, by 2016 standards? I haven't changed the design since Stalkertron 2000 launched in Y2K, but somehow this has not stemmed the tide of ever-widening screens. But it may have made me mobile-optimized.), and most of it was very pleasant exploring and relaxing and programming and normal touristy stuff. There were a few other miscellaneous things that delighted me, though:

First, the language(s). It seems everyone there speaks 3 or 4 languages, which is impressive, and signs sort of switch fluidly between them. For example, one sign (NO PHOTO) reads:

Boat tours of
the both sides
of de island


Perfectly intelligible, and to be clear this is an expression of my delight, not making fun (especially since I barely speak one human language), but wha? It was just four words ago that you demonstrated knowledge (if not quite mastery) of the definite article in English! And I know you already know this, but Dutch is so funny to English speakers, seeming on signs to mostly be lolcats or earnest typos of English, like news of the impending "Elekshon", or this delightful specimen:


"Let op! Drempels"


OMG ♥. My next band will be called Drempels. Then there is their currency, normal except for the 1/100 guilder coin, approximately worth one-half US cent. It's so minuscule and lightweight as to be classified as an inhalation hazard:

Use only NIOSH N95 or equivalent
Use only NIOSH N95 or equivalent


And finally, ruminate on this survey machine found outside the bathroom in the airport terminal (and note that the need for a survey machine may give you hints about the expected answers).

Again note hints of reptilian conspiracy.
Again note hints of reptilian conspiracy.


But to simplify the rumination, imagine that it just has a single frowny face button, that just says "Please touch this button if you are one of the people who just went in a really unclean bathroom" or perhaps just: "Did you wash your hands? Y/N"
(6 comments — almost 4 months ago)   [ comment ]
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