musings index |
July 1997 index
July 29, 1997, Tuesday
ast night I actually sat down and learned how to use DeBabelizer (without the assistance of any documentation). This made life considerably easier when I went to make a 363 K animation of a drunken raving Theresa Venesian from video shot on July 5th. Not that I know even ten percent of what DeBabelizer can do, but just knowing how to apply Photoshop filters, scaling, and file conversions in batches gives me enormous power. Another extremely useful tool I've discovered is GifScan, a drag and drop Macintosh utility that generates raw HTML for all the image tags (complete with dimensions!) for a mess of images dropped onto its icon. That's what computers were made for. Interactivity is good for some things, but it's better to be able to assign the computer a task while you grab a magazine and head off to the water closet.
I was out of bed at 4:30 this afternoon. The day was unusually cool, dry and clear for this time of year. The nasty Jovian clouds of yesterday were the soldiers of a powerful cold front.
Not until the recent Pathfinder landing on Mars has a probe actually been able to drive around.
watched Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man on the SciFi channel. When I was something like five years old, the Six Million Dollar Man was my absolutely favourite teevee show. I was fascinated by the idea of a man with robotic parts. As a result, much of the fantasy play of my early childhood revolved around bionic themes. The particular episode today was one I recall vividly, the one where a nearly indestructible Soviet space probe destined for the inhospitable environment of Venus accidentally ends up on Earth and terrorizes a town (naturally, the probe finds its way to the concrete channel of the Los Angeles river, where years later Arnold Schwartzenegger would battle T2). Most of my early childhood ideas about space probes came from this very episode. However, not until the recent Pathfinder landing on Mars has a probe actually been able to drive around.
This episode encapsulated many of the things I so liked as a child about the Six Million Dollar Man: the bionics experience technical difficulties, the Soviets are forced by circumstances to cooperate with the Americans, a nearly indestructable force requires the skills that only a human/robot hybrid can provide. I'd never noticed the horrible acting,
the downplayed but irritating sexual subplot,
Steve Austin's unremarkable instantaneous insights that others had somehow overlooked,
and the implausible causes, problems and solutions to technological difficulties.
this part done with the BBEdit 4.04 text editor
It seems that in such a close match the inertia of history gives the prize to the old guy.
rode with Matthew Hart to pick up Leah so I could do a little shopping. I'm gradually becoming irritated by how much those two fight. They both seem to lack an important social skill: the capacity to back off. Small arguments quickly escalate into shouting and even punching matches. Things are thrown and broken over the issue of how much paprika to add to a stir fry. When they're sober it's pretty bad, but when they're drunk (and I'm not) it's Hell on Earth.
Speaking of fights, we all sat around and watched tonight's Holmes versus Harris boxing match on cable. Larry Holmes is the 47 year old patriarch who beat Mohammed Ali back in 1980. He's put on some gut in the years since, but he's still harder to knock down than a brick wall. Tonight's opponent, Maurice Harris, was a tall, thin, fast 22 year old. The game was well matched, nothing spectacular happened, and I thought Maurice fought the best. The judges split almost down the middle, but Holmes was awarded the prize by only one point. It seems that in such a close match the inertia of history gives the benefit of doubt to the old guy. By the way, I'm no fan of boxing, and I only watched the fight because Matthew Hart wanted to. I'm glad I did.
back to the top