August 2014

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Sun 8/31/14 3:37pm # | tweet this

Mini-Maker Faire

Jennifer and I went down to the Mini-Maker Faire at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. I didn't take any photos other than these 3. It really was a mini fair, especially in relationship to the Detroit Maker Faire.

There were some interesting 3D Printing booths and misc other booths. For $8 you got to walk through the Museum too. It was a nice couple hours.

I want to hear your



Sun 8/31/14 9:33am # | tweet this

Baby

After just the two of us knowing for several months, we were excited yesterday to tell our parents, family, friends and the obligatory Facebook post that we are expecting a baby in February 2015.

I could ramble on quite a bit, but I'll save some of that for in person.

Anyway, look for baby photos to join the cat pics on this blog soon. :)

I want to hear your



Thu 8/28/14 4:01pm # | tweet this

Dan and Lorelei

Dan stopped by real quick with Lorelei today. She was facinated by the cat.

Good to see both of them.

I want to hear your



Tue 8/26/14 4:10pm # | tweet this

Sean Bean - Legends

Watched the first two episodes of TNT's Sean Bean FBI/Agent show: Legends. Enjoying it well enough so far. Mostly I'm watching because of Sean Bean.

The rest of the cast is pretty decent too.

The show does walk a fine line between good drama and being a more mainstream network style special agent cop show. So far it's staying on that balance beam. Sean Bean is great in every scene he's in though and it's well worth catching up with On Demand.

I want to hear your



Tue 8/26/14 1:50pm # | tweet this

Uber

A decade or so ago there was a distopic future show starring a young Jessica Alba called: Dark Angel. In this show Alba's character Max worked for a bike messenger delivery service by the name of Jam Pony. The messengers hung around Jam Pony's headquarters and waited for a job of some kind. Uber is sort of the same thing, but the lobby has been replaced by your phone.

Jam Pony is the the model for the sharing economy.

I want to hear your



Mon 8/25/14 12:24pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing






Twitter now officially says your timeline is more than just tweets from people you follow
source: Quartz

I find most of the "real people" I follow are tweeting far less than they used to. I know I do less too.

Recently I've started following a lot more artists and designers. Enough to where my feed moves fairly quickly again. I've also placed most of the "real people" I follow into a list and added a dedicated tweetdeck column to them, so that even though my main feed moves at a steady clip, I'll likely not miss a "real person's" tweet either.

It's unlikely that most mainstream users would go to that much trouble though.



What if your Netflix queue was just a big, virtual room?
source: Engadget

This isn't much different than the Youtube demo in Cardboard.


Gartner: 3D printing still a decade away for most consumers
source:Betanews

I think for the Hobbiest we are about 5 years away from 3D printers being common enough that everyone knows someone who is "into those."

I don't think the average person will use one much. They may get cheap enough that they become the Easy Bake Oven/Creepy Crawly Factory for a future generation of kids, but I don't think the average person will have a 3D printer any more than the average person has a drill press and table saw today. 3D printers won't be rare, but they will stay DIY or in the Kids realm for a good long while.

Now the average person ordering a print of something online and picking it up at their local big box store, well that's a different idea entirely. That will probably happen.

Cool Hunting Video: 27 Robots on Vimeo
source: Vimeo

Neat video about a Maker in Livonia.

I want to hear your



Sun 8/24/14 9:00pm # | tweet this

The 12th Doctor

Yesterday was the premier of the new season and the new Doctor. Ok enough episode.

Nice to see Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint the Victorian era detectives again. It was also one of the better Clara episodes. The New Doctor was "out of sorts" for most the episode though, which was a little disappointing.

Capaldi looks like The Doctor though, and toward the end of the episode, he acted like the Doctor too.

Should be an interesting season.

I want to hear your





Fri 8/22/14 1:18pm # | tweet this

Google Cardboard

About a month ago I found a cheap copy of Google Cardboard online and ordered it from overseas. You could make it yourself I suppose with their template but you'd still need the lenses and the magnets. So when I saw an entire knockoff kit for $10 it was a no-brainer to order.

You place your phone in the back of the cardboard vier and you look through the two plastic lenses. Basically the whole thing is a take on the old ViewMaster you may have used as a kid. The phone's motion sensors track your head movement and display two seperate images, one for each eye, and you get a pretty decent VR experience. There is also a neat magnet button on the left side that works by tripping your phone's compass sensor. Cardboard works with a handful of phones, but my S4 is one of them. When I assembled the box, I didn't expect much, but I turned out to be very impressed.

Once you load the Cardboard software, you are presented with a menu of demos: Tutorial, Tour Guide, Exhibit, Windy Day, Google Earth, Youtube, Photo Sphere and Street View. They are all very basic, but very interesting demos.

I started with Youtube. Youtube presents you with a large freefloating screen that fills your vision, but if you turn your head to the left and right, you'll find additional videos to watch all around you. This works best when standing so you can turn around 360 degrees. It's like your head is in a large sphere and there are other video thumbnails on the outside of the sphere that you can see and select. The Youtube app also allows you to search videos by voice. It's a very neat experience and I want a VR desktop that works like it, except I want the thumbnail squares to be other virtual screens. They'll get to that, and it will be awesome.

Windy Day is another cool demo. Windy Day is a 360 degree animated world. The cartoon movie that plays out all around you is illustrated like a greeting card. There is a little cartoon mouse that runs around a birch tree forest trying to catch a red hat. You can look in any direction at any time, it's a very neat way to experience a story.

Street View has a pretty cool wow factor too. Basically you are in the point of view of the Google Streetview car hurrying down a busy city street. You can look in any direction while you are driving along and view any part of the trip. It's kindof while if you turn backwards or stare straight up most of the time.

Tour Guide simulates a museum tour. basically you stand in the middle of a 360 photo sphere and can look in any direction while an audio tour guide tells you about the room you are standing in. Hitting the next button takes you to the next room.

There are also apps in the Google Play Store. I downloaded a simple roller coaster app. It was a demo only, but it was quite neat to ride the coaster and feel the "weightlessness" of the coaster as it dropped down the main hill and then the claustrophobia as you enter a tunnel.

I'm quite entertained by just this low level Cardboard VR. I'm extremely excited now for the upcoming Oculus Rift, Sony and Samsung experiences due this fall.

I want to hear your



Mon 8/18/14 12:37pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing







Humans Need Not Apply
source: YouTube








I want to hear your





Wed 8/13/14 11:20am # | tweet this

These are the voyages of the USS Nathan James

Yesterday we caught up on the most recent 3 episodes of The Last Ship on TNT. And it's commander is my above sketch for today.

The show just finished the 8th episode of it's 10 episode season. The show is good episodic adventure with a strong overarching week to week story and I've been enjoying it.

In a lot of ways the show is like classic Star Trek. The charismatic good looking All-American Commander Tom Chandler leads his US Navy recruitment poster crew on a mission up and down the Atlantic coast in a race to find a cure for a global pandemic that has already killed over half the Earth's population. The world's government's have collapsed or are non-existent and only the Nathan Jane crew with paleomicrobiologist Dr. Rachel Scott will be able to develop a cure to save the world.

There are away missions on various islands to gather supplies and there is a Russian ship pursuing them. And lots of ship to ship, river and on the water boat action. Heavy guns and missile explosions too. It's produced by Michael Bay, yeah I know, but you'll like it better than Transformers or TMNT, I promise.

I'm not sure if the entire show is available to stream from TNT or Comcast, but it will likely be on DVD soon enough too. If you like Classic Trek, and G.I. Joe, you should give the show a watch, it's entertaining high budget adventure tv.

I want to hear your



Tue 8/12/14 10:36am # | tweet this

Mork

I still have my Mork action figure from when I was a kid. Not sure if I still have the egg ship somewhere.

Mork and Mindy was a neat show. It kindof existed in the Happy Days Universe too, which was cool.

I played with the toy quite a bit as a kid, it fit in well with my small Superfriends and Star Wars figures.

You could never reboot Mork now, but it would be interesting for Hollywood to eventually to do a movie or show with another comedian playing another Orkan visiting Earth.

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Mon 8/11/14 2:48pm # | tweet this

Time

I left Meijer a few months ago now. I'm not sure I've said that on my blog yet. It did make the rounds under the radar somewhat on Facebook a few months ago, but not here.

I was at Meijer a long time. Twenty years in the office and almost five years in the store before that. Twenty-Four years and 6 months taken as a whole.

During that period, I had many week long vacations, several two week long vacations and a single month long vacation, once. The three months I've had "off" so far is the longest amount of time I've not-worked in my adult life. It's been interesting.

I think ten years ago, I would have got bored with this much time off. But with the current state of the internet, an endless number of how to videos, podcasts, rss feeds, my studio, and social media. I haven't gotten bored one day since I haven't been working. The weird thing is, with all the time in the world at the moment, it's still not enough to explore everything I'd like to explore.

There are new web development and programming platforms, animation programs, 3D modeling and 3D printing, drawing and design tools. There are so many interesting projects to explore around the home, yard and garage, and so many ideas to play with. So much of my industry to follow online. Even with "all the time in the world" there still isn't enough.

And I'm not even going near what's available to read, listen to and watch on streaming or digital media as entertainment. It's quite amazing really.

Sadly, most of the people I know are occupied during the workday, but although, they can't come over and hang out on the deck on a random Wednesday afternoon, there are emails, and tweets and Facebook posts throughout the day. That's ok though, I've got way too much I'm trying to do in the middle of the day most days to hang out on the deck anyway.

I'll re-enter the 9 to 5 world. Back to requirements, deliverables and deadlines and the office world again, but it won't be because I'm bored.

When I go back, I won't think I'll complain about not having enough time to do what I want to do either. Even with all the time in the world, there still isn't enough time, and that will be ok, I think.

I want to hear your





Sun 8/10/14 12:04pm # | tweet this

Amazon vs Disney

Looks like Amazon if moving on from Hachette to even bigger fights.

Amazon puts Disney DVD and Blu-ray pre-orders on hold in latest contract dispute

I'm wondering if Amazon is ready to not be the "everything store" now? While it's nice to sell everything, most retailers at some point begin to cut things that are not as profitable as they would like, and focus their inventory on high margin, quick turn, low hassle sales.

Maybe that's what Amazon is getting ready to do? It does seem to be laying down the gauntlet to it's high profile suppliers more lately.

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Fri 8/08/14 4:16pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing



The New Rule Of Social: Let's Not Be Friends
source:

Foursquare has also eliminated the notion of "friends." You now follow people you're interested in to see the tips they leave, but there's no requirement that they follow you back.
While less intimate than a friend request, the act of following ultimately proved more revealing. While Facebook's friends list might show who we know, our Twitter follow list unveiled who we are.

App Rot
source: Marco.org


Cross Stitch Doctor Who 12-Sided Die
source: Neatorama

Neat 12 sided die, using the 12 Doctor's as it's faces.

Game in Great Style With Geek Chic
source: Homes and Hues

Neat gaming tables.

DC Collectibles: Checking Off (and Checking Out) the New 52 Line
source: DC Comics

One nice thing about the New DC 52 action figures, skipping all of these redesigned figures are saving me a lot of money. The circled one are the only ones that have interested me so far.

The Suburbs Will Die
source: Neatorama

No. No they will not.

The no money for infrastructure argument doesn't hold water either. There was money in the 40s and 50s but not now? How does that make sense? Technology, productivity and efficiency is multiples beyond the 50s. There is plenty of money, it's just not properly distributed.


The world's too big, Mom
source: YouTube

I want to hear your



Fri 8/08/14 3:24pm # | tweet this

Harlock

A couple days ago I saw someone mention that Harlock: Space Pirate was on Netflix. Jenn and I have both wanted to watch this movie, so we streamed it last night. Harlock is a Japanese 3D animated Movie, that is fully dubbed in English. For those that remember back far enough, this is based on the same cartoon that was known as Starblazers in the United States.

I watched a handful of episodes of Starblazers as a kid, but I was so young that I don't remember much of them. So while familiar, this movie was new to me plot and story wise.

Harlock tells the story of a Space Pirate, his ship and his crew on a mission to... well, I don't want to spoil the movie for you.

It's entertaining sci-fi and the animation is very good, like watching a really really good video game but without having to stop and fight things every few minutes.

If you have Netflix, stream it!

I want to hear your



Fri 8/08/14 12:55pm # | tweet this

The Last Starfighter

After watching, the 80s inspired, Guardians of the Galaxy this past weekend, I got the idea to rewatch The Last Starfighter in my head. It turned out, Jennifer had never seen the movie, so that sealed it and I proclaimed we had to watch it.

The Last Starfighter holds up pretty well. It doesn't likely get it's deserved due since it was released in the awesome and crowded movie year of 1984. Check out the link to see what I mean about how awesome a movie year 1984 was.

The graphics of the video games in Starfighter, while unrealistic looking at the time, work surprisingly well now.

It's trailer park setting is also a nice change of pace from the suburban settings that many of the movie's peers contained at the time.

If you haven't seen the Last Starfighter, or haven't seen it in awhile, give it a watch. It is available for rent on Google Play for $2.99.

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Thu 8/07/14 3:51pm # | tweet this

A Low Tech Solution

I have some charging cables that are always dropping to the floor, slipping between a desk and the wall. I came up with this low tech solution of feeding the cables into a slot cut in the bottom of a dixie cup. The dixie cup, unlike the cable, is too big to fall between the table and the wall.

It's not the most elegant solution, but sometimes simple solutions work too.

Maybe in the future, I'll 3D print some little cable hook or something but this works for now.

I want to hear your



Thu 8/07/14 3:45pm # | tweet this

A Box

I made a box for a board game I've been working on. I may need to make a label next.

Every proper boardgame needs a box.

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Thu 8/07/14 9:46am # | tweet this

Flush!

Finally fixed a problem I've had for awhile with my downstairs toilet yesterday. That is sort of an over share, but there is something especially pleasing about fixing something you use every day.

With each flush of the handle, there's a satisfaction that this thing was broke, and now it's not.

A good thing.

I want to hear your



Thu 8/07/14 9:36am # | tweet this

Watch Stand

I saw another watch stand on Thingiverse this week. I printed it yesterday. I think it came out well.

If there is one thing that the 3D printer is good for it's printing various stands for gadgets.

I also played a bit with the photo lightbox I picked up recently. I ironed the other 3 colors of backgrounds it came with. I ended up picking up a a closet suit cover and hung the sweeps inside it with a pant hanger. The darker colors and their velvet like texture are not cat hair or dust friendly surfaces.

At least the lightbox itself zips up so the one kept in the box should stay clear.

I want to hear your



Wed 8/06/14 4:30pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing




This Man Wants to Genetically Engineer Trees to Save the World
source: iO9

Carbon fiber is one of the strongest and most resilient materials on the market, used in everything from car frames to body armor. It's also incredibly expensive to make. But one plant biologist says that in fifty years, we'll be growing it on trees.




Create animated GIFs from video clips with Movie to Gif
source: BetaNews

Windows Software. Nice.

Microsoft looking to end bugs in software by monitoring developers
source:

"If we can figure out what cognitive or emotional issues lead to buggy code or lowered productivity, we can try to intervene and stop them from causing developers to make mistakes in the first place"

"but one Iíve thought about can help absent-minded developers, such as those who just came back from lunch and arenít paying much attention to their code. If we reduce the contrast on the display and make the fonts harder to read, the developer will be forced to apply more brainpower to read and understand the code and will be less likely to slip up as a result"
So much wrong with this article and these ideas.


Here's How We'll Get to a World Filled With Driverless Cars
source: MakeUseOf

I don't think we will, anytime soon, outside of some extremely limited areas.

Action Figure Insider Sprue Kits Action Figure Model Kits more from Bandai America at Comic Con
source: Action Figure Insider

Neat idea, It'd be neat if this approach made it possible to get short runs of more obscure characters.

Comcast Confessions: when every call is a sales call
source: The Verge

This is an epic article.

Honestly, Comcast is so bad at customer service at this point, it's just not possible for them to come back. They are essentially in Kmart or Dominoes territory, the brand is just unrepareable. They are too big to fail and a monopoly in most of their markets, so that will keep them around possibly forever, but as a brand, they are done.

Scott Adams Wacom cintique Videos
source: Youtube


This is funny, Scott Adams and Bret Patis (pearls Before Swine) Funny, 3 minutes.



Scott Adams only, an ad, but an interesting look behind the scenes. 2 minutes.





Philips Hue (complete system) review
source: Pocket-lint

Nice article on the full Hue ecosystem.

DEMANDED CHARACTERS - Archie Legends
source: TheFwoosh.com

What a great idea, I don't even read these books and these sound like a cool idea.


Green Lantern Game
source: Cartoon Network

Cute online game.

Game about Squares

Cute Game.

WHOLOCK - The Musical
source: Youtube

I want to hear your



Tue 8/05/14 10:39am # | tweet this

You can live without Facebook

Every few weeks, Facebook does some change to it's service and people flip out. Lately, that flip out takes the form that Facebook should be more like a public utility and not meddle with what people can or cannot see. The argument goes, Facebook should allow the user to completely control what and how much content they see etc.

I'm sure if Facebook thought that if no meddling was the most profitable route for them to go, they would go that route. They aren't going that route. We know Facebook has smart people, so manipulating your feed must be the most profitable route for them to go.

And that's ok, because, you don't need Facebook. You may find Facebook convenient and you may like it, but you don't need it.

If we all left Facebook tomorrow, the world would continue on without missing a beat.

Need to send a message to someone? Email is good for that.

Need to send an "instant" message to someone? SMS is good for that.

Need to post photos or vacation recaps, or your thoughts on yesterday's Reality Show? Blogs are good for that.

Need to follow a bunch of blogs? You only need an RSS reader (available both in the cloud or as an app.)

The above are open standards too. You'll have full control on how you use them and a choice of inoperable apps and services for each of them.

Facebook isn't a big deal. It is convenient. It is not worth getting too excited over though. It is not worth having it be the main hub of your digital identity. Not when there are so many more open standards available.

Whatever Facebook does next, things will be ok.

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Mon 8/04/14 10:52am # | tweet this

Comfort and Adam Barnes and Noble Presentation

Comfort and Adam's audience for their "Let's Make a Character" presentation at Barnes and Noble this past weekend, turned out to be a lot younger than they were told. It was awesome though, watching them scale down their teen/adult presentation on the fly and make it appropriate, educational and fun for these kids.

Great artists and great teachers for all ages.

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Sat 8/02/14 9:54am # | tweet this

Twitter blackout

Going to see Guardians of the Galaxy tonight, so I've stayed off of Twitter and Tumblr since yesterday afternoon. Just too many chances for spoilers.

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