The contract is signed. I start working full-time on Monday. I get decent
pay, excellent benefits, and copious amounts of vacation time. The work is
relatively exciting (though I probably won't say so a few weeks into the
job). I'm looking forward to getting into the nine-to-five habit, as it will
regulate my lifestyle a whole lot more than unemployment, or even more, the
unpredictable time requirements of school.
I've also decided that the Dupli-Color is as good, or better, than the
Plastikote, if only because of availability. So I went ahead and painted the
main body of the phaser. It's amazing how a little bit of spray paint can
transform dull Krylon Grey Primer into something that looks high-tech. The
colour of this paint and the way this paint reflects light are beautiful. I
should have the prop done some time this weekend.
] | posted @ 02:43 | link
My New Friend: Mr. Dell MacCrack
I finally got to installing the "modified" x86 OSX on an old laptop hard
drive. I slapped it into my Dell and it actually booted! Very bizarre having
MacOS natively on something not Apple.
Most things seem to work: network is fine, USB is flaky, some video
glitches exist, and there are stability issues with some programs. Wireless
does not work (as expected), but I was surprised that the volume buttons
did. Very good, considering it's not the hardware it was designed for. I'm
also quite impressed with the speed.
Nevertheless, I will stick with Linux, which is still more useful to me
on the laptop (I like my wireless). It was, however, a worthwhile
] | posted @ 03:08 | link
The weekend was completely relaxing and uneventful. It started with the
latest Battlestar Galactica. The guest was Michelle Forbes,
previously Ro Laren on The Next Generation. I was right, Number Six
did have a "new look" in this show, all beaten up. Ron Moore is a the
cliffhanger artist: the cliffhanger is intense, even for his style, and will
have to last until January. In his podcast about the episode, he ends by
saying smugly: "and that's how you do a cliffhanger, boys and girls."
I spent a great deal of time searching for phaser-paint this week. The
original props on the show were done with a Plastikote shade that is rare in
the States, and non-existant in Canada. Today, the search concluded, when I
confirmed that the Dupli-Color bought at Canadian Tire last week is actually
the correct match.
Lastly, I started thinking about adding DBus support to wpa_supplicant.
If this could be done before the Gnome Summit maybe a NetworkManager hacking
session could be provoked.
] | posted @ 03:40 | link
Last night's BSG goodness motivated me to finally finish the site I set out
to make when planning the Vancouver trip earlier this summer.
The new site, titled Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 Locations
Guide, is a compilation of all of the locations I managed to find from
the first season, along with links to their positions in Google Maps for
satellite view. It's a fun read for any BSG fan, and already has reviews
such as "neat," "cool," "nice," and "that's pretty sweet."
Adding this page to my site has necessitated the addition of a new area,
which I've named Filmography. At some point in the near future
(hopefully), it will also have the results from all of the work I've put in
on a Star Trek history page.
It's good to scratch projects off of the list.
Winning some awards in CAPCON last week has also encouraged me to get
going on the Enterprise-D, my oldest unbuilt model Trek model. I spent some
cash and got a bunch of accurizing and lighting parts from Don Matthys.
Should be one hell of a model when finished, though I'm still not looking
forward to drilling the other half of the windows out, nor filling them in
with smelly resin. Other than masking all of those windows for painting, the
rest should be fun...
] | posted @ 02:34 | link
Flight of the Phoenix
Flight of the Phoenix/Blackbird, the BSG episode whose Act Four I saw
being filmed at Vancouver Film Studios, finally aired this week. The episode
was every bit as good as I expected it to be, though besides changing the
Phoenix to the Blackbird (same reasons as Firefox?), the
Fourth (last) Act differed somewhat in order from the script I have.
- First shot of finished ship (with panels)
- Starbuck launches, disappears, found
- Christening with President (cuts only to signing)
- People congratulate Helo
- Roslin and Adama talk about Sharon
- Tyrol sees Sharon, no talk
- First shot of finished ship (with panels)
- Christening with President (cuts to signing and Doc Cottle looking over
Roslin's medical file, "she has guts")
- Roslin and Adama talk about Sharon
- Starbuck launches, disappears, found
- People congratulate Helo
- Tyrol sees Sharon, there is talk
- Deck cleared after party, Tyrol satisfied
The major difference is that the christening and flight switched order.
They also cut the Chief's talk with Sharon and his state of satisfaction,
perhaps they moved it to the next episode.
Another change is that Number Six was completely cut from the episode.
Originally she was over Baltar's shoulder when he, Adama, and Gaeta are
discussing killing the Cylon virus. On the bright side, Six is on the call
sheet for after-wrap wardrobe fitting and make-up tests. Perhaps she will
have a new look in the next episode?
An interesting observation is that throughout the show, the actors use
slightly different wording than what is written. This sort of improvisation
indicates more leeway for the actors than on some other shows.
This whole opportunity with being able to see an episode on paper, being
filmed, and the final product has me feeling satisfied with the whole
experience. I wish I could work in production on a show of this quality; I
simply have no idea where to start. I also wish I could thank the kind
person who let me on the set that day. In front of me there is a whole
sheetful of phone numbers and contact information, but I do not consider it
wise to abuse it just to say give my regards; it would be sort of
] | posted @ 06:15 | link
And So Freedom Comes To An End
This summer has been amazing. I've traveled all over this great country of
ours, saw the sights, heard the sounds, smelled the smells. Now it is time
for reality to kick in. I've been offered a position at Xandros taking on a
very large project. It will, no doubt, be tedious and nerve-racking. But it
should pay handsomely, allow me to get on with life.
Tomorrow is Battlestar Galactica's season 2, episode 9, Flight of the
Phoenix. That's the episode I saw being filmed while on the set. I am
really looking forward to it, maybe even following along in parts of the
script, if they haven't been cut.
As an afterthought, maybe there is still time for a quick trip to Europe
before settling in at work?
] | posted @ 03:49 | link
Now that school has started and there is free time, it's time to test the
newest and greatest road machines. I took my Mommy along so that I wouldn't
do anything stupid like accidentally buying one.
Nissan Murano: I started with this one because my Mom's been
dreaming about it for a while. Sure, it looks cute, but for an engine over
200hp it really doesn't drive well at all; the acceleration is pitiful. A
neat feature it has is a continuous transmission. There are no "gears."
Toyota Prius: This car was chosen for its technical innovation.
Indeed, the hybrid technology it uses makes for a great ride. It is the only
car I've ever seen that has larger gas usage on highway than in city
conditions. It's really neat how the motor turns itself off often for a very
quiet ride. It's neat how they reuse inertia expended upon brakes to charge
the system. It's awesome how they have a big fat power button in the car. I
would recommend this car to anyone and everyone. However, I am looking for
something with a clutch for now.
Mazda 3: I have a 1994 Mazda Protege. I love it. This new car is
even sweeter, the price is right, it drives beautifully on all counts, and
it has a clutch. My only disappointment is that the rear seats no longer
fold down flat: not so great for sleeping.
BMW 325: This is the extreme end of my list. I went to the BMW
dealership and they treated me much better than the others. I took over an
hour of the dealer's time, and he explained everything. The features
in the 2006 line is astonishing. Things I would never think of, technology
that other makers haven't though of either. They've made it significantly
more efficient. However, I don't like the new stylings very much; they
redesigned the interior such that the window controls had to be moved from
the middle console onto the door like every other car. Driving it, on the
other hand: WOAH. The sales agent also let me go down the road behind the
airport and even encouraged me to do some really fast turns, donuts, and
"test" the acceleration to my desire. There is hardly a part in that car
where they didn't pose the question: "how can we make this part better than
the other car designers?" This vehicle is definitely on the top of my list,
more than ever.
I think this testing gave me a better appreciation for new cars and their
associated technologies. In the end, I will probably settle on one of the
latter two. The driving differences between the Mazda and BMW are actually
less significant than I imagined. But the BMW is the most refined vehicle I
have ever driven.
] | posted @ 03:59 | link
CAPCON and Car Chase
I spent most of yesterday at the Nepean Sportsplex for CAPCON. There were
thousands of models throughout 69 categories, though only six were science
fiction. Nonetheless, the category I submitted my two models to, Science
Fiction - Space Vehicles, was packed with about 15 models. There were
some absolutely amazing build-ups. Some of the non-science-fiction stuff was
even more impressively done; a well-built and -weathered tank gets my
attention as much as an equivalent TIE Fighter.
With all the amazing models, I was happy to win Third Place in my
category for the Shuttlecraft Galileo, especially considering the
skill level of some of the other contestants I got to know. I was rather
shocked when the same model got the "Best of" award in Sci-Fi.
More surprise came when I got back to pick up the model and found an
invitation card: FineScale Modeler wanted my model photographed for their
magazine. It was good to win on my first show ever. It was also good to talk
to other modelers, share ideas, and have those "yeah, well in that
episode..."-type discussions. Next time I'll have to come up with an even
On the way home, I picked up Markus and Nathan to play some hardcore
board games at Raf's. Markus seems to like to invent new ways of not boring
himself every time we drive somewhere. This time, as it was dark outside, he
decided to take flash photography of other drivers as we passed by. One guy
(and his girlfriend) in a silver Civic got very angry and started tailgating
up the Kanata hill. I swerved and took the March offramp hoping he would
give it up. He followed and went ahead a little. I thought maybe I could
still lose him by taking a sudden right onto March. He managed to follow. I
went fast and zig-zagged through traffic down March, and took a sudden right
at Herzberg. He followed, though with some distance. The light at Carling
was red, and the only car in sight was directly across, waiting for the
light to change. I stopped (more-or-less), turned right, looked in my
mirrors, and saw the Civic hadn't rounded the corner yet. A sudden U-turn
would lose him after he rounded the corner, I thought. However, unlike me,
the idiot didn't at all slow down rounding the corner, and as I was at
45-degrees in the turn, I saw him coming up fast in my peripheral vision,
followed by seemingly-endless screeching (I was just waiting for the BAM).
It never came, though he was momentarily dazed. The light was just changing
at this point, and I ran through it before it changed for the aforementioned
bystander. Civic was forced to stop. Turned left down Richardson, and parked
in the ex-Nortel parking lot, thinking he would go by. Unfortunately, I did
it right under a light, and he spotted me, though he had to take the next
exit into the lot. This gave me time to exit via my exit, turn right on
March, and lose him through the Home-Hardware parking lot. This was all very
dangerous, but very exhilarating. The nerve someone would have to chase us
like that for a simple photo? Maybe he was just trying to be macho for his
girl? As Nathan pointed out: now his ego's broken and he ain't
Today was the last day of EngFrosh 2005. The boat race had both the
fastest and slowest designs I've ever seen. Good times...
] | posted @ 19:55 | link
School Has Started...
... and for the first time in my life, I don't have to care about it. The
thing is, I do care about it. It was always nice to go back and share
stories, get back into a routine, and so on. This is also the first year in
many that I am not participating in EngFrosh. Unrelated: the photo is a tiny
frog sitting on my hand, from last week's excursion to Luskville.
Yesterday, after talking with my grandparents on the phone for over an
hour, I thought it might be nice to write a letter; not much else to do,
after all. It explains my "B. Eng" status, as they are quite confused, since
the word "Engineer" in Polish is an education level, where "Engineer" is to
"Masters" as "Bachelor" is to the same. The letter explains these things
nicely, with the kind of historical sidenotes they often place in their
letters to me. I also thought I'd go buy The Sting soundtrack in CD
format; it's my grandfather's favourite, and he is quite excited about the
portable CD player I got him a few years back. I wish it were a simpler
matter to meet up with them, I truly do.
Also yesterday, I dropped in on the EngFrosh movie night. I found it hard
to stay away. Meeting up with people I hadn't seen in four months or longer
(those last few weeks of university were insanely busy) was necessary.
EngFrosh seems to be going well, despite a little setback a few days ago. It
is my intention to drop in during boat building as well as the boat race
itself. Feels strange being on the outside.
Spent the evening getting ready for tomorrow's model show. I have to wake
up early in the morning and get to the Sportsplex. I am interested to see
how I do as a participant of one of the country's biggest model contests.
Last, but not least, there is a good chance my vacation will soon be over
as of this upcoming Wednesday. As unfortunate as it is, it will allow me to
get on with life. Interestingly, a full-time occupation begins the week
after frosh week. Maybe things do not change?
] | posted @ 03:55 | link
This weekend's trip was to Algonquin Park, Whitefish Lake to be precise.
Despite forecasts of potential rain from the remnants of Hurricane
Katrina, two-dozen-or-so Polish families still decided the trip would be
fun. I've never been to the park before, and thought it was, as
advertised, a perfect example of the Ontario forest. Activities included
canoeing/kayaking, volleyball, and drinking beer. Volleyball was much
more fun than I ever remember it being; maybe I should get into it more.
While this is a yearly tradition, I have never gone; I feel compelled to
go from now on.
The rest of this Labour Day weekend was spent bugtracking before the
upcoming Gnome 2.12 release. I found some interesting ones between Gnome
and Cairo and the latest X.org snapshot. I also discovered one with
Gstreamer and X.org. All of them seem to be based on the latest X.org
RC, so they are not considered Gnome showstoppers. Surprisingly,
bouncing between the projects is easy when you know enough people.
] | posted @ 03:40 | link
This week's trip was a visit to Justin's house in Waterloo. I got there
Monday evening and left Thursday morning. The first order of business was to
go out drinking (of course).
Tuesday, we took Justin's new inflatable boat out for a spin. The whole
day was spent tinkering with the motor. By the end of the day, it was
finally running properly. Right about then, an awesome sunset illuminated
the entire lake in bright orange-pink.
Wednesday's plan was to do Justin's business rounds with him, the main
meeting being at a media company to create a new promotional video. All the
driving would give us time to catch up. For about ten minutes down highway
407, an OPP cruiser was following the car, making us both rather uneasy.
Eventually he did pull us over, noting that the license sticker was expired
and the insurance was no better. I learned that this results in a court
visit that in turn results (most likely) in a five thousand dollar fine.
Driving the car anywhere was completely out of the question. However, the
officer was very kind, and dropped us off at the closest exit, which
coincidentally was right in front of ATI headquarters. I decided to use this
opportunity to meet the Linux driver team, whom I previously met online and
at OLS. I was told they are interested in getting involved in making certain
that any hardware-accelerated goodies the GTK and Gnome projects start using
in the near future work as well as they should using their drivers. The
arrangement would be just like it is when I find an issue in the way
Celestia runs on their drivers. We continued chatting while waiting for a
taxi to arrive to take us to the (very patient) media company. While the day
did not go smoothly, it was definitely eventful.
The way back was a convenient way for Markus to get back from Milton to
Ottawa, so he accompanied me back. The entire trip was just over 1100km. I
discovered that my car is significantly more efficient at 115km/h than at
125km/h. The slower speed allowed me to travel from Milton to my house
starting at a full 45L tank and ending a millimeter below the half-mark; and
that's with Markus and the entire contents of his bedroom!
It is hard to believe that it is September already.
] | posted @ 03:37 | link
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