Friday, June 29, 2007

How many people to make a faire?

Well, I got the 360 degree panorama of actor's call stitched together, but it's a monster size file and broke when I tried to upload it to the blog. I'll have to figure a way to cut it down and post it tomorrow....


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Family photos

We had professional photos done at the mini-fair. These are a preview for the grandparents for whom they were taken and to share with the rest of my dear readers, if any.... ;o)

And of course, since grandparents only really care about the grandkids (their parents are able to manage on their own now, you would think...)

Surely they are the fairest and noblest of children as no one can disagree.


Lying liars.

You all knew I'd rant someday. Might as well be about something important.

The President’s legal counsel replies to the Judiciary Committee subpoenas today: “The President’s assertion of Executive Privilege is not designed to shield the information in a particular situation, but to help protect the ability of Presidents to ensure that decisions reflect and benefit from the exchange of informed and diverse viewpoints and open and frank deliberations.”

Except that in this case, the decisions may very well reflect informed and diverse viewpoints that were corrupt. If the US Attorneys in question were randomly selected that would be perfectly ok, since they are employed at the pleasure of the President. If, however, they were selected as retribution for failure to prosecute Republican vendettas unsupported by evidence or for prosecuting Republican corruption that would be quite another thing. The evidence and testimony to date indicates that this is the case. Many of the fired attorneys were involved in just such actions. Alternate explanations have been unsupported by external evidence. If the US Attorneys in question were fired for these reasons, it goes beyond a political decision and becomes a corrupt political decision.

NOTHING the President’s office has offered demonstrates that this is not the case. If it is untrue, what prevents Karl Rove or other involved parties from either testifying under oath that it is not true, or testifying with a transcript that it is not true. A simple statement under oath would put a stop to the investigation. Or it might lead to prosecution for perjury if provably false. Aye, there’s the rub…

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mini Faire

Today was the Ye Merrie Greenwood Players "can't get enough" day. Marjorie set up a one day performance in Howard Amon Park for today, 'cause so many of the company junkies just aren't getting enough performance time to keep them happy, now that most of the GWP friendly venues have closed. Photo below (click on the picture to enlarge it to full screen, back key to return)...

I think today proves three things.

First, just hanging around doing Greenwood, we can collect and hold a sizeable audience. (No, really.)

Two, much fun can be had by all.

And three, I love my new camera... Here's a picture of Rick Roddy.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mixed feelings

Three day weekends are just long enough to get used to doing what you want, and then you gotta go back to work. Not that I don't enjoy work and I spend less money....


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pride in family

My niece, Alexis Joan Fairbanks, is Washington's Junior Miss and bound for the America's Junior Miss pageant in Atlanta for the next two weeks. The photo is from the local paper, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. She's using lentils, the primary local crop, for a theme for the state of Washington. She is, ehhh... out standing in the field.


If you read the Enfilade posts below, you know that I was cameraless and bought a couple of disposable 35mm cameras to use. Then I scanned the photos. When you look at the images full screen then zoom in, the picture pixellates quickly. I got to wondering if you increased the resolution of the scan if you would get better results.
I scanned another photo at 2400 dpi (the scanner will do up to 9600 dpi interpolated, I think 1200 dpi is the native resolution) and the editor crashed. Kimberlyn had complained about her PC being slow, so I looked it over and realized that it had been unprotected for spyware since the MS AntiSpyware Beta on it expired last June. I downloaded SpyBot, started a scan and found SpyAxe, a Smitfraud variant that at least one Spokane vendor has been prosecuted and jailed for using. There are straightforward removal tools for it, but getting it all done is very time consuming, so Kimberlyn whined all evening yesterday 'cause I was running spyware scans in safe mode on all profiles.
Anyway, it's all done this morning, and the editor works now, though slowly, because the PC only has 512MB of RAM and the bitmap scan is 360 MB (leaving 152 for the OS, which wants 177 on a clean install). The original scan file is a 36MB (!) jpeg, the cropped and optimized jpeg is still 16MB but the limitation now is you lose focus before the image pixellates badly. If you are on a dial up, don't even look at it, it'll take 20 minutes to download.... I'll try 1200 dpi and see what happens.


Friday, June 15, 2007

First Friday

Bonus day, bonus work. I finally got a yard of beauty bark and made the front yard gardens look nice again. I made Jennifer, Kimberlyn and Andrew help. Wish I had a before picture, the whole garden was pretty raggedy looking, barrier cloth showing through, weeds, old faded icky looking bark where it wasn't worn away.... Looks like civilized people live here now.

Made Kimberlyn wash the vehicles, too... ;o)


Thursday, June 14, 2007

For Nerd Without Thumbs, without comment

Positively exhilarating

As noted in my last post, I am riding my bicycle to work. I haven't been able to do that for years, both because it was too far to work and because my shoulder wouldn't support me. I had about reached the point of thinking, never again, the age bug had got me. Nope. It amounts to 15 to 20 minutes of cardio workout twice a day, and I feel great! Plus my legs are coming back. I'm feeling a little sore, but hey, that'll go away. Maybe. I feel better than I hurt though. So who really cares? I never thought I could, until I did. Makes a guy feel young again. I've never really gotten a lot of biking in except when using it for basic transportation. That's what gets me in shape for long tours. I feel good! Might take a long ride this weekend. I kinda smile a lot, just knowing that I can still push the bike around. Motorcycles are for wimps who can't peddle their own butt around.
We are on summer schedule in the tech department so I am working eight nines 'till August. 9 hour days 4 days a week, but every other week is Friday off, starting this week. I should get a little something done tomorrow. Maybe hit a bucket at the driving range again. I just feel better....


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More Miniatures

My cavalry came yesterday. They are Old Glory Grand Scale 10mm. I thought I would give them a look see for comparison with the 10 mm MiniFigs I have for the infantry. Can't say that I am too terribly happy with them. You can't really see with the naked eye that they have a mold registration problem in both of the dismounted cavalry figures shown here. And you can't really see the undercoated MiniFig infantry beside and behind them because they are dark on a dark background and the white pre-finish Old Glory's just jump out at you. But this close-up photo definitely shows the mold registration problem if you view it at full size. I love my new camera....
Generally, the Old Glory figures are a little huskier, have a bit exaggerated detail and are a smidge taller than the MiniFigs. Both lines have some animation, but you can't really do much at this scale. But the MiniFigs are cleaner and have more realistic physique. And they don't have the mold registration problem.... (mold registration - the two halves of the mold did not come together exactly right and the front half of the figure is a bit off from the back half.) They may paint up nicely since the naked eye can't see the mold registration problem and the exaggerated detail should make them look more like soldiers when painted. The size difference shouldn't be too noticeable since they'll be mounted on different stands than the infantry. The only other thing I didn't care for is every single horse is running, so the improvised horse holder is going to look like he's bringing the horse's up to remount for a bugout.... That's what dismounted cavalry is supposed to do, I guess.



So much for list making leading to productive weekends. Friday about 11:00 am I found myself sitting at my desk thinking it's 200 feet to the bathroom, don't puke, you'll never make it. I checked out, went home and went to bed. Found enough energy to hook up the server, but didn't get any farther than that. Mowed the lawn and folded some clothes Sunday night. Watched The Da Vinci Code finally. Capsule review: Raiders of the Lost Ark with bathos and a murder mystery and not as much fun....

On the upside, I biked to work this morning. Felt good.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Last weekend's yard work list worked really well as self-motivation, so I have started a new list of geek tasks I've been neglecting. I have a whole bunch of stuff that I need/want to do. I have a study guide for Netware that includes a limited test copy of Netware 6 and I have an old server to put it on. I need to do the installation, set it up, manage the tree a bit and finish the study guide then take the test to get a new CNA cert. I've been putting it off for nigh on two years now....

I also have Mom's old PC, an Athlon 900 MHz with a gig of RAM and a nice graphics card I added to it. I want to set it up with an old joystick and a KVM switch to use my big-screen TV monitor and play some old flight games. If it feels right, I might buy a good USB joystick to hook up to my game machine and buy some better games. It has an extra 80 gig hard drive I could use for more storage, too.

The other major geek project is testing Linux desktop distributions on a surplus laptop that belongs to the school district. I put it together out of two dead ones.... So far, I've installed and successfully configured Freespire and Ubuntu. Ubuntu seems to be a bit more comfortable. At the ACPE convention, Edubuntu was highly recommended, so I have downloaded the ISO and burned a disk to install. I'm really very curious as to what the bundled "educational" software is. I can't really find a list. I also need to get the Netware server up and running and see how it (Edubuntu) works with E-directory.... Since the district uses a mixed environment, we don't get Microsoft bribes/subsidies/donations, so free is a nice price for an OS and office suite. I also picked up copies of SUSE desktop and SLES at ACPE, so I have more stuff to fiddle with.

Wonder when I'll find time to paint more miniatures? Me, too. And there's even more yard work to do.

Life is full....


Sunday, June 3, 2007


The Enfilade pictures have been scanned and cropped and enhanced. Can't get that much out of a little box camera, I guess.

Here are pictures of the armies, with their camps, except the Badgers, who had to field a BunRab hero to round out the army list.

All good tournaments begin with a discussion of setup rules, don't they?

Evil clashes with evil in the first round, Evil Humans tangle with the Goblins.

Clash of the unbeatens in the third and final round, Herbie Fairbanks' Elves ultimately triumph over the Evil Humans run by ?? I forgot his name and can't find my notes....

The camps. Just the camps. You really can't see just how gorgeous they were....

The tourney entrants. Herbie has the V for victory. Or the devil horns for selling his soul for the win... ;o)



I made a lot of progress on the plan yesterday, some of it sideways as usual. I forgot to mow the lawn Friday, so I had to do that after I hauled off the debris pile. Then I whacked down the jungle and hosed it with Roundup. Here's before and after....

Of course, you can't see that the area around the corner of the house to the left, off screen is just as bad and will require just as much work. Next on the list....

I played with the camera a little this morning. The camera has a panorama feature that shows an image of the previous photo next to your next photo, so you can line up a series of photos to take a panorama. The software then lets you automagically stitch the photos together with a few clicks. Voila, the view from my backyard!

Daddy like new camera.

After my yard work yesterday, I just had time to shower and get a summer haircut before we all went to see Pirates of the Caribbean. Internally consistent, not the ending you'd expect. The special effects guys mostly did a great job, though the end of Cutler Beckett just didn't do it for me. I think I know what they wanted, but they didn't even come close, possibly because it wasn't safely possible....

Hopefully, I'll get some of the Enfilade pictures scanned today. Maybe a bit more yardwork.


Friday, June 1, 2007


Ok, so I was taking pictures of my 10mm ACW in progress last night and the camera was wonky and I just got the one picture posted yesterday as Latest Miniatures off of it. It says the batteries are dead but they were new and I checked them and they are indeed fully powered, so apparently only a trickle of power makes it into the camera. I tried cleaning the contacts but it didn't work, so, Father's Day is near, Jen and I have talked about a new camera for over a year 'cause the 6 year old, at one time top of the line, HP camera just doesn't do so well anymore, so I bought a new camera (as I said to my old boss Jamie) because I can.... It's a Canon Powershot S3IS, with boatloads of features and 12x optical zoom lens. Only (!) 6 megapixels, but it will also do 640x480 video at 30 frames per second, which would probably eat up the 2 GB SD card in minutes....

First result, the newest brigade on the block, my completed and based 10mm Union ACW!

It will be a busy weekend. If anybody remembers the annoying photo Jen posted of the back yard where she wants to put more raised beds, I can finally haul the rubbish out and start cutting down the weeds so I can hit the area with persistent veg killer and get it back down to the gravel fill. It turned into a nightmare last year 'cause I was recovering from shoulder surgery and just couldn't keep it down. Anyway, I can actually work for more than 10 minutes at a time now and this weekend is step one in getting it under control. I haven't been able to get to it this year yet because too many weekends I was out of town or at GWP work parties. The one or two weekends I've had to work on it were spent getting the front yard back in shape.... That's the other thing for this weekend, once the rubbish is hauled off, it's off for a yard of beauty bark to make the flower beds look civilized.

Evenings I hope to do a little photo scanning and editing and post some better pictures from Enfilade. Jen has us scheduled to all go to see Pirates of the Caribbean at the new multiplex in Pasco tomorrow. Where does it all fit? Dunno, just have to keep after it.