Calvin had a great idea. The beach. OK.
Calvin had a great idea. The beach. OK.
Those pesky dreams...they point out the reality in sometimes oblique, sometimes obvious, and sometimes elegant ways. In this episode I was near Chinatown I think, and looking for a business called AI Somethingorother. I thought it was very close (walking distance), but instead the GPS said it was a long way off, in Monterey Park. Hmm. That got me harkening back to a conversation the other night about what's missing from digital (the soul of analog), and a comment that virtual humans will never love. That's when it hit me. AI - artificial intelligence. I'm working on an AI project right now and in fact was tossing and turning worried about budgets. But Chinatown and Monterey Park. Ai. Mandarin for "love." Ai v. ai. Thinking v. loving. Hmm. I have to ponder that some more...
I always liked that word. First learned it in organic chemistry. The context is for moelcular orbitals and our mathematical description of them. Different "types" (determined by quantum numbers) have different shapes, energies, and orientations in space. And they also have what we think of as polarity/charge. Where orthogonal comes in is when you take two orbitals and have a situation where their overlap cancels out...the amount of +/+ interaction equals the amount of +/- interaction. This happens because of the shape and arrangement in space, and are said to be orthogonal.
So with that basic chem primer, are AI and ai orthogonal?
Trying to get a bunch of work done so I can go on vacation (wtf is that?). For a variety of reasons I got roped into sorting production facilities and took a quick look at the audio room. Hmm, lots of stuff in boxes, and some stuff not hooked up. I assume that it isn't functional. What do they say about not assuming? So I send my email around, people get stirred up, then I'm called on the carpet by one of my colleagues because it turns out the room *is* functional, why didn't I ask him, etc yada yada yada. So I have to stand there and take it (because I screwed up), then later send out the "mea culpa" email to my boss and other senior management. At least we sorted out the issues and things are moving forward. But I hate screwing up. Another life lesson here? Always is...just a question if I want to actually see it.
Every once in awhile, technology actually gets it right. Here I've been somewhat railing against artificial intelligence, and this morning, upon opening my laptop, I was greeted with the below image. Who says machines don't "get it"?
I had a dream last night. Well, I had a lot of dreams, but one in particular was about "open", and a different way to think about open content. I remember in the dream I had this sideways interpretation of the word and the application and went, "of course!" The problem is that once I finally got out of bed I could not for the life of me remember what the particular interpretation was. Only that I'd had a dream about "open" and had solved it. Dammit!
Happy b-day to someone who quite literally rescued a big part of me, and changed my outlook on what is important and what is possible in life. She's now gone on to bigger and better things, but I still carry a bit of her with me, as I think all of us do with people who deeply touched us. Here's to V. May she continue to shine her love on those around her.
No plan. No map. No schedule. Headed north. Then wandered. Got some supplies (water, grape juice, cheese and peanut buter crackers), lunch in Cambria, found some wineries, chatted a bit, took a nap on the beach, back to play some guitar and hit the hot tub.
Who has abducted me?
Well, I had written a bunch in my head, but had no network access. I know that isn't an excuse, but I had slacking to do. So instead I just offer various photos taken over the past few days. A couple have to do with technology's intrusion into paradise (broadly construed). Kind of unnerving to have the pole-mounted speakers everwhere (to warn of nuclear "incident" at Diablo Canyon), along with a paragraph in the hotel's guide telling you what to do if you hear the siren (um, what part of "kiss your ass goodbye" don't I understand?). So without further adieu...Sycamore Springs and environs. And you can view more if you're a glutton here and here.
Well, so long vacation, hello la-la land. But I couldn't help but stop in Shell Beach (just north of Pismo) and snap a shot of a building S and NW swell with a bit of offshore wind. Milo was happy to see me, as was the boy. And my email is always happy to see me. Hmm, I'll have to work on that. Feeling a bit calmer...we'll see if it transfers to tomorrow. As for now, spaghetti for dinner (farewell Tombo Tuna), and F1 on Tivo. But time spent wandering, sipping, thinking, playing, and chilling? Absolutely essential. Until next time...
Just watched yesterday's 24. Holy crap...Jack is back.
"Say hello to your brother..."
Time to drag myself off the couch and do some more cleaning. Trying to toss out stuff I don't use and figure out other stuff that I can eBay. For some reason the couch is calling, but first things first. Funny how I was feeling flush with cash briefly but now am back into budget mode. Oh well, hard come, easy go...
So the scratchy throat started last night, and led to a nice set of night sweats around 4am. That was special. Still scratching. Last time this bug nipped at me for what seemed like ever before I finally got waylaid. Sigh. And the boy was suspended from afterschool for squirting soapy water at another kid. For a week. Sigh.
What happened to the vacation afterglow?
Uggh. Nipping bug. Lots of work. Not enough sleep. Where did the vacation go? Not a clue, but after finally leaving the office after 6pm, it was straight to Le Saigon for some bun and spring rolls (needed some healthy food), then straight to the couch. And to my surprise (since I've been too busy the last few days I guess), I was delighted to see that Tivo dutifully recorded practice from Bahrain. Horray! My night is set. Couch. F1. Repeat. And as usual the siren song of the cars put me to sleep, so I snoozed on the couch through most of practice. Woke back up for a bit to check email (no fires), write this, and now I can watch it again. And fall asleep again. That's my Friday night party...woohoo!
A couple of weeks ago the boy got plucked off the playground for a "casting call" at the local playground. He went in with a bunch of other kids and read a commercial line. With his usual wacky personality. Didn't think much of it and neither did he. Well, phone rings a few days ago and they want him to come down for a one-on-one "callback." Hmm, ok. She sounds nice enough. She does aske me what I meant when I put "director" down as my occupation. I explained that I'm a project director, but I know some of the industry and work on the edges of it.
I still haven't found my "acoustic voice" for singing. And I can't believe I'm putting this out there, but it is what it is. A rather naked version of "Do It Again." I'm pretty happy with the guitar arrangement (I have some variations and improvs that I think are pretty cool, not on this recording), but the vocals? Hrm...not there yet. Oh well...
A month or so ago I spent four very hard days breaking a story and game concept for a project. It was quite tough work, but in the end we had a good arc, interesting characters, and a solid start for a game design. Today a bigger "expert working group" got together to hash through various aspects of the project. Part of it involved tearing the story apart. Which they did. Of course they weren't there for the original four days of work where we went through almost all of the questions they asked and sorted the issues raised. *sigh*
Back to the drawing board?
As of yesterday, despite the rocking of the story and game concept, I was still convinced that using a game engine and machinima was the best approach. I'd even presented various examples of the genre so people knew what I was talking about (only two or three had ever heard of machinima). But after seeing a very cool game built by MIT using 2D cartoons and animation, I started thinking. Then after discussion around the table, I have to admit that I swung 180 degrees. Going from 3D game engine to 2D with a classic multi-panel cartoon design solves a lot of issues wrt look and feel, balancing computational horsepower for speech recognition, and enabling amateur cultural production and involving students in helping to create and extend the stories.
Hey, I can change my mind. It's my perogative. My feminine side...
"Jack Bauer has gone rogue."
I want to have his love child...
Another day, another 8 hours spent in a hotel meeting room. Two days talking about teaching English to Chinese, now the start of two days talking about...umm...stuff that I can't really talk about. Let's just say I'm trying to help and leave it at that. And ideas are a good thing...
OK, four straight days in hotel meeting rooms having to think, and think hard. AND, keep doing my other projects. Nothing like leading a discussion session on a concept, then having to duck out to get on a conference call with a buch of game experts to talk through a variety of other concepts. Then hop back to the first one. And chasing down emails all the way through. No wonder I'm beat. But some things can't really wait...like picking up the boy and doing a load of laundry. A couple of meetings tomorrow, then sneak out early to pick up the boy (last day of being suspended from after school...a long story). THEN off to TRE to pick up the car in advance of a track weekend (finally!). I need a vacation. Oh wait...
So some middle eastern men are planning a bomb attack. I think they wanted to do a nuclear one, but couldn't get the good so they made another kind. I knew about it and had to stop them. So I went to my safe to get the Sigs out. Turns out there were these other handguns there as well. Hmm, better stick with my trusty Sigs. Then the problem is how do I carry them? I don't want people to know I've got them. I figure I need both of them and some extra magazines. Oh, and the hollow points...don't forget the hollow points.
Packing up my kit bag for a weekend in the desert. After missing the last two events and with only one day under my butt for the 2007 season, the alarm will sound at 5am and I'll be Willow-bound for my first "proper" cup race since getting my license and red dot. That race will have to wait until Sunday as Saturday is the 4-hr enduro race, which neither my car nor my body is up to at this point. One step at a time. Looking forward to getting back in the harness though. The car is prepped and ready, and the driver is full of antipation and (soon) pasta.
An early morning (5am alarm) for the drive to Willow Springs for some racing (finally). Having only been on track one day so far in 2007, I was ready to turn some laps. No cup race today, but Sunday (my first since getting my license), and today would be four run sessions. Brand new front tires were a worry, as it takes them awhile to scrub in and the rears are just about right.
So on the drive up, actually less than a 1/4 mile away from the track entrance, a coyote runs out from the right hand side of the road, running across in front of me. I slow, but luckily it wasn't that close. But of course it brought up a moment in time that will never leave my mind. I figure it was a message. I watched as the coyote ran off into the desert, and pondered what it meant. I'll never know, but took it as a sign to take it easy. Life is short. No sense making it any shorter.
It's call a farming expedition. I've never really had one at the track, but today was the day. Because of the 4-hour enduro race tonight, there was no regular "cup race" for the red and orange groups. But in the morning driver's meeting, it was decided that we would have a "fun race" in the afternoon to replace one of the run sessions.
I remember watching Kevin Roush go from dfl (dead fucking last) to 2nd in the orange group cup race in Vegas last year. This time it was me in the race, and I didn't start dfl, but close (22 out of 26). But by the first lap, I was dfl. I hung on to the last group of 4 or so, but soon had the front runners in my mirrors. Not wanting to interfere with a class battle, I got out of it and let them by. Then soon there were others. And slowly the other back markers pulled away leaving me by myself. DFL. I was fighting the car all weekend, and today it was understeering horribly, and I could not get the car to turn-in at all. And I just didn't have the fire in the belly. I thought about just giving up about half way through. Then really thought about it when someone in my race class passed me (ie someone I should be running comparable times with). But figured that part of this lesson was humility, and perseverence. The car wasn't right. The tires were making it hard. I was fighting every turn. But I just kept going. Getting lapped. Whatever. Being last. Whatever. Finshing. Yes. Finishing.
My poor left leg. It's bored. DSG is cool but more video game than visceral experience. I might have to do something about that. Do I dare? Time will tell. Where's that magic 8-ball when you need it? Oh yeah...F12!
Artistic differences...I'm sorry, but I just don't find amateur actors shot green screen and keyed over a 3D "game environment" to be compelling. But the real question is...do the kids?
When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder I can think at all
And though my lack of education hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall
Uh oh...a lyric jag coming on? Portending a bit of a creative burst? I hope so...been too long. For now, the genius of Pete. Lest we forget...
I was just thirty-four years old and I was still wandering in a haze
I was wondering why everyone I met seemed like they were lost in a maze
I don't know why I thought I should have some kind of divine right to the blues
It's sympathy not tears people need when they're the front page sad news.
Well, was quite excited about finally getting back onto the softball diamond. Turns out work has a city league team and games start next week. Due to conflicts I was unable to make any practices until today. A flurry of emails from players about if they could make today and/or Saturday. Plenty said today was a go, so I headed out from work a bit before 5pm, slogged through traffic from the marina to west LA to pick up Calvin from school, then slogged back through traffic to Westchester. Even made it a few minutes early. Got out my stuff, laced up my cleats and waited. And waited. Finally checked email on my phone. At 5:10pm an email went around saying it was cancelled. Great. So the boy and I get in the car and slog back home. And I'm bummed. Quite bummed.
Hmm...there are those damn expectations again. Rearing their heads.
Good writing is rewriting. Somebody brilliant told me that. Well, it took about 4 days of work to break the story, and it was good but not great. It took writing a script for a 2 minute trailer and being passed to another brilliant set of eyes to make it pop. So now the box is magic, and a new clue appears when something is achieved in the game. And you still get the big reveal at the end, because then the last thing to appear in the box is the reveal. Yeah, this kicks arse. Now to actually voice and cut the trailer...
And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...well, let's just say I borrowed. Been awhile since I actually "wrote" some music. A work in progress, and clearly inspired by SD, but I'll work the tweaks out. Then I can actually write some lyrics instead of just verse. Fancy that, eh?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a Child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine we give permission for others to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson
quintero allure was walking
no, running, really
away or from, doesn't really matter
far too mercurial, a mad hatter
squelching rumors and clandestine pies
binds that tie, kissing lies
a moot cycle indeed
the road to abbey was new
laid down in a trough
and gutter snipes laughing
but not enough staffing
to make a difference
a real difference
not a sears difference
the clams smell great
shuck one, pearl two
but aching muscles require
a helping hand, lost the band
a love that's canned
and stored for a rainy day
Maybe it is the pre trip lull. Or being so sore i can scarcely walk (note to self: stretch more before softball). Or the frenzy of the past month or three. Not sure, but whatever the reason the couch seems to have an inexorable draw on me. Oh well, just go with it. Watch 24 in real time. What's up with that?