Monthly Archives: February 2012

Old Pictures VS living in the moment

First of all, by request I have posted some of my last remaining ModCon books to Etsy. These are the original prints, not the second edition ones printed through Etsy. You can grab them via my Etsy store, or click the thumbnails to jump right to their pages. I have more copies than I’ve listed (five) but not many more. No idea how many people there still are that want a copy that don’t already have one (or the free PDF, which you can download from the link in the sidebar), but here you go:

To catch the eye… MODCON BOOKS AVAILABLE AGAIN!!!

Speaking of books, I just got an email from Lulu that all eleven volumes of my blog have been printed and shipped, so I should have them at the start of the week. I’m quite happy with how quickly that went, and it’s nice to have a very significant step in my project to permanently archive my digital life in the physical world complete. I’ll post the PDF files and upload them to various services soon as well, to enhance the chances even more of the survival of this information.

For the last few days I’ve been going through my huge collection of personal digital photos, which on this computer is about 40,000 photos, so it’s a large and time consuming project. The plan is to take them and build a series of photo albums. I just looked at a friend’s similar project but much smaller project encompassing the first year of their child’s life. Given how easy it is to lose digital photos — although with the advent of the cloud at least there are viable protective backup insurance schemes — I am surprised more people don’t make photo albums. Maybe with all the services that make it easy these days that will change. Personally I know I far prefer the experience of paging through a photo album than looking at them on a computer screen.

That said, it has been enormously personally difficult to do this. I can’t begin to explain how heartbreaking it is for me to see how happy I used to be, how much I was capable of, all the fun I had with my friends and family, and how strong and healthy I was. I guess it’s like aging prematurely at an abusively accelerated pace. Flipping through photos — flipping through time — I can’t live in the moment and just deal with how I feel right now and just survive another minute. I have to have it spit in my face how much worse things have gotten. The last thing I need is to be reminded how little I want to keep doing this, to say nothing of how much everyone around me gets their life drained because of my illness, how hard it is on Caitlin and Nefarious most of all. There are many times that I think that after the mourning wore off, they would be much better without me although I know they would protest the untruth of that statement and maybe even believe it consciously right now. I am reminded of my grandmother telling me how much happier and free she was after my grandfather decided to die. That doesn’t belittle the life they had, it simply accepted that it’s value not only ended before his heart stopped beating but that the negative sphere of influence affected more than just him, which I think is not entirely uncommon. On one hand I have so much that I want to do and see, but on the other hand, I’ve endured more than any person should be asked to endure. Every day for the last last ten years things have gotten worse, and every day for the last three years, things have gotten a lot worse, and there hasn’t been a single bit of meaningful help or hope from the medical community even though some of them have tried very hard. And the fact that the disease kills slowly is perhaps its cruelest aspect. In any case, as important as this archival task is for me, it is one of the most difficult tasks that I’ve undertaken, because it takes away one of my biggest defense mechanisms — the ability to live in the moment, day by day, and accept that I can survive another minute without considering with objectivity how the experience compares to some semblance of an acceptable quality of life.

But I really do have a lot of stuff to do!!!

Fun and half-truths from the UrbanDictionary

I can agree with this…

…but not so much with this…

It’s probably because it’s spelled wrong, right?

Well, I’m going to go have a Larratt. See ya.

Dreamy

I didn’t paint this for it to be particularly appreciable as a piece of art. It’s overbusy, has no pleasing layout or overall aesthetic, and just generally fails all around. Perhaps I could fix it if I felt like it, I don’t know. But it’s really only a doodle I did because I thought it might be therapeutic to try and paint my dreams. I may have mentioned this before but in general I live in two worlds — the real one, and the dream world, and my dream world is consistent from night to night. That is, when I fall asleep, I re-enter an environment that is the mostly the same as it was the night before, with the same geography, history, people, physics, and so on. Maybe that makes me a boring person because I feel like most people get to have a wider range of dream experiences? I worry though because my dream world is sort of like a modified version of this one I’m in right now, but then I realized that it could just as easily be the other way around, that this is the dream, and this is the modified version of the other. Either way, these worlds are siblings, and they leak into each other. Earlier today I bumped into someone at a computer store while picking up a wireless router, and I was wondering where I recognized them from, and I realized that I know them from the dream world. I wonder how that happens, because it happens all the time. If I had to make a neurological guess, I’d say that it comes from the same place as deja vu.

You can click to zoom if you’d like.

I’ll probably still do a top-coat glazing, tinting, and lighting parts of it but I don’t expect significant improvement. Perhaps I am only feeling down about it because I was at the hospital this morning and that always wrecks my day. My primary doctor is upset with the remainder of the potential “team” treating me because it’s been months of him asking them for their expert help, and while they tell him to his face that they’re very interested, it seems like they lose that interest the instant the conversation ends and so far have not followed up. Given the rarity of my genetic condition, it’s not like I can see just anyone, so it’s a little disheartening and makes one feel like the safe bet is to give up on any hope of treatment. Next week I should be having a bunch of different kinds CT scans, mostly of my brain to try and get a better handle on the brain damage, which at least I hope will give me some interesting data to look at, as I always enjoy seeing the output of those machines.

OH. One other thing. I made the covers for all my “blog backup books”, which I hopefully will send off to print in the next 48 hours. So again, click to zoom (warning: big), and here are the eleven cover images for 2001 through 2011.

Other than that I am just waiting for Caitlin to get home from work so I can give her the Valentine’s present that I made her, my first “real” piece of silverwork. Caitlin actually asked me if that painting was her present, and I am happy to say it is not. That would be a crummy present.

OH the things you’ll find at the ZORM store…

I NEED HELP trying to figure out if this is a TRUE MEMORY or if it is some confabulation. I am having terrible trouble maintaining the seals on my dreams and I feel like the dreamworld is leaking out into the waking world. So…

I COULD SWEAR that I read about Britain having a space program in the around the end of the middle ages or at the start of the Renaissance. I’m thinking it may have involved Francis Bacon or John Dee. Although it is easy to assume such a thing about John Dee, right? I have distinct memories of pictures in the article of drawings from the time of a flying ship with which they intended to travel into orbit or the moon — having no concept of the fact that space would be not be full of breathable air, they figured all they had to solve was the problem of an airborne boat. So it was a purely theoretical on-paper space program, but it was, nonetheless, a government (royalty) funded space program, probably the earliest one in history. I would be extremely grateful if someone could verify this memory for me. I have had no luck at all on Google, so I am full of fear that I’ve invented it.

Other than that, as mentioned a few times, I have this blog-to-book thing almost done and have had a lot of fun parsing and solving all the CSS and layout issues. Data mining and data manipulation is my favorite kind of recreational programming. What I don’t enjoy is realizing there were a couple bugs in the routine that converted my IAM blog to WordPress causing about a dozen images to be destroyed. It’s also been fascinating re-reading (or at least re-skimming) my thoughts from a decade ago until now. Fascinating to see my thinking evolve and mature over that period. It’s very obvious how much my divorce and the loss of BME as well as my illness — arguably the two biggest traumas in my life — have “matured” my sense of self for the better. As a shy and private introverted person thrust into an influential public role, it’s amazing seeing how unsure of myself I was, although I did my best to put up a much more resolute public face. But I think it all fit together just right, a perfect storm of person and circumstance, and I’m not sure that I’d tinker with it or give myself any advice if I had a time machine.

And now to take apart the couch to dig out all the little bottles of pain that I’ve let slip between the cushions so I can take a break from the joyful programming to do a little work on this plywood doodle.

One day I know we’ll meet again

As my most recent tattoo makes pretty obvious, I am so excited about the release of what may well become the definitive “Space Nazis” movie, IRON SKY. Production completed recently and it premieres in three days at the Berlin film festival — I’m jealous because my friend Saira just told me about another friend of hers that’s actually there. Theatrical release is at the start of April, but I have no idea what the Canadian schedule is. Here is the latest trailer, as well as a promo for the film festival. Both are highly enjoyable. And of course you can’t go wrong with Udo Kier als der Raumf├╝hrer (oder der Mondf├╝hrer?), to say nothing of a soundtrack by Laibach. Amazing how far the Energia guys have come from Star Wreck!

I do recommend you take the time to watch it fullscreen, at the best quality setting you can, and of course with the sound on.

I downloaded these (and other videos of theirs — there are lots of production diaries and so on, in part because this is partially a community-driven and financed film), which they make available in resolutions as high as 1080p (the movie was shot on the Red camera) using the incredibly easy and useful keephd, a simple website for simplifying the downloading of Youtube videos in various formats — the MP4 files play natively on my PS3 on our ancient 60″ TV (thankfully though it’s young enough to be the first generation of TV that was properly HD capable, so the image is very nice).

What I am not so excited about is losing another credit card to fraud. Apparently someone tried (unsuccessfully) to buy $308 dollars worth of jeans yesterday using a cloned card. No damage was done to my accounts, but now for the third time in as many months, I have to wait a week while they send me a replacement. I’m glad that their heuristics catch fraud so easily, but I’m not glad that their security is so troubled that it has to show its algorithmic worth so often! So another card is cut in half…

Speaking of technology failing me, I’ve also noticed that my phone seems to be disconnecting from the network for hours — as long as a day — at a time. I don’t know if it’s a network issue or if it’s more related to how many times I have dropped the phone. The latter is more likely. Other than that, I got back my first blog-to-book test print, and it looks amazing. I’ll post an entry just about that some time soon.