Monster’s Playground

04/17/2014 4 comments

Monster's Playground

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

I know I should be trying a bit more… Globes and rounds and what not, but after a full day of yours truly being more than a bit of a clutz, I decided to stick to what I know… Even if what I know is weird and cubist and something only the monsters of my dreams would enjoy.

Prosaic

Prosaic

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

The joys of having a lack of focus. What might be considered good, is causing me to be over analytical of this piece. So I’m going to let it fly avoiding my want to think it just not good enough for my Monday posting.

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Entry 04/12/2014 01:08:01 PM – Mentat 695

I swear to god sometimes when it comes to programs, it sometimes feels like for every step forward some software programmers take, they also seem to take a step back. Take Steam for example. They try to make their gaming platform/software environment stable and then all of a sudden, one of the latest patches will cause my PC to want to un-mount the 2 TB monstrosity I use for storing my games on it. No explanation whatsoever, no warning, nothing… Close Steam and suddenly I lose access to the gaming drive. It’s not consistent about it either. I’ll go for weeks and reboots at a time with the drive and the Steam Client behaving perfectly normal (and acceptable), and then there’s this string of client closes that cause the S: and T: (the added drives that use the SATA 6 connection) to just disconnect without notification. Sure, I can do a quick reboot and everything’s all right, but the thing is — it should behave without issue. This wonderful quirk of course, screwed with Warframe (which inhabits the same drive as the Steam Client), causing the update to fail repeatedly. After an uninstall and reinstall of Warframe and it’s back up to working. But not without not following the installation instruction set it’s given causing the game to load locally on the boot drive. Given it’s not that big a game (at about 5 GiB), it’s 5 GiB I don’t want on the root partition. And during this entry, I got it changed out without issue back to the original drive.

Then there’s the new version of Skype. Sure it fixes various problems with the program (problems I’ve never really experienced), but since 6.10 it’s been forcing advertisements to show up in chat windows and during video call/conferences. All right, I’m annoyed with that and try to find a work-around to make the advertisements disappear (like they used to show up in AOL, Yahoo when I used to use it and MSN Messenger). Turns out that Microsoft being the pernicious gits they are changed the way advertisements show up in the windows between version 6.10 and the newest 6.14. All right again, I found the fix for that — namely the adding of the hostnames to the HOSTS file — but now whenever I enter a video conference with a friend in 10 seconds Skype freezes/locks up and stops responding. Tried an uninstall/re-install of the newest version and the issue remains. Hell, the only way to get the camera to work again is to reseat the USB for the camera. Checked to see if it were a power problem with the motherboard/USB/Power Supply and it turns out I can leave the motion capture software supplied by Logitech up for hours. I can even leave Skype open on the options window and the Webcam continues to work without lockups. But the instant I go into a conference with a friend, 10 – 15 seconds it locks up. So for the time being, I’m going to keep to the older version (prior to the spam advertising) as the camera continues to work without lock-ups or freezing.

Moe is being… Well, persnickety. I noticed that he hadn’t been drinking all that much of his water and seems to be hellbent on drinking the water from the bath tub tap. While there is a leak if I don’t close the faucets properly, I suspect that it’s still not enough water for him to get through the day. Particularly given that he hasn’t had wet food in some time. And the last thing I need is for him to come down with a UTI. Tiger got those a few times in his life and that’s both money and vet trips that I can’t afford at the present time. So after quite a bit of experimenting, I think I found the solution. The food needs to be on one side of the room (near the stove), the water the other (near the bathroom) and the litter has to be near to the cupboard in the kitchen in order for him to drink from the water bowl more and from the faucets less. Oh he’ll still take a moment or two to drink from a faucet — like the kitchen or bathroom sink if I’m around it — and even sometimes drinking from the bath tub faucet when he thinks I’m not looking… But at least he’s drinking again and things seem to be back to normal there.

More along the lines of “normal” has to be the fact that after several weeks of staggered sleep patterns, I’m finally returning to a more normal pattern of 6 – 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Well, until last night which was entirely my fault. I became overwhelmingly tired around 8 PM and ended up sleeping until almost 11:30 PM. So I stayed up for a couple of hours because of that — piddling about watching a show or two (namely The Listener) as well as playing some easy games until I got tired enough to pass out once again. So I got 7 hours of sleep last night, even if it wasn’t in one sitting.

I also had a low point during the week when I had a sort of “relapse” of rage as I was heading down to the supermarket to try my hand out at another slow-cooker recipe. Seems that when I get closer to the old address in the Valley as it’s across the street from the supermarket, the more I have these visions of wanting to inflict any number of aggravated violences against the two douche-nozzles at the apartment (landlord and that thing). The last couple of times I’ve been able to convince myself to simply let go and go forward and that’s usually a calming enough effect to drive it out of my head. The last time however, I went full tilt to the point where the rage had been almost overwhelming. The kind of overwhelming where I wanted to seek either of them out and slap the living shit out of them. Sure, I realized that I had taken a step in the wrong direction and that I was able to calm down enough to move forward from it — it was still more than a surprise that I allowed myself to sink low enough to that level again. Perhaps it’s because of this (and my bout of hypochondria) which had caused me not to sleep as well as I could have.

Then the real fun that came afterwards when I got home with the ingredients for the Sausage and Bean Stew… There I am, chopping up the onion when what does my cat do? Scare the piss out of me by jumping up onto the table from my blind spot. Jumped out of my seat and ended up gashing myself with the knife. I had flashbacks to the time I cut my finger on some broken tile back in the basement of the house in the Valley. Bled like a stuck pig then and again when I was chopping the onion. I sliced myself again when trying to move the chopping board and knife to the sink. While it wasn’t enough for stitches, I did bleed enough through the afternoon while I waited for the bigger of the two gashes to coagulate. At least I didn’t bleed all over the driveway and backyard like I did last winter.

[Last Edited: 04/14/2014 10:57:15 AM]

All right I spoke too soon. Sure I got a couple of nights of “normal” sleep, but that didn’t last as long as I was hoping. As I said earlier in the journal I passed out too soon. The night before, I didn’t actually fall asleep until after 2:30 AM. Then I woke up around 5:30; passed out again at 7:30 and woke up again on 9:30. I didn’t do all that much through the day (it was after all, Sunday); passed out again at 2:30, woke up again at 4:15 and now as the evening winds down, I’m feeling worn out and drag-ass. I should go to bed about this time, but knowing me if I did that, I would end up being wide awake at 2 in the morning. Then last night, I ended up going to bed at a semi normal time (almost 11 PM) work up about 3 hours later and couldn’t get back to sleep until almost 5 AM, mainly because I had heartburn from the ribs I had for supper that night. Sure, I ended up getting 6 hours of sleep, but it wasn’t all at once. Because of this scattered and uneven sleep patterns, I’m finding it extremely hard to focus on anything longer than 20 minutes. It also makes me extremely emotional and my sugar seems to be all over the place.

I’m really not at all sure what is causing this wacky sleep patterns (and subsequent lack of focus). It might be the weather as it’s suddenly changed from frigidly cold to spring-like warm. That and the humidity seems higher than usual: 60+% at least for the moment. But I’m not entirely sure. In either event, it’s annoying and working my health and nerves.

Not too much else at the moment. I need to get ready to walk the dog. Then make something for lunch. Until the next time.

Escher’s Symmetry

Escher's Symmetry

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

I claim momentary insanity during an impulsive (and wildly changed) code choice.

The Inner Chamber of Devotion

The Inner Chamber of Devotion

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

And today’s piece was inspired by a rather interesting talk with someone and this:

The Curiosity (and Conundrum) of Blogs trying to Make Money

Entry 04/06/2014 09:36:22 AM – Mentat 694

So I’m dog sitting for my mother this morning as she’s heading up to my aunt & uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary (a re-affirmation of vows and a luncheon out at an old people’s Italian Restaurant — no name’s mentioned, of course — Carrabba’s), when a strange thought flittered through my mind… A more than healthy majority of my subscribers (from WordPress of course) are in fact not really personal bloggers at all. No, they’re the sort of thing that makes me instincts throw up red flags faster than running through a minefield under machine gun fire. Basically they read as the “get rich quick” sort of things that make me correlate too closely on pyramid schemes.

And the resounding question that I have when seeing this is, “why?” And then after perusing a few of the sites of those that had subscribed and their sites don’t seem to really move is, “why do you continue?”

So, I decided on doing a little research on the subject wondering why so many of the subscribers that take this approach and just how much money they think they’re going to make by doing this… Surprisingly a lot of the sites that contain the information seem to give with one hand and take with the other. The information on the viable success of such blogging reads all the same: you have to work for it. You have to have be very interactive with both the visitors that leave comments as well as being social and commenting on other people’s sites. It’s a time and mind consuming sort of “career” that is just as taxing as working a day job. And then right after reading about the potential for failure if you don’t have the right stuff (je nais se quoi) comes the sales pitch of, “…if you contact me, I’ll help you with getting started and improving your skills at making money…”

I could link those sites, but the fact is, I don’t want to promote this sort of attention… It’s easy enough to Google on your own to see the info (and build up the necessary cynicisms); just plug in “facts about making money on a blog” and there will be plenty of sites for that sort of information. And you can also come to your own conclusions by doing so as well.

The thing is, when going to these subscribers that transformed their sites into a “you too can make money doing this”… I’m not getting the warm and fuzzy feeling of success. Call me a “Doubting Thomas”… Call me a cynical, old curmudgeon.. Hell even call me a Debbie Downer… Yet, from the years of being on the Internet and dealing with the good, the bad and the ugly that society has to throw at me in the world of characters and pixels, I can’t see all this, “when I’m not doing this, I’m doing something incredibly fun and recreational <insert hobby here> instead of a job…” actually working… Instead of such successful images of telecommuting lectures and seminars to bringing in the interested and those wanting to work from home, I’m getting instead the same sort of slave-labor/pennies on the dollar money making tactics used on Nigerians (and other third world countries) for sending out Viagra or Out-of-the-Country Pharmacy Spam (to name a couple off the top of my head) to everyone’s e-mail in-box by the butt-loads only to have $6.00 in your pocket at the end of the month and being banned from yet another ISP. $6.00 might be worth something in Mexico, or some country that relies heavily on the power of the Euro or the American dollar over their own local currency, but that sort of income barely buys a Happy Meal here in the states.

What doesn’t help matters any is that I’m also seeing barren, bot-like blogs whenever I visit such sites; with just enough personal info showing off “living the good life” but no interaction with the world (cyber or otherwise) around them. They remind me too much of a pamphlet left on a chair during one of these 45 minute lectures given to Avon, Mary Kay, Bankers Life Insurance, etc. seminars trying to get new people into their “work force” (and yes, I’ve inadvertently ended up going to one too many of those in my long and interesting career changing moments).

Funny thing is, I made mention of my research into blogging for money when I was talking with my friend Glenn on FaceBook this morning, which of course prompted him calling me a whore for it. I assured him (like I assure anyone and everyone reading this), I wouldn’t dream of turning my site into some “contact me for making money through blogging…” for a number of reasons.

  • I lack the gene for being a salesman. If the product does not sell itself, then no amount of coercion or influence on my part will change your opinion.
  • It’s not my style. I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 17 and know no other way than typing stories, anecdotes, events, thoughts, perspectives other than the one that I have. A Journal/Diary/Blog is a testament of one’s ego (both hubris and humility)
  • Being able to write my thoughts privately or publicly is a gift that should always be free. Not something behind a pay wall or some machinations for making a buck.

And most importantly,

  • For as long as my ramblings, my stories, my thoughts, and my struggles through life and pain and what not touches another human being that stops to read it. That touch being the realization, “I’m not alone in this” pain, this struggle, this whatever… If it brings a smile to one other person, or tears of joy, or any emotional response. Then I’ve accomplished my goal of changing the world, one person at a time.

Which leads me to the next point… To those subscribers, artists, eclectic types, renaissance men (and woman) that subscribe for my fractal art, my demented and often times over-active imagination and my writings. I would like to say to you:

 

THANK YOU.

 

I’m not always vocal about my gratitude to friends and strangers… I am however always appreciative.

To those that try to make money off of their blogs… I would also like to thank them for subscribing and wish them the best of luck in their attempted endeavor; with one caveat. That caveat is don’t expect me to reciprocate a subscription. I like human beings. I like people that are able to either taking a picture, making art through the use of mathematics (hell, even drawing as I lost that ‘talent’ when I took up my calling in computers), writing an experience, a story from their lives, talking about their dating woes… Anything that proves to me, “there’s a human being behind those words…” Sure I’ll look, but if I sense a robot there, well then… don’t expect much attention after that.

And with that, I can now put the soapbox back to its original use: as a footstool while I’m watching television shows or movies online.

Off I go for the moment… To binge on some random program I only occasionally watch. Until the next time.

Find the Replicator

04/05/2014 1 comment

Find the Replicator

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

I’ve been binging on Sci-Fi — specifically Stargate (SG-1, Atlantis, but not Universe). The only reason why this piece survived derezzing is because I interpretted a pattern from the show. Extra points if you can find it. And if you need help this is the link on what a replicator looks like.

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