Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's art / puppy therapy

You can read about the video on Youtube.

Had to make some feeble attempt to approximate some form of existence beyond/besides my Promethean condition.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

BEST free software to batch extract stills from video: SuperC - also good for conversion, audio extraction, etc.

I've been trying to keep posting content others can use while I weather the drastic increase in intensity of my body's storm.

So I wanted to post the stills from the butterfly on lilac video.

While GOMplayer can do it, there were some aspects of its operation which made it less than idea. For a single image cap, its great, but for doing a series within a video, or the entire video, it falls down.

Irfanview has the capability in theory, but it doesn't seem to like Vista 64 professional, and to get it to extract images from an avi file, you need to go looking for codecs, installing package after package until you find one it likes... and even then it has a tendency to crash. Pity, Irfanview is one of the great success stories of the open source software movement. I have a friend whose employer could provide any image editing software on the market, and they use a customized version of irfanview.

I tried several other programs which promised this capability and didn't.

A particularly appealing program turned out to be "snoop-ware" Softwarepile Free Video Studio Decompiler.

Fortunately McAffee's siteadvisor toolbar caught the danger.

If you don't use this great free tool, its = to driving a car without airbags or seat belts.

Finally I tried Super (C). This article does a better job of explaining what it does than I can. Its a very powerful media manipulation program. It doesn't rely on external codecs, so it works seamlessly on any computer.

The interface is a bit hard to figure out, but its simple enough to use once you get used to its Control Panel / Windows Management Console like interface.

It was quick, it worked great, and doesn't much with the performance or operation of ANY other software, while ALL the other programs I tried did so.

Here's their homepage. I expect I'll be enthusing about other things I can do with it in the future.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Attention spam commentators... my blood work shows abnormally high testosterone levels, so I have no need of your enhancement products

I have changed the requirements for leaving a comment to include the word verification and the use of some sort of id.

I just don't have the resources to weed through a lot of people who have an untoward interest in my personal life... which is matched only by their ignorance of my preferences and prowess. ;>

I'd also like to be able to respond to people who stop by and leave well wishes etc., and since right now my brain is about as sharp as a butter knife, I need this to be as easy for me as possible.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tulip 3d! My first 3d photosynth!

Unfortunately, Microsoft uses DHTML / XML in their embed codes, and Multiply doesn't allow it.

So you'll have to click on this link.

But its worth it, and you don't have to be a member of anything to view it.
Ms ICE will generate panoramas you can use in Photosynth, but to get a 3d virtual world, you need to work directly with photosynth and take a whole cloud of overlapping photos.

This came from 18 different photos- you can view the individual ones which went into this in Photosynth so I'm not posting any here beyond this one sample.

I'm pleased... I think I should be able to "grok" this

Rug folk: What would you like to see me do 3d to help understand how to do rugs? Something about a start perhaps, or when to use a double stitch?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stunningly beautiful hillside at Fort Harrison St. Park - My first real ICE pan experiments


But what's REALLY cool is MS Photosynth, which lets you play with them 3d

Another- this is of the lovely foliage at the base of a large old tree with a "cave" in its base.

Have fun... this has HUGE potential!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"So how do you keep the toothbrushes all-together?" The history of the name of the craft and a fun anecdote

The "toothbrush" in toothbrush rugs!

From Toothbrush Rugs - Loving them, making them, discussing them
Below: The rug I started while in the hospital... imagine me lying there with an IV in one arm, trying to stitch the rug without stitching my IV into it...
From Toothbrush Rugs - Loving them, making them, discussing them

A dear multiply friend who will only be referred to as "Suzy" posted a question to one of my remastered rug videos:
  • so is there ever a time when you use a toothbrush? I wonder why they call it a toothbrush rug?

This is a fun question, and one which has caused no end of consternation and confusion over the years.

About 5 years ago when I first set out to bring this ancient folk craft into the 21st century with my blog and tutorials, I considered using a different name for the craft... one with less ambiguity.

My best idea was "Recycling rugs" but in the end, I decided to stick with the anachronistic name out of respect for the generations of master rug makers who have come before me and used "toothbrush rugs" or "toothbrush handle rugs" as their name for the craft.

As you can see in the photo above, the toothbrushes are used to STITCH the rugs, they are not a constituent of the rugs themselves.

It could be that in twenty or thirty years, we will have to give it a new name because the flat handled toothbrushes which work so well for conversion into needles are almost impossible to find, having been replaced by ergonomic batter powered ones... I expect a toothbrush with bluetooth or wifi out any time, probably from Apple.

Similar items can be easily turned into needles- the strongest and best are small detail/trim paint brushes. Plastic handled spatulas can work, but my experience is that these are often made of inferior grade plastic and break very easily.

One time I even made a needle out of one of those little discount cards that goes on your keyring. I was at the doctor with my wife, I had my bag of goodies along but somehow the needle had fallen out.

Now the fun story:

I've been "evangelizing" about this craft for decades. So it was that 17 odd years ago when I found myself among a lovely group of folks near Duluth MN that I gave classes. These ladies (all my students there were) were incredibly quick to learn, as most of them did knitting and quilt making.

One dear Frau however was not able to come to my classes as she was in the hospital. As it was part of my responsibilities to visit our folk who were so situated, I offered to give her a one on one tutorial at the hospital.

She happily accepted. Little did I know that this Grand Dame was the matriarch of a large family, all of whom had come to be with her in her convalescence.

I get to her room and find it packed to the gills with good solid blond haired ladies of all ages

  • Each of them had a fist full of toothbrushes

So the question which I was asked by one of the inquisitive ladies was "We've been trying to figure out how you get the toothbrushes to stay together in a rug for hours!"

So that's a bit of history and explanation, and one of my fondest memories from a time and a life which seems like several alternate universes removed from the one which I inhabit today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Toothbrush Rugs- Starting one using a half hitch stitch, video tutorial remixed

Doc's still have no idea what's going on, I don't have nearly enough meds, and the ones I have don't do much... so I've been trying to find ways to get engrossed in the creative arts... and that's working as well as anything.

The software I discovered this week is phenomenal, the likes of which I've been dreaming of for a decade.

This is part 1 of the video.

I'll mix part 2 and some more rug stuff tomorrow.

I am quite keen to suggestions / requests for new videos or videos to redo to assist people in learning and practicing this craft.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Christ broke free of Hell on Easter - I got sucked back into it (physically)

I can barely get my fingers to type, and I'm relying on my touch typing skills because everything I see is blurred... its as if either the throbbing of blood in my body or the oscillation of the electronics- though supposedly both at frequencies we're not able to perceive- is affecting my vision.

Wanted to drop a place holder post here, as I had been so very active before last weekend.

The crazy itchiness and spasms of my muscle fibers has grown and enveloped me. Its affecting more than just my right leg now. It itches so badly I feel like I'd like to peel back the skin and connective tissues and scratch the muscles themselves!

Along with that, the deep impenetrable fog.

We did have a perfectly lovely time with family on Easter. My cousin Dan- about the only relative on either side who's close in age to me- came over, as did my brother and his family. So Tess and I got good family and kinder time in.

They LOVED the slide I dug in to the side of the hill, and gave it a right royal workout... it never budged!

So... I'm outa here till this abates or we figure out what is going on.

Usual procedures and policies- if you're local or passing through, you're welcome, and if you have other means to contact me, feel free.

Friday, April 2, 2010

So what's wrong with me? Ah, isn't that the trillion dollar question. Many minds have exploded trying to figure me out!

OK, so I've been back among the living for about a week now. Its nice... basically what happened folks is that about 10 days into December, my pain level reached the point where it shut down the higher processing of my brain. I was either feeling every single bit of the pain without any abatement, or I was incredibly tripped out.And in the mean time, my life has pretty much been taken over by going for scans, going for bloodwork, repeating the scans, repeating the bloodwork... early on I made a quip that by the time this is all over I'd be seen by every specialist except an OB/GYN. Well, that's indeed how it's played out. Safer than ever on the OB/GYN front- the ONLY abnormality they have found is significantly elevated testosterone... so much so that they gave me the third degree about whether I'd been shooting up steroids and androgens!

So that's where things stand... one bone broken and reenforced with a titanium rebar, countless others close to needing the same.

I've had less pain and fog the last week to 10 days, but that's not to say it isn't there... when my muscle fibers aren't itching and spasming and trying to push against each other like two magnets... I'm able and inclined to push off my awareness of the pain in favor of more pleasant stimuli. I have the pain tolerance of a rhino on meth... I used to eat habanero peppers for the exquisite burrrrn.

So what now... where to now?

I will always maintain that pain in itself is NEVER a benefit or blessing. What ever good comes from work through it comes in spite of it.

I did not need this pain to learn about pain... I've been caring for a woman in pain for the last 12 years, and most of my professional experiences have been with people in physical, spiritual, or emotional pain.

Indeed, I was surprised how WELL I understood the emotional, physical, and spiritual dynamics of living in AGONY.

So nope, no benefit there... nothing to be learned I didn't already know.

What is NEW, and is quite overwhelming to face, is that while the pain may not have changed me, the over all medical condition has DRASTICALLY changed the laws of the universe under while I operate.

Before this, I was at my physical prime... I was getting more exercise than ever, but I was in good shape even in Chicago because of stairs and walking.

  • I could always trust that if I used good sense and good body mechanics, my body would go along with any plans I had for it.
  • I could always count on being able keep my focus on something other than pain when ever needed.
  • I could always count on my innate sense of balance, time, and space and my cat like reflexes to keep me physically safe.

NONE of that can be assumed now.

It is no exaggeration to say that I've had to relearn how to do most everything- as anybody who's had bone or joint problems- especially hip and leg- knows and has lived.

There's not a single aspect of my life which is not affected by the limitations which my osteoporosis ridden body and volcanic pain place on me!

So that's why I chose this new picture for my avvy. Its an arted up and negativized picture of Savi, our alpha female papillon.

How much will I get into the various events which have happened? Haven't a clue. Some of it makes for pretty riveting story telling, but having lived it, I'm not at all certain I want to take my newly reacquired lucidity and apply it to that task.

Questions, comments?

Blog Directory