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26th April 2012

3:28pm: bblum was at my house the other day, and asked a question about a sewing project I was working on. I said "It's a dart. It's a way of controlling fullness. Wait, that's jargony and not helpful to you..." and then explained in a (hopefully) more enlightening way. But it occurred to me last night that the fuller explanation is not actually that complicated, and some of you might enjoy it. So here's a little jcreed-style writeup about 'controlling fullness' and what that means in sewing. (With crappy ballpoint pen pictures!)Collapse )

(20 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

21st December 2010

10:27pm: "Although the idea of a bridge spanning the Golden Gate was not new, the proposal that eventually took place was made in a 1916 San Francisco Bulletin article by former engineering student James Wilkins. San Francisco's City Engineer estimated the cost at $100 million, impractical for the time, and fielded the question to bridge engineers of whether it could be built for less. One who responded, Joseph Strauss, was an ambitious but dreamy engineer and poet who had, for his graduate thesis, designed a 55-mile (89 km) long railroad bridge across the Bering Strait." [emphasis mine, from the Wikipedia on the Golden Gate Bridge]

(Rose tint my world)

10th December 2010

12:42am: aleffert: just draw a really good circle on the machine and call it a day
me: like
me: with the circle tool?
aleffert: yeah

(I saw a fish this color today, and I will try to draw it tomorrow.)

(5 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

23rd November 2010

1:35pm: I have a list called "Movies I would like to own," and several of the items on the list are there because they haven't been released in America yet. So today I was checking to see if one of them is still unreleased. Well, it turns out it's available here... but at what cost to dignity? (For reference, the original poster art that got me to see it, which is a lot closer in spirit to the film itself, looks like this. Note the significantly less horrible title, too.)

(6 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

9th July 2009

10:36pm: I just hacked the couch in half with nothing but my lucky coping saw, Nicole/KGB's zombie-preparedness pickaxe and sledgehammer, some scissors and some pairs of pliers. Needless to say, I am feeling pretty manly.

(25 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

27th February 2009

11:37pm: There's an IF Month meetup tomorrow at 6:00 in CFA. Can anyone lend me (or bring with them) a laptop with video chat capabilities?

(1 Creature of the night | Rose tint my world)

14th February 2009

7:20pm: Hey, remember when I was talking about maybe having an IF Month? Well, it starts tomorrow. Here's the website, and here are some other people talking about it. There are currently 23 people on the mailing list, with two of them added while I was writing this, and of which only nine are people I actually know. Get psyched.

(Rose tint my world)

28th January 2009

11:35pm: A little while ago, I tossed around the idea of February as Interactive Fiction Writing Month and met with some positive feedback. It turns out that February is Real Soon Now.

So here's the pitch...Collapse )

So, the question is: who is in? Who would be in if it were a different month (be honest)? Or if we did the second half of February and the first half of March, maybe?

(10 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

12th January 2009

12:38am: I have been trying to make a different thing almost* every day this month. Here are the results so far. I know lots of the things have bugs or are otherwise highly imperfect, but after the month is over I will fix the ones I still care about. Otherwise I will get bogged down very quickly!

*The exception is the typeface, which spanned two days.

(4 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

7th September 2008

3:27pm: By the end of today, I'm placing an order from Sparkfun. Ideally, I'd like to do some form of very-quick shipping, which is pretty expensive: $20 for USPS Express, $28 for FedEx Standard Overnight, or $16 for FedEx 2-day Air on a $10 part. Are any of you lovely people in Pittsburgh in need of anything from Sparkfun (Arduinos large and small, GPS loggers, LCD and OLED displays, audio cables, Bluetooth things etc) and willing to help defray shipping costs?

Edit: Order now placed.

(Rose tint my world)

11th July 2008

1:38pm: Pony rides and dancing bears
Hey everybody [who is in Pittsburgh and is not participating in ICFP stuff], I have a gallery opening tomorrow. The exhibit is called Mashings, and it contains CMU undergrad robotic art, as curated by Ian Ingram. I will be displaying the cyborg eye piece and the Carnival button panel. They are even more fun in person than in photographs, I promise, so drop by if you get a chance. It is at the Melwood Gallery (in the Filmmakers' building), tomorrow night starting at 5:30. The exhibit runs through July 31.

(1 Creature of the night | Rose tint my world)

4th April 2007

7:59pm: You shook me all night long
Hey everybody!

Come see our Frame show:


(4 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

31st January 2007

10:41pm: I need some glowsticks (about 20 of them, preferably of the about 4-6" long, 0.25-0.5" diameter variety, in whatever color, though multiple colors would be cool) for a project (neo-Haeckel) that I basically need to do over the weekend. If you have such a thing, I would love to buy them off of you. Alternatively, do you know where I can find some, in Pittsburgh? I don't really have time to order them online (again, I'd like to have them by Saturday), nor do I really need the >50 sticks that would justify an order.

(cross-posted to cslounge, and possibly multiply posted here; apologies if I fill your screen with my glowstick requests)

(2 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

17th November 2006

5:38pm: Want. Alternatively, want access to a mathematician and a Z-printer.

(7 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

10th September 2006

11:42pm: Monsters that talk, monsters that walk the earth
I drafted a seven piece corset pattern for myself. I'm pretty happy with it, but it's hard to tell what the final fit of a corset will be like until it's more or less finished, so we'll see. The plan is that I make a corset, or possibly two, out of denim. Denim is way more durable and washable than the velvet, brocade, and satins that my other corsets are made of, and is strong enough that it can support itself without interlining, so it will be lighter and breathe more. Which is to say, hopefully I will be able to wear it on more casual occasions and worry less about its well-being. Also, it goes way more with my day-to-day outfit (black shirt, blue jeans, docs), and maybe people will be more able to accept that sometimes, a corset is more comfortable than an underwire bra and should be acceptable as street wear.
So, in an uncharacteristically conscientious move, I pre-washed the fabric. Apparently one yard of raw denim can actually release enough dye to turn a bathtub of water deep purple. The denim is hanging over the shower, and is still dripping blue, after ten rinses.
My ginormous bedroom is finally very habitable. I've got a corner for sewing/drafting/calligraphy, I've got a nook for curling up in, I've got more than my fair share of mattresses and shelves, and quite a reasonable amount of floor spaces for pinning and cutting fabric.
In other news, I'm currently listening to Dave's radio show, "Life During Wartime." It is both surreal and awesome to hear his voice on my computer, and his taste in music is pretty excellent. It's like all those mix CDs I forced Dave to make for me, but in real time. I recommend tuning in to WRCT (88.3 FM in Pittsburgh, or you can do this through your internet machine here) on Sunday between 10 PM and midnight.
Speaking of good music, I really (irrationally, even) like the song "Ozanam" by the very sexy Pining for the Fjords, who are lucky enough to having "fjords" in their name and Dom in their band (please note: I'm pretty sure that's not a final cut of the song. It may be even better eventually).

(8 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

28th August 2006

11:29pm: People in Pittsburgh:
Mostly because I'm jealous of all the fine folks that brought us "Pittsburgh Roars," I would like to go to this "idea round up". Would anybody be interested in coming with me?

People not in Pittsburgh:
Confused when I mention the CMU KGB? Maybe this will clear things up.

(6 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

24th July 2006

3:22pm: Gigantic, gigantic, gigantic
Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I wondered what it would be like to play a sort of Trivial Checkers. Arrange people on a grid as game pieces. Each turn, a trivia question is asked, and only people who could answer the question can move, with all the other rules being the same as checkers (or chess, I guess). There could also be a distinction between the human-pieces and the human-masterplayers, where the masterplayers are playing che[ss|ckers], and relying on their team to be able to answer; maybe the masterplayers could see all the questions in advance, and try to maximize people likely to be able to answer in strategic locations. If the human-piece thought he or she knew the answer but were incorrect, another person on the same team could try to answer, or possibly, in Tournament Trivial Checkers, the turn would be forfeit.

Would this be fun, or would it grow quickly tiresome? Would it make a good KGB event? I've seen people playing human-sized chess before, but usually the fact that the actual people are being used as pieces is more or less inconsequential, and it is really just Chess By Committee.

I finished my polka-dot dress. It is fully lined (no exposed seams, anywhere; even the seams of the skirts are flat-felled) and has a built in underwire (made from coathangers) and very lightly boned on the sides. There's a super full overskirt (three circles), all rolled-hem (by machine, but it looks really good), a ruffled underskirt, and a solid lining skirt, and it has hand-embroidered eyelets over heavy-duty grommets, so this was an "attention to detail" project. The ribbons that form the straps lace the back. There is currently a small problem with the line of the front being slightly crooked, but I think I can fix it. It's also not terribly flattering. Or rather, it is, but only if you happen to have a uniquely old-fashioned taste in girl-shapes. Fortunately, I do.

Thirdly, the combined effect of my summer job (sorting lead type in the letterpress lab in the basement of Maggie Mo) and seeing the unparalleled jcreed more often convinced me to finally actually download FontForge and poke at it. As a result, I present to you: Bloxfoo. It's definitely, and unabashedly, amateur, and in some places there are intentional lumps and bumps to draw your eyes away from the unintentional ones. Half of the alphabet doesn't really go with the other half. However, as a test font, and as a first try, I think it's not too bad, and it'll give me something with which to learn kerning and ligatures.

Fourthly, I love stingrays. Also, Ernst Haeckel, anenomes, and sea urchins.


(13 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

10th March 2006

10:11pm: The kisses of the sun were sweet I didn't blink
Today I woke up at an atrociously early hour to volunteer my time for scorekeeping for the Pittsburgh Regional of the 15th Annual FIRST Robotics Competition. I will do the same tomorrow.

It was all sorts of good. I obtained and will continue to obtain not only several freebies, including a T-shirt, four meals, and divers team merch, but more importantly, some [surprisingly nonbitter] reminiscing and life-path evaluation time. I get to experience this year's (and this region's) competition without actually caring who wins, and as a result I get to cheer for everyone. I'm especially rooting for two teams: the rookie team that made an (in my opinion) amazing recovery right before one of their rounds, and the team with the delightfully Rube Goldberg approach to projectile design.

I also learned an important lesson. Remember, kids: "Fully Autonomous Mode" and projectiles are an iffy mixture at best, and dead reckoning is rarely a good idea. Especially if there are any factors you didn't take into account. Like the other five robots on the field.

(3 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

7th March 2006

2:01am: What you take won't kill you, but careful what you're giving
February sure was a month. I knew from the very beginning that it'd be a certain amount of doom, but remember that with great responsibility comes great fun. Or something like that.

Here we goCollapse )

Lunar GalaCollapse )

Beaux ArtsCollapse )

(8 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

27th November 2005

2:39pm: Hearts full of passion, jealousy, and hate
"Donald Le Messurier writes:
'The gyascutis is commonly known as a "Side-Hill Lancer". You have greatly enlightened me with the more proper name for this beast. It may be unknown to you that it is quite dangerous and fast on its feet. The only known means of escape is to turn about and run in the opposite direction, in which case the longer pair of its 4 legs will be on the upside of the slope thereby unbalancing him and causing the animal to fall over and roll down the hill. I learned this at a very early age whilst spending my summers in Northern Michigan where this creature was then rather common. I do not know what the status of their population is now, but then I was always very cautious when venturing out in the heavily forested hills. I should add with pride that none ever came even close to catching me.'

To which John Barry was moved to respond:
'I believe that Mr. Donald Le Messurier has mogued you. He is likely chuffed, but let me expose the fallacy of his expostulation... Here is the flaw. Turning about and running in the other direction would have no effect on the direction in which the gyascutis is traveling. The re-orienting to which he refers could only be achieved by causing the creature to change direction - something that would require either the considerably braver action of running past, the insanely dangerous leap over, or the usually fatal path under the fell beast.'"

(4 Creatures of the night | Rose tint my world)

11th November 2005

12:42am: Let the moment go; don't forget it for a moment, though
First, the requisite angst:
A few weeks ago, during that haze that was prep time for Project 1 final review, while helping a fellow Spike Studio archie find scrap metal, I lost my favorite needlenose pliers. Due to the aforementioned scrap metal quest, they are probably in a place that doesn't exist, and I thus have very little chance of ever finding them again, since I don't frequent those places as much as some of you do. These pliers, aside from being nicely springloaded and having no ridges in the grips (better for jewelrymaking, before you ask), were bought for me at my favorite store by a rather awesome human, and are engraved on the nose: "To L From S." I'm still rather saddened by their loss, and anyone recovering them would win a whole bunch of Lea points. They have green handles.

Moving on:
Life is good. Studio is still Studio. I went to Chicago, where I saw Waldo. I had a Halloween, but not a real one.
I have two (count 'em! two!) open electives for next semester, and I've been puttering around trying to find classes to fill them. I feel that the basic problem is that I have very few marketable skills, so I have to find interesting classes that aren't made of math or science-- which is to say, I expect the Committee to Tell People to Take OS to keep its mouth shut here. I have a few in mind, and they both involve Making Things, which is the one thing I do.
Speaking of Making Things, the rest of this entry will concern my newest adventure in design, sewing, and bureaucracy. Those of you who have been keeping up might know that I have been selected by both Lunar Gala and SURG as being worthy of their time, which means that 1) W00t! I have something vaguely resembling a commission, only without them paying me, and 2) W00t! I have someone else giving me the money to do it anyway. What this means is that I'm provided with models, a stage, and an audience, and it's up to me to make it shine. My proposal was completely kitschy, and having seen the other design sets this year, I'm a little surprised it got picked by the same people that gave the green light to the crotchless trenchcoat.
Anyhow, this Tuesday and tonight were what I am affectionately terming Meat Market, in which we, the designers, watched the models strut up and down a taped-off catwalk, shaking their asses to classy tunes by rappers with too many G's in their names. We were never actually told the models' names, oh no, we referred to them by the numbers pinned to their chest or ass. There were two nights of this because the head designer was certain that one would not be enough. On the bright side, #28 introduced himself to me (as #28, of course), and I recognized #27 from last Friday's Capture The Flag With Stuff.
In final LG news, I apparently have to select my own music. My theme is "Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," and it involves Titania's consort, done in, ahem, neoclassical (to through terms around with wild abandon), with shiny glowy lightup bits. For the music, I was thinking along the lines of electric violin or theremin, but it has to have some sort of beat for them to walk to, because I'm pretty sure most of those models have been trained such that they can't walk without a bass line. Suggest to me some music!

(1 Creature of the night | Rose tint my world)

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