sky_hye: (014)
Max's disposition is completely back to normal today. His boat co-owner/partner and I worked on understanding his situation from a distance. One of boat-partner's friends is a doctor in Kauai, coincidentally. This doctor told partner that these bacterial infections sometimes don't respond to antibiotics, so those patients end up in the hospital. Actually, we knew that, but it was enough for Max's partner to go ahead and leave a pleading message on Max's cell not to depart until they could talk some more about his wound and treatment. That did the trick. Max had already pulled his anchor and was about to head out when he checked his cell and found partner's urgent message. He called partner and then me. Partner persuaded Max to stay put for a bit, and I persuaded him to call the doctor to discuss his healing progress. Max called the doctor, who wasn't in, but talked to the nurse. The nurse asked some questions and was satisfied with the answers and gave him the all-clear to travel. I would like to have been part of that conversation, but I must trust that all parties were clear in their understanding of the situation. Max called back, saying he was sure the wound was healing and the infection was subsiding, so he was heading out. I encouragingly wished him lots of luck and a good voyage. Boat partner and I agreed that Max did all we could hope he would and we trust he made the right decision. Max is on his way, and we can watch his position reports over the next three weeks during his trip home.

Oh, and it turns out that there were two categories in the race where he placed 1st, making his result among the best of the group. Cool!


Max and me

Jul. 13th, 2010 08:54 pm
sky_hye: (001)
Um, it's a little disconcerting, regarding Max. A few days ago, he told me he cut his foot on something and was concerned about keeping it dry during the sail home. He'll be sailing back singlehanded, just like the race. Then two days ago, he called again to say the cut became infected. He saw the doctor and received antibiotics. Now he's hoping everything is under control for the trip home, starting tomorrow, even though it's not actually all better yet. A group will depart tomorrow (Wednesday) and they will track their progress in the forum. When I expressed concern about his infected foot on the phone today, he scoffed at me. Then he admitted it was worth concern. He sounded strange. I can't figure out why he seems so remote. He wasn't remote at all before.

Meanwhile, my project progresses. My pal, Thohi is contributing a musical composition for the opening section, and oh boy, it's sounding great!

And one other nice piece of news... My dear kitty, Aaron, was not well for the longest time after we brought him home as a 7 month old kitten. I'm not sure what made him most unwell -- having feline Corona virus, Giardia, or later, a tapeworm, but he simply wasn't able to handle food well. He was plagued with diarrhea over the last year. Very little food sat well with him. Slowly, one at a time, we took care of each issue. Wonderful Aaron is finally well. He is sooooo happy! It makes _me_ happy to see him relaxed and happy and eating a variety of foods without problems.

sky_hye: (002)
Max came in 3rd in his division and 4th, overall. Not bad. :)
It'll take him 3 weeks to get back as opposed to the 2 weeks to reach Kauai.


Jul. 6th, 2010 12:06 am
sky_hye: (003)

Max arrived in Kauai at about 6:30 p.m. PDT.

I talked with him on the phone for some time. He described the sail as rather uneventful, except for tearing his spinnaker in a squall this morning, but no other damages. He didn't think the bumpy seas and high winds were bad compared to prior experiences. He didn't see any wildlife, other than a few flying fish. No fancy sky displays. He says he hardly remembers any part of the trip. He sounded rested and happy. I knew more about the status of the other boats than he did, because I was reading all of the log reports. I told him I'm guessing he will take third place. He wasn't so sure about that. Maybe it'll be a close call. We'll see after all the boats arrive.

sky_hye: (004)
I found this tidbit from the Log Reports this morning:

"The chatter in the check-in is about how to fix stuff going wrong, who cooked what for dinner, who hasn't slept for how long and why is Max on Solar Wind moving so fast? He has been trucking along at 7-10 knots when everyone else is down to 5. I know he's farther south than everyone else and when someone said they were going to sail down to where he was, he said 'Don't. I'm sucking up all the wind and there won't be any left.' I believe him."

I think he'll finish today. :)



Jul. 4th, 2010 01:24 pm
sky_hye: (005)
Max's race must be grueling. Judging from the position report today, he has another day, maybe two, before reaching Kauai. Any stories he might have, if any, haven't been conveyed to the Status Reports, but from what the other guys submitted so far, it's been a bear of a crossing. Max isn't much for words. I may never get a full report of his adventure. I wish the guys would provide streaming video during the first meet-up under the tree on the beach. What stories there will be!

I've been in a race of my own. Yah, it's the dvd project -- what else would it be? Ever since I developed a sense of how long it would take to finish, I've been straining to stay on schedule. Waiting-for-the-next-computer dogs me as I hustle to complete the first rough placement of the timeline. I just finished a major sequence, which was a huge relief, so hoping for good news, I checked how much more there would be...

Ugh. If I am to believe my calculation, I am only two thirds of the way through! I thought it would be much better news. I don't want to believe it. Things have moved forward at a fast clip over the last couple months, so perhaps the final stretch will not be time consuming. In fairness to myself, when I give this a hard look, I gave myself tons of padding for the final pass. I guess I am still on schedule. I just wish it was over. Maybe I'll have a huge lobster dinner when I finish, just like those lucky Transpac sailors!

sky_hye: (006)
Track Max on Solar Wind in the Singlehanded TransPac race with me!
Here is the front page. The TransPac Forum might provide news.
Position reports are here.

The log reports started. These provide amazing stories for us to "watch" the race with. Max can't send stories from his boat, but someone out there might convey a few tidbits for him from their connection.
Here are pictures of the race start.
sky_hye: (007)
We're having our first heat wave of the year. I have air conditioning for my computer room, but I detest the sound of its fan. When the room is warm like today, the computer gets hot within only a couple of minutes when I work in Motion. I may decide to work on remodeling jobs around the house during these heat waves. I hate the delay, but I hate the sound of my air conditioner even more.
sky_hye: (008)
I've been obsessively working on the video. I can't focus on anything else. The part I've been working on revolves around my special technique for accurate measuring. Tonight, I finished rough placing the fourth out of seven total sequences in this section. Looking back, the worst is over. Oh, sure, there will be little sticking points coming up, but most of the work is done. After I finish rough placing all seven sequences, I will move on to portrait measuring, which has special issues. After that, comes a section about accuracy without measuring devices. Saying what's coming suddenly sounds daunting, but it's easy to reassure myself, now that so much is developed. Based on the current pace, I may have all sequences rough placed in late July or early August.

I've been fantasizing about life after this godforsaken project is done! I see light at the end of the tunnel!
sky_hye: (009)
Here are two new segments of the artist training dvd I am making, and as usual, these are all rough-ins and voice overs are low quality placeholder, only. Everything is subject to change. I'm using Motion, a part of Final Cut Studio, to build these animations from still renders, captured in Poser 7.

Flickr makes me limit access to things containing modest frontal nudity. I have no idea whether A] you can see this first one, as a result, or B] this needs to be age restricted here on DW. It seems completely tame to me, so I depend on someone else's judgment as to whether this is lewd.

In this example, you can see how the overlay elements can be moved together or separately, as needed. Very convenient.

In this example, you can see a nifty feature I added which literally draws lines from the pencil tip as I move the hand across the paper. Very convenient. The different line weights of the two short marks will be equal in the final version. The low quality render here makes them look different.

sky_hye: (010)
In my last post I complained all about having to wait for new equipment and software to get this dang job finished on schedule.

Today, I worked on things that didn't require tons of render power. One task involved developing an item in Motion, which is one of the components in Final Cut Studio. It suddenly dawned on me that I could replace some 3D scenes with flat overlay animations in Motion. I just finished testing the concept and must say it looks very cool. Using a few base parts, I can largely demo my method without animating figures in Poser. Well, okay, some 3D animations are necessary, but not nearly as many as I was thinking before. Using Motion is way faster than Poser and it makes much smaller files, too. This means I might actually get my project rough placed in the timeline earlier than first anticipated. Barring unforeseen issues, early 2011 looks possible again.


sky_hye: (011)
I am working with an aging computer. It was a top of the line machine when I bought it for my dvd project. Work was always painful on this machine because of Poser 7. When I originally bought my computer, frame render speed was what it was -- too slow for comfort -- but there was nothing faster on the personal computer market. Poser's bugs drove me nuts, but I couldn't get tech support to fix them, even while acknowledging they existed. The Poser bugs were blatant, not esoteric, but no, they wouldn't get around to fixing those! When Poser 8 came out, I bought it and found it very, very slow on my aging machine. Version 7 is faster. All of the software products I use have much needed updates now, but these will not function properly [or at all] on my aging machine. Even Second Life is reaching a point where I can barely use its most primitive viewer. Its version 2 viewers and all third party viewers are not supported by my clunker's architecture.

I have been waiting for the imminent release of the [several generations later] refresh for my computer much too long. It's been due for months. I can't stand Poser 7 anymore. I can't stand how slow my machine is when I render frames. I can't stand the way it heats up when I attempt render intensive activities of any sort. A few weeks ago, I decided to wait on animation and work only on other parts of my project, but that's not a lot -- mostly just rewriting, and that's nearly done now. Like so many professional users, I am anxiously checking rumor sites for news of an anticipated release date. The latest rumor sets its arrival anywhere from late June or July to October! Yikes! October? This is very out-of-character for this machine's refresh schedule. It's already overdue.

My original anticipated video completion date of early 2011 is beginning to look iffy. The original estimation was based on a belief that I would be using a new, much faster machine with improved software by now. Now it seems I may not finish until mid 2011, maybe later.

sky_hye: (012)
When this project is over, and if it finally bears fruit, I'm throwing a Guilty Party.
I've been saying this ever since I was ...pause... in my 20's... and that's a long time!

The thing that keeps me from throwing that party is, I haven't fulfilled the second half of the requirement. I haven't achieved a point in life where my preferred work is self-sustaining. I remain more determined to reach career success than seek the enjoyment of friends. I love to visit with friends. I believe they enjoy my company, too. But I learned that I can't socialize and reach career success at the same time.

This video project is huge. Before that, running a school was huge. All-consuming activities like these leave little time for friendships. Painting full time is how I crave to spend my time again, but this has not yet proven to be self-sustaining work. Had it been, I could have found balance in life long ago. I hate to think how happy decades of my life would have been, had I found success early and never suffered this guilt over neglected friends.

As I see it, the only cure for this guilt is to power through my current project and get it on the market. Looking at it, I believe the dvd will be so good, it will surely sell well. If it does as well as I think it will, and if it opens out a block of time for painting, I will at last be able to reconnect with neglected friends.

I have a growing list of names that only evoke excruciating feelings of guilt when I think of them. They don't deserve to be associated with pain. I care for these people and should only feel happiness when I think of them. How do I reconnect when the pain of guilt stands in the way? My solution has always been to reach that obscure state of career stability, and then throw a big Guilty Party with great food in a beautiful outdoor setting. I will come clean, confess my guilt, and accept recriminations as they come -- you know, just get it all out there and completely over with. Maybe after that, I will be free of this enormous burden of guilt.
What will it feel like, I wonder?


sky_hye: (013)
I think I have my new journal style set now...
I do hope that all of the tweakage did not end up as redundant posts on anyone's reading page.
For a while, I could see journals I subscribe to on my reading page, but yesterday, they just disappeared. I don't think I did anything to remove them, and all of my settings indicate that they should show. Perhaps there is a bug.
Does anyone else have problems viewing journals in the Reading Page?

Update: I just answered my own question... It appears that posts older than 14 days disappear from the reading page.


I moved...

May. 13th, 2010 06:55 pm
sky_hye: (001)
It's done.
I will no longer post in Live Journal.
My new location is here, at Dreamwidth.
Please change your bookmarks, and I look forward to your replies in my new home  -- Thanks!


May. 11th, 2010 11:35 pm
sky_hye: (002)
A couple weeks back, a good friend fled Live Journal after being with it for years. She linked to this to help explain why. I paid little attention to lj workings before this, but reading this, I got a bad case of the creeps. I haven't had the urge to post my progress reports since. My work is progressing nicely, but I must find an alternate place to post my stories before sharing again. *sigh*
I'll leave word of my decision when I find a better choice.
sky_hye: (003)

The day following my interview with Paisley Beebe, I received notice from LeeZu Baxter that she needed my gallery space for her shop. I had to move in 10 days. LeeZu kept my gallery with her properties for three years. Her generosity was amazing, but I knew it could not last forever. It was because my gallery was on her sim that I got that interview on Tonight Live... lots of good things happened because of my association with LeeZu. I completely support LeeZu's decision to expand her shops on her sim. We are still pals.

It seems like every time something ends, a new opportunity comes my way. This ending led to Transparent Banshee offering me a great new building to hang my art. It's Deco-esque, nice and big, and right on the water of the United Sailing Sims of Second Life. I'm currently hanging my art and placing signs. I created this exterior sign completely from scratch. Talk about a big job! I tried a few iterations before arriving at this solution. I think it works.

When the building and show are completely together, we're going to throw an opening party for all timezones.
I keep hoping my real life friends who haven't tried it yet might finally join Second Life and see what this is all about. Come to my party!
I'll post an invite here when we know the date.
sky_hye: (004)
Paisley Beebe explains how she came to host her popular Second Life talk show where I was a guest this last week:

sky_hye: (005)
I thought the interview went just fine. It was delayed because Paisley's voice wasn't activating in Second Life. Finally, it was decided that we would go ahead and start without her lipsync. Normally, her lips move with her voice, just like the other guests and mine did.

You can watch a slightly larger version at the treet tv website, or watch a smaller sized one, embedded here. In either case, click the HQ icon at the bottom right of the video to activate high definition. Click the quadrant-box icon at the far lower right to watch full screen, which only looks good if you first activate high definition. HQ will not work well at all with a slow connection, or a low-end graphics card, in which case, just stick with standard definition.

Update: due to technical issues at the treet tv website that are beyond my control, videos sometimes do not display. If you do not see a video at this time, you can try treet tv's page, or just come back later. Sorry if you don't find it on your first try. Just come back soon! Thanks.

sky_hye: (006)
The date is set: April 11th, 6 pm, slt. I don't yet know what focus the interview will have. It could go in several directions. I won't know until maybe three days before the show. As the day approaches, you will likely find some sort of teaser posted on Paisley Beebe's website.
Update: I just received the questions for the interview. They will focus on my painting background and my teaching, including the training dvd project. We will also discuss how Second Life intersects with my art career. It'll be fun!

Meantime, I attended the most recent show, now posted, which was quite interesting. I sat in the audience and at the same time watched live on treet tv on the Internet. There is a short delay between inworld (inside Second Life) and the Internet broadcast, so I simply turned off my inworld audio. The broadcast has better quality sound, anyway. Also, the broadcast had lip sync, which was not available inworld (the audience is asked to turn off voice during the show). I was also able to chat with other audience members at the same time. If I had registered with treet tv before the show, my name would have displayed in chat. I was able to use chat, but my identity was simply an impersonal number. If you think you might like to participate in chat, you might want to register in advance, so you have a name when you exclaim, "Woot!" or "I love that!" or beam, "Sky happens to be a very good friend of mine!"

All of the Tonight Live shows are archived on the show's treet tv page where you can also find viewing info.
I would love to see you in the Second Life audience! If you want to attend, but have never been to Second Life, let me know and I can help you get started. No fee is required, and it can be a lot of fun!

Even if you don't come to see me "in person," you can still watch me live on the Internet, so don't miss it!

This is the poster I will be sending out to my contacts inworld. It will contain details related to attending the show.

sky_hye: (007)
The good news is, I'm sleeping better now, so today I started back to work on the dvd. The bad news is, doing voice over shreds the inside of my cheeks. I've been able to converse for a few days without [this kind of] trouble, but it turns out voice over moves my cheeks differently over my braces. I've been thinking about what kind of dough I could pack into the hardware that would allow my cheeks and tongue to slide around without getting scratched up. My best thought is to cook up cornmeal cereal with half as much water, and add slippery elm bark and marshmallow root powders to make it extra slick. It would taste nice, I think. After I'm done, I could push out most of the dough with my finger and knock the rest out with my waterpik.

I'm still cutting up my tongue on one evil bolt in the roof of my mouth, and it still takes 5 times longer to eat a meal. When speaking, I still sound like I've got a rock in my mouth.

But I did work today. That's a good thing.
sky_hye: (008)
Last Wednesday, one week after getting those evil screws in my jaws, I went in for more gear at the orthodontist. The lower screws were still causing far too much pain, so they left those alone and installed the upper lingual arch; then connected elastics between the screw heads that protrude from my hard palate and the arch-attached molars. I was looking forward to Wednesday, because I was suffering badly from those scratching horns digging into my tongue. I wasn't sleeping, and speech and eating was unbearable. I was in major hide-under-a-rock mode and couldn't work. My hope was that the new attachments would smooth surfaces and provide some relief. Once the new gear was in place, my tongue felt around and discovered a bird cage in my mouth! OMG! I was kidding when I told people I hoped they wouldn't stick a bird cage in there, but in fact, that is the closest comparison I can make to this! The zigzaging wire is set off from the roof of my mouth keeping my tongue from rolling out a swallow. Pill taking is impossible. When I eat, food gets all hung up between the gear and the roof of my mouth. I can't swallow things like, for example, a squashed blueberry. It just gets stopped along the way. I end up having to spit something like that out. If it isn't fundamentally mush, I can't eat it. I haven't been able to chew at all for some time, so this change is not as dramatic as it would be if I actually could chew before. Before at least, I ate like I was swallowing pills. Now that isn't even possible. My speech is bizarre. Try talking with a bit in your mouth. That is sort of what this is like. The horns are now covered and smoother, but one has a minute structure that still cuts at my tongue. It is more painful to speak and eat than it was before. I just tried jamming bee's wax into the crevices to smooth it and this may provide some relief. I'm not sure yet.

I am promised that I will adjust to this. Okay. I believe that. In the meantime, I am losing sleep and unable to focus on work. I can't converse without hurting my tongue, and meals take five times longer than normal. We have an invitation to go to our friend's son's bar mitzvah next week, and I definitely can't do that. For important short duration things, like this upcoming interview, I know I can fill the space above the wire with a smooth dough, so I can sound normal for an hour or two. Perhaps in three weeks, I will have adjusted and won't even need that.

Time to get back under my rock.
sky_hye: (009)
More about my braces later, but first, I must announce...
I'm going to be interviewed on Tonight Live.
I'm pretty sure it will be April 4th.

Isn't this great?

Turns out April 4th is Easter Sunday and the show is not on that night, so the interview has been moved to April 11th. -
sky_hye: (010)
The video project continues at a slow, steady pace. If being busy with that wasn't enough to make me asocial, the orthodontic work certainly guarantees it. In a previous post I complained about getting lingual arches. After a month with just half the system in place I can say with confidence that it cripples my speech and mood. One of its adjustment loops intrudes into my lower tongue, stabbing and painfully plucking at it when I attempt "L" sounds. On top of that, there are riggings sticking off metal collars on my rear upper teeth which scratch at my tongue. I cover these with wax which sloughs off during meals when my tongue is most active. It is so distressing that true relief only comes with a few shots of whiskey, which isn't good for me. Now there's more...

You know how Frankenstein's monster has bolts sticking out of his neck? Well, now I know why he appears so miserable. I had similar nasties inserted into my hard palate and lower jaw gum area yesterday. Four of them. Upper and lower. One for each quadrant. In the back.

It was scary. If the oral surgeon missed and hit a tooth root, either I would get a root canal or lose the tooth. And, it was very upsetting to hear and feel my bones being drilled. He said everything was safely installed. Then, the minuscule necks with round heads protruding into my mouth were fitted with tiny collars to widen the surface contact with my tongue and cheeks. Supposedly, these would keep them from scratching my tongue on the hardware. After the procedure, I was hopeful that the worst was over. I got home and took a long nap.

When I woke up, the anesthetic had worn off and I was able to drink a little food. I then began to realize what I was in for. Two pins protrude from my hard palate into my inner mouth. They feel like bull's horns scraping at my tongue when I try to swallow. Any attempt to clear the roof of my mouth is rewarded with painful scratching. When I try to yawn, the pins on the cheek side of my lower jaw hurt the mobile tissues there. Ouch, ouch, ouch! When I woke up this morning, I had a pounding headache and swollen painful cheeks around the lower pins. Speech is now even more hampered. I'm the sort of person who goes inward when I don't feel well, and I haven't felt well for a month. I lose curiosity about others and isolate myself when things aren't working. The new orthodontic work clinched the deal: I crawled under a rock last month, and now unless something improves, I'm hiding here for a year! I must, however, somehow get it together enough to do final voiceover in the next few months. I don't know how, but it must be done!

All of this torture is for a good cause, of course. The pins allow my back teeth to be hoisted into my jaws, not just laterally, which is the only possible direction with standard braces. The teeth attached to the lingual arches will be connected to and pulled toward the evil pins which are embedded in my jaw bones. Since all of the my teeth are connected via the archwire which goes through each bracket on every tooth, any movement of the teeth being hoisted by the evil pins will be carried to adjacent teeth. I'd show you a picture, but all of the examples I found were disgusting -- I didn't want to put you through that. The examples all showed extreme situations where there is a missing or severely rotated tooth to deal with. My situation involves a problem where all of my rear teeth need to move into my jaws, so my front teeth can touch and even overlap a bit.

Next week, I receive the final lingual arch which will run across the roof of my mouth, as well as more gear to attach the arch systems to the evil pins. Blah.
sky_hye: (Default)
Not far from home, there is a major giant wave surf contest. When conditions are right, the preselected contestants are notified and they race from all corners of the planet to participate. It starts tomorrow, Saturday. We are expecting spring-like temperatures going up into the 70's and the waves are expected to be, of course, huge.

I'll be tracking the goings-on online.

Update: One of the reasons I don't attend the contest in person... A huge wave crashed onto the breakwater and knocked dozens of people into the sea. No one was killed, but many went to the hospital. These were the biggest waves this contest has ever seen.