fauxlomo

Portpatrick, with the Gimp faux lomo effect
Portpatrick, taken with a Fujifilm MX-1200 pretending to be a lomo

For probably no better reason beyond babbittry, I’ve always half-wanted a lomo. Half-wanted, that is, because of my previous experience with “Russian” photo gear (I’ve had a Lomo TLR, a Fed rangefinder, and a Pentacon six) and its legendary quality control. I’m also so done with film.
A while back, Donncha wrote about a  GIMP Lomo Plugin. While it looked handy, the link to the code is now dead. You can find what I think is the same one here: http://flelay.free.fr/pool/lomo2.scm (or a local copy here if that link dies: lomo2.scm). Just pop it in your .gimp-2.2/scripts/ directory, and it’ll appear as a filter. The original author‘s comment on Donncha’s blog contains good settings: Vignetting softness=1, Contrast=30, Saturation=30, Double Vignetting=TRUE.

I knew there was a reason I retrieved my old 1.3 megapixel Fujifilm MX-1200 from my parents’ house. And that reason is fauxlomo!

a bit better than before

I just ran the fuel numbers for our recent grand trip to Missouri. For 4380km in a Honda Civic DX, we used about 292 litres of fuel. That works out to be 6.7l/100km (or 42.3 / 35.3 UK / US mpg). That’s not quite as good as I’d hoped; I’ll put it down to driving a little fast on very chunky snow tyres.

At least it’s better than last time

iCaved

Yeah, I caved in and bought a 2GB iPod Nano at the weekend. I had various gift cards and cheques come in, so…

It’s a lot better than the Shuffle was. I still don’t particularly like being tethered to iTunes, but I can live with it.

Dexit® INSTEAD? No, Dexit is dead

dexit tag

I see that the number of Dexit terminals has reduced to almost nothing, and now they’re offering refunds of outstanding balance. Looks like it’s dead.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Dexit. It was almost a great idea, but offered no significant advantage over cash from the bank machine. I wonder how long it will be before you can buy the old terminals in Active Surplus?

you go, Glen!

Congratulations are due to Glen Estill, who got his two Vestas V82s on the Bruce Peninsula running today. Glen is a pioneer of wind energy in Ontario, and we’re all grateful to him for his tireless work for the industry.

Update: further to my wind turbines from space obsession, I found Glen’s original V80 turbine at 44° 56′ 46.42″ N, 81° 15′ 47.12″ W.

free food from Dexit

Though I still hate Dexit, I have found a place to use the remaining balance — the Pizza Pizza at the corner of Vic Park and Sheppard. Yes, their pizza is still like damp cardboard, but they have passable salads.

They still need to work on the reliability of their terminals, and training staff. The other day they said my debit was authorised, when clearly nothing had come off the tag. They wouldn’t take the cash I offered (their screen showed a green thing), so yay Dexit, free food!

Tax Time

Phew – that’s the 2005 income taxes filed for Catherine and me, and also my GST return in. I don’t grudge paying taxes (no civilization without taxation, after all), but I hate filling out the returns. I’m also too cheap to get someone to do it for me. Sucks to be me, eh?

collapse or creation?

rom0604170746a.jpg

Is this picture:

  1. A news image showing a construction site that collapsed, killing several workers, or
  2. A work-in-progress image from the Royal Ontario Museum?

Answer after the break.

Continue reading “collapse or creation?”

Splodges Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Guess I’ll have to work on my sensor cleaning game, ‘cos this is what I see (a blue sky, with contrast racked way up, and at 2x scale) on the bottom right of my D70 sensor:

post-cleaning splodges on the sensor of my D70

The other troublesome marks are gone, so I guess it kinda works. I used the American Recorder Digital Sensor Swab Kit from Henry’s, and the mirror lock up instructions from brams.dk.

Y’know, that pattern of splodges looks awfully like the indentations on the end of the swab …

kotthu roti night in Canada!

Yeah! Amma is back open after the fire. Had my first kotthu roti in months, and it’s as great as it ever was. The place was jumping, and the Sri Lankan bachelors (reluctant) were looking forward to their first square meal this year.

Poondy Bread is back, too, so the neighbourhood smells just like it used to; bread and curry, mixed in with occasional candy (from the Cadbury plant) and biscuits (merci, Peak Freans).

best o’ 2005

2005 was a pretty good year for music, but you had to dig for it. My maximal list, in alphabetical order:

  • A Hawk And A Hacksaw — Darkness At Noon
  • Animal Collective — Feels
  • Beck — Guero/Guerolito
  • Bright Eyes — Digital Ash In a Digital Urn/I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  • Caribou — Marino Audio: yes, it’s a promo. A combination of the audio tracks from the Marino DVD release and the 2005 tour CD, I much prefer it to The Milk of Human Kindness.
  • The Decemberists — Picaresque: I know all the hip kids had it as MP3s last year.
  • Dressy Bessy — Electrified
  • The Fruit Bats — Spelled in Bones: folk, with just the right tinge of bubblegum
  • Malcolm Middleton — Into The Woods: anyone who can sing about the existential possibilities of Falkirk High station, and also about love & chips, is deep into the Scottish psyche.
  • Of Montreal — The Sunlandic Twins
  • Kate Rusby — The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly
  • Sigur Rós — Takk …: and yet I still don’t know what they’re singing about.
  • Sufjan Stevens — Illinois
  • Teenage Fanclub — ManMade
  • Vashti Bunyan — Lookaftering: don’t dismiss this as merely fey hippy nonsense; it’s beautiful fey hippy nonsense.

We like them, they like us:

  • Dan Jones — Get Sounds Now: Catherine’s elementary school friend rocks out
  • Lazerlove5 — Flicker Mask: fine funkiness from a fellow feg.

Excellent compilations from 2005:

  • Ivor Cutler — An Elpee and Two Epees
  • Charlie Poole & The Roots of Country Music — You Ain’t Talking to Me

Some excellent tracks, but not entirely memorable as albums:

  • Devendra Banhart — Cripple Crow: I’m a Child is crazed genius, but lose the Spanish lounge music, eh?
  • Eels — Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
  • Jennifer Gentle — Valende: I Do Dream You is the perfect garage punk song.
  • John Parish — Once Upon a Little Time
  • Sleater-Kinney — The Woods
  • Wolf Parade — Apologies to the Queen Mary: what was with the lumpen first few tracks?

Next year, look out for The Lollipop People’s We Need a New F-Word. I like their offensive avant-cabaret noise more than I should.

EcoBunk Unplugged: the 15th Annual EcoBunk Awards

ecobunk unplugged 2005
TEA sez:

EcoBunk Unplugged
the 15th Annual EcoBunk Awards

For advertising excellence in confusing the public & compromising the environment.

Our annual fundraiser and comedy show pokes fun at the most outrageous corporate green advertising of 2005. Sometimes we even point the finger at ourselves. We present nominated ads under nine different categories and reveal the winner. The laughter lasts for two full hours.

Of course, we don’t actually send awards to the winning companies.

Come celebrate with us! Ecobunk is a popular and favourite event among the environmentally-minded in Toronto, Waterloo and points beyond.

Thursday, December 8th, 2005
Plaza Flamingo
423 College Street
Show starts at 8:00pm
Doors & Cash Bar opens at 6:30pm
Tickets: $20
To reserve your seat(s) call TEA 416-596-0660

*** Note we are asking for prepayment this year and can accept credit cards or cheques. ***

Don’t miss the event this year!

I’ll be there. Will you?

music of 2005

It’s getting towards the end of the year, so I’m thinking about what albums I enjoyed most. These are the 2005 albums I have in my collection:

  • A Hawk And A Hacksaw — Darkness At Noon
  • Aimee Mann — The Forgotten Arm
  • Animal Collective — Feels
  • Beck — Guero
  • Bettye Lavette — I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise
  • Bright Eyes — Digital Ash In a Digital Urn
  • Bright Eyes — I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  • Calexico / Iron & Wine — In the Reins
  • Caribou — Marino Audio
  • Dan Jones — Get Sounds Now
  • The Decemberists — Picaresque
  • Deerhoof — The Runners Four
  • Devendra Banhart — Cripple Crow
  • Dressy Bessy — Electrified
  • The Duhks — The Duhks
  • Eels — Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
  • Fiona Apple — Extraordinary Machine
  • Gorillaz — Demon Days
  • Grandaddy — Excerpts From The Diary Of Todd Zilla
  • Jennifer Gentle — Valende
  • John Parish — Once Upon a Little Time
  • Kate Bush — Aerial
  • Kate Rusby — The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly
  • Kimberley Rew — Essex Hideaway
  • Lazerlove5 — Flicker Mask
  • Lemon Jelly — ‘64–‘95
  • The Lollipop People — We Need a New F-Word
  • Malcolm Middleton — Into The Woods
  • Marbles — Expo
  • The Mountain Goats — The Sunset Tree
  • My Morning Jacket — Z
  • Of Montreal — The Sunlandic Twins
  • Sigur Rós — Takk …
  • Sleater-Kinney — The Woods
  • Sufjan Stevens — Illinois
  • The Vanity Project
  • Wolf Parade — Apologies to the Queen Mary

I know there are some that won’t make my list (Aerial, for one) but the rest of them all have their moments.

canwea over

Well, that’s CanWEA 2005 fully over. Yes, I’m still sifting through the contacts, brochures and swag I picked up, but it’s back to work for me.

I met a lot of people (including, quite unexpectedly, Stuart Hall of Natural Power in Scotland, whom I hadn’t seen in about 8 years), and the show seemed to be absolutely jumping. Could 2005/2006 be the year that Canada gets wind energy?

review of CanWEA 2005 swag bag

So I’m at the 2005 CanWEA conference for the next few days. The swag bag is a standard nondescript nylon thing, thankfully big enough to take my iBook and a few other bits and pieces. The contents are a bit disappointing, though:

  • a very plasticky flashlight that I may discard after harvesting its batteries.
  • a small bag of jujubes.
  • a copy of North American Windpower magazine (which in itself is quite a decent magazine, so is actually one of the highlights).
  • a trade show guide, but no conference program (they were held up in customs; can’t we print ’em here?)
  • various company brochures, zzzz.

You’ll note an absence of useful pens, pads, USB keys, model turbines, or other special swag. I was hoping for more …

batch renaming iTunes directories

In partial response to the Ask Metafilter question “How can I rename my music folders on my Mac based on ID3 tags?“:

#!/bin/bash
# itunes_sanity.sh - fix dir names created by iTunes
# only works for mp3s, and not actually tested on a Mac
# created by scruss on Sun Sep 4 22:05:00 EDT 2005

find "$@" -type d -mindepth 1 | while read directory
do
  artistdir=$(dirname "$directory")
  firstfile=$( find "$directory" -type f -iname '*.mp3' | head -n1 )
  year=$( id3info "$firstfile" | egrep ' TYE ' | sed 's/=== TYE (Year): //; s/[^0-9]*//;' )
  album=$( id3info "$firstfile" | egrep ' TAL ' | sed 's,=== TAL (Album/Movie/Show title): ,,;' )
  echo mv \'$directory\' \'$artistdir/\[$year\] $album\'
done

So if you were in the terminal, in your music library (one up from the individual artist directories), and you did:

itunes_sanity.sh Dan\ Jones Tripping\ Daisy

you’d get:

mv 'Dan Jones/Get Sounds Now' 'Dan Jones/[2005] Get Sounds Now'
mv 'Dan Jones/One Man Submarine' 'Dan Jones/[2003] One Man Submarine'
mv 'Tripping Daisy/Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb' 'Tripping Daisy/[1998] Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb'

If that looks okay, run the output through the shell:

itunes_sanity.sh Dan\ Jones Tripping\ Daisy | sh

and all should be well.

You’ll need id3lib, which is probably most easily installed from Fink. Also, this only works for mp3 files; I can’t grok the tag info for AAC files. And finally, this might go seriously screwy on weird characters in filenames. You know my feelings on that …