This was worth this morning’s Sharpie Hangover for sure

This was worth this morning’s Sharpie Hangover for sure

This was worth this morning's Sharpie Hangover for sure

Fun discovery: you can burnish silver Sharpie with a hard, smooth object. Adds a much deeper sheen.

Also, this was the first image I’d edited using Gimp’s new deeper colour modes. I used 16 bit float, and it seems a bunch less noisy.

Instagram filter used: Lo-fi

View in Instagram ⇒

PoorFish: an apology font

Truetype font:

This is the first one I’ve done that hasn’t needed a printer or scanner. I exported the template to a single image (chargrid.png), then hand-wrote the characters using my graphics tablet on a new transparent layer in Gimp.

gimp windows crash

If you find that GIMP for Windows crashes frequently, try installing the GTK+ for Windows Runtime Environment. It seems to fix many of the instabilities for me.

Ema Tei

I reckon for more than half the time I’ve worked in Toronto, I’ve been within a block of Ema Tei. Yesterday was the first time I went there. I wonder what took me so long?

Kenn Cutts enjoys the wasabi at Ema Tei

Kenn, my former colleague from EPCOR, took me to lunch there. I was impressed; tasty food, great prices, huge portions and a great atmosphere. There was a good amount of wasabi sneakily hidden under the fish in the sushi, so we both ended up suitably decongested.

(and yes, the Technoid Balloon Gimp Script strikes again. While it does work nicely under Gimp 2.4, it’s hidden away in the very unhelpful Xtns/Script-Fu/Text/Balloon menu.)

Lady Goosepelt Rides Again!

Lady Goosepelt, from What a Life!

In case anyone wants them, the 600 dpi page images of What a Life! are stored in this PDF: what_a_life.pdf (16MB). If you merely wish to browse, all the images from the book are here.

I got a bit carried away with doing this. Instead of just smacking together all the 360 dpi TIFFs I scanned seven years ago, I had to scan a new set at a higher resolution, then crop them, then fix the page numbers, add chapter marks, and make the table of contents a set of live links.

I’ve got out of the way of thinking in PostScript, so I spent some time looking for tools that would do things graphically. Bah! These things’d cost a fortune, so armed only with netpbm, libtiff, ghostscript, the pdfmark reference, Aquamacs, awk to add content based on the DSC, and gimp to work out the link zones on the contents page, I made it all go. Even I’m impressed.

One thing that didn’t impress me, though:

aquamacs file size warning

I used to edit multi-gigabyte files with emacs on Suns. They never used to complain like this. They just loaded (admittedly fairly slowly) and let me do my thing. Real emacs don’t give warning messages.


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: (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!

General Tso’s Beef

It’s a little known fact that General Tso’s Chicken does not celebrate Zuo Zongtang‘s liking for eating chicken. Instead, it commemorates his pet chicken (whom he named Maude) who travelled everywhere with him in a silk-lined portable coop of fine rosewood.