October 31, 2007
When this freak...
...started rambling on about adopting Haruka's "children" at about 21:23 into the file, I got the nagging feeling I'd heard that music before. Not on the accordion, but it was just too damned familiar.
Then it hit me.
I've played that before. That's the intro to Dvorak's Carnival Overture from the 2001 ASU marching band.
That's obviously an arranged intro. Here's the real thing.
My mission, regardless of whether I choose to accept it, is to figure out how to streamline the attribute extraction process we use in AutoCAD at work. Particularly as regards fastener counts, and lineal feet of various metal shapes and accessories.
The problem starts with a detail. In the drafting sense. A connection detail of several pieces of metal at the eave of a metal roof, for example. This connection may stretch for a couple hundred feet with a couple of different fasteners spaced at different intervals.
What I have to figure out is a means of automating the process of identifying which fasteners have been specified, calculating how many of each fastener will be required for the detail, count up the lineal feet of each metal shape (with associated part numbers), extract all that data, and put it into a format that can be used by Excel.
There is an attribute extractor built into AutoCAD, but it isn't capable of doing the math my boss wants it to do while extracting that data. As a matter of fact, it's really only capable of looking at the attributes contained in blocks (at least for our purposes, that's all it can do).
The tools available to me are a mix of AutoLISP, Diesel, and VBA. I've got a bit of the first under my belt. It's the latter two that I have no experience with...
Once I've figured out how to get all that information out of one detail, I have to get it out of the other 10 to 150 details. Some parts and fasteners will have been reused in latter details and I need to make sure they all get added up.
I know I'm going to have to build at least some of the tools myself. The problem I'm running into is the lack of tools required to build my tools. At this stage, I'm pretty sure I'm going to need access to object handles (which are persistent for the life of the file), but all I can seem to find are tools to work with entity names which are not persistent beyond the current session.
You know, I was all set to have this post ready to go on time a week ago. Then I made the rookie mistake of not hitting "save" before navigating away. Feeling more disgusted than angry, I've been putting it off until whatdayaknow it's another week later and it's time for the next viewing session. This isn't half the post it used to be.
This(last) week we had one addition to, and two losses from, our merry band. Crest of the Stars volumes 2 ane 3 were on the menu.
The first episode of volume 2 is a bit of a downer.
Crest can come across as extremely dull if you don't find yourself becoming interested in the Abh and the world building involved. I know a couple people were having trouble following the space battles. Plane Space combat appears very cluttered until you start to wrap your head around the concept.
(Something that has always bothered me is if/how they are able to resolve where exactly one space-time bubble will intersect with another bubble. There's an extra undefined variable that they shouldn't be able to magically predict. But then again, I don't remember Gosroth ever turning into a convergence point before "the glow" began to appear on the bubble's surface.)
October 24, 2007
Having finally got around to seeing the Transformers movie, I found myself getting aggravated by the implications of one small bit of dialogue.
It made me think of that old saying, "Those that can, do." I wonder what percentage of sci-fi writer in Hollywood were, at one time or another, aspiring scientist or engineers.
Millions of man-hours, oceans of sweat and tears, and trillions of dollars have gone into the development of the technologies we enjoy today. The fact that I can sit here avoiding work while plugging away at a piece of software developed in Australia, hosted in the US, and that eventually broadcasts my meager rantings to the rest of the world (am I banned in China yet?) over an interconnected system of integrated circuits, fiber-optics, and maybe even across some man-made chunks of metal orbiting in space, is a testament to the work done by millions of incredibly smart and diligent people before me.
October 22, 2007
I just finished off the last two episodes of El Cazador de la Bruja yesterday. I can't say it hit me in any profound or meaningful way, but it was at least semi-satisfying. Episode 26 is devoted to wrap-up and tying off a minor (inconsequential really) loose end. The real climax occurs in 25.
Novels have an excuse for this behavior. They can devote pages of text to describing what's happening without mucking up the continuity (I'm looking at you The Illiad, and your six pages describing a damned shield). But I can't be expected to believe the protagonists can carry on a two minute conversation without the villain chiming in to shut them up.
I need to see if they have a trope for this kind of thing already.
October 19, 2007
October 17, 2007
This is about a week late, but because we had to cancel last night's get-together, I get a chance to catch up.
Crest of the Stars has gone over well so far. We only got through one DVD. There's not nearly so much mystery to the plot compared to Haibane Renmei, so I've had an easier time dealing with questions.
Everybody got a kick out of the prank Lafiel's father pulled on her about her birth secret.
I did have to do a bit of clarifying on the subject of Plane Space, because the explanation given in the early parts of the show leaves a lot to be desired.
We were short one person last week, and we're going to have an additional viewer starting next week. The prior isn't very concerned with keeping up on the plot, while the latter is a fiend about that sort of thing. I hope I can find a way to get everybody caught up.
October 10, 2007
Somehow I missed the recent (9/21/07 isn't exactly recent) release of AMV Hell 4. I can see my cable modem is going to be busy tonight (*ahem* after work of course).
If it's half as funny as the AMV H3, I'm gonna have a hard time breathing.
October 08, 2007
I commited a second cardinal sin. Unbeknownst to me, one of our group is that person who flips to the last page when starting a book. I made the mistake of supplying Miss Last-Page with links to the various Wikipedia pages for the shows in the hopper. I was very clear up front that the links were for after viewing.
I hit Haibane's wiki page to assess the potential damage and discovered that it is at least somewhat thin on plot details. Tragedy not quite averted, but it wasn't a complete loss.
Alright, so we're starting into the hot and heavy of Haibane Renmei at this point: episodes 8-13. People are disappearing, others are getting sick, and back stories are filling in.
I did help out a little with pointing out times during the show that deserve special attention to detail.
At the end of the show, at least one person had come to the prevailing conclusion about what Glie could represent. I did what I could to fill in the gaps with observations based on my multiple viewings of the show and left them all to stew on the show.
I'll find out what they really all thought about it this next week.
Oh, and to pad out the schedule at the end, we watched the first two episodes of Tenchi Muyo OVA 1. It makes for easy fluff to kill time before everyone is present, or afterward if some people have to leave early.
Next week we start into some solid sci-fi / space opera with Crest of the Stars.
So a couple friends expressed an interest in getting back to an old (thought rather sporadic) tradition of getting to gether to watch anime. We managed it a handful of time back in college, but it was always a hassle to get everybody in one place at one time so no one fell behind.
College days are long gone, and a measure of stability has settled in.
So now we're back on something resembling a schedule. Tuesday nights, I put a hojillion miles on my truck and we watch anime.
I get to be the pusher. I have the stash so to speak. I make suggestions, recommend genres, and generally try to guide them toward shows in an ordet that makes sense.
So what do they decide they have to watch the first week (9/25) out of the gate? Haibane Renmei.
It was my fault really. I shouldn't have even taken it along. When the semi-angelic girl on the cover caught their eyes, I refused to say anything about the plot, other than that it is very good, and very very different. That sold them apparently. I tried rather weakly to guide them in another direction until they'd seen a few other things. But they insisted that they wanted to see it, so I obliged.
Week one, we got through the first 7 episodes with only a few raised eyebrows and glazed eyes. Confusion was running rampant, but I kept insisting that, while not everything would be explained before the end, it would start making sense about five hours after the last episode.
The general concensus was a tentative thumbs up, unless of course the ending royally pissed them off.
October 04, 2007
Foul language welcome.
I'm trying to stick to the natural colors you see in the banner images.
And while I'm on the subject, I haven't been able to get the custom color pop-ups working right. I'd really rather the posting area were more tan/brown than it currently is. It's dangerously close to pink for my taste.
This was what I had to say about Haibane Renmei back in May of '05. Much of it is dated, but that has a lot to do with living conditions at the time, and there are a few things I'll need to append when I have a second.
Thank you sir for pointing this one out to me. I finished up volume 4 last night and have been letting things percolate since then.
Haibane Renmei is one of those shows that will leave you all warm and fuzzy, unless it doesn't. That sentence makes more sense once you've seen the whole show. If you're the kind of person who's a perpetual optimist, you'll no doubt be brimming with tears of joy at the beauty of salvation and redemption. If you're a cynic who tends to assume the worst, the open ending and loads of unanswered questions will likely leave you a little cold, but still with the sense that you've seen something special. Me, I'm switching back and forth between the two because I've got some sort of weird bi-polar pessimist disorder. Either way, it's a wonderful experience.
Below be spoilers where I will wax rhapsodic and bloviate on various things that come to mind. Read at your own risk.
No seriously... If you haven't seen it, stop here and find something else to read. There's a whole Intraweb of info out there just waiting for you. Come back when you've seen the show in its entirety.
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