Category: Off The Rails Again

Can anyone out there provide me with a logical reason why MSN blogs entries and photo albums randomly become "new" in the RSS feeds?  No other hosts’ items do!
What’s up wit’ dat?
(Yeah… I’m so unhip, I can’t even type like this and not generate laughter)
I came here to look at a couple of pictures since I was featured on Nicole’s blog, and I couldn’t find them.  So I logged in, and I couldn’t find them.  Where were the last year’s worth of photographs??
Well, apparently in the new "Live" format (named so because it’s not obvious the sites are live when you’re waiting for them to load), you can either have pictures or not.  You can’t have them on a separate tab waiting for guests with the time and interest to click through.  So, despite the load-time hit, I put the pictures module back on this page.  I was afraid the module would come up empty (PANIC!), but all the albums and pictures returned (calmness).
Enjoy the pics again, folks!  That is, if you can stand the wait.
Still haven’t had a chance to make a real post.  However, I did try to reload the video from the previous post and am still getting the same error message.  I’ve contacted FileLodge, but haven’t heard back yet.  So, here’s a couple of pictures to tide you over until I get the Boston shots uploaded/posted.
First, we went to an exhibit at the Orlando Museum of Art called "The Art Of The Motorcycle".  Fantastic exhibit, no photos allowed.  But while we were there, we spotted an Eric Carle exhibit.  He wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Lonely Firefly.  His artistic method is to paint broad strokes on tissue paper, then make collages out of the tissue paper.  It’s very effective when he does it.  The exhibit had a section where you could do your own art.  After failing miserably, I picked up crayons and made my own book cover while the kids experimented more appropriately.
Now, as a prelude to the Boston vacation pics, here’s the three boys in front of three water fountains, all appropriately sized.  This was taken on my cell phone in the airport on the way there.
Sorry about the video woes.  Ironically, I never encountered issues with other people’s FileLodge stuff, which is why I chose to put mine there.  What’s most disappointing about this is that it seems like it’s trying to get to an advertising link instead of my video.  But a syntax error?  That should have been painfully obvious!
Oh well.  I’ll be back soon.
I have NOT fallen off the face of the Earth!
Instead, I’ve been in Boston for the past week for SIGGraph 2006 (plus a little added family time)!  A little history:  SIG was the prefix used in the 80′s (and probably earlier) to denote "Special Interest Groups" in the precursors to the internet (BITNET, DARPANET, FidoNet).  "SIGGraph" designates the Special Interest Group for computer graphics — now, primarily animation for entertainment purposes.  CAD (Computer Aided Drafting/Design) was once part of this group, but has since split off to become its own discipline, which makes sense given the more intense, scientific nature of that work (our stuff doesn’t care about the laws of physics, sorry Mr. Scott!)
I’ll make a real post once I stop reeling from this massive assault of GREEN which is now my blog.  That post will have pictures and perhaps even video of our trip!  We had a great time, and I have really fallen in love with Boston (but I’m not moving anywhere with winters like that!). 
Be back in a day or two.  I have a lot of catching up to do for school.  In the meantime, here’s a video I need to turn in on Monday.  I’m still looking to tune the timings on a couple of scenes and make some of the objects squishy.

This little guy is called a WeeMee.  He comes from WeeWorld.  OK, I guess I’m easily taken in by avatars!  But I was able to outfit one with a black shirt, jean shorts and boat shoes (practially a "uniform" for me!).  And he gets beer and a light saber!  Top that off with the little alien guy, and I just had to have this image.
Credit for this little discovery goes to Caz.  Go get one.  Now!
Late edit:  Added "click here" link to WeeWorld in response to inquiries in the comments.


Blogging Karma
Comments on others’
Bring them to comment on yours.
Everyone’s happy.

©2006 EricAtRandom

Here’s an example of why I doodle in meetings. If I didn’t, they’d go something like this:

The "big project" meeting has progresssed to the point where responsibilities are being doled out. There are a dozen reports to be written, and the boss has the requirements in his hand. 

Boss: OK, will you be able to handle these, Mr. Peters?

Eric thinks:

Heh heh… he said "peters"! Oh God, how juvenile. Still funny though.


Yes.  How did I become the reports guy, BTW?

Eric thinks:

Hmmm.. Tying together God and Peter from that last phrase, Saint Peter watches the pearly gates. Does that mean that there are jobs in Heaven? Of all people, shouldn’t Saint Peter get a break?  What are the hours? I mean people die at all hours of the day and night. Maybe time doesn’t flow in the same manner there, so he could work 8 hours there and still cover all 24 hours here.

Boss: <says something>

Eric thinks:

Wow. If there are jobs in heaven, then there must be some kind of incentive to work. I mean, no one would work if there wasn’t some noticable improvement to the standards of living. So, if that’s the case, what’s the worst social stratus in Heaven.

Some other employees:

chatter chatter

Eric thinks:

After all, it couldn’t be Heaven if it had an undesirable class of living. But then, if even the lowest class of living in Heaven is desirable, then only the greedy would choose to hold jobs, right? I mean, if life was good — like in "Heaven good" — why would you give up part of that life to work for something better?

Boss: <sighs> OK. Then …. chatter chatter chatter….

Eric thinks:

But the greedy aren’t supposed to go to Heaven. Hmmm… but then Jesus did say that the humble on earth would have palaces in Heaven, so there must be socio-economic strata. Maybe it’s not a matter of choosing to work. Maybe when you go there, you just get assigned a job and you have no choice.

Other employee whose name doesn’t contribute to the humor:

I think Eric knows that system.

Eric thinks:

Huh? Was that my name? Oh, so anyway, it seems like "Rest In Peace" isn’t really resting after all. You’d have to work. Everyone would. Otherwise it would be unfair to those who do.

Boss: So, Eric, can you do that?


<snapping back to the meeting> What? Oh, yeah. Just assign it to me. I’ll never get to retire for the rest of eternity, anyway.

Eric thinks:  What did I just commit to???

Rest of the room:


Eric thinks:  Oh well… doesn’t matter.  After all that, I’ll be lucky to even get to Heaven.  I wonder if there are jobs in Hell.

13.3% ?
Well, I’m not sure I can come out on top at this rate, but I’d like to lose by a smaller margin.  Get out there and vote, folks!
Thanks a bunch to everyone who has already voted and to those who are about to click on the link to the voting page.
We’re about to get really heavy into our Space Shuttle project.  So, before I go back to graphics posts, I wanted to put up something more along the lines of what I used to.  Here are the random ideas that have been on my mind of late.
Talkin’ Trash…
I duct taped a small tube into our kitchen trash can.  It runs top to bottom along the inside.  Its purpose is to allow air to get under the bag when it’s stuffed and you want to pull it out.  The bag always slides out easily — no suction.  Also, if you have to throw away hangers (dry cleaning — ugh!), bend the hook down, then face the bent hook toward the garbage.  It won’t rip through the bag as you carry it.
Stone Temple Pilots…
Seriously… this is about the band.  In the film "Chariots of the Gods", you are literally shown the insides of stone temples and on their walls are pictures of what are unmistakably pilots.  Is that where the name comes from?
I loved "Ah L’Amour" when I saw it years ago at an animation festival.  Dr. Cara has a little animation on her site that reminded me of their work.  So, I went to visit their site.  What coincidental timing!  They’re selling their first DVD, and presales begin on June 6.
Serenity Now!/Equality Now!
If you love the movie Serenity (which I do), you may just get a chance to see it in the theater again while helping abused women and children.  Go to for details.
I mentioned to my friend/barista, Tuesday (her name, not the day), that my son was celebrating his 7th birthday.  She insisted I take his favorite treat (marble loaf — runs in the family I guess) to him for free.  He wasn’t even with me at the time.  He was so excited!  Of course, he ate it in plain site of his two brothers for full effect, but they were surprisingly understanding that it was a birthday gift.  Boy, I love Starbucks!
The Father’s Day conspiracy…
What’s up with this?  Mother’s Day, my son produces an envelope FULL of nice things for Mom that none of us at home knew about.  This was great, and I wouldn’t have it any other way… exce-e-e-ept… School’s out now (and every year between the two parental holidays), and I’ll not see anything unknown to Mom on Father’s day.  There’s something really neat about things the kids do independently of the household.  We’ll have a great time anyway…. Mom always arranges a trip to the beach which we always love.  And who knows… T7 is pretty insightful.  He may just make up a gift on his own without teacher intervention!
I’ll direct you to the photo album above for three pictures of my progress on the building.
Aside from that, I have an anecdote from Mother’s day concerning T6 (soon to be T7!)…
T6 came home from school with an envelope on Friday.  On Sunday, he presented its contents to M21+.  There was bubble bath in a little cutout of a bathtub, a poem about moms, a picture of Mom drawn by T6, and a teabag in a construction paper teacup.
When Mom opened cup to find the teabag, T6 grabbed it and smelled it.  "I love the way these smell!", he said. 
Mom replied, "They do smell good, don’t they?" 
"Yeah.  I liked it so much I took two extras and stuck them in my pockets!" revealed T6.
So we dug through the laundry bin, and sure enough Friday’s pants contained one teabag in each pocket!  Thank God we found those before doing the wash!  Otherwise, we’d be wearing a lot of tan until we could replace all those clothes!