Friday, October 28, 2005

Sick Bunny


Sick Bunny
Originally uploaded by Jepster.
The PinkBunny is sick and I really hope she gets better. Everybody is praying for you. Take it easy and don't get too stressed out :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mildew Attack!

It has been raining on and off for the past few weeks and our house is feeling a little damp. There's an unvarnished book shelf in the living room and I noticed that it has a slightly greenish hue to it. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be molds of some kind. Yuck. About half a can of disinfectant later I was busy cleaning the rest of the house hunting for signs of fungal growth. I also bought a can of wax based furniture polish so hopefully the treated wood won't absorb as much moisture. I was wearing a dust mask hoping fervently that the fungal spores doesn't end up in my lungs. Yikes! I don't even sit on the sofa anymore. Our sofa is dark green and its very hard to tell if the dark green patch you are sitting on is part of the design or some fungal culture. I also bought some dust mite spray and fumigated the sofa and the throw pillows. Did I mention that I hate dust mites as much as fungus? *shudder* I just hope that I won't have this kind of problem in my new apartment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Confetti anyone?

I am very pleased to announce that I am the very proud owner of a new paper shredder! I saw it in a display window of a bookstore and I just couldn't resist. It's a choice between a cheaper but bigger shredder that makes wide paper strips and a more expensive but sleeker and smaller model that makes itty bitty cross cut confetti. Well you can guess which one I bought. It was love at first sight. I'm now at home deliriously shredding away and I have never been happier. I just hope I don't get carried away and inadvertently shred something important. Excuse me, I'm going to look for more stuff to shred. Now where did I put those utility bills.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Powerless!

Something is wrong with the power outlets in the apartment near my place of work. I don't know what could have happened. I just came back from the weekend and the first thing I noticed is that the spot light for the turtle tub is not working. All the lights are working fine but all except 2 power outlets are working. One is powering up the refrigerator (thank goodness for that) and the other near the kitchen powering the exhaust hood. I managed to get my computer working by using a long extension cable from the kitchen to my computer's UPS.

I shouldn't worry about repairs since this is a company provided housing and I can call the maintenance department whenever I want. The trouble is, I can't call them with my room looking like this! I think I need to tidy up a bit before I call them. The room looks filthy.

The main victim of this incident are the turtles of course. the filters are down, the aerator is not functioning, the guppies are swimming near the surface gasping for breath and the turtles doesn't look too happy either. The turtles probably miss their basking light. Those turtles sure like to bask under the full spectrum lamp, even spreading their feet to catch more rays. Oh well, I probably should take them out to get some sunlight. I just hope the cats outside will leave them alone.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Learning how to use Blender


Blender
Originally uploaded by Jep F..
For the past few weeks, I have been struggling to learn how to use Blender. OK before you start thinking about how mentally challenged I am for not being able to figure out how to use it in just a few minutes, let me clarify my statement. I said I do not know how to use Blender and not "a" blender (for those of you who are so fond of correcting grammatical and spelling errors on my blog -- Hah! You thought you caught me with another one didn't you). No, it's not the kind you use to liquefy stuff. I'm talking about Blender3D [www.blender3d.org] or just plain Blender for short. It's a free 3D modeling and animation program supported by a dedicated open source development team and an enthusiastic online community sharing a passion for 3D modeling. It is a bit difficult to learn (even the interface was confusing at first) but all sorts of tutorials are available online made by the users themselves ranging from the very basic to advanced modeling techniques. If you happen to drop by on their site one of these days I highly recommend visiting the gallery section. Eye popping graphics and movies galore. If only I could learn how to do all those stuff!

I first stumbled on the site when I was searching for a free 3D layout visualization tool. I wanted to go beyond the 2D layout plans for my new apartment and wanted to visualize what the flat would look like in terms of layout decisions, color, choice of materials, furniture etc. Well it all started when my brother and I were debating over my choice of flooring material for my new flat. I wanted to have faux woodtile patterned ceramic tiles for the flooring but he said that it would be ugly. So I reasoned, what better way to present my ideas than to send him fully rendered 3D pictures of my ideas right? Well, it seems that I bit off more than I could chew and I realized that learning how to use a 3D modeling software was not going to be a walk in the park as I previously thought. My first project was to create a 3D model of a gingerbread man and I can tell you honestly that it was a total disaster - it looked more like a moldy lump of bread (I couldn't get the texture and color right so the shape was only vaguely humanoid and it had a decidedly greenish hue to it). I suppose it was all my fault. I was so excited and over eager to jump at the more challenging projects after seeing all those gorgeous samples. I thought why would I waste time learning how to make nice looking cubes when I should be doing that cool looking gingerbread man pictured at the end, right? err... boy was I wrong! After going through most of the newbie tutorials I started to be more familiar with the interface (it wasn't the usual windows interface and most of the menus were contextual meaning it changes depending on what object you are working with and what "mode" you are working on). The more I learn, the more addicted I became.

The only previous experience I had with 3D modeling and rendering was with Corel's Dream 3D [www.corel.com]. It came bundled with version 8 but has long since been discontinued [http://graphicssoft.about.com/library/extra/blwh_dream3d.htm]. I had it running in my old AMD 486 computer and render times were so long that I sometimes had to take a nap first before it finishes. That's how long it took! And all I did was make these spheres of different materials and textures suspended just above a rippling body of water revealing distorted reflections. This experimentation with the Blender 3D program is the first time I have actually attempted to model anything (the Corel package on the other hand came with a lot of ready made models that you can drag and drop and preset shaders that you just apply to the objects so it could take the properties of tinted glass or marble for example. So I was very much contented to play with those). It was obviously not practical for me to learn Dream 3D at the time because of my underpowered computer but after being introduced to Blender, I remembered why I was so fascinated about 3D modeling all those ago. I guess you can say that it's my artistic side trying to break free (I was wondering where you were all these years). There's hope for me yet I think ;)

OK I admit that it may have elevated to mere curiosity to a mini obsession (obsession is such a heavy word that I thought having the word mini lightened it up a bit). Last night I was busy trying to create a model of a toilet bowl and I had to force myself to sleep so I won't be late in the morning. I tried but I was thinking about toilet bowls most of the night, my mind was too hyperactive for me to sleep. I woke up on time but I felt sleepy the whole morning. I was sketching perspective views of toilet bowls during a boring meeting. I can't wait to finish that toilet bowl tonight. I already have ideas on how to model the fire extinguisher and the shower head.

*** NOTE: It took quite a while but I finally finished the blender model you see above. I just couldn't post this article without that crucial element. ;)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What's new?

I was feeling a bit "slow" in the office today. I was feeling a bit sleepy and was halfheartedly trying to finish some reports I needed to submit to my boss. I went to the restroom to "take a leak" and noticed that the right most urinal out of 3 was out of service. I took the middle one and happily did my thing. Then our Human Resources manager walks in and occupied the urinal next to me and suddenly blurted out "What's new with you?". I don't know about other guys out there but for me I really don't like people talking to me while I'm peeing especially "small talk". I stammered a reply "Wha-what's new with me? What do you mean? Should there be something new with me? If there is, nobody told me about it. Do you know anything new about me?".

He just chuckled and said that it was not a "loaded" question and just left. I'm being too paranoid. And to think I haven't even taken coffee the whole day.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Backup, Backup, Backup!!!

Whew! I just finished reconstructing the Pink Bunny Blog after the original free hosting my brother used for the graphics turned into an exclusively pay service. It took me the better part of the evening today but it looks quite good now. Fortunately I found a backup copy of the files on my computer. I used to have a link of that blog here but some screw-up when I was tweaking my blog caused my blog template to be corrupted. I know, I know... I learned my lesson now. Always have backups! The posts looks longer than usual, that's because the code that limits old posts to show excerpts only is now gone. Loading times may be longer than usual.

Speaking of backups, I left my beloved PDA last weekend at our house and both the main and backup battery got drained. When I turned it on I was greeted with a recalibrate your PDA wizard! Ack!!! All my data gone. *sob* I never bothered doing a backup of my PDA so I don't even have older versions of my files :(

The primary reason why I bought a DVD recorder a few months ago was so I could finally backup my important files. I kept putting it off but something tells me that I should do that right away considering the bad luck I have been experiencing lately with my data.

I'm putting up a new blog and I'm excited to start. Be sure to watch out for that. Of course if you have been reading my change logs, I mentioned this as early as July but I was very busy back then. Oh yeah... the links to my change log is missing because of this template problem. :( I'll fix it when I have the time.