The studio overhaul is making more progress- all the specialty hardware for the build has been ordered and is en route. Final drawings are finished, so now it’s a matter of getting the rest of the parts list (that’s all locally available), and waiting a bit for the weather to turn just a little more- the finish work on the wood requires temperatures we’re not seeing consistently enough. Soon, though.
Back to riding and shooting video again. The temps are up enough (and the trails have dried enough) to make mountain biking a workable thing again. I’m really excited about this season. (New silly video here) I’ve even got 3 out of 4 bikes ready to ride so far.
The new network/server infrastructure is up and working. My NAS is pretty much where I want it to be, and the new server seems to handle the loads it’s seeing with some degree of grace. I’m really looking forward to getting everything organized and neat in the new rack system.
Shoulder bag version 5 came together in a single day. I decided that I’d been letting complexity get the better of me, and that for the best functionality I should pare things back as much as I possibly could. Taking some inspiration from musette bags (of the cycling type), the new bag is super simple. 500d Cordura outer, 400d nylon liner, a bit of velcro and some padding, and it’s done. Works really well, so far. (I think I’ll do a retrospective of my shoulder bag projects in a post at some point.)
nvALT is a lovely, lovely thing. My affection for txt files has only grown, and this tiny bit of software is a special thing.
I can’t imagine anyone actually reads these. Regardless,
Studio project v0.3 actually made some real progress- studs have all been mapped, a scale drawing has been done, and I’ve got a full parts list for the desks and shelves (though I still have some work to do on the rack). I’ve marked the wall for mounting, and started moving the mass of gear to give myself reasonable access during the build.
Shoulder bag v5 just came off the sewing machine. It’s about as simple as I could imagine, and I’m hoping that means I’ll use it and stop fretting so much. Also: getting something done in one sitting always feels pretty cool.
PLEX setup v3 is nearly up and running. I’ve picked up a Synology DS418 NAS for storage, and it’s loaded with 4 x 4TB drives. That is talking to an older Mac Mini running PLEX (handling the transcoding and whatnot), and those are both running over gigabit ether. All that means I finally have enough storage, I have backups dealt with, and I can run PLEX 24/7 without seeing the bump on my electric bill.
My trail bike is ready to ride- I finally swapped out a bent rear rotor. I’ll need to air the tires and lube the chain, but it should be good to go. I’d love to take it out soon… it’s just still snowing here. I’ll wait until that stops, thanks.
If you’ve been following along, I’ve been working on the redesign of my home studio office. Right now it’s cobbled together from a selection of existing desks and tables, but I’m moving the entire thing to a wall-mounted shelving system. It’s going to clean things up a TON and give me more/better working space, but it’s a lot to do- there are a lot of considerations for hardware and use cases, and I want this system to work for the foreseeable future. I’ve recently started organizing and compiling the gear that’s going to go into this, and the first of those new parts start showing up shortly. I’m moving to a Synology DS418 NAS box for storage and access, and I’m moving my Plex install from my XServe to a Mac Mini that’s going to (mostly) do just that. I’m likely to end up with something like 12TB of storage, which should be plenty for backups and media and whatnot. I can’t actually really start to build this thing for a bit longer- I need the temperatures to get up enough that I can do finish work on the wood parts, and it’s still feeling like winter around here. Soon, though.
I’m really excited to get back on the bike and filming again. I’d made some headway late last year with producing more riding videos, and I liked the extra push to be creative both on the bike and behind the camera. I’m looking forward to doing more of that, and I’ve been getting the camera(s) ready and the bike(s) ready as well. I could use the exercise, too.
I’ve been working slowly on a new bag project for a while now- I need a new riding bag that’s built to handle not only tools and whatnot, but also filming gear. I’ve been in the development phase for a while, but I’m making good headway with the design brief, and I’m hoping to get started on the pack soonish. Maybe when the new sewing table is ready.
After the studio overhaul, it’s time to overhaul the garage. I’ve got (mostly) enough storage, but I really need to do a better job optimizing it. That means, in this case, ripping apart what I have and reworking it all. Again, I’m waiting for things to be just a teeny bit warmer before ripping into that.
I’ve been wearing my “Space Shoes” now for a few months, and they’re holding up pretty well- and so I’m just starting to think about what a summer pair might look like in the same vein. I’m also looking at some changes to construction- building certain aspects of the shoes somewhat differently and learning from the first pair.
My love for Hypercard has been re-kindled, it seems. I used to love playing with it, building games and data sets and whatever, but… it’s been gone a long time now, and I’ve never found an especially good alternative to it. The solution was to grab an ancient laptop off the shelf that still boots Mac OS9, and install Hypercard. Looking forward to playing with this more.
The Studio Desk v0.3 work continues. I’ve been working on the electric plans for this- figuring out what gear goes where and how things should be wired for maximum flexibility. It’s currently looking like two 7′ desks (wall mounted) and a 28u rolling rack unit besides it (for A/V gear), as well as a rolling rack for my computer underneath. I’ve started compiling hardware as well- breaking down the current setup a bit and sorting out the bits I’m going to need once the desks are built. I’m also going to have to build a second Mobile Parts Rack for analog tools overflow, so there’s that, too.
Slowly getting back away from proprietary formatted document storage (gdrive, evernote, etc…), and moving back towards txt and rtf files. They’re robust and wildly compatible, and within the bounds of the formatting the offer, they’re elegant. I’ve re-installed nvALT for the first time in a long while, and it’s going to be my home for a lot of those reference files I keep.
As always, things afoot. Just time for the highlights, today.
I’ve put an item up on my shop– it’s a pair of my space shoes. They’re made to-order, so if you’re thinking about a pair, keep that in mind. I’d even be willing to *think* about having them not be two different colors, but… I dunno. Seems weird. Holler at me if you want a pair.
The second round of my analog zine is coming along. They take a really, really long time for me to do- and that’s ok. It’s the process, for me, that makes them interesting. I’m also getting a lot better at layout and planning as a result of these, so it’ll be interesting to see what sort of impact that has on my other work.
Studio Desk v0.3 is coming along- I’m starting to settle somewhat on the layout and proportions, and now some of the details (wire and power management, port accessibility, finishes, etc) are coming into better focus.
My mobile/remote video shooting kit is coming along. I’m happy with the new zoom lens’s range (28-80 on an ASP-C sensor, so that’s like a 45-128), but the minimum focal distance is a pain- it’s north of 6 feet, so… yeah. Not awesome, in some ways. So right now I have to carry both a 28/2.5 prime and this zoom, which is fine, but… one more thing than I wanted to carry. Anyway, the new lav mic came, so that’s great (along with some wind muffs), and I’ve finally got my ND filter set up the way I’d like. Progress, then. Still need a better tripod/rigging solution that’s packable, as this setup is clearly over the weight limit for my current Joby Gorillapod.
A basement studio shelving project is taking shape- it’ll be of the same basic vein as the others I’ve built, but somewhat less ornate. I’ll use the same hardware, and likely build the shelves the same way (3/4″ ply with a 1×2″ facing board), but instead of a mahogany finish, I’ll likely go something lighter. And less staggered/offset shelves, as this is primarily a storage solution (and doesn’t have to pull double-duty as a display system. Or could it?).
I got a new bike helmet in (as the old one was… old), and I’m pretty excited to start (slowly) gearing up for spring riding. My new rear brake rotor came, too, so that needs to go on. Maybe (gasp!) even a brand-new set of tires this season. Or a dropper post (that I’ve been talking about getting for two years and still haven’t done anything about). All that is leading to me needing/wanting to build a new backpack for hydration and cameras while riding. Someone has to have made one of those, right? And then maybe a new crankset and bb? Because those have changed, somewhat, since my square-taper unit was made.
I’ve been reading about mobile data terminals as part of my effort to further build out my space like a cyberpunk control center.
I still want a metal lathe. I know, I’ve got no good place to put it (right now), and power/noise/upkeep is an issue (along with cost and weight…), but I want one anyway.
I’m coming along on project storage- it’s rough, because I tend to have so many in-process projects, and keeping things organized and not sprawling can be a challenge. But the last several months have had me making meaningful change, so that’s good.
I’m getting ready to build another zine, and I’m hoping to kick my newsletter mailings back into high gear (they’ve been going out, just somewhat slower). Apparently I’m itching to publish again.
I’ve not made a ton of progress with most of the other projects- it’s been the holidays and cold and whatnot, so some of that’s too be expected, but I’d still like to get back into high-speed project finisher mode.
I’ve continued shooting bike-based videos- but I’ve found myself itching to teach again/more, so I thought it’d make sense to combine the two and make teaching videos about bikes. Why not, right?
To that same end: I’m thinking about re-doing/expanding my original Lord of the Flies based Tangential videos. I made those five years ago (!) and they still, apparently, generate many of the views on my channel (which I’ve just now looked up). It’s still my favorite book to teach (all these years later), but I’ve never really done a full-blown solution to teaching it online. Those original videos were meant (primarily) as a front-loading exercise to clear up in classroom time. These new videos (and whatever else) would be a more complete & comprehensive solution.
MagicLantern is pretty neat. I know I’m late to the party and all that with it, but in all fairness, I’d not had something to play with it on, so… yeah. I’m not shooting RAW yet or anything, but it’s still opening up some welcome functionality.
I got RetroPie up and running on an original Pi Zero. That’s no big accomplishment, I realize, but it’s a stepping stone to picking up a Pi 3b and overclocking it (to better play N64 and PS1 games!).
I finally got a Silicon Dust HomeRun internet enabled digital TV tuner and got it working with my instal of PLEX. That means live tv on any device in the house (nearly), and in theory means easy DVR and replay of that live TV. I don’t seem to have that bit working reliably just yet, but I think I’m an update or two behind on my PLEX install, so we’ll see if that clears up the issues.
I refinished another bike seat. You might remember the previous (first!) seat I did a few months ago, but this was a much better job. I learned a bunch on the last one, and I was able to do a much cleaner job on this round. We’ll see how it holds up, now.
I wrote a tweet.
My wife has proposed H.A.M.L.E.T as a counterpoint to STEM (it stand for History Art Music Literature Ethics and Technology). She is smarter than I am.
Let’s put aside the unfortunate typo, shall we? Actually, I relayed in a tweet something my wife does many times a day- which is to make a remarkably smart offhanded comment about something. In the two days since, it’s kind of slow-burned across twitter. It was meant as a quick jab back at the ALL STEM ALL THE TIME mentality. I’m finding that pretty toxic myself- all the stress on tech and science can (and has, I’d argue) led to technically amazing things with no moral/ethical thought. Facebook, for example. Totally amazing what they can do, and clearly without morals about doing it. Heck, twitter itself falls into that category. There’s a reason “Humanities” has the word “Human” in it, as we neglect those subjects at our own peril as a species.
I’ve been making bike riding videos over here. They’re short, to begin with (I’ve aimed for Instagram as a primary posting spot right now, and that’s capped at 60 seconds…) As much as anything, this is a way to keep pushing creatively. Like anything else, without practicing, creativity drops off, so I’m sharing my practice. If you care, they’re entirely (thus far) shot with my cell phone.
Did you know you can buy brand-new typewriter ribbons on Amazon? True story.
I took my “new” gravel bike out for it’s shakedown run today. Something like 13 miles in the hour I had (about 80% dirt/gravel, 20% pavement). Went better than I could ever hope. So much fun, and a nice change from the trail bike (and the trails I’ve been riding). Felt really good. More details on that project and bike here, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m trying to get back to the newsletter- it’s been a while since I sent one out, but it’s been hard to find the stuff I like and work up the enthusiasm required. Getting close, though, I think.
I’ve got a growing list of projects again. It’s interesting- that seems to come in waves for me. I’ll generate a pile of new ideas and projects, and then I’ll shift into executing on those projects. For those interested, I type each new project idea onto an index card, and post those to a cork board. When/if they get done, they get sorted into a index file.
I’m working on some paint projects that (might) tie into some fabric projects. Still in the testing stage (and there’s a long, long way to go).
I’ve not done a SitRep in a while, from the look of my archives. Time to make a list!
So the OBS software that I highlighted a few weeks ago is pretty rad. It’s not the most stable bit of kit when you lean on it hard, but it can do some fun stuff. I worked out some animated lower-third graphics and got those working, so that’s neat. I’ve no personal plans for this right now, but it’s good to have in my back pocket.
I’m running Spectacle on my Mac now- it’s a utility add-on that gives you hot keys to manage windows and screen real estate. So now I can mash a key combination and make a window hop to the other screen, or take up exactly half of a screen on the left side, or the top third, or whatever. Super useful for when you’re juggling lots of windows (and I often am).
As you can tell from my last few posts here, I’ve been shooting more video and making little edits from them. Mostly of my riding bikes, for now, but it’s good to be thinking about framing and shots and whatnot, as that always seems to stoke my creative problem solving in other parts of my world. It’s like lifting weights for creativity.
I’m working on a bike project outlined here. I’m getting slowed at the moment by missing some stupid little parts (shifter cable housing, electrical tape, bar tape, etc), and from having to swap the bike to a different rear wheel. Anyway.