Grand Final 2008 and Friends

Congrats to the Hawthorn Hawks who played a good game and took home the 2008 Premiership over Geelong at the MCG yesterday. It was an odd game where the teams seemed to take turns being on their game.

A sad tale for a Geelong supporter, and one I’m sure we’ll hear lots about next week at work.

Speaking of work, there is probably still a team of people working frantically putting together the book for the winning team, choosing the photos that will be sold and doing all the things that a publishing house has to do to have a magazine created, printed and on sale by Wednesday. Busy times and then a lull for our editorial staff who no doubt will take a much deserved break.

David and I spent the morning at home doing a little spring cleaning. We got an industrial bin dropped off at about 10.30am and had it full to the brim by midday. We tossed so much crap out of the garage it is now beautlifully clean and organised.

While we were doing so Nikki rang and asked if we wanted to trek down to Geelong to have a post Grand Final dinner at their house. Of course we were up for it, the Waterfalls are a great bunch of people and Nikki’s folks are funny as, in a good way.

I think we’ve planned a night of Canasta in a few weeks with Nikki, Ben ,Trudi, Simon, Troy, Renae, David and Me. Should be interesting. It’s not a game I’m very good at, but we always have a lot of fun.

So while the Cats didn’t come through and win I still had a great day. Now I have to make some changes to our site at work and put the Hawthorn stuff online available for sale. :(

Flickr Find 0028

crossed
crossed, originally uploaded by Crossfire..

This is an amazing portrait of a child. Black and white really does lend itself to portraiture, especially to these soft toned child photos.

As I’ve gotten lucky recently and found some kids to photograph, not just Elliot and Amelie. I hope to get some great shots like these.

Go on and check out Crossfire’s small but complete photostream on flickr.

The Storymaker

Yesterday we spent the morning in the Melbourne city, had some breakfast at George’s Cafe, bought some jeans, a new audio cable for the car and plodded around the city for a while. Also checked out the rare (turning out to be not-so-rare) 4GB iPod Nano 4th Gen.

I knew once I was in the city I wanted to have a book made by the Storymaker. The new machine that has been brought into the country that prints books on demand. So we wandered down to the the Angus and Robertson store at the end of the Bourke Street Mall and took a look at the beast of a a machine.

The Storymaker prints, covers, binds and trims a book in under 10 minutes. It was awesome to watch, even if David did get a little bored, I loved it. I guess I am a book geek.

At the moment it is only printing out-of-print, public domain works. I chose to have “Ozma of Oz” printed and may end up going back to have all of the Oz titles done, they seemed to have everything but “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as it is still in print.

Some people will tell you this machine is just a glorified printer/photo copier and it part that is true. But the precision at which it works is amazing, trimming the book, with cover on, and getting nice clean edges. They could do away with the theatrical lights that flash and make the poor machine look like it is creating Frankenstein’s Monster.

The Story Maker The Story Maker

Essentially the process is as follows:

  1. The pages are printed in the giant printer (B&W) and fed directly into the machine while the cover is printed in a second printer (colour) and loaded into place in the machine.
  2. Human intervention is then required as the machine operator pushes a button and turns a knob sending the book on its way through the rest of the machine.
  3. Sandpaper roughs up the edge of the pages on which the books is bound.
  4. Passes over some brushes to remove the paper shavings from the sandpaper.
  5. Moves over the roller which is covered in resin-based glue. The resin dries to a tacky substance almost instantly.
  6. The books pages are then placed on the cover and lowered into a clamp.
  7. The clamp holds the pages for 30 seconds so the glue can adhere.
  8. The almost-complete book is moved to the trimmer where the edges of the book are cut off one side at a time.
  9. Finally a chute pops and and the book slides down the chute into the hands of the happy new owner.

You do get to inspect the book and I was under the impression that if I wasn’t happy with it, they would reprint. But I wanted to take it as it is, even if one part of it probably wasn’t clamped as well as it probably should have been.

The other thing about the books are their source. As they are public domain the bookstore can get them from anywhere they desire. It appears in the case of the Oz books the all come from Microsoft’s book digitizing program. Each page has the words “Digitized by Microsoft” on the bottom of them.

It really is a good way to get your hands on some classic books that just don’t exist any more.

My book, Ozma of Oz, cost me $19.95 which is around the same cost if it was a bound book on the shelf. I suppose they have to make their money back on the machine, and pay for the operator, and get people used to paying for the books, but as they don’t have to pay royalties for the book, it might have been nicer to sell them a little cheaper.

Overall I’m impressed with the job it does. Even if I think it has maybe come too late to market, what with the rise of ebook readers and their ability to show pages at close to 300dpi. Print isn’t really required any more. It is kind of like the music stores that let you make mixed CDs, what’s the point when everything is downloadable these days.

Flickr Find 0027

day 28, barely begun
day 28, barely begun, originally uploaded by ryran.

Ryran was taking part in the 365 Challenge which I failed miserably. I’m just not one to take my own photo, I’m never happy with the results.

Ryran is different, with 209 photos in his “yo” set on Flickr I’m guessing he’s quite happy taking his own photo.

But what has drawn me to this particular photo which I found some time ago in the 365 days pool is the way it is almost a picture in picture.

You get the whole scene and then are drawn further into the clarity of the image reflected in his sunglasses. I think it’s a great effect.

See more from Ryran via his Flickr Photostream. Ryran, or Ryan Sawhill also has a PhotoBlog I encourage you to check it out

Flickr Find 0026

Dettifoss
Dettifoss, originally uploaded by _rebekka.

Judging by _rebekka’s photos Iceland is a beautiful place.

I know when I bring you Flickr Finds I use the words, “beautiful” and “amazing” a lot but then that’s what makes them appeal to me so strongly and gives me the desire to share them here on my blog.

_rebekka has been here before with her pictures of “laughing” horses.

This photo “Dettifoss” shows how great _rebekka is at sharing her beautiful land with us. For that I thank her and encourage you to take a look at _rebekka’s photostream on Flickr.

Flickr Find 0025

Come And Have a Go (If You Think You're Hard Enough)
Come And Have a Go (If You Think You’re Hard Enough), originally uploaded by _G*Squared_.

Come And Have a Go (If You Think You’re Hard Enough) is a photo by Gabriel Goldberg, also known as _G*Squared_.

Gabriel has fast become an idol of mine, right up there with Lewis Payton as far as their subject matter, lighting and overall tone of their photos.

Both photographers have shot cover work for DNA Magazine and numerous other publications.

They inspire me, now I only have to find the guts to get out there and find some models to shoot.

See more of _G*Squared_’s work on Flickr.

Eyes Closed

I know I’ve mentioned on here before that when I close my eyes I see things. I’m sure many people do. Little visions, sometimes like movies, sometimes a series of slides and sometimes static images. What I saw last night before I went to sleep was a kind of slide show of little movie clips.

It’s not often cryptic and it is not often as it was last night. In the past I’ve seen Turtles walking on the road, parents outside a parisian restaurant talking with friends while their obviously tired children throw a tantrum, ignored by the parent holding their hand. And the other that is still quite vivid in my mind is that of an old man shaving in a partially fogged mirror.

They are scenes I don’t know from any where and I see them as soon as I close my eyes, I’m not asleep and they are not dreams. The one following was the same. While I describe them as scenes they were quite fast and not a lot of detail was available.

I’m also not implying that they mean anything, but I just want to document them because I see them. This one in particular was disturbing to me.

First

I saw the city of London, England, it was covered in sheets, the buildings all sheathed like furniture you see in an old house. The sheets were raggedy and fraying, blowing in the wind. There was no sign of life. Just a dark scene. The colour of the scene was quite subdued.

Second

A bar, a woman and a man sitting at the bar. She had long blond hair, he brown, sitting in a suit pushing a drink towards her. The woman waving her hand at bar level in a gesture as if to say no more / no thanks. The man reaches out to touch her hair and she pulls away slightly. Behind them is another man at a tableĀ  watching their interaction.. He appears agitated to the point of anger. He stands and leaves the bar.

Third

Snippets of world news, with images of London in the background, as if the news is about the city. I can’t hear anything but the reporters are solomn. It was like someone was flicking between stations. All the news the same, just the reporters and their nationalities were different.

Fourth

Moving in on a newspaper masthead, seeing the date, but blurred. My focus shifts and I can read the word “May” the number preceeding it is a “2” or a “6”, before I can focus on the year following May the scene is gone.

A Basic Truth

Computer blues

Computer blues

It’s currently 3.30am and I’m awake, have been for some time but have only just risen from bed. I’m tired, you can bet that but I also have much on my mind.

The basic truth in today’s post is that I will leave nothing in this world when I am gone. I can be afforded no immortality for I have nothing to leave as a legacy in this world.

I have a job, I go to work every day but at times I find it a fruitless means to an end. Sure I get paid, and I get paid well, but what I do amounts to nothing over time.

Consider that I have been a web developer in some fashion for eighteen years, that I have worked for some of the biggest brands in Australia and then count how many of the sites that I have worked on in the past that still exist. None… everytime I leave a job and someone comes in to take my place, the first thing they do is wipe out all evidence that I was ever there, replacing it with their own. I’m gone, everything I did is gone.

Sure it’s the nature of the business and I’m sure I’ve had at least one post like this before. So I guess I’m just grumbling, but to be honest I’m envious. And my envy extends to all those who do things that will last. The brickies that build houses, architects that design buildings, book authors and people who get to spend their lives making art. All of whom know, without a doubt, their work will survive them.