Splinters

Random writings from a father, husband, web developer, artist, and writer.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Blog Moved

I have moved the Blog.

It is now Steve Thorn Blog, easily enough, residing at http://www.stevethorn.com/blog

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Sky is Falling

So yesterday was a fiasco. It was evil and ill-tempered. It was Thursday.
Yesterday was the day for our broadcasting 2 e-conferences from our building using the new application I had developed for our Flash Communications Server. We have had 5 previous conferences broadcast and they have been fairly successful, except for some microphone issues. But yesterday was BAD.
The first conference started in a conference room that we had never used before, so of course, the connection to the network was glitchy at best. We had changed the slides that would be used in the presentation that are called externally from the Flash app. That would have not been a problem except that I had kept the file name the same, and our Proxy outside the firewall had cached that file, so anyone outside was seeing the temporary slideshow of 5 slides, instead of the working show that consisted of 51. And we could not get it to change over, until after the show. This was all happening live, while the poor presenter was just trying to present.
Of course, to add to it, someone had decided to test another application on the web server that pulled most of the server’s resources, so we had some good lockouts. And then, upon restarting FCS, I only had my code set to “record” the streams, not “append”, so with each restart, a new stream was recorded over the last, leaving no archival footage except maybe a 15 minute slice of the hour and a half presentation.
By then, I think I had that shock of white hair on my forehead like the mom in Poltergeist had after entering the “beyond” to save her daughter. Yes, it was that bad.
There was another broadcast in the evening (this is for a world-wide audience so we adapt to their time-zones), but I knew the traffic wouldn’t be a concern or as stressful on the server, and we would be broadcasting from a proven connection in another room. So I let someone else baby sit that bastard, but of course I had to check in from home out of morbid curiosity. It was a little shaky at first, but seemed to pan out better than the previous show.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Frying Bologna

One of the oddest dreams of my adult life occurred last night: I was frying bologna.

I like fried bologna, and I didn't go to bed hungry, but it was a strange dream. Very Strange.
I was frying bologna over boiling water.

A little patience please as I try to describe this:
*************************************
In my dream, I am hovering over the sinks, both basins are plugged and completely full of water, and the water is boiling like crazy. How am I frying bologna on boiling water? I have metal butter knives floating on top of the water and I am laying slices of bologna down on them like they are little floating hot grills, and they are sizzling away as they bob in the water. I could smell the bologna frying, and was even seasoning the slices with Hooter’s Hot Sauce and garlic salt.
The real bitch was when I needed to flip over the bologna, because on trying to maneuver under the slices for the flip, I’d knock the knives and they would start pin-wheeling through the water. I never did get to flip a slice before my dream attention-span went to some other subject, and obviously it wasn’t as twisted because I don’t remember it.
************************************
Now, I don't know what an interpreter of dreams would think of this, but to me it means that my imagination was cooking up (pardon the pun) something obscenely twisted for me to write about, just so I would get off my lazy arse and write.
Mmmmm, bologna.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Code to Music To, and Some Reading Suggestions

I am finding that when I work in Flash MX I need to listen to Classical Music. I would hazard it’s because Flash can aggravate me so much that I need that special music that calms the savage beast, or is it breast? Today it is Mendelssohn, most times I listen to Paganini. It’s something about the wicked fiddle in Paganini’s works that give me a calm yet anarchic flutter in my chest that lets me grind on in keyframes and Actionscript.

For most other work I usually go for the head-splitting heavy volume of anything from Eminem(gasp) to AudioSlave, STP, Pearl Jam or Disturbed. Then to throw my co-workers into a worried mode of anticipating my soon going ‘Postal’, I’ll switch to Billy Joel. But for the ultimate in music for anything in everyday life, I suggest Todd Rundgren.

At current, Flash Comm Server has me stymied as I am working on an e-conferencing-type application that a moderator can switch between multiple presenters and allow for live question and answer periods with the attendees. So I continue to fight with Actionscript and a pesky little remote shared object to make it all work before the live show, which is on Thursday of next week. Sigh.

Let’s ignore the work for a little while and focus on something truly important: great authors and great books.

Neil Gaiman: Where to begin? I love all of his work. American Gods is surreal and dark. Neverwhere is twisted, and extremely hard to put down. Sandman, ‘nuff said. -- OK, I just remembered one of his works (co-works) that didn’t cut it for me, but it could be it’s because I’m not a Terry Pratchett fan, but Good Omens, while not a favorite book, could work out nicely as a Terry Gilliam movie.

F. Paul Wilson: His series of books on Repairman Jack are the coolest, darkest stories you’ll see in a long time. There is a current of evil and grand schemes that are hiding behind every RJ story, and you know that Wilson is building Jack up to something so twisted and bizarre that it’ll blow your mind. It all began in Wilson’s The Tomb, but the series has been going strong for years. A few that come to mind are Legacies, and Conspiracies.

This was merely a teaser of some great people to read, I have so many more. But for now, I must get back to Flash.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Random: Reagan, Shrek, Velvet et al

A little random today, but then again it is Friday in my part of the world - or at least in my head.

I highly recommend the album Contraband by Velvet Revolver if you are a previous Stone Temple Pilots fan. - This is Scott Weiland's new band which consists basically of him and Guns N Roses minus Axl, but it shows how much of STP's sound originated from Weiland.

Still, my vote for favorite album in the last 12 months would be AudioSlave. Chris Cornell has the best pipes in the rock biz, and the music is great. Oddly enough, they are another hybrid band, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine.

Today is the National Day of Mourning for former President Ronald Reagan in the U.S.
Being a guvment contractor, I still have to work even though the Base across the street is closed today, but the whole shindig of Reagan's formalities are being broadcast. I've been more impressed with the last few days events that have happened around his casket than what's transpiring right now: Namely, Dick Cheney's speech was pretty powerful at points, Nancy's grace, the handless soldier saluting, and Mikhail showing up, port-wine stain and all,-- I thought he'd died a few years back, so imagine my surprise.

Sadly, Ray Charles has passed also. I held my own personal tribute to him this morning by playing Blues In a Sentimental Key over the 'phones while coding.

Wife and I took the kids to see Shrek 2 the other day. I loved the first one, and would have to watch the first and second concurrently to honestly judge which I enjoyed more. Yes, it's that good. And the wizardry of Pixar's artists,.. superb. The lighting and setting of some of the scenes were very inspirational, and could be used in classes that teach animation. The detail they finessed out of each scene was amazing. You could attempt to do a thread count on the blanket in Fiona's bedroom.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

First Blog

It's time for that first Blog entry.

The basic bio would be that I am a father of five, have my first year anniversary coming up soon with my beautiful wife, and have been on the Internet scene since you could gopher, write email with Pine, and The Well was "The" spot to be online. - Yet I chose the freenet and Delphi.

I am a multimedia nut and have been involved in 3D for over a decade, beginning with NewTek's LightWave, then moved to AutoDesk 3D Studio when I went PC, then LightWave ported over and I jumped back. Have tinkered in all facets of multimedia, and found a semi-reliable income in web design (b o r i n g) as a Guvment Contractor.

Lately I have been spreading my wings on some of the web-dev stuff by wrestling with Macromedia's Flash Comm Server for a client that wanted an online seminar application. And another cool-ish project has been taking live flight-data and creating an online application that converts the coordinate data into a motion path for LightWave for 3D representations of experimental flight missions.

As for why Blogging? Well, I like to write and have opinions about all sorts of things, and I'm hoping that Blogging can keep me active in my writing -- something neglected for quite a while. I have written some short stories - unpublished, working on a novel -- at some point, and for a single grain in my sands of time I wrote book critiques for Starlog Magazine.

My last name is Thorn, and this Blog will consist of little bits of me, so why not Splinters for a title.. -- Not a pretty description, but at least it's appropriate.
-----------
Steve Thorn