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Ashes [May. 4th, 2009|11:08 pm]
[Current Mood |amusedamused]
[Current Music |Adele - Right As Rain]

My progression is great.

My pace is strong.

I've been working hard on two hefty projects and i'm feeling healthier than ever.

As the summer comes, i will prepare to slow things down. I have no choice.

ChloRobot was a huge drain on my Fun-Funds, so i gotta be careful if i want to keep my summer plans in tact.

Instead of flying across the pond to Ireland, i decided to spread out my vacations through the whole summer.

I already acquired tickets to PDF, GMSF and Eclipse in Quebec. I'll take a few road trips and by the end of the summer, i'd like to visit the Bay for 3 or 4 days.

All of this will cost about the same amount as my planned trip to Europe, but it allows me to keep a power position at work. It's a win, win as far as i'm conserned.

Speaking of work...

I've cracked the code. I found a perfect little middle ground and now i feel more freedom than before.

Not only do i get to work on my projects in the office; i get 50% more work done in 75% of the time.

I can't give up my secret over the internets, so i'll move on to THERE'S A NEW NAMAGASTA.COM!

Its not done as of today... but its getting pretty far along.

Check it...

I don't feel like typing more, so i'll end this with some pretty pictures!

First: Flower from Brittany!
From Oh, Orchid

Second: My New Project (Desert Goggles)
From For Blog
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ChloRobot [Mar. 3rd, 2009|12:55 pm]
[Current Mood |cynicalcynical]

Its done.

The robot is built and it has a name.

On the morning of 09/21/2009, ChloRobot was officially born. Unexpectedly, i got a name for the plant, too. Her name is going to be Phylliss... a convenient play on her genus.

Like i planned, i had a small party to celebrate the completion of the piece. We used one of my sketching books in an informal naming ceremony to get the two names.

From For Blog

*sigh* It warms my heart to know that i have such amazing friends...

The credit for the name goes to Liz for the plant and to Rosemary for the robot. Combined, these two names are nothing but perfect.

The night following the Robot Party was pretty rad, too. It was the first big Gaian Mind party of the year. Everyone came out of their winter-time holes to attend this gathering and it was a night worth remembering.

There was something in the air and everyone seemed to be craving the social energies.

By Sunday, i was a wreck... a happy wreck. I took ChloRobot and Phylliss to the office and it only took 20 or 30 minuites to get him up and running.

Here's a photo of him on my desk:
From Chlorobot + Phylliss

Its been more than a week now, and not many people have even noticed him. Its exactly how i planned it... by the time people realize its there, everyone will already be used to it.

I have begun the second stage to this project, already. I installed a web-cam to my work computer and i'll be taking photos at 5 minute intervals.

I will guage the success of ChloRobot by watching the resulting stop-motion animation. The imagery provided by the thriving Phylliss will also look extra cool on my up-coming web page.
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Pounce [Feb. 19th, 2009|05:49 pm]
[Current Mood |chipperchipper]
[Current Music |Jadell - Keep On]

Man. Politics on the News makes my stomach turn...

Politics at work makes me feel a bit on-edge.

The politics on the News combined with the politics at work makes me want to scrap my plans for summer time adventure over-seas.

I think i should wait for that type of trip. With my work, its practically impossible to get 2 weeks of vacation back to back. Unless some unknown event occurs, I might have to wait until i can get myself into a better position...

Thinkin' about it kinda bums me out...

So... i'll type about something that cheers me up.

Here's the robot. He's at 100%
From RoboPlant (unofficial)

Check out the vines framing the roots+rocks.

I made a little box and everything...
From RoboPlant (unofficial)

It has lights n' shit on the inside... totally rad.

Oh. Happy plant...
From RoboPlant (unofficial)

I'm having peeps over tomorrow night to see the robot before he goes. Hopefully he'll get a name tomorrow before the night's out.

For now? Gotta get back to cleanin'. Its going to be a busy weekend... i can feel it...
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Move Slowly [Feb. 11th, 2009|12:29 pm]
[Current Mood |highhigh]
[Current Music |John Barry - The Persuaders Theme]

Things at work are out of control, but on the up side; the insanity and pressure tends to make the work day go by a lot faster.

Also, since i'm working at high-capacity all day for Vitetta, when i get home to work on my robot i'm full of motivation. My trouble-shooting skills are sharper than ever and they've been serving me well over the last few weeks.


I tried to do some painting:

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

It turned out okay... but i don't like the green. I'm going to take the advice of two friends of mine. I'm going to re-do that same design, only in a darker green.

Here's a shot of the whole design:

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

Also, i built a new circuit. I made it extra small to fit into a hand-made box i'm still working on. I even transferred the original CPU from the other bread-board... so technically, this is the original robot-brain... the one i was using during the beginning of the project. Here's the consolidated circuitry:

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

Oh and one more photo... to show how the roots are doing. Its only been 1 week and he already has a good 10 or 15 inches of new root growth. I think he likes it:

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

Yey for roots.

Oh, and last night i figured out how to make my robot's lights fade on and off.

It totally looks alive...
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Snow Biking [Feb. 4th, 2009|12:13 pm]
[Current Location |Work]
[Current Mood |blahblah]
[Current Music |WHYY]

One of the guys at work got "laid-off" earlier this month.

This means that work automatically gets harder for me. They've been pushing all types of new work onto my lap.

Two weeks ago, i didn't have shit to do and now i'm getting 3 or 4 new tasks every week. If this keeps up, i might end up with more than i can handle.

The security of too much work is great... but i hope they hire someone really friggin' good to replace my ex-coworker.

Well... this morning, i had to rush to work so that i could meet a deadline. When i came down from my 3rd floor apartment, i was confronted by 3 inches of snow covering my car.

Since i live on Broad St., my road is the first one to get cleared off. The side-walk was covered in snow, but could see the black tar of the road, so i decided to ride my bike.

When i got to the area where the highway began, shit got bad. The road was packed with a thick layer of icy snow.

My 10 Speed handled everything surprisingly well. Combined with my cat like reflexes, i made the whole trek without falling once. It was like skiing on a bike...

From For Blog

That's where i park my bike every morning. It should be fun riding back home...

Oh. And while i'm posting here, i might as well put up a photo of a mostly-completed version of my un-named hydro robot.

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

I think he looks beautiful. I have to do a bit more detailing, but that's pretty much the idea. To get a name for this guy, i'm going to throw a going away party for him on Feb 20th. At this party, i'm going to have a list of suggested names from my guests.

So, i should have a name for him come Feb 21st.
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Pump, Pump-it-Up! [Jan. 22nd, 2009|12:15 pm]
[Current Mood |artisticartistic]
[Current Music |Bob Crewe Generation - Winchester Cathedral]

This winter has been quite fulfilling. Through the effort of redefining my life-style and developing new philosophies to guide my actions, I'm having a perty damn peaceful beginning to this new year.

I'm feeling the pull of spring, and i'm more than delighted to see that the Sun is finally returning. One of the perks of working at the Naval Yard is sights like this:

From For Blog

At the end of each day, i get to see this beauty as i leave the grounds.


In other news: I'm finally recovering from the expensive job-search of 2007. Also, since the cold has become so overwhelming, my social life has taken a back-seat to my projects.

Now that i'm 70 or 80 percent thru my robot construction, i'm feeling a twinge of boredom coming over the horizon. I'm going to have to start doing something that will allow me to be out of my workshop... maybe a new digital portfolio to show off my unpublished works.

*shrug* I'll explain my future plans as they become more relevant.

But for now? Lets discuss the fact that i got the pump workin'.

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

It's not working perfectly, and i didn't expect that it would. I simply wished to see whether or not i could get the micro-controller to control a high voltage output. Well... with enough hard-work, a few guesses and a shit-load of luck; i got it to work.

I sanded, drilled and painted the LED-mounts...

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

To get a good idea of what this baby's going to look like, i installed all 24 panels first.

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

And now i'm taking each panel off and i'm installing the LEDs in a pre-determined pattern.

From RoboPlant (unofficial)

I'm going slowly and deliberately through each panel, one by one. Its going to take a lot of time to finish this part of the project.

Next, i'm going to do some paint touch ups. It's going to be fantastic, just you wait!
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Approach the Ledge [Dec. 11th, 2008|12:28 pm]
[Current Mood |deviousdevious]
[Current Music |NPR: Here and Now]

Over the last week, i've been fighting... holding my ground in my work place, but in the end, the inevitable has occurred. My cushy-work-zone has been demolished in the span of 4 friggin days. *frown*

I went down kicking and bitching... i probably stepped over a few lines in the process, but hey! They were taking my comfort... and if that's not worth fighting for, what is?


I saw Raisa over the weekend and we talked with one another for about 2 hours. It was nice... and during our discussions, she asked me to send her a video of LB1. I didn't like the first one i made, so i put this demonstration together:

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As Expected [Dec. 4th, 2008|06:45 am]
[Current Mood |pessimisticpessimistic]
[Current Music |Madita - Better Brother]

Apparently my fears were not unfounded. Now that Art is gone, my new boss has begun his onslaught. In three days, hes already begun an effort to disturb the peace around the office.

Resistance is there, but i can't count on it...

As i discovered when i was searching for employment last year; my boss and my co-workers have more impact than the work that i do. Now that my workplace is drastically changing before my eyes, my comfort has slipped away. *sigh* I guess good things aren't meant to last... and i guess i don't have to worry about loyalty issues, now.

Maybe i'll start searching for an escape route in the beginning of 2009... maybe not... For now? I don't want to think about it. I'll just withdraw from work a bit and i'll put all of my efforts into personal projects.

Oh... and speaking of personal projects: Here's Episode 3 of my road trip.

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Retirement [Nov. 30th, 2008|09:34 pm]
[Current Mood |boredbored]
[Current Music |A Fine Frenzy - Think Of You]

Last week, i lost my favorite engineering mentor.

Art was the guy who taught me the majority of the stuff i know about building engineering and without him, i probably wouldn't have my current freedoms at work.

It was a heart-breaking occurance and i get a feeling that things are going to drastically change around the office.

Its not that i'm worried that i'll loose my gained ground. He was the guy who stood up for me when the shit was being flung...


I've lost my Ace card...

Besides that? Work is great. I totally dominated my last project and i'm gonna do the same to the next.

Hmm... what else...

Oh yeah. I thought i'd share this little project of mine:

I started working on this piece when i first moved to South Philly. His name (which i just made up) is Octopoem, the magic poem octopus. Its a giant octopus who on my fridge. Hes made out of word magnets that i've collected over the years. I didn't even plan on putting as much time as i did into it... It started off as a face... then a body... and there ya have it.

I guess his human-like face is kinda creepy, but what the hell do real octopus faces look like anywayz?

His eyes read book-worm, by the by. The right eye says "Book" and "Worm" for the left. Oh... and if you couldn't tell from the above photo... this octopus is also spraying out a huge cloud of ink...

There's much more i've completed over the last few months of boredom. Now that life is getting a bit more interesting, i've been doing a lot of reflection on the recent-past. I learned a bit more about LB1 and i should post some examples.

I'll be starting up a new project really soon and i'll start posting bits of that.
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Shifting Tides [Sep. 16th, 2008|07:59 am]
[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]
[Current Music |Nils Petter Molvaer - Frozen]

Here's a vid-journal entry i planned on putting up almost 1 month ago.

I wanted to try applying my video editing skillz, and here's the result:

For now; i think i'm getting good enough to stop developing any new editing techniques. On top of that, i'd rather use my free time doing something else. So, after i finish going through all of my road-trip animations, i'll be ready to start working on a new project.

These past 2 or 3 weeks have been way too intense for my taste. So many of my life dynamics have shifted in such a small amount of time.


It sucks and all, but i shouldn't have a hard time adjusting. All i gotta do is stay busy.

Hmm... i'm going to take off from work today. I'll spend the morning applying for my passport, instead. I think i need to go somewhere far away for my next vacation.
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