Monthly Archives: June 2009

Fringe Architecture

Fringe Architecture

I drive past this building on my way to work in the morning. It was just recently completed. Doesn’t it remind you of the TV show Fringe? Its very rare that you see a building’s name. And especially in a three dimensional font.

Bent speed sign

Not only that, but when I was driving home, I noticed the aftermath of some crazy driving. Somehow someone jumped the curve, took out a speed sign, and drove around the grass. A drunk driver?

Custom car

Custom car

I saw this cool looking custom car parked at Monument Cafe. While custom cars are a neat concept, I would take a modern, factory-made, high-tech car any day of the week.

Game Day 06/24/09

Game #1a
Game #1b


Ed and Susan brought over Steam to play. I am a huge Age of Steam fan and I have been reading up on Wallace’s changes to Age of Steam to turn it into Steam. Unfortunately, none of the changes sounded good online. But I had to at least try it once.

Essentially, all of the changes serve to dull the game from the brilliantly sharp edge that AoS has. I know why these changes were made. They certainly make the game more acceptable to the general public. But they remove the struggle to claw your way up first to profitability and then to dominance.

In this game, we pretty much stayed to our respective corners. I was able to successfully poach from Ed just before he was able to deliver goods a couple of times. Susan took a couple of 6 deliveries away from me. But my network was just too good and I had quite a lot of 6 and 5 lengthed deliveries.

Experiments in reflection

I really liked one of the classes at the Austin Photo Expo. Kirk Tuck demonstrated a number of different lighting scenarios by building them on the fly. You could see exactly how the light affects the subject in real time as he moved different modifiers between the light and at different positions. This inspired me to try it at home. I used some advice someone was asking for on BoardGameGeek as an exercise. How do you minimize reflections?

Like other people, I gave some advice at the time. However, it wasn’t really advice that was based on experience. Actually going through the process, changing variables around, and deciding what’s best.

So, I decided to try it out myself. I went to Home Depot and bought a 48″ x 48″ screen frame kit. And I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a roll of 18″ x 50 yards 8lb lightweight tracing paper. It was relatively easy to tape together three lengths of paper and install it into the screen frame.

This was the setup:


I used one 1250 watt halogen work light for the lighting. And, for the worst possible model, I used a shrink-wrap copy of Rocketville. Which I have yet to give to someone I don’t like.

The first image is setup so that the light is directly reflected off of the plastic. What can I say about this except that you should expect it to be denied. And not because it is Rocketville.


The next image has the diffuse screen in between the light and the game. The “point” light source has been transformed into a large and even light source.


In the next image, I rotated the game slightly. However, it was enough to move the direct reflection of the light out of the picture. Well, almost. The edge still has some glare to it. But you can keep rotating the glare away from the camera.


And in the next image, I put the screen back between the light. This time, you can see the glare back into the picture. This is because the light source is much larger so that you are now seeing a direct reflection of the light again.


So, it seems that the best advice for this scenario is to have a small, point light source and move either the light or the subject so that there is no direct reflection from the light to the subject and back to the camera.

Disc Golf 06/20/2009

Hole 6

We went to Brushy Creek for disc golf today. Its nice that this course is relatively unknown so far. We were the only people playing it for most of the time we were here. And yet, with such little play, people still find it in their hearts to litter all over the place. So sad. Well, my one birdie offset the sadness a little…

A cobbler is a lot like a sausage

Peach cobbler

Early summertime means metric butt-loads of peaches that I have to get rid of. And, while cutting good pieces of peaches from the bad, I realized that a cobbler is a lot like a sausage. The casing and spices of a sausage is designed to hide some possibly unpleasant meat. The end result is something quite flavorful and tasty. As long as you don’t ask what went in it.

Since I don’t spray my peaches with pesticides, I have to go through them individually and cut out the bad pieces. Which are not rotten, but homes for insect babies. So, you cover up all of the good peach pieces with a tasty cobbler topping and you have a great dessert!

Krause Springs in Spicewood, Texas

Krause Springs

I went down to Krause Springs in Spicewood, Texas this afternoon. Which is quite long ride from my house. I forgot to bring some sandals. And I was forced to walk around barefoot. Which is not recommended. The ground was really hot and sharp.

There is a spring fed swimming pool near the top of a hill which is quite cold. And is a lot of fun jumping in. You can also climb down some stairs to a big pond. The water is warmer down here. But the main problem is the real muddy and scummy river bottom. It is not much fun to walk around in. And it is hard to actually get into the water. The rocks are very slippery. You certainly do not want to look like a fool by slipping and falling in front of everyone.

Humming Birds

There is also a small butterfly garden which had an active hummingbird feeder. You had to be quite patient waiting for Mr. Hummingbird to go back to the feeder when you had scared him off by trying to take a picture of him

Disc Golf 06/13/2009

Jon in the brush

For disc golf we drove up to the Rivery.

Georgetown market place

For lunch, we at at the Monument Cafe. Where we ran into Jeff, Jill, Tim, and Mary. Afterwards, we walked a couple of blocks to Georgetown’s market fair. And took a look around. Window shopping in open air tents…