Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Waning days of August

Well, another month is on the way out.

Have several projects on the backburner, but nothing front and center ready to go. I need to get a leg on and make things happen!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Temple at Gobekli Tepe

In Turkey, there is an empty, uninhabited region overlooked by a ridge of mountains. On a hill at the base of those mountains is a temple unique in human history.

Gobekli Tepe is a series of temples, built on top of each other over time. The oldest layer of temples is more than 11,000 years old. Do you understand how old that is?

That's not just seven thousand years older than the Pyramids. Five thousand years older than the first cities in the fertile crescent. It's a thousand years before agriculture. The builders were nomads, living off of herds and foraging.

It's before writing. So the whole thing was built by people whose knowledge had to be learned entirely in their lifetime and committed to memory. Can you imagine building a house with a group of people, when there aren't any diagrams or written instructions on length or weight? And the project took more than just your lifetimes? (Okay, maybe there were measured lengths of rope or something, but still.)

So it existed almost alone on Earth, with no large permanent human settlements. Not in the middle of a city, or even near one, or at a time when our concept of "cities" even existed. There are barely signs that people even lived at the site. It indicates humans who used it lived in nomadic villages nearby and it stood mostly empty. It was unimaginably unique at the time.

We only think it was a temple because it was full of larger-than-life statues of humans and dozens of different animals. The concept of a bigger-than-life statue indicates respect and reverence, when it was believed that humans weren't sophisticated enough at the time to see themselves as gods, or worthy of worship.

We know that Gobekli Tepe was in continuous use for more than three thousand years, and then buried. Not in an avalanche, not in a fire or storm. By hand. The entire f**king complex was buried by hand. We know from the striations of earth that it was carried in from the land around and dumped. And it wasn't destroyed first, the building was intact.

Only 5% has been excavated. It's been picked at for decades because of competing claims on archeological rights. Who knows what else is in there.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


It's a blend between Cloverfield and ET... not surprising considering it was made by JJ Abrahams and Steven Speilberg.

Not liking it...

And... the flashes arrive

So I'm back in the game!

I ordered two Yongnuo YN-460 II flashes at the start of the month and they've arrived. Tested and working, I now need to get on with it and take more photos. I know the 460's are a "cheap and nasty" type flash but they are so cheap and easy to work with.

Well, I find them easy to work with. They will pretty much only work properly in Manual mode which is fine by me, but someone who wants to use Auto or one of the Creative modes then they would struggle with manual flashes.

On the Agenda: I want to get back into writing. Not sure why nor do I have too many ideas (I keep thinking I'm creative and then proving myself wrong) but every time I listen to Writing Excuses I get the urge to write more.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Census - done and dusted

For those not in the know, Australia just had it's 5 yearly census.

This is the first year that it could be done electronically on-line, which I opted to do. Made things a little easier and the census worker (an elderly lady whom I assume was volunteering) didn't need to come back to pick up the paperwork. So we've done our bit for the cause.

For those who did the paper version or saved the electronic version before submitting it, remember that it is a $100 a day fine if you don't send it back in!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cactus V5 triggers

I received my new flash triggers! *squee!*

I bought two sets of the Cactus V5 flash triggers from Gadget Infinity. I only have one flash at the moment but I've ordered two more which are on their way giving me three flashes to play with. This'll make for a basic three-light setup.

I was testing them just now and they appear to be working properly. I was initially a little frustrated as I could get all the triggers to talk to each other (orange light on top) but couldn't get the flash to fire. Turns out (after reading the instructions) that I needed to press just a tad harder which makes the trigger lights flash green and sets off the flash. So there you go, read the instructions!

I'll probably pick up another two flashes and another set of triggers for a set of 5 flash/trigger units.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Next video clip

Hmm, this is getting harder and harder...

At the moment I am trying to get a sample video clip together, both as a shakedown of the camera in video mode and to break out the editing software. I'm being hampered on the "getting footage" side by not being able to line up dates when everything is available at once (cast, crew and location) and the editing computer is off-line.


Why is nothing ever easy? Well, I suppose if it was easy then everybody would be doing it. Well, this is where we put up or shut up. If it isn't happening then the fault must be mine because I don't want it badly enough. Time to get crakin'.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fireshot Firefox add-on DON'T USE

What a shame too, Fireshot used to be such a nice program.

What I find really annoying is that it was working fine, then the developer changed it remotely so it no longer works on my system...

Here's the skinny: Fireshot (used to be) a great program for doing screen captures. Very useful, very flexible. What it does now is demand an update, which does not work via the proper channels. It demands that you go  get an update directly from their site (http://screenshot-program.com). On their site there is a "friendly" click here to check your computer message which is a huge red flag right there!

If you are unfortunate enough to use the site's update, it buries malware so deep in your system that it is very difficult to dislodge and the program won't work - it demands payment!

Fireshot is deceptive. Fireshot is a fraud. Don't use Fireshot!

And I use this program a lot too. None of the other "screenshot" programs available as add-on's for Firefox were as good because Fireshot was the only one that I've found which was able to reliably capture flash elements on a site.