Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Sunday, March 28, 2010


A little less than two weeks ago I read this article from wired.com. I was so completely blown back by the mash-up in the inset that I spontaneously hurtled in a creative mode a la Darth Vader spinning off into space. Had it not been for Suz periodically drugging me with sleeping pills, and slipping me dinners which could be consumed through a straw while I worked, I might not be alive here to blog this. Tonight.

Readers (aka: my wife, and my mom) know that I really enjoy shooting and editing up home video into tidy vignettes which I then post on YouTube (so that the aforementioned can watch them). I have always used iMovie to make these videos. When I saw the Galactica mash-up though, I was seized with an idea, one that I knew I would have to learn Final Cut to realize.

I spent the last ten days learning Final Cut (Express) and putting together this "Sabotage" parody tribute with previously shot home video footage. There were a lot of lessons learned and I am looking forward to applying them in whatever my next Magnum Opus is. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Step Right Up

Circus! Science Under the Big Top
is currently on exhibit at the Bishop Museum in Kalihi. In the family twilight hour between when my work shift ends and when Susan's begins, we all met up at the museum and spent a quick hour enjoying the new displays.

There were actually some real no-kidding acrobatic performing rigs set up in the exhibit hall. Guests waited in line to harness up and take turns being hoisted up to the ceiling for a top-down look at circus life on the wire.

Other exhibits include hands-on learning stations and video kiosks demoing everything from the size and shape of circus animal poo (no really), to how to swallow a sword (kids, don't try this at home). Naomi crawled into a small glass box designed for the "human pretzel" performer.

I think our family's favorite part of the exhibit was a silly circus ring mock-up with costumes to try on and fake Styrofoam barbells. Imagine the mighty acts of strength that our juvenile juggernauts played out with these props! Well, you don't really have to; as you might have guessed, I got it all on video.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stepping Up

My they grow up fast. It seems only yesterday we were working on robot projects in the garage, but wait, I guess we still are!

Ben and I have been having connecting old salvage up to the new Arduino. The pin outs for the parts aren't labeled, so it takes a little guesswork and experimentation. Once we figured out we were dealing with a unipolar stepper we had to figure out the coil order, and the number of steps in the rotation. Last weekend's escapades reminded me so much of some classic footage I took of him six years ago. I put them together back to back in this clip.

Btw: Thanks to the arduino forum for cluing me in about the Darlington array.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Girls Day

Our family friend "Aunty Ceci" brought it to my attention that today is "Girls Day" in Hawaii. She posted this bulletin at my desk in her own typical fashion. With Food! Ceci brought in a large tray of pink chichidango mochi with the note "Happy Girls Day - To Sue & Naomi". Being no fool, she also placed two in a seperate wrapper on top of the gift to make sure that the gift arrived home untested.

I don't know much about Girls Day accept that it is of Japanese origin (as is.. yup, Boys Day). I've seen it come and go three times since we've been here and never thought much about it. So for both of our edification (yours and mine). Here is a little blurb I plagerized from here:

"In Japan, Girls’ Day is a thing of the past, giving way to Children’s Day on May 5 (formerly Boy’s Day). But here in Hawaii, we still like to give the girls a day all their own.

Hinamatsuri, or Girls’ Day, takes place every March 3 and is mostly celebrated by Hawaii families of Japanese and Okinawan descent. Early Japanese immigrants first brought the holiday to the Islands. ...

In Hawaii, you will find trays of hishi mochi sitting in the storefronts of Asian groceries. The diamond shaped colored rice cakes are the traditional food of Girls’ Day. Red or pink represents peach blossoms and other flowers, white signifies snow or purity and green symbolizes growth or fertility."

Thanks for the mochi Cec.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1st Sports Injury

Occasionally on days when the boys are in school the rest of us meet up for lunch at a park midway between work and home. Our daughter usually orbits about in the area between the picnic table and jungle gym equipment. While Sue and I watch, eat and catch up in the sun Naomi comes by to fuel up with just enough sandwich energy to make it another five minutes on the play equipment.

Today after we finished eating Sue and I trekked over and sat on top of the monkey bars to get a closer view of our primate. She was swinging and laughing and jumping, we were enjoying her enjoying herself. After about ten minutes, she lost her grip a little early. She came down with a plop, landing awkwardly on the back of her right heel. It really hurt her. Never having had a sports injury before she was also pretty confused, it was actually HARD for her to walk.

I lifted Naomi back up to her mom sitting on top of the bars. Above is the picture I took of Sue consoling her. She went home with Sue and took a nap, but she is still walking tenderly on it this evening.