Busted

Well, it’s been a while, and not for lack of trying, since my last blog post. I had intended to post the latest in the Pa’adhe series by now. Right now it has 3,325 words but it just isn’t working right. I’ve got room for another 2K – 3K words according to my definition of short story but the story flow is rapidly heading to a dead end. I can see where it has to go, I can get there, but it’s one of the most lackluster endings ever. It’s deader than reading War and Peace for most people.

Working on it has been very frustrating. I keep trying to induce something, but the characters and events stubbornly resist my promptings. Seriously, I’m thinking of just setting this aside and going on to one of the other ideas I have and starting on that. The problem there is this story will still nag at me in the back of my mind.

So, I’m going to give it the rest of this month to get done. If it happens, great! It’ll be the first story in 2012. If it doesn’t, I’m going to set it aside and move on. I might even delete it, essentially wiping the slate clean and starting over sometime later.

Okay, that takes care of the writing update.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched a few movies.

Cowboys and Aliens was fun, but I had to watch it as “a story with the same name” since I’d read the manga. There were several elements of the manga in the movie, but nebulously. I think the manga with it’s story about conquest and resistance made far more sense than aliens greedily grubbing gold. I mean, c’mon, for reals? The treatment of the alien resistance was OK but lame, again the manga was much more realistic. Similarly how they incorporated the Indians. All in all, it was fun, had good graphics, but was really a different story than the manga.

Space Battleship Yamato was great, visually, and I loved seeing the WWII battleship design as a space battleship. It was fun seeing the fighters launched similarly to how we kick them off aircraft carriers, it even made a lot of sense. Great graphics overall and a nice storyline. Of course, anyone who watches any amount of Japanese film could predict the ending.

The Debt was an interesting study in people. Most of it was a long flashback to what really happened and the guiding storyline was about the attempt to resolve the resulting issue. The ending wasn’t bad, and leaving it hanging the way they did left for a lot of speculation. I’d rate this one as OK but not great.

Hanna was enjoyable. I really liked the contrast in what she knew and what a typical teenage girl would know. The skill set she learned was believable and her reactions when she came up against the “real” world was realistic. The overall storyline had me rooting for her and her father. There were some elements that I didn’t see coming and I always enjoy that.

That’ll do for movies.

This holiday season has also butted into my writing and programming. Christmas is definitely not my favorite holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the time with family and all that, but having to keep secret what I’ve got for my wife instead of just gifting her when I get it, the basically family reunion type dinner and white elephant get-together…well, I’ll just have to put up with them but I’m not a fan of large group gatherings. I’ll live.

“Required” holiday update, check.

Also as a result of struggling with that Pa’adhe story and the holiday stuff, my Arduino intervalometer project is at a usable stage but not completed to my satisfaction. It works, it triggers the camera properly and holds the bulb open the desired exposure time, but the timing is hard-coded and abort consists of hitting the reset button on the Arduino board. The display isn’t hooked in yet or coded for. I’ve got a small sketch written so that the Arduino is coded to work with the 20 x 4 LCD properly, but I’ve not yet included any of that in the intervalometer project.

I haven’t done any astrophotography lately even though the sky has been sharp and clear due to the low temps. I have a project for next week that I hope to do and it will be the true test of the intervalometer as well even though it may still be hard-coded instead of fully programmed with the LCD display.

I did manage to complete a photo shoot for a local band and provide them with the photos. So, it hasn’t been a complete bust on the photography front.

Photography update, complete.

One other thing I’ve been working on has been a box trailer that I can pull behind my 93 Geo Tracker. It’s heavily based on the one my Grandfather and my Dad built for the trip from Vancouver, Washington to Fairbanks, Alaska over the Alcan Highway in the 60s when Dad transferred to Alaska. Right now, I’m drafting the design from my head to digital storage. For that, I’ve been playing around with Google SketchUp. It’s kind of cool and a great way to see how everything fits together, but for the “blueprint” work, I’ll either have to get the Pro version or draw it out in Gimp. I may be able to do the whole thing in SketchUp as it does have a print capability and the ability to design it in 3D and rotate it all around to see how it looks is really nice. I can add notes and stuff, so we’ll see. Construction is planned to start late March, early April 2012.

This is the last planned blog post for the year 2011. See you in 2012!

I wish you the best for your appropriate holidays and best wishes for the coming New Year!

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