Sunday, 31 January 2010

Day 031 (31.01.10)

Dag énogtredive. Yes, 31. I love that, as well as the classic Scandinavian Æ, Å and Ø, Danish has É. It's almost as it it was an afterthought; something they threw in just for the word 'én'. So, onto today. What has happened today? It was sunday. That's right. Sunday. Sun. Day. Day of sun. Son? "What?" It's your day. "Thanks dad." No problem.

OK, enough craziness! You may remember that yesterday I uploaded my semi-meh Vic Viper onto Flickr, and it's got an amazing total of 3 comments [sarcasm]! But luckily I'm not in such a bad mood because I also upload the second JOHN Collection to MOCpages, and that gave me 14 emails full of comments, ratings and Favourite Builder stuff. So, naturally, I'm quite happy with that. It's got 7 smiley face things on MOCpages, which means it annoyingly isn't one of my top three that show up on the sidebar of my MOCpages homepage. For some reason my first ever proper MOC, the Baumrunner, is at #3. I hate that it is - I really hate that MOC. Why should the Volvo Amazon not be there? Or any of the JOHN Collection installments? Damn MOCpages. People are so screwed up there. How has some Clone Wars shit got 35 smilies, whilst the JOHN Collection has got 7? Stupid clonetards.

Now, I'll leave you on a lighter note. A funnier note. A funnier video. A funny video. And here it is: the whole of James Cameron's Avatar in 60 fun-packed 3D seconds. I had no idea you could watch 3D on YouTube - I have 3D glasses but they don't seem to work, and if you don't then just click 'Left Image' or 'Right Image' for a plain video. If you do have 3D glasses, then watch it in 3D! I'm sure it's worth it!




~John

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Day 030 (30.01.10)

Dag tredive. So that's thirty. I can't believe I had to look that up... as sad as it may be, my Danish skills are low. So what have I done today? Well, nothing too big. A new upload to Flickr (see below), a bit o' this, and bit o' that... maths homework (the reason why when anyone says 'sign' I think of it as 'sine'), going out with my friends. The usual Saturday stuff.

Well dang, what a dull day. But luckily here's a Flickr upload to break the boring-ness. It's a Vic Viper that I built way back in NoVVember, and I never liked the look of it. The body was good; it was the front wings that I didn't like. They always looked too sindly and I could never find any way to but bulk on the inside edges. Also, I had to resort to light bley for the guns, and that completely ruined my colour scheme. Dark red and sand blue is a winning formula, it seems, but light bley just blends with the sand blue, and it's a bit wishy-washy.

And that's the story of how this MOC was a meh and never made it online. So, why now? Well I was going through my pics and 'shopping them - I get very bored sometimes - and I saw the bad pictures I have of this MOC. I thought "hey, what the heck" and 'shopped it. In my opinion, the 'shopping makes it look much better. And then I start to admire the finer parts of the VV - the cockpit integration, the back wing integration... so it's not a complete meh after all.





~John

Friday, 29 January 2010

Day 029 (29.01.10)

Dag ni-og-tyve. Nine and twenty, guys. Hmmm... it seems the domain www.aenetwork.net is free. Maybe I should buy it... at £19 for two years, It's a good deal. But is my dream of the mythical 'Æ Network' - a blog network of 8 blogs - just too complicated to carry out? Probably. Maybe I'll try once I've got a better grip of HTML (CSS is no problem), and I find some people to actually blog the stuff I've designed the blogs for. Maybe I should design the new blog, then find a similar blog and 'buy them out'. That is, I suggest that my well-designed blog is better and that all their staff and posts migrate there.

Anyway, enough Æ Network daydreaming. I've been developing Brickspace more this evening - just a little bit of this, little bit of that... and a complete design overhaul. "Why so?" you ask. Well, a few weeks ago, after Brickspace's banners went offline for the second time (Grrr), Luke - my 'second-in-command' - basically said that he was out of Brickspace. He'd gone into that "Lego is just a toy, why are you still playing with it John?" phase. OK, I guess I could cope with that.

Sure, it would be good to always have a second person to double-check any decisions I make, but I guess I can now go on without another admin. And so, in spite of Luke's exit, I have decided to do the one thing he never wanted me to do when he was an acting admin: redesign the site. Sure, not massively: it's not a total graphic identity upheaval, just a little change of pace. My main problem was that the snowflake background is still up from Christmas, but it needs to come down on the 1st Feb at the latest. So I needed a new background - because of our new yellow footer, we can't still have a blank background. And that's when I started researching ornate vectors. Then when I came up with the design for the top of the footer (see any Brickspace page), and it began from there. Of course, there's still a lot more work to do: I'm certainly not happy with the background. If you can spare some time, valued JOHNSPACE readers, please see Brickspace Beta - a 'test Brickspace' - for the current background and inter-post graphics. All advice, even if it's criticism, is very much needed. Thanks!




~John

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Day 028 (28.01.10)

Dag otte-og-tyve. Yep, 28. It's nearing the end of the month. And you know what that means? Albums will be released. No, not photo albums - music albums. Yes, I admit, I listen to music like normal people do. My taste in music is pretty much all over the place, so I can't pin it down by saying 'pop' or 'rock' or 'R&B'. I've recently discovered [through ANR] a Danish singer called Nabiha. Though she may sing in African, English, and Spanish, she is from Copenhagen in good ol' Danmark.


Anyway, here is the [very] odd video for her first song, Deep Sleep. Just ignore the strange zooms etc. Maybe switch tabs and do something else instead whilst listening to the song. Then there's her other great song, The Enemy, which is part of her album which will be released tomorrow! So now you're thinking "OK John, you'll be wasting another £6.99 on iTunes", but I won't. Why not? Because the album is ONLY AVAILABLE IN DENMARK. I am very angry. I may just throttle someone. Not even the Deep Sleep single is on UK iTunes. It's a good song, why not here? And apparently Nabiha's agent is based in London, too. So yah, I'm annoyed. Luckily I 'legally' downloaded Deep Sleep so I have it on my purple iPod Nano (yeah I'm showing off what iPod I've got. Luckily I'm not such a n00b as to know what generation it is).

Anyway, onto non-Danish things. Oh, one more: Nabiha is touring the Danish radio stations. I don't know when she'll get to ANR, or if she already has. But hey, enough of that. It looks like my week is improving... no homework to do this evening, so I got down to some Brickspace work, namely updating the post banners which Luke screwed up. All of them went offline for the second time a few weeks ago, and so now I have the fun job of updating the banners on every one of Brickspace's 600 posts. Yippee.




~John

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Day 027 (27.01.10)

Dag Syv-og-tyve. Yeah, I'm starting my posts in Dansk now. It should give me at least some practice with numbers. And you just wait 'till I get to all that halfjerds and half-fems stuff. Then I'll get confused. Luckily today was a better day than monday and tuesday, so I'm in a better mood. Not so much homework today either, which is always a good thing.



Guess what? "What?" The 'iSlate' is here! Ha ha, it's not the 'iSlate' any more. This, my friends, is the iPad. Newly released from Apple just today (I have been waiting for this news all day), the iPad has been called [by Steve Jobs] 'a whole new device'. It's like a notebook laptop, but not a laptop. And not an iPhone either! It's the in-between of the Macbook and the iPhone, the cross between the iPhone OS and Mac OS. And it's freakin' awesome. Only $400, too. Unfortunately it's not available to buy at the moment because of some strange regulations mistake Apple made. But hey, at least we can see it!

OK, on to my quest to find typographical posters. Luckily, none other than SIMON C. PAGE emailed me about his posters because he found my blog (or some other coincidence) about possible posters he was going to make available to purchase online. At an expected $17, I most certainly did not turn down his suggestion! Hopefully he'll get those available sometime soon. I'm still faltering over buying the slotted pencil (see previous post), though...




~John

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Day 026 (26.01.10)

Day seks-og-tyve. That's 26 to you English peoples. Anyway, enough dilly-dallying. What have I been up to today? Homework. Lots of it, as well. Art. IT. Maths. Geography. And who knows what other pieces I've forgotten? Probably something big. Something important. I've just had a couple of bad days (that problem with the JRC doesn't help either), so I'm not in the best of moods. Having to do this 365 post doesn't really brighten up my evening, to tell the truth.

So anyway, I'm looking for prints. I originally thought I'd get some of Simon C. Page's stuff, but he only has is International Year of Astronomy posters available, and they're on some American site. Then I thought I'd get Syd Mead prints, but they don't seem to be available and besides, it's not really what I'm looking for. What I am looking for is typographical stuff: nothing too gothic or punk; just something simple and typographical. Maybe some graphic design stuff, but my main aim is to get some typography posters up in my bedroom. It's just very hard to find some that is available in the UK and that fits my idea of a 'simple yet elegant' type-based poster design.


In other news, I want a pencil. No, not any pencil, this pencil by Present&Correct. It may look strange, but it's a fantastic idea. Why not have a pencil with a clip in it, like a pen? No wonder it's called the Clever Pencil. Unfortunately it costs £4.50... but it's a London-based company. And, better still, they use Rockwell [font] on their website! Maybe I should invest in a couple of these pencils...





~John

Monday, 25 January 2010

Day 025 (25.01.10)

Day twenny-five. Like, one after 24 and one before 26. Or somewhere around that area. OK, time for some photography stuff. Just recently, as I'm sure I have mentioned, my dad got a new digital camera and so I 'inherited' his old Canon 20D - hoorah. It's quite a lot different to use from my old (dare I say 'not as professional') Canon Powershot G9 - I hate that you have to balance out aperture and shutter speed (is it that? Ach, it gets confusing), or else your picture will come out dark. It's very annoying, but I have to tell myself that it means I have a lot more control over how the image comes out.

At the moment I'm still not sure about what each f/stop does, and whether a wider aperture means a larger DOF, or yada yada yada... it is really confusing. And don't even get me started on ISO - it stands for 'International Standards Organisation', I think. How the heck does that help me remember what it does? And, even worse, on an old film camera my dad has [and that I am also hoping to use], it's called ASA instead! The film camera also has another dial for shutter speed - Tv. So there's the ASA dial for 'pushing the film', so if your film is 400 (whatever that means), you could 'push it' to 800 and that will do something special. Apparently.

So yeah, that's three cameras I have access to. But wait, there's more: there's a fourth camera that my dad (yes he does have a lot of cameras. Thanks for working that out) has had for ages. It's probably my favourite of the bunch just because it's so classically old and I can't wait to use it and see what sort of pictures it takes. It's an old box-camera, a Lomography camera. Some Russian make. It has a pop-up box thing on the top and you need to look down into it. It has two lenses: one for the viewpiece and one for teh film. Oh yeah, it takes 60mm square film, too. Apparently now it's called '120 film', for some reason. Luckily it's still available on the internet, on Amazon as well! So it looks like I will be buying a lot of that... my only problem is where to get it developed. That's a problem for another day.





~John

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Day 024 (24.01.10)

Okey dokey, day 24. Like, half of 48. Double 12. Didn't I say something when it was day 12? I'm sure I muttered something about it being a dozen days, that sounds like something I'd do. So - today was a momentous occasion: I started building my Jolly Rodger Contest entry! I had to take apart my Townhouse (see previous post) for the dark bley bricks in the base, but I'd photographed it and I needed to shift it. It sucked most of my tan, light bley and dark bley bricks bricks anyway. I needed to tear into it.

So, the JRC entry. It's going badly. Seriously badly. My idea is an island with a house on it (I'm keeping it vague so you wippersnappers don't steal my ideas), and I was 'rockscaping' with dark bley on the island. It's tough work, let me say. I can't help it looking blocky, and I don't have enough slopes to do the whole thing with slopes. Luckily the water looks nice, and it is starting to look like an island, of sorts. It has a huge hole in the middle of it, which was a very bad idea of mine. I now realise I should have made it solid, because I am building into the centre with the dark bley and it's becoming very unstable. I have a bad feeling... I'm going to have to succumb to it...

That's right. I'm going to have to order from BL again. Dammit. I just spent £50 on bricks a few weeks ago, but the store I ordered from (and have ordered from for all my 4 orders so far) doesn't have any light bley bricks or slopes! So it looks like I'm going to have to look further afield and buy from a US BL store, which I don't like. But I need the light bley... and blue tiles, for that matter. I have enough money, but do I really want to spend more of it on BL? They say 'no pain, no gain' and I think the pain of not being able to buy an Apple Magic Mouse because I spent the money on BL had better give me gain, or else I give up. I've never built Pirate stuff anyway. What was I thinking??



~John

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Day 023 (23.01.10)

Aw shite. I nearly forgot this. For the first time so far in this project, I actually forgot this and have been out today and that's the reason why. For that reason, I think this post deserves a swear word. I usually wouldn't swear (or use smilies - luckily I haven't done that yet), but this is a 'momentous' occasion and it merits swearing.

So where've I been? Meh. Here and there. I go to a drama group thingy then I go hang out with my friends afterwards. This was the one thing I knew would mess this 365 project up, and I guess it did. Not that I don't like having a life (heh heh), but it really messes up my day, and my usual timetable of posting at about 8:30. I just don't notice 8:30 going by. I think it should be later. It isn't.


Anyway, let's put that to one side. I've put something else on my Flickr (woah). It's my long-awaited Townhouse MOC. It's been sitting on my shelf for months and months and it finally made it here. The big problem was that it took so long to find time to photograph it: it's much bigger than my usual stuff, so I had to amend my background setup to fit it in. This had to go through some tough 'shopping, but it's come out really nicely. I always find MOCs looker nicer when they're 'shopped onto a white background. Yay.




~John

Friday, 22 January 2010

Day 022 (22.01.10)

Well well well, day 22. A friday. Finally, my long and strenuous week has ended. No more coursework! Well, actually, that was a lie. I have loads more - the need to do it is just not as urgent as before. Some parts were handed in today, but more still remain to be done. Damn this education system. At least it's getting me good qualifications. If it weren't for that, the whole 'learning new stuff' thing, and that other kind of important 'meeting other people' thingy. So yeah, I guess the qualifications are the least of my worries.


Eh, wossat? New stuff on Flickr? Well, one new picture, yes. These are the rejects from the second JOHN Collection catalogue. The top is a tablescrap table (heh) that I just threw together in 2 minutes ages ago. I've kept it since because, to me, it looks quite artistic. Something modern. That is, modern art, not modern design. Modern art takes a bit more open-mindedness. The red chair is, as I said, a chair. Not a toilet. It just ended up looking like that. Oh, and bottom right is my homage to Karf Oolhu, master of froggies. It's a frog-scaled chair. Tee hee.

I've just started watching Danny Boyle's Sunshine. There's been a Danny Boyle season on Film4, a British film  TV channel. I saw Slumdog Millionaire - very good, if a bit graphic - and I also saw Boyle's first big film, Millions. I'm not really very sure about it - it was very surreal, and yet it tried to tell a serious story about greed and money and being a saint. How can it keep a serious moral when it's set in such outrageously fictitious backgrounds? The point is, the film never realised that it was being surreal. Rather, it presented it all as if we should think seeing dead saints, or TV campaigns about changing over to the Euro, is completely normal. So that wasn't a very good film. Luckily Sunshine is looking to be better (not only because it is sci-fi), but that part when the flashlights cross the frame and people's faces flash up freaking the sh*t out of me. Luckily IMDB explained why it was there. Thank goodness for that.


~John

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Day 021 (21.01.10)

Damn all this coursework. Day in, day out, I'm doing it. Damn it doubly. Triply, even. It deserves that. I've just got a bit of time now to write this, but for the past few nights it's been pretty much non-stop coursework. Mainly IT. Luckily I'm finishing my GCSE in the summer, so there's not much left really. Still - I'm doing it now, so I'm annoyed now. You can't blame me.

Right, a new stage in this 365. First 20 over; second 20 here I come. I'm going to stop being so sentimental: I realise I went a bit OTT so now I'm going to calm down. Not too far down, mind: only enough to stop myself mentioning that damn animation. Anyway, in other topics: I really like this blog. No, not its content - I'm still working on improving that - but its design. Sure, the banner was something I botched together in 5 minutes, but the background took longer. See that smooth line where the banner matches up to the background? That took a couple of hours. "How come?" you ask... well, you'd think that I could just make the dark teal sections the same height. It would match up, right? "Right!". Well, no. "Uh..." For some reason, they wouldn't match up, so I had to change the document, upload it to Flickr, put it in the template, see what it looked like, and start all over again. Painstaking work. For that at least I'm thankful that I've got Flickr Pro.

So, teal is the way to go. You may be thinking "teal? Teal!? That's just a silly name for turquoise!". Well, uh, no. Teal is paler and darker than turquoise. After I designed this blog with the teal, I found out that it was named 'colour of the year 2009' by Pantone (the company that make those markers). Aside from the whole "WTF colour of the year" thing, I'm quite proud I'm using teal. Just please know that I chose teal before I knew about Pantone. So there.



~John

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Day 020 (20.01.10)

Hey, I posted on Brickspace. Wow, that must have taken some effort, John. Why yes, it did, and even though I had (have) loads of coursework to do, I managed anyway. I couldn't resist it when I saw some pictures of the new MUJI+Lego sets. They look so awesome. It's a shame they'll probably never come to the UK. The US, maybe - Design Milk mentioned something about that - but never the UK. It's annoying because I want the hole punch, which punches Lego stud-sized holes. Who wouldn't?

Anyway, onto different things. I thought I might keep away from Newgrounds today as I'd probably just watch that Tongue-tied animation another five times. It's just so sweet, I can't help myself. Anyway, enough sentimentality. We're at Day 20, captain. Report, officer. There's been a few close calls but nothing too big, captain. Good work, officer. No problem, captain, it was all John's doing really. And it was my doing (yes, we're out of that strange conversation now). I've only told two or three people about this project, and none of them have enquired about it after I started. So the motivation to do this has been all from me.

Yay, the warm feeling's back. And not just because I am watching that animation again (DAMMIT), but because I'm proud of myself. I'll pat myself on the back in a minute. No, scratch that, that's too much. It's only twenty days. You'll need another 16 days before you're even a tenth of the way through this damn project. Oh, let's have a resolution for the next 20 days: use more italics and bold. Add more character into these posts. Anyway, here's to another 20 days! *wine glass chink*


~John

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Day 019 (19.01.10)

Enough of this! I've got a 365 post to write. Once again, I was engrossed in a Newgrounds animation and completely forgot about writing this. Again. Yes, I know, this is always my excuse, but it's true? I have short term memory loss! I have short term memory loss! Whaddya mean I already wrote that? Oh... er... yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Shut up - I haven't written 'yeah' yet. /checks back. Dammit!

OK, enough stupid memory loss jokes. What was a I watching on Newgrounds? Well, there's a great short series called Cyanide and Happiness. It's animated really well, and there are also some good sound effects which always adds to the effect. For example, this is one episode called Waiting for the Bus. Then there's their latest one, called Beer Run. Luckily it's at the longer and of what they usually do, and they usually make quite short animations so that's a good thing. Unfortunately their shorts always end in violence - which, after the story in Beer Run, is the expected ending, so that's OK. But in Waiting for teh Bus? Maybe I'm just too sentimental, but I was hoping for him to wake up at the end, and it's all been a daydream he had been having after the bus passed his bus stop by. That would have added another layer to it. And they could have kept the exploding bus at the end.

I've watched some other stuff as well. Most importantly, this quite well-made animated music video of the song "A letter from God". What's this? John's watching Christian propaganda? No, not quite. It's just an interesting song about humans and God and society and culture and terrorism and other important stuff. The animation itself isn't top-class, but the song is. Let's hope it's on iTunes sometime in the near future. Oh , and I accidentally clicked on this Christmas-y animation on the Newgrounds homepage. For some reason, I really like it. I'm sentimental like that. I watched it twice now. Don't watch it if you puke at romantic/sentimental stuff easily.




~John

Monday, 18 January 2010

Day 018 (18.01.10)

Well well, what have we here? Day 18, huh? Well, glad you turned up. Finally. I mean, jeez, you sure took your time. What's so special about Day 18, anyways? Nothing. Really - it's quite a dull day, to be honest. Just over halfway through my first month with this project, and I'm doing swell. Sure, I have had some close calls. Very close. But I've made it so far. What's to say I won't make it to the end of the month? Or beyond... two months? Three? Four? Twelve? It's certainly great to think that I could carry on with a project, every day, for a year. I'd love it if I could. It would be one of those personal successes, like a triumph over myself: my laziness, my utter failure at carrying out a large project.

Yes, I've had a bad history of finishing large projects. By which I mean I've never finished them. In fact, the last few years have been the worst for me. Christmas 2008, I started making a Brickfilm The Night Before Christmas. I never finished it. I had several scenes shot as well. I've never done a Brickfilm since - it's affected me so much.

I used to write a lot, too. Unfortunately I had stories of full novels I wanted to write, so I never got to the end of any of them. It's like my ideas for films: I seem only capable of thinking up ideas for feature-length films rather than short films. Dammit.




~John

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Day 017 (17.01.10)

Once again, I've left this to the last moment. Not as much as last night, I admit, but still late. Late means I have less time. Less time means I can't write as much. It also means my quality goes [imitates plane flying down and crashing]. You get what I mean.

Why so late last night? Well, I was watching Ocean's Twelve, a  stylistic spy film from Steven Soderbergh. It was really good - if a bit confusing and hard to follow at times. I loved the style of it: they introduced Amsterdam by having a succession of shots of the city with a letter from Amsterdam on top. The sort of thing you'd see in an amateur movie, not a feature film. Good stuff.

Sorry, I didn't do any Face graphics today. I did say yesterday that I wouldn't be able to get it all done by the end of the weekend, so luckily I was right and now I have an excuse. Luckily - and quite surprisingly - however, my BL order came! Apparently there was a long backlog of packages so they had to deliver through Sunday as well. Dang, now I have the bricks I have to build. I'm not ready for this! Argh! I can't build in such large scale! I can't build Pirate stuff! I don't have enough light bley slopes! PANIC!




~John

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Day 016 (16.01.10)

Ouch. My toe just got zapped by my computer's cable adaptor box thing. Youch, youch, youch. And now I've just zapped my wrist on my computer itself. It's like all technology is out to get me. I'll be dead by next tuesday, you just wait. It'll be on the news: "teenager killed by fuse" or whatever. I'm a public enemy, I am. Everyone wants to kill me. In a way, I feel special. That makes me feel warm inside. People are paying attention to me. Sure, they may not like me, but they've noticed me, right? Then again, the warm feeling may be because I'm leaning against a radiator.

Nah, I'mma just kidding with ya. No one wants to kill me. Well, no one I know of, at least. I'm not listening to ANR now, as you may have thought. I've decided to go on an ANR-listening strike after I found that Facebook group. I want new songs, or they're not going to get the honour of my listening to their station. So there. NAW I AM ANGREE JOHN HEAR ME RAWR



Yes, I'm continuing with my ambiguous face project. I may have got a bit distracted from the 'emotional exploration' concept behind it - now it's become more of an exploration of how I use the face. I must admit I didn't do much today, graphics wise. So I made this static-like one (TV static - notice the fields?) and a stupid little scene, and another I call 'Alone'. You can probably guess what that consists of.



~John

ps. Wow, only 10 minutes to go and then it will be tomorrow! Talk about cutting it fine...

Friday, 15 January 2010

Day 015 (15.01.10)

Whoops, I almost forgot about this post altogether. I was just looking at some awesome designs, I check my computer's clock and it's 21:00! Yeesh, time to get on with this project. I've done 14 posts already, I'm not giving up now. Right, to business. A few nights ago I found, through Design Milk's sister blog Art Milk, a bloke named Viktor Timofeev. I love his stuff. Really, L O V E it.


See - here's one of his pieces. This is probably one of his most distinctive, it's a style he's only recently adopted (only in his 2010 gallery). As you can see, he's a master at drawing in perspective (no isometric paper for him!), and he's got a crazy all-over-the-place style that is what "bit o' this, bit o' that" would look like in graphical form. He also does a lot of work with patterns: earlier, with letters, then simple checked patterns, now complicated tiled patterns. All, of course, done in perfect perspective. So much so that you can't find a single fault in his drawings. Sure, some of them aren't as good as others - his typographical work is a bit dull and monotonous at times. His newer stuff is much better. For some reason, he has done several pieces of rubbish skips stacked on top of each other, sometime on their sides to create rooms like open-fronted houses. You know what they say - inspiration comes from the weirdest of places.

Now for a bit of my graphic design - not inspired by Timofeev, though. I don't think I could ever replicate his level of craziness and perfect perspective drawing. I was messing around in Fireworks when I came across the basic smiley face character - part of many fonts. I thought "hey, this is a basic image. It's so basic it's even part of a font, next to letters and numbers". So can I turn a basic image on its head and change its emotional message just by image manipulation? It's a project I'm going to be trying over the weekend. I've decided to use the ambiguous neutral-emotion face instead, that way it will be easier to change the emotion I'm trying to get across. This 'slice' image is just me playing about. More serious stuff tomorrow.



~John

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Day 014 (14.01.10)

First off, apologies for yesterday's entry - I ran out of time to write it, so I had to quickly finish it off with some French and a crappy graphic to make it look better. I'll explain that all now: the graphic was indeed for an English projét (project), a little presentation I'm doing, persuading some old people to go to Bath on holiday. Of course, I couldn't use one of the templates, could I? No, not at all. So I've made my own slide template, just for No Worries™ Travel agents, with the logo and a catchy catchphrase ( 'finding you perfect holidays since last June'). Because a bit of humour never hurt anyone, and it helps to relax the audience (or old people, if the imaginary context is to be believed). Yuh-huh. I think about my presentations. I would've done my whole 'brainstorming what design to use and why and how it relates to the company and intended use' thing, but I simply didn't have time and didn't like the company itself that much.

So now, back to today. It rained. Well, it technically rained last night. After so much snow, it rained last night and mildly all through today, making all the snow either mush or ice, neither of which are good in the slightest. So it rained. It drizzled. Miserably. It was almost as if it was sighing, saying 'I can't be bothered to snow, but I should do something, so here's some miserizzle' (cross between miserable and drizzle). Sigh.

So, I've just discoeverd that Bionicle's replacements, not Bionicle Stars or Ben 10, are called Hero Factory. And - guess what - they've got proper names. They're called Natalie, Duncan, Preston, and Mark. No, I'm not joking. That is utterly hilarious.



~John

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Day 013 (13.01.10)

Day 13... Ooh, unlucky. I guess that's why I had such a bad day, then. Yeesh. So what's so bad? I know you want to know. Well, it snowed a lot. I usually like the snow, but it seems like every other school was closed in my area whilst my school decided to stake out through the snow. You can't blame them, really - we got two days off school just because they needed to find and lay out grit, and now they've got it there they don't want to sacrifice a day of school. But half a day? That's what most other schools did. But no, oh no, my school was open all day. Wahoo (sarcasm).

I think I've mentioned before my idea for a sarcasm HTML tag: and . Maybe it could have attributes? . In fact, I'd probably shorten it to so it's easier to write. The only problem is that I can't use it on Flickr, where I primarily intended to use it, because Flickr thinks it's a proper HTML tag and hides it. Luckily it doesn't know what to do with it, so nothing changes because of it being there. It's just invisible.


Qu'est-ce que c'est? Un petit graphique? Oui, c'est ça. C'est pour mon projet Anglais, pour l'école. C'est un logo (or whatever the noun is). Alors, au revoir!


~John

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Day 012 (12.01.10)

Day twelve. A dozen. Day dozen? Twelfth day. Twelfth night. Dag tolv. La douzième jour. Tag whatever. I seem to have completely forgotten my one year of German lessons. I even had to look up day, and I couldn't bring myself to look up twelve. It will come to me eventually, but the knowledge isn't right there as it used to be. Damn my learning Danish, it's wiped all my German. Danish is actually very close to German, just as Denmark as close to Germany (or Tyskland, as it is in Dansk).

So what's new today? Hvad er nye i dag? Wait wait, that can't be the right word order. Maybe it's 'i dag, hvad er nye?'. In fact, it may not even be 'nye'. Jeez, I really have no idea. So, today. I went back to school. Yes, I know, sad. Very sad. I'm pretty sure my holiday is now officially over, unless it 'snows' tonight. By which I mean, the MET Office will forecast what they call snow, but what turns out to be light sleet. Yeuch - sleet. It's kinda like snow, and it gets you all excited because it starts off looking like snow, then it doesn't settle and it feels like rain when it falls on you. Basically, it tricks you, knowing your weakness and love for snow. I bet it sleets all the time in hell. I bet Satan likes it that way. Not the he necessarily exists or anything...

Oooh, final paragraph. I'd better get it said now rather than never, rite? Amirite? Yes, thasrite. Unfortunately, today was a very boring (well, maybe not boring, but eventless) day, and so that's why the previous paragraphs are just my usual 'improv-writing', so they mean absolutely nothing at all. This can also be accredited to the fact I nearly forgot about writing this (yes, again) - my internet was down until just recently, so I thought I would have to just say 'ah well' and forgo it for today. But the internet came back up, and so I wrote this. Heh, this paragraph was pretty meaningless too. I need to think about it this way: at least I've written my 3 paragraphs for today instead of nothing. Now I am content.



~John

Monday, 11 January 2010

Day 011 (11.01.10)

Gee, I feel sad at the moment. Maybe it's because I'm going back to school tomorrow (after a five-day weekend), and I'm listening to Elton John's 'Your Song'. Though to be honest, 'Knights in White Satin' does it for me as well, sometimes. What's that - I'm listening to music that isn't from ANR? Yes, yes I am. I finally gave up with ANR after Allan Reichstein came on with his Aften show. I hate him. I hate him more than I hate Søren and his Den Bedste Til show. Skovmand and Bue FTW. Also, I found a Facebook group (wow, I was on Facebook?) saying 'we want NEW songs on the 'new' ANR!', so I joined it. It's hilarious, there's all the Danish members: Søren Sørensen, Jan Christansen, Line Madsen, then there's me, with my silly English name. Ha ha. I also joined the Denmark page. Yay?

Anyway, enough obsessions with Denmark (ooh, one final thing: the people in the slideshow banner on the ANR homepage are actually part of the ANR group on Facebook. I found most of them. I should add them as a friend and see what happens!). I've lost track of what day it is now, though my computer faithfully reminds me it's Monday. I hoped to do three things today: receive my BL order, go out and buy some 35mm film, and start building my Tetra Vaal diorama (coming soon...). I managed to do... er... none of them. The BL order didn't show up (bloody Swedes. No, it's not coming from Sweden. I just felt like saying that), I was too lazy to go out in the cold and buy film. The people in the camera shop would probably be so surprised they'd collapse. Buying film? Wossat then? We only sell SD cards, sir. Yeah well screw you. So what if I buy film? So what if I've never photographed in film before? I wanna try.

Oh yeah, and I didn't do my diorama. Mainly because I didn't get my BL order and I felt like I couldn't do it without that. Basically, I wimped out. But the problem is thus: I need to get this diorama done quickly so I can get on with my entries for the Jolly Rodger Contest (which ends in March, but I need to do 6 entries to be considered for the grand prize), but some parts would be better off with parts coming in my BL order. But - here's the hitch - once my BL order comes I'm pretty much ready to start building my Jolly Rodger Contest entries. I can't build both at the same time - I'd run out of pieces! Argh! Panic!


~John

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Day 010 (10.01.10)

Day 10! We're in double figures now. We'll never be in single figures again. Er - yay? It's only another 90 days until we get into triple figures! Oh sweet joy! But anyway, enough obsessing. I'm meant to be enjoying this, remember? So let's take the usual route and work out what I did today. I went out for the first time in four days (I'm still ill, remember), which was a relief. I'm feeling much better because of it, and since I've got tomorrow off as well (my school is still closed - now they've found some grit they're laying it down) I'm going to go out and buy some film. More on that later.


Anyway, I always know I'm getting better when I'm designing something. I know I'm fully healthy when I'm building, but sadly I haven't been able to build yet (though I've got lots of ideas). So here's my fix of graphic design for the day: a card cover used on towels in a hotel. It's a fake hotel in Copenhagen (København) called 'Østegaard' (it's a proper Danish surname, I think). The idea is that the card wraps round and in the towel (one towel per sheet like the one above) and then links up at the ends. You can see exactly how it works in the diagram at the bottom. More on DA here.

Anyway, I should probably start to stop now. This is definately the latest I've posted here and I'm even going to cheat (slightly) by using this tiny paragraph as one of my three for today. Hah. I laugh in your faces.



~John

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Day 009 (09.01.10)

Well well, it's the weekend. Strangely enough, it doesn't feel any different to me. Anyways, I haven't been up to much but I did manage to post on Brickspace and also get down to some prapr Fireworks use. Jeez, it crashed on me twice so I had to change my image size from 2200x3400 to 2000x2000 and reduce my resolution from 300 dpi to a measly 200. The graphic got done anyway, which I guess is good since it's the end result. I should really have used Photoshop, but Fireworks is much easier to use for graphics and I can use it quicker. No wonder they call it a cross between Photoshop and Illustrator.

So, it's intended to be a person's eyesight. See the RGB filters in the background? And the 'floaters' and blind spots? Well yeah, that's what it's supposed to be. Fireworks crashed twice trying to put a Gaussian blur on the big circles in the background, it was really annoying. The only real problem I have with this graphic is that lots of people may not 'get it' - then again, I don't really care. Remove the text and you lose the focus of it - I don't do abstract 'less is more' stuff. It's just bullcrap.

This video, my friends and readers, is just amazing. It does start off slow, and yes I know that - even for me - 12 minutes is a bit too long to be sitting around watching dollies of architecture. But please, stick with it, and if you have to skip to halfway and watch it from there. It's fantastic. But is it CGI? Is it real? It can't be! No, it must! Your brain will literally tear itself apart. Then, once you've found out and you need some proof, see this.


~John

Friday, 8 January 2010

Day 008 (08.01.10)

And week two begins. Dammit, I should stop counting the days - this is meant to be fun. Grr, I just can't stop myself sometimes. Anyway, I got the day off school today - as I mentioned yesterday, my school ran out of grit. Hopefully they will be unable to find more grit (as they have to apply to the council for it, or some dumb thing like that) and so I'll get monday off too. So let's hope that happens. It's odd to think that I was at school this week for a grand total of two days. I'm still in the holidays, really.

So what did I do today? Well, I had ordered Duplicity from LoveFilm and it arrived a few days ago, so I got a chance to watch that. It's a very good film - it's got a great style to it, and I like the several-frames sequences. Don't judge it on its opening sequence - it gets much better later on, especially in the final scenes. Paul Giamatti's in it. He just acts in his usual way. That reminds me, I must see Cold Souls sometime.

After that, I went on my computer for a while - only to find that my internet had crashed. So, what was I to do? I couldn't do my usual, and browse Flickr whilst listening to ANR. I was stuck without either, and I had to just rearrange my Pictures folder whilst listening to the crappy music I bought off iTunes when I was younger (I had an awful taste in music, and I'd just buy whatever song I heard and tiny part of and kind of liked. Now I've discovered Spotify, and try-before-you-buy). So, in a way, I got that done, and I also sorted out my Flash files (which have got very out of hand of late). Luckily the internet's back now, and what did I return to? Well, there were no new uploads from my contacts on Flickr, so I carried on browsing in circles like I usually do, and ANR were on their 'crappy old music' hour. Yeesh.


~John

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Day 007 (07.01.10)

Well howdy, there - and welcome to day 7. That's right, folks, this 365 project has now been running for a whole week! I can't say I'm surprised it's lasted this long - I would be surprised if I was still going strong with this thing after a whole month. I'd be doubly surprised after two months - but that's the future, and there's nothing we can do about the future except try to make it come true. Hence, I'm here continuing with this project.

Ah yes, I firgot to tell you: I follow a blog called Filmonic, As the name suggests, they're a film blog, and they blog the latest film trailers, along with film news and reviews. Just a few days ago they announced they were looking for new staff, and invited readers to apply to become a blogger with them. So, since I was a bit more brave than I usually am that day, I applied. Unfortunately I won't know whether I've got in until next friday, and there are currently 30 applications, and by next friday who knows how many more there will be! Alas, I probably won't make it. I said in my email that I wouldn't be able to post news (Filmonic is the only film blog I follow, so I never get 'breaking news' before it's on Filmonic), so that's going to put me down on the list of applicants... nonetheless, I can hope for the best.

It snowed again last night - the same 'heavy' snow there was the night before, ie. very little. Mainly, it froze over and that now means that the snow we got before is now here to stay for at least another week. I was off school today, but only because I was ill - they were running school as usual, darn them. Luckily, school is closed both tomorrow and, apparently, monday too, because they've run out of grit for the snow and it's going to take a while to order some more because of... well, the snow! So that's +2 happy points for mea, at least.


~John

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Day 006 (06.01.10)

Well, here we are, day 6. So, what happened today? Well, it snowed. Technically, it snowed last night, but I'm guessing it snowed into the early morning as well (I can't say for certain - I was asleep of course), so that counts as today. I woke up, expecting a day off school and lots of time for building or actually going out and snowballing someone (which didn't end very well last time it snowed, but I can hope for the best this time)... and what did I get? After another 'severe weather warning' from the MET Office, only 4 centimetres of snow graced our holy ground with its prescence. FIVE CENTIMETRES!

So, there I was, on a day with snow and several wimpy schools closed for the day (and probably tomorrow too), going to school. Other schoolkids were on the bus, all in their own clothes, with speckled-white backs from several well-aimed snowballs, and then there was me and my friends, in our school uniforms, looking decidedly downtrodden. How's that for fair, eh, Mr Brown? I'd say that's certainly not the best example of 'fair', wouldn't you?

Anyway, besides the snow, and me going to school, and other people not, and the second 'heavy snow prediction' for tonight from those dingbats at the MET Office, there's not much else to tell. My cold has got worse, and turned more into a flu-like stomach ache type of thing. I probably won't be going to school tomorrow, but luckily school will be closed anyway because of tonight's forecasted 'heavy snow' so I won't miss anything (gotta keep up with dem GCSEs, y'know). Yeuch, I feel bad... anyway, I've amazingly managed to fill up my three paragraphs for today. Until tomorrow, bienvenue, arrivaderci, and farvel!


~John

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Day 005 (05.01.10)

Day 5 - posted much later than normal, but it's better to post now than never. So what's new today? Well, I went back to school - and my previously mild cold flared up into a sniffling phlegm-storm. What a good coincidence.


About a week ago I was in Ikea, and I saw this fantastic poster in one of their showrooms. Oh wait, no - my mistake - I saw the original poster, called OLUNDA, by Anna Larsson. It was similar to this, but had the Swedish alphabet (ie. ÅÆØ changed to ÅÄÖ), it was in a harsher font and it had some letters 'rasied and bevelled for effect'. What a load of crap it was - IIRC, the letters A, O and W were raised. That doesn't mean anything - dumb-ass Anna from Stockholm has just closed her eyes and pointed to three letters. She could have chosen her initials at least. And so, with a shout of 'GTFO Anna Larsson!' I made my own version of the poster - no stupid raised letters this time. I've changed the alphabet to the Danish one, and I've used a better font instead. Well, it may not be better in your opinion, but I really like it. It's bold without being harsh, and the curved edges add a certain lightness to it (FYI it's called Alte Hass Grotesk and it's based off old Dutch scripts).

Now, I found the web monitoring site Alexa Internet. They apparently have the top 1,000,000 or so websites on the net. I searched for lego blog and got the usual stuff: TBB, that Polish one, a Czech one and http://legoisfun.blogspot.com/ . WTF. WTF! That is probably the worst Lego blog I have ever seen, and yet it receives comments on every single post. That, and it hasn't been updated since 2007. How is "legoisfun" on this list and Brickspace not? That, my friends, is the evil of the internet. Grrr.


~John

Monday, 4 January 2010

Day 004 (04.01.10)

So here I am, day 4. I'm in my usual position: slouched in my chair, at my computer, browsing Flickr and listening to ANR. It's where I feel the most relaxed. Because I can't feel comfortable if I don't have the babble of Skovmand and Bue ranting on about something I can't understand in Danish. That is, I could understand their topic if I could understand half the Danish they're speaking. Oh, I love those guys. One of them (is it them? it might be another ANR presenter) has a really high, squeaky voice, so it sounds like a little Danish mouse saying "Og nu, vi har 'Beyoncé' med 'Yadayadayada'. Sig mijer på ANR dk". Yay for Denmark :D

So, I finally uploaded my pride and joy: the model of a Volvo Amazon I made a week or so ago. I am truly proud of it: it is by far the best MOC I've made. In fact, when I look back at some of my recent stuff, it seems like so little of it is good. Let's quickly backtrack through my building history: JOHN Collection II, good. Skøjne microspace ship, alright - bad background. I only have myself to blame for that. JOHN Collection I, not so good. Looking back at it now, lots of parts are not of good quality. Then again, that's the same with the second JOHN Collection. Maybe that's why I need praise for my MOCs on Flickr. Oh yes, I haven't told you about my obsession with praise on Flickr. That'll be a story for another day.

Oh yes. This. Now, on Flickr I've called it a 'meatball mech' but I think a much more accurate name would simply be 'the testicle that grew legs'. It is a complete mech FAIL, but then again it's the first mech I've completed. I have a head for a small mech I conceptualized a few months ago, but I just can't work out how to build the body. I'll have to scrap that. :(

Ah well, school starts tomorrow. I guess it was just a matter of time (it was). That will be the big decider: can I continue with this 365 project on schooldays? Can I work through homework for >3 hours one evening then blog here too? Well have to find out, soon.


~John

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Day 003 (03.01.10)

Hey, day three. That came around quickly - I almost forgot to blog here! Yach!

Anyway, today I've got something new. That's right, it's a little microspace bomber, called Necrologica (quite a good name IMO - I'm usually awful at naming things, but this time I did well. Oh, and shut up about how unrelated to the actual spaceship it is)...


Yep, it's asymmetrical. VERY asymmetrical - I've strangely never made an asymmetrical spaceship before: I usually build things symmetrical, I like my design very neat and tidy. In fact, I find it literally difficult to build asymmetrical things. For some reason, with the Necrologica, I let myself go a little bit crazy and pack this thing full of guns, turrets, sensors and god-knows what else. Usually I have a mental block with complicated, asymmetrical things. In my own little way, I am proud of myself for making this. A pat on the head for you today, John. Pat pat.



~John


ps. Did you see my puny excuse for a paragraph at the top? Har dee har har, that doesn't really count as one of my three paragraphs. But now I've blagged on in this fourth paragraph, so it all sort of makes sense. Right?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Day 002 (02.01.10)

OK, day two. I made it. Here I am, blogging here, on day 2.

What's new? Well, the blog's design of course! Whaddya mean you didn't notice? You didn't notice the gigantic colour scheme change? Yes, gone is the white text-on-black background (that hurt my eyes when I was reading it at night on my computer (not that I read all my entries (not that I'm that obsessed (seriously, I'm not (well, maybe a bit))))), and we now have beautiful teal. Did you know teal was voted the colour of the year (?) by Pantone, just a few months ago? And I knew it was good before then, I did - I'm psychic, or I just have a very good design sense.

Speaking of things I thought were cool before they came into fashion, I've had an idea for a feature-length post-apoc film set in Denmark for a while now. It may sound strange, and it may well be a result of my obsession with all things Danish, but I think it's time films stopped being set in New York - it would be much more interesting to have them set in new places. And, guess what? District 9 was made - set in a completely new location. They stole my idea. And, further proof that I am the god of all things cool: just recently 20th Century Fox gave a filmmaker a grant to make a film, based off a YouTube video he made of gigantic robots attacking the capital city of Uruguay. That's a new location (a bit too similar to South Africa though) - so the people with power have stolen my idea again. I'll get them when I'm older - I'll sort 'em out  real good. With my shotguns.



~John

Friday, 1 January 2010

Day 001 (01.01.10)

That's right, it's the start. The start of my 365 project. Now, it won't be working quite as I had explained before: let me clear things up.

I will blog at least 3 paragraphs on this site, once every day, for the next month. If all goes well and I manage to post with less than 3 get-offs (ie. A day when I do not post), then I will carry on into February. Whether I will get to the end of January, I don't know. February seems an even worse month if I can't get to the end of it: you know what they say, 'the higher the climb, the harder the fall'. I am actually worried about failing at this 365 project, because I am sure I will be so ashamed that I couldn't keep it up that I would go into a blogging slump, and not blog for who-knows-how-long. The fact that I can quit at the end of January is helpful, but I'm still worried I won't make it to the end of January.

Anyway, as they say, time will tell. Obviously, that's a figure of speech, and shouldn't be taken literally, as time can never tell anyone anything, duh. So don't ask it, either, you could aggravate it and we don't want that. No one wants an angry time, certainly not. So you have been forewarned.

Anyway, that'll be all for today. Hey - I've lasted one day, so I've succeded so far, right? Right - and with 364 days to go. /slaps self  No, no, no... don't start counting down to the end, John! Enjoy it!

Yeah right.

~John