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January, 2016:

Visual Effects breakdown Jurassic World, Pacific Rim, Star Wars TFA

There have been a bunch of these circulating recently.


Jurassic World

Pacific Rim

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Comcast: The company I can’t stay away from as hard as I try

When we moved into our new apartment a little over a year ago, we were elated to find that broadband was included with the rent (40mbps up and down). While it wasn’t as fast as the 100 or so we got with Comcast, having had so many problems with Comcast we welcomed a home without monthly payments to the company that just doesn’t treat it’s customers well.


After a year of using Plex, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV, network and content provider-specific apps, and antennas (I have tried at least 4 different HD antennas over the year) we finally gave up and are getting our TiVo Roamio setup with a CableCard.


The CableCard setup process itself is one of the majot pain points that made us want to avoid Comcast in the first place. They are required by federal regulations (FCC) to allow CableCards. Comcasts own policy is that the first card for a device is free. The problem is that 99% of Comcast’s customers have a company set top box (*for which they usually pay a monthy fee) so the techs, the service reps, and the whole system just doesn’t know how to handle a CableCard and they really don’t want you to have one (see previous*).

I did at one point have all the major broadcast networks working with over the air signals, but the antennas were moved and I had no real luck ever getting that back again.

We dig live TV or at least same day TV (something limited in Hulu for example) and we are taking the plunge back to paying money to Comcast each month.

I hope it goes well this time, but I’m not holding my breathe! 🙁


(sad sad) UPDATE 02.05.2016

We called 2.5 weeks ago for a super simple cable TV CableCard setup.

It took a week to get our first appointment and when that time came the tech never showed up and never called.
After we spent more than 3 hours on the phone we finally got another appointment scheduled yet another week later.

That 2nd appointment window for today has now come and gone and yet again no one showed up nor even called.

This is the second day we made special plans to be home during these appointment times.

This is beyond frustrating and frankly is very disrespectful to us from Comcast as potential customer.
There is no excuse for us having to spend so much time on the phone and in other communications just to get the most basic service.

We shouldn’t be the ones making phone calls to get Comcast’s problems fixed.
Someone at Comcast needs to take some responsibility now and follow this through until we have cable installed.

Another UPDATE:

12.08 Comcast technicians arrived 45 min after scheduled service window. They 4 guys who came spent more than an hour trying to get 2 different CableCards to work with no success.

The tech support for techs they called was not able to provide any assistance, so they are saying it is now time for a 3rd appointment.

This is the simplest setup that could be done. No new cable had to be run and I even pulled out all the furniture so that it wasn’t in the way.


Sadly, this is exactly what I expected from Comcast.. well that isn’t exactly true and I was pretty sure they were just not going to show up again.

The rumors that have been around since the 1980s have been confirmed by time, Abe Vigoda has passed

I watched Barney Miller a bunch as a kid, so I remember him from that, but most of my memories of Abe Vigoda are late night TV appearances.

First on Letterman and then later in multiple appearances on Conan’s shows.


Thanks for the laughs!

I thought of this one as soon as I read the news.

And A Conan appearance from 2005

And the episode of Barney Miller when the department eats pot brownies.

USA Today tribute video

via Laughing Squid

Setting up an inexpensive motion detecting security camera using a Raspberry Pi


I finally found a project for my Raspberry Pi and setup a security camera.

The total cost (in addition to the Raspberry Pi I already owned) was less than $5 ($4.79 with free shipping on Google Prime) as I had to order a new USB camera. So once you can find one of the new Raspberry Pi zeros in stock for $5, you should be able to put together a cheap camera.

Once I determined that the Raspberry Pi camera wasn’t working for some reason (I’m not sure if it is broken or if there is a software or other configuration issue), I ordered a USB Sony PS3 Eye Motion camera for $4.96 on Amazon.

Here is everything you need.

  • Raspberry Pi (I used a model B, but a 2 would likely work better handling video streams)
  • SD card
  • Ethernet cable and/or USB wifi adapter
  • USB camera (Sony PS3 Eye Motion camera is SD and only $5)
  • Power supply
  • optional
    • USB keyboard & USB mouse if you want to do any configuration directly on the device without having to connect to it from another computer.
    • powered USB Hub if you are using more than the two USB ports on the B+
    • wifi adapter. If you don’t mind running ethernet cable to the Pi, then you don’t need a wifi dongle.

The simplest way to get the software setup is to use the MotionEye OS SD image for your Pi.


Here are some details about MotionEye

You need to do the following.

  • Download the IMG file for MotionEyeOS
  • Flash it to an SD card.
  • Hookup the USB camera, power, and ethernet to the Raspberry Pi.
  • Insert the SD card into the Pi and boot it.
  • The default login is “admin” and no password.

Change any settings that you would like, including setting up wifi or changing passwords.

If you want remote access, you will need to forward the appropriate ports on your router. Port 8081 is used for video streaming and the web server is on port 80. I would suggest changing the external port from 80 to something else, but leave it 80 internally.

This has info about setting up push notifications for your phone or other devices as well.

This tutorial is for an earlier version, but it has far more details than I have included above.


This YouTube video also discusses the process for an older version of the software.

This video might be helpful as well.


Comprehensive tutorial here.


Don’t have a Raspberry Pi?

I also found this Windows (Yawcam) program that allows similar functionality.

This app is simpler, but does some of the same.

Will Forte with a half shaved face and head, including his eyebrow, which is what looks the weirdest to me!

Will Forte with a half shaved face and head, including his eyebrow, which is what looks the weirdest to me!



Here are the other versions with either side mirrored.

The Atari Video Music: a music visualizer from 1977

I had never heard of this. They retailed for $170 in 1977 (~ $700 with inflation).

It was basically a music visualizer.

Run audio in and it generates video to show on your TV.


A related blog entry

More videos to enjoy



M83 is playing the Fox Theater later this year. Tickets on sale soon!





Miike Snow – Genghis Khan (Official Video)


So far the singles for this album are pretty darn good!

I am looking forward to the album being released.

Here is a cool cover of the same song.

Here are some other tracks from the new album.



And some older ones




More Bowie videos

David Bowie’s unaired 60 Minutes interviews



And some more articles.

Listen David Bowie’s 2 hour 1979BBC DJ set


Nile Rodgers Reflects on David Bowie
“I thought I was going to get fired over my riff to ‘China Girl’ because it’s so corny. But he heard it and went, ‘That’s amazing!’”

Afterword: David Bowie

My David Bowie, alive forever

David Bowie made androgyny cool, and it was about time


Videos and thoughts about David Bowie


Sadly, the news of David Bowie’s passing surfaced today.

He had such a huge impact on culture, art, and music.

If you haven’t done so already, start listening to this.

I love his music very much and his new record that was introduced last Friday on his 69th birthday is no different.


I admired his push to do things differently.


He pushed visual art in his shows, videos, and other projects.


And was an accomplished actor as well.


Thanks for all the great art Mr Bowie and best to your family.


Here are some videos from his latest album that he released on his 69th birthday last Friday, 2 days before his passing.

And this song… the lyrics seem to be him coming to term with his death.

Can he get out the thoughts in time?

From 2013

And one of my favorites from the 90s.


And how about some music from his tour with NIN in 1995?


Some humor

Ricky Gervais talking about meeting Bowie

and some older videos

And a cover by Morcheeba.

And more music!



The story behind David Bowie’s 1976 weed arrest and subsequent mugshot


This biography (David Robert Jones) documentary is 1hr 26min long.

Robotic slicer cat

This is one I made a while back, but didn’t do anything with the sketch until now.


Here is the sketch.


And the refined work in progress.



Robot Hug (not destroy)

Worked on this from a sketch to this more finished version.


Going to make some cards, shirts, etc. from the image.




Refreshing my home economics skills from middle school to mend a sweater

I refreshed my home economics skills from middle school to mend a sweater today.

I had tried to fix it before, but my stitch worked out in a 4 months, so it was not up to snuff.

Eventually I would dig having a sewing machine, but for now it is hand-stitching for me!

This one is simple, but helpful.



Walk 01.04.2016



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Downtown Oakland 01.07.2016

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I am looking forward to a new Bowie record!


The last two tracks, including this one and one he did as a TV theme sound really rad and I am jazzed about the idea of a new album from David Bowie!



Music from opening credits for “The Last Panthers” on Sky Atlantic.

And a few other (somewhat) recent videos for good measure.

New post card and more coming!

I plan on working on a series of post cards and other print materials with my art.


I started with this one that you can use as an any occasion card.


Please email me if you if you are interested in purchasing any.

smaller and smaller

MS-DOS Games from 1995


Screenshot from Discworld

I remember a bunch of these, but had forgotten about many of them (Discworld among them)!