Archive for the ‘rambling’ Category

A Landscape with MyPaint

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on August 11th, 2009

NeoTA clued me in to MyPaint which is a nifty paint program. Unlike most computer programs for making pictures, this one attempts to simulate the feel of actually working with pencils and brushes and inks. At this it failed, because I did not get any paint on my clothing, or in my hair, or in my eyes. I didn’t get dizzy from chemichal fumes. I actually did not make any mess at all, nor did I have to spend any time with turpentine cleaning my brushes. But for the non-unpleasant aspects of painting, it has done a great job of simulating the painting experience, which the caveat that it provides so many fancy magic brushes that it almost feels like I am cheating sometime.

grassy valleyFor example, I did most of the work on this one using a brush tool that simulates a flurry of vertical brush strokes along a gradient of shades. Cheating? Well… actually, it is probably not really possible to “cheat” when it comes to creativity.

I know I can do better with this tool. I have always had a dual fascination/fear with painting, and this tool takes away most of the things that I dislike about painting and adds UNDO and LAYERS. That can’t be anything but good.

Ogg Nayboomer and the Fla’arns of Tra’al

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on May 7th, 2009

Ogg Nayboomer and the Fla’arns of Tra’al
James Paige

With formious churnations, Rog Ogg Nayboomer lifted his p’nurk ashurn the lerg mundions of Tra’ali.

“Mullgow Tra’ali!” he began, “our first gronom besets us! Now is the k’lurn to set balsern our trovels, and to take up our marguls and knit!”

“Knit!” chorused the askanseled Tra’ali, clashing their trovels together with great formio.

But Ogg Nayboomer scowled. Snurk among the Tra’alim narselled him. He leaped down from the uld’low, and seized a margul from the aleenest Tra’ali.

“What h’murk of margul is this?” he demanded burmiously.

“One gifted to me ve’sek’varingly by my flune Gloriak.” said the Tra’ali neberously.

“Foma!” bellowed Ogg Nayboomer. “My pleen have never seen an opsorn fla’arnious wagoo than this pegl of a margul. Do you think to change this boozel-knitting from a boozel-knitting to a blurk-floshing?”

“Never” said the aleen Tra’ali.

“I also boast for this Tra’ali,” uttered the lurg Tra’ali boolsern him.

“Do you all boast?” shouted Ogg Nayboomer, looking fulsern the mundion.

“We knit as one!” came the formious de’ponk.

“So be it.” said Ogg. “Knit like the blurkhog of Pummelgog were agstern thee!”

* * * * *

So the lerg mundions of Tra’ali, sat glomsern their polmoons with their trovels mumsern them and they knitted boozels with their marguls from mog’bok until mog’nuk. And Rog Ogg Nayboomer knitted boolsern them. Being the lergest of the Tra’alim, Ogg Nayboomer needed no polmoon, and walked, marguls in p’nurk, as he knitted, overlooking the baleen of the oms.

Sorgenly, Ogg stopped, dropping his boozel and garfing formiously. “Who dares?” he demanded, seizing a margul and holding it sern boomsern his pleens.

The wagoo that he held was bargolly the same fla’arnious margul that he had taken from the blurkey Tra’ali only mog’hark.

“Our glub is facing churmious gronom, and you play Fla’arniak.” roared Ogg Nayboomer.

“But Rog,” said the Tra’ali in de’ponk, “behold my plurn of  boozels!”

Ogg looked amsern, and saw that indeed, the Tra’ali’s plurn of boozels sernly glomed his polmoon.

“How,” demanded Ogg with grof, “How do you so barmiously knit boozels with such a fla’arny margul?”

“Thus did my flune Gloriak teach me.” said the Tra’ali, “for my flune Gloriak and my berf Fla’arn are the same!”

Ogg Nayboomer gasped, and he raised his trovel to do that blurky baleen which he knew he must do.

But the other Tra’alim fulsern him siezed his p’nurks and stayed him.

“Fla’arns! Fla’arns!” shouted the Rog, struggling churnaciously. “All of thee Fla’arns!”

“Flunest Rog,” said the aleen Tra’ali. “We all knit in the blorp of the Fla’arnim. We are lagsorn boozel-knitters and opsorn boozel-fla’arners.”

“We beg toglosity,” said another. “We wogsorn meant to pa’bargol you!” He showed his margul which was also fla’arnious.

Rog Ogg Nayboomer fell to his p’thorks and wept.

After his pleen had no more spurks to shed, he stood, and with great neberosity he spoke “Gronom besets us. If we must knit as the Fla’arniak do, then so be it. The Fla’arn of Tra’al we shall be!”


Arthur J. Paige & The Rose Technie

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on November 14th, 2008

I was unable to discover who wrote this, but this article was originally written for the Terre Haute Tribune Star, and archived on the Indiana State University website. Arthur James Paige was my great grandfather.

The first gasoline-powered auto on the streets of Terre Haute was built by Vigo County native Arthur James Paige while he was a student at Rose Polytechnic Institute.

Before entering his junior year at Rose, Paige began working on a motor vehicle in preparation for his senior theses. In the summer of 1900, he contrived a two-cylinder, six-horsepower gasoline engine (two single-cylinder engines coupled together with cranks). That fall he started work on the carriage. As he later explained, “The manufacture of automobiles was in such an experimental stage…that very little literature on the subject could be obtained, while much that was obtained was worthless for practical purposes.” After all, Ford Motor Company did not sell its first auto until July 1904.

Paige’s project was completed in the spring of 1902, consuming nearly two years. All work was accomplished in the Rose Poly Shops at 13th and Locust streets. Paige made patterns for castings but shares credit with Edward T. Wires, instructor at Rose Wood Shop, for the final product. He also received assistance from shop superintendent Alvah W. Clement, shot foreman Garrett W. Logan and several students. One of Paige’s gifted classmates, Claude E. Cox, designed the first Overland automobile for the Standard Wheel Company of Terre Haute in 1903.

When finally assembled, Paige’s vehicle, aptly named “The Rose Technie,” was a four-seat, 850-pound carriage steered by a center lever so it could be operated by either front-seat passenger. An unusual four-note musical horn was added. To enhance engine durability, Paige innovated the use of steel tubing liners for the cylinders. The car appeared much more sophisticated than the steam and naphtha-powered McConnell-Seger Co. auto that first operated on the local city streets in March 1900.

As a result of his theses, “Construction and Test of a Six Horse-Power Gasoline Automobile,” Paige received the coveted Heminway Award from his alma mater in 1903. He later described his work in the March 1903 issue of The Rose Technic, the campus periodical. The precocious son of Terre Haute piano tuner Almer H. Paige earned a mechanical engineering degree in 1902 and remained as an instructor at Rose until 1908, residing with his parents at 420 S. Center St. He was awarded a master’s degree in 1907. Thereafter he worked for several auto manufacturers beginning with the Fort Pitt Motor Manufacturing Co. in New Kensington, PA, where he designed the “Pittsburg Six.” In 1910 he was chief draftsman for National Motor Vehicle Co. of Indianapolis. And in 1911, he was mechanical engineer at the Western Motor Co. in Marion, IN.

After assembling the car that won the 1912 Indianapolis 500, Paige earned national renown for improving the design of rotary gasoline engines and two-stage carburetors. Though he lived in the Detroit metropolitan area for most of his life, the Terre Haute native died in Redondo Beach, CA, on Jan. 10, 1972, at age 89.

When I was growing up, my Dad had his “grandpa’s car” in the back yard. It was not the Rose Technie, it was a later car he had built. it had a single cylinder engine, and was fitted with an unusual looking fuel gage. I am pretty sure that my great grandfather was using this car to experiment with high mileage. My Dad tinkered with the car sometimes, but I don’t remember ever seeing him get it running (although I do remember one exciting day when I was about 9 years old and we pushed it down a hill while I was steering it) The car moved with us 3 times, but then we ended up giving it to a friend of the family who collected old machinery. I’m pretty sure it got destroyed when his garage burned down in the big Julian Pines fire of 2002. I know my Mom still has photographs of that car. if I can find any of them, I will scan and post them here.

Math puzzle for today

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on June 13th, 2007

Current mood: Mathy

I have often heard it said by computer security type people that using real words in a password is a terrible idea, and that all passwords should be made of random letters numbers and punctuation.

So here is your math puzzle for the day. Estimate which is of the following is a better password:

(1) 8 random characters that may include lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and any punctuation found on a generic keyboard.

example: (mR{Yu_g
(2) 3 random words from the english language. They have to actually be random, and not just three words that you picked from your imagination.

example: dotard mane skycap
Be sure to show your work.

Brief Blog-Urge (and art pictures!)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on May 30th, 2007

Current mood: blog-urged

I am still alive. The blog-urge has not left me, it is just hard to find time to draw anymore, and I hate posting a blog without a drawing.

Here is a sculpture I am working on:

And here is something Genevieve painted recently (which I think is beautiful!):

Black Rabbits Scootering Club (sketch)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on January 22nd, 2007

Current mood: patchy

This is Bosco. He is applying to join the Black Rabbits Scootering Club. He owns his own motorcycle, and has been riding solo for about a year-and-a-half. He has never been in a motorcycle gang before. He is secretly hoping to meed a nice biker babe and start a family.

He doesn’t know a lot about motorcycles, but he is totally pretty sure that his isn’t a cardboard box.

50000 world novel in 30 days?

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on October 24th, 2006

Current mood: Writerlusting

A friend of mine today informed me of the National Novel Writing Month contest. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I haven’t been doing very much writing since my collection of short stories, so the idea of trying to write a 50000 world novel in one month is really very appealing… The catch of course, is that I haven’t had much free time lately (as evidenced by my lamentable lack of block postings here) so whether or not I will be able to pull it off is… debatable.

Rolling the Dog

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on October 13th, 2006

Current mood: Doggified

It has been simply ages since I have posted anything! Just to prove I am still alive, here is a video clip of Genevieve and I playing with the dog

Actually, come to think of it, all this clip proves is that the Dog is alive… Maybe I am dead, and the dog is blogging for me. Whoa… creepy…

What would Elvis do?

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on July 20th, 2006

Current mood: rockandrolley

I just hear from Aran that his 48 hour film, Inside Me which I blogged about the day before yesterday won an award for best use of the line of dialogue: “What would Elvis do?”

Time to get that WWED tatoo.

Chocolate syrup makes convincing (and delicious) Blood

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on July 18th, 2006

Current mood: Stabbey

Last weekend I helped Aran with his entry in the San Diego 48 Hour Film Competition. The genre was HORROR

You can view the results here

EDIT: Youtube link fixed.
There is also a hi-resolution copy at
Be warned, it is kinda gory, and there are a couple scenes I find disturbing myself, so if you are not a fan of horror, watch this other film instead