Sunday, August 19, 2012

City of Samba - small work of genius

This is quite the most entertaining, beautiful and impressive thing I have seen/heard for ages.

Tilt shift of the Carnaval party in Rio de Janeiro.
Soundtrack available here:
Made by Keith Loutit and Jarbas Agnelli.
Captured during Carnaval of 2011.
Music by Jarbas Agnelli.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rees Design Showreel

My showreel! Any feedback would be much appreciated.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another bragfest

“Those Rees boys must be simply stuffed full of science all day by their parents”.
“But she just works in an office, and he doesn’t really do ... well, anything!”
- An imagined conversation between other parents at our school. 

The boys entered the University of NSW Science Competition, and were 2 of the 3 students at school to gain High Distinctions. (Well done to the other one, Keiren Black). The questions ranged “from egg incubation to the direction of gears, from electrical circuits to food webs”.

The mid-year reports came in last week, now in a back-to-the-future “A = excellent, E = poor” format, after 5 or so years of the most byzantine and poorly explained system of dots and circles. Both boys are going very well, and Michael has really surged in maths in the last year or so. It has caught his imagination.

While Marcus and I were watching the football, he called over “Dad, what would 1000 be if you were using base 7 instead of base 10?” Marcus and I both lazily agreed it would be 7x7x7, or 343. I realised later that this was backwards to the right way to work it out, and showed Michael how he could work it out himself. He needed to be reminded how long division works.

Our friends Peter and Fleur dropped in and were impressed that Michael was sitting there doing long divisions on a Sunday evening, presuming that we were making him. I explained that he was doing them of his own volition, in fact as tool to solve a more complex problem that he had posed himself. He got halfway to the answer (2626) before getting lost in his tiny scribblings.

Towards the end of the footy, Michael returned to the fray, and asked me what 0.5 would be in base 7. I wasn’t even able to get my head around the question while willing the Tigers to kick another goal before the siren, so I asked him to give me a moment. He came out with a few answers he worked out in his head while I was stalling him. When I sat down to work it out, his first answer (0.33333...) was correct! Possibly just lucky.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

3 Pants Day

Work has drifted into the doldrums over the last couple of weeks. I have two large projects which are hanging, waiting for my client to move. I would dearly love to have a schedule for completing them, which my client must have worked out, but is not sharing with me at this stage. Sigh.

So, I am working through a list of various desk and non-desk jobs each day. Yesterday I presented my folio to a prospective client, them went home and mowed the lawn. I didn't feel like getting into my Good Pants again to go to the dentist, so I put on the fairly shabby Good Jeans instead. It was a three-pants type of day. I also bought a large bag of gravel, and collected the mail from over at my parents place.

That was relatively productive compared with today. I have been trying to nail a little problem I have with an animation special effect - three of my figures look good with it and three look pretty crummy. And I can't work out why. I have banged my head on that wall for a few hours today, but also eaten toast and read too much Olympic news online. 


In the + column, I did walk Winston before the rain came, and I bought some gravel. Yeah!

I am feeling a little anxious about the future of freelancing. My regular Monday job starts next week - then at least I will be out from under my own feet for one day a week.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The weak link

Speaking of a conspicuous lack of sporting success - my outdoor soccer career has hit the rocks. My last couple of games have been horrid. We had a very important game last Saturday - essentially the title decider. We won 2-1, and are untouchable on top of the ladder now. There were no goals in a very tense 2nd half, most of which I watched from the bench. Our usually democratic rotation policy was shelved for the day, and it was very much a case of keeping the best 11 on the park with just occasional rests on account of age.

In my 30 minutes or so on field I first slipped in the mud and let my man get away in the penalty box - he scored. Then I was moved to midfield, ran in support as Nigel went on a surging run, received a pass from Nigel approximately 2 meters out, and failed to beat the keeper. I was nervous about hitting it first time in the mud, and tried to gently place it rather than just wellying it into the net. The keeper got a foot to it.

I have replayed it about 100 times in my mind since. At least we won the game. We have 2 games left in the season, and my first reaction after the game was to just say that’s it for me. I have felt this season like the weak link in an otherwise formidable team of blokes with a lot of first team soccer behind them. I was never a firsts player and haven’t got any better from playing six years of indoor, which encourages bad habits.

However - I would like to strive to finish the season on a good note. There is less pressure in these remaining games, and I can hopefully go out there, run about and do some good things I can use as inspiration for another season next winter. But I think then I will offer my services to the Uni 4ths, who are more my level.

In the waiting room, waiting for gold medals

Once again I am in the dentist’s carpark. I can never quite judge how long it will take to get out here, and I keep finding myself 20 minutes early. Last time I refused to take the laptop out in the waiting room, and was kept waiting (as advertised,  I guess) for about 35 minutes. And the magazines there are either Hello! or very worthy and dull eco-shelter periodicals.

I have to say I have turned into a bit of an Olympic hypocrite. In the early days of this nation’s gold medal drought, I expressed the view that medal tables are nationalistic nonsense, and that the athletes are competing as individuals. That is the Olympic spirit, and how it was meant to be. Furthermore, there are too many ridiculous sports that ought to be chucked out. Messing about in boats, for instance. And hopping on a horse for a bit of clippity-clop around a paddock, leaping over amusing pastiches of London landmarks.

Now, however, it is day 12 and we have only just won our first individual gold medal, in the Laser class sailing. We, Australia. Our proud sports-mad nation which has been lagging behind Kazakhstan and 17 other countries. And our prospects of more depend on a bunch of sunburnt North Shore-y boatie types in about 27 different classes of ketch, yawl and wave ski. Also hopefully Ffiona Tops-Forpington might snag another gold in either the Pony Race or her other event, Horse Dancing. And if we come by a couple more in the Sawn-Off Shotgun or the BMX Race To The Shops - you will not hear any carping from me. Any more.

Things have come to head, and I realise that all my high-minded idealism is just thinly painted over a standard-issue Aussie win-anything-at-any-cost mentality.