ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A COMPLICATED LIFE. (30/12/14)

For some reason things start to get on top of me at this time of year. The dogs started the rot on Boxing day when they organised their own impromptu hunt and were missing for an hour in pursuit of Red Deer.

I have been spending the odd hour now and again trying to create my own firework display for tomorrow. It is going in splutters rather than the big bang and shower of sparks I’m aiming for. Not to worry I have another twenty four hours or so. The firework exploding bit is keyframed and exploding roughly as I would like it to. It zooms up into my virtual sky and I have altered the graph curve so that it slows as it reaches it’s zenith. Took me ages and as it only takes a second no one will notice. I want it to emit a trail of sparks and smoke as it ascends. This is causing me no end of grief. I am doing it with a separate particle system on a new layer. I was going to have the fireworks light up A New Year Greeting but will now do that bit in Photoshop. I have three windows open in Blender, four if I count the Timeline. I could do with a much bigger monitor. It is giving me eyeache to add to brainache. The good thing is I am getting my head round the use of Nodes and have now learnt to open and close windows. The latter, simple operation, took me an hour to master. The key strokes have to become instinctive for one to enjoy using it. Then I switch to Photoshop or Fusion and have to remember to use different ones for some things and the same ones for others. A bit of standardisation would not go amiss.

I still haven’t managed to get close enough to the Goldeneye Ducks._MG_1262    On the bright side the Long Tailed Tits continue to make me smile.

This morning my new DVD arrived. It was delivered in a plain brown parcel and so it should be. It is not suitable for young children or adults of sensitive disposition. I am slightly embarrassed to reveal it to you as I learnt all about this sort of thing forty five years ago but have forgotten most of it. I only realised the depths of my ignorance when I was trying to help a teenage girl out a few weeks ago. _V0G7658I bet you would never have guessed what it was. Eighteen hours of lectures by a chap in Florida and a big book posted free for the grand sum of £52.00p. I’ll try and absorb it all and then there is part two for next winter. After a quick perusal it seems excellent as most American text books are.

Have fun, I’ll be back tomorrow with a greeting of some sort.

37 comments:

  1. Lovely to see the gathering of LTTs. Haven't seen any here for yonks.
    I did calculus to A level but like you I have probably forgotten it all in the intervening 50+ yrs.

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    1. They are the most sociable and well mannered of birds. I was hoping for a shot of them queuing on the feeder but they fly off before I can get one. There must be three dozen of them here.
      I used to use it a bit when teaching astro navigation to cadets. I then got a Psion and programmed that to do all the boring bits. Included all the spherical trigonometry malarkey. I guess the lass was only sixteen or so but I also suspect her teacher didn't understand it either. It isn't hard but it is complicated if you don't break it down to basics and build slowly from them. It is the fastest way of calculating rate of change and I can assure you that with merchant navy cadets one only has two choices. Drawing graphs empirically or calculus. I know which I prefer.

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  2. Do be careful, Adrian. There's a close connection between fireworks and bombs. My two younger sons recently informed me that years ago they made a bomb out of fireworks, and blew a hole in a car park. They're still on the run.

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    1. Frances, I'll be very careful. It's a project fraught with danger.

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  3. Good on you Adrian. I had to relearn Year 9 linear equations this last year when I had to teach Maths for the first time. I must have been mucking up the day my teachers taught me the link between algebra and graphing because I was absolutely amazed that I missed that link in my own learning. And thanks to You Tube I even found some videos that made Maths cool ~ who would have thought. The thing I found then in teaching the linear equations to this really low level Maths class is that they were missing the basics ~ not knowing how to draw a graph, use a ruler to mark up a grid, plot the graph neatly, transpose from side to side of the equation. But I guess that's what makes teaching, teaching is recognising what the student has missed in their learning and being able to go back and re teach. Unfortunately, students don't know what they don't know. I am watching that same basic tenet now, teaching my son to drive.

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    1. Carol, I wouldn't blame yourself. There are good teachers and there are appalling ones. The damage the daft ones can do is immeasurable.
      You are brave teaching anyone to drive.
      That pair of dogs are really wicked at times.

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  4. I love that you keep feeding your brain and are always game to lean new things. I also love that you're creating a virtual fireworks display. No risk (except to your sanity) ;) and it can be shared continents away.

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    1. Hilary, I don't have a television so reading and playing on the computer are fun if not relaxing.
      I'll get something done for tomorrow.

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  5. Adriaan what a wonderful shot and so much, but you do have big plans

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    1. Bas, I am in no hurry and the weather has turned wet and warm. .

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  6. Beautiful bird shot!
    My granddaughter is struggling with calculus; I wish I could help her.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Tell Calculus to stop molesting her and to leave the house immediately! If this doesn't work, call the police!

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    3. Joanne, ignore Sir Pudding. He is just being funny.
      Anyone should be able to help her struggle. Bruce Edwards would be one I recommend. I don't know what the course costs in America but it has to be cheaper than it is here.

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  7. Three things-
    a) Why not have a real firework display rather than a photo genius one?
    b) Tits on your fat balls - always a nice combination.
    c) "Understanding Calculus"? Was he King Caractacus's bipolar brother?

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    1. YP,
      (a), they are too expensive and very loud.
      (b), Yes a grand sight.
      (c), No. I believe that was Isaac Newton.

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  8. Calc II is what persuaded me to change my major out of Engineering. Sigh

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    1. R.Mac, that is a shame. I have had to let things pass me by as I too just ran out of brain.

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  9. When you used to it, can I use it, ha ha. The best of your site is the little Long Tailed Tits, are they just staggering.

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    1. Bob, you can hire it. There must be three dozen LTTs now and it started a week ago with just a handful.

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  10. Wonderful pic of the long-tailed tits, Adrian!

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    1. Phil, they are peaceful little birds. No squabbling for them unlike Starlings and Goldfinches.

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  11. I'll look forward to your fireworks as there won't be any around here. I think I've been declared officially old - I've been assigned the job of looking after the children - the ones too young to stay up late. Happy New year to you and your little companions.

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  12. Pauline, I rarely stay up to see the new year in.
    I'll do my best with the fireworks but they may be more of a damp squib.

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  13. Te deseo un buen año Adrian. TODOS los 365 días. Que puedas seguir haciendo lo que más te gusta...... Feliz 2015!!
    Un abrazo.

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    1. Para usted, así Laura. Es un poco de venta codicioso fo los 365 días, pero esperemos que todos son felices.

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  14. Now calculus is a way over my head. I was going to take calculus for a math class once. Lucky thing I didn't. Good luck on the calculus.

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    1. Red, it is a challenge but it is fun.
      Lucky for the students as well.

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  15. I wish more people had virtual firework displays they send my hounds bananas. The Long Tailed Tits are amazing I'm not surprised they don't squabble at the feeder, they're one of the few species that the young receive food from other adult long Tailed Tits not related to them they really do work as a team. Have a great 2015

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    1. Cheers Douglas and you have a great year.

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  16. I only ever did the most basic calculus and can remember absolutely nothing of it. I admire your constant quest for more knowledge and your doggedness too. I was going to complete one of my unfinished degrees when I retired from my 'proper' job: that was twenty years ago and I've never picked up a text book since. (Although I have learned quite a lot!).

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    1. Graham, I suddenly realised how much I'd forgotten. I'm just hoping that I can remember enough algebra to cope with this course my trigonometry should be adequate. The calculus isn't a problem in itself it is having the background mathematics to enjoy it.

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    2. I was good at maths at school (and probably therefore still am) but I don't think that the words 'enjoyable' and 'maths' have ever before appeared in a sentence uttered by me.

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    3. Perhaps enjoyable isn't the right word. It can be very satisfying.

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  17. WOW!!!! The LTTI are incredible! That is an awesome pic. As for the rafts of ducks out there, yes.....they are tricky little buggers! Eventually you'll find a raft close enough:)

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    1. Cheers Chris the LTTs were very cooperative.

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