tablesaw: An indigenous American crucified on a cross crowned by a bald eagle. In the background stands a Mesoamerican temple. (América Tropical)
Saturday: I went with [personal profile] temptingcuriosity to LACMA for the Drawing Surrealism exhibit. The raw imagination on display reminded me very strongly of the underground indie aesthetic championed by Anna Anthropy in "Rise of the Videogame Zinesters." There's a lot of interesting connections to be made there, with the Dadaists and surrealists using games to promote automatism in creation, the use of collage (reusing sprites), and even a possible connection to the Futurist obsession with machine art.

Sunday: Virtually attended the planning meeting for the MIT Mystery Hunt next weekend. It's always good to see everyone, even the camera was mostly on [personal profile] tahnan doing his one-knee-on-a-chair pose.

Monday: I said goodbye to the Xmas tree immediately after the Epiphany. That almost never happens.

Tuesday: Made it out to a boardgaming night for the first time in a while. Played Chaos in the Old World to completion for the first time, and actually eked out a win. I've had a hard time with this game before, because the extremely asymmetrical roles can make it hard to figure out how to do things, but I finally pushed through. Still not entirely my game, but I won't be so quick to avoid it, either. I also got to dazzle everyone with word knowledge when playing and generally refereeing Bananagrams.

Wednesday: My main glasses broke a little while ago, and my backups are threatening to quit too, so I scheduled a new eye exam. I also made a quick jump into Sherman Oaks to pick up last year's prescription, just in case I need to make an emergency run to Lens Crafters for a cheap replacement. Having two hours to kill, I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Toshi Sushi. It was a great evening, as I was joined at the sushi bar by three lovely women who over-ordered and were pleased to hear of my birthday so that they had an excuse to foist some of the food onto me.

A cameraphone picture of a plate of sushi, all slightly different, with an assortment of fish, rice, sauces and toppings. They all taste delicious.

Heading to bed now. More birthday stuff later.
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While doing dishes, I heard music coming through the open windows. I went to investigate, I discovered a giant street fair. Now I am getting a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich.

A small crowd of people in summer clothes enjoying a street fair in a large parking lot. In the background, a band plays covers and a line forms to buy gourmet ice-cream sandwiches.

Also, Andy Dick is selling poetry.

Andy Dick waves to a friend in the $1 Poetry Booth at the Hollywood Street Fair.
tablesaw: Paul, who is a ghost, declares this to be "Booooring!" (Booooring)
My rice cooker stopped working a little while ago, and I'm finally breaking in the new one. It was a bit of an ordeal. First, for some reason, the target closest to me refuses to sell rice cookers. So I had to make a trip to the one in Glendale. But the rice cooker I got was missing the measurement cup (with its strange for-rice-only cup size), so I took it back. The new one I got seemed to have been opened, but I couldn't see what was missing. Turns out, what was missing was the instruction manual. But since I have the internet, I'm not going to begrudge the person who had to pilfer a copy from Target. But regardless, brown rice and steamed broccoli to accompany my fish.

Speaking of having the Internet, I now have a new phone, which is, as they say, "smart." This phone has been made possible by Virgin Mobile's low-cost data plan, the decline of my old phone, and the death of my digital camera. This means that all you folks who love to text can now text to me, since I no longer have to pay for each one. Also, you can send me pictures via text, because I have the ability to look at them. Phone number's the same, ask me if you want it.

As for old things, I'm getting a wisdom tooth pulled again. My advantage this time is that I'm going to know, in advance, that the pain will end, and that I don't need to freak out about every little thing. But you can probably expect me to be sending everyone texts about how much pain I'm in/what good drugs I'm on.

Hey, the food's ready.
tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
Last night, I discovered why I might not have been sleeping so well when I woke up gasping for breath and tasting stomach acid in my throat. Oddly, I think this may have been exacerbated by the new bedframe. I know the old one was a little messed up, maybe it was giving me that slope that's supposed to help keep that from happening.

Anyway, I finished up another hiking map. This one was mostly done, since I gave up on it back in '08 when I realized that some of the conversions from Google Earth to Google Maps weren't happening right. Now things seem to be running more smoothly.

This is for a trip to Calabasas Peak, the week after the trip to Saddle Peak.

Google Earth file / Online Google Map

tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
With all the caching I've been doing, I thought I should spend some time getting reacquainted with Google Earth. And yet, I didn't get around to uploading any of the new stuff. Instead, I touched up some photos and made a map of a hike I made three years ago with [personal profile] ojouchan.

It was one of a few hikes that Ojou indulged me in, since she never really enjoyed just walking through the mountains like I did. When we reached the peak, she was rather miffed that there was a road that led straight to the peak. Still, the trail led through a cool rocky narrow on the way up. She took a lot of pictures there. I did too, but most of mine didn't turn out so well.

Google Earth file / Online Google Map

tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
What have I been doing on computers instead of updating my DW?
  • Croco-Puzzle.de. A website that provides two logic puzzles every day, with a complex and rewarding rating system. It is entirely in German, but [personal profile] chris has written up an English walkthrough. [livejournal.com profile] motris has also written about his experiences with the site. I'm currently ranked 349 out of 666, and you can see a graph of my recent progress.
  • Tumblr. I have a Tumblr account now, because it was getting to a point where creating RSS feeds for the ones I liked was getting cumbersome. I'm at ItsTheSawoftheTable.tumblr.com. It's got some stuff on it, I guess. Nothing too consistent. I might try to fill it up with some stuff.
  • Tagging Old Entries. Hey, remember that time I was assaulted by an actor of a show I was stage-managing? Yeah, that's why I have a violence tag now.
  • Picasa Faces. I've loaded all my old photos onto my new computer. This means that there shouldn't be anything at all important left on the old dying box. It also means that Picasa is taunting me by finding faces in my photos and asking me to identify them.
  • Geocaching. [personal profile] trinker got me out and about, and I've been making progress again. Going to try to not let a week go by without some form of outdoorsing:

    Profile for Tablesaw
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When a friend of mine sent a picture of her cat to me and some other coworkers, extolling the virtues in the cat's taste in literature.

Naturally, this had to happen:

The cat macro was a bit larger )

My friend's response was:
So, 1 question: Why does [the cat] have a French accent?
Keep in mind that my friend is not unsaavy when it comes to the internets or the fandom. And yet, no knowledge of lolcats.

I . . . I didn't know that could be possible.
tablesaw: "Tablesaw Techniques" (Techniques)
[livejournal.com profile] ojouchan is holding a sale tomorrow on her Etsy website.
Tomorrow ViolentBelle is having a MASSIVE sale. Most things will be between 20- 50% off. But only for one day. Yeah. I know. One day sale. I'll be posting new things too. Necklaces made of bone and found objects. More hats. Clothes. That's right. Vintage wear. But all the remaining stuff? Super Duper cheap.
There's loads of good stuff there right now, and I know there's other stuff she hasn't listed yet. For example, she's going through a bunch of her vintage clothes to find some stuff to add.

Here are some old pieces that I like:

Plum Delicious- Swarovski Crystal Horn Barrettes Boho Honey- Vintage Woven Ribbon Choker Mushroom Hunting- Victorian Mini Straw Hat with Vintage Trim

But don't forget, the sale is one day only.
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It's the first Wednesday of November, the day on which [personal profile] delux_vivens demands picspams. Her own postings of men and women of color (mostly men) were another inspiration for this week's Buffy picspam.

Anyway, I updated that picspam with an actor I forgot, David Zepeda. I was also going to add some other pictures of him out of character, but I started to suspect that the hot model Zepeda who was the first runner up of Manhunt International and who has gone on to star in several telenovelas. I started to suspect this after finding lots and lots of pictures with his shirt off.

They no longer belonged in the Buffy picspam, but it's still Wednesday, so have fun. All are safe for work.

Topless Mexican Below )

All pics from the Official David Zepeda Photo Gallery at the Univision forums.
tablesaw: Manny Calavera, from Grim Fandango (Grim Fandango)
This is the result of a few things.

One, I found a new blog, SciFi Latino, by typing in the same Google search that I do every few months, "SciFi Latino". Someone else was also frustrated by the unhelpful results, and has started a blog (and a Twitter account that's keeps updated with links).
The blog will review current television series, cancelled shows, movies, books and anything else that I consider genre-worthy and where we see a Latino participating in a significant capacity. He or she may be an actor, a director, a producer—I want to reach out and get to know as many as I can. SCIFI LATINO will cover English and Spanish language media from the U.S. and abroad.
And on the front page, there's a great collage of Latinos from scifi and fantasy media.

Two, I rewatched "Inca Mummy Girl" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Three, [livejournal.com profile] whedonland hosted a picspam challenge.

And these three things made me think, "I should do a picspam of all the Latino/a characters that appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer." And thus:

Bienvenidos a la Boca del Infierno: Los Latinos de Buffy the Vampire Slayer


First, a word about methodology. To find Latinos, I read through the entire IMDB episode-cast list for Buffy. As a result, I based my list mostly on the names that got credited. When possible, I tried to get some corroboration on publicity pages or, at the very least, by seeing if the actors were credited with Latino roles elsewhere on IMDB. But Buffy's over ten years old, and not everyone kept acting since then. I may have missed a few, and it might turn out that some of the actors listed as Latino/as below actually aren't.

And now, the pics and the spam. )

So we've looked at a total of 24 people.

1 is Spanish-American.
1 is Native American (playing a Latino).
1 is a Latino whose scene was cut.
21 are Latino/as who appeared onscreen.

Of those:
16 are men.
5 are women.
1 appeared in more than three episodes.
2 appeared in exactly three episodes.
18 appeared in only one episode.
13 appeared in only one scene.
2 were LA newscasters playing themselves.
12 were Sunnydale natives.

And what have we learned? Well, as many have noted, there aren't very many Latinos on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On the other hand, there are more than I expected. And they are overwhelmingly male, which I wouldn't have expected, but which falls in line with a general perception that non-white groups default to male. Also, a number of the Latino/as are very light-skinned. Now I'm a mixed white Mexican myself, but it's another thing that contributes to the invisibility of Latino/as on the show. With Anglo names (or no names at all) and the overwhelming whiteness of the rest of the milieu, viewers are led to see these characters and actors as white (and also not Latino).

So it's mostly what I knew before, but with a bit more data and with lots of pretty pictures.

Hikecon

Aug. 23rd, 2009 11:21 am
tablesaw: A trial sign ("This trail is OPEN") against a blue sky in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. (Hiking (Open Trails))
I made a new icon for hiking posts. Having Photoshop and a paid Dreamwidth account is driving me a little icon happy, I guess.

It's taken from this photo, which is also my computer desktop at work.

From Griffith Park
tablesaw: My apperance on Merv Griffin's Crosswords (Let's Do Crosswords!)
If you want to see me puzzling on the plane, go to The Lounge and scroll down to "June 24 1:45 PM."

Oh yeah, [livejournal.com profile] ojouchan is in it too. Only a bit. It's not like she has a long involved conversation with the cameraman while I stare at my computer trying to get the answer to the next question.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
A special look into the headquarters of ZyzzlCon 3009.



A little rumpled, and a little unshaven, but I think I look pretty good there. I'm enjoying this funky new sweatshirty thingy.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I drank more beer while I was in Boston than I ever had in my life. Now, this isn't saying much. I'm not a big fan of beer, so I don't drink it. I much prefer the taste of a well-mixed cocktail. A Rum and Coke is usually pleasant, and there's nothing that can beat a Margarita mixed with good tequila and a whole lot of machismo. I know there's good beer out there, but since I don't drink often, there's really no point in going out and finding the few kinds that I like amid the amber waves of unappealing brew.

It's kind of like Country Music, in that way.

Anyway, the advantage of going to Boston was that there were lots of people who drank beer a lot and knew what was good. Chief among them was Beer Goddess Hathor who, in addition to giving tips on what to drink where, also brewed some fine beer herself. (She has a website [link removed 8/13/11; originally "http://www.fix.org/jennyg/"], though I have no idea where in there I'm supposed to look for a homepage.) And when all of the bars are closed, having personalized beer in a hotel room . . . but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The story behind the Pub Puzzle Crawl )

So, Monday evening. It was the first chance I got to see people NPLers, mostly locals. Since there were too many people to easily manage, some of them split off into a Ice Cream Puzzle Crawl through Boston. The puzzles, in this case, were provided on the fly by [livejournal.com profile] tahnan and [livejournal.com profile] thedan. Sadly, the Ice Cream Crawl had far fewer stops, since the participants got brainfreeze or something. The cool kids ([livejournal.com profile] wesleyjenn, QED, Sprout, Sue++, Sir+, [livejournal.com profile] joecab, [livejournal.com profile] cazique, [livejournal.com profile] heaneyland, Otherwise, D. Ness, ln sin t, Niff, Ucaoimhu, Artistry, [livejournal.com profile] foggyb, Hathor, and I) went off and drank for seven hours.

I wish I could tell you more about the bars and the beers, but I can't, really. I know they were good, but since I don't have much experience with beer (for reasons detailed above), I couldn't really tell you why. I can't even recommend things because I was mostly echoing what other, more knowledgeable people were ordering. I can give you the itinerary [link removed; originally "http://www.gregbrume.net/puzzles/redbones/index.html"] of the crawl, since [livejournal.com profile] foggyb has been kind enough to upload it. The itinerary also has most of the puzzles.

The puzzles were really well designed considering what they needed to do. They were simple and fun and rarely required too much thought. The KISS mentality showed up many places in this Con, to the benefit of all. Certainly, the NPL is not a group that will shy away from the obscure, the complex, the byzantine, or the difficult. But there's a lot more going on at a convention. There are things to see, people to talk to, games to play. You have to make sure that nothing gets to frustrating, or else solvers will start to wonder why you're wasting their time when they could be doing something else with someone else. (Also, of course, everything has to be solved without references.) In this case, the puzzles couldn't overstay their welcome, because people wanted to be able to drink and chat. Also, puzzles had to be specially coordinated so that they could be easily solved after drinking beer for several hours.

One of my favorite puzzles was one of the more complex ones: Boston Beer Works [link removed 8/13/11; originally "http://www.gregbrume.net/puzzles/redbones/pc02.pdf"]. It was an early puzzle, and one of the only ones where everyone dug in and did some pencil solving. What I enjoyed the most was that, although solvers were warned that the beer list incorporated into the puzzle was out of date, it still represented the menu very well. Pretty much everyone ordered their drinks off of the puzzle without really looking at the menus. I also sat near Cazique, QED, and the right shoulder of Sprout, triviaites all, who offered and solved variuos sports trivia questions.

At Bukowski's [link changed 8/13/11; originally "http://www.beeradvocate.com/beerfly/user_reviews/963/"], we settled in for the inevitable Pub Trivia [link removed 8/13/11; originally "http://www.gregbrume.net/puzzles/redbones/pc04a.pdf"] game. The theme was "Dead Authors," since Bukowski's is the home of the Dead Authors' Club. (Although it wasn't explained then, I now know that some patrons of this bar undertake to sample every beer on the menu, though mercifully not on the same night. Those who succeed get mugs engraved with their names placed on the wall. And by "their names," I mean "the names of dead authors they choose.") I did predictably poorly, especially compared to some of the general knowledge hotshots. But still, I don't think the questions [link removed 8/13/11; originally "http://www.gregbrume.net/puzzles/redbones/pc04b.pdf"] were balanced all that well. (I'll try to explain more about the balancing trivia, but it's a tough subject and I'll need a separate entry.) Anyway, the balance of the knowledge is definitely a nitpick in this situation. Everyone had fun, even when losing, which is much more important, and difficult to accomplish.

Also, while I was at Bukowski's, I recorded an Audblog. I'd say more about that, but I can't listen to it while I'm work.

The last puzzle I'll talk about is the one from Redbones. This is a fantastic puzzle, though you can't see it or solve it online. Go visit the redbones site, and you'll see lots of wonderful artwork. That original artwork is all over the downstairs barroom. It was the artwork that we were looking at back in January when we thought about a Pub Puzzle Crawl. And it was the artwork that made our last stop an Eyeball Benders-style extravaganza.

We got a huge pile of letters. Each letter seemed to have been cut out of the pictures along the walls. We had to locate, then put them in order according to their position around the room. It was great fun. This might seem a complex puzzle to deal with after seven hours of drinking, but I think that the lowering of the inhibitions helped us to take over the more-or-less empty room staring at pictures. Also, they had great dessert. And great meat. And good margaritas. (Wow, I didn't realize how out of it until I tried to remember it just now. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if someone there told me that I said, "I love you man! You're like my brother! My puzzle brother! Mi hermano de crucigramas!")

At some point at Redbones, I got a picture of QED, Sprout, Toonhead! and somebody's hair. You can see the wacky Redbones artwork, along with the cute and very helpful bartender who decided to be a semi-waitress even though she didn't have to be. Also, at some point earlier, I got a picture of [livejournal.com profile] wesleyjenn and [livejournal.com profile] heaneyland, probably in a T station somewhere.

After all of this, those of us who remained were directed by Foggy Blotto to the best beer in Boston. By this time, many of our crew had ducked out to return to their homes or the hotel. Thus, when I snapped a picture, en route to our final destination, only [livejournal.com profile] foggyb, QED, Ucaoimhu, Hathor, Artistry, and [livejournal.com profile] joecab. Sprout was also there, though he cannot be seen in this picture. As we staggered toward the terminus, Hathor tried to scare us by saying that once we were there, we were going to have to solve a cryptic crossword by Ucaoimhu, known for his labyrinthine crosswords that involving learning Sanskrit [link changed 8/13/11; http://www.alkhemy.com/sanskrit/atul/"] or decoding Cuneiform [link changed 8/13/11; originally "http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/GLOSSARY/CUNEI.HTM"].

Well, the best beer in Boston turned out to be at Hathor's house. But the crossword turned out to be no empty threat. We were provided with two beers that were brewed specifically for this convention. (There was a third prepared beer, but it had been part of an auction, and thus, we were not allowed to drink it.) The labels were designed by [livejournal.com profile] joecab, and as you can see, Hathor's threat turned out not to be empty.

And, with no more puzzles, we just kept drinking without puzzles.

And really, who needs the puzzles? )

I recorded an Audblog after one of these beer sessions. As I mentioned above, I can't relisten to it right now. But I'm pretty sure I talked about Toonhead!, aka [livejournal.com profile] joecab. I may even have mentioned a picture.

See, I was "cosolving" [livejournal.com profile] thedan's cryptic with [livejournal.com profile] joecab very late one evening / very early one morning. I don't know why I thought attempting this was a good idea at all. [livejournal.com profile] foggyb was there, and I he may have had a hand in convincing me, since it would have been very amusing for him. We actually managed to do rather well, though all together, we found a completely and utterly wrong answer to the end game of the cryptic.

At a certain point, after the grid had been filled and [livejournal.com profile] foggyb and I had started puzzling through the final steps, [livejournal.com profile] joecab crawled around us on the bed, then fell down. He didn't get up again. After a while, we noticed.

We took this as a sign of two things: (1) we should probably get out of his room, (2) we should probably take a picture and post it on the Internet.

And here it is:
Man, this Toonhead! guy should learn to hold his liquor better )
tablesaw: -- (Default)
My first Christmas tree )

Need some ornaments now.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
This is, mostly, the tour I gave at my housewarming party, for all of you who were unfortunate enough to be unable to attend.

Come on back )

Coming soon, in Part Two: my bed, my computer and the now very famous working toilet in a thrilling action sequence!
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I've got several pictures in my cheap, cheap camera, but my old, old computer is rather finicky about uploading them. Since I've still got some novel to write and since I need to sleep soon, I'm going to leave with one of the more representative shots I have already.

Welcome to my living room. )

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tablesaw: -- (Default)
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