Story Dice

One gift I received was story dice. You roll the dice and weave together a story doing your best to use all the elements that are rolled. I thought this would make a fun addition to the blog while also forcing me to write odd little stories and keep skills sharp. For the times being I think I will challenge myself to use the dice in the order they were rolled. Today’s rolls were:

Story Dice
Dice Rolls: Cyborg, eclipse, mad scientist, supper power of super speed, monster, lightsaber, moon, launching platform.

Okay, so here we go.

With all the added advantages of their cybernetic enhanced eyes, Myer longed for the time that they saw the world as they did when they were a child – unenhanced. Even if they had turned off all the information, alerts and processes, the image was still one that was filtered through cybernetic enhancements. Myer got their enhancements later in life and so clearly remembers the world without cybernetic eyes. It was a world that held mystery, curiosity and beauty.

As they gazed up at the Sun in anticipation of the coming solar eclipse, solar filters automatically flipped into place protecting the sensitive electronics that wove their way through their retina. To have seen such a beautiful site with their own eyes, what would it look like, would they have to squint and shield their eyes, would people still yell at you for looking at the Sun before totality? Questions without answers now that the mad progress of science saw all people enhanced. Even those that fought to live without enhancements were forced into it against their wills. People who wished to simply enjoy a gentle stroll along a lake now walked faster than they used to run. Although Myer had never denounced or turned over those who resisted enhancements, they were never against it either. In their heart of hearts, however, they had supported the enhancement for all movement and thanked the technicians every time a non-enhancer was found and brought into a world of better living.

As they gazed up and wondered at what this marvellous sight would look like without mechanical sight, the little monster in their mind came crawling out again. This monster was thoughts of regret, sympathy and shame. Beneath the cold hard support of the actions of the technicians, Myer knew there was doubt. Everyone knew there was doubt.

Part of the rehabilitation after getting enhancements was time with a coach who taught you that even though the bodies physiological drive to push out enhancements had been overcome, the human mind was still a place where enhancement rejection could occur. This was not physical rejection, but emotional rejection. It started, just like that little monster of thoughts that they fought against now and again.

The coaching was personal and taught each person a way to fight off the prospects of mental rejection. If not kept at bay it could lead to insanity or worse. Myer had pulled from their youth and from one of their favourite tales, Star Wars: A New Hope. Just as Darth Vader had struck down Obi-Wan so effortlessly with his lightsaber, so did they now strike out at the monstrous thoughts creeping into their mind.

With a though, Myer turned back on the alerts, data streams and other ocular enhancements. As they did this, an alert showed that the edge of the Moon had just touched the edge of the Sun. It would not have been visible to the unenhanced eye for a number of seconds and had they not turned on their enhancements they would have missed this beautiful moment during an eclipse. How fortunate they were to keep faith in the technicians.

Myer leaned back against the metal framework of the abandoned rocket launching pad and watched as the Moon slowly ate away at the Sun as their enhancements pointed out features on the Moon’s surface that were shrouded in shadows.

-KMSB

EPSON Software Fail

When I started shooting film again, I invested in a good scanner for my negatives. Some research led me to the EPSON V6000 Photo scanner.

As a whole, the scanner has been great, but the software, EPSON Scan, left a lot to be desired. Not only was the user interface dated in its looks, but the software was troublesome when generating previews and scanning.

To generate a preview it opened a second window, which leads to a lot of annoying double-clicking to get things done. To scan you clicked on the scan button, but one click brought you back from the preview window into the control window and then a second click on your scan button would register and scan.

Then there was the trouble when I set it to scan multiple pictures from a series of negatives, I would have to babysit my computer and move the mouse every so often to make the software feel like it was loved and then it would move onto scanning the next image.

Curious I went back to the EPSON support site to see if there was a new release.

https://epson.ca/Support/Scanners/Perfection-Series/Epson-Perfection-V600-Photo/s/SPT_B11B198011

Regrettably, the only release was still from 1,2014. On a whim, I looked under the Drivers and Utilities to see if there were at least some updates there. Turns out there was a driver update, but nothing in Utilities – or at least that’s what I thought at first.

After updating the driver, I looked one last time under Utilities and saw EPSON Software Updater that was last updated in 1,2019. I downloaded the program, run an update and was elated to be met with a screen at the end saying that I now had EPSON Scan 2!

Sure enough, in the EPSON folder in my Applications Folder, I had the new program. I have yet to try out all its functions, but so far it has been working much better. The only questions are, why is EPSON pointing people to an old software when there is a new and better version? Also, who in this day and age doesn’t program a way to update a program from within the program? Really EPSON, a completely separate program to run updates?

Life Sucks: A Positively Negative View of the Day to Day

With Facebook and other social media platforms mostly showing the glitz and glam of our lives, now and again it helps to see the annoying, frustrating, unpleasant or embarrassing moments in our lives that don’t make the cut. With that, here is the first of what I hope will become a regular and laugh-worthy look at the cutting room floor of life.

Last winter my girlfriend and I were struck by the brazenness of people. Someone went out of their way to steal the electrical cord from the front of her car and left her with a cold, unhappy engine before having to go to work.

We laughed it off and hoped whoever took the cord really needed to … well for something really important. We went to Canadian Tire, bought two cords hoping to stay a step ahead of the enterprising thief. For the rest of the winter, the new electrical cord went untouched.

This winter, after coming back from holidays celebrating Christmas with my girlfriend’s family, we were happy to see that the cord didn’t take a walk. The watchful eye of friends and family coming to check in on the house prevailed.

That was until two days later. The opportunistic vandal struck again! This time they even took care to “cover their tracks” by walking back across the same path they took to take the cord. Clearly this was a thought-through enterprise and not just a case of grab and go.

Now using our second cord, and not really wanting to have to keep replacing them each winter, another trip to the hardware store was in order. A few dollars and twenty minutes, gloveless, in the cold resulted in a lovely lockable plug cover – secured, of course, with your state of the art keyring! Too small for bulky gloves, too cold for numb fingers.

A shiza-da dzonioche – vengence will be mine!

-KMSB

Getting Back to Film and Away From Digital

I picked up a Zeiss Contessa a year ago and started shooting film again. I did it because I was always taking pictures with my digital camera and just storing the images on the computer and not really looking at them again. I thought that if I was shooting film, I would have to get the pictures developed and would then have pictures to put on the wall or in albums.

I got my first rolls of film developed and have learned that it is rather expensive now to get prints made. I’ve since gotten the supplies to develop my own film and while talking about how excited I was to try it out, they asked if I wanted to use their old cameras.

I figured why not, it couldn’t hurt to play around with some other cameras. My dad had an SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) and a TLR (Twin-Lens Reflex). I wanted to get away from SLRs and so took my dad’s Supper Ricohflex. My mum had her dad’s Voigtländer Brilliant which looked in rougher shape, but I took it as well.

The lens on the Voigtländer needed a good clean and the picture counter wasn’t counting. I was able to get the lenses off the front and clean them with some cleaner and lens paper. Getting to the back lenses was a little trickier. I had to borrow a pair of surgical clamps so I could loosen the ring holding the lenses on. In a stroke of luck, it was also the ring holding the whole front mechanism to the body. I was able to give everything a once-over, it looked like the timing mechanism on the shutter was working fine.

The viewfinder lens was held in with a couple of screws and although the spring flaps don’t come off, I was able to clean the mirror and the inside of the lens.

For the picture counter, I was able to take out the false wall on the inside. It was pop-riveted on, regrettably, I thought it was friction fit on and ended up pulling the rivet through the camera body.

I wasn’t sure if I could save the counter at that point but managed to drill out the rivet and saw that an M3 screw would fit nicely in the old rivet hole and I could use a washer to go over the now larger rivet hole on the body.

The spring on the counter needed an extra wind in its coil and the numbers needed a little glue to reattach to the front of the gear. I’m just waiting on a screw of the right length and hopefully, it will be taking pictures as good as new.