Monthly Archives: November 2009

Farewell to NaBloPoMo for Another Year, Unless you are Doing December…

November has been both a good month and a bit of a struggle. The struggle has been family/holiday/death related, as blogged about here, and the Good has been friend/family/art/music/mobile/travel/wedding/baby related.
The three bits about November that were really delightful are as follows:
1) The weather *finally* took a turn for the better. Better in my book is colder. I am happiest when the days are 55-65 F (10-17C) and when the nights are 35-50 F (3-13C). For a lady who loves a good bout of chilly weather, I am not sure why I live in Southern California. The weather here in SoCal will be happy for me through December and then will unfortunately warm up in January. Gah.
I am still interested in working in London if anyone has an opening.
2) Milestones: Lauren and Dave’s wedding weekend in Seattle was lovely. I am very glad to see them married. It was also delightful to see Cindy & Matt that weekend as they were fresh of the married dept themselves. And even more delightful is that Seattle’s weather was in the 40s F all weekend!
3) November has been a very creative month for me, both in terms of professional web dev/coding bits and in my creative art life of mobile photography, writing, and drawing, as well as day dreaming.
It was also inspirational, funny, and heartening to read/watch my various friends and friends of friends daily blog posts or vlog posts for NaBloPoMo or the other variations on the daily creativity theme thereof.
So all of you who participated in NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo or NaVloPoMo officially or unofficially, Bravo! Good job and keep up the good creative work!

Tidbits :: Monday November 30, 2009

NY Times on the NY University exhibition, “The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.,” of in the article, A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity : “Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade. For 1,500 years, starting earlier than 5000 B.C., they farmed and built sizable towns, a few with as many as 2,000 dwellings. They mastered large-scale copper smelting, the new technology of the age. Their graves held an impressive array of exquisite headdresses and necklaces and, in one cemetery, the earliest major assemblage of gold artifacts to be found anywhere in the world.”

Stick a Fork in Me, I’m Done

Sunset in Seal Beach

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.

Sun 11.29.09 – While it is still Sunday the 29th here in the greater LA area, it is early evening Monday the 30th in Australia and I am done. Thankfully.
This is the second to the last day of NaBloPoMo and various folks have done a wonderful job of blog posting, vlogging, and novel writing. Congrats to everyone who participating in one of the NaCreativeSomethingMo this month!

Nokia N97 Camera & Video : A Snipet of Royal Crown Revue’s Zip Gun Bop, Or How the N97’s Flash Misbehaves

Wed 11.25.09 – I was attempting to take low light ‘night’ photos with the Nokia N97 on the edge of the dancer’s pit at Royal Crown Revue’s show at The Mint, but the still camera kept using the flash and blurring photos even though I had the camera settings on the ‘Night’ mode with no flash.
As the flash would do its thing, against my will, the photos would have a white out in the left side of the image and the rest of the image would be foggy (example of this here). This was really frustrating.
So, I decided to see if the ‘Night’ mode on the Nokia N97’s video would work better, and it did. After the initial light meter reading, the video’s color and lighting to the room is fairly correct and I am glad that the N97 did record video nicely in the ‘Night’ mode. I am happy with the no flash video capture in terms of light and with the sound quality.
As I have stated a few times the last week or two, the Nokia N97 is much much improved with the Oct. 2009 v.20 firmware update, but there are a few tweaks still to be made to the camera software to make the N97 a real flagship mobile device.
Of which, if the photographer wants the flash to be off and/or use Night mode, please make sure that the mobile’s software knows to tell the flash NOT to flash. And it would be nice if the N97 would be more consistent about focusing on the objects in the middle of the focus square when green rather than some where off in the background.


Google Wave : 38 Invites, Come and Get ‘Em

Some how I have hit the Google Wave invite jackpot* and now have 38 invites to give away. If you want one, please comment on this blog post with your email address and I will send you one.
***Update*** : Sun 11.29.09 – Thanks for the folks who have requested an invite by a comment so far. I have two requests before giving out any more invites:
1) Please put your email in the email box in the comment form rather than in the comment itself, this protects your email as only I can see it.
2) Please put the URL of your online space in the URL box, as if I am going to invite folks I want to be able to see your website or twitterstream and say hi.
****UPDATE**** : Mon 12.07.09 – Thanks for your comments and replies, but the invites are now over and done. If you commented here and did not get an invite, it was because you didn’t give me your URL after I asked for it above. I hope you enjoy Google Wave.
* T’would be nice to hit the lottery jackpot instead… but one has to work with what one has got… ;o)

Tidbits :: Friday November 27, 2009

Artist Maria Kalman’s delightful photo & handwritten essay on food & eating in America – “Back to the Land – And the Pursuit of Happiness

The Atlantic’s Food section on In Italy, Food Gets Graded: “The day my daughter’s kindergarten teacher called me into her Italian classroom to tell me my child was failing lunch, I knew I had run up against the great continental culinary divide. As an American married to an Italian, I’ve lived off and on in Italy for years, in both Bologna and Venice. I’m an adventurous and enthusiastic cook, an impassioned eater, and one of those parents who throw their kids into the deep end of the culinary pool from birth. Sink or swim: eat your fava beans and grilled calamari or starve.”

Jamillah Knowles asks “If you could do anything via your mobile – what would it be? beyond Remote control? radar? colour matching? anything sci-fi (no weapons)?

Cardus on the linguist orgins of Hello, You Had Me At Hello : “The history of hello is long and mired in many vowels. Though it didn’t show up in its current form till the mid-19th century, its forbears are many and obvious: hallo, halloo, hillo, holla (a Shakespearean favourite recently returned to slang prominence), hollo, holloa–all generally being a combination get-attention-and-greet, useful for hailing passing boats and that sort of thing.

Drifting beyond the bounds of English, hello’s roots diverge: is it from the Old High German ferry-call halâ, an emphatic imperative of “to fetch,” from the antiquated French stop-shout holà, roughly “whoa there!” or maybe, as Wikipedia tenderly suggests, from the Old English hœlan (heal, cure, save; greet, salute; gehœl! Hosanna!)?”

Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone

Drawing using the Nokia N900's Sketch App Nokia N900 photo using Macro/Close-up mode with no Flash in low light
Drawing and Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N900.

Fri. 11.27.09 – Different folks will approach the same mobile device from a variety of perspectives, and I am here to tell you as a Professional Art Weirdo, the Nokia N900 exceeds my hopes as an Art Phone.
Yes. People. OMG. Creativity. Not. Consumption. This. Phone. Rocks.
I have spent all evening drawing, taking photos and trying out the browser. Tomorrow, I will get on X-Term and download Maemo Python and try some programming out.
The Nokia N900 has a native phone app called “Sketch”, and while other mobiles I have used have had a sketch program, this is the first time that I have found the app to be usable as an actual sketching device. The feel of the N900 in my hand plus the screen ratio, on top of the line control in the sketch app, makes me feel like I am using a wee moleskine notebook. While the N900 is about a centimeter smaller in width & height as my moleskine, it does not need to be opened, instead I can use the stylus to draw with the device comfortably in my hand.
Comfortably after 20 minutes of sketching Scruffy’s paw while he slept. The N900 did not feel weighty or get uncomfortable. I was able to switch between drawing with a fine line and then erasing to get the white space back. A true delight for an artist with small hands.
Then I used the camera on the N900 to take a close-up/macro photo with no flash of Scruffy’s paw and the camera accurately captured the paw in the low light.
This is the mobile phone that I and other creatives dreamed of when I was doing my interviews in 2005 & 2006 for my master’s thesis, ‘Moleskine to Mobile: How Creative Professions Are Using Their Mobile Phones’, has now arrived in one kick ass device. Multi-faceted creativity has returned to the N-Series.
Related N900 Posts:
Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone
Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test
Nokia N900 – Views from the Pundit Analysts, Maemo & Python
The Nokia Flagship Face Off : Nokia N900 vs. Nokia N97 : Part I, Night Video

Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test

Mundane photo of the Nokia N97 to test the N900's moblogging ability
Photo of a local Nokia N97 as was the closest thing around to take a photo of by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N900.

Fri 11.27.09 – Is the Nokia N900’s native web browswer’s support of javascript and AJAX good enough to blog directly in the mobile browser to my Moveable Type install that uses Better File Uploader? Every other mobile browser, including the iPhone has failed at the first or second screen.
10 minutes later, of course I didn’t read the manual, so after searching on how to zoom out (the volume/photo zoom physical key) and zooming all the way out so the whole page fit in the screen, I was able to go through all four Better Uploader’s AJAX powered screens and upload the photo from the device’s memory to my own server using my own blog with no third party app or server!
The Nokia N900 wins the Moblogging and Best Mobile Browser Gold Medal!!!
(Typing all of this is giving my hands cramps, but YAY!!!!!)
Dear Santa, Please, pretty please, with sugar on top… a Nokia N900 of my own for Christmas…
Related N900 Posts:
Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone
Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test
Nokia N900 – Views from the Pundit Analysts, Maemo & Python
The Nokia Flagship Face Off : Nokia N900 vs. Nokia N97 : Part I, Night Video