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Gyrene Joe's
Gyrene Joe's
Joe's opinionated point of view of everything. Not any different than any other blog, I suppose.
Sunday, 05 March 2006
If nobody writes in their blogs then Dorosh's testicles win.
Gyrene posted @ 05:09 - Link - comments (6)
Tuesday, 24 January 2006
3:40AM, Santa Ana winds howling outside, can't sleep.

Gyrene posted @ 11:47 - Link - comments (2)
Monday, 02 January 2006
New year, first blog entry.  I promise not to bore you with tire talk anymore, at least not until spring.

I'm suffering from severe job-related creativity starvation which has me thinking that it might be time for me to move on to something else.

I work for a small computer company out of Cupertino, California called Apple Computer, you might have heard of it.  I am one of the many public faces of Apple, I preach the gospel according to Mac and save many unwashed souls from the evils of Windows (Note I didn't say Microsoft.  They make many good products, but their OS isn't one of them) and consequently I come in contact with a lot of people that within the last few months have started to really annoy the crap out of me.

I really like working for Apple, I have a lot of great customers that I have a real delight in helping with their projects, these are the people that make it worth it to come in to work, but I also have to answer a stream of questions that I can only classify as retarded from people that I would rather smack around with a wiffle ball bat while shouting "VADE RETRO!!!"

I think the hardest thing about my job is that when dealing with some of my cooler, creative customers I kind of get jealous (But never resentful) of what they do and I wish I did something similar.  I particularly envy the self employed ones.  These people have far more balls than I have.   So why don't I just go out and do some creativatin' for a living then?  Well, I can't quite break off from the corporate yoke in one shot just yet, but I am getting more and more commited to head that direction at least in a part time basis.

This site has provided me with an outlet and setting it up and maintaining it had the unforeseen side effect of actually increasing my skill set.  I am very grateful for the level of interest you all have shown for this site and your great level of participation, this place is sort of a therapy for me, it keeps my brain from rusting solid.

I've recently gotten back into playing around with 3D apps, Maya in particular (If the site seems a little slower than normal lately it's probably because I'm rendering an animation in the background), dealing with programming languages and Unix stuff recently makes dealing with the complexity of a modern 3d application a lot easier.  Some years back I really got turned off from doing 3d because of how un-artsy like I found 3d to be, I could easily get into programs like Photoshop, Painter and Illustrator but 3d apps were gibberish to me.  I think another facilitating factor for me lately has been my exposure via Apple to high end video editing and effects apps like Final Cut, Shake and Motion.  Thinking in time along with space was something new to me, but it's made then next step of getting into 3D easier.

I want to eventually built a solid motion graphics skill set to if not outright do full time work in this field, at the very least set up a side business freelancing for some of the local creative types.  Like I said, I like working for Apple, but I like the idea of doing my own thing in the future.

The one downside is that now I am quickly outgrowing my hardware - Running Maya, Shake, Final Cut, After Effects AND running a php/mysql based Apache website (And hosting 2 other user accounts, along with serving 110+ GB of my music library to my home network) is a little too much for my 4.5 year old 533mhz Mac.  Some apps like Apple's Motion barely run at all.  The fact the old Mac hasn't gone up in flames yet make me proud. :)

I hope to give the old guy a break by picking up one of the new Quad G5 PowerMacs,  stay tuned for future developments.

I know a number of you work for yourselves in similar tech/creative fields.  Any helpful input?
Gyrene posted @ 05:37 - Link - comments (5)
Thursday, 08 December 2005
Got the new tires mounted and had the chance to put in about 200 easy miles on them before any serious driving. recommends a 500 mile break-in period, which at first I thought excessive, but after my first full-on run at GMR last Saturday night I see they were right after all.

The Advans feel quite a bit stiffer than the PS2's, but at first that extra stiffness didn't translate to better turn-in, it felt a bit more vague, which should be expected from tires that weren't broken in yet.

My first run downhill was taken at a failry sedate pace, the driver of the car in front of me, a turbo'ed Miata I hadn't seen before, took it easy and I used that period to get more familiar with the new tires and I felt no need to push him or ask to pass.

Once at the bottom I had the chance to stage behind one of the regulars I drive with, also in a Miata, this one with a mostly stock engine but considerable suspension work.  This particualr driver is roughly the same age as me, an aerospace engineer with several years experience in Canyon driving, plus a N.A.S.A. and SCCA racing background. Not every canyon racer is a punk kid, see? smile

I am normally able to stay right behind him in the uphill - His car gives up over 100HP to mine, but it weighs a full 1000lbs less so in the super twisty GMR we're fairly well matched, but after the first couple of turns I knew I'd have a tough time staying close, the Advans didn't provide the same level of grip as the PS2's and understeered badly a couple of times without any audible warning, a trait I didn't particularly like - It was a dead quiet tire until it broke loose with a deep squeal, unlike the PS2's which emitted a thin and even tire squeal that gradually raised in volume as it approached the traction peak.  In their defense the Advans never broke uncontrollably and it was very easy to get it back on line, but by then the Miata was a couple of turns ahead and it was clear to me that these Yokohamas were slower than the Michelins, at least until they were past their break in period.

I later had the chance to do another downhill and back run, I had a camcorder mounted to my seat and thought I was getting some great footage, including a Civic hatch almost losing it a couple of times on the downhill but my camera decided to pick this time to not work correctly, so all I have is a static shot of my rear view mirror and some noise.  Leaving the camera on pause for around 15-20 minutes probably had something to do with it...

The bright side of the second run is that the tires were much better behaved this time, it seems that the last 3 runs did the trick for breaking them in and they now gripped and responded like the reviews said they would!  I stuck right behind the Miata this time, and would have had some lovely video of the run, complete with the Miata's downshift backfires, but oh well.  This second uphill run was also memorable for the fact that there were at least 10 cars going up at the same time, something I have never seen before, me and the Miata got to the top of the 5 mile run at least 40 seconds before the next car.

I might pick up another set of these Yok's for the rear when those give out, if my idiotic and irresponsible night time driving behaviour doesn't catch up to me first.

Gyrene posted @ 22:27 - Link - comments
Thursday, 01 December 2005
A quick note - The 1.5 upgrade to the OS X version of Firefox seems to have broken the compatibility with the editor used in this blog, TinyMCE...
Gyrene posted @ 05:38 - Link - comments
My new tires came in today, but too late for me to get them mounted, guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Here's a couple of shots of the outgoing front Michelin PS2's:

Driver front:

Passenger side:

Time to go huh?

Got back home and they were waiting - What a secsky sight! :D

Gyrene posted @ 05:16 - Link - comments (3)
Wednesday, 30 November 2005
Well, here we are on day 3 of the new site layout and things are still mostly working.

I fried my brain trying trying to get Zend and MMCache (PHP accelerators) to work on the iBook (I prototype everything in it before bringing it live) and tried some MySQL and Apach tweaks to get some extra performance from the site, or at the very least reduce the number of time outs.

I don't know how much diiference the php accelerator will make, if any.

Hopefully I didn't break anything with my changes to the MySQL .cnf file, I tried some kind of aggressive settings that I had to tone down a bit.

On a brighter note my new tires for the M3 should be in tomorrow, I got a pair of Yok's ADVAN AD07's to replace my worn front Michelin Pilot Sport PS2's - That will give me a chance to play with something more reasonable than webserver software.

The PS2's are excellent tires but after less than 5000 very hard miles they're starting to cord on the outside edges, despite the 2.5 degrees of negative camber I run in the front. 

I was considering getting a pair of Michelin Pilot Sport Cups for the front, but at close to $250 a pop (235/40R17) for something only likely to last me 2-3 months it is beyond my current budget.  I also considered Yokahama's A032R in hard compound, but being that the car is my daily driver I'll have to wait until I can get a second set of wheels for mountain runs only.

Anyone out there wants to donate a set of BBSmodel CH wheels for an E36? :D

A bright spot in my tire saga is that my rear 245/40R17 PS2's are wearing very well and have lasted longer than I thought they would and the grip is outstanding.
Gyrene posted @ 08:57 - Link - comments
Monday, 28 November 2005
How to make your own blog -

1) Go to the "Blog" menu
2) Choose "Create Blog" from the "Menu Blog" on the left side menu strip, click on the blue >> arrows just below the shout box spot if you can't see it.
3) Enter your Blog info
4) Choose "Write in Blog" or "Configure Blog" from "Menu Blog" Menu.
5) That's it!

If you have some html skill you want to show off you can edit the template of your blog by choosing "Edit Template" from the "Menu Blog" menu.

You can also add pictures for use in your blog with the "Your Gallery" menu option, picture havce to be below 100k in size.

Have fun!
Gyrene posted @ 19:24 - Link - comments (1)
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