Thursday, April 30, 2009

End of April

Well, April is now history, or will be in a few hours. It's on to May.

I just completed an on-line study course for my job; one that's been hanging fire for a long time, now. It was the second - and hardest - of two courses on FAX theory, and I'm just bloody well thrilled that I managed to get through it with some semblence of sanity still intact.

The entire study manual - all 137 pages of it - was one of those delightful tomes resulting from the translation from Japanese into English (sort of) by someone with a serious drug habit. The resulting mish-mash is sometimes referred to as 'Japlish' - not to offend our friends from Japan. It frequently makes for humorous reading, as long as you're not reading it to try and pass a test.

Peruse the following paragraphs lifted from the manual:

'3.1 Simple Bi-level Rendering and Pseudo-Halftone Rendering

The most part of facsimile communication original is text document. When it is looked as image, it can be expressed by two colors, black and white.

On the other hand image with gradation such as photo, since tone cannot be expressed by a pixel, it is expressed by mixing the black and white pixels at random. Such method is called pseudo-halftone rendering and ordered dither was used for the facsimile originally. However, as the memory cost had been decreased, error diffusion method replaced them.

This pseudo-half tone rendering technology is popular among digital half-tone output devices such as digital copier and printer as well as facsimile. Therefore, it is very meaningful to understand the outline of the principle. Comparing with the pseudo-halftone rendering, text data rendering is referred as simple bi-level rendering in this document temporary.

When summarize difference between simple bi-level and pseudo-halftone renderings in a few words, it is whether threshold value to judge black and white is fixed or variable. In simple bi-level rendering, the same threshold value is applied to each pixel and black and white is determined by whether the value is larger or smaller than the threshold value. As shown in Fig.3.1.1, when simple bi-level rendering is applied to the halftone image, tone is completely ignored.'

Say whaaaaaaaaat???

Imagine for a moment spending several hours on a rainy Thursday night with 137 pages of this, followed by a 40-question test subdivided into 3 sections of 16, 16, and 8 questions, respectively. And they wondered why my left retina detached a couple years ago.

At any rate, I passed the test, and now I'm going to bed. And now you know why I am the way I am.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26 2009 Update

It seems like April just arrived, and already we’re into the last week of the month. I’ve heard it said that the older you get, the faster time flies. I’m beginning to realize the truth of that statement. It seems like fall and our vacation in Arkansas was just a few weeks ago. Now, spring is here, the trees are sprouting leaves, the lilac bush is blooming, my aliums are about to bloom, the grass is needing mowed, and a robin has built a nest on my electric meter.

Robin's Nest on My Electric Meter

I must confess, I’ve paid far more attention lately to my Facebook page than I have this blog. That will be changing. While Facebook is fun, only other Facebook users can see it. This blog has a much wider reach if not audience. I will be paying much more attention to the blog and the website.

The new HVAC system we had installed last month is doing fine, and we just made the first payment on it last week. Only 83 more to go.

I’ve just updated the Monthly Update links and added an update for April. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this blog is integrated into my website. Click the link to your right that says ‘Rod’s Lair Latest News Section’ and all will become clear.

I’ve got a couple (at least) new lamps in progress; one of them is nearly complete. Last weekend I spent most of Saturday up in the attic (before it gets too hot!) doing some re-wiring. Our dining room is all of 10 feet across, and the former owner had a light switch on both sides of the room. Why in blazes you need two light switches in a room 10 feet across is beyond me, but at any rate, I got the wiring all worked out. Jo’s folks had given us a really nice light fixture some time ago, and I got it installed once the wiring was taken care of. It looks great, and provides a lot of light!

New Light in Dining Room

I’ve been doing a good deal of on-line coursework for my job lately, and expect that to continue for some time. Things have been pretty slow at work lately, and with the shaky economy these days one needs to keep one’s skills updated on a continuing basis.

I’m also researching a number of ideas for the website to try and create an additional income stream or two. I’ll be offering some new services, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get my on-line ‘store’ open soon. Stay tuned.

I’ve also got a list of things I’d like to accomplish as far as home improvements. First and foremost is getting the patio out back completed. I’ve only been working on it (off and on) for the last three years. With all the extra family issues I’ve been helping with, not to mention a few of my own health problems, I’ve had little time to devote to the numerous home improvements I’d like to make. Things have pretty well stabilized in both regards (at least for now), so I’ll hopefully be able to get at least some of these projects completed.

For now, I’ll sign off and say….