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December 27th, 2009

Sketchy Santas! [Dec. 27th, 2009|09:41 am]
Santa's the adorable old guy, with a plush white beard, presents, and a wise word for young kids.


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I hope this post finds you having a fine Christmas. [Dec. 27th, 2009|10:42 am]
As usual my thoughts are jumbled... I never was any good at making a thread-of-consciousness like I need to do for writing a proper update, feel free to put my words in the right order. =)

Christmas has gone really well this year. It's been a mixed bag - it's been quiet, which is relaxing and gives me time to reflect on the year, and spend time with my partner. But it's been quiet - I miss the bustle of Christmas, just a little bit.
I've been happy - nothing complicated has happened, and I'm blissfully enjoying all this time I have to myself! It's the equivalent of about 4 months of regular working week time off wrapped up into a fortnight! *bliss!*

We eventually got the tree up last night. The tinsel was in the box, so I could have put it up earlier, but I'd been looking for it. It looks cosy and wintery, it's a nice focus for our otherwise un-atmospheric living room. I've got some clear ideas of a 'posh' living room, including sturdy oak furniture and plush velvet, with a Windsor carpet, and book cases with Georgian glass doors in wood surrounds but that's a little out of our price range right now, so the tree will do.

I wasn't expecting anything for Christmas this year - everyone's been hurting from the recession. But, I was pleasantly surprised and happy with what I did get, which far exceeded my expectations.
I have a beautiful deep pink Phalaenopsis Orchid, and a new computer.

I'm going to write about my prezzies now, because they've been my main focus the last few days... =D

My beautiful Orchid!
I've been reading up on the Orchid... I knew they were difficult to grow, and after looking through some care guides I've found out it's because they need a narrow band of temperatures, light and water. It's looking like the study will be the most stable place for the temperature and humidity, but I'm not sure about the light! Every room has something good, but also something bad about it. The bedroom it would get light, but it's too cold, the living room is a bit too dry (big radiator), but not much light, but nice and warm. The kitchen is the same, but a little cooler - and I'm not suer how the change in atmospherics will effect it when we're cooking.
It ideally needs cool rainwater - as tap water can contain too much lime and other impurities. It's hard to come by around here - as we live in a flat, we don't have any water butts to collect it. Though there might be a location if I'm lucky. For now I'll use boiled water, the kettles rather good at precipitating the lime out.
I'm a little anxious! I've never had an Orchid before and I'm worried I'll mess it up. =/
But if I can get it too grow - it'll be my best personal achievement with flora! =D
Game on!

My speedy computer.
I've been configuring my new computer the last few days - it's really good. I've got Windows 7, and there's been no crashes at all. I've installed Photoshop CS 4 on it, and was shocked that all the tools/zooming/panning updated at one frame a second! After extensive Googling (there's thousands of pages about this), I found out CS 4 is designed for really modern hardware - duo/quad/oct core chips, and the latest DX10 cards. Blimey! It's the Crysis of the art world.
I patched the software, and changed my NVidia settings for Photoshop to minimize the overhead. (It uses a sloooooow shader to do scaling!). I'm getting about 10 FPS now, which isn't bad. In the new year I may save for a double core chip which should improve things lots.
Thanks to VMWare, I've virtualised my old machine - I've got a version of it sitting on a removable drive, and can run it on my new machine - it gives me access to all the software I have, and CS 2's plugins I've got, and everything on its hard disk.
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