Tuesday, September 6, 2016

From 3D to VR, Redeye Memorial and Other Mentions

I used to love my GAF Viewmaster as a kid. I got one as a gift when I was a boy and I would sit and look through it for what seemed like hours on the couch in our front room getting lost in the 3D images inside it. One of the photo reels I especially liked was of the Grand Canyon. It was so breathtakingly real to me. Tammy actually bought me a newer version Viewmaster several Christmases ago but (not surprisingly) it no longer held my imagination the way my original one had.

I suppose I'm guilty of being a sucker for anything that's 3D. I used to play around with making my own 3D photos. Here are two examples I did of stained glass lamps I made: Dragonfly lamp and Laburnum lamp. And lastly, here's one of Ole, our collared lizard we used to have. I have a bunch more I could show you but you get the idea.

So I thought it was kinda cool when I went to the mailbox a few days ago and found a package from Google and inside was an unasked for Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer; sorta like today's version of a Viewmaster. This thing is actually quite cool when paired with your smartphone as it opens up a poor man's version of virtual reality which works quite well. I have no idea why they sent me one -- perhaps yours is on its way.

Edit: I just got a call from Rachel after she read this blogpost -- "You knucklehead -- that was your birthday gift from me!" Oops. Looks like all y'all will have to order your own. Thanks, Kiddo! It's perfect!!

Tammy is officially retired once again after being fired from her job as a nurse at the group home where her mother is staying (hopefully for not much longer). We were happy to have Elaine move there last spring but since Tammy has been more intimately involved with the inner workings of the home she sees where they're coming up woefully short in the needs of their residents and not only at that home but at the 3 other homes they operate. Tammy has been trying to make the changes necessary for them to meet at least minimum standards but the owners have been reluctant to want to work with her. Some of the deficiencies are serious and she'll be following up with Dakota County to express her concerns. The other two nurses she worked alongside have submitted their resignation notices in support of Tammy.

She had hoped that this last adventure into the world of nursing before fully retiring would be a rewarding one but it hasn't turned out that way. She's content to feel that God had her there for a reason and that some amount of good will ultimately come from it.

Speaking of being retired -- I've successfully completed 1 year of retired life as of a few days ago. That was an amazingly fast year! I also took part in my first Redeye Memorial Golf Tournament at Fountain Valley Golf Course in Farmington and saw some faces I hadn't seen in quite a while; one of those being Pat Guider (wearing the orange shirt in the photo to the left). Pat and I began our careers together in Oklahoma City in March of 1982 but he retired 13 years before me. Several faces didn't make the group shot including mine. We scored poorly but it was a nice time. I pocketed $5 and a sleeve of balls for closest to the pin on #12 -- woohoo! I'll be back next year.

We've hit nearly all of the happenings on our must-do list this summer after having spent the day at the Renaissance Festival on Sunday. We missed out on everything last year so we were intent on making up for lost time.

It had only been a couple of years since we'd been to the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee so we weren't expecting the changes we saw as we walked the nearly half mile from our car to the entrance. We would learn later that the people who run the festival have always leased the land and that the land sits on "the prime source" for the kind of limestone dirt that's used in baseball diamonds around the country. Their lease expires in 2019 and they hope to have in place their new digs down the road in either Jordan or Belle Plaine in 2020. Until then they'll continue to host the event on land that looks about to be overrun by heavy-duty excavating equipment chomping at the bit for the go-ahead signal.

Reid and I met up early Saturday morning before the sun rose and drove 2.5 hours east to Neillsville, Wisconsin to ride the trails at Levis Mound. Reid had heard some good things about the trails there and we had to find out for ourselves if they were true.

They were awesome! Maybe a little too awesome for us.

The trails were easily the most technical either of us have ever ridden and at times it showed. The scenes where we had to push our bikes up some climbs didn't make the highlight reel in the video below but yeah, that happened and we gave it all we had. I even had the chance to check out the crash detection feature of my Garmin 820 that I spoke briefly of in a previous post. My front wheel got caught in a dip between some planks and my momentum took my rear wheel and me up over the bars and planted me flat on my back somewhat faster than I could comprehend it happening. I shook it off and we continued our ride while I imagined how I might try and explain to Tammy the several places on my legs and arms where I was bleeding from.

And explain I had to. I was actually hoping to sneak into the shower before Tammy saw me when I got home but she busted me as I came through the door. With eyes wide open and with several questions about what happened, she was insistent that that would be the last time I'd ride Levis Mound. Ha! Tell that to the irrepressible boy in me!

And the idea that a shower was going to erase my wounds was folly. They're gonna be awhile in the healing phase.


Annamae Miller said...

I had this:https://www.google.com/search?q=viewmaster+projector&tbm=isch&imgil=tVsIezygLNysXM%253A%253BWUQoMJuK-20QkM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.stevenjohnson.com%25252Fstereoview%25252Fviewers.htm&source=iu&pf=m&fir=tVsIezygLNysXM%253A%252CWUQoMJuK-20QkM%252C_&usg=__j9euIo5uohJ1t_byzYWGp655QaU%3D&biw=1366&bih=659&ved=0ahUKEwjRuPq6_PvOAhUK5CYKHU0JAPQQyjcIKw&ei=mFvPV9GMCorImwHNkoCgDw#imgrc=tVsIezygLNysXM%3A and still have this: https://www.google.com/search?q=viewmaster&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3--Cd_PvOAhUGbSYKHZzyCKEQ_AUICSgC&biw=1366&bih=659#imgrc=1GYMaqPW8oWIXM%3A and the old discs that go with it, Bible stories, etc. I am not sure how the cardboard works, but Rachel seems to know you well. My son won an elementary level science fair with an "optics/3d entry, I...er,um, he really enjoyed it.

Kevin Gilmore said...

I'm not sure why but for some reason your link got messed up when Blogger published it but I was able to get if off the original submission. Here's the first link.

And here's the 2nd one.

Very cool that you kept the one all these years. It looks like it was probably the cadillac of Viewmasters back in the day!

Yes, Rachel puts thought into the gifts she gets me. We met up with her at the State Fair and it was the day after my birthday. She wanted to get me something at the fair but said she'd rather wait and think about it some more which I thought was sweet of her. The cardboard viewer didn't break her budget and was just the perfect gift for me.

Kevin Gilmore said...

Hmmm -- Blogger seems to have a mind of its own tonight but I do see what you linked to. I just can't get them to link here individually.