Man, I've been lax on my updates online lately! Commissions are still grinding along, waiting on Goldblaze for his sketches on the remaining collabomissions, and I am drowning in an amazingly awesome series of events that have transpired!
The first was a chance visit to the local nature center at Edwin Warner Park, at first just looking around for curiosity's sake, and then getting sucked into a request for volunteers for the center's yearly Project Feeder Watch. I signed up, and should be volunteering to count birds on several Saturdays in December. I got to meet with a lot of the center's staff and volunteers, and happened to be there at the PERFECT time - a small team was out in the middle of a small gravel path between the various buildings banding birds!!! I have never been able to be privy to the banding process, and was absolutely elated to see that they would let anyone stop by to watch them work, including a large group of college students from Belmont University.
I was able to see several American Goldfinches and Tufted Titmice as they were banded, along with one male Northern Cardinal, and three majorly significant species for their unusual occurrence in the mist nets - a Yellow-Rumped Warbler (a bird that winters in TN), an Orange-Crowned Warbler (an individual migrating late in the year, compared to the species' normal migration patterns), and three (!!!) Golden-Crowned Kinglets!! They are some of the most amazing little birds!! I also felt extremely at home with the banders - it was amazing to realize that these people were as engaged in the process as I was. The three ladies banding the birds all literally squeed when they realized that they had gotten a kinglet (and oh man, were they beside themselves when they found out that there were going to be two others coming their way from the mist nets!!). Photos were most certainly had when all three of the kinglets were brought together to be released at once, and everyone was having a blast while still remaining rigorous in their acquiring of pertinent data.
I stuck around for well more than an hour, learning about the very specific banding identification books that they used (which included information on what to look for when trying to age and sex the birds, and clever abbreviations for the different species names - for example: 'NamGo' for North American Goldfinch and 'NoCa' for Northern Cardinal). I had an absolute blast!
Second in the list of important events, I've just had a follow-up appointment with my new neurologist, and I wanted to let you guys know about my new medication situation. I'm being taken off of my normal migraine preventative Amitriptyline due to increasing issues with depression and lack of interest in my usual joys, along with a smaller collection of side-effects I've been coping with for two years now. I'm already down one dosage level, and my level of productivity has skyrocketed, for sure! However, I'm going to be put on a new migraine preventative soon, Zonisamide (an anti-convulsant), and I may have a heightened chance of being inattentive, not as able to concentrate, and may have memory issues. I'm already kind of spacey, so I can only imagine what I'll be like if I get those sorts of side effects! So, in one way, maybe my normal patterns of updating will make those side effects not as apparent, but I'll try to do my best to keep up to date with my commissioners, especially now that Pet Portrait season is in (everyone wants one for Christmas!). If you think that something is not quite right with your commission status, please feel free to let me know - I will not be upset!
Thiird.... I may have a new person to collaborate with for my 3D prints!! A close friend is working with 3D printers a lot for his post-graduate work, and is doing amazing things with this medium. He's made it known to me that he would be more than happy to print my models for me, for the price of at least replacing the filament used in the process and time to let him print in his own time outside of his primary duties. I have yet to upload photos of one of the prints he's done for me, but its detail level...holy crap, it's almost to the level of the Ultra Frosted Detail that Shapeways offers, but WITHOUT the exorbitant $200-$300 price tag!! 3D print commission prices are very likely to be lowered in the near future as a result! : D
And, lastly, and perhaps the most important, is this; my update in technological capacity. The same friend that works with 3D printers found a Mac Pro tower sitting out in the hallway of his workplace one day, and found that it had no real issues whatsoever, and a killer processor and RAM. He called me up, and asked if I wanted it. After some discussion with other friends, we settled that I would purchase a graphics card, a Windows 8 license, and a monitor to fully utilize this beast's capabilities, and he would put it together and send it my way. Needless to say, staying within a $300 budget, I purchased Win 8, an NVidia GeForce 750 Ti card, and a Dell UltraSharp 24 inch IPS monitor. Long story short, I just got the programs finally installed, and my friend threw in a very specific game to test this puppy's abilities, a game that I had been drooling over for years: Bioshock Infinite.
HOLY CRAP - it is AMAZING. I feel like I'm playing a game on the PS4 for how smoothly it runs, and at all the highest settings!! I have never had such an opportunity like this in my entire life - any time I've had something that had such imperceptible limits, I had to give it back after a short period of time. I still am having an exceptionally hard time accepting that this computer, this game, this CAPACITY.... is mine. o.o
And, when I added ZBrush into the mix...hooooo boy, you guys had better watch out! You might have your eyes boiled out of your sockets from the level of detail I'll be able to achieve!!! Combine THAT with my friend's 3D printing capabilities.... holy hell, the sky is the limit. I'll be able to make all the models and model kits that I want to - I already had so many ideas for what I want to make available for sale, but now the level of quality just might increase because of this. Also - FiberMesh?? Raczoon, prepare yourself!! Your girl may just actually get the fur that she truly deserves. <3
So - so much potential, so little time, and a toss of the dice with my next migraine medication test. I sure hope to the dice gods that they all roll 6's! I will do my best, and I hope that you guys will enjoy the ride! Thank you so much for all of your support, every last one of you! You guys make this all worth it. ^^
Listening to: Dogma Debate
Reading: The Portable Atheist - Christopher Hitchens
Watching: System Shock LP
Playing: The Binding of Isaac
Eating: Dried figs