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Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Win or lose?

Wed, 23/11/2016 - 01:02

I never paid any attention in art classes. On reflection, I think we had an awful teacher who more or less ignored those of us with no latent talent or interest. I grew up mildly jealous of people I knew who could draw and always wished I was able.

Over the past few years, I've heard several people say that artistic ability is 10% talent and 90% practice and I've considered giving it a go at some point. Recently, we bought some pencils and a pad for my son and this evening, with a glass of wine at hand and some 70s rock on the stereo, I decided to take the plunge and see what horrors I could submit the unwitting page to.

Here's the first thing I've drawn since school:

It was supposed to be my wife. If you know her, you'll know I failed ;)

I focussed too much on the individual features and not enough on the overall shape. The eyes and hair aren't bad (at least they look something like hers), but the mouth and nose are too large and disproportionate - though recognisable.

I decided to try drawing what was in front of me: a ghost-shaped candle holder:

That's a photo by the way, not my drawing ;)

Here's the drawing. I killed the perspective somewhat but at least it's recognisable!

After I'd drawn the ghost, I decided to have another go at my wife while she wasn't paying attention. This one looks more like her but the eyes look as though she's been in a fight and the hair is a tad more Edward Scissorhands than I'd intended.

Overall, I got a better result than I'd expected from my first three attempts at sketching in 20 years. This might turn into a series.

More than willing to receive criticism and advice from people who know what they're doing with a pencil :)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Win or lose?

Wed, 23/11/2016 - 01:02

I never paid any attention in art classes. On reflection, I think we had an awful teacher who more or less ignored those of us with no latent talent or interest. I grew up mildly jealous of people I knew who could draw and always wished I was able.

Over the past few years, I've heard several people say that artistic ability is 10% talent and 90% practice and I've considered giving it a go at some point. Recently, we bought some pencils and a pad for my son and this evening, with a glass of wine at hand and some 70s rock on the stereo, I decided to take the plunge and see what horrors I could submit the unwitting page to.

Here's the first thing I've drawn since school:

It was supposed to be my wife. If you know her, you'll know I failed ;)

I focussed too much on the individual features and not enough on the overall shape. The eyes and hair aren't bad (at least they look something like hers), but the mouth and nose are too large and disproportionate - though recognisable.

I decided to try drawing what was in front of me: a ghost-shaped candle holder:

That's a photo by the way, not my drawing ;)

Here's the drawing. I killed the perspective somewhat but at least it's recognisable!

After I'd drawn the ghost, I decided to have another go at my wife while she wasn't paying attention. This one looks more like her but the eyes look as though she's been in a fight and the hair is a tad more Edward Scissorhands than I'd intended.

Overall, I got a better result than I'd expected from my first three attempts at sketching in 20 years. This might turn into a series.

More than willing to receive criticism and advice from people who know what they're doing with a pencil :)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Win or lose?

Wed, 23/11/2016 - 01:02

I never paid any attention in art classes. On reflection, I think we had an awful teacher who more or less ignored those of us with no latent talent or interest. I grew up mildly jealous of people I knew who could draw and always wished I was able.

Over the past few years, I've heard several people say that artistic ability is 10% talent and 90% practice and I've considered giving it a go at some point. Recently, we bought some pencils and a pad for my son and this evening, with a glass of wine at hand and some 70s rock on the stereo, I decided to take the plunge and see what horrors I could submit the unwitting page to.

Here's the first thing I've drawn since school:

It was supposed to be my wife. If you know her, you'll know I failed ;)

I focussed too much on the individual features and not enough on the overall shape. The eyes and hair aren't bad (at least they look something like hers), but the mouth and nose are too large and disproportionate - though recognisable.

I decided to try drawing what was in front of me: a ghost-shaped candle holder:

That's a photo by the way, not my drawing ;)

Here's the drawing. I killed the perspective somewhat but at least it's recognisable!

After I'd drawn the ghost, I decided to have another go at my wife while she wasn't paying attention. This one looks more like her but the eyes look as though she's been in a fight and the hair is a tad more Edward Scissorhands than I'd intended.

Overall, I got a better result than I'd expected from my first three attempts at sketching in 20 years. This might turn into a series.

More than willing to receive criticism and advice from people who know what they're doing with a pencil :)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Mick Morgan: if it be your will

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 17:30

A bleak week just got worse. The results of the US Presidential election are, frankly, beyond belief. We now have a xenophobic, racist, misogynistic megalomaniac waiting to move into the White House and become, literally, the most powerful man on earth.

And now Leonard Cohen has died.

Cohen is one of my all time favourite artists. A writer of beautiful poetry and lyrics beyond compare and endowed with a voice capable of moving me to tears. I cry now because that voice is silenced.

In the mid eighties he wrote “If it be your will” which starts:

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

This year he wrote in “You want it darker

If You are the dealer, I’m out of the game
If You are the healer, I’m broken and lame
If Thine is the glory, then mine must be the shame
You want it darker – we kill the flame.
Magnified, sanctified is your holy name
Vilified, crucified in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker – Hineni, Hineni, I’m ready, my Lord.

Now he is gone, in the same week the US voted a dangerous buffoon to the Presidency. If there be a God, he has a cruel sense of humour. The world has just got darker.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Chris Lamb: Awarded Core Infrastructure Initiative grant for Reproducible Builds

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 17:04

I'm delighted to announce that I have been awarded a grant from the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to fund my previously-voluntary work on Reproducible Builds.

Whilst anyone can inspect the source code of free software for malicious flaws, most software is distributed pre-compiled to end users. The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to permit verification that no flaws have been introduced — either maliciously or accidentally — during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

I'd like to sincerely thank the CII, not only for their material support but also for their recognition of my existing contributions. I am looking forward to working with my co-grantees towards fulfilling our shared goal.

You can read the CII's press release here.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Chris Lamb: Core Infrastructure Initiative grant for Reproducible Builds

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 17:01

I'm delighted to announce that I have been awarded a grant from the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to fund my previously-voluntary work on Reproducible Builds.

Whilst anyone can inspect the original source code of free software for malicious flaws, most GNU/Linux distributions provide pre-compiled software to end users. The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to allow verification that no flaws have been introduced — either maliciously or accidentally — during this compilation process by promising identical binary packages are always generated from a given source.

I'd like to sincerely thank the CII, not only for their material support but also for their recognition of my existing contributions. I am looking forward to working with my co-grantees towards fulfilling our shared goal.

Press release.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Rye, oh rye?

Fri, 04/11/2016 - 16:36

A few months ago, I signed up for Flavourly which delivers me different beers every month from small breweries. I've been tucking in to this month's batch and, as I was sitting at my laptop, the beer I'd just opened made me want to review it which is something I've never done before. Excuse my indulgence ;)

Battersea Rye from Sambrook's brewery.

The first words out of my mouth after pouring some of this into my Norwich beer festival 2015 glass and giving it a distracted sip were "ooh, this is nice" which, speaking as a Brit, is high praise. It's these moments I live for when trying new beers; when the first sip is taken while I've got my mind on other things - in this case I was reading a requirements doc - and the taste just takes over making me forget what I was doing - in a good way.

Now that I've paused for a few moments to write that first paragraph, I've just taken a second, more deliberate swig. The initial surprise is out of the way and I can see that there's depth beyond the first sip. It's malty, which I'd expected, but fruity too, which I hadn't - although looking at the label now, I notice it bears a tagline of "bold spicy fruit".

A few moments after that second sip, I can still feel the malt rolling around in my mouth. Time for a third...

Still good but now I'm noticing the strength (I just checked, it's 5.8%). I think the rest of this bottle is going to go down very nicely. I've been suckered into the recent popularity of pale ales and haven't drunk much that's brown for months so this is a very pleasant change and it's particularly nice not to be assaulted by the overly malty taste that some darker brews bring to the table.

Half the bottle down and this is definitely living up to the "bold" part of its tagline which suits me just fine; I'm a fan of stronger beers generally. Give me some Good King Henry any day of the week and I'm a happy man. The fruitiness is starting to dissipate and giving way to a foamy mouthfeel that I'm willing to look past. A large gulp brings back the fruity taste as I let the beer swill around. At the risk of sounding like a wine taster, there's cherry, dates, and perhaps fig there.

All in all, I'm thoroughly enjoying this beer. It crossed my mind briefly that perhaps it would be better if it had less fizz and was slightly less alcoholic but on reflection, as I near the bottom of the glass, I think that would take away from the balance.

I'd give this a rating but they're only of any use against other ratings and this is the first beer I've reviewed ;)

If it helps, my wife, who generally only drinks pale ales, said "hmm, very nice".

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Engledow (stilvoid): Rye, oh rye?

Fri, 04/11/2016 - 16:36

A few months ago, I signed up for Flavourly which delivers me different beers every month from small breweries. I've been tucking in to this month's batch and, as I was sitting at my laptop, the beer I'd just opened made me want to review it which is something I've never done before. Excuse my indulgence ;)

Battersea Rye from Sambrook's brewery.

The first words out of my mouth after pouring some of this into my Norwich beer festival 2015 glass and giving it a distracted sip were "ooh, this is nice" which, speaking as a Brit, is high praise. It's these moments I live for when trying new beers; when the first sip is taken while I've got my mind on other things - in this case I was reading a requirements doc - and the taste just takes over making me forget what I was doing - in a good way.

Now that I've paused for a few moments to write that first paragraph, I've just taken a second, more deliberate swig. The initial surprise is out of the way and I can see that there's depth beyond the first sip. It's malty, which I'd expected, but fruity too, which I hadn't - although looking at the label now, I notice it bears a tagline of "bold spicy fruit".

A few moments after that second sip, I can still feel the malt rolling around in my mouth. Time for a third...

Still good but now I'm noticing the strength (I just checked, it's 5.8%). I think the rest of this bottle is going to go down very nicely. I've been suckered into the recent popularity of pale ales and haven't drunk much that's brown for months so this is a very pleasant change and it's particularly nice not to be assaulted by the overly malty taste that some darker brews bring to the table.

Half the bottle down and this is definitely living up to the "bold" part of its tagline which suits me just fine; I'm a fan of stronger beers generally. Give me some Good King Henry any day of the week and I'm a happy man. The fruitiness is starting to dissipate and giving way to a foamy mouthfeel that I'm willing to look past. A large gulp brings back the fruity taste as I let the beer swill around. At the risk of sounding like a wine taster, there's cherry, dates, and perhaps fig there.

All in all, I'm thoroughly enjoying this beer. It crossed my mind briefly that perhaps it would be better if it had less fizz and was slightly less alcoholic but on reflection, as I near the bottom of the glass, I think that would take away from the balance.

I'd give this a rating but they're only of any use against other ratings and this is the first beer I've reviewed ;)

If it helps, my wife, who generally only drinks pale ales, said "hmm, very nice".

Categories: LUG Community Blogs