Monday, April 11, 2011

a day off at last
I was getting flustered by my caregiving duties. I hadn't had a day off in about a month. I was thrilled to get a phone call from my sister Kathy. She offered to spend her Sunday with Mother so that John and I could have a day off.

We went out to eat at Cassidy's. We hadn't been there in months, but they still remembered our favorite breakfasts. I love my mother, but it sure is nice to not have to puree her food and feed her, while being kicked and coughed at.

Okay, enough griping. I enjoyed my day off very much.

After pancakes, bacon, and an egg, we went to an antique show/street fair. They have this once a month, but this is the first time I had the day off. I saw some interesting things, and I wished I had a camera with me. There was a creepy bizarre wall-hanging mask thing with long twisty horns. I saw a very old-looking fur-covered rocking horse. I don't know what kind of fir. It didn't look like horse. I saw a lot of Boy Scout paraphernalia, a Hunkleberry Hound doll, and a seven-foot cigar. I found a booth with a variety of cute robots.

I bought a pair of cute doggie figurines for only six dollars.

John still hasn't had hip replacement surgery. He was limping around with his cane. So we took it slow. The weather was quite comfortable and we had a lot of fun looking at stuff.

Then we went to Arden Fair Mall and had a light lunch at Johnny Rockets. I love the fifties retro style of the place, but the acoustics in that place give me a headache. The music was loud and the place was crowded. I usually go to places like that on weekdays. I'd never been there when the employees danced.

The music got louder and I was tempted to cover my ears. But then I noticed the line of waiters and waitresses dancing to I Will Survive . It was somewhat anachronistic. A song from the fifties would have been more suitable. It was fun.

We walked through the mall. I love looking around the Disney Store. I bought a Mickey Mouse shopping bag. I stopped the cashier from putting it in a bag.

Then we walked to the movie theater in the mall and watched ARTHUR. Russell Brand is hysterically funny. I recommend this movie.

Then we went home and relieved the lovely Kathy. What a refreshing day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

a recent message

On 04/06/11 9:01 AM, Martin L wrote:
Hi Carolyn. I'd like to learn more about animating for light shows. What's a good primer book or web site on the subject?

Thanks....Martin L

Hi Martin.

I created animation for laser shows in the early eighties. I did not know of anyone else who was doing this. The software was proprietary and still being developed at the time. I would go in and find out the guys had changed my computer so it worked completely different from the way it worked the day before. Sometimes it felt like I was drawing with a rubber band on the end of two long sticks.
It didn't help that computers were still new and I had never used one before. If there were such a thing as a web site, or the internet, I'd never heard of it.
I taught myself to animate using Walter Foster art books and THE ILLUSION OF LIFE (a Disney book). I had to figure out for myself how to translate that information into this new technology. I worked in a dark windowless room, entering points on a Summagraphics pad with a new gadget called a mouse. While I did this, my work would be projected on the wall with a red helium-neon laser. My art did not appear on the monitor, only a list of x-y coordinates.
I worked four ten-hour days a week so I wouldn't lose my seniority at the drug store where I worked as a sign painter. I continued to work there two or three days a week.
I did this for a year and a half, until our laser company went out of business.
Years later, a company in Florida contacted me. They had bought the equipment and they wanted me to make some animation for them. I was flattered that they had gone to the trouble to hunt me down, as I had been divorced, moved, and changed my last name.
If there are any books about laser animation, I've never heard of them.
I'm sorry if I gave you too much information. No one has asked about this for a long time.

Good luck to you,
Carolyn Pile