Bring your baggage

There isn't a better way to do, than to just start, and there is no better way to start than by using what you already had. It is crazy to me the topics that I would cover here, or under morouxshi. Good thing too, because it has given me a great place to keep going from.

I quit my job and started an agency with my wife. What could go wrong!?

2020: Photo Backup Scheme

I have written about this before, and I thought it was time to update it. I was using Aperture last time I really worried about this, and that is not even a product anymore. My tools have also changed, back then I had a Nikon D80, a Fujifilm f200EXR, and my iPhone as a third device, but never the primary device.

With kids, the iPhone 11 Pro is the primary shooting device, which I pair up with a DJI Osmo Mobile 3 gimbal, but I have also added to my "arsenal" some niche devices, Nikon D5200 (also old), a GoPro Hero 3 black(old now too!) and a DJI Mavic Air 2. Pictures come in from the iPhone unless I am doing a specific shoot that requires the technical captures.

With this iPhone centric shooting, I decided to go all-in on iCloud. The neat thing about iCloud is that it stores all your images in full-res, the not so neat thing is that it all counts against your storage. However you always have access to your full library! If you have some time and you decide to start working on a video of your last road trip, its all there on your Apple Devices.

The Photos app is adequate, but importing from it to Lightroom is no big deal. I don't feel like I'm missing out there either. Plug-in your device to your Mac, everything gets added to iCloud, its in your phone in seconds.

How about backups? This is the most important part of this whole thing. I don't want to lose a shot! Well, in addition to iCloud, I have a Mac Mini attached to a Drobo 5D that has redundant storage. This means,2 of the 5 drives on the NAS can fail and no data would be lost. Then that gets synced up to a second portable HD that I can move around if I need to work with hard-copies. Finally I also have Amazon Prime Photos backup-agent running on it which backs it up to a second cloud.

Capture Device -> Photos (Mac Laptop) -> iCloud -> Photos (Mac Server) -> Drobo + Portable + Amazon Prime Photos

This is obviously overkill since the 3-2-1 backup system works 99% of the time but it has made me very confident that my work is safe and the extra access to images has created quite a few fun video montages of family fun that I would not have thought of otherwise.

Gundam Painting Basics

In the last few weeks I've turned my gunpla building up a notch. I joined a few forums and I started making a plan on what to do with the boxes I have around the house. Here's a few things I've found out so far:
    Many places recommend washing your runners with soap and water before you do anything. This is something I am now doing. Better safe than sorry.The paint order is Lacquer > Enamel > Acrylic and that you always need a gloss coat between each layer. The reason for this is because acrylic can't hurt enamel and enamel can't hurt lacquer. The gloss coat protects the last layer If you messed up in the current layer.It may just be me, but, the Gundam Markers have me worried that they will dry out very quickly. Also, the gray is almost black. Maybe I'm missing something?While sanding, you should always clean your pieces when switching sandpaper grit. This removes any residue from the last sanding effort that might hurt your current sanding. This is quite easy, just grab some water and a toothbrush and get in there, trying to get as much of the sanding residue as possible.A weak ammonia bath (think Windex) can loosen most paints. I have not tried this yet.
All of this being said, I also decided that maybe spray painting was not for me. The cans run you about $4-$5 each and there's no flexibility in colors. There's also the issue of space, my apartment in downtown Denver does not have a balcony or any easy place for me to paint without getting fumes inside the apartment. Currently what I've ended up doing is considering going to the back alley behind my apartment and spraying there. The one time I did it I had my girlfriend as a lookout and got 3 parts in before she started thinking we should go back inside. So I'm going to just use the cans I have on some projects and move on to airbrushing. I'll probably take the cans to my office in Boulder. There's a balcony there and I could theoretically get some work done there in the span of a week or so. Every time I think I need a color I'll put that can's worth of money apart. I'll be able to get a airbrush kit in no time. In the meantime I'll research the building of a spray booth and  what compressor I need,  It needs to be super quiet.

[MG] V-Dash Gundam ver. Ka Build (update 1)

I'm going to be documenting my Victory Gundam and Dash Pack build here. This kit is one of those that when I got I was very worried that I'd never get up the courage to build, my Unicorn Gundam is on that list too and I haven't even dared to buy a MG Sinanju. But as I've grown as a modeler I've started to warm up to the idea. Last week I finally opened it up. First things first. There's a few things I decided for this build:
    I'm not going to spray paint this model. I'll go over it with some dirty water, but no spray paint.I will paint details with enamels and a paintbrush.After the paint, I'll hit it up with some glossy top coat before the decals. Then top coat to seal the decals. That's it.I'll display this model in a transparent Action Base with the two Core Boosters under it. Both Core Boosters will have the Hexa head. The second V-Gundam head Core-Booster will not be displayed. The Victory Gundam will have the Dash Pack on and it will be holding the Beam Smartgun.
With all of this decided I finally started it up. The first thing they'll ask you to build is the Core Boosters. Yes, Boosters, plural. There are actually four of them. You can have a Booster setup with each individual piece of the Victory Gundam, the Bottom Fighter, Top Fighter and Dash Pack and still have a Booster left over to display by itself. Two Boosters almost done, others nowhere near done. You will get them through this phase and build the main area of the boosters first, then you'll put together four heads. Two Hexa heads and  two normal V-Gundam heads. A finished Core Booster with a Hexa Head. The more I look at the Hexa heads the more I like them, I might even end up going the other way and having the Hexa Head be the one I put on the Victory Gundam, and have the two Boosters around it with the normal V-Fins. All four Boosters are now finished. The next part of the build is the Dash Pack. Before I go into that however I'm going to pick one of the Boosters and sand it down. I'm going to make sure that its as perfect as I can get it since it's going to be the head and chest of the Victory Gundam, the other boosters will just be for details on the side. This build is going to be pretty slow, since I decided not to use paint I'm going to have to be extra careful with the plastic. I'm going to also try using the Tamiya Polishing Compounds, which I'll order sometime this week. Time elapsed: ~9 hours over 3 days

Netflix is dropping API DVD support, no matter what

You know how you get all the latest content on Netflix? With DVDs. You know what costs Netflix tons of money? DVDs. You know what the solution Netflix came up with? Pretend DVDs dont exist and hope you dont notice. Starting October 14th, 2011 if you're using the Netflix API to manage your queue all the responses you will get are for the streaming library. Seriously. If you want to manage your DVDs you will have to log on to the Netflix website and manage it, completely inconvenient and just the way Netflix wants it to be. You see, shipping physical discs is expensive. You have to have the disc put in an envelope, the disc needs to be mailed, which involves postage costs, and then once you're done they also pay for the return postage, at which time somebody in the Netflix distribution center near you needs to open the envelope and make sure the correct disc is inside. Even while automating most of this process it still consumes power and time which Netflix's streaming catalogue does not. With all of this said however, its the customer's fault. People have not seemed to be too bothered by their lack of new titles, and have also seemed to pay happily the $7 for Hulu's library which contains way less content (although, has many TV shows the day after). The endgame here is the following: Feature streaming on the Netflix homepage. Feature streaming in the packages, push for the streaming-only package. Have all convenient ways of using Netflix only feature streaming. The user will slowly, but surely, forget about the "DVDs by Mail" deal and keep on streaming. Which in turn: Saves Netflix money on running distribution centers. Saves Netflix money on phone support for scratched discs. Saves Netflix money on replacement discs. Saves Netflix money on less API calls for data to their servers. Allows Netflix to spend more money to better their streaming catalogue. This is exactly what I want Netflix to do, after most of their catalogue is streamed. It really seems premature and will just inconvenience a lot of developers because of all of the confusion that it will cause to the end users, even if they do the right thing and send out an email letting the end users know beforehand. I wish they reconsidered, but I'm sure this was a decision they're banking a lot of green on. It couldn't have been a easy decision and it shows that they're trying to be ahead of the curve in the digital revolution as well.