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Weekly Photo Project 2016 [Dec. 13th, 2015|12:48 am]
rdmasters
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[Current Mood |excitedexcited]

 Over on Google+, I've been participating in the Weekly Photo Project for the last four years. This year I'm helping out with the curator duties!

So what is it?

I'm glad you asked! 

It is a fun way to improve your photography skills, by sharing a photo a week, according to a schedule of themes. You get to practice with all sorts of subjects and techniques, get to meet some great photographers, and get to see some inspiring work. And we simply don't care what sort of camera you have - be it a cheap phone cam or a high-end DSLR, we're concerned with what you are doing with your kit, not what it is.

Further, because it is intended to be fun, we don't get too tied up on the schedule - so if someone misses a week or five, or more, they can always catch up, or just pick up where they left off. Back in 2014, I posted week ... err... 8, I think, in week 52!

Anyway, you can get all the details here: https://plus.google.com/communities/105236965154473475724

Hope to see some of you there!

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Good RPG Etiquette and hints on good play [Sep. 27th, 2015|04:50 pm]
rdmasters
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[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

 

Roleplaying is one of my greater passions - but it can also be one of the more frustrating at times.


Read more...Collapse )

Further reading: Uncle Figgy’s Guide to Roleplaying



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Leederville GF restaurant finds [Aug. 11th, 2015|05:38 am]
rdmasters
Ros took [personal profile] leecetheartist  and I out to dinner tonight in Leederville.

We browsed a few places - Sienna's had a very nice sounding GF pasta with four cheeses, walnuts, and other yummy stuff - but we eventually found ourselves standing outside a new arrival - Mon ( http://www.montasteofjapan.com.au ) which had about half the menu with the magic "gfo" on it. 

Now Japanese cooking is pretty GF friendly - provided you avoid the normal soy sauce and the red and brown misos. And most of the noodles. And anything crumbed. So we were interested to see what came out.

We ordered the Edamame and the Lotus Chips - a yummy way to start - and the Yose-nabe (a combination hot-pot) with a side of steamed rice.

What a delicious meal! They used a GF tamari soy for the soup base, and the dish was packed with two huge prawns, massive chunks of tofu, sheets of salmon, and piles of chicken, not to mention a goodly serve of veggies.  Ros had hers with Udon noodles, while Leece and I had ours plain.

And that was just one option out of dozens.

We are looking forward to visiting there again.

As we wandered out, we came upon a new gelato place two or three doors down from Mon, called Gusto ( https://www.facebook.com/gustogelatoau ). An enquiry about GF options came back with a swift "Everything except things with baked goods in them." And they obsess about contamination - not just from the point of view of coeliac issues, but because they respect their products, and don't want the flavours getting muddied. This just happens to work out well for those of us with coeliac disease. 

And what wonderful gelato! Smooth, creamy, rich and not too sweet, it is an absolute treat. Again, we will be going back there!

All in all, a wonderful night out!

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Marriage equality rally - Perth [Jul. 6th, 2015|05:43 am]
rdmasters
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[Current Mood |impressedimpressed]

Yesterday, [personal profile] leecetheartist and I went along to show support for marriage equality...

It was pouring with rain - and still the crowds came out to Russell Square in Northbridge. In their thousands.

I may have committed photography there...
Leece in her rainbow finery Couple showing their pride


Crowd panorama

See the full story here: goo.gl/photos/2F3zptWM1FrpNyJq6



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(no subject) [Apr. 27th, 2015|09:43 am]
rdmasters
[Current Mood |curiouscurious]

 A question for the wisdom of the Net:
A few years back, [personal profile] leecetheartist  and I saw a music video on Rage (a music video program on ABC TV in Australia) that featured people receiving messages and notes along the lines of "They're here" or "They're starting" - and dropping whatever they were doing to journey to a field. There are people hitching rides there, and so on. 

One key thing was a signpost "Mysterious Lights Viewing Area" or similar.

Eventually we get to see the lights - which are small golden motes rising up.

Can anyone identify the song and video from that? My google-fu is failing me Posted to my other blog as well, where there are comment count unavailable comments, which you can read.
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Here comes Swancon... [Mar. 30th, 2015|09:49 pm]
rdmasters
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[Current Mood |exhaustedexhausted]

This year marks Swancon's 40th - and Leece and I have been to over half of them!

This year, we are the Gaming Co-ordinators, and, as a result, will spend more time outside the gaming room than usual. Funny how that works out!

Here is what I am on for:
Introduction to Modern Board games - what is all the fuss about? Saturday 10:00 until Saturday 11:00 (60 Minutes)
UggTect Royale - The Second Clubbing Saturday 15:00 until Saturday 16:00 (60 Minutes)
Old Games are New Again: The revival of classics in new ways Sunday 10:00 until Sunday 11:00 (60 Minutes)
Tournament - Dixit Sunday 14:00 until Sunday 16:00 (120 Minutes)
The Science of Board Game Design Sunday 16:00 until Sunday 17:00 (60 Minutes)
This game is so good, I'm prepared to speak for 3 minutes in public on it. (1) Sunday 19:30 until Sunday 20:30 (60 Minutes)
Australian Game Design and History Monday 15:00 until Monday 16:00 (60 Minutes)

Not to mention various teaching sessions in the gaming room itself. 

I'll just take this chance to shout out a big thanks to our many helpers - Brian and Andy, Adrian, our WABA helpers and panelists, our GMs and panelists from Final Frontiers, and everyone who has chipped in time, suggestions, and help. 

Here's hoping to see you there - and look out for your gaming bingo card in your con bags!



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Dr Faustus performed by GRADS [Mar. 26th, 2015|09:29 pm]
rdmasters
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[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

 Last night I had the pleasure of seeing the Stephen Lee/GRADS production of Dr Faustus.

And what fun it was. 

Stephen Lee appears in a number of minor roles, but chews the scenery well while doing so! Meantime Patrick Charles Barton's portrayal of Wager was priceless - especially during his hiring of a flunky in an echo of Faustus' deal.

David Meadows as the good (well, not really at all) Herr Doktor Faustus was having fun - immersing himself in the role of a stereotypical annoying German tourist.  Given the nature of Faustus' life, this is a wonderful way of portraying him. 

Meantime, Mephistopheles (played by Grant Malcolm) seemed bored. Which is just right. He is bored, and just slowly digging the hole that Faustus is leaping into. He knows what is happening, and has seen it all before. And only Faustus does not know - until he thinks it is too late anyway.

Despite the tragedy of the play, it is played as a comedy - until it is not. Faustus capers, japes, and dithers, while Mephistopheles just stands by - occasionally offering a small faint laugh or smile. A comedy the play is - in the most part - in particular, I feel I now have strong evidence (the Vatican Scene) that Elizabethan era humour has a modern relative - not in the grand literary works, but in the British TV farce sketches of the 1970s. 

There was one small matter that jarred a little - the method of presenting Lucifer was a little on the clumsy side, but the voice acting of Neale Paterson overcame that and made for a suitably intimidating presence.

Overall, it made for a very funny and thought-provoking show, and well worth seeing. 

8.5/10 and a light milk chocolate with a dark and bitter coffee centre on the Sid and Nancy scale.
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Some thoughts on modern photography [Feb. 16th, 2015|05:50 am]
rdmasters
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Some thoughts on modern photography.

As I have said, [Unknown LJ tag]  and I went to see The Giants yesterday in Perth, and it was stunning. 

While watching and taking photos, started noticing something, and started looking around me. What I observed was very interesting and quite wonderful.

Firstly, I saw, in the thousands of people around me, maybe three or four point-and-shoot digital camera. This is a section of the market that is getting seriously squeezed.

Secondly, this created an odd sort of division in the crowd. There were those using mobile phones or the occasional tablet to record the event - and those with DSLR or Mirrorless kit. And almost nothing in between.

Then it gets interesting - from my perspective, anyway. Almost everyone who was shooting with interchangeable lens kit didn't just have a stock camera. There were video stabilisation grips, long and short primes, boom mics, monopods, highlift tripods with image relay remotes, chest-strap quick release systems, wide-screen specific lenses, all sorts of kit.

All of which, just a couple of years ago was the domain of either the pro, or the serious camera geek.

Yesterday it was in the hands of the regular folk. The stabilisation kit and boom mic? A young couple filming their 5-maybe-6 year old interviewing her 7-maybe-8 year old friends. The highlift tripod? Just a guy with his girlfriend. Quick release system? A young mother. And the list goes on.

Even I did not have just stock gear - I had reflector discs for some portraits I did later in the event, a second camera, and two lenses, even though I was travelling very light.

All the gear that just a few years ago cost a small fortune to buy, and you had to be 'in the biz' or a club to know about is now general knowledge and affordable by all.  And they are learning to use it, and to think about what and how they shoot as a result.

That has to be a good thing for the art.

(Originally posted at https://plus.google.com/104545783008574601062/posts/Fz91ye9BJrk where there is some interesting followup.)

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A photo essay on The Giants in Perth [Feb. 16th, 2015|05:40 am]
rdmasters
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The Giant Diver"s helmet crew talking to him
My G+ photobook of The Giants in Perth. A stunning experience, and a deeply moving story, with a cast of two (and a couple of hundred helpers).


The Giants in Perth  


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The Giants in Perth and event organisation [Feb. 15th, 2015|12:41 am]
rdmasters
 [personal profile] leecetheartist and I went to see The Giants today in Perth.

And were deeply impressed. Twice.

The first time was as we expected - The Giants are stunning - the level of personality in them is astounding, and the way the operators have become a part of the environment - interacting with the giants, as well as operating them - was inspired. They are only in Perth for one more morning, down at Langley Park, and I cannot more strongly recommend seeing them if you can. Just be early. Very early!

The second time was more unexpected, and was tied in with the event organisation. Keeping in mind that this is a live event, for which it is almost impossible to do a full rehearsal, things went very smoothly indeed. Overall things ran only 1/2 to 3/4 hour behind schedule, which, given the scale of things was remarkable. Even more impressive, though, was the planning and infrastructure the PIAF organisers put into the event. 

This is an event that closed off pretty much the whole of the CBD for a day and a half or more. The planning in barrier placement and volunteers to handle crowd management and information dispersal must have been nightmarish. But it worked. Further, they thought about what a stupendous crowd in the Perth CBD in Summer would need. Huge shade-cloth pavilions popped up in the parks and squares where the giants rested, food and drink vendors in place for the entire time of the event, and massive fresh water filling and drinking stations all over the parks. Multiple extra-large toilet blocks (with limited mobility blocks as well) and well staffed first-aid posts rounded things out. On top of the basics, there were also special limited mobility viewing platforms for chair-bound spectators.

But it did not stop there - with most of the CBD closed to cars, the various open-air parking stations also had toilet blocks and drinking water stations installed in them. Every second or third major intersection had a first aid post. Everywhere you looked there was a crowd management or event information volunteer (who were also armed with sunscreen for patrons). Even Transperth kicked in with extra transports - even to extra ferries!

It was (from what we saw) a model of effective and considerate event management, and the City of Perth and the Perth International Arts Festival must be congratulated on an astounding success.


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