In my UWB Computer Vision class we had an assignment to write a computer program to calculate 3D depth from a pair of stereoscopic images. The provided images were taken by the first Mars rover. Nothing too special - just a field of Martian rocks.
If you relax your eyes as if you were staring off into space, you may be able to merge them into one image with 3D depth of field. Sort of like the children's ViewMaster toy, or the "Magic Eye" posters. Our assignment task was to make a new image representing the distance of the objects in the image.
Last weekend, I got sick. I think it was some sort of 'flu'. I had two days of low fever: I only went above 100F (37.8C) once. However, I was quite weak until this weekend. Since I don't usually get sick, the whole thing was quite surprising.
Some new stuff to check out:
Pictures of our extended family get-together 2006
A paper about Essential Christianity
Lindsey, Alan, Jessica, Andrew, Melanie, Larry, Austin, Janae
I don't know why I keep thinking that life will slow down. This year has been another full one.
After Melanie's "cardiac incident" last year, she followed the advice of her doctor and worked steadily to lose weight. The change has been very significant: she feels better, can walk farther and has had to get a new wardrobe! In April our high school band went on a competition trip to Florida. Melanie chaperoned and Alan & Andrew performed. We swept just about all the awards and Melanie had a great time.
Austin & Janae recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. Austin is still working for Home Depot, and enjoys his job because of the people contact. He consistently does well in sales and recently got a promotion and a raise. Janae is working on her insurance agent certification. It is hard work, but she is almost all the way through the program. She also has her own business raising and selling Persian kittens. A few times a year we get to go over and have fun playing with them.
Alan won first in state with his brass quartet for the second year in a row. He graduated from High School and then went off to Clarkson University in upstate New York to study aeronautical engineering. We miss him when he is gone, although he is home right now for Christmas.
Andrew is a junior in High School. He is working for a pizza shop, and has started to drive. He is our family's most extensive traveler this year. Besides the band trip, he went to Florida to visit his girlfriend's family and went to Young Life's Malibu camp in Canada.
Jessica Eberhardt has joined our family this year. She is from Germany, but also has US citizenship. Our family and hers have a mutual friend and we found through them that Jessi wanted to study in the states. She is the same age as Andrew and they are in the same grade. It is a new experience to have a daughter and we are all enjoying her here.
I traveled to Korea on business this year and was able to take the DMZ tour - very interesting! During the summer, I hiked Three Fingers with a buddy and stayed in the mountaintop fire lookout cabin. And I have nearly completed another house project - a remodel of the old bathroom.
You can see pictures of many of these happenings at our website grovelife.com
I had thought about getting a generator. Instead when I added on to our house, I put in a furnace-quality gas fireplace that works without electricity. The fireplace was hundreds of dollars more expensive than the cheapest ones. Maybe even the price of a generator! However, we have it used every year with enjoyment, and the money was better spent.
So we were prepared. In fact, we were a little disappointed when the power came back so soon. We were comfortable, could cook, shower and could read by candle light. I even had a few hours of time still in my laptop computer!
I have a late-model Macintosh computer at work that I have been using to host a web page of documents. It has been very reliable. In fact, it has been running for over 600 days without a re-boot. I had wondered if it would loose power over night. My Dell PC had re-started when I went into work this morning, but the Mac was still up! That is a long time running continuously - I wonder how long it can go!?
Tis the season of year for performance appraisals (PAs). This means I get to think of what I did during the year.
As you can see from this blog, I enjoy some introspection. However this PA process is something I find somewhat difficult. It requires me to grade myself on a scale, but for some reason I have always had difficulty classifying things.
My class of this quarter is done! I found the material in class to be interesting.
However, some of the projects that were done in a language called Jess were generally frustrating and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Jess is a language for creating Expert Systems. It has some things in it that are very cool. If you know your way around it, it makes some thing easy. However, I found the language to be quirky (speaking charitably) and I am fairly certain I found a least one significant bug in it.
A language like this definitely has problem domains for which it is good and others for which it is poorly suited. If the code is not written well, or if Jess is applied to an inappropriate problem domain, it seemed to me that the result was the full-blown equivalent of spaghetti code (Bad!).
The last project in the class was a group project. I worked with three other guys and everybody put in their effort as a member of the team. So the bright spot was that from the perspective of working with them, this was the best group project I had ever been in.
In the end, I think I will get a satisfactory grade in the class, but I am very glad to be done!
I went up to Canada for the funeral of my uncle on Monday, the 4th. The funeral was a good time. There were a lot of happy faces (with some sad) as people talked and remembered Stan.
My uncle Stan was an interesting man. He was my dad's brother, one of nine siblings. The three youngest were boys, very close in age and constant playmates. Their dad died when the youngest (my dad) was 4, during the great depression. This left them very poor on a farm in Northern Alberta, Canada.
AIDS has become a poster-child popular disease that is over hyped. Sometimes it seems that every do-good pop star takes a part helping in the AIDS issue just because it gives them good publicity. My natural response is a little bit cynical.
However, AIDS genuinely is a disease that needs a compassionate response. This article gives very fair coverage of World Vision's work as they try to achieve that. The article is long, but was thought-provoking - especially to me as a Christian.
I have long been a skeptic of global warming. I am also an optimist and a steward. That means the doom and gloom of the warming crowd offends me. But, I want to take care of the world I live in. So when there is data about climate change in the media, I check it to see if it makes sense.
I make a living measuring stuff (diagnostic medical ultrasound equipment). Therefore I know that measurements are harder than they look. And I know that your point of view and the assumptions you use to interpret the measurements are critically important. They control what data you accept and the decisions you make about adjustments to your data.
There is a local free paper called the Seattle Weekly that I like to read. It has a specific leftward political slant that doesn't reflect my views. However it is interesting and it helps me to understand that part of politics.
They have started a new column called "Ask an Uptight Seattlite" that is funny because it satirizes the strong Political Correctness of Seattle. I thought this week's entry was particularly good. It gives instruction in how to be considerate (PC style), and explains the hierarchy of Transportation Righeousness.
Melanie has been loosing weight for more than a year now. She changed her diet and exercise for better health. That has worked well and now she can do more of things that she wants (like walking). And she looks great too.
She has kept her hair long these last couple of years. In fact, it has been the longest ever, and I have very much enjoyed it. When she would sleep, however, it would sometimes get caught under a shoulder and pull painfully. So I would braid her hair every night. This became a tradition that I also, very much enjoyed.
The the autumn season colors have been very beautiful this year. |
At the business park across from work. |
A natural red carpet. |
I went to the Seattle Auto Show with Austin on Wednesday. He had the day off, and I took the day off. Since it was the first day of the show (and mid-week) it wasn't too crowded - which was quite nice. This is the 3rd time I have gone to the show with Austin. |
Austin checking out a BMW Z4. |
I put in some concentrated work to get this revised website on-line. It was something I had wanted to do for quite a while. The site looks so much better. (The core of the project was developing a tool in software that puts the website together.)
But I am now in another class at the UWB and I need to get my head into this new material. Knowing what interests me, I should be sucked right in to the stuff. But I have learned that I have a hard time time changing focus. Starting something new takes a lot of personal energy. As long as I am still interested in an old project, I prefer to stay with it until it is fairly well polished.
This website has had a couple of major revisions. The first one was all hand-made and quite coarse. Then I re-did it with some more modern web stuff (CSS) and it looked much better, but it was still very simple.
However I wanted it to be better, to have more stuff in it and for it to be easier to maintain. I started a project to make a tool to help building it. This turned into a project for a UWB class I was in. However, it was never completed enough to replace the website that was already there.