[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2019-12-19

Christmas is for Buddhists

Filed under: Family,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:03

This is beautiful. Christmas is so much more than any one religion or culture. Christmas is about love and hope and generosity. It’s about acceptance and kindness to strangers. Christmas truly is a human holiday, for everyone, of all faiths (or no faith), and all cultures.

Wednesday, 2019-12-18

Festivus for the rest of us!

Filed under: Family,Friends,History,Television — bblackmoor @ 16:08

On this day in 1997, the world learned about Festivus, the Seinfeld Christmas alternative. Let the airing of grievances begin!

Tuesday, 2019-12-17

Replace white background with transparency in Photoshop

Filed under: Gaming,Software — bblackmoor @ 13:48

I use a lot of found images in my online RPGs, to help set the scene. Sometimes, the image is almost, but not quite, what I want. Cropping, healing brush, and clone stamp solve most of those problems, but once in a while I find the perfect image… but it needs something more complex to make it what I want.

In this case, I found this illustration of a Pathfinder alchemist goblin, but I wanted the background to be black instead of white. So I looked for a tutorial on changing this in Photoshop, and found this one on StackExchange. The basic technique is to use the original image as its own layer mask. I’ll create a duplicate of the layer, desaturate and invert it, pasting the greyscale result into the original layer’s layer mask.

I start with my flattened image.

I then Desaturate the image.

I then duplicate this layer, Invert it, then select and fill white areas until everything I’d like to be opaque is white, and everything I want fully transparent is black. This was tricky, because I want the smoke translucent, but the goblin itself to be opaque.

Now I press CTRL+A to select the entire image, and CTRL+C to copy the combined greyscale result.

I then selected the layer with my original image, made sure nothing was selected in my image, and selected Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to create a layer mask on my original layer.

I then ALT+Clicked in the layer mask icon to enter direct edit mode, then pasted the greyscale image I had just copied into there.

I then clicked on my original layer to exit the layer mask direct edit, and tada, I have my semi-transparent goblin.

Now I just add a black background layer, and I am done. It’s not perfect, but it will do for my purposes.

A Muslim Christmas carol

Filed under: Family,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:51

This is brilliant. Christmas (or Yule or whatever name you know it by) is bigger than any single religion or culture: Christmas is so much more. Christmas is a human holiday, of love and generosity and kindness and friendship, for people of all faiths (or no faith), and all cultures. Christmas is for everyone. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, 2019-12-11

The Google graveyard

Filed under: The Internet,Work — bblackmoor @ 09:50

Any plan to include Google as a core part of a business process should also include a contingency plan for when (not if) Google shuts down that service.

Feel free to quote me.

Graveyard

Monday, 2019-12-09

AWS vs. the non relational database

Filed under: Programming,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 17:09

Currently taking a course on AWS, in preparation for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam. Interesting stuff. Possibly the tangent that is most interesting to me at this moment is the concept of a “non-relational database”. Of course I have heard of that — Mongo, Redis, etc. But I have never had the time (or really cared enough) to investigate them. I might try rewriting one of my simpler web sites to use a non-relational database (Amazon DynamoDB, specifically). I think it might be a fun exercise.

Friday, 2019-12-06

Remember the 14

Filed under: Firearms,History,Society — bblackmoor @ 19:24

The École Polytechnique massacre (French: tuerie de l’École polytechnique), also known as the Montreal massacre, was a mass shooting in Montreal at an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal. Fourteen women were murdered and a further fourteen people were injured: ten women and four men.

The murderer stated that he was “fighting feminism”. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

https://www.cbc.ca/montreal/features/remember-14/

Tuesday, 2019-11-12

What is a “soul”?

Filed under: Mythology,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 23:42

It irks me that people so consistently misunderstand the world “soul“. A whole psuedo-religion has grown up around this misunderstanding.

Saturday, 2019-11-09

Henchman: The Al Leong Story

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 18:43

Finally sat down to watch “Henchman: The Al Leong Story“. I really wanted to pay attention to this, so I didn’t just play it while I work (which is usually what I do). That’s why it has taken me so long to view it.

Henchman: The Al Leong Story

I really enjoyed this documentary. It gave a good overview of his career, and I learned some things that even I, the founder of (as far as I know) the first and only Al Leong Fan Club, The Golden Horde, did not know.

I wish the background music were not so loud during the interviews, though. More than once, I wanted to shout at the screen, “TURN THE MUSIC DOWN!”

Even so, I suspect that I will watch this DVD again. 🙂

Also, I really should start updating the fan club web site again.

Z Nation is worth watching

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 15:43

Just finished watching the final episode of “Z Nation” on Netflix (5 seasons total). Considering how many shows I haven’t even bothered to watch the entire first season of (Cloak & Dagger, Evil Sabrina, Star Trek Discovery, Game Of Thrones, etc.), that’s pretty high praise. “Z Nation” combines humour, action, tragedy, gruesome effects, and an appealing cast. It’s a damned good show.

What’s most surprising is that it was made by Asylum. Asylum making a show worth watching is like finding great sushi in a gas station bathroom.

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