Friday, January 01, 2010

Facing The New Year

Normally I would post a New Year-related picture (for example), but I didn't get around to getting one done. Or even starting on one.
(I still may do so before the first day of 2010 is over, though)
The reason I didn't get around to drawing anything is that for the past two days I've done little more than obsessively engage in face-tagging.
As you can imagine, I have a lot of pictures on my hard drive(s), and (pointlessly) acquiring even more pictures is what I normally spend a good deal of my time doing.
Ostensibly the purpoose of acquiring all of these pictures is to use them as references for drawing, but if I lived to be a thousand years old and spent all of the time in my remaining years drawing I'd never even come close to using all of them for that purpose.
Still, it gives me something to do, and the point is that, as mentioned, I have a lot of pictures. Gigabytes worth, and that's not counting the ones I've moved off to CD and DVDs over the years.
To try to keep them all organized and searchable, I use a free program from Google called Picasa.
It has a lot of features I like, such as thumbnail views and batch renaming, and I've been using it for years.
The most recent version has a new feature that allows you to tag photos based on face-recognition. Essentially it scans through all of your photos and then tries to identify unique faces and group them together. Once that's accomplished, you can tag the photos with a name.
Up until the other day I hadn't really messed with it, just letting it quietly do its thing in the background , but when I noticed that it was about 55% of the way through scanning, I decided to check it out.
For whatever reason, the process of tagging faces - and trying to force the somewhat mediocre recognition software to do a better job of recognizing specific people ("How many times do I have to tell you that Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Simpson aren't the same person?!!!") - is utterly addictive.
I spent pretty much the entire day tagging faces yesterday, and probably would have spent the entire night doing so as well if I hadn't had to take a break from it to head down to Scott and Stacy's.
And I'm still nowhwere near finished.
It doesn't help that the recognition and tagging process totally chokes Picasa and that it will lock up if you try to do anything else with it(like renaming a photo), leading to having to force it to shut down, which in turn makes it lose any work it did after a certain point.
I'm going to try very hard to do something other than tag faces today, but I can't say much for my chances for success.
Back in the summer of 1995, shortly after my wife and I splt up, I spent a lot of time playing the game Doom. For those of you not in the know, Doom was what was called a "first person shooter," which is to say that it's a game in which the action takes place from your perspective - all you see of the character you're playing as is his gun and/or fists - and you basically just walk along shooting everything that moves.
I found it to be kind of therapeutic at the time, but in the game you spend a lot of time walking through maze-like corridors, seeing nothing but the walls around you, but I played the game so much that whenever I closed my eyes I was seeing long, dark, winding hallways.
Similarly, when I close my eyes now all I see is an endless parade of faces.
So maybe I should take a little break from the tagging.
In any case, as mentioned, yesterday evening found me headed down to Scott and Stacy's for dinner and a (terrible) movie. I'd brought along several Riff Trax and MST3K options - all of them horrible - but the consensus was that we (Jamie and Casey were also there) should watch The Star Wars Holiday Special.
It was my third time watching it, and even with the great Riffs, it's still painful. I think it almost broke Jamie.
If you want to know our pain , the entire thing has been posted on YouTube. It doesn't feature the Riff Trax crew, however, so I'm not sure I can recommed watching it - actually, I know I can't recommend it - or at least not the entire thing, as it's possible that doing so could be fatal. Still, it's worth checking out a few random minutes just to see how truly awful it is.
In any case, Happy New Year.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

Funny enough, Picasa can't tell the difference between my kids very well either.

Stacy is still grumpy at me for the Star Wars Special.