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If you don’t, start.
If you stopped, restart.
If you are, do more.

Daily notes and Sketches

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All of the above are true. There are times when I have to be patient. I have to wait since some things are beyond my control. It would not be wise for example, for me to be impatient when it comes to teaching myself something new, or teaching another.

Then there are times when I need to be impatient. These moments are wake me up moments because they literally wake me up and push me to just get it done. Sometimes you just have to let that impatience fuel your drive to get things done. Better, faster, smarter, harder.

It’s also good to be aware when someone else’s impatience might be influencing you. This can be a positive influence or a negative influence. You either have to say, “Calm down. I have to proceed the way I am so that I don’t jeopardize it all.” Or, their impatience might be the fuel that pushes you to see the need and the importance for your work.

I believe this to be true.

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Image  —  Posted: August 17, 2015 in 365 in 365 days, Abstract Architecture, Designs, Visual Notes
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thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

My friend and I went to Zola’s in State College for dinner last week. It was my second time going there since it was re-opened under new management a few weeks ago. Zola, according to the website serves, ” a fresh take on new American cuisine.”

My friend and I were warmly greeted and escorted to a table. The restaurant is beautifully planned and designed. As you enter there is seating in the dining hall, another seating area to the front of the restaurant, the kitchen with busy chefs visible to patrons, and a partition behind which sits a bar. The tables, lighting and setting are very warm and well done. Due to the hardwood floors and hard surfaces, the space tends to be a bit noisier than one would think. They do have oval-shaped acoustic panels suspended to reduce the reverberation, but it’s still a bit loud. Beautiful artwork capturing natural scenes cover the walls.

thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

View looking at the entry and front seating space

thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Paintings on wall in dining area with kitchen behind green wall on the right

The service was absolutely fantastic! That was my favorite thing about being at Zola. They were attentive, well-trained, and friendly.

After sitting, they came and filled our glasses with water. They then brought an amuse-bouche for us. Delish! I can’t remember what it was for our first visit, but for this most recent visit it was a homemade pickled zucchini amuse-bouche. Tasted great. A perfect bite! I forgot to take a photo of it unfortunately. After ordering our appetizers and entrees, they brought us bread while we waited for our meals to arrive. We had the choice of olive bread, focaccia bread, or I can’t remember the third, served with whipped butter.

For appetizers we had crispy frog-legs, the Asian calamari, and the seafood ceviche. See photos below.

thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Crispy frog legs, pickled vegetables, fried basil, smoked paprika appetizer

Frog-legs can be done several different ways. I had them for the first time in Singapore in 2012. They were very flavorful, hot, spicy and tasty. The meat and all that it came with at the hawker center in Singapore was finger-licking. This one at Zola, not so much. Of course this wasn’t an Asian preparation of it. For me, it was very bland. My palate tasted no seasoning in the frog. I love my meats to be well-seasoned. It was served with pickled cauliflower. That was tasty.

thinking insomniac, zola, asian calamari, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Asian Calamari

The Asian calamari was delectable! They were served with jalapenos – one of my favorite peppers and additions. The calamari was fried nicely, as were the jalapenos. The lime-sriracha aioli surrounding it was also very tasty. There was one surprise though. The greens on the plate (lettuce I assumed) were sooo tasty! A soy-vinaigrette that was refreshing, extremely palatable and tied all the flavors together nicely. Great job!

thinking insomniac, zola, asian calamari, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Seafood ceviche

The third appetizer we had was the seafood ceviche. It was ok. I have had better. I did not find the citrus flavors to be strong enough. I like a ceviche with a very strong taste of citrus, cilantro, and a flavorful broth.

For entrees we had the wild Alaskan salmon and the crispy whole red snapper.

salmon, celery root puree, brusselsprouts, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

salmon, celery root puree, brusselsprouts, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Wild Alaskan salmon and brussels sprouts on a celery root puree

The salmon was really delicious and remains my favorite meal at Zola. It is satisfying, beautiful, tasty, comforting, and again…delicious! The celery root puree is out of this world. Just go eat it! The brussels sprouts are not bitter, perfect texture and perfectly seasoned. 5 stars!

red snapper, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Crispy whole red snapper, red chili sauce with pineapple and peanut, and baby bok-choi

This meal is quite an excitement for the eyes. My palate, not so much. Again, for me the fish was not seasoned. The bok-choi was tough and chewy. I wasn’t impressed. Have the salmon.

I have had Zola’s macaroons, creme brulee, and cheesecake for dessert. I still feel that more can be expected from their dessert menu.

macaroons, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Macaron tasting – Great!

Passion fruit curd almond macaron, espresso caramel ganache almond macaron, and mixed berry jam pistachio macaron. The macarons were very great! Great flavors and texture. Win!

macarons, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Creme brulee – great!

cheesecake, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

cheesecake, thinking insomniac, zola, zola kitchen and wine bar, state college

Ricotta cheesecake – Graham cracker crust, blueberry compote, and balsamic reduction

The cheesecake was very delicious. I don’t feel like the blueberry compote took the cheesecake to another level. I found it cloying, even though it was not overly sweet. I think adding some citrus to the compote would have been a good idea.

All in all my experience at Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar was really good! Service was PERFECT! Waiters were attentive with smiles on their faces. Our glasses were never empty. They gave recommendations and described our meals quite nicely. Service with friendly smiles. Great service always gets me.

  1. Food – GREAT (depends on your preferences for flavors and seasoning in food)
  2. Service – GREAT
  3. Ambiance – GREAT

Here’s a ink to the restaurant –http://www.zolakitchen.com

Have a great one!

Thinking Insomniac.

060115-viz-journal lres

 

Happy Friday!!!

Hi guys!

I haven’t disappeared, believe me! The Spring semester is over and now it’s the Summer. I will be working on my research but also making time for some fun. And no matter what, I need my creative outlets. Here’s my Visual Journal for Sunday 31st May 2015.

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Have a great day and see you all again soon!

TI

Hello All!

I have been scarce, but only because I have been busy. And I think I am learning… I think I am understanding stuff and I am encouraged and happy about this. I will post for you something I did using the Kinect. Possible uses and applications of the Kinect fascinate me so I wanted to use it. I began by reading and rewriting code for understanding from the book – Making Things See. I started with their exercise on drawing an imaginary cube in space, which would increase in opacity based on increasing the point clouds – as I touch the box.

vernelle noel, programming, kinect, form-making

You can see my video and you can get the code here:

URL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmVF05Zs-uo&feature=youtu.be

Github – https://github.com/vernellenoel/Algorithmic_Tectonics/blob/master/PracticeCoding/box_in_scene_touched/box_in_scene_touched.pde

I then played some more with the code. Here’s a video of my final work. There are things I still need to fix and make modular, but, bit by bit. This was done weeks ago. I am doing data visualization now and will show you all some stuff soon.

When I did this it was carnival back home (Feb 16 & 17th). While everyone was in the sun having fun, I had to pretend I was there. Here I am manipulating the vertices of my shape while I move to Machel Montano’s – Like Ah Boss.

URL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMsm1jiln5c&feature=youtu.be

Github – https://github.com/vernellenoel/Algorithmic_Tectonics/blob/master/PracticeCoding/1501215/box_in_scene_touched_dist_test02_pde/box_in_scene_touched_dist_test02_pde.pde

 

 

 

 

Here’s my work from yesterday.

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Bouncing Ball

Here’s the code – https://github.com/vernellenoel/Algorithmic_Tectonics/blob/master/PracticeCoding/bouncing_ball/bouncing_ball.pde

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Nested Loop

Code – https://github.com/vernellenoel/Algorithmic_Tectonics/blob/master/PracticeCoding/colored_squares/colored_squares.pde

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Nested Loop – Random  function used for color

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Nested Loop

Code – https://github.com/vernellenoel/Algorithmic_Tectonics/blob/master/PracticeCoding/colored_squares_random/colored_squares_random.pde

In class yesterday we touched on functions and creating parametric objects with processing. This is no joke, describing a design (shape/ object) for a computer is pretty intense. You have to tell it EVERYTHING!

See the code for the parametized columns below – https://github.com/vernellenoel/Algorithmic_Tectonics/blob/master/PracticeCoding/parametric_column/parametric_column.pde

vern7 vern6 vern5 vern4 vern3 vern2 vern1

I have been reflecting on why I feel so confused. Give me a pen, tell me to design something, and I can describe what I want and what I imagine. Give me a computer, and tell me to design something with code and my creativity goes out the window. Why is this? I am thinking aloud here… I think maybe it’s because I don’t know the vocabulary, the language that I have to work it. It’s like someone telling me to write a sentence in German. If I do not know what English words translate into, I will not be able to. If I do not know the ways to use those German words, I will also be lost. So.. I think I need to spend some time learning the “vocabulary” of Processing.

Ideally I want to be able to imagine something I want to do, then using the vocabulary, function, and methods of Processing, get it done. Currently, that is not happening. So tonight, I will spend some time learning some “vocabulary”, i.e. methods in Processing. The structure I will always be working on, and the way to write these things. Pseudocode maybe? No joke, this is taking a lot of time.

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Sketch #1

So these are my sketches for tonight (Jan 26th). I am trying to understand and play with repetition using “for loops.” In Sketch #1, I did little lines of code using a “for loop” to repeat them.

vern

Sketch #2

In this sketch I played with colors and another layer of lines

vern

Sketch #3

In this sketch I changed the second layer of lines to ellipses().

vern2

Sketch #4

vern4

Sketch #5

In sketches #4 and #5 I was exploring nested loops, or a two-dimensional matrix (don’t quote me on this). I remember wrestling with these nested loops while doing Rhinoscript. I think this is the same here. A “for loop” in the x-direction and a “for loop” in the y-direction. For this two-dimensional matrix, a rectangle is drawn and filled. The fill () function is written as:

 fill((x+y) * 1.4);

Frankly I don’t quite understand how this works. I will try to find this out. It seems to be taking the color as numbers from the for loop and using the multiplier of 1.4, this changes the color value. Fill () takes a number value and I guess this is altering the number value in this way. Interesting.

vern3

Sketch #5

In Sketch #5, I tried to play with interaction with the mouse. Nothing impressive happened. I used a snippet from the code last night. So I was able to move the tip of the triangle, but nothing cool really happened, apart from the interaction of course. So! Here’s to my second night of processing Processing().

My friend Marc shared this super cool link of the super-cool, trippy stuff his friend does. See here – http://enchantedconsole.tumblr.com/

IMG_20150125_233725

The image above is my sketches of what I want to draw. Instead of dwelling in the fog of my mind, I was encouraged by Daniel to draw what I want to “sketch” using Processing. It’s just like my research… making the implicit, explicit. These are sketches and images of the codes that I wrote tonight. Step by step… incremental development.

vern

Sketch #1

This sketch (#1) was pretty easy. Apart from the mistakes I made with the locations of the endpoints of my lines, it was an easy start.

vern

Sketch #2

Also an easy start.

vern2

Sketch #3

I did a different sketch (static) before doing this one. I then played around with the “mouseX ()” and “mouseY ()” functions so the shapes created were dynamic and it was interactive – i.e via the mouse. Below are more shapes/ designs created with the same sketch. I wrote a few lines of code at the end of my draw code that would export the design generated by pressing the space bar.

vern1

Sketch #4

vern3

Sketch #5

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Sketch #6

This was also a doable exercise. The main things I learned here was the order in which to write the fill commands so they fill the particular shape I wanted. I also learned the quad() function and used it for drawing my diamond shapes since the rect() function would not do it, at least based on my level of Processing knowledge right now. This felt good. :)