The Land of Cash and Sun: Part I
“I put the ‘man’ in manifest destiny.” – Daum
In late February, I left winter at home for an extended work trip to Venice, California.
It was hard to leave my wife, cat, and house, but I was excited about meeting new money.
A variety of Venice rental properties were my new home, including pleasant remodeled bungalows near work. The surrounding neighborhood was full of blooming flowers, uptight/nervous people that wouldn’t make eye contact or say hello, and homeless.
Despite weird looks and intimidating roads, it felt good to walk everywhere again in the sunny, mellow weather.
Clouds with a chance of hanging.
A man and his rugs.
Biking the Seco.
Orange and green.
Biking the LA River.
Lords of Frogtown.
My morning walk starts on a fragrant pedestrian street.
Cactus garden in the valley.
My little hula girl.
Big truck, big dick.
Part of M4a.
Cock of the block.
Blade Runner style asian bazaar.
Hand painted FTW.
Inside the Clifton.
A simple breakfast.
Dying under the bigtop.
The king of sandwiches.
Pizza slice? Surf board? Ninja turtle?
Scenic beach access.
A wall of succulents.
Santa Monic parrot.
Over the shoulder smolder.
Tree on the pedestrian lane.
Candy van can.
While my weekdays were for work, on weekends I was able to see old friends more than I had in the past few years.
I flew home for a short, long weekend too.
At work, I experienced a full range of VR from low-end Google Cardboard to high-end HTC Vive.
The latter was one of my highlights of whole trip.
HTC Vive is a room-scale VR system, which means that it actually tracks your movement within a small space. You can walk and look around a virtual space like you can a real one. Two wands with triggers and buttons are used as controllers.
The interface itself is novel. Let’s say that the headset and two controllers are resting on the floor. After you put on the headset, you’re now in a virtual room to freely look and walk around. When you look down at the floor to find the controllers, their virtual representation exits right where you left them in reality. You reach down and pick them up. The real controllers are in hand while the virtual controllers float in virtual space with 1:1 tracking.
VR experiences are currently a lot of tech demos, simple games swinging virtual swords, building contraptions, or wandering around virtual spaces. Developers are still figuring out the best ways to interact in the medium.
Tilt Brush is, in my opinion, Vive’s “killer app”. Open on an empty virtual space. You look down at your hands. One wand is a palette of tools, the other is the brush.
While painting, you immediately realize that your marks have depth and dimension. You can walk around your creation as you work, fully appreciating all angles. If you wanted, you could paint a building to walk through, or a natural landscape with flowing water and billowing clouds.
It’s like painting a sculpture, and the first mind-blowing tech example I’ve seen in a while.
What you look like using Tilt Brush.
Despite the cost and space requirements of the system, I’m seriously considering getting one. VR is definitely going to be big, and this is still the beginning.
I retuned to Nashville at the end of March, and just in time for spring.