I Survived Another Year
It's been 1 year and 1 day since the birth of this page. I've been really, really busy with life and I'm rather content with how things are turning out. I'm doing good work at work while also completing my Master's degree. It definitely drains me, but the fact that I'M doing that kinda shows me that I'm stronger than I think I am. Outside of that, I've been reflecting a lot more on friendships and my family and it's brought things into a new light - for better and for worse. I know that one day, I'm going to look back with a fondness and appreciate everything that's happening now. The time we have now is so fleeting and it's so much more evident the older you get. Seeing my parents, my grandparents other family age is just a testament to that. Focusing on that really changed my perspective and my relation with them. Fights are truly meaningless, especially when you realize how short the time with them is. Things are pretty ok, you know?
Anyways, I was wondering if I had anything technical to say and I actually have been looking at a couple papers that peaked my interest. This one in particular: https://arxiv.org/abs/2312.07541 is heavily involved with computer vision. It's focus is on SMERFS which are streamable memory efficient radiance fields. While that sounds like a load of mumbo jumbo, my basic understanding of it seems to be that it is able to render 3D environments of large scenes in a very efficient manner - allowing lower end devices to also experience it. The examples shown are different houses and rooms that are highly detailed and taken from 2D images that are used as inputs for the 3D image generation. Very, very cool. Highly recommend reading because my tiny brain cannot properly explain the coolness of it all.
Back to the talk about the website. It's planned usage is still there - a host of all my projects and passions and I promise it'll all fall into place eventually. I have a lot of ideas and I have a lot of want to do it, so it will happen. It'll just take time. I'm being patient with myself and running with the motivation when it comes. In the time being, happy birthday www.akhil-nair.com!! It really is a pretty cool milestone and I'm excited for many many more years. Huh, I survived another year.
I Climbed a Mountain
Yea, yea 8 months. I know. I'm disappointed in myself too. I had some plans to upload and I would write it up only to delete it because I wasn't happy with the content. Nothing I had to say really felt worth sharing. Until this. I climbed Mt. Fuji! It's just the sheer scale of doing something like that after sitting around doing very little my whole life felt really, really rewarding.
One of my favorite animated films is a French movie called Summit of the Gods. Essentially, a Japanese photographer, Makoto Fukumachi, gets wind that the camera of the missing George Mallory and Andrew Irvine from 1924 exists. In an effort to find this camera and the secrets it holds, he stumbles upon it in the hands of an outcast climber. He ends up getting closer and closer to the climber, Habu Joji, and eventually, scales Mt. Everest with him. There is a certain tone of awe, wonder and fear that this movie conveys in relation to the God that is Mt. Everest. After all, the peak is The Summit of the Gods. I felt that exact same feeling when I first saw Mt. Fuji. Now, I know comparatively, Mt. Fuji is nothing to Everest, but to me, it was everything and more. The pictures don't prepare you for the sheer scale of the mountain. It is absolutely A GIANT in comparison to everything around it. Our friend, Konrad, actually took me outside our hotel in Hakone and told me to look for it. Me, being the directionally challenged person I am, looked around at the hills in the distance and reported back with nothing. He said, "Look a little bit more to the right." Turning my head a little bit more, past the hotel's exterior it hit me. A monolith - a god in the distance. With the eerie chirp of the locusts at Hakone, my mouth dropped in fear and awe at it.
We began our hike the next day at 6AM in the morning. We took a bus that immediately puts you at station 5. There are 8 stations in total with a resulting peak of 3776 meters. It took us a whopping 7.5 hours plus a 4 hour descent. The exhaustion began to set in early on with my gym shoes definitely not being the right footwear. Add to this a heavy backpack and low oxygen, it was harsh. My knees were fried by the end of it, and the next day DOMS set in. I loved it though, every minute. Not once did I feel as though it was a chore but rather a new experience that changed my outlook on life.
There was something so beautiful about the silence up there. I want more of that.
I Bought a Very Expensive Camera (and a website domain)
Okay, so this is essentially the birth of the website. It's kind of scary to think that I bought a domain for $1/month and I'm just using Google to create this website. That's why it's temporary I guess. I want to build a website from the ground up, but I need time and patience for that, both of which are rather scarce at the moment. Anyways, this Google-hosted-but-I-want-more website will temporarily host all my shenanigans and whoever is willing to entertain them is more than welcome! Now onto the topic at hand, the camera. I've long had an interest in filmography but due to the lack of financial means both currently and its scope in the future, resorted to using just my iPod touch camera. See this. After my brother moved away from my "amazing" directorial skills I needed a new outlet for videos and thus TheLegendaryPlumpkinTree was born! My high school friends were kind enough to cater to some whacky ideas and even had some ideas themself, recorded in stunning 1080p30 on my dad's Nikon D7000. After college ended and I began work, I kinda needed a sort of venting system. (No, yelling into my pillow every night doesn't work in the long run.) Thus, I started the hunt for my perfect camera.
Funny enough, I settled on the Sony Alpha A6100 pretty fast. I went to one of my photographer friends and she recommended the 2014 A6000 model but I wanted more. My goal was to have a camera that would be able to last me a literal life time. I got inspiration for this watching some home videos created by my dad of me and my brother when we were young. I wanna be able to do that with my kids, with this camera!!! So, that's when I landed on the 2019 A6100. Mirrorless, 4K video, OLED EVF, beautiful autofocus, is it already Christmas?? Unfortunately, due to the great chip shortage the camera was discontinued in May of 2022, but that won't stop me. Even if I had to buy it at a slight premium. I'm quite excited for it to arrive this upcoming Monday. Expect LOTS of pictures. Of literally anything and everything.
Anyways, I think this is what I want from this site. I don't entirely know yet but it's somewhere I just want to dump everything "me", if that makes sense. Obviously, I want it to have that great tech flare that all tech people have but that'll take time and vision. So stick with me for that because I promise it'll happen sooner than later! Also, I'd like to thank Joel's incredibly crafted(built from the ground up) website for slightly being the groundwork for me.