Archive for November 2008

 
 

Quick MTV Thought

I wonder how many episodes of MTV’s “Made” have had to be scrapped because the whiny teenager quit, or failed to show up for the final event planned to be the climax of the episode?

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Sundays

I realized yesterday just why it is that I’m so disinterested in Sundays.  On top of everything I mentioned in Friday’s post, it’s that Sunday seems like a half day of work.  The routine of Sunday is fixed on setting things up for the week ahead — doing laundry, ironing, food shopping, cleaning the house, etc.

This is what I realized as I as scrubbing the third toilet on Sunday morning.  Where’s the weekend fun?  Really, only on Saturday.  Growing up stinks.

There is no GOOD day of the week

Hate MondaysMonday – Duh. It’s Monday. The first day of another five day long epic struggle against The Man. Inevitably, it’s a lost cause. The cube is your cage.

Tuesday – Still three more days to go after this one. And you still have to get through this one.  Sure, you have one day behind you, but those three in front loom large. The week has barely begun.

Wednesday – You’d think that the mid-week “New Comic Book Day” would make me happy, but it’s trumped by something more worrisome: There’s no life-changing-money lottery on Wednesday. So once you know you didn’t win on Tuesday night’s drawing, you know you won’t be quitting your day job either today OR tomorrow. Wednesday is the new Monday.

Thursday – That lottery thing is still in effect. Plus, it’s now the FOURTH day in a row you’ve been stuck at work and it’s not the end of the week. You still have to get through another day after this one is done.

Friday – Many people like this day. I don’t get it; you still have to get up early and shuffle off to work. Feh. And then everyone wants to know what your plans are. None of yer bee’s wax!  You don’t give a crap what I do the other 5 nights a week.  Why do you suddenly care about my “time off”?

Saturday – OK, I like Saturdays. There’s hope for this day. Something fun might happen. Something you might want to get done may be doable. But there’s also the pressure of doing something, accomplishing something. Sometimes, after five looong days at work, you’re just not in the mood to be productive. And, dagnabit, shouldn’t you get one day of rest in a week? UGH, I think I hate Saturdays, too.

Sunday – You’d think this would be a repeat of Saturday, but it’s really not. On the best of Sundays, the fear of Monday strikes at 6:00 p.m. You still have to go to bed at a respectable hour, because tomorrow is the start of another long work week. You realize all day that you didn’t get nearly enough done over the weekend as you wanted to. There’s no lottery drawing to save you until Monday night. Sunday is a death day. It has the shine of a weekend day, but that’s a very slim coating. The truth is much more depressing – Sunday is Pre-Monday.

That’s the Seven Depressing Days of the Week. So, any big plans this weekend?

UGH

Wall-E: The PIXAR Story

My “Wall-E” DVD review is now live at CBR.  I’m still watching more of the bonus materials in the set, so here are further thoughts:

“The PIXAR Story” documentary is really nice.  It’s obviously a few years old.  Looks like it was done after “Cars” came out.  The story ends with the Disney acquisition.  It’s funny to see director Andrew Stanton looking a decade younger, without glasses, and with much shorter hair in the movie, as opposed to the “Wall-E” featurettes. It’s sad to see story man Joe Ranft talking about PIXAR, given that he died in a car accident in 2005. (Wow, three years ago already?!?) Also sad to see the last of Disney’s Nine Old Men, Frank and Ollie, being interviewed.  They’ve since departed from the mortal plane, as well.

The director of the piece has the last name of “Iwerks,” leading me to wonder if it’s any relation to animation pioneer Ub Iwerks.

Wow, animation people love videotaping themselves doing everything — Brad Bird camcorded his drive into PIXAR on his first day of work. Someone videotaped Lasseter’s reaction to the news that “Toy Story” had been greenlighted.  Thankfully, someone recorded Brid’s “Call to Arms” to the troops at the beginning of “The Incredibles.”  Heck, Lasseter was making movies of just his day-to-day job back at the Disney studios in the 1980s.

I had no idea that “Toy Story 2″ was in as much trouble as it was.  They didn’t go too deeply into detail, other than to say that John Lasseter came back from vacation, spent a weekend rescripting the whole movie, and saved it. They probably covered this on the TS2 DVD way back when, but I can’t remember everything anymore.

“A Bug’s Life” came out three years after “Toy Story.”  Can you imagine waiting three years for the next PIXAR movie today?

Also: The “Up” teaser looks interesting, but there’s not much there, besides Ed Asner’s voice and some balloons.  A full trailer is now available at the Apple Movie Trailer site. I watched it on my Apple TV tonight and it’s pretty funny.  It’s playing off that story of the woman who wouldn’t leave her house while new skyscraper-type construction happened around her.  I probably linked to it in a link dump around here somewhere. . .

My Mac Screen at the moment

YouTube – My Mac Screen at the moment

This is a short screen grab of the junk on my screen when I use my Power Mac tower (dual G5s) right now.  I’m assuming it’s the fault of the graphics card going bad. Wht do you think?  Does anyone else have any ideas or suggestions?  Has anyone had a similar problem on their four year old computer before?

Time for Some Tweets!

Follow the Tweets as they happen!  Or, here are some recent highlights:

  • This was a very very good day for packages and mail arriving. Also got my kit for wireless off-camera flash. Can’t wait to go all Strobist.
  • Off camera flash is functioning. All pictures are wildly overexposed. Much learning yet to be done. (I think I’ve found the secret – manual mode. Scary, but exciting!)
  • Who’s destined to lose the World Series of Poker? The guy with fans in t-shirts that say “Whose the bully now?” It hurt me to type that.  (Was the final table on last night? I’ll need to tape the repeat on ESPN 2.)
  • Oprah says her show is ending in 2011. Funny, she says that every time she’s due for a new contract. Coincidence? I think not.
  • So, my computer may need a new graphics card, my TiVo fails to recognize a USB wi fi dongle, and the cable box is on the fritz. UGH UGH UGH
  • Wall-E is a remarkable achievement in animation. I loved that first half hour. Brilliant acting and classic cinematography.
  • With DVR screwed up — Cablevision will need to replace it — I’ve downloaded last week’s ep of THE SHIELD. So I’ll watch it Apple TV now! (Still haven’t watched it. . .)
  • TiVo is now updating itself through someone else’s wi-fi network. At 30%. Can’t find where to change networks, though. Annoying.
  • One of my all time greatest accomplishments: Getting my daughter to sleep tonight. Sheesh. Took 30 laps in her snap and go in dining room. 
  • I want to dirty some dishes now, just so I can run the dishwasher to clean the few that are dirty. It’s a sickness. 
  • This week’s TWiT set the new low standard for podcasting. Horrible unlistenable pointless episode. What a waste. 

New DVD Releases for 11 November 2008

It’s a fantastic week:

  • Kung Fu Panda

The clips I saw certainly looked funny. And it did very well at the box office.  Was that because it was the only family friendly movie out at the time?  Or was it really a fun movie?

  • Hellboy II

Missed it in the theaters, as I do the vast majority of movies I’m interested in.  Still, Best Buy is offering this alongside the “Hulk” DVD for $30.  I have a gift card for BB, making that very tempting.

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars

This is a very exciting release for those of you with ten year old boys in the house.  For me, the clips look like video game cinematics.  I’m not interested anymore.

  • Firefly (Blu Ray)

The series is back out on a silver disc again. This time, it’s done up in Blu Ray, which means high definition, fewer discs, and some new special content in the form of a lunch reunion for some of the cast.

  • Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season

Can’t go wrong here. . .

Next week: Wall-E.  Look for my review of it in this week’s Pipeline, available at ComicBookResources.com today!

Monday Link Dump

  • Your Fash game of the week: 99 Bricks.  Like Tetris in reverse.

A Capella Link Dump

Who doesn’t love the movie orchestration of John Williams?  Isn’t it time someone composed an ode to him?  Say that person did four part a capella harmony by himself using Williams’ tunes with “Star Wars”-related lyrics.  God bless YouTube.  (I can’t get “Kiss a wookie” out of my head now.)

If that’s not good enough for you, perhaps 64 part a capella for “Thriller?”

Or four part Super Mario 2 a capella?

Maybe the MacGyver theme song a capella? It’s pretty awful, though the kazoo almost saves it.

How about three part Tetris music?  It builds kinda slowly, really kicking in with the third guy.

Last post on politics – Reassessing the Numbers, and The Future

What follows is 1100 words on what the future holds for Obama voters, what echoes of the past I see in last night’s vote, the problem with statistics, how little some things change, and how my term “Obamagasm” is taking on new meanings. . .

As always, I’m hiding this behind the page break.  Skip over this if you don’t want to talk about politics anymore.  If you’re on an RSS reader, just skip to the next post in the feed now.

I’ll be back to link dumping tomorrow.  Thanks.


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

New DVD Releases for 04 November 2008

Lots of complete boxed sets this week, oddly enough.  Let’s get to ‘em!

  • Batman: The Animated Series: The Complete Collection

The DVDs are all those you might have already bought in the individual boxed sets.  But now you can get them all in one bigger and nicely designed box, complete with a new book.

  • Fraggle Rock: The Complete Collection

There was a time I never would have guessed this classic series from my childhood would make it to DVD.  And now you can buy it all in one big gulp.  Beautiful. Like the “Batman” collection above, this one has a nice big box, and will be cheaper than buying all the individual sets, I bet.

  • Futurama: Bender’s Game

This new release gets instant bonus credit for naming itself after the classic Orson Scott Card novel, though it looks to be more of a takeoff on Dungeons and Dragons.  Weird.

  • Spin City: The Complete First Season

Definitely not the series’ strongest year, but I’m sure it would be fun to go back and watch it evolve.  Note Carla Gugino’s appearance as Michael J. Fox’s girlfriend in the infamous pilot episode’s “shared hockey jersey” sequence.

  • Get Smart

This is the recent movie, though there is also a Complete Series boxed set on release this week.  That’s the third such set I’ve mentioned.  Yeesh. Be grateful I’m not mentioning “The Complete Little House on the Prairie” boxed set.

Whoops.

Election Day 2008

I don’t really run the political blog anymore. I got sick of the fights. I got sick of politics.  But, now, as we hit election day, a whole new wave of obnoxious election coverage begins.  And, this year, the people following it are worse than ever.

So here’s the deal.  If you don’t care about politics and are reading this via the RSS feed, skip ahead to the next entry now.  If you’re reading this off the website, I give you this chance.  If you want to read more about my point of view in this election and who I’m voting for this year, click through to read the rest of this entry.


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

Today’s Photography Tip

Say you’re watching TV in the dark with your daughter.  You notice how gosh-darned cute she looks, just sleeping there next to you in her boppy.  You want to take her picture, but realize it’s way too dark to do so.  Using a flash or turning on the lights runs you the risk of waking her up.

What do you do?

Well, first you crank up the ISO to 1600.  Those pics are usually an affront to humanity in the noise department, but the noise reducing function in Lightroom 2 is pretty good.  I imagine Noise Ninja is even better, but I’m too cheap at the moment to find out.

Second, you take your laptop and point the screen at her.  That gives you enough light to take a pic.

Sadly, the light is many colors.  Sure, I could have just loaded a blank white file in Photoshop and used that to project white light onto my girl, but hindsight is 20/20.

Finally, switch the pic to black and white, add a slight vignette to the corners to make it look old-fashiony, and voila!  Instant cuteness!

Eat your heart out, Strobist!

My daughter in black and white

You’ll notice the light is brighter along the bottom of the frame.  That’s where the laptop was.

Who needs an $400 Nikon Speedlite, when you can use a $1100 MacBook?