Archive for August, 2006

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Zelda on a Theremin

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

I’m in awe, both of the stunningly geektastic of a theremin in this video, and of Eliza’s commentary on it.

Wow – can’t wait for the labor to be over

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Or more to the point can’t wait for a 3 day weekend to happen in honor of Labor Day. It’s been a good week at work, just with a lot to do, and a lot to learn. I’ve been treasuring my evenings at home watching movies and playing Oblivion.

On the topic of movies I watched Jarhead on HD-DVD with my friend Alex on Tuesday. I have to admit that I’m in love with this movie. It’s a modern Full Metal Jacket (which I now have to get on HD-DVD to pair with Jarhead) but with slightly less bite. It manages to show the strain war can put on someone, and it’s effects on the hapless youth our government marches into battle situations.

It’s main difference from Full Metal Jacket is that is shows the everyman point of view. Full Metal Jacket focuses on the worst case – what happens when that 1/1000 (or even 1/100) cracks and just can’t take it any more. Jarhead takes a different approach and shows that same trial, that same hardship, but manages to show it for the other 999/1000.

Anyone who reads this damnable blog and is interested in an Indiana Jones marathon this coming labor day weekend should email me right quick. I have a bunch of people coming over on Saturday for it and would love to expand the audience for yet another prime showing at Le Cinema Sparks.

The face of 25

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

I’ve got a big web project that I’ve been working on and needed a self-portrait for it. I was able to get my friend Alex to lend a hand. Half an hour and a gig of storage later I had a ton of shots to wade through. I took some time today to narrow it down to a fitting 25 photos, one for each year of my life. I love how easy digital cameras make to quickly sort through and share photos on the internet.

Check out the flickr photoset and let me know which one you like the best.

Also: be afraid, very afraid!


Friday, August 25th, 2006

So apparently my battery is among the millions of defective ones Apple bought from Sony. Not that I’m too worried given that less than 6 have exploded, and actually rather handy because I’m hitting the low end of the runtime curve on my current battery so a new one at no cost is acually a bit of a boon.

The best part? The technical explanation of what the problem is:

“microscopic metal particles in the recalled battery cells [that] may come into contact with other parts of the battery cell, leading to a short circuit within the cell. Typically, a battery pack will simply power off when a cell short circuit occurs. However, under certain rare conditions, an internal short circuit may lead to cell overheating and potentially flames.”

10 Simple pleasures

Friday, August 25th, 2006

My friend Jason has gone limp and let the meme-o-sphere make him it’s bitch. Luckily this involved putting up a post that’s all about his 10 favorite simple pleasures in life that I enjoyed reading quite a bit.

Why not follow suit? I’m sure my readers could come up with many reasons why not to follow suit, however I’ve decided to preemptively ignore them. Without further ado here is my list of simple things that make my life happy, and presented in no order whatsoever.

–FatherhoodSkype has changed my life in more ways than I could possibly list here. There is just something fantastic to be said about having a rough day and being able to come home to 70 pounds of unconditional love.

–Caramel Apple Pie Ala Mode – The best comes from Charlies on Broadway, but I’ll take any and all CAP that I can get! Warm carmelly crust, sweet and sloppy apple innards, and that cool creamy ice cream melting into it all just tickles my fancy just fine!

–Technology that “just works” – I love technology, but when it’s not working I get more frustrated than I often care to admit. There is something magical (and highly elegant behind the scenes) of anything that just works.

Perfect examples are my iPod (for instance plugging it into my Powerbook or my Xbox 360 produces the exact results I’m looking for with no intervention), stereo equipment, land line phones, keyless entry for my car, and the 100′s of other little things that are so technically honed at this point we all take them for granted.

When technology works correctly it blends into the rest of your life and adds functionality without taking away from the experience. What more of a simple pleasure could you list?

– Watching movies on my couch – My life seems to revolve around this particular activity for long stretches of time. It’s not really the movies, the couch, or any one thing about the experience – but I would rather be curled up on the couch with Skype watching a good movie than just about anything else.

Heck – I even prefer watching movies at home to the theater 90% of the time. I’ll only go see the rarest of big blockbusters (or Snakes on a Plane) in the theater, but usually between the people, the distractions, and the noise I would rather be at home.

On that topic I just set up an email list that’s all about movies, and watching them. If you know me, and live in Seattle then shoot me an email or leave a comment and I’d be happy to set you up on the announce list for “Le Cinema Sparks”.

– Getting stoned – What can I say, I truly appreciate being able to completely unwind once in a while and just get baked. The old (and more career-oriented) I get the less often I find myself able to do this, but it does not stop me from treasuring it whenever I do.

Clinique skin care – I’m hooked. Brien got me into it, and as silly as the idea seems I just feel like a happier person when my skin is all soft and moisturized. I guess it’s the 45 year old women that lives in the back of my head and yells at kids to get off her lawn.

– Console gaming – If I spend too much time watching movies on my couch then I have two problems because I spend nearly as much time laying on my couch playing video games. Oblivion, Dead Rising, and The New Super Mario Bros are all current obsessions.

– An abundance of information in our society – I love information, and love to learn. I can’t count how many hours I spend on my couch just wandering around the internet absorbing all of it’s goodness. Skittering around on Wikipedia, jumping from RSS feed to RSS feed, and watching human knowledge slowly present and organize itself.

– Hanging out with good friends – The older I get the more I realize how valuable true friends are, and how precious they are to me. Even those friends I don’t see terribly often still add value and meaning to my life and I really enjoy spending time with them, particularly when I can combine spending time with a good friend with other simple pleasures on this list.

– Good Science Fiction – I don’t care if it’s written, audio only, or a full movie experience: I just love good sci-fi. Some personal favorites are Cory Doctorow, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick. Curling up with a convincing and innovative view of the future is the first step to towards thinking about and creating that future. Let’s get on it people!

Having had a rather stressful week I think I’ll be trying to indulge in a number (or quite possibly all) of these this weekend. I have my dad passing through town on Sunday, but I have pretty much all day on Saturday earmarked for the majority of this list.

What a day…

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Snakes on a Comic

Thanks Chris – after my day I needed that.

In other news no, I’m not a full time Microsoft employee… Yet!


Friday, August 18th, 2006

Wow – I have to admit, I went to see Snakes on a Plane with low expectations, and came away impressed as all hell. The mere concept was worth the $10 for admission (I mean seriously – it’s snakes on a plane), but its actually an exceptionally well executed B movie with some great one liners and the best premise ever.

I mean you can’t go into Snakes on a Plane taking it seriously. There is very little realism involved, but for a cheap thriller it can’t be beat. Anything that features Samuel L. Jackson fighting snakes (on a plane) with tasers and impromptu flame throwers is a win in my book.

Sadly given how few people were there on opening night at the Cinerama I’m betting that it won’t do well in the box office. Fortunatly given how excited the small crowd was, and how enthusiastic the hissing was when the film started I’m guessing Snakes on a Plane will end up a nearly instantanious cult clasic, earning its place in the B movie hall of fame along with Zardoz and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Oh well – off to my couch to watch Barbarella and cuddle with puppy till I pass out in blissful (snake free) peace.

Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children was just released on DVD. Now I was a huge fan of the first Final Fantasy movie – The Spirits Within, and even a fan of a all but the most recent Final Fantasy games, but somehow Advent Children manages to disappoint me.

I just got the DVD in the mail and popped it in to watch it. The story seems too built on top of Final Fantasy VII (the video game) and without having played it I found the movie difficult to get into. There are some cute cliches, and a lot of throwbacks to the game as a series, but Advent Children lacks the intelligent story and true artistry that the The Spirits Within was so rich with.

To top it off the DVD is a very poorly encoded. For such a cutting edge computer generated movie I would have expected much higher video quality. Other CG content (The Incredibles for instance) looks so fantastic, and given that the production company does not even need to worry about a film transfer so it’s really a shame.

I’m suddenly inspired to go get another copy of Final Fantasy – The Spirits Within for my collection. It’s a much better movie, and from what I remember is an order of magnitude better of a transfer.

Continued domesticity – now with more frosting

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

In the continued theme of home improvements I got all domestic today and decided to frost the glass in my sliding deck door. It will make it easier to cool my condo off, make for a much more private living room, and finally make for a truly naked cinema experience to be possible (without all those pesky tickets for breaking decency laws).

Check out the before and after shots.

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