Sunday, January 28, 2007


Friday, Mandy and I went out to dinner with a couple friends. At a cooking party last weekend I noticed that they had a copy of a "Born Into Brothels" a supposedly stirring documentary about children in India who are, evidently, born into brothels. I left the copy at their house, so we met up to pick it up. At dinner we were discussing religion and the topic of people going door-to-door to witness to strangers came up. There was much discussion about how to deal with these people. I brought up the fact that I had never once, in my life, had one of these people come to my door. Ever. No one believed me, but it was true. I had never seen them before.

The next morning two guys from a local Baptist church dropped by our apartment inquiring about
the status of our souls. I politely declined their advances and returned to the breakfast table where we discussed how it odd it was that we had just been discussing the same thing the night before.

This is my long, protracted way of explaining much purchase of a Mac. I've spent most of my life dissing the Mac. Mac's are for people who don't understand computers and want a simple / expensive path to digital enlightenment. It figured that if you had to spend 30% more to not have to know anything about IRQs, IDE Channels, and how hack your registry to get a program to work, you didn't deserve the computer. I still stand by this argument. The only difference is, I've discovered a cadre of Mac users who are quite adept as IT professionals. Many, like myself, are lapsed Microsoft people--people who have become so fed up with MS's desire to destroy the enabling forces of the internet, privacy, and self-determination, that they've gone to the only real competitor there is. The many people I know who use Macs as their primary computer also have version of Linux or Windows running on other drives, they're also primarily IT professionals who are sick of their computers crashing, data getting lost, and configuration problems.

While I doubt I'll be running Linux on my Mac anytime soon, I will be running the Final Cut Pro Production suite. This is a professional video editing and compositing suite built to take advantage of the dual 64-bit processors the new Intel Macs (Mac Pro Series) are sporting. I may go into more detail about the frustrations I've had trying to get MPEG2, Quicktime, and MP4 codecs to convert correctly in another post. The main point is, I need a machine that will edit and edit well. This will do that.

Alas, I have a Mac heading my way. I've joined the cult. The only difference between this cult and others is instead of shaving my head, I have to buy hair gel.

(P.S. I will post pictures of me buying the Mac as soon as I can get the memory card to work.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Millions React to MindSplint Death

This past weekend, I had to pull the plug. The patient had long been neglected. It was feeble, unconscious, and contributing nothing to society but web moss. It went peacefully. A few twitches and a long exhale of bits and bloops and it died.

MindSplint was a side-project of Chad and mine for about two years. We posted reviews... and that was about it. There was no real upkeep of the site and no concerted effort to get new visitors. Hell, we hardly paid attention to basic grammatical rules when writing. It was more an exercise in learning how to articulate our film ideas in a written form. The lack of follow-up and free time with which to see movies ultimately led to its demise. It was fun while it lasted, but I've gotten tired of paying $7.00 a month for a site that really only entertained its authors.

"MindSplint" Link on the left-hand navigation bar will ultimately lead to, the MindSplint Archive. Nothing is really pressing me to repost the reviews. If anyone would actually be interested in reading them, I'll post them. Otherwise, it'll continue to link to closed graphic it now links to.

(R.I.P. MindSplint - 2005-2007)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Are you looking at my MONEY???

If you've ever wondered why Esquire and I greet each other with, "Hi Bingo." This video will explain it.

I first saw this movie many years back, before Mandy and I started dating. She and Esquire had bought a slew of cool electronic gizmos to replace the ones her ex had stolen from her house. I had just arrived angry from a fight I had just had with my ex-girlfriend over the phone. To have something to play in her new DVD-player, she purchased disk called the "Computer Animation Showcase." It contained the following the CGI short. That night has gone down as some sort of myth or legend from the amount conversations we've had about the different pieces showcased in it.

Bingo The Clowno'

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hoping for the life after Number 5

I am not too familiar with death. In fact, I have been blessed to have most of my family still alive. The inevitable fact is that we will all die, and I understand this, it is a lot harder to deal with that fact when someone that you love dies.

My cousin Andy died tragically just before Thanksgiving. As children, I remember Andy fondly. Although we were not “best friends” I do remember looking up to him and having a lot of fun with him. As an adult, I was not close to him or his family. I feel badly about that, but there is no way to go back and change time. The whirlwind of emotions that I am now facing were spurred on by the death of my cousin, but being as we were not very close, many of the emotions were connected to the fact that I had not dealt entirely with the loss of my friend from the year before.

The thing that is usually not brought up at the funeral is the different “stages” of grief the family and friends generally experience. On the other hand, a phrase you hear a lot is time heals all wounds. This may be true, but I have found that “time” is relative to the person.

Many experts agree that there are five stages most people have when handling grief. It seems I am no exception to this….

  1. Denial During this time I found myself trying not to keep my mind focused on other tasks at hand, as well as thinking in the back of my mind that it was not real. My brain would argue with itself about the reality of my friend being dead. Sometimes it seemed like I was an outsider to the conversations that happened inside my own head. This numb, imagined world was not a place where I wanted to live. The only way I was able to leave this fantasy realm was to understand that he was not in away on vacation, but was, in fact, dead. This resolution brought more tears with it…
  2. Anger - Someone I worked with suggested that I be ready for the time when my anger would start. I assured them that there would be no way that I would be mad that the person died. How could I? Needless to say, there was a good couple of months were I was VERY mad….to the point were I was furious. I have dealt with my anger and luckily have moved on.
  3. Bargaining – I feel that I am currently in this stage. I had a dream the other night where I found my friend sitting on some bleachers. I said hi to him and he ignored me. When I attempted to give him a hug he crossed his arms in front of himself. I began to cry and ask him why he won’t give me a hug. I remember begging him through my tears, pleading that I would do anything that he wanted me to if only he would hug me. My husband was also in the dream and I remember him trying to console me by telling me that James could not talk to me now. I woke up crying.
  4. Depression – I am not here yet. I have past experience with depression in my life, and this definitely one stage that I am not looking forward to.
  5. Acceptance – I am not here yet. This stage will probably be the easiest to deal with and hopefully the quickest one.

Based on everything I’ve read, I feel I have passed through three of the five stages. It has been a rough journey so far, and I am sure there is more to come. The best I can do is hope for the end of #5 and my life afterward.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ode To Camelot and Pratt

Here is a short video I edited two Christmases ago. After the South Carolina job fell through, Mandy and I lived at her parents for a short period while we vainly searched for a job in Grand Rapids and held nightly pity parties for ourselves. It was during that time that I became antsy for a quick video project to work on to calm my nerves and stay in practice. I had an old tape of a Camelot party that had been short two to three years earlier (so, from today, we're talking maybe 5-6 years ago). The total length of the tape was, at most, 30 minutes. It was also horribly shot (due to the intoxication of the various camera operators), the quality of the camera, and the completely uncooperative people attending the party.

I post it because there is substantial footage of our good friend Mr. Pratt, who died of a drug overdose about 4 years after this was shot. Mandy and I are still trying to completely get over his death, and it feels somewhat cathartic to post this video and present the world of Camelot to friends and family.

It was an amazing period of both of our lives. It could be argued that I grew up more in the two years I lived there then all of the time leading up to it. I think everyone has a period in their lives that they look back on as the pinnacle of self-determination and growth. When everything we think we know about the world gets torn apart and has to reconsidered. Camelot (the name of the street we lived on) was a microcosm of partying, film-making, studying, barbecuing, and angst. Everyone I know who lived there or visited often remembers it fondly, but always with the caveat that, "That sure was fun. Man, I'm glad that I've grown up since then."


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"The world certainly is full of things." -King of All Cosmos

I have a profound love for Japanese pop-culture craziness. One of the most beloved sites I have ever happened across is The image below is just one of many, many examples of hilarity.

(There is indeed)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Dark Tower Trailer

Here's a mock trailer I made for the Dark Tower books by Stephen King. I had been thinking of how to approach a trailer for the books for a long time. There were a couple of other choice scenes I would've liked to have included, but I couldn't get my hands on them. All in all, I think it came together well.

The Dark Trailer

Friday, January 05, 2007

Behind the Music: Tyler Berrington Pt. 2

As promised, here is the part 2 of the Behind the Music: Forbidden Love. If I recall correctly, this part was done by Chad before he brought me into the fold. After watching, and laughing, we decided to do two more parts to make it a full 30 minutes VH1 parody (well, 22 minutes with commercials). However, like many of our projects, it remains 2/3rds of the way complete. Perhaps, someday, we'll find a free weekend and complete the whole thing.

I'm also posting these two parts to announce that I've changed the link from Chad's woefully unkempt Opa Documentary Blog to his YouTube site. He updates his YouTube channel "Epsilon Ltd." often. I'll periodically post links and embed videos to remind people to check it out on occasion.

Forbidden Love

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Behind the Music: Tyler Berrington Pt. 1

This is Part 1 of a project Chad and I worked on years back. It was premiered at Tyler B's bachelor party and has been the bane of the guests of many future gatherings. It is here presented in two parts: The Beginning and Forbidden Love. The Beginning weighs in at around 8 minutes and is certain to be appreciated by people who have at least met Ty. I think, even now, it holds up well against later projects.

I will post Part 2: Forbidden Love tomorrow.

The Beginning

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Blogger (finally)

We finally transfered over to the new blogger. I won't bore anyone with the details of the transition, but our testing skills finally some practical real world application. The good folks of Blogger ended up doing some switch throwing on their end to get us uprighted again, and here we are. I'm going to try to keep this more up-to-date now that the transition nastiness is behind us.

To keep everyone in the know, I'm going to list off some doin's that done transpired that should have resulted in blog posts had we been able to:

1. Mandy is working for a different consulting company and is currently on assignment at a way-big company. The work is semi-interesting, but her consulting company is da bomb. She got a pay bump to jump.

2. I am still working for the same consulting company, but on a different assignment. Interestingly enough, I jumped to her vacant seat when she left for her new gig. It seems the fate of good ex-Quixtar testers is to end up working on a Cincinnati Financial contract at some point in their career, and I'm not exception. I got a pay bump not to jump.

3. We just returned from a extended trip to our homeland. We left Port Royal by steamboat on the 1st of May, 'rounded the Cape of the Tempest come late Spring. Boarding a mighty air zeppelin, we were deep in the jungle primeval of the Amazon by mid-summer's eve. All in all it was a harrowing journey filled with adventure, mayhem, and a little romance. It was great to catch up with friends and family and share in a little holiday cheer. Holiday cheer can come in the form of watching the resurrected ghosts of James Brown and Gerald R. Ford pound the hell out of each other in a Playstation 2 game, and in the case of one late family holiday party, it did.

4. Christmas was great, but where the feck is the snow? Something is amiss... Maybe Art Bell is right.

Thanks again to everyone for the great gifts, good times, and especially to the Sterk family for opening their home to Mandy and I for nearly two weeks.

Happy 2007!