HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!
- In one of the stranger bits of company policy, my BlackBerry no longer sends or receives SMS text messages. This is an extremely frustrating turn of events. Ironically, I can use just about any messenger service on this thing (Windows, Yahoo!, GTalk and AOL IM came preloaded), just not the universal one. I'm considering some work-arounds, but at present the only way to get hold of me on the go is via BlackBerry Instant Messenger (you can try shooting me a message to my G-Mail account, which I get a notification for, but that might be hit-or-miss as to whether I notice it).
- There is a brand new firmware update for my HD-DVD/Blu-ray combo player. I haven't noticed much of a problem with many discs (a few of them with twitchy menu screens, that's about it) but apparently people are really having trouble playing Avatar. I'm not planning on playing Avatar any time soon, but I will take the update in case it helps out with those other minor issues.
Perhaps the players themselves were offended by the Avatar MacGuffin that was actually called "unobtainium."
- Speaking of 3-D, on Friday I took a walk over to the Sony Store and checked out the 3-D television sets that were on display. It is dangerous to judge new technology by an in-store set-up (laserdisc owners: remember how godawful those demonstrations of DVDs looked when they first came out?) because they are often set to be extremely bright and colorful rather than sharp and color-balanced and because the people working at such places are often not all that familiar with the technology beyond its "wow" factor.
With that caveat, I can say that the while the 3-D imaging was fantastic, the image quality was pretty bad on the two displays I saw. It was crisp but grainy, and grain in 3-D is a very strange thing to see if the grain doesn't match. The glasses aren't that terrible (they're a hell of a lot nicer than most theatrical glasses), but they are still rather heavy and feel like they'd be annoying to have to wear for long periods of time. Ultimately I'm not sure what the ultimate goal of this technology is, as it is too constrictive in both production and presentation to be all that mainstream, but it is interesting, if flawed.
- My recent pursuit of something more closely resembling fitness has had some interesting musical aspects. Of course there is the music that I listen to when I'm doing my primary exercises, but I devised what I thought was an interesting solution for stretching. In general, you're supposed to keep a stretched position for one minute, which would require either manual counting or a timer or something. I instead went into my iTunes library and took all of the tracks with a minute's worth of music on them (the listed running times of the tracks is usually (1:02 or 1:03) and put them in a playlist. I just hold the position until the music stops, then I pause and do the next one. It's amazing how much personality a composer can squeeze into one minute.
- As I mentioned a few weeks ago, there was a shoot that came about primarily because we had some footage to catch with one actor that we had a particular day. There was an aspect of this shoot that i didn't really have the chance to get into further when it happened, but is somewhat amusing.
We were shooting on a corner in Brooklyn a few neighborhoods away from where Dan lives. It was a pretty closed-off space with an interesting industrial background, and I parked my car the wrong way to get the shot. We were there shooting for an hour, we got everything we needed and loaded the equipment back into the car and all got ready to go. As I was pulling out, a police car arrived, and pulled me over.
Nothing really came of it. We (sort of) told the truth, that we were shooting a (student) film and that our driving away just as they arrived was a complete coincidence. I presented my college ID (thank for that tip on the She's Gotta Have It laserdisc, Spike) and that was pretty much that. I can now say that I'm an outlaw filmmaker who has had trouble with the law and that we of Charged by the System are, like, rebels.
At least we weren't shooting a robbery!
- This is an amusing story about Sir Ian McKellan, master thespian and all-around cool guy. Read the story for further coolness.
- Check out this cool photo I found on Fark. "The coolest picture you'll see all day of the aurora borealis over Chicago. Bonus: taken from the International Space Station."