Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Are Not Good People

I just finished reading Jeff Somers We Are Not Good People. It is an absurdly well-written book. He wrote the Electric Church series which is also terrifically good.

I prefer my Jeff Somers in long-form (like novels) because there's this particular rhythm he develops, using a specialized language in the voice of the narrator. And you want to sort of get into that rhythm and sit there for the length of a novel.

I am, unfortunately, a bit too stupid to really understand what I'm supposed to be doing. I started reading We Are Not Good People and found that I'd already read it. Or, somehow, I'd already read the first half. I have no idea how that happened. I believe it may involve witchcraft of some kind.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cat Scratch Fincher

So I was gonna write a non-spoilery review of Gone Girl about how it's really an HBO series packed into a feature film because of the weird episodic structure which doesn't really obey any sort of normal act structure.
Then I was going to write about how the cat in the movie was a cat from some romantic comedy thrown accidentally into a thriller picture and nobody really knew what to do with the cat once it had seemed like a freaking plot point to feed the damn floppy thing.
But that's not what I'm going to write about. No.
Instead I'm going to write about the gratuitous thigh scratching.
Look, I have to sit though tiresome essays like this one. Ooh. Fincher doesn't use closeups when he doesn't have to. Oh yeah? Then explain the thigh scratch to me.
Maybe the whole thing was a goof. Maybe the cat was really Jonesey from Alien. Maybe it's Fincher's apology for ruining the Alien franchise.
Also, this movie just wasn't directed at all. Everything about Gone Girl was on the writer. As a movie it didn't really need a director. Any competent cinematographer with a competent AD could have got all the shots they needed and then sent them to editorial.
But that's not the point. The point is that we cut to the closeup of a thigh. Being scratched.
Why?
That closeup actually makes me angry. I should go lie down.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Exploitation

Exploitation is an odd word because it means both to "use" and to "abuse".

I'm not entirely sure where the line is between the two. One issue is that "exploitation" is actually contractual language. There's the right and obligation to exploit one's image in a motion picture (for instance). The exploitation in all forms throughout the universe (they apparently added "universe" what with satellite transmissions) known and unknown is exactly what you're doing when distributing a motion picture.
In some sort of Marxist universe there'd be a clear idea of the surplus value of labor which one could at some point actually measure. I'm not sure what that is.
So what I don't know is, at what point are you "exploiting" someone, and at what point are you not?
I have a feeling that CG animators and sound mixers are the ones who get exploited the most...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Just a buncha tabs from my browser

It turns out that black loose clothes are the best to wear when you're trying to stay cool.


Ha! My inclination is to believe the director fixed some problems with this musical. The writer(s), shockingly, didn't think so.
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Reviews of the best altimeter watches of 2014.
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An XML - to FCP X translator (so you can get FCP 7 projects into FCP X) is ten bucks.
Apparently it will also get projects into Adobe Premiere.
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To get OMF's out of FCP X you'll need another translator which is either sixty bucks or a hundred fifty. I haven't figured out the difference between the two versions.
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Apparently the only way to scuba dive in Atlanta GA is to go to the aquarium and swim with whale sharks. They won't let you use any of your own gear except for a mask. I'm presuming this is because they're worried about where your gear has been.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Innovative Theater Awards

I really love the NYIT Awards. The thing, to me, about them is that they have a real "home town" feel in a place (New York City) which can frequently feel cold and brutal. Especially the theater scene.
Plus a lot of my friends won. Which is also awesome. Even more were nominated. Also awesome.
I'm just straight-up stealing these pictures from Facebook. I don't know who took them. I'd love to credit whomever.
Director DeLisa White
 Actually, I think the NYIT website hasn't actually posted the winners for 2014. But Backstage has an article on it.
Lighting designer Kia Rogers. 
Two thousand productions. The awards are based on two thousand productions. Thousand.
A list of the winners.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All The Things Going On

So you're supposed to live 8 minutes longer for every minute you exercise. But won't I be 8 times more miserable during that time I am alive?
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I can't parse my statements from Amazon Digital Services. They sent a check for $15.45 and another check for $10.49. I think that means I make more money as an author than as a musician. I'm not sure.

Turns out my decision about replacing the Mac Pro we have was not something that needed to be made. The Mac Pro crashed and died. Doesn't seem like it wants to reboot. Like, you know, ever.
So we've replaced it with a new i7 Mini. Which I'm spending all day setting up.
With 16GB of RAM (which I, of course, had to buy from a 3rd party in order to make the price $150 rather than $300) it's a pretty fast machine. Easily the fastest Mac we've had.
It's not quite the power workhorse that the PC is: but that's mostly because the PC has a thousand dollars of video card in it for 3D rendering.
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Gun laws in Colorado? There aren't any really.
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I am still really amused by Dead Raid (1301). I have "finished" the movie many many times. I had a computer crash and quite a few notes from our distributor which necessitated a lot of "back to square one" activities like changing the aspect ratio and re-creating all the robot sounds. But I still like the movie. There's a big ensemble scene which still cracks me up.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Power consumption

Editor's note: you do not want to bother yourself by reading this blog post. 
So. These dang MacPro towers run very hot. Also, my studio now has a deal where I pay my own electric costs. As a classic model in economics, this now encourages me to reduce the amount of electricity I use.
Note that the amount of heat is directly related to the amount of electricity.
When asking about the charges per kilowatt hour, my landlord gave me this handy chart:
this month it's $0.34
in june it was $0.31
in april $0.27
Of course it's not consistent. That would make calculations too easy.
I feel fairly confident Mac Pro eats between 115 and 318 watts. is about 85kW/h to 235kW/h a month. And if we pretend that we pay thirty cents a kWh, that's somewhere between $25 and $75 a month. Probably not quite $50 on average. I'd guess about $30 on average.
Still, that's $360 a year.
Our office is number 10.
Thing is, nowadays, I could get a Mac Mini for a thousand dollars which benchmarks faster. Those are between 11 and 85 Watts. So maybe 20kWh a month? So electric cost of six bucks.
So it'll cost about $72 a year to run a new mini. Versus $360 to continue to run the old Mac Pro.
The new mini would pay for itself in about 3 years. And it would irritate us with its heat consumption vastly less. And the fact that the mini is faster means it won't even be working as hard as the Pro.
Huh.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Wetsuit Thoughts and Notes to Myself

I have an extremely light-duty wetsuit. It's basically a Lavacore 3mm rash guard. But my goal is to get a real wet suit.

Now I am dry suit certified. But a thing with drysuits is that you need to use giant-pocket fins because your feet are in boots. And dry suits are very expensive.
But there are these things called "semi-dry" wetsuits.

The Cressi Lontra comes very well reviewed except that it's not made anymore.

The Henderson Aqua Lock comes recommended. And it is very interesting in that it has micro-fleece as the liner.
Now the thing is I want a suit without boots so I can wear full-foot-fins. And yeah, my feet will get cold. But these full-foot-fins I have exhibit so much more speed and control than regular fins. So uh. So yeah.

Click me

Please click and vote. It's relatively painless. You have to be logged into Facebook but it doesn't seem to do anything harmful, it just wants to make sure votes aren't double-counted. Mission Main St Grant

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Payout!

So we got a payment from a couple sales on Friday and looking at the report I realized we'd actually gone above our arbitrary amount of money after which we start paying actors and editors and writers and stuff on the movie Android Insurrection.

And I'm really kind of tickled to be able to start paying that "deferred" money. You know, "monkey points". Well the monkey is here and he has a banana for you. This is where the analogy breaks down. Look. Nobody's getting rich. Most of the checks I'm writing are for less than a hundred bucks.
But hey! It's something!
To be in the black like this is something, as a producer, we're really proud of. We hope there are many, many more checks to write.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Robin Kurtz: The Maiden

Why didn't I see this show with the awesome Robin Kurtz in it?


Full of IT: The Maiden: The Maiden Conceived by Chance D. Muehleck Directed and Choreographed by Melanie Armer Composed by Admiral Grey Produced by La MaMa in asso...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Those Things

Diet to Go
It's relatively cheap. Food comes well reviewed. I have to lose like 60 lbs. That's gonna take more than a year. Plus I have to get my cholesterol down. Boo.

Stock Video site. I'd love a nice HD overflight of Manhattan coming from the south west.
I could get one of these little tracker things to measure my minimal movement through the day.
Super-duty 1/2" case kits might make for a guitar amp isolation cabinet. Especially if you put ANOTHER cabinet inside one.

Lights Narrow

Check out this groovy interview with Vinnie Marano and DeLisa White.
DeLisa White is nominated for Outstanding Director; Vincent Marano is nominated for Outstanding Original Full-Length Script; and Lights Narrow is nominated for Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play.
That's Ridley Parson and James Becton in the show!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Just clearing out some links

The Iron Heel is a Jack London book. Oddly, it was an inspiration for the racist's Bible -- The Turner Diaries.

The Scarlet Plague is another piece of post-apocalyptic fiction by Jack London.