Friday, February 26, 2010

Avatar Reviewed by MoCap Character

I have to confess, I have not seen Avatar yet.  But if a mocap character likes it (and he should know), then I guess I better go see it.

Just my thoughts,


Will You Take This Man?

"Eh, why not?"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Office Motivational Poster

Thanks to James for finding this. I may need to get this framed and hang it in my office to motivated me.

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Janet's On a Horse

Hello readers.  Look at your blog, now back to mine, now back to yours, now back to mine.
Sadly, your blog isn’t my blog.
Even sadder, it isn’t Janet’s blog.
My week thus far belongs to Quoth the Maven, who has two home runs out of two.
First, she put me on to this detailed explanation of how the fantastic Old Spice “I’m on a horse” commercial was shot.

As a spoiler, the only computer effect is the Old Spice bottle coming up out of the diamonds (plus some clean up).  The whole thing, one incredible shot.
Then today, Janet tickled my funny bone with an old Spy Magazine gag – logical Spock rewording famous song lyrics
For example:  “The leather coverings now encasing my pedal extremities have been manufactured for the specific purpose of ambulatory forward motion.”
Just how Nancy wishes she sang it.
Hop on over and join in coming up with more contemporary versions.
Just my thoughts,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Famous Tweets from History: Young George Washington Edition

“Man, it’s my birthday and I have to go to work on the plantation.  When I grow up, I’m going to be king and then no one will have to work on my birthday!”

When a Hug Goes Bad...

Saw this over at Stuff Christians Like, had to spread the cheer.

I mostly feel for the actors that had to convince us that this was in any way an enjoyable thing to receive as a present.  And the poor saps that thought this was their get out of Valentine's Day gift -- and are now sleeping on the couch.  Along with the Hug E Gram, natch.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Even If I Feel God Truly Is On My Side...

Just ran across a quote over on friend Kevin Miller's blog that made me think.  A good quote; one to revisit every now and then, especially when in the heat of debate.

"It doesn't matter how justified I feel in holding my position on a particular issue. Even if I feel God truly is on my side, if my stand causes me to hate the people who disagree with me, that's a sure sign I'm motivated by something other than the man from Galilee."
-Kevin Miller

Today's Amusements: Anakin's Faith, and Writing Tips

Over at Go Into the Story, William Safire is quoted giving some marvelous writing tips.  I plan on implementing them all in my next project.

"Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague."

-- William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"

And although I am not a reader of the Huffington Post, a series of pictures showing mistranslations in movie dubs caught my eye, especially this one:

I knew the dark side was a product of a committee!
Just my thoughts, 


Friday, February 12, 2010

80's Moments

Tom threw a surprise party for Lauri at a roller rink; the theme was the 80's.

Cath and I were up for the challenge.

Please note:  Catherine had to hunt around to put together a costume.  For Sean?  Cath's simple statement, "Nerd style never changes" and really just taking my calculator with me along with my standard daily wear.

Here are some pics:

Doubt my nerd credentials?  Yes, I know how to say "hello" using a calculator.

Just my thoughts,


Famous Tweets from History: George Washington Edition

"We cross the Delaware tonight. What a day for the hemorrhoids to be acting up!"

Courtesy of guest poster David Goulet

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

9 11

Photos by Greg Semendinger, at the time a detective with the New York Police Department’s Aviation Unit.

No sharable thoughts,


Famous Tweets from History: Young George Washington Edition

"I was thinkin' - if I get rid of that cherry tree and blame it on the Adams boy, maybe, just maybe, the kids will elect me class president"

Courtesy of guest poster Bob Hartl

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

League of Super Churches

Here’s my latest BADD video, created for last week’s service.

It occurred to me that some of y’all might be interested in the process of creating some of these shorts.  So rather than just show them, I’ll give a few glimpses behind the scenes.
Our team has a writing committee of about 8 or so writers.  We get together, go over the upcoming services and video requests, spitball ideas, then assign scripts.
In this case, we knew the pastor would be speaking about the book of Acts, and wanted to include a message on how the church needs to learn to work together if we really expect to get anything done.
And by “church,” he meant “Church” – the collected body, not just those that we decided agreed with every little thing we thought of.
This plotline suggested itself:  “People who have the same mission don’t get along and therefore don’t win; but then they band together, and are able to accomplish great things!”
Or, as we geeks like to say, the plot of every Silver Age team up or group comic book.
So I pitched the idea as a comic book, with different churches represented as superheroes.  It would be written and drawn as a comic, but filmed, with the camera drawing our eyes across the page.
After I wrote it (and rewrote it after various notes sessions with the writers’ committee), it was passed to an artist on the team.  He did up the pencils, and corralled a number of other BADD members to ink and color.  Some of the color and ink work was done by computer, some by hand.
Meanwhile, a recording session was held for the voice actors.
The recording and artwork were then passed on to the editor, who added the camera movement.  Once it was timed, our composer got it to add a score; and final sfx were put in.
All told, done in about three weeks.
The Tuesday before the service, the vid was screened for some of the church staff.  They raised some concerns, which led to a last minute recording session and re-edit to come up with the final product.
(In the original, Penny spoke in tongues, which comically confused the more undemonstrative Presbytron, although she was easily understood by Agape.  This was thought to risk offending someone – although whether they meant Pentecostals or Presbyterians, I don’t know.) 
And now to the only question you really had:  How on earth did you get Stan Lee?
One of our team members worked on “Stan Lee’s Who Wants to Be a Superhero,” and called for a favor.  Stan thought the idea was a hoot, so allowed a small crew to show up at his office.  As simple as that.
Just my thoughts,

Monday, February 08, 2010

Famous Tweets from History: Gettysburg Edition

From A. Lincoln:

“Staring at my talk for an hour ‘n 1/2, can’t find an opening. Should start with that: 87 minutes ago, I set forth to write this speech…  :)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Famous Tweets from History: Wild Bill Hickok Edition

"Just drew two pair - aces up.  This must be my lucky day!"


I read a great quote this morning -- came on the back of my Pearls Before Swine daily calendar.

If one were to apply this thought to the political and religious discourse in our country, and if one were given to generalizations, I think it would be safe to say that one side of the aisle doesn't understand the first half of this quote; and the other side doesn't believe in the second half.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

-Albert Einstein 

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Famous Tweets from History: Pilgrim Edition

From a Native American:

“Boatload of tourists landed at Plymouth Rock.  Seem nice enough, but can’t wait for their vacation to end, and them to head home.”

Lost? A Little Bit of Found

To help those facing the new season of LOST, here's some explanations of the new season from the producers (don't go there if you haven't seen the opening episode).

And here's a timeline of the LOST history to date, which helps make sense of the time traveling Season Five.

And want insight into how the LOST writers are going to come up with the solutions to all the mysteries they've created?  Here's a contest being run up until last night's premiere:

Just my thoughts,


Monday, February 01, 2010

Caught in the Rye

Addendum: Thanks to Tamara for providing this link to the Onion's pitch perfect coverage of Salinger's passing.

J.D. Salinger passed away last week.  Of course, it put me in mind of his best known work.  Here is a reprint of a blog I wrote a few years back.

For this month’s book club, we read THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger.  It was swell.  It killed me, really.

Salinger shows an understanding of human nature in the simplest of things.  Like when the protagonist, Holden, is waiting for a girl that’s late.  He’s upset until he sees her – and how pretty she is.

Holden points out that all those cartoons of guys who are angry because their dates are late is all bunk, because, “If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late?  Nobody.”

Yeah, the bane of all us guys with pretty wives/girlfriends – too hard to stay mad.  We’re just not programmed to combat good looks.

Holden has a few other ideas that struck me, mostly as they reverberate throughout my own take on life, religion and politics.

First, in talking about a comment made about himself near the beginning of the novel:  “It’s partly true, too, but it isn’t all true.  People always think something’s all true.”

Second, closer to the end of the book, he is railing against a debate teacher that kept telling him to unify and simplify his speeches.

“Some things you can’t do that to.  I mean you can’t hardly ever simplify and unify something just because somebody wants you to.”

I find it interesting that Salinger makes the case up front, and towards the end, that some things in life aren’t so simple as to be able to be reduced to a bumper sticker; even people aren’t so simple as to be reduced to a label (or at least one that is all true).

Salinger’s novel itself has often been attacked – typically by those that have simplified the novel, and tried to make it “all” one thing.

Of course, you can’t win elections without oversimplifying things like the issues. (“If you question our methods, you’re anti-American!”)

And it’s easier to win an argument if you can claim something is all true.  (“If A is at all true, then B must be completely false!”)

And it’s a pain to try and keep congregants happy if you make outrageous claims like “G-d is multifaceted and complex.”

Okay, I admit it – rather than figure all this complex stuff out, I’d like to forget about it and just spend my time contemplating how swell my girl looks.

Just my thoughts,