Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Work on my brothers house had not yet started.
Dad was at work
My car was in Winnemucca.
Coutts was at the Martin.
Grandpa Buckie, Aunt Ag, and Elaine were at work.
Kent was at work.
One of the Michael Clay trucks was driving down Winnemucca Blvd.
Overall, it appears it was a very productive day in Winnemucca.
They didn't get the red light district in Winn, but they did in Battle Mountain.
[Edit to add]
I just had an Instant Message conversation with my friend Nadim in Argentina and realized how much more interesting google street view of your home town is than I thought. I could show her where I'm going to be on New Years Eve. And when I told her about other fun times I'd had there she has a picture in her mind. I showed her my high school. And if we talk about other stories from growing up I can actually show her where things happened so we are both imagining the same place. We could walk around the town together and she can see a little slice of my town. "This is where I used to walk through a field to school.", "This is where I got my first ticket", "This is where I accidentally ran into a pedestrian that one time but he was drunk and ok and even the cop didnt want to give me a ticket, but he did", etc...
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Use the widget below to work out the alcohol calorie intake from your last night out..."
I tested and even on a heavy alcohol night, it still seems better than eating a Jack in the Box.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Just writing to write. I need to sleep but I need to write to stop my mind from thinking about it. I went on my trip to clear my mind a little. Still not clear. One of those lessons that you take whatever you have with you. Like dont move to escape something, or something like that. It's been hard to sit in front of a keyboard when not at work still. That needs to end so I can get some stuff done though.
Most of my life when I wanted things to be different and I would sit down and write about what I needed to do next or better, it was funny. If I sat down and really worked out my thoughts, it always came down to one word, work. I never put the work in to get what I wanted, never concentrated to get the grades, to be better at talking to people, learning Math, whatever it was. I sat down now and work wasn't the final answer to the problem. It's balance. Nice to know I got over a life long hurdle at least. I found my groove to work, to put my head down and get something done. But I go to far and balance is the next thing I need to find. The new goals I have set for myself are very high. To meed them I will need discipline, and a balance I don't know now.
I'll work on some of that this weekend. For now I'm still sick and I need to sleep. Going on vacation didn't refill the writing well I needed it to. For me personally and at work. The work part cant fail. Maybe the actual doing of my personal stuff will renew that. After all, no matter where I go, i take that burden with me. No vacation from that.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Finished Northline tonight.
After reading it I sat here writing a bit with the soundtrack on. The author Willy Vlautin who grew up in Reno convinced the publisher to include a CD in the back with a soundtrack. Willy is a musician as well and it is a really great idea. Not sure it would work for every book, I don't want to have pick up a Stephen King book and have a soundtrack featuring P.O.D. and whoever else wanted to be on board. But with the prose and music from the same mind it really is a great compliment. I'm listening to it and it makes me feel like I'm back in the story.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
New NSA Whistleblowers Say NSA Spied on US Service Members and Aid Workers
Top NSA Scribe Takes Us Inside The Shadow Factory
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Beached from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.
You know when you look at something miniature and most of it is out of focus? Tilt-shift replicates that by throwing s lot of the scene out of focus. Usually you only see it in photography so these videos are wild! Check out the original post with more videos here.
Thanks Kornze! :)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
If you read nothing of this post, read the time article here. It has a great perspective on what yesterday's vote really represents.
(Note: i wrote this on the bus and didn't have time to proofread it :(
So this morning I am going to walk around to a few banks and move my money around a little.
After last night I remember why most people don't think about big world scope events too often. I wanted to find out more details on what happened yesterday with the bailout so I read some stories and called my brother. Then I didn't sleep well and had bad dreams.
If you would have asked me yesterday I would have told you I don't want the bailout, but now I'm not sure. It's natural for an economy to rise and fall, to naturally correct itself. But we have not allowed that to happen for so long that we are in the situation we are in today. The economy has been in trouble since 1990 and we have been artificially propping it up. We saved the economy from recessions in 1990, 1994, 2001. Every time they artificially prop the market up it makes the eventual fall worse. That is where we are today.
Every time they lower the interest rates any of my friends looking to buy a house are happy, but I get scared. "Record low interest rates!" Again!? Every time they do that I think "They are doing that to keep people spending because the economy is in trouble." But that is only going to work for so long. What will happen when they cant save it anymore? Well that is where we are today, it finally got out of control because they couldn't save it with lower interest rates or the other normal tools in the financial arsenal.
But $700 billion dollars. I don't believe that will save us forever. So if this is just another stop gap measure, if it takes $700 billion dollars to save us for a while than what will it take if that doesn't work? Every time we push it off it makes it even worse the next time. If it takes $700 billion dollars this time, what will it be like when that is unsustainable.
Remember, the point of all this is to KEEP YOU SPENDING. The money they are using to prop up the banks wont make your life any easier. If you are barely scraping by, you will continue to barely scrape by. If you and your spouse both need to work, you will both need to keep your noses to the grind stone. And if you have been living life on credit cards without a care in the world you will keep on charging because for you the world hasn't changed.
But continually falling interest rates, banks going bankrupt and being bought out of the blue are signs that things are not getting better. Things are downright weird. There is a thing called derivatives that are hard to understand but from what I gather are insurance against bad debits. The worldwide derivative market is estimated at somewhere between 400 and 500 trillion dollars. That is almost 10 times the entire global Gross National Product!! How can an economy like that even exist!? This is new. The global derivatives market has been growing especially over the last 10 years so this is something new.
Honestly, I don't even know exactly how the derivatives will tie into all this but the fact that a market can be that big is a sign of how much is going on when no one is looking. I know they are part of what lets banks keep good numbers on the books but I dont totally get it.
Even with all the shifting of numbers and lowering of interest rates, has that really helped normal people? No, the seperation between the rich and poor has been growing. I think my favorite article about what happened yesterday is this one from Time. It frames the rejection of the bailout as a revolt. And I think that is what it was. If the economy doesn't get this times will get hard. So of course the politicians are going to vote for it. But they were so inundated with calls that they didnt dare vote for it. This is a decision I think the people actually made. Maybe partly because they don't understand how bad things will get, mostly because they see no reason that their money should go to these few rich people that fucked up.
But I can see in the news coverage today that the vote will swing. The reality of how bad it might be will start to sink in and there will not be as many calls next time. It will go from fury to a feeling of helplessness in a system that is to big for them to understand. They will let their leaders do what they think is right, even though they don't know either and are just as scared.
Jesus, i wish I was my brother so I could explain this better. But thanks for listening, I'm glad I got that out. :)
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Many ideas can be accurately tagged with 2 opposing ideas. I am going to use this quote from Ron Paul's book The Revolution (p. 61)
To those that argue that we cannot allow the states to make decisions on abortion since some will make the wrong ones, I reply that that is an excellent argument for world government – for how can we allow individual countries to decide on abortion or other moral issues, if some may make the wrong decisions? Yet the dangers of a world government surly speak for themselves. Let us therefore adopt the constitutional position, one that is achievable and can yield good results but that shuns the utopian idea that all evil can be eradicated.
Let's imagine that we are trying to tag this in the same way that del.icio.us or Flickr uses tags.
In the tags for this one quote you can see already the trouble with being able to tag ideas and having them all in a communal pool. One person may see this as something that reinforces their pro-life stance, another may see it as reinforcing their pro-choice stance, another may disagree with a finer point and have a whole 3rd take on it (ex. it is not a final yay or nay since it allows it in states). Standard views on tags would be so cluttered they would not be as helpful as they are on del.icio.us. It wouldn't be totally so, for example the above quote would have more pro-life, more states rights tags. But I think there would still be more clutter than in previous applications of tagging.
But I kinda like that it would be cluttered. Maybe there is some good in having them grouped. I have always hated dichotomies. I think that most all divisions into 2 categories are false because there are usually many more choices and shades.
But more harmful than the limitation of choices, it makes you think of the 2 ideas as separate, sitting on opposite sides of a battlefield with swords drawn and words prepared to fire. The substance of what the sides care about, the soldiers protect behind them. The differences become what we focus on, separating people that care about the same thing more and more. But the enemy across the field is a mirage. Each army of believers protects what they care about, they keep it at their backs and they have their backs to each other. Conservatives & liberals, creationists & evolutionists, Nikon people & Canon folks, Deadheads & Death Metal rockers, All sides of a coin, heads & tails. As tired as the coin analogy is, it is my favorite. We take the analogy for granted just like we take the oppositions for granted. 2 sides, heads and tails, the coin spinning, makes people think of a choice between 2 things. But it is two sides of the same coin. The analogy rarely makes people think of the coin's weight as you hold it in your hand, how it was forged, the ridges on the edge (or sometimes not), that place on the circumference where there is no chrome, the imperfections and age when you really look at it.
The coin has substance. It is complex. The side you are looking at is only your perspective. No matter which side you look at you are still playing with a fucking coin.
So what i wonder is, if there is a way to bring ideas together that are valued by both sides of an argument to remind them that they are both interested in the same thing. Us vs Them is a very natural human way to think about things. But I think it is often fed by a mass of people together, and by individuals that want the difference to remain. Or maybe that want the other side GONE, not realizing that it would damage what they really care about to have them gone. Photography would not be served by having Nikon wiped away and Canon remain. Our government would not be served if all the conservatives said "Hey you are right!" and all become liberals.
So when you get people to see the substance of the issue instead of the differences in the sides, what do we do now?
First, further dispell the false dichotomy. Not just show the shades but show the relationship to other things. When I think of ideas, I think of a web or piece of string mashed and balled up. Things are related and may be connected on a couple main threads but also touch other ideas in ways you never expect or could predict. They should be allowed to connect like that. A tree structure isn't enough.
But again the question, what about those connections where ideas and the people that brought them there have their backs to opposite sides of the same coin?
I'm not sure, but I want to keep thinking on it.
Akk its 1am. Night!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tonight I am reading and thinking about booknotes. I am reading a couple books that I have to underline things all the time so I can remember what is important but there is so much I want to remember.
Here is my normal process,
* Underline things I find interesting. (pen or pencil)
* color the edge of the page so I can find important pages by looking at the side of the book. (highlighter or marker)
But this system still has the info locked in the book. In college I had a piece of paper that I would make notes on with page #s and that stays with the book. But I am not in college anymore. The paper was handy when I had the assignment of writting a paper on the book. The paper was just notes of things I found interesting. The notes would add up to the single goal of writing a paper. But without the assignment, what I find interesting in the book and the directions I might take it are so varied that writing notes is too big of a task. The lack of a goal engorges the possibilities beyond what seems manageable.
I have often considered using colors on the edge to distinguish types of notes but never found a categorization that fit for anything.
But with either of my processes, whether I only underline, or write notes and keep that with the book, the ideas are still locked in the book.
My brother is the opposite of me. I like a book that is marked, noted-up, and that looks used. My brother sees books as sacred and likes them pristine.
He made a comment recently that "writing is lonely work" There is much about writing that is lonely, but it is researching that we were discussing at that moment. So I started thinking about how true that is. And it is partly because what you find interesting is locked in the book. A collection of undxerlined passages and notes may form a picture to someone else but you are the best person to make sense of it.
So I'm thinking tonight about how to free that information. And I'm wondering what you do when you read, even if its still locked in the book,
how do you try to remember what you read?
Friday, August 22, 2008
The University of Nevada Digital Conservancy has some amazing stuff in it's collection. I just found these amazing old photos of Winnemucca. The one above of downtown is from 1915 but other pictures are from the 1800s!
Compare the above to this photo from almost the exact same place only 41 years later.
Postcard - Downtown Wimmemucca, Nevada - 1956
Originally uploaded by kocojim
Funnily enough I can't seem to find a modern image from about the same place.
The UNR Digital Conservancy really is worth a look. You can use their search to find whatever interests you.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
But here is an application that is a good example of what is possible.
It shows recently posted sunset photos from wherever in the world the sun is setting right now.
To do this it,
Knows where the sun is setting right now
accesses the Flickr API
looks only at photos that are geotagged (the owner said "this was taken here")
of those looks for ones that also have the tag "sunset"
finds one geotagged in the band of the earth where the sun is setting right now
and pops it on your screen.
Simply because the sun is always setting.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It's probably a good thing I'm not going. It would just be awkward when I ask them to sign my chest.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Deductive reasoning might be interesting in a site. With inductive you are always looking for the right answer. With deductive, you are just eliminating what is not right. And seeing from what is still available, what is likely. So often you are not going to know the right answer. But you can look at what is not right. When I was in college, I was looking out the window one day watching a shadow walk down the sidewalk. I thought "is that Danielle? No that doesn't seem right. Jolen? No not her. Mary? that girl I have a crush on from the 3rd floor? Ester? Yes, I think Ester."
The shadows were streched and distorted so it was not the shape so much (although there was a little of that) as the movement. I wasn't looking for it but somewhere in my mind the motion of people's walks was stored and the familiarity of the shadow movement caused my brain to recognize it.
I looked out my dorm window a lot in college and I got used to recognizing shadows before the person came around the juniper bush. Sometimes my brain would jump to a conclusion and was wrong. With practice I could tell when I wasn't sure but was just looking to hard for an answer, giving me a false conclusion.
What you see in a shadow is interesting too. male/female speed, amount of energy, confidence, attitude. These are not things you usually pay attention to in someones movement (although I think you see it unconsciencely ) because their actual appearance is more natural to pay attention to. But when you know someone you know their attitude and demeanor and in the movement you see what matches what you know about them.
That is important, I was terrible at guessing the identities of people I had seen around but had not talked to.
If I were to play by play my mind i would say I used the more obvious big buckets first to whittle down the list.
male/female - you know what this means
Speed/energy - easy buckets, some people are in a hurry or are usually excited, and some people are taking it easy.
Confidence - not a yes or no but on a rough scale you can roughly place your possibilities.
Attitude - After narrowing it down a little this is the real test. This is where just letting your mind flow free and ask "What is that shadow telling me?" It is not a scale of attitudes or a list of types of attitudes you are looking for. Is it happy, sad, goofy, weird, bogged down, cold? That is trying to apply random concepts to it. Instead, all the things that you might wonder about the movement of someones shadow you just let bounce off the images of the people you know. They look like they are hurrying to get out of the cold today. This looks familiar but slower, I wonder if they are tired? Looks carefree. This person is lurching, i wonder if they have a big backpack.
The more things you can see the better. There might be a handful of males that are downtrodden but not as many are downtrodden, usually travels with others, and swings their arms with an odd momentum.
This is interesting to me because it is an example of understanding something about the world, not a truth, and not through not exact proof, but with the evidence you have. And importantly by testing your assumptions. My guess was tested every single time when that person came into view. Without that your disciplined guessing is worthless. This is interesting to me because I wonder if something like this might be worth more than the bullshit in the news that I am coming to trust less and less. Despite journalistic integrity. I am beginning to think people are getting too good at understanding the rules that journalists need to play by and using that against them. I'm not saying I have an alternative. But I am looking for one.
That really was a fun dorm room. I took the screen off the window so I could look out and talk to people walking by. Sometimes saying hi before they saw me.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
At my first job in my Dad's office when I was 12, I worked with a lady from New York City named Jan. George Carlin always reminded me of Jan. They were both cantankerous, had a sharp tongue, and had no patience for bullshit. It is their particular flavor of distaste for bullshit that really connected the two for me. From the stories both told I can see NYC making them who they were.
Anyway, next time you see a clip or show of George on stage, look close at his face and listen to his voice. He is up there yelling because he is actually concerned! He is making jokes because he knows that is the only way you will listen to what he has to say! He is hoping you will take a moment after you are done laughing to think and be concerned too! I didn't know you George, but I'll end this by promising to think about what you say, and thanks for making me laugh.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
If you like their work you can check out their original post here and give them a shout. Also, here is their post with the pics.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"Help people. Be useful. Improve."
Help and people have been the main focus of my life for a long time. When I was young I was very shy. I worked hard to not be shy. When I was about 16 I wrote goals of what I want to be. Things I didn't see in myself that I wanted to. They gave me direction for a long time. In following those goals I found out that I don't just want to have friends but I want to matter to someone. To be useful is more satisfying than anything else to me.
I have a box of notebooks including a folder with these goals that I keep wherever I move even though I almost never look at it anymore (I think i have accomplished these goals to my satisfaction and it's time to define new ones). If my house was on fire, this is the one thing that I would save.
[rustles through some paper]
Here it is.
In that red notebook there is a yellow pad of paper entitled "P.O.M.L." (Point of my life)
I have never shown anyone this and it's a little embarrassing, so here we go,
1. Freedom of Mind: An absence of values will give the ability to be with different people because I will have no values which they can offend. And this also allows me to fully relate to their thoughts and still agree with opposite views because of the "why" of base values.
|Additional note: Base here is defined as what is needed for truth, listener, relator, diff grooves, and fun w/ these people/situations. To fully do these as far as I want to, everything else is possible because of this.|
(33 y.o. me note: The above is written by someone with very few friends trying to find his place in a social setting. I never could find a good truth that was better than another so I didn't want to decide. I wanted to understand and be able to talk to whoever. This is reflected even in the people i hang out with today. I didn't want to close any doors.
2. Concentration: Allows quick and correct development of skills necessary to better fulfill POML. Also helps to better relate to a person by allowing me to delve deeper into their thoughts and feelings (the "whys") that may otherwise only be understood by someone who was there in a situation or a more perfect personality match.
(33 y.o. me note: A little over the top yes, but I was 16. You can see that this is basically a reinforcer for #1. Not concentrate in general. Concentrate when you are with people. It is like saying "really listen" but I think listening does not encompass enough. When you can agree with someone you are doing more than listening. I was shy, in any room filled with people I felt isolated. However, I am also fairly non-threatening, so when I was willing to listen, care, pay attention, and [enter additional undefinable quality here], I can understand enough to be there and I could understand and would be allowed to be part of a situation. And there was nothing more amazing to me than being in some new situation.)
(no more description here. But none needed I think. You have to try, you have to really want it or it doesn't matter. If you don't want it, reconsider).
I have not written another POML since then. That one was very general. I was trying to find my direction. Then the Point was the search. Then I believed people have a "base" that guides them, lets them know what to do, keeps them sane. I thought I would eventually find this in my social and mental wandering. But for me I think the process of looking, the underlying patterns you see in people and the world, even if you cant define them, the process of navigating that became my base. I think the flexibility in that process keeps me more stable than a set set of values would. If you know me and ever wonder why I rarely get worked up, mad, or freaked out, that is why. Because there is always another option to look at.
But I am finally getting to the point where I have very strong opinions of my own and becoming a bit of a moral dillema. I have spent my life trying to understand other people's opinions and that has borne some of my own. Who is right? Maybe thats not what it's about. Gotta figure that out.
Anyway, lets get to the "help" part and wrap this up. Its getting long for a blog post.
Nothing makes me more happy than helping people. I had a customer care phone service job. And when they promoted me and took me away from the customers, I quit (in the same meeting where they promoted me, "Thanks, but I wrote this letter.") I think people are inherently selfish. But I also think that other people are what makes life worth living. Maybe not always "helping" in the traditional sense. But everyone wants to affect the lives of others, to make a difference. So I want to be useful. To help people in whatever capacity I can, as much as I can. That would be a life not wasted to me.
Oh yea, and I don't like strict rules (i.e. my grammar/syntax) so I'm sorry bookbabie & Hemingway, my meme is 5.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
(if you want to skip ahead to the fun stuff, look for "Tape the video camera to the rear view mirror..." late Saturday.)
- Wake up, rush out to Basque festival parade to take some pictures. I haven't been to one of these in years. I found Clay and his family so i hang out with them.
- Back home. Mom make's my favorite cream of wheat. The trip is already worth it.
- See family and dog, hang out at Basque festival, and see old friends at that throughout the day.
- Dinner with Mom, Dad, Grandpa Buckie and Elaine at (Basque restaurant in Winnemucca). A couple picons before dinner, lots of great conversation and catching up.
- Unlocked a few levels and Mom's Mii on Mario Kart so she can play as herself. Character name, "mom"
- Graduation house party in a house my Grandpa built with an interesting crowd that I haven't hung out with much.
- Dinner at Model T with America and her step-daughter. Nice to get to know her finally.
- Winnemucca seems mostly dead again. I go to the basque festival dance and see some faces i haven't in a while including my favorite High School teacher Mrs. Kennedy. Her son just graduated and she is having a GREAT night. I always love seeing Mrs. Kennedy :)
- Over to the Sage. Not much going on again but I have a drink and talk to the bartender for a while.
- Next to the Mineshaft. Ask people if the town is so dead because of the shootings a few weeks ago and they think so too. I have one drink and skip out the back avoiding goodbyes.
- Go home for a minute, take the A/C unit out of the back, pick up my flip camera.
- Drive away from the town and look at the stars from the back of the pickup. It is a perfect night. If you have never seen this I can't really explain what it looks like, and my camera can't picture it. No clouds and no moon. I can see the milky way.
- Tape the video camera to the rear view mirror and go boonie crashing (aka off roading) on my fav road behind the high school while listening to "Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers. (note to self: when video taping a bonnie crash, better to not use high beams. When you bounce that much it just shoots the light too far and up too high).
- The video is not as exciting as you would hope.
- Breakfast with mom and dad, homemade by Mom :)
- The next morning I am talking in the front yard and Dad comes out and says, "I just got a call from Bud Vetter. He says that one of our tailgate's is behind the high school. You wouldn't know anything about that would you?" Apparently I boonie crashed so hard I bounced the tail gate off. So I hop in the truck to go get it. It still smells like all the sage brush I ran over last night.
- Pick up the tail gate (only one strap broken, not that bad) and wash the pickup.
- Lunch with Dan and Ferd. Sandwiches in the park. Dan's conversation is odd and inspiring (in the oddest way) as always. Ferd lives in the moment like no one I have ever met. He is my oldest friend, and a gift. We get sandwiches and eat by the river in a park.
- Hang out with brother and his family for a few.
- chased a small dust devil that was throwing tumbleweeds in the air.
- Drive back to California.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I just got back from your latest return to my youth Indiana Jones and the New B-Movieish Title from the 1950s. It is difficult to write this since I may not remember all the things I wanted to tell you while the movie was going. Also, The Daily Show is on and I have already got more enjoyment from the first 10 minutes of that (which they do nightly) than I did from the entirety of your new movie.
How to best approach this. Let's do it in segments.
Please stop trying to write a story. You had something once. I don't know if it is because you were young and creative or it was because you didn't have the limitless power of CGI at your disposal to do what your heart truly desired, but you don't have it anymore. Your current situation is not working for you. This movie had some left over charm from the earlier movies. The mystery, the sets were reminiscent, and there was adventure. But adventure didnt grab me and make me believe like it did before. Every time i thought the characters might have a moment something exploded, or there was a comic relief moment, or something really cool happened like Shia driving a motorcycle down a train platform and everyone just treats it like normal becuase he looks so cool doing it with a sideways cap? Oh sorry, they probably didnt see him come out of the fucking solid cloud of smoke that he emerged from right next to the train car.
I dont know if you know this George, but just because you put a retro title on a movie, and use lots of special effects does not mean that we will believe what ever the fuck you put on screen. Which brings us of course, to believability. WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
Before I went to this, when I asked people what they thought of it that saw it before me they usually said "Eee it was an Indiana Jones movie." (p.s. Mr. Lucas no one really likes your movies anymore. We go to them because we loved the first ones and we have decided that finding out a little more of the story is worth you sucking the life out of these things that you have given to our generation. Thanks.) This was not an Indiana Jones movie. In Indy movies, you wonder if some of this might really be possible. Is that really hidden somewhere in the world? If I step out of my life could find this if I have the wherewithal and smarts like Dr. Jones to chase it?
An Indy movie shouldn't make me think "WHOA no way!. Amazing! Wait, really. No way." So within the first 30 minuts of the movie you want me to believe Indy can now use his whip to retrieve a gun and place it in the hand of a comrade ready to shoot, run on 3 inch wooden beams that are 4 feet apart 20 feet in the air, cross the desert on foot as fast as a motorcade, survive a ground zero nuclear explosion in a refrigerator (thanks for the close-up of the label telling me it is lined with lead so i wasn't drawn out of the movie thinking "Wha?" while it was hurled 30 fucking miles at who knows how many MPH, clear of the deadly radiation. Did Frigidaire have Inertial Dampening Systems in '54? Star Trek didn't get them until the 22nd century. The 50's were amazing!). Oh and while we are on the 50's stop brining us back to American Graffiti with blatant 1950s "at the Hop" scenes. You place me in a 50's diner with 20 guys in college jackets vs 20 tough looking guys (with pompadores) in leather jackets and put in a fun 50's tune to keep me into it!? Jesus man you totally pulled me out of the movie AGAIN thinking Where the fuck did that come from!? And while we are at it, your choice of music sucks. Choose a song that we havent heard 1000 times in every 50s movie. I have heard the oldies station, i know there are more songs than the ones on the Time/Life collection. I could go on with the "No way!" moments, but i would give you the whole movie. (the vine swing scene? FUCK!)
I don't remember if your plots were predictable when I saw the only ones, I was 10. But now, wait the kid is her son!? Wait, and he is YOUR son!? Wow, I did not see that coming and it really brings the whole thing together now. It is like, you are all family, this is the continuance I was looking for! And the scene where she told Indy the kid was his son? Was that really necessary? Do you remember back when you didnt have all the money in the world? Before you marketed the shit out of every franchise you own (more on that later) and you had to make choices? When most writers or directors write/film a story they have to think "Does this forward the plot?" There was NO REASON for them to make a half hearted escape attempt, have a moment in the sand trap (which at least wasnt CGI) to tell Indy the kids true identity, and get caught again. She could have told him in the tent in a subtle little scene and it would have meant so much more. Yes its possible that Speilberg would have overlit it from the back like he has done since A.I. Or that Harrison would have fucked it up since he lost his acting ability after Regarding Henry (if you want to see Harrison at his best, go rent The Frisco Kid) but at least you would have tried. Fucking choices man.
While we are talking about choices, lets talk about leaving some things to the imagination. At the end of Raiders, when we dont ever see what is in the Ark we just know that "It's Beautifuuaal", Jesus, everyone remembers that because we never saw it. At the end of this you showed us eeeverything! Don't show me your bloomers, thats not going to keep me coming back.
Oh Mr. Lucas, this has been coming for a long time. Just because you can do something with computers, doesn't mean that you should. Do you remember when you did the first 3 Star Wars? People loved Yoda and Chewie. There is something about the physicality of masks and fake eyes, when done right, that people can really connect with. If someone is CG, even really good CG, your mind knows and if you arent thinking "Wow that is amazingly realistic", you still wont connect with the character I don't think. People loved Yoda and Chewie, and people remember Jaba. I didnt give a shit about the Wookies in the new Star Wars'. And although Yoda's fight scene was cool, if that was the original Yoda I wouldn't have really connected with him either. There is something about the physicality of looking into someones eyes, even when they are glass, that makes a difference. CGIChewie was not a big fuzzball. He was just a big pixelball and we all know it even though it is technically amazing to render hair with the complexity that we can now do. Good for you.
When I see that ILM is attached to a project these days, I am disappointed. I actually expect less of the movie after I see that because I know that you and all the people that work in the culture that you have created will just be blowing your virtual load all over the screen. Did you see the Fountain? The story could have been better, but the visuals were AMAZING and no CGI. If ILM had done it, there would be no meat to the scenes for me to hold on to, to hang emotions on to.
And this is where it is obvious that you let your imagination make no choices at all. I know that you can make your dreams come true because you can have someone at a computer do anything that you imagine. But a better story comes out of choices, out of limits, like exist in any medium. Except those don't exist for you, because you leased the Presido and you can do whatever you want.
Which brings me to my last point, licensing. I know that you invented modern movie licensing and product tie-ins. But you have gone too far. I have now worked at 2 companies that you license to make products and licensing tie ins for. I know that most anything that your company touches turns to gold. The Star Wars slot machines are some of the biggest money makers for IGT. And even in that weird offshoot of your trademarked vault, they find new ways to slightly tweek the brand they are licensing, make a slightly different product, your guys say OK, and you make more money. You lay down some guidlines, they follow them, and everyone comes out richer. I see how shamelessly your intellectual copyrighted materials are. People love the novelty of them. They love that something that is special in their hearts is packaged in this weird way and want to experience that too. In a slot machine, on a Cheese-It box, in a slightly different slot machine with progressive wins!, on shirts, at Disneyland, etc. But these things work because they are special to people. You are taking advantage of the smile that comes on people's faces when they see something they love that you own. I have seen how these products are created and it is ugly. But it is gold.
Late in his life Walt Disney was on tape for a moment smoking. He asked them to erase the tape. He said that even though that was part of him (he was a chronic smoker), he was not Walt Disney anymore. He understood that what he had created belonged to the people that loved it now and he had to respect that. Walt never let commercial interests drive his organization. Later after his death that is what happened. (Walt would not let McDonalds into Disneyland, the purity of the park being seperate from the normal world was more important. Today there is a McDonalds fry stand in Frontierland). You have sold out and showed people how to best sell out like no one every has.
I once saw an interview where you said you don't care what the fans think, you write for you. Well I believe you.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I was in a meeting there one time (about January '07), one of the bullet points that the woman running the meeting had was that she wanted us to know that Wikipedia can be changed by anyone to say anything and wanted to let us know not to use it as a factual source of info for our writings. She said she just found that out and asked if anyone else in the room knew that. All of the other people were turning to each other saying "Ohh" and "I didnt know that" and "Did you know that?" I was so stunned. My shock must have been written all over my face because the woman running the meeting actually asked me "You knew that already Zack?" I had no words. For our work I knew we shouldnt be using Wikipedia as an authoritative resource but I wanted to let them see the beauty and possibilities in Wiki's. But in the moment I was stuck in there was no way to do that without being a total asshole. "Sure that is the whole idea of a Wiki, to harness the power of the community..."
I am about to start a little personal wiki project
So I let t go and just said, "yes I knew that" and then something about how there really still is a lot of good info there. It was a very surreal moment for me. My first reaction was to think I can't beleive they didn't know that! But i realized after that they are probably in the majority and me and people in my industry are in the minority, taking for granted what we see in these new technologies. In the past if something had as much buzz and trust as wikipedia does, of course it must be trusted as authoritative. But with Wikipedia you have to be aware that there very possibly are errors but it is the power of how much information and error correction (even if not authoritative) that makes it such a wealth of info. You have to learn to trust it differently.
Anyway, I am about to start a little personal Wiki project and I was thinking about that today. If my project works out, i'll let you know ;)
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
After my first iPod and the hard drive that all my music was backed up on also died magically at the same time about 3 years ago. I haven't bothered getting another iPod because of the pain of burning all the music again. But I got an iPod for my birthday so I saddled up a couple weekends ago and put all my music in there.
Dr. Octagon - halfsharkalligatorhalfman
Most of what I put on there are CDs that I have collected over the last 16 years. You know these, you have listened to them so many times there are some you don't really care about, there are some you still love, and there are some you bought more recently but that you still don't listen to that much.
If you are like me, there aren't as many of the later as there used to be. I just don't buy that many CDs anymore. And I was thinking when I was loading all this music up that my CDs just don't excite me like they used to. It is so much more fun to turn on Pandora, explore the Hype Machine, or turn on the Contrast Podcast and maybe find that one song every few weeks that I can't stop listening to.
Countries of the World - Animaniacs
The stuff I might find on the web is so much fresher than most of the stuff on my CDs. And not just because it's new, fresh like some little song from 20, 30, years or more that you have never heard (Vienna (live) - Billy Joel) or forgot how much you loved. (Golden Slumbers).
And Podcasts! I think it that my iPod will now be dynamic that is exciting, where before it just housed CDs. I wish it had a most recently downloaded. Or! I wish it could read RSS feeds so i could view my friends photostreams or read boing boing.
Maybe there is some way that I just dont know of yet, i'll go look.
Monday, May 05, 2008
I accidentally woke up an hour early today so I might as well use the time (which has been precious lately) to write a post. I was at Louie's Basque Corner this weekend talking to an old basque guy who said that his son sent his DNA to the National Geographic and helped him trace his bloodline back 60,000 years! The other old basque guy we were talking to said, "Well what did you find out?" And the first guy said, "He found out we came from a couple of guys coming out of Africa!"
First, I thought it was awesome that he was willing to believe that his family came from Africa (the guy he was talking to was more skeptical). And second I thought it was amazing that there was a program like that. I had an idea what he might be talking about since i have Journey of Man at home on DVD. (here it is on Netflix) Journey of Man is a really amazing movie. I originally got it because my parents saw it and bought it for me thinking that I needed to see it and would love it. It is about how we are all related and the story of how geneticists are using markers in our blood to actually follow the migration of people over thousands of years. The host who is also one of the lead scientists working on the project is a little heavy handed but it is still amazing work. He goes around the world and finds people that have the genetic markers that help connect the story. There is something unexpectedly inspiring in the movie, not in the "we are all connected" way, but kinda. I highly recommend seeing it and finding out what I'm talking about ;)
Anyway, even after many Pecon punches and a full night of drinking, dancing, hiccups, and more fun than I should be allowed to pack into a night, the next morning I remembered what the guy said about the DNA test and found The Genographic Project. Sure enough, the project director is the same guy from Journey of Man and they are using DNA to look for markers. Just imagine, being able to trace where you came from tens of thousands of years back! Genealogy is a VERY time consuming process with dead ends and difficulties at every turn. Now as stated on the site,
this is not a genealogy study. You will not learn about your great-grandparents or other recent relatives, and your DNA trail will not necessarily lead to your present-day location. Rather, your results will reveal the anthropological story of your direct maternal or paternal ancestors—where they lived and how they migrated around the world many thousands of years ago.
Although it is much more impersonal than a genealogy with family names and the stories that you find in doing that research, this offers such a deeper look than any genealogy project could ever hope to.
But who knows. As the project grows and accrues more and more data and relationships there are numerous ways that you could use the data, ways we haven't thought of yet. Maybe more information could be associated with different lines or more specific lines. They might put the Mormon's to shame! (the leaders in genealogical data).
Anyway, stop reading this and go check out The Genographic Project website. It looks amazing.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
His little mention reminded me that I haven't been blogging much. I like blogging. I like writing which is why I started. I need practice, which is why I want to keep going. I have been too caught up in work and haven't done a lot of the things that I really love. But as much as I miss my friends, nevada, photography, blogging, reading, motorcycling, etc. I really love my job and I am having fun being part of something. I work at Flickr. I started because I loved using Flickr and it changed my life and got me into photography. I also love helping people. This I love more than anything else in the world and always have. I help the users because I work in customer service. But I also help the other people answering emails becuase I write training, and track down problems. I really believe that most people just want to do a good job. When there are people that want to do a good job, and just need the tools to do it, that is really important to me. I want to do whatever I can to help them and if I know that they don't have that, and their desire to do a good job is wasted and flittering away. It is hard for me to sleep. So I love doing what I can to make sure they have what they need. Which makes it so other people can do what they want. On Flickr which I think is a great site and enjoyed by so many. It is very fulfilling for me. I think that is the closest I have come yet to explaining why I enjoy my job so much.
I won't work too hard forever. I always go back to a balance but for now I am doing such good work I don't really want to stop. I feel like I am on a roll to something good. My confidence rises everyday. There is an idea brewing in my head that is slowly solidifying, I now really know I am capable of working hard enough to maybe really pull it off. That is what is driving me. I am in the place I am supposed to be. If I didn't think so I would go find adventure somewhere. I have never had much and I think its time. But there is something I have to do first and I am in the perfect place to try.
I think I'll do my norm and not spell check or proofread. Just stream of conscience.
I miss you all. You know who you are.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Whats the most popular t-shirt for a mugshot?
Also, make sure you check out their post about a shirt that is apparently some kind of synthetic Mithril.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
It's hard to explain but with that description and this video maybe you can get a little better idea. Each photo was uploaded to flickr on a different day of the year. Over 3,000 pictures are uploaded every minute and here are a few of those lives.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Crown & Coke is so smooth!
I am watching The Last Waltz which reminds me of my parents and Sara. I have been watching it for about 3 hours (which means I started over yes). The music is fucking awesome. My parents tried to get me to watch it YEEAARS AGO (ok so I am a little more than buzzed) but i shunned it. Sara then sat me down and we watched it at her house with her parents and I was blown away. She showed me this amazing thing i wouldnt accept from my parents. Making my life better in a couple ways.
I also got to talk to Laser Butter tonight who is wonderful and makes me laugh. She showed me the beauty of photobooth and is just fun to talk to (did i mention that she makes me laugh).
I also got to talk to Sara, Vic, and Ferd today. All wonderful friends. I got a nice card from my Dad reminding me to remember photography which he knows I love. That reminded me of my pal the Daddy Ninja. I loved his post about his sons treasure map. There is such awesome stuff in the world and I am lucky to be surrounded by so much of it.
I met a dude that said "I am going to this photography symposium in a couple weeks in this place you probably never heard of called Winnemucca"
My jaw hit the floor.
He said he loves the Mucc. (obviously a wise man).
And I was productive all day at work. I am working now. Writing new HotKeys to help my friends in Rosario. I kinda don't want to stop, I am being creative, helping people, and being productive. Great day. Grandpa Buckie is right, work is the best thing. I love being busy.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
To cover every armed conflict* in the world within one year, and in doing so to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact. With honest, thoughtful reporting we'll strive to establish Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone as a forum for information and involvement. Users will not only learn about the scope of world conflict, but will find ways to be part of the solutions- through dialogue, debate, and avenues for action.
Kevin went, alone, to conflict zones around the world.
I recently saw him speak at Yahoo!'s main campus. One of the things he talked about is that how actual battles are such a small part of war. Battles are easy to report on. There is action, death, victors, losers. But when the battle is over the news moves on. If you really want to know what war is about and what it does you have to talk to the people living in it, the civilians who are trying to raise a family and make a living. Another excerpt,
War poses as combat but is really collateral damage...[S]ocieties are encouraged by their leaders to romanticize warriors and their weapons...while avoiding thoughts of the legacy of civil destruction they also bring.
The book is a collection of stories from the people he met in all the places that you have heard of on the news but maybe don't really understand the politics and history so it is hard to follow, he went there. This is the other great thing that this book is doing for me. I know there is something bad happening in Somalia, the Congo, Columbia, etc. But I don't really know what and I can't keep it straight. In telling these people's stories Kevin gives background on what is going on in their country. It is great because it is just enough to help you understand but not overwhelm.
If you are looking for a good book that will help you learn a little more about the world or even just a page turner this is a great book. It's not getting a bunch of press, you wont hear about it in many places. But check out the website, read the Amazon reviews to see if it is interesting to you.
To me this was a great idea in what internet journalism could be. The stories you will find on the web are good but will leave you wanting a little more. The book fills that. And there is a free DVD. :)
Monday, February 04, 2008
Postcard - Downtown Wimmemucca, Nevada - 1956
Originally uploaded by kocojim
I love this postcard from Winnemucca in the 50s. Roadsidepictures has lots of great old Winnemucca postcards but this downtown scene that kocojim found is gorgeous. I wish I could have seen Winnemucca in the 50s. From what I have heard the casinos were more popular and entertainers used to perform. There was more music and dancing. It sounds kinda perfect.
Hell, maybe I would have run into my grandparents going out to a dance or a movie.
Make sure you check it out large.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I have all of my photography licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. I do not charge for redistribution of my work. Other people can use it as long as they attribute it to me. And they are welcome to modify it, even for profit, but they are required to apply the same license to it.
There are different types of licenses. I could apply one where I do not let others make money on it. But for me as an amateur photographer I think that this type of license serves me the best. I have been published numerous times and have never been paid. But I am still an amateur. If the publications wanted to pay they in most cases would have used a professional. So this license has given me exposure that I would not have otherwise received.
The "Share Alike" part of the license is important too. Because anyone that used my work has to apply the same license, they can't put it in a clip art collection and make it "All Rights Reserved". It is the exact same model as the GNU GPL that Linux uses. The GPL makes Linux free but also makes it so Microsoft or some other company can't make a modification and copyright it. And derevations of Linux have to use the GPL as well. The Creative Commons share alike license applies this to art as well. In a society where the ability to create media is becoming cheaper and more accessible to everyone the Creative Commons licenses have a part to play because they allow people top share and build upon the work of others.
I want the big media companies to have less control of information and culture. I think that Creative Commons is a part of what can make this happen.
The man who founded the Creative Commons is Lawrence Lessig. He founded Creative Commons 5 years ago and has been involved in the Free Culture movement for 10 years. He is a law professor at Stanford and has published 4 books. The latest of which has just been released for free under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. (actually all 4 of his books are availible for free under CC licenses)
The idea being the exact same one that you discuss with your friends every time you talk about ripping a CD or downloading a song. Most people are willing to pay for the music/books/movies that matter to them. For those special artists that are in your heart you want to buy it because they deserve it. Here with his books, I assume the rational is that it was availible for purchase. Those that really wanted to get it and wanted it right away will pay for it. After money has been made on it, release it to people, no need to be greedy. Also the buzz can create more sales. This is an issue that is important enough to me that I will be buying the book anyway.
Well after 10 years in the Free Culture Movement Larry has announced that he is giving his final talk on Free Culture.
I took the day off to go to it. He is someone I really respect and admire. Being able to see things like this is why I moved out here.
Also, and this is just as amazing if not more so than the CC stuff, he basically has said, I have decided to move on and try and tackle corruption.
First, to just be someone who spends 10 years changing minds on culture and how it is distributed is amazing.
To then say, I think I'll go try to tackle corruption. Well that is someone I want to help and be a part of that if I can.
Not just because it is amazing and ballsy and wonderful. But corruption has been troubling me more and more lately. And I actually think that getting a little better control of the media and how information is distributed is the foundation that would be needed to do that. To me, the work he has done is the perfect groundwork to tackle the challenge he is taking on next.
I also think that the Net is the place where we can regain control of our culture. Wikis, blogs, social networks and amalgams of those that we have not yet considered will let us do that.
But what is Mr. Lessig thinking about corruption?
I just did a google search on Lawrence Lessig corruption. In the true style of someone who believes that putting ideas out to the world and letting you help them refine them, you will find "Corruption Lecture - alpha version (Lessig Blog)" along with the other links.
I will be reading these over the next week and I will be looking for how I can help.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Originally uploaded by Zack Sheppard
This weekend I had lots of fun going out, seeing old friends, seeing my family, going to Unionville. But I think my favorite part was going out to the Sand dunes behind Winnemucca Mountain with my brother and taking pics at night for a few hours. I am in a weekly photo contest and just going out to try to take something for the contest so often creates ideas i never would have thought of if I wasn't out there in a photog mindset.
Thanks to the contest and thanks to Clay. (also thanks to Brian for reminding me to get my ass back on the blogging)