Recently…..

•March 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Well, what’s been happening recently? In the world? Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, a disappearing plane…but that’s not at all interesting. I know what you REALLY want to hear is what’s happening with ME. I’m THAT important. Isn’t it good to have ego strength?

I have a friend who is a marvelous cook, as well as being good at a whole lot of other stuff. She was trying to get onto the Food Network or the Cooking Channel, so she wanted to put something together. She was looking for someone to shoot it, After much life getting in the way, finally her schedule and mind coalesce into a day where we can do it. I have the cameras ready, the sticks ready, the case is locked–

See, that’s a thing with me. Since I got the keys to my case from the manufacturer who was nice enough to send them to me, I’ve had this irrational fear that if I drive with the case UNlocked, it’s gonna come open in either the backseat or the trunk and kill all my toys, er, camera. Back to the action.

–and I go over to her place. We film for a couple hours, she makes mayo, ranch dressing, ketchup, bread, peanut butter, and roasted garlic. By the time we were done, I was STARVING. My camera, in addition to only being SD, doesn’t capture smells. More’s the pity. I take one of her blank recipe cards, rework it in Photoshop so instead to saying “FROM THE KITCHEN OF” or something it says “FROM FAITHE’S KITCHEN.” I throw that into Premiere, key out the white, presto, instant border.

I said WAAAAAY back there she made peanut butter. Grinding peanuts is REALLY loud. Another reason for me to get a lavalier mike, but I don’t have the cash yet. I take the file on the laptop to work to play with the audio. Lou, an audio guy also stuck in master control, said there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna fix it. Forty five minutes after he left and after playing with lots of frequencies in Audition (Cripes, this thing is turning into an Adobe ad) I made it better. I add ingredients and cook times as titles, and chop them into usable chunks. I’m thinking of recording some guitar (yes, I have one, I know some chords, but not music) for a bed. Now we’re trying to figure out what to do with all this. I put them on YouTube, but it’d be nice if we could get someone interested in distribution. Still looking around.

Meanwhile, my wife’s company seems to be in the middle of either imploding or otherwise self-destructing. And I’m fighting a cold.

Grating, Irritating Characters

•January 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

IN OUR LAST EPISODE–I spoke about annoying people I work with,

I fear the epidemic has spread to television characters. GASP! Yes, dear reader(hi, Jerry!), there are annoying people running rampant in the romper room of relative television. Okay, no more alliteration.

Case in point, one of my wife’s favorites, The Middle. Clueless, unpleasant parents, who don’t seem at all connected to their three stereotypical offspring. The oldest, clueless son who evidently lacks the synaptic connections to get out of the ’80′s, followed closely by Jan Brady’s big nosed descendant, to be supplanted by the youngest round faced collection of apparently all the family’s intellect. The situations they find themselves in are the everyday sort in everyone’s lives, but this bunch seem incapable of dealing without being nasty.

Another fine example is Modern Family, which, I think, tries to be edgy by having (insert GASP here) homosexuals together in a relationship! How 21st century! It also has Ed O’ Neill married to Sofia Vergara in a May-December thing. Her accent seems to be a source of gags as trite as a big trite thing.

These two are just two of the latest offenders.   Seinfeld, the show, that is, was RIFE with unlikeables.  Jerry Seinfeld is a funny guy, but the show just irritated me.  Golden Girls, Designing Women, Murphy Brown, these were shows that I was never the biggest fan of, but at least there were occasional laughs.

What’s the problem with these shows and others? Unlikeable characters paired with situations that have crossed the border from Sterotypopolis to Ludicraville. But mostly it’s the unlikeable characters. I WANT bad things to happen to these people. I don’t like any of them, I don’t relate to any of them, and that seems to be what the producers are going for. Stace calls it being realistic. I have enough reality in reality. When I DO watch TV, I don’t want to watch people who I actively want to hit with blunt objects until they fall down.  They try to be edgy, gritty, realistic.  Comedy done by Battlestar Galactica.

In a different vein, there are a few cop shows right now that seem to have come out of the cookie cutter production company. Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS LA, ETC. ETC. ETC. There’s the Serious Lead Investigator, the Youngish Team, the Quirky Peppy Attractive Tech Support–granted, these shows are well written, but do they have to follow the formula so much?

Disagreeable For The Sake Of BEING Disagreeable

•January 9, 2014 • 1 Comment

I REALLY wanted to have a video here from the GI Joe cartoon. There’s a scene, I think it’s in The Revenge of COBRA, where Torpedo and Deep Six are sitting in a SHARC. (Stop shaking your head, you KNOW how big a Joe geek I am.) They’re waiting, Torpedo gets on the horn and says they’ll wait, “Just me and Mr. Warmth, here.” Deep Six responds by saying Torpedo has a very peculiar sense of humor.

What is the relevant to? The people I work with, in particular the drone that relieves me every morning. I, typically, even after a ten hour overnight shift, am ebullient, gregarious, dare I say it, friendly. This guy responds in monotone. He’s hypercritical, except of himself. In short, the exact opposite of your jolly narrator. Case in point, recently our area has experienced a cold snap that another co-worker compared to a wart on a witch’s genitalia, although a bit more crudely. I asked if it had caused any problem with Reliefboy’s truck. “Why? It’s not that cold.” 4 degrees, with a wind chill of -23, tends to be regarded as less than warm. Even my wife and son, who famously disregard winter clothing, were wearing winter clothing.

There’s another character, and that’s really the best way to describe him. I previously worked with him at the Racing Network in 2001, when that was still a Thing. Unbeknownst to me then, but knownst to us know, I mean, now, he also went to high school with me. He revels in reactions, always trying to be the loudest, rudest, most unpleasant person in the room if there are other people present. Shame, really, because he’s actually really good at directing, and production in general. Now, remember the “other people present” thing? SURE you do, you’re an intelligent audience. There’ll be a quiz later. Anyway, he’s only that way when there’s an audience to play to. He’s recently had some family issues, and we’ve had some really good conversations when we’re alone. Enter another person, though, and it’s back in character.

I could go on, particularly about the so-called manager of our happy little band. Like the time after a hurricane blew through, and there was a state of emergency, and he called everyone in the department to tell them to stay home except me. But, I feel good to have gotten this off my keyboard, so I’ll stop here for now.

The Future has arrived

•January 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Transparent aluminum is a real thing.  See?  http://phys.org/news167925273.html  It remains to be seen just how involved Dr. Nichols and Plexicorp were in the development.

Cloaking devices?  Old hat.  http://www.howstuffworks.com/invisibility-cloak.htm  Soon every convenience store will sell them.

Remote brain control?  Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt.  http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/165081-first-human-brain-to-brain-interface-allows-remote-control-over-the-internet-telepathy-coming-soon

All this, and more, and we as a species, heck, we as a COUNTRY, can’t get together enough to solve the big problems.  The advances are there.  Climate change?  Big problem, economically and biologically, not to mention the history lost when centuries of ice melt away.  But instead of tackling problems like that and other big ones, feeding the hungry, advancing the society, what do we pay attention to?  How much attention was given to the likes of Miley Cyrus or some other entertainer that could be given to someone who actually makes a difference? 

Almost 14

•December 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So, what did YOU do for the holidays?

Me? I worked, but as I’m back on overnights, I was home for the important stuff. Spoke to a guy at work, told him we’d gotten Brian the Wii U and the new laptop. He asked why we’d gone for both, and if one or the other wouldn’t have been sufficient. He’s not always the most pleasant of people, but this time he was just curious. I told him we’d had the money thanks to some overtime, so we decided to splurge.

So, the clone has a flaptop, the Pretty has his old flaptop, and I still have my desktop. My sister was the first to coin the phrase flaptop as far as we know, so it’s become the vernacular.

I’ve done a full year of master control. This actually means very little, since we do so little here. I’ve begun training myself on Final Cut Pro. Going to get certified on that soon, so I can get a real TV job, get away from what I’m doing now. I miss full-time camera work. The most creative thing I do at work NOW is coming up with ways to stay awake. Love to get into some kind of performance job.

We’ll just have to see what ’14 brings.

The internet’s a funny thing.

•December 26, 2013 • Comments Off

Really.

It is.

With the internet, I can connect and reconnect to dear friends near and far. I’ve gotten web-published. That counts, right? I’ve learned that three of my five ex-girlfriends are leading dreadfully dull lives, serves them right, really. Another is living alone with cats after dumping me, then hooking up with a friend of ours for a while, who went through all her money. The last is a registered sex offender for underage dalliances. Considering she was five years older than me when we were an item, I have to wonder if I was either part of a pattern, or did I set her on her course that younger is better?

Well, whatever.

Then there’s the other side. You can come into contact with some either thickheaded people, or just stupid. There’s one gent, (well, the character’s using a male name, so I’m going with the male assumption. Go with me, here.)  He seemed to be on a quest to spread his version of events that had taken place amongst several Trek fan film groups, although I don’t know that he was ever directly involved.   What did he get for posting and reposting on every site he could find what largely amounted to the same comments over and over?  Did he feel that he was standing up for something?  Did he just get a thrill seeing his name in pixels glowing in a warm fashion staring back at him?  See, I feel opinions are good things, and sharing opinions is healthy and good.  However, doing it online, you get no direct feedback.  You get no chance to clarify or modify your initial response.  It’s just…THERE.  Over-repetition makes it seem like the poster is less interested in learning or communication than in seeing whose posts are the loudest and most recognized.

I post a lot of stuff on Facebook.  Usually one or two of my friends are the only ones that react.  My various family members seem to never notice, or they’re ignoring me, hoping I’ll go away.  I posted about Perception, and how I’d finished the second day.  Not a response, no traffic here.  That made me feel useless, talentless, alone in cyberspace.  I know none of those are the truth.  But there was, if you’ll pardon the expression, the perception that that was the case.

Almost everyone I work with has tablets.  Those that don’t just get online on the work computers, like I’m doing now.  Hence, eight or ten hours can pass and no one says a freaking word.  Not the friendliest environment, nor the most supportive.

Back when I worked at Spotlight, they hired a trainer to help other departments understand what the sales force went through.  Southern gent, who was a little too I’m Your Buddy for my taste.  I KNOW what the sales force was going through, as I’d spent several years in corporate sales.  The majority of what he was sharing as Gospel According To Himself he’d look to me for validation.  Generally, my experience had been the exact opposite.  That’s how a lot of internet “debate” goes.  You say what you believe, and anything that doesn’t fit is ignored.  Have to admit I may be occasionally guilty of this myself.  I have a friend who posts a lot of stuff like that, and there are two or three people who always chime in agreeing.  Sometimes these things venture into the “If someone is nice to me but crummy to the waiter, he’s not nice” territory.  You feel like you’re having a private conversation across a dinner table or at a bar, but EVERYONE IN THE WORLD CAN HEAR YOU.  Some people seem to forget that, while other seem to relish it….

Which brings me to my final point.  Still with me?  Good.  You can’t ever really be certain if someone’s sincere on the internet, or mocking you, or even responding DIRECTLY to you.  I try to judge everything as sincere, but some of it is even farther out there than I am, so I have to judge.  Then I worry that I’m judging wrong.

Creating

•December 23, 2013 • Comments Off

Over on the Star Trek Continues Facebook page, they’ve posted what a Trek holiday episode would be. There were, at that point, about two dozen or so replies, Kirk’s first Christmas on Farragut, Spock posing as Santa, McCoy’s Christmas with Joanna.

Did I do any of that? Nuh uh. In ten minutes I created a star system, one advanced, one not. Nasty ion storm bounces a transporter beam to the less advanced planet on the eve of their biggest holiday, where the Learned will interpret the Signs. Turns out one of the Learned is from the other planet, who are paranoid about their less-developed cousins. Lots of stuff happens, turns out the more advanced are far more miserable because they don’t let themselves enjoy life.

Only one person’s “liked” it so far.

I need to “create” a way to make money doing this.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.