Face For Radio

I’m home on lunch eating pretzels with peanut butter and half-watching “Living Wild” on Nat’l Geographic while I make a list of stuff I should do later tonight.

Avery Brooks is doing the voice work on this particular episode, I was thinking about how one gets a voice-over job.

I watch a shitload of Nat’l Geo, and a few different shows all tend to have the same person voicing each episode, but there are others, maybe a “special” this or that, where they’ll have X or Y celebrity/better known person narrating.

I suppose that unless the producers are specifically looking for a particular celeb’s voice, they must have open auditions, like any other part, right? Maybe? I dunno, you’d have to ask somebody who works in the business, I guess.

Meanwhile, if you have any Financial Aid related problems, apparently I am your HNIC— I’ve been puttin’ out fires all day…

More Like HD-DV-SWEET!

Just sat down to watch The Black Dahlia, so I can get it back in the mail to the Netflixarians tomorrow. The disc opened with a 4-minute commerical for HD DVD and what makes it some monkey-spunkin’ terrific.

… It was awesome, because now I know for certain that there’s no goddamn way I need to get an HD DVD or BluRay? player any time soon. I will not be sucked into this ridiculous format war until one or the other has fallen, and even then, it’s going to take some convincing to get me to pony up and re-do any collecting of movies.

Moving from VHS to DVD was, comparatively, a no-brainer. We were going from a lossy, analog format to a long-lasting, durable, digital medium. Why should I move from one digital format to another, when what I have should, theoretically, last for years, if not decades, with no perceivable degradation due to repeat viewing?

Mr. Toshiba, Mr. Sony, Uncle Walt: you can all suck it, and stick your next-gen DVDs in the most uncomfortable place imaginable.

RE: Children of Men

Nice movie. Marks are a little high on the IMDB. I would give it about a seven-and-a-half. It started a little slow for me, and there were some back-story things I wish I had some more detail on– or, less detail, if that makes sense.

I felt some things or events were alluded to that could have either been left out or fleshed out, y’know?

Once things got rolling I had a good time, though. Thinking about it again, I wonder if the scene leaving the farm was a tongue-in-cheek homage to Clive Owen’s time in BMW Films?

Toys and Stuff

I was talking to Lorch a little this morning about the music player in my phone. If you’re thinking about intergrating some of your pocket gadgetry, I there’s a chance you could find this useful.

Otherwise, there is plenty on the Internet to occupy your time.

So yeah, I got that music player phone, and if you recall my months-long internal (slash-external) debate, I chose it in the interest of having fewer things in my pockets. One would like to have a phone, PDA, and ipod all in there, but if you can eliminate one or two of them, why not?

The phone has a microSD expansion slot for storing music. I’m not sure what the maximum capactiy is for that slot, but I got a 1-gig card from Newegg for 20 bucks.

In the process of re-encoding some mp3s for use on my PDA, I already had a gaggle of music coded at 96k. At that bitrate, I can squeeze quite a few songs on the card (I think around 400 or so). What I did is put my Top 20 All-time albums on there, with a little room to spare.

I did have an issue with some id3 tags when I got started. The info was wrong or missing on a number of the albums I wanted to use. Since the modern mp3 player uses this data to populate one’s “library,” it’s fairly essential. There are a lot of options out there if you have broken Id3 info, but regardless of what any of them claim, they all have an element of tediousness and frustration. No matter what technology the various tools’ software designers claim to be using, what they all fail to overcome is this: when there is so little data to go on, it’s impossible to predict with total accuracy what the file is supposed to say. *shrugs* Bottom line, if you wanna fix tags, it’s gonna take a while.

And it did. But once I was done, everything worked really well. So I guess I can’t complain that the biggest problem I had getting started was my own. I did, just for S&G’s, try to filter the music I wanted to use through BitPim. There was a “built-in” encoder that seemed to modify my mp3s pretty quickly. Trying to move the data to the phone didn’t work the way I expected, though. I tried this because I thought it might “save” me an encoding step, but really it didn’t.

The “software” that came packaged with the phone tries to push you toward using Windows Media Player for syncing songs, but I found it even more effective to use a card reader and dump files directly to the SD card. Even though there are extra “steps” doing it this way, it’s really fast.

I was pleasantly suprised by the sound quality. It’s not CD-good, but these are earbuds and a phone, for chrissakes. I listened to Led Zeppelin II on my way to work this morning, and the highs and lows came through pretty well. I would NOT want to plug my phone into the car stereo or anything, ala iPod. For that, you would want something with a much higher storage capacity, where you’re not compromising your bitrate for space. For my purposes, though, I think this will probably work out.

Michelle’s phone has a music player, too, and I’m curious to try dropping my card in there to see if the player interface or quality is any different. I don’t really expect that to be the case, though.


Got a lot of crap done around the house this weekend… My room is still not as clean as I’d like it to be, but I got more done in there than it looks like.

Took down the Christmas tree today and generally un-decorated. I was able to consolidate a few of the smaller boxes I was keeping stuff in. I still didn’t get rid of that fake tree, so I’ll have to try to remember to do that next year.

I finished enough stuff that I felt it was time to move on to things I always think about doing but never actually do. I updated my movie list, and I’m over 320 titles. Next, I’m going to get a Holidays 2006 photo gallery started. Please feel free to contribute…

I just realized that it’s after 4:30. I was going to try to get to a movie this afternoon, but I guess I won’t. Eh, I s’pose that’s OK. I’ve still got more to do at home, and the football today isn’t bad.

Happy Birthday to Joey Knitt today (officially)…

Nintendo Thumb?

I didn’t play a ton of video games over the holidays, but for some reason, I’ve gots the Nintendo thumb– y’know, when your thumb gets all calloused and yucky from emphatically holding down that direction pad? You can see a picture of it here, although it pretty much just looks like a normal thumb, so…

Michelle is coming up this evening for Joey Knitt’s Birthday Gala & Karaoke Festival, but she has to head back to MKE right away in the morning to judge a cheerleading competition at around 9AM. I was thinking that since a lot of the “cleaning” I might need to do around the house is in good order, and the holiday wackiness is over, I might get a chance to do some (GASP!) writing on Saturday, but when I sat down to make a list, it got kind of long pretty fast.

I really need to quit sleeping away the weekends. That’s got to be one of the most detrimental things to my productivity. I end up having maybe 5 or 6 good hours each day where things are getting accomplished, where I should be shooting for 10 or 12. Since Michelle has to leave so early in the morning tomorrow, I might as well get up too, get started earlier.

Other than that… –OH!

Check it– one of my ‘tasks’ for the weekend will be to strike the karaoke machine that Michelle got me for my birthday… It seems like such a shame to put it back in the box until the next party. Wondering if anybody has a brilliant idea or two for what to do with a karaoke machine until you really need to croon..?

Busy Reading – 'nuff said!

The last time I was up north (Thanksgiving) I brought home the balance of boxes that were still being stored in my old bedroom closet. Among those was a plastic storage bin with all of my comic books and related paraphernalia.

In the grand scheme of things, my comic fanboy stage was relatively short– stretching from the summer of 1991 to an abrupt halt in the fall of 1993. I was around for a Marvel mutant renaissance of sorts, as well as the birth of Image comics. This was also an age of decadence in the history of comic collecting, as the publishers flooded the market with ‘special edtions,’ multiple covers, hologram cards, and Big Anniversary Issues.

It was hard for a kid of 13 or 14 to buy all this cool shit they were throwing at you when you probably didn’t have a job during the school year, and only worked part-time over the summer. Still, how could you get through the month without picking up the latest Uncanny X-Men with its 5 different covers that, when fit together, formed a picture that held a message you could read if you bought the sixth cover with the decoder ring, and if you sent that secret code phrase with your proof of purchase for all six issues along with $9.95 for shipping and handling, you could get a pack of FREE, limited-edition, holographic Cable pogs, which would be sure to fetch $20-$30 dollars EACH on the open market in… y’know, 30 or 40 years or something.

So my ‘collection’ may be modest at best, but last night as I cracked open that box and thumbed through my first 25 issues of X-Men, I realized how engrossed I became in all the stories and characters and their histories. There’s a LOT that I still remember about things as random as the events surrounding The Infinity Gauntlet series. Sadly, I remember very little about 8th grade math. I don’t even remember who my math teacher was in 8th grade. Nope–! Shit– yes I do! It was Mr. Wang– Wong? Anyone remember how to spell that? Phew…

But I digress.

My point is that in a very short stretch of time, I read a LOT of different stories and got in touch with some old characters that naturally had a lot of depth. There is good reading to be found in a lot of comics. There is also a lot of shit (and this dynamic can be found in any storytelling media that’s out there). But as I curl up to give another read to Superman #505, I have to admit that, for better or worse, a number of my sensibilities about writing (most notably, character development) have their deepest roots in comic books.

Maybe I should try writing for a soap opera. Y’know, a comic-booky one, like Days of Our Lives.