Monday, June 30, 2008

Work, work, work

I have been busy with work so I have not had a chance to post anything. I thought I would post a few pics to keep things updated. These are from a recent trip to DC.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I am officially old

My family was sitting around the dining room table, discussing which movie they wanted to watch later this evening. Our youngest mentioned he wanted to see 'Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation'. Jimmy Stewart being a big favorite in our house, this was not an uncommon request. My wife commented that our son has been enjoying classic movies lately. Our oldest child then stated, "We could watch 'Short Circuit', that's a classic movie." After my wife and I stopped laughing, my wife told our daughter that she wasn't much older than her when that movie was made.
Not missing a beat, our eldest said, "That's pretty old."

Monday, June 23, 2008


George Carlin died on Sunday of heart failure at the age of 71. I wonder if he ever got the answer to his question, why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Netflix, Roku player and Homeschool

I love to watch movies, which makes Netflix great for me and my family. Besides wasting our time with movies, we also use Netflix to get a lot of documentaries for our children to supplement our homeschool curriculum. At times, 4 out of our 6 at-home DVDs are documentaries. The instant-view feature was a good start, but the kids just didn't enjoy watching movies on the computer screen. I have been waiting for Netflix to bring streaming to the TV, and now they have.
I will not bother to review the box itself; Google it and you will find enough reviews. The small box by Roku allows you to watch movies from there instant selection on your TV over your high speed Internet connection. The biggest advantage for me is that I no longer will have to fill my DVD queue with documentaries for the kids. The current biggest disadvantage is the lack of currently available movies, but that will change over time. At the price of $100, it makes a great deal, if you have Netflix already.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spore Creature Creator

Spore, for those who live under rocks or don't play video games, is one of the most anticipated video games of the year. It is a sim that lets you grow from a single cell organism to a space exploring civilization. To help feed us game consumers they released the Creature Creator, a part of the game that lets you create different creatures to import into the full game when it is released in September. One feature of this game is they allow you to export video of your new creatures. I present to you: Dancing Creatures.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Infrared Photography

I took these pictures about a year ago, and I still enjoy looking at them. I was experimenting with an IR filter for my Nikon D50. Because the IR filter blocks almost all visible light, the shutter speed is really slow and a tripod is needed. First I set up the shot with no filter, a remote for the camera, and a secure tripod. I then previewed the picture to make sure the composition was what I wanted. Then I very carefully screwed on the IR filter and took another picture. At this point, I was shooting blind because the images are too dark to view. Because the camera has an internal filter to remove IR light, I had to process the raw image in Photoshop to correct the light levels. I like the results.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Government computers hacked by suspected Chinese Hackers…again.

Being a person who works in computers and a big news junkie, I love stories like this. The LA Times, and several other news agencies, have reported that they believe that congressional computers were attacked and files were copied. As the Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), said "They got everything…". Rep. Wolf, whose office had four computers affected, said that other members of Congress were also targeted, as well as at least one congressional committee.

This same type of thing happened a few years ago. Though it was reported that no National secrets were taken last time, some websites reported that the information that was copied held lists of Chinese dissidents and political contacts. I wonder what happened to those people on the lists? Gotta love politics.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Movie Review – My Neighbor Totoro

If you are looking for a family friendly anime movie, My Neighbor Totoro is the perfect choice. Created by famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki in 1988 and later brought to America by Disney, this movie provides entertainment for everyone.
When two sisters' mother is hospitalized, the family moves to the Japanese countryside spend the summer. The sisters find their new environment to be full of people, creatures and a trio of furry woodland sprites who can only be seen by children.
This movie, like all Hayao Miyazaki movies, seems to capture the thoughts, actions and fantasies of children perfectly. One of my favorite parts is the beginning, when they first move into their country home. The sisters are running all over the house and explore all the rooms of the house. Reminds me of any kids moving into a new house.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Car ride 2, now at 4x speed

Another car video. You will have to bear with me as I play with these, but I just set the camera up and still like playing with it. At some point I will just post when crazy things happen. I rendered this at 4x speed so if you watch the timer you will see how long it took to drive this part of my commute. Contrary to the belief of some that posted comments, I drive at a sane speed for around here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Post

As with every website and blog I have had over the years, I always have great expectations, with little to no time to work on them. So instead of the long posts about the evil electronic voting machines, or a review of the 3000+ movies I have seen, I bring you pictures. Enjoy.

Thousand Islands, NY, 2007
Thousand Islands, NY, Power House at Heart Castle

Maryland RennFest '07, Mimes
Maryland RennFest '07, Dancing Skeleton

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Hug

The kids and I have been talking about doing a Lego movie. This is a test video I did to show them the concept. Be sure to turn on your speakers and whistle along.

My first post and car video

My First post is a video, shot from my newest toy. I mounted a pin hole camera behind my rearview mirror and it records to a PVR (personal video recorder). I drive a lot and have seen some crazy things on the road that I have often thought should be recorded. Now I can.
This video is a short clip at 3x speed from my commute home. Please forgive the red on the video, when the sun hits the camera directly that tends to happen.