Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
toys.thepete.com: PARKOD: Pretty Angry Robot Killer of Dogs, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
I hoped to get this posted yesterday, but TheDad was in town, so my
time was limited. Anyway, here's a fairly recent piece that I more
did more as an experiment than anything else. His name is PARKOD.
What the hell does PARKOD mean? It's an acronym:
PARKOD started off life as a clear-with-sparkles-in Toy2R Dog Qee that
I covered in black Sharpie ink, leaving 4 areas uncovered--his hands,
his eyes and his nose. This was so I could experiment with light
passing through the clear plastic body.
I did color his eyes and nose red, though the red glowing effect was
achieved by aiming a laser pointer at it. The blue glow effect was
reached by aiming an ultraviolet penlight at it. The last shot is a
light-up plastic "icecube" that I hoped would cast light up,
through the head, and out his eyes and nose. Only kinda worked. :(
Still, I think I've got a good idea to expand this project, though I'm
not sure I'll have enough skill to make it work. We'll see!
Check out the full Flickrset here:
And you can always check out more of my custom toys at toys.thepete.com
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Jay TheVlog for March 28, 2009 from thepete on Vimeo.
Click here to grab a 128MB mp4 of the above 11m video.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I've also darkened my Twitter page, too.
Check out EarthHour.org for more info!!
Or go here: http://thepete.com/my-earth-hour-commercial-on-12secondstv
Or watch these:
12seconds Earth Hour Commercial on 12seconds.tv
12seconds Earth Hour Commercial on 12seconds.tv
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
So, I was a GrandCentral.com member since way back. In case you weren't aware, GrandCentral was a service that gave you a free phone number that aim at all of your phones--work, home, mobile, Skype, etc. So, all of your contacts call one number and voila, which ever phone you're at will ring. Bestest service EVER!
Shortly after I signed up with them, they were bought by Google. After years of no improvements whatsoever, GrandCentral was finally folded into Google and were then reborn as "Google Voice." Very exciting! They even had new features and services. My favorite is that I can tell calls from some people to go straight through to my phones without me having to answer my phone and then approving the call. YES. Simple = good!
One feature I didn't ask for, but do think is pretty cool none the less, is voicemail transcription.
The idea is this: you can miss a phone call that then gets sent to voicemail, but maybe you're busy in a meeting or (like me) on a subway and can't call to get your messages. So, Google Voice will transcribe them and then email them to you. Pretty neat, huh? The only catch is, their voice recognition software, as you might expect, isn't quite there yet.
This afternoon after leaving her temp job, my wife left me this message. Well, according to Google Voice, my wife left me this message:
hey it's mike i am just now getting out of the library and i'm slightly calling the right but i will jump on the a from with united soon i love you and i hope to be home around six forty five seven operator love you bye bye
Yeah, I didn't know my wife's name was "Mike" either. Not sure why she'd be "calling the right slightly" unless she's curious about converting from the Democrats. "The a" is a reference to the A-Train, so that makes sense, but why she'd do it "with united" is not a question I can answer. Nor can I tell you why the operator might love me.
So, sadly, Google Voice's transcriptions end up reading a bit like a poorly translated VCR manual.
Ah well, Google knows they own my soul, and I know all my base belongs to them.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
watch the trailer
OK, now on with the pocket review:
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Well, if you've seen enough trailers you can spot the ones made on a budget. This trailer felt like one of those and sadly, I think once you see past all the cheesy overproduction of the trailer you can see something that might be a good movie. (Sadly because most people won't bother to see past the cheese to the very meaty concept.)
Technically any good? First off, I think this is what we, in the US, would call a b-movie. As in, low budget. It's from Mexico and based on the fact the trailer allowed not a single line of dialog to be heard, I'm guessing it's in Spanish. That's what bugged me the most about this trailer--we have no idea if the film is even in English.
NOTE TO MARKETING PEOPLE: If people are going to be turned off by a non-English-language movie, they won't likely stick around for the whole film once they realize it's not in their mother tongue. SO TELL US NOW.
FX-wise, this movie looks pretty reasonable. Acting wise, it's hard to tell since so much of the trailer is just FX shots. From what the trailer does show us, I'm pretty damn intrigued by it. Generally speaking, it looks like this might be evidence that talented people are finally getting some of that cheaper filmmaking technology.
How did it leave me feeling? Frustrated with the state of trailer-making. If I were a marketer I'd do this film much better justice. Of course, while I'm enthralled with the concept--I can't tell if the movie is any good since the trailer was cornball and ruined bits of the movie. But it looks interesting if nothing else.
Final Rating? NFI - NetFlix It. Definitely looks like a fun scifi flick even if it doesn't quite live up to it's Phillip-K.-Dickishness qualities.
Sleep Dealer opens here in the US on April 17, 2009. Click the poster image above to see the trailer.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Yep, if you're reading this, odds are you already know that a huge amount of your body is made up of water. The overwhelming majority of our planet is covered in water. Every beverage we drink has at least some amount of water in it.
But what happens if that water isn't clean?
People get sick, that's what.
Now, in way-cool "hip" countries like the US, UK, and other "in" places we've got stuff like cholera and typhoid taken care of but this is not the case in countries that couldn't care less about Brangelina or reality TV. Last fall, over in America's 51st state (Iraq), they suffered an outbreak of cholera that killed quite a few Iraqis, sadly. Via a post on WWD at LeslieBradshaw.com, here's a nice illustration demonstrating where cholera is hitting Earth the most.
So, clean drinking water is clearly a problem and it's something we can all help raise awareness about. How can you help more folks know about issues regarding clean drinking water? For starters, you can blog about it yourself. You can tell your friends and family about it. Or you could do something as simple as joining the World Water Day Facebook group. You can follow WorldH2O and Chlorine on Twitter. For each person who joins the Facebook group, follows WorldH2O and Chlorine, the American Chemistry Council will contribute five chlorine tablets designed to disinfect 100 liters of water to areas of the world that are struggling to find clean drinking water.
So, just do it and help! As of two days ago, people who have joined the FB group, and followed both WorldH2O and Chlorine on Twitter have helped donate enough chlorine tablets to clean over 180,000 liters of water--that's over 47,000 gallons of water.
In case you're curious, cholera causes diarrhea. Diarrhea can cause massive dehydration pretty quickly (sometimes within hours). Dehydration means your body is losing water. Remember your body is mostly made of water. Lose that and most of what keeps you alive is gone--and so are you.
Don't believe me? Watch this awesome vid from good.is:
Special thanks to TheLeslie at LeslieBradshaw.com for informing me about Word Water Day. I wish I knew how she hears about these things!! :) Sorry this is a day late, but hey, shouldn't every day be a day we think about clean water?
For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote â€“ Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.
So, over at http://12seconds.tv they're helping with the cause by encouraging folks to do 12 second clips promoting the whole Earth Hour thing. Check out what folks have been shooting here: http://12seconds.tv/tag/EarthHour09
Though first, watch the one I shot with Siskita:
12seconds Earth Hour Commercial on 12seconds.tv
And here's Jay ThePal's:
12seconds Earth Hour Commercial on 12seconds.tv
I think both are pretty good. :)
So, there ya have it! At 8:30pm, your local time, THIS SATURDAY please turn out every light in your home for one hour!! Make sure to tell people you're doing it, too! Post a Tweet, a 12second video, blog about it, send an email, or just post a comment right here!
The Earth will thank you for it!
All right, not really, but future humans should be thankful!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Two weeks ago, I had the idea that I probably wouldn't like the finale
of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. So, I decided to write my
own. I did the same with Star Wars: Episode 3 and it helped me avoid therapy.
Earlier tonight I watched the BSG series finale and let's just say I'm glad I wrote my own first. I'm not saying mine was perfect, but as a first draft it rocked the pants of the one that got made.
Anyway, so, here's a spoiler-free sampling of my immediate feelings in the hour after watching it:
I tweeted my first post-viewing reaction to the Battlestar Galactica series finale about ten or fifteen minutes later:
Just finished the Battlestar Galactica finale (the actual one). Did M. Night Shyamalan direct it? Because I hated it like he did.
The following wasn't anything I wrote, but it also encapsulates my feelings. It comes from Twitter-user Tim3PO who Tweeted:
Hey Ron Moore (aka George Lucas Junior), if your goal was to destroy all that made BSG amazing, within one 3 part story. Congrats A-hole
And then I went over to Battlestar Galactica composer, Bear McCreary's Battlestar blog to see if he had any release date for the season 4 soundtrack, which is all I'm really interested in at this point. Not seeing any info, I took a gander at the comments on his "discuss the Battlestar finale" post. After reading mostly glowing, blindly fanboyish reviews, I had to post something. Here's what I posted about the Battlestar Galactica series finale:
My wife and I watched the last two episodes back-to-back earlier this evening. While watching the last two episodes, I just kept thinking to myself: â€œI just want to know when the season 4 soundtrack is out.â€
So, no offense to Bear, his music is brilliant, but his music was the best thing about the finaleâ€“sadly, thatâ€™s not saying much. Completely disappointed in it (the finale). Not one resolution did I like. Iâ€™m glad I spent the last two weeks of my life writing my own finale, yes, just for fun (Iâ€™m a writer, so itâ€™s not a big dealâ€“to me, the show is a big deal so I thought it was worth it).
Anyone who wants to enjoy how Iâ€™ll pretend BSG ended can check out my website. Itâ€™s not a perfect finale, but if you wait a few months for Bearâ€™s score to come out, you can listen to his music while you read it. Just add a â€œ.comâ€ to my user name and youâ€™re there.
Sorry for the shameless plug, but for crying out loud, Iâ€™m disappointed. -ThePete (a fellow huge fan of BSG who also loved it for the morally centered ambiguity.)
SIGH. I feel like I need to share my scripts as a form of support for those of us who feel like we deserved a better ending than we got. Or really, for those of us who are old enough to remember the last disappointing Battlestar Galactica series finale--the monstrosity that was Galactica 1980.
It's like us Battlestar fans just can't cut a break!!
Maybe that can change, in a small way, at least, with my scripts. Here are the links and you can decide for yourself (remember they're first drafts):
Part 1 (57-page 163k PDF)
Part 2 (55-page 155k PDF)
And, if you're not reading this on thepete.com, please go there and click on the "page 2" link to read my spoilerish comments regarding the series finale, assuming you want to read them. I think you might. You might also want to read more about my very own Battlestar Galactica finale script. Or not. But just know that I wrote both scripts over 2 weeks, before watching either of the two final episodes.
SPOILER ALERT! What follows are huge spoilers. Seriously. I don't think they'll ruin the finale for you, but if you like BSG and haven't seen the finale yet, DON'T READ ON. You might be one of the people who are capable of enjoying it!!! DON'T RISK IT!! Better to give the show a chance and be wrong--then you can come back here and commiserate.
OK--THIS IS IT!! YOU'RE LAST WARNING!!
OH and if you're Ron Moore reading this please don't take my rants personally. I seriously love the majority of your writing over the years. You did an amazing thing and made me give a crap about a scifi show again. You built my expectations up and it'd be a challenge for any writer to meet those expectations. So, no disrespect meant.
HERE WE GO:
As I mentioned in my comment on Bear McCreary's blog, not a SINGLE resolution worked for me. Let's look at them now:
Starbuck was, as my wife suggested, raptured away, I guess?? I like to think of her plot-end as her evolving to the same species that Wesley Crusher evolved to in his last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (a show which I believe Ron Moore also had something to do with). Of course, I when I say that I "like" to think of it that way I mean that I will take that explanation because at least it's funny.
Apollo goes EXPLORING!! WOW, so, the guy named after the Greek god of light, truth, archery, medicine, plague (and more) is going hiking!! YEAH!
Laura, buys it on a joy-ride with her S.O. Sheesh. She survives the (least satisfying but) biggest battle of the series and dies on a joy-ride???
Adama, ends up in... Jersey, I think? (Oh bite me. There are too, mountains in New Jersey!)
Cavil ends it the cowards way.
Leoben... is barely IN IT.
Earth? Oh yeah, about that--um, M. Night Shyamalan wrote/directed that bit, so yeah, that's not what we said it was. Which leads me to say:
FRACK OFF, RON: MY EARTH IS THE FIRST AND ONLY EARTH, BITCH!
Baltar and #6 end up being...
Hera is mitochodrial Eve--whoa--goin' out on a limb, there!! You know, you don't HAVE to give us essentially the same ending as the original.
The future Cylons are... holy shit! My aibo is attacking me!! Oh wait, I just kicked it away, it's cool. AH!! My Robosapien is coming at me with a cigarette lighter!! Oh wait, it's batteries died, I'm safe now. OH CRAP! ASIMO is coming at me with a trumpet!! Oh, he's playing it. Nevermind.
Seriously--dude, Ron, I think you're writing is brilliant at times, but WHAT THE HELL DOES THE PIGEON HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? And don't tell me Kara is Jesus, because then you'd need a Judas and a betrayal and A SACRIFICE!! JESUS CHRIST, I'M AN ATHEIST AND I KNOW THAT!!
NO ONE DIES IN THE BATTLE!! WTF!!
I don't ever need to watch this series again because the plot is so flippin' messy and convoluted and it doesn't clean up in the end and no one dies, so I can't even enjoy the tragic elements because THERE ARE NO TRAGIC ELEMENTS OR LOSS OF ANY KIND!
There'd be no point in watching the entire series again, really, since the reasons I kept watching it went away so long ago and never came back.
The reasons I kept watching it:
1) In the miniseries, Adama gives this wonderful speech about how humanity must deserve to survive. By the end of the series, I'm really convinced it should die. There's no doubt in my mind that after, like, 3 coups, an insurrection and a bunch of suicides, Adama is among the shittiest leaders ever. When we see him vomit on his own hand in the finale, I'm like "see? the guy should never have been trusted with a Battlestar in the first place! No wonder humanity sucks today!"
2) Baltar's wonderful duality. James Callis makes me want to become an actor. I was fine with the idea of him becoming "born again" or whatever, but DO something with it. In the end he's just an "in-the-right-place at the-right-time" guy. So, that's what so much was building up to?
"Oh, I'm sorry, but my hot-ass girlfriend and I just found this little girl. I say, does she belong to you?"
You know, that dude Tim3PO compared Ron Moore to George Lucas, but I kinda feel that's not a fair comparison--at least George waited 15 years to make me not want to be a fan any more.
Ron Moore was the best thing about Star Trek: The Next Generation and did some amazing stuff with Battlestar Galactica. But the finale was not among that stuff.
Still an impressive track record, really. I just hope Ron stays away from the Deus Ex Machina stuff. If I wanted to hear the excuse "God did it." I'd read the Bible (I've heard it's got a disappointing ending, too).