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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quick Thought on Obama's Experience

The talking hair-dos on CNN keep on going on and on about Barrack Obama's executive experience. Here are some quick bullet points:
  • John F. Kennedy was also a senator but not a governor
  • George W. Bush was a governor-- so experience seems to count for very little
  • John McCain is ALSO someone without executive experience (never a governor)
  • Nixon and George Bush I, both had no gubernatorial experience-- no maybe it counts for a little...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Cthulhu Water Fountain

My Cthulhu water fountain is done! This project started as a way to constructively dispose of recycling and construction debris. He was finished off in many layers of expanding foam (Great Stuff foam); and layer after layer of fibreglass and resin.
He is man sized (on his perch his head tops at about 5 feet). He is a composite of wood, metal, stone, plastic, wire mesh, expanding foam, plumbers cement, fibreglass mess and polyester resin.
The model in his arm is a plastic model of a PT boat, covered in resin. A tube that leads through the body pipes water from a hose attachment up through the arm and out. Combine the Zen calm of a water fountain with the Lovecraftian nightmare of a cold and uncaring universe.

Links out:
As we are moving, I am planning on selling this! Anyone want the type of lawn ornament that will keep Aunt Ethel quiet all night as she peers out the window afraid that the Apocolypse is at hand?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Thought on Crime in Victoria

Since Victoria Police Chief Paul Battershill was suspended and then resigned, it seems like the Victoria Police are making a number of signifigant arrests. What was stopping them while he was in charge?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crazy Frog Rocketship Launch!

I totally forgot to post this to my blog. Doh!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama's Back-up Singers

Here are details on the people who will be joining Barack Obama before he climbs to the podium at the Democratic National Convention. (drum roll please...)

Barb Sackman of Fallon, Montana
Barb is a teacher living in Fallon, Montana, a town of 150. She lives on her family's wheat and cattle farm, and rising fuel prices are making it hard to get by. She hopes Barack's plan for alternative bio-fuels will help the struggling economy in rural Montana. Barb volunteers for her church, sits on a hospital board, and organizes community events in Fallon. Barb says Barack "genuinely cares about the problems of people like me. We appreciate his continued trips to Montana to let us know that we are not forgotten." She will attend the convention with her husband.

Lenny Julius of Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Lenny is a retired naval officer who believes the Iraq War was a serious strategic mistake. He says that in 2000 he looked forward to seeing John McCain, a fellow shipmate, in the Oval Office, having known and served with him in Vietnam -- but no more. "Senator McCain has become a strong supporter of the Bush policies -- policies which have led to disaster both at home and abroad." He was won over by Barack's communication skills, leadership abilities, and intelligence. Lenny is an auto parts manager at AutoZone in Emerald Isle, a heavily Republican town where he says there are many "closet Barack supporters." Lenny remembers staying up late when he was young to watch John F. Kennedy accept the nomination at the last truly open convention in 1960. He will come to the convention this year with his wife.

Anne Rector of Indianapolis, Indiana
Anne is a retired budget analyst for the federal government. She says the first time she saw Barack at the 2004 convention, she thought, "This is Everyman. He is Kansan and he is Kenyan; he is African and he is Anglo-American; he is common sense and he is eloquence; he is dynamic and he is down to earth." Anne is an active volunteer for the campaign, as well as for a local animal protection group. She hosts a weekly local radio program named Art and Review, in which she reads to the blind. Anne strongly believes in the protection of our civil liberties. She will attend with a friend and fellow campaign supporter.

James T. Fondriest of Massillon, Ohio
James, a 22-year-old law student and graduate of Ohio State University, never thought he would vote for anyone other than a Republican. An active Bush-Cheney supporter in 2004, he became disillusioned with his state party and Republicans' handling of Iraq, health care, and education. "Barack Obama has inspired me to believe in politics again and, most importantly, the power of the ordinary citizen," he writes. "Although I still identify as a Republican and still stand for some conservative values, I finally feel like America has found a leader it can look up to and trust." Leading up to the Ohio primary, James made over 500 "Buckeyes for Obama" T-shirts and donated the profits to the campaign. He plans to bring his father with him to the convention.

John Volkmar of Boulder, Colorado
John served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. He says his two tours in Iraq with the 10th Special Forces Group opened his eyes to "the link between our country's lack of an effective energy policy and our flawed foreign policy." John believes changing this relationship is an essential step towards ensuring that our government works for the interest of the American people instead of special interest groups. He is now pursuing an MBA and hopes to work in the alternative energy industry. He is coming to Denver with his wife.

Marsha Shearer of Orlando, Florida
Marsha is a retired elementary school principal. She has phone banked and canvassed for Obama in Florida, and has been a supporter since even before Barack made the decision to run. Marsha believes that both the Iraq War and America's dependence on oil are negatively affecting the health of our economy. She supports Barack because he is not a typical politician. "He represents something above and beyond," she says. "I haven't felt so energized since McCarthy, trying to end the Vietnam War." She will bring her college-age granddaughter to the convention.

Trinace Johnson of Richmond, Virginia
Trinace is a single mother and disabled veteran who served overseas for the Iraq War. She currently works for the U.S. Army as a public affairs specialist. She has voted since the age of 18, but this is the first time she has actively been involved with a political campaign. Trinace is inspired by Senator Obama's message of change and his plans to address all of the issues that she cares deeply about: veterans' support, education, stopping the war, tax breaks for the middle class, gas prices and health care. Trinace became motivated to get involved when her neighborhood ran out of ballots in the primaries, and is determined to ensure access to voting in this election. "I wish I could be there in Denver," she wrote to Backstage with Barack. "I would love to be a part of this historical event. [It's] so long overdue." Trinace will attend the convention with her sister.

Eric Melder of Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Eric is a 59-year-old married father of three sons and a grandparent to seven grandchildren. A retired YMCA director, he has worked at Diakon Wilderness Center for the past 13 years counseling young men with drug, alcohol, and family problems. "The boys call me 'E-rock' and I do all I can to make a difference in their lives," writes Eric. A self-proclaimed "values voter" and evangelical Christian, Eric switched his allegiance from Mike Huckabee to Barack, convinced by Barack's ability to lead and build coalitions. Eric is bringing Anthony, a former student at the Wilderness Center, who overcame immense hardships, including an absent father and a drug-addicted mother, to ultimately become Program Director of the Center. "Barack needs to meet him," Eric says.

Holly Miowak Stebing of Anchorage, Alaska
Holly, a 20-year-old Alaska Native Inupiaq, is spending her summer break from Stanford University at the First Alaskans Organization interviewing native elders about their experiences with segregation. Holly is passionate about improving healthcare access for Native Americans, and protecting Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. The 2008 presidential election is Holly's first as a voter. She says: "This was the first campaign I felt I needed to support. I don't have a lot of money, but I donate what I can because I believe in [Barack]." She will attend the convention with her mother who is the first Native American woman to pass the Alaska bar.

Kayla Whitaker of West Fargo, North Dakota
Kayla is a 20-year-old student and evangelical Christian who credits Barack for her newfound interest in the political process. "As a Christian, I have seen it repeated that evangelical Christians are 'required' to vote Republican. When I heard Barack's 'Call to Renewal' speech, I was surprised... This is change I can believe in and many other young, evangelical Christians can believe in, too. For the first time in my life, I got hooked on politics." She now plans to register to vote so that she can cast her ballot for Barack in November. Among Kayla's top concerns are health care, teacher pay, and the environment. In an effort to convince her mom to become involved in politics, she is bringing her to Denver.

What's really interesting? The West Coast and back-East big cities (New York, Chicago, etc.) sound bells of support for Obama. The mid-West (aka "The Heartland") is where they're still hanging signs like "Obama? Osama? What's the difference?" in front of Churches (way to follow the Bible, guys). Without accident, Barack Obama has selected people from this same grey area where the Obama locomotive could run out of steam.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Annotated Edit

This is SERIOUSLY cool: you can annonate videos and put in links to other videos. I will be making heavy use of this in the near future.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Annotated Video

You can ANNOTATE videos! This is so cool! You can add notes, links and speech bubbles. Expect to see me using this a great deal!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Clone Wars: The Movie

I thought I could super-spoiler the Clone Wars movie or I could do a review. I did both.
Clone Wars is aimed at the Kiddie Set. Instead of the scroll that we've seen at least six times before (several video games in the license have used this too), we get a cheezy news reel narration. Instead of subtitling Jabba, people react and his protocol droid occasionally steps in. Rather than aim for the kid-lit crowd, Clone Wars aims for pre-lit crowd. While all of theSepartist gizmos (robots, vehicles, weapons) are on parade; the Republic side is sparse: Clone Troopers, Navy, a few Jedi and Padme for good measure. A nice small cast that even a six-year old could remember (that's handy for when they go intoToys'R'Us the next day). There is a real video game feel to this movie. It feels like you have a bunch of challenges to overcome: some fighting based, some logic based. If a video game isn't imminent, it could be knocked off in a weekend by pulling CGI models, clips for cut sequences and a couple of light saber shaped health meters. At times, I think I saw my score climbing as I watched the film.

The fight scenes are amazing-- on par with any of the movies. The movie is high on action, low on plodding political intrigue. The movie feels like the 2-D TV series of shorts, popped into the third dimension-- almost like thatSimpsons Halloween episode where Homer gets pulled into the third dimension. In an interesting budget-saving device: holograms are used very frequently. I have to think that is for economy: why render a character in all of their shades, when you can just draw them in shades of blue. While the foreground characters have that animation detail doled on them, background characters look like they're just being dragged across the background by some intern who thinks his days at Skywalker Ranch are numbered.

The soundtrack of Star Wars is memorable. My daughter hums the Imperial March. The symphonic feel of the music is gone. Tiny snippets of John Williams-esque music can be heard. In its place, the drum, string, flute melodies that are close to the incidental music from the Battlestar Galactica TV series. As this is not a Fox joint, but a Warner Brothers release: I have to wonder what was tied up in legal tangles and could not be moved out from the clenches of Rupert Murdoch.

Almost the whole voice cast are animation people or up-and-coming actors. Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee voice Mace Windu and Dooku respectively (keep getting thosepaycheques, boys). Ahsoka Tano is voiced by Ashley Eckstein who fits the voice to the role. She has that aggravating quality that kids will find endearing. What is "fun" (I cannot believe I am about to write this): the troopers are extra New Zealand-y. BecauseJango Fett was originally voiced by Temuera Morrison, Clone Troopers have that accent-- I was expecting them to say, "Load up the Lorry, we're off to the beach, mates!" It worked. You can tell that the Troopers get bored on those trips through hyperspace; and they're tired of saying "No, I'm Trooper-3263827-- you're thinking of Trooper-03003817659." They're all sporting different haircuts (colors and styles)-- again a nice touch-- as a clone with 10,000,000 copies of me wandering around I would like likely try to make myself look a little unique.

All-in-all: this movie is for the pre-teen set, die-hard super obsessed fans and people who like decent animation. Please park yourstormtrooper outfit at the door-- you won't be able to sit down and you'll delay the start of the movie, you geek.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Clone Wars Comes Early

Thanks to some dubious decision making, I have tickets for the Saturday morning showing of the Clone Wars movie. I am very sad proud to say that my daughter has become obsessed with Star Wars (thank you Lego Star Wars). She hums the Imperial March when bored. So, we're feeding a daddy-daughter obsession.
What is kind of funny: the ticket makes a real point of saying that "no recording devices" are allowed. Meh. I have a photographic memory, so why would I need to fumble with a cellphone or camera? Expect a Medianook review awash in [SPOILER] and white-out warnings sometime Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Upcoming WiiWare Titles

We have a growing fascination with the Wii. A cruise through the Nintendo Channel got me thinking: what's up next? With the help of Wikipedia, here is a list of upcoming WiiWare games:

Title and Source   Developer(s)   North America
Release Dates
Aero Guitar Yudo TBA
Alien Crush Returns Hudson Soft 02008-12-33
Animales de la Muerte High Voltage Software 02008-09 September 2008
Bang! Engine Software 02008-12-33
Battle Poker Left Field Productions 02008-12-33
Big Kahuna Party Reflexive Entertainment 02008-12-33
Block Breaker Deluxe Gameloft 02008-06-16 16 June 2008
Bomberman Blast Hudson Soft TBA
Bruiser and Scratch in the Case of the Puzzling Paw Steel Penny Games 02008-12-33
Butterfly Garden Autonomous Productions 02009-12-33
Cocoto Fishing Master Neko Entertainment 02008-06-16 16 June 2008
Crescendo Konami TBA
Critter Round-Up Epicenter Studios, Konami 02008-05-19 19 May 2008
Defend Your Castle XGen Studios 02008-05-12 12 May 2008
Dr. Mario Online Rx Arika, Nintendo 02008-05-26 26 May 2008
Eternity's Child Luc Bernard & Partners, Alten8 02008-12-33
Family Table Tennis Arc System Works 02008-05-26 26 May 2008
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles:
My Life as a King
Square Enix 02008-05-12 12 May 2008
Frat Party Games: Pong Toss JV Games 02008-07-28 28 July 2008
Fresco Beach Konami TBA
Fun! Fun! Minigolf Shin'en Multimedia TBA
Gradius Rebirth Konami TBA
Gravitronix Medaverse Studios 02008-12-33
Gyrostarr High Voltage Software 02008-06-23 23 June 2008
Helix Ghostfire Games 02008-12-33
Home Sweet Home Big Blue Bubble TBA
Imagination Is The Only Escape Luc Bernard & Partners TBA
Last Flight Bloober Team 02009-12-33
LIT WayForward Technologies 02008-12-33
LostWinds Frontier Developments 02008-05-12 12 May 2008
LostWinds 2 Frontier Developments TBA
Maboshi: The Three Shape Arcade Mindware Corp, Nintendo TBA
MadStone RiverMan Media TBA
Magnetica Twist Mitchell Corporation, Nintendo 02008-06-30 30 June 2008
Major League Eating: The Game Mastiff 02008-07-14 14 July 2008
Mega Man 9 Inti Creates,
02008-09 September 2008
Midnight Bowling Gameloft TBA
Midnight Pool Gameloft TBA
My Aquarium Hudson Soft TBA
My Pokémon Ranch Ambrella, Nintendo 02008-06-09 9 June 2008
Pirates: The Key of Dreams Oxygen Games 02008-07-21 21 July 2008
Plättchen Twist 'n' Paint Bplus 02008-12-33
Pop Nnooo 02008-05-12 12 May 2008
Potpourrii Abstraction Games 02008-12-33
Protöthea Digital Builders, Sabarasa, Ubisoft 02008-06-02 2 June 2008
Rolling Bloobs Bloober Team TBA
The Rose Princess Luc Bernard & Partners TBA
Shantae WayForward Technologies TBA
Space Invaders Get Even Taito TBA
SPOGS Racing D2C Games 02008-07-07 7 July 2008
Star Soldier R Hudson Soft 02008-05-19 19 May 2008
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner Telltale Games 02008-08 August 2008
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 2: Strongbadia the Free Telltale Games 02008-09 September 2008
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 3 Telltale Games 02008-10 October 2008
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 4 Telltale Games 02008-11 November 2008
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 5 Telltale Games 02008-12 December 2008
Tetris Party Hudson Soft Autumn 02008-12-33
Toki Tori Two Tribes B.V. 02008-06-02 2 June 2008
TV Show King Gameloft 02008-05-12 12 May 2008
V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack High Voltage Software 02008-05-12 12 May 2008
Wild West Guns Gameloft 02008-08-04 4 August 2008
World of Goo 2D Boy 02008-12-33

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