Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I bowled the greatest game of my life.


Well, the greatest game so far. Expect an update after next Thursday's game.

This just Happened.

And happens with some regularity. I figured it should be recorded for posterity's sake. Hit play, and trust me, just wait for it.
video
Featured, performing live in Austin's bedroom, from right to left, are Dave, Dan, and Justin.
Special thanks to Cassius for the music and video inspiration.




If your interested in the real video, it's quite good.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A little clip from the SHOW!

Before the show started.



It was sweet. I had a ringing in my ears for a full day afterwards, and a bruised chest from being pushed up against the front railing the whole night. I was in the absolute front center. I was mostly there to see LCD Soundsystem. I just like that guys style, he is funny. And I know everybody out there who is in to this stuff is going to think it blasphemy that I liked the opening act more than the headline act, that's just how I am at most concerts. I went and saw the Format and Motion City Soundtrack open for All American Rejects, and left before the Rejects even took the stage. But Arcade Fire was good. Man, they are performers! Especially Régine. She accidentally cut her hand she was drumming so hard, and a guy in our group ended up getting the bloody drum stick after the show. I think he is going to build a shrine or something.
They are promoting their acclaimed second album, Neon Bible, which I guess is a lot about the commercialization of religion. I thought that was interesting, because it seemed to me that they were doing a fine job of religionizing the commercial. I had the best seat in the place, but the First Church of Win Butler was worshiping right behind me. It was great, but I've had my fill of concert for the next while. I'm getting too old for this stuff. I don't want to be that guy teenagers see at a concert and ask, "What is he doing here? He knows this isn't a Dan Fogelberg concert, right?"

LCD Soundsystem


Win Butler came down and basked in his disciples' adoration. I was standing to the immediate left of the guy recording this video.


Régine was rocking out the whole time.


The kid behind me was screaming for this song throughout the concert till they played it.


Some time I'll have to read and write a little about the rock concert as a shamanic experience. Wediscussed this in my History of American Popular Culture class a couple years ago. It's the idea that the modern rock concert serves a similar role as the tribal shamanic journey, with the Band head man serving as Shaman, and the audience as the Tribe. It's actually plain as day after somebody draws the parallel for you. At both the concert and the religious tribal ceremony, you have smoke, heavy beats, dancing, chanting, a large crowd, and a leader who seems to be in touch with a greater or mysterious truth, somehow hidden from the rest.
Let me tell you, the crowd at that show would have agreed if you told them Win Butler was their intermediary, their Witch Doctor, their Saint, their Prophet.



More Pics
.

I just think LCD Soundsystem has a cool beat. That's all.

NOTE: I'd like to point out that only two of the pictures from this post are my own. I love the interconnectivity of the web. I just found all of these in about 5 minutes today, from the same show I was at. Except the Music video collage up top, I made that in about 3 minutes. I ♥ the Web.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the Show

I am on the front row of the LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire show. It is looking like it will be an incredible show. When it starts. More to come, after the show. Show show SHOW.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Videos from my Old Phone


I used to have a great phone, the Samsung P735. It flipped open, swiveled around, played MP3's, played videos, and even had a memory card. Unfortunately, it broke, as it seems most phones do. I don't know why, but it's my understanding that Samsung only manufactured the P735 for a few months before discontinueing (maybe because they broke too easy). Too bad, it was a great little piece of hardware.

Anyway, one of the great features was that it took video, and was really easy. I don't know why every phone on earth doesn't have a simple video recorder. It will be a must on my next phone. I've missed the feature. I thought I had lost my memory card from that phone, but found it a while back. It was like finding an old photo album, only the pictures moved and talked.

I thought it might be fun to post some of my older videos from that phone. Enjoy.
video

This is from two years ago, almost exactly. Sept. 2005, when I worked for the BYU Dry Cleaners.
video
Robby has since gotten married.
video

Another incident from when I worked at the cleaners. I've mentioned it before.
video

This one is from after we made our little video for the Liberty Square Academy Awards a couple years ago. We won the Comedy award, but I gotta be honest, it wasn't very stiff competition. Present are Jourdan, Dave, and Brad Kramer, who is almost home from his mission.
video
Note: It may look like there is nobody there, but we were early, and there were people in front of us. Not a lot, but I promise, we weren't the only ones there.


This guy is a riot, I don't know why I'm not better friends with him. I have only positive things to say. He is pretty tight with Eric, though.
video

Monday, September 24, 2007

Review: Hot Rod


I saw the movie Hot Rod over the weekend. Short review: Thumbs up.

It's pretty simple, really. Take two parts Napoleon Dynamite, one part Lazy Sunday, and a dash of UHF, and viola! Despite the simple recipe, the results are delicious.

If you like Samberg, you'll like Hot Rod. If you're not acquinted with his work, he basically got started making dumb videos with his friends to post online. NBC noticed, and he landed a gig as a regular on SNL. I'd never seen him before Lazy Sunday, but was an instant fan when I saw it. Incidentally, I think that was the first time I'd seen a video hosting site called YouTube.

He now is famous for the SNL Digital Shorts. So far as I'm aware, they're the funniest things on SNL.

But I digress. Hot Rod is funny because it's just like Samberg's other stuff. His style is...well...whatever he wants. It's not Will Ferrell gross-you-out humor. It's Andy Samberg you're-such-a-dork humor, which I like a lot more. Kinda reminds me of...well...me and my friends.

Want to make a rap out of sound bytes from an incidental apology half-way through the movie? Okay. How about an absurdly over the top homage to 80's action comeback movies? Deal. You want to throw a joke in the middle of the movie, not because it makes sense, but just because it's really funny? Sure. He pretty much does whatever seems funny at the time. And it usually is.

So don't expect complex comedy. This isn't Woody Allen making jokes about Pollack, Sartre, or Mcluhan. This is Andy Samberg making jokes about Stacey Q., Yuppies, and Evel Knievel. And you know what? You don't even have to know who they are to enjoy the idiot antics of a dumb kid trying to prove something to his step-dad.

Oh, ya, that's kinda what the movie is about. Whatever. Samberg is funny. See it at the dollars like I did.

The View is Great from here.



I just got a new office. It has two windows. I can see Mount Timpanogos from the North window, and Rock Canyon and Squaw Peak from the East.

So the question is, where do I go from here? I've been here five months and have an upstairs corner office? Isn't this the top?

I'd just like to point out

These guys commented on my blog.

Also, if anybody is interested in getting me an XO, it looks like they'll be available soon, at the screaming deal, one for the price of two!

That is all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Filthy Future


I dreamt last night of the future. Not any prophesy, mind you, just that's when it took place in the dream.

At the house I grew up in, I looked out the window of my childhood bedroom, but instead of seeing my neighbors' houses and the Arizona hills, I saw a river, and skyscrapers on the other bank. A hundred skyscrapers, tall and looming on the distant West bank. The river was filthy. Not a natural filth, this was no brown Colorado river. It was sludge, and trash, and pollution. The whole surface was littered with plastic wrappers, and foam cups, and every imaginable "disposable". It wasn't water you would want to touch. I'm not sure how much it was even water.

I went to a wrecking and salvage yard. Everything was rusted and falling apart. There was an old helicopter there, like the ones used by local news stations, only it was in gross disrepair. I thought maybe my friend Dan would be interested in it.

In this dream, I was a scientist, working on sustainable living practices. Somehow, I don't know if I had developed this or somebody else, but due to the lack of real and potable food, somebody had developed a "corn-flakes" type food that was made with ground rat bones and flesh. I suppose rodents may have been one of the only readily accessible sources of nutrition.

Everything was dead or dying. Civilization was falling apart and rotting in the grave it had dug for itself. I wonder if my old neighbor Jason thinks this is where we are headed?

In the midst of this, I somehow became privy to a "second chance" that was being developed. I was shown into a reinforced geodesic dome that had been erected by some group set on creating a haven from the rot. It was enormous, big enough to where I couldn't really see the other side, big enough to take in a small town. Inside, it was clean, and growing, and green and alive. There were buildings, yes, but they weren't skyscrapers, but looked like Spanish villas, with a pale white or beige stucco exterior, and tiled rust-red roofs. The structures weren't arranged in any efficient grid, but were scattered and casually strewn. There were plants everywhere, green and blooming.

There was a fat couple I was there with. They had just gotten there too, though I don't know how you maintain such a size when you have nothing but rat-flakes to subsist off of.

It was awful and wonderful, in that order.

Why do I have such dreams? This isn't the first one I've had like this, these sweeping visions of a fading and falling future. They're not visions of the actual future, but the potential extremes.

I had one this summer, where there had been a terrorist attack in Las Vegas. A suicide bomber had detonated a huge bomb at a famous theater there. Not a real theater, but it was called something like "Pedro's Mexican Theater". Sounds familiar. It killed 200,000 people in the immediate blast area.

My part of the dream took place in the aftermath, when commerce had stopped and the government was in essence powerless and dissolved. We were again in the house I grew up in. It was my immediate family, but we had taken in others as well, people who couldn't take care of themselves. I remember an old woman and abandoned children being there.

You know the food storage you had tucked away in the closet under the stairs growing up? The canned wheat and whole dried eggs and rice and beans you thought you'd never eat? We were eating that. My Mom was managing the rations, and all the lights were out.

I have these nightmares sometimes. Many of my dreams are at least mild nightmares. There were a couple this summer that I didn't record here because they weren't mild at all.

Well, there you have it. The confessions of my subconscious imagination, my looming doom and gloom gray matter, my muttering sci-fi mind. Maybe it's early-onset-dimentia.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mad Man


A couple years ago I took an LDS Cinema class. It was only offered once. I've mentioned it before, but I just came across a recording of the highlight of the semester. Richard Dutcher, of God's Army and Brigham City fame, came and lectured to our small class.

Now, this was the highlight not because I love Richard Dutcher (though Richard Dutcher certainly loves Richard Dutcher). On the contrary, I really don't like a lot of what he does in his movies. His films are invariably narcissistic, profane in a classical sense, and while they deal with issues of "Mormonism", they do not represent the faith and religious identity I have formed from this church. That sounds harsh, but I've never really enjoyed his no holds barred style. His films have always left me furrowing my brows, in either confusion or annoyance. I knew a guy who worked on Brigham City, and I guess a lot of the cast and crew felt much the same way. Probably more so.

No, him coming was a pleasure because of his outlandish style. I took six pages of notes, and if I ever find them (they may have been destroyed in a flood at my house a year ago) I will scan and post them here. Most of what I wrote was direct quotes. He had the most extreme things to say, and he would just say them so matter-of-fact-like. Things like, "Mormons don't watch enough rated R movies" and "If Joseph Smith were alive today, he would be disgusted with The Church."

It was also odd, because he would make perfectly reasonable, even insightful comments, and then follow them up with these extreme conclusions. And it sounded like his life had been much the same as his musings. He had at times been in Elders Quorum Presidencies, and at other times been totally inactive. Not just once of each, but vacillating back and forth. He asserted in that lecture that he would spend the rest of his life making LDS Cinema, regardless of the monetary costs. Unfortunately, he may have decided on the other end of that spectrum for good. On April 13, 2007, the Provo Daily Herald, published an open letter from Dutcher on its editorial page entitled, "Richard Dutcher: 'parting words' on Mormon movies" where he announced, "I am no longer a practicing member of the church." As controversial as he was, it is always sad to see somebody give up on the church that means everything to me.

Regardless, here is a recording of the lectures from when he spoke to our class. There are three sections, because he spoke for about three hours, and mini-discs only record an hour a piece. The mic was in the middle of the class, he was at the front, so the audio fidelity is not great. I hope you have headphones or some nice speakers.

These were recorded on the evening of March 28, 2006, in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower on BYU campus.

Richard Dutcher Lecture Part 1

Richard Dutcher Lecture Part 2

Richard Dutcher Lecture Part 3

Enjoy.

As Promised...


Here is a picture of the ball. It all played out exactly as I had hoped. I took it to my old boss at the BYU Laundry and asked if he could get Lavell's signature on the prized ball next time he came in (which is all the time). That's exactly what happened.

Any idea on how much this is worth? I mean monetarily. I don't think it's a fortune, but certainly more than I paid for the ball and the Sharpie. Call me shallow, but I'd like to know a dollar value, even if I'm not selling it yet.

Should I try to get Bronco Mendenhall to sign it too? I bet I could pull it off. I've gotten three big ones so far, I'll bet I could get more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The BYU Dream Ball

Remember that BYU Football I talked about a while ago? Well, I just got the value uped. I got LaVell Edwards to sign it. Pictures to come soon.

Awk-Ward

I never told you about my dream from a couple nights ago. It was a
social situation, a party or just some hang out gathering. There was me and my roommates and some other people from the ward. I was
trying my best to be on top, to impress, to be all those things everybody wants to be in a crowd. But I was bombing, and some of
my friends who are characteristically backward in a social setting were
soaring. They were funny and charming and warm. Good for them and all, but it was awful. I didn't like that dream.

Dream the next, another zombie dream. On a rooftop. I don't know if it
was me or if I was just observing. A man was fighting zombies. He was
unarmed, and just wailing on them. It was like watching Neo and The
Agent Smiths
. One man, but he was delivering inhuman blows.

I've decided that if you want to remember you dreams, start recording
them.

Mount Timpanogos






We had a lot of fun on that mountain. Problem is how much it hurts coming down. And even more when you're finally off the mountain. I'm not sore anymore, really. But I was. Bad.

I brought the video camera. It's like 25 minutes, so please, you don't HAVE to watch it, 'cause it's long. But if you really like watching people have fun, then by all means, this is better than any dumb ol' sitcom. Actually, that may not be true, but I hope you like it anyway.



Note: For those of you reading this on facebook, you'll have to go to the original blogger post to see the video.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some Workshop Stills

Remember when this summer I went to Hollywood? I just saw some of the footage from what we were shooting. Looks great, I'm really excited to see how it turns out. Here are some stills. Enjoy.



If you're wondering about the story, all I'm willing to tell is it's about a big hunter going after the biggest game of all, a high profile terrorist.

Also, I figured I might as well post some of the storyboard art. Why not, right?



They're rough, but that's all a storyboard is supposed to be. I took a storyboarding class a while back, and that was one of my failings. I always wanted to make them nice, clean, spend time on it. NO! Bad Austin! That is a poor investment of resources. Storyboards are only meant to communicate the general spacial aesthetic, i.e. what's in the frame, how it's in the frame, where the frame goes, etc. So, I'll work on that next time I'm making a movie.
Whenever that's going to be.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Reverend and the Makers

I stumbled upon a UK Top Ten Hits broadcast on the web today. I liked number ten, and liked each song progressively less as we got closer to #1. But here it is, #10 in the UK, Champion of the World by Reverend and the Makers.

I'm not really into the video, but I like the song quite a bit.

Also, I again had a dream last night that I no longer remember. I woke, remembered it fully, and knew that if I didn't tell somebody about it or write it down right away I would forget it. And I did, somewhere between my bed and the bathroom. But then at work, my coworker got out the sandwich with homemade strawberry jam that his wife had made, and I remembered. There was jam in that dream of mine. Homemade jam.

Friday, September 14, 2007

OLPC @ BYU


(Above) This is a working prototype. So yes, I can now say I have played with the OLPC laptop. And I still want one. There is talk of even selling them as a philanthropic endeavor. If you buy one in the States, you pay double the price, thus supplying yourself and an underprivileged third world child. Buy your gadgets and feel great about it!




(Above) There are five (5) of these models in the world. Nicholas Negroponte has one. The Pope has one. This was one of the other three.



I just got back from a lecture by one of the chief conceptual designers behind the OLPC initiative. There were about 30 students there, most of them Industrial Design majors. I only heard about it through my roommate Justin (the guy in the orange shirt above). It was fascinating! Here are some of the thoughts I had.

-You know how they got this thing to fly? They faked it. They didn't have prototypes to show potential investors and philanthropists, they had plastic models. When Nicholas Negroponte was showing this off to everybody, he was using a cheaply (carefully and skillfully, yes, but cheaply) made model. It was faux wood with pins and plastic, etc. That's what he showed to Kofi Annan, that's what he gave the Pope when he wanted one (yes, the Pope called and asked for one), that's what he leaked to the world as the earth shattering innovation. When Negroponte himself leaked some of the first images of the OLPC, what he was really showing was a cardboard mock up.

-That picture with Kofi Annan? If he looks a little flustered, it's because he just broke the handle off the cheap model at a press meeting, and is trying to stick it back on. They wrote the designers asking for a repair kit. The designers sent them super-glue.

-They weren't selling a product, they were selling a vision. They weren't asking for money so they can give you something, they were asking for money to give the world something.

-They didn't have groundbreaking technology, they had groundbreaking objectives. Those objectives drove the innovation.

-Quanta (who probably manufactured the computer you are reading this on) called and offered them some impressive stuff. Those models had convinced the electronics manufacturing giant to bring the price down on some of their coolest technology. Those computers that have a swivel monitor? Quanta said they could add that feature on OLPC for $3 a pop. A humorous hypothetical: They may very well be using child labor in Malaysia or something to make those parts so cheaply. Those children are bound by poverty and ignorance. The company exploiting that offers to make cheap parts for a philanthropic tech initiative. Those parts make the $100 benchmark feasible, and the project moves forward. Those simplified laptops make their way back to the country of origin. The same kids whose nimble hands made the parts get those nimble hands on a web enabled PC. That portal offers them education. That education frees them from the ignorance and poverty that made the cheap parts available in the first place. It's a cycle that makes itself obsolete, much like 19th century imperialism. The "white man's burden" was to Christianize and civilize the world's "savages", the only way to do that is to dominate and tame them, and once that is accomplished, the white man no longer has any benevolent excuse. They must either leave or admit their alterer motives to perpetuate military occupation for economic gain, and even then, an enlightened and determined people will kick them out.
Note: Child Labor by Quanta = Very Hypothetical Speculation

-The keyboard is tiny and clearly meant for small hands.

-Some of their initial art looked remarkably similar to the phone I was taking notes on during the lecture, and took the preceding pictures with.


-I love being at a University where I can participate in this kind of thing. And in the same breath, I hate school. I hope you understand.

Oh, these Guys!

These guys are Hysterical and you should subscribe to their podcast (it's free). We discovered them a while ago when they were on NPR. I just saw a video of theirs, sent to me by a friend from my old French and Italian Cinema class. Part of the reason this is so funny is the specific references to French films we watched in that class. And the absurdity of what they are saying. I understand just enough of it to know it's nonsense. Please, if you can get a translator, do. And how much it reminded me of the plan we had for the last day class that we never followed through with. I badly wanted to wear a fake mustache and a tight stripped black and white shirt, a beret, and bring a large loaf of French Bread, and throughout the class, erupt in false-French laughter, a-la "AHh-haw-haw-haw-haw-haw!" I loved the teacher, though, and the teacher loved France, and I didn't want to risk offense.

Diagnosis, Please.

There is something wrong in my head. Nobody dreams about zombies this much. It's unhealthy, right? I mean, this has to be some kind of undiagnosed psychosis. And I really shouldn't be recording this in a syndicated forum that everybody who has any remote connection to me on the web can find and read. Somebody out there is going to know enough about dream psychology to figure out what this means, and then will I feel sheepish. They'll know more about my deep fears and anxieties than I do, and that can be a frightening prospect, exposed by your own ignorance, and what your own utterances and thoughts really mean.

If you figure it out, please let me know.

Regardless, I've started down this absurd path of recording my dreams, and I see no reason to stop here and now on this particular.

The dream last night played out like this.

I was a member of some kind of institution, like a prison system or the military, with very strict regulations, and I didn't get to see my family often. But it was a special occasion, and I was with my family. They were watching me in a diving competition, only it wasn't normal diving. I was diving from extremely high up, and instead of going straight down in freefall, the dive was more of a slide down an almost vertical decline, a tiled wall that was wet. I would dive down this smooth wall and slide down to a shallow pool at the bottom, much too shallow to actually be safe.

Regardless, we were at this competition, and went outside. There was a strange tremor underfoot, but not a conventional earthquake, mind you. It was like gravity was shifting, and we were all tossed about. Then the sun started to do strange things. It darkened, and shrank a little, then exploded. Chaos ensued, nobody knew what to do. I told my family that we had eight minutes before...well...I don't know. What happens when the sun explodes? The light in the sky was like twilight, everywhere now, and without a certain source. We scrambled inside for shelter from the oncoming fallout. Not that it would really help.

Thats when the zombies came. I have to assume it was some reaction to the sun, that this unheard of astronomical event had somehow spawned the reanimation of the recently deceased. I figured I knew a place to hide. I was the only one in my family who knew the building, we were at my institution, my territory. I tried to get them to this safe place, but there were just too many zombies. Everywhere we went in this building, there were the undead, staggering about, and slowly following wherever the living went. We tried to go upstairs, in various rooms, and even up a ladder to the roof (like that would be any protection from supernova fallout). It was futile, and bad enough to where I was fighting off the encroaching horde with my own two hands. I didn't even have a weapon.

That's the closest I've ever been in these stupid zombie dreams to being caught. Then I woke.

Well, there you have it. I have mental problems. If you have any helpful interpretation, or advise, or thoughts, let me know. It was kind of funny at first, but I'm really beginning to think there is something extremely odd about recurring zombie dreams.

UPDATE: I should mention a couple things I saw just before bed: this picture (which should explain the sun explosion), and this preview. I don't have any intention of seeing the movie, but George Romero did some interesting things by showing large portions of the film from a diegetic perspective. I wanted to get a glimpse of that.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Prediction

On Halloween of 2008, the IronMan costume will be big.

My sleeping mind is far more absurd than my waking one.

I don't remember my dream from last night, other than to say that this thought was going through my head when I finally woke up:
"If I don't save Radio Shack, then who will?"
Don't ask, I have no idea.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Annoying for Some, Fun for Me

I had a dream on the night between August 30 and 31st that I never published, but did record. Here is what I wrote:

"I dreamt last night that I had a tube that looked like it was made out of white abs pipe that had been sealed on both ends. It had probably a 2"-3" radius, was maybe a little over a foot long, and otherwise in appearance looked perfectly normal. However, the special thing about this pipe tube was how buoyant it was. It floated just like foam on water. And it was so buoyant that I could use it to lift myself up. I could hang off it and jump, and float around the room till I slowly came to a gentle land, or I could sit on it like a perch, like a bird on a wire, only flying without wings. I kept bumping into things in the room, and people too. They were all just mildly annoyed at my childish antics, not really grasping how cool this new toy was. Their loss.

On a strangely related note, some friends and I are going to the tumbling gym tonight. It should be lots of fun."

It was tremendous fun, if you were wondering.

Like Rabid Dogs

I had another zombie dream.

There was me, my dad, and a girl named Christina. We had a tank, and were going someplace, indiscriminately running over any zombies that happened to be in the way. But every now and then, we couldn't use the tank for some reason, and one of us would have to get out and go on foot for a while. We had some elaborate system of evading the zombies using fences. I'd make sure there weren't any zombies nearby, and I'd run to a nearby fence with supplies in hand. I'd quickly climb over, and as the zombies began to pursue, I'd try to douse them with some flammable liquid I had, the light them on fire as they tried to climb over the fence after me. It was harder then I had thought. They were faster than normal, and since when do zombies climb?

I saw part of the remake of Dawn of the Dead on TV a few months ago. Scared me. In all the old classic George A. Romero zombie flicks, the zombies are slow, halting, uncoordinated, sluggish at best. In this movie, they were like rabid dogs, angry and fast.

In my dream they weren't exactly rabid dogs, but more so than I was comfortable with. I kept being surprised by how fast and agile they were. I managed to get away, and then wake up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dragons and Mockery

I had a dream last night, that I remembered fully when I woke, but quickly forgot. I knew I would, I even thought to myself, I should write this down before I forget. But I was still in bed, and writing it down would have taken an effort to leave my warm sheets, which I wasn't at the time willing to do. I only remember a couple details.

Dragons were involved somehow. I think I had a few, as pets or some kind of collection. My friend Dan said something that we made fun of him for, something like he didn't know I had dragons, and I was like, How could you miss that?

But most of the the thing is gone from me. Dreams have such a cotton candy consistency, so easily picked apart and dissolved in the morning dew.

Hopefully next time I'll have the presence of mind to both remember the dream and willingness to leave my bed to record it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

To Sell, or Not To Sell

A guy who has been borrowing my tripod offered to buy it. For $200. I bought it a few months ago for $25. It's probably worth more than even $200, and I've had an offer to buy it before, but I turned that down because I didn't want to sell it. I still don't. But it would be nice to have $200. But I'd just spend it. Hmmm...what to do, what to do. I'd essentially be doing it as a favor. He needs it, is willing to pay for it. But I don't really need the money, and I like my tripod, even if I don't use it very often. He would use it all the time.

Why is this even a question in my mind? I don't want to sell it, so why would I? Because it would really help out this guy, that's why. But he's practically a stranger to me, I don't owe him anything. But how often do I/should I operate out of sheer obligation? This doesn't even make sense, I should just keep it.

On a totally unrelated note, I really like this song (slash video). Just bought it from iTunes.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mirror in the Bathroom

I like this song

It is not new. Not at all.

Never Enough

I have a long list of blog topics. I'd love to cover them all. But I also have real things to do. My room is badly in need of cleaning. And I just remembered my laundry has been in the machine for days. And I need to pay bills. And do homework. And prepare a lesson for Sunday. And mow the lawn. And wash my car. And organize my closet. And take old clothes to D.I. And write the great American novel. And film a masterpiece. And paint one too. And clean the bathroom. And read more. And backup everything on my computer. And organize my office. And decorate. And write more letters.
And go to bed.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shallow vocab

I've decided after reading over some of my rants that I should eliminate the mild-ish harsher language from my vocabulary. Even nonsense symbols and characters indicating foul language.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Running Thought

I'm going to try to make running a regular part of my life again. It hasn't been for about the past year. I've always enjoyed running, and being busy is no excuse to stop. It's so good for me in so many ways, long term and immediate.
I love thinking while running, and always seem to have clarity on those runs. I should share those thoughts here, I've decided.

I thought about a couple things. Here are some of them. They may seem muddled, but they are perfectly clear in my mind.

1) Coincidence forgoes Omniscience. What I mean is, if you are a person who believes in a conventional deity, i.e. an all-knowing, all-powerful God, then what is coincidence? The very idea of coincidence supposes incomplete or flawed knowledge. Something happens and you say, Oh, what are the odds of that?! But that simply loses all meaning for a person of faith. Coincidence is necessarily unforeseen. But for One who sees everything? If there is a being who is omniscient and omnipotent, then what is calculated, planned, and choreographed on His part, and what is simply allowed to happen? There ceases to be much distinction. "Coincidence" is at best a term denoting our lacking perception, but for the true believer, I suppose coincidence doesn't exist at all. The same goes for some intellectuals.
I'm obviously not the first person to have this thought.

2) Academia shouldn't construct false obstacles in the name of preparation, the greater good, the real world, or any other ridiculous reason. I am infuriated by teachers that make things hard hard hard, giving you Cs on all your assignments, telling you how strict the admission policy is, only to have everybody get a B or higher, and everybody gets into the program. Tell me, what eternal principle is that supposed to emulate? What real world situation works like that? The reasoning, of course, is if they can get over my silly high standards, then they will be able to surmount whatever demands the future makes of them. FALSE, that is. If you want students to learn how to achieve the highest heights, then give them a real and natural height. If you want students ready for the real world, give them real world assignments. And I don't mean assignments that look like the real world, or are as good an approximation as you can construct. If you want it to be like the real thing in every way, then give them the real thing, and if you're trying to give them higher standards than any real situation would ask, then WHAT THE *$%&#@* ARE YOU DOING? WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE MY LIFE HELL? WHAT DID I DO TO YOU? If you want students to be prepared for what's outide the classroom, give them an actual task from outside the classroom. I took a class where our assignment for the semester was to start a successful business. It wasn't simulate a business, it wasn't write out what you would do if you were starting a business, it was start a real-deal, no-jokes, legally incorporated business. You know what that does? It gives students motivation. They want to treat it like the real thing because it is. Not some absurd arbitrary construct made up by the teacher in what appears to be an exercise in cruel and unusual punishment. If I remember correctly, most people pay to get an education, whether that be through taxes or tuition, and the role of the teacher is to teach, to instruct, to edify, to help. NOT to make a monkey jump through hoops, certainly not to make their students feel like lesser primates, performing for peanuts in the form of premier lettering on the top of their papers and transcripts, i.e. a big fat A+. In short;
Teachers, treat your student like people. Better yet, people you care about personally. You'll get better results.

3) The guy who lived at our house before us came over and noticed a couch he had left here. He demanded it back. He hadn't said anything about coming to get it since he moved out, and then his story was something like, I'll come back tonight or tomorrow and get it. He didn't. He came back four months later, and got all indignant that we didn't want to give it back. That couch has become a fixture in the home. He never informed anybody that he had plans to retain it. He could have come and gotten it. He should have taken it with him when he moved. He could have had a friend come get it if he was leaving Utah for the summer. If this had been an apartment complex, they would have thrown it away and charged him a service fee. My roommate Dave, who handled the situation with considerable grace, gave him the option of buying it back at a very reasonable price, of paying a storage fee, and paying for the steam cleaning it's gotten since we've had it. Dude refused. Instead, he showed up with a van and some brute to lug it into the van and frighten off anybody who would challenge them. Dave stood his ground and told them he wasn't unlocking the door for them to get it. Good Job, David.

What do you think? If Dude leaves his huge couch here for four months, is it his anymore, and does he have the right to come here and demand it back?

Your Mamba


UPDATE: The parts of the movie you don't really like? Those are the parts my roommates came up with. Directorial power was far too fluid and communal in this production.

This is the movie we made almost two years ago. Mind you, it was written and filmed in one night, and edited in another. If we were to do it again, it would be tremendously improved, in every way. Regardless, it was pretty fun, even though the finished product isn't exactly Oscar worthy. At least not a real Oscar; we did win our apartment complex's version of the Academy Awards. We got a trophy and a hundred dollars.
Proudly Presented in Widescreen, though I don't know how to reformat the page so it fits. Enjoy.
Also we've decided it's high time to make another fun movie.
P.S. I understand we don't have the rights to any of this music, and we didn't really plan on winning any money, but now I'm in gross violation of copyright law. Don't tell the RIAA.
P.S. Again- The audio is awful. Forgive me.