Archive for December, 2007

Frets on Fire!

Posted in Entertainment, Games, Humor with tags , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2007 by blakejohnson

No doubt most of you have at least heard of the rampaging game Guitar Hero, or played it.  Well, that’s all fun and good, but the super hardcore kids get to play Frets on Fire, an open source game for Windows/Mac OS X/Linux that lets you not only play just like Guitar Hero (though not commercial music), but you get to rock the crap out of your keyboard while doing it (no kidding, you actually hold it like a guitar, check out the demo video).  I was pretty into this game when I first found it, and the how-to-play video is quite entertaining, judging by the demo video mentioned above.  I’d love to give it a try, but I don’t want to put it on my Windows video system, and the only other computer I’ve got is a MacBook… (if you watch the demo video, you’ll see how hard this game would be to play on a laptop).  It looks like an awesome game though, and I would highly recommend if you’ve got access to either a USB or wireless keyboard, or another monitor (the extra keyboard would be better for laptop users), then go ahead and give it a shot!  (Of course full-sized desktop system users are already set up to play this without the extra keyboard or monitor).  Let me know if you try it out!

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Friend & Freeware

Posted in Blog, Friends, Me Online, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2007 by blakejohnson

I wanted to take this opportunity to announce two things (really three).

First, I’ve added another friend’s blog to the Blogroll section on the right-hand menu, so check that out when you get a chance.  He was a friend of mine when I lived in Colombia.  Not too close, but we knew each other, and we had the same group of friends.  It’s cool to keep up with old friends like that.  Check his site out by the link to the right, or here.

Second, I found an incredible listing of freeware/open source/GPL-licensed software today form one single site.  It’s amazing.  I’m not even going to go into details, but they’ve got everything, and it kept me busy going through only half of the page for about 4 whole hours.  Yea.  It’s that kind of incredible.  Here’s the link, check it out if you’re interested… and I bet you are ;).

Thirdly, I’ve updated the AV blog twice today, which is a big change from my typical habits with that blog, since I don’t usually update that one all that much, unfortunately.  The first update actually includes the site I mention above, but the second update is about the final film shoot for my short film The Waiting Room.  I’m super excited to get that finally done, and tomorrow (err…today) I’m going to edit the last bits of footage together and try to get a rough cut online for some friend’s critique, and look into music for it.  I’ll keep updating on that as it progresses.

I’m really liking the fairly reliable updating of this blog recently, especially those posts accompanied by Flickr uploads.  I love the layout and usability of Flickr and the nice-looking calendar and image pages are great ways to share my photos with people through this blog.  It’s a fun thing to do at night when I have time during commercial breaks from Man vs. Wild or some such nonsense thing.  Heh.  Thanks for reading, enjoy the links.  It’s bed time now for me ;).

Late Night 80's Sci-Fi

Posted in Film, News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2007 by blakejohnson

Holy cow.  Yea.  That’s about all I can think to say about this movie.  Tonight I had planned on having Elliot over for some filmmaking fun, but the weather tonight (freezing rain and other yucky circumstances) prevented that from happening.  It might have been just as well, since I was exhausted when I got home from work and was ready to collapse on the floor.  Of course then I showered and was revitalized for my late night 80’s sci-fi adventure.  Which brings me back to the main point of this…

I was going to watch a few sci-fi/horror movies with Elliot when he was here including The Insatiable, Soylent Green and Guyver.  I only ended up getting Guyver since I found out Elliot wasn’t coming, and oh by was I in for a surprise.  I thought Mark Hamill was good in Star Wars, and this movie sure is discouraging me from looking any further into his career.  As an actor, he does a fine job, decent.  But the movie is pretty close to god-awful.  It’s the typical cheesy 80’s puppetry (which they even used in Star Wars) with some crazy sort of twist that involves a scientific corporation developing something in relation to aliens who came to earth and created humans who are shapeshifters and can change into anything at any time, which is where all that crazy puppetry comes in.  Now I know this isn’t technically an 80’s movie since it was released in 1991, but the puppetry is equal to that of the original TMNT and films like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal… only bad.  But I guess that’s part of the fun of watching those movies now – to remember the fun it was the first time seeing it, and to relive the excitement of a childhood favorite, while at the same time mocking its ridiculous production value, especially in comparison to the stuff we see nowadays with the same kind of studio backing as those 80’s puppet-fests.

And I mean wow, did this film let me lose interest.  It’s fun to watch, a great laugh-out-loud-at-the-ridiculousness-of-the-thing kind of movie, but nothing I’d watch again, and certainly not under any serious or thoughtful circumstances.  However, if you’ve got some good-natured friends who loved some of the films I mentioned above, then this might be the choice for you guys to watch and pick apart some night when it’s cold and nasty outside and the food’s a-cookin’ inside, ready for a serious midnight chow-down with some guys and some mockery of a cheesy out-of-it’s-time (quite literally) sci-fi puppet movie.  I mean seriously, it just belongs in the 80’s, with all the rest of the goofy puppet movies.  Oh well.  Enjoy the (semi)recommendation, if not the others mentioned throughout the entry.  And if your weather’s anything like mine at the moment (because it is most certainly my weather), then I hope things are better in the morning for ya…. or else you might just be forced to bring this home and watch it during the day!

Late Night 80’s Sci-Fi

Posted in Film, News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2007 by blakejohnson

Holy cow.  Yea.  That’s about all I can think to say about this movie.  Tonight I had planned on having Elliot over for some filmmaking fun, but the weather tonight (freezing rain and other yucky circumstances) prevented that from happening.  It might have been just as well, since I was exhausted when I got home from work and was ready to collapse on the floor.  Of course then I showered and was revitalized for my late night 80’s sci-fi adventure.  Which brings me back to the main point of this…

I was going to watch a few sci-fi/horror movies with Elliot when he was here including The Insatiable, Soylent Green and Guyver.  I only ended up getting Guyver since I found out Elliot wasn’t coming, and oh by was I in for a surprise.  I thought Mark Hamill was good in Star Wars, and this movie sure is discouraging me from looking any further into his career.  As an actor, he does a fine job, decent.  But the movie is pretty close to god-awful.  It’s the typical cheesy 80’s puppetry (which they even used in Star Wars) with some crazy sort of twist that involves a scientific corporation developing something in relation to aliens who came to earth and created humans who are shapeshifters and can change into anything at any time, which is where all that crazy puppetry comes in.  Now I know this isn’t technically an 80’s movie since it was released in 1991, but the puppetry is equal to that of the original TMNT and films like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal… only bad.  But I guess that’s part of the fun of watching those movies now – to remember the fun it was the first time seeing it, and to relive the excitement of a childhood favorite, while at the same time mocking its ridiculous production value, especially in comparison to the stuff we see nowadays with the same kind of studio backing as those 80’s puppet-fests.

And I mean wow, did this film let me lose interest.  It’s fun to watch, a great laugh-out-loud-at-the-ridiculousness-of-the-thing kind of movie, but nothing I’d watch again, and certainly not under any serious or thoughtful circumstances.  However, if you’ve got some good-natured friends who loved some of the films I mentioned above, then this might be the choice for you guys to watch and pick apart some night when it’s cold and nasty outside and the food’s a-cookin’ inside, ready for a serious midnight chow-down with some guys and some mockery of a cheesy out-of-it’s-time (quite literally) sci-fi puppet movie.  I mean seriously, it just belongs in the 80’s, with all the rest of the goofy puppet movies.  Oh well.  Enjoy the (semi)recommendation, if not the others mentioned throughout the entry.  And if your weather’s anything like mine at the moment (because it is most certainly my weather), then I hope things are better in the morning for ya…. or else you might just be forced to bring this home and watch it during the day!

Christmas 2007

Posted in Family, Humor, Life, News, People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2007 by blakejohnson

Christmas this year was quite a good one.  It was simple, warm and happy.  Nothing big, present- or event-wise, just a nice homey, family day.  Kind of what it’s supposed to be, I think, anyway.  I got a nice 6 megapixel Olympus digital camera, and I’ve been taking photos and playing with iPhoto nonstop since.  It’s an awesome little gadget, and actually one I’d been hoping to have at some point soon, but hadn’t said anything about to anyone yet.  iPhoto offers some really cool organizational and importing features, including tagging and organizing into either folders or albums, complete with keywords and some pretty admirable image editing tools.  I’ve actually also uploaded some Christmas pictures from yesterday onto my Flickr account, and am going to post here for all you guys to see.

Right now I’m watching a mockumentary by Zak Penn called Incident at Loch Ness, a fairly funny little flick with a great back-cover description.  It’s a bit slower than I’d thought it’d be, but it is indeed, like the back cover says, a pretty well done indie style flick.  Good fun for a group of witty friends and some nighttime snacks.  Heh.  Yea.

Here’s wishing you a great holiday season, and hopefully I’ll get some updates up within the next few days with some videomaking progress and fun time with Elliot, who’s coming down tomorrow for some finishing up of The Waiting Room, and of course we’re hoping to do some other things as well.  But I’ll update with whatever happens on that front.  Have a great last few days of 2007!

New Year's Resolution

Posted in DIY, Inspiration, Life, News, Productivity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2007 by blakejohnson

Well, it’s that time of year again, and though I’m not usually making New Year’s Resolutions around this year (in fact, resolution means image quality to me, not decision-making), but I was thinking about it today and had an idea.  I’ve decided I’m going to aim to create something every month.  One thing, completed, each month.  Nothing too ambitious, since it can be anything from making a t-shirt (all of 10 minutes) to writing a short story or writing and recording a piece of music.

I really love making things, be they crafts or websites, stories or movies, and I want to find some way to pursue that love on a small scale, but dependably, so I don’t come to the end of another year wondering what I did with all that time, having nothing to show for another year gone.  So that’s my goal; I’m going to make something each month, and it’ll be posted online in some form, depending on what it is (movies on YouTube, pictures on Flickr, crafts on…Flickr, etc.).  I’m excited to get to try making something each month and trying new things.

That’s really another reason for this goal, is the trying of new things.  I’ll try making some new food, try some new craft, try writing an idea that I just realized made sense to me, or something old that’s been percolating for years.  It’s basically a chance for me to create an outlet for my ideas and creativity, and the by-product is to show the world (or my friends and family, anyway) through the internet.  It’ll give me an outlet, a chance to branch out, and something to be proud of at the end of another year.  I’ll have something to show that I made use of my time, that my year was worthwhile, and that I’m proud of it – to at least some degree.  And heck, everything’s a learning experience, right?  So I’m bound to learn something from this at some point or another.  What are you going to do in the new year?  Share in the comments section.

New Year’s Resolution

Posted in DIY, Inspiration, Life, News, Productivity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2007 by blakejohnson

Well, it’s that time of year again, and though I’m not usually making New Year’s Resolutions around this year (in fact, resolution means image quality to me, not decision-making), but I was thinking about it today and had an idea.  I’ve decided I’m going to aim to create something every month.  One thing, completed, each month.  Nothing too ambitious, since it can be anything from making a t-shirt (all of 10 minutes) to writing a short story or writing and recording a piece of music.

I really love making things, be they crafts or websites, stories or movies, and I want to find some way to pursue that love on a small scale, but dependably, so I don’t come to the end of another year wondering what I did with all that time, having nothing to show for another year gone.  So that’s my goal; I’m going to make something each month, and it’ll be posted online in some form, depending on what it is (movies on YouTube, pictures on Flickr, crafts on…Flickr, etc.).  I’m excited to get to try making something each month and trying new things.

That’s really another reason for this goal, is the trying of new things.  I’ll try making some new food, try some new craft, try writing an idea that I just realized made sense to me, or something old that’s been percolating for years.  It’s basically a chance for me to create an outlet for my ideas and creativity, and the by-product is to show the world (or my friends and family, anyway) through the internet.  It’ll give me an outlet, a chance to branch out, and something to be proud of at the end of another year.  I’ll have something to show that I made use of my time, that my year was worthwhile, and that I’m proud of it – to at least some degree.  And heck, everything’s a learning experience, right?  So I’m bound to learn something from this at some point or another.  What are you going to do in the new year?  Share in the comments section.