Friday, May 30, 2003
The Wide World of Mocap
I've been looking for something entertaining for some time to describe to all you fine folks just what it is that I do for a living. Motion Capture is a pretty dry business; it's just as much technical as it is art, so it's difficult to show it off in a manner that is informational and at the same time non-drowsy.
Well, I've found a guy that's done it. The Man Behind the Motion is not only one of the funniest things I've seen in quite awhile, but um...how do I say this...I work with people like this guy. I might even be that guy. Who knows.
But check it out, and understand just what it is that I do, won't you?
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Coolest Man Alive
As if being Neo wasn't cool enough, Keanu evidently is going to give the Special Effects crew for the Matrix movies About 100 million dollars (I'm sure I have the 50 million pounds to dollars ratio off) for their "unsung" work on the movies.
I mean, Jaybus. I would have given my left arm just to be one of the SFX guys on the movie, let alone get paid to work on it. Then throw on a $3.5 million dollar icing on that cake? You could pretty much guarantee my firstborn child would be named Keanu Wachowski Bowler.
Oh, and lest you think this was a one-time thing, he gave each of his stuntmen a Harley Davidson when the previous movie wrapped.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
As some of you may know, the wife and I were looking for a house (ours is now on the market). At one point, we thought we had found the house we wanted (and despite trying not to, we really wanted it).
Well, those hopes are dashed now. As it turns out, there was a reason the house was on the market for 140 days: it has mold and radon problems.
While those problems are a lot easier to deal with than the previous half-week long position of "don't bother buying this house" we got from the seller's agent, they do teach us an important lesson: Don't get attached to something you can't have. Now when we look for the next house, I will be much more reserved in my enthusiasm, until such time as we know for sure it's a buyable home.
Until then, I'll be counting unhatched chickens.
Friday, May 23, 2003
So you say you want your very own Predator-style Optical Camouflage suit?
Well, if you can wait about a decade, I think these guys are on the right track. Fiber Optic light-up clothes that have their own computer chip controller and power source. Future versions will include sensors that will have the colors change depending on body temperature, heart beats, or external environmental factors.
I'll take two, please.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
I can't believe how tired I am.
Here's what got done today:
7:30 am: Got up. Took shower.
8:00 am: Meet brother-in-law at door; start working on tile backsplash for stove.
10:30 am: Finish installing tile on backsplash.
11:00 am: Begin trying to comprehend Wagner Power-Painter instructions.
11:15 am: Time's a-waistin'! Start throwing paint in the Wagner can and start spraying doors.
11:17 am: Become pissed when Wagner Power-Painter becomes Wagner Power-Spitter as it is now throwing globs of paint onto your door.
11:30 am: Curse Wagner and his entire progeny for making such an ass-tastic paint gun.
11:35 am: Wonder why you didn't just borrow your other brother-in-law's car-painting gun and the compressor, because, you know, air-guns don't fucking clog and spit paint like that.
11:45 am: Swear constantly for five straight minutes as the paint can on the Wagner Ass-Matic drops from its housing three feet straight down onto floor as a fountain of paint erputs from the impact of said can onto said floor which flies twenty fucking feet onto the goddamned driveway.
11:46 am: Wife is outside helping you clean white paint off of your black driveway.
12:00 am: Resume painting. Wonder aloud (with multiple curse words and phrases dashed in here and there) why any engineer in their right mind would make the paint can on a severely vibrating device *screw* into its housing. It's like asking a three year old to hold a gallon of milk. Sooner or later, it will drop.
12:00 am - 5pm. Continue painting doors. Adopt a strategy which has the Power-Puker spit globs of paint on your door (inbetween fine mists), and then proceed to quickly brush door to even out paint. It's not as fast as Power-Painting, but it's way faster than applying the paint with the brush.
5:30 pm: Wonder how in the hell you managed to paint ELEVEN DOORS in one day. Oh, and tile the backsplash, too.
5:30 - 7:00pm: Install all eleven doors. Wonder how you fucked some of them up so badly that they won't close now. Thrill at the added work this brings to your already tight schedule of having the house ready for sale by Wednesday.
7:30 pm: Return wet-saw to Home Depot that you rented from them last night. Wait at the tool-rental counter for half an hour because Home Depot still hasn't figured out that renting shit that costs $500 for about fifty bucks might be a popular idea. More than one guy working the counter on the weekends might be a good idea.
8:15pm: Try and grab dinner at Culvers. Forget that it's not fast food (just greasy), and sit in car for ten minutes waiting for food to show up.
9:30pm: Help Liz move more boxes into storage. Wash a load of laundry. Wonder how you got eleven doors painted in five hours, but how you haven't gotten jack shit done in the last five.
10:00pm: Tape off trim in kitchen for priming.
10:30pm: Prime most of the trim in kitchen. Worry that the chain-smoking owners who lived here before you have tainted this trim with their smoke. Try not to think about some of the other trim in the house that required five coats of paint to cover the tobacco stains that had accumulated over the past 13 years they lived here.
11:30pm: Quit working, and sit down at computer for a few minutes to just Blog your brains out.
I've been doing this pace for the past five days. My back feels like it's made out of knotted bricks, and it's not over yet.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
It's the Question That Drives Us
Okay, it's roughly 29 hours 'till I see Matrix: Reloaded, and I have two thoughts blazing through my mind.
1). Will the Media Frenzy please hold off for like, 29 more hours? Why is it that last time around nobody gave a rat's ass about the movie, and now they all want to spoil it before anyone goes to see it?! Today on the news they were showing way too much of the car-chase clips (i.e. more than those seen in trailers), and had an interview with Hugo Weaving I really would have enjoyed listening to if they didn't keep showing footage of the movie while he was talking. For crying out loud! At least wait 'till the movie's out!
2). This movie's going to rock. I was actually worried that it wasn't, but a friend of mine whose opinions I trust says that a reviewer stated "great action, but weird plot." The reviewer then went on to explain that he really didn't get the first Matrix movie until about the third viewing on DVD, and said that the plot had him "confused like Signs."
Any action movie whose plot is compared to a M. Night masterpiece is going to fucking ROCK, let alone a Wachowski Matrix sequel.
Only 28 hours and 45 minutes to go...
Monday, May 12, 2003
The Matrix is Telling Me Your Advertising is Limp, and Pathetic
Well, since Lucas has now been dethroned (at least in my opinion, your mileage may vary) as far as special effects and my favorite movies of all time goes, it only stands that he be dethroned in the marketing arena as well. While I'm not a big fan of the Matrix tie-in advertisements (I've only seen the Powerade one, and Heineken, please understand that Trinity is not a fucking barmaid, mkay?), I have to say that I'm pleased that I'm not such a rabid fanboy that I find myself not drooling over the commercials. If anything, it proves to myself that the Matrix movies, insofar as entertainment is concerned, are solid pieces of fiction to watch, and not just powered by fanmania.
And allow me to say how pleased I am that I'm not getting wood over the new Samsung Matrix Phone. If they had done this with the original Matrix phones that popped down, I would have jumped all over that, but those were only usable in Europe and Australia due to crazy FCC signal strength regulations. These new phones look over-designed, and for christ's sake, they don't even have a camera in them. Nokia's already offering video-capture cel phones, and the Matrix Phone doesn't even allow me to take a picture.
If I could talk to Tank on it, well, that would be a different point altogether, wouldn't it.
Most Extremely Entertaining Challenge
It's no secret: I love stupid people acting stupid and doing stupid things. The love grows even stronger when stupid people manage to somehow hurt themselves in the process.
Now, take said stupid people, make them all Japanese, and throw in a dash of some hilarious over-dubbed play-by-play and color commentary, and you have the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. I mean, where else can you find a show that has an obviously Japanese man named Eric McIntyre falling so hard his ribs should be broken, and meanwhile the commentators (who are obviously overdubbed and are not doing a literal translation) are talking about his job at the Dairy Council as a Cow Inseminator?
First Announcer: "Hey, I can't believe that guy uses his own hands!"
Second Announcer: "I can't believe he uses his own semen!"
Please, people. Please make time for this show. You'll laugh so hard it hurts.
"We put the F-U back in Fun!"
Thursday, May 08, 2003
In a Related Story
For those of you in the Chicago area, you may have heard about the Powder Puff Hazing incident that happened at Glenbrook North High school, the hazing may come as shocking news.
For me, there may be even more shocking news.
Evidently there was a young man from the high school interviewed on ABC News who was named James Bowler (the same last name as myself). Coincidence? It may go further.
My biological father (the one who supplied the DNA and the last name) stopped talking to me 15 years ago. At the time, he had three children with his new wife: Joshua, Jesse, and Jillian. I think they had a fourth son around that time named Andrew which they renamed Jacob to keep with the "J" theme (which I thought was a less than artful way to name your children, but whatever). They may have had a fifth child for all I know. Like I said, Tom (the bio-dad) stopped talking to me, so I have no idea what happened from there, or if they moved to the north side of the Chicago burbs.
If someone can find me the videotape footage (ABC is the only one I've seen that has it, and they want me to subscribe :P), please forward me the location of it so I can look at this kid's face and see if he's my half-brother.
[Update]: Talked to Mom and she thinks that Tom didn't have enough money to move to the north side of Chicago. She may be right, because I think I saw Tom in a Best Buy about 4 years ago on the west side. That still gives him 4 years to find a job that pays well enough to find a house on the north side, though. So who knows.
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
A Sure Sign of the Apocalypse
Have you ever been driving down a highway, and nobody else was on it? This can be one of the most disconcerting things ever. Today on the way into work, as I turned onto 90, I noticed that there weren't any cars on the highway I was turning onto.
Driving on a highway during rush hour that has no other cars on it is straight out of some post-apocalyptic nightmare. The mind immediately starts to wander, did a bomb go off? Was there a plague? Am I the only person left on the planet? When your world is fully populated, having it suddenly unpopulated is startling and just a bit uncomfortable.
I'm imagining that going into a mall on a Saturday afternoon and finding all the shops open, all the lights on, but completely devoid of people would be equally disconcerting.
At any rate, at least no planes landed on my car.*
* I'm well aware that this link is like 5 years behind the hip curve.
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Wife is singing action music into phone as we look at moving and storage webpages.
Me: What is this, the action search? ::starts singing action music too::
Wife: Yeah, it's the A-Team of searches.
Me: ::changes action music singing to A-Team theme::
Wife: The A-Team was like G.I. Joe [the cartoon]! No one ever got killed!
Me: Except that G.I. Joe never used home-made cabbage launchers as a weapon, which makes them more real.
Monday, May 05, 2003
Today I wrote a check for $55.03, and today's date is 5-5-03.
Needless to say, I'm stupified by the ramifications. Coincidence? Read the book.
Thursday, May 01, 2003
The Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
I'm back! And I have to tell you it was difficult being away during Earthlink's imposed prison sentence. I have so much to tell you!
But not right now, because I'm at work, and I have to get about 8 gajillion things done in time for E3. No, I'm not going, but my game is, and it needs my tender, loving care presently. Check back around lunch-time and hopefully I'll have some more interesting stuff to show you.
Oh, and you hundred or so folks who kept checking in here every day? Don't think I didn't notice (thanks to Urchin I could still see that people were showing up here every day in some sort of either stupid forgetfullness or crazy fanaticism. I'm going with fanaticism). I still love you.