Archive for September, 2007

I Got A Bit Distracted, Plus Halloween!
 

So it was my goal to finish two whole chapters of the dissertation this weekend, one each day. The foundations are already there, I just needed to craft them into the finished pieces. I only got one almost done. I did get a bit distracted. However one is better than none. I have made up a timetable schedule that I’m determined to stick to that should have me churning out 3 chapters a month over the next 3-4 months, turning them in to my committee each month and demanding feedback from them. This should put me in good standing come the beginning of the Spring semester to just finally, once and for all, get done. It’s going to take a lot of discipline on my end to basically sit at the PC and just work and not let myself be distracted.

Tomorrow is October 1st, the first day of the month of Halloween! When I was a kid I decorated our house up for a few years in a row so that basically, if you were at the end of our block, you could spot our house in the dark because every window was lit up with glowing ghosts and other spooks. For some reason I got it in my head today that by damn, I was decorating the front of our house this year! I’m going to hit the Halloween Superstore and TarJay this week to by bunches of tombstones, lights, ghosts, masks and everything I need. I have a plan in my head, I just have to see if I can make it happen. If I can, be prepared for tons of photos! We don’t get any trick-or-treaters because of where we live, but we do have people who will see it as they drive by or go on hayrides and stuff at the farm at night, so that’s good enough for me.

-Dustin

It
 

So Emily came over after all for movie night. We watched “Poltergeist,” because she never saw it. Now we are about to watch “Halloween,” as she’s never seen it either. Kids! She’s never seen any of the “Star Wars” films either. Can you believe that?

I also showed her the ghost detector and called the ghost out to make her see it works. Unfortunately I made the mistake of telling her the ghosts name. Now she keeps calling the ghost to give her high fives. I told her it’s going to push her over if she doesn’t stop it.

-Dustin

Cancelled!
 

So movie night with Emily has been cancelled, well postponed again till next weekend. She seems to have caught the virtual blog sickness. It’s like “The Ring,” transferred through technology! I’m still getting over my cold too, and as usual with me, when it rains it pours. I passed a kidney stone this morning. I felt the signs of one coming on last night. Fortunately it magically moved through the night and it didn’t seem to get stuck anywhere and send me into excruciating pain. It came out with almost no problems this morning.

In two weekends Keith is going to make another attempt to come up and visit. This trip too has been postponed many times. He swears he is coming this time, no cancellations. We shall see :)

I’m going to take advantage of the nice fall weather this weekend to try and take some pictures and movies of the farm. Then when I get time I’ll put them together for my first video blog, probably sometime next week. I have a full schedule this weekend of school work. I’ve mapped out what I’m doing each day and by damned I will not let myself be distracted! I will allow myself downtime at night and a break now and then during the day (which is when I’ll take the photos and movies probably).

Recovering
 

I did in fact get hit with the virtual blog cold :( However I am doing much better today than I was yesterday, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll be almost back to normal. I had to force myself to go to bed really early (cold medication has helped there) and I think the good nights sleep have helped. I need to be 100% by this weekend’s movie night, or Emily will come over and kill me while I sleep and then I’ll be another ghost in the house!

Alas I haven’t been experimenting with the video blog software because I’ve been sick. I don’t need to be on camera looking like hell :) I have a couple ideas for what to do, I just have to figure out and of course find the time to execute them.

Virtual Blog Cold?
 

So first up, several of you out there have been blogging about how you have caught colds in the past 2 days or so. Somehow, by reading your blogs, it seems I may have contracted your virtual viruses! My ears are plugged up and my throat developed that burning sensation this afternoon. Grrrrrr! If I wake up miserable tomorrow I won’t be a happy camper.

I was able to make my first video using the video maker package I downloaded. I was pretty impressed with it. It had an opening title screen, a transition into an video intro by me, followed by a sideshow of images. It finished up with rolling credits. I still need to learn how to add in overdubbed audio, music and sound effects, but I’ll do that in time. I have 28 days before this trial package wears out, but I’m impressed enough to buy it. Once I figured out how to do each thing, it really is a snap to do. I wish I could share the movie, but it contains a few rater R photos, and if I shared it and it was found out, I’d probably be in trouble :) Hopefully this week I WILL have one to share. I just um, have to figure out a topic? I might just do something easy, like the house and farm.

Emily and I were going to do movie night this weekend, but she got sicky so we had to forgo. We are going to do it next weekend and are going to watch “Halloween” and “Poltergeist,” unless something changes and we thing of other movies to watch instead. We are also going to then go through the corn maze, in the dark . . . . . . .

That’s it for now, I’m afraid I don’t have too much more to share at the moment.
- Dustin

Just Like, Stuff
 

So not much news to report. I went out looking for movie editing software, only to come home empty handed not knowing which one to buy. I researched the products on the net and am glad I did, the one I was going to buy is apparently crap! I also downloaded a trial version of another one I saw (Sony Vegas Movie Studio) and am going to give it a try and see how easy it is to use and stuff. I have found the webcams can be a problem, sometimes the audio doesn’t want to sync with the video. I’ll have to experiment with that, killing background processes on the laptop and other open applications to see if that helps. Hopefully if I can make something I’m happy with (yeah right) I’ll get it up soon!

In other news, my mom sent me this link to Travel Channel’s “Most Haunted” website. You can download their “Ghost Detector” on your phone. Of course she didn’t know it’s 99 cents a month. I got it anyways, hell it’s 99 cents a month (plus data rate charges, but I have a media package add on I hardly use aside from the text message park, so I’m fine). I wanted to see how it works. It of course works on the principle that ghosts give off electromagnetic frequencies, and phones can pick them up. Honestly I don’t know if I REALLY believe it works all that well, but it does seem to register the normal hot spots in the house from time to time (IE the upstairs area!). To be really accurate I probably need to shut down the computers, routers and anything that gives off a wireless signal (not easy since we have a wireless alarm system in the house!) I’ve been trying to film it to put online, the problem is every time I start talking about it and how it works, mentioning ghosts and hauntings and stuff, it goes off :)

-Dustin

My First Night Alone
 

Really nothing huge happened. The only visits from Mr. Ghost again seemed to be in my dreams. Not a peep out of him otherwise. I really tried to bring the animals upstairs, but Nikko is a little crapass when it comes to settling in on a bed. He has to jump off it and back on and back off if anything makes the slightest sound. Princess just sits there like, “please stop it.” He can’t sit still. I gave up and threw them out of the room :) I intended to bring them back when I was ready to zonk out, but since I slept half the day away with a migraine, I stayed up far too late.

I spent the night in bed watching TV really. I pretty much finished “American Gothic.” The DVD set has them out of order, so the final episodes were on the next to last DVD. Brilliant! Anyways, I was in fact left with a cliff hanger. I also watched “Dead or Alive,” a movie based on the video game series. This movie bombed in what few theaters it was shown in and basically is panned by any and all review sites. Well it’s a movie based on a video game, therefore it’s destined to pretty much suck isn’t it? I think “Resident Evil” is the only really good game to movie translation I can think of. I do however enjoy watching “Mortal Kombat” whenever it’s on TBS (usually when they’re not showing “The Mummy.”) For what it was, it was entertaining and enjoyable. If you’ve never played the games, you’ll probably just not enjoy the movie. The games are fighting games, and are known for, well the scantily clad women and their bouncing breasts. The movie did its best staying true to that aspect! Otherwise they just seemed to make up some story that didn’t really follow any of the storylines for the characters in the games as far as I could tell. I guess it’s not easy making a storyline for a game that really is just about a bunch of people fighting in a tournament.

That was really my fun night alone in a nutshell.

Tonight Is The Night Is The Night
 

The BF is gone, it’s just me, the animals and the ghosts. I had considered doing silly things, like setting the lap top op in the upstairs hall way area all night with the webcam going for people to ghost watch. However I figured the sounds it makes when someone comes onto the cam would be annoying. Plus search engine and spam bots make it go nuts if they hit the blog. I also was sidelined most of this afternoon and evening by a whopper of a migraine, so I didn’t get much of anything done. I’m about to head up stairs, with the animals and watch a movie. Hopefully the ghost will stay away.

-Dustin

I
 

I got my new pajama bottoms and decided to include a photo :)

img_4254.jpg

Yes, I did in fact buy Super Mario jamie pants. I know I know, you wish you had some too! They say, for the curious, ” Who’s Up For Italian.” I think that’s a tad sexual for Mario? I’m not sure. Oh well. Oh there is a better look at the china cabinet always behind me when I’m on cam. It always gets comments :) When I get the video editing software for my first video blog, I’ll be sure to mention it.

I leave you tonight with a commercial from the 80s for my favorite all time cereal, Fruity Marshmallow Crispies. Damn you Kellogs for stop making it!

Summer Days, Fall Nights
 

It’s that time of year, the days are still warm enough for shorts and short sleeves, the nights aren’t. The past few nights walking the dogs in my summer jammies and flip flops I’ve froze my butt off. Same around the house late at night, it’s an old and not well insulated (okay not at all) house. Time for the fall/winter jammies to come out, though I don’t have any! I need to hit Kohls and but some I guess, my old ones I think I threw out because they were a wreck.

Lately I’ve been tuning into “American Gothic,” the old TV show from 95. I didn’t watch the first time it was on. The BF kept bringing it up every time we watched “Medium,” as Jake Weber is in both shows, so I have rented the DVDs from Netflix. Bizarre show for sure! I do like it, but it only lasted one season, so I know I’ll be left with an unresolved cliffhanger at the end. I hate when networks cancel shows and leave the viewers hanging!

Last, but not least, for some reason I’ve decided I want to try my hand at doing a few videoblogs. I have web cams to record them, but nothing to really edit them and post them. Sure I could do a one shot deal, hope I don’t screw up, and put it on youtube. However I’d rather be able to post them here, as youtube advertising to the whole world a tad too much for my tastes. Anyone have recommendations of some good video editing software? Easy to use would be nice. Free would be nice too, but easy to use and free normally don’t go hand in hand :)

-Dustin