Archive for June, 2008

Wipeout
 

Yesterday I got the BRILLIANT idea to go rollerblading for exercise. I hadn’t used my blades in probably two years, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was in those two years the county had not maintained the sidewalks along our road at all. So basically they had gone to crap, which I soon began to realize was not good for me. I had terrible visions of me stumbling, falling face forward and breaking all the teeth in my mouth.

Well the breaking teeth part didn’t happen. Before I knew it, I was coming down a slope and facing silt and sand which had piled up on the sidewalk. I tried to stop in time, but to no avail. I hit it, then I tumbled . . . . almost into oncoming traffic! I now have skinned up shins and messed up palms. Needless to say I will never again rollerblade around here again!

Of course this accident comes right at the time I had just healed up from other injuries that had kept me out of the gym for nearly two weeks. I’m probably out for another two weeks now. I’m one of those people who refuses to go to the gym with open wounds on my hands cause of the dirty germy equipment. I have for awhile considered trying to jog, which now I might have to do with now gym and only having the Wii Fit for exercise. It’s good for some things, not so much for aerobics though (except for the hula hoop, that is a workout actually).

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Videoblog #2: The Ghost Blog
 

They’re here! I finally got them all done. It’s broken up into three parts, which I’ve placed in descending order. They are a little lengthy, sorry, I ramble. Also if you are going to watch these at work, watch the volume. I drop the F-bomb once or twice. I also say the S-word ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just a potty mouth when I talk!

There are a few little blips here and there in the videos, nothing terrible. I think I was doing too much multi-tasking while uploading these to YouTube and it caused those blips. That or the server’s processing of the video added them in. This isn’t ghostly phenomenon, they aren’t in the originals ๐Ÿ™‚


Part 1.1 – A little about the house and the ghosts.

(more…)

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New Alanis Today!
 

The new Alanis album “Flavors of Entanglement” dropped today. There is the regular version or a deluxe version with an additional 5 bonus tracks. Any Alanis fan will want the deluxe version of course just to get themselves more Miss Morissette.

The album streamed on VH1.com last week, so I gave it a listen there then. I ordered it from iTunes and actually got it last night. This is without a doubt her BEST album since “Jagged Little Pill.” I absolutely love love love it.

Alanis is back to her angry roots, as this album plays to her breakup with Ryan Reynolds. She’s also for some songs tapped back into her Canadian dance-pop roots a bit, as some of the songs have a very electro-dance-techno aspect to them, but not the sugary 80s kind. Some Alanis fans might hate this, but I love this aspect to the album. It gives it a harder edge believe it or not (think NiN actually).

If I had more than two thumbs, I’d give it more than two thumbs up!

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Please Don
 

So our heat wave is continuing, and yes now they are officially saying it’s a heatwave because it has now been three consecutive days over the 90 degree mark, which is apparently the official requirements for a heatwave. Tomorrow we are supposed to get some rain, so hopefully it will break.

On Saturday I ended up watching the “Army Wives” marathon on TV while dissertating all day. The following image pretty much sums up what I spent at least half of the day doing, the first half was spent writing up this data into an appendix.


Hard Work Pays Off

This was actually one of the smaller stat sets believe it or not. I have graphs like this with between 60 and 100 plot points. Eeegads! I hate the idea of putting this stuff out there before I’ve finished and defended the dissertation, but I don’t think anyone will figure out what this is or what it means. Simply put, it’s like the old “Sesame Street” skit “One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other,” though in this case it’s some of these things are not like the others, and that’s what is important for my work ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday I ended up taking it easy because I had a headache, and therefore I didn’t get much done I’m afraid. The ghost blog was on the list for that day and I did get the videos recorded, now they just need to be edited together. I recorded the first part Sunday night, and as usual rambled on longer than YouTube’s time limit allows. However because something funny happens in the video, I’m editing it into two parts. After I finished that, well then some stuff happened I wasn’t too thrilled about. So I made a third video explaining what went on and some changes to any upcoming ghost videoblog projects. I’ll get these edited as soon as I can and up. Thanks for your patience, I know people want to see them.


EyeWitness News

Today the dogs were going nuts at the backdoor and I finally looked outback, noticing some people were walking around in the fields I didn’t recognize, so that meant they shouldn’t really be there. It turned out they were from “EyeWitness News” and were here to do a story on the tomato recall. They interviewed my BF for the six’o’clock news. As it turns out, NBC came too, but he’s not going to be on until their 11’o’clock news. I teased him because he didn’t even put on nice clothes or fix his hair or anything.


I figured you’ve already seen me in motion, it’s only fair you see him! Here is the clip from our local news with him. You get to see the farm too, kinda. Where they are walking and talking to him is right behind our house.

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We
 

This weekend in the Philly area we are breaking into the 90s in a big way. So far we’ve gotten into the 80s, but it’s been followed by cold spells usually. This is our first official code red weekend with alerts for possible heat related deaths. Always fun! Walking outside is like walking into a sauna.

I’m going to try and record the first part of the ghost videoblog tonight. I’ve actually tried twice in recent days to do it, but had various issues. First I rambled too much and futzed around on camera and didn’t feel like trying to edit that stuff out, I would rather it be a seamless video. So I’ve made up a script to follow, well bullet points, to keep me on track.

The second problem I’ve had is that the ghosts seem to be camera shy! I was trying to see if I could get them to come around, but they don’t seem to like the camera at all. I then got to feeling I was pestering them, so I decided not to do anything last night and leave them alone. Of course then they were active. Figures! I’ve also decided to do the ghost blog in two parts, one just me talking about them and the history of the house, the second the more fun part ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Very First Video Blog!
 

So I finally did it, I edited together a bunch of videos and made my very first video blog! It’s nothing fancy, but I did manage to figure out how to get some transition effects in there and what not.

The topic at hand is my current obsession with two videogames: Singstar and Wii Fit. The video honestly isn’t that spectacular. The whole point of this was for me to learn how to edit my videos and string them together well enough. Hopefully I’ll get better as I do more, and the content will be a tad more interesting ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, enjoy the geekiness that is me!



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Working On Those Video Blogs!
 

So I finally found some inspiration for my first video blogs! I’ve actually recorded several videos for one on the two videogames I’m currently obsessed with, the Wii Fit and Singstar. I just need to now sit down and learn the editing software. Actually all I need to do is learn how to mark, clip and merge clips. Gosh it sounds so simple!

The other video I decided to do was a video about the house and in particular the ghosts. I thought it would be fun to talk about them as well as possibly call them. One has a knack for showing up if you call his name. Too bad my Ouija board is in Virginia! My original plan was to do this at night for the atmosphere, but I’m starting to chicken out with the night thing honestly. I have enough trouble being downstairs alone late at night as is because they’ve been coming around a lot lately.

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The Eye
 

Tonight I watched the US remake of “The Eye,” which is the third or fourth remake of this popular horror film, which originated in Hong Kong. I’ve seen the original as well as a Bollywood remake called “Naina.”

The story in each film is the same. A female violinist lost her eyesight at a young age due to an accident (which varies in each film). As an adult she undergoes a cornea transplant to try and restore her vision. However when she opens her eyes and sees again for the first time, she begins to see spirits and dark shadows, as well as has odd visions and dreams she doesn’t understand. She eventually comes to realize she’s inherited the abilities of her donor to see the dead and visions of things to come.

The story in the the American version is almost identical to the original save for a few small details. I loved the original and thought the remake was done well enough. One issue with watching the remake is the scare factor was for the most part lost on me because I knew the story and I knew what to expect. Neither version was really scary, just creepy. I have to give the original the overall better creep factor to be honest. There is something about these Asian to American remakes that doesn’t work all that well, it loses a bit of the creepiness especially with the ghosts. The ironic part is that the American versions have the special effects where as the Asian ones usually relied on a girl with stringy hair and white face make-up as well as a speed up or slowed down camera and creepy sounds. Sometimes the big special effects aren’t always better I guess?

Another thing missing in the remake is the explanation of the ghosts the main character sees in her building. There is a man in an elevator and a little boy ghost in the hall. The boy ghost story one can figure out, but the man in the elevator is just never explained (I can’t remember what his story is from the original either). I just remember these were two freaky ghosts in the original, and in the remake the scare factor is lost a little with them.

Again, I think the story is brilliant, so you can’t go wrong with either. I would say if you can stand subtitles, go for the original only because it is scarier. It often plays on cable and last month was on FearNet for those who have comcast (this is the Horror Movie on Demand channel, and it’s free). If you watch the American remake and enjoy it, definitely pick up the original. Yes the story will not surprise you, but I think you’ll come away with a new appreciation for the Asian originals of a lot of these movies which are getting American remakes (like the recently remade “One Missed Call,” which in fact was TERRIBLE compared to the original).

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Summer Vacation All I Ever Wanted!
 

So before I actually went on real vacations with the BF (which is debatable since I’ve basically taken work on every vacation with him), I used to go to Williamsburg, Virginia almost every summer during undergrad for my vacation. I went once when I first started grad school too. I would always take a day to do Busch Gardens, which was my favorite theme park at the time (I guess in a way it still is because it’s so pretty). Then I’d take a day to do Jamestown and Williamsburg.

It’s probably been 8 years since I’ve been to either. I’m not sure how much the area has changed, ie been developed. It used to be such a beautiful area and I used to always think I’d love to move down there and work some day.

I now have a friend living in the Virginia Beach area, so I’m planning to go down to Williamsburg the last week in June. We are going to meet up and do Busch Gardens one day, then Jamestown and Williamsburg the next. I’ll probably do a ghost walk in Williamsburg on my own later one night.

The following are photos from the last time I was down in the area . . . (I apologize for the quality, this was the pre-digital camera days)


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Suck On This
 

Madonna, Hard Candy Tour So first thing I did this morning was get myself tickets to Madonna’s Philly concert, which went on sale this morning at 10am. Let me tell you it wasn’t as easy as it should have been either.

Ticketmaster, which I normally use for my tickets as they basically have a monopoly on the industry, dropped the ball. They did NOT have Madonna’s concert listed for Philly. It was up there as of last week, but then on Friday Madonna announced a date change. I suspect this has to do with why the concert was removed from their page. However they didn’t put it back up, so they’ve missed out on a lot of online ticket sales. This of course means they don’t get to rake in the money from their outrageous “service fees,” which Emily often refers to as being anally raped by Ticketmaster.

This basically left me with two choices. Call ticketmaster and order over the phone, or use the box office site for the venue. Well the first of those two choices were out of the question. I hate hate hate HATE dealing with people over the phone when it involves some kind of transaction like this. I wasn’t about to spend ten minutes navigating their automated “Push 1 for . . . ” menus only to end up being greated with “Hello, my name is “Bob,” I am here to help you with your ticket purchase today. Please tell me how I may assist you? . . . . . . . So please, yes, I understand that you would like to purchase Madonna tickets? Is this correct? Come again, I’m sorry but I did not understand that last sentence.” Yeah, I know that was mean, but sadly it’s true and you all know it!

So I was left with the Wachovia Spectrum’s box office site, which is the most unfriendly thing EVER. The first 3-4 tries to get tickets it kept telling me “Sorry no tickets are available because . . . ” Eventually I got through to their insane word verification system. It’s one of those ones where you have to read the letters and numbers mashed together AND read them through the 3 year old’s scribble ontop of it. Half the time you get the word wrong or have to ask for a new one because you can’t read it at all! So then I choose best ticket’s available, only to be given great seats, for 350 dollars a ticket. I love Madonna, but I don’t love the new album THAT much. So back to the begining and the whole process repeats over. No tickets, insane word verification, finally tickets. I had to go through this about 4-5 times to finally score seats I was happy with and at the price I was willing to pay. In the end I ended up with seats better than we had at the “Confessions” tour, so it was worth the pain.

I do have to add one final gripe aout the fees and crap. Not only did Wachovia charge me the normal 20 some dollars in “service and processing” fees, but then they charged me for mailing me the tickets! I don’t think Ticketmaster even has the balls to do that unless you expidite the tickets. Regular standard old mail was $3.50. Okay so stamps, paper, ink and envelopes cost money . . . whatever. So what are the “service and processing” fees I’ve already paid? Not only was mailing that much, they charged $3.50 for the option of holding my tickets at will call. That’s normally free too! I guess they have to pay the person at the booth to hand the tickets out? Finally there was the print your tickets at home option. Hey, my paper, my ink, my resources . . . . $2.50 cents. Are you kidding me?

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