Good morning metro

Life, Rants

Just a few things this morning Metro. When will you ever get things right? I tried to add money to my smarttrip card for the last few days from my Smartbenefits account and it just kept saying ‘transaction canceled’ no warning, just left me hanging there. So today I try again in the crowded Vienna station, it would have been a much more frustrating experience had it not been for the other people who had already waited for the kiosk to just sit there and do nothing. So nobody is adding Smartbenefits at Vienna today, because everybody wants to… Sounds like a good plan.

Next is a little thing but it always annoys me. I know you’re trying to appear safer by having the train stop at the end if the station. But when the driver has to start the train again and move forward 3 feet it gets really annoying.

‘train will move forward’

no shit

One of those days….in a good way!

Life, Randomness

Have you ever had one of those days… where everything goes right?

I know, people usually remember the opposites, but I guess the small things make me happy. I didn’t have a whole day, but I did have an amazing little stretch last night. I was meeting Laurel at her work before I went to play basketball with Travis and Nigel. When I turned right out of my street the car almost died because it was almost out of gas. Which happens a lot because there’s not a gas station that’s not located on the opposite side of a long light around me… and I’m a lazy bastard. So anyway the guy behind me almost runs into me because I’m going a little slow and then he gives me the brights… and I proceed to give him the finger… and the slow down… and the eat me… and pretty much just flip out. So this is how my good luck starts, with anger.

I get to the gas station, fill up, then decide to take care of my low air pressure in the tires. After filling those bad boys up I thought, well I still have a minute or so left from the air machine I might as well try to fill up this flat basketball, without using a needle… and a couple seconds later it’s done… I didn’t even know that was possible.. but it is. It’s like I’ve been lied to my entire life… all you have to do is lick the needle hole and then press down flat and hard.  This is a fact that the air needle industry doesn’t want you to know!  So after this little detour I’m a little late so I get going and on the way there I hit 5 or 6 green lights in a row. This includes two times when I was sure I was making a wrong turn only to come out in exactly the right place. So after a quick kiss from Laurel I was out playing basketball in Alexandria. Where I felt good, made a few open jumpers, and shockingly… I can still dunk.

(Bill Walton voice) – THROW IT DOWN BIG MAN!

It just surprises me how little it takes to make my day.

Avatar and the future of video

Entertainment, Movies

Blue is the new black

So over my winter vacation I saw James Cameron’s Avatar in the theater. It’s one of the first times that I’ve ever seen a movie that I was just to totally engrossed in from start to finish. I never questioned any of the effects, I just assumed that everything was real. Which is a weird thing to say when a movie features 15 foot aliens who ride dragons. I went back and watched the Totally Rad Show review of the film and they went in to a little bit of the technology involved in capturing the performances of the actors. The Facial movements just really match the actors. Maybe I’m getting more complacent in my old age, but the story was told so well and the editing so tight that I never had time to question “How did they do this”. Which is really a testament to just how entertaining this movie is.

But the technology is what really got my mind working… Video cameras have become common place and the home editing software is on par with anything Hollywood had in about the early 1990’s. If you take 5 minutes to look on Youtube you’ll find some amazing videos that would have played on network TV in the past, but are done in someone’s free time, with home equiptment.  I’m not saying  everybody is making District 9 in their back yards, but some people are. Now that we’re on the cusp of the ‘3D cinema revolution’ I can see a future where home 3d recording will be feasible. You could just set up a couple of cameras in your house and then you’d have an exact 3d replica of everything. You could change the camera angle if you miss something or do some digital retouching on your 3d body scan. I can’t imaging what ‘some people’ are going to to do with this.

I remember back when I was playing Quake or Fallout and I could download another character skin, so that I could have Johnny 5 sniping fools on a gravity jump. I’m Alive! I saw this trailer, it’s a mashup of ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Terminator’.  I thought, that would be a really cool movie actually, I wonder if something like that will ever get made… then I though who will play the parts. But like in the trailer, you really just want the original actors to play them. Then i got to thinking… in terminator salvation they have a CG Arnold attack, in XMEN they have a younger version of Magneto and Xavier, I mean for God’s sake they put marlon wayans head on a babies body for an entire freaking movie. But in all those cases you didn’t really buy into it all the way. But now, with Cameron’s tech out there what’s going to stop them from making a 3D character of an older actor, then having another actor act out the movie. This leads to all kinds of weridly exciting possiblities for REMAKES STARRING THE SAME ACTORS. If this gets popular then you can recast a movie AFTER you’ve filmed it. It can be seen as Brad Pitt’s face in the leading roll, but really it’s Tom Hanks behind the scenes doing the acting. And if we’re going down this path then why do movies have to star one person? They could advertise on the poster ‘Starring Leonardo DiCaprio or Jude Law’ and then you could switch between them on your personal movie glasses Then do they have to create another Oscar category for “Best Motion Capture performance” and then “Best Voice Acting” because they dont have to be the same person. Then you add in the amimatators who are basically left to clean up the data and make the non-humaniod characters move. then if they come out with motion capture suits for animals all those guys are out of business.

This leads to what I both hope for and fear most… Lucas remaking Star Wars with all CG actors and sets.

I think if Cameron is going to unleash this kind of technology on the cinema world then he should be responsible for teaching all the other directors how to do it.

Quick things I have learned recently

Life, Rants
Unlearn what you have learned

Unlearn what you have learned

  1. If you try to resize a .png file and “save for web” in Photoshop as a Jpg… the results will suck.
  2. Apple has a great warranty on their hardware.
  3. Even with ATT’s crappy service on the Metro, if you start a streaming podcast at Lenfant plaza you’ll buffer enough to get you out the top of the Federal Center SW without any stuttering.
  4. My least favorite personality trait is “the one upper” especially the non-self-aware one upper who doesn’t like New Yorkers because “they think they’re better than you”.
  5. Brian Regan is still a genius.
  6. Idiocracy is an under rated movie.
  7. I can get an almost full wifi signal from the Starbucks downstairs when I am in the bathroom on the second floor.

Jessica Simpson is still an idiot.

Life, Rants





From the Article:

Jessica Simpson’s beloved maltipoo Daisy was grabbed by a wild coyote that then vanished with the small dog, the singer wrote via Twitter Monday night.

Jessica Simpson has created posters with Daisy’s image offering a reward for the lost dog.

“My heart is broken because a coyote took my precious Daisy right in front of our eyes. HORROR!” she Tweeted.

She offered a reward? To who the coyotes?
I’m sorry about your dog, but lets be real here. That dog isn’t fighting off any coyotes.
They didn’t take the dog for the reward money… THEY TOOK HER FOR FOOD.

via cnn

I hate the DC Metro system so much.

Life, Rants

Lets look beyond the fact that the system was designed in the 70’s with aesthetics in mind more than functionality. there can never be express trains, I get that. I get that the system is low on money because they have to spend a million dollars per year to shampoo the carpets. I get that they’re on manual mode right now because of the crash last month. What I don’t understand is why they have “Scheduled Track Maintenance” during operating hours.

Every Saturday they seem to be doing it on the orange line, 45 minute delay. Coming back from the Nationals game they had it on a weekday, 30 minute delay at West Falls Church and 2 hours total trip time. Last night they had all trains shut down from the Pentagon to Rosalyn on the Blue line and I waited at the Braddock Rd stop for 45 minutes before they announced it.

The only time it runs smoothly are the rush hours in the morning and afternoon and even then I’m sweating my ass off.

The DC METRO SYSTEM SUCKS, don’t take it unless you’re scared to parallel park or drunk.