Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt2 Read at your own Risk

Just saw this movie yesterday.

*I did as best I could to get my words out without spoilers but if you have not read the books then you may not want to read this. The next 2 paragraphs are safe but after that you have been warned.*

I am not reviewing it. No one should ever be making a living reviewing movies for content, at least that is my take on things. Couldn't tell you how much I disagree with everyone who has ever given an opinion regarding anything as subjective as cinema.

What this is, will simply serve as my thoughts on my experience. This is the only Potter film I have seen in the theater. I saw it in 3d, there were really only one or two scenes that really took advantage of the 3d element and they seemed to be afterthoughts. But I have no regrets. If you don't mind the glasses and the extra price go for it.

I was somewhat sad throughout the entire film, every passing moment knowing that I was closing in on the last scene of the franchise that I would ever see. I almost wanted to leave before it was over simply so I could prolong the end. My son grew up with this series, though he didn't start reading it until about Order of the Phoenix due to his age and reading ability and to some extent, his interest in books. Once he started though he couldn't stop. Knowing now that there is no more to see is kinda really saddening me. It's nothing new to me however, the end of stories like this often leave me clenched up, withered and feeling like I have nothing left to look forward to, I always say there will never be another movie/story/something that will equal it, then I remember that I said it many times before. 

The movie tied up a lot of questions I had about certain things, it opened up the opportunity for me to discuss certain things that I knew with people who didn't know and it also opened up something that I half expected but wasn't fully prepared for. 


I am not talking about the questions that everyone is asking right now regarding Harry's paternal issues. I think that was intentionally inserted into the movie to raise confusion, or it was just a poorly executed tactic on showing that particular evolution of a certain character. 

I am talking about Voldemort. I am glad they wrapped up the big questions regarding him and Harry, but what I was really hoping for was an explanation as to HOW and WHY Voldemort became who he became. Sure, he is super evil and wants to control everyone and everything, but why?

I have heard that Rowling is being very coy about another book, if she does write something new with regards to this series I hope it focuses on Tom Riddle as a child and his relationship with Dumbledore and then the surrounding issues with Severus Snape. That would be my personal curiosity satisificator.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises

I am truly frustrated.

The current project I am working on is graphics for a game. I can not release anything from it and it is consuming almost all my time which leaves me with little to share. I am thinking of uploading some photos of some old inventions that I did years ago. I don't know if I have complete photo sets though so we'll see how it plays out.

In the meantime I came across this while searching reddit.

The Dark Knight Rises

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Clown Shoe

That was the very last thing ever recorded by members of my old band. Of course by recorded I am referring to our little setup in my living room my guitarist and I (drummer) used to put rough tracks on disk and send to our singer who lived about 3 hours away. 

We would get together a couple times a week and come up with ideas and every so often one of them would be deemed decent enough to turn into a song. Sometimes we would just record the entire session of us getting together then go back and listen to excerpts and find riffs or beats that sounded interesting then talk it over and piece them into a rough track that we would rehearse 2 or 3 times then we would do our best to record it so we could send it off for modification by the vocalist. He would listen to the track and send me an email back with comments corresponding to times within the song where he would need changes. Once a month he would make the trek down to see us and we would hold a marathon rehearsal to actually practice the songs with his lyrics in place and hope that all the changes were correct. 

It wasn't always done this way. 

When we first started we all lived withing a few miles of each other. I was the oldest, had a steady job and a family, they were all seniors in high school. They found me at a point when I had given up on being in bands. I was sick of the attitudes, the constant ideology that we had to hit it big. I was settled into a more modest goal, I wanted to make music for myself. 

When these guys found me I was not interested in playing in a band at all. They kind of threw their demo onto my desk, I refused to even take it. After a few days, I had a colleague of mine give it a listen on his way to get us coffee. When he returned he would not comment on the quality or the talent, of which he would normally never hold his opinion back, instead he merely said "You should listen to it."

Well, it had something about it. Wasn't great, wasn't terrible. I called them up and we started a band.

In the beginning things were pretty normal, we had a practice schedule and a plans to record our own demo which we eventually did. My only regret really is that we didn't pool our money together and book time in a studio and get a decent 5 song ep out.

We ended up having a set list of about 12 songs, all of which were around 5 - 7 minutes. The song linked at the top was eventually turned into a full fledged song, and it ended up being of of my favorites and a crowd favorite, but it was never recorded properly beyond what you hear now. Also, when I was digging around my hard drive looking for other songs I realized the my actual favorite song that we did, which was written rather late in our career was never even recorded at all beyond the scratch guitar track.

I had some really good times playing with those guys despite the age difference but I am rather glad I don't deal with it anymore. Damn I do miss making music though.   

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

From my tears a new page will be born

Never go to a website with a massive user base and ask a public question about what they think might be wrong with your web page. While I believe the answers are generally intended to help, some lack the grace to deliver the news in a delicate manner.

Having said that, I think I am going to do a little design Feng shui.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My vain concerns regarding Google+

So far I am really enjoying Google+

There has been a bit of a stir around the online forums as to whether or not it is going to suffer the same fate as the Wave project. Some think that Wave failed because of its' limited beta user base, others believe it to be because Wave lacked a clear cut direction, even more seem to think it was because Wave wanted to be an email killer when the reality was that people were all to happy using email the way it is. Most likely they all have a bit of truth.

Google+ seems set up from the start with several of those concerns aggressively tackled. The purpose is clear, Kill Facebook, or rather provide a social network where the users can decide their own level of privacy, security and friendships and are given a clear cut way to exit entirely. The user base, while small at the moment appears to be set up on an infinite invite level. At first there appeared to be a clear "invite friends" icon for early adopters now it seems that simple adding friends to your "circle" and mentioning them in a post generates a notification email to the friend allowing them to get in.

Which is what brings me to my concern.

The last thing I thought I needed was another social network for me to ignore. I resisted MySpace until my band grew to the point we needed more exposure, then Facebook was just the next evolution as MySpace careened down its self destructive CSS spiral. I was never really excited about signing up for either but as with almost all Google projects it would appear as if I can't jump in fast enough. Also, just like previous limited entry Google projects people are whirling themselves into a semen covered circlejerk frenzy to get in on this one.

The ferocity with which people are pursuing these invites is astonishing. People see Google+ app on your phone and they are willing to give you a handjob in the middle of the street for an invite. It would appear as if Google has stumbled upon the electronic equivalent of heroin.

So how do I wield this new divine power I have been given? Do I make those around me dual to the death in gladiator style battles, the winner being the one I bestow an invite upon? Do I send them out freely like a benevolent god, graciously raining down gifts upon those who are in my circles to begin with and ask for nothing in return?

Friday, July 1, 2011

My last rainfall

I have been debating for a number of days whether or not I should post this. My reasons for not wanting to would probably make sense only to me but they are there none the less.

We had a rather interesting Rainstorm a few days back. It was the kind of storm that could really take you back to a different point in your life. It was interesting because not only because of the Forecast but because of the events that transpired during the rainfall. The forecast was calling for some pretty severe storms, but when the rain started all we got was about 10 minutes or so of Semi heavy Rain and it then it stops. I had already shutdown the computer and air conditioning in preparation for a massive storm so after the little rain subsided I turned the air back on. Instead of jumping back on the computer I decided to do a little vacuuming and left the PC off.  

Ten minutes or so pass after the Rain had stopped and  I heard a huge clap of thunder, I mean obnoxiously loud house rumbling thunder, no lightning flash though just the thunder. I figured the storm had hit to the north and I was hearing a particularly bad strike from far off. A few more minutes pass by and the sun appears to be trying to poke its way through the clouds. Thinking nothing of it, I go back to vacuuming and my son continues to play Halo in the living room as he has been the entire time.

I would say after about five minutes after the thunder the power just suddenly shuts off. I thought I blew the breaker with the vacuum somehow, after all, it was no longer storming. A quick check in another room and a text from a friend assures me that the power is out throughout the neighborhood. My son tends to get a little frightened in these scenarios, he enjoys them after a bit but the sudden darkness and overwhelming sense that no one is there gets to him at first. I went into the living room with him, now regretting my choice to do housework with the lack of air conditioning.

Three minutes of no power was all I needed to realize that it was not coming back on anytime soon. It was also around that time I started to hear the familiar pinging of raindrops against the windows followed by the darkening of the afternoon sky. We opened up both widows for the cross breeze and settled into my recliner and started thinking of ways to pass the time.

During a previous power outage we had made up a game called flashlight eye spy, neither one of us could remember the rules so we just made up new ones. Every So often I would peer out the window across the room and although I see this sight every day it seemed to have taken on a new form that afternoon. The wind gently sweeping the lush green leaves of the tree directly outside the window, the rainfall washing over the leaves giving them a beautifully vivid green glow, the sound of the rain hitting the leaves and the windows and the passing cars, it all came together to paint a brand new portrait that would be forever etched into my memory.

And the smell! As soon as the smell hit me I was brought back to a time in my youth that I could never forget. Things were simpler then. I was staring out of my second story bedroom window, peering out into a tree as the spring rain was dancing among its leaves and the breeze was kissing my cheek and the wonderful grey of the sky was painting the canvas that would become my adolescent life.

I was hesitant to retell this tale on my blog because I am dying. I have said it before. I am not trying to capture sympathy but I think this knowledge is important for the story. I have not told my son how sick I really am. He only knows that something keeps me from working, but since it keeps me around him all the time he rarely has a reason to question it.

At that moment though. With him and me playing our games and the rainfall having triggered my fondest of memories, I pulled him close to me and asked him to quietly look out the window. I then told him that today would forever live on in our memories. I went into some more detail regarding things that are between just the two of us.

The power remained off for about two more hours. During that time we talked and played games and had a great time, So much So that when the power came back on we were both a little disappointed.

I have had a lot of memories that have brought me much joy throughout my life, but when I am at the end of my journey it will be this memory that will be my final thought.