Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some Cat Pics

Figured out a neat trick taking pictures with manual focus. The camera will identify items when they become in focus. It's easy to be off by a little bit so as I'm adjusting the focus the camera will pin point items in focus so I wait till the item I want to be in focus lights up and I snap the pic. To the right you can see Brewski looking down upon his minions, or perhaps he's lamenting the loss of his favorite position on the bed. Difficult to tell, cats aren't the most communicative animal in the world. To the left is a picture of Tatoo, 8 months old give or take, he's getting big and he's developing a love of clawing me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Camera Volunteering

My close friend and door stopper to the film industry has signed on to work with a company for four movies. I don't know all the details but I do know the first flick is a werewolf movie, awesome. So of course I told him I want to volunteer some of my time expecting to be doing some sort of grunt work because well that's what you do. You start with the lifting of heavy objects till they ask you to do something more complicated. You volunteer till they decide they want you around more often. In my previous experiences volunteering they've always ended up paying me. Not that they signed me on to the crew but after volunteering a couple days they suddenly need a daily so instead of going to the pool of potential dailies they asked me to work. Now that's a non-union show and I'm not in any union yet so I'm not sure how things will go, I don't even know if this is a union show at all but I'm hoping if they like me something can happen. I've taken the required course for the Nabet union, I just need a few more hours on set experience and I can be a permittee.

So of course I want to work near a camera, that's what I've decided to get into, but I also don't expect anyone to let me near a half a million dollar machine. So I get the word from Eric that his brother is working in the art department. Perfect. I need to know how to set up shots and really doing any job is a step, art dept is a good step. I'm all set to head out there the first week of March. This weekend I get a call from Eric, it seems he's asked the Director of Photography (a big important position) if they can use help in the camera department. It turns out they want to have two camera crews going at the same time so they do want volunteers! I'm sure I'll still be doing heavy lifting and running errands that have little to do with camera work but I'm ready for that. I'll bust my balls for four, twelve hour days in exchange for learning a little and adding that time to my total hours on set, it's the way it goes and I'm excited. I did not expect to be anywhere near the camera team at this early stage of my career.

My secret hope is that after this week of volunteering, and perhaps another week or two later, that someone may offer me a real job. It's four movies so this crew should be together for a while so it's within the realm of possibility. Of course there is the union to worry about, the filming will have to be going well (not going over budget) and the people with the power will have to like me but the stars could align and the one thing I have power over, people liking me, has gone very well in the past. Opportunity is knocking.

I also have a cat update. We are fostering a cat named Tatoo. He's a good looking cat but he's terrified of humans. He loves Brewski and always wants to play with him but he runs away from all humans. He'll run so fast and hard that he'll often slip on the hardwood and slam into doors and walls in his desperate attempts to escape us, even though all we're doing is walking past him to the bathroom. He has slowly been getting more and more confident and less and less scared of us and this morning we had a break through. For the past week or so he's been attacking our feet in bed, not ideal for us but a good sign nonetheless. Yesterday he was even on the bed with Kate while she took a nap. Today he came up on the bed while I was trying to squeeze in one more hour of sleep and started pawing at my hand. I was actually sleeping and I awoke to gentle pawing at my hand. I knew it was him right away, poor Brewski had his claws removed years ago and Jedi would never paw at my hand. So I let him paw at me and eventually he started licking my fingers and chewing on them, much the same way Brew likes to chew on fingers. Excellent news thought I so I let him paw and attack my hand for a half hour or so. I've got a few scratches on my hand but he's still a kitten and that's what kittens like to do. Plus I've got to get this cat straightened out or we may end up keeping him and I don't want that. If he's terrified of all humans he won't get adopted and I can't let him live in the SPCA or bounce from foster home to foster home. And he's totally in love with Brewski so even if he never comes around to humans he needs some kind of contact and Brew is it for the moment.

That's all the crap I have to say for now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something More Positive

In more positive news I got an 88% on the first French test of my third French course. I wrote the second one yesterday and I am not expecting similar results but I'm sure I won't get too terrible a mark.

After having a terrible time with our Internet connection dropping since we switched to DSL a quick call to Distributel by Kate solved the problem in minutes. Shockingly fast to me. I'm not used to such good service from an ISP/phone company. Every time I called Rogers I set aside an hour to deal with them. Good job Distributel, and Kate who made the call.

I found a new gym and a trainer, sort of. My roommate has access to a gym in his friend's building and his other friend is a personal trainer so now on Monday's we all go to this gym. I still go to my own gym on other days of the week but it's nice to have other people around that you know when you're working out, especially if one knows all sorts of stuff and you can ask questions. Throw in a pool, hot tub and a sauna and Monday mornings are getting pretty good.

The Curling starts in an hour so I better get some stuff done before then so that's enough of the crap I've done for now.

Olympic Advertising

I don't think I've even been more interested in an Olympics than I am in this one and now I have mixed feelings about it. This article started my displeasure: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/jan/31/vancouver-winter-olympics-police.

It seems that in order to get the Olympics in Vancouver they claimed it would cost about 660 million and they would make about 10 billion, seems laughable to me but whatever I've never been someone with economic insight. Now they say it's going to cost 6 billion, that's a big difference, how does anyone make that kind of mistake? By hey it's forgivable, doesn't the Olympics put every city into massive debt, maybe only in Canada where we here in Montreal paid off the '76 games a few months ago. That's literally my life time, so far anyway.

This is what really burns me. The sponsors are dominating everything, American companies that are using Canadian soil and Canadians to peddle their wares. We're currently in a Capitalist state so that's fine too but these companies, that now have Vancouver by the balls due to the massive difference in estimated and actual costs, are using that power to do some pretty evil things.

Here's a quote from the Post “Do not have Pepsi or Dairy Queen sponsor your event,” read guidelines sent to VPL branch heads and supervisory staff last fall. “Coke and McDonald’s are the Olympic sponsors. If you are planning a kids’ event and approaching sponsors, approach McDonald’s and not another well-known fast-food outlet.”Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/01/13/adrian-macnair-with-glowing-hearts-olympics-kills-the-arts.aspx#ixzz0fiIyTCO0

A kid's event? McDonalds? How is this even remotely possible when every time I turn on CNN I see some news clip about how fat and lazy American children are, and I'm sure Canadians are not far behind. If I send my kid to a library, yes a library, public funded, wholesome, etc... I do not want them being fed McDonalds, how about something even remotely healthy like iron filings instead!

These poor athletes who get paid nothing while billionaires sit back and and do nothing while collecting their second billion dollars are also advertising for McDonalds. You spend your whole life training for one day, how much debt do these people have. If they don't win gold do they go get a minimum wage job? Where do they get thier education? Of course they'll take a few hundred thousand to say they eat McDonalds, they almost have to! But does anyone really think that Olympians eat McDonalds? I don't, Kate doesn't, most people I know probably don't but you know who I bet does think they eat McDonalds, the children of Canada. Think they're going to have a full understanding of what food they should and should not be eating, no way in hell. We have allergies that didn't exist 50 years ago, every one of us seems to suffer from some issue, lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, the list is almost endless. I don't think we're just now identifying these conditions, I think they're new. I think places like McDonalds and the slaughterhouses that feed chickens steroids and their own ground up parents and siblings exclusively are the cause of many of these ailments. The worst part is we know, we know what is happening but still we allow our children to be lied to and sent down a destructive path all so that some of the richest people in the world can have a few more million.

Oh yeah, they're also telling some of the citizens of Vancouver to leave the city during the games or stay indoors to accommodate the 300,000 tourists. They're also told some small businesses in certain areas of the city to close up shop for the duration of the games. Only the big companies are allowed to make money of these games.


Canada plays Norway at 7:30 tonight, I'm excited

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It Begins...

So the Olympic opening ceremonies were pretty fun to watch. They didn't go perfectly but that seems to be the motif for the games this year. First the death of a luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili went off the track and hit a pole. It's terribly sad, the kid was 21 and was relatively new to the sport. TSN showed the accident last night, perhaps the second most horrific thing I've ever seen. The video begged two questions, why is TSN showing it and why are those steel polls right there are the fastest turn on the fastest course ever made? Two other people had already been injured on that track. It's a sad start the the games.

Back to the ceremonies, I love that Gretzky was the guy to light the torch. The actual ceremony was great, the floor screen, the mountains and clouds, it looked great to me. The performances were hit and miss. The song Nelly Furtado and Adams sang was crappy and many francophones have one word to say about the francophone singer Garou, 'who'? NBC didn't show the song, deciding that no one wanted to hear French. I'm beginning to understand why the French get so pissed off. John Furlong, the Chair of the Vancouver Organizing Committee delivered some opening remarks. His French was possibly the worst I've ever heard. He only had two of three things to say in French, get a language coach you dumb a-hole! It only takes a minute to learn how to pronounce a few words properly. It embarrassed me as an anglophone.

Then of course the fourth arm of the torch thingy didn't go up. Technical malfunction I guess, it happens but some poor sap will lose their awesome Olympic gig over it.

k.d. lang sounded incredible and McLachlan always sounds good too. Then to my great surprise Shane Koyczan read his poem We Are More. It was a surprise because I actually know the guy and I didn't know he was going to be preforming. Actually he's Kate's friend from the poetry circuit but I figure once I've been out drinking with someone they're my friend too, and there's a slight chance he would recognize me if he saw me. It's a good poem and I'm pleased that they included him and the piece, it should be great for slam poetry in Vancouver and across Canada.

In other news, I did not win the 30 million in the Quebec loto last night.

So good luck to all our Canadian athletes, I will unfortunately miss the first hockey game, Canada/Slovakia today, I have a football game at 8. And of course they won 51-6 last week, the game I missed because I was in Quebec. If we lose today then I suppose we know where the team's weak link is. Just kidding, I'm a solid player, and if you don't believe me here's a link to my stats. http://www.flagplusfootball.com/player.php?league_id=1&division_id=6&season_id=W10&competition_id=&member_id=1684&group=receiving
And not one dropped pass.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Computer, Camera, Cell.

My new desktop is pretty sleek. For those who know and/or care it's an Intel Core i7 2.8Ghz with 4GB orf RAM and Windows 7 x64. Of course now I have the problem of having a machine that's too good, too fast. It seems that all the editing software I download isn't compatible with the x64 version of Windows 7. The software I need only runs on x32 which as you may expect is a slower version. The software does exist for x64, it's the crack that doesn't and after spending a boatload on this PC and a new Canon camera I'm loathe to put another 2 grand down on software. If I was making money using the software then sure I would pay but since it will be who knows how long till I make any money again I can't spend the money. The hunt is on for software I can use on this machine.

The camera is working out well, I brought it to Quebec and got some pretty good shots. I also got a couple of videos but nothing too exciting. And speaking of electronic devices I got a data plan from Rogers so I'm back online with my Blackberry and the best part is there was no contract! It was a shock to me too but I guess with some of these new little players coming onto the scene Rogers is becoming softer in some of their own stances. It works for me, my old contact expires in a few months even though it's actually someoneelse's contract. I won't go into those contract details on this blog since some people take great offense to what I write on my blog, sad but true. So when this other person's contract expires this summer I'll be free and I'll have a kick ass data plan. Thanks Rogers!

I do have an idea, and half a script, for my first video project. I'm not going to mention what it is in case I change my mind half way through, or find it's too difficult to pull off but I do intend to get a bunch of the work done on it this weekend. It's a pretty simple idea so it shouldn't be too difficult to pull off.

I had my first French test for this semester Monday, the next one is next Monday. The one I took was much simpler than I expected, I think the next one is going to be quite difficult. The first was reading comprehension, not too difficult, the next is grammar, much harder.

That's about all the crap I have to share for today, I've got to go to class and give an oral presentation that's worth zero marks, won't that be fun.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quebec City and the Super Bowl

Got back from a weekend in Quebec City yesterday. We went for Carnival and to meet Bon Homme. We saw Carnival and had some fun there. We walked around in the freezing cold for a few hours. We had travel booze to keep us warm although I don't know how good of a job it did.

Quebec City is a pretty nice town, old buildings, pretty nice. I took lots of pictures with my new camera, a couple videos too. When I have more time I'll go through them and post the best ones somewhere. Unfortunately today I have no time, I don't even have time to write this blog. I've got lab work to do this morning, then an afternoon on conversation French class followed by a 6pm class at Concordia with a comprehension test. So any free time I have today should go towards studying.

The Super Bowl was great, great game, glad to see the Saints pull it out. I'm also glad The Who payed at halftime, not quite once they what were but good enough still to make me smile and sing along.

So I have a long day of French ahead of me and I better get started. Those words don't translate themselves.