Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rant of the Day: Twitter

In the past few months I've had numerous run ins with the website ranging from stalkingreading people's twitter page to being at a bar with a person who was oblivious to their surroundings because they were too busy "twittering" to people questioning why I wasn't "on it".

For those who don't know, Twitter is the Cousin Oliver to the Facebook Wall and Myspace status. It's the new hotness. It's fresh. All the cool kids are doing it, and to be quite honest, I just don't get it. If I understand it correctly(And I'm quite certain that I don't), the concept behind twitter is that you update it very regularly and write what you're doing. This process is known as "Micro-Blogging".

Each "Tweet" is limited to 140 characters and can be done via text messaging. Now don't get me wrong. I support any form of messaging that doesn't involve me actually having to talk to your dumb ass on the phone, but have we hit the point in our society where we need to know what everyone else is doing at every moment of the day? I promise you that you don't want to know what I'm doing/thinking all the time. My twitter would quickly turn in to an update of my regularity and obscure reference to things that I'm not even sure that I care about.


I guess my question is, "At what point did you become so important that anyone gives a crap what you're doing right now?". I can't convince half the people I know to read the blog that I write once a week, why would they check something I update every hour?

But here's the thing. I've been wrong before. For the sole purpose of this blog entry I invented a phone that lets me call people from the past and here's what I found.

On the subject of myspace, Jesse from early 2005 had this to say:

Myspace? Christ. I'd sign up, but I just checked and it turns out that I'm not 15, and my parents actually do understand me.

I'm just glad someone created a place so that all the emo kids could get together and express their uniqueness and individuality with the exact same crappy 5 themes that everyone else has.

"Wow, you like that band too?!? That's so crazy. I'd go to their concert tonight, but I'm busy setting up a tripod to take profile pictures from the ceiling so it hides my double chin and fat ass."

If I ever sign up for that crap, you have my permission to kick me square in the junk.

On the subject of blogging, Jesse from 2006 had this to say:

Blogging? There are 3 blogs in the entire world.
1) Some hack's crappy photos over and over again.
2) A dork writing about technology that nobody will ever read. Nobody cares about your feelings on USB versus the new 1394 spec, jackass.
3) Stories about someone's family that I've never met.

In the rare case that you find something that's a real written piece, it's generally just someone who finished up that English degree a few years ago and is still clinging to the idea of being a writer while he teaches Sophmore English at a High School. Stop pretending man. There's nothing wrong with being a teacher, but stop being a pretentious ass and selling yourself as a writer. You don't have a couple of things "in the works", and 2 comments(One from your mom) doesn't mean that one of your "pieces" is "in discussion".

If I ever write a blog, it had better be because I lost a bet or something.

I realized two things from my conversations.
A) Old Jesse is sort of an angry jackass
B) The phone had to be destroyed. It could be an instrument of evil if it fell in to the wrong hands.

Anyhow, feel free to follow my twitter. I don't plan on actually using it, but the same could have been said for my myspace, my flickr, my youtube, and my blog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to Build a Chair (in twelve easy notes)

What people are already saying about Jesse's smash new short film:

"Wow. You're a huge dork. You know that right? Just Wow"
"Did you consider editing yourself out and adding a girl? Maybe a cute one?"
"You seriously need a girlfriend"
"Uh... how long did you spend making that?"

First, the movie. Then the long boring explanation.

I can't complain too much about my job. The hours are flexible, I spend a lot of time screwing around, and I've got a pretty neat office all to myself. The rub though, is that I don't have any office furniture. There is furniture to be had, but it never seems to end up in my office. Aside from my desk and a crappy old chair, I've got nothin. Sean got a free couch for god's sake, and all I've got is a big wide open office.

It works like this. There is a set amount of furniture. If you have a piece, it's yours forever. When you quit, everyone swarms on your office like kids at fat camp to a Snickers and picks the room clean. I'm non-confrontational in nature, and small, which has hurt me in the furniture gathering process.

One day, in protest, I decided to build a chair out of some old mailer boxes that we had lying around. Jim, a coworker and I spent a while arranging and rearranging boxes until we had what vaguely resembled a chair. At lunch I was showing off the chair and announced my idea of shooting a small stop motion film of it coming together when another coworker, Jeremy Cheek added, "You should set that to the theme from Tetris", and that's when the idea started to spiral out of control.

I ran the idea and some of my thoughts by Adam one night. He lives in Germany now, but growing up, he was the Martin Lawrence to my Will Smith. Adam is sort of a master of taking projects from "Silly Idea" to "Silly Completed Project", so it was good to have him on my side, and the collaboration from around the world was interesting.

After kicking back and forth a few ideas we decided on a Pied Piper sort of idea where I'd play the guitar in a split screen to control the blocks. Adam had a great idea about a top to bottom split(See his storyboard here), but I wasn't sure that I could get that done solo.

There are a bunch of mistakes, but I don't think they're too noticeable any more. The low quality of youtube actually hides most of them, and I did some fancy editing to try to remove as much as I could.

Hopefully people recognize the song that I'm playing (quite horribly), and the reference of the intro.

Edit: You can now watch the video in HD also.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Robo-babe of the Day: Felicia Day

My friend Krol used to say, "Redheads are our most precious natural resource." Had I been capable of arguing with him(He's now a lawyer), I would have said, "While redheads are in fact rare, the female nerd is just as rare, if not more so."

In this day and age of Geek Chic, many would side with Krol. Everyone is a nerd these days, or at least that's what they'd have you believe. I could write a novel length dissertation about what it takes to be a real nerd, and why most of the Johnny Come Lately's to the scene are not in fact real nerds, but it's sufficient to say that having made a web page once for a class, or having a WoW account do not make you a real nerd.

Venn Diagram

The space x represents the Nerdy Redheaded Girl, a rarity normally reserved for four leaf clovers, unicorns, and Honus Wagner Baseball cards.
(The X is not only the center of the diagram, it's also the center of my heart.)

But I digress. No matter who you side with in this imbecilic argument, you can agree that the intersection of this Venn diagram, the Redheaded Nerd Girl, is quite rare indeed. One could easily argue that this intersection would be so rare that it could very well not exist. In this case, "One" would be wrong because "it" does exist, and "it's" name is Felicia Day.

1. Felicia is the creator, producer, and star of the web based series "The Guild", a show about a bunch of nerds who play a video game together. While it's absolutely hilarious if you're familiar with the subject matter, it's probably still amusing if you're not.

2. Felicia starred in the previously mentioned Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which, if you haven't watched by now, don't bother. You're already dead to me.

3. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd say she's absolutely adorable.


4. She made her own website, where she also keeps a blog. Read the following snippet and tell me you're not in love(Ignore the fact that she spelled usability wrong. Felicia is a busy girl, far too busy for what you mere mortals call "spell check"):

If PayPal were a man, I would punch him. I would cold-cock him into tomorrow, even if I had to break my hand. I think this is a perfect example of a monopoly gone wrong. The useability of the site is a nightmare: The documentation, laughable. Combine this with a Brother Q500 label printer that is bundled with software that was created on Fortran, and you have the perfect storm for driving a girl over the edge to a day job, abandoning web video forever

5. She started college at 16 and got a mathematics degree from the University of Texas. Nothing says nerdy like math.

6. She's an honest to goodness nerd. And how's this for a coincidence? She even hangs out on the same Internet that I do! I know, right?

So, like Link with 3 hearts and a wooden sword I've begun my quest to win her heart. I regret to inform everyone that this will be the end of the blog. I've sold my laptop to pay for a ring and as you're reading this I'm probably on my way to L.A. to propose. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nerd Word(s): 1 to 10

1 to 10
- rating system

1. A way of judging anything

[ Origin: About 12 years ago I started rating random and odd things on a scale from 1 to 10. ]

- alternatives
A to F

- usage
1. "On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd call this dinner about a 7"
2. "How was the movie last night?"
"6 with a bonus point because it had Jennifer Connelly in it"

- addendum
After a certain period of time, the rating practice caught on with many of my friends. At that point it was time to jump ship and change it up. It was time to keep them guessing.

"On a scale from 1 to 10 I'd say Steve Nash is pretty awesome"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What You Should Be Watching Right Now

My main man Adam recently sent me a link to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Despite the fact that Adam has been hiding out in Germany, on the lam for a crime of passion, he still has his finger closer to the pulse of American pop culture than I ever will. I'm not really sure how something as big and amazing as this project got on to the Internet, my Internet, without me discovering it first, but it did.

Dr. Horrible is a little web only, 3 episode show by Joss Whedon. If you don't know who Joss Whedon is, then you probably don't belong on this blog. It also stars Neil Patrick Harris(Doogie!/Barney!) and Captain Maclom Reynolds himsef, Nathan Fillion. Not to mention the absolutely adorable...

You know what, never mind. I'll shut up. Cancel your plans for tonight, take a long lunch, or whatever. The next 45 minutes are about to be 132% more awesome for you than they would have been. You can thank me later.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Homework Assignment

Life has been busy as can be lately, but hopefully times they are a slowing down.

I've got a veritable cornucopia of new blog posts in the chamber, but I need some free time to fix them up before I can pull the trigger. Until that happens though I've got a homework assignment for you, and that is to go here:

Larry Jenkens is sort of a friend of a friend, and his post on photobombing will be required reading for an upcoming entry. There may be a pop quiz, so make sure you read thoroughly. Feel free to check out the rest of his blog too as it's quite amusing.