Monthly Archives: November 2012

There are Still Good People out There

I had several different topics I considered posting today, the last day of November’s National Blog Post Month, but when I heard about this, I knew I had to make my post about this.

It seems there was a police officer in New York City who saw a barefoot homeless man sitting out in the cold one night. He then went into a nearby shoe store, bought a pair of boots, and gave them to this man. This kind act may have gone appreciated but unnoticed had it not been for a woman who happened to be walking by, saw what was happening, and took a picture. She sent the picture to the New York Police Department to commend the officer for his actions (you can read this article about it from Yahoo).

I must say that although my faith in humanity sometimes gets a little shaken and disgusted and drives me to want to live in one of those nice furnished caves in Arizona, I was so glad to see that there are people out there who remember to be kind and considerate, who want to make the lives of those around them better instead of seeing what they can do to help themselves. This man is a hero.

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Filed under National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012

Followup: A Brief Windows 8 Review

I managed to preview Windows 8 some time back, and my verdict is…no. Heck no.

Although the layout is great for smartphones and tablets, it looks terrible on a regular computer. Microsoft should have figured out a way to have it render differently on desktops/laptops or at least include an option to automatically boot into the desktop mode rather than going through the Metro layout.

Also…whose bright idea was it to get rid of the Start button!?

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Filed under National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012, Reviews, Technology

A Brief Internet Explorer 10 Review

I got fed up with my glitchy version of Internet Explorer 9 and decided to download the release preview of Internet Explorer 10 shortly after Microsoft made it available. My verdict: it is much easier to use than version 9 ever was. It better supports the newer HTML5 features, which makes my work as a web designer less stressful. Of course, it still has a few of those trademark Internet Explorer glitches (like how it still goes slower than my Chrome or Firefox browsers), but things look brighter for Internet Explorer’s future than it has in past releases.

Windows 8 on the other hand…well, that’s a subject for another post.

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Filed under National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012, Reviews

Some Thoughts on Altar Decorations

Altar decorations should be tasteful and honor Our Lord, not try to be some sort of artistic statement. This has come up recently when I was at Mass the other day and noticed that some of the altar decorations were pumpkins and dried-up corn husks. I completely understand and appreciate wanting to thank God for a bountiful harvest, but I question the use of the corn husks. Pumpkins I can understand–I may think they belong elsewhere than on the altar, but I can understand them. I cannot understand the corn husks. And the corn husks were in bigger vases than the tasetful dark orange flowers that also graced the altar. I did not think that was fair.

Sigh. Maybe they won’t use the corn husks next year.

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Filed under Catholic Stuff, National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012

Update: I Have Survived!

Break out the trumpets and blare them loud ’cause I have finished my Phantom dubbing project! Okay, so it is not perfect in parts, but all in all it is really something. I consider this project to be of great service to humanity–I have saved their eardrums.

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Filed under National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012

I Hate It When I Give Myself Ideas

Usually the ideas are complex and involve a good deal of brain work, and temporary insanity is the inevitable result. But does this stop me? No. There are always downsides to being stubborn.

The most recent example of idea-giving came from a post I did a few weeks ago. Remember “Hooray for Enterprise YouTube Users!” and how I said someone should dub the 25th anniversary soundtrack over the 2004 Phantom of the Opera film? And do you remember how I said I would do it myself if I had access to the 2004 footage?

I think you know where this is going.

Yes, I have set off on this endeavor. The results are amazing, but my brain has endured some terrible abuse in the process. Apparently the special plot element for the movie was, “We’re going to speed up the tempo of all the songs!” And the 25th anniversary performed the songs at their proper tempo. Oh, and did I mention that the movie changed some of the lyrics?

Yeah, the dubbing is not very even in spots. “Think of Me” was pretty much a wash due to the massive lyric overhall, and I couldn’t even do “Little Lotte” because Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson SPOKE the parts instead of SINGING them (whose idea was that? Really, who thought that was a good idea?). “Music of the Night” was a veritable nightmare, and “The Point of No Return” kept having to be slowed down and sped up. Ah, yes, and the title song from the movie had a verse deleted, so I had to attempt a song edit to mirror that change. Result: it’s kind of choppy.

Mind you, it hasn’t all been nightmarish mental torture and tears. The mirror scene came out beautifully, and “All I Ask of You” was a much smoother edit than I had been expecting. Also, the first round of “Notes”, which I had been dreading, was easier to dub than I had feared.

All in all, it’s almost done, for which I am extremely grateful and excited. And yet–perhaps because my brain enjoys being punished–I will miss it a little bit.

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Filed under National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012, Random Things of Randomness

What’s with the Fluffiness?

So I was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, and as usual, it featured many of the most popular music acts today. Much of the music had a good beat and would be good for dancing, but it also seemed kind of shallow and fluffy. What is with shallow and fluffy? Perhaps I’ve been listening to too much Les Miserables of late, and I have been busy with a Phantom of the Opera video project (more on that in another post), but the songs I heard that day seemed to lack the heartfelt depth of those two musicals. Yes, most songs in those and in the music acts in the parade were songs about love and life, but even so, there was substantial difference.

Take, for example, the first part of the “All I Ask of You” reprise from Phantom:

I gave you my music, made your song take wing.
And now, how you’ve repaid me, denied me, and betrayed me.

To me, that gives a much stronger appeal about love lost (or never really had in the first place, but it was fun to pretend otherwise) than any song I have heard most mainstream singers perform. That being said, the initial rendition of “All I Ask of You” is actually quite nice (if a little annoying in its sweetness at times) wherein Christine and Raoul sing about marriage–how many modern love songs contain that conversation? Well, there is Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, so I suppose I just shot down my point.

Marry me, Juliet; you’ll never have to be alone.
I love you, and that’s all I really know.
I talked to your dad; go pick out a white dress.
It’s a love story; baby, just say yes.

I actually tolerate this song because the boyfriend went to the dad for permission. Way to do things right, Romeo.

But still I maintain that 98% of today’s music is shallow and fluffy!

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Filed under National Blog Post Writing Month November 2012, Reviews