Archives for September 2003

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the future is digital?

On Saturday Kathy and I went to The Grove (official site) for dinner and a movie. We ended up seeing Once Upon a Time in Mexico, a movie which I enjoyed, though I thought it was a bit disjointed. That's not what ended up being most interesting to me, however. Unintentionally, this ended up being the first end to end digital film I've seen.

I first suspected something was up during the previews. Sharp edges looked a little off. I thought they must now be running previews off a cheap digital to save some movie. Instead, this was the digital projection for the film. Even the DLP Cinema trailer had pixelation issues, showing that the technology is the culprit here, not misuse of it. During the movie itself there were probably 8 - 10 times where pixelation stood out to me, mostly when all or part of the screen made heavy use of white.

Afterward, while walking back to the car, I asked Kathy if she noticed anything different about the image quality. She's not at all a technical person, and to her the DLP trailer might as well have been the THX trailer, but even as someone completely unaware what was going on she imediately mentioned the issue with whites. To me it seems pretty simple that the problem is a simple one of resolution. HD resolution is simply not enough for a cinema screen. Sure, new DLP projectors double your horizontal res, but they're simply masking the symptoms. The problem is still there.

Practically, for now I think that if I'm aware a movie is digitally projected I'll make an effort to sit significantly farther back from the screen. Digital projection's day might come, but I really hope it's not soon.

new work in verbal

I finally got around to putting some papers new and old up in verbal intercourse. Of note, Franklin, Poe, and the American Dream and Gender and the Internet. Neither of them are my best work ever, but both have their charms.

expanding my culinary horizons

Well, not too far... A couple days ago I was at Ralphs in the frozen vegetable aisle, and happened to notice that they had breaded okra. Growing up in the south, I'm quite fond of okra when it's fried, so I bought a bag to try it out. Yesterday for lunch I made it, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Lacking a deep-fryer, I fried them in oil in a stir-fry pan. That worked out fine, though I'd cook them a little less next time. The breading was a bit on the crunchy side, but the okra inside was perfect. I was quite pleased. Between okra and butter beans I can put together a reasonably southern meal, though you won't ever find me buying collard greens.

it begins

It's paper writing time. Due tomorrow, only 3 - 4 pages, contrasting Benjamin Franklin's ideals of self-creation and control with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. I have a vague idea what I'm going to say, but I'm not sure what of the Poe stories we've read I'm going to use for my support. I guess we'll find out by tomorrow. I was pretty tired a little earlier, but I discovered chocolate covered coffee beans waiting on my shelf. This paper might not make sense, or it might be brilliant. It's a coin toss right now.

(Update: 1:24AM) I hadn't noticed that the last post was directly at midnight. It's now close on an hour and a half later, and I'm still reading. I figure I'll have read all the materials by 2. Then I would hope to have the paper itself done in an hour and a half (including time for a shower).

there and back in the same day

On Sunday Kathy and I drove up the coast a ways to attend a wedding in the Bay Area. It was at Mount Hermon, which is between San Jose and Santa Cruz. Taking the 5 up and back, it ended up being five and half hours there and a little under five hours back. Only on the 5 is the average speed of traffic 85 and will you get passed even when you're going 90. Despite the drive it was a fun trip. I got see Joy Williams (whose sister was getting married). When I was 5 or 6 Joy was my first "girlfriend," but I hadn't seen her since then.

following the trail of guitars

Rodney Branigan is in town, and I've seen him play three times in the last two days. Tuesday night it was at the Hard Rock Cafe in the Beverly Center, where he played the open mic. Last night was a double-dip, starting off when Rodney played a short set at USC's Campus Crusade weekly meeting and then continuing at The Cat Club later in the night. In the course of things I even managed to catch another friend, Lee Beth Kilgore, who was earlier in the Cat Club line-up.

If you're in LA, he's playing the Hotel Cafe on Saturday. Definitely come out to this. I can't quite describe the look on people's faces when they see his doing unnatural things with a guitar (or two), but it's something you really have to witness for yourself.

Read on for more about the last two days... — Continue Reading...

Post #100 of 2003

So my newly redesigned archive tells me that this is post #100 of this year. It also tells me that in both 1999 and 2000, I posted exactly 159 times. In 2002 I came close, with 156. Today is day 253 of the year, so we're 69% of the way to 2004. If this year's pace continues, I'll only reach 144 posts. That equals a post about every 2.53 days. Hmmmm.... I should write more.

the return of adventure?

One of my classes this semester is "Intro to Communications Technology." I know, I know... It's not fair for me to take things like this, but it's required for my major, so I'm there.

I actually think the class is kind of cool, as it tackles technology more from a cultural perspective than from a hands-on angle. I think that will do people infinitely more good, so I'm glad to see it heading that direction. COMM isn't a technology major -- as evidenced by the people in the class -- but it most definitely is a major that's highly concerned with cultural interaction. Anyway...

Today in the discussion section we were set loose on LambdaMOO. Now, my discussion section is me, another guy who wasn't there today, and a little over a dozen girls, so what interested me was how these girls reacted to the whole MUD/MOO concept. They had no idea what they were doing, but they jumped in whole-heartedly. It made me wonder if maybe the proliferation of IM and renewed communication via typing has primed the Internet world for something like this to hit it big among a younger mainstream crowd.

Rodney Branigan in LA

This week guitar-wonder Rodney Branigan makes his way back to LA for a couple shows. Wednesday night, the 10th, he'll be at The Cat Club at or around 10pm, then Saturday at midnight Rodney and the Hotel Cafe finally cross paths. I had a hand in setting up this show, and I think the Hotel is the perfect LA venue for hearing Rodney play. If you're anywhere in the LA area, this is a show to make. No questions, just be there.

tuesday night @ temple bar

Last night I headed out to Temple Bar in Santa Monica to see PENNY. If you're here much you'll probably remember that I saw them several times over the summer. Maybe it was the fact that I knew I was going to the show, but "Extraordinary" was in my head all day yesterday. The band has their new live demo out now, and I'm excited for that. As I've said before, I think live really captures their energy a lot better than the studio work I've heard. Last night was a great show as usual. Temple Bar's a cool place, very dark and artsy. It was odd seeing them place standing up on a big stage instead of the little intimate setting of the Hotel Cafe, but that's neither here nor there.