12.18.2009

This Really Isn't About You...It's about Me and God.

**NOTE** This was originally posted as a note over on my Facebook wall. If it looks familiar, that's why.-ATS


First of, let me get this out of the way. I'm gonna talk about God in this note. If that's not your thing, cool. You probably want to click back over to Bejeweled or Collapse or Farmafiavilleyotown.

Still here?

Cool.

There is a recent status message on my wall talking about the Phase 1 and the Great Purging. And that's pretty much what this is.

ME coming clean.

Please hear me on this (and take this the way it's meant)...I don't care what you do-it's not my business. This note is not about you or your habits. It's about me and mine.

If you think that sounds harsh, read on-it's gonna make sense in a minute.

I worked for a computer store for 3 years...in another IT position after that, and I've been in my current job for 11 years (which is help desk at a software company).

So, lets cut to the chase. I'm a geek.

If you needed an MP3, a Movie, a piece of software...chances are I could get it. If I didn't already have it, I knew where to get it, or from whom to get it.

Which, if you're in a pinch, is a good thing.

But...when you're trying to get your isht right with God (as I am here lately), it's a hindrance.

See-this is where the "I don't care about you" part comes in. This isn't a judgement or condemnation or soapbox of anything you currently do. I know some of you get files, etc. I know this because we've exchanged files. You taught me, I taught you. We fed the fire. I don't care about that. I'm not putting this out there for you, it's going out the for me...to solidify my thoughts for the road I'm finding myself on.

It's funny. I always thought I was 'sticking it to the Man' when I circumvented the system.

*I'm a writer, but when I downloaded eBooks, I had it in my head that I was sticking it to the publishers...not fellow authors.

*I'm a movie-maker, but when I got movies,I swore I was sticking it to the studio/Hollywood machine...not other first time directors or fellow Indie filmmakers.

*I'm a musician...but when I got tracks,I was adamant that I was sticking it to the RIAA...not other bands looking for their big break.

*I work for a software company...but when I got the warez or cracks or keygens, I was for sure sticking it to the giants (Microsoft, Adobe, Sony)...not the guys coding shareware in their basement.

But I came the conclusion recently that I wasn't really screwing over ANY of the people I thought I was.

In the end I was screwing myself over. Well, me and God.

It's like this (if you can stay with my twists and turns, then bravo, but here goes)....

OK...file sharing, warez, cracks, torrents, mp3 sites (even going back to napster days)...that's 'normal' now...right? I mean teens know how to find any song they want (and some of them even pay for them on iTunes, Amazon, etc)...or videos.

It's become accepted. Kind of a spoils of plunder thing. If you can do it...and get away with it it's not really theft, right? The world doesn't see it as 'wrong' anymore.

No, really, I'm right there with you,dude...this was kind of a huge shift for me. I could rationalize 100 ways to Sunday why it was ok...hell, even RIGHTEOUS that I got all this isht without paying for it.

But it's still theft. I see that now. Quite clearly.

I started seeing the cracks in my logic when I started editing things at home for ICC. It was like..'ok...I'm editing this video that's supposed to show people the glory of God, but I'm doing it on illegal software.'

That's kind of jacked up yo.

And then the other day, in the shower (where all great ideas hit me), it hit me.

It would be like Moses wearing stolen sandals.Picture this...Moses comes down from the mountain...and he's got the tablets...and they're glowing with the glory of God...and he's completely jazzed to start sharing that,right? And then some dude's like...'um...yo, Moses....what up with the kicks?'

And Moses would be like..."well...you know Reebokodemas is a huge behemoth in the sandal game but yo, their business model is so whack...I figured if a pair came off the wagon, they'd never miss them. And it's not really hurting anyone. They're just shoes. So anyway, let me tell you about these commandments...'Thou shalt not steal....''

Kinda jacked up, right?

I know, know, know KNOW that I've got some great things afoot in my life. And I know that they are directly related to my relationship with God. And I can ask him time and time again to forgive me of my sins-and He will-and that's AMAZING to me.

That only works if I ask for forgiveness. If I don't think I'm doing something wrong...I'm never going to ask and I'm just going to keep carrying that thing around with me....and what if that thing that I don't think is wrong is sitting there infesting a place that needs to be clean and clear for whatever God has in store for me?

Lately I feel like all those 'little things' that I know are wrong, but are 'OK' according to popular opinion have just covered me like a film.

Thousands of songs....hundreds of movies...thousands of eBook...hundreds of software apps...that's a lot of gunk. Easily 200, 300 GB of harddrive space.

I know it's apt to sound preachy or soapboxy. But I really don't care about your stuff. I'm just telling you why I'm cleaning stuff up on my side. And if you ask me if I want that new joint that just dropped, I'm gonna tell you 'no thanks.' If I didn't pay for it, or rip it from a CD or vinyl LP (or DVD or VHS) that I OWN, then I don't need it right now.

And don't get all weird...I really don't think of you any more or less because you still play that game.

I mean, that's really what it is. It's a game. How long can you get away with it? Truthfully? A pretty long time....I'm probably going on 20+ years now...longer if you think back to computer club in 8th grade when we'd all gather around the apple IIGS and play PooYan that someone had cracked.

I'm not going through the purge because I care about what the 'authorities' say. This isn't about the RIAA, courts, Hollywood, SPAA...it's not about any of them. It's about me being able to talk to God. And this stuff....that has seemed so harmless for all these years ...s blocking me from hearing what I need to hear and doing what I need to do on my path to unwrapping the Gift God sent me to be.

So...that's really what it's about. One more acknowledgment that I'm IN the world, but not OF it...and I have to start doing some things differently for me...because I've gone on too long without fully hearing God. And that's hurt all areas of my life.

So, Moses, drop the sandals. We got enough gold between us. We can BUY you some kicks. And now, hit us with those commandments again, mmkay?

Heavy man, heavy.

12.14.2009

Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo-Rock Camp Style

Age (and time) soften most things. I have to admit I was kind of a dick during parts of my Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp experience. Most of it was simple misunderstandings and mis-managed expectations. I'll take part of the blame. And I'll pass on the rest.

And then there's the taxes. Yeah. That cheesed me off. $4000 grand in taxes on my 'prize' was a blow to the nards. Not gonna lie there. I'll probably grumble about that until it's paid off (which I think is like in 2013).

But ... in all honesty, folks, it was an AMAZING experience! And it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing for a cat like me. And I say 'for a cat like me' because, apparently the RRFC folks have a massive re-up rate on people who repeat the camps. At the one I went to, I met 4 or 5 people for which it was their 3rd, 4th, 7th, camp. Crazy. At least for me. $10K a pop just isn't something that's in my budget.

Which is why I always think it's funny when I get emails from David Fishof and crew telling me about up coming events and camps and blah blah. I mean, it's neat and all, because it makes me feel like I'm a part of it all, but by the same token it puts a bold emphasis on the fact that I am NOT of that world...it really was the pauper in the palace.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this...it's on my mind because of the recent email I got from him about February's camp (and some of the extra-curriculars going on with it).

I replied to the (very well written) form letter with a polite "David, that sounds awesome, but unless you have a scholarship program, or want to sponsor me as your resident 'blogger/photographer,'-I'm gonna have to pass until I win the lottery (or another GuitarCenter Contest)" Not sure if he'll answer me back or not. After 2 years I'm not even sure he remembers me. And that's cool.

I still remember the camp. And the jamming...and the State Theater in Phoenix...and the Hard Rock in Vegas...and the Filmore East in San Fran...and the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd in L mother effin A.

It really was a blessing...all bullshit and bitching aside.

That's really the key with memories, isn't it? Peeling away the BS and remembering the good stuff.

Yup.

I'm off next week (shouts out to I and D if you wanna try to hook up)...so hopefully there will be more posts.

Peace out for now.

-T

**UPDATE** Got an update from the man, DF, himself. It was cool. Told him I'd save my pennies but if he wanted to sponsor a blogger with mad photo skillz, look me up (ok...I didn't word it quite like that and he did let me know that did 'feel so bad that guitar center made you pay the taxes but... look at the bright side.' Don't worry David, I've come to grips with the bright side of it (and the rest). It was amazing. And there'll be a whole chapter in my memoirs on 'Things I Learned From Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp' :-) And Happy Holidays to you, Mr. Fishof.

11.30.2009

Multi-Tasking

Well, after a 9 1/2 work day (minus the hour for lunch which consisted of sitting for 43 minutes at the license bureau to get new tags), I'm home.

It's very tempting to say that I'm getting in to a rut. But the problem with that is, if I say it, I'll start to believe it. And if I start to believe it, I'll start to live it. And if I start to live it...ladies and gentlemen, I'm forked. As in put a fork in me, I'm done.

Ruts suck. Been in a few in my short 38 years on this earth.

But I'm not in a rut. I'm multi-tasking. I'm working on cleaning up (read: Speeding up) a friend of a friend's laptop (ironically it's the same model that I'm trying to trade my Netbook for, but the dude on Craigslist keeps harping about 'partial trade' bzzzzt. pass), I'm also copying files from a jump drive over to ye olde Sansa View which Jen is using temporarily since her 2nd of 2 Sansas died the other day and it's still 26 days until Christmas. And I may be a strict father at times, I'm not cruel enough to deprive her of a portable listening device.

So that's happening as well...oh, and I'm updating this blog. AND a few Facebook statuses. And thanks to a connection from college, I may in the near future be doing a blog piece on what it's like to go from XP to Ubuntu to Windows 7 on a Netbook (and if it's truly the bees knees as they say, I'll probably just hang on to the netbook (although I might have mentioned either here or on FB that the small screen is starting to annoy me just a tad..but until I come up with $400 for a new notebook, I'll live with it. Especially since if I DO come up with that scratch, there's a strong chance it's going toward camera gear. Go figure.

Crap. where was I?

Oh yes, Multitasking.

I don't do it very well. I'm not gonna lie. I'm much better off when I zero in on a specific task and see it through to its natural conclusion. People make a big deal about being able to multi-task, but I'm of the opinion that true multi-TASKING is impossible. Oh..sure...it may be possible to be physically working on one task but you can very rarely devote your full attention to multiple tasks. I hate to break it to you, but very few computers multi-task either. They are multi-threaded. One program starts....takes a thread and runs with it. Another program starts...takes another thread...both independent of each other, but dependent on the system as a whole.

Where was I? Oh. You don't know. See I was over chatting with my college connection. Turns out I can't get a pro-bono edition of Windows7, but it's all good. I am not completely overrun with curiosity about it yet. I'm in a holding pattern right now with my gear. I need what I have to continue working until MOTIV8 Design really takes off and I can get an iMac to do my editing on (or a Mac Pro tower, but that's a couple years down the road, the iMac is more reasonable).

This really is a ramble. Feels like a book I once read that I wrote. Well, not a book, book. More of a collection of freeform thought vomit or something of that nature.

Did I mention we got the Christmas lights up? We did. They're here.

I ...hmm. Really I'm not sure where I was going with this.

That's not multi-tasking...that's trying to do to many frickin' things at once. Doesn't quite work as well as we'd like to all think it does. At least not for me.

See...there's a whole lotta shit I want to be doing with my life right now that if I can pull it off well, will not only satisfy my soul AND pay bills. But right now it's not doing much of either. Because I gotta work for the man to pay the bills, there's not much left of me for the soul-satisfying. But soon. I'm working on that.

I'm working on a system. I'm much better at systems than I am at trying to do multiple tasks. This system involves me better managing my time between my job...my family...my walk with God...and my hopes and dreams.

Gotta get that balance.

And it's gonna happen. And I hate to cut this short, but I only gave myself so long to work on this before I focused on something else I needed to get done. And right now, that time is up.

peace out.

Oh...I and D? Jamming, hanging out, pizza, movies, guitars...I don't care what it involves...we just need to do it soon. Like Saturday the 12th? That work for y'all? lemme know. Because 'friendships' also go on that list up there. :-)

-T

11.25.2009

For My Birthday, I Maked You a Song

I'm still not sure I would call the cutting and pasting stylings of what I do in Acid writing a song. Technically all the bits are there and I'm just assembling them in to something bigger than the sum of the parts. But semantics aside, I dusted off the old sample files and made a little birthday ditty I call Thirty-Eight. Enjoy. It goes best with yellow cake and chocolate icing (but I leave it up to you to choose your food accompaniment).
 
It's been over a month since I've updated this blog (much like the last post, I'm guessing). And it's not like there's not a lot going on. It's just that when I actually have a few minutes to chill, I don't really feel like updating ye olde blogge. So I usually throw about 20 games of Bejeweled down the suck-hole and call it a night.
 
I don't really want to delve too much in to work right about now because well, I'm at work and it's just not something I want to spend anymore time thinking about at this point than I really have to. That was one of the main reasons I took my customers and co-workers off my Facebook page....just needed some time that is MY time where I can just not think about anything that's going on here. And in the grand scheme of the world, things are fine. I'm employed, and it's a decent job. And it mostly pays the bills and there's generally enough left over each month for a pizza. And the benefits are on par with many places. So....there's really not much to bitch about. I'm sure the low morale and other assorted bull-isht would manifest itself anywhere I worked. Signs O the Times, I suppose.
 
In other news, I've been doing more with the photography (yeah, I know, that blog is in serious need of an update, too-perhaps this weekend). I'm also doing more with the ad agency. I don't want to put too much about that on blast just yet (see above paragraph). We're probably a whiles away from it being any kind of full time gig-so I'd rather not lose the job I have. 2010 is going to be a nutty year at church, too. And by nutty, I mean nutty-busy. The video ministry is going to be getting a ton of work and things we need to work on (now we just need to get more volunteers to help with all of it :-)
 
For some reason, the creative/witty juices that I normally draw on for these posts are a bit lacking today. Maybe its just my body's way of getting ready for the inevitable food coma it's going to be in tomorrow afternoon. Maybe it's just because I haven't written anything longer than the average facebook status update for over a month. Or maybe it's just a combination of all of those things coupled with feeling like the 6 people out there have other things they'd rather read :-)
 
Whatever the reason, I think I'm gonna go ahead and close this post out now instead of dragging the proverbial dead camel.
 
I'll update some more tonight, methinks.
 
Peace out
 
-ATS

10.12.2009

Long Time Gone

Sorry for the recent bouts of MIA-ness. I know my 4 followers have probably found more interesting things to read by now, but that's cool. Here's just a little bit of the flavor that's been floating in ye olde byle ductes lately.

Dream Conference 2009. What is it? Well, for one, it's over this year. For twosies it was a weekend filled with teachings speakers and presentations that focused on how to unlock the dreams God has placed in side each of us. Don't worry, I'm not going to pass a plate around and take up an offering or anything like that. But, to be fair, I've been delving back in to the wells of my faith and finding that it's not always as shallow as I'd pretended it was. Looking back over my life there have been many times where the only reason I'm even here typing this out right now is because of a deliverance from God (and not in a Warren Beatty/Burt Reynolds kind of way, either). But those are stories for other times and places.

The other thing that's been taking up so much time is MOTIV8 Design Group. Without saying too much, I'm one of the partners of a growing ad agency that already has a few projects under our belts and working toward more. I'm doing a lot of photography/video/creative design work with the group. And I'm actually loving it. It's complementing my analytical/tech support side very well. I'm not sure when it'll be a full time gig-probably not for a while yet (at least for me), but you never know.

I've been doing a lot of photography,too. Engagement pictures, family pictures, and this past Saturday I shot a wedding. Yeah. Photography. Steven did the video work and I did the shutterbug. And I have to say---it's a lot of frickin' work. Two things I need if I continue to do weddings (and the jury's still out on that one)--a faster flash. The used flash I bought is fine for portrait or outdoor shots (as a fill light), but a 3 second recharge is WAY too slow for event photography. I definitely need to save up for an SB600 or SB800. And I also need to pick up a 50mm prime lens (I actually want to pick up one of these anyway for portrait/family shoots). So..um. Yeah. I'm geeking out on the photography aspect in ways I didn't think possible back in the days of the fleeting 'gee, I'd like to have a DSLR' thoughts...now that I've got one-holy crap---all I want to do it shoot pix! (but I temper myself because I can't provide for my family on photography alone just yet).

Shifting gears to the geek realm...I'm dual booting the NC10 into Ubuntu now. And for the past 3 weeks have been running only Ubuntu on it with varying degrees of success (all of them high enough to keep wanting to run linux on it). I will probably look into putting Sandbox on it so I can have a virtual XP machine that will host my work's VPN client and IE7, both of which I need if I plan on using my netbook to remote in and do work from home.

Upcoming projects include editing and color correcting 500+photos from the wedding....editing and mastering the DVDs of the Dream Conference...working on promos for International Christian Center....playing more guitar....trying to get out and photograph the changing leaves...finishing up the studio/downstairs re-org project....fixing up the 4 computers that friends have given me to work on...projects for M8D....watching Bubba's Chili Parlor again (yes, again. I popped that sombish in as soon as I got it from Amazon)...going to see Zombieland...and seeing if I can get my body used to fully functioning on 4-5 hours of sleep a night (or maybe every other night).

So how things been with you?

10.02.2009

2 LEGIT 2 um....something

So, I stumbled across some anti-piracy videos from the early 90's thanks to a blog on the Videomaker site. Now it's pretty funny and cheezy (and there's even a follow up here that was presumably made in this decade).

I'm not gonna lie...I've hit the newsgroups like a pimply kid on prom night. And I've gotten my share of ill-gotten booty. But yesterday it kind of hit me (and maybe it's the fact that I'm wanting to be a better example for my kids who are keenly aware of that stuff now...or maybe it's the fact that RoadRunner doesn't have newsgroups anymore)--I'm getting pretty bored with the whole 'I can get any software, movie, mp3, DVD, blah blah' thing.

I realize that there is the massive potential for hypocrisy out the arse with this. I mean, afterall, I have thousands of MP3s...some going all the way back to the Audio Galaxy and original Napster days (before file sharing was illegal-ha!), but going through the list stacked up in Media Monkey I started thinking to myself...'I never listen to this. the only reason I have this is because I didn't pay for it'...and that's getting to be a pretty weak-sauce argument these days.

A couple of years back, I took the plunge and purchased a legit, licensed copy of Sony Vegas 8 Pro. I've used Vegas for 10 years now, but this is the first time I'd paid for it. I looked at it this way, I'm putting videos together for my church-something seems a bit wrong doing that on illegal software.

I know all the arguments-"If I like the album, I'll buy it"...."I go see the artists in concert, that's where they make their money anyway"..."Cool Whip tastes better than Hellman's"....and the fact of the matter is...if they served me a warrant, there's not a lawyer alive that could get me off.

But I'm really not even worried about THAT. I don't file share. I don't torrent. And now I don't even download. So, I'm not really on anyone's radar. What I've been thinking of lately is...what kind of example am I setting? We make the kids buy all their music through iTunes. To be legal.

Meh. This is a really weird post to write...but I've seriously been thinking of deleting all the shit that's on my drive and starting over with only legit stuff starting back with the OS and working my way up from there. I've already started the process on the Netbook. I have Ubuntu loaded and fully functioning now and it's damn near ready for me to forget about XP on that thing altogether (I'd forgotten how much more efficient with resources Ubuntu was).

It would free up a hell of a lot of space on my drives (about 300GB if you factor in MP3's, software, videos)...and it would free up a lot of bookshelf space for the shite I've already burned off to disk.

Maybe I'm going soft. Or maybe I just feel like I want to brush off anything that might hold me back in whatever way from reaching my dreams. It would look really really phenomenally bad for a filmmaker or photographer or partner in an ad agency to be cranking out legit work on stolen goods.

Don't worry, I'm not gonna go all Jimminy Cricket on anyone. I don't care what you do or don't do. I'm just thinking that I need to clean some isht up in my own life and that's as good a place to start as any.

9.16.2009

Work Time/Play Time

You may recall back here that I had a little epiphany about why it was probably a good idea to remove customers from my Facebook Page. I'm coming to a very similar conclusion about co-workers, actually.

This one isn't easy from the simple fact that I'm good friends with some people here. So-why go this route?

It just seems like the right thing to do right now. There are some things I'm working on in my life-some dreams that I feel the Lord is going to release through me and out in to the world (don't worry-this isn't going to turn in to a sermon). It's no secret that I love to write, that I love to make films, and that I love to make photographs. Someday I hope to be making a living doing a combination of any or all of these things. But with the economy what it is, I'm not quite there yet.

I use my Facebook page to spout off...to pontificate...to call people a jackass if they deserve it (or I think they deserve)...and I think many people use it for a very similar purpose. Problem is...there may be times when I want to do all of those things and it might be related to a day I've had at work. Now I'm not stupid enough to do something or say something that would put my job in jeopardy-at least not from my point of view.

But point of view is the problem, isn't it?

I can't control where you're coming from when you read my page. And I'm not really wanting to have to censor what I say because I think it might be taken the wrong way or because something might filter to people its not supposed to filter to.

This could very well just be paranoia, and I recognize that. My true friends are probably going to recognize where I'm coming from, and the rest pretty much just is what it is.

And that's really all I've got on that....and don't worry...when I get to the point where my dreams are being fully realized... you may be getting that 'friend request' again :-) (and if we truly are friends, you know what's going on in my life without silly Facebook status updates, anyway, don't ya?)

Thanks for being patient with me.

9.13.2009

Not Worth It

I had a huge rant forming in my head about what an ass Kanye was on the MTV VMA’s, but that really just raises more questions than it answers. And he’s going to get enough press out of it without my piss of a blog.

And that’s about all I have to say about that.

9.07.2009

Hanging on a wing and a prayer

 

DSC_3205_edited

I saw something pretty amazing yesterday. A woman, secured only by a belt around her waist was on the top wing of a bi-plane.

And I thought to myself ‘boy…you really kinda have to trust the person you’re working with to do THAT kind of job.’

My job in tech-support is not quite like that. I don’t have to trust my co-workers with my life. If one of us makes a mistake, then we figure it out-give the customer the right bit of information, apologize for the screw up and go along our merry way.

I’m guessing ‘Amanda’ on the wings of her hubby’s plane would not appreciate any kind of mistake humming along at 60+ MPH.

Where am I going with this? Not sure. But before I get too far into it, shouts out to I- and D-. Congrats you guys on both of your recent moves. Hopefully you’re past most of the stress involved with moving and in to the new ‘how do I fit here and make this place my own’ phase. Looking forward to checking out the new digs.

Back to the unknown journey.

I feel like I’m in flux right now. Things are…well…they are what they are (let’s just put it that way) at work. I’ve been trying to put the current situation in perspective given the 11 years that I’ve worked there, and I have to admit I’m a bit baffled. I have to think that the economy has a lot to do with it.

Rather than dwell too much on that, I’ve been focusing my energies on the things that are brining me joy (namely working on the movie, shooting photos (and REALLY getting in to that), building up the team at ICC in the Video Ministry, and trying to be the best hubby and father I can be—given that laundry list, it’s easy to not worry about how things are going at work, which is a good thing).

I really don’t have much more than that right now, I guess.

Other than to say-sorry I haven’t written more. But I’m hummin’ along and doing fine. Hope you are all doing the same.

 

-ATS

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8.16.2009

My First Camera

288px-Minolta110ZoomSLR_20090412

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minolta_110_Zoom_SLR

This was actually my first camera (that I remember). I think I may have had (or used) a 110 Ektachrome at some point, but this was my first real camera.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 12. It was Christmas and the camera was a gift from my Gramps. I was going to France the following spring and needed a good camera. And this was (in retrospect) a great one. Manual Focus ring (that I never got the hang of when I was 12). Manually adjustable light compensation (again that I never got the hang of when I was 12).

There was the opportunity for some amazing pictures. But most of my pictures from France (if I even knew where they were) are blurry. And that sucks.

But I figured it out today…that’s how far back my interest in photography went. Earlier actually. I can remember my dad developing photos at home. He had a good rig (Pentax, I think..maybe Yashica?). Gramps I’m pretty sure was a Minolta man. My brother later would prove to be a Nikon guy. And I was pretty much wide open…I settled on Fuji later in life when I went into my Point and Click Phase.

I very recently went the way of my brother and became a Nikon guy. And I’ve been very happy with that decision.

So, why all this nostalgia about my first camera? More of a discovery really. I figured out WHY I love video so much. It’s pretty much because I love Photography. And it’s a way to get a bunch of pictures in on place.

But I’m finding that I’m getting more of a center back in the single snapshot of a moment in time. Frozen.

I’m not sure where this was going. Other than to say that I miss this little Minolta. I wonder where it went. I wonder if I found it, if I could still get 110 cartridge film for it? Sounds like a winter project.

There’s been a whole bunch of stuff going on elsewhere in Todd-land, but I thought I’d just get this little random blip out there while it was still floating in my head.

Peace out.

-AT

(oh, if you’re new, the fruits of my Photoddgraphy can be found over here http://photoddgraphy.blogspot.com).

7.28.2009

Only 10,000??

Henri Cartier-Bresson said that "your first 10,000 pictures are your worst."

I checked my photo-hard drive this morning before heading to work and it had 13.576 files on it. That’s since 2005. I’m pretty sure that they aren’t all single files (in fact I recently adopted the practice of making dupes of my files before editing). So, even assuming for dupes, let’s say there are 7,000 unique shots on the drive since 2005.  Given that math, I’ve got about another 2 years to go before my ‘worst’ shots are behind me.

Of course I’ve taken film shots from an early age, so the likelihood of me already being past my 10,000 worst pictures moment is high.

And that makes me feel good.

I figure I almost have enough for a book on clouds now (I’d want to get a few more sunset and sunrise shots for the catalog, but other than that, my cloud book is almost set). I’d call it ‘Search for Silver Linings.’ It can be a noun (as in MY search) or a verb (as in, you there, GO SEARCH). I’m not sure how far away we are from it, but I think it would be neat.

DSC_1309_editedIn other news, had a great phone call with D yesterday. I know that with the interwebs, we can all still ‘feel connected’ but there’s still something about hearing a voice or hanging out in person that’s pretty damn cool.

Here’s one of the images in my head that encapsulates my friendship with D.

 IMG_0642

That was taken a few years ago when we were recording “Side One, Track One” (a neglected blog I started that contained complete album sides along with colorful commentary before and after the music played).

Yeah, a hanging out session is definitely in order.

For those of you (3 or 4 that read this) wondering about work. It’s cool. Lots o’ things happening and it’s going to be an interesting Fall (and I mean the season, not the verb). And that’s ‘interesting’ in a good way (not the way that wives use it when they think their husbands just did something completely retarded).

Other than that, I’m not really sure what’s blog-worthy these days. I’m (really) living the dream. And right now the dream is either having a national premier of a movie on the theaters country-wide OR having a photo on the cover of National Geographic OR a gallery show (or, eff it…how about ALL THREE??-That’s not out of the realm of possibility).

How about you? How is everyone out there in bloggy-blog land doing these days?

7.25.2009

Letting Go of Customer/Friends

So...most of my regular reader(s) know that I work for a software company. My position there is Customer Service. So, basically I solve problems and interact with customers via email or phone until said problem has been solved.

It's cool. I've been there for 11 years. Don't worry-this post isn't going where you think it might be.

So...11 years. And now, enter social media.

Yes, I'm on the Twitter. I tweet about 1 time every 2 months. Don't get too excited.

I'm also on the Facebook. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to call me a Facebook junkie.

So...social media+customer service+dealing with most of the same people for 11 years= people on my FB Friends list that are also customers of the company I work for.

This has been mostly fine until yesterday. I had a particularly frustrating email from a friend (that has since been resolved, thank you very much). And on FB I posted that I was frustrated, but I was letting things go (meaning letting go of the frustration).

My mistake was posting this during business hours. I was informed that with as many customers as I had on my friends list, I couldn't be posting things like that during the day.

And it's true. I'm not going to bitch about the person that told me this or any kind of evil corporate censorship, because that's not my take on this.

Basically...the potential is HUGE for my posts on FB to be misconstrued. I am sarcastic and somewhat cynical in nature (I know, right?!)...and I'm usually not afraid to spout out whatever's going through my head.

And this could be bad. Bad for business.

Look at it this way.

You're a customer of mine. You and I are on the phone for 2+hours working on a tough issue. You know I'm frustrated about the call (not at you, necessarily, but the problem). And you and I go home later and you see that I've posted something like "Man...that effing call today was about to freak me the eff out...can you believe that b**ch??!!!???!"

Now....what you didn't know was that at some point during the day I also got a call from an attorney...or the IRS...or anyone else that pissed me off.

The likelihood of you asking me about "the call" that's referenced in my status message is slim. The likelihood of you assuming that I'm bitching about our call earlier in the day is slightly higher.

And that's bad news. Because all of a sudden our working relationship is now damaged by something that had nothing to do with work.

Or...on the flip-side. I read on your post that you're excited for the SAP visit Monday. Now, seeing that they are a competitor, I've got cause for concern (never mind the fact that is the warehouse module of SAP and you happen to think the rep is cute and it has nothing to do with our software at all)...again..there's tension and I'm likely to make assumptions.

And that's just on Facebook alone. What about Twitter where we're limted to 140 characters? There is NO room for clarity, and commenting on tweets isn't as straightforward as commenting on FB posts.

So, basically, after talking with my supervisor and fellow co-workers...I'm coming to a conclusion. And it's as simple as this-I need to be pro-active and self-regulate this before a policy comes down.

I am going to take anyone off my friend's list that is also a customer of the company I work for.

This sucks, somewhat, because I am friends with a lot of you. We've met at user conferences...or when you're in town for trainings.

Nope, not an easy thing, but I think it's probably going to be the best thing for now. If it looks like such a policy isn't coming, then I'll re-add you all (please don't take the 'drop' the wrong way...it's just 'safer' for now).

Know this, too. No one forced me to do this. I'm doing this of my own choice. It's just necessary for now. I don't want to be in a position where I'm afraid to post something that might be taken the wrong way...and I don't want to make things more difficult for my employer (and certainly don't want to think that anything I've posted could jack up my job...I'm not ready to walk away after 11 years,I have a little too much vested there to get sacked over something silly in facebook).

On the bright side. the photo-blog and this blog are open (not invitation-only), and most of you have my email address. So, we will still be in touch (especially if you have support questions).

Have a good weekend, and (maybe) talk to you next week.

-Todd

Three Ddot Night

Did this on FB a while back (I think)...but I'm guessing my answered changed somewhat. Got this from IcyStewart's bloggy blog. Enjoy.

THREE NAMES I GO BY:
Todd, Dad, Skaggy

THREE PLACES I HAVE LIVED:
Clintonville, Westerville, Columbus

THREE PLACES I'VE WORKED:
Abbott Foods, MicroCenter, AstuteSolutions

THREE THINGS I LIKE TO WATCH
Chuck, Heroes, Deadliest Catch

THREE PLACES I HAVE BEEN
France, Las Vegas, LA

THREE PEOPLE WHO EMAIL ME REGULARLY:
Dad, CircuitCity, Steven

THREE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
Pizza, White Castles, Deep Fried Anything*

THREE FRIENDS I THINK WILL RESPOND:
Ian and Darrin already did...Kim?

THREE THINGS I LOOK FORWARD TO:
Fried/On-A-Stick Fest '09, Being Debt Free, My movie (or gallery) premiere.







*Deep Friend Anything is coincidentally going to be the name of my next band.

7.15.2009

What’s All The Hubbub, Bub?

DSC_1139_edited

So, coming back from lunch yesterday (happy Bastille Day, btw) and there’s a buzz around my area of the office about the bitchin’ (Camaro) Lambo down in the parking garage.

Now, I’m not much of a car guy or gear head by any means, but the Lamborghinis just speak testosterone. You don’t have to know shit about cars to know that these cars are the pinnacle. The price tag of $200,000-$300,000 also elevates them to the spoils of the ‘damn near more money than God’ income bracket.

So, it was understandable that in our little office building it was creating a bit of a stir (not quite a hullabaloo, but definitely a hubbub).

In a shaky economy, the question of who owned the car stirred quite some debate. And I can honestly say one thing…I don’t really care who owns it.

If the president of a company wanted to trade in their $120,000 Porsche on a $225,000 Lambo, that’s definitely their prerogative. I have no problems with that.

The rest of this post could easy dive headfirst into speculation, assumptions, circumstantial evidence…and for what? To piss and moan about something that, at the end of the day, doesn’t really affect me?

I will just say this. I have no idea who owns the Lambo. I honestly don’t care. My only motivation for finding out (and hoping it IS our boss) is that I would love to go for a ride in one.

Period.

For more pix of the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, head over to  Todd's Foto Blog

In other news, I’m shooting a lot more photos. I was having a discussion last night with Steven about the filmmaking process. He’s a natural director. That’s his bent. Mine is definitely more of the writing/pre-production and the Editing/post-production. And that fits with my growing (or re-kindled) love of photography. In the film-editing process, you’re taking an overall picture, and at times making each frame its own snapshot. So it only makes sense that I would gravitate toward that aspect of the filmmaking process.

This was a good discovery (and a good discussion) because it means that we will have our natural roles when working on indie-projects together. Instead of stepping on each others toes with trying to have 2 directors or 2 editors. It was a good talk and I think it’s the start of some brilliant collaborations.

We also talked about the need to work on some fun stuff that was our own (not for ICC, and not for Motiv8 Design). And that reminded me…I need to do stuff within the medium that keeps me passionate about it. I got to thinking of how I love (really really love) to edit. Which led me back to the Crapumentary. Yes-it needs done, no doubt about it. There’s realistically (easily) 40-50 hours of editing that need to be done to that  The first 20 or so are just getting it shaped to be able to figure out what story I want to tell with the film. But I need to finish it. It was a good idea at the time (4 years ago) when I went to Darrin with it….and the trailer was awesome (at least it made ME want to see a movie that wasn’t even done yet :-). So, that’s gonna be done before a certain someone’s birthday (yeah, we missed the May release date…isht happens :-)

There are so many things on my plate right now that I want to be working on that I need to pull back a little bit and not forget about the important things…like relationships with my family and friends.

The next few months….couple years are going to be an exciting whirlwind of change. And I’m really looking forward to.

(I was going to apologize for the disjointed nature of the post, but in all honesty…it’s just isht I needed to get out there. Clear off the mental desk and make room for the important stuff).

 

peace

-AT

7.13.2009

Point, Shoot, Sh*t

So. I'm spoiled. I see that now.

Westerville Fireworks were 2 weekends ago. Normally on the 4th, it goes like this…1)Neighborhood Cookout, 2)Fireworks.

Only this year, someone got the bright idea to also have a garage sale (yes, that was me).

On the bright side, we made some decent scratch, I got rid of most of my albums, and made enough to get the Slingshot. Which, as camera bags go, is probably my favorite. It’s possible it may surpass the Nova 5 AW I got a few years back (although I suspect that if this photo thing starts to get TOO serious, this bag may again assert it’s number one spot—esp. if I start getting multiple lenses and/or multiple flash units. But we’re probably a couple years away from that).

So, I’m spoiled, not because I have the Nikon D50…nope. I’m spoiled because I didn’t have it for 2 years. And for those 2 yeas I shot with the Fuji Finepix S700. I loved that camera. I could get it to do just about everything I wanted it to do. Except look like a real photo. There was something that was always ‘flat’ about it. And the response was always a split second behind on the shots (very noticeable during soccer season). Then, as fate (and/or luck) would have it, Jerry K. at work heard my lament and history was made :-) when I was able to get the D50 from him.

So, here’s how I was spoiled. With the Fuji (and basically ANY point and shoot). All I really had to worry about was composition. Did the shot LOOK good. And if it did, I snapped it. Checked the LCD to see if there were any glaring errors and went on with it.

Things like aperture, F-stop, shutter speeds, metering, depth of field were non-issues because all I did most of the time was pick a ‘mode’ (night, portrait, fireworks) and the camera did the thinking about all that other stuff behind the scenes. And that was fine by me.

The D50 is seen as an entry-level DSLR camera (and that’s fine by me, since I still consider myself an entry level photographer), but it’s still leaps and bounds beyond the point and shoots that I have to think of things now like, what’s my lighting going to be like…how close am I going to be…do I need a tri-pod.

The funny thing is…I love that isht! It actually makes the shoot that much more interesting to me. It WAS a bit frustrating to not get the fireworks shots I had envisioned in my head (that just means I need more practice before next year….a box of sparklers should do it).

So that’s my lover’s lament on the camera. If you made it this far, you must be really bored (either before you started, or you are now).

In other Skaggage News, the garage sale on the 4th of July weekend was a hit. We made enough for Nancy to get some new running shoes…for me to get a new camera bag AND pay off most of the camera. On top of that there was some extra scratch leftover for Wendy’s and Skyline. All in all, a worthwhile endeavor.

AND…the biggest news of the garage sale? The albums are gone. Well, most of them. The 150 or so that I had pulled aside when we first put the batch into storage is still on the shelves. The remaining 1000 or so are gone. I sold about 230 during the 2 days (people were lining up when we opened on Friday-JUST for rekkids')…and then one of the guys on Saturday asked me what I’d sell the rest of the collection for. I said $400 (this was about 50 cents per). He emailed me Saturday night and offered 30 cents per.  I thought about it…did a quick calculation and told him to come up on Sunday and grab his newly acquired record collection.

So, I guess I’m not getting a table at the record show in August. And that’s cool. Still planning on going with Ian and Darrin…and hitting Gyro-Town or whatever the heck that place was, afterwards  (so, put it on your calendars, guys!).

Since the Fourth, other fun and frivolity has also ensued. There are photos up on the blog (Todd’s Foto Blog). Detailed descriptions of said frivolity may or may not follow on these pages. We’ll see :-)

Until then (or not), Peace out.

-Todd

6.24.2009

Jam On It

Yeah. It’s starting up again. I think it’s a summer thing, but I’m just wanting to rawk. As in plug the guitar in and turn the amp to 11. Need a danged BuddhaJam again is what we need. But I don’t see that happening. That was definite time and space kind of thing, both of which have passed.

And I’m not really to the the ‘lead guitarist’ point in my musical journey (and I’m ok if I never get there), I just want to play rhythm guitar and stomp on the effect pedals needlessly and rock out in stupid 3 chord punk rock fashion. 

But being almost 40 and wanting to start a band or be in a band (especially with all the other shite that’s going on) strikes of some kind of lunacy. I have neither the practice space nor the time, nor the temperament to put up with but a handful of other musicians anyway.  So what’s the alternative. Eff if I know. I guess just wait until the house is clear, plug in the Slash Epi, turn isht to 11 and pretend.

Works for me.

Shaking the Mortal Coil and other Tasty Desserts

Got this email yesterday:

Dan M----- passed away this weekend. The cause is yet to be determined. They are currently doing an autopsy. The services are Wednesday at St. ----'s Catholic church in W---ville at 6pm.

Now it's been a long time since I've even talked to Dan. If I saw him in a crowded room, I would probably recognize his face...as someone I once knew, but it might really tax my memory banks to tell ya his name.

To say I don't 'care' that Dan passed away isn't accurate (And it's more callous than I care to be). It's just that I really don't have any emotions about it one way or another. I haven't been in touch with Dan in nearly 10 years. We were part of a self-help/enlightenment/personal-growth encounter seminar back in the day. And at the time, I'm sure that either of us would have said we'd be there for the other. But I didn't call him when I was going through my divorce. I didn't call him when I was dating again, and I didn't get in touch with him when I got re-married.

In short, I guess there was just a superficial sense of intimacy. I mean, I guess, at the time the friendship was real (and some of the others that I spent time with there, it WAS more of a 'real' thing-meaning I feel like I could just start talking to them after 10 years and pick right back up where we left off (or maybe not, not sure-and haven't had occasion to test that theory yet).

I guess this is just my long-winded way of saying I don't really like funerals or viewings (because I don't). And that I'm probably not going to go to Dan's tonight (no probably about it, I'm not...even though some small part of me feels 'obligated' because I opened the email telling me of his passing).

I find funerals/viewings to be very emotionally taxing for me (and forcing a sometimes uncomfortable introspection that I really don't want to deal with presently) and I usually only want to give that much of myself to close friends or family, (and in some cases, family of close friends). Selfish? Maybe. But I know what would happen if I went....I'd see some of these people that I called 'friends' 10 years ago (but haven't talked to since)...we'd talk about what we remembered of Dan. We'd talk about how we were doing now. There would be a glossing over of the past 10 years to catch us all up to speed and we'd talk about how sad it was that it took the passing of a friend to bring us back in touch with each other, but gosh, it was good to talk to/see you again, and then for the next couple of months, there would be the cursory effort to stay in touch and then *blip*-back to the void of non-contact.

And that just rings hollow, I guess. It feels fake to me. And I've got enough things going on right now that need my full attention...I don't have the time or energy to pretend right now.

If that makes me a dick, then so be it. My sympathies go to Dan's friends and family. But that's about as much as I have to give to it at the moment. And Dan, if you've made your way to Heaven, I'm sure the last thing on your mind right now is whether or not someone you sorta knew that you haven't talked to in 10 years came to pay his respects at your passing.






Speaking of heaven...I had a few FB epiphanies while I was on my week-long 'staycation.' The first being that 90% percent of the 'games' on facebook were DIRECT descendants of Dungeons and Dragons, only this time, it was the computer rolling the 20 sided die. The second was that while you engaged with your FB 'friends' in these games...ALL of them were solitairy endeavors. Even though there was real-time chat, etc. in the games...every single one of them occurred with one person in front of their computer while I was in front of mine. WTF is 'social' about that?

All of this came about because I had a list of things I wanted to work on during my week 'off' and I only got about 1/2-way down my list. And the main time suck, I found was Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I had fun in a mindless sort of 'click here to pick strawberries' kind of way, but in the end, it wasn't getting me closer to acheiving any of my dreams.

So, I wiped all the apps from my FB account. Mafia Wars, Street Racer, Pillow Town, Farm Fight...all that isht. Gone. Send a Drink...gone. Squirt gun battle....gone. Don't need it. May eventually reload them, but for now, gone. If you're here from FB -don't take offense. I'm not dissing you by not accepting your drink....I'm just saying, lets get together, have a cookout, and crack a real beer. If we're gonna play bastard-Yahtzee (aka Farkle), let's just play the real thing, mmmkay?

The other thing is, I realized how many stolen minutes there were during my day (my work day) that were going to those things. And I gotta tell you...after being here 11 years, I'm not gonna get my lardarse fired because I just had to water my crops! Ain't gonna happen.







Speaking of my crops...I've been taking more photos lately with the new (to me) Nikon and have to say that I'm loving it. As I pulled in to work today I thought, 'wow...how cool would it be to wake up and my job for the day was to go get photos in Fiji for National Geographic?'

This is kind of a new (not so new) thing for me. For years, my dreams have been centered around making movies (and for years before that it was around making music) for a living. Now I'm digging photos (again..I never really went away from taking pictures or loving to capture things on 'film'...a moment in time, if you will).


So...what would incorporate all 3? I mean, I think I'm a mediocre musician (albeit a prolific as fudge lyricist)...a better than average filmmaker...and I think I have a really good 'eye' for photos (which I think also helped with the movie making). Yeah. I'm not sure where that leaves me, but that's what I'm wrasslin' with in my head these days.

And with that, I go back to the job that pays the bills (and since I'm not getting paid to blog, this is where this post ends).

peace out, yo.

6.21.2009

New Blog on the Books

I started a new Photo blog. It's called Todd's Foto Blog and you can find it over here. I figure since I got the Nikon D50, I need to start doing more with the photos I take.

6.18.2009

That Was Weird

I just had a dream about DevilCake. And I was in it (as in, in the band again).

It was some festival and we were on the bill as 'DEVIL KATT' ...and the songs listed were songs I didn't know. Further down on the bill was 'SAMARKIND' so I assumed Ian was on the bill twice (don't know if I was part of that band in the dream or not).

Gourley and Ian were the only two other members I interacted with in the dream. I was heading to the trailers to change (this place was massive) and donned a set of dirty orange mechanics coveralls. I said something to Ian about not knowing any of the songs and he just kind of looked at me in that 'oh silly boy...you know this stuff' kind of look he sometimes has.

Gourley was clearly pumped for the show (some things never change, it seems).

And then off to the side I heard "Have fun today, honey." It was Nancy.

And then I woke up. To Nancy telling me to have fun today (honey) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum (Jen and I are heading up today as a combo birthday present to her, fathers' day present to me).

There was more to it...the Manga style of the flyers....listening to the crowd...hearing the synths in the sound check (apparently Devilcake got their keys back). And feeling that nervous/exicted feeling I would get before shows.

So, what does it all mean?

Eff if I know.

Clearly I have unresolved issues related to Devilcake. I'm not going to deny that. I hated the way it ended (for me) and I hated the rift that it (and other events at that time) caused between me and Ian. And I think Ian and I are to a better place with it now, but I have to say that there are aspects of that time that still make me go 'WTF, mate?' The pain is gone, and I'm not bitter about it (at least I don't think I am). But clearly there's a part of me that misses being on stage and playing gigs. The funny thing is...that realization is hitting me NOW...when I can't foresee any time in the schedule to even BE in a band, let alone play out.

Smell that? That's irony.

6.01.2009

Summer...already?

Dooood. I know, alright, I know!

I haven't posted in forever. This used to be my playground and now, look at it. Anything over 140 characters finds me stupified.

I have embraced Facebook. There's no doubt about that. The hours that I used to spend coming up with these (self-referentially) brilliant (not to mention modest) posts are now consumed by catching up on goings on from people that may not know me as well as the 5 regular readers of Ye Olde Blogge. Oh, and there's Mafia Wars, Farm Town, and the recently aquired Street Racing and Mob Wars.

I guess what's different is that the interaction is instaneous. If I want to tell people what's on my mind, I do so. And usually 5-10 minutes later, theres some kind of feedback.

It's no secret that I'm all about instant gratification. Give me feedback NOW, dammit! And what's funny is, Blogger used to give that do me (or so it seemed), but not really. And nothing like FB does. Twitter takes that instant feedback and amps it up to a whole new level. And I'm not quite ready for that yet.

I swear I've written this before. Alright, seriously, I'm going to stop apologizing for lack of updates (hit me up on FB if you want the play by play).

Life has been Good. Really Good, actually. So Good that I felt the need to capitalize 'Good' (four times!!).

It's been nearly 11 weeks now since I've stopped taking the happy pill and I have to say that I haven't felt better. I haven't felt this balanced in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNG time (probably 13 years (yeah-do the math-I was on meds for 12 years and never got to feeling quite as good I as used to feel OFF of them, go figure).

So that's a plus. So far no relapse (and there've been a few dodgey moments there where I was thinking that it might be best to go back on them, but I pushed through that and came out better on the other side).

Work (the paying job) has been actually quite nice. I've found that it's actually easier to rise above the bullshit/attitude stuff now that I'm clean. I guess it makes sense. If the pills stop you from getting too low, they can also probably stop you from getting to elevated. So, work's good. I'm getting stuff done, getting back in to my routine.

Church-life is hectic. There's a lot to do...especially to get the Video Ministry where it needs to be in the next year or so. It's basically a full time job (or pretty darn close).

And then there's this other thing that I can't go too far into right now. But suffice to say that it's a step on the path to fulfilling some of my lifetime dreams. Stay tuned. Big changes are afoot in the next year or so.

The family is doing well. Nancy just auditioned for Opera Columbus for the '09/'10 season. Tommy just finished up spring soccer. And Jen's finishing up the school year with hair slightly redder than when she left our house Friday. It looks good and she came home from her mom's with a renewed sense of 'I want to look pretty and be proud of my appearance' She's growin' up.

Personal video projects have taken a back seat (but at least the footage for Crapumentary is captured....baby steps) :-) Realistically I'll find the time in the fall/winter (when we won't be doing family things as often). I'm also delving back in to the photography side more, and may soon be getting a DSLR to elevate that 'hobby' to the next level.

I've also starting writing a book of a spiritual nature. I'm sure it will be every bit as disjointed as 'The Rose' piece that I wrote (but with considerably less 'F-Bombs').

And that's the non-Twitted update as to what's been going on in Toddeus' life.

How about you? How things in your next of the woods?

Alright, back to makin' paper.

Peace outside*.

Todd








*Oldie, but goodie

4.29.2009

Bits and Baubles

It's been 3 weeks now since I've stopped taking the meds...or as I used to call them 'the happy pills'.

The irony is, I actually FEEL happier off of them. I guess I should step back and say that I 'FEEL' again.

There's more to this post than the 5 sentences you are going to see right now, but I'm at work and the time it would take to dig deeper in to the thoughts in my head about this topic would be time that I need to actually spend doing what they pay me to do.

So. For now, know this. No Meds for 3 weeks. Feels good.

Life is good.

and the Record Show is a week from Saturday. Vinyls and Gyros Action, dudes.

Word.

3.31.2009

It's all Ned's Fault

So, this post was going to be about my upstairs (relatively newish) TV being dead. Which precipitated the title...which of course refers to a Ned's Atomic Dustbin song about killing your television. And then I thought...Ned's Atomic Dustbin...N.A.D. ....Nad.hehe. so if I were cheering them on using the short version I'd be shouting "Go NAD!"

And this is how a blog gets derailed before it even gets going.

If any of my FB peeps made it over here because they were jonesin' for what passes for wit over there, I'm sorry....er, I mean welcome.

Don't bother cleaning up, I'm pretty sure they're not coming over.

FB-Facebook...yeah. As Ian said...'it's evil' And it's evil in insidious ways. The new interface is to blame, I think. At first you could only see shite that was relevant to you. When people commented on your stuff or when you commented on theirs or what not. But not anymore. Now if a friend of a friend breaks wind and comments on it, you know it (It looks something like this "Timmy > Bobby "dude, I totally blasted a$$""

And then, since you know Timmy (or Bobby, I'm not here to judge), you click over there to see what the big deal is and before you know it, you're flipping through photos from Aunt Sally's Wedding reception on the Jersey shore. And you don't even KNOW Aunt Sally!! Oh, that and 2 hours of your life is gone. Thanks a whole hell of a lot Aunt Sally!!

So, I'm cutting way back on it, I think. I already weeded my friends list down 10% today. If I do that every week or so I'll be at the level of people that I actually care about by 2012. I could just save time and put the 4 people that read this blog on there and be done with it.

That and I've been wanting to work more on video editing (and writing)..and I found that by not fecking around so much on FB last night and the night before, I actually got a good 2-3 hours of editing in.

Checking in from work is starting to be frowned upon, as well. I guess it's not really all that big of a deal since I'm kind of getting bored anyway. I thought that would be a place where I could be more of myself...but nope. Too many people watching. Not that I care if they watch, it's just that it's getting weird now. there are times I just want to put "I don't f**king care about your status today and you shouldn't care about mine, either" but...that wouldn't be good protocol.

OR some bullshit like that.

Did I mention I'm doing an assload more editing latetly? The peeps at work have finally decided one year later (or is it 2...holy crap...maybe it has been 2 years now) to have me start editing the footage from the User's Conference.

And it sucks.

I mean, it's not THAT bad...but it was long before I had my cameras dialed in and,well, if it were up to me, I probably wouldn't use the footage, but I actually think I can put it together in such a way that it will be usable (but it may not exactly match what they have in mind...and if they're ok with it, I'm ok with it).

I started editing the footage from the Fresh H2O Cafe thing at church, too. I decided to do that one in small clips of each performer rather than try to do the whole thing as one 'movie' since it wasn't shot that way to begin with. It's not a complete shoot of the night since I had other duties to perform in addition to being camera man. But we do have a miniDisc soundboard recording...holy crap does it sound clean. If I were to ever get back into a band that played out, I'd only do soundboard recordings-I'm that spoiled that quickly.

Speaking of music...I flagged off on the Guitar Jam at I's and from what I read I missed a good jam. Part of it was thinking I wasn't in the same league guitar wise as the rest of the guys (and I'm just being honest), but most of it was the fact that I had a video clip I had to get ready for Sunday. Although, if it does go down again, I'm gonna tell the insecurity that it can go take a holiday and not come back, that isht is silly at this point. If I can mess up on stage in front of 1500 people that don't know me, certainly I can play chords in a room of 4 or 5 other dudes that are friends, right?

Precisely.

Speaking of God. I'm starting to get the sense that some really big things are afoot. Stuff is going well at church and I'm doing more video stuff. I dig the comfort, familiarity, and relative security of my job, but I have to say that I will be very happy when I can go to work and say that I'm getting paid to do something I'm passionate about...I mean, isn't that the point, afterall? Not to merely exist but to LIVE? Not to just have a life, but to really be ALIVE?!?

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too.

I have to write/direct/shoot/edit a short film along those same lines. I have been playing POD's "Alive" over and over because I think the words are powerful. And in the shoot I'm crafting, I can see it being done as a spoken word piece. First by a woman, then another verse or chorus by a man doing spoken word. And in the last segment, a teen is going by with an iPod and you have that whole 'you can hear what they're listening to and when they take off the headphones, it gets really loud' thing going on in that clip, too.

In other news, I plan on getting back to editing the Crapumentary footage soon. The trailer was so fun to make, though. Maybe I'll just make 20 or so trailers and call it a day. OH. Of COURSE I'm kidding...jeesh, dont' be so sensitive. I didn't capture 15 (or was it 18) hours of footage to not actually do something with it, eh.

Oh...I almost forgot. The TV. Our flatscreen fritzed a few weeks ago. It comes on...you see the picture for 2 seconds and then it goes away and you're just left with sound. Pretty sweet if I was blind. But, I'm not. Not yet anyway (I think they lied to us as children about that). So, Geeksquad is coming out on April 13th to fix it. It's under warranty, so it should be fairly painless. I hope. We moved the cable box down to the TV downstairs (which used to be our good 'upstairs, non-game' TV), but Nancy hates to watch TV down there, so if something doesn't happen soon, I'll probably be bringing that one up here where the comfy couches are. Here's what's funny...I don't miss it. I have watched way less TV and felt better about the shit I've gotten done so for me, it's not a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing because it affect everyone else (we're used to having a TV to watch and one to play games on). So, yeah. We didnt' kill the TV, but I'd say we clipped it pretty darn good.

And with that, I leave you to your regularly scheduled life. Please disburse, there's nothing more to see here.

3.26.2009

Anymous Sh*thead

so...there's this thing...called the interweb. Obviously you know about it, because you're reading this (I realize I'm assuming others read this).

But aside from providing insanely easy access to objects of modern-day gluttony. It actually does some good. For better or worse, it appears to be the collective knowledge base of the Human Race (For you youngsters, before it was called a 'wiki' it was called a knowledge base. Before it was called a 'knowledge base' it was called an encyclopedia. And before that it was just a bunch of smart dudes shooting the shit).

And that's the relatively good side of the internet. There are, of course, the darker sites with porno, gambling, lolcatz, and the like. But I'm not really thinking about them at the moment (although a cheezburgr would be good right about now).

What I've lately been fascinated with (and maybe I've been fascinated with this in the past and this is just one big re-run), but what I've been fascinated with is how people just slam other people with little or no provocation (i.e. over stupid isht).

I read several blogs on a somewhat regular basis. Most are just written by (not so) average blokes (most of which are friends or relatives). I also read sites like boingboing, lifehacker, slashdot, tech republic and the like.

Now the first group is usually pretty friendly as far as comments go. There's some good natured ribbing, maybe a few 'your momma' jokes in there for good measure, but for the most people, people are civil.

In the second group is where you find people that exhibit traits that I like to call 'Anonymous Sh*thead Symptoms.' The comments section of those posts on a site like tech republic,for example, usually goes something along the lines of.

@wannabe:
"First!"
(apparerently getting the first comment in, even if it's only indicating your place in line, is a big effing deal, whatever).

@ITguru:
"This article was right on the money...Linux DOES kick PC's arse"
(this was a little shot...but there's still time to bow out with dignity).

@gatesboy:
"No WAY @ITguru-Linux is retarded and looks ugly"
(ok...still somewhat civil..but getting on dicey ground now).

Now someone usually tries to put out the glowing embers.

@Phoenix:
"Now...Linux isn't that bad. And you can really get the UI to look great-look at Ubuntu"
Still a chance to end this peacefully.

@bozzwoz
"Yeah. Linux can look awesome-it's called BUY A MAC!!"
OK. This one could go either way...sarcasm or serious..not too bad.

@joiner2
"Mac?? For the price of a mac I could have a whole server farm of Linux boxes that (edited for geekiness)"


@hadenough:
"Hey dickheads. I think that the author was just trying to say for security, Linux is better equipped to handle threats"

And then it just spirals from there. Name calling and by about the 10th comment thread you are so far away from the article that it becomes annoying. Sometimes I like to start reading the comments from the end first to see if I can figure out what the article was actually about. So far the pencil in my eye has prevented from ever winning this game.

But I think I figured out what causes the ASS to appear. No accountability. If you were out in public, having a discussion about pc vs. linux vs. mac...or...oh...I don't know... politics. As soon as you call someone 'retarded' or a 'dickhead' there's a good chance that an ass-whooping is soon to follow.

Online, though, people are coccooned. In the event that they actually personally know the author (or the author knows the poster), the ASS usually doesn't appear. I've noticed too, that people are mostly civil on facebook, too...with people on their friends list...because usually these are people they knew in real life at one point or another.

Unfortunately, if you join a group (that's not started by someone on your friends list), there's a good chance you'll see someone being a douchebag to someone else in one of the discussions.

I used to think this isolation phenomenon was limited to just online venues....but it seems to be happening everywhere. A family of four (for example) takes a trip to a city on the east coast...they sit together in the air port...they sit together in the plane...but they all have headphones in. So, real conversation doesn't really ever have to happen. Or..people in the same house, all on a different computer...all online...texting or IM'ing each other.

Same with driving. The reason I hate to drive is that most people that piss me off on the road do so because they fail to see past their own steering wheel. I almost got run off the road trying to merge on to an exit ramp today because the lady driving decided that 'YIELD' meant 'drive as f**king fast as possible, and by shit YOU'LL get out of MY way!!!" And, for a split second, I contemplated driving right next to her, matching her speed and forcing her to ride the exit ramp around again. I really thought about it (I could get off at the next exit and have been just fine).

But I didn't do it. Because for the most part, I try not to be a douchebag when I'm in my car. For all I know she was on her way home after getting a horrific call...who the hell knows. But it still didn't stop me from throwing a few eff-bombs her way. And what irked me the most is...through my cussing (through an open window) and honking she never even looked at me or acknowledged that there was a car next to her!!!!!

It's just another way to be cut off from people. And at work I see it, too. In tough times, sometimes it's tough to get excited at work...so people come in to their cubes...pull out the iPods and put the headphones in. And zone out to do the task at hand.

I'm not sure where I was going with this, other than to say while I'm a fan of most things related to the 'net and technology...I'm concerned at how acceptable it is to spend more time in a virtual world than the real world.

Don't worry, I've got no plans to go live out in a cabin in the woods and start typing a manifesto or anything. I just find a subtle hint of irony in the fact that all of these gadgets that are supposed to 'make the world a smaller place' are actually increasing the gap between face-to-face, physical interaction.

And I'm a bit saddened by how easily we've allowed that to become the norm.

3.18.2009

(witty title here)

So...dunno. Got a weird vibe going through my head at the moment. Things are going well in most areas of my life. Works fine (although I did get the 'tone down your FB time'...which really just means, don't make it so obvious if you're online to blow off steam after a tough call).

And that's fine. Facebook is kind of weird. There's this weird 'time-suck' element to it where depending on what day it is I may just wind up wasting some serious time on there (like the couple hours off an on Saturday I was on it). And then today, I was hardly on it at all. I threw a couple of updates on tonight and just don't want to be on it for a while. I don't really like the new layout in the sense that they're trying to make it too pretty. The thing I liked about the last layout was, there was a place for everything and the 'updates' from people were cleaner and didn't take up as much real estate on the screen. But what it boils down to is that it's changed. And I'm not 100% sure I can be bothered to muck with it right now. I can see usage of that going down in the next few months. Especially as other projects pick up.

I had some big-long thought provoking post I was going to lay on y'all and blow your effing minds, but the truth is...I'm tired. I've been up for 17 hours. And I'm ready for bed.

I may or may not post another entry tomorrow. We'll have to see how work goes. The morale there is kind of for isht right now. Which sucks. But not having a job would suck more. Besides I have some good 'Essential Mixes' so I'm set. I need to bum some of those Blagger's Guides off of Ian at some point.

Alright, that's really all I've got for now.

nite.

3.10.2009

No Time for Heroes

Viva la libertad -- A Friend

Here and there and everywhere

It's been about 3 weeks or so since my last post. This kind of amuses me. I go from 3 posts a day to one post every 3 or 4 weeks. I think part of it is, since FB, I feel like I get the 'I'm scratching my big toe' bullshit out of my system and the blog is now been relegated to the 'important (read:DEEP) stuff.

And that may or may not be the case. I don't really know. Maybe I'm just not feeling all that DEEP these days?

What I do know is that I'm on a bizarre ride right now.

Here's the skinny on what's been going on in my life these days.
Work is fine. Morale kind of sucks around the office, to be sure, but nobody really talks about it, because, well, we're all just pretty damn happy to have a job these days. And I'm guessing that the mood is because of the general overall grey cloud that's sitting on the furrowed brow of America as a whole, not just our little company.

Stuff at Dad's company is also on the semi-bleak side. Business is tough all over, it seems. I'm confident they'll persevere, though, because well...have you met my Dad? He really doesn't take no for answer...and failure generally isn't an option for him.

Things at International Christian Center are definitely ramping up. Sometime in the last few weeks it hit me that I was actually the head of the Video Ministry and that I needed to really drive that to make it what it needs to be instead of sitting around and wondering why we're not living up to our potential. So, I started thinking like a team leader. And I'm putting things in place to make sure that anyone that volunteers in that ministry does not get burned out and that we grow our team. It's going well. There are challenges, to be sure, but I've got a good feeling about where we're heading as a team (and there are some very exciting things on the horizon for ICC in general).

Family stuff is going OK. We're down one TV which, really shouldn't be all that stressful, but it seems to be anyway. I actually don't mind, but then again, I was wanting to cancel cable altogether, but I tend to oversimplify things (AND overthink them...not always the best combination). Spring cleaning is gonna happen VERY soon (the CHUD Hole needs purged)...so THAT should be a fun weekend.

I recently posted the 'professional' (cough) videos from the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp shows that I was part of to Facebook. I only posted the sets from the bands I was in. I may or may not post them here. Most of you that would read this are also on FB, so it may be just as easy for you to catch them there (which basically means I'm too lazy to bother loading them a second time).

I got to thinking about the whole Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 'experience' as it were. It was seven months ago (give or take). And my perspective on the whole event has shifted somewhat. In hindsight (damn you, hindsight), I SHOULD have taken a solo at House of Blues...but whatever. I'm good with ryhthym. And the stuff that REALLY bothered me about the whole trip is really, really minor when put next to the overall blessing of the trip as a whole. I got to see that yes, I WOULD have fun as a 'rock star,' but the touring...the only seeing the inside of a bus or hotel would drive me batshit crazy. Seriously. I like making music, but I'm very happy now to just make it in my house for my family and friends or to use in my films. That's the other real regret...I didn't take more video. But not much I can do about either of those things now. But I have to say that I DID have fun and it WAS a blessing (and truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity) for me. And I will find myself talking about it without bothering to mention the negative stuff (that doesn't make for very inspiring stories :-)

I think I need to start playing more.

Not just music, but just playing in general. Things seem to just get too serious and heavy too quickly these days.

Hmm. This is kind of a bottle rocket post, huh? BIG fwoosh, LOUD whistle, teeeeeeeenie tiny 'thwop' at the end.


thwop.

2.24.2009

The Myth of Helplessness

(before I begin, let me say that I am by no means saying I have all of the answers, these are just some insights that have hit me lately).

I was talking to an old friend the other day about a situation they are in. It's marital in natural (and I'll leave it at that). But as I was talking to them, they said something that struck me right smack between the eyes. In essence they said they knew (whatever-whatever) was wrong, but they were powerless to change it.

I have heard it said that the Devil's greatest victory was convincing Man that he didn't exist. But I think that's incorrect. That's a strong victory, to be sure. But I think that an even greater victory is convincing Man that they are helpless in their circumstances.

And friends, that's bullshit.

We all have dual citizenship. We are beings of Heaven and of Earth. Of Spirit and of flesh. God breathed in to the dirt and created Man, IN HIS IMAGE. So...let me just break this down (because it's only taken me a good 30+ years to figure this one out)...we are FROM GOD, OF GOD and LIKE GOD. Get it?

"Most assuredly, I say to you, He who believes in Me, the works that I do, He will do also; AND greater works than these He will do, because I go to my Father." John 14:12.

That's Jesus. You know, Son of God. Savior of Man. Did you catch what he was saying there? If you believe in him, then YOU can (and will) do everything that he did (heal the sick, feed the masses, be a light in a dark place)....AND GREATER. Jesus set the bar with works of faith. But he's saying "Look man, here's the instruction manual. You can do EVERYTHING that I did...oh, and by the way, I need to go back to my Pops, so you're going to have to do GREATER things than what I did while I was here, mmmkay?"

So, how can we do the works of Jesus...actually greater works than Jesus and still be helpless in the situations of the world?

Simple.

Choice.

Yeah. I said it. We are helpless in the world because we choose to be. We choose to be bogged down by the trappings of this world. We choose to bury our passports and travel visas from Heaven away in some dark chest and only pull them out for the really really important things.

I can hear you now..."But Todd, why would someone choose all that? All that pain and suffering, to be locked in situations where they feel powerless?"

Free will.

God gave us free will. It truly is a double edged sword.

You have to choose to accept your heavenly inheritance (and here's the kicker-you're not supposed to wait until you're dead to reap the rewards of heaven, that's not the way its supposed to work).

On the other hand, you can choose not to.

And somewhere along the way, the enemy has clouded the path laid before us and convinced us we were lost and that God only wanted to help us with the big big things.

So...this God. The God that knows every hair on our head only wants to help with the big things? Sounds like He's pretty interested in the small things, too. If we choose to let him be involved in ALL aspects of our lives, we will have blessings in this world unimaginable.

And this is a good place to interject something.

I know this in my heart to be true. I know that there is biblical precedence for what I've said. AND...I know that I'm not there yet, folks. I still have to choose...every day.

For me, it's like this. You know those movies where the prince goes out in disguise and kicks it with the peasants? And it's like..'hey...this is nice. I've never had to kill my own food or milk my own goat before...how cool.' And in these movies, there's always some case of mistaken identity or a plot by someone who knows the true secret to trap that person out in peasant-ville. And only by revealing his true nature and identity does the prince save the people that he has come to love (because he's been among them now).

Wonder why those movies are so popular. Why the resonate with us. Why they sound so....familiar.

Because we all read the book (at least most of us have seen the book). But we read the book of that movie. It's called the Bible.

But the catch is...in the book, the king wants us to know that we are ALL his sons and daughters and ALL have the benefits of being of the royal lineage.

But we don't read the books anymore, do we? We choose to go to the movies. And have the stories fed to us. And the part that sucks is that when they make a movie, they usually change it a bit from the book.

So instead of ALL of us being the prodigal sons and daughters that God is calling home to enjoy the benefits of heaven (AGAIN...BEFORE we're dead)....in the movie, it's just one prince.

And thanks to the very clever marketing campaign of Satan, we bought it. We bought that financial hardships are a way of life. We bought that cancer means our life is over. We bought that our marriage isn't worth saving, so we should just divorce and start all over again.

We bought in to the lie that we're ONLY human. How many times have you heard it? How many times have you SAID it?? "What do you want from me? I'm only human."

No. You're not. That's ONE of your natures. But you're also a divine being, the son and daughter of God. But you have to choose to wear that coat.

And, trust me...I've been there. Recently. Feeling like I was in a situation that was just helpless. Like I had to just accept things were the way they were and there was nothing I could do about it.

But it's just not true.

Now, the key is to choose, every day, to remember more and more of that kingdom nature. To infuse that in to the nature of the world.

And don't think for a minute that it's going to be easy. If you think that Satan's going to just chill while you partake of the feast that God has set for you, you're mistaken. Satan has lost the war. We know that. But don't think for a minute that he's going to stop racking up the body (soul) count.

I know I'm going to falter. But I also know now where the path leads. It leads home, to my country of origin. I just have to choose to head there. One foot in front of the other.

Who's with me?

Shakubuku Part Two: Eclectic Booglaloo

I posted on the book of face recently that I felt out of sorts. The gist of it being I couldn't decide if I was hungry, horny, or on the...