No April Fool’s Joke Here, but I Uploaded a Video

April already, and as expected, I saw a few pranks out in the cyber universe, mainly the one on the KODI website which claimed it was taken over by the U.S. Government. Other than that, the other April Fool’s pranks were tame this year, that I could see.I was going to do a prank, but then decided against it. Not becuase I feared the consequences, but more towards my lack of energy and enthusiasm. With the head cold and a lousy week, I was spent, and slept in.

Today, I spent most of it preparing my small video for upload onto my YouTube channel regarding my first few attempts st using the Blender 2.78c 3D software’s Physic Engine with animation. I call the video “Smashing Cube 01.” I had been working these little video clips over the last two weeks, and though it would be neat to edit them altogether and then upload it to the net. Please check it out.

With laundry and my other weekend to-dos, I think I will spend it at home. It is trying to rain out, and the weather is cool and mild, so staying at home, in doors, will be as far as I go today.

From Another Era, the Forgotten Tapes.

This week has been spent working huge amounts of overtime at my work, so I am damn tired. This post has been a slow culmination of thoughts before I actually posted it–why its time-stamp is so out of sync here on my weblog. The point of this post is the discovery of some lost tapes that were from my younger days when I was a budding musician playing in a four member band in Southern Ontario way back in the late ’80s. These were items that I thought were lost forever back when my storage unit that I was renting was pillaged and plundered by ruthless thieves fifteen years ago in Langley City. Although most items were long gone, I thought that the studio tapes were gone along with them. But tucked away with some old music gear that I kept with me at the time, the tapes were hidden away in a safe compartment. (This song, “Those Were the Days,” 1968, by Mary Hopkin, reflects the way I felt when I saw the tapes yesterday)

Sadly, I no longer have access to a eight-track analogue real to real player, so it will be some time before I can hear those sounds of yesterday. But some of the comments written on the reels were quite inspiring when reading them after all these years. I had forgotten about one song that we wrote called, “To Far Gone for November (1988).” It had become apparent that the worse time of the year was November, and so the song goes, if anything bad happens, it usually starts, or ends, in November. I still laugh at that today.

Perhaps the more hunting qualities of finding these old tapes are how many fond memories I have way back then. I can say without a doubt that my Twenties, were the best days of my life–by any stretch. My youth sucked, along with high school and even my first job, but when I met these guys, Rob, Sean and Steve, and we plaid music together, well, life got a whole lot richer back then. Life has never been the same since! LOL The break up of the band was not as harsh as it seem it might be, only becuase we were ready. We grew up, and knew that it was time to go our separate ways, but when you spend that much time together in the jam-room, you become family. Maybe that was why those days were the best?

Sure, I sometimes think how nice it would be to go back to the world music, start another band, but then I love what I am doing now, why throw that away for some old memories of the good times. There is still time for more adventure, and many more good times to come, “never stop rocking,” I say!

So, until I find a reel to reel player for these tapes, I only have my memories to ponder the sounds of those days with. Here are to the boys, and Five Shot Sixer.

A Bear, a Kayak, and a Woman in Alaska.

My stomach is still sore from laughing after watching this video that I found the CBCNews British Columbia website today. Sure, on many levels I felt sorry for her, but then looking back at my personal experiences with black bears, she is damn lucky that animal did not start chewing on her while she screams at it. The video is short, and only shows her just before she fired a round of pepper-spray at it, then starts yelling at it not to eat her kayak. The bear starts happily gnawing the plastic kayak. Well, see for yourself as it is on YouTube.

According to the story, the woman had to swim to the sail-boat (you can see it in the video) for a ride to get her kayak fixed. What is funny is what she says in the video to the bear. At first I thought she was just a young girl, maybe a ten years old, or younger, but then I figured that she was way out of her element as someone who should not be out in the wilderness, alone, with the bears, but staying among other humans in the big city. Further follow up on the net showed that she is quite the adventurer with her husband in Alaska.

Source: “Bear eats Alaska woman’s kayak right after she thanks it for not eating her kayak” October 1, 2015 CBC News British Columbia.

The Tune Stuck In My Head

This week, it is “Rule the World,” by Walk Off the World (2015) a Canadian alternative rock group, from Burlington, Ontario, who formed way back in 2006 (according to Wikipedia) and are classified as Reggae Rock. I first heard this song while at work, where we listen to pipped music over the P.A. System. For me, it was the super strong female vocals that first made me pay attention to the catchy lyrics, but as time went on, the whole song became more embedded and ingrained.  It was at that point that I wanted to know more, and even made the plunge to purchase the music files.

Since getting their latest release, I have watched several YouTube videos, and followed them on the media. I am just amazed; they are very talented, and are world class entertainers.

FYI: The female band member, Sarah Blackwood, was kicked off a United Airline flight from the U.S. to Vancouver in May, 2015 becuase her 2yr old son was crying too much. Tell me a 2yr old who does not cry and never has cranky days?

CBCNews: “Walk Off the Earth singer Sarah Blackwood kicked off U.S. flight over crying son” May 28, 2015

A Friend Just Told Me, “My Life Is a Country Song”

A couple of days ago I ran into an old friend, a former co-worker, (back in the days when we were working for “The Big Box Store”) and we got caught up on each other’s latest news in life. He belted out this phrase, “My life is like a country song,” and I just about had to walk away from laughing so hard. He told me where he got it from, Aqua’s 2000 album called Aquarius, track three: Freaky Friday. So, naturally, I just had to have a copy of it.

Anyway, after talking to my friend Danny for about a half hour, I realized that he is just another person I now know of who is going through same hard times that everyone else is going through as Canada’s economy continues to “tank.” He has just been laid off from his job, (he quit “The Big Box Store” shortly after I did back in 2006), and his wife took a huge pay cut in her job to keep her position.  The huge difference is, he is taking it in strides, kind of thinking positive about what is going on around him, and he has a contingency plan, which saved his bacon.

As most people were doing what they were told to do, putting money away in various saving schemes at Banks, Danny was one of the first people I met who bought gold coins. Since he started buying, his investments have nearly tripled in value, and him and wife decided to pay off the remainder of their mortgage, about ten years worth to end there debts. He told me that now was the time to rid themselves of their debt load as he sees Bank interest rates ready to shoot upward.

So Danny is now one of three people that I know of that just recently has been laid-off. He was working for one of the big Telco’s in Vancouver, BC, and had been their for nearly ten years, and was let go with a Buy-Out package, if he left the next day. He took the Buy-Out, and decided that that was the perfect time to go on a vacation.

“Everything is gone, my life is a country song….”

As for my other two friends who were also just laid-off from their jobs, time has not been so good for them. Both have started their E.I. claims while they start their job searches. Both will have to do a lot of cutting to make due on their now limited incomes.

As for myself–damn happy that at least I am working, albeit far below to what I am accustomed to, but I keep reminding myself, we do live in the Harper era, and “cuts” is now a fundamental staple in most lives.  I have lowered my standard of living, and I am sure the numbers of other Canadians are as well, or we are just racking on the debt.

But anyway, I like this album by Aqua. The female vocals are weird sounding, yet fun to listen to. But what can I say, my tastes are becoming more weird by the day regardless–but I am always open to new stuff, as long as it is good.

“This is hard core 10-4…”

A Lazy Summer Day – The Back Yard: Video

I finally got my short little video edited and uploaded up to my channel on YouTube. It is just clips of flower shots from around my back yard that I shot from July 10, 2014. It has been well over 10 months since I uploaded something to my YouTube channel, so I figured with the little time I have now before I dive into work, I might as well try and upload something now. Here it is:

It is short, with very dirty editing, but I am happy with it. I used 720p format becuase going 1080p was taking so long to upload. All of this was shot using my Sony A77.

An Interesting Product: Great Marketing!

First off, I do not normally endorse commercials, or products here on my website, but this is an exception to the rule, only becuase I howled my guts all over the floor from laughing so much as this brilliant piece of marketing played out during a commercial break. Yes, I watched it again, just to follow though with all of the one liners that the blond British beauty spewed out while talking potty on her thrown. A very interesting product, and I wondered if this was just made up to create the content of this witty video?

PooPouri does exist, and is sold on Amazon.

I was watching a online documentary on Asteroids from the American Geological Magazine, when this commercial break popped up on my monitor. I was caught off guard as this classy, well dressed woman opens a bathroom stall door, only to stay: “You would not believe the mother load I just dropped.” I just stared, with my jaw on the keyboard, as the video moved from a barnyard, to an office, and a field of yellow flowers, all the while, the women is sitting on the same toilet.

Here, watch for yourself!

It is not hard to believe that this video has been viewed over 25.5 million times.

What’s in Your Password?

Finally someone who spells out the concept of creating passwords, on Youtube that will at least slow down the hackers, and perhaps even foil the RCMP, CSIS and the CSEC here in Canada (CBCnews, October 10, 2013). I was thinking as I started to watch this that I would be seeing a scanty little blurb on passwords, and hear some lame reasons why we even bother with the password deal in the first place, but I was pleasantly surprised when Nixie Pixel (her nomenclature, not mine) approached this issue from a rather scientific point of view, and spelled out some concepts, in easy to understand terms. Yes, there is mathematics, but in a good way, not to overwhelm you with science speak and data overload. Please watch the video because there are some great points for everyone to use.

OK, yes, she is a Linux chick too! 🙂

If you do not want to watch the video, the crux of her message is, the better solution of creating a more secure password is listing random whole words together into a phase. So you put, like, five words, placed together, but a random order, but they still make some sense. You can remember the five words, and at the same time, your level of entropy increases experientially too!

Here is an example that I used, (and I no longer use this password by the way) and it scorers a really hight rating.

My Pass Word Example: “Bananamonkeyfurbreakfast12noon” which is Banana monkey fur breakfast 12 noon, if you were wondering.

So, according to the How Secure is My Password website, my password, above, says, “It would take a desktop PC about 4 undecillion years to crack your password.” That is a pretty long time.

OK, word of the day is: entropy, which means, “A measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message.”

Sources:

CBCnews, October 10, 2013 : Canadian spy agencies hold secret meetings with energy companies.

CBCnews, October 9, 2013: Inside Canada’s top-secret billion-dollar spy palace.

I Can’t Get It Out: Bloger’s Block

I am stuck. I tried writing a couple of posts already today, but my heart was just not into the initial writing part of the effort. Part of the problem is my eyes. I am getting treatment on them, but I have to wait, and live with one eye extremely blurry with anything less than a metre in front of me. I have lots to say, just no super will power to get it out.

Type your text here logo small image version

At first I wanted to write about the Quebec government’s newly drafted proposal called the “Chart of Value” as written by CBCnews.ca, but that fell short becuase I am undecided as to which side of the argument to take. It is a sticky issue to bring up, because for me, at one time or another, I have had seriously negative encounters in the workplace regarding certain types of *Charter issues. I can see a government using an issue like this (by the Parti Québécois government) so that it can keep the public agenda in its control, as oppose to what is going on, say with the Federal Government’s Senate Gate. Hey, the public opinion is what makes Canada’s political landscape, and semantics, attack-ads, and perception, seem to be key elements in a winning government today.

Then I wanted to write about my world of employment, and how that is in a constant state of flux. One moment I feel confident, then the next the whole game changes. Again, I know I rant about this all of the time, but corporate debt, along with personal debt, are the evils of our current time and generation. As the right-wing think-tanks say social welfare is costing us to much, then I counter that with saying that corporate welfare is costing us twice as much. There is a reason why I have such a limited relationship with Banks at a personal level, and I wish most businesses would adopt my values too when it comes to their Banking relationships. You only screw those around with your foolish overspending.

At one point I wanted to write about my latest venture into photography. As much as I wanted to show off my last few gigs, I owe it to my clients to keep those images out of the public sphere until once they are made public though their intended channels. So I wait. It is painful because I want to show the world my work. I think it is cool.

Lastly, becoming increasingly board, I resorted to doing cheesy little animation using my web cam, and a technique called top motion animation.

Mysterious Ball of Tape animation

I call it the “Mysterious Ball of Tape.”

If you are wondering how I did this, here is the procedure. Take a bunch of still photos of an object, changing it’s position in every frame. Next, I use a command-line program (works on all platforms) called Imagemacik, and there is a short tutorial, “Creating an Animated GIF Image” that you can follow. And voilà, you are done.

So there you have it. A post on a little of something, but mostly on nothing. Now to Tweet about this! LOL!

* Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982.

Made a LIttle Video with the Sony A77 Yesterday

I was ambitious, and I thought that I would start experimenting with shooting video with my Sony A77. I hit a few hurtles, but managed to get around them, mainly with file formats, but I scrapped out a little three minute video with all of the footage I took regardless of the setbacks. I do not own a blu-ray writer, and Sony shoots in MTS blu-ray format, but getting the Codecs (compression, decompression algorithm) to work, and properly edited, was a huge challenge. Here is the video up on YouTube, with YouTube music along side it.

The Sony A77 is awesome for shooting video. The files are great, and the quality is super clear. I had done much research before buying the camera, reading about how great the video quality was, and the wonderful files were, but it was not until I got my hands on it that I really believed it. The video quality is stunning, but you need the right equipment to work with these files or you work is just plain old DVD quality. Yes, the camera shoots in 1080p at 60 prams per second format like there was no tomorrow.

Do you think I could find someone with a Blu-Ray writer? Nope, not one of my friends owned one. At my work, everyone had the BLu-Ray readers for ripping movies, but it seems that the Blue-Ray writer just really did not take off from within the Geek community, or my circle of freinds.

The up hill struggle quickly came to an end when I found that I could edit in this super high format from within Linux, and do it very well. Actually, Linux worked awesome for editing these videos. I was surprised for not finding any usable documentation on the topic. I believe having the right hardware is the key to working with these large files. My P.C. is very (gaming computing) fast with a fairly hefty graphics card. I could take any software and use it, no matter witch O.S. architect it came from–I can run Window$ software on my machine without Running the O.S.

Enjoy the video. It is scenes of my patio deck, and back yard. Remember that YouTube compresses the video quality to a mere fraction of what the original video looks like, and still calls it High Definition (HD). But still, I think it looks stunning, even on YouTube.