All posts by edcool1

Born and raised in Berkeley, CA. Graduated from San Francisco State. Now live in El Cerrito. Just trying to get by, get my student loans paid, and hopefully create things that people enjoy in the world.

Stand, stand, stand.

As I expected, the accelerometer inside the iPhone is probably not sensitive enough to accurately track anyone’s sleep patterns. But still, it’s fun to think about.

Interestingly, the app I had been using to track my sleep before this weekend was made by my friend Tom’s major competitor. The one that he suspects is sabotaging his rating and rankings in the App store. Whoops.

I don’t really feel that guilty. After all, I wouldn’t have the app if he hadn’t have told me to download it in the first place. Hell, I wouldn’t even know such an app exists. Anyway, I’m loyal enough to stop using the old app, and I asked Tom which app to try instead. He suggested this one: Sleep Cycle. Now, is this app any better than the other one, which I wont name? Probably not. Does either app truly do anything? Possibly not.

But what the hell, I need to wake up.

Anyway, here’s my chart for last night.

Sleep Report 2/20-21/2012
Hmm.

I suspect I’ll only be using this app as long as it takes Tom to make his own sleep app, which is next on his plate.

Speaking of Tom and his apps, Fitness Buddy was featured on Gizmodo this weekend. Since I was responsible for most of the photography and video in that app, I feel like it’s worth plugging here. I do find it ironic that I worked so hard making content for a fitness app–the Gizmodo headline is ‘Stop Being Fat and Get In Shape with Your Smartphone’–and yet I’m very much out of shape, and not even interested in using that app. Maybe I should change that…BUT NOT TODAY.

So, the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance review posted yesterday. I also saw The Secret World Of Arrietty (not to be confused with The Borrower Arrietty, or Arrietty, or The Borrowers) last Friday. I specify the version I saw was the Disney produced American localization, as opposed to the original Japanese or the UK/Australian version. I think it would be interesting to see all three, and maybe someday I will. But for now, I’ve only seen one. Sometime this week, I hope to review it. In short, though, it is a wonderful example of artistry. Even with the American voices, it’s worth seeing on as large a screen as you can. If you have the opportunity, go check it out.

The other thing that is imminent is a new Radio EdSoft Film. Or two. We’ll see. Just gotta finish recording/mixing in the back announces.

You’ll get caught up in the, Ghost Rider.

Today on the EdSoft blog, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengance.

Sleep for 2/16-17/2012
Every night is different! Is it the app?

Enough about that, now. What about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance?

First a little scenery. Arrived a little bit late to get into this screening, so we had to sit up in the front row.

Did I mention this film is in 3D? Oy.

YEAH IN YOUR FACE
YEAH IN YOUR FACE

It worked out surprisingly well. The 3D effect was worst on the far right side of the screen, since we were on the left, but thankfully there was only 2 or 3 shots in the whole movie where the main focus of the image was on the right side. I can see some of the front row appeal, as illuminated by David Bordwell/, and Roger Ebert. I don’t think it’s something I would do for every movie I see, especially if I had a choice about where to sit (I prefer about 5th or 6th row center, usually behind the aisle in modern theaters, right in the sound sweet spot), but there is some fun in seeing a scope picture and having to turn your neck to see the whole picture. Kind of makes you pay attention. Tell you what else makes you pay attention: sitting right in front of the sub woofer. The only real down side, apart from the 3D problems, was there were some crazy hand held shots in the beginning. It’s hard to follow that when you’re in the front row. The other problem with sitting in the front row, it was more obvious when they switched from their nice cameras to their lower-quality consumer-grade cameras. Sit a few rows further back and this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

So why would you see this movie? I can think of a couple reasons.

  • You’re a fan of the comic. I mean, there must be some fans out there somewhere.
  • You like Nicolas Cage. Especially the crazy Nic Cage.
  • You’re into supporting Marvel, especially its less popular titles.
  • You’re a fan of 3D.
  • You’re a fan of fake religious movies.
  • You like an old Christopher Lambert covered in tattoos.
The Angel Inside
Or, maybe you can feel the angel inside.

There was also this woman, Violante Placido, in the movie, playing the Kid (immaculate son of Satan)’s mom. Stephan, who got me into this movie, was really interested in this woman for some reason, but her role in the film was unexciting, and really anybody could have played that part. But if you’re a fan, you might get more out of her performance than I did.

Sometimes this movie was weird on purpose, and that’s always good. I bet you’ll never look at a flame thrower the same way again. But some things were weird with little explanation. For instance, this movie is supposed to be in Italy or Spain, or something European like that, but half way through the movie they go to an ‘American truck stop.’ I doubt such a place is in Europe, but I could be wrong.

If you’re a fan of b-movies, which I am, then I think you can get a kick out of a movie like this. I would just try not to pay for it. Or if you have to, see a matinee.

Nic Cage at his best
You see a film like this for moments like these.

This being my first movie review, I’m going to explain my rating system. I’m going to use the star system I currently use on my iTunes library. 5 possible stars.

When it relates to music, the stars break down like this:

  • 5 stars: I’ll listen at almost any time. Very good.
  • 4 stars: good, but I wouldn’t want it to take up space that could be taken up by a 5 star.
  • 3 stars: it’s still good, but it does something that makes me not want to hear it very often, if ever.
  • 2 stars: awful. I could never hear it again and be totally happy.
  • 1 star: worst of the worst. Usually only have them for completionist purposes.

I’m not sure how this applies to movies yet, but I plan to figure it out as I go.

So, using this scale, I’d give this one:

  • 3 for fun
  • 2 for story
  • 3 for visuals
  • 4 for crazy
  • 2 for music

Overall, the movie is a 3.

A paper mache flame thrower
I don't think he'd have a good time at a 3D movie. One of his eyes is fucked up.

I’ll think about adding images later.

Sunday #2

I feel distracted, having a lot of trouble keeping up.

Basically I’m very disappointed in myself.

Hopefully I’m not coming down with anything serious, but I don’t feel well. I’m kind of nauseous, with heart burn and gas problems.

Thoughts going through my head are along the lines of “gosh I hate my body.” At first specific body parts; my digestive system, my stomach, all the areas that are uncomfortable as I try to go to sleep. But then I have to conclude that it’s not just those parts, it’s everything. In the words of BASEketball, [my body] was a team effort and it took everybody working together to lose this one.

It’s not really my body that sucks. Considering what I’ve done to it, I could probably be in worse shape. That’s what really makes me hate myself. I could probably overcome these ‘problems’ of mine with a little hard work, some new attitudes about things. But for nearly 20 years, I haven’t. And that’s such a long period of time with no real beneficial change in my diet or exercise programs, that I can’t help but look at it like its never going to happen.

I’m going to be like this, or worse, for the rest of my life.

I don’t see any speed bumps or course corrections in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, still half way finished on a bunch of stuff I started last week, from new Radio EdSoft Films, to the reviews of Ghost Rider and The Secret World Of Arriety And photos too I guess.

Tomorrow is another holiday, dunno if I’ll be online or not. Hope you’ll bother to check in.
‘Til Monday. Or zzzz, woah I literally typed zzzz because I’m falling asleep.
Laters

Patterns

Sleep Pattern 2/15-16/12
Well each night is a little different

Not sure what to make of this sleep pattern thing. I’m hoping, as I get used to this sleep schedule, that the sleep pattern should become more uniform from night to night. Dunno if I’ll ever make it there.

Anyway, today I’m gonna keep it short, because hopefully I’ll have a new radio show to post tomorrow night. Also, Ghost Rider is tonight, hopefully I can find parking.

See ya’ll later.

Still tired

Sleep Report for 2/14-15/2012
What do you make of that?

I don’t recall any dreams from last night, but if that chart is to be believed, I still got a lot of REM sleep. Of course, how accurate can an app on my phone really be?

I do know that I don’t feel like I got enough sleep last night. Went to bed after heavy discussions of finance, which itself came after a 1.5 hour commute. There has to be a way to cut that commute down. It’s starting to get to me. Today, I’m either going to stay in San Mateo and find something to do here, or I’m going to get some BBQ in Alameda. Either way, I don’t think I’m going to make it home before it gets dark.

I think I am starting to see some patterns in the traffic. If it’s slow on the bay bridge, stay in the right lane as you approach the toll plaza, but then be sure to move back to the fastrak lane quick before you get stuck behind some asshole who needs a receipt.

One thing that happened last night that might have contributed to my lack of sleep was I got an idea for a story. It’s not ready to share yet, but it might be this website’s first attempt at fiction. It also has potential to be some kind of web video series, that is if I can get my shit together and actually write the thing, and that assumes that after it’s written it’s any good, and then that assumes that it’s good enough to attract talent and probably funding. Lot of assumptions it might not live up to, but we’ll see.

I also saw a couple posts turned chain letters yesterday that I might take a stab at. The first was started by Film Crit Hulk and can be found here: http://badassdigest.com/2012/02/05/why-you-love-movies/. This was followed by Quint on Aint It Cool News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/53531.

I’ll get around to mine sometime in the future.

Speaking of movies, I’m going to try to catch a preview screening of Ghost Rider™: Spirit of Vengeance tomorrow night. It’ll be the first film I’ve seen since starting this blog, so IT WILL BE THE FIRST FILM REVIEW. I’m not certain it’s deserving, or maybe my blog isn’t deserving of that film. WE’LL SEE.

The other chain letter thing isn’t really a chain letter yet, but it will be after I’m done with it. I hope. Fishamaphone’s post on Angel Moxie really does something I wish to do with this blog, but haven’t achieved yet. Hopefully I can compliment his piece with one of my own, and maybe that might even inspire others to follow our lead. Angel Moxie and The Venis Board were both a big part of my life for a long time. It’s kind of fallen out of fashion, and isn’t the popular place it once was, but it’s still my home page. I’d love for it to return to it’s former glory, but that’s probably not realistic. In any case, it’s worth writing about.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Until later.

Catching up on my links

Stuff from yesterday I didn’t get to read because I only had a little bit of time.

Since I plan to write about music on this blog, and some of that music is bound to be made by women, I thought it might be a good idea to read this. Thankfully, I don’t think I have to worry too much. I don’t really plan on talking about any of the things mentioned in that article.

I’m fond of this one, even if I’ve never done it.

The major point I want to make about this article is that I want to see the Ghibli retrospective when it comes to the bay area. That is, all of it. Be there or be square.

I hold strong on the idea that film is dead, and it’s only because of articles like this that I worry about my position. And what’s worst about it, there is no solution ahead. Nobody has figured out this problem. This requires a lot of people with big brains to come up with a solution that those with no brains can all agree on. Good luck at that.

What, it’s a video? Fuck that shit. I can’t be watching videos of Mike Krukow. I’m sure I’ll be seeing too much of him once the season starts back up. I saved this link out of some concern that maybe Brian Wilson wasn’t going to come back this year, or that he’s got some new trick up his sleeve. As much as I like the beard, I think it’s time Brian Wilson got rid of it. They lost last year, get something new going.

Wow. I can’t abide these professions that don’t allow you to sleep when you need to, that work is more important than living your life.

I think the next bit of optical equipment I buy will be something by Lensbaby. Maybe not this thing, but I wanna play with focus in new ways. I want to have more fun taking pictures.

This talk of pictures makes me want to post a photo post next. I’ll start with some old photos, I think.

Or maybe not. We’ll see how I feel at lunch/end of the day.

Valentine’s day is for suckers

Or not, I don’t really care. I’ll take candy from you, if you’re offering.

Couple years ago, Valentine’s Day came along and I thought I’d make a radio show about it. This was back when I still used the computer voice. Some day I’ll remaster these shows with my actual voice, better encodes, etc. For now, it’s fine though.

Also in these shows, special guest Tim O’Donnel. He came up with some good bits on the subject. Enjoy them.

First in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the negative viewpoint. Because, love sucks. Right? Features Tim! and Alex Macintosh.

Show #2 in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the positive viewpoint. Because, love is a good thing. Right? Features Tim! and Alex Macintosh.

Show #3 in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the viewpoint that love is only in our heads. Because, what isn’t really. Right? Features Penn Jillette, Hellen Fisher, and Tim! with Alex Macintosh.

Show #4 in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the viewpoint that love is important to world society as a whole. Because, if only we could let more love in and out of our hearts, everything would be better. Right? Features Alex Macintosh.

Mixcloud is where I’m hosting these shows, so you’ll need flash to play them from here. If you’re on an iDevice such as an iPhone or iPad, there is an official mixcloud app.

I’m an extremely fussy bastard

Sleep Report for 2/12-2/13 2012
My sleep patterns are changing.

Any word on if this is a good chart or not? Interestingly, I do remember dreaming before waking up. It’s a little too far in the past to share the dream, but it had some interesting elements. I’m just unable to remember them. OH WELL.

So, what I really wanted to talk about this morning was my eating habits. I suspect this will be a reoccurring theme for this blog. People who know me know that I am very fussy. Fussy to a fault. When trying to decide on a restaurant to go to, it’s always a disaster if I’m coming along. I’d probably be happier if I didn’t have to eat anything at all.

Almost at odds with this, however, I do enjoy food. I like my food cooked well, with interesting flavors and good ingredients. I like to know what goes into my food, I like to know how it’s cooked. I want to be able to cook the foods I like most myself. Since the foods I like are somewhat limited, this is actually an achievable goal.

My mother went to culinary school before I was born, and she has always been very good at cooking. It’s really a shame I’m so fussy, because I don’t get to enjoy most of the foods she makes. My cousin also went to culinary school, and she told me about the concept of a supertaster.

I’m not 100% scientifically certain if I’m actually a supertaster, but it would make a lot of sense if I were. From the wiki article on this subject:

Specific food sensitivities

Although individual food preference for supertasters cannot be typified, documented examples for either lessened preference or consumption include:

That list is very much in line with my food dislikes. The only way I’ll drink alcohol, coffee, and soda is if it is heavily diluted with some sort of sugar. I’ve never in my whole life been able to eat a brussel sprout or spinnach. I’m not particularly fond of any soy product (I don’t even like tofu unless it has been soaking in a soup to absorb it’s flavors). Oh and I don’t like most soups either.

I’m aware that the taste alone is not a good enough excuse for me not eating more of the foods above. There are other complex elements in this foodie equation. Mouth feel is another big factor in whether or not I’ll like a food. If it’s mushy, or mealy, or particularly fatty, I’m more likely to spit it out than swallow it. I don’t like any fish or other sea food. I have a strong dislike for meat I have to pick off a bone. The flavors alone do not justify my dislike for these foods, it has to be psychological.

I imagine some of it has to do with my upbringing. I have often been told the story of my mother trying to feed me vegetable baby food, only to spit it all out at her. She could only take so much of that before giving up, I suppose. I often hear stories from people who don’t share my finicky tastes about how their mothers put food in front of them and expected them to eat it–if they didn’t eat it, they didn’t eat. Not the case with me. Can I blame my parents for not wanting to starve me when I refused to eat the foods that were good for me?

And now that I’ve lived so long with these taste preferences, it’s even harder to change them. I’m far too set in my ways.

But it’s not too late. Maybe I can learn to like things. That will be part of the adventure that is this blog.

Later today: at lunch time, I plan on going to the Safeway near work to try and find something I can eat for lunch throughout the week. Sounds like an adventure already.

Sunday #1

So it’s the end of the first week of this blog. I think it went pretty well as far as first weeks go. I do think I need a break from it, at least one day, so I didn’t post anything on Saturday. I also feel like Sunday should be more time to unwind.

But I can’t just abandon the blog for two whole days.

So why not, on Sunday, reflect a bit on how the previous week went? Things I would have liked to do, but didn’t get around to. Things I still have plans to do. Ideas for the coming week. Stuff like that. But I still want to relax. Case in point, I’m writing this from my bathtub.

Posting in the bathtub
I'll try to keep this website worksafe

So let’s get to it.

The biggest thing in my life last week had to have been my starting a new job. Things are somewhat fast-paced at the San Mateo DMV, but my lack of training and experience allows me to ignore that for the most part. Frankly, I don’t like not knowing what to do, so having to ask for help makes me uncomfortable. I can’t wait to start my training so that I’ll actually be useful to the branch. Until then, I guess I’ll have to be satisfied doing ‘easy’ stuff.

I must say, it’s nice to not need to ask permission to go on breaks, or to lunch, or to quit for the day. Live by the clock and don’t worry about anything else. You’re owed that time, and anything extra costs extra. Puts my mind as so much more ease than working freelance web design, or working for a friend on their iPhone application, or working on a film set 16 hours a day or longer.

A recent episode of Inside The Actors Studio with George Clooney gave me hope that not every film set is the tense, dreary, exhausting mess that has been my experience in the industry, but I don’t think I’m cut out to be on the bottom of that ladder. It’s easy for George to say, ‘I never want to work like that,’ but that’s because he’s George Clooney. At the bottom, I had no right to make that statement, so here I am working at the DMV.

I only hope that it’s not an irreversible decision.

What else happened this week? I tried to go to a movie, and failed, but that’s okay, got to have a meal in Japantown instead.

Did some more work for Tom yesterday. His app, fitness buddy, recently upgraded to 2.0 for the iPhone, as well as launched for android, and you can see a lot of my work in that app, photos and videos. For the amount of time I put into it, it’s only fair for me to plug it here. More on that process in the future, maybe.

What did I not do this week? I didn’t really write anything long or serious, it was all train of thought blogging. I reviewed an album, but I’d like to do better than that in the future.

I didn’t post a new radio show, or any real photography. I did post a video, but it was kind of shaky and haphazardly thrown together. I can do better.

I have the house to myself, but instead of using that privacy to make a radio show I’m taking a bath. Not a total loss, but I can’t get into this habit.

For now, the radio shows are probably this website’s best feature, and I haven’t even posted one yet! Not good. I’ll need to get on that.

On a somewhat related note, worldOneradio.org went down this week due to an accounting error. The site was close to being completely redone, and now all that work is gone. Thankfully, I had nothing to do with these problems, but they’re going to be a pain to overcome.

So, coming soon, a new radio show, a hopefully more thought out review, and some photography.

See you tomorrow.