Thursday, July 28, 2011

Movie Trailer Thursday - July 28, 2011

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net (every Thursday)

Battleship
Nevermind it's based off the Milton-Bradley boardgame, Taylor Kitsch is a burgeoning action movie star in the making!

Apollo 18
Wait, Apollo 18??? There was no "Apollo 18" mission....or was there :)

Tower Heist
Eh...Eddie Murphy still makes movies?

The Ides of March
Eh...slow week for trailers I guess

The Future
I'm only posting this because of how weird it is. Weird, hipster movie trailers annoy me.

Happy Feet Two
Animated movie trailers that try too hard to be hip and cool annoy me also.

Year Zero
End of the world? Go surfing...why not?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TV Recommendation: "The Walking Dead"

If you haven’t already, you gotta check out AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. Season 2 is coming up (see below), but I’m sure you can find Season 1 somewhere to catch up. In my opinion is how a Zombie-pacalypse action/drama should be done…and is the Resident Evil movie that never was (despite being a TV show). Anyways ,I know people that once they hear “zombies” relegate it to childish humor…but this show really is much deeper than just blowing away zombies (though there’s plenty of that). Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Bond...and Life

This video, part 4 of Josh Clason's excellent Depth of Speed series, struck a major chord with me in my life right now… It seems to sort of represent my desire of living in yesterday, when times seemed so carefree and the future seemed so bright. When hopes and dreams still pervaded my life’s atmosphere. When love was just burgeoning…

My 2002, Rikku, was really my first life’s love. It was a car I truly feel in love with emotionally, even before I owned it (it was my brother’s for years before). Though the car represented a time and auto culture a decade even before my birth, it was a still a car that I knew represented my soul; where creativity, passion, and life was real, unabated, and surely carefree. I remember taking my first crush in a drive in it (when it was still my brother’s) around our high school parking lot and I felt on top of the world. I remember taking my true first love in it for the first time to just talk about life, love, and why. I remember driving it alone to the beach on day trips, just me and God, and I didn’t really care about my troubles in life. Life was good, “when there was springtime in my heart,” and it seemed like God’s painting of my life was just truly beginning.

This video and music (especially beginning at the montage at 2:56) for some reason in a melancholy, but not hopeless way, just brings back all those memories of yesterday…and it makes me wish I could have them back…
...but i'm learning to move forward as God is still working



Me and my first love

Saturday, July 23, 2011

UPDATED: Learning How To Cook and Grill, YouTube Style

When you’re deficient in the culinary arts as I am even though I make great macaroni and cheese you need a little help. Well thanks to YouTube, I can actually find out how to cook and grill things I always assumed my mother used magic to make (don’t blame me, 4 girls in the kitchen meant no guys were allowed…ergo why I didn’t learn :/ Anyways, I’m planning on doing the following tonight for dinner with some grilled chicken marinated in a jerk sauce. Looking forward to it! See I can learn new things out of my core interests :)

Corn


Asparagus: Part 1


Asparagus: Part 2


UPDATE:
Turned out pretty good I may say so myself. I think I over-cooked the asparagus and under-cooked the corn, and perfect cooked the chicken, but everything still was yummy and healthy, right?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Occasionally Can’t Stand Christian Culture: Part I

On the issue of God’s Sovereignty…

Any good, Biblically-knowledgeable Christian will spout off a plethora of verses promoting the idea of God’s sovereignty over all things, namely even our individual lives. They will tell you the cliché (being a cliché doesn’t necessarily lessen its truth) that “God had a plan” for your life, that your steps are numbered and ordained by our Heavenly Father, and that not even a sparrow is sold off without the Father’s knowledge (and consent). These principles are in fact very Biblically based principles* and I do not deny them. That said, there’s seems to be a double standard, and at the very least a misinterpretation, of them by a large part of the Christian culture.

I find this double standard in effect mostly when it comes to relationships (though it does come into play in other ways such as career paths, etc.). Often people will identify a stagnant peer of theirs and mention that the reason they’re not married yet, haven’t found the one, etc. is because of their inaction – or lack of pursuit/initiation. They often explain that just because God is sovereign, he’s not going to make you ask that girl on a date and he surely is not going to just have your future wife walk right up to your door and knock on it. Wait…huh? Didn’t we you just get done quoting off a bunch of verses that say God is indeed in control and that the Lord directs a man’s steps, not the man himself? If that is indeed the case then yeah, it’s not up to the guy or girl to do anything really. Either God is in control and sovereign or he’s not. Which is it? Such a lack of consistency in Christian culture regarding this topic, not to mention from the pulpit as well.

It’s been my observation that in Christian culture, many who strongly believe these theological truths in their minds are unable to translate them properly to their hearts and more practically, let them control their emotions (i.e. Christians often use “it is God’s plan or calling” as a smoke-screen for pursuing what really are their emotions. I’ve done it countless times). I’m not saying I’m able to do that myself, and I’m not even sure if I know what the overall cosmic case is either. It is unknowable to me right now. I know for a fact that I have personal volition, but for God to be the Omnipotence he says he is, he must also have sovereignty even over my volition; seemingly negating it. Unknowable indeed and a paradoxical truth to swallow.

My final thought is that if that is the case, and really God is sovereign over all things (which in my mind I believe but struggle with its translation to my heart and emotions), then that is a good thought because that means regardless of what I decide, and even despite sin, God will have his way. Or…he is not truly sovereign over all (sort of like Deism theology) and well…good luck I guess?

*Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37:23, Proverbs 16:9, Luke 12:7

Watch a BMW go from nothing...to something

I must say, this is pretty fascinating to watch. Cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Movie Trailer Thursday - July 21st, 2011

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net (every Thursday)

Another Earth
Though I don't believe in it, the "multi-verse" cosmological concept has always fascinated me. What if there was an alternate reality of you? What if you chose to go one way in this life, but chose the other way in the other life? What sort of alternate paths would this have led to? Will the after-life show us where other decisions in life would've led us? Or is our only option to visit Earth 2...

The Rift
This looks like some scary sci-fi

Moneyball
Jerry McGuire 2? Starring Brad Pitt?

Brave
If you haven't already seen the new Pixar movie trailer

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol
I liked the first one

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Who doesn't love claymation animation?

The Amazing Spiderman
Yes, a reboot already of the Spiderman series. Not doin' much for me.

Attack the Block
Already out in the U.K. but gotta love the "inner-city London hooligan teenagers battling an alien invasion" right?

The Dark Knight Rises
Trailer is officially online now


BONUS :
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Production Diary #3!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dealing With Problems

When I have problems in life and things that burden my heart or occupy my mind almost constantly, I’m torn between wanting to deal with those problems or finding some sort of diversion to take my mind off of them. I can’t tell which is the more prudent or advisable.

With me sometimes trying to “deal” with the problem just tends to cast me deeper into the burden and over-analysis to the point where sleep becomes difficult. On the other hand, dealing with the issue head-on can sometimes lead to a resolution of it; and hopefully some sort of closure or peace.

A diversion (or purposely neglecting or denying the issue) can be a good thing because not only does it seem to relieve the burden, but with time sometimes these problems tend to work themselves out or you just start to move past them. On the other hand, I hate the idea of “moving past” a problem by letting time go by without ever addressing it; or just finding something else to divert you from that problem.

I cannot decide which method is better.

Sorry, but the US Women’s Soccer Team Choked Big Time

I didn’t want to be the first to say it, but let’s be honest, the US Women’s National Soccer team choked big time in losing to Japan, whom they were heavily-favored over, in the final. Not only losing, but the way in which they did it. This guy just wrote what everybody’s thinking I think.

Is media giving U.S. women’s soccer team a free pass for its World Cup Fail?


He touches on it but I think it’s almost negative for women’s soccer, and women’s sports in general, that there hasn’t been more negative press on their collapse. Even people that don’t know soccer know the US blew a ton of chances throughout the game (should’ve been up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes and at least 3-0 by halftime…basically ending the game) and of course also by blowing two leads and making a horrendous appearance in the penalty shootout Roberto Baggio-style. By marginalizing their lack of polish and finish (apart from Alex Morgan’s goal and assist – tell me why didn’t she start?), it does a disservice to women’s sports everywhere and their attempts towards equality with men’s sports and to be treated as equals. With the accolades of success should also come the criticism of failure. That’s how it is in men’s sports. At least in Philadelphia it is.

And please don’t misinterpret this as me being gender bias or sexist. I actually really like women’s soccer. More so than almost every other women’s pro sport save maybe tennis. I wanted the US to win just as much as everyone else. And I’m not saying we brand these women as traitors or complete failures and totally shun them into lives as hermits living on dark dungeons. 85% of their tournament was great and they did give great efforts. But let’s not sugar coat the at-times debacle that was the final. Psuedo-praise and constructive criticism, not patronizing praise, is probably most appropriate for professionals such as these for their overall underachievement.

Finally, let me dispel their “Miracle on Grass” win over Brazil in the quarterfinals for 3 reasons, so people don’t use that phrase anymore.

1. Not a Mismatch
Though Brazil was technically a higher seed, the US and Brazil women’s teams generally are regarded as almost equals in terms of the crème of the crop in women’s international soccer. Yes they won in nail-biting fashion, but to try to coin the same phrase as the “Miracle on Ice,” is just plain wrong. The US men’s team beating the Soviets was such a mismatch on paper it wasn’t even funny. A bunch of mostly fresh out of college amatuears taking on the best-in-the-world machine that was the Soviet men’s hockey team? That was real David vs. Goliath drama.

2. They Didn’t Win it All
Most people forget that after the US Men’s hockey team beat the Soviets, they still had to beat a heavily favored Finnish team in the final to win Gold; no small accomplishment in and of itself. But by winning the whole thing, they validated their win over the U.S.S.R. as more than a fluke.

3. Japan Did it to Them
Notice any familiarities in the final to the “Miracle on Grass”? Yup, Japan did the same “miracle” to the US by coming back twice (the second time in extra time) and by winning the penalty shootout to complete the comeback. Kind of lessens the rarity of miracles eh? Can you have two “Miracles on Grass”? I and II? I guess so…I mean there’s two “Miracles in the Meadowlands” :)

Anyways, enough criticism…I think I’ve got my point across. But it is necessary if they want the same treatment guys get. It’s part of professional sports. May not be right, but there’s truth to it. They didn’t achieve the goal they set out for, and they did it in spectacular fashion. The media has been easy on them, plain and simple.


For posterity sake of course :)


Poor Robert

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

UPDATED: How To Set Up Multiple Homepages in Your Browser

I didn’t realize how much I wanted this feature until I found out I could do it. Instructions below.

Firefox:
If you choose to use this feature, each time you open up Firefox or hit the home button it will load multiple homepages. One of them in the foreground and one in the background. To do this just go Tools - Options - Location(s). In this field enter as many URLs as you wish separated by a space and a "|" in between. (EX: http://google.com | http://yahoo.com | so on...). This is a great feature if you have multiple homepages that you like to visit often. Also remember that choosing too many pages at once will cause the Firefox to take much longer to start up.

Internet Explorer:
Go to ToolsInternet OptionsGeneral Tab. For specifying the home page tabs explicitly, type the URLs of all the websites, each in a new line in the ‘Home Page’ text box and click OK. The next time you start Internet Explorer, all the specified websites will be opened in a single window in multiple tabs.

Chrome:
CLICK the little Wrench and go down to "Options" and in that first tab it says "on startup" the third bullet is "open the following pages on startup" then just add what u want.....ya dig?

Safari:
Nah

UPDATE: Despite that I love this feature upon browser startup, occasionally I like to open a new tab while already browsing and hit the Home button (www.google.com) …but now 4 new tabs open up every time that I don’t want. I guess I could mitigate this by just using the Google search engine in IE instead of going to the website.

UPDATE #2: In Internet Explorer, whatever homepage you have listed first in your list, well when you open a new tab it will default to just open that one...thereby circumventing having to hit the Home button which causes the unwanted occurrence of opening up additional tabs that you don't want opened.

UPDATE #3: Actually I'm realizing I don't really like using this feature much, at least not more than two homepages. Any more than that causes the browser to open up super slow the first time.

The Return of "Movie Trailer Thursday"

A collection of the latest and greatest movie trailers from the ‘Net (every Thursday)

John Carter (of Mars)
I’m not familiar with the John Carter of Mars books but I like Taylor Kitsch and this looks coolish

Contagion
Concept has been done many times…but the quality of the cast could make this one stand out

Winnie the Pooh Movie
Fond memories I guess

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I did enjoy the first one

The Change Up
I don’t know…why is it that we always want what we don’t have?

The Three Musketeers
Eh… At least Legolas is in it

Immortals
What guy didn’t like 300?

Senna
Don’t know a ton about Ayrton Senna, but apparently he was the greatest F1 driver ever. I like cars that go fast.

Lost Atlus
I love surfing films/docs

The Thing (prequel)
I love the original The Thing with Kurt Russell and a sweet Asteroids arcade cabinet. Hoping this one is more of the same good ol sci-fi horror mystery type
<a href='http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-trailers/#/video/f749b83d-e1d0-4983-a918-a9c3914b03c0' target='_new' title=''The Thing' Movie Trailer' >Video: 'The Thing' Movie Trailer</a>



BONUS:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
There’s too many words to describe how cool it is that this is happening…I don’t care if this isn’t a trailer (there’ll be plenty of those I’m sure). These dwarves as so flipping cool.

BONUS #2:
The Dark Knight Rises
The unreleased teaser trailer…you’re welcome

BONUS #3:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I told you there’d be plenty :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Auction Your Life on Ebay?

Could you do it? Sell literally everything you own and pick up and start in a new place totally from scratch? I think I could sell my house and whole bunch of possessions…but I’d take at least one of my cars with me. I think I could sell the rest though. It’s just stuff. Money comes and money goes right? Rather add more life to my years then more years to my life…

My family has decided to sell everything we own here!!!
6 bed, 4 bath duplex with pool, hot tub, & HUGE Garage

BONUS:
What about Ashley Revell…could you put it all on red too?


Friday, July 8, 2011

Godspeed Atlantis!

Here's to Atlantis', and the Space Shuttle program's, last launch




And one of my favorites...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

UPDATED: 'Empire Strikes Back': My Latest Arcade Addition


Of little known knowledge is the fact that Atari came out with a sequel to their 1983 color-vector classic arcade game ‘Star Wars’ (my personal favorite video game of all time) aptly titled ‘Empire Strikes Back’. Similar to Star Wars in look, feel, and gameplay, this game was never released as a dedicated arcade cabinet and was only a conversion kit for existing Star Wars machines (Atari released a non-vector ‘Return of the Jedi’ in 1984 but it was not met with the same enthusiasm as the vector game. Personally I never really was into it. Just wasn’t “fun” like Star Wars).

Anyways, original Empire Strikes Back’s (ESB) are uber rare and most operators back in the day never converted to them because the original Star Wars games were still so popular ($$$-makers). In the past decade though, a few guys have produced “kits” that use the same programming of the Atari originals, but that you can install on your existing setups to have both Star Wars and ESB playable on the same machine; easily switchable with a button press.

I recently purchased one from Vector Labs. It’s in the mail as we speak and I’m super excited to install it and play ESB, a game I may have played in the arcades 20 years ago once or twice!






UPDATE:
One guy has gone through the trouble of posting a full install video for this kit for anyone curious about what the install entails. Pretty plug-in-play. Highly recommend a buy if you have Star Wars already!




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My “Big 4” Strikes Against Mac’s

Disclaimer: This doesn’t apply to all peoples and situations, I know. And yes, PC’s have plenty of black-eyes and demerits themselves. I just like to see Mac owners get all riled up and refuse to admit Mac ownership promotes smugness, thereby proving it true :) Regardless, Steve Jobs is a money-making genius.

Price
-Yes I admit that you get a nice, sleek, generally good-working product…but what’s up with the multiple hundreds of dollars markup from comparable PC’s? It’s not like the difference between a BMW 3-series and a Honda Accord. They’re not “comparable” from a specifications and performance perspective so the price differential is logical and reasonable. But a PC can be exactly spec’d out to a particular Mac (yes, lots of proprietary Apple software will not run on a PC, but most blue-chip apps will {i.e. iTunes, Safari, Quicktime} and anything exclusive has a PC counterpart) …yet the Mac will almost always be more expensive, and many cases, significantly more expensive. They aren’t that sleek looking.

Modularity
-Or lack thereof. So you want to upgrade your RAM, swap in a few more hard drives, or add a water-cooling system for your new graphics card. Out of luck most likely if you have a Mac. Apple Steve Jobs is so insecure about his technology and open source hobbyists and freethinkers that he relatively “locks” down his hardware like Fort Knox. Mac’s aren’t too friendly to computer hardware enthusiasts.

Games

-Promises, promises, promises. Apple Steve Jobs has been promising a new era of Mac gaming for over a decade…and has yet to deliver. Sure Apple has picked it up lately (integrating Intel and Windows helped a lot), and the computer gaming market has been shrinking the past few years, but boy Mac’s sure have never been gaming friendly. You ever (prior to the Microsoft deal) boot up Counterstrike, Age of Empires, Sim City, Pirates!, Rogue, Duke Nuke’em, Quake, The Sims, Grim Fandango, Civilization, Minesweeper, Half-life, CoD, Diablo, C&C, Starcraft, or Myst on a Mac?! Didn’t think so.

Mac Owners
-Haughtiness, smugness, elitism, condescension, esotericism…just a few nouns that sad to say more often than not associate with many Mac owners. That “aura” that emanates from Mac Stores, that somehow everyone that owes one is part of some super cool, privileged, hipster, in-the-know club is downright aggravating. It kind of makes me want to play hockey. It kind of makes me want to get a bumper sticker that says “My PC can beat up your Mac”. Of course this doesn’t apply to all Mac owners…but I’m not crazy here…it’s a legitimate phenomenon that others have observed. There’s something about owning a Mac, and being a Apple fanatic in a broader sense, that turns people into @$$s. (well there is one person, maybe a few others, that shoot down all my perceived stereotypes...)

Don't take my word for it...take this guys and Matt Groening's.
Why I hate Apple, the infuriating cult making people smug bores




My Work, and Search Engine Optimization

I work for a company called Telos Identity Management (Telos ID) in Ashburn, VA. And in an attempt to test facilitate search engine optimization, I'm linking to specific projects that I personally work on. By all means, click away! :)


Telos ID - Identity assurance and access solutions for government and corporate requirements


IDVetting - FBI Fingerprint Channeling, Criminal Background Checks


MobileAssure - Fingerprint Channeling in State of Florida, FDLE Criminal Background Checks