ARGH! (falls on his back as Lucy moves the football)

Just got a call…
for more extra work on the new Mike Judge movie…
As part of a 40 man “guitar army”…
This Friday when I will be in England.
A tiny piece of my soul was just bludgeoned to death.

Mozilla Firefox 0.9

It’s out!
Best results ae obtained if you first totally uninstall .8 before installing .9. If all goes as planned it will give you a dialog box to import your bookmarks, settings etc, from your .8 settings.


I’ve often thought that maybe I should start using the “category” functionality of movable type where you can specify certain categories for each entry. I’ve never really thought that I would use or need it that much, but then I find my entries generally falling into a few categories. This would fall into the “Geek Stuff” category.
For those who may not know, the all-powerful Google have introduced their own web based email (like hotmail, yahoo mail, etc.), called Gmail. It’s currently in beta testing and the only way to get an account is to be invited by someone already in it, or get randomly chosen. For example, they randomly choose people with Blogger accounts (since Blogger is part of Google now). I was interested in checking it out so I checked my seldom used Blogger account to see if I had an invite. Negative. On a whim I checked my wife’s Blogger account. Bingo! Knowing that she would probably never notice it, and even more likely would have no interest in it, I took the invite and made my own Gmail account.
Since I have my own domain, I don’t really need an online email account, but I did occasionally use Hotmail when there were problems with my account, or when certain ISPs had my server blocked because they think my shared server sends spam (though this is a false claim, getting unblocked from an ISP is next to impossible). Goodbye Hotmail. Gmail will be my new alternate mail. Not only because I like Google far more than Microsoft, but because it is innovative, slick, and very cool. They give you a gigabyte of space, and encourage “archiving” as opposed to outright deleting. Then you can do a search through your old mail at any time. No more need for separating things into folders, since you can just do a search for “llamas” if you’re searching for that old email about what to do if your Llama has a stomach ache from eating your A-team action figures.
Keyboard shortcuts and other cool features make me actually want to use Gmail, but I doubt I could ever give up using my main address and the ability to check it with Outlook or other POP3 mail programs. However, if they add POP3 access in the future, it will become even more tempting. If there’s anyone who needs a cool web based email, and wants to try Gmail, I have 3 invites left to give out.

Excellent adventure, or bogus journey?

Our trip to the UK approaches. Panic sets in. Here’s the story.
Regular plane tickets cost way too much. Slightly more than gallon of gas, at around $1000 a piece. No way could we afford that. I have a friend who works for an airline and can get us “friends and family” passes for way, way cheaper. The catch is, you’re basically flying standby, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get on.
As I was confirming everything with him yesterday, he noted that the loads look “doable, but iffy”, meaning we may get stranded in Chicago if there’s not room on the flight. We would have to wait until a flight came up that did have seats.
As another kink, his airline has an embargo for certain dates during which friends, family, and leeches can not fly without the actual employee being present. So he’s going to have to “bid” for his days off and hope he can get our departure date off so that he can fly to London and then fly back with us (we will, of course, pay for his even more greatly discounted ticket back and still come out at less than half retail price). Should he not be able to get those days off, we would have to buy tickets from London to Paris, and fly out from there, because the embargo is only on westbound flights from London and Amsterdam at that point. You following? Probably not, but that’s alright.
I am still looking forward to this adventure, but hope we end up as Wyld Stallyns, and we don’t end up playing twister with death. (movie references in case anyone was confused)

Invasion of the body snatchers

I was reading this entry on a friends blog, when I had the sudden urge to reply. I’m the anonymous comment you see there, which links to a picture. I didn’t mean to leave it anonymous, but when I did so accidentally, I found it amusing, and thought it lent itself to the mysterious theme of my comment.
Looking back I find the story behind my comment amusing in itself. The day before, I had been surfing Kevin Smith’s message board, and while looking through all of Mr. Smith’s old posts, someone had posted a version of that picture in a post. I took note because I thought it was a great picture, and one of those classic famous movie moments like “Soylent Green is made of people!!”
The next morning I saw Will’s post, and I immediately thought that picture would be a hilarious comment. I Googled a bit but couldn’t find it, or at least not a decent sized version of it. I later decided to look through all the hundreds of Kevin Smith’s posts to find it again. After several hundred posts, I did find it only to realize that I had forgot that this user had put a caption on the picture saying “STOP CHANGING THE FUCKING SUBJECT!”, so it was of no use to me. I went back to Google, and eventually found it. I was surprised at how difficult it was to find that pic, being such a famous movie moment.
So all in all, I ended up spending probably 3 hours or more just to satisfy my brain’s little whim, and the end result is most likely no one thinks that’s nearly as amusing as I did. I’m still very proud of it. I am determined to find more uses for that picture.

What’d I say?

Tell your momma, tell your pa,
Gonna move you back to Arkansas.
All right, baby what’d I say?
Whoa, all right, baby what’d I say?
Oh baby, oh baby.
All right, baby, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Oh, all right, yeah.
Baby, what’d I say?
Yeah, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Oh, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Ah well, ah hey, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
All right, baby.

“Music’s been around a long time, and there’s going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead. I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it’s a big record, that’s the frosting on the cake, but music’s the main meal.”
-Ray Charles

Acting! Thank you!

My friend, Andy, works for a video game company here in Austin. It just so happens that this is also the company I have been trying to get a job with (and continue to try). When Andy first moved to Austin and was looking for an artist job, I pointed him to NCSoft, and he eventually got a great job there! Go Andy!
He emailed me the other day to let me know that someone there was putting together a play to be performed at a party that will take place at the head honcho’s super mega video game guru compound. I decided I would audition since I hadn’t done any theatre in ages, and hey, maybe I could get to know some more folks at the company! One slight catch was that for some reason they are trying to keep the play a secret for as long as possible so I wouldn’t know what I was auditioning for until I got there.
I convinced Jess to come audition, too! She was hesitant at first, but once I told her auditions were to be held in someone’s living room, she reconsidered, knowing that it wasn’t going to be some huge cattle call with 100 people all much better looking than you to make you feel incompetent. No that I’ve ever experienced anything like that.
We arrived at the house. It was a nice house! We let ourselves in and there were about 10-15 people there. Some were much better looking than me, but that’s O.K. because I have chops baby! Acting Kung Fu! It was then we learned what the play was: “Watership Down: The Musical”. Alright, I’m totally lying, but wouldn’t that be crazy? It could have songs like “Duel of the raging bunnies”, and “There’s a dog loose in the woods”.
The actual play is something fairly well known, but I’ll keep it under wraps for the moment just in case it’s still supposed to be a secret for some reason. We did some improv, and then read several times for different parts. I think I was quite “on” that day. Several of the auditioners complimented me on my performance and said they had a hard time improving because they were laughing at me. In a good way. Because I was being funny. Many of the people there were also employees at this video game company. I had to refrain from being that annoying guy who hits them up for jobs when I’ve just met them, so I instead just sat, stewing in my silent envy, and had nice conversations, planting the seeds for my future nepotism.
Everyone was incredibly cool, and not just because they have cool jobs. Some people didn’t even have cool jobs, and they were just as cool! We very quickly felt right at home, and everyone was chatting away like friends. Jess and I definitely have parts in the play, we are just waiting to hear which parts.
After the audition we went with some of the other auditioners to go out to eat. This did not include any of the company employees, because they don’t dine with the plebs. Well, that and the fact that they were allowed to leave earlier than us and went to eat on their own, but I can read between the lines. It probably didn’t help that they were all better looking than us plebs too. Actually they were all way cool and friendly, and probably had no real plebphobia, but it’s more fun the way I told it. Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) the play conflicts with my band playing a biker rally at a nudist colony. It was supposed to be a 2 night engagement for about half our normal price, so I’m not too disappointed. Nude Bikers and nepotism. Sounds like an album title to me.

So many games, not enough time.

I’ve previously discussed how my wife and I are currently addicted to City of Heroes. This has been taking up all our free time lately. Our Netflix movies sit unwatched (the $20 a month fee isn’t so economical when you let 3 movies sit for months), yet I refuse to cancel, because Netflix rocks, and I am determined that we will again get our use out of it.
Our Gamecube sits unused. Metroid Prime, Rogue Squadron 2, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Mariokart, and others sit unplayed and unfinished. Of course, my consoles always end up neglected in favor of my computer, so I don’t know why I keep venturing there. Once I bought a stand alone DVD player, I sold my PS2 and games as a bundle on Ebay. I haven’t had a case of “Nintendo thumb” in a long while (though I have developed some bad City of Heroes hand).
On the computer front alone, there are many games out that I want to play (I’ve still never finished Jedi Academy, which is installed on my computer”. There are many more coming out in the future that I am eagerly anticipating. Tabula Rasa, and World of Warcraft may give City of Heroes some competition. Middle-Earth Online appeals in concept, but somehow it just hasn’t grabbed me.
One game, I am determined to make time for, however, is Evil Genius. I will play this game.

I think I made Mike Judge laugh!

I recently spent a day as an extra on Mike Judge’s new untitled movie starring Luke Wilson. Luke portrays a man who takes part in some government experiment and wakes up in the future where he finds he is the smartest person on Earth because we’ve all been dumbed down so much while he was asleep.
I showed up bright and early at 5:45 a.m. (otherwise known as stupid o’clock) with several changes of clothes for wardrobe to choose from (I was told to bring 4 different outfits). I went and checked in, then began the time-honored movie making tradition of…waiting. As always some good snacks were provided, and I wished I had brought something to read. While we were waiting they picked about 15 people to stay on for a later scene as prisoners in the future. I wasn’t picked, despite my stunning aura of charisma. After a good while we went and met with wardrobe who looked over our clothing choices. From my clothes, they had me wear one of my favorite funky patterned shirts, my converse with flames on them, and some cargo pants with the legs zipped off to convert them into “shorts” mode. They seemed particularly enamored of my bitchin’ flaming Chucks. We went back to “holding” as they call it (thus reiterating how extras are much like cattle, only we’re not butchered and made into meat products…well most of us anyway), and one of the hair/makeup ladies came to check us out. She decided to gel up my hair a bit. Mike Judge, the director and writer, came in to scope us all out and make sure he liked what he saw. This was way cool, as it was Mike Judge! Beavis and Butthead! King of the Hill! Office Space (a true classic)!
For this first scene, we were supposed to be white trash people waiting in line at a traveling carnival in front a fun house type exhibit called “Future Town”. The props department came by and loaded us all up with huge fanny packs, balloons, popcorn buckets, admission tickets, stuffed animals, and various other white trash carnival accoutrements. I was then put with a group of people who walk by in the shot instead of being in line. During this scene they recruited some more people for the later prisoner scene, and this time they obviously recognized my potential, as I was picked! Fame was just a step away! A very large, size 157663 EEEEEEEEE step away. We shot the scene a few times, and that was that. Whether or not I’m visible, we shall see.
They released the extras who weren’t sticking around for the later scene, and the rest of us then went to wardrobe again. We were issued shiny orange futuristic prison clothes and shoes. Everyone knows clothes will be shiny and synthetic in the future. They’ve known this since sci-fi movies in the 50’s. I’m still waiting for the days when we all get to wear comfy silver jump suits.
We then stood in line to get make up to stamp our wrists with bar codes, and then it was off to the hair people. They put many extras in wigs if they had short hair, and they left most long hairs alone. My hair they gelled up into a pseudo Mohawk style. I found it peculiar that they didn’t allow any facial hair in the future, but tended towards longer messed up hair.
After more waiting, then lunch, and some more waiting, we went to the futuristic prison set. Way cool. We stood in line to have the props department put big shackles on us, and then proceeded onto the set. I started out towards the front of the line, and as Mike Judge and some crew members planned the shot, it looked like I would be right next to Luke Wislon! Then they rearranged us all and hand picked some other prisoners to come up front. Me and several others were relegated to the back. No further back. Keep going. Don’t worry that you’re completely off the set, the line of prisoners will be moving. Then they needed shackles for some of the guys up front. I was de-shackled. I never thought I would be sad to be “set free”. So now, shackleless and off the set, my prospects for being seen were pretty much nil. Those of us not being used in the line were then put into the prison cells, which looked through a plexiglass wall into where the line of prisoners was. I’m right up against the glass, in the very last cell, furthest away from the camera. Chance of being seen? Next to nil. However, between takes, Mike and another guy are looking into the cells and talking about something. As they scan over into my cell, I’m standing with a completely crazed, maniacal expression on my face, which causes them both to laugh. Score. I made Mike Judge laugh. At least I think it was me. However this does not prompt them to “discover” me and put me in the movie. Oh well, maybe next time. Later, after a few takes, they changed angles and some of the closer cells might be seen, but we weren’t even needed because we were totally out of shot. We wait around for about another 2 or 3 hours without being used before they wrap and we are released for the day.
As usual, it was both an exciting, and somewhat depressing experience all at once. It was great to be on a 20th Century Fox movie with Mike Judge and Luke Wilson, but it’s also a bit taunting to get this tiniest taste of the world you want to live in, but can only visit as an alien. I’m going back for a second day of shooting as a prisoner. We shall see if this day bears more fruit!
No fruit. The night before I was supposed to go back, I called to get my call time. There was a recording saying to call back after 9:00 p.m to make sure no times had changed. I called back at 10:30, and it still said to show up at 9 a.m. When I showed up I was told that at 9 p.m. the night before, they were informed that they only needed about 30 of the 100+ people booked. I of course silently wondered why the hell they didn’t change the recording then, but maintained my cooperative nonchalant facade. So they sent me home, but still paid me 2/3 of what I would have made had I actually worked. Ahh, my glamorous Hollywood lifestyle!

Greetings heroes!

I’ve been quite lax with the updating lately. Partially because I’m a lazy bastard and partially because we’ve been firmly entrenched playing “City of Heroes” a new super hero online game. Very much fun.
There are so many hero ideas I’ve had that I want to try. Currently I’m playing this hero. It all started when I was trying to figure out how I could possibly use my online pseudonym, Nos402. It seemed like a strange “name” for a hero. Mostly because of the numbers. I joked that I’d be some kind of vampire robot, and Jess loved the idea. I then concocted a back-story, which actually made that feasible. I was quite happy with it and my character rocks. Much, much fun. If any of you join up, seek us out on the Virtue server! Jess is playing The Grr.
It’s consuming much of our time. Several other of our friends are playing and we joined a “supergroup” with some cool people.
Other than that, jobs suck, life is alright, and everone should eat more queso.