Monday, December 31, 2007

Words to Auld Lang Syne video

If you've ever wanted to lead the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" but didn't know the words (kind of a requirement, wouldn't ya think? You can't exactly hum your way through it if you're going to be leading the singing!), then this video's for you. Practice a few times so that you get pace and beat correctly, and then have at it! And while you're at it, have a Happy New Year!

You know, I'm glad that we can wish each other Happy New Year without someone getting their underwear in knots like saying "Merry Christmas" upsets some people. ;-)

With this video, this completes "Post a Video Every Day" month. I missed one day, but I still posted more than 31 videos when you count out the final total. And with that, I'm taking a break for a few days, but I shall be back to posting on Friday. By then, you should have shaken off the effects of celebrating tonight, anyway!

Thanks for your interest and readership in my humble little corner of cyberspace. I wish you all the best in the coming year, and I look forward to what the new year brings. See you on the other side of midnight!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Call of Duty game video

I had actually purchased the Call of Duty game way back in the summer, but I forgot about it, and it sat in my trunk until Christmas day this year! Fortunately, it still worked.

This game was not meant to be set up in such a way that you got "x" points for shooting "X" amount of enemy soldiers. No, this game is meant to give the player a feel for what it was like to be in battle. In some respects, it does just that. For one, there's certain lessons learned from what weapons work best in a given situation. For instance, a rifle that shoots one bullet at a time and which you have to discharge the empty shell each time puts that soldier in a distinct disadvantage when the other guy has a machine gun.

I learned right away to rip off one of the German guns and use that instead. Also, sometimes a well placed hand grenade works better than a head-on assault. And just yesterday, I fired off an anti-aircraft gun and shot down Stukas. That was pretty cool.

But the lesson I came away with is that war is not glamorous. Rather, it's a lot of killing. I wish I could remember a quote from someone who fought in the war who said something along the lines that war is just butchery. You're just going out and killing to keep from being killed. Also, death for you can come from anywhere. There were times during the game that I was crawling along, and then I heard a bullet whizzing by. Even when I looked around, I couldn't see where it was coming from.

The one thing that Call to Duty didn't provide is what happens when you're injured. In a real battle, all it takes is one bullet to shatter your arm or leg bone, and you're severely handicapped in a battle that's still going on. But in the game, you aren't even slowed down - even with a lot of injuries - and you just grab a first aid kit to get your "life meter" back up. There is one instance in which you can experience "shell shock" in which your vision gets blurry and your movements are slowed down, but it's temporary. It's such costs that survivors of war experience, and for which the game lacks.

Of course, there's limits on what a game such as this can provide. And it's not like we would WANT to actually feel a bullet wound or the ongoing effects of "shell shock" - nowadays referred to as "post traumatic stress disorder" - but even so, in this game you come away with at least a taste of what combat in WWII was like.

The game did intrigue me enough that I might seek out the later editions of this game just to see what kinds of adjustments they made since the first one (it was from 2004). If I get the later editions, I'll let you know what kinds of adjustments they made.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Series of "news" clips from The Onion

Below are a series of clips from the site known as "The Onion". I check this out from time to time, because many times their "news" reports crack me up. You'll see what I mean.

Queen Elizabeth II to stop waving? Say it ain't so!

Queen Elizabeth II Will Leave Behind Long Legacy Of Waving

I wouldn't put it past some health care "professionals" to advise doing some of the "suggestions" below!

In The Know: Is The Government Spying On Paranoid Schizophrenics Enough?

It's tough being rich at Christmastime...

Report: Nation's Wealthy Cruelly Deprived Of True Meaning Of Christmas

This one's funny because of the statement it makes that the women that are portrayed in the entertainment industry can be as mean, tough, and independent as men - so long as they're sexy doing it. In some ways, women have come a long way; in some ways, things haven't changed. Oh, well - at least there's less of them tripping over something when a bad guy (or critter or alien) takes pursuit. ;-)

Evangeline Lilly Wins 'Best Wet T-Shirt Fight Scene' At Strong Women In TV Awards

By the way, folks, this entry puts me ahead of the pace of trying to post a video every day this month. Fear not, however. I shall still try to post a video every day for the rest of this month.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ron Paul exposed?

This video is of Tim Russert interviewing Ron Paul. So what do you think? Did Russert catch Paul in a conflict of views vs. actions, or did Paul explain his side well enough? I'll comment more on this later.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Child Is This? video

This video is of the nativity scene that has been in my family for a long time. It was from my great-grandfather, and by the best guess of some family members it's at least 4o years old, but probably older. I've also noticed while shopping that, despite the "push" to get the religious element out of the Christmas season, I still saw quite a few nativity scenes for sell, and in various sizes, from the very small to the very large for outdoor displays. It's good to see that we can still express such forms of worship.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the lack of a video yesterday, but I was still working on the video that appears today. I was gone most of the day yesterday shopping, followed by a visit to family, and by the time I got home, it was late and I was exhausted. And besides, Santa hadn't come to my house yet, so I needed to go to sleep anyway! ;-)

This video is of my own Christmas tree, shot with a simple Flip! camcorder and put together using Windows Movie Maker, plus "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" added in the background. It came out pretty nice, I think.

I'll try to make up for the video that I'm now behind on, but it won't be today. I have family coming over, and you probably should get yourself going somewhere else as well. Go out and enjoy yourself, and I'll see you here again tomorrow!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

And now my own video!

This footage was shot last month at TCU's Sadler Hall. This is the first year for their light show.

Next year when I go shoot this again, I'll try to remember to bring my camera stand, which should help prevent the shaky image of this year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Video month update

Just a note that I'm surprised that I've made it this far, even if I'm largely just posting videos this month. Even so, it's not easy finding videos worthy of posting here. YouTube may have thousands of videos, but many of them are of poor quality, and I know that you all expect me to post something at least worth watching, thus the challenge for me in looking for them. 10 days to go!

Bruce Springsteen "Santa Claus is coming to town" video

The Boss singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas lights

For the next 5 days: Christmas videos!

Imagine if you were drunk or high, and came upon the display below:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We Are the World video

One good mullet video deserves another. (Hmm. Is there such a thing as a good mullet?)

How many of the stars can you name this time around?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Do they know it's Christmas video

When was the last time you saw so many mullet haircuts at once? So how many of the stars in the video can you name?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Making movies

Today, instead of posting a video, I'm including a link to an article about making movies: Suburban Spielbergs.

I advise printing out that article right away if you want to keep it, because that site only keeps such links active for a week, and then later you'll have to pay if you want to print it from the archives. Also, here's a link to their slide show of the products discussed in the article.

I recently purchased a small camcorder called a Flip Video Camcorder, and I find its convenience very handy. (image of camera is shown below) It's easy to use, and it doesn't use a tape or disc to record its images. You just plug it directly into your computer and save your image files that way. I would recommend it as a good starter for a camcorder.

As for movies, right now I'm using Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker, which is basic and easy to use. When I feel ready to move up to those other programs listed in that article, I'll go with them.

Once I have some mini movies made, I'll post them here. I'll get back to posting videos tomorrow. Now go make some movies!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Godzilla trailer from the 1950's video

Back when I was a kid, I thought that Godzilla was totally cool. Now my nephews think Godzilla is cool. It's good to see that some things never change. They even have a video game of ol' Godzy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wingsuit video

Humans can't fly, but wingsuits is as close as it gets. Check it out!

It looks like it works by the same principle as flying squirrels, who don't truly fly, but glide.

Friday, December 14, 2007

First appearance of T-rex in Jurassic Park

The first Jurassic Park movie is so cool. I haven't seen the sequels, but I don't think that they did as well at the box office as the first one. By that time anyway, it's hard to match the originality of the first movie. Below is the scene in which the T-Rex first appears. He's not as big as Godzilla, but he doesn't need to be. He's plenty scary enough!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Video 4-fer

As some of you may have noticed, I didn't post a video yesterday. I'm going to make up for that today by posting two, plus two more! This will square me up through Thursday, and I'll get back to posting on Friday.

These 4 videos are in a style called "Matrix" after the movie (If you've never seen the movie, then you won't get the style displayed in the videos below until you watch the movie). Anyway, these videos had me rolling. Enjoy!

Las Vegas to have mob museum

For those of you planning to visit Las Vegas in about 2-3 years, you might pop by the mob museum that's going to go up there.

Yep, Vegas is officially acknowledging that it has a mob problem, in other words. ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Getting to know your Friends" Christmas edition

Below is from an e-mail that I got. Attached are my responses, followed by the same questions but left blank for you to cut-and-paste and forward it to other people you know.

If you wish, send me your responses and I'll post them later in a separate entry (don't worry - I won't put your name unless you want me to).


Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your Friends". Here's what you do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (OR forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, including the person that sent it to you... 'Tis the season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? The tree goes up late November, the decorations in early December

4. When do you take the tree down? After January 6th (Feast of the Epiphany)

5. Do you like eggnog? Sometimes

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don't think that I can pick just one. I got lots of nice stuff as a kid.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Absolutely. Both at home and work.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My mother. She never wants me to get her anything, so I always have to guess.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My brother. He can always use a Best Buy gift card.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? The Christmas that I didn't get that 60 inch HD TV, which so far has been every Christmas! Seriously, just as I don't recall a "best gift", I don't recall a "worst gift" either. As corny as this sounds, to me Christmas is more than getting gifts.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both

12. Favorite Christmas Movie It's a Wonderful Life (picking one wasn't easy, by the way).

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Mostly in December, but sometimes in November if I find a good gift at a good price.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I'm aware of. (however, no one's ever given me fruitcake)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? As a Hispanic, it can't be anything other than tamales.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both! Seriously!

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night (not easy to pick just one)

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Stay at home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Slasher, Smasher, Masher and Nixon, Comet and Stupid, Dumbass and Blitzkrieg. Oh, and the one with the red nose: Dumbkopf (Santa has some strange names for his reindeer).

20. Angel on the tree or a Star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Eve

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The insistance of news media and retail outlets to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", and the use of "Xmas" as a way to not say "Christmas". Their justification is that they don't want to offend those that don't celebrate Christmas, but they ignore those that DO celebrate Christmas.

23. What I love most about Christmas? The fact that a babe in a manger had such an effect on world thought and history.

(below is for you to cut and paste and forward to others)

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your Friends". Here's what you do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (OR forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, including the person that sent it to you... 'Tis the season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

2. Real tree or artificial?

3. When do you put up the tree?

4. When do you take the tree down?

5. Do you like eggnog?

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

8. Hardest person to buy for?

9. Easiest person to buy for?

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home?

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

20. Angel on the tree or a Star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

23. What I love most about Christmas?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friars and Gregorian Chant

This article is about some local friars. It's good to see that our secularized world hasn't dulled those who seek another, better way (Note: this news site often deletes these articles after a week, so the link may be dead by this time next Sunday).

In our day and age, with all that we have to get our attention, I admire those that are able to turn all that away and look for "the meaning of life" elsewhere. It takes a strong person to be able to pull themselves away from all that life today offers. I'm not sure that I could do that.

Today's video is of some Gregorian Chant. I have about 3 Gregorian Chant CDs that I purchased, and about another 4 that were sent to me free from various abbeys and monasteries. Done right, GC can be very moving. The best way I can put it is that it lifts you out of this world and puts your mind in another place and time.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Video of cool Japanese robot

Check out this video of a Japanese robot!

Note that this is NOT a guy in a robot suit, but an actual, living breathing robot! Okay, it's not alive and it doesn't breathe, but it IS an authetic robot - and a very sophisticated one at that. The engineering involved to make such a device is beyond most of technology today, but no doubt in the not too distant future, we'll have such robots helping us around the house.

The one in the video is taller than I thought - it looks to be about 3 feet tall. However, if I ever become famous, I'd like a robot goon as protection. Maybe 3 or 4 robot goons, with nicknames like "Muscles" and "No-neck" and "Knuckles", so that people know that they're not to be messed with.

Yeah, that'd be cool.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Links to what Global Warming causes

Check this out! This page is a link to all that is caused by global warming, according to news articles from around the world. Dang!

I'm old enough to remember when global cooling was the big threat. How did we turn things around so badly in a mere 20 years that we've gone from cooling to warming? From a geological perspective, 20 years is not even a blink of an eye, so how could we have such a devastating effect on the planet in so short a span of time?

What I don't understand is how global warming doomsayers think they know how the weather is going to be in the coming years when even today's weather reporters, with all their knowledge and technology, don't even know how the weather's going to be 2 weeks from now?

Methinks me smells a scam afoot, and its name is carbon credits. Purchasing carbon credits is supposed to be a way of reducing greenhouse emissions, but its practical application is fraught with potential for abuse. For instance, a power plant that is a major polluter can purchase enough "carbon credits" to "offset" the damage done by their polluting while doing virtually nothing to reduce their polluting.

Someone out there is raking in bucks on a scam, and others are protecting him. And of course, we're left to foot the bill. I'm going to pay attention to the candidates for president to see what they say about what they'll do about global warming.

Oh yeah, and I've said this before, but it's worth saying again: If Al Gore isn't concerned enough to make his own house energy efficient, then why should the rest of us be concerned?

Twas the Dark Knight before Christmas video

This video is rather interesting. Batman sure has taken on a more dour personality since the days of Adam West.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rock and Roll McDonald's!!

A video titled "Rock and Roll McDonald's!!!

So get down, already!

(I wonder how many people have sung that song in a McDonald's? I wonder how many of them got kicked out?)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

1984 video

This MacIntosh commercial ran in 1984, and it introduced its line of computers.

This version using Hillary Clinton appeared earlier this year:

So what happened to the actress in the commercial? She went to work as a waitress at Hooters, of course! ;-)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Linus and Lucy", aka "Peanuts Theme"

While most of you know this piece as the theme from Peanuts, it's actually titled "Linus and Lucy". It took me a while to find a piano player on YouTube that didn't torture the piece. Not being a piano player myself, I imagine that learning how to play this takes more skills than something like "Chopsticks"

Uhh... Playing Chopsticks is harder than I thought! I'll just sit and watch someone else play the piano and stick to writing!

Monday, December 03, 2007

We Like to Party video

Another video with a catchy tune. If you don't catch yourself at least tapping your foot, then you ain't got a musical bone in your body! ;-)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow and Heat Miser

Post a video a day month continues! This is a catchy tune from an old Christmas special. See if you don't catch yourself singing it later! :-D

Barbie vs. Hayley

Playing out at my local university is what I can only call Barbie vs. Hayley (Smith of the TV show, American Dad).

To understand what I'm talking about, read the two following links:

Nothing wrong with racing to the altar, Image Magazine Winter 2007, page 32

(scroll down to page 32 to see the column)

Column pushes outdated generalizations of women, TCU Daily Skiff, Letters to the Editor, Nov. 29, 2007

That a young woman today such as the author of "Altar" could still hold such stereotypical views of her gender is rather surprising. I suppose it shouldn’t be, but it certainly was surprising to the campus community that had discussed her column at length.

But let’s go ahead and ask the painful question of “Are there still women who go to college just to find a husband?" While I doubt any of them would admit it publicly, I think that there might be more out there than we think. Why do I say that? Well, answer the following question as honestly as you can: Are there women out there so lazy that they’d rather get married so that their husband can be the one working so that they wouldn’t have to? Surely you know of a few.

I also know of women who’d rather be on welfare than work for a living. However, let’s be fair: There are men out there who’d rather marry a rich woman than work for a living. There are also men out there who’d rather be on welfare than work for a living. Laziness is not restricted to just one gender – it’s equal opportunity. Before any of you start thinking that I'm implying that those on welfare are all lazy, let me quickly add that there are also lazy rich people.

As laziness is not restricted to one gender, neither is laziness restricted to only those on the lower income scales of society. Lazy rich people are different (besides income level, that is) from lazy poor people in that they can hide their laziness better. In fact, rich people can hide a lot of their sins better. That's why you don't find rich people on death row. Before I start getting into one of my gripes about the unfair distribution of the death penalty, let's move on.

So by now, I think most of you can agree that there can be such a thing as a rich lazy person. So - what does a rich lazy person do, then, to look like they're doing something with their life? Some go to college, because that's a respectable thing to do (or maybe their parents made them go). But as lazy people quickly find out, being in college is work, even if they aren't employed while in college like many college students are. So what does a rich lazy college student to do?

For rich lazy women, one strategy is called "pursuing a MRS degree". For rich lazy men - well, there's trust funds (such lazy folks are often called "trust fund babies" - the wealthy equivalent of a lazy poor person living on welfare). In either case, they are able to continue their pursuit of avoiding work. You would think that it would eventually occur to such people that avoiding work can be so much work that it might actually be easier to just get a job! But figuring out something like that takes work, and since they're lazy....

So now we see that a woman pursuing a "MRS degree" can exist, even in our day and age, because laziness - like death and taxes - is eternal. We'll always have lazy people just like we'll always have tax collectors and lawyers. Kinda depressing, ain't it? Let's move on.

Getting back to the issue at hand of the altar-pursuing columnist, things didn't end there, of course. Such a controversial topic isn't just going to roll over and die - and indeed it didn't. Rather, things got interesting! On Friday (Nov 30 2007), the columist who wrote "Racing to the altar" had written a clarification column, and it appeared in the student newspaper: Image Column Intended to be Satire, not Serious Commentary

Also, the editors of Image Magazine (where the "Altar" column first appeared) commented on the issue as well, and their comments likewise ran in the paper on the same day: Magazine Content Contains more than opinion columns

But even so, there was one more column on this issue, and the writer apparently wasn't aware that the "Altar" column was satire: Finding Spouse not sole purpose of getting college education

If you're not a lazy person and have read the original column that I linked above (If you've read this far, then you must not be lazy!), then you're probably like me and most of the rest of the campus in that the "Altar" column didn't come across as satire. It sounded like someone who was stating their genuine view. There's ways to write in which the satire of the piece is obvious, but the satire wasn't obvious in the original "Altar" column

For the writer, here's something to consider: If one person didn't see the column as satire, then maybe that one person just doesn't know satire. If 2 or 3 people didn't see the column as satire, then that might be other people who don't know satire. But if nearly an entire campus of over 9,000 people didn't see it as satire, then maybe it didn't come across as satire. There's only so far that claims of the lack of sophistication of the audience will take ya.

I hope that this whole experience is taken by the author as a lesson in life about how one presents one's self - that is, there's good ways and bad ways to do it. It's cool when you find good ways to present yourself, but you can really learn from the bad ways of presenting yourself. In fact, it's from the lessons learned from the bad ways that you learn what the good ways are. But one has to be willing to learn them. Therein is where a writer is made or broken.

Another lesson can be learned from this experience by the writer of the Letter to the Editor, but that's going to be an entry for another time. It's not because I'm lazy, but that my fingers are tired now. According to MS Word, I've written over 1,000 words!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December is "Post a video every day" month!

Yep, you read that right! This month, I will try to post a video every day! Cool, eh? Let's hit the ground running, shall we?

Imagine living across the street or next door to this guy! It'd make anyone a Grinch! Although it is fun to watch...