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Archive for May, 2010

I got my Captain Midnight radio show medallion yesterday from ebay; the seller even had his retail store price tag of $20 (I got it for $10 plus shipping).

It’s small. So small I’m not even going to take a twitpic of it. It’s a little bigger than a quarter. 

In honor of it, today’s post is also small.

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Class was terrible. First project, a 10 second animation, is due at the end of class next Wednesday.

Obstacles:

No class until next Wednesday.
No open lab schedule yet.
I’m not a big Mac user, experience wise.
The college has it’s own network drive mappings where I have to save the project.

Now the combination of these makes for a perfect storm. Learning any new network is tough, but learning it on Mac is a short steep curve, and the college has changed their network mapping heirarchy since the last Mac based class I took there 3 years ago.

Now I know the Mac is “easy”, and it is, and not to brag but I’m a really smart guy at this stuff. But it’s frustrating when everyone else in class is native and I still have to translate mentally what commands to use. Seeing the photoshop natives  whizzing through the mouse and keyboard shortcuts while I’m thinking “alt… command… V… no wait… space bar… ” is frustrating, especially with such a limited amount of hours to work.

One guy in class, the old guy (phew I’m not the old guy this time) tried to interject when I asked the teacher how to bring something up. This guy went into speedreader mode shouting “ARE YA HITTING THIS KEY… GO TO SETTINGSFILEMODEPREVIEWRIGHTCLICK AND …”  I wanted to kick him in the nuts.

Meanwhile, this guy kept asking over and over about doing work in CS3 vs CS4 vs CS5 and saving his versions i.e. not understanding backward and forward compatibility. You don’t have to be a Mac whiz to understand that. I thought we were going to need to make venn diagrams and some Doc Brown alternate timeline chalkboards.

Sorry for the rant, but that’s how it goes. It just goes.

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I’m waiting on my Captain Midnight badge that I found on ebay for $10. He’s such a cool perfect storm of old heroes using multimedia.

Radio, comic strips, comic books, movies, decoder prize premiums, this guy was truly an awesome multimedia star.  Sadly, the only way to really catch up on him is via the internet. There hasn’t been a Captain Midnight movie or broadcast in decades.

But maybe, since the internet is how he lives on, he truly is a sign of the times… catch the broadcasts here:
http://www.otr.com/cm_archives.shtml

You can also use iTunes to get some old time radio here:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/otr-streamer/id353471785?mt=8

And if someone ever wants to buy me his first apperance in The Funnies #57, please be my guest.

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This blog is going to turn into a blog about blogging if I’m not careful.

I’ve been gathering topics and storing them in my live.com email, hoping to keep up posting once a day on weekdays. I saw a link to a site from twitter that offered “blog topic suggestions” but these were like ice breakers you’d use when trapped in an elevator for six hours with a 90 year old grandmother. Stuff like “The craziest thing I ever did…” or “My favorite sandwich is…” (FYI, to answer both questions, I once used a pepperoni and provalone to make a sailboat, but that’s for another day)

So I looked at the page today and saw my RSS feed links. Okay, cool. Adding RSS feeds to Outlook is very easy. Since our internet explorer is locked down at work, I can’t add homepage tabs to see my site, so I decided to hook it up in Outlook. For those that don’t know,

Click on the RSS feed icon on a page you like (say this one).
In Outlook, go to Tools, Account Settings, and the RSS Feeds tab.
Click on the “New…” button in the top left, and add the html of the RSS.

Pretty simple. There should be a new mail folder for your RSS feeds and Time Traveling Jackalope will be right there.

I briefly read about syndication, but since that’s going to take some reading, I once again emailed the link to my live.com email to store as a topic for another day…

Hey here’s a fat Wolverine!  Gotta end with something exciting. I learned that from Jack Kirby.
fat-wolverine.jpg image by rootbeerbaron

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Well, first class was… short.  Teacher looks like he walked out of a Gamestop, and you know he hates to admit to his WoW friends that he loves Wii games the best.

Anyway, looks like we have four projects to work through this semester. We’re using Adobe Flash CS4 Pro. Not that I’m disappointed, but CS5 apparently has Action Script for the iPhone, and there’s no mention of HTML5 development. But W3C is looking at candidate stage in 2012, recommendation set for 2020-2022… wtf. I know things move faster than expected with many aspects of the internet, but looking at how long people held onto and patched Windows XP until it was pried from their hands, (2001-2010), is it any wonder that Flash animation still has a lot of potential life with the laggards?

Plus hey, it’s a class. You learn your way around a software and how to design, layout, and build, which applies to any future generation.  If you can’t storyboard, you probably should get out of the director’s chair.

Here’s one of my favorites; talk about planning:

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Tonight’s the big night, class 1.0, the moon landing. I’ve taken dozens of college classes (if not hundreds) over the course of the past 15 years, but I still can’t shake the feeling of the first day. All the usual questions pop up:

Will I pass or get an A? Is this going to be a joke or more than I can handle?
Will I get to class on time? (a much larger hurdle now that I am a full time working man… hangovers at age 20 were nothing compared to evaluation deadlines and work request ticketing buckets in terms of getting to class)

and the more recent question:

Am I older than the teacher?

This has become a more frequent question. I have run into classes where I have more in common with the Professor than the students, which makes it harder to make friends, and therefore recruit classmates for group projects. I also have a much higher expectation on the group projects than I did the first time through college.

So we’ll see how it goes. Most anxieties are unfounded, but with any project, you have to be prepared for any outcome and diminish the surprises.

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Best offers and Red X-Men

I was trolling (use either definition) on eBay last night and found some wicked cool deals on some nice ungraded comics. Some comics from the Silver and Golden Age have incredible covers. I know we all love the Sterankos, I love the Schombergs, and there’s something really cool about the primary and secondary color palettes used before computer colorists came to be the norm.

Cover art tells you a story, it grabs you like a visual soundbite. You know you’ve picked up an album (or clicked on a download preview) from a good photo. You’ve pulled a book from the stacks when that cover image yanks out an emotion. The inside may be garbage, but a good cover with a bad story is more likely to end up in your hands than a great story wrapped in a Wendy’s bag.

X-men 17 is an incredible image, given that it’s from the 60’s, but it’s just RED. RED RED RED. That took some balls for Marvel to go with possibly alienating a first time reader to a young title; who wants to pick up what looks like either a printing error or a company cheaping out on ink? But it worked. It’s TERROR. It’s suspense. If you were a casual X-men fan you know it’s the color of Cyclops unleashed eye beam fury, or the impending doom of Magneto’s pride-filled swollen chest (old costume, people!)

Dick Ayers and Jack Kirby made their best offer, I made mine.  Bought it.

Check out Coverbrowser.com and take a look around at some of the other great covers they’ve archived:

http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/uncanny-x-men

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