Movie Reviewlette: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Special effects evolve another step further

Product Reviews

Rise of Planet of the Apes was pretty good. Two main points

  1. It was not a string of loud action scenes. There was some pacing, character development and story. Reminded me of the flow of “Batman Begins” vs the other Batman movies. Or Spiderman 2.
  2. The apes were AMAZINGLY well crafted CG from the LOR, King Kong and Avatar folks. We can now enable people play animal parts very well. They used arm extensions and actually brought actors suited up in motion capture suites onto exterior action sets. One more step closer to being able to do people, if we so choose and if it entertains. We’ll see soon.

The Artist's Way is like Ben Gay

Product Reviews
Cover of of Amazon.com

Artists Way Cover from off of Amazon.com

It soothes my irritating blocked artist rash, aka, “I could have done that!”

The book The Artist’s Way, By Julia Cameron, book is seriously, but in a calm and mellow way, rocking my world for the better. Interestingly, I’ve noticed the positive effects not so much in art production, but in my personal relationships. It helps me get from myself what I tend to want from others inappropriately sometimes. There’s a lot of use of “God” in it, but she puts it out as anything that means to you.

My summary of the book’s main lessons:

  1. 12 weeks
  2. Write, long hand!, on paper! (The physical kind) Every morning first thing. I’m relearning to write again, which is cool. This writing is like some forms of mediating. It is not judged, compassion is high, you aren’t doing anything with the writing, you are not saving it, it’s not a journal, it’s not shown to anyone. It is simply good and anything it simply is.
  3. Little exercises, quotes and writings to get one past the reason for not doing things, the “I could have done that!” reactions to other’s art, the wrong people who sap your energy and enable you to continue to block.

The Artist’s Way is like Ben Gay

Product Reviews
Cover of of Amazon.com

Artists Way Cover from off of Amazon.com

It soothes my irritating blocked artist rash, aka, “I could have done that!”

The book The Artist’s Way, By Julia Cameron, book is seriously, but in a calm and mellow way, rocking my world for the better. Interestingly, I’ve noticed the positive effects not so much in art production, but in my personal relationships. It helps me get from myself what I tend to want from others inappropriately sometimes. There’s a lot of use of “God” in it, but she puts it out as anything that means to you.

My summary of the book’s main lessons:

  1. 12 weeks
  2. Write, long hand!, on paper! (The physical kind) Every morning first thing. I’m relearning to write again, which is cool. This writing is like some forms of mediating. It is not judged, compassion is high, you aren’t doing anything with the writing, you are not saving it, it’s not a journal, it’s not shown to anyone. It is simply good and anything it simply is.
  3. Little exercises, quotes and writings to get one past the reason for not doing things, the “I could have done that!” reactions to other’s art, the wrong people who sap your energy and enable you to continue to block.

Test: Canon 780IS 1280 video

Product Reviews

I just got a tiny Canon PowershotSD780IS. I’ve had several Canon SD models, all were stellar performers. They are truly pocket sized so I carry it everywhere and use it for documentation and video blogging. The photos are great, with only very occasional bluing in some pixels. The 780IS records 1280 pixel-wide video at 30fps, 16×9, which is totally cool for a backup video blogging camera. The small microphone is located on the front of the camera so you can get solid sound for interviews within 4 ft.

It’s smaller then the charger!

Monadnock Mountain Climb Report

Travel Reports


Grand Monadnock Mountain

The bald rocky top of Monadnock Mountain has been flitting in and out of my field of view since I arrived in Keene, NH. It’s about 3000 ft. and has an unusually bear rocky top which should by all rights be covered in trees. I was curious about that but in the often typical understated manner of New Englanders, I’d only ever heard snipits of info around town such as, “good climb” and that it had “a pretty good view, depending on the weatha.” I didn’t know it was in contention for the most climbed mountain in the world with 125,000 people going up each year. Seems that bare rocky top is very attractive and a perfectly challenging day hike.

So I climbed it last Sunday and took some pictures (it was a harrowing solo assent due to buddies being called into work.) I took the less popular Marlboro Trail which is about 2 miles long and took about two hours up. At times it’s quite steep, but no need for ropes and kids to stout grandparents were on the trail. It was a hot and overcast day with thunder boomers milling about the state watering things.

Arriving at the balded top was like entering a bit of a party. Lots of people milling about, including a ranger who was fielding questions, the most popular being “will it rain?”

“Storms are down south,” was all he said (It started pouring right as I reached my car on the way down and it was then that I realized he hadn’t said it wasn’t going to rain.) Talking to the ranger more revealed that Monadnock is quiet the little mountain!

First of all there’s not trees at the top because it seems that back in the late 1800s the wolves and bears who lived up messed with the wrong local farmers. The farmers got angry lit the entire top of the mountain on fire and just cleared it to the rocks. It’s coming back slowly they say.

It also happens to be generally considered the second most climbed mountain the world after Mt. Fuji. Or the first if you want to debate some folks on technicalities. The ranger said some folks out in “Califonia’ would say Mt. Whitney was, “but they’d be wrong.”

And the name Monadnock, an old Abnacki Indian name has been revitalized by the mountain and kept in the English lexicon (Definition) to mean any lone mountain rising above a plain.