Friday, July 31, 2009

Photos from "The Black Donnellys" - School Play, Grade 9 (1996)

Tonight I've been digitizing the footage of "The Black Donnellys", the school play I was in during my Grade 9 year in 1996. Pretty awesome pics and I love the ones of me and Alex, hilarious. So funny that we both live in California now and are still super good friends, and we (especially Alex) look totally different!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dave Matthews Band TOMS Shoes

Sooooo hoootttttttttt...

I just ordered a pair of these DMB designed TOMS Shoes from the DMB website. I've been wanting to get a pair of TOMS for a while since I heard about all the cool things they are doing. And now a Dave Matthews-designed pair?!?!? Awesome.

Details about TOMS:
In Dave Matthews Band's continued effort to give back and support charities and socially conscious companies worldwide, they have forged a relationship with TOMS Shoes. TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Since their beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given over 150,000 pairs of shoes to children in need through the purchases of caring customers. Because of their growing support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009. Dave himself was so inspired by TOMS work that he got involved and has created his own design that we are now pleased to be offering in the official store. What easier way to get involved? Buy your pair of Dave Matthews designed TOMS today and you will not only be getting a great pair of shoes for yourself, but you'll be providing a pair to a child in need all in one easy step! Click here to find out more about TOMS Shoes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Campaign video for Student Council Social Director - 1999

Found this old gem kickin' around in my pile of old VHS tapes. :)

We filmed this around my high school, to the coolest song of the year (in 1998), "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" by The Offspring. :)

The car at the end was at my buddy Tim's house, and it took us like 5 takes to get the alarm to go off when I opened the door. Good times.

Campaign video for Student Council President - 2000

Oh, my Student Council President campaign video!! So happy to find this video still alive on an old VHS tape. Filmed by my best buddy Alex Finlayson, who is still one of my best friends to this day. Oh, the memories. :)

Tron 2 Trailer

Maaaaaaaan this looks sick.

It is SO sweet that Jeff Bridges is in this, too. The dude abides!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mario Bros. Shoes

Back in March I bought the craziest shoes ever from Adidas. Today I was hanging out in The Mission District with Frank and Jess and I found these really sick Mario Bros. Nintendo-branded shoes, they are nuts. The original price turns out was $120, and looks like Run Athletics is going to re-release them... for $180?!?! Yep, I found 'em, in my size (they only had 1 pair in my size)... for $25. On a clearance rack. In the middle of some random store in the Mission. As is my luck, they fit magically, and it was pretty obvious that I should get these. Only later did I figure out I got them for about 1/7th of their expected selling price. Oh, good deals... you always seem to find me. :)

Anyway, they rock a LOT. They have a big "M" for Mario on the tongue, and a Nintendo logo on the back. The side are all Mario Stars and there are goombas and so on "afoot", as it were. Check it out. Yep, deeffffinnitely wearing these to work tomorrow.

I love the stars

They came with a cool Mario box too

Nintendo logo on the back!!

Even came with Nintendo wrapping!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SCUBA Diving in Australia in 2001

The onward march of VHS tape->Digital conversion continues!

Today's special:
A video of me and some fellow Scuba Diving "classmates" going out to Scuba Dive at the Julian Rocks Marine Reserve in Byron Bay, Australia in 2001.

Part 1/2

Part 2/2

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Me in a Harvey Norman ad in Australia, circa 2001

This is hilarious. When I was in Australia I worked at Harvey Norman in Newcastle, NSW. At one point we were recording an ad for TV and I got to be in it with a fellow co-worker! He posed as the "employee" and I posed as a "customer" :) It was SO fun and I look ridiculous. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Digitizing old VHS tapes to DVD format

This is sweet, got the VHS to DVD setup rollin' now on my home computer.

I bought a Hauppauge Windows Media Center TV Tuner card with S-Video and Stereo Audio input (plus Cable Input). It has an on-board MPEG2 hardware compressor, so it's pretty straightforward to record stuff. There are almost no options, just .TS or .MPG format, so that's pretty simple.

I did a test record from the VHS player to my tuner card's S-Video input, and I am running the audio through my Behringer sound board that I bought for guitar recording. This is pretty solid cause I can get an extra audio volume control and could potentially do some mixing of the audio (boost lows or highs, as needed). Seems like I'll probably just run the audio feed straight to the capture card, though. From here I record the S-Video input inside Win-TV7, and that saves out both a .TS and a .MPG file. It looks like .TS is actually Mpeg2, but Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker (which I JUST learned about) don't know how to open the .TS format. So I'll store the .TS as backup, and I'll keep the .MPG as the one I will burn to DVD.

Finally, I will edit the video if necessary in Windows Movie Maker (though I am a bit concerned about adding extra video artifacts if it compresses it again...), and then export out to Windows DVD Maker. This is actually a pretty darn slick interface, and it adds titles and menus etc. to your DVD which is playable on your actual DVD drive. Pretty amazing stuff!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Darth Vader Slippers

And now for a complete 180 from the previous serious post...


In case you were wondering... yes, they are awesome.

Post #1500

...And another milestone! It doesn't feel like that long ago when I hit Post #1000 and did a Blog Retrospective... turns out that was March, 2008! That's almost a year and a half ago. Crazy!

Well, the blogging continues! I feel like the blog has changed a lot recently, I'm focusing more on reviews, technical talk, travel, and so on... it seems that the blog has just naturally moved away from the classic "I've just moved to California!" vibe I had a couple years back. I hope y'all still enjoy reading what's going on, and once again, thank you to all you kind folks who keep reading, and who keep in touch with me and what's going on in Jutan-ville.

It's really motivating that you all keep reading what I'm writing, and it inspires me to continue this long, long, long exercise in "creative writing". What started as a way to send my travel photos and details to multiple email recipients in one fowl swoop, has turned into a place to record my thoughts, a kind of therapy when my mind is too full... and, of course, a place where I can store all my travel photos for the original intended audience to see. :)

Thanks for keeping in touch. Many of you fine readers are old friends from Canada. It means a lot to me that you still want to know what I am up to, and that you care. Thanks. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Now playing on TV? My computer. :-)

Sweet!!!! Rockin vista media center and pausing live tv!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Matt and Miriam's Engagement Party

Last night we celebrated Matt and Miriam's engagement at the Clift Hotel in downtown San Francisco. It was an amazingly fun time, and a super fancy place! We started with drinks, and then moved onto a fantastic dinner with alaskan butter fish (it was sooo good), bbq beef short ribs, veggies, salad, cuban chicken, and a mountain of cakes for dessert. Everyone was dressed up and it was a great time with our good friends. We ended the night up on the Marin Headlands, silhouetted against the golden gate bridge.