Happy 4th to One and All

captain-america-4th

Well, to those of you in the United States at least. The rest of you? Happy Friday.

Hey, that’s great too. I love Fridays. The day, not the restaurant. The restaurant kinda sucks, truth be told.

Anyway, that was a bit off topic. We will be celebrating our nation’s independence by doing almost nothing. That’s right, I’m not even going to fire up the barbeque.

Does that make me un-American? I think not. We’re just using today to rest up for the rest of the weekend. I can assure you we will be consuming mass quantities of BBQ, and related, over the next couple days. Plus, there’s probably gonna be some adult beverages in the mix too. It happens.

Enjoy your weekend.

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A Second First Father’s Day

WeeklyMax51

Last year, around this time, I waxed sentimental about the loss of my own father and how I was very much looking forward to, finally, becoming a father myself. Now that my son is here, and has been for nine months, I feel I’ve gained some insight into what it really means to be a father and also some idea of what my own father went through with me.

Unfortunately, I’m too tired to tell you about all that right now. But here’s the gist: fatherhood is the most amazing and most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.

I can’t believe I waited this long to do it, but I’m so glad I did. I got the exact kid I was supposed to get (if you believe in that sort of thing) and watching him grow up and experience all life has to offer (and helping guide him on his journey) is a privilege I will treasure always. I will also try very hard not to screw it up.

So Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, but especially to mine. I get it now Dad. Thank you.

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A New Episode of The Flickcast

Game-of-Thrones-We-are-The-Watchers

As I’ve been busy doing things (taking care of a baby, for example), I’ve been neglecting other responsibilities, like this site. Well, only for a week or so. Still, I want you to know I care.

I do. Just not right this minute. Or, more to the point, just not all that much right this minute. You know, busy. Like I said.

However, I do care about at least one thing right at this moment: a new episode of The Flickcast. That’s right, another week has gone bye and there’s a brand new episode. See if you can guess from the pic above what Joe and I might be talking about. Not for the entire episode, mind you, but a chunk of it to be sure.

Give it a listen, why don’t you? And if you’re feeling saucy, feel free to tell a friend or two how much you liked it. That would be nice of you.

And don’t worry, I’ll be back here with even more caring, insightful (and all that other stuff) writing very soon. I just can’t get enough.

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Some Apple WWDC 2014 Keynote Reactions

iOS 8 - iPhone 5sToday at Apple’s WWDC event in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and other key players at the company, took the stage at Moscone Center to announce some of the new and cool stuff such we can expect from Apple over the next year. In a word (or two), it was pretty exciting.

Yes, I’m sure it’s partially because I’m a long-time Apple fan and I use their software and gadgets on a daily basis. I also just love new, shiny things. But whatever the reason, I do usually have a very positive reaction to what’s announced at events like these.

It’s usually later that I become disappointed when things don’t work exactly as advertised. iOS 7, I’m looking at you.

However, today I’m optimistic and with the announcement of iOS 8, OSX Yosemite and more, I am pretty excited. For now.

Sadly, we didn’t get any new hardware to ogle today, but that was to be expected. WWDC is, after all, a developer conference. For software, not hardware. Still, new hardware is a lot more sexy than new software, at least most of the time, so it was missed even though I didn’t really expect to see it

Fortunately, a lot of the software and features announced today are pretty darn cool. Some of the new goodies I’m most looking forward to using are things like iCloud Drive (let’s hope the pricing is more competitive), Handoff, the ability to have both iMessages and SMS on all your (Apple) devices, WiFi Calling (voice calls over WiFi), Health and Homekit, which allows the iPhone or iPad to control smart devices in the home such as lights, garage door openers and the thermostat.

Those seem to have the most potential to make a difference in my own life. But there’s a lot more coming, and after I’ve had a chance to mess with both Yosemite and iOS 8 for a week or two, I’ll share some more thoughts.

Until then, I think my favorite new feature so far is probably Handoff or the improved camera and photos apps. Having messages, documents and more synched across my iPhone, iPad and Mac is pretty nice. If it works as advertised, I can see that being very useful indeed.

Plus, I’m always looking for ways to take better photos more frequently. As they say, the best camera is the one you actually have with you and with the improvements to the photo and camera apps in iOS 8, plus the fact I pretty much always have the iPhone with me, it may actually be the best camera. That would be nice.

Of course, it remains to be seen what any of these new features really mean for me in the long run. Will any of them improve my life in any measurable way? Who knows?

I do know that it’s fun to speculate and try new things to see what you can do with them. It makes life that much more interesting. So, on that note, I’m off to download some new software. Wish me luck.

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How to Do Visual Comedy the Edgar Wright Way

Shaun-of-the-Dead

One of my favorite writer/directors is Edgar Wright. His films, including Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, are some of my all-time favorites. Why, you may wonder?

One of the many reasons is his very inventive visual style. He knows how to use a camera and his actors to maximize comedic or dramatic effect. And sometimes he even does both at the same time.

Don’t know what I mean? Fortunately, I don’t really have to explain further because someone else, Vimeo user Tony Zhou to be exact, has already made a video highlighting exactly what I’m talking about.

Watch it. You just might learn something.

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David Lynch’s ‘Return of the Jedi’

luke-vader-return-jedi

You’ve probably heard George Lucas once offered David Lynch the job of directing Return of the Jedi back in 1981. Lynch, of course, turned it down and the movie went on to be directed by Richard Marquand (at least most of it).

But what if Lynch hadn’t turned it down?

That’s what user C-Spit on YouTube wondered too. But instead of just wondering forever, he did something about it. He made a trailer for Jedi as if Lynch had directed it.

It’s pretty spot on. Enjoy.

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The ‘Akira Project’ Trailer

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Hollywood has been trying to make a live-action version of the classic anime and manga Akira for a long time. They should just let these guys do it.

Sure, this trailer isn’t exactly a trailer, nor is it without a few issues. It is, however, pretty damn good. And with the movies Hollywood is turning out these days, pretty damn good is likely much more than good enough.

Here’s more about the Akira Project from the source:

The Akira Project is a crowd-sourced, non-profit project meant to create a live action fan trailer of AKIRA, the renowned manga-turned-anime film from the late 1980′s. After a year and a half in post-production, we are proud to present the project to Akira fans the world over. We hope to have done justice to the timeless work of Katsuhiro Otomo and look forward to, someday, seeing the full scope of the Akira story translated to the big screen as a live-action.

I do too.

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A New Episode of The Flickcast

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Hey, I do a podcast. You probably already know that. But if you don’t, forgot for some reason or are trapped under something heavy with nothing to do but listen to podcasts, I thought it would be a good idea to mention it again.

In fact, a new episode just dropped yesterday. It’s a pretty good one. Actually, I would go so far as to say it’s very good.

So yeah, I do a very good podcast. It’s called The Flickcast and on it my co-host Joe Dilworth and I discuss lots of geeky stuff like movies, TV, comics, tech, gadgets, beer and a whole lot more. Yes, more. Lots of more.

Heaps of it, in fact. I’m not sure you can handle all the more, but you should try. Trust me, it’s worth it. It’s very worth it.

You can find the podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher and at The Flickcast website. Check it out, won’t you? And if you like it, feel free to tell someone and, perhaps, rate or review it.

Thanks. You’re a real sport.

Posted in Beer, Comics, Cool Stuff, Geek, Personal, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now I Have a Reason to Get an XBox One or PS4 (Maybe)

project-cars-1

I have not made the change to a “better” console for gaming yet. I’m still using my trusty old XBox 360 (and occasionally the PS3) for all of my console gaming needs. And for me, it handles the task nicely.

In truth, I don’t have a lot of time for gaming these days and it didn’t seem like a priority to upgrade for what little time I do have. Also, I hadn’t really found a game compelling enough to make me want to switch.

But now, perhaps, I have. Enter Project CARS. Simply put, the game looks amazing and shows what real power these new consoles have. But don’t take my word for it, check it out below.

Fortunately, the game doesn’t come out until November, so I have some time to save up. Excuse me while I go check the sofa for change.

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This Is How I Feel Some Mornings

hulk-need-coffee

Actually, I can feel this way pretty much anytime the coffee is gone. I like coffee. I need coffee — frequently and in large quantities.

Perhaps I have a problem? No, YOU have a problem. Wait … sorry.

At least when I do run out of coffee (which happens sometimes, let’s face it), I can turn to this.

modern-times-beer

My other best friend.

Happy Saturday. Please enjoy accordingly. I know I will be.

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How Apple Are You?

how-apple-are-you-crop

It should be no surprise to anyone (at least anyone paying attention) I’m an Apple fan. I like the company and I like the company’s products. Quite a bit, in fact.

I like Apple’s products so much I’ve amassed a fairly large collection of them over the years. I even have one of the first Macintosh computers ever made. I also have an Apple II+ (it was my first Apple product) which came out way before the Mac even existed. In 1979, to be exact. That’s how far back I go.

But with all that, how Apple am I really? Fortunately, there’s a handy infographic that can help answer that important question. It can probably help you too.

I did pretty well. What’s your score?

how-apple-are you

Note: I like this infographic, which is why I posted it. However, I’ve never used Mackeeper so I can’t endorse it. Do your own research.

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Rethinking Facebook

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Like many of you, I have a personal Facebook page. It’s right here. I also have one for The Flickcast. That’s right here. I do spend some time on Facebook interacting with a few friends. I don’t spend as much time as I used to, however.

This is mostly due to having less free time in general, but also because over the last couple of years I’ve found Facebook to be less and less useful for promoting my various endeavors, which is one of the reasons I got on it in the first place.

Now I understand why.

Over at Booooooom, they’ve posted a couple videos highlighting what’s wrong with Facebook and why many people are leaving it. It all makes sense now.

Given the state of things, I may be joining the exodus soon enough.

Because I like you and don’t want you to have to click anything and go to another page, the videos are below.

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