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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 - 12:09 PM

"Hawaii Rainbows: Big Mistake!"

Wizard of Oz

Here I was, innocently investigating the strangeness of my recent fascination with The Wizard of Oz, and I am taken captive by something completely different. For the last couple weeks I've had Wizard of Oz on my brain. It started with the last snowfall earlier this month. For no apparent reason I started whistling "If I Only Had a Brain" along with the snow pelting my eyes. The theme continued later until I talked to someone at church, giving them the nickname "Mega Oz", bringing a flood of Oz-type thoughts back to my brain (like big green heads shrouded in smoke, charming little old guy behind the curtain pulling levers, and hot air balloons). The topic of discussion came up again briefly last night at the Smith community group.

Finally, for several days I've had the song "Over the Rainbow" stuck in my head. I don't even know where it came from. I wasn't even thinking about Ozness for a couple days. This is weird. I'm thinking I need to watch the movie. I own it, so it wouldn't take much effort to throw in the disc and press play. However, what a shame that would be. Maybe we need to make a movie night out of it, so the experience isn't "wasted".

Israel Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole

OK, I was reminded again of the rainbow song and decided to look it up on Youtube so I could listen to it. BIG MISTAKE! The first search result that popped up was a version sung by a man, Israel "Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know who this singer was prior to having discovered this video. I listened to it once, and now I'm listening to it over and over again. Ah... good. Some of the videos on Youtube show Iz and his people in their natural Hawaiian element. By the way, now that the song is already stuck in your head, you may as well look it up on Youtube and get the full experience!

Oh man it makes me wish I had darker skin and was born elsewhere - where the palm trees grow. To experience simpler, finer, more relaxing and important things. To be free from the concrete jungle and never-ending drudgery. To be part of something so unique and great. Now I'm wishing I could go to Hawaii! Aaargh! I have felt the same about Brasil... I've been there four times now, and I feel the culture and people are a part of me (well, in reality, this is true). There's something unique and beautiful about these types of cultures, especially around the coastal cities. It's pure magic. Lately I've been thinking specifically about Fortaleza. I wish I could go there again. SOOOO many good memories in that city! (perhaps my cousin Mila can relate to some of these inner yearnings?)

Ummm... the sun's shining, it's Friday, and I'm listening to a big Hawaiian man with an addictive persona singing a great song. I'll have a hard time getting back to work after lunch :) Thanks, Iz. I wish I could have met you in this world. You seem like an interesting person. I'm sorry you had to leave your family behind. I pray for those - all those - who are close to death (we are all a breath away). May they find peace with the God who made them. The God who declared the rainbow as a sign of peace between Him and mankind. This peace ultimately comes through Jesus Christ. Know Him. He's waiting for you with open arms if you will listen to what the Father says of Him and believe what is said.

Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

Rainbow

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Friday, November 14th, 2008 - 7:28 PM

"The Sound of Music"

Julie Andrews

Okay, I'm kidding right? Is The Sound of Music really my favorite movie? Yep, pretty much. Why? Wasn't it made more than ten years before I was born? Yeah, so. Isn't it kinda old fashioned? Oh, and it's a musical, right? Yes. Yes.

For some reason this movie brought me through some dark times. Each time I watched it, I felt better afterward. It has magical cheering properties. I guess I really like the character Julie Andrews plays. It's one of my favorite characters ever. I wish she was here now and would sing me a song, written especially for me. I'm not sure it would be possible to be sad or discouraged if that sort of thing was going on.

...Okay fine! I guess I'll settle for a visit from Mary Poppins! Sheesh!

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Friday, October 31st, 2008 - 2:29 AM

"3D Glasses For 3D Movies"

Journey to the Center of the Earth

On the way home after the Smith community group I decided to get a movie. Got Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brandon Fraser. I wasn't greatly impressed with the movie. It was a fairly predictable and campy film. However, I'm not an overly critical movie critic and generally enjoyed it in spite of it all. It is definitely a film with a younger audience in mind, which can either be annoyingly juvenile or refreshing (void of "adult" junk). I was okay with it and got a couple brief chuckles. I generally don't mind Brandon Fraser's silly style of movies with exaggerated action that makes you go, "yeah right!" Besides, Brandon's voice, face and big smile reminds me a tiny bit of my brother-in-law, Micah - and that's a good thing.

To my dismay and annoyance, I noticed some severe ghosting as I began watching the movie. It took me a couple seconds to realize I rented a 3D stereographic movie. I realized immediately that I needed some 3D glasses for my brain to translate the anaglyphic imagery.

I set to work at finding household supplies to make some glasses. 3D glasses are very simple - two transparent lenses, one red and one blue. It occurred to me to find some clear plastic film and "paint" it with Sharpie markers. I looked at ziploc bags, but they were too cloudy. The first thing I tried was cellophane plastic wrap, which is fairly clear. It was a tad on the flimsy side and was difficult to work with. My second idea was to use some "crystal clear" packaging tape. That was halfway clear with minimal distortion and cloudiness.


Homemade 3D Glasses Version 0.0083v Beta

Supply List

  • cardboard or tin foil
  • acetate sheets (best), crystal clear tape or stirdy cellophane
  • red and blue Sharpie permanent markers
  • a string, rope or a bunch of rubber bands
  • scissors
  • garbage can (a waste basket or trash bin will suffice)

supply list

Instructions: Though cardboard would be far superior, I suggest using the less effective (but cool and shiny looking) tin foil to form the body of the glasses. Roll out a piece that is a couple feet long. Fold it over itself a number of times until it is a strip about 2 inches wide. Using the scissors, poke two holes spaced apart to match the distance between your eyes and cut ellipses, rectangles, stars or hearts for the eye openings. Cover the two holes with clear packaging tape, wrapping around the tin foil, careful not to produce any creases or folds in the tape. Paint over the openings that are now covered with packaging tape with Sharpies - one side red and one side blue. It doesn't really matter which side is red or blue because these glasses are symmetrical and can be flipped either direction on your "head-face". Twist the excess tin foil on both sides of the lenses for something to wrap around your head or ears. If this is not long or sturdy enough, tie a string or chained rubber bands on both ends of the foil - enough to wrap around the cranium, aka mind-melon. When finished, you should have something that resembles the picture below. At this, throw your invention in the waste basket because it is a piece of junk and absolutely won't work. Cut your losses and start over.

Homemade 3D Glasses


Homemade 3D Glasses Version 1.0

Supply List

  • CD jewel case - the old-fashioned, clear variety
  • blue and red Sharpie permanent markers
  • a human hand, rope or string

supply list

Instructions: Take apart the CD jewel case, keeping either the front or back panel. Paint red and blue regions with the Sharpie markers, spaced apart to match your eyes. Make the shapes large enough to cover most of your field of view. Tip: to fill in an area with the marker, apply with long strokes in one direction (not short, back and forth). There is a "sweet spot" on the marker's tip that paints better... rotate the pen around until it produces nice strokes without scratching off your previously filled area. Use the human hand to hold the large rectangular "glasses" in front of your face. If you don't want to exercise the hand, wedge the hi-tech device to your noggin with a rope, Rambo style. Prepare to be mobbed by fans who celebrate your keen sense of trendy fashion.

Homemade 3D Glasses

Note: with both sets of glasses (the ones in the garbage, and the big plastic rectangle), try switching the red and blue from right to left, rotating or flipping the apparatus. There are a number of web sites with sterographic or anaglyphic imagery you can look at with your new glasses, including plenty test images on the Wikipedia article. I'm not sure there is a rule of thumb that all movies follow. If neither rotation yields popping 3D imagery, either 1) you are using the first version of the glasses that should rightfully be in the trash bin and need to upgrade your eyewear to version 1.0, 2) both inventions totally stink and should be thrown in the garbage can, or 3) the movie you are watching is not a 3D movie, so you are wasting your time - except for the reward of having some mega fashionable glasses for everyday use (though don't come crying to me if you go blind - either color blind or total darkness, as I wouldn't suggest wearing 3D glasses except when watching 3D movies).

"Who-what are you!?"

"I'm your worst nightmare!"

"Who, Batman? Rambo?"

"No, I'm Homemade 3D Glasses Guy"

"Wow! The variety of your styles is imbued and exasperated with studious synchronicity and wallop-punt-tackle potentiality!"

Homemade 3D Glasses Guy, Version 0.0083v Beta

Homemade 3D Glasses Guy, Version 1.0

P.S. I ended up watching most of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" without my 3D glasses because they didn't work very well. I just put up with the severe ghosting and horrid imagery. Because of this, I feel creating these two 3D glasses was very rewarding. Now I can make a fool of myself!

In truth, I'd prefer to stare through my ViewMaster for hours on end (similar dual-image 3D "technology"). I just need to get some more slides. I only have a few. I think it would be a cool collection to start.

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Sunday, October 26th, 2008 - 2:42 PM

"Don't Get It Wet or Tom"

Had a good time with Marcus & Tammy last night. I watched Marcus play "The Force Unleashed", an incredible Star Wars video game for the Playstation 3 (I should write a blog entry just about that game!). The three of us went for a walk, got some vittles, and then watched "Vexille", a very cool 3D Japanese animation movie.

As I was about to leave, Marcus noticed something quite humorous on the plastic DVD case from the movie rental company. Among other things, the printed instructions say "Never clean the bar code area or get it wet or tom during the cleaning process". I cannot even believe he noticed this, and more astonishing, apparently no one who publishes on the web has noticed it yet either (we did a Google search immediately, and as of this moment, no one has mentioned it). We are talking a major movie rental establishment here! There may well be millions of these cases printed in error. I guess most people just don't care. I'm sure someone else has noticed it.

Neither one of us would have cared either, had the spelling error been something simple and recognizable - a standard typo. This one is different. We both found it hilarious because neither of us, after several minutes of thought, have any idea whatsoever what it should or was trying to say! It would be interesting to see what "tom" means, besides some guy's name! I do recall noticing that recently the cases changed format... perhaps it was because the rental place noticed the mistake too. Hopefully no one got fired over such a silly thing! :)

At any rate, Marcus gave me a great salutation as I was walking out the door to leave, past midnight it was, me riding my bike home (context means everything for neology). He said, "Don't get it wet or tom." So is coined a new expression. "Don't get it wet or tom" is a salutation expressed when people part ways. I guess the closest equivalent would be, "Don't get wet", a common thing to say when parting, and it's raining outside. But rain isn't absolutely necessary for "don't get it wet or tom" to be applied. After all, it wasn't raining last night.

So, I'm not sure if my other expression spreading attempt worked out... speaking of that, go check it out right now! It's Wu Shu Sunday, the coolest day of all! Press F5 or "refresh" your browser to see all the image variations :) Hopefully "don't get it wet or tom" will get a little more exposure, since the source of it has much wider circulation. If it does, credit my friend Marcus for coining it and discovering it. If this makes it into some expression or phrase source history book, let it be known that here is where it started. October 26, 2008 in Beaverton, Oregon.

Don't get it wet or tom, and DaColas to all!

Phil

don't get it wet or tom

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