Appears that I’m one of those guys that get more of my videos from the library than from Netflicks or Redbox. Or as I prefer to call library videos – SnailFlicks
I actually prefer the library. I can reserve piles of them online, when they come in to the branch just up the street they notify me via email when it’s in. Multnomah county’s library system has a particularly amazing collection of DVD’s – just released movies, almost all major TV shows seasons, Anime, etc. And it’s completely free. They’ve even moved to online video download for some titles you can check out from home and watch on your own PC.
Here’s a published story from the past of our family tree.
We have a member of our family on my mother’s Czech side who has been doing genealogy for about the past 10 or more years on that branch of the family. She’s done an amazing job of collecting stories, pictures, documents, all the way back, and including meeting, our current greatly-removed modern-day relatives in Czechoslovakia. This story comes from one of the clan after they moved to Nebraska from their homeland:
“My father-in-law John Chrastil sat one evening at supper with his family in his little shanty, when they heard shots in the distance. Mrs. Chrastil cried out: “Heaven help us, the Indians are coming!” Chrastil owned a large, fierce dog, but the animal, upon hearing the shooting, began to howl and scratch on the door, trying to get inside. That only intensified the excitement, for Chrastils thought the savages were in sight.
Chrastil opened the door a bit, meaning to set the dog upon the Indians, but he ran into the house and crept under the bed. Chrastil pulled him out, the dog howled and resisted, the shooting re-commenced louder than before. Mrs. Chrastil knelt down with the children, to pray for mercy, and Chrastil wept to think they had come to America only to be killed by Indians.
Chaos reigned broken at last by the sounds of an accordion. So Chrastil gathered courage and stepped out, for he had never heard that Indians could play the accordion. He found that the pandemonium had been caused by his German neighbors, who had thus been celebrating the New Year, going from farm to farm to wish each neighbor a Happy New Year!”
Trek in the Park is back for season 2! Live music/singers singing the tunes, live actors playing the actual episodes from beginning to end – Awesome. I went to last years showing of ‘Amok Time’ and it was awesome fun:
The idea is basically you set up a shell company – a fly-by-night studio – to make the movie. The shell company makes the movie and then pays back the parent studio company for whatever ‘fees’ the studio would like to have made until the shell company shows a loss. This then allows those that worked on the film (artists, writers, actors, etc), to not get much of a red cent from a company that is now bankrupt/underwater.
Which is why (as an acquaintance who worked down there told me), you must read the contracts carefully and be guided by someone that knows the biz to avoid being had. Because if you sign a contract to make a movie about the story you just wrote and agree to a percentage of the profits – you just gave them the story and all your hard work for the rest of that year for free. Because the shell studio will always show a loss – which means you get a percentage of nothing.
I don’t wonder when the oil companies will start doing this with their drilling wells. First you set each well up as a shell company that ‘sells’ its oil to its parent company (i.e. BP), then the parent pays them only enough to cover the drilling costs in exchange for the oil. If the drill ever has a disaster or accident, the only people you could sue would be the ‘broke’ drilling company – a company that is always basically bankrupt (i.e only has enough money for operating costs). You better believe that oil companies facing $100’s of billions in damages for a single spill are eyeing this idea closely.
The only good news is that the film studios are starting to lose lawsuits against these practices in court. Hopefully it’ll start straightening these studios out – and discourage others from trying the same tricks.
Just finished watching a playthrough of the new horror game Alan Wake. I’ve switched from playing a lot of games that I’m just curious about to watching them played on YouTube. There are tons of people that are playing through a game and recording it as they go. You can then watch the game played from beginning to end without having to lift a finger; or spend tons of time trying to fight through puzzles/monsters/etc.
“That seems stupid”, you say. “Isn’t the point of a game to be played?” Well, I don’t have tons of time to invest in all the great games out there; and I more recently found myself never getting through a good number of games that I bought. I find this method to be a great compromise because I likely would never have bought this game. I was curious about it for sure, but knew I was not interested enough to invest the money or the ~20 hours of time to play it. Its a great way to ‘play’ a games to see what the state of the art is – but not have to spend the amount of time it takes.
I’ve now moved on to Final Fantasy XIII. That’s a monstrosity estimated at 50-60 hours of gameplay. I’ve watched the first half of a complete playthrough; and have more recently switched to a playthrough that cuts/edits out the minor battles that pop up every 30 seconds or so. Makes for a much faster viewing of the worlds and story. If they release a PC version of FF XIII, I’ll buy it for sure.