Archives: 'Uncategorized'

Silversun Pickups Rd. 2

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Setlist (10/18/2009 at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY):

    1. Growing Old Is Getting Old
    2. Well Thought Out Twinkles
    3. Sort Of
    4. There’s No Secrets This Year
    5. The Royal We
    6. Little Lover’s So Polite
    7. It’s Nice to Know You Work Alone
    8. Future Foe Scenarios
    9. Kissing Families + (There’s No Way of Knowing…Which Direction We’re Going)
    10. Catch and Release
    11. Booksmart Devil (first 1:00 or so)
    12. Panic Switch
    13. Lazy Eye
    14. Substitution
    15. Creation Lake
    16. Common Reactor

The last time I saw the Pickups (8/22/2009 at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, OR), the setlist was nearly identical. They did not play Substitution (or Booksmart Devil), so there were only two songs during the Encore. The Hillsboro show was a benefit concert (Pet Aid 2009) in support of local animal hospitals, and was played on an outdoor stage at the Fairgrounds. Cage the Elephant opened for SSPU at both shows, but the Hillsboro show also featured Manchester Orchestra instead of An Horse.

First of all, An Horse. I didn’t really pay much attention to them, but what I heard seemed formulaic and repetitive. I can imagine the studio recordings would be a bit more polished and perhaps more layered with cutesy sound effects, but their live performance left some to be desired. I preferred Manchester Orchestra as the supporting act.

Cage the Elephant was a bit more eccentric than last time, which is saying quite a lot considering they were already completely crazy the last time I saw them.

What’s New

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Let’s see…

First, a bit more about the CBS6 piece seen below. I was walking around campus Thursday after classes when I spotted the CBS6 satellite/live broadcast truck with its huge antenna high in the sky next to the footbridge. I headed over to the RPI TV room to grab a camera and see what was up with the news team. I also planned on collecting some footage of Freshman Elections in the DCC and Commons as well as begin my hunt for the elusive Alby, the albino squirrel who lives near the Alumni house. I grabbed Z5U 02 and proceeded to walk outside to where CBS6 was conducting interviews. I recorded footage of the reporter interviewed a pair of students. The reporter clearly noticed, and asked me a couple quick questions about RPI TV. He then asked if I wanted to be interviewed. “Uhh, I guess” I said. He asked me a couple questions about Swine Flu (none of which he used in the edit) and then a couple about my coverage of Swine Flu and other campus events for RPI TV (which he ended up using). After the interview, his cameraman (or photographer, as they’re called in the biz), wanted some B-roll shots of me walking around filming stuff with the camera. I obliged, and he recorded me walking over the footbridge, supposedly recording the campaign signs on the handrails. I asked if he had all the footage he needed, and he said he was good. I thanked him, and walked away. Apparently, his camera was still rolling, as he used that final thank you in the news report.

My thoughts on the piece are as follows. I’m really quite surprised how it turned out. The editor didn’t use any bits of the student interviews (besides the one frat guy), which I found strange. Instead, he added a bit of narrative to the report by adding my (mostly fabricated) story, which had little if anything to do with Swine flu. The footage of me walking over the footbridge is really quite strange. I’m amazed he added the “thank you” part at the end. It has very little context, and overall seems really strange. The “whose audience hangs in the balance” is one of the more awesome parts of the interview. I hope my audience doesn’t die from Swine Flu.

Last Friday was the first cultural production for RPI TV. The production in question was Cultural Pride Night, an annual collection of entertainment from various corners of the world put on by Lambda Upsilon Lambda. I was on Camera for the first time this year (strange!). And I was on a special camera too; I was seated in the first row of the audience with a Z5U in my lap, gathering close up shots and floor shots. It was a bit perilous, as since I was handheld the camera shook quite a bit. I think I murdered a couple shots by doing stupid things when my camera was live (especially towards the end, I believe I was on when I decided to sit back in my chair, which probably resulted in an awesome floor shot. Hopefully it’ll be up on our website in a couple days.

Saturday was our first Hockey Game of the season! It was a Women’s Exhibition game though, which means it couldn’t really matter less. Regardless, it was a great first experience for our rookies to get an idea of how a hockey game is run. We cycled through three different directors (which, on an unrelated note, is still something I have not done) and tried some new camera positions. We now have the ability to get an awesome overhead shot from the catwalks above the ice. I did titles as usual, which was the first use of the new style 2009-2010 graphics. I’ve got a huge list of upgrades I want to make to the titling system. Eventually, I’d like to track stats live, and streamline the ability to update titles. I’m still constrained by the terrible Panasonic MX-Navi software though… The game itself was quite a blowout, with the Engineers beating the team of high schoolers 6-1.

During the Hockey game, I was watching a live feed of Petit Le Mans that I was streaming from the capture card in my desktop situated in my dorm room. The beginning couple hours of the race were great; a lot of action taking place on track between Audi and Peugeot, and battles all over the place in GT2. The race ended up being a huge disappointment, however, as the skies opened up and drenched the track in three inches of rain, red-flagging the race. There was good news though, next year’s 6 hour race at Laguna Seca will take place in late May, so I’ll be able to attend (as long as I’m not living in the North East, in which case I’ll go to Limerock instead).

I went shopping Sunday and bought a lot of Paul Newman lemonade. By Monday evening, I’d already consumed a half gallon. Yum! I can’t remember doing anything else Sunday. F1 also happened, but I’d rather forget about the race. Highlights were Glock finishing second and Vettel beating Brawn. Lowlights were Vettel finishing 4th, Raikkonen outside the points, drama for Rosberg, and Sutil crashing out.

Monday was fairly routine; class, DDR, dinner, homework, sleep. I added some more decorations to my room; the tracks of the 2009 Formula 1 season now adorn my walls near the ceiling.

Adventures a-Plenty

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Models of Computation is quickly becoming my favorite class. Dr. Moorthy is possibly the most amazing teacher/professor I have ever had. From his strong Indian accent to his exciting, enigmatic teaching style, everything about the class is wonderful. The material itself doesn’t seem relevant to anything at all, and I wonder when I’m ever going to use any of it. However, it makes sense in its own world, so I won’t question it; I just accept it. On Monday, we learned about the Pumping Lemma (which, when said, is always accompanied with a fist pump). We also learned about the Pigeonhole Principle. Why is everything in the class named so awesomely! Even things like Non-deterministic finite state automaton just seem to roll off the tongue beautifully.

There were two separate fire alarms at Polytech, one around 3:00 PM and one later in the evening at around 8:00 PM. The 3:00 drill prompted my departure from Polytech for a trip to Walmart. A Keyboard (for my Desktop), Hot Wheels, and foodstuffs were purchased.

My return from Walmart instigated one of my more inane ideas as of late. With my new Hot Wheels in hand, I set about creating a method to display them on my wall. I cut in half the plastic cases the came in, applied liberal amounts of masking tape, and stepped back to marvel at my work.


Later that evening, I also hung the lyrics to all 8 good tracks from Muse’s “The Resistance”, accompanied by the album artwork. Finally my walls are becoming less barren.

At around 6:00, it was time for dinner. The Asians and Fernie had decided to go to Blitman. Someone decided we were driving. Trouble was, only Fernie drives, and he has a Dodge Dakota that only seats two. Luckily, our group has a lot of ingenuity and/or stupidity. I logically theorized that the three of us who were unable to fit in the cabin could sit in the truck bed. Two problems arose with that statement. Luckily, the latter problem ended up solving the former. The first problem was that the route to Polytech passes directly in front of a police station, and generally bed riding is frowned upon by the coppers. The second problem was that Fernie’s truck bed has a tonneau cover. Clearly, the solution was obbious: hide under the cover. Jinzhen, Renato, and I were the ones chosen for the ride in the bed. It turns out there’s plenty of room to smuggle Asians in the back of Fernie’s truck. Renato had a bit of a squeeze though, as Fernie’s bed extender created a little cage near the tailgate. The result was capture in this amazingly lit photograph.

The trip took place without incident. Overall, I’d rate the experience as “A++++++++++ FAST SHIPPING ITEM EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED WOULD BUY AGAIN”.

After Blitman, it was time for the two hour season premiere of House! Jeff, Jinzhen, and I watched on the projector, without commercials thanks to my PVR software. I quite liked the episode. It was quite long, and seemed to drag at points, but it was full of quick, witty House humor coupled with deeper themes on psychological illnesses. I can definitely see the content of the episode help others who may be struggling with psychological disorders of their own. For the first time, the episode is not centered in Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. The episode chronicles House’s rehabilitation from Vicodin and his misanthropic tendencies. Based on the preview for next week’s episode, things seem to be returning to “normal” soon. It’ll be good to have the regular cast of characters back, but this week’s episode was a good change up.

Lastly, I had my first experience with Windows 7 today, and it wasn’t a very good one. Bluescreen before even reaching the install environment. I troubleshat for a while before giving up, hoping it’s just a bad ISO and not a deeper hardware issue.

Weekend Update

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Really? Really now Laptop? You’re telling me I only have 1:23 until Ted Kennedy dies on a full charge? That can’t be right.

Two weeks ago I purchased an additional battery for my laptop to help me last through my 6 hour block on Tuesday and Fridays. While there were some small differences in the label, it was tough to tell the difference. The difference was the presence of two additional zeroes after the spot where it said “Li-ion”. So I decided to name my batteries. As a tribute to one of my fallen heroes, I decided to name my old battery Ted Kennedy. Because, you know, he’s the li-ion of the Senate. I then named my new battery Billy Mays, as he also recently died, and he obviously has a lot more energy than Ted Kennedy.

On to the weekend.

Saturday consisted of the second football game of the year. After last week’s shenanigans with Jim Evans, I wasn’t particularly excited about the prospects for this week’s game. My fears were all for naught though, as the production went amazingly smooth. Our camera operators by now had had a bit more experience behind the viewfinder, and we were actually able to run 4 cameras in the desired locations. Jim Evans had backed off as well; he was just using one main camera for the Jumbotron, and it was staffed by one of his underlings and/or friends. Thus, RPI TV has successfully escaped from the clutches of Jim Evans. Titles were great, closeups were wonderful, and switching was terrific as usual thanks to Dan.

The game was a thriller as well, with RPI narrowly defeating Utica 17-14. Utica had the ball on the RPI 18 with 46 seconds to go. Three plays later, and Utica reaches the 13, but decides to go for a field goal. The kick was (somehow) blocked, and (somehow) recovered by the Utica QB. The QB ran toward the sideline and through a pass, but it was (somehow) intercepted! RPI’s Herrera ran the ball some 90 yards down the sideline, only to be taken down at Utica’s 2 yard line. RPI sat on the ball to win the game 17-14.

Check out the footage here: Skip to 34:50 in the 4th quarter to see the final play.

After the game, I ran the hard drive recorder back to the Union on foot to start processing the footage for the web. It only took me about three and a half hours to have the whole game up in SD, which I think is a new record. I was quite happy. I promptly fell asleep back in my dorm at around 8:30.

Sunday basically only consisted of TV business as well. I quickly did a rough edit of this week’s Wednesday Night Live during the morning hours. It looks great, but I’m going to give it a second pass in Final Cut once I get the final mix of the audio from WRPI. I napped for a bit, then went to Blitman for dinner. I helped Fernie learn the basics of a Sony VX2000 for his Intro to Film (or whatever) class. Silverware and selected dishes were washed before the night grew to old, whereupon I retired to my room to type this entry.

I’m going to try to hold RPI TV editing office hours Mondays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 3:00. Tomorrow will be an unpublicized test.

Moment of Zen

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Under construction

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Working on my theme, having fun with the CSS. Broken stuff is abound.