Thanksgiving 2008 short documentary

** This is a guest post by my brother **

The film was made using windows movie maker.  I imported the images and video from my sony cyber-shot camera.  The voice-overs were recorded with my iriver mp3 player.  This was my first short documentary and I learned quite a bit.  First, my laughing was too loud and a bit obnoxious.  I’m right next to the mic, so I need to tone my voice down quite a bit.  Next, lighting is important to consider.  The footage in the kitchen with my mom is too dark, since the lighting is in the background instead of the foreground.  Last, it’s important to get close to the interviewee without making them feel uncomfortable.  Some of the shots are from a bit too far.  I’m no Spielberg for sure, but it was fun nonetheless!  I think it will be fun to continue making short documentaries like this about random events in my life.  I’m glad I learned the capabilities of movie maker.  It was sufficient for making this type of video, although it did freeze up on me once and I had to start over again 🙁

Next up….Christmas 2008…coming soon to a computer near you.


Thanksiving 2008 Short Film from robotchampion on Vimeo.

Gadgets Porn

After listening to the first of two episodes on Real Deal about gadget obessiveness, I decided to rummage through my collection. Turns out I have little to nothing in gadget porn. I guess my minimalist strategy is working well. Here it is:

Despite there only being 8 items on the list I don’t feel deprived. They are awesome and my favorites. Mostly expensive and catered to my individual hobbies:

  • Movies, Internet, & Podcasts

An interesting note is that as recently as 6 months ago, I had way more stuff. Due to a combination of craigslist, amazon, and ebay, I’ve offloaded all my old stuff for a good return on value. Which in turn has allowed me to purchase more, creating a sort of tech-geek life cycle.

2008 Xmas Wish List

I love gadget dreams. I was looking over my old dreams from Jan of this year (2008) and realized how much I have changed in the last 11 months. Of the 7 things I was dreaming about, I only got one!

  • Media Center PC
  • A Robot
  • Wireless iTunes Sync
  • 5 Wireless Devices (already had 3: iPhone, Lappy, Bluetooth)
  • New Laptop
  • High Def DVD
  • Xbox 360

The one dream that I satisfied was a new lappy. I’m typing on it right now, my MacBook Air. Of the other dreams only one carries over, but it has changed from a media center PC to a Mac Mini. I think the new list represents a change in my dreams: basic gadgets –> gadget hobbies: movies and music.

Here is the new list for Xmas 2008:

Well, that’s it. I am super stoked about the list. I can’t wait to go browsing and learning about which ones I want, and then add them to my Amazon Wish List. Yay!

My Amazon.com Wish List

Thoughts on the years past, 2007, 2006, and beyond

Better late than never. I have been thinking about my 2008 resolutions for a while. Before I lay them out I want to ponder the yesteryears. I get pretty serious when it comes to these resolutions. Spending a lot of time thinking about them and then working very hard on them throughout the year.

Over the previous years I have tried to keep them simple, usually sticking to 1 or 2 main ones. Last year, I focused on health and career. I wanted six pack abs and to figure out my career.

I was able to lose a lot of weight (down to 150 lbs). and maybe get 4 pack of abs. Still, I was unable to maintain that and have since gained a little back. Not much though, and through a steady diet and healthy habits I have maintained a much thinner body and I feel healthier than ever. My diet has even greatly improved. Resolution = success.

Career. This was also a success. This year I came into my own for my career, personally and professionally. I now have amazing hobbies that directly translate into my job, and my job feeds directly into my hobbies. A truly fabulous dynamic that stretches the boundaries of my job, and breaks any link to the negative aspect of the term “work”. Basically, I love what I do and don’t consider it work. It only took me 27 years but I finally found something I love, something that excites me, and something that I am really good at. Success.

The year before that, 2006, was the year of change. That year that I moved across the country, left my my girlfriend who I love, and left the hometown that I love. I wanted to just figure things out. I wanted to successfully arrive in Washington D.C. I wanted to get back on the horse and start galloping again. It took a lot of effort and was truly a struggle, but it worked. The change was a success.

The only resolution from 2006 that I can remember is to continue to grow and continue to have fun. I definitely did that but I was really worried about losing myself. At that time I had changed careers several times, and had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. Fortunately, everything has come together and I succeeded.

Strange how much of my life revolves around my career and professional success. Doesn’t bother me though, because I am a devoutly passionate person and I need to dive into everything I do. Now, that I have a personal/professional balance with my career I am a much more balanced person. My passion does not frustrate me, it drives me.

It is with this new balance, that I feel a change inside of me. I have been waiting for this since I attained my adult consciousness (about 16 yrs of age). It is strangely new and scary. I can now define myself through my career, but I can also lose myself in my work. I can focus my extreme quest for knowledge in one area and meet others with the same intensity and drive. This is a place that I have been dreaming of for years.

Thanks to everyone who helped me achieve this state, I love you and cherish your help and guidance: Scott, Pat, Jenny, Sean, Don, Amy, Mom, Dad, & Max.

Another important change inside of me is deeply personal. My love. I have always been intensely focused on 2 things in my life, often at the expense of everything else. Those are career and love. They can be extremely elusive and frustratingly in opposition. The career part I confidently have down. The love part is lost to me.

Since birth I have been happy and playful, but also strangely focused. I always need constant companionship, but not through large social networks. Nope, just through simple best friends. One at a time, a whole series of them throughout my life. One after the other. Each one has changed my life, challenged me, and brought me greater joy than I have ever felt before.

Unfortunately, I am at a loss right now. I’m in between best friends and have no one to love. My puppies is amazing but nothing compared to a simple best friend. I miss Jenny deeply and I hope we will re-unite at a later time. Is it weird that I think about her constantly and dream of marrying her?

Not to me. I cherish our time together and look forward to my future, whatever it is, and whoever it is with. The future is bright.

I try to focus on my insecurities with being alone. I try to deal with being single. I now that I need to be more comfortable with myself. Its hard being so confident and knowing how much I enjoy being in love, and then dealing with being single and losing some confidence. Alas, I am learning a lot through this struggle and becoming a better person, despite constant commiseration (not a big fan of learning through struggle).

I feel like I am more balanced than ever. I often think about how many mistakes I made on Jenny. It is amazing that she stuck with me throughout my career struggles. I was quite an ornery person as I was clawing my way to the top and trying to define myself in the process.

An intensely confusing and challenging period in my life. One that contributed to the downfall of our relationship. I wish to apologize to her for what I did and what I was. Still, I want to thank her for being amazing, supportive, and always smiling throughout it. I don’t think I could have gotten here today without her.

Jenny you’re the best!

In conclusion, it is very strange to think about living in the first decade of the 21st century. The decade is almost over too!

The year 2007 is now closed and it was a revolutionary year for me personally. My career is on track. My life is on track. The future is ahead of me. I am excited and optimistic. Life is good.

Gadgets Dreams for 2008

The recent CES convention that I have been following prompted me to write up my 2008 gadget resolutions. Their are so many things I want!

Media Center PC

Currently, I take my laptop plug it into my LCD, switch over to projector mode, and then play content. I have no remote and my laptop is effectively locked for the duration of the show. I want a dedicated PC for my TV. I would need to have wireless connectivity, a remote, and small size. I will only be using it for streaming content, although, it would be nice to have some storage space. I’m not really into the “ownership” thing, I just want to watch tv. Still storing my epic music collection would be cool, especially hooked up to the surround sound.

A Robot

Will this be the year I get one? He (or she?) will need to be able to recharge himself. I don’t want to come home and find him powerless in the middle of the floor. Plus, he will need to be dog/cat friendly. Maybe he will need to battle with them, or maybe just keep them occupied for a few hours. In fact, if that is all he does I would be happy. Maybe he will do some household duties (vacuuming), play music on command (I’ll ask nicely), or just be a third pet (I always wanted a gecko).

Wireless iTunes Sync

Podcasts, I love them. iTunes I love you. Both of you work very hard to get me the content I want. You consantly update and are always full of new content. Too bad I only get a change to “sync” with you every few days. Wouldn’t it be nice to just drop my Apple gear close by, auto-sync, and then be good to go?

5 Wireless Devices

I am close. I have 3: my laptop, iphone, and bluetooth headset. What will be my next two? Hopefully a media center pc and robot!

New Laptop

My current baby (Dell XPS M170) got its first “slap in the face” in 2007. Guitar Hero 3 said that she wasn’t good enough for it. Stupid game requires dual core processors. Regardless, techies around the world know that as soon as you feel the “out of date” wave coming, it’s time to start shopping. For me, I want a cool Apple laptop or a PC gaming laptop…

High Def DVD & Xbox 360

These are my last wishes (for now). I don’t care which format I get, I just hope the industry sorts itself out this year, so I can buy one. Also, I will finally have to decide whether I want a Wii or 360…I can’t decide!!