Thursday, 27 August 2009

Ten things - an experiment


First off, there is a video on the Youtube page now. I thought I'd mention it because otherwise I'm not sure anyone would notice. :|


Remember those Facebook notes "25 things about me" where everyone was being tagged? That whole ordeal? It was fun while it lasted, but it blossomed into those stupid picture things and more notes (100 things? are you serious?) and eventually got really old. Now, to the best of my knowledge, that all has died down.

But I wanted to try my own thing - ten things, all rather personal and none false, nothing I wouldn't want anyone to know, and nothing I'm particularly ashamed of. This is "an experiment" because knowing the nature of most people out there, I'm not sure how or if such a concept will catch on.

There're actually sixty things here (sixty bullet points) in groups of ten under a general heading; I made the format myself so it's basically styled after how I think (linear, big-picture, single-track). I was originally considering just posting one group at a time, but decided I'd rather post the whole thing at once and then do more "ten things lists" on later dates, just because the below six lists all have a bit in common. goes. Comments welcome.


Ten things you probably didn't know about me:

I am allergic to grass.
I play seven musical instruments.
I am a neat freak, but don't mind crowded spaces.
I have failed my driver's license test twice.
I used dial-up internet until two years ago.
Most of my friends aren't straight.
The first time I was out of the country was June 2009.
I like kreteks.
I've had the same phone for three years. It's 100% functional.
I'm somewhat agoraphobic, and prefer small rooms.

Ten things about my lifestyle, beliefs, and/or morals:

I don't party.
There is no God.
I never, ever drink alcohol.
Abstinence is the best contraceptive.
Your clothes don't make you cool.
Mainstream pop and rap are horrible influences on kids.
Sex is the highest form of human interaction, not a matter to be taken lightly; it is exploited, not valued, by society.
Caffeine and Adderall go great together. But sugar kinda sucks.
Forcing your tastes in cultural matters onto others is a sign of immaturity and insecurity.
Knowing yourself is more important than knowing others.

Ten things I think and/or believe that others don't:

Breakfast is important!
Body rhythms DO change with age, naturally.
Global warming isn't human-induced.
Smoking weed causes lung cancer and heightens the risk of mental illness significantly.
Religion is a business just like any other.
Apple vs. Windows arguments are stupid.
The government has no business in our personal lives.
People are frequently happier alone.
If a mental/physical condition can be treated with medication, there is no excuse not to.
Alcohol ought to be regulated as strictly as firearms.

Ten things that people don't like about me:

I'm very open about my beliefs.
The music I listen to is way different than theirs.
It's sometimes hard to earn my respect (I admit it...)
I'm not afraid to speak my mind, even if it offends people. Suck it up.
I dress differently than they do.
I don't see grades in school as a vital means of judging academic potential and ability.
I always read into a situation or action - sometimes a bit too much.
I'm not straight.
I have no tolerance for naïve or ignorant people, and assault them with logic ad nauseam.
I use words longer than three syllables that aren't found in a sixth-grade vocab book.

Ten weaknesses of mine:

I lose my temper at stupid or ignorant people.
Motion sickness.
I don't deal with strong emotion very well.
Personal attacks make me flip out aggressively.
I'm over-modest and avoid performing or showing off my talents.
I'm terrible at abstract reasoning unless it's perception-based.
I don't relate well to people my age.
I'm terribly out of shape.
I talk about my flaws too much.

Ten things I want to do with my life:

Go to a good college and hold a job at the same time.
Become totally fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Publish something.
Release an album of original music.
Live overseas for a period of time.
Find a profession I thoroughly love.
Live past 50.
Achieve financial security.
Never break up, separate, or divorce.
Have a kid who won't turn out like me.



Monday, 17 August 2009

Shooting and Grooving

Celtic music is awesome.

I recently went to Muzikfest, in Bethlehem, PA, a week-long festival showcasing all sorts of bands from pretty much everywhere. I still remember that eccentric Polish polka band I saw one year. And how about that 40s-style big band/swing outfit comprised of college students who look more like indie rockers? And of course, there's the features: last year, the Moody Blues played for $25 a ticket; this year featured Crosby, Stills, and Nash on the main stage.

I went more for the lower-profile bands: Blackwater, Butterjive, Music from China (a group from the Met), and an interesting-looking outfit called Scythian. "I think you'd like this; they look interesting," my mom said.

Scythian was awesome.

I'd highly recommend you check them out if you're into fast-paced, technically impressive, and lyrically amusing Celtic rock!

Shooting them was a bit of a problem, though. Even though I was REALLY up close and personal in the Celtic version of a mosh pit, I was using my 70-300 lens because I was kind of off to the side. The problem with this lens (which I bought in Beijing) is that it is an AF G. That's it. No ED glass, no motor, and most annoyingly, no VR. Even on a tripod, the slightest movement will cause ghosting artifact and ripples in the finished product - in other words, they're fuzzy. Naturally, at close ranges, this depends more on the shutter speed and flash which were fast and on, respectively, while I was shooting Scythian's great performance.

Here's one of the pictures that I love from the ones that turned out well, and here's a Facebook album I made of all the good ones.

Because Celtic music is so awesome, I just HAD to have more. Enter the Haggis is a band I found through iTunes when I was downloading Blaggards' album "Standards." iTunes recommended I check out "Soapbox Heroes," so I did, and loved it. To my surprise and delight, they were playing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival this past Saturday night. I left the 70-300 lens at home and drove the hour and a half to Lansdale with just the D60 and basic 18-55 lens, and got some pictures with which I am well pleased.

I was right in front of them this time, practically in the press box. However, the lighting was such that I'd have to use a long shutter to get the picture to look like the real thing (which of course wasn't possible, being a genre where the musicians move A LOT). It took awhile to get things just right, but cutting the f-stop and ISO waayy down and coupling it with +2 exposure compensation yielded workable results.

Here's the energetic frontman Brian Buchanon. Doesn't he just look like the kind of guy I'd like to meet?

And yeah, their music is amazing. They only played five or six songs, which made me sad. They did, however, sound exactly like they do on the albums - they gave a flawless live performance.

I took fewer pictures of ETH than I did of Scythian, mostly because of the lighting and short set (and I'd rather watch them play anyway.)

Here's the Facebook album of my Enter the Haggis pictures.

This is definitely something I'd enjoy doing...maybe not for a living, but for some money here and there, getting paid to see concerts and photograph the musicians would really be right up my ally...wouldnt't it...


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Note - RSS, YT, FB...

A note about this blog -

This blog is an RSS feed that's imported to various places. So, if you are reading this post as a note on Facebook, remember to check and see who wrote it! We sign at the bottom (I, that is, Jimmy, am/is the only one who forgets). I'm just posting that so that no one gets confused when a post made by Nate shows up on Jimmy's Facebook and people start commenting on it as though Jimmy knows what's going on. That's just what happens. So...check the signature.

NullCoding is on Youtube! We have been for awhile, but in a short while I'm gonna start uploading what I guess you'd call video blogs. We'll see how THAT goes...

Also, a note about my Facebook page...until I'm 18 I don't think you can get to the might get a "page not found" error. So, for now, click on the Facebook badge on the right of this blog and become a fan of me (:S?). I know, I know...but I might post special stuff there!

Or I might just let it sit there and do nothing. Eh.