Monday, January 29, 2007

Infinite Solutions

I have to hand it to Mark Erickson, he's a pretty smart fellow. Just who is he you ask? He hosts the "Infinite Solutions" online tutorials. This guy can teach you all sorts of brilliant tricks. He shares how to increase your Wi-Fi signal, a hidden mode in Minesweeper, how to access GoogleTV, and some other very interesting tricks.

You can view Mark's profile to see all his videos, or you can go to them directly using the links provided below:

- How to YouTube Podcast
- How to Clean Up Your iTunes Library
- How to Increase Your Wi-Fi Signal
- How to Unlock a Hidden Minesweeper Mode
- How to Sign Up for GoogleTV Beta
- UPDATE: GoogleTV Beta

Some people have suggested some of his videos provide completely false information, but I'm not saying anything -- you be the judge!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Music

For my next video, I decided to do some commentary on a couple song recordings I have done within the past few years. So here it is.

I thought this would be a good idea because some people have asked me where they could download some of my reecordings, and I end up telling them the songs aren't on the internet anymore. Plus I know there's many people who have never heard any of my recordings, so I picked three that I felt would grab some attention. I picked "The Heart of Rock & Roll", "Live It Up", and "So In Love" to be in the video. The video is 10 minutes long (I had to do extensive editing to make it 10 minutes).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's Bass Ackwards

I wanted to know what it would be like to speak backwards. This is the result. I wanted to say something longer, but I didn't feel like spending all day on it. I sound so stupid when my voice is reversed!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Taking the Internet Too Seriously

One thing I have gotten a lot of over the past two or three years is people telling me I take the internet too seriously. A majority of these people who say that to me think it's perfectly okay to express any opinion they have about someone any time of the day, even if the person they're talking about is going to see what they write.

They're the folks I like to categorize as "logic thinkers" because they are too strict with standards. They have the freedom to say what they wish, so they take that too the extreme without any regard to a person's feelings. Those are exactly the kind of people I've often had a problem with. They're not like the nice folks who neighbor me where I live and areas close by.

Young people get bullied everyday on the internet because of a lack of parental supervision and an environment where basically anything goes. Moral and traditional values are poor on the internet. If older folks on some of these websites would try to raise the bar and set a good example, the younger folks would most likely behave better. As long as there's an "anything goes" attitude, the internet will always be a cruel place to be.

I was stunned when some people asked me why in the world I would release those videos of me basically making a fool of myself. I said they were just for fun. Everyone has been that way at least once. They insisted that they still didn't understand, and they basically over-reacted and thought it was silly for me to have fun with my webcam like that and show people.

Now recently an individual named Austin Sims from Michigan City, Indiana decided to spam some of my blog posts. I have left the comments he made so others could see the poor behaviour by this kid. On YouTube, he portrays himself as an 18 year old when he's actually only 15 and has a lot of maturing to do yet. I am expecting an appology from him for this. One thing I'm very good at doing is digging up a lot of dirt on people that they don't want anyone else to see. I have plenty of it on him, so he'll appologize and never do this again if he's smart.

Where did this kid come from? is the place. Someone who knows me online found one of my videos and told a bunch of people on about it. As a result, they tried to dig up my phone number (unsuccessfully by the way) to harass me by phone, and then Austin spammed my blog posts.

Had there been higher standards, leadership, and good number of positive examples set, these kids would never have seen any of that as funny. But the internet is a standard of it's own. I could act like them to try and survive and avoid the heavy load of criticism and hate aimed at me over the years, but I choose to instead set good examples for people who look up to me and not them.

I hope when I'm older, I can look back to these days and say that I made a positive difference in some people. When I set good examples, they will spread. Otherwise, bad things happen. So am I really taking the internet too seriously? Absolutely not, but there are things that are right and wrong, and I'm going to follow my morals regardless what typical internet users tell me.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Legend Continues

I did another 1 minute movie at YouTube. You can view it here.

Again, some might view this as weird while others may view it as hilarious. I got mixed responses on my first "Legendary Movie", so I'm expecting much the same this time too. I don't care how silly I look, just as long as I have some viewers.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Alfie Carrington's UFO

A man named Alfie Carrington is building his own UFO. Apparently he's been working on it for the past 30 years, and he hopes to finish it in the next 8 months. He claims his design is simple and has two patents on the design.

I'm reminded that many of the most looney creators have gone down in history as brilliant people. I usually try not to get too carried away with stories like these, but this one really caught my eye. I think it's possible that Alfie might be onto something here. Only time will tell I guess.

You can read the article here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Most Legendary Movie Ever

Bored out of my mind, I decided to have fun with my webcam recently. I made this movie to break out and have some fun. It's about 1 minute long, but it's filled with craziness. It features "Hip to be Square" by Huey Lewis & The News. Some people might think it's funny, and others might think it's a little weird. I don't care, I just had to post it and show it to people. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Learning Some Funky Music

My dad and I have been talking for a couple days about getting a band together to play some songs people will actually dance to and enjoy. He wants to create some melody transitions so we don't have to keep stopping every time a song is over.

He has some songs in mind he wants to do. He asked me if I knew any songs off the top of my head I might like to do, and I immediately said "Thriller". He kind of teased me with the idea a little, but then said that it would be fine. So I burned a copy of the song for him, and he learned the guitar parts.

He said the only real issue with the song is the fact that Michael Jackson has had so much bad publicity. He also said however that not everyone likes "Celebration" and all the other songs we're going to be doing. Everyone has different tastes. He said as long as we keep the music going and don't stop between songs, it'll seem like it was just a song thrown in there and not a big deal. So I was happy to hear that.

My job now is to find some other songs I'd like to do. I will have to go through my music to see what all I can sing. He said I'll most likely sing a majority of the songs because I have the right voice for it. In addition, I'll either play saxophone or keyboards for each song.

I'd like to record some of the practices and upload some of the material to the internet so people can listen. I know this is my blog, but I do hope the recordings aren't projected as being all about me. It is a band after all, and each individual contributes something important. I shun any suggestions that one guy makes a band, because truthfully that's just ridiculous. Anyway, keep a lookout for the recordings if you're interested.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just One of Those Days

Yesterday, I had to take my grandfather's truck down to my dad's new house to load up some junk to be taken to the dump. As I was going through the pile, I picked a long thin strip of wood and tossed it in the back of the truck. For whatever reason, I thought it was shorter than it actually was, so I tossed it further than I obviously should have. It crashed right through the rear window of the truck. I felt really stupid.

A couple minutes later, I stepped up on the truck and was trying to walk across a board. The foot I was going to bring up onto the board moved just slightly to the left, and that was enough for a nail to poke right through my shoe and into my foot. I was in a lot of pain. I pulled the nail out, but I didn't see any blood.

Later that day, I looked at it and saw a little bit of blood on my sock. I haven't had a tetanus shot in a long time, so I think it's time for me to get one. On top of that, new glass for the truck will cost me over $400! It's quite depressing, but I suppose it could have been a lot worse.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Too Quick to Judge Paula Abdul

If you haven't heard, Paula Abdul was recently on a Fox-affiliated morning show in Seattle where she appeared to be drunk or drugged up. I normally don't care a whole lot about celebrity gossip, but I happen to like some of Paula Abdul's songs, so it caught my attention.

I watched the video several times very carefully. She's obviously very hyper, and it sounds like she slurs some of her words. Her publicist says there was a sound problem. If you pay attention to the beginning of the video, one of the hosts calls out to her loudly, and then Paula calls out loudly back to her. Then the host says "she can hear us". I find that to be proof that they really did have audio drop-outs prior to what was actually broadcasted.

What about Paula Abdul's hyperness? Well considering it's early in the morning, coffee comes to my mind. Some people are a little off the wall when they have enough coffee in the morning. Coffee also causes many people to move around a good bit.

What about her speech? Well, I don't know for sure. It sounds to me like she has a cold though. That's perfectly possible, because it's that time of year. So that might be the reason her speech is a little funny.

What if I'm wrong and she actually is high on something? Well who says she's on cocaine or drunk? What if she's a little drugged up from her medication? If you do research, you will find she had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and takes medication for that. Perhaps the side-effects are showing.

I'm not saying it's impossible for her to be drunk or on some kind of illegal drugs, but I'm saying people are took quick to make judgments without doing their homework. In fact, some are so quick to assume she's doing drugs that they will post comments to denigrate her. In this video, someone posted "wow... she's definitely not right there..." in the comments. I watched it and saw nothing wrong with her at all. She paused for a moment, and she mangled one of her words. A lot of perfectly normal people do that though, especially when they get a little nervous.

People are too quick to make judgments. I can't honestly tell you if she is on drugs or not, but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. You are free to think what you want on the recent interview with her, but for those who say she's drunk when they too often make judgments with a lack of information need to do some more thinking. I can understand the recent event, but when people start claiming she's drunk in every other video, its gone way overboard.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My Band Class

I signed up for a band class this semester in college. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have to say I had a blast today. I came in with my saxophone and sat down. I listened to the instructor for a little, and then we got right into playing. There was no sheet music. It was like getting together for a big gig. We played "Play That Funky Music White Boy", "Pick Up The Pieces", and several other funk songs. I'm one of four saxophones, so we have what it takes to put some great parts together.

There's no improvisation, we learn the actual parts in the original recordings. That's a good thing I suppose. I've always hated it when people just half way learned a song and made the rest fit. I feel you become a better musician when you not only do a little improvisation, but learn how to play the song exactly like the original as well. What I would really love is if later on we get to make suggestions of songs to play. The instructor is even planning to get us some gigs to play different places for money.

The funniest thing about it is I am one of three Damian's. Damian Wilson plays keyboards, and then another Damian I only met today plays saxophone like I do. I always thought Damian was such a rare name, and only once had I ever had a class with another (Damian Wilson), until today. It'll take time getting used to. Hopefully my instructor won't start calling me Brandon (inside joke -- the teacher I had for the class I was in with Damian Wilson kept calling me Brandon throughout the entire year).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Integrated Editing in ProSonic

In continuing my efforts to make the source code to the editing tools and the actual ProSonic engine tied together, I decided to try making an integrated level editor. This means that while playing the game, you can also modify it all in the same program. This would be useful for developers, but a stripped version of the engine may be the preference for people who just want to play games without actually making them.

I recorded a video and uploaded it to YouTube. You can go here to see it. The level shown in the demo is from StephenUK's excellent "Sonic: Project Chaos" ROM hack.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thriller Sessions

As a little kid, I was a huge Michael Jackson fan. It had been a long time since I listened to anything from him, but a little while back I put a CD of Thriller in the CD player and listened to it and fell in love with those songs all over again. Afterwards, I tried to learn some of the words to a couple songs on the album.

So back in October, I did some recording sessions of Michael Jackson's "Thriller". I had the files on my computer and didn't really know what I wanted to do with them. Finally I decided it might be kind of neat to put them up on YouTube. So here are the four sessions I did:

- Session take 1 (vocals only)
- Session take 2
- Session take 3
- Session take 4

I remember years ago someone said it would be kind of interesting to hear out-takes of some of my songs with areas I messed up and such. So you could more or less view these in the same light, especially sessions takes 2 and 3.

The whole idea was to eventually do a full-scale recording of Thriller just like I have done with different songs in the past. I never got around to it, but I still might do one. I just have to find the time.

Monday, January 01, 2007

People Filled With Hate

Take a look at this. I've been watching him closely for a couple weeks. A while back, I was searching for some information at I can't resist reading some of the topics there every now and then. I hate what I read often because of the rude comments that are constantly posted there.

Eventually though, I came across some of the usual trouble there with a user named Oerg866. I've seen a number of very rude comments aimed at him. Not only are the completely rude, but they're unfair. The kid claims he's 13. Even if he were to be a little younger than that, the point is he's still young! I watched his YouTube videos and realized that he was very enthusiastic about what he did in those videos. However some people have called him dumb and a liar. I don't see this at all, and those people need to be confronted.

My dad has told me several times in the past that a bully is someone who's afraid of a bully. Donald Trump has been saying something along those lines recently as well. My feeling is just because people were hard on you doesn't mean you should be hard on others. People who are treating Oerg866 badly are bullies. Those people learn to shut up when other people jump on them though. If you have something hurtful to say, keep it to yourself. If they're mean to you, then you got every reason in the world to fire back. As long as they haven't bothered you though, you need to keep to yourself.

I've been heavily criticized online for nearly a decade because of the way I am. I try to put out a strong message that I feel is important, or I try to motivate others to do good things. What did I ever get in return most of the time? I was called egotistical, up-tight, a moron, and a bunch of other things I'd rather not write here. I saw recently where comments were made about me again. Those people are foolish though, because the only thing I ever tried to do for years was be a good role model, never to say "I'm God, worship me". I had a lot of popularity on the internet at one time. At the age of 14, all that popularity made me really excited, but I never let it get too far to my head. I've always maintained that when you're looked up to by a lot of people, you should assume responsibility of being a good role model.

What does that have to do with the people pushing this little kid around? Well I may not have the backing I used to on the internet, but I will always continue to try and put forward what I think is the honest and right thing to do. I often found myself taking up for the younger kids who were pushed around and made fun of by the older kids. You should treat others with respect, and you've especially got serious issues if you're in your late teens or adult-hood harassing a 13 (or younger) year old kid for no good reason. That's sick. I created my blog to talk about what I think on some things, so I'm expressing my thoughts. I don't wish to upset anyone, and I don't want to make enemies. However I think if more people would speak up about this kind of stuff, it wouldn't happen as much as it does. So, allow me to be the first -- stop it.