Posted Thursday, April 28, 2005 5:45:10 PM by Jim Babbage
After writing my TODCon update blog this morning, I had a breakfast
with Ray. He's still under the weather, but he is more relaxed now that
the con is over. I can't blame him - that's a lot of responsibility
both professionally and financially.
I'll admit I am feeling a little down. I am already missing my friends.
Some I know I will see again, but there is an empty spot inside me at
the moment, like something was taken out and not replaced.
Speaking of photography, I have a total of about 230 photos. So, getting things ready will take some time. Most of them are from the conference itself, but I took many tourist pics too. The last time I was here for TODCon, I got to see part of the strip but only at night. This time, it's mostly daytime photos. I'm quite pleased with some of them, but editing is still required.
And - MOST importantly - my quest for a new shirt *GASP!* *Oh, the horror!* was successful! I found one that summed up Vegas nicely and didn't cost my right arm to buy. Tom Green, beware; I have a new shirt and I'm willing to wear it. :-)
I also checked out the Fashion Show Mall and found yet another deal. I'm a big Peanuts fan (Snoopy and Charlie Brown - there are days when I can SO relate to that boy). A store in the mall was closing out and they had 50% off all their merchandise, so I picked up a cool Boy Scout Charlie Brown figure for only $12 US. He will have a prominent place in my office when I return.
I check out in a couple hours. My flight is at (UGH) midnight, which gets me back into TO around 7:30 am on Friday. I'm glad I don't have to work!
Well that's it for me. I'm signing off until next week, when I will post the link to the photos. And it will most likely be later in the week as I play catch up with some ongoing projects. I hope you've enjoyed the updates and it's made ya wish you had been here. All I can say is save your money, and plan on showing up next year. It will be a blast, of that I have no doubt.
Category tags: This and That
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 12:52:15 AM by Jim Babbage
Another information packed day today, which seemed to just fly by.
Ray held the opening session and talked about the importance of
creating accurate project specifications, managing projects and bug
tracking and the source/version control.
With our wireless connection on the conference level, he walked us
through some interesting open source options for project and task
management as well as source control. Ray has been fighting a
nasty cold since before he arrived, but like a real trooper, still
managed to pull off a great session.
One particular free online project management solution (www.tadalist.com)was so easy to use, even *I* set up a project list in minutes - and I'm organizationally challenged at the best of times. All in all, a very useful session for free-lancers, small business owners and even department managers for in house web shops.Kim Cavanaugh's Fireworks Production Techniques session was great lesson in common sense for the FW user. A lot of great tips to keep yourself organized and productive in FW. Kim covered a wide range of topics, from managing Layers, Frames and Objects, to working with FW symbols to creating custom commands which help speed up your management of layers.
I did my last session today as well, on Creative Masking Techniques. It was well received and I got many positive comments on the session, even from seasoned pro's like Chris Flick and Kim C. And yep, I even used one of my Vegas photos to demonstrate how easy it can be to create a bitmap mask.
I also sat in on Sheri German's session. Sheri is a first-time TODCon speaker and she did a bang up job covering her topic, "What Not to DO with CSS." Used visual examples and a real life scenario, Sheri walked us through the way we used to build the web compared to how we should be building it now. It was a great introduction to CSS, and the html layout pitfalls to avoid.
And after hours tonight . . well . . . let me tell you. A group of us went to see Cirque de Soleil's, Zumanity (http://www.zumanity.com/en/home.asp). I've seen Cirque twice in Toronto, but only in Vegas, people, would you see a show like this. A colourful parade of stunningly talented and attractive performers kept us laughing, gasping and sometimes even cringing (the contortionist made many of us shudder in painful empathy) for an hour and a half. If you come to Vegas, you have to see this show.
And ummmm, leave the kids at the hotel. Trust me on this one. Let's just say the tights were really tight - when there were any tights at all.
We wind up tomorrow, and as much as I hate to hurry things along, I must admit I am already feeling a tinge of sadness as the end of TODCon draws near. I will miss the new friends I've made, and the old ones I've kept, some since TODCON V 1.0 in Florida some years ago. Well before I get all mushy and start crying into my keyboard, I'll end this update. I'll save the mushy stuff for tomorrow night. ;-)
Category tags: This and That
Posted Tuesday, April 05, 2005 2:03:40 PM by Chris Flick
Holy Web Horrors, Batman! Can you believe what's happening with Bill and that "special lady" friend of his? Whew boy! Well, let's see if we can make him forget about his troubles for just a bit as I finish up my long promised second part of my "Baseball Movie" blog.
This time, as promised, are the baseball movies I consider to be the worst. Now remember, we're not talking about the acting or even the overall entertainment of the movies themselves. Instead, I'm judging them foremost on the baseball SKILLS depicted in these movies. Then comes the acting, the plot, the actors, etc., etc., etc.
Also, they aren't listed in any particular order either. Anyway, for your enjoyment (and debate if you'd like):
1) The Slugger's Wife
I managed to make it through this entire movie thanks to Rebecca DeMornay but there wasn't any "Risky Business" to be had here, that's for sure.
2) The Babe
Liked the story. Liked the movie, even but John Goodman playing baseball? The best thing in this movie was that he's been the only one that seems to have been able to imitate The Babe's unique running style.
3) Bang the drum slowly (remake)
As I mentioned in my previous blog, as long as the actors weren't anywhere near an actual baseball field or ACTING like they were professional ballplayers, this movie's alright.
5) Little Big League
Angels in the Outfield
Rookie of the Year
All of these are, essentially, "kids films" so you can't be too harsh with them - but still...the actors that played "pro ballplayers" in these movies are hard to watch. With a possible exception to Timothy Busfield who still plays in an amateur baseball league in California.
6) Major League II and III:
Even though a lot of the cast returns in these sequels, for some reason, the baseball playing skills just got weaker and weaker - even if they were trying to play it up for laughs.
Okay... with Major League II, I still hold a grudge because I wasn't selected as a ball playing extra on that movie. But it was still fun trying out as an extra for three days - got to hit and (almost) field on a ex-major league baseball field (Baltimore's old Memorial Baseball Stadium). We never got to take ground balls on the field because the last two days of try-outs, it rained.
Anyway, though... these are the handful of terrible baseball movies that stand out in my mind. This list is far from complete as I'm sure you all have memories or opinions of what you consider to be THE absolute worst baseball movie.
These days though, it seems that for the most part, producers in Hollywood are keen on the idea that it's important for the actors to not only ACT but when portraying baseball players, they actually have to LOOK like they have played the game before! That was one of the nice things about some of the extra bonus features on the DVD, "61*" starring Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane. Thomas Jane had never actually played baseball before so Billy Crystal sent him to a baseball camp run by ex-pros to teach him how to hit - and how to hit LIKE Mickey Mantle. Same thing with Barry Pepper - they worked with him to perfect not HIS swing but Roger Maris' swing.
Why is this so important? Well, in the greater scheme of things, it's not but as a baseball fan - a TRUE baseball fan - it can be hard to watch a movie even as great as "Field of Dreams" is when you see Ray Liotta on screen and keep thinking to yourself "but... Shoeless Joe Jackson batted LEFT handed...why's Ray batting RIGHT handed???".
I'm such a baseball geek.