Nov 06 2010

DVD Review: Toy Story 3

Published by under Entertainment,Movies

The Toys Are Back In Town!

OK, I might be the only person left that just saw this movie but in case I am not I am going to invoke the good old….

OK people when you pop this movie into your DVD have a good supply of Kleenex® at hand.  Not only because this is the last movie with the toys that we have all loved for the past 15 years but because when you watch this, memories of your most beloved toys that you loved as a child will fill your head.

To see a description of the movie and my personal ratings, please read on…

Continue Reading »

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Oct 14 2010

A Great Tribute…

Published by under Entertainment,Television

Stephen J. CannellOn September 30th Stephen J. Cannell, one of the best authors/writers/producers/actors of our time, was taken from us too soon.  Many of you, at least from my generation, remember his TV shows of the 70’s & 80’s like The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, The Rockford Files, 21 Jump Street and many, many more.  Stephen also wrote a series of novels about a tough detective named Shane Scully which I have just started to read and they are fantastic.  What makes this even more remarkable is that he did all of this while also suffering from dyslexia.

Anyway, I was watching this weeks episode of Castle (great show) and saw a fitting tribute to him at the end of the episode.  Stephen had appeared in a couple of episodes where Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) would get together with a few of his author pals (James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Stephen) for a weekly game of poker.  The Director of Castle, Rob Bowman, is actually a friend of Stephen’s and used to work for him and he was responsible for getting them all together.

So, those that enjoyed the many years of Stephen J. Cannell Productions, will undoubtedly get the tribute in the video below.

Enjoy!

Click each link below to see a List of Stephen’s accomplishments:

AuthorWriter | Producer | Actor

Later…

Martha Rodgers: I almost forgot to tell you – James Patterson called, he’s going to be a little late for the poker game tomorrow.

Richard Castle: He probably wants to use the time to write another book.
“Castle” A Deadly Game (2010)

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Oct 13 2010

Europe Pics Posted

Published by under Photography

I have finally posted the pictures I took on my trip to Europe.  Below is a small selection of the pictures from Kaiserslautern Germany, Luxembourg and Trier Germany.  If you want to see the rest, they are posted on my Flickr account, click here to see them.  Enjoy!
[image-scrolling-gallery-fx width=”600″ height=”400″][/image-scrolling-gallery-fx]
Later…

[pullquote]You know, I have met some dumb blondes in my life, but you take the taco, pal! Only a *Carpathian* would come back to life now and choose New York! Tasty pick, bonehead! If you had brain one in that huge melon on top of your neck, you would be living the sweet life out in Southern California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley!
Peter Venkmen (Ghostbusters, 1989)[/pullquote]

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Sep 29 2010

Now A Downtime Report…

Published by under travel

The GroupOK, I mentioned in my previous post that I was hanging out with 3 of my colleagues from Avid, Paul, Manuel and Luis. After the work stuff was done for the day we always had a great time going out together for dinner. We had to entertain ourselves with food and drink because all of the stores in Kaiserslautern close at 6:00 PM (a few select will stay open until 6:30 PM).
Well this one night we found a great little pub that was having specials on Guinness because it was the anniversary of the opening of the first brewery (September 23rd) and with every pint you got a chance to win a Guinness glass (we won four). Also we discovered it was karaoke night (uh oh).
So, after a couple of pints, Paul decides to start off with his rendition of “Deliah” by Tom Jones. The man was made for karaoke and really hammed it up on stage. The crowd was still small but everyone was cheering. After a few “liquid encouragements” it was my turn and I belted out “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard and made the crowds ears bleed. All night we kept trying to get Manuel and Luis up to sing but they would not. So after a few more people sang (the place was packed by now), Paul got up for one last time with “Mack The Knife” by Frank Sinatra. Continue Reading »

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Sep 24 2010

Week 1 Update…..

Published by under Tech,travel,work

… or “The Big Mutant’s Excellent Adventure”

OK, it has been a real busy week for me here in Germany.  Spending the week learning a new application and then learning the coding behind it in order to create customized workflows for our customers.  It is really exciting learning something that is different then the stuff I have been doing for the past 10 years but familiar enough not to scare the hell out of me.

Things started looking up right after I got off the plane in Frankfurt (Kaiserslautern is about 1.5 hours west and south).  When the company booked my rental car for me I received a notice that I was confirmed for some kind of A class compact car.  When I looked this car up I saw that your Friendly Neighborhood Mutant couldn’t even fit his right leg into it.  So I called and explained my dimensions and asked if they could do something for me.   When I got to the rental car desk I found they reserved me a Mercedes E-class sedan (nice!).  This worked out really good, not only for my comfort but there were 3 others from Avid attending the same training so we could now save the company some money and car pool together.  Speaking of these guys (Paul, Manuel and Luis) we hit it off together and have been hanging out together all the time, but more on that later.

So, anyway, the week went on and we were running through a bunch of PowerPoint slides describing the product and how to use it.  And then about the middle of the week we actually started using the product in some “Hello World” type training scenarios.  And finally today (Friday) I actually got to break away from the group and go with one of the programmers to work on some actual live customer-based workflow scripting (YEA!).  So we started working on the workflows and got the majority of the changes made before the client had some issues with their server and we decided to finish up on Monday.  So, the beginning of my real-life coding was short lived but will begin again on Monday.  Stay Tuned!

Interplay Media Asset Manager

Later….

[pullquote]Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

Steve McCroskey (Airplane, 1980)[/pullquote]

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Sep 19 2010

T Minus 7 hours and counting….

Published by under travel

The Road to Kaiserslautern - Leg #2“The following happened between 3:30 PM and 4:51 PM EST”

On The Road to Kaiserslautern (Germany), Part 2…

OK, leg #2 of my trip to Germany has begun and it is not good. I am OB a larger plane (US Airways Airbus A330) but the seats are smaller. My knees are jammed into the seat in front of me and it hurts.

We are currently at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet and the captain says we are going up around the Boston area (hello headquarters) before heading over the Atlantic. The trip should take a little less than seven hours. I have my Kindle with me so maybe a little Stephen King will help the time go quicker.

More to come…

UPDATE **
It is now about 30 minutes until we land in Frankfurt and it couldn’t come any sooner. Books have been read, movie and TV shows have been watched and I have wandered around the cabin so many times that I lost count (thrombosis avoidance maneuver). And, alas, sleep avoids those that have a forward seat thrust into their knees whilst the person behind wants me to put my seat back up because “he doesn’t have enough leg room” (that person is about 5′ 4″ tall). Sheesh!

Later…

[pullquote]Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.

Steve McCroskey (Airplane, 1980)[/pullquote]

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Sep 19 2010

On The Road to Kaiserslautern (Germany)…

Published by under travel

The Road to Kaiserslautern - Leg #“I’m off on the road to…. Kaiserslautern?”. We’ll that’s not exactly how the song goes, but it is close enough.
I’ve started the first leg of my trip which will take me to Philadelphia PA and then on to Kaiserslautern Germany. As I am writing this I am sitting in the Harrisburg PA International (huh?) Airport waiting for my flight. I am going to Germany to attend training for my company, Avid Technologies Inc., for our Interplay MAM system. I will be coding workflows for this system in a scripting language that was developed by Blue Order, the company that developed the system and is now a part of Avid. Blue Order is a company in Kaiserslautern and since that is where all the programmers reside, that is where I must go.
Over the next few days I will be blogging about my experiences on this trip. Mostly for my wife’s benefit (unfortunately I had to leave her behind), but also so I remember it myself. This will be a trip for business and learning but hopefully I will be able to snap some good photographs as well.
So, stay tuned and hopefully I will give you something entertaining to read.
Later…..

[pullquote]I have a really bad feeling about this.
Han Solo (The Empire Strikes Back, 1983)[/pullquote]

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Aug 30 2010

Now Mobilized for Your Roaming Pleasure….

OK, this has been a pet peeve of mine for some time now…

Here it is 2010 and the majority of the webmasters out there do not have their sites optimized for mobile devices.  So now that I have launched my own blogging website I decided that the first thing to do was not to fall into that trap.

Below I have screenshots of my website on the top three mobile devices out there: BlackBerry, iPhone and Droid X.

Blog on the SmartPhones

(these are screenshots from emulators I have on my PC so they will be close but may not be exact.)

Some features of the website will be disabled as they are not suitable for the mobile devices but most should still work.

Now I can only test the BlackBerry Storm 2 (9550) out fully because that is the device I own, so if there is anyone out there listening (hello, hello) that finds an issue on the other devices, please let me know so I can try and resolve it.

Thanks and enjoy.

Later…..

[pullquote]”Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
“Germans?”
“Forget it, he’s rolling”
Bluto, Otter and Boon (Animal House, 1978)[/pullquote]

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Aug 27 2010

Here We Go…

Published by under Misc

OK, I think I’ve finally have (most) everything setup as I want it so it is time to start posting, but that’s not to say things won’t change 😉

A little bit about me…

For the last 10+ years I was working as a Lotus Notes Application Developer, but back in October or 2009 I was laid off from my job I could not find a new position. So I finally found a position with Avid as a Program Software Developer and I couldn’t be happier.  I am currently working on a project for National Geographic coding workflow for their video library.  I still get to work from my home office but I am traveling a bit more and it gets difficult leaving my wife and dog at home alone, but that is a necessary evil that I have to bear.

I was finally able to set up my home office so I can properly use my mad programming skills to crank out some awesome code 😉  Below is my new setup:

Workstation setup

So with the new start of a new job I decided that it was time to get off my butt and finally get my branding started and get my personal blog off the ground.  I had an older blog that was hosted on a site that was hosted by my old company but I let that go stale and wanted to start one that I could control myself.

And now about the name…

Big Mutant is shortened from Big Ass Mutant, which is a joke between my wife and I about me.  You see, I am 6′ 7″ tall and 300 lbs (and dropping) and it is very difficult for me to buy clothes (especially in nowhere PA).  Whenever we would try to find clothes my wife would try to get me to go into a store and I would say “They don’t have clothes for Big Ass Mutant’s” or “They don’t have size ‘Big Ass Mutant'” and it kind of stuck.  So now I use it as a badge of honor and took it on as my brand.  My doctor says I need to get down to about 225 lbs but I will still be the Big Mutant.

What will be here…

There is going to be a little of everything here.  Items on photography, computers, entertainment and anything else that I want to post.  There will be items about my personal life and my professional one too.  But amidst all of it I will most likely have a bunch of humor in here because I thing people take life a little too seriously and need to laugh once in a while.  And that is the role I like the most is to make people laugh…… either with me or at me 🙂

Later….

[pullquote]Back off, man. I’m a scientist.
Dr. Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters, 1984)[/pullquote]

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Aug 26 2010

Welcome!

Published by under Misc

The Big GuyHello and welcome to my new blog.

This blog will be a little of everything that is of interest to me.  Movies, TV, computers, photography, video games and just about anything that my mutated mind is fancying at the time.  So enjoy your stay and I hope you find at least one thing to make your day a little more bearable.

Thanks for stopping by…..

On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy
Kevin Flynn, (Tron, 1982)

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