Converting Home Videos – From Basement to YouTube: The Cheapest Invaluable Gift You’ll Ever Give

Two questions guaranteed to get you the polite Umm..okay… instead of the actual Hell No!… Would you like to see the videos from our two-week trip? Want to hear about a dream I had last night? Unless you’re bed-ridden or Sigmund Freud, you could well be stuck for at least an hour getting far too much information on what should have been a five minute conversation under the category, “You really should have been there.” But with the magic of a $35 do-dad, YouTube and Facebook, I’ve managed to release my captives. In all of our basements and attics, there are boxes of videotapes, photographs, slides and 8mm movies.  I’ve lived in constant fear of losing those treasures to fire, flooding, mold or accidental bouts of cleaning.  I’ve written earlier about my attempts to tackle the hundred pounds of snapshots, but now what to do with all the video (and… Read More…

Arbitrary Arpeggios: Surrendering to “Shuffle”

Shuffle is awesome. Just something about that option; that every time we pick up our mp3 players, we lend our mood to musical fate. I don’t even make playlists anymore. I enjoy the spontaneity of the shuffle feature. What’s crazy, is when a song comes on that eerily relates to whatever is going on in your life. This happens in movies A LOT. Cynics and trolls will roll their eyes every time a piece of media playing in the background (radio, film clip, news reel) directly relates to and affects our main character. It happens so often in film and TV. It’s even been perfectly spoofed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in this scene from “BASEketball”.  [Warning (and no surprise) a bit of vulgarity toward the end.] This scene is spot on in its attempt to make fun of how convenient diegetic music in movies can be and how… Read More…

Uncommon Sense: YouTube Teacher Resignation Reaches Nearly Half-Million in a Week

“No wonder teacher burnout and turnover are at an all-time high.” Few people turn pages of newspapers.  Fewer people flip their phone apps to the editorial button to read letters to the editor.  And the only thing smaller than the audience for a school board meeting telecast is the audience at an actual school board meeting. But in just over a week, nearly half a million people have heard why an Illinois teacher has had her heart broken too many times by the new politics of school systems’ reliance upon test scores and disregard for teacher worth. It’s not slick, like last winter’s Ed Asner-narrated modern fractured fairy tale that illustrated the California Teacher’s Union struggle:   The Asner video created more of a backlash against its production value and thus fogged over the facts that were present within its narration.  In fact, Ellie’s resignation resides in its complete lack… Read More…