April 21, 2007: An Office Weekend

Last night the traffic was so bad that it took me about two hours to get home from the office and it wasn’t even quite rush hour yet! Traffic was awful. Apparently it is spring weekend for a lot of students and it is the first really amazing weekend of the spring anyway so everyone is cutting out of work early and heading to the shore I guess. It was insane. So I lost my chance to play Dragon Quest VIII like I had been hoping.

Two separate orders from Amazon arrived today. The first package was my second battery and a combination wall and car charger for the Canon Elura 60 camcorder. That will make it a lot easier to take videos all of the time. Less need to constantly babysit the one battery. And the second package included three O’Reilly books on filmmaking.

Dominica got home and we went over to Food for Life for dinner. Abdul happened by before our food came out so he came in and joined us.

After dinner we watched Full House and just relaxed as both of us had really long drives home and I have to be up early tomorrow for work.

I got myself out of bed at half past six this morning. Nothing like getting up bright and early on a Saturday. I continue my week of little sleep. I took my time getting ready and was into the office around half past eight. Today could be a normal eight hour kind of a day or it could easily stretch into sixteen hours or more. But it is a casual weekend work day with lots of people in the office in jeans with pizza, donuts and bagels all day. It is rather fun.

I link to Scott Adams a lot and today is no exception: Scott Adam’s on Outsourcing the US Government to India. Scott leaves out an important point, though, that most people would superficially be concerned about the language, or more appropriately the accent barrier, between the US and India but in reality we have already dealt with this issue with President Bush who has both an accent and absolutely no comprehension of the English language. So it is really a moot point.

Having a slow day at the office is great from time to time. I did some catching up on my reading. I read Game Informer that came in the mail last night. But that didn’t take long. Games that interest me are few and far between. The only game coming out soon that I am interested in is Dawn of Mana and that doesn’t come out for a month and a day and I don’t find it very likely that I am going to run out and pick it up the first day. I might not even get to it this year. I still have to finish Dragon Quest VIII and then the plan is to move onto Final Fantasy X which I already own. Those two should last me for quite a while yet. But a good investment the PlayStation 2 was.

I took care of some homework too while I was in the office. I forgot to bring my textbook with me so I was not able to wrap up all of my weekend work but there is just one paper that I need to write yet for this week so it isn’t a big deal to do it at home at some point. Dominica is spending the day working on her Systems Analysis and Design homework.

While I was sitting around the office this morning I started reading my new book “DV Filmmaking: From Start to Finish” by Ian David Aronson. I interspersed reading with watching back episodes of Floaters.

In Episode 3 of Floaters they deal with someone being offered a permanent job as an administrative assistant and making quite a bit more money than they were able to make in their regular job. I liked that episode because it deals specifically with something that I have railed against for years – people accepting “jobs” that pay too well in lieu of holding out for “career” positions. It happens to people all of the time and really hampers personal and professional growth. It often happens to twenty-somethings. They have a low end job that they are holding down while trying to break into whatever it is that they want to do or maybe they are just floating along waiting to figure out what it is that they want to do. Then they get into a position, often in shift management or some sort of service position, that pays more money than it seems like it should and in order to ever make a move into a career position with upward mobility they would have to take a huge paycut and lose seniority even though it would only take a few years to be doing way better than they were when they took the cut. But taking a pay cut is really difficult and a lot of people can’t do it no matter who obvious it is that the move would be better for them in the long run. So I really liked that episode.

Floaters is really impressive as an Internet-only television show. It is fully produced and acted with professional actors, filmed well, lighted, etc. The big mistake that I feel that they make is that they make the show only available via streaming flash video which isn’t the best quality or most convenient way to watch things online. Lots of people like streaming videos because they are really simple for casual viewers but the problem is that once someone is hooked on a show they become far less likely to want to watch it streaming online. The streaming concept became popular from YouTube, Google Video and Blip and is perfect for what they do but for a complete television series it is seldom the right choice. Serious viewers want a number of additional options. They might want to be able to download the show for portable viewing on a video iPod or a Creative Zen Vision. They might want to subscribe via FireAnt or Democracy – they used to offer this feature but they took it away at the end of the first season so only the “online” viewing is currently available. Fortunately the show is offered in a decent resolution – much higher than what you get currently from YouTube or many other streaming sources. But because of the integrated flash player the show can’t be shown on computers without flash but more importantly you can’t view it full screen. I want to watch the show full screen, maybe on the television, and I would like to watch the episodes intact. But each episode is broken up into five segments which is a neat release mechanism but for serious viewing it makes the show feel like a vlog rather than real television. It is also rough having to watch titles and credits five times per episode – it gets old quickly. The show is done so well that it is very unfortunate that it is crippled by its technological implementation. Hopefully they will correct this in the future.

I thought that the day was going to end up being no longer than eight hours but it ended up turning into a decently long day.  I was finally able to leave after eleven hours!  So I am posting and heading home.

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