Friday, March 27, 2009

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet Goes the Twitters

FunnyCommentaryAs hard as it is to believe, being as funny as I am (pats self on back), I have relatively few followers on Twitter. I know, I know it is difficult to believe . I mean, after all, someone with my obvious powers of wit and charm should be able to elicit a grand following without much effort - but sadly, that is not the case.

In order to combat this fact, I've decided to create a Top 20 list describing all the means necessary to propel oneself into Twitter stardom - or as it is known, the twittersphere.

Once in the twittersphere, you will find yourself in the presence of, non-other then: Wil Wheaten, Brittany Spears, MC hammer, Scott Bourne, "Weird" Al, William Shatner, Greg Grunberg, LeVar Burton and Brent Spiner - all of which, have never replied to me. Not once. Man I suck.

So here's my Top 20 list, as recently posted on Twitter.

  1. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.1 Twitter at peak times. By "peak times" I mean "the time during the day when NOT @ your computer".

  2. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.2: Be famous. People will follow you in HOPES that at some point THEY will get the @ at THEM.

  3. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.3: Give stuff away. Done. I gave away FREE AIR to everyone in the Twittersphere. New followers = 0.

  4. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.4: Have something useful to say. Well, I say "Follow me". See there, that is useful to ME.

  5. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.5: Post links to stuff that either does not exist yet or that no one can afford, except the No.2s

  6. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.6: Eat lots of greens & fiber. It may not help you get followers, but a good BM is it's own reward.

  7. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.7: "RT" all the stuff you were too lame to come up with on your own. 2nd hand fame. For the WIN!

  8. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.8: Blog where U post about Twitter. Twitter about your blog where U post about Twitter. Repeat.

  9. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.9: eMail EVERYONE of your contacts. Say "All U did to me will be forgiven if U follow me. NOW!"

  10. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.10: Run around your 'hood, naked wearing a cape & flippers. Pics on the web gets U closer to No.2

  11. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.11: Tweet till your fingers bleed. Dismiss No.s 1-10. It's all about post quantity NOT quality.

  12. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.12: Hire the "Fail Whale" to eat Wil Wheaton @wilw. Gather his followers as they look 4 guidance.

  13. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.13: #everything! #your dog. #your momma. #your meat. Oh, your sick just for THINKING that. Weirdo!

  14. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.14: Go to Panda Express & threaten to pee in the lemonade unless all there follow U. Do it anyway.

  15. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.15: Post on Craigslist the following: "MWM seeking Twitter peeps. It will not violate your parole."

  16. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.16: Create a "Top ways to get followers on Twitter:" list ... and be funny, damn it. ©Mr. Joatmon.

  17. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.17: Tweet to yourself. ie: @MrJoatmon blah blah blah. It may not help but people will be like, WTF?

  18. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.18: Use Cash4Gold. Sell wife's ring. Take $ and buy 51% of Twitter stock. Your company, your rules.

  19. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.19: Pay nude skydivers to fall over the Vatican in @MrJoatmon formation. The Pope loves that stuff.

  20. Top ways to get followers on Twitter. No.20: After making a "Top 20" list, RT it in its entirety for all who missed it the 1st time. WIN!

So, does the top twenty list work? Well, during the time I posted the list, My followers increased by a staggering 400%, bringing me to an all time high of ten. Go me!

Special update: since writing this post, my followers have dropped 10%. 10%, in ten minutes! Man, these people are fickle! Do they do that to you too? How do you take it? Are you made of Kevlar? Steal? Titanium? Adamantium? Share, will ya!?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Internet Explorer 8, Cool Browser or Spawn from M$ Hell?

TechnologyUgg. Are we here already? I just got brave enough to install IE7 last month because I figured that after this much time, the bugs should be pretty much worked out. Now, [insert fanfare sound bite] we have IE8 to swoop in and save us from all the pesky stability. Yea!
  • Who needs a browser that does not hog all your resources?
  • One that, when it goes down (and you know it will), does not take your entire system with it?
  • A browser with whom you can trust to not drive you completely insane within mere days after installation/reinsatllation/re-reinstallation?
TechnologyNot me, I tell ya! Give me some of that good old M$ crash and burn action that I have come to love and expect with every new release. Mmm mmm good! Smells like frustration!

So, for all you braver-then-me souls out there that want to toss the dice and see if M$'s new browser has somehow managed to shake its moniker of 'Internet Exploder' and become the browser we all wish it were, you can download the latest incarnation by clicking THIS LINK ...

... but don't say I didn't warn you.

On a side note, I just noticed that is says it's not compatible with Windows '98. What's up with that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

MediaWow! This looks cool and I'm sure my children will love it! Of course, they love most things ... they're not very picky about their viewing options being 11, 5 and 3. If the toob is on, they watch.

Seeing this title does take me back, though.

[start wobbly flashback]

I remember (vaguely, since it was so long ago) reading this book as a kid. I was sitting next to a decaying T-Rex that fell in the tar pit, and thinking that it was pretty spiffy and neat-o, all while trying to shoo away 3" saber-toothed crotch crickets with a knurly club. Good times. Good times ...

[end wobbly flashback]

Well, I guess I was not the only one who thought that since it is coming to a theater near you on October 16th of this very year. That is 2009 ... for those who were not paying attention.

Looking over the cast on IMDB, I am only able to recognize a couple names. Those being: Forest Whitaker, who voices the Wild Thing and Tom Noonan who voices Douglas - who ever that is. The rest of the voice talent are folks that I either do not know or are off my radar. Because, Unlike my children, I am picky about what I watch. Mostly.

For those of you who don't know, here is a bit of info on the original book from our old friend, Wikipedia:

Where the Wild Things Are was written by Maurice Sendak, and is a children's picture book originally published by Harper & Row in 1963. The book is about the imaginary adventures of a young boy named Max, who is punished for making mischief, by being sent to his room without supper. Max wears a distinctive wolf suit during his adventures and encounters various mythical creatures, the 'Wild Things'. Although just ten sentences long, the book is generally regarded as a classic of American illustrated children's literature.

One thing I can say is I'm glad that they waited this long to make it. Anytime before now would have presented a ton of problems in the CGI department - that's a lot of hair!

So is this animuppet (animated muppet) movie going to be a stellar hit? Or go down in the annals of video lore as a close rival to the 1980's Popeye?

You tell me! I'll wait here while you post.

[start wobbly flashback ... again]

Mixes, MashUps & Loops in the 21st Century

MusicTechnologyAs much as you might think that this post is going to be about cake mix, mashed potatoes and Fruit Loops (all of which are quite worthy of their own 'day in the blog sun') I must confess that it is not.

We will now have a brief moment of silence to mourn that fact.



Okay, now that that heartbreak is gone, I want to delve into the Wide World of Music.

One of the newer trends in house and dance music is to take all or part of one song and combine it with a different song. When this is done, you get a new song that is the composite of the originals and altogether different from both. Mixes and mashups.

In order to understand what it is that I am speaking of, let me set the basic definition of the terms that we will use in class today.
  • Mix / Mixes: the audio engineer takes the vocal portion of a song (the audio track(s)) and creates new music behind that established vocal audio. Same words with the same tune to new background music (background track(s)).

  • MashUp: the audio engineer takes the audio track of a song and overlays it on top of the background track of a different song. A mashup can contain any number of audio tracks as well as background tracks, thus increasing the mixing complexity of the mashup. In most cases, the resulting song will not contain 100% of any of the original material - vocals or background tracks. A mashup is a mix, but not necessarily the opposite.

  • Loops: a loop is a common part of most mixes and mashups, that when repeated, create a continuous audio line with no breaks. In general, a loop is a small portion of a song that is a certain number of bars/measures long that makes for clean repetition. In standard 4/4, time a loop will usually be 4, 8 or 16 measures long. These loops will be strung together in order to create longer passages of music.

    A loop can be represented visually, quite easily. Take the numerical sequence 1,2,3,2 and consider it a loop. When strung together in the audio software, the sequence creates a repeating pattern. Thusly:

    1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2 . . .
With the propagation of digital instruments and their prolific infiltration in to most musical genres, extracting good loops (samples) from music has become extremely easy. Beyond that, being digital in nature and created with computer controlled tempo instruments, these songs are perfectly in time - making it easy to match one loop to another with computer software. One such software, and the one I use the most, is Sony's, Acid Music Studio.

When we consider the ample amount of music that we have available to us in the 21st century, and the power those computers and SW command, the number of mixes and mashups that can be assembled is truly unlimited. If you can dream up a combination, with enough time and effort you could even mix Van Beethoven with VanHalen.

With all that said, I have found that with my musical abilities and love for computing, I can create some pretty cool audio compositions without having to go the synthesizer and hammer it all out by hand - and I don't have to rack my brain trying to come up with completely new material in order to have an original song at the end of the process.

Like all good mixers and mashup artists, I have to have a cool handle to show my, well, coolness. So like The Kleptones, DJ Zebra and the like, I am now to be known (mix/mash musically) as Beau Austin Mix.

For your enjoyment I have given you an example of three different types of compositions showing mix, mashup and a song composed completely of loops, that are not part of any other song. Just loops for loops sake.

NOTE: These are HIGH QUALITY MP3 files and may take a while to load, so please be patient.

  • Mix: Micheal Jackson - Smooth Criminal vocal track with new background music.

    Beau Austin Mix - Techno Criminal

  • Mashup: A mashup of Run DMC- Walk This Way, Queen - Another One Bites The Dust and Janet Jackson - Nasty vocal track.

    Beau Austin Mix - Run Queen Janet

  • Loop Mix:

    Beau Austin Mix - High Desert Riders

Please let me know what you think by posting your comments below. And when you do, all posters will get a free gift from me - the gift of AIR - all you can breathe for the rest of your natural days! I'm really generous, that way.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Goodbye, Dear Friends

Commentary A quick note before this post: If you wish to listen to the music I was listening to when I wrote this entry, click play below to hear Bear McCreary's - Passacaglia. I feel that it does help in setting the mood.

- Mr. Joatmon

It never ceases to amaze me how deeply our emotions can get entangled into the lives, hopes, dreams, sorrows and joys, of not only people we have never met, but people that are not even real. You can harbor love, hate, detestation, pride and loathing for someone who, in all reality, is noting more then the brain-child of a gifted writer and completely devoid of any corporeal substance. Yet, this is completely normal.

You have spent hours in getting to know these folks just as you have your family and acquaintances. You have heard them tell you all about their triumphs and losses. You can recognize their voice in a crowd. You know their temperament and often their favorite foods and locations. Their past has been displayed before you to assimilate and digest, so you know where they are coming from. You have felt embarrassed for them when the situation has been uncomfortable and you have cried with them when they are hurting. Even though these people are no more real then the monster under the bed or the Easter bunny, you give them willingly of your time and feelings - something that, is in fact, quite real and tangible.

Some will ask how you can get involved to such a degree, as to become emotionally attached, to a figment of anothers imagination ... and that question is valid, if not somewhat callus. For those of us who opt to let themselves become bonded to these formless friends, the answer is straight forward - there is a connection between you. A transparent relationship that defies reality and physicality. You are connected at an emotional level, and why not? In this type relationship, that is all there is.

Why do we make these connections and forge these relationships with the imaginary? Because, in the simplest sense, we are supposed to - that was the authors intent from the start. To catch us by the ethereal threads of our minds and hearts and manipulate them to a certain 'end'. To guide us to a destination of not our choosing, via actual or implied images and through words, in print or audible.

Why do we let this happen? Because we hope that, by the end of the journey, we will be better for it. Better informed. Better enlightened. Raised up. Shown new realities. Been angered to action or moved to emotional release. Whatever the outcome, we chose to start this voyage with the intention of gleaning something from it ... and it is up to us as to what that something is. For everyone is different and each will 'see' the portion that best applies to them and act accordingly to it. Disbelief. Amazement. Satisfaction. Tears.

These friends we have made, are more then the words on the page or two dimensional images on the screen- flat and uninteresting. To us, they are as real as we choose to flesh them out in our minds and hearts. Yes, the people on a screen are often easier to connect with because they do have a face and a voice - as real as the actor that portrays the character but no less as engaging as those that well arranged words on a page will illicit within our minds-eye.

With the all the above stated and in it's clumsily arranged manor (as is my fashion), I want to say 'thank you' to all involved in the creation of some of my newest fantasy friends and comrades. Form creation to final execution, your work has been greatly appreciated by this observer of your gracious efforts.

To all my friends aboard the Battlestar Galactica, I bid you a saddened yet hopeful, Goodbye.

You are finally home ... rest ...

... and know ...

... you are already missed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Little Something To Check Out

CommentaryI was flipping over todays Twitter posts and came across a post from Levar Burton about him being the very FIRST guest (Samm Levine was the second) on the brand new Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, and I must say: man, was it rough. The show, was in fact funny, but the first 45 minutes of audio was rather intolerable. Now, as Kevin said throughout the show, "... this is live" and "... we're not ready" and that point was very obvious. By the end, the sound was MUCH better as was the camera work - overall quite watchable.

With that said, Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show is a live streaming video talk-show seen every Sunday, 5pm, PST, at - check it.