100% All-Natural Composition
No Artificial Intelligence!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Various and sundry updates for 11-13-2007

It's 2:53 a.m. in the morning and I'm up making tea and working on a new website and some other stuff at this way late hour. Thought I'd make a post to chronicle the past few days developments...

Ever since Friday night a wazoo-load of e-mails and phone calls have been coming in from good folks who caught my school board commercial on E! Television's The Soup. I'm still a bit overwhelmed by the attention the ad seems to have gained lately, now over a year since it ran (for only a week and a half on WGSR Star 39 in Reidsville). One neat thing that has happened because of it is that I've been hearing from a lot of people that I've somehow lost contact with over the years. I honestly had no idea that The Soup was so popular! I'd heard of it before but until now had never caught it. It's a darned funny show, and I'll certainly be tuning in regularly from now on :-)

By the way, this week's The Soup wound up getting the commercial mentioned in a number of places, including on a website called ParentDish. It is, as the name implies, a resource devoted to parenting and issues related to children. Thanks to Ann Adams for passing along the link as that might be a place that comes in handy and Lord willing hopefully sooner than later ;-)

It now looks like my Toyota Corolla - which was involved in an accident a little over a week ago - is not going to make it. I haven't heard anything official yet, so there is still hope. But right now it's a slim one. That car and I have been through a lot together. And not just the myriad of adventures that I've had with it either. That little Corolla represents a considerable chunk of my life's story. In many ways it embodies much of my personal growth, even. Looking back on the person I was when I got it and what I was going through then, and the person I am now, seven years later...

When I was told yesterday that it might be totaled, the first thing that popped into mind - the thing that most described how I felt upon hearing it - was the destruction of the Enterprise in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock...

"My God, Bones... what have I done?"

But all the same: it's just a car. And nobody was hurt. Life will move on. This chapter has ended. Another begins.

Speaking of Star Trek, during the past few weeks I've been hearing some rather intriguing tidbits about J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek feature film. Enough to finally make me stand up and take notice about the project. I will admit: I'm not the biggest Star Trek fan. I don't know if I've ever been a big Star Trek fan at all. But whenever Star Trek has been at its best, it has never been anything less than astonishing. And whenever it is good, it deserves to be noted. I think that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the all-time greatest movies ever made, I've nothing but fond memories about when Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country came out and the Borg are perhaps the most horrifying and best-realized race of bad guys in all of science-fiction. When Star Trek is hitting on all cylinders, it is worthy of praise. And then when it does stuff like Star Trek: Nemesis, I have to cringe. The only time I saw that movie was a few hours before the midnight premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King almost five years ago. I went to the cinema that night and bought my ticket early and it was cold and raining. The nice ladies at the theater told me that I was welcome to come inside to stay warm and that I could watch Star Trek: Nemesis for free while waiting for The Two Towers. It was sooooo bad, that I don't know if you could have paid me to watch it again. "Star Trek"? More like "Star Drek".

Things got so bad for the franchise, that I've wondered plenty of times if it should be outright abandoned forever.

And then I start reading about J.J. Abrams - one of the people most responsible for Lost - and what he had in mind for Star Trek (that's the full title of the movie right now) and how he wanted to reinvigorate, maybe even relaunch the thing. And then I heard about how Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who scribed Transformers) had been brought aboard to write the script. And then some of the casting: Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, Simon Pegg as Scotty.

And then yesterday I read IESB.net's report on the storyline for Star Trek. And right after that, I saw the first pics of Zachary Quinto - who plays Sylar on Heroes - as the young Spock.

I can't believe that after the unholy convoluted mess that Star Trek had become over the past two decades that Abrams and his crew, apparently, are turning this story into something that is not only exciting but makes sense. It's enough to make me suddenly feeling very hopeful about Star Trek again. If word of this stays good, I will definitely be buying a ticket for Star Trek a little over a year from now.

Speaking of film-making, yesterday I made a bit of an investment in my own, and purchased a Canon HV20, which is an amazing high-definition camcorder! I'll still be using my trusty standard definition Sony Handycam Digital 8 for plenty of stuff, but I'm doing a few projects now that... well, are a bit more ambitious. One of the things that I love about the Canon HV20 is that it has a 24P high-def mode. That's geek-speak for "24 progressive (as opposed to interlaced image) frames per second of high-definition footage", which after you remove the pulldown, this will look very, very much like real film. Okay, a lot of it also depends on lighting and lenses and whatnot, but as opposed to shooting on real film which costs beaucoups of coin this snazzy lil' high-def camera is the best thing on the market right now if you are playing the line between "hobbyist" and "semi-pro". It also has audio input for an external microphone... which is something that I absolutely demanded in a camcorder. And it records on MiniDV tapes, not internal hard-drive or DVD (for which I've never understood the logic).

Finally, about the "Chris Knight for Congress" thing: sometime soon, and I'm putting the finishing touches on this, there's gonna be something that... well, we'll just have to see where it goes. It occurred to me over the weekend that this might make for quite a fascinating experiment: how far can a regular citizen go in running for Congress?

I'm not wealthy. In fact, I'm a struggling small businessman. I don't have powerful connections. A lot of the things that I hold to, and the things that I would do if my running for Congress went all the way to the ballot next November, would not be very popular among those The Powers That Be.

My current assets for this include a blog, a video camera, a set of beliefs that I've developed over the course of many years... and a few friends who are now telling me to go for it.

Long story short: there is going to be a website - an entire, full-fledged website - going up about this soon. It's going to detail a lot more about what I believe and why I'm now considering this. Nothing is changing from my earlier stipulations: I'll run if someone out there starts a petition and it gets enough signatures from voters in the 13th North Carolina congressional district to convince me to run. There's a few other things I'm working on lining up too. If this doesn't go anywhere by the end of the filing period, then I go on to grad school and probably become a teacher and I'll make my films and write and go be a husband and Lord willing a father and I'll die happy.

If this does turn into something more, then I'm going the distance. And serve a few years in Washington and then come home and still be a teacher and filmmaker and writer and husband and father and then die happy.

So I'm not really risking anything here: one way or another, I'll have my fulfilling life. I've just decided to offer a few years of it first to serving others. And there's still no way in hell that I would stay there for more than three terms.

Lots more soon :-)