Saturday, March 27, 2010

Making of Vajeweled

I listen to Bob and Tom almost everyday. A few weeks ago they did a segment about how some women will get stuff like rhinestones glued to their pubic area in various patterns. They did a live "Vajazzling" on the air. While that was going on I thought what could I do to make this rather fascinating subject sick and twisted. Out of the blue; "Vajeweled."

Putting it together wasn't as easy as you may think. At first I thought I could just swap out the backgrounds of Bejeweled, but getting screen shots were just too big. The picture became somewhat distorted after shrinking it down. I did try to use the Bejeweled graphics but they were too junked up. A lot of excess pixels needing to be cleaned up.

So I decided to come up with the boxes myself.

I used Paint Shop Pro because I could put all the lines on a separate layer so that way it wouldn't mess up the background image. And I could easily move stuff around once I had it drawn up. Once I figured out that the default settings were screwing things up and took me five minutes to find out that the "mirror" command works the same as "Flip" in MS Paint the thing came together rather quickly.

I used the jewels directly from Bejeweled, but there was something odd. Whenever I pasted them over, the quality degraded. The jewels are saved as a GIF and I was importing them into a BMP environment. I do that all the time with no problem. But here? It would happen with 7 Paint and XP Paint. Even going into a PNG environment. I haven't tried using Paint Shop Pro or some other program because it really doesn't matter.

So what was so difficult? Choosing the background picture. I went through hundreds of sites and thousands of pictures of women in bikinis, thongs, panties, shorts, leggings, leotards, swimsuits, and so on and so forth. Don't worry, I was, and definitely still am, certainly up to this hard challenge. I think I came up with the right picture and can't wait for the next challenge.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ever being on the bleeding edge

I shall now talk about an episode of Family Guy that aired a month ago. It's the one that Chris fell in love with the down-syndrome girl. She was portrayed as a mean spirited bitch. That got all sorts of media pundits in a tizzy. I don't blame them. Knowing of some of those people I can see where such a character can hit a really sensitive spot.

I however think it was much ado over nothing. It wasn't the dominant story of that particular episode. More like a C story. And, that character hasn't been seen since. The people criticizing Family Guy for having had such a character obviously don't watch Family Guy. Admittedly I've only been watching Family Guy for over a couple of months now. But I've noted that the writers will do just about anything for a laugh, with the glowering approval of the Fox Corporate Lawyers.

My local Fox affiliate airs two episodes of Family Guy a day. From 1999 to 2008. Not long after the down-syndrome bit, an episode of Peter playing being retarded aired. Twenty whole minutes of Peter kicking in doors in the female bathroom and throwing dishes around and using the excuse "I'm retarded." I didn't laugh at all through out that episode. That was the one the media talking heads should have been all over. They probably were, I just don't pay any mind to those evening news shows.

Personally, I had no trouble with the episode. Other than that particular bit wasn't funny. I think they made that down-syndrome girl character that way just to tweak people. And it worked. The particular people commenting about it have an audience that probably doesn't watch Family Guy. Until now. I imagine most of the critics' audience will believe what the critics say and not give it a second thought. Others will want to see it for themselves and look it up. Family Guy probably lost some viewers and gained some new ones.

When watching the Family Guy, I get offended, I find stuff not funny. But, I've noted that me being pissed off over something is far outweighed by my on the ground holding my sides peeing in my pants laughter. I have nearly gotten to the point of throwing up because I was laughing so hard.

There's a lot not to like, there's a lot to like. If you don't like it, just follow my 85 year old grandma's advice: Turn it off.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Now That The 2009 Movie Season is Finally Over

Let me extend it by another week.

Last year there were two movies that took me by surprise at how good they were. The first one was GI Joe. I believed the hype and didn't see it in the theater. It disappeared out of the full priced theaters in my area in under in about a week. But, what surprised me was how long it lasted in the dollar theater. It was there for over a month.

Theaters will not keep a turkey of a movie because they need people's butts in the seats and buying popcorn. Even the dollar theater will drop a movie in an instant. 12 Rounds was in and gone in under a week. I think it lasted a little longer in the dollar theater than in the full priced theater. GI Joe was hanging in there even longer than did Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I still didn't go and see it. I was more interested in watching Star Trek, again. (The theater was PACKED for a four month old film on a Saturday night.)

Yeah, I know, Saturday night, Star Trek. Go ahead and make your little jokes.

Anyway, some time later a buddy of mine hooked me up with the DVD of GI Joe and told me I had to watch it. So I did. It was a lot better than I was led to believe. Far from the worst, and certainly far from the best, It was worth the time I spent watching it. (Once again on a Saturday.)

I think that the makers somehow knew this movie was going to bomb and tried to cram in as much as possible in case there wasn't to be a sequel. Which bogged it down quite a bit. About a half an hour to forty-five minutes could have been cut and maybe placed in the direct to DVD GI Joe 2.

The second movie was The Goods. The DVD was given to me by the same guy. He said that if I liked the Hangover I will like this one. He was right. I laughed all the way through it. I thought why did this movie bomb out so quick? I came up with two reasons. The first was it was over hyped. There were commercials all over TV. Every time I turned on the radio some actor from the movie was giving an interview. I myself was pretty sick of it. I'm sure a lot of other people were to.

The other reason I can fathom for The Goods failure is Jeremy Pivens's and Ken Jeong's appearance on Monday Night Raw. I don't remember much about it, but what sticks out in my mind is that these two actors decided to play heel, they called the crowd a bunch of idiots, and talk about themselves being Hollywood elite. They got their assess beat by John Cena. I knew the instant that Pivens and Jeong did that, The Goods was going to bomb. Apparently they didn't learn from Kevin Federline's stint.

Now, apart from that, The Goods had two things going for it that The Hangover didn't: no sausage, and (even if it was on a TV screen) BOOBIES!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Over Comming Vista

It has been over four months since I installed Windows 7. Now what is the cultural significance of four months? That's about how long I played with Vista before giving up.

In the time that Win 7 has been running I've come across many a bug that had to be squashed. From Music Match to Power DVD, Soundblaster and even the Blue Scream of Death. (You should have heard me when my video drivers gave me the bird.) And, going so far as to hack stuff with Linux; I have swatted all but one: MS Paint.

I have a dream job, that is to be a head slapper. I would loom over the shoulder of some programmer and when they do something like remove the ability to draw a two pixel wide line I then would slap the back of said programmer's head.

Now normally the speech boxes I use are two pixels wide. One is barely visible, three looks too fat. Now to do two I have to click the box tool, click to bring up the width menu, click one signal pixel, click and drag, click far away from the box to deactivate the handlers, click and drag again, click far away to deactivate again. In XP Paint I click the line tool, click two pixel width, click the box tool, and click and drag.

7 Paint: seven steps.
XP Paint: four steps.

That is where the term triple-clicking comes from.

Stuff like that had me wishing for Vista Paint and even XP Paint. So I fire up XP Mode to see if I can get XP Paint to work as a virtual app in Win 7. I worked at it for awhile, but then an idea occurred: could I just copy/paste the whole program over? I have a version of MS Works I copied from an old computer I bought ten years ago. It still works! Now will MS Paint do the same? YES! XP Paint works on Win 7. That way I don't have to wait for XP Mode to boot up.

But, and there always is a big but, there is till a fatal flaw: random canvas transparencies. When I highlight an object and place it over another random bits of canvass show up. Even with the transparency turned on. This happens in both versions. There is a way around it, cut or copy/paste.

By the way, Vista Paint does not work in Win 7.

There is a lot of good to say about 7 Paint. Stuff I've been wanting for years. 7 Paint has a section for custom colors that doesn't replace the default colors for the duration of the document. Eleven zoom levels. Text at each level of zoom, not just one. Shape Selection and each one you can live preview line fill and center fill! I just discovered that while writing this out.

I do use 7 Paint a majority of the time. I however use XP Paint for the finishing touches on a comic.

After all this. The bitching, whining, pissing, moaning, waking up with a cold sweat, I will say I am sticking with Windows 7. Now, If yet another hard drive fails and I have to reinstall, and someone is holding a gun to my head and says I can't use Win 7, I would not go to XP, I would choose Vista.