07 Apr 2014

Captain America – The Winter Soldier: I Miss Being Cap (20 Years Later)

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I’ve talked before about how a few of us created the Secret Adventures of Captain America on a rag tag budget — most being Marvel writers and artists.. for some reason (my masculine and sexy voice perhaps) I had the honor of not only creating the music and sound but being Cap himself.

I was blown away by the movie; fantastic — and when the reveal in the underground barracks in New Jersey (trying not to spoil) — just really smart, very timely and just enough ‘in the real world’ to make everything work. And Falcon’s wings? Badass! Who wouldn’t want those?

It’s amazing how far Marvel has come from the days when we didn’t even know who was going to purchase it, nearly bankrupt, etc. I was doing some fun things at that time, though it was difficult (Marvel was trying to shift to a more interactive web when it wasn’t there 100%; Macromedia had just bought FutureSplash (now Flash) and Macromedia Director (Shockwave) wasn’t even using mp3 compression yet, so all audio had to be uncompressed.

Can’t believe it’s been twenty years as so much has changed – both in the Marvel Universe and our own. I might have to ping a few people and see if I can do some things from up here in CT…

03 Apr 2014

BatteryPOP Dance In: Everything Old is New Again

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I wonder how many generations removed are these kids from knowing who Rowan or Martin are….


03 Apr 2014

Michael Jackson, Music, and Using What You Got

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The King of Pop must’ve been a fantastic, musician, right? An entertainer since he was 7 who had performed for millions, recorded a slew of albums and topped the charts for years must’ve been an accomplished musician, correct? Turns out that even though he could dabble on keyboards and guitars he couldn’t read nor write a note of music. What he DID have though was his ears and his voice.

I had just read the article on NME about The Incredible Way Michael Jackson Wrote Music and was honestly blown away — he would hear the song in his head and record demos only using his voice; slowly building up a song via multi-track recording starting with the bass, note by note of chords, vocal parts, melodies, until it was complete; until he could nearly dictate the notes to the musicians on his albums. The recordings of these examples are phenomenal; pitch perfect he uses his voice to emulate various instruments, percussion, drums…

I’ve got to remember this the next time I think I’ve got to learn something new, or that I just “can’t do it” until I learn X or Y. I’ve got to focus on what I CAN do and just get it done.

As an aside, the recordings of the court case for the song Dangerous are interesting as well — a woman with no real history of a songwriter (not trying to negate anything she’s done but she hadn’t done it professionally yet) – claimed that she had left tapes of her song ‘Dangerous’ for Michael to hear, and that he had ripped off her ideas without crediting her — as if he’d ever need to. The thing that struck me more than anything is that the court didn’t even get how songs are recorded —when Michael was trying to explain that there’d be copies of multitracks of older songs that the engineers had access to (because Dangerous came from a version of an older song named Streetwalker) the prosecuting attorney tried to ‘nail him’ that he wasn’t telling the truth. If anything I’ve got more respect for Michael; he might’ve been odd or kooky; but he had a universe of talent.

02 Apr 2014

Bizarre: #Comcast #Xfinity Blocking Access to GoDaddy IPs?

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Very strange; I couldn’t access the school lunch application I programmed for NicholasMarkets (www.nicholasmarkets.com) and I originally thought that the website was down, but now it seems that I’m unable to access the site because I’m being blocked in some manor.

PING www.nicholasmarkets.com ( 56 data bytes
Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
Request timeout for icmp_seq 2
Request timeout for icmp_seq 3
Request timeout for icmp_seq 4

This is very strange as I was able to access the website only 2 days ago; but not now. I checked via downforeveryone.com that it was, of course, just me. I checked with the IT department of nicholasmarkets.com and they confirmed that yes my traceroute was dying, and opened up a ticket wtih godaddy:

traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets 1 ( 9.218 ms 1.186 ms 0.997 ms
2 * * *
3 te-0-0-0-6-sur01.bristol.ct.hartford.comcast.net ( 14.244 ms 13.032 ms 10.644 ms
4 be-56-ar01.chartford.ct.hartford.comcast.net ( 12.772 ms 12.526 ms 12.360 ms
5 pos-1-4-0-0-ar01.needham.ma.boston.comcast.net ( 20.820 ms 15.357 ms 15.525 ms
6 he-2-6-0-0-cr01.newyork.ny.ibone.comcast.net ( 24.365 ms 20.972 ms 24.568 ms
7 he-4-10-0-0-cr01.ashburn.va.ibone.comcast.net ( 40.198 ms 25.956 ms 27.377 ms
8 he-0-10-0-1-pe07.ashburn.va.ibone.comcast.net ( 25.241 ms 28.994 ms 25.104 ms 9 ( 26.500 ms 40.305 ms 26.669 ms
10 be38.trmc0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg ( 87.338 ms 87.055 ms 97.958 ms
11 be38.trmc0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg ( 88.546 ms 89.883 ms 86.432 ms 12 * * *
13 * * *
14 * * *
15 * * *
16 * * *

I’m trying to hunt down where on xfinity I can submit a support ticket (ugh, some gateway to hell it appears).

Just tried via iPhone / sprint and am able to connect to nicholasmarkets.com; Sprint trumps Xfinity it seems.

22 Nov 2011

WordPress Console

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When I first ‘really’ shifted from Macromedia Director to Macromedia Flash (instead of just using dumb little pieces of Flash within Director) — one of the things I missed most was Director’s message window; this little window allowed one to code completely in short term memory — creating and manipulating objects, as well as creating library (cast) media, or even external files (vLists were fantastic). Flash didn’t – nor still doesn’t — have this type of object manipulation.

When I started dabbling in Ruby, I was happy to find that the IRB worked in a similar was as the Director message window. But lately I’ve been working more in php, and specifically, in wordpress; attempting to setup my development environment to work in a way I’m used to in other languages — with debugging ability more than just printing out log messages. So far I’ve got xDebug up but it seems I’ve either got to allow it to break upon first line (which happens EVERYTIME a page is displayed) or… well that’s really it because breakpoints aren’t working in the php page. Hopefully someone else can point out how this is done..

HOWEVER the one thing I’m really jazzed about is the WordPress Console plugin that I just found via this article that describes it’s use — and I’ve got to say it’s already proving it’s (virtual) weight in gold.

WordPress Console Introduction from Jerod Santo on Vimeo.