There was an organized student protest at school yesterday. Students were protesting the recent fee increases. The big complaint is why raise the fees and cut class and have instructor furloughs at the same time. I once had a professor from an American Studies class I took in the spring of last year, who said that if we students spoke up more, were more vocal and visible voicing our opposition to fee increases, our fees wouldn’t be so high. He said that because most students are too reticent, too quiet, and usually aren’t too politically active, is why the state can raise fees as they wish especially in view of no challenges. He assured us that if more students were more vocal, fees wouldn’t be so high. I think that the current national mood towards student protesting is much more subtle and lower key then, say, during the turbulent 60’s and the Vietnam War. I don’t know why that’s so.

Wow Henry’s has a sale on red seedless grapes for $.49/lb. That’s super cheap. Usually it’s 2-3 dollars. Tomorrow will be our first quiz in the mutlimedia class. It will be mostly Web terms.


9.30.09 Mountain Retreat


I was driving on a rain-slicked highway in the mountains during a heavy rain storm. I was carrying a lot of stuff, as if I was moving. There was some construction going on on the right side, but there were no workers. I arrived at some kind of resort high in the mountains. There were lots of other people, mostly students and classmates, just hanging around the place, waiting for something. There were some rustic cabins, and the area was hilly and sunlight was blocked by the forest canopy. I got out my skateboard and started riding around the hilly terrain. There was another guy on a longboard skate, going up and down the hills. It seemed like we were the only skaters there.

I was going to a classroom on the first day of school. The seating was in the traditional arrangement. The class was some kind of humanities class, like history, but it was a subject I was very excited about. I was one of the first ones to arrive, then the class filled up quickly shortly afterwards. The teacher was a lady. The setting was very unusual. There was a large central forum, where individual classrooms lined the perimeter.



Wow I just finished watching two 70’s thriller flicks this past week, both on Youtube! One was a sci-fi movie called Andromeda Strain (1971) and the other was a low-grade horror called Shock Waves (1977). Andromeda Strain is about a team of scientists investigating an extraterrestrial germ in an underground facility set up for germ warfare. The ending was very tense as one of the team members had to climb a ladder in the central core to get to a station and insert his key to stop the nuclear detonation, because the detonation would spread the germ as it feeds off radiation. When the laser hits his hand that’s holding the key, we see the key dropping in slow motion, but in the next clip, we see that the key is actually still tied to his wrist, and we are relieved.  Excellent directing and editing. There’s some scientific lingo here, and I remember after completing my high school biology class, I could finally understand what they’re talking about. When I first saw this movie when I was a little kid, I couldn’t sleep that night. I was too scared. I mean, seeing people’s blood turn to red powder freaked me out and was way too frightening for me at the time.

BTW I think the original is still far, far better than the 2008 remake. The remake was so plain and generic. I don’t remember the plot, the characters or anything of that movie. Too much computer FX.

Shock Waves is about a small group of tourists who get stranded on an island inhabited by a Nazi scientist who controls this group of super-soldier Nazi zombies that, obviously, go on a rampage after our tourists. Horror veteran Peter Cushing played the role of the Nazi hermit, in the same evil, sinister, deranged way he played Gov. Tarkin of the Death Star. Shock Waves came out the same year as Star Wars, so I wonder which movie he had worked on first. I guess you could check imdb.com. This cheap horror flick, along with its eerie soundtrack, is perfect to watch on a late Saturday night just before you hit the sack. In fact that’s when I first saw it – I was channel surfing one late Saturday night looking for something good to watch, and as I was doing so, I came across this low-grade zombie movie.

9.27.09 Gothic Yearbook


I was living in a coastal town. The weather was cloudy and grey. I was preparing to depart on a two week vacation on a cruise ship. Somewhere outside this town but more towards the inland, I was hiking through a country-setting of hills and creeks, rustic roads and grassy fields, on my way to go to someone’s house or to school or work.

I went to visit a classmate friend who lived in a woodsy foresty area in view of several mountain tops. His house had wooden exteriors and a patio deck. From the deck I could see dirt trails leading to the summits of these mountains. I got the feeling this was somewhere in northern California. From here I went hiking on a trail with a girl classmate. In a dense forested area, we meet up with a guy who gave us instructions for a class assignment. He came with on old hardback book that was wrapped in plastic and was about to fall apart. It looked like it was about 100 years old. He removed the plastic and the girl and I examined the book. It contained pictures of mostly college-age people that were somehow associated with a segment of the music industry that specialized in the gothic/horror genre. He told us that our assignment was to create a flyer for a fictitious rock show that would cater to the type of people pictured in the book. I immediately had an idea in mind. It was to have a black background, gothic fonts, a white border and pictures of the band(s).

The girl and I continued the hike. We found a spot to rest, and some rocks to sit on. We talked about school. It seems she was a newcomer to whatever school we were attending. I told her about my geography class, how I learned about latitude and longitude and degrees and how well I did in it.

Near the end of the Goldeneye movie, there is a screenshot of a computer screen showing the coordinates of London, the target of the laser weapon, at 51.30N  00.10W. I remember learning in geography class that London is designated the 0.0 degree longitude (Prime Meridian, “P.M.”, and the opposite end of the globe is the Ante Meridian, “A.M.”), so the movie would be correct. (the 00.10W means “.10 degrees west longitude”).  About the flyer, I was no doubt thinking about the upcoming mutlimedia projects I have. In preparation for one of these projects, I watched a clip of “The Love Boat”, an early 80’s TV show set on a cruise ship, on Youtube last night. I was amazed at how small cruise ships were back then.


I just finished writing the script for my 30-sec Lost parody for a class project. We have a choice of either using Flash or motion video, as long as the project was constructed on a timeline. To help in preparing for this project, I watched the 2-part ’09 season finale on hulu.com. Part of the name of my project is “Convergence Meltdown.” When Lost first debuted on ABC, I watched the first few episodes but soon stopped because there was just a little too much drama going on between the characters for my preference. But I think that’s what makes that show a hit series. At the time, I got stuck watching Heroes instead. Over at CBS, I followed the action between two midwest towns in Jericho.

Today is the last of the 96-degree days, says the local forecast. Finally. I hope that’s true. I’m so tired of this persistent heat. Starting tomorrow, the temperature will be upper 80’s and lower.  I’ve been wearing short pants to school every day since school started.

9.26.09 Ghost Town Tavern

I was on a road trip through a dry and hot desert-like region with gentle hills and made a stop at a town in the middle of a valley. Half of the town was alive, the other half was like a deserted ghost town. I went to a little tavern/cafe on a side street off of the main strip. There was a live band playing. The place was crowded and busy. I lady I knew was playing the keys, which was in another area away from the main stage. When I left the tavern, I crossed the main street and as I was walking I saw lots of tourists disembarking from tour busses.

I was at school, in the library, on one of the middle floors. It was open to the floor below and there were catwalks to get to the other side of the building. The library resembled more like an industrial factory. There were lots of other students. I was in between classes.

Maybe I was thinking of going through central California on the way to the mountains. I was watching Goldeneye the night before on Youtube which includes a scene in a Russian chemical plant.

9.25.09 Northwest City

I was living in an outlying hilly area and was driving around on a very congested interstate highway during a heavy downpour. I was driving an import mini truck. I was entering a large metropolitan city that had lots of industrial sites, rush hour traffic, and there was at least one large body of water somewhere nearby, as I saw bridges and pavement that rose into the air to let cargo ships through. It seemed like a city on the west coast and that it was in an area that’s usually under clouds and had rainy weather, like the Pacific Northwest. I was going to a man’s house to work on a video production project for a school assignment. When I arrived at the his house, the rain had stopped and he and a couple of guys, who could have been my classmates, were playing football in the front yard. I had to park in a neighbor’s driveway.

The night before I was watching a little of Grey’s Anatomy on abc.com to help with an assignment for my interactive media class. The show is set in Seattle.