The Metal Gods Return to Phoenix: Judas Priest & Heaven and Hell

August 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Concert, Metal, Rock | Leave a comment
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Metal Gods

Metal Gods

As the storm broke above our heads, The Priest rolled onto the stage in all of their studded-leather glory.

Just moments before, Dio and his bandmates from the Black Sabbath days; known on this tour as Heaven and Hell, had rocked the venue hard.

Dio, seemingly still as spry as ever mesmerized the crowd with his vocal stylings and his mystical, theatrical gesturing. Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice all showed that age is not a factor when you are a metal god. They rocked as hard now as they ever have, and all of those years together have created one tight-sounding, polished-looking stage show.

But, I digress…back to The Priest.

The clouds above our heads darkened as lightning flashes filled the sky. Onstage, the backdrop of a huge Nostradamus face glowed red, whilst electron blue light beams scanned the stage. The band took their places as smoke poured forth in true metal show fashion. Halford, as usual made his entrance from a point high on stage, off to the side just to keep the crowd guessing. Tonight, he was dressed in a full length leather (possibly pleather to appease PETA) adorned with more studs than I think even he is used to wearing. From where we were standing (way, way out on the lawn)  I couldn’t tell if the studs themselves were golden, or if they just lit him in a shower of golden light causing his studs to glow like Tut’s gold.

The show ran like any great metal show should. They introduced some new stuff throughout the night, and played some more obscure stuff that only true metal fans would know. Luckily everyone in attendance, was a true metal fan and sang along. Then, just as the skies poured forth buckets upon the crowd – the real fun began. Halford played his little vocal coaching game that he seems to love so much.

He sings something easy like “whoa whoa yeah” and the crowd repeats. This continues on for quite awhile, each phrase getting longer and more complex. By the end of it, if you haven’t passed out from stretching your lungs like you haven’t done in 20 years, you should be covering at least an octave and a half, maybe two! Voila… voice lessons from the Metal Master himself, and you didn’t even realize you were learning something in the process. I’m sure that as individuals, we were all pretty off-key, but as a crowd we sounded damned good! For those of us that have attended Priest shows before, we all knew what was coming as Rob reeled around, and pulled the microphone close to his mouth…and we shouted in unison “You’ve Got Another thing Coming” as KK and Glenn started the opening riffs of the song.

Yeah, of course at some point (perhaps after the vocal lesson, perhaps before I don’t recall) he fired up the motorcycle and rode it out on stage. You really can’t tell from the photo above, but between his jacket and that bike you could have been blinded if you were to stare too long. It took quite a bit of Photoshop to get that photo toned down from the blinding light that occupied the middle!

Once the bike is on stage, and the vocal lessons are done, the Priest likes to play some hard, pounding anthems. They did. The heads banged, the band rocked, the lights flashed, the rain poured. The Metal lived on…

Searching For Bigfoot: HomePage

August 20, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Searching For Bigfoot: HomePage.

Hoax. Question answered

Art and web design by Matthew James Taylor

August 20, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Dreamweaver, HTML, Test, Web Browser, Web Development | Leave a comment
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Art and web design by Matthew James Taylor.

If you are looking for some of the slickest CSS web-design stuff around, look no further. This man has put together some of the best stuff I have seen. He writes in an easy to understand and follow format, and explains very well what is happening behind the scenes.

His designs are all diagrammed in separate colors, so you can easily follow his at-first-seemingly-complex nested structures, but once you have looked into the inner workings of a few of them, you will see that they mostly follow a common concept, involving one more level of DIV tags then you would think.

I had been playing around with similar concepts of mutliple column page structures, and the positioning was driving me nuts! After checking his concepts and designs – it is all becoming clearer now. I was using one too few DIVs and had made some pretty basic positioning mistakes.

My kudos go out to this CSS wizard! Check him out. You can download templates, or just read his articles. Great site.

Looking for an all-around great camera?

August 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Photography | Leave a comment
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It seems that I am getting a lot of my traffic from people doing searches about the Olympus SP-560UZ. So, I figured I would write a little about it.

It is  a great camera, with all of the cool features many people crave. Sure, its not going to fit well into your  shirt pocket, but it actually it fits pretty well into the pockets on your cargo shorts, if you are traveling with it! It’s also fairly light, so it’s not a bother to lug around all day while sightseeing. However, it is heavy enough to let you know this is a real piece of camera gear.

The optics are great. It goes from 28-476mm, although EXIF data from it reports much wider than that at times, not sure why. It does face detection, has Image Stabilization and a pretty awesome image processor for really vivid colors. It will go up to ISO 6400 under certain conditions, but realistically count on ISO 800 as being your real ceiling. Be prepared to do some image noise reduction with software after you download shots taken that high! ISO 400 is pretty usable, though, especially if you are making web photo albums, or standard size prints.

As for capturing fast-action stuff – no problem, as long as it is well-lit. It will click along at 1.2fps in high-res mode (in jpeg format – raw shooting takes forever to write the XD card, a pretty big drawback if you plan on shooting RAW mode). If you don’t mind dropping down to 1.2 megapixel resolution, this thing will crank out 15fps! Seems like it does video too, but I can’t recall ever using that mode on purpose.

If you are a scuba diving buff, or a surf-photographer, there is an underwater housing available for it. My buddy has one, and it is very cool. Be prepared to spend as much on that as the camera, though.

So, do I recommend this camera? Absolutely. Will do everything you ask of it automatically, or will allow you to set just about any parameter you want manually. Sure, if you a an advanced photographer – there will definitely be limitations. That’s why I switched to a DSLR. But believe me; for general walk-around shooting of people, places and things…this camera won’t let you down!

Here are some links if you want to know more:

Happy shooting!

Searching For Bigfoot: HomePage

August 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So, I am patiently waiting for some update on the recent Bigfoot Hoax, er…I mean discovery. Seems every news channel on earth was at the press conference, and then…nothing. Megyn Kelly of Fox News was purportedly invited to view the body, but a search of;Fox News Dot Com using her name and Bigfoot doesn’t seem to turn up anything more recent than the press conference. Anyone know of the latest happenings on this?

Searching For Bigfoot: HomePage.

The Official Star Wars Blog » I Left My Star Destroyer in San Francisco

August 17, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Posted in Blogging, Social Networking, Software | Leave a comment
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The Official Star Wars Blog » I Left My Star Destroyer in San Francisco

In case you haven’t seen it the Death Star was sighted over San Francisco, along with some other Imperial ships. Looks like they have escaped from Skywalker Ranch and are planning a hostile takeover.

Flock Browser – Getting Started | Flock

August 16, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Blog Reader, Blogging, Social Networking, Software, Web Browser | Leave a comment
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Get Flocked

Love to Blog?

Draft and publish to your blog(s) with ease.

Two steps to getting your blogs online:

1. Log into or create an account on a Flock-supported blog service: Blogger, Blogsome, LiveJournal, Typepad, WordPress or Xanga. Flock will automatically set up your account, because it’s cool that way.

2. Blog Tool IconOpen Flock’s Blog Editor. Compose your draft online or offline. Drag and drop content from anywhere to the editor to embed. Hit “Publish”. Become famous, thank Flock in an acceptance speech.

3. If you have a self-hosted blog, set it up by opening the Accounts & Services sidebar and choosing “Self-Hosted blog”.

Flock Browser – Getting Started | Flock.

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