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Fundy Fringe Festival #5

This summer I volunteered with the Fundy Fringe Festival again. Giving my physical limitations I was really worried if I could actually do it. It has been the highlight of my summers for the past several years and I really didn’t want to miss out.

This story begins with the gathering on May 20th. At this point, I had just started to go back to work and was trying to get my life back to normal. I really wanted to go to this event as a way to get out and try to be a bit social. It was a great night and I had so much fun even if it was a struggle to get there.

I then filled out the volunteer application and was a bit unsure what I would be able to do so I applied for Captain again, and venue tech, and bartender, and I think HUB volunteer. I then didn’t hear much of anything until shortly before the festival, on NB Day. I was on a road-trip of the province and while as I was waiting in the line for the Magnetic Hill attraction, I had seen the post that the first orientation was at 7 pm that night.

I did the Magnetic Hill drive backwards in neutral thing. Which for $6 is the biggest waste of time and money ever! Then I went to Shediac to get a pic with the giant lobster. Following that, I was headed to Boisetown to get to the centre of NB monument but ran out of time as I really wanted to get to the orientation night.

It was a good-sized crowd and more exciting of a presentation from earlier years that had gotten monotonous from reading the handbook that hasn’t changed over the years. I found out that I was selected to venue captain (again… or “Once a Captain Always a Captain!) It was also here I learned that there was going to be recorded introductions of the sponsorship and the “buy a button” speech. My heart sank a bit as that was one of my favourite parts of Venue Captaining.

After the meeting and email went out that there were still a few shifts open, I took it as an invitation to try something else than captaining so I offered to tend bar for the Big Tease night after the volunteer BBQ. As the night of the big tease came, I was still unsure with my feet always uncomfortable with long-standing periods due to the numb feeling if standing for a long time was even possible. I went to Giant Tiger and bought myself a folding bar stool and brought it with me and that worked very well. I had so much fun that night, and my beer knowledge came in very handy.

The next night was my first Captain shift at the year’s newest venue, the balcony lobby of the Imperial Theatre. When I arrived, I sorted everything out and found out there wasn’t the prerecorded opening on site that night. I was so glad that it gave me the extra motivation to blow the socks off the moderate-sized crowd there that night. I had nailed it and got a great reaction from the crowd. The show was “Denial Is a Wonderful thing”, I spent most of this show dealing with a situation so I didn’t get to hear much of the show. What I did hear was pretty good.

The second show that night had a pretty good size crowd, MIDDLEhood. After this show started, I had overextended myself a bit and needed to get off my feet. I spend most of the show in the stairwell laying on the upper landing listening to the show, while Snapchat and Instagram posting selfies. Occasionally, paying closer attention to the show like the description of a period.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

The next day, I was at the BMO theatre for Crippled and Two Minds Into One. Since I had the option, I insisted on doing the pre-show announcement for these shows and again, I got the reaction I was looking for and was so worth it. After the shows, it was the Not-So-Family game night. This was a great night, I started with playing some Hungry Hippos but that got old fast and a game of Cards Against Humanity began and that was beyond fun, as more people joined in it just got better.

Thursday was my shortest day and I only had Crippled to captain. After that, I went to see some shows. The first show was I Want to Come Home. This show was beyond impressive. It was a mix of storytelling type, performance, and crowd interaction. I loved how the projector became a character in the play. After that, I stayed to see Illustrated Lady which was an ingenious version of storytelling and demonstrating how tattooing works.

On Friday, I had my last shift back at the Imperial Theatre for Escape the Ordinary and SMASHES. Both were really good. Bernard started out with a math demonstration that I was following along with seeing how this was too predictable to control the outcome, but then took it to simply, WOW!

On Saturday, I didn’t have any shifts but still had 3 passes to see shows so that is what I did. I didn’t have a lot of time to fit them in so there were so many I wanted to see but couldn’t. I saw A Century of Belly Dance and was really impressed, I didn’t go into it thinking it would be something for me but it was informative and entertaining at the same time. I then saw Two Minds Into One, like most people I love a good magic show. I can usually tell how something’s work but with the big finale I was beyond amazed. The last show I went to see because so many others people said it was a must-see for theatre fans.

I have to agree, it was great watching him show how theatre works in a one-man format, except the tech and an off-stage assistant become part of the storytelling as well, as a point that actors have to rely on the “non-talent” to make them “talent”. After this, I ran to the Imperial to see a non-Fringe show Jay and Silent Bob Get Old. This show was funny and entertaining and lasted about two hours.

After this, I went back to the BMO for the Fringe dance party. This was so much fun, a lot of the performers and Volunteers were all there. I also danced as much as I could but that wasn’t as much as I wished I could.

All in this experience was still fun, emotionally challenging, and really highlighted my limitations.

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LED vs. LCD

This week I was looking into buying a new TV. I know for sure that I’m not looking at a plasma. When the sales representative was explaining the different TVs she started describing LED TVs as better TVs. This led to the question, isn’t a LED TV a LCD display. The answer I got was no it is better than a LCD, that it worked like a LED stop light that the LEDs change colour.

This is wrong! All LED TVs are LCD TVs but all LCD TVs are not LED TVs.

What is LCD? It is basically like the old fashion calculators, as an electric current hits a liquid crystal (the LC in LCD) it rotates the crystal changing the wave lengths to make a RGBK {Red, Green, Blue, and Black} (or in a few RGBYK {adds Yellow})  to the back light.

Then what’s the diff?

The difference is in the back-light. A TV referred to by the store as a LCD TV is in-fact a lit in the back by a fluorescent back-light. This back-light will last a ;long time but will eventually burn out.  This is similar to the monitor that you are likely reading this on, like a laptop or cell phone screen (most anyways).

The LED (Light Emitting Diode) is the light bulb used to light the LCD panel. Seems to simple eh? While it is, there are two main types of LED TVs edge lit and local dimming. With edge lit the LED Bulbs are around the edge of the display and light the display. Where local dimming has lots of smaller regions that can be dimmed on and off to give a better black.

A really good website that for further reading is LCD TV Buying Guide.

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Is the was digital revoluton really a revoluton?

This is a topic I usually don’t get into here on my Blog, nor do I get this deep into a topic ether but I was listening to TWiT 180, and they were discussing a migration from blogs to Twitter.

This got me thinking of the term revolution that gets applied to new technologies all the time. In a non-physics (my head hurts) interpretation a revolution is when something or a group of people become so outdated and useless that by force and necessity need to be replaced.

The Internet revolution was not a forced or possibly necessary revolution it is merely a change in preference. It is not like the upper class and the peasants of the 1700’s France. The digital and non digital worlds can and do co-exist. TV and YouTube can coexist. It is all in preferences not a Revolution.

Therefore, Twitter will not replace the Blog. Then again I do have the capability to re-post all my Twitter tweets here but I tend to see Twitter as like facebook.com but without all the annoying apps. In fact my Facebook front page is all I really use.

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I got a new toy.

I am truely wowed!

I know the pic has caught your attention, and you are wondering what my new toy is. Well without further ado here it comes… Well maybe now… okay it is the Canon PowerShot S5 IS. This thing is the most amazing piece of technology I have ever owned. I’m sorry MacBook, but can you do panoramas, change colours of items in pictures and HD videos? Okay maybe you can but still, the camera is truly cool.

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HD-DVD 2006-2008

I never really expected to see this, this morning the DVD Forum is about to abandon HD-DVDs. Once again a format can be added the Hall of “you never had a chance” along with other failures like Beta, 8-Track, and not to forget LaserDisk.

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Second Life: Virtually Useless

The tech arena can feel like a cesspool. One recent spam message I received rhymed ‘hag’ with ’shag’; another advertised images of straight guys pleasuring gay guys for cash. Meanwhile, the onslaught of worms and scams never lets up — I could form a museum of virtual garbage.