It’s here.  I got it.  Went out and bought Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 1 just like I said I was gonna.  I am proud to say that I love it.  I love it so much I thought I’d put it on my Ipod.  Unfortunately, getting a protected DVD onto your Ipod ain’t that easy.  First of all, there still seems to be dispute about whether or not it is legal or illegal to copy a commercial DVD as a backup for your own personal use.  From what I can gather it is okay to copy for personal use, provided you don’t override any digital rights management (DRM)copy protection such as the Content Scramble System (CSS).  In other words, you’re not supposed to copy DVDs that are copy protected, and according to one poster even copying unprotected DVD’s and change the file format qualifies as copyright infringement.  Well, you can rest assured that Lucas and company have copy protected their DVDs,  and even though that means it can’t be copied legally, I don’t have a problem with them doing so.  I am all for copyright protection.  I am not in the business of pirating movies or music.  I use to be, but that was before I understood that it takes away from the artists and the creators rather than the multi-million dollar companies that produce them.  That was also before I came to understand how little most artists make, even the good ones.  Unless you’re selling multipaltinum records, you’re barely making a living and paying off what it cost to make your record in the first place.  I other words, I used to pirate music and movies before I realized that I’m taking the money away from the people I’d want to be friends with if I knew them.

Will Hoge: LIVE • 2009 • 04/23/09 • Evening Muse • Charlotte, NC

Will Hoge: LIVE • 2009 • 04/23/09 • Evening Muse • Charlotte, NC

So, as I was saying, I don’t have problem with Lucas and friends protecting their investments and their creative outlets.  I just wish they’d grant me the rights to put it on my effen Ipod.  I downloaded several DVD backup programs, none of which could copy protected DVD’s.  I can’t even transfer the DVD directly to my harddrive anymore.  I gotta admit, that’s a little upsetting.  On top of that, no conversion program that might even possibly convert a DVD to Ipod format can convert protected DVD’s either.  Consequently, if I want to put this on my Ipod, I’m going to have to resort to using heavy duty pirating software, which I don’t trust or like to be involved with.  Or, I may even have to resort to torrenting, something else I’m not too keen on.  Not into the I’m-sharing-bits-and-pieces-of-my-files-with-a-whole-bunch-of-random-people-thing.  And I don’t like taking from those people and then saying, thanks, but I’m not sharing it back with other people.  Even then, the movie itself is tainted.  I will never really know if it has some kind of tracking or spywhere.  Sure, my internet security software SAYS everything is okay, but is it really?  Is that why my computer slows down, because everything is okay?

I suppose if I wanted to do the completely legal thing, I could go to Itunes and purchase the season all over again for $34.99.  Are you kidding me?  78 bucks just so I can watch the damn thing on TV or my Ipod?  Not only that, but for forty bucks, I don’t even get the featurettes or the production journal that come with the DVD set.

When I bought the Clone Wars movie, it came with a code for downloading the digital copy to my computer.  Only thing is, when I went to download it, the code had expired.  I’d only bought the thing that day.  What kind of a deal is that.  You can have the digital copy for your ipod, but ONLY IF you manage to buy it and register it with the first few weeks of release?  Twenty years from now when my DVDs start to corrode, I’m going to be pissed if I have to buy another set.  What if it’s out of print, or worse, locked up in the vault?

The whole thing is infuriating.  Should I not have the right to at least protect my investments and watch it either in a DVD format or in an Ipod format?  Sure I understand how difficult it may be to police this, but if you can give me a code so I can go online and download it, then why can’t that be available to everyone all the time?

I think, anytime you purchase a DVD, you ought to be able to go somewhere online, Itunes, or whatever, type in a code similar to a UPC code, but not visible on the outside of the packaging, and with that code you acquire one-time rights to a digital copy of the material on the DVD.  Let there even be a choice of the file format you wish, but you only get one copy and maybe put limits on how it is transferable.  Itunes is already pretty solid in how it protects music and other purchses through the Itunes store. I see no reason why this couldn’t be carried over to DVD digital rights.

So those are my thoughts on the issue.  I find it ironic that when I started this article, I didn’t even realize that it was such a hot issue.  I thought I was being original.  Oh well, it just means there’s more of us out ther ready to Fight for your DVD Digital Rights!  Let the war for my Ipod begin!

From www.freepamphlet.wordpress.com

I’d like to give you more, but I’m going to bed.  Friday, Google Books has reached a settlement with its class action lawsuit plaintives including the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers.  Here is a rundown of how Google Books will change once the settlement goes through in December.

Well, over the last few weeks, I have gone back through and watched all of the Star Wars Saga.  It’s a pleasure I enjoy at least once a year.  This year I watched the original theatrical versions of Episodes IV and V, but not VI, because I currently do not own a DVD copy of it in that form.  I still hold to the feeling that Empire is the best in the Saga, and of the newer trilogy, I feel that Revenge of the Sith is the superior movie.

Next then proceeded to add to the mix, the newest addition to the Star Wars Universe in video form, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  I have to admit, I had not watched the film (if you can call a completely CGI video a film) and failed to see it in the theaters because I had strong reservations about the whole thing.  I’m not even much of a fan of the CGI stuff Lucas did when he revamped the original trilogy.  Consequently, it wasn’t until my Ahsoka Tanorecent Star Wars revival that I purchased the movie and watched it.  I have to admit, I really enjoyed it.  While I cannot say that it is on par with the Saga, and certainly it is not on par with the original trilogy, it is really nice to see something new and exciting involving the Star Wars Universe.  Over the years, I have pretty much been a purist about the movies, but the introduction of the Clone Wars has changed my view.

Another result of this change is that I have also gotten on board with the Clone Wars TV series.  I cannot believe it.  After watching the movie, I craved more, so I went to the website and watched a few episodes online.  I don’t have cable TV, so I went ahead and downloaded a few more episodes from the first season and the second season.  I have thoroughly enjoyed them,  and  I anxiously await the release of the full season on DVD Nov. 3 assuming I don’t download the whole series from iTunes before then at about a 15% markup over whThe Clone Wars Season Oneat I would pay at Wal-mart.  How I hate Wal-mart, but what a difference!  Maybe the Itunes price will go down at release, but I still want a hardcopy.  Maybe I can get it for the same price elsewhere.  It’s still $2.oo more at amazon.com.

Actually, now that I’ve been looking at it for this blog post, it seems these prices are the pre-order prices.  Hmm, the dilemma is, should I go ahead and pre-order and pay for it on this paycheck, or wait till it after it comes out and I get my next paycheck, but run the risk of spending fifteen more dollars.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Discussing word choice in class today.  When asked for a more specific word for house the students replied with: manor, cottage, castle, trailer, mansion, hole, and cardboard box.

And they are absolutely fascinated with today’s journal: “What if all the streets were rivers?  What would be different?”  They really got interested in Venice.  Do they still have traffic lights?

Well, the book is finished and edited,  and I thought it was done.  Then I published a limited pre-release version on Lulu.com and asked some of my facebook friends to give their criticism.  Then I started to read it myself.

“Oh, dear god.”  I thought, what was I thinking?  The thing is not as ready as I hoped and the worst parts, the stereotypes, had not been edited out.  I edited a good portion of the book back in October of 2009, and then was unable to touch it for a while (I am a teacher and the father of  a 10 month old now), and so I regrouped in the summer and finally finished it only a few weeks ago.

The thing is, I forgot to go back and recheck what I had edited back in October.  It needs work, but I am still very excited about its closeness to completion.  I will be giving you more later.  For now, know that the book’s title at the moment is ‘The Detention Logs: The Pie-rat Voyages.”  Take it for what you will.  A synopsis and excerpts are coming later.

Wow.  I am so excited about using this stuff I don’t know what to do with myself.  I hope more people start using it.  We are about to paint over our paneling with Freshaire choice paint from Home Depot.  I was kind of bummed at first, because I read that I would need to put a latex primer over the paneling first.  I didn’t think the environmentally friendly paint was going to fit the bill, but as it turns out.  The pain is latex and they carry a drywall primer.  Perfect for what i’ll be doing this summer.  Man … am I excited.  More on this later, just wanted to get the link out there.

Today’s chapter is called “Showdown.” And that is exactly what it is about. A showdown between what I call semi-antagonists. There is a Monkey Fist involved. I can tell you that much. The outcome of thses events will set in motion the final bits of rising action that will dominate that final third of the book. I am currently listening to Modest Mouse among others.

Environment … boy what a catch phrase that doesn’t mean anything anymore, eh? “Save the envirionment?” What does that mean? I have a magnet that says “support our environment,” but what does that mean? When someone looks at the back of my vehicle, I am instantly stereotyped as a tree hugging sissy who doesn’t understand how the world works and who is overly conscientious. At least, every time I turn on the TV, that’s how I feel.

I was watching Mind of Mencia last night, and well, I have to admit, I find that he has a lot of truth to spray accross the airwaves and a lot of humor to go with it. But he said it himself … right and wrong is only based on one’s perspective. That is true, right and wrong is very heavily based on perspective, but it seems to me, that perspective can and is often used irresponsibly or without good logic. Still, how could you prove that if it is based on perspective? But that is not even my point. Last night on his show, Carlos Mencia made his round of attacking people including: Whites, blacks, Asians, vegetatrians … there were others I am sure … but then he went on to attack what he called the people that really piss him off. Last night … it was Prius owners.

Apparently, Prius owners think they are better than everyone else because they are helping their environment and no one else is. Prius owners are tree hugging MF’s that need to STF up and stop looking down on everyone. Honestly I don’t even remember exactly what he said (Forgive me, it was early in the morning). I could look for the transcript of the show, but … it’s not that important to me. My purpose is not to criticize Carlos Mencia, my purpose is to show that he difined what I already feel is a problem.

First of all, I don’t own a Prius. I would like to own one someday, but that day is not today. However, if I had the money, I would have a Prius. And I would buy it because in some little way it would help the environment (whatever that means anymore) and I would also buy it because it would help me save money on gas. I would not buy it,however, so I could drive around and make everyone think I was better than them because I drive a Prius, and I think I am helping the environment and no one else is. That would be the same as me joining the Peace Corps and proceeding to think I am better than other people who are not a part of the Peace Corps. Now I will admit, I am not perfect. I have a dislike for the way society functions a lot of times, but that is because I am naturally cynical. I still don’t think that means I think that I am better than anyone else either because most of the time, I gripe, because I am good at it and it makes me and my friends laugh.

Nevertheless, I find nature to be a terribly important commodity that i wish more people would learn to enjoy and appreciate. At the same time, I hope that they don’t learn to enjoy it, so that it stays more well preserved with less visitors to national parks and such. And yes, a selfish part of me doesn’t want them there when I go, but the honest side of me knows that I always have good experiences with people when I get out in nature. Maybe that has something to do with nature’s positive affect on people, and I’m not talking about tree hugging either. Getting back to the point, I don’t think I am better than other people because I believe in helping the environment, and i don’t think people who drive Priuses are any different. What scares me about this entire statement about Prius owners is this: not that Carlos Mencia decided to pick on Prius owners, but that after his statement there was a strong applause from the audience. It was one of those hearty applauses that implies that they agreed with what he was saying. To me, the scary part is, whether Carlos really meant it or not (and I hope that he did not and was merely trying to be funny), a lot of other people really do feel that way. They just don’t like environmentalists.

“Why is that” I ask? Is it because all envrionmentlists look down on everyone else and think they are better than everyone else? Is it because they think that all we want to do is stand around and tell them they can’t drive their SUV’s and farmers can’t use their giant gas guzzling trucks? It saddens me to see this. I don’t want to do that. I am not here to tell everyone else I am better than them. If anything, nature helps you realize how much you need to depend on each other and work together. All the same, I do believe we are falling behind in an issue that is very serious. For too long, we have lived away from the land and off of it, but not in and among it. I do not think we should drop everything and go back to the woods, but I do think we need to recognize the dangers of excvessive living both from an environmental perspective, and from a spiritual or psychological perspective.

Is it your right and perspective to say, “Environmentalists want to take everything away from us.”? Absolutely it is your right, does that make it true? No. Does it help to solve problems? Well I guess that depends on what your perspective is. But I can tell you that ignoring dangers because you refuse to understand them can be detrimental. Besides, what is so terrible about nature? Nature is the Earth. Earth is Nature. Man is only a part of that. Man, alone, is not the Earth, and Man, alone, certainly is not Nature. You can’t take up a lead pencil and expect it to write in blue ink. It just won’t happen. You can’t ignore the warning signs of the earth and act surprised when the shit hits the fan. You can’t build up a concrete and air conditioned society and ignore the fact that nature was here first and is what were are. You can’t eat rocks and you’ll be breathing air conditioned carbon if you don’t start hugging a few trees here and there.

So again, it saddens me to see all these people mocking Prius owners as if they are some inferior breed, when in fact they are embracing our future while everyone else is desperately clinging to the past. It saddens me that I have to sit in a job and listen to people rattle on about how Global Warming is a hoax and blah, blah blah … come on people … even if Global Warming was a hoax … there is no denying that pollution exists and it is only getting worse. Who cares what the immediate affects are or are not? The environment, that is the air we breathe and the food we eat, and the animals that help keep the food chain going and the trees that give us oxygen as they open their arms to hug us because ,come on, we give them the carbon they need; the environment still needs to be preserved and protected from human overconsumption and irresponsibility.

So, it saddens me to see the earth fading into oblivion right under the eyes of those who refuse to believe the truth. You know, people refused to believe Hitler was capable of genocide until it was much, too late.

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… and we’re back on …

I can’t believe it. The Orân, she came back up without a hitch. This is a cause for celebration because you just don’t understand how many times I have had to revive her from near death experiences. She’s mostly in good shape, but she has a loose processor. My computer spends most of its time leaning to one side. I call it the Oran because it is named after something in my book. There have been complete sets of weeks when I couldn’t get her to sit correctly and get back up an running. The fact that she came back up so easily is simply fantastic.

Well, I had an unexpected visitor today. And I wanted to give her credit for a wonderful post on her site about winter. It is a touching remark about peace and snow. I responded to it, because she had left a comment on my site and I felt appreciative, but I liked what I wrote, so I’m going to re-post it here.

Winter is beautiful when it snows. Unfortunately, Tennessee seems to get less and less of it each year. As a teacher, I pray and beg the powers at be to let it snow, just like I did when I was a child, both in hopes of getting out of school. Tennesseans can’t handle snow, you know. I guess that’s why it doesn’t snow as much. Or is that Global Warming? I’m not sure. But I do remember a few rare “blizzards” in my childhood, and the silence. The whisper and patter of stealthy white flakes sewing together their magnificent blanket. I remember a gentle breeze that rustled no leaves; only moved the flakes a little to the right or the left. Peace is a beautiful thing that I think nature gives to us. Whether you believe in a God or not, peace is granted to us all. Wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing.

The movement of the study to its new location downstairs is commencing now. This means I will be disabling my already volatile computer system and hoping that it will turn back on once it is in place. As things are, we will just have to see. Everyone of me keep your fingers crossed. May God bless this transfer …

see you on the other side …

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