Archive for the ‘Everything Else’ Category

halloween vlogs

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

I just posted an invite to my pumpkin carving party… which I’ve done for years (except last year because I was in Australia, and in 2011 when Jacqui was visiting me from Australia)

A lot of the links were broken, but they should all work now.

http://hmatt.com/blog/tag/pumpkincarvingparty/

The years missing are 2010, 2012 and 2013.. all of which I DID tape, they just became one of those videos I never ended up editing. I’ll get to them someday. Probably release them as part of a Throwback Thursday series.

 

I know my invite for everyone is last minute, but my Back to the Future parties took precedent this year.

MH website

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Whew! I have been meaning to update my blog posts on matthewhirsch.com/blog since March! I’m glad to have it done. Check it out if you want to see my acting career specific posts. = )

moving hosts

Friday, February 6th, 2015

I sure hope this moving from Godaddy to Fatcow hosts goes well!

Update: Success! After several hours of trying to backup and restore this wordpress blog, I discovered the easy “export” and “import” feature. Now my hmatt.com/blog is nearly over .. and my old acting site has already been moved to http://old-blog.matthewhirsch.com

I still have a few more odds and ends to take care of, but at least I know I have a local backup of practically everything from my old website anyway. =)

Poppy 3D

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Last summer I read about a kickstarter project called Poppy. It is a viewmaster like toy where you pop your iPhone and can take and view 3D videos and photos.

I immediately became a backer and started using the device right after I came back from Australia.

I’ve been busy trying to get everything to work so here is a list of my adventures with this project thus far:

-getting a new iPhone
-using the poppy
-sample photos
-Anaglyph (red/blue) photos
-taping trks3d
-fixing the 3d ratio with after effects
-setting up new YouTube channel
-YouTube changes

—–

getting a new iPhone

I wanted to buy the newest iPhone before I traveled overseas, but Jacqui reminded me that I should keep my current phone so I can buy a SIM card seeing how the iphone 4 I had is unlocked. I wanted to make sure I had the highest resolution camera to use for 3D videos and photos.

-using the poppy for the first time

I opened up the package as soon as I was home, but I waited until I upgraded my phone and restored the software before trying the device for the first time. It was worth the wait.

I took some around the apartment photos and videos, but it wasn’t until the day I took the camera to Santa Monica before I really used the poppy. Then of course I used it at work.

poppy3dhorse

The Santa Monica photos were cool See them here . However, the video compression made my videos a bit lower quality than I’d hoped. The bigger issue was when I was recording the roller coaster coming toward me- the poppy3d app lost a few frames, so I decided then and there that I would record my kids show videos with the ‘native’ iPhone app.

-Anaglyph (red/blue) photos

Eventually the poppy App will have things like “turn your stereograms into anaglyph photos”, but someone on the poppy3d forums suggested the app “3Dshot!” and it works wonders.

-taping trks3d

When I tape my kids show I usually connect my canon camera to the tv so I can see the framing. The 3d video is ‘smaller’ frame wise, than I’m used to- and there’s no way to see what I’m taping while the phone is in the device– so taping took longer than expected. Finally I found a take or two that looked great and I was ready to text upload onto YouTube.

http://theretrokidsshow.com/2014/01/trks3d-special-1-3d-lever/

-fixing the 3d ratio with after effects

Apparently, the poppy app adjusts the slight curving of the images that happens due to the mirrors on the poppy. Whoops! I put it into After Effects and three hours later after testing and testing I realized the problem and solved it. I had to re-crop each side and adjust the 3d aspect ration. Here’s a picture. (Insert)

The hardest part was trying to crop and then do this, but after several attempts I arrived a solution I like.

-setting up new YouTube channel

:: YouTube has changed how they run things and before I realized my mistake I have the unchangable custom URL to my google plus account channel with the unchangeable name of “Matthew Hirsch” instead of a channel named trks3d. After hours of research with no results I just have to say – Whoops!

-YouTube changes

In conclusion (and especially, since I started writing this post 5 days ago and hadn’t yet finished posting it), I’ll add that I’m hopeful to be able to someday change the youtube name to a different channel name or something. At any rate, it isn’t worth getting worked up over at this time.

I am excited about this camera though. I’ve been taking more photos and occasionally videos.. although the poppy app drops frame rates all too often and they’ll have to fix that first. The post editing in after effects is tedious for ‘everyday’ projects.

I’ve been posting more and more to flickr – but someday I’ll have to review if I want all those pictures I put up YEARS ago to still be there or not..

Okay. No to post this and mark it off my to do list. = )

——————–
Note: Published online January 19, 2014

Condensing

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

At one point I had around 40 of those plastic bins in my room. I had kept everything in storage for a year (at $75 a month) and my roommates called the stacks “Mattropolis”. Aptly named.

Eventually I kept processing all of my stuff. The biggest things were tapes and documents. After much research I finally found a great product for digitizing my VHS tapes from my parent’s house and my grandparent’s house- a Black Magic Video Recorder. This worked GREAT! I was able to process a few hundred tapes (which at an average of 6 hours a tape is a LOT). I hit a few roadblocks on this process. 1) I ran out of hard drive space. I have at least 2 tb of vhs tapes encoded (and tossed afterwards). Plus a backup drive that has the same videos on it. Then there’s several gigs on my computer currently that don’t yet have a backup. 2) a few of my tapes kept skipping- which I’ve since discovered is due to Time Code Errors. They make VHS players that have this fixing built in, but as you can imagine I can’t easily go to a store and buy players like I used to. 3) several tapes are damaged. Either due to being thrown on the ground outside when my grandmother’s house caught fire, or being in a damp basement.

The way to fix all of these issues is mostly due to spending more money on the project. A new VHS player with Time Code correction, new set of 2TB hard drives, and taking the time to sort the remaining tapes to repair. I envision this day where I can call upon all of the old VHS tapes at will, having a searchable index and such.. of course now I still have the meticulous notes on tapes that I took, this was in my younger days when it was quite important to be able to sort through things. I have a few notebooks with pages about what is on each tape, either made by myself or my grandparents. I plan to scan these books and someday combine them with the tapes to create a database (or pay someone to do this).

Scanning documents has been made INCREDIBLY easy due to my Fuji ScanSnap S510M. A high speed scanner that I can feed sheets through and it scans both sides at the same time. I think I bought it for $400 or so at Costco years ago, and it has paid for itself SEVERAL times over. I have a few THOUSAND documents scanned with this. What are all these papers and such you ask? Old school homework, old mail, and for a time I thought it was interesting to see what I was spending my cash on, so old bank statements and such.

Now that I went through boxes and boxes of old stuff and either scanned and shredded or tossed in the trash, I’ve entered this phase where I have a mix of items. Sometimes there are a stack of papers of ‘normal sized’ paper that I can stick in my scanner. Sometimes there are NEWSPAPERS that I’d love to have a PDF of, for reasons unknown.. I guess because there are things that I know I can’t easily get again– mostly information that may be scattered on the pages. Fortunately I have my camera to photograph these pages, but as you can imagine it takes up large amounts of digital space, and SUPER time consuming. Sometimes there are old birthday cards and such that I don’t ‘need’ to have, but they remind me of people who are gone or only were a friend for brief time (and not everyone is on Facebook). Then there are old Boy Scout documents, papers from my experience in Walt Disney World in Florida in the Fall of 2000. Assorted memorabilia and t-shirts that I don’t necessarily want, but I’d like to at least have a picture of.

Thus begins this current time, where I am on the cusp of making major headway… since I started this processing project I’ve whittled down my collection of boxes and today there are only about 16. Of the remaining stuff are smaller collections. There is a box of patches from my Boy Scout days that I plan on scanning on a flatbed scanner and trying to sell, or end up sending out as Geocaching tradables. I’ve gone through my Boy Scout box and Florida box and set aside the things I’d like to keep (like uniforms and such), or my documents of congratulations for becoming an Eagle Scout. The rest of the papers and memorabilia are ready to be scanned or photographed then sold or tossed.

Last night I used an iPhone app called BooksApp to catalog all my printed books. The app is amazing by the way I could easily scan the barcode and it knew what book it was! There were only a handful I had to type in myself. I used the free version, but I’ll definitely be paying the $4 to upgrade so I can export my list. A friend of mine gave me his collection of plays, and now I finally have a list! I was also able to get rid of three boxes and instead put the books on a bookshelf.. can you imagine?

The other remaining projects are my various collections. That’ll be fun (said in a sarcastic tone). I’ll have to decide which collections stay in my life, and which are sold, tossed or given away. I’ll get to decide which are worth cataloging and which items to purge from my life. I know that is dramatic, but the emotional attachments to old toys and items from my past can be draining. My parents never moved when I was younger so I didn’t have to do all this in my youth. Now that I’m in my 30s it can be difficult to sort through these old items from my younger days, a youthful life mentality and reminders of paths I’ve chosen in life.

I used to collect lots of various things and, as I’ve written before, such collections have turned out to be mostly larger baggage. Now that anyone can buy something on the internet, items don’t command such a premium anymore. I know I’m ready to make space for blessings in my life. This “I’ll just sell my things to make money” mentality is nearing it’s end as ideals are shattered on how much things are worth of mine to other people.

I’m ready though. The final goal is to have a digital collection if I ever want to look back, yet minimize the ‘stuff’ that surrounds me. I look forward to the days when I am not sifting so much or spending too much time ‘organizing’ things that aren’t really that important in my life. All the acting books I have won’t ‘make’ me a better actor. That comes from experience (of which percentage of my life I’m doing less and less as the years go on). All the memories, which are nice, are only part of the sum of my life which has yet to be written.

I can remember that each day is important, and the time is now. There are so many wonderful things to do in this world, and I want to get up and do some of these things! If money is a ‘problem’ I can remember that God will provide.

Start.

Kindle Amazingness

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

I bought my Kindle Keyboard 3G in April of 2011, and this thing is amazing. Most recently it helped me out of a pickle while in Australia.

You see, the device comes with FREE 3G around the world AND it has an experimental web browser. Usually I use it to email Jacqui while I’m there visiting, or Tweet. Well, my big idea was to restart my Netflix DVD subscription to use for my Pop Culture Nights. However, when I went to the Netflix to login it stated that Netflix cannot be used in that country!

What was I to do? I really wanted Boardwalk Empire! Fortunately, I thought to use my Kindle. Since it works it’s magic through Amazon’s servers, I was able to login, restart and manage my Netflix dvd queue!

I love that little book reading device!

Awesome Stuff

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

I was browsing through Pinterest and I started thinking about all the awesome stuff I’ve purchased over the years, and more specifically stuff I THOUGHT was awesome and then got over it real fast. Here is a list of both:

Rear-view Sunglasses- bought this in my teens, one side is blurry & I have no idea where I put these things.

Right Angle photo lens- I tried taking pictures while out and about, but I still have to find “fake” pictures to take

LED night mask- I saw an AWESOME version of this in a magazine called “Things you never knew existed”. It was supposed to help in lucid dreaming, but these light would blink on a timer (not searching for REM) and they were too bright. I always woke up groggy. Maybe someday I’ll put a little red filter over the white led– if the battery still works.

remote control watch- useful until VCRs stopped working. I gave it away, but now wish I would have kept it for retro reasons even though the band was broken.

Captain Planet Water Powered Watch- a favorite, but some kids stole it out of my desk in elementary school

Tetris Watch- I sent off for this, and it was AWESOME.. I don’t remember what happened to it.. I miss wearing watches.

“life size” Energizer Bunny. Sent away for this in 1996, but now I’m trying to sell it off for $15 on craigslist– still no takers.

I’ll add more things to this list as I think of them.

Prepping for the new year

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

The one unfortunate thing about this upcoming year is that it will be ‘unlucky 13′. Twelve was such a simple word, one-syllable.. and now we move into the double syllables again, and for the rest of the millennium.

Oh well. We have one more day (tomorrow) to prep for the fast approaching change. I, like many others, am actually very optimistic for 2013. I’ve been making wonderful progress in my life and I am eager to make amazing steps in my life.

I started my new years resolution sometime last week, and I have identified certain bad habits that are preventing me from moving forward in leaps and bounds. The big trick to changing your bad habits is to replace them with a different kids of habit. Something simple. Then one you master that you can add other habits.

My list of desired outcomes for my ‘new’ habits is long, but I have faith that this year I will be able to adjust the healthier habits for my life. The top one is health- I’ve been eating larger sized portions which has been a problem. Instead I’ve been tracking my water intake and my goal is to ramp up to the recommended 64 oz.

Anyway, one of the habits I intend to replace is the constant reading of ‘reddit’. It has become a huge time spender, and there are so many other things I can do to improve my life. I won’t be stopping cold turkey, but instead using that and ‘pinterest’ as they are intended… timed rewards for the completion of other tasks.

Now to get another task done so I can partake in a ’10 min pinterest’ reward. = )

Vlog 69 – Logo

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Vlog 68 – Endeavor Flyover at LAX

Friday, September 21st, 2012