This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Monday, November 27, 2006

What are we gonna do now, Brain?

The Gonnas continue in their plan to take over the world. Latest step: The Gonnas' MySpace page. A slightly smaller selection than the late, lamented Gonnas Radio, but infinitely better quality and convenience. Plus, you don't have to listen forever to get to the "studio" recordings.

The dirty secret: one of the listeners mentioned that the compression on the radio made Rex sound like he was singing underwater. Guess what: he always sounds that way.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Bouncing Pictures Meme.

Here's something fun for you to try (probably better on an small-image-heavy site, like a forum or something). Copy the following text:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i<DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5;*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5 ); void(0)

Now paste it in your address bar, and watch the pictures dance...

edit: Yeah, it doesn't work here. Try it elsewhere.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More music.

The theme for this month's KVR song contest is "Eat Me"... create a piece about food.

So here it comes:
Pasta (Stay-at-Home Dad's Lament) 1.9 MB

I kinda like it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Larry King...

poised to become chairman of the House subcommittee on the Internet. (via Mike.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Slug Not So Power.

Hooray, I seem to have bricked it.

Letter from a putz weakling.

I know I shouldn't write this, because it'll eventually show up in the Google, but becoming Board President of the local nursery school may be the worst decision I've made since college (and the famous "study for LSATs, or streak in the quad?" fiasco).

It's not that the job is hard, or that I don't understand what it entails. Basically, it's far past time that I realized that, organizationally speaking, I'm a follower, not a leader.

I have consistently let things slide that I know must be done, and forgotten other things. I haven't been in good communication with my co-board members. Hell, I haven't even followed up on my own housekeeping tasks, which is required for all members of the school, let alone those in leadership positions!

Also, though it may well be that I'd have found an excuse anyway, I suspect that at least part of the reason that I haven't done much animation lately is the stress of this Presidency. Not that I've been doing much about it lately--as the previous paragraph proves--but the simple fact that it's there, sitting in the back of my mind, paralyzing me. It's like a story I heard about an airline pilot who, after years of perfect service, was rewarded with less flight time and a desk job. He started doing barrell rolls in the plane. They took the admin stuff away, and he was perfectly happy flying again.

My predecessor graciously offered to help with advice and so forth should I need it. But I have a feeling she didn't mean she would help me overcome my own neuroses, so what help would I ask her? No one can fix this but me, but I'm so beyond help, what do I do?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wikipedia made a funny!

From The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything (emphasis added):
Another possibility [that Marvin knows the answer] to the Ultimate Question is presented in the third book, Life, the Universe and Everything. Often complaining about having a "brain the size of a planet", (this would presumably be necessary to work out the Question, as the Earth was created for this purpose according to the series, and is also, approximately, the size of a planet)...

Monday, November 13, 2006


The Big Bad Swim won Best Feature at Annapolis. So at least I was associated with a winner.

(Best I could hope for, really, with the competition I had. I tend to do well at new festivals. Established ones, not so much.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Rather like a Philadelphia cheese steak, I do not travel well.

The good news, though, is that yesterday's screenings happened. Impressively, the kid-friendly screening at NYC Shorts was sold out. I figured they'd be lucky to get ten people, but I guess parents in New York pay attention to odd cultural events, unlike (gross generalization warning) parents in D.C. The Cell-Phone was very well received, and I got the lion's share of the questions afterward, though in fairness that's probably because my short was second-to-last.

The major standout of the evening--er, afternoon--was "The Danish Poet," a beautiful, hand-drawn animation that was both funny and profound. It featured the voice talent of Liv Ullmann, so it was a wee bit out of my league, obviously. But it earned my vote for best of the night.

(I see from the Wikipedia entry that Ullmann directed an adaptation of Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, a novel which actually plays a major role in "The Danish Poet"'s plot. So I guess they had an "in.")

(Did I punctuate that correctly? "The Danish Poet"'s. "The Danish Poet's." Argh, I dunno.)

After the screening, I wished a fond farewell to Mike (we bowed, in the Japanese fashion) and hoofed/subwayed it to Penn Station, where I actually arrived in time, if I had hurried a bit, to catch a train an hour earlier. I elected to relax a bit instead. I arrived at the New Carrollton train station at 6:20, with plenty of time to make a 7:30 screening in Annapolis. So off we went.

As I've mentioned, "Soap Opera" was opening for The Big Bad Swim, a feature. I suspected that being a short opener is kinda like being the red-headed stepchild of the evening, and my introduction bore this theory out (and remember, kids, "Brewster-Geisz" rhymes with "Rooster Spice"):
Presenter: ... and also, the director of "Soap Opera," Zachary Brewster.... um, I'm not sure how to pronounce it...

Me: (from my seat) Geisz.

Presenter: Um, Zachary Brewster-Geese? Is he here?

Me: (walking down the aisle) Geisz.

Presenter: Oh, yes--this is Zachary Brewster-Geezy.

Me, the other director, and half the audience: GEISZ!
After that it could only get better, although the only questions I was asked were the usual: "How long did it take to produce?" and "How much did it cost?" I didn't begrudge this; The Big Bad Swim was a fantastic film which deserved the lion's share of the attention. In fact there was an odd connection which I think I've mentioned before: when I went to CTFF in October-ish with "The Cell-Phone," I met the film's producer, who like me grew up in Westport, Connecticut. At the time, though, Annapolis hadn't released its schedule, so I had no idea another film of mine would be opening for hers.

I passed out a few business cards (Microsoft Word specials I had printed out Friday morning) and then we headed home. In a perfect world, I'd be flying to Chicago today... but we don't live in a perfect world. I blame the Democrats.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I've made it anywhere!

Here I am, writing from an apartment in Brooklyn, on New York City public wi-fi no less, and although I was up 'til 2 A.M. (between the screening, Q&A, after-party, and taking the A-train--yes, really!--to get to Mike's place) I still woke up at 8 in the morning, since that is, after all, late for me.

The screening was quite gratifying, as they always are, and the other films on the bill were all top-notch. Unfortunately, because I've spent the past week caring for a sick kid, and because I was up so late, I don't, um, actually remember anything about the movies... The people were great, though. Mike and I wound up chatting with a filmmaker who's setting up a small animation program at Duke.

The only major bummer is that two good friends won't be able to make it to today's screening, as I had hoped; the other Mike is called for a film shoot today, and Bill, well... I kinda told him it was Sunday, not Saturday, and plans were made. If only he and Andrea had no social life, like K and me. (Or alternatively, if only I weren't such an idiot.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Three days, three cities, three films, five (!) screenings!

Are ya looking for a reason to travel this weekend? Here's your itinerary!

Friday at 8:30 and Saturday at noon: The Cell-Phone shows at NYC Shorts. I'll be at both screenings, then I'll be heading south in time for...

Saturday at 7:30: Catch Soap Opera at the Annapolis Film Festival (and stick around for The Big Bad Swim). I may not make it to see my own film (depends on Amtrak) but I'll be there for the Q&A.

Saturday at 7:40 and Sunday at 8:00: Chicagoland folks are invited to see <ESC> at the Lake Forest Film Festival. I'm surprised and honored that it was selected to be part of the Festival Finale.

There will be a special prize to anyone who can prove that they attended every screening! You heard it here first.

Crappity crap.

Gonnas Radio must die.

All the streaming sources I've tried crap out after a certain amount of time. I can't figure out why, but I'm guessing it's just not going to happen. Well, at least I know my Slug's limits.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gonnas 64.

By popular demand (well, okay, by one demand), Gonnas Radio is now streaming at 64kbps, 22050 Hz. Please plan your weekend accordingly.
I'll tell you, I wish I had the guts to apply for this job.


The Democrats have taken the Senate.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Go here, click Listen, and let me know what you think. Or, alternatively, paste this into your favorite media player:

Thanks to Godfrey for helping me beta-test. More to come...

Edit: Dang it. For some reason icecast/icegenerator are dropping my streams after a time. If you can't hear anything that's why. And now, to bed.
So ends the Rumsfeld Watch.

The big answer.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The big question.

God damn it, when will I wake up after an election with good news?

Adventures in punk.

And now, for something completely different.

This Friday, the Gonnas reunited for a rehearsal. All four band members were there for the first time in nearly two years: Rex, lead singer; Tony, bass; Wendel, drums; and yours truly, guitar. Even though our own opinion of ourselves is only slightly higher than most people's opinion of the Shaggs, nonetheless, a friend of a friend who happens to be a record producer/agent loves our sound and wants to book us at a club like the Black Cat to see how we fare in front of an audience, and if he likes us there he'll put us in a studio and book us at more places. (We're all frustrated actors. Honestly, we're better at performing than playing music.)

So we're rockin' out Friday night. The guy is on the phone with Rex's new wife (our contact person, essentially). (Did I mention that Rex got married? Isn't that supposed to break bands up instead of bringing them back together?) And he says, two bands have cancelled on December 13--7:30 and 9:30 slots for an 11:30 headliner. I've booked you for the 9:30. Oh, and by the way, the headliner is the Cramps.

"THE FUCKIN' CRAMPS?" Wendel and I shout. Rex and Tony don't know why this is so cool. In case you don't, dear readers (though I know at least one of you does), in punk-rock terms, opening for the Cramps is like opening for U2. I'm only familiar with a couple of their songs, to be honest, but their reputation is huge.

Needless to say this injects a bit of energy into the rehearsal process, what with the occasional "We're opening for the fuckin' Cramps!" thrown into random songs. Rex is a little worried, as he has a lunch meeting in New York City that day about his novel, but we shout him down with cries of "THE CRAMPS!" I mean, even if it weren't the Cramps, the Black Cat is a legendary D.C. club in its own right; but the fact that we'll hear Human Fly live (I guess we'll have to take it off our covers list) is icing on the cake. We're so excited we schedule another rehearsal for the next day, since Rex now lives in the Catskills and can't come to DC every weekend.

The next day, I pick up Tony and Rex and we head down to Wendel's place in Virginia. Rex says, "Guys, I have some bad news and some good news. Which do you want first?"

We ask for the bad news.

"Well, the reason those two spots opened up in front of the Cramps... there was a miscommunication. It's not because the original bands backed out. It's because the Cramps bring their own opening bands. So that spot isn't open after all."

Pause, while the air goes out of the day. Crushing defeat.

"... Well," says Tony at last, "what's the good news?"

"Um...," says Rex, "well, I won't miss my lunch appointment in New York..."


If my experience at the polls is any indicator, the Republicans are gonna be smashed today.

I live in a heavily Democratic district, and I always vote at the same time: just after 9 A.M., when I drop my daughter off at nursery school (the school and my polling place are in the same building). Usually, there are fewer than ten people ahead of me and I'm out of there within fifteen minutes.

Not so today. The place was packed. And it wasn't because of voting machine glitches; things were moving quickly, but people just kept on coming. It made me proud.

Now if there was actually a paper record of our votes, that would be even better.

In any case, vote. Especially if you're planning to vote Democratic. Remember, we only win if we're beyond the margin of theft.

Edit: That last sentence is a bit too "vote for my team 'cause the other team sucks!" for my tastes. So let me put it this way. I don't care if you're a Republican, Democrat, or other. But it is your duty as an American to bring divided government back to Washington. That's the only way to limit the constitutional damage that George W. Bush has wrought and will continue to wring. VOTE.

Today's the day.


Can I mention just how annoying it is that PG County schools are closed on Election Day?

One of my most vivid memories is the big, curtained voting machines taking up half the gym at my elementary school. But because we worship the God of Safety here in the '00s, my son and daughter will never have that memory.

I wonder if that is a potential disenfranchisement issue. How many parents, I wonder, will miss voting because they need to stay home to take care of their kids? I suppose not too many--they'll just take them along, like I do. (And D would be staying home today anyway--he has some sort of bronchial thing goin' on.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

More sluggishness.

I can now Ask For My Slug By Name on the local subnet. Quite cool. I cannot, however, ask for other machines by name while on the slug. (I suppose I could just edit my /etc/hosts file, but what would be the fun in that?)

I've moved the tiny bit of BitTorrenting that I do onto the slug, so Azureus doesn't take up all the processor time on the iMac. And--just to see if I could do it--I compiled IceCast, Litestream, and MuSE to turn the slug into an Internet radio station. Haven't tested it yet though, as there aren't any mp3s on the slug just yet.

Still to do: recompile the kernel to allow HFS+ disk support. And if you believe that...

A paragraph!

Here's an article in the Annapolis Capital about the upcoming Annapolis Film Festival. See if you can guess where I am in the picture.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

In other hardware news...

My slug is now running at a screamin' fast 263.78 BogoMIPS. And K bought a new Palm.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Who killed the Zire?

I broke K's PDA. She asked me to crack it open to replace the battery. Unfortunately, in doing so I must have fouled up the connection to the IR receiver, because her wireless keyboard no longer worked. So I cracked it open again today. And the IR receiver snapped right off the motherboard.


She's getting a new Palm tomorrow... this was definitely NOT a purchase we were looking to make this month.

On the other hand, I guess I have another toy on which to try to install Linux.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Slug Power!

Godfrey asks:
Excellent! How big of a hard drive did you stick onto it?
Well, I bought a 300 GB drive the other day. My original idea was to use that one for backups for both Macs and then use another partition for the Slug. However, after further research, I nixed that idea... backup is too important to relegate to a toy, and I'm not sure the slug would even work with HFS+ partitions. So yesterday I went to Staples and bought a 40 GB, self-powered USB 2.0 drive (for the princely sum of $30 after rebate), and unslung to that.

First order of business was to change my default shell to bash (as opposed to the built-in busybox). Then I installed the native development tools, and now I'm installing--or attempting to install, anyway--mDNSResponder, so my Macs will recognize the Slug via Rendezvous/Bonjour. (In other words I'll be able to ssh to slugpower.local rather than some IP address.)

I am a bit teed off about one thing: according to the Slug Wiki, most modern slugs come "pre-overclocked"; that is, running at the native 266 mHz. Yet mine appears to be one of the older ones: it's running at half-speed, 133 mHz. Grrr. I really wasn't looking forward to cracking open the case.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

And here I am...

I'm writing this in eLinks on my Slug!

(I tried to leave this as a comment, but it's difficult to do word verification on a text-only, non-sound-capable computer. Ah, it's like 1983!)


I have my slug. Just starting to play.


Because "The Google" sends people who search for my name here, rather than, I've added a handy-dandy reminder below the title. I know you're all excited to see that.

Edit: Hmm... as of this moment, I'm mistaken. It didn't used to be that way, though. I wonder what changed?