Superman is Boring April 7th, 2011

I am just going to come out with it, up until Smallville, live action Superman films and television shows were boring. Even Superman Returns that came out a few years ago, directed by the very talented Bryan Singer, was very boring, maybe even more so than Superman 2. I don’t necessarily believe that is any one person’s fault, I blame the way it is handled. Smallville did something that to my knowledge has never been done before, it’s taken Clark Kent and made him interesting. Coming up on the last five episodes of the series you can go through the last ten years and see the journey he has faced, from being one of his only kind on earth, to being a hero only because he can do things others can’t, to finally accepting his fate and fully embracing it.

A lot of people are complaining that Clark should be wearing the suit already and stop being the Blur and embrace Superman already, but that character Clark is still turning into. Once Clark embraces being Superman and fully making Clark Kent the disguise, then it is no longer the story of Clark, it is the story of Superman, and once it is that story then the story of Clark completely changes. Once Superman is born, the story of Clark Kent in Smallville ends. He no longer is a guy who goes out saving people because he can, he becomes a super hero who disguises himself as Clark because he has to, and we’ve seen that story five times in movies before and every time the scenes with Clark are boring.

Think about the Burton and Schumacher Batman movies, in those movies I know personally I couldn’t wait for Batman to come on screen and for Bruce to hide his face, because in those movies Batman was the focus and Bruce was the secret identity that we had no interest in seeing because like Clark he is a disguise and not who the character really is. I think Nolan’s Batman movies really embrace the idea that, like in Smallville, the hero and the person are really the same person, at least to those closest to him.

For those of you who don’t know, Nolan is producer on a new Superman movie starring Hendry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Kevin Costner, Zack Snyder is directing the movie and has given big praise to Smallville recently. He says his story will be more focused on Clark becoming Superman, so hopefully they will do what was done with Batman and hopefully it will at least not make me want to fast forward through all of the Clark Kent scenes. Either way, my one main hope for this movie is that it has more action in it than an episode of Smallville and that it is not boring in the least.

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Laughter is the Best Medicine March 20th, 2011

The tsunami in Japan is very sad and very tragic, but even though it is so tragic, is it not okay to laugh to ease the pain?

Gilbert Gottfried was fired from being the Afflac duck voice for making jokes on Twitter regarding the events in Japan. His jokes, “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now'” and “I fucked a girl in japan. She screamed ‘I feel the earth move and I’m getting wet.'”, but should he be fired over that? Yes it is a tragic time in Japan, but are we not allowed to laugh? Comedians aren’t known for being appropriate, in fact, that is one of the reasons we love them and watch them. I’ve laughed at September 11th jokes, why shouldn’t we be able to laugh?

The night of the tsunami trending topics on Twitter were Pearl Harbor and Godzilla. A writer for the Cleveland show tweeted “The tsunami is payback for Pearl Harbor”, I’ll be honest, I knew it was wrong, but I still laughed a bit. It isn’t because I have no respect for the country or what they are going through, but because it was so messed up. Godzilla was trending because they were saying the tsunami was really just him waking up, not as funny, but still amusing.

Maybe some would call me an asshole, maybe some would say I have no respect because I can laugh through this, and because I can laugh at September 11th. I’m not laughing at them, I am laughing at the jokes. As inappropriate as they are, they are funny. Maybe the world needs more laughter right now, so let go of the political correctness, put down your differences, get together with a neighbor and just laugh. What else can we do, just wallow? They say laughing is the best medicine and I agree with them.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Working with Clients January 6th, 2011

Later this year will mark five years that I have been a freelance programmer. Over the course of the last few years I have seen many people try and fail to do freelance. No matter what you are freelancing in, whether it be writing, programming, designing, etc, these do’s and don’ts are pretty much universal and have to do with working with clients.

Don’t

Take too long to respond. Whether it is a new client or a returning customer, don’t take too long to respond to them. Some say that you should get back to them within 12 hours, personally I try and get back to them within 3 to 4 hours max. Taking too long to get back to clients could cost you a lot of work.

Do

Be as available as possible. Giving clients as many options in which to get in touch with you as possible will work in your benefit. Skype, AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Skype, Google IM are the main chat programs and most of the time you will be able to use them all in one program and not worry about using too many resources on the computer. Giving a client a phone number in which they could get in touch with you will also allow them to feel as though you are more open to those who are just available online. If you don’t feel comfortable giving out your phone number then try using Google Voice since it is free and can be disabled when you don’t want to be disturbed.

Don’t

Make excuses. A client may be sympathetic that your grandfather is sick, but more than likely you are involved in a verbal or written contract with them and therefor the work needs to get done. If you absolutely need to break the contract then discuss it with them prior to it. Remember to act professional at all times, they are not your friend or therapist.

Do

Make deadlines and stick with them. If you tell them it will take two days to do something then do it within those two days. If you can get it done before hand then your customer will be happy. I can’t tell you how many times a client gave me a bonus for completing a project ahead of schedule.

Don’t

Start on a project that you have no idea what you should be doing. There is no reason to waste your time and theirs because you don’t have a clear goal in mind.

Do

Ask questions. A lot of times your questions could be ones that the client never thought about and bringing up things that aren’t on their mind could show that you have an attention to detail.

Don’t

Email previous clients everyday asking if they have anymore work. Annoying people is never a good practice and emailing them everyday will show that you have nothing better to do and that you are desperate for money. It could lead to them offering you less money than they would someone else because they know you need it more.

Do

Sign clients up for a mailing list. Periodic emails wishing clients a happy holidays or shooting out an email every six months reminding them that you are available for work and what your rate is will help keep you in their mind.

Good luck.

Above all else, no matter what you are supplying to the client, you should be professional, kind, respectful, and courteous. Remember a client could always refer you to their friends and colleagues, plus they could have more work for you in the future, but won’t want to work with you if you aren’t professional, just like you wouldn’t want to work with them if they weren’t acting professional toward you.

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