Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pandora's Music Box

If you've ever felt like you've hit the wall on musical inspiration, here's a site for you to mess with.

Just enter the name of a band or song and it'll suggest some stuff that you might also like... and play it for you! Sure it's all a marketing deal, but hey, you might get something out of it.

XBOX 360 advert

This advert is pretty funny. Interesting to me is the voice over in the background near the beginning. It's Japanese! The voice is saying: "Momentarily, on track number 2..." and then we can't make out any more. Anyways, the ad is neat.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cool Flash animations

They're short, but cool.

Insanely Twisted

Turn your sound on too. Don't be afraid!

That IGDA moderator was a joke.

We went to an IGDA meeting after work today. They were having a panel discussion between EA & Activision on whether they think it's a good idea to have centrally located tech that all subsidiary companies share and contribute to or not. Sounds good, right? But isn't that partially stifling to creative types? Or are the limitations worth the time savings? It was an eye opener to what our bosses are dealing with. So - it was interesting.


I had to work REALLY HARD to get past the fricking moderator to get that much out of it. He talked more than the panel, interrupted them and rambled often on tangents. Maybe he was nervous. Then I feel bad for him.

At least I got to see the EA campus. It's huge. And really really nice. They have too much money methinks.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I just finished reading this book "Chainfire" by Terry Goodkind. It's a fantasy novel. It's part of a series. (Part 10) I really enjoyed the first novel. "Wizard's First Rule." So I read the rest as they came out. Some were better than others. I was losing interest until "Faith of the Fallen". Then I was back into it.

But it's gone lame again as a series and this last book was the worst. The entire book was a set up for the next 2 books. (I guess it's supposed to be a trilogy that ends the entire series.) I thought it was sooooo lame when I got to the end of the book and the characters were like: "OK now the adventure starts! Let's go!" Sure stuff happened along the way in this book, but it was mostly a recap of the first 9 fricking books in the series, all the people involved and what they think/feel about the state of things in this fantasy world.

Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. Lord of the Rings was written this way, right? People still love it today. Everyone is at the end of "Fellowship" going "Wait! You can't stop there!!" But they had to wait until the next book came out.

Here's a link to an interview with Terry Goodkind from a while ago. He gets into his philosophy on life a bit. It's interesting to hear straight from him and then compare to how he's expressed it through the book's characters. I could see how he was writing some timeless stuff but directly correlating it with current events. War on Terror, that kind of stuff.

It might put you to sleep, though. Be careful.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Before Thanksgiving weekend goes by I have to comment on the current bastardization of the holiday... Turducken.

Sorry Chu, it's just plain wrong. LOL

Gone is the good feeling of pilgrims meeting with Indians and feasting off the land still plentiful and ripe. Gone is the adventure of hunting down a turkey in the wild or even today, sifting through the piles of turkeys in the grocery store looking for the right size for your family.

No, today we order our feasts online. They come the next day. They come stuffed with... get this - a duck AND a chicken. That's 3 birds, people. AND you can get different varieties that also include pork or seafood in addition to the duck and chicken. That's a feast for sure! Four animals all crammed together into ONE dish. No courses here, just stuff 'em all together and EAT! It's almost like those silly Comcast commercials where people order coffee and then ask "Where's my coffee?" 2 seconds later. Instead of people needing to slow down a bit, this commercial encourages them to speed up! Bah! Even if I ate meat I think this over indulgence - NAY! over-KILL - would be slightly disturbing... Maybe not. Excessiveness DOES have its appeal!

I noticed: The first word in Turducken is... "TURD."

I love America! Bigger is better. You know Americans are #1 at being big!

Here's the site, order one for Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Mars & a big telescope

Today we went over to the East Bay area to see how far it would be to drive from home if A. gets a job she applied for recently. We got lost a couple times, but figure it'll take about 30-45 minutes given that traffic will certainly be heavier during the week.

Then we went to the Chabot Space & Science Center up near Oakland. We saw it on some show and they allow visitors to take a look through their big telescopes! We liked the museum displays and the planetarium show... OK that was weird what with Harrison Ford narrating and it being a full on CG movie with the worst camera ever. We were both dizzy afterwards. Anyways, we went up to look through the two telescopes and waited in line for the small one 20 minutes and the large one for an hour and 15 minutes. The small one was pointed at two clusters of stars. Kind of a let down. The big telescope was pointed at Mars. When we finally got up there to view it, it turned out to be a blurry red disk. I could make out the polar ice cap, but only barely. (That's frozen CO2, dude. Dry ice.) It was pretty disappointing after waiting so long.

We did learn that the human eye is very sensitive to blue-white lights, but likes reddish lights much more. We asked why all the lights inside the telescope domes were red and they said that they use red because it doesn't interfere with the eye's night vision capabilities. This guy explains it in a little detail. Basically your eye sees with cones and rods. Cones see color and rods see at night. Rods take a while to turn on, so you are blind for a while when you flick off the lights. Red doesn't interfere with your rods.

I'm going to get some red cellophane and put it on our flashlights. I was amazed at how much better we could see compared to a normal "white" flash light.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey! Hope your day went well. We just got back from Craig & Jess's place. It was fun and we ate a ton. They even made Tofurkey and vegetarian stuffing for us. That's thoughtful! We met Craig's old coworker Dan and his wife Diana. We played Balderdash. It made me think of Brian and Kerri Sox. They love that game like no one else.

I'm thankful that we had a place to go today and people to be with.
I'm thankful I have a job that I can support myself and my wife with.
I'm thankful that I like my job.

Hope you have stuff to be thankful for. Look around. You'll find something.

Watch this TV ad for beer. It'll make you laugh. Then be thankful you have something to laugh about.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Random stuff

Here are a bunch of random links and junk.

1) My southpark self-portrait. Make your own here. Thanks Jim!

2) Some info/sneak peak at the Hellboy animated series coming up.

3) A clip of twisted Japanese fun. This girl is some new celebrity in Japan - I don't know who she is, but they talked her into putting a stuffed baby seal doll on her head and teasing a polar bear. Please ignore the various links to porn on every available inch of this site.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Pictures from Germany

Last month we took a short trip to Germany. We stayed in Amsterdam for a couple days and then went to see family Schwarz. It was fun to see the them again. We got to see Sabine's children Lisa and Mara and meet Tanya. Carsten and Tanya announced that they will get married in May of next year, so now we have an excuse to go back soon! I put some pictures on

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Week of Meetings

I've been at the East coast office all week. BLEH.

I had a bunch of errands to run in NY. I actually had to go to the NY DMV. It went well though!

Hopefully I will get the duplicate title for the van in a couple weeks. I bought a new water-proof jacket at EMS. (Thanks Kaan for the gift card!)

I turned in the camera to Best Buy to replace the LCD screen. (It still worked fine, BTU I couldn't see a damn thing on the screen. :( Luckily, we had decided in this ONE instance to buy the extra insurance that Best Buy pushes on everything they sell.) The geek squad guy was perhaps the single decent employee at the Albany Best Buy. Every other employee that I had to deal with was either a "pusher" or just plain mean. (Although I think I'd be mean too if I had to deal with the Albany public every day...

We ate a lot of food, drank a lot of beer and had fun in the evenings though. Guitar Hero is actually pretty damn fun. Especially with two guitars!

I got to hang out with Jonathan one evening, and Sean the next. Though a mishap of communication (classic - "Why didn't YOU call?!?!") I missed Cynthia and now I fear that I will never hear the end of it. Ah well, I guess I probably deserve it - can't seem to get my head on straight.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Best picture EVER

From some guy's blog.

I think I need to take more pictures of animals so I can composite in little animal-sized lightsabers. But how do I make them do kung-fu?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Star Wars will never die!

I found a couple crazy links related to Star Wars today.

This one is a guy who does models for fun. He models Star Wars ships and lights them with fiber optics. It's way too cool! - 2 foot Star Destroyer!
The bigger one.
He's also done an X-wing and millennium Falcon.
SO tasty!

This was on Jim's blog: The Star Wars Kid. Nice editing... sort of.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What Jesus Wouldn't Do...

Woospace linked to Urban Outfitters because they are selling a replica of Charlie Brown's sad little Christmas tree from the holiday special. While I was looking for it I found this alcohol flask also on their site. It's got an engraving of Jesus with the inscription: "What wouldn't Jesus Do?"
I think I'll get it for Murphy... or maybe Herrmann. LOL

Smog Test in CA

I took the bus in to the Shell station for a pre-smog-test. The bus did really well except for noxious gas emissions. The bus weighed in at about 4 times the average car in noxiousness... But they seemed to think that with the right adjustments, the bus would do just fine because of the rebuilt engine. Gotta go back to Tassi and fix it up for a re-test.


My wife came across this article today. I found one statement particularly interesting. Apparently Nestle was concerned with how their product might adversely affect people's weight, so they did a study and found this: "And, as Nestle notes, the American weight spike in the late 1970s exactly corresponded with the invention of supersizing in fast-food marketing."

I guess they aren't worried about being blamed anymore. They have a study to prove they aren't at fault.

If you haven't seen supersize me, go find it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tante Hanna

I got an email from Carsten last night. He wrote to tell me that Tante Hanna died. She was the great aunt of my host family. Well, just the regular aunt of my host mother. Mutti is pretty sad about losing Tante Hanna.

Tante Hanna was 99 years old. She had gone blind and lived in a nursing home for the last 10 or 15 years. All of Tante Hanna's siblings died 25 years ago. No one knows how she lived so long.

The last time I saw Tante Hanna was about 10 years ago. She actually remembered me from my short one year exchange with the Schwarz's. She lived through the 2 world wars. I was hoping she'd live to see 100.

We'll miss you Tante Hanna.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I KNEW they were real!

Thanks for providing the proof, Chu. The best part is the claim that the shiny skin is highly absorptive making them susceptible to noxious gases. Um... It's a phong. No, Wait. A blinn. Nope. Definitely a phong.

Chu, Grace and Aliens

Chu and Grace came over today and had a late lunch. (Tempura always takes so long to make...) They brought Brian! He's super-cute. I got to feed him and burp him. He was good and didn't barf at all. We talked about all kinds of things and unfortunately Alicia showed them a bunch of picture books. One of the only embarrassing things about Jason's past is... mullets. It makes me fear what will soon be fashionable since we are headed into a revival of the '80s.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

It's only November!

-but the Christmas music has started in a store near you. :(
Nothing takes away the fun of a holiday then capitalism.
Americans are cattle.
(And they're fat. The fattest in the world.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

VW bus @ the shop

This morning we got up early and took the bus to Tassi Inc. in Colma. That's a 1/2 hour drive on 280, but since the van has a new engine that I'm breaking in, I can't take the highway and I had to take El Camino Real. At 35mph, it took more than 60 minutes. Sometimes there's a nicer van at Tassi's, but today mine was the best. Shiny and new looking, Bruce said it looked similar to the one his buddy just sold in England for $10,000. Now if I could only find myself a buyer and get the State of New York to send me the title...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Jim had this site on his blog: Flipbook
It's great! Draw a picture, draw another - POOF! You've got an animation! Here's the one I did. (My head hurt at the time...) Make one and post the link in your comment!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fungi and Schedules

Yeah it's mostly scheduling at work. Ooh the fun. But when it gets done then maybe there will be time to actually make some art in a game! I can only hope.

As for the fungi. I've had this weird fungus growing at the root of my fingernails that I can't get rid of. The doctor's don't really have a cure for it. They just give me a cream that helps for a while but never for long. It doesn't really hurt, it just itches a lot and the skin flakes off. It's started to migrate up to the knuckles of my fingers... It's mostly annoying because it's on my drawing hand. Anyways, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to see if he knows something the other doctors didn't.