Wednesday, December 26, 2007

birthday Haiku


On this day back when...
thirty seven years ago,
they called me Jason.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Aptera

I found my next car!
OK it's really a spaceship, but hey.
You wanna get it for me for my birthday?!?!?!
Didn't think so...
It'll set me back about 30k but it can be all electric or hybrid. The hybrid gets between 1000 and 130 miles to the gallon depending on how far you drive. If you drive 60 miles and charge up every night, you won't be running on gas hardly ever - so about 1000mpg. If you drive 400+ miles without charging then you'll need the gas and you'll only get around 130mpg.
Since I only live about 10 miles from work I'll be getting ONE MILLION MPG!!!

MWA HA HA HA~!

Go see the future @ APTERA.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Story of STUFF

We all have stuff.
I like to collect stuff.
I have lots of LEGO bricks, video games and Hellboy figures. (They're not dolls!)

Watch this animation about where stuff comes from and where it goes.

How much trash do YOU put out?

Are you a consumer whore?

You know they are planning to get to the moon to mine it? What will happen to the Earth when it's moon is a crusty husk? No more tides? Maybe we will fill up the mines with trash!

Damn, I sound like a raving lunatic...

Thanks for the link, Nate!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Testy Robot


I was driving my dad and Pat around SF showing them the sights over Thanksgiving weekend. AJ came with - we had a great lunch at The Stinking Rose - highly recommended if you don't mind the breath! (Thanks Dad!)

Anyways, when we got to the Pacific Heights area I stopped behind a tour bus and wondered what they were gawking at. Then I pulled over and took this picture of the BEST ROBOT EVAH. I think he must have been holding a sword at some point, but it now looks like he's clenching his fists in anger and crying out, "Who took my PANTS!?!?!?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas starts on Black Friday


Have I mentioned how I hate Christmas now? (OK not really...) I know you're supposed to have the spirit all year long, but when I know the "spirit" is marketing and sales driven I get annoyed. For us, Christmas season starts on December 1st. We bust out the decorations, tree and songs. But it seems for the rest of the USA, Christmas starts on "Black Friday". YAY - go consumerism! <- sarcasm

Anyways - here are a few pics from Union Square in the city - it was a bitch to drive and park, but we did it. I don't think we'll do it ever again. It's WAY to crowded in the bay area to "follow the crowd". You'll get crushed by the masses.


Thanksgiving went OK - we made a vegan dinner for family and it was pretty good. It's surprising how many things you can get that have no dairy - butter, milk, egg replacer - it wasn't really trouble to make everything... except the turkey. Tofurkey just doesn't cut it.

I am a consumer whore.
AND HOW!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

SF Green Festival '07

We had fun at the Green Festival. This was the only car they had there. It's a nice looking car, but really just a glorified golf cart with a top speed of 25mph. Sure you can save the world from certain smoggy death, but you'll be stuck on city streets. Check out the website here: ZENN.

We really like the food they have at the Green Festival. The first thing we had was so awesomely WEIRD it was great. It was hemp ice cream. Yeah that's right - the plant the U.S. deems illegal you can make just about ANYTHING out of... even ice cream.

SF Green Festival - there might be one in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No more Student Loan!

Yesterday I had $20,000 remaining to pay on my student loan.

Today I have no student loan.

It's like giving myself a $500/month raise!

I don't know whether to thank ATVI for laying me off or Multiverse for contracting me... either way I would not have been able to pay my loan off this soon if recent events had not gone as they did. I'm glad I could use the pain and frustration of losing my job and searching for a new one to my advantage somehow.

I feel better knowing Uncle Sam isn't breathing down my neck any more.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

More about cats...

These two sometimes are pretty funny.

You know a cat is comfortable living with you when they show you their belly. This is about as close as cats will get to synchronized swimming.
Maddi loves paper. She rips it off boxes and searches for paper to lay on. Michael Thomas is about to scare the bejeezus out of her...
YAY for cats - they're easier than kids. And even after $900 vet bill for Michael Thomas, I'd say they are cheaper too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

5.6 quake


We haven't felt a big quake since we moved out here to the CA Bay area - or NorCal as some call it... Well tonight while sitting at the computers we got a nice one. At first I thought it was a truck outside as we live on a pretty busy street. Then I realized I was moving side to side. We went to check on the cats - they were OK.

Chu lives almost on top of the epicenter so he was rockin' big time. Stuff fell off the shelves. He and family are OK, though they keep feeling dizzy from aftershocks that are occuring.

Anyways - thanks Chu for the pic!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Struvite Crystals

Michael Thomas likes to go outside - he knows what doors are and tries to open them. Too bad cats don't have opposable thumbs!

Michael Thomas was in the vet for a couple days this past week. We got him back on Friday. He's fine now - and hopefully will be for a long time. He had crystals in his bladder that clogged him up. He couldn't pee! AJ noticed on Wednesday morning and I called the vet as soon as they opened. They realized what the problem might be and said I could bring him in right away. I did and they put a catheter in him soon after. They thought it would be quick and easy and he could go home that night, but he had it bad and they wanted to keep him there with fluids running in via IV and fluids running out until it was all clear.

We were really worried - but it seems to be OK now - we just can't feed him the food we used to. Too high in magnesium or something. The crystals are called Struvite - so we wondered if Maria's husband Greg is related to the discoverer of the crystals in some way...

Anyways, on the same day Michael Thomas came home, a friend of mine went in to have a stent inserted for kidney stones. This week seems to have been plagued by urinary problems!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

JASE TV

AJ thought I looked funny plugging in XBox 360 wires... can't say she was wrong. It gave me an idea for a character design! Hopefully something will come of it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cup Doodle


A friend of mine (Eric DeSantis) started a sketch blog and asked me to take part. I've posted my first sketch there on CUP DOODLE and you can see sketches from other peeps as well. Our goal is to sketch at least once a week to keep the ol' fingers nimble. Go check it out!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Full time @ Multiverse

Well, after a few weeks contracting with them, I've convinced Multiverse to hire me on full time. It took a couple beatings and a bit of pleading, but I did it. They all are really nice guys and I get along with them well. We'll be working on MMO games and supporting people using the Multiverse technology for their games. It will be interesting to learn all about PC gaming and MMOs. I kinda wish my desk wasn't a plastic picnic table, but I guess you can't ask for the moon at a start-up.

McCool works there so I'm hoping to start up a D&D group with him - or maybe we'll branch into some other kind of RPG nerdiness. Should be fun.

I hear through the grapevine that other ex-VV-artists are making due with contract work that may turn into full time. Cross your toes for them.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wells Fargo ATM


We went to a Wells Fargo ATM yesterday.
There were no envelopes around for me to make my deposit. Not that they were out, there weren't any storage bins for them either! Well, I started getting weirded out and talking out loud...

JASE - "Where are the envelopes? Are they all out again?"
AJ - "I don't see any..."
Lady at the next ATM - "They don't use envelopes anymore. You just put your checks in."

Woah.

Sure enough - the slot for envelopes no longer says: "insert envelope" it says: "insert cash or checks".
I'm all for using less paper. That's cool.
So I went through the process of depositing my checks. I told it I wanted to deposit some checks and it said to insert them. I had three. You can insert up to 30!

The weird part was - it didn't ask me for a total of the checks. It just asked for the checks. After I inserted them, it said it was processing them and then... IT gave ME the total. How the hell did it know? Two of the checks were hand written - do you think it was able to read handwriting? I find that hard to believe. It must have read the bar code at the bottom of the checks and ... no that wouldn't have worked - it MUST have been able to read the handwriting.

This officially marks the beginning of the downfall of mankind to robots.

FEAR THE ATMS!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Vegan


I haven't posted in a while because nothing much has been happening.
Well, AJ started school. She's crazy busy. But she's learning a lot.
I'm still working at Multiverse. We'll see if I end up working there full-time or not.

The biggest thing to happen recently is this:
We decided to go vegan.

It's not really that big of a change for us - most of the meals we make are or lean towards vegan anyways. We had already cut milk out of our diet - no biggie there. We hardly use eggs in anything except baking and those are easily replaceable by other products. I think the weirdest thing for me is cutting cheese. Usually cheese is not the focus of any dish, so that's not the issue. The thing is, I like the European (at least that's how I came to know of it.) way of eating cheese and other small Hors d’Ĺ“uvres with wine as a meal in itself. I like the various "specialty" cheeses. I will miss those. We don't go out to eat much, so we won't be missing that kind of food. We will miss specialty ice creams. No more Chaat house or Rick's for us.

Why you may ask yourself would they want to put themselves through this kind of food torture?!?! Well, it's precisely that - torture - for the animals involved. I won't go into details - just pictures LOL - you can just remain ignorantly bliss not knowing where or how your food gets on your plate. Some people are OK with that - we turned a blind eye to it for a long time - not wanting to go down what we thought would be a difficult road. Well it turns out we were already heading down that road in our own gradual way and now we're there. Don't tell me that "That's how it always has been." I don't care how it has been. We have the means to be better than we were. Now, I'm going to at least TRY.


Don't think this post is meant to preach to you. It's not. You do what you want - I try to be an "I'm OK, you're OK" person - just don't give me crap for doing what I want in my life. It doesn't affect you. I'm just letting you know.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Skeet Shooting

Multiverse had a company outing yesterday and they invited the contractors. We went skeet shooting. Skeet is old Scottish for "shoot" so really we went "Shoot-shooting". Now as a person who has never held let alone shot a gun, I was quite nervous.

We went to a shooting park out in the middle of nowhere - hard to do here in the bay - which was about an hour away. I was in a group of 4 guys and they made me go first since I was the "noob". We were shooting 50 shots at 10 different targets. (6 stations, 1-2 targets each.) I missed all of the shots at the first station and then somehow figured it out at the second. I hit one at the second station. LOL I really figured it out on the third station where I hit 6 of 8. Then I came back from way behind to finish with the top score. (of our group that is - I hit 19 of 50 - others hit in their teens as well and some in other groups hit ~30.)

See, kids - video games CAN be applied to real life sometimes. Not that I want to hold or shoot a real gun ever again...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

15 year anniversary ramble

Last Wednesday we celebrated our 15 year anniversary. Being the 15th of August, it seemed like a pretty significant milestone in two ways. 15 years and on the 15th. I had planned on taking a trip to Hawaii for a week, but before I made the plans, I got laid off. So, we just went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I don't know why we go to Italian on our anniversary - we don't really seek out Italian restaurants normally. We like trying new weird different things most of the time. Maybe on such a significant day we just want to have something familiar so we can concentrate on each other.

The restaurant was Bella Saratoga and is housed inside a small Victorian style house on Big Basin Way in Saratoga. It was very quaint and quite busy for a weekday evening. (Everything is always busy and packed to the brim in this area it seems...) We ordered a full bottle of champaign this year - usually we just get a split. The waitress carded us, which we both found amusing. Occasionally we get carded in the checkout lane of the grocery, but not too often in a restaurant. Having worked in restaurants for a few years, we know you're meant to card anyone who looks 35 or younger, but since we are both over 35, we thought we had moved beyond that point.

We started a tally of things, which we do every year, but somehow it seemed more poignant this time because it was a multiple of 5.

15 years married.
18 countries visited.
25 states visited.
2 countries lived in.
7 states or prefectures lived in.
10 apartments lived in.
5 cats in the family.
3 languages learned. (English doesn't count)
200+ miles hiked together.

The fact that we've been married for 15 years makes people laugh and they always ask if we got married when we were 12. I don't know why people always say 12 specifically; it's weird. Maybe we look 28. This would be the best thing ever for AJ since getting close to "the hill"seems to be a big worry for her. Is it a girl thing? Is it American culture to only appreciate the young and not respect the old? These are bigger questions for another post I think. For now it suffices to say we have been married for 15 years and it's been pretty good overall.

In my little head there seems to be a marker of 26 or 27 years to "beat" since that's when my parents got divorced and we were married at around the same age (young, but not 12!). I don't think I consider it a challenge/competition to be better than them - but that's probably not a healthy way to think about marriage in general - so I'll just write it off as a nagging concern in the back of my head.

Well - that's a little too much introspection for me on one post. I shall now go play a video game or something to get back to basics. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

MAC pro

I got my BFA in 1992 - back then the only WISIWIG computers for creating art were MACs. Then we went to Japan for a while and the only computers smooth enough to show kanji on screen were MACs. Then we came back to the US so I could study CG and get my MFA and the only 3D app on a MAC was Form-Z. That led to me purchasing a PC. Then I built one myself. Now that PC I built in 2001 and have upgraded for the last 6 years is painfully slow and cumbersome - not to mention riddled with viruses. (Just kidding - I wiped them out.)
It's time to get a new computer and with the integration of Intel processors I don't have to limit myself to MAC apps. It is finally time for me to get the computer I've always wanted. A MAC. I went to the Apple website to buy a refurbished box (15% off!) and LO~ there was an 8-core available. I use a dual-core at work and it's great. The coders use quad-cores and they scream. An 8-core... well, I hesitated no longer than to get my credit card - the box will be mine as soon as Fed-Ex delivers the goods.

I'm almost afraid to make the change back to MAC after so many long years of being away. Will I be able to adjust?!? We shall see.

It seems they plan to deliver on the 15th - our 15th wedding anniversary! I couldn't have asked for anything better.

:)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Contract Work


I got some work for the next few weeks.

A friend of mine works at The Multiverse and they need some art for a client. I'll be helping them out along with Mike Witt.

It's good to feel like I'm contributing to something again. The guys there are nice and the work should prove both interesting and challenging.

Anyways - it's at least a short term solution. Which is better than nothing! :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

South, baby. SOUTH!


Yesterday we went out to Vietnamese with Chu, Grace and Bryan. We thought they were going to take us to a new restaurant, but really, they took us to a mall.

A Vietnamese Mall.

We sat down in the food court and Grace took Alicia to several different shops and ordered different items from each place. Now, I know you're thinking - Mall food sucks. Well, American mall food might suck, but Vietnamese Mall food does NOT. It was amazingly fresh and DAMN GOOD.

We were a little out of our element, but it was somehow oddly familiar to that feeling we had from traveling / living in Asia. How awesome is it that they have such a large community of Vietnamese out here that they made a MALL entirely focused on them! Yeah, cities have "China-town" and "Japan-town", "Little Italy" and the like, but those are really areas or neighborhoods where people of similar ancestry gathered and lived, set up shops and generally communed. This is a MALL built specifically to service the Vietnamese population of the area.

Somehow it struck me as significant because out here in the Bay Area white people are kind of a minority. I mean - not really, but when you've grown up in the mid-west where whites are definitely the majority, it's a nice change to have such a solid mix of the world here. I think people are used to there being a "China Town" in a city simply because 1/6 of the world population is Chinese. There is going to be a Chinese group formed anywhere and everywhere. It's a given. But it's not every place that has a large enough Vietnamese population to warrant a mall devoted to their shopping pleasure.

I like that. There's a Vietnamese MALL here.

Anyways - on the drive back, I needed to get on the highway heading South and somehow we started saying "South, baby. SOUTH!" Over and over with gusto. We were just messing around, but Bryan has turned into a little tape-recorder at the wee age of two and MAN was he funny repeating us. He had so much fun saying "South, baby. SOUTH!" That he just kept saying it over and over all the way home.

We had fun.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Razorba


"We Got Your Back"

That made me laugh. I found a link to this while looking around for video game companies to apply to. It's a big plastic golf club with a slot for your razor so you can shave your back yourself! It looks like such a time saver! I wonder if they have a shaving cream applicator attachment... or if you have to find someone with a strong enough stomach to lather you up.

Go check it out - you know you want one Dad!

LOL

(Going a bit loopy staying indoors in front of the computer - time to get out into the sun.)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Real Ice Cream

Last week we went to Real Ice Cream.

Sometimes we find weird new places to eat online or in the newspaper. Sometimes they are pretty good but we often don't go back just because we would rather try out something new. Real Ice Cream is different. We'll be going back... a lot.

Their website is really bootleg, but their food and ice cream is NOT. They are a chaat house, which is like Indian snack food. It's really good stuff at $3-4 per plate. But the big draw is the ice cream. They have 25 flavors of really interesting flavors. Sure there are some staples, but we want to try the fig, kulfi and masala chai! Last time I had chicoo and gulkand. I have no clue what those are, but they were GOOD.

I think we're going to try to go back today...

Try something different in your neighborhood!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

ZeitGeist Movie

In looking for images for this post I came across this - I find it hilarious that someone had the time to spend on this... couldn't they have done something more productive? ANYWAYS...

The latest buzz-word is viral marketing. Well it got me again and it was intriguing. I've received THIS LINK from a couple people now and I'm posting it here for whomever cares. Zeitgeist Movie is a 2 hour long commentary on things our society has accepted as truths. I watched it on my Wii on the TV with AJ. YAY, Nintendo!

The movie goes in three parts.
Part 1 speaks on Christianity and history as we know it.
Part 2 is about 9/11 and the media. (like a certain Michael Moore movie, but less dramatized)
Part 3 is about the Federal Reserve Bank, steering the public and war for profit.

I don't know if it's right or wrong, but I find it interesting to think about. Some things make sense to me - mostly the idea that one should always question rather than simply accept. It's good to think.

So watch and think.
Tell me what you think.
Tell someone else what you think.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ratatouille


I insist that you go see Ratatouille.

This movie is undeniably one of the funniest, most beautiful movies PIXAR has ever made. The world they created is amazingly complex and deep, yet appropriate for the characters and really pulls the viewer into the reality of the world. It is nigh flawless. The animation is impeccable. It was subtle at times and extravagant at others. I was in awe.

The plot as a whole was slightly predictable, but I didn't mind. The voice acting sometimes left a little to be desired - American actors doing French people speaking English is... a stretch. PIXAR ought to command enough of the world's attention to be able to cast the best English speakers of any country for added immersion in the film.

The last movie I saw was Spider-man 3 and I only saw it because I didn't have to pay. I almost swore off movies altogether based on that movie, but it didn't really seem fair to companies like PIXAR whom although tied to the monstrous hip of Disney, actually care about the story over the buck they will make.

I don't really like going to the movies; people kick your seat, talk through scenes, rustle wrappers and generally make movie-going unpleasant. Top onto that the hefty $10+ cost of the ticket alone and it's really not worth it. The exception is going to see kids movies. I can forgive kids because they aren't supposed to adhere to social mores yet and you get a much better feel for the emotional state of the movie through their unfiltered reactions.

I want to work in games, but after seeing this movie, I almost want to work in film... well, at PIXAR specifically. LOL

Again I reiterate - you must go see this movie. Don't wait for the DVD.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Resume writing

It's a funny thing when you have to update/rewrite your resume. OK - not really. (What's actually funny is when headhunters call it a re-ZOO-mee. But that's another story.)

I'm not sure if it's standard or we're just told it's standard to keep your resume to two pages. Is this because it's generally accepted that a human will become bored after reading (skimming really) two pages or is it to try and keep the verbose people tamed down? I like making lists and that means that one whole side of the page is open, but lists get long and boring... how am I supposed to know if I'm over two pages if my resume is in HTML?

Resumes are weird. You don't know who is going to read them or what they like - you get too generic and you don't seem special, but if you're too specific then people will be lost. It's all words in the end and if you try too hard to be a word-smith you seem transparent. Which makes me wonder if I need a degree in psychology to write a resume.

Which leads me to the graphic layout of resumes. Having a history in visual communication I want to spice it up a bit, but I'm told I need to use certain fonts at certain pt sizes (Times Roman at 12pt) which seems really bootleg to me - I don't like serif fonts and have decent enough vision to see 10pt - I mean, going down to 8pt would be a bit much I suppose. Anyways, I'm sticking with Arial at 10. Well, 11 in some areas for you challenged readers. If I go too standard, you'll just pile me up with all the other resumes. In the trash.

How about having your name on both pages? That seems like an utter waste of space to me and if you can't keep the two pages together then I don't really think I want to work at such a disorganized place - but maybe that means you NEED me there.

*sigh*

What's FUN is trying to code indents and bold type in HTML - talk about visual noise! It's like a pile of < / crap >.
Yeah - I'm a bit wonky.

Check out this crazy resume - WOAH! Do you think he has more of a chance to get hired because his personal logo looks like Jesus?!?! The text balloons remind me of a disemboweled body, lungs, heart and kidneys there...

Monday, June 18, 2007

spaceJASE.com v2.0

YAY - I've updated my website!
After the events of a couple weeks ago I was pretty down and knew in order to move on I was going to need to redo the 2 year old look and feel of my portfolio website. (as well as put up some new material) I went over to my buddy Chu's place and talked about what I could do. He had some great ideas and gave me a skeleton layout to start with. Well, now it's live and swanky. Take a look!
Will it help me get a job? I sure hope so! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mike & Ike, Target and Consumerism

Sometimes when you're trying to save money you get this burning desire to spend some. Is that the consumerism bred into us by American capitalism? I think it probably is. And like Don Hertzfeld says in "Rejected" - I AM a consumer whore.

In a weak attempt to get my "fix" we went to Target to get some minor staple household goods. (Cat-litter. Amazingly enough, Target sells the eco-friendly Swheat-Scoop brand at a much cheaper price than pet stores do... but that's another story.) Whenever we go to Target we take a peek at the clearance section on the ends of random aisles hidden back by the bathrooms. It's bootleg, I know. However, yesterday the jackpot awaited my ever miserly self and I stocked up on...
That's right. They had Mike & Ike candies for 0.46 cents a box!
(They were marked down from $2)

YAY! Consumer needs satisfied with cheap consumable flavored candies!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The game development industry

VGA out.
There were few of articles that popped up yesterday and today concerning my company.

They happen to be pretty relevant to me - so I think you ought to read them.
Here are the links.
Gamasutra article
Kotaku blurb
IGN
GameDailyBIZ
GameSpot
NextGenBIZ
Nintendo World Report

So, I am not alone in my plight - cross your fingers for all the peeps out there!

Now things get interesting...

Video Game Artist out.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back and Busy

NO that's not my desk-space.

We're back from our trip.

We had an awesome time. We spent 2 days in Joshua Tree national park, 2 days in Wickenburg Arizona (G&M wedding), 2 days in the Grands Canyon, 2 days in Zion National Park & 2 days in Las Vegas.

I will post pictures sometime this week - I hope. After we got back, we decided we don't really like the layout of the computer room. Since AJ will be spending more time in here working on school stuff, we went out and bought a few pieces of furniture to better organize the room. I have spent the entirety of my free time after work building a desk, bookcase, TV stand & file cabinet and attempting to organize all my computer, art and game stuff.

Yup - my space is being taken over. I think I'll be moving out to the garage.

LOL - just kidding. Now AJ will have a reason to be in here with me!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Out Again for a week Plus

We're heading out again for a while. My sister's getting married in Arizona and then we'll be checking out the Grand Canyon and Zion. Should be fun - especially since we'll be stopping in Las Vegas for a couple days to see what all the hoopla is about. I wonder if it will remind of us the cruise ship at all...

See y'all later!

Monday, May 14, 2007

This is a view of Nassau Docks in the Bahamas. I stitched together 3 photos taken from the upper restaurant as we left. Our cruise was great - mostly because of the company we had! Brian and Kerri (The Soxies as I have started calling them.) were exceptional travel partners - always in a good mood and ready to explore anything and everything the islands or the ship had to offer.

The ship itself, a Carnival "FunShip", was a gigantic box containing a small piece of Las Vegas and about 2,500 vacationers. We stood in line a lot for food, to get off the boat at port and for food. There was food available 24/7 - it was strange. We worked out a few days in the gym to try and counter the eat-fest, and we danced a lot in the disco.

We tried snorkeling for the first time and absolutely loved it! We snorkeled on all three islands. When the boat docked we rushed off and tried to get as far from the port as possible. We wanted to experience whatever island culture we could and find the best snorkeling. At Nassau we rented a scooter and drove to "Love" Beach. On St. Thomas we took a bus and ferry over to St. John and hiked to Solomon Beach. On St. Martin we rented a car and drove around the entire island and snorkeled at Baie Rouge. I think we might go back to St. John to hike and snorkel - and maybe St. Martin.

After we got back, Brian took us to DisneyWorld so I could go to the Lego store! I got a shirt and mug, but no Lego sets. It was great to see all the kids & adults having so much fun.

This is a panorama of Grand Case on St. Martin. I was standing out on a pier. I think I could retire here!

Overall it was an amazing adventure and although the boat was the weirdest part, we still enjoyed being there because we could hang out and laugh a lot with The Soxies. We have done the cruise thing once now and I don't think we'll go on a cruise again, but we will definitely go to the Caribbean again. (And we'll definitely be hanging out with The Soxies again!)

I've finally found time to upload all of our vacation photos. Chu recommended Flickr.com so I tried it out. It's really cool but I spent a lot of time labeling each picture and writing a caption - they make it so easy!

This is the overlook on the trail on St. John. It was raining earlier - but it's still gorgeous!

Anyways - check out the pictures here: Carnival Cruise 2007 - Caribbean
I plan on putting more pictures up in the future to keep the traffic on my website down. The main "spaceJASE" photo gallery is http://www.flickr.com/photos/spacejase/

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Praying Mantis Party

Hey - we're back from vacation!

Before I go into our trip, I want to show you the bugs I'm growing. Last year the praying mantis in our yard impaled itself on a aloe/cactus thing and died. When OSH had their bug bags this year, I got a container of praying mantis eggs. I left them in the planters outside because it said they would hatch after a few weeks of warm weather. That was a couple months ago and nothing has happened because it's not really all that warm here in the bay area... until this week - we're having a warm snap.

Well the egg sack seems to have done something and this little guy is one of the family now - he's going to keep the garden clear of pests and buggies that eat my plants. He and all 200 or so of his brothers and sisters that is!!!

I saw Michael Thomas chasing something on the ground - when I noticed it was a baby praying mantis, I looked at the plant and saw that it was covered in babies! I was totally excited and snapped a bunch of pictures. Then I picked up the plant and shook it over all the different areas of the garden. Now those guys will have enough food and my plants will grow better! Hopefully they will be able to avoid the birds for the most part.


They are kinda creepy - but I like them because they eat all the other creepies.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Out for a week or two...

Going on business to SCAD and then down to visit the Sox's.
Should be FUN!

See ya in a couple weeks!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Oil Painting #3 - Flowers

A few weeks ago I went to the office next door and asked them if I could have one of the bouquets they have in the office. They get a new awesome bouquet every week and they let me have one. At first I painted on it a couple hours every day, but then I lost interest and had to really make a point of sticking with it. That meant that the flowers died off and I was still painting - so a lot of the painting is made up from what I think flowers "ought" to look like. In the end I think it came put pretty nice considering I've only painted with oils twice before. It was fun. I learned some things.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

VodkaBear

Here's a neat little animation I found while Googling for images at work. Yes I was working. Yes I took a moment to watch this. Yes I used Google as a verb.

Watch it - it's cute.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Growing Things

Since this is the first time we've ever had a yard, I thought it would be neat to try and grow things.
It's been a learning experience - and gardening in the bay area is different than I remember it in Michigan. It's super hot during the day and really cold at night and not humid at all in comparison. I have been able to grow frost hardy plants from November like brussel sprouts, cauliflower, scallions & onions since the winter here only gets down to ~32 degrees or so.

Everything else here was planted in March.

The picture above shows the largest part of the garden. There are smaller areas of soil around the house where I have cilantro, parsley, sage &amp; oregano.

I'm having fun learning & growing. The cats like it too. Mike rolls around in the dirt and Maddi suns herself among the plants.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Third Stage

Conspiracy theories abound about this nation's leadership.
I don't know anything really, but sometimes I really feel like leaving the country for a few years again. Just to take a break... but then I'd just get tired of where-ever and have to come back.

The Third Stage

Watch when you have 20 minutes to spare.
I know it's one sided, but these days, what isn't - deal with it. If you don't like getting info from anywhere but your own side, then oh well. Whatever - close your mind to whatever you like. Don't tell me I'm one sided, either - I watch other stuff when it's presented to me.

I have a hard time deciding whether humans are inherently good or evil.
Maybe when I'm rich I'll buy and island somewhere and not deal with all this crap.

It will probably be an atoll used for nuclear testing at some point...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

AJ @ SFSU

Just a quick note - AJ got her acceptance letter from SFSU. (San Fransisco State University) We've been waiting to hear for a few months now. This is pretty much the only place to get a counseling masters in the bay area. This means we'll be here for at least another 2 years. Maybe we'll move up to SF so she doesn't have to commute 1/2 hour for classes... but then I'd have to commute to work!

Hmmm...

Anyways - congratulations AJ! This is a big life change and a new direction for her. She's a natural in counseling anyways, but this will give her the education to back her intuition. We're all kinds of excited.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monte Bello Hike

We went on a 5 mile hike in Monte Bello Wildlife Preserve yesterday. It was great. The park goes along part of the San Andreas fault line and you can see the epicenter of the 1989 earthquake. Most impressive to us, however, was the amount of nature we saw. We really like animals and there were so many to see!

We saw deer and vultures - they're pretty common. AJ saw a rabbit bolt across the path ahead of us and when we got up there, he was still there! He was still as a rock and hoping we wouldn't see him. When I got close enough to shoot this, he crawled in deeper.


This newt was the only little guy who ventured out of the stream among about 20 others who were lazing around in the water. He wasn't afraid of me and I got close enough for this nice shot. Look at how bumpy his skin is!


As we were leaving the parking lot, I noticed this coyote entering the parking lot across the road. We went over and I got a couple shots of him. He was really scraggly and looked kinda beaten up.

It was a great hike - I can feel the sore comin' on!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wondercon 2007

The day before I got my face bacteria we went to the Wondercon with Kaan and Muge. I went in to work in the morning and then hustled up to catch the latter half of the day. I got to go to a couple discussions that were interesting. Then we went down to the floor to check out all the weirdos. OK OK, if I had $600 to spare I'd get one of those Stormtrooper outfits too. It would be an outward acknowledgement of the redundancy found in an artist's attempts to be original - it just doesn't happen. We're all clones now. Rehashing what has come before and thinking we can stand out and change the world...

Anyways, there were troopers galore, and all kinds of people dressed up as other things for the costume show at the end. Here's a Robin and Green Lantern.

... and a super-deformed Alien.
I saw Two-Face, a group of Boba-Fetts, Sailor Moon, Obi-wan, Pirates and Ninjas too.

I bought a print from Mike Mignola and had Art Adams sign a couple old comics of mine. AJ was too scared to go meet "Apollo" from the old Battlestar Galactica. LOL I had Gene Yang sign a copy of American Born Chinese for me - then I sent it to Eric DeSantis. He likes Monkey King stories and this one was good. If you see it - pick it up. It's a light, humorous look at Chinese acculturation in American society.

Wondercon is fun - I'll go again next year. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Flesh Eating Bacteria On My FACE

That face.
That face.
That beautiful face.

A few weeks ago I got a bacterial infection of the skin on the right side of my face. It was so swollen, that it hurt to eat, smile, laugh and talk. This picture is when it was at it's worst. I went to the urgent-care doctor the previous day and got an antibacterial shot and a prescription for the "Mercedes" class antibiotic pills. I went to my doctor a couple days later and he said I could get the "Ferrari" class drugs if I wanted faster results. I said I was OK with Mercedes. (Always liked German cars better...) This type of infection is called "cellulitis" but can, if left untreated, evolve into the flesh eating bacterial infection. (Like this isn't scary enough already!) It starts out as superficial, but it can get to the deeper skin and then your skin just starts falling off.
NEATO!

Anyways - having this picture and an image editing program on hand, I made a couple "fun" but scary images of what I might look like with a few more pounds - or a few less.

Fattie-JASE

Anorexic-JASE
I am all better now, but that side is still a little more flushed than the other. Go ahead and poke fun at the pics - I won't wish a flesh eating bacterial infection on you... and karma won't cause it to happen to you either!