Friday, August 25, 2006

Portland Studios T-Shirts...

My friends over at Portland Studios opened their T-Shirt Store. Check em out and buy this little one above for one of your hairy friends.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Book Thoughts : Oliver Twist

By some cruel twist of fate, I was never properly aquainted with Mr. Charles Dickens in my high school reading. This is strange because while back home recently I discovered a list from my high school senior english class and "A Tale of Two Cities" is smack on the list. I don't remember a word of it. I wanna say that we never got to it, but anyone who knows me knows that my memory isn't my best feature and it's highly possible that the book simply took no hold on me at the time. Regardless, it's back on my list. I finished Oliver Twist last night and it was excellent. It's a bitter sweet tale of loss and bliss at the same time. From the stupid introduction I learned that it's one of his earliest books and not thought to be one of his best. It also annoyingly revealed a major plot point which then caused me to cease reading said intro. Lesson - Don't read the introductions to classics before reading the book. I read some Jane Austin last spring and enjoyed it immensely, however Dickens paints the victorian world in decidedly different hues. I don't know enough of the era to know all of the facts, but I don't think I'd have wanted to have been a pauper in those days. He is a master of illuminating description even in this early work; I can't wait to see what he does in his later ones. Here's one of my more favorite passages in which someone is calling to his mind faces from the past:

He wandered over them again. He had called them into view and it was not easy to replace the shroud that had so long concealed them. There were the faces of friends, and foes, and of many that had been almost strangers peering intrusively from the crowd; there were the faces of young and blooming girls that were now old women; there were faces that the grave had changed and closed upon, but which the mind, superior to its power, still dressed in their old freshness and beauty, calling back the lustre of the eyes, the brightness of the smile, and beaming of the soul through its mask of clay, and whispering of beauty beyond the tomb, changed but to be heightened, and taken from the earth only to be set up as a light, to shed a soft and gentle glow upon the path to Heaven.
Beautiful. Writing like this reminds me why I love books so much.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A trip to Oklahoma and a reunion...

Currently Reading - Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens Friday, I headed down to the heated plains of Oklahoma City. Dadgum, it's hot down there. Friday, I think it was 106. That's not heat index, my Chicago friends who think 92 is unbearable, but actual temp. I'm not even sure what the heat index was. The day was pretty good, my step dad picked up from the airport and I went and picked up some burgers at Johnnies (you must get a burger there if you are ever in town) and took them over to my uncle and grandmother for a visit. That evening it turned out that my cousin was coming in town to visit his girlfriend at OU and so I went out to get a bite to eat with them for dinner. We wanted to hit Zeo's (which is a pretty good Italian place I hear), but didn't have time for the wait so headed next door for some soup and sandwiches from Panera Bread. So, it's been 10 years since I graduated high school. That just seems nuts to me, but they had this reunion thing this weekend and lots of people from my class showed up so I guess it's true. Friday night, we met at a bar in downtown OKC - Bricktown as it's called now and is pretty sweet. It started a little slow, but more folk mingled in as time went on. It's funny how little some people changed and how much others did. Interesting, eyes don't seem to change much at all and most people I could recognize without too much difficulty and some of them I hadn't seen since graduation. Saturday, we had a little picnic where there was rather low attendance due to the hell-on-earth heat. However, many of those that did come brought their kids which was cool to see. More than a few kids coming out of the class of '96 so far, but I imagine the 20 year will show an even more plentiful bounty. That night, we had the banquet which was pretty cool. I snagged a table with some old friends and had a good time chatting the night away with all kind of folk. Some people I really wanted to see didn't make it - Amanda, Russell and Trevor from art and Rusty (though I'm told he prefers Russ now). Overall, it was a lot of fun - hearing where everyone had been and what they'd done. I'm glad everyone is so well. Good times.

Heather, Caren, me
One of my friends, Scott, finally tipped the scale on my disdain for Myspace. He informed me that one of my good friends I'd not seen in a long long time was on there. So, I signed up Sunday and heard back from him Monday. Very cool indeed. I've even found a few more on there. I seriously doubt I'll succumb to the flashy onslaught insanity of cut-and-paste-happy-design. However, if that floats your boat, why not? If I can keep in touch with some old friends. That's good enough for me.
Heather and her husband Bobby DR. Scott (Congrats, my friend) and his wife Lauren

Monday, August 14, 2006

Clean Slates...

In the year 1914, Thomas Edison's "invention factory" (as he called it) burned to the ground. Of that disaster, he is quoted as saying, "All of our mistakes have been destroyed. In a new factory we can start our experiments with a clean slate." Several years ago, I had a hard drive die and I lost a good bit of work for a horrific few weeks. However, I had a good backup and at most lost a month of work. I've actually thought that my back up system I've been following for years now has been pretty sound. I usually have two back up drives backing up my main work drive. That seemed like a pretty good method. Well, after I finished school I let one of my back ups go and only had one. I thought that would still be plenty. Two months ago, I had a hard drive fail. My main work drive that is. I worked about a week on the main drive trying to get it back and it just wouldn't respond. I tried absolutely every diagnostic app I could find (windows or bootable) to no avail. I was in the middle of my freelance gig and didn't have time to mess with it, so put it aside thinking I'd get backup drive and be up and running when I had some time. So, when the project was done, I tried that. Come to find out, the back up drive didn't seem to wanna respond either. I figured I'd be able to fix em...prolly just a bad sector or something. This past weekend, I finally got a replacement drive and installed it and took a hard look at my backup. I ran some diagnostics and.... Dead as a doornail. Uh oh. So, it appears that I've lost the past 6 years of freelance, reference, school and personal work. The only things I have are my most recent project, The Potter and an assortment of 3d projects. Where this mainly sucks is that I've lost all the source files for all of the websites I've done. So, the next update to my site other than the blog is going to be a complete redesign. That's not such a bad thing, it's been a while. However, I did lose a few things I'd have rather not have. Now, I could pay some outlandish $1k or more to try and have a company recover the data, but I'm not gonna do that. It's just stuff and that's a lot of moola. So, like Edison (and pretty much only in this way as he was an absolute genius), I've got a clean slate. Not really all that bad of a place to be when you really think about it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Ca...troll..ogre-thingy in the Hat

His hat is pretty close to done (sans texturing). I've been staying late at work late the past week cause my carpool friend has had to be around. It's been good time to focus on Olaf here. Next, I think I'm gonna start blocking out his body. However, this weekend, I've gotta do another promotional thing with Tiko. For that, a Hawaiian shirt is in order...Aloha. Other than that, this weekend will be comprised of getting ready for a trip to OKC next week and my cousin and his girlfriend are coming over for dinner on Sunday. For that, I'm making some of my creamy pesto pasta and some home made ice cream. Should be fun. Out.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Not as much progress as I wanted...

But still got a good ways in. More importantly, I learned how to properly use Silo's topology Talk about sweet. Here's Olaf's template hat. I wanna get some feed back from Cory before I really get into details. Hopefully we can touch base later today (it's almost 1am now). Today was a pretty good day, I got up and went for a nice little 4 mile jog in some nasty humidity. After I worked out, I headed to church, then headed to Texas Roadhouse for lunch cause I felt like some steak. I used to eat at one in Savannah, and they just put one in about 3 blocks from my apartment complex, so I thought I'd give this one a shot to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was. After that I headed to the bike store cause my buddy said they were having a sale. We've been riding bikes together some and he'd been harping on me to get some real biker shorts. Now, as I was growing up, biker shorts just meant spandex. However, he told me that they have actual padding in the shorts (kinda like a mini pillow woven into the tight-tastic material). So, I picked up a pair and some shades on sale (half off, baby!) and headed to the grocery store. When I finally got home, I decided my new shorts needed a trial run and listened to that stupid little voice again for another 17 mile trek. The humidity was gone by then and it was actually a really nice ride. This evening has pretty much been hanging out with Olaf and my attempted "sewing" attempts for his hat. Much to do. But for now, it's bed time.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Time for bed Olaf....

After I got in this evening, I spent a bit of time relaxing, then got back to working on getting Olaf some bug protection for those speedy motorcycle rides. For the most part, I think they're there (but there's always room for improvements). Tomorrow...or later today rather....I'm gonna work on his hat so he doesn't get sunburned!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Good day so far...

Started off this mornin' with at 17 mile ride. I had no intention of going that far, that stupid little voice just kept saying, "Just a little bit further before you turn around....just a little more." Ah, well. Beautiful weather out. Did a few tweaks on Olaf this afternoon and did a quick planning concept from which to do his hat and goggles. I love this character, he's gonna be so much fun to animate. Gotta head out...

Little update...

Worked till about 2 last night on Olaf trying to really capture Cory's tweaks. I think it's alot closer but still have some tweaking to do. However, it's a beautiful day out, and time for a bike ride... Be back later.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Minor Olaf Updateage...

Cory was kind enough to take a look at the latest tweaks and do a paint over with this fixes. Hopefully this weekend will see his head done intact with hat and goggles...can't wait to get started:)

Thursday, August 3, 2006

With news like this...

So I ran across this little gem of an article today. Thankfully, this one isn't about politics. Looks like neither side is telling the truth. If I ran my finances like this, I'd be in bankruptcy court or collections...who exactly runs collections on the Feds? Makes it understandable why lots'a folk wanna just have a beer and sit in front of the tube and pretend everything is just dandy.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Potter bus...

I forgot about this. I had heard about this bus last year after I left school but never saw it. A buddy from college sent me this pic a few months ago and I just found it on my iconrific desktop. This should probably be the end of The Potter stuff...that is until "The Potter 2: Revenge of the clay!" Just kidding. We've been very blessed with how folk have taken to it. My continual thanks go to my good friends who helped bring it about - Scott Englert, Ben Willis, Scott Spencer, Jon Campbell, Will Atkin, David Bokser , Hunter Curra, and Matthew Parrot. You can see what everyone did here.

Olaf Day 2

Made some good progress tonight...just plucking along. I hope to have the head at least rudimentary done by this weekend. Time for bed...

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