Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Is Coming...

...the goose is getting fat...and I along with it. My lord there has been no shortage of holiday goodness around the studio. It would be rude of me not to sample each and every one. And so I have.....several times.

I had been doing pretty good. I was watching what I was eating...working out a little and loosing some weight but from Thanksgiving to New Years its just a hopeless cause. To hell with trying to do good....bring on the cookies!!

Results from the poll show that people hate the lemon too!! I put it on there for my wife and she didn't even vote for it. Take that lemon pie!! Pumpkin and apple will fight to the death to determine the true winner.

Favorite Kind of Pie
pumpkin (25%)
apple (25%)
banana cream (20%)
lemon (0%)
chicken pot (10%)
pecan (10%)
blueberry (10%)

And just in time for the holidays and new poll is up!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Time at Chase Manor

As December was approaching this year my wife proposed we get a 2nd tree for our game room. I immediately checked to see if she was ill. Our existing tree is quite a job and combine that with 2 Christmas villages and lights in the backyard and front, I already had my work cut out for me. But she insisted that it would be a smaller tree on which we could hang all of our cartoon/kid ornaments.

Secretly I suspected that this was her way of getting rid of Spiderman. I have a Spiderman ornament and he is in a cool web slinging pose. Each year I put it in the center of the tree and each year she asks "Does it have to go in the center?" to which I reply it most certainly does. But now Spidey, Jimmy Neutron and all our Disney ornaments have been cast out, to a tree of their own. Spidey front and center.

Putting up a 2nd tree was not as much work as I thought and has added Christmas cheer to the west wing. That was a good thing....but then..

With the Christmas lights, I put those barely moving deer and a snow man in the backyard so the kiddos can look out the kitchen window and ooo and ah. Out front I usually just put lights in the trees and bushes. This year my wife suggested putting icicle lights on the house. With most houses around us having lights up on their houses I figured this would help make our street a powerhouse of Christmas cheer. Her suggestion of a 2nd Christmas tree worked out well, so what could possibly go wrong.

First thing was locating the lights. I went to a Lowes, Home Depot, Garden Ridge, France, Target and three Walmarts before finding them. But I got em so SCORE.

The guy who takes care of our yard offered to put up the lights. You silly fool!! I can do that myself. No problem...its just lights..its not like its hard or anything to hang lights. I continued to laugh at him until he drove away. As he sped off I remembered that the last time I tried to get up on the roof I had a panic attack and peed my pants. My laughter turned to a pained look. The kind our President gets before speaking..

But I had a plan. I would put the lights night!! That way if I freaked out and started crying OR if I fell off the roof and landed in a bush, no one would see me......or call 911, mmm yeah it wasn't a well thought out plan.

So out I went. Dark. Cold. Perfect. I started with what I thought would be the easy part of the roof line....the part that I could get to from the ground. Of course all the bushes and plants were in the bloody way, so much creative maneuvering was in order. With that string of lights mostly on it was finally time to get on up on the roof. Woohoo lets go!!

My yard is sloped so it took some time to find a nice stable spot for the ladder. I trotted on up with lights in hand.....looked out on the vast, dark, cold roof. Here we go. I put my left foot on the roof...aaaaaaannnnnnd decided that there was no way in hell I could do this. Maybe if I sorta...turned no that's even scarier. Well why do I need to put the lights on the gables anyways...I mean.....sigh...YOU FAILED.... I would call yard man the next day.

After two hours I had put up one and half strings of lights. I suck.

The next day yard man put all the lights up. My wife called to tell me how beautiful the house looked. I got home and saw no lights and none of the outside plugs were working, which is always a good sign. Quick trip to the circuit breaker box and sure enough the outside circuit tripped. Well we will just flip that back on an....POP-a flash of orange-smoke....FLIZZLE FLAZZLE!!

The electrician comes out the next day and sure enough the circuit overloaded. Yes the POP-FLASH-SMOKE was my first clue. The backyard lights (3 amps) were on the same circuit as the front house lights (18 amps) and the circuit is a 20 amp circuit. Damn you 1 amp. The GFI outlet had a short in it which caused the main circuit to fry, but with some plutonium adjustments to the flux capacitor and proton pack....we were back in business. A lesson in how electricity works for only $270.

Light problems aside, I'm glad we got em. And now at last, Chase Manor is ready for Christmas. Bring it on.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's a Wonderful Bug's Life

Results from the poll:

Favorite Animated Insect Movie
The Ant Bully (19%)
Antz (14%)
Bee Movie (5%)
A Bug's Life (62%)

People love the life of bugs......bee movie?....not so much.

A new poll is up just in time for the holidays!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thomas the Expensive Tank Engine

Christmas is approaching...there it is....right behind you!! And so begins the shopping. Now both my daughter, Wonder-pea, and my son, Lil Pumpkin, dig the Thomas the tank engine. When visiting any Barnes and Nobles much time and fun is spent playing with these little trains.

Wonder-pea has been a Thomas fan for awhile and has a few engines and some track, all provided by family members at previous birthdays, christmas etc. We've been thinking of expanding the collection, maybe even getting a train table like they play with at the book store.

As it happens, I found myself in the Toys R Us and decided that I would pick up a few things. Ya gotta start the shopping early before everything is gone and you are left with giving your children scotch tape and beef jerky. So here is me...beating the rush.

This first thing I took a look at was a Roundhouse where Wonder-pea and Lil Pumpkin could store all their trains after a hard day of training around.

How much is this thing........hummm oh here it- $80.00!!! HOLY POOP!!! I dropped it like it a hot biscuit. Once I finished shaking I turned it over with my foot and looked at the price again... and again...and again...and again...

I quickly walked away.

Maybe another little train with a coal car would be good. $20.00!!! OK train with no coal car $15.00. My Pirates of the Caribbean figures from NECA, which are pretty detailed, run $14.00.....why in gods name is this thing $20. And then I saw that the Thomas line boasts: Made from Real Wood. Damn you real wood.

How about "Made From Something that Won't Make This Stuff So Expensive" paper or feathers. The more I explored the wonderful toy world of Thomas, the more it become clear that Learning Curve, the makers of this cash cow, are rolling in the freakin dough. Sure it's "official" merchandise and then there is the "real wood" thing. But come on. A little 3 inch train should not be $20.

After my mind stopped spinning, I though, o-k maybe we can just get the table. It's just an average looking table with a scenery image on top. We will get the table and trick- see if other family members want to buy the crazy expensive trains, track etc.

Tables run: $250-400. My.....god...

I hope the kids enjoy the scotch tape and beef jerky.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I finally had some time to do a decent drawergeeks submission.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Bee Movie

Bee Movie opens today. Yes its out right now!! Go....hurry.....time is running out!! ReelFx did some promotional spots for the film. I have a couple shots I did up in the animation section. Enjoy.

A new poll is up as well. Here are the results from the previous:

Favorite Team Fortress 2 DEFENSE character
Demoman (33%)
Heavy (33%)
Engineer (33%)

A three way tie!! You're all winners!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kung Fu Panda

**UPDATE movie is working again**

I'm super excited for this one. Go Panda!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spiderman 3 on DVD

Not gonna buy it. Not gonna rent it.

Look at him over there, sitting in the rain, looking all depressed. What went wrong with my movie? Too many characters? Too much dancing? Too much crying? Yes, yes and hell yes.

Have you forgotten dear Spiderman why your 3rd outting sucked so bad? If so, reread what I wrote about it here and then here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eagles Scream

Tonight I hit a steam rating of 10 after spending about a week bouncing around in the 9.somethings. Woohoo!! I have no idea what this rating means but woohoo!!

I've been playing TF2 a lot and by a lot, I mean A LOT!! I need to ween myself down on the game play so I don't burn myself out. I've been telling myself that over the past two weeks. Apparently I'm ignoring myself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Peace Love Frankenstein

There is a new shirt design in the My Shop area.....hard to believe? Tell me about it. It's the first new anything to go into My Shop in months. One wonders how long My Shop will stay in business.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Team Fortress 2

TF2 is out!! Yes its true. I have been playing the Beta Orange Box release for a few weeks now and its a lot o fun; I'm actually doing pretty good...who would of thunk it possible. Now you can join in on the fun by going HERE.

Big congrats to my buddies up at Valve: Andrew Burke, Hamish Mckenzie, Karen Prell and Matthew Russell.

Poll results...for: Of my 5 shows, which will rock the hardest this season

HEROES (40%)
The Office (47%)
LOST (7%)
24 (7%)
Smallville (0%)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

..damn you NBC

Technology is pretty awesome when it works but when it doesn't, its really really annoying. Take our dual tuner DVR for example. Recording an entire season of a series...wonderous...recording two shows at once...a miracle of the modern age. The only problem is that one of the dual tuners is flaky and must only be able to hold 6% instead of 100%.

We discovered this when the disk space suddenly jumped from 56% to 100%.

We discovered this last Thursday when we had premieres of The Office and Smallville scheduled to record at the same time.

Smallville recorded but The Office did not, even though we were at 56% full at the time of the recordings; 100% after. I jumped around like an angry monkey...hit the DVR with my club and threw a rock at the TV, but to my dismay The Office was still not showing up in my playlist.

Then I remembered that NBC had just announced that they were pulling out of iTunes making episode available for FREE, the day after they aired. Awesome. The next day I happily went to to download The Office premiere.

The kids are in bed, the wife is ready to watch and.....why isn't it working? Let's try again...nothing. Glad to see they tested it out. Reboot..nothing...try at it unmercifully...nope. There is nothing NOTHING on the page that says anything about "what you need to view the shows". Brilliant. Does it use some fancy new Java plugin or magic...who knows. Also nowhere does it say "having trouble viewing the show?". No support!! Fan-freakin-tastic.

Fortunately there is a forum on and a thread for Tech Support. Sure enough, many folks are having the same problem. This is Friday...NBC's new season launched on Monday...their player is not working and no one from "support" is telling people anything in the forum. NBC you are upsetting me.

I check iTunes, maybe just Office season 4, which the more I thought about it the dumber this seemed. People use iPods to watch their take it with them. Pulling out of iTunes completely alienates that market. But I guess NBC doesn't like making money.

So I turned to Google. For the love of god Google tell me where I can find this episode. Google returns some options but what a surprise the content has been removed...most likely by NBC. No no will watch our shows on our broken player or you won't watch them at all!!

But then I see Apparently I can pay $1.99 and download the episode from something called Amazon Unbox Video. Wow sorta like ITUNES! You would think that with the problems NBC was having with their own FREE player, that they might point people over to Amazon....make a little cash and keep people happy. Insanity!

In the end The Office premiere was pretty funny...making the journey worth it; Amazon I have feelings for me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

TV Returns

It's a week of premieres!! Three of the five shows I watch come on this week; LOST and 24 don't start 'til next year.

Check out the commercials:


The Office


Poll results for: What I did over the summer

Wrestled a lion (7%)
Got thrown out of a theme park (13%)
Saw a crappy movie (47%)
Went drunk..threw up...repeat (13%)
Embraced internet dating (13%)
Spent a couple hours in jail (7%)

New poll now up!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!!! Arrrrrrrrrr!

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!!! Arrrrrrrrrr!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Iron Man

The official teaser is a bit different than the one leaked from Comic-Con...but its still pretty damn cool. Go summer 08!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Full Indiana Jones Title Announced!
Source: Paramount Pictures
September 10, 2007
The title of the new Indiana Jones adventure, now in production under the direction of Steven Spielberg, is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it was revealed today by actor Shia LaBeouf.

LaBeouf, who stars in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone and John Hurt, announced the title during today's MTV Video Music Awards, which were broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a Lucasfilm Ltd. and is being distributed by Paramount Pictures. It will be released in the U.S. and simultaneously in most territories worldwide on Thursday, May 22, 2008. Frank Marshall returns as producer, with Kathleen Kennedy joining George Lucas as executive producer.

Interesting that in the poll "Of the many rumored titles for next years Indy 4, the most LIKELY title is:" Kingdom of the Crystal Skull got a whopping 0%.

Poll results:

A new poll is now up...woohoo!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Office: Summer Vacation

The new season begins in a month...woohoo!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First Day of School

Today was Wonder-peas first day of school; pre-k to be exact. She could not be more excited. Going to school is something she has been talking about for months. We only hope that it meets up to her expectations.

This morning when I woke up, I remembered what I didn't like about school. You have to get up so damn early. I had a scary moment of clarity "Wonder-pea getting up early for school will mean I WILL have to get up early.......every morning!!!.....CRAP it's like I'M back in school all over again!!!"

Once everyone was up, dressed and ready to go it was time for pictures so we could: A. capture the first day for scrapbooks and grandparents B. remind Wonder-pea how thrilled she was to go to school, when she starts complaining about week.

When we got to school we walked her to her classroom. The hallways were busy with little ones with lunchboxes and backpacks. One little girl's backpack was literally as big as she. Was she wearing the backpack or was the backpack....wearing her????

We settled Wonder-pea at a table with another little girl. Both girls looked at each other with that shy "I'd like to talk to you but I'm not sure how to start" look on their faces. And thus began her busy day of stories, crafts and snacks. The beginning of a long road...

Yesterday I had told her to enjoy her last day of freedom for she will be a slave to the education system for at least the next 17 years. Wow. That is a long time to be learning stuff. I am 36 years old. I have spent half my life learning stuff in an official capacity. I have spent the other half of my life forgetting most of that stuff.

And now the circle will repeat. I just wish school would start at noon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Phantom Blahs

Not surprising that the poll for WORST Star Wars film resulted in Phantom Menace(55%) being the winner. Second place went to Attack of the Clones(36%) with Revenge of the Sith(9%) coming in third; not a lot of love for the prequels...shocking. No votes were cast for the original trilogy...the Ewoks rejoice!

Keeping the Lucas theme going...a Indiana Jones poll is now up!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Star Wars Come to Texas

Some ReelFXers took a field trip to Fort Worth to check out the Star Wars exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The exhibit shows how the science of Star Wars relates to our world (robotic limbs for instance); several of the hands on interactives were actually pretty neato.

Science is all cool and whatnot, but I was mostly excited about the movie props etc. It was awesome to see practical models since sooo much of the prequels were totally digital.

And lookie over there......a new poll!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rollerblade X-treme

The amount of speed this dude gets is pretty impressive....and a little scary; it's pretty cool how he takes the turns. For the curious: the mountain road he is on, Grimselpass, is in Switzerland.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Burning Safari

More cool animation from France....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Needs a Kwik E Mart?

As I am sure you are aware, several 7-11s have had a make over to look like Kwik E Marts from the Simpsons show. Lots of photos have been on the net for awhile, but hey why not post some more? The other week, me and my buddy Ernesto visited the one near the studio....and these are our pictures...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Davey Jones Coolness

Awesome side by side comparison of Bill Nighy (Davey Jones) from Dead Man's Chest (clip *may* not play in Firefox)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Yay! fun French animation.....

English version..

Moon Sand

Maybe you have seen ads for this Moon Sand stuff. It's sand you can mold!! And we have some. Commercials work well on Wonder-pea. She sees the Moon Sand commercials and insists that we must get some. She also insists that we get a Rocket Fisherman.

So on a trip to the Toys R Us we picked her up some. And from the moment we opened the package I began hating Moon Sand with every fiber of my being.

Our kit came with an ice cream cone mold. Yes when you pack the moon sand in the mold it makes a pretty nice little shape. Removing the shape from the mold requires a surgeons steady hand. If you're lucky enough to remove it in one piece you have about 5.3 seconds before it falls apart.

The packaging shows these elaborate little scenes made up of various molded moon sand figures....yeah nice photoshop. After several tries, I managed to make and remove, intact, an ice cream cone. Moving carefully, as if holding plutonium, I sat it on the table. I slowly backed away holding my breath. I caught Wonder-peas attention and through a series of rapid eye darts, directed her attention to the ice cream cone. Unfortunately the shock wave from her blink was too much and the figure crumbled.

Wowie!! That was fun. NOT. So this junk is mostly useless to play with, but hey clean up is a snap right? RIGHT???!!! Cleaning up the moon sand is the bane of my existence. Like sand we find here on earth, moon sand is gritty and gets everywhere. We might as well bring the sand box in the house because it's like having all the messy fun of the beach right there in your own home!!! I want to punch the inventor of this stuff in the neck....seriously.

I have threatened to throw the moon sand away numerous times but my wife prevents me from doing so because Wonder-pea likes playing in it. And that is fine...its the damn clean up.

There is nothing better than to come home from work in a great la la, hello wife, walk into the the living room, hello Lil Pumpkin, walk into the dining room, hello Wonde-MOON SAND!!! AH CRAP NO...NOT THE MOON SAND!! Then there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.....

Hear me Moon Sand...your days are numbered.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


So the other day a small group of us headed out of work a little early to catch Transformers. While critics have been split on the film, geeks like me seem to be digging it, so I was reasonably excited to see the movie. The lesson I learned was: don't trust geeks.

**Some spoilers and complaining've been warned**

Having worked on the game I was aware of the basic storyline, which raised many an eyebrow around the studio and not in a good way; Autobots shop on ebay?...was Optimus' birthday coming up? What to get the bot who can transform into anything.

Then there was the robot design. Again having worked on the game I knew first hand what a pain in the rear it was to get good poses with these huge meshes of metal AND how hard it was to tell them apart from each other.

I appreciate the set up at the beginning of the film and thought it was well done, however it went on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I swear it was 45 min in before Optimus even showed up. And then when he and the other Autobots did come on the scene they act like people in robot costumes. Jazz break dancing? Bumblebee doing some thing....dancing should be outlawed in summer blockbusters.

After the movie was over I asked Bryan Engram what he thought, to which he replied "I don't know what to think." That was pretty much how I felt. On one hand there was some cool action scenes and some neato transformation animation and bot on bot battles; at the end of the day that IS what we came to see. But at the same time most of those action scenes were hard to follow. The camera was constantly moving and pushed in too close. And then there was the bots.

I have no problem with them being redesigned. And I think ILM did a decent job with what they had to work with but man oh man most of them bots were just too busy looking. Did they even have hands? There was so much metal this and that everywhere it was hard to tell.

During the final battle I literally lost track of who was attacking who.....ok is that...Ironhide? it is Ironhi.....wait...... If they shot laser beams (hint hint) instead of bullets (advance alien race....they use bullets?) then at least the Decepticons could have red lasers...the Autobots blue...which would have helped A LOT to figure out who was shooting who.

One of the best scenes was the throw down between Bonecrusher and Optimus on the freeway, but once they started rolling around it was like watching a mangled train wreck; there could have been major pass through on the characters and no one would EVER know. That sequence ended with awesomeness when Prime wacks off Bonecrushers head with a sword...a sword that he apparently forgets he has in the next battle.

Then there was the cheese. Why....WHY would the Autobots hang out in Sam's yard when they are supposed to be keeping a low profile? It's like Michael Ebay was going for an Iron Giant moment there. John Turturro was just a tad or 10 over the top....funny sure....but goofball secret government agents? Really? Bumblebee taking a leak on Turturro......oh you wacky robots, I want to party with you guys on new Cybertron......sigh...

How about that robot character development or lack thereof. You will sell more toys if the kids connect with the characters....some free advice for the future. We get to know Optimus a little and Bumblebee and the toony "I'm from a different movie" Frenzy and that's it. Megatron has too little screen time to be developed and the other Decepticons just fly around and break stuff.. which is cool, but one of the things that was neato about the bad guys in the old show was the power plays between Megatron and Starscream and its just not here.

Ironhide, Ratchet and Jazz....I can barely remember what they looked like let alone what they did in the movie. Jazz got killed...I remember that. Here is Jazz' dead body...maybe we can use him for a door stop or something.

Analyst girl and donut eating hacker dude: how did you sneak into this movie? There was no need for either of you...please leave; the code "discovery" could have been reworked without either of them.

Shia LaBeouf I really liked you in this movie....yes its true. His Sam character tied all the nuttiness together and he was fun to watch. I actually left the theater feeling better about this kid being in Indy 4.

All Spark....200 feet high...but wait, if you push this button here it shrinks down to ever so convenient pocket size, Baby Spark. Yeah...ok. And why was every bot created by Baby Spark evil?

Optimus please keep your mouth shield ON in the next one. I don't want to see your wacky bot nose and lips. If you were trying to emote during the film, it was lost due to so many parts moving around on your face. Sell the emotion with your eyes...the EYES...come on big guy, you know you got the touch, you got the power.

Megatron saying "Prime"....yes I liked that....say it maybe in the next one. Hugo Weaving voiced all 12 lines Megatron spoke in the film and with all the digital enhancements, SpongeBob Squarepants could have done the voice and it would have sounded cool. Why didn't they just get Frank Welker?

The film was fun, I was entertained....really I was, but it wasn't the film I was hoping for or expecting. Hopefully Transformers 2 will be WAY better.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Energon Cubes Make Me Gasey

Transformers officially opens today although it sorta, kinda opened on Monday. In stores at this very moment is Transformers: The Game. If you haven't seen the game trailer head on over to the official game site and check it out; looks like a lot of fun.

ReelFX did some of the cut scene animatics for the game and I've posted several of my shots in the animation area. A word of warning!! If you have NOT seen the movie, there are a couple spoilers in my shot montage, as the game follows events in the film. You have been warned.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Die Hard

With "Live Free or Die Hard" doing fairly well, it looks like yet another Die Hard film is on the way...

Monday, July 02, 2007

That'll Do Donkey

I uploaded a Donkey test to the animation area. It's in a brand new tab aaaalll the way at the bottom, called TESTS.

Before we started the Shrek the Third commercials, we spent a couple weeks playing with the rigs, providing "shots" for texture and lighting so they could get the fur looking the way Dreamworks wanted.

Also there is new poll up...yay! Look over there...there it is...see it? I said I'd post a new one on Mondays and by god I did. Shocking I know. I half expected that I would forget all about it.

A future poll will question how long I will remember to update the poll.