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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad

Today Apple released their brand new iPad which is Apple's first Tablet Notebook thing... or, a really big iPod Touch.

This sleek looking piece of hardware features:
iPhone/iPod Touch Apps
WiFi 802.11n
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Accelerometer & Compass
Speaker
Microphone
30-pin iPod connector
1GHz Apple A4 Chip
9.7 inch display (1024 x 768 pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch)
Full capacity multi touch screen
10 hours of battery life, over a month of standby
0.5 inches thick
1.5 lbs

The more expensive model features:
3G internet:
$14.99 for 250mb data
$29.99 for unlimited
GPS

Pricing chart looks like this:
16 GB32 GB64 GB
Wi-Fi$499$599$699
Wi-Fi + 3G$629$729$829

Which isn't too bad I guess....

But what doesn't it have? A camera, for one. A phone, for another. Sure it has a bigger screen but really what your buying is a huge iPod touch. I my opinion this thing could be cool, VERY cool. The only thing that's holding it back right now is it's lack of camera and ability to make calls. Until it can do that, it's really only an iPod touch. Granted an iPod Touch with a way bigger screen and way better computer inside.

It will be amazing for surfing the internet away from home or on vacation and business trips. Doing anything on line will be great with it. Looking at photos, watching movies (that you've downloaded from itunes store and have paid for), using the apps that your used to, all these things will be made... bigger on the iPad. And that could be all you really need.

What I really want is to get my hands on one of these and see first hand if it feels like my iPhone or something new. If I was given one of these I would probably use the hell out of it, but I'm not sure it would be a better choice over a regular macbook or macbook pro. If all you do is surf the web, play games, send emails, update facebook, and any number of things that don't require specific programs on your computer, this is probably for you. I, personally, like to be able to run Adobe programs, DVD's, web editing software and any other of my numerous apps on my computer, not to mention video chatting.

I love you apple, but what I really wanted was something new with the iPhone... oh well, maybe February.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a TWOfer

Today I went and saw two movies back to back. The first, "The Princess and the Frog".

I ended up liking this one a great deal more than I thought I would. I mean, I was expecting greatness and got perfection. Another perfect Disney feature film. I'm glad Disney finally gave in and went back to what they're good at. They really need to leave the 3D to Pixar. "The Princess and the Frog" fits right in with any full length feature film that Disney turned out Within the past 10 years or so... anything that wasn't "Home on the Range", that one wasn't too good.

"The Princess and the Frog" started at noon and was an hour and 35 minutes long. At 1:40pm, "The Book of Eli" started, so I figured I'd see if I could catch that one... and I did.



This movie was actually better than I was expecting. That's probably because I wasn't expecting too much, having only seen the trailer once or twice. I didn't think it was TOO preachy, and for the life of me I can't remember the last movie I saw that WAS too preachy, aside from documentaries. "The Book of Eli" didn't have quite as much action as I was expecting but they did a great job with what they had. The style and feel of this movie is similar to "Terminator: Salvation" or "The Road", following the whole post-apocalyptic theme... which actually wasn't covered as much as I would have liked.

Anyway, still worth seeing... Both of them that is.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Star Wars Ware

Here's a couple of star wars related shirts that I received recently.


Purchased this one from TeeFury.com and it was waiting for me at home when I got back from California.


Here's a shirt that I picked up, you guessed it, from San Francisco. It was actually bought from a shop in China Town but really has nothing to do with China Town.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

AHHHHHHH!

a;lwkjr...

better luck next year :(

CORRECTION

A couple of blog posts ago, I spoke of Pete Docter as director of "Toy Story" which was not true. He was a writer on "Toy Story" as well as "Monsters, Inc.", "Wall•E" and "UP" but he was the DIRECTOR of "Monsters, Inc." and "Up". John Lasseter was the Director of "Toy Story" and is one of the HEAD people at Pixar.

my bad.

Thomas Alfred Hanson, A Snow Plowin' Man

This was in the Sun Post... That's my uncle Tom...

Plow jockeys: Brooklyn Park drivers have tough job

Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:39 PM CST
Thomas Alfred Hanson of Brooklyn Park has been plowing the city's streets since 1990.


The job found him as much as he found the job. Before coming to the city he changed tires on Greyhound and Metro Transit buses for 11 years and before becoming a city snowplow driver he worked part-time on the city's road crew.

"I just want to make the roads better if at all possible," Hanson said. "I like working for my city. I live here, work here and watched it change."

Plow driving appealed to Hanson because he likes being outdoors. An avid hunter and bicyclist Hanson can be seen riding his bike even in the winter.

"The coldest I've done is 18 below," Hanson said. "I usually drive my truck after it snows more than two to three inches."

On Jan. 7, Hanson woke up at 4 a.m. to arrive at work by 5 a.m. and get out before the morning commute fills the roads with drivers. Hanson said he's worked 16-hour shifts or longer depending on the weather.

Before getting into his three-year-old orange Mack plow truck Hanson dons a fluorescent yellow and orange vest to keep him more visible should he need to exit the vehicle.

Inside the snowplow cab there are an array of switches, knobs and buttons to push, turn and move plows, scrapers, spinners, drop salt and more.

Snow is falling lightly and Hanson has been working for nearly five hours before reporter joins him. He said around 9:30 or 10 a.m. is a good time to go back out and check the streets even if it's not snowing because there's less traffic.

In about three miles, he's put down 4,825 pounds of dry salt on the section of road.

"The temperature right now is so cold that it takes a lot of chemicals to work," he said.

Drivers are often assigned to particular roads and work in pairs.

"After we get done doing the main drags we branch off and start doing the residential roads," Hanson said. "We work from one part of our area to the next part of our area and try to meet each other in the middle somewhere."

Doing so avoids streets inadvertently left unplowed.

The driver's side-mirror shows both wind and road temperatures so Hanson can more accurately determine conditions.

There are many different methods and ways of snowplowing like "shelving" or "winging back" the snow off the streets.

"That's when we go around and push the snow back on the boulevards or the right of ways with our 'wings' or other pieces of equipment," Hanson said. "The banks are lower so when snow comes off the plow it goes up on the boulevard instead of driveways or other areas."

Hanson said he tries to plow at just the right speed on residential streets to spread snow in such a way that it doesn't pile unevenly at the end of driveways, but that often depends on what obstacles he has to plow around like vehicles parked on streets.

"That snow that I have to leave around a vehicle often stays there and becomes another large patch of ice when the weather gets colder," he said. "When you drive down a street you can feel those bumps that make things worse because people have parked on the street."

One of the biggest challenges Hanson and snowplow drivers face is the holidays.

"People have so much on their mind other than snow removal and driving safely," he said. "I find once the holidays are over that improves a bit because people are little more relaxed without the pressing deadlines they've put on themselves."

But in nearly 20 years of plowing, Hanson has only been in three accidents, and all were the other driver's fault. He asks that people understand that plows take it slow for a reason. By checking blind spots and making turns slowly snowplow drivers do many things to keep themselves and others safe.

Hanson hopes that people can be more patient when they encounter snowplows because, in the end, they are just trying to help drivers, he said.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's a TRAP!

We're TRAPPED in the Phoenix Airport since our last plane had electrical glitches and took an hour longer to take off. The plane we were supposed to be on NOW left at 4:00pm, right about when we got into this airport. So they bumped us to a later flight and updated our tickets to FIRST CLASS :D but still :/ because we won't get in till close to midnight. Our new flight is at 7:50pm, so since we have time to kill, I figured I'd post about yesterday because I didn't have time to post yesterday.

so here goes.

Yesterday was the museum day. King Tutankamun, or King Tut as he's more well known, was the exhibit. It was pretty cool I guess, I kinda wish they would have had a bit more from his tomb but as I learned yesterday, his tomb had been robbed before, all the room except the one where his mummy was. Lots of interesting stuff which was pretty cool. Information about time back then and how the mummification process was done. Plenty more too, but it's been a day and how much do they really expect me to retain? Not really, I could go in depth about each thing at the exhibit but then that would take all night so I'll just cut the Tut stuff here.

Really the only thing that I was upset about was that I couldn't take pictures. They said that the Egyptian Government didn't want people taking pictures, but I didn't see any egyptian government people there. :/

Well after that we ate at this AWESOME little place called Pacific Catch: Fresh Fish Grill. It was awesome. I ordered an Unagi Wasabi Bowl. Pretty much a huge piece of Unagi (BBQ Eel) with "wakame salad, avocado, daikon sprouts, cucumber, ginger, sesame seeds, shredded nori and soy-wasabi sauce served over sushi rice".... Just awesome. I also ordered a spicy tuna roll, it was different than most because the fish wasn't shredded and mixed with the spicy mayo, it was in chunks, each piece had a huge chunk of tuna in it. SO AWESOME!

This place was located at:
1200 9th Avenue at Lincoln
Across from Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94122

If you're in the area, check it out. By far the best place we ate at this entire trip.

After that we went back to the hotel to drop off my mom's co-workers so they could catch their plane. Then my mom and I went to the Cartoon Art Museum (http://cartoonart.org/). As upset I was that I couldn't take pictures at the Tut exhibit, I was 30,000 time more pissed that I couldn't take them here. There were ALL sorts of cartoon art. Still from Samurai Jack, Still from Samurai Champloo, Stills from Gundom wing, these were all in the current exhibit, "Drawing the Sword". They also had an exhibit of "Webcomic Monsters", that was pretty cool too. One other thing they had was some of the figures from "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and that was really cool seeing how big they were. As much as I would have normally just said "F**K IT" and whipped out my camera to take pics, I really respected this place and their collection of art enough not to. I HAVE to go back there at some point, and if i would have taken pics i would have probably been fine never going back.

They also had a video playing, "Pixar Before They Were Stars". It featured a bunch of old animations done by Pete Docter, who directed "Monsters, Inc." and "Up", and was a writer on "Toy Story", "Toy Story 2", "Monsters, Inc.", "Wall•E" and "Up". They also had a bunch of videos by other people but his were some of the most notable.

This place's gift shop had just about everything that I was interested in, aside from dunnys. They had all the Miyazaki movies and their "The Art Of..." books. It was pretty coo, everything was overpriced so I didn't buy anything, but it was pretty cool.

AFTER THAT (this was a long day) we went back to the museum where the Tut exhibit was and we went to the Japanese Tea Garden next-door to it. THAT I have pictures of...

This is one of the first shots I took in the garden. and probably one of the best ones.


This was one of those AWESOME bridges that I've only seen in illustrations and old Japanese art. But we actually got to climb it. It was raining out and cold so... kinda slippery.


here's a pic of my parents trying to get off of it without falling. MAN that thing was steep.

And finally, the guy in the gift shop. He saw me admiring the swords they had on the wall so he took it down and showed it to me. He acted as if he were a samurai showing me his blade, but he was hilarious about it. He held it to his side really tight and puffed out his chest. Then he said it was fake because it wasn't sharpened. He also said that it was a very low price at $245. 0_0

In China Town they were selling sets of these swords for as low as $40-$50 for a long one, a short one and the stand.

After the Tea Garden, we drove to Pier 39. Nothing to brag about in my opinion. Lots of stores :/ but those are everywhere. We ate at a little pizza joint that wasn't very good and it was, you guessed it, raining, so it was a pain in the ass.

Now time to think about grabbing food before I get on the plane... although I think with our FIRST CLASS tickets we get a meal :) but we'll see...

Anyway, this probably concludes my posting of California 2010, unless I post more pictures once I go threw them at home.

P.S... Chevis and Dan, I can't get this out of my head. When we were at your place last, for Daniel's birthday party, Tammy and Dean were leaving and you asked Daniel if he said goodbye to Tammy and Dean... I think what you said was, "Daniel, aren't you going to come say goodbye to Tammy and Dean?" To which he replied in a almost british voice, "But I DID say goodbye to Tammy and Dean! GOODBYE Tammy... GOODBYE Dean..." I keep quoting that to my mom and she can't stop laughing. I love it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

To the Tut

Off to the King Tut exhibit. Had to test out this new blogging app on my iPhone. Seems to work well...

faveREDs for jaRED

Somebody at the Starburst Factory was thinking of me when they came up with this.


Starburst FaveREDs.
Cherry :)
Strawberry :)
Fruit Punch :)
and Watermelon :|

But 3 out of 4 isn't bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rain

Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain... Today was just pretty much... well...

This was the day that my mom had to work. The only day here that she had to work. So my dad and I were/art pretty much on our own all day/night. We started off with a WET walk to China Town, stopped at Posh Bagel for a coffee and white hot chocolate which was pretty good. Why we went to China Town for breakfast I don't know but I'm glad we did since we found a little hole in the wall place called Uncle Restaurant. Ham Omlet, hashbrowns, roll, orange juice... $4.95 and the best breakfast I've had this trip.

We spent the next few hours looking for the right kind of dried plums that weren't too salty or too sweet... never found them (and never will, in my opinion).

After not finding anything we ate at Capital Restaurant again.... I should have ordered the Mu Shu Pork again but I strayed from my gut and went with the Sesame Chicken. Not quite what I was expecting and I didn't eat much of it. Ended up taking it back on the way to the hotel and a guy held out a cup, asked, "can you help me out man?" So I replied with, "well I have some left over Chinese food." He said, "That'll do! Thanks Partner!" And all this time it was still raining.

After all of this we went back to the room and ended up down at the hot tub. Not a HORRIBLE day, but it would have been better if we weren't getting rained on all day.

Tomorrow I plan on going to the Cartoon Art Museum... Either that or the King Tut exhibit, maybe both, but probably just the cartoon thing.

almost forgot... I bought these...
On the left, a book all about the Monkey king... not a word of English in it.
On the right, a cheap ass shirt that I had to pick up.

The Move

My apologies once again for the late night updates. But tis the only free time I find whilst I'm here.

Today we moved hotels. Woke up, had breakfast at a little place across the street called Nick's. After breakfast we crossed yet another street to browse an antique shop. I ended up purchasing a Beatles: Yellow Submarine book. The graphics in it are pretty awesome.


After the Antique shop we ended up checking out the beach near the hotel. The waves were pretty insane, as they've been all trip so far. So much rain that it's been flooding in parts of California.

The cars got a bit waved on as well.

Hell, even I got a little too close and ended up splashed. You can't really tell, but the back of my left leg is actually completely wet in this picture.

After the waves we ended up heading into San Francisco to the new hotel. The Marriott. It's not bad, pretty fancy but the downside is that you have to pay for EVERYTHING and it's all extra... Over night valet parking, internet in your room, all extra. :/

Well at least the view is pretty nuts.

Once we were checked in we drove to pier 39 to pick up a couple of my mom's co-workers and then went to the Golden Gate Bridge.




And now it's another day, awaiting another post...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Industrial Light + Magic

Today I was able to meet with a brother-in-law of one of my mother's coworkers. His name is Scott Jones. He works at Lucas Film's Industrial Light and Magic and was gracious enough to give me a tour of the building. Upon arrival, the main focus of the area was this...

A Yoda Fountain. I already had goosebumps, but this officially put me over the edge.

As I walked into the main office I couldn't help but look around and hold back a gasp. After I checked in with the woman at the desk I searched the room.



There were two huge book cased filled to the brim with star wars books and statues.
There were statues, dolls, books, and replicas.

Thermal detonators, Light sabers, helmet miniatures, a seating area beneath a skylight with 4 tables stacked with Star Wars reading materials. Visual dictionaries, poster books, concept art books.
Chillin' Scout Troopers...

and Metal R2 units.... But BY FAR the pieces that stood out the most...

The LIFE SIZE Boba Fett and Darth Vader costumed mannequins.
Scott was gracious enough to take a couple pictures of me with each of them at the end of our tour.

But back to the the beginning.

After I checked in and signed a digital signature credit card machine type thing (stating I wouldn't disclose any plot lines or take any pictures of anything that might give away an upcoming movie) Scott showed up and we started our tour.

We walked down a few hallways, admiring models of dinosaurs from Jurassic Park to ET in a basket of a bicycle hanging from the ceiling. There were SO many different thing from all sorts of movies that ILM has worked on. Just about every hallway was lined with movie posters, vintage and recent. There were hallways with Terminator statues, hallways with figurines from movies like The Abyss and the actual HOOK used in the movie HOOK. And of course there were STAR WARS statues, costumes, props, and posters just about EVERYWHERE.


Scott was kind enough to take a couple pictures of me next to a Puppet of Yoda, an R2-D2 and a Storm Trooper costum. Believe me, It was hard to hold back my inner fanboy.

They even had the infamous Lucas Arts gift shop just for employees and their guests. Scott was even awesome enough to give me plenty of time to shop around in the store. After browsing a number of items including jackets, hoodies, books, video games, coffee mugs, legos and action figures, I ended up getting a few t-shirts.

The first one I found...

The second one I found...


and of course, I couldn't leave the shop without a shirt that shows exactly where I've been.

Looking back now, I probably would have purchased a few more things, but I can't complain. I've experienced one of the things that most fans only dream about. A visit to where they make some of the best movies I, or anyone, has ever seen.

...

And finally I would like to apologize for the late post, I would have posted earlier but we took a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge, Pebble Beach, ate at a sushi restaurant and my dad was ready to go to the hot tub before I could finish this update. Tomorrow we move to a different hotel. One closer to down town San Francisco. So from here on out, most pictures will probably be city related...

I'll post pictures of the Bridge and Pebble Beach tomorrow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

China Town


China Town. Busy and awesome. We spent a lot of the day going from shop to shop looking for the right kind of dried, salted plumbs that my dad used to get when he was a young child living in California. No luck though.


Saw this place while walking the streets. Not a very creative name. But then again, there were very few places with creative names in China Town. We stopped into a little restaurant called "China Town Restaurant"... they had AWESOME pork buns though.

The place we stopped for lunch was called Capital. AMAZING Mu Shu Pork, they also had the best Sweet and Sour Pork my dad has had in a VERY LONG time... he said.

Here's a pic of a shop we stopped in.
It's a little fuzzy but that's probably good since these figures are carved in the shape of the Kamasutra... If you look close you might even find one carved into a MALE part AND a FEMALE part... :)

And here's one zoomed in and not fuzzy :)
These are apparently carved out of solid ivory. Price tags read between $2500 and $3500. But that could have been in chinese Yuan or Japanese Yen... I hope Japanese yen because the exchange rate is much higher...

anyway,
Saw this truck, pretty cool...

More updates after my trip to Industrial Light and Magic tomorrow...
For those of you who don't know what that is... They do all the special effects for just about any movie you can think of... Starting with Star Wars. :)

Morning pics

Got up this morning and really got a first hand look at what the view is like here... it's amazing. Too bad it's so rainy.

Sorry if these pictures don't look that impressive to you. They were taken on my iPhone and don't really do the real scenery justice, but you get an idea.

This is just off our little balcony. if you REALLY look down, you can see the pool area. Straight out is an amazing view of the North Pacific Ocean. The waves have to be upwards of 15+ feet high.

Just outside our room door, there is a window with a nice view of the hills. to the left there is a bike path that breaks my heart because I didn't bring my bike (not that I would have gotten it on the plane).

There was one more set of pictures that didn't mend together very well so I'll just post one of them.

Kind of a back area with all sort of rock fixtures that just make you think you'll probably die if you go surfing out there. Still awesome tho.

OH, look who just walked in...

Wet Joe. He thought he'd go check out the area and the waves breaking over the wall. He actually went down to a point in the first image I posted. almost the dead center of the photo. you can see a little walk area.

Well, time for breakfast.

more updates soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Califronia!

Today we hopped 2 planes, and set foot in three states to get to California (I'm including MN and CA). But we made it safe and sound.

The first plane ride was good, 3.5 or so hours. My dad at the window, my mom in the middle and me in the aisle. Pretty roomy as well. My only real beef was that this lady with WAY too much perfume, that I actually pointed out in the airport, sat RIGHT in front of me and draped her smelly coat right over her seat (the one with MY tray table on it).

Now, before you think it's not THAT bad, you have to realize that yesterday I was basically knocked on my ass by this crazy cold I had. Runny nose, teary eyes... I literally had to have tissue shoved up my nose to get any relief. For those of you who saw me at Chevis and Dan's house yesterday... YOU know... it was bad.

So I was just getting over that today, felling pretty good, and this smelly lady drops down in front of me. I was afraid it was all going to come back. Luckily my nose and eyes didn't get hit too hard from it. Although I did switch to the middle seat when my mom went to the bathroom.

Here's a shot I took while on the plane.
I don't know what it is but I just love taking pictures of the view with the wing in it. It really says it all. the first flight's view wasn't NEARLY as nice as the second flight. The geological features of these places is amazing compared to flat ol' Minnesota.

...

THIS JUST IN.
Earlier today my oh so cool cousin Chevis text me that they were eating next to JARED ALLEN the Minnesota Vikings ALL STAR Defensive Player!!!!
They got a picture with him and he even said Happy birthday to Daniel, who's birthday is on the 19th.

She sent me the picture and gave me permission to to post it, so here it is!
The best part is that she's wearing her Vikings Gear.
GO CHEVIS!
GO DANIEL!
GO JARED ALLEN!
and GO VIKINGS! (with a win over the Cowboys 34 to 3... not really a win, more of a SLAUGHTERING!)

anyway, off to dinner. More updates to come!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Up to date.

Florida trip ended... some pics are up on facebook. (facebook.com/thatanimationguy). Friend me to see the pics if you can't.

As of late. I've been a bit under the weather. The week I've been back home has been pretty good. I went snowboarding with my college roommate Derek Olson. We hang out at Zac and Ashley's place and got sushi with gretchen.

Two days ago I started a project for my cousin's son Daniel. Chevis, Dan and I were talking about commissioning me to make some characters in frames for Daniel's wall. I took the initiative and decided to go STAR WARS. Good thing too since his birthday cake was R2-D2:
Made by my aunt, his grandma, Janice! So awesome... as was the cake. And it was one of the best cakes I've had in a long time.

Back to the presents. Gretchen decided to get Daniel a pillow case, a STAR WARS pillow case. Very cool. The project I started was an illustration of one of my favorite STAR WARS characters... BOBA FETT!

It started out as Boba Fett AND Darth Vader. But time ran thin so Vader will have to make an appearance at a later date... and he will.

This is how it turned out.

This is how I presented it to him.
Framed in black. I actually REALLY love how it turned out.

His party was a blast. I really love going to Chevis and Dan's house for family events. So much fun. And their house is awesome.

Antonio and Kathy (Dan's parents) are in town for a few days so they were there as well. Some of the coolest people you'll ever meet.

Now for the REALLY current stuffs... I'm going to California. San Francisco to be exact. Will miss the big Vikings game but will be back for the next one. *wink*

Now off to packing before this NyQuil kicks in and I get knocked out.
Keep reading for more updates. They WILL come from CA, I promise you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Florida so far

Florida is shaping up pretty good so far. Right now we're all just relaxing around the house. Last night we had to stay at a hotel. It was nice but no where as nice as this place.

HERE's a panorama I made of the downstairs.

Here are some other ones. More to come SOON.

01-01-2010: Sunset at 30,000 feet


01-02-2010: Braxton on the plane. Never before have I seen such a relaxed little dude during take off and landing.

01-02-2010: Quick snap of my uncle Byron. He's enjoying himself. *sip*

01-02-2010: Braxton pointing at things including the ocean.

01-02-2010: Saw a one legged Seagull. Thought it was worth snapping.

01-02-2010: Wonder who that cruse ship is owned buy :?

01-02-2010: That's the cruse ship I want to go on.

01-02-2010: Saw this car on the road, license plate said "KOOL-CAR"... I"ll be the judge of that...