Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jewno, a parody of Juno

This is absolutely hilarious. This was done I think as a stage production in New York for Purim, the recent Jewish holiday. This trailer is sooo funny.

If you haven't seen the Juno trailer yet, probably a good idea to watch that first so you understand the jokes in the parody trailer.

Juno Trailer

Jewno Trailer

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour 2008 video from San Francisco

Check out my earlier post about Earth Hour... I took a video from the top of a building here in San Francisco of the lights off in homes and the lights being turned off on the Golden Gate Bridge. Pretty cool stuff!!

Streets in San Francisco, and lights on Golden Gate Bridge are off!

Most lights are off in houses around here

Candlelight in my apartment for the hour

Video of Earth Hour in San Francisco

New bike stem

Another day, another new bike stem! Well, not really. :) Actually I finally went back into the bike store to pick up my new stem, and it's sweet! I had the original sport stem for a while, and now I have a much shorter once which is making a big difference for my daily commute.

I had been borrowing one from the store, and now I've returned the loaner one and got a new one. My bike store is so good they didn't charge me anything for the swap of my old stem or for the installation of the new stem.

The story of the stem replacement

Looks fancy!!

Turning off the lights for Earth Hour 2008

Hi friends,

World Wildlife Fund initiated "Earth Hour" is tonight, 8-9pm local time!!!!!!
Join the world as we all turn out the lights, turn off the TV for 1 hour tonight.

I'll be doing it! Check out these links and video and decide for yourself. I think it's a worthwhile idea and every person doing their own part in the world CAN make a difference. Great idea, and really brings a lot of attention to the issue of over-abundance and disregard for the environment in America.

Earth Hour 2008

San Francisco specific details

On March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.

Earth Hour was created by WWF in Sydney, Australia in 2007, and in one year has grown from an event in one city to a global movement. In 2008, millions of people, businesses, governments and civic organizations in nearly 200 cities around the globe will turn out for Earth Hour. More than 100 cities across North America will participate, including the US flagships–Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco and Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. View cities involved around the world.

Earth Hour 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Post #1000: A Mike Jutan Blog Retrospective

Hi friends and avid Mike Jutan Blog Readers...

As the Fatboy Slim song goes, "We've come a long, long way together..." :)

Welcome to Post number 1000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow. I didn't think when I started this blog in April 2005 that I would end up being so addicted to it, keen to share my experiences at Pixar, in California, at Waterloo, and traveling in Europe with the world. But here we are, and 1000 posts later I am still going and going. Readership has increased from essentially my parents, Matt Lausch and Mrs. Lausch to an average of 1500-2000 hits per month from about 66 countries. This statistic still blows me away, and I am extremely surprised that people in India, China, Australia, etc are keen to know how my work is going, my thoughts on the Python programming in Maya, and what style food I cooked for dinner. :) It is surprising and quite humbling that this many people care about my life, and I am honoured that you pay attention to all these details by visiting. So to you, avid JutanClan blog reader, I thank you.

I wanted to make the 1000th post special, so I've decided to do a quick retrospective of some important "landmark" postings on my blog. Thank you for your consistent interest. I will keep writing if you all keep reading! And if you stop reading... I'll keep writing anyway. :)

Mike Jutan Blog Retrospective... 104 of the most important posts!
  • Post #1 (04/24/2005): Moving to California for the first time
  • Post #10 (04/29/2005): First visit to Pixar
  • Post #55 (06/05/2005): Big Sur Pixar Intern Camping trip
  • Post #89 (08/05/2005): A sad post after breaking up with a really important girl in my life
  • Post #120 (08/15/2005): Waterloo Frosh Week
  • Post #164 (11/19/2005): Dinner with my family
  • Post #185 (12/11/2005): Rock Climbing in Toronto
  • Post #229 (01/25/2006): Disney buys Pixar
  • Post #257 (03/15/2006): Pixar Cars Wrap Party
  • Post #270 (04/11/2006): Visiting ILM for the first time
  • Post #296 (05/16/2006): Start of Maya Independent Study class at Waterloo
  • Post #297 (05/16/2006): Pixar Technical Director internship job offer
  • Post #329 (06/21/2006): First images from my Raytracer
  • Post #343 (07/01/2006): First perspective drawing on tablet
  • Post #383 (07/24/2006): Completion of Raytracer
  • Post #390 (08/01/2006): Graphics Gold Medal
  • Post #392 (08/07/2006): Long weekend at Alex's cottage
  • Post #402 (08/21/2006): Norm visiting San Francisco
  • Post #409 (09/01/2006): After creating my first on-screen Art for a Pixar film
  • Post #416 (09/10/2006): Pixar intern camping in Big Basin
  • Post #425 (09/24/2006): Philosophical discussion with Yaron
  • Post #438 (10/12/2006): Shading work at Pixar for Wall-E
  • Post #443 (10/23/2006): Visiting Google for the first time
  • Post #448 (11/01/2006): Pixar Halloween 2006, meeting Darren Aronofsky
  • Post #449 (11/04/2006): Me on stage with John Lasseter
  • Post #451 (11/07/2006): Lunch with Pete Docter
  • Post #453 (11/08/2006): More photos of me and John Lasseter
  • Post #478 (12/06/2006): My quote on the Pixar hiring website
  • Post #486 (12/15/2006): Wall-E Sets Crew Party
  • Post #501 (01/01/2007): New Years in Toronto
  • Post #509 (01/09/2007): Thoughts after reading Elie Wiesel's "Night"
  • Post #523 (01/24/2007): Thoughts after reading Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz"
  • Post #524 (01/26/2007): Mathematics Scholarship award dinner
  • Post #528 (01/29/2007): My first post about Barack Obama
  • Post #532 (02/03/2007): Norm's cats
  • Post #536 (02/08/2007): Freakin' out about finishing University
  • Post #552 (03/06/2007): San Francisco Hotel Room
  • Post #553 (03/06/2007): ILM interview weekend in San Francisco
  • Post #554 (03/12/2007): ILM job acceptance
  • Post #558 (03/18/2007): Essay: The will to live
  • Post #559 (03/18/2007): Essay: The enduring nature of Jewish identity in Nazi Germany
  • Post #561 (03/19/2007): Congratulatory breakfast for my ILM job
  • Post #574 (04/04/2007): Bought tickets for Europe trip
  • Post #575 (04/07/2007): I'm done University
  • Post #589 (04/21/2007): Done University Party
  • Post #595 (04/27/2007): Arriving in Paris, France
  • Post #600 (05/01/2007): Meeting Waterloo friends in Paris
  • Post #601 (05/02/2007): Museum of Modern Art in Paris
  • Post #604 (05/05/2007): The Louvre with Ans
  • Post #618 (05/19/2007): San Sebastian, Spain
  • Post #625 (05/24/2007): Cannes Film Festival, meeting Jeremy Piven
  • Post #631 (05/31/2007): My birthday in Cinque Terre, Italy
  • Post #633 (06/03/2007): Cinque Terre hike
  • Post #636 (06/04/2007): Florence, Italy
  • Post #640 (06/05/2007): Lamborghini Factory
  • Post #647 (06/13/2007): Annecy International Animation Festival
  • Post #652 (06/17/2007): My first film credit for Ratatouille
  • Post #662 (06/24/2007): The 36 hour commotion to get to Greece
  • Post #663 (06/25/2007): Record heat in Athens, the Parthenon
  • Post #669 (06/30/2007): Santorini, Greece
  • Post #673 (07/02/2007): Meeting my parents in Kos, Greece
  • Post #683 (07/22/2007): End of Europe trip
  • Post #689 (07/25/2007): First day of work at ILM
  • Post #697 (08/05/2007): Business cards, new apartment
  • Post #698 (08/05/2007): Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart in California
  • Post #701 (08/08/2007): 3D face scan from Siggraph
  • Post #706 (08/11/2007): New Mountain Bike
  • Post #709 (08/14/2007): First visit to Big Rock Ranch
  • Post #712 (08/17/2007): First visit to Skywalker Ranch
  • Post #733 (09/04/2007): Pictures from outside ILM
  • Post #734 (09/04/2007): Housewarming Party
  • Post #745 (09/14/2007): Life lessons from a jerk bus driver
  • Post #757 (09/24/2007): 2 months after starting work
  • Post #767 (10/02/2007): Matt and I in the Annecy 2007 video
  • Post #781 (10/15/2007): The day I decided I wanted to work at ILM
  • Post #783 (10/16/2007): Some thoughts on Python in Maya
  • Post #789 (10/19/2007): My sister the genius
  • Post #806 (10/30/2007): ILM Halloween
  • Post #808 (11/01/2007): Canadian dollar hit highest level since 1800's
  • Post #812 (11/05/2007): Matt Parrott's performance artwork
  • Post #820 (11/12/2007): ILM Celebration 2007 Party
  • Post #822 (11/12/2007): Muir Woods visit with Matt
  • Post #823 (11/13/2007): Ratatouille credits on DVD
  • Post #829 (11/19/2007): Party at Cary's house
  • Post #854 (12/04/2007): Frank and Jess's wedding in Texas
  • Post #859 (12/07/2007): Hanging out with Joel from MST3K
  • Post #865 (12/12/2007): Lucasfilm Holiday Party 2007
  • Post #879 (12/18/2007): My work in the Pixar Wall-E trailer
  • Post #886 (12/23/2007): Rock Climbing in Red Rocks, Nevada
  • Post #894 (12/27/2007): Grand Canyon
  • Post #899 (12/28/2007): My plan for 2008
  • Post #901 (12/28/2007): Visiting my family
  • Post #903 (01/02/2008): Visit to Waterloo
  • Post #905 (01/02/2008): New Years 2008 in Toronto
  • Post #911 (01/07/2008): My IMDB listing
  • Post #930 (01/22/2008): An open letter to the American voting public
  • Post #951 (02/11/2008): Visit to EBC with old Pixar crew
  • Post #954 (02/14/2008): Indiana Jones trailer
  • Post #968 (02/24/2008): Housewarming #2 ILM Edition
  • Post #970 (02/24/2008): Ratatouille wins Best Animated Film Oscar
  • Post #979 (03/02/2008): Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles stuff
  • Post #986 (03/08/2008): Feeling at home in San Francisco
  • Post #997 (03/20/2008): Work, Life, Purim and Happiness
  • Post #1000 (03/23/2008): This post, the Mike Jutan Blog Post Retrospective
There you have it folks. This took ages to go through!! :) I hope you enjoyed this little look back at (what I think) are 104 of the most important posts of the last 3 years of blogging.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Vacuum, DMB tix, new bike grips, Costco and Hillel

Tons of stuff going on this weekend already.

Last week Chris from work (the dude who I bought my futon from) came to deliver me his old Vacuum Cleaner, for free!! Amazing! I have wood floors so only a small part of my apartment is carpeted anyway, and so I didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy Vacuum cleaner, this will work great.

Today I got Dave Matthews Band tickets for the Berkeley show!!!!!!!! It is going to be soooooooooooooooooo awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are 3 shows but I am "only" going to go to 2. :) There is a Friday, Saturday and Sunday show, and in total Computer Scientist style I did a test run and realized that to sign up for 2 days of DMB tickets, you needed to be logged into 2 different ticket windows on Ticketmaster. If you do this with 1 browser, it counts as the same session and Ticketmaster will log you out because they think you are an automated system trying to work the ticket system and buy more than your fair share. So I logged in with both Internet Explorer AND Firefox, and reloaded the pages every few seconds up until 10am when they went on sale. Suddenly the "tickets not yet available" page changed to the "tickets available" page, and I clicked through, entered the number of tickets etc and clicked through in about 4 seconds flat. :) Both Saturday and Sunday came up instantly, and I clicked that I wanted to buy the tickets. By about 10:01am I had ordered and paid for all the tickets. :) So I tried to login again to see if tickets were still available and at 10:02 the Saturday show was ALREADY Sold out!!!!!!!!! 9,000 tickets sold out in 1 minute!!!!!!!! Insane. So glad I was on the money or otherwise there would have been no chance to get tickets. Sunday seemed to still have tickets a few minutes later and so did Friday. I just checked back now though... and all three shows are ALL sold out already. Insane!!!!!!!!!! Anyway totally psyched that I am going, and I think Matt and Orion and maybe others are coming too.

Last night I went to Hillel Grads which is at the Hillel House for SF State University, it was fun, lots of Hamentaschen cookies and some interesting people there. Good times.

This morning after getting my Dave Matthews tickets I took off to Costco with Rachel, Justin and Julien and that was fun. I bought a bazillion things which is great, I totally don't have enough room in my freezer for everything, but it's all good. Tons of tasty food!! I also finally got some photos printed for that IKEA Photo Frame I bought ages ago, I'm excited to put those up.

This afternoon I took off to the bike store to get my headset measured and I am getting a new one next week. I also got new "Chili Grips" because my Bontrager grips kept sliding off.

I'm kinda tired but tonight should be fun. I'm going to a concert at an Irish Pub with my friend Aliza and her friends, and then off to some crazy dress up dance party thing?!! Just found out about it earlier today, but I'm sure it'll make for some crazy photos.

Tomorrow I think is going to be a chill day of apartment work and drinking some coffee and reading my book. :)

My new free Vacuum!!

New "Chili Grips"

Haha, chilis!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quote about the Dave Matthews Band. Nathan Matsuda's movie

I love this one, haha, maybe this can explain to everyone why they are so awesome. :)
The Dave Matthews Band's exotic configuration allows them to weave various stylistic strands (jazz, pop, Middle Eastern, African) into an oddly hypnotic sonic tapestry. Armed with popular records and a devoted grassroots following, DMB has galvanized a community of music fans, releasing multi-platinum live and studio discs year after year.
Damn right, "exotic configuration" and "sonic tapestry!" Yeehaaaaaaaaw! I think that roughly translates into "the greatest band in humankind's history" or "if Kate Hudson was a band, she would be Dave Matthews Band", "if Dave Matthews Band was a film, it would be Monsters, Inc" or "sweet glory these guys are awesome."

Thus, I'm going to at least 2 of the 3 Berkeley concerts. :)

Also, please check out my friend and 'ol school Pixar roommate's movie!!!!!! Nathan Matusda, talented director, special effects artist and general badass is finishing up a film that he is directing and doing the effects for, as part of his course at Northwestern University.

Check this out!! Super professional and amazing. Cool soundtrack too. Good luck with the releae, Nathan Matttsuuuda!!

Hangar No. 5 Trailer from Nathan Matsuda on Vimeo.
Pretty awesome stuff!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Work, Life, Purim and Happiness

Work this week has been very busy, but man it's been cool. I'm temporarily working in collaboration with Arts, on some tools that are going to be used for upcoming Video Games. Super cool stuff!!!!! I am really enjoying it, and it rocks the house.

I'm biking again a lot to work and back, and that's good. Seems like I was slacking a bit in the biking department so it's nice to get that going again.

There are some Purim events over the next couple of days and on the weekend... not sure if I am keen on these insane late night parties, but I might head to some of the other events. It's been a pretty super busy week, and I'm not sleeping as much as I should, so it's been a bit of a tiring week. I also need to get my taxes and 401k organized, and I'm searching high and low trying to get the best possible deal for my sister and I on our South Africa plane tickets. Anyway, things are sweet, and I am loving the work that I'm doing this week too. It's a lot different than my usual work, but man it rocks.

I feel like it's really important to be aware of how much I am enjoying my job and my life. It's really easy for people, it seems, to fall into a sort of cynical approach to existence, to their job, to the world around them. People at pretty much every job I've ever had used to laugh and tell me, "Oh, once you've been here for *insert number here* months, then you'll be angry and fed up like us"... I heard that same silly phrase from different people, at almost every single job I've ever worked at. Weird eh?

NOTE: I am not talking about any specific job or employer here. I am just speaking in generalities about my experience in the world. Just wanted to make that clear before you read on.

It's almost like people hold a badge of honour in their minds if they manage to impart some of their cynical and negative feelings onto a bright new, young person. That makes absolutely NO sense to me. And to answer all those people's silly ideas... NO! I don't think I'll ever be cynical and angry and fed up and annoyed with my work or my job or my life. It seems to me that at least 80% of the happiness that you have in your day is controllable by your own attitudes, the way you deal with people, the way you let things people say affect (or not affect) you, and so on. I am confident that the Jutan sweet powerful vibe will still be rockin' after many years of hard work, and I don't think there is any way I'll ever start thinking that movies aren't absolutely inspiring and amazing and fantastic. :) Seriously, if I was the kind of guy who got discouraged by hard work, don't you think I would have crashed after a 5 year degree of ridiculous proportions at the University of Waterloo??? Case and point. :)

Anyway, just thinking about how people approach their workdays, and the way that I think I live my life compared to how other people do it. There does seem to be a wide level of approaches to the issue of work and how to deal with problems that come up at work and personality clashes and so on... but I dare say I think a lot of people consider that their newfound cynicism is a by-product of becoming an Adult. I say... nuts to that!!!!!!!! I have my freakin' Cars toys and Darth Tater Mr. Potato Head and talking Edna and Zurg models and Homer Simpsons Spiderpig sculptures at work... and no matter what, I don't think I'll ever feel the need to "grow out of this" and "start being an Adult"... I think we define in ourselves what it means to be "grown up" and an "Adult". I think I am defining that now, at this point in my life when I am done University, done my essential 3-month backpacking trip in Europe... and now I'm settling down in a place for a decent amount of time and trying to figure out what's next, and how I want to live my life now that I'm a "real person." I hope I'm doing it well. There's always a bunch to improve on, obviously. And I could always be doing more here, and less here, doing better things here and wasting time less here. But hopefully I am maintaining my approach to life, my enthusiasm for the world and the people I meet around me, and my passion for being me. I think that's the one thing that people seem to forget unless they keep at it. I am adamant to maintain my positive, near-insane over-enthusiastic view of the world and I think that suits me well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Coffee, Taxes and Receipts

Today was sweeeeeeet!! I got up and started getting my tax stuff prepared. Then took off downtown to meet a new friend and we got some of that fancy new Blue Bottle Siphon Coffee!! It was pretty good, I really am not sure if I can claim it was the *greatest coffee ever* like they implied, but it was pretty good. You weren't supposed to put cream in it, so I didn't and it felt like it needed some cream. :) Anyway it was totally fun and tasty, and fun to try. I think I'll still take guests to try that, but the Blue Bottle Cappuccino is hard to beat.

This afternoon I went hiking looking for Mike's Bikes in downtown San Francisco, and wandered down Howard St past 6th and 7th St... and then thought it might be on Mission St. Turns out I should have just walked another block. I then ended up in the dodgy part of downtown and it was kinda dirty there so I saw my bus driving by and hopped onto it rather than walking through the dodgy part of downtown.

I was heading to the store looking for this Sugoi Canada Bike Jersey, which is pretty darn cool and is currently on sale.

Sugoi Canada Jersey

As I got off the Bus, Matt Parrott was walking up to my front door with his bike!! He came by in case I was home, and was planning to come later for The Simpsons. So instead we hung out then, talked about Rendering and Point Clouds and Maya API and other relatively awesome work-related talk. Then we had a sandwich and Matt took off. I did the rest of my taxes after he left, and it took ages!!!!!! I am actually getting someone to do them for me this year, but still it took about 4 hours to go through all of my receipts, find receipts I was missing, and sort out all the information I needed. This is going to be great. Hopefully after paying for the accountant I will still have a pretty big refund. Then I can finally pay off the rest of my Europe trip, and hopefully there is still leftover money for South Africa too. It would be really good if it's a big return this year... if not then it'll still be good to get some back.

Alrighty anyway kindof a busy night sorting out all of this stuff. Taxes are pretty much sorted now, but I might need to call a few people tomorrow to get a bit more information for the accountant. In other news, the Aqua poster I am selling on Ebay is now at $31!!!!! Sweet!!! So it's a good idea to sell off a bunch of stuff I don't want anymore I guess!!

St. Patrick's Day

Last night I said I was just going to unpack boxes and then watch SNL, turns out I unpacked boxes but then Stephan called at about 10:50pm and Frank was planning to meet some of my other old Pixar friends at an Irish Pub downtown, and Stephan was driving! So that was awesome, instead of watching TV I took off downtown with everyone and it was awesome. Great to see Frank and Ian was there too, it was great. So that was pretty fun, the place was packed, but we eventually got a table and yapped for a few hours. Then we went to Mel's Drive In (kindof like Mel's Diner in Waterloo, haha) and got some French Toast... at 3am. :) Good times!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Taxes and apartment cleanup

The apartment cleanup and unpacking is going really well. I did maybe 5 more boxes last weekend, I only have 1 or 2 remaining!! I am almost done, it's great. I also am getting a vacuum cleaner from a guy at work which is totally awesome, so I'll be pretty well organized here soon. I need to sort out my USA and Canada taxes this weekend, so just gotta get that all sorted and maybe I should re-string my guitars this weekend too. Good times!

Tonight just some chillin', watching SNL and unpacking the last couple of boxes!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bluegrass Reggae music and Video Post

Tonight was fun, chillin' with some old friends from the East Bay and from my old school P-Diz crew which was sweeeeeeeeet. We met up at my place, had an Appletini (classy), then off to some Sushi near my place which was pretty good. We then went to an Irish Pub which had some Bluegrass Reggae musicians, I didn't hear much Reggae but it was certainly Bluegrass/Country!! Good times and it was great to just chat with everyone for a while, they are an awesome bunch. Everyone is living pretty far away from each other now, but it's super cool that we can get back together and everything just continues from where it left off the time before. Pretty fantastic.

Tonight I ordered "The Art of Wall-E", sweeeeeeeet. I hope it has some Mike Jutan-created 3D models or UV Mapped textures in there?!??!! Haha who knows. Usually it's mostly 2D concept art, but we'll see, sometimes they do have 3D artwork in those books too. That would be AWESOME.

Ok now for some photos and a video.

Sarah and Diego at the Sushi place

Sarah's new pair of glasses

"Miso... hungry!!!" haha that joke will always be hilarious

Another random Me and Riley photo

The Irish Bluegrass Reggae band

Sarah looking Emo

Video from the live music show

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Aqua "Aquarium" Signed Poster?!! :)

Haha I totally forgot about this. I won this in some magazine or radio contest about 10 years ago, and had it up on my bedroom wall for the year or two that these guys were huge in North America. :) Remember "I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world..." haha, that song was nuts.

Anyway, seemed like a good idea to try to sell it here on Ebay!!!!!!

I've only sold a few things on Ebay before, but seemed like a good idea. I want to get rid of some of this old stuff that I don't really want to keep. I also should take some of this stuff into work.

Anyway here's the poster, haha this is hilarious.

Aqua "Aquarium" Poster

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Disney/Pixar Wall-E Trailer!!!!

The movie Wall-E that I worked on last year has a sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet new trailer that just came out!!!!!! This is sooooooooooo awesome. They show a lot of the ship and the robots and lots more of Wall-E and the other characters.... it is soooooooooooo good.

Check it out here!!!!

Awesome awesome awesome.

Why I should buy a new Desktop and a Laptop computer

I think this is getting to be obvious. I'd say my next major purchase after going to South Africa this summer will be a new Dell Desktop computer. Why, you might ask?!? Well, my Laptop sure is awesome, but now that I'm not moving countries every 4 months due to the craziest Waterloo degree around, I finally have some stability and also don't need to drag my poor computer with me every 4 months to a new apartment. So with less moving... comes more sweet, sweet computer potential.

MAN THIS IS AWESOME. Seriously Larry Smith has it right - the Computer Hardware industry is seriously backwards. The technology keeps improving, hand over fist every second, and at the same time things are getting cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Pretty amazing.

So anyway I was getting all excited about computery stuff and just checked out what Dell's got right now. This is pretty amazing!!

For $1100, I could get this computer, and mannnn it's sweet.
  • PROCESSOR - Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E4500 (2MB L2 Cache,2.20GHz,800 FSB)
  • OPERATING SYSTEM - Microsoft Vista Home Premium
  • MONITOR - 22 inch SP2208WFP Wide Flat Panel with Webcam and Mic
  • MEMORY - 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 4DIMMs
  • HARD DRIVE - 500GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
  • OPTICAL DRIVE - 16X DVD+/-RW Drive
  • VIDEO CARD - ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO 128MB
  • SOUND - Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
  • KEYBOARD & MOUSE - Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Optical USB Mouse
  • FLOPPY & MEDIA READER - Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Reader
  • MODEM & WIRELESS - 56K PCI Data Fax Modem
  • SPEAKERS - Dell AS501 10W Flat Panel Attached Spkrs for UltraSharp™ Flat Panels
So that is pretty darn amazing. The only thing that might be worth upgrading would be to a 24" flat panel, and a Blu-Ray Player and a better Dolby 7.1 system to attach to a nicer sound card. And maybe an NVidia 256MB Video card at least. But that would still be well below $2000. I think this machine is already pretty amazing, and 4GB of RAM already at this price?!?!??! That is insane!! The screen sounds really nice too, and pretty awesome that it's got a mic and camera built in as I am using video chat a lot.

So anyway, it's a while before I think I'll want to get a new computer, the laptop is still totally awesome although it's about 3 years old now so it's getting there. I am thinking I might get a new Desktop first, and then later on get an Apple MacBook to replace my laptop. If I did that I'd just get the tiny screen so that I could have a pretty light laptop that would be easy to travel with. My machine now is a massive 17" Laptop, it's about 10 lbs, and it totally rocks the house, but it's a beast to travel with. So my intention would be to get a nice big crazy awesome Desktop machine at home, and then have a very light laptop for whenever I am going traveling or on the bus or on a train trip or just to a coffee shop or whatever. Sounds pretty good eh?

The cheapest MacBook now is about $1099, and that's a Dual Core 2.1 Ghz which is pretty sweet, and 1 Gb RAM (I'd probably upgrade to 2 Gb) and a 100 Gb drive (I'd probably upgrade to 250 Gb)... otherwise it looks pretty good. That plus warranty and minus a sweet discount via some friends and I would be looking at about $1000 for this too. It's still crazy when you compare what you can get for the price Laptop vs. Desktop, but still for $1000 this is really quite amazing.

Anyway it's late so I am off to bed. Yeah this stuff rocks.

Monday, March 10, 2008

VFXWorld Article: The Lucas Empire Strikes Back With Richard Kerris

VFXWorld recently published an article which is an interview with Richard Kerris, our new CTO. Pretty amazing article, and in it, Richard talks a lot about the kind of groundbreaking things that are happening at Lucasfilm now. Especially cool is his discussion of film ideas being used for games and game ideas used for film. It's a really cool article.

Check it out here:

My favourite part of the article?
BD: Let's talk a little about current R&D at ILM.

RK: The depth and breadth of our R&D staff is world class. And what they're doing in the areas of Mocap and rigid and solid body dynamics and fluid dynamics, I can't say exactly where you're going to see it, but it's going to be out in the very near future, and you're going to be able to see the results of some of their work in projects at ILM, LucasArts and the animation division. I think we're also pursuing papers about some of these technologies that will be presented at the upcoming SIGGRAPH. It's definitely part of our DNA.
Sweet deal. :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Microsoft Excel as a 3D Game Engine?!

Haha, wow. I saw this last week and it's hilarious and crazy. I tell ya - give a Computer Scientist anything, and he'll turn it into a 3D Game Engine. :)

Check out the article here!

Video of Microsoft Excel 3D Engine

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Jutan the San Franciscan

Today was pretty chill, which was sweet. I've been aiming to keep my weekends more relaxed since I am always running around during the weeks, and that's working out great. I hit up the Ferry Building today, haven't been there in quite a while so that was pretty fantastic. I got the usual Blue Bottle Cappuccino, and then tried a Chicken Apple sausage that was pretty good. In true California style they had the weirdest possible toppings, like mango/mustard chutney and some random relish, but it was good. Also I got a Frog Hollow Farms Blackberry Tartlett, which is one of my new favourite things at the Ferry Building. My other favourite thing? Sitting well away from all of the people, chillin' out in the sun, unwinding from a busy and crazy week at work, and chatting to the Jutan Clan on the phone for a bit. That was great, caught up with my sister and my parents, Alex and Matt and got some nice sun while I was at it. Sounds like Toronto got like 2 feet of snow overnight, and I tried not to mention that I was wearing the famed Jutan man-capri (or "manpris", as it were) pants and a t-shirt, and that it was a solid 18 degrees Celcius today. Oh sweet lovin'. Apparently it's going up to 19 tomorrow!!!! Sorry guys, I know. :) Don't worry, when it's 35 in Canada in July, you can call and laugh 'cause it'll be cold and foggy here.

I headed to the mall and chilled out at Cocola, a chill french-style patisserie/boulangerie that - in true San Francisco style - is in the MALL?!!! Haha. Yeah, not as bad as it sounds. It's actually on the top floor of the big Westfield shopping center downtown, and it's far away from the crowds and the food court. I got a decent Cappuccino and a freakin' glorious Mango Passionfruit Mousse and busted out my Barack Obama paperback in true west coast metropolitan style. Pulling a liberal politician's book out of my TimBuk2 messenger bag while sipping an overpriced (yet tasty) Cappuccino in a "french" cafe inside a fancy downtown mall? Well folks, it appears like I'm becoming a San Franciscan more quickly than I thought. :)

After that I got some Tapenade (chopped olive/caper/garlic spread) and some Gruyere cheese to round out the Europe nature of my day, and headed home to watch some TV and well, blog about the food I ate today. Haha.

Anyway here's my tasty dinner. Looks like Europe had a pretty big effect on what I like to make/eat now...

Dinner tonight - really good bread with tapenade spread, grapes, gruyere cheese, and Caprese salad (tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette)

Horton Hears a Who and it's use of the Animation medium

There are literally 100 reasons why I want to see this movie.

It looks so interesting and imaginative and just sooo sooooo funny. I love when the boundaries of animation are pushed and the medium is really used to it's potential. Thus my love of Monsters, Inc. The best animated film in my opinion is a movie where the movie would clearly NOT work if it was a live-action film. Some Animated films that come out are basically just an excuse to get famous actors to record their voices and a way to grab a bunch of money from kids who drag their parents along to the film... i.e. bad times. But there are lots of great examples of movies that are just FIT for the medium. I think Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Howl's Moving Castle, Wall-E and a bunch more are all clear examples of where the medium is being used to take you on an adventure. A wild adventure into a crazy world with wild colours and imagination and inspiration at every corner. So I think that Dr. Seuss's brilliant stories translated into the 3D Animation medium are really a brilliant idea. And I think the medium is really very well suited to portray a story like this... better than 2D animation even. To drop you into this kind of world, where you feel like you can almost touch the sets or drink the water droplets falling off the leaves... I think this just adds so much to the audience's experience.

Check out some of the pictures from the website, this looks awesome.

New Cars toys

I know it's been a while, but I just ordered some new Cars toys and got a relatively decent deal on Ebay for all of these. Don't you worry, I am still collecting these like crazy. :)

Charlie Checker

Dudley Spare

"My name is not Chuck!"

Race Official Tom

Tow Truck

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dave Matthews shows times 3 in Berkeley

Sweet sweet glory. Dave Matthews Band is playing in my 'hood this year again, but not just once in far-away Mountain View, California. He's playing in Berkeley, at the freakin' super cool Berkeley Greek Theatre!! And he's playing 3 NIGHTS IN A ROW?!?!?!? What!!!!!!!!!!

Friday Sept 5th, Saturday Sept 6th, and Sunday Sept 7th. I am asking some friends if they can hook me up with Warehouse tickets, but if not I am still going to go to at least one of these, maybe 2 of them.

Also, check this out from the site:
Fans attending DMB shows this summer will be the first to hear the latest material from Dave Matthews Band as the band debuts songs from their forthcoming record! DMB is currently in the studio with Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Alanis Morrisette) working on the yet-to-be-titled album. Guitarist and long time friend Tim Reynolds is playing on the album, marking his first recording with DMB since 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets.
Oh sweet gloriousness.

Gary David Golberg lecture

I went to another lecture tonight at the JCC, it was by Gary David Goldberg, who grew up in Brooklyn and ended up by chance working in the entertainment industry. He wrote and created Family Ties, Brooklyn Bridge and Spin City. He had some interesting stories, and he showed some clips from his shows including some hilarious scenes from Brooklyn Bridge. As Wikipedia says, "Brooklyn Bridge is about a Jewish American family living in Brooklyn in the 1950s. The show's premise was partially based on the childhood of executive producer Gary David Goldberg of Family Ties fame." Pretty cool stuff. The clips were absolutely hilarious, and showed a lot of humour and cultural Jewish heritage, everyone in the audience loved it. It was funny.

He talked about how he tried to talk his long time buddy Steven Spielberg out of making "ET" because he thought it was one of Steven's uncommon "bad ideas" and he wanted to "save Steven and perhaps America from this movie" - haha. He said that he's been wrong many times but this was one of the most famous times he was wrong.

Another thing I thought was really interesting was that he was so successful as the creator of Family Ties that he got Paramount to write into his contract that he wanted a child care center on the Paramount lot. This started a trend so that now most major studios have child care centers... amazing!!

Anyway it was a super interesting talk, and funny to hear that now he lives in Vermont, has no phone, no TV, no internet, no cell phone... and is basically on purpose, completely cut off from communications and the general TV and entertainment world. Pretty impressive, and it was really cool to just hear his stories.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Star Wars DVDs, Happy Potter shirt

Today I bought the Limited Edition Widescreen 2-Disc DVD set of Star Wars Episodes IV, V, and VI from a girl at work! It seems absolutely INSANE that I work at ILM and up until today I didn't actually own Star Wars on DVD?!!!!!!!!!! That's nuts! Anyway, I bought them and she gave me a great price, and they are still wrapped! Great deal.

My buddy Matt bought me the Indiana Jones movies in a set when he came to visit, so I am now adding the necessary Lucasfilm movies to my DVD collection, as required. :) I own the Australian version of Star Wars Episode I, but not the USA Region 1 version. Is that insane or what?! Anyway, totally "takin' care of business" now and getting those DVDs asap.

I also bought a Harry Potter crew shirt, I have a similar one already in long-sleeve but this one is particularly cool. And you never know when you need another t-shirt that is also swag from work!!

Alrighty it's 3am. I keep staying up way too late.

Check out this cool Obama button Joel told me about.

Barack Obama in Hebrew button, pretty awesome!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Massive Golden Gate Park concert

Well... this looks awesome.

Huge outdoor music festival in Golden Gate park at the end of August, Jack Johnson and Radiohead... sounds good to me. Now we just need Dave Matthews to show up...

Good timmes. Matt brought up a good point, we haven't been to any concerts lately. Maybe I should get onto that.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ghostbusters firestation, Ninja Turtles sewer

As part of the unpacking tonight I finally found my Ghostbusters firestation and Ninja Turtles sewer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh MAN this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's huge. Also I found the Ecto-1 Ghostbusters Van!!!!!!!! So awesome. I am taking all of this to work because 1) it fits in quite well with my current office decor and 2) I have way too much random stuff already in this apartment with no place for more. :)

This is SO awesome. I think people at work are actually going to be kindof jealous of all my cool toys. I even have a remote control helicopter at work that my sister got me for Chanukkah. Thank goodness I ended up at a film studio and not a bank, otherwise what the heck would I have done with all of my sweeeeeeet toys?!?!?! :)

First of, haha!! A hilarious photo of when I went to Rachel and Justin's place. This is a REALLY funny pig shaped oven glove, and it's hilarious.

Matt and I before the big bike ride today

Ghostbusters firestation and Ecto-1 Van!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ninja Turtles sewer, I still have to assemble it

Huge day of biking, unpacking

More biking and unpacking today.

My friend and "bro", the famed Matthew "Gattabet" Parrott, the legend of art, computer science and home-schoolery, came over to bust a move. We first fixed his bike up a bit, tightening his brakes and then I needed to pump up my tires a bit. And then we were off!!

We biked around Golden Gate Park a bunch, and out to the Ocean. There were way too many cars driving around the Great Highway near the Ocean so we turned around and took off back through Golden Gate Park. Since I have a Mountain Bike and Matt has a Road Bike we had to be careful with the route so both bikes could handle it. Then we took my normal route to work, and headed over to the Marina area, biking along the paths to the Golden Gate Bridge. Awesome.

By this point we were insanely hungry so we went to the Marina area and tried to go to this awesome place for lunch, but they were done serving lunch and we got burritos instead. Then back to the awesome place for cappuccino and dessert and general philosophy of life discussions, you know, the usuals.

Then I came back home, and all this afternoon and evening I've been back at the unpacking effort. Tonight I saw my hilariously awesome report cards from elementary school... even from Kindergarten?!?!!!!!!!!! Amazing. There is some really funny stuff in there, like how "my excitement for computers is notable" and how I love being around people and taking charge of a team in class... that is, in Kindergarten class. :) Haha, how funny and awesome to read this stuff.

Also unpacked a bunch of cool awards and plaques from elementary school, and now I'm working on unpacking my Ghostbusters house and Ninja Turtles sewer. Yes, all this stuff is going to work so I can decorate my office. :)

Found a bazillion things that I don't know what the heck to do with, like a collection of... erasers, stamps, coins, the list goes on. Found all of my Cubs and Scout uniform and badge scarfs, which is pretty cool. Although for the most part I need to just re-pack this stuff. So, so much stuff to put up on the walls in my apartment now, and also stuff that I am sure I want to keep packed for later. Not finding too much in these boxes to throw away, but I sure found a ton of stuff in the previous boxes that was unnecessary. :) Anyway, still a bazillion things to go through, so I am going to get back to it. Gotta get some Dave Matthews Band tunes on to help with this effort.

More unpacking, SNL

Yes folks, that's right. The ongoing train of unpacking my boxes that arrived 6 months ago continues! Tonight was pretty super successful. I watched pieces of several movies like "Wedding Crashers" and "Old School", in the background, then some terrible Mad TV clip show which suuuucked and then, finally, Saturday Night Live. Ellen Page was hosting (Canadian actress, star of the awesome movie "Juno"), a band called Wilco was playing (they rocked), and Ellen Page was possibly even more attractive and gloriously beautiful than in any of her other prior TV appearances. 1 word... fine. Anyway apart from the obvious hotness, the show was really funny too, and I love the way they portray the politicians and re-do the political debates in SNL form. Hilarious.

While not watching TV I spent a bunch of time unpacking more stuff. I actually got through almost 2 major boxes! It's great. Most of the stuff I got to tonight was toys (which are going to my desk at work), and plaques/awards from elementary school and high school which are super cool to see and I really want to put them up in my apartment.

Silly post-it notes from ages ago, Valentine's Day samps, and an "Official CD ROM user" privilege card from my middle school in England!!

Alias binder and a cat Halloween costume

Central Jazz shirt

My Ninja Turtles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Ghostbusters!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ghostbusters Eraser

Lots of medals

More of the awards I am going to put up

Saturday, March 01, 2008

New bike headset/post

Just headed over the bike shop and got some great help from the main guy there, he is awesome.

He lowered my seat a bit more and installed a new headset/post for me that is shorter and has a higher angle so my bike is more in a commute mode than a racing mode. Sweet.

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Another "sort out" weekend

Last night was awesome, chillin' with a different one of these young adult Jewish "collectives" around here. :) It was awesome. It's sort of like a JSA but a post-University one, and man, it was AMAZING!! Lots of really, really cool people there, chatted a bunch about lots of interesting things. It was a really cool group and definitely I can totally see chillin' with all of these people more. This was a lot cooler than the random bar nights that I've been to a couple of times - much more interesting people, some good conversation and some glorious food. Good times!

Today it's time to sort out some more stuff.

Right now I gotta head back to the bike store and get them to change the headset on my bike. It's only a 10 degree angle and it's way too sharp and "racing-y", I need a more commuter style so I am not stretching so far and injuring myself. Anyway, so planning to go sort that out in a bit. The rest of the day I think I ought to take care of these boxes. I want to re-string my guitars this weekend too.