Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A big long post

Hi all,

Well it's 3am and rather than sleeping like all of my roommates, I am up again as usual. I always get really tired at like 8 or 9pm, sometimes fall asleep for 20 or 30 minutes... and then I get such a huge crazy intense second wind that lasts me until around 4am... I get so tired in the early evening but the turnaround is almost unbelievable. I am SO awake right now it's nuts, and there are 100,000 things I want to do. Fortunately I've got lots of stuff to fill my time this late at night, (and no Jake it's not always looking for that Pixar Incredibles hawaiian shirt on Ebay, haha though I DID try to find it again today) - I have very quickly become busy finding old friends on MySpace and Facebook, those are both actually really quite cool and it's really awesome to see pictures of friends from high school who I haven't seen in years and years. That rocks.

I'm listening to Matt Costa again tonight. Man this guy is amazing. He's definitely got an amazing mix of styles here, I hear a little rock, a little folk, a little country, and the last song I was just listening too sounds like an old Jewish melody, maybe a little Klezmer even. Pretty awesome stuff. I reallllly love the song "Sunshine" by Matt Costa, he has a live version you can download here: http://www.mattcosta.com/music/outtakes/Sunshine.mp3

Man that is some amazing music, I am listening to it a lot for a couple of reasons... my buddy Joel Zimmer from Waterloo always recommends awesome music and this is one of the new things he recommended and also Matt Costa is playing in San Francisco in about a month and I pretty much have to go to his show due to his musical awesomeness.

Ok that's enough about the tunes lately, let's see what else is up. Lots of interesting times today. I met some Academy Award Nominees and they were really cool and saw some of the movies that are nominated for certain academy awards. I spoke to one guy who was very nice and was quite critical of his work (though it was quite an amazing film) and we chatted briefly about filmmaking and how people are always quite critical of their own work and their own artistic creations. Pretty awesome and I had a great time meeting everyone.

I had a great day at work today as well, just working hard on some new stuff. I managed to teach myself the programming language Python because I thought it would be useful and also because I hadn't ever used it and thought it was a great time to learn it. I did that a couple of weeks ago and after working on a couple of decent sized programs in Python I am feeling much more comfortable with it. It's pretty cool, and definitely a good language to know these days. I learned a whole bunch of really cool file management stuff in Python and managed to write a whole bunch of stuff really quickly today so that was great.

I wore my reaaaaaaaaaallllyy awesome new stripey Gap shirt today, and a few awesome people at work told me it looked good, so that just added to the awesomeness of the day!!

My friend Matt Parrott from the summer is coming back to San Francisco area tomorrow and is starting a job at LucasArts next week. He sounds pretty excited about it and I think he is working on some interesting games. He is going to be around this weekend for the Oscar festivities so that should be sweet, no doubt we are going to have a huge party here for sure and watch the whole thing. Jon Stewart is hosting and he is probably the greatest fake news anchor (or perhaps greatest news anchor) on the planet so I am pretty psyched for his performance. Haha I am not sure if I mentioned this but Pixar was on The Daily Show a couple of weeks ago, around the time of the Disney Merger announcement. It was really funny and he made up some new movie idea saying we were working on a movie called "Forks" and then had a bunch of people holding live-action forks and spoons and making them kiss each other and stuff, it was hilarious. Oh yeah we watched 24 tonight followed by a bunch of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and then Jon Stewart was on Larry King Live so that was pretty interesting too.

Hmm let's see what else am I thinking about at 3:21am when I should be asleep. As nerdy as this sounds, I am actually pretty excited for the next big wave of computer technology that is about to start soon. A major change is the switch from 32-bit to 64-bit processors, which changes the amount of memory a program can index, which can result in much more complicated programs running faster. Also a big change is the switch to Dual-Core processors, which is essentially adding another "brain" to your computer. Interesting I just took Concurrency last term at school which taught me how to program successfully and in a way that is "Thread-Safe" for multi-threaded or multi-processor machines (like Dual-Core machines.) Awesome. Dell has some crazy stuff coming out, and they look like they are already selling a Dual Core machine. It is interesting to see the same processors now running on a Dell and on the new iMac. That begs the question that why can't I make a dual-boot (or a triple-boot, for that matter) machine that runs all 3 major operating systems, Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. That would be cool, and would be especially awesome for multiple platform development and for performance and regression testing for software across all 3 major platforms... man that would be awesome. But I think at the moment at least Apple wants to keep their own software on their own machines, which has been their style for a long time so I don't know if Apple plans to change that. But Steve if you're reading this, I can pretty much say right now that I would definitely buy a copy of Mac OSX if you make a PC edition. :)

Listening to some Dave Matthews Band now, and I won't go into talking about this for hours, because you all know how much I love the Dave Matthews Band.

Today I got some sweet books I ordered on Half.com, ohhhh man Half.com rocks. Anways I got some cool stuff, I got a book called Industrial Light and Magic: Into the Digital Realm and it is really amazing. It was $80 at the bookstore and I got it for $11 online, so not a bad deal! It's a little old, maybe from around 1995, but it's really amazing. It talks about a lot of the innovations that Industrial Light and Magic invented for the Digital Cinema world, so you can see why I love this stuff. I got the Making of Spider-Man 1, and the Making of Spider-Man 2 as well... those were amazing and Sony Pictures Imageworks is really nuts and has done some cool stuff lately. When I went to visit a few weeks ago, I saw some people working on Superman Returns and Spider-Man 3 which is pretty neat. I didn't get to see any frames from the movies but the people working on it looked like they were having a good time!!

It has been a pretty busy few weeks, even this weekend was busy despite the fact that I stayed around the house a bit. I did some cleaning of the house with my roommates and still I haven't cleaned my room, done the laundry or any of that other stuff I need to do. Ah well I'll get it done at some point.

I really want to start some work for my 4th year Graphics class next term, this is going to be a pretty tough class so I really want to spend some time on the homework assignments and getting to understand some of the material now because there is a lot to do in one class... OpenGL, Matrix Transformations (rotating a cube in 3D without using OpenGL), an OpenGL puppet, a Raytracer and an Extended Raytracer!! This is all for one 4th year class and at the same time I will be taking 4 other classes, so I really need to make sure I am prepared for it. I am going to take an easy Math class, maybe Logic or Number Theory or something like that. For my electives, I actually need to take 3 but I am hoping to just take 1 double-credit class and 1 more. That would be great and would really free up my time to spend most of my hours on Graphics. I am going to make a proposal to the Waterloo Fine Arts department, asking if I can be supervised for a 4th year Fine Arts 3D Independent Study program, where I would work on my own in Maya, creating some short animated films from concept art all the way to completion. This will be an awesome opportunity if I can organize it, because I will be able to essentially make most of the rules for my own course, and get credits for learning something I desperately want to (and need to) learn, and simply don't have the time to learn during regular school hours and with regular school commitments.

Well anyway it's getting late and I am almost done listening to another CD so that probably means it's time to send some more emails and then go to bed. I hope everyone is well and thank you again to everyone who is keeping up to date with my blog - it means a lot to me that you are interested in all the stuff I am up to over here!

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