We have cleaned out the closets and shelves to help our son raise money to go to Europe for his Senior Class trip. If you are in the area, please come by as we will have lots of collectibles to include: Disney, Star Wars, Lego Bionicles, Hot Wheels, Speed Racer, DVDs, books, video games, software and more. It will be at 22880 Wren St in Apple Valley, CA on Oct 15-17, 2010 from 8am to 2pm.
If you are unable to come by and would still like to help, please consider sponsoring Jesse on his trip. Thanks to those of you that have already sent money. He is close to covering his first installment due on October 24th.
In the past few weeks, I have been rocking or photoshopping out. On August 28-29th, we attended the 25th Anniversary of HM/Heaven’s Metal magazine Up From The Ashes III Christian Metal Festival at The Vault in Temecula, CA. We were initially only going to attend the 1st day as Renee now works on Sundays running the nursery at the church we are attending. A few days prior, my friend James(Divine Metal Distro) messaged me to ask if I would being willing to shoot video for him of some of the bands. As a result, we were able to video and photograph on both days and got in free on Sunday. We saw the 25th anniversary shows of Deliverance and Bloodgood as well as some great shows by Grave Robber, The Altar Billies, Ultimatum, Troglodite Down, Nostalgia, Fasedown and many others. If you are a friend on Facebook, you can see the best of the photos from that weekend. Another cool thing about these shows is how the musicians mingle in the audience. The venue was small and they each took time before and after their sets to hang out and say hello. One highlight for me was meeting Les Carlsen of Bloodgood when I went to my truck to call Renee on Sunday. He saw my Bloodgood shirt and came right over to talk. Jesse got a Deliverance 25th anniversary shirt and a bunch of new CDs while we were there too.
The Tuesday following, I was in Las Vegas to attend Photoshop World Conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. This marked my 5th time attending and I still enjoy it. To kick things off, I met up with 25 NAPP forum members at the Burger Bar in Mandalay Place. It was great to see friends behind the avatars and meet up with those I knew from previous PSWs. We had several NAPP instructors join us and afterward we visited the Tweetup to hang out some more. They had a live set-up taking photos and posting them to Flckr. The next morning keynote was kicked off with the same NAPP instructors coming out in KISS-style make-up and singing “I wanna Photoshop all night and retouch everyday.” It was hilarious to see them using the Photoshop tools as part of their makeup. The most exciting part of the keynote was the presentation of the Guru awards. A good friend from the NAPP forums won for Illustration and took Best In Show. The presenter commented that he must have had family due to all the forum members yelling when he won. We had three busy days of workshops on all the latest in Photoshop, Photography and more. Another highlight was attending Midnight Madness. It is a fun night of goofing around and hanging out with friends. I returned home just a little exhausted after a very busy week.
On another note, Jesse began his senior year of high school. We were very pleased to find out that he need only take four classes each semester in order to graduate. He also has an opportunity to tour Europe in the Spring if he raises the money for the trip. If you are interested in helping him go, let me know and I will pass your name along.
Hope that you and your family are well and we look forward to hearing from each of you as we head into the fall season.
The last few weeks have included mostly going to work which, considering the times, is a good thing. A couple of weekends ago, Jesse went to Magic Mountain with his youth group. While he was gone, Renee and I had a day out together. We went to breakfast and then went to see “How to Train Your Dragon” at the movies. I know it’s a kids movie, but we are still kids at heart and always enjoy watching cartoons. Afterward, we went to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. We went to Borders bookstore and wondered which novel Jesse would like, but couldn’t get him on his phone, so we left a message. We then went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and it was busy with students from Etiwanda HS dressed up for prom. We enjoyed a nice meal together and then returned to Borders just as Jesse called us back. We picked up novels for each of us and returned back home. Later that night, Jesse called to be picked up after a full day. A windy, cold day on Sunday kept us inside and out of doing yardwork.
The work week went by and I enjoyed listening in on Live webinars from NAPP on the new features in Photoshop CS5. The weather was great this past weekend so I waged war on the weed kingdom invading our yard with my hula hoe and Renee at my side. We managed to get a large section of the front yard and cleared 10 feet away all around the house. Muscles and joints were a little sore afterward, but the yard looks a little better. I also worked with Jesse to get his speedometer issue resolved on his truck. A little 5w-30 oil on the cable and it is working great. Saturday night, I went into town to see my friend Martial and his band play some R&B style rock-n-roll. They played great. Yesterday, we went to church and came home in time to watch the Lakers get their first win of the playoffs. Renee and I went to the local theater and donated blood in exchange for free movie passes. This also kept me from having to do anymore work in the yard. That’s the latest from our world. Hope that you and your family are doing well and we look forward to hearing from each of you.
Three years ago, I went to the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Expo with some co-workers at the school where I was teaching Flash and Web Design to Middle/High School students. They had an entire area of the Expo dedicated to Multimedia/Web and I was amazed by what I saw. I returned this year expecting to see something similar. I was a bit disappointed as the show had a much narrower focus. Last time I went, I felt a part because of the web/multimedia portion, but this time I felt more like an onlooker than a participant. The emphasis on the move to 3D was evident from the moment we walked in. Sony had an area dedicated to their 3D TV displays. It was pretty amazing to see a 3D image on a wall mounted TV. Panasonic also had an HD 3D theater for which you had to line up just to get tickets for a later showing. One of the highlights of the day was being able to sit in the Content Theater and see what Pixar was doing with 3D. Two of their leads in the 3D department discussed their approach to 3D and shared some of their early trials from Ratatouille and Cars. They also showed us extended scenes from the upcoming summer realease Up. It was cool stuff and certainly amazing to see. I enjoyed their approach to 3D as a story telling element instead of just a novelty to make things emerge from the screen. It was also evident that the economic downturn has had an effect on trade show shwag as well. There were more candy dishes and pens being dispensed than last time I attended. Even Microsoft was just handing out pens. I am glad we went, but I think I will stick to trade shows that are more to my area like Photoshop World and of course the geekfest that is Comic-Con.
I had a great time at Photoshop World in Las Vegas and I especially enjoyed having Jesse attend as well. We heard about the newest version of Photoshop coming out soon and attended lots of classes on how to do more with the version we have n0w. We also met up with several members of the NAPP forum and had a lot of fun. Back to work now after being away almost all of last week.
I spent the weekend reformatting computers. Whoohoo! Friday night I was up until midnight reformatting and setting up the old 98 machine so I could reformat the XP machine. So Saturday morning, I was up early finishing up the 98 machine and getting it connected to the web. I then began making sure the XP files were backed up so I could reformat. The reformatting doesn’t take long, it is reinstalling all the software afterward that takes a while. So after another late night Saturday, the XP was back in operation and the 98 machine was back in mothballs. Sunday continued with reinstalling software on the XP machine until I had my fill. I actually did do a little relaxing over the weekend watching a movie Sunday night and BBQing burgers on Monday.
I spent last week in San Diego attending the ESRI User Conference. It was quite . I only attended a couple of good sessions, the rest were quite nodworthy. The family stayed home and it was a good thing as the hotel left a lot to be desired. I stayed at the Hilton Mission Valley and it was a rip off. The room was in per diem, but the wireless was $10 a day while the Denny’s next door offered it for free. It was nice to get home and not eat out for meals. I am not sure if I will go next year as it was not worth it.
We had a quiet Christmas holiday as we tore open gifts, played games and ate our Christmas ham. I enjoyed yet another Zelda game for Christmas. This time it was Phantom Hourglass for the DS. I actually didn’t expect much for a hand-held, but the game is quite good. Renee got office supplies as she prepares to launch her Virtual Assistant business in the new year. Jesse received two PC games, but only one worked. He ended up playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as Unreal Tournament 3 had issues that need addressing. It kept crashing his computer after only a few minutes of play. I visited the Tech support forum and it was lit up with complaints and issues. I will see what I can do to resolve it tonight. I hope you had a great holiday.
Edit 12/27/07: UT3 is working now after updating the video drivers on Jesse’s PC. He is now fragging the day away.
This past weekend Jesse and I went to the Ontario Convention Center to check out LANFEST 2K7 hosted by NewEgg.com. It was pretty cool to see all of the vendors and the gaming paraphernalia there. I even won a brand new case for my PC from CoolerMaster. I told them of my replacing my power supply the weekend before with one of theirs and they let me spin the prize wheel. We also snagged some shwag from the booths by NVidia, AMD, Crucial, Seagate, Kingston, NewEgg, Shuttle, Antec, Microsoft and Logitech. It was pretty cool to see the gamers compete against each other too with huge Plasma screens mounted above their heads for all to see the action. Not bad for the $5 General Admission fee.