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ImaginaryFriend Blog

Comic Con 2011 - the photos

Ok so I got all my photos uplaoded to my google+ site: made them all public so you should be able to see them, also a description of them all should be in the album name, still getting the hang of g+ so I apologize if there is any confusion.

5 days of geekdom and beer

Yesterday afternoon I just returned from San Diego where I spent the last five days at either comic con or Stone Brewery. And it was awesome.

I got some amazing comissioned art, fantastic pin ups, some authentic limited art, met some awesom people and super talented artist types, saw some wonderful panels (Arkahm City was one, loved their spoiler, don't know if their trailer has hit the web yet but I bet it has...), had amazing gourmet food and custom craft beer, just a damn good time.

When I get time I'll post my spoils of the weekend if anyone wants me to.

on a completely unrelated note... redesigning my web site, so I'm looking for some feedback on the work in progress. If you have time stop by and let me know what you think?


Wow.. Premier 5.5 makes Illustrator look like Photoshop...

So a little back story for y'all.

In High school I was in vocational educaiton classes for drafting, electronics and video and radio programming and editing my sophmore-senior years. I really enjoyed these classes. I had some amazing teachers in them. My senior year was the best with a 2 hour block Radio & TV class. We had equipment (somehow?) and it was awesome. A few SVHS boxes and I was good to go... around this time I was also starting to teach myself HTML and after HS never looked back on this subject matter.

My first editing tools were notepad & paintshop pro. When I went off to college I learned about Photoshop (v3, not CS3, PS3, as in 3rd version, ever). I thought this tool was terrible initially, because I was comparing it to Paint Shop Pro (PSP from here on out). What it took me a few weeks to grasp was PSP was a creation tool and PS was a manipulation tool that you could happen to create stuff in. Once I got my brain wrapped around that there was no looking back. When I fist tried Illustrator a few years later I had the same reaction, although I had used Flash when it was part of Macromedia, I never dove into Freehand except on a few occaisions. Illustrator was a mind blowing experience when it was used properly.

Now that the backstory is complete... I just downloaded Adobe CS5.5. My father in law has a little video he needs me to edit. I figured it would be a piece of cake, with my background using Adobe Products and my dated understanding of video editing, I figured as long as he got me digital files to begin with I would be good to go, right? Man...

I feel like I just jumped from the original Starship Enterprise to TNG. Its amazing, it's deep, its simplistically complex. And although I've imported the videos and played with rotating the screen (they took a few shots at 90 degree angles for field of view) I really don't know where to start. Looked up some help sites, and they are just as all over the place, or want money. I figure I'll get Classroom in a book for this eventually, but does anyone know a place I can get a crash course in digital editing with Premier/Effects?

Oh, I still code HTML in a variant of Notepad, so the more some things change, the more they stay the same.


Aproximately 3,110,400 seconds...

That's about the length of time it has been since I got to game on my Xbox. Work has been keeping me... well busy, and other obligations have been taking up my time. Eventually it'll all shake out but for the moment it's kind of rough.

One thing I have done in the last month is welcomed SkyNet into my office. I purchased a Drobo, which is a robot redundant data storage device. I'm sure I will rue the day when it will use my music library against me.

Callin' the Technorati - Camcorder Question

Man, I love some of my friends on facebook, but honestly I know if I have a consumer electronic quesiton, this place will get me more solid answers 9 times out of ten.

One of my clients has asked me to work on a new campaign for them, we've figured out what we are going to do and one component is making a youtube channel for tesimonials...

However I've never really done much video work since HS (SVHS) and they will buy me the equipment, but I don't need to go overkill, so what video/camcorder is out there that will work well for this kind of sutability?

Main things I'm looking for

• Video Quality
• Stability (non wobbly)
• Works well in Florecent lights
• and my biggest concern is audio recording, would I need to get an extra mic? is there something with a decent little mic built in?

Thanks, looking forward to your responses, any questions feel free to ask!

Xoom vs. iPad2

So this is the year for the tablet for me. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and getting one.

With the recent release of the Xoom and the announced upcoming iPad2 I figure it will be one of these 2. My primary purose will be for sketching, some web based applications I need to use, Square transactions. Secondary function I'd like to use it for is trying it as an ebook/entertainment device (netflix, hulu, my own stuff).

So anyone got any thoughts on this? So far this has been my pro/con list

iPad2: Huge app store, established OS, lighter (1.3lbs to 1.7), new self cleaning cover cons: connecting it to iTunes to even start it up and at other times, Apple's new 30% subscription take policy leaves a bad taste in my mouth, chance an upgraded display will be happening in 6 months

Xoom: Android based (which I do like), larger screen, higher resolution, usb connections. cons: flash & microSD card slot aren't currently supported, software update coming soon. Appstore has less than 20 apps made for the tablet version, free 4G update requires it mailed in at my cost.

anyone care to chime in?


Acheivements n' Deals

Start off with the Deal:

$35 for 1 year of Xbox Gold Membership

ok, that aside

What is up with the GS achievements? It says I have 24 but only displays 20. I see that the butterfly one and the voltron one don't pop up in my expanded explanations... whats up with that willis?

Completely unrelated note. I'm really enjoying The Black Keys. Don't know how I haven't heard of them before now but loving it. Their video Howlin' For You is priceless if you enjoy QT movies. YouTube it, you'll enjoy it.

Never see me?

Over the last.. oh several months I've really been living up to my login name. I am an imaignary friend, you NEVER see me.

Work has been going good, really good. Almost too good (if it was beyond too good I could hire someone to do the crap work I don't want to do). You get the idea.

I haven't even video gamed much. I did find the time to knock out Plants vs. Zombies (fantastic game btw) and working on Hydro Thunder and Borderland still... and even with getting a few new titles for Winter Solstice this year I know my heart isn't into it as much as it was last year or the year before.

I'm really into... being inspired lately. To learn more about something, to do better at what I do, to lead on in areas I previously only was a tag a long.

Two minor eye opening events have brought this to the forefront of my mind over the last month.

The first was going to Walt Disney World in Florida, specifically Disney Hollywood Studios. There I played an amazing game called Toy Story Mania, went through the history of Disney and how they purchased the FL property. I learned that Walt didn't even design the modern Mickey, rather he asked a good friend to do it for Fantasia (the modern Mickey originating in Fantasia I did know about). But the one place in the whole park that held the most amusement for me was the store that sold the old collectable animation cells and prints from sketches and drawings. If my wife would have let me I would have spent HOURS in there, pouring over every print, studying their detail. I would have also drained my wallet of every last red cent I had if I didn't get pulled out of their in a timely fashion as well. I take for granted all the tools that are at my disposal today and could not even fathom what it must have been like to create with those limitations. I'm truely astounded and in awe, and greatly greatly humbled.

The second is revisiting a web site that I had only glanced by previously... This is a web site where creative types from just about all walks of life, from dancers, writers, artists, fasion designers, programmers, film makers, etc. can submit a project to be crowd funded. The better ones have a great presentation and some sort of reward teir for their "backers". They have a window to collect funds from backers, rectified through Amazon's payment system. If they can not secure the initally asked for Goal, the crowd doesn't get charged, they get no money. If it meets or exceeds the goal it goes forward. I had read in an article about one of their projects, a stunning kit that turns an iPod nano into a slick wrist watch. Me being a king of all things geek had to look at it, and it blew my mind with simple elegance and amazing form-follow-function. I had to have one and backed it. This project is funded with still 2 weeks go, in fact its beyond funded. They asked for $15k for this project and its funded to about $480k now. Amazing how such a simple concept, when done right can rally the masses. I looked through some other projects and a few caught my eye, like the Movable Type project. But nothing prepared me for a minor emtional journey that I got on when I looked into the project of animating Neil Gaiman's The Price. I had glanced by it initially, as I am a fan of Gaiman's work, but I didn't watch the video presentation. A few days ago the creator of the watch posted that he would appreciate if his backers would look at this project he just increased his backing to. I looked and again I was humbled and inspired and a little saddened. With about 48 hours to go there was still about $50k of funding to go for this project, whose initial goal was $150k. I decided I would back it anyway, and thats where the story began. On the heals of this Mashable and CNN picked up the story and ran with it. And with 6 hours still left on the clock the goal was reached. But being apart of that process, knowing I contributed to make this amazing project happen and help save it from being another "good idea gone to waste" was completely exhilerating.

I wish I could describe it better than that, for those who know me typing is not my forte and spelling is not a stong suite of mine. Thank you kindly for reading through my babbles. And please do me a favor this holiday season, go out and find yourself a little piece of inspiration, cherish it for a moment and then share that with the world.

Black Friday Spoilers

As oppose to most recent past, I must say from what I've learned so far, Black Friday won't be winning me over this year. But how could I not post a few spoilers?

Best Buy Black Friday Flyer

Target Black Friday Flyer

Toys R Us Black Friday Flyer

Sears Black Friday Flyer

Kohls Black Friday Flyer

Wal-Mart Black Friday Flyer





Old Navy


All these scans can be found here


Podcast anyone?

So if there's one thing I've learned since joining this site since 2006 is that gamers comein all shapes, sex and sizes and their talents and skills vary more daftly than one might suspect. So with that being said I'm looking to see if someone can do me a favor and educate me.

If you've made a podcast, or produced one... or know how please drop me a line. I know next to nothing about them other than you can have them setup on auto download on iTunes... if I'm wrong on this as well please correct me.