Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Reason to Spike That Eggnog

An interesting video from the LewRockwell blog... Eggnog research video
Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Rethinking WALL-E

Not so long ago, I finished rewatching WALL-E. Feeling inspired, I googled (is that a word?)
"Andrew Stanton" and came to an interview with him and Christianity Today.
If you remember earlier this year (July), when WALL-E actually came out,
I wrote a short review and a subsequent post (can't find it right now) on it's disappointing message (based off of a LewRockwell article that was incorrect in it's analysis of WALL-E's messages).
After reading the interview, my view of the movie has changed rapidly (is several minutes too fast?) and I respect Andrew Stanton for creatively finding ways to heavily intersperse his movies with themes that are emphatically Christian.

And yes, I am a HUGE fan of Pixar, if you haven't already noticed. ^_^



Thursday, December 18, 2008


Discovery Channel has some sort of TV program that films various actions at a rate
of 1000 f/s (frames per second). Time Warp

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Extending Firefox

Here's a great article on adding on to Firefox in various areas, such as security,
web developing, and other things.

To slightly offset my lack of posts, I might as well let you know that I'm currently on vacation
(as of last Friday) and am having a wonderful time celebrating Advent, sleeping in, studying,
and enjoying the magnificently cold season God is bestowing us with.
Hopefully, things are the same for you.

God bless!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kind of Sloppy

Apparently I am a "blundering idiot". After looking in my drafts, the post was in there.
By the way, this was written yesterday, and not Sunday.

I've known for quite some time now how my handwriting is rather messy, but have never
actually risen up to do anything about it. As of today, that has finally changed.
It all started today with a letter I received from my cousin, which prompted the urge
to write back to him, but only reminded me of my handwriting. "That settles it then!", I thought as I inputed the phrase, "improving handwriting" into Google and stumbled upon this excellent little page.

Only time will tell if my work will improve my writing or not (which it most likely will).


Yesterday, I was writing here a bit on my work on improving my handwriting, and then Blogger had to not auto-save and subsequently crash, leaving me wondering if I couldn't recover my post, or maybe just chanced to be a blundering idiot. <_<
As of today, our Christmas decorations are mostly up; sans a few final touches.
Also, some of us in the family decided that longer Christmas and shorter Summer vacations seem good for this year, and so Friday will be our last day, for a few weeks at least.

In this season of Advent, I noted how our family doesn't really participate in it in any way, and looked for ways to change that. After some discussions, the result was christened last night, with some meditations compiled by Randy Booth, topped off with dessert and conversations by Dad, Geoff, and myself (it was very pleasant). The major focus on Advent this year has specifically succeeded to make this December all the better than the previous. But then again, that is no surprise.

God bless!


Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Like A Bomb

Please cover your mouth next time; gosh!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent. It's presence was very well-stated throughout the day, through certain means such as my pastor and various blogs.

So, Thanksgiving came and went, and it was a glorious day of feasting and fellowship (relatives had previously penetrated my principality earlier in the week). Wednesday and Thursday, I was accompanied by the thoughts of thankfulness and joy. To explain the last sentence, even though we are thankful every day of our lives (at least we should be), it is wonderful to have special events (such as holidays) to be reminded. Dr. Johnson said, "People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed."

To finish off this post, I thought a link to Pastor Leithart's baptismal exhortation on Advent.
Oh, and I apologize if it may seem that I swallowed a thesaurus. Sometimes, you get the delightful feeling that you want to write a certain way, and that's just how it is.

Have a blessed week everyone!


P.S. Advent link

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Small Adjustment

This morning in church, my pastor (Jason Farley) was noting that contrary
to some people's belief (including mine), we, the modern day church are not in exile.
He stated that the old Israel in Babylon were the exiled ones (in Babylon), and that
our age is post-resurrection with Jesus Christ, our Cyrus of Persia having freed us and led
us home, so that we can now restore worship. But just because we are free once again doesn't
mean our load is light. The American church has much work to do to properly worship God.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Post Election and the American Church

Okay, so Obama was elected. All I have to say to the complainers is
that McCain isn't any better and certainly should not be granted "the lesser of two evils" title, as many have chosen to bestow him with!

Let's face it. The American church has been in a rut for a long period of time.
Many church's liturgies have been adapted and reduced to be a seeker-friendly worship service
that incorporates cliché contemporary rock music with no incorporation of confession of sins
or communion ("but we have it once a year!")
Because of our sins, we have been and are under judgement by God. As usual, the Bible has something to say about this. Deuteronomy 28 tells us about obedience and sin, and what we reap from our actions.

Deuteronomy 28: 1-14
"1And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

2And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

3Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

4Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

5Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

6Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

7The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

8The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

9The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.

10And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.

11And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

12The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

13And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them

14And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them."

Deuteronomy 28: 25, 36, 43-44

" 25The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth."

"36The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone."

"43The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

44He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail."

In verses 1-14, we see how richly and abundantly God blesses us when we love Him and keep His commandments. Contrasting that, the following selections makes it very clear how the only thing sin reaps is sorrow, death, and destruction. Instead of of winning battles, we flee before our enemies. We have served idols. In the high positions of government, there are many pagans, but the Christians are un-exalted and in lower positions. We are underneath our foes, and un-prosperous, while their head is on top of us.

Another example presents itself in Leviticus 26 (I will only show several verses this time).

Leviticus 26: 7-8

" 7And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.

8And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword."

Leviticus 26:17

" 17And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you."

Unfortunate for you, the reader, and fortunately for me, I get to go to bed now. I'll try to get a few more posts in before Friday, as that signifies the arrival of Thanksgiving relatives, and the start of feasting and fellowship. I hope you enjoyed the start of this short series and look forward to the forthcoming ones.

God bless!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Here is a link to a New York Times article I found on static stretching and why it is
bad for you. Stretching - The Truth

After reading it, I sure know now how to start and end my workouts!


Monday, November 10, 2008

RSS and All That Good Stuff...

So, I finally made the switch to using RSS, after I recently realized how much extra time it took me to open and navigate websites for the desired content with Firefox.

The feed reader I am using is Liferea (see? I started using the fancy links just like I said!).

Oh, I also forgot to mention that a few months ago, I switched to Ubuntu. ^.^
If you couldn't already tell, I absolutely love it. The speed, customization, excellent features, security,
and other things combine to make it a great operating system (though I am curious to see how Windows 7 turns out, it may turn out to beat Vista).
One gripe I had (a very typical one that all users encounter at some time or another) was that of missing Windows applications, though thankfully a fair bit of my applications (Firefox, Blender, Gmail) are cross-platform meaning that they are designed with a high level of compatibility to be able to run on multiple platforms with a similar user experience. The main one that I lacked was Adobe Photoshop, because I just can't stand Gimp through all the times I have tried it. Instead of telling you all the details, let's just say that it now works through CrossOver with minor glitches, making one very happy Linux user.

My eyes are starting to get a heavy sensation in them, signalling that I most likely need
to go to bed.
Good night and God bless!

~Bradley (I love this little symbol, it must have been made for blog signatures, aside from the secondary purpose of pulling down consoles in games).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Up, the next Pixar film that I am highly anticipating just released their 2nd trailer on Apple.com.

(Yes, I know; I don't use HTML tags to make fancy links, maybe I will sometime soon).


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Following the Tour

Recently, Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens took a short tour along parts of the East Coast,
promoting their fairly-new book, "Is Christianity Good For the World?". Here are Nathan Wilson's writings that document each day.
The three links go in order from day 1-3.


God bless,


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Well-Made Point

In Mere Christianity, (chapter The 'Cardinal Virtues') C.S. Lewis talks about the 7 main virtues related to morality, 4 of which are the cardinal virtues (cardinal coming from a Latin word meaning door hinge, i.e. virtues off which people pivot). Out of these 4, one is temperance.

"Temperance is, unfortunately, one of those words that has changed its meaning. It now usually means teetotalism. But in the days when the second Cardinal virtue was christened 'Temperance,' it meant nothing of the sort. Temperance referred not specially to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further. It is a mistake to think that Christians ought all to be teetotallers; Mohammedanism, not Christianity, is the teetotal religion. Of course it may be the duty of a particular Christian, or of any Christian, at a particular time, to abstain from strong drink, either because he is the sort of man who cannot drink at all without drinking too much, or because he is with people who are inclined to drunkenness and must not encourage them by drinking himself. But the whole point is that he is abstaining, for a good reason, from something which he does not condemn and which he likes to see other people enjoying. One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons--marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.

One great piece of mischief has been done by the modern restriction of the word Temperance to the question of drink. It helps people to forget that you can be just as intemperate about lots of other things. A man who makes his golf or his motor-bicycle the centre of his life, or a woman who devotes all her thoughts to clothes or bridge or her dog, is being just as 'intemperate' as someone who gets drunk every evening. Of course, it does not show on the outside so easily: bridge-mania or golf-mania do not make you fall down in the middle of the road. But God is not deceived by externals."

There is not much more to say. How I love this wonderful book!


Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yesterday, I was writing answers to my geography questions and amidst a certain one, typed something like "he would *insert action here*"; my automatic response was to quickly erase the line and replace it with "he or she would (you know the rest)". A short time after, it occurred to me how modern culture makes changes in ways we sometimes do not even realize, whether it be writing a simple "equal" answer or even just certain responses that our brain adapts to using.

Now, you may object to the equality part and say that it was just common sense to put in "he or she", and that can work; it's just that the thought in my head immediately said "you should change that, someone may read that and wonder why you didn't include both genders!" (The horror!)

It is also possible that it's just my mind being rather strange throughout school...

Methinks it's time for a shower and then bed.
Have a good Sabbath everyone (I started to type shower instead of Sabbath). *Slaps head*


Friday, October 17, 2008


Presumably, this blog seems to have hit a rut in which I can't seem to post consistently. Assuming nothing extremely abnormal happens to me in the near future (dying of a heart attack, going above and beyond my sodium intake, breaking my back try to lift a tea kettle), this web-space should be nicely maintained with posting in a timely manner (imagine that!).
The real reason posts are not consistent is because at the end of the day, blogging in one way or another sinks to the bottom of my priorities, in an unintentional way. In the past month or so, I have been noting all the things I should have posted; and I am disappointed in myself that I let the ideas float away without pursuing them in the slightest bit.

Here's to future writings!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Intriguing Papers

On today's lunch-break, I was on LewRockwell again and came upon yet
more wonderful papers on the bailout.



Friday, October 3, 2008


If you have been following the American economy news, you definitely noticed the canceling of the 700 billion dollar bailout. Unfortunately, the U.S. government is just alternatively pumping in money quietly, and finding new bills to pass. But still, the fact that people actually stood up and protested is a good thing, very good indeed. More in-depth articles are linked to below.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fine Food

This post is long overdue, so now is as good a time as ever to post it.
Grab a chair and come take a look in our kitchen, where I make pizza
and occasionally dessert. The pictures are located at my picture gallery,
complete with comments. http://picasaweb.google.com/Elfboy93/PizzaAndDessert8808And83108#
I would have posted the pics here but because of some problem problems, I am just keeping them in my gallery. I recommend the slideshow mode. Enjoy!


Sane Posts coming soon.

Everybody is mad
And Brad is sad
Post on his blog
he does not;
Into nearest smog
he hast got,
With brain not sane
his sanity doth wane.

Remain him not
Save blackened ash
To the Moon he hath got,
Asteroid hath made a smash
And gone be Brad.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


An interesting thought I had after reading Genesis 3.
Satan was not a snake; though some picture-Bibles may illustrate so.

Genesis 3:14 reads "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."
Notice how He says in the curse that Satan will go on his belly through the dust? Satan had to have been a dragon, since he couldn't have already been crawling through the dust..
Looking in my dictionary, it defines "serpent" as "a creature that movies in a winding motion, has scales, etc.." Maybe it would have been better to replace serpent with dragon.
Stupid phone companies; wrecking my sweet download speeds... xD


Maybe some time in the near future, Americans will finally realize the situation and hit
Comcast and AT&T with a big rubber mallet (or maybe a water balloon). xD

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So, this is homecoming week....

Tony arrived yesterday, and Geoff and Christina are flying in today!
Yesterday, I played with Tony (some dude with big hair) and he told me a
lot about his trip; in general, it was really fun.

Dad showed me an interesting article on W-ALLE that shows amidst it's great animation,
lighting, and all the other cg stuff, there are some bad messages related to anti-capitalism
and knowledge. I can't find the analysis right now but it will be here later when I find it.

God bless!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Remember, remember, the 23rd of September.....

Yes! Daniel, Kristin, Patrick, and Trinity are coming out in
September again (and around the same time they did last year too). xD

Did You Know....

Republicans and democrats are really all the same. I have been on an expedition to farther my vocabulary via the dictionary, and I found it quite interesting what "Republican" and "Democrat" came up as...

Democrat: A person who believes in and upholds government by the people (think of democracy, government in which the people hold the ruling power directly or through representatives).

Republican: Having the nature or characteristic of a republic in government. Looking back at the word republic, the definition says a state or nation in which the supreme power rests in all citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives elected.

After looking at both words, you see both are quite similar really.

There is an interesting essay I have been reading for a little while now, entitled "Our Status in America" by Randy Booth (I think that is the author). It is both good to learn about and also horrifying to learn how Lincoln single-handedly replaced the Constitution with the Roman law of old. Between our law and Justinian's codes, in many places, you find identical sections of law, like novation! Novation (from the Latin word, novatio) is the act of cancelling a debt by means of a new one. In this case, it happens when a baby is born, and a birth certificate is recorded by the county recorder, certified by the place-of-birth state, and sent to the Department of Commerce. This starts the process of turning the child's work, life, and property into just an asset of the U.S. government. The cancelling of the baby's birth certificate debt via a new one happens when they apply for benefits, whether it be a driver's license, social security, or even the post office. So then, a person created in the image of God is converted into a fiction and living collateral of the debt of the American government.

Thank you for reading,


Monday, July 28, 2008


Let's face it. I don't like doing weekly review on a blog, so I will only recall a few days in detail (the good ones) along with some information for general activities such as swimming and a friend coming down to stay.

On Saturday, Rachel came over for the evening and that was a lot of fun. We played Sequence, ate pudding, and had a nonsensical-type-writer-war lasting through much of the night, or at least that's how the paper described it. Oh, and we talked about good names for our Thursday meetings (most likely something involving the Trinity).

Sunday, Mr. Farley preached on Psalm 6, which is a prayer involving grief and enemies. His main point of application was that grief and joy are both real, (putting aside the grief-does-not-exist idea) but that joy completely overpowers grief because our God raised Jesus from the dead. 

Most of us went to the beach (Sebourns, our family, the Hatts, the Mcnairs, and Mrs. Martin's sister, Kendall) and delighted in the partaking of sushi (what doesn't Costco make?) and other fine foods. With myself in particular, I had some good conversations getting to know Jeff and Donny better (especially Jeff), talking with Rachel about the modern church's pre-millenial views and it's huge differences from Doug Wilson's teaching.

So, that mostly explains the weekend.

On a different note, I was surprised last week to find that Brian (an old friend) is staying with his grandparents (our neighbors) for 2 or 3 weeks, so we have been hanging out and having a good bit of fun.

Swim lessons are finishing up (the last session is on Wednesday), and they have gone really well. I have met my teacher's goals of learning the basic strokes (freestyle, backstroke, side-gliding, dolphin kick, and some strange sort of float/glide titled MAS (monkey, airplane, soldier) and also side-breathing. Mum talked to the teacher today and found out that I am ahead of my level and doing really well. I still have a little bit of trouble with MAS and the dolphin kick but most of that was resolved today (at least for one of the strokes).

One of the boys in my class, Raymond (not Rayman as I spelled it before) is really nice and we have been talking in-between swimming. Now, I only wish that we had a big pool to swim in....

Thank you for reading my post and look forward to more soon.... (sounds like an advertisement). <_<


Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Review

Friday:Nothing exciting. Made pizza, watched a movie, relaxed, did some math.

Saturday: Mowed lawn, cleaned up junk that the tree dumps in our yard (cut it down! =) Mum and Dad looked at carpet and came back with a sample. Dad and I don't like it, but Sarah and Mum do, so it appears that we are going to get some other kind...

Okay, I'm going to stop the day-summary as Sunday and today are full of details.

Mr. Farley preached on Psalm 4, and exhorted how we should not be ashamed of Jesus, His works, and the church. He also talked in the beginning about the chief musician and some history about that in Deuteronomy.

The Claydons got their fairly-new baby, Royal, baptized also. He didn't cry when the water came on his head, and Sarah whispered to me that it must have been warm (I can think of a certain little relative that got cold water on her head and she did not like it). A reception followed with some simple breads, cheeses, meat, fruit, and vegetables. Oh, and there was another cake from the Buttery (yum!!)

Not long afterwards, we Machamers left for the Johsens with tour-guide Nai-Noah giving directions, and there's no need to tell about the drive as there is more interesting stuff. I liked their house a lot and had fun talking, playing some games, and eating salmon for an early dinner. An exciting game of chess was played (with a battery taking the role of the rook, such a positive element) and a check-mate squashed me.

The psalm sing was at the Brownlee's, about a 10 minute drive from the Johsen's, and what fun it was! (Complete with Mr. Farley wearing his 1st baseball cap.) Everyone split into two groups, the men practicing their parts first, and the women watching the children. Approximately 10 minutes go by and roles are switched. Most of the guys start playing knock-out, (a basketball game) where you try and shoot a basket before the person behind you does; otherwise you're out of the game. Once the women were done practicing, the people gathered in "the room" and sang Psalm 100. Then, repeat the same mixture for Psalm 1 and you have the cake (actually, there were cookies). After singing, I finally joined in on knock-out and watched as Mr. Farley beat all the players up (most of the time) without even losing his flip-flops.

End Sunday.

Today, swim lessons started! (See note)
While waiting, I chatted with Rayman, an eleven-year-old Asian (yeah!) boy who lives close to the pool. All the cattle (er, kids) were ordered to sit down, and we were classified in levels 1-6; though the unknowns were taken for testing (Rayman and I). Our level-3 teacher, Katelyn, went ahead and started the lesson while also watching to see if we could keep up. We went through some basic kicking, freestyle, back stroke, and a little bit of side-breathing. By the end of the course (3 weeks of Monday and Wednesday), we will know the common strokes, be able to do a perfect back-stroke (her own words), and even be able to utilize side-breathing.
And since the lessons are semi-private, there are only two other boys in my class.
The lessons are very fun and also, it gives me a chance to swim as our own modest pool
has a hole-filled sun-baked liner.

God bless,


Note: Mum signed Katherine and I up for aquatic swimming lessons (Mondays and Wednesdays) for different reasons. I want to re-learn the main strokes and such, and Katherine needs to learn how to swim (she has almost done it in the past but has had various incidents that have prevented her from doing so).

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Yes, everyone says it, and here I am doing the same; but it's not like there is anything else
to say unless you want to be weird and say something like Happy 7-month of the fourth day!

Humor aside, here is an excellent post by Doug Wilson. http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=5607

God bless,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


After some more reading, the Sigma DP1 is actually lacking in a lot of ways, rather disappointing.
It has no viewfinder, no zoom at all, a bad LCD screen that locks when you go to focus and that
does not adjust to exposure change very well, and no macro mode.
Now, I really hope that Sigma comes out with a DP2, or that Canon or someone else will make an improved version of the DP1 in their own way. Canon could do a really good job; their LCD screens are good, their PowerShot's have a viewfinder, and there is a macro mode (other companies have these features too, most likely, but I am just recommending Canon). Anyway, it's better to just wait right now, and see who continues next. I'm going to do a little Blender now.


Sigma and links

Not much today, just a few neat links.


Hooray for Sigma! Yeah, the camera has a few flaws, but hey; it's the first of it's class!
Recently, I was telling Sarah about how I wished a company would make a raw-shooting digital camera that was very decent, and it looks like my talk has become reality (and an expensive one at that).
Finally, something to go against Canon's PowerShot motto of "all you have to do is point and push a button." Yes, I have a PowerShot (A560), but I don't want to be like the no-brainer consumer that just wants to take a "picture". Maybe the other mainstream companies (Nikon, FugiFilm, Canon) will take a hint and improve on Sigma's design (and then maybe I can afford one because of competition). *Grins*

As with Firefox, I'm happy to say that I was one of the 8 million plus people that helped set the record. The day it came, out, I actually got very excited, even to the point of telling my friend, Tony how cool the scrolling tab bar was, or the new location-bar features.

I'm going to go exercise and then probably read some more of my Blender book.
The tough part is deciding whether to take a bike-ride or use the weight-bench...


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In Your Face DreamWorks!

I came back not too long ago (9:15 or so) from seeing Wall-E; so here is my semi-review and thoughts on the movie.

Mr. Gregg and Charlie met us at the theater for a 7 O' clock showing at the Chabot Cinema in Castro Valley. One of the best things (aside from the movie of course!) was that as I returned to my seat after getting up, I came in only to see Big Buck Bunny (the latest open-source Blender film) playing on the screen! (the theater must have needed some fill-time or something). The sound was too low, but who cares; the movie was still there in it's high-definition glory, and it was so great to see. "Hey dad, that's the Blender movie on the screen!"

And now, back to our feature presentation

Though it isn't my favorite Pixar movie, Wall-E is an excellent movie. I loved it's themes of good stewardship, and taking care of others, and what God has given us. I wish there had been more character development, but at least the plot is over-the-top (in a very good way) to help fill it in.

[SPOILER] The love between Wall-E and Eve was very moving to me (and actually cute), and my eyes were a little bit wet at the end scene, but not even close to crying. And I say that with no embarassment. =) If you saw it, you'd understand, I'm sure.

The tribute to Apple was pretty funny too; I noticed 3 things which I list here.
1. Video Ipod
2. All computer sound effects were from Mac OSX.
3. The designer of Eve was the same person who designed the Ipod (from what I hear).

There is a pleasant amount of humor in the movie, even down to the Chuckie doll in Wall-E's truck, the spork, or the cleaning robot, Mo. Now, there is far more humor then that, but the mentioned items are just a few subjects that come to mind.
The level of detail is astounding, even more so than the previous films; and it was quite fun to witness the beautiful world of space and Earth. The animation was top-notch, and I love how Pixar decided to try something different and go with the art of pantomime. It was also fun to have the sound design all done by Ben Burtt, the man who worked on Star Wars.

If you were doubtful of Wall-E, at least know that I give it 4.5 stars (though I'm sort of biast towards Pixar.) =) Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed my thoughts on Wall-E in yet another blog post.

God bless,


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sabbath glory and updates

Here's a general overview of what I have been doing since my last blog post.

Some days have just been simple, with some anatomy, perspective, some reading, and enjoying Summer.
Because of all the fires around Corralitos and such, the air quality has decreased somewhat and a quazi-fog has been hovering around in the sky.

The highlight of last week was on Friday (and no, there was no pizza). Jessica's birthday/graduation party commenced at 6:30, with a fairly large gathering of mostly their family and some friends. Sarah didn't bring her camera, so she used mine (really, I was fully intending to use it at some point). Unfortunately, she shot with 1600 ISO, and the Powershot is only low-noise through 400 ISO. Oh well. Even the Wallaces showed up a little later, and I spent most of my evening chatting with Chris about Java, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and life (of course). We both agreed that he should come over pretty soon so we can hang out. *grins*

Concerning Java, the reason I have dipped into it is because Mr. Norman down at Trinity recommended it as a good programming language to start with, after hearing my interest of a new hobby. I actually haven't even completed the "Hello World!" tutorial as my JRE dev tools were not in the right location, so I couldn't compile the .java to make a source file. This week, I plan to finish the tutorial and move on.

With drawing, I have continued learning more about perspective, and have been doing a little bit of head-review in anatomy. I finally figured out what Riven Phoenix was trying to say in one of his videos, a certain line that I hadn't been adding. I really want to keep moving on at a fast pace, but it seems the program is going rather slowly, which is the best way to utilize it (lots of practice!). The goal is to get very strong art foundations, and then start doing more work in 3D.

Another good event graced my path on the magical day of Friday, in the form of a package from Amazon. Yes! My Blender physical simulation book finally came after a pre-order in December and a very long wait. I have to remind myself to take breaks every little while, and to not make it my only focus.

Yesterday was mum and dad's 28th anniversary, and they celebrated it by taking Sarah to the airport at some frightfully early time at 4 something in the morning. Joke aside, they did go wine-tasting at an almost-local winery down in Alameda, and Katherine and I just hung out, me reading my new book, and her, doing "stuff." We then ended up going out to "Rigatoni's", a seemingly-Italian restaurant in Castro Valley with fairly good food and tables suggestive of Denny's. I wonder if there was gum under the table. Overall, it was a moderate restaurant, not the best and not the worst, a middle-man if you want to give it a name.

After afore-mentioned event, dad said he wanted to rent a movie, so we got "The Iron Giant" a little-known film put out by a studio that went out of business (through production or after?) and was Brad Bird's first movie.The main reason we rented it (aside from an unkown free rental) was that dad heard a review/recommendation from Jason Farley. http://www.stannespub.com/thecellar/23/ (Track 17 if you're wondering). The movie is about storytelling, and tries to explain their importance. I won't spoil the ending for you but the strongly Christian themes near the end are so great, I have to give it to Bird for not just making another animated movie that can be thrown out along with Shark Tale, Bee Movie, and a whole slew of other movies. (I'm looking at you DreamWorks) It's as if studios think: "Hmm, there's this great thing called 3D animation; let's try and make a movie, even if the story is so awful and the themes are cliche and bad and see how much money we can make off it." Correct me if I'm wrong, but that would seem how it is.

Today was an absolutely fabulous day. Jason Farley has been preaching for the past couple weeks out of the Psalms (The 1st Sunday was on singing them), and simply put, his messages are the effective preaching and equipping of God's people. I can't say anything else aside from that it is awesome to see a man so blessed and full of joy teaching the Word to the Sheep. Trinity Covenant could not have ever asked for a better pastor. Thank you God for blessing us and bringing the Farley's to California.

Today's sermon was from Psalm 2, David's message to the heathen authorities, that also contains Messianic themes seen in lots of places in the Bible. God laughes at the rulers when they try and break his cords, and get away from His Law. He laughes when courts think they can define marriage as between the same sex. Their feeble attempts will be brought to nothing.

Tomorrow, I have some math, piano, guitar, and art; a light load for another good day. Good night and may your day be blessed!


Friday, June 13, 2008


Check out these really neat articles...

And one of my favorite sites for wallpapers. http://interfacelift.com/

Summer must be right around the corner, as I got out of school this Monday. *dances*

Not too much has been happening lately. I've been enjoying sleeping in some, spending
more time on art, the Bible, and my animation books! Tony got out of school on Thursday
and we have been having fun playing Brawl, Sequence, and talking. I'm definitely enjoying
his visits as he will leave for Paraguay on the 24th and will come back on August 12th. *sighs*
And don't tell me you don't know where Paraguay is...

Over the past few weeks, I've been spending a lot more time in God's Word, and thinking about what I read in the morning. Reading the Bible in the morning is the best way to wake up; as it prepares and strengthens you for what ever the day may bring. Sometimes, when I read certain passages like Colossians 2, it fills me with this deep feeling of true happiness, in realization that Jesus has really beaten the Devil, forgiven a sinner like me, and to top that, has exalted me to a righteous status through His death.
Colossians 2:13-15
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!


Saturday, May 31, 2008


I really was intending to blog daily about my life, and the art stuff I'm learning;
but that goal was not accomplished. This will (hopefully) be the start of that goal.

In April, I felt very determined to get really good at art when the call for artists was
announced for a play I was in (Cinderella). Since I wasn't good enough at art, I chose not to volunteer, but a flame sparked in me that longed for learning. I did some research on Cgsociety and such and found out about a fantastic illustrator (now dead) named Andrew Loomis, who had published some books that were very good, but were out of print.

After downloading his books (google "andrew loomis") and a book on perspective,
I was all set. And since then, I've been slowly plugging away at the perspective book (Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling) and one of Loomis' books (Successful Drawing). Anyway, I hope that by later this year, I will have a good understanding of perspective and also of the general physics of drawing.

While on the subject of drawing, I might as well mention that I'm watching an anatomy course (http://the-structure-of-man.blogspot.com/), and it's very good. I'm somewhat unhappy at the moment because one project is to draw the 3/4 view of the chest cavity (which means I have to use perspective).
The series is such small size that it is hard to see what Riven Phoenix is doing, so I re-sized to double the size and applied a de-noise filter and it actually looks pretty good (the software is KMPlayer).

Last December, I used some birthday money and got The Illusion of Life and The Animator's Workbook since animation is something that interests me [Crazy happy/excited]me wants to learn to animate!![Crazy happy/excited] After deciding to read The Animator's Workbook first, (I'm going to use a different name than "I") [insert name here] began the task of reading the book (thoroughly of course). At the 1/3 mark, I (oh no!) took a break and then decided to start over, so that's where Brad is now (there will be a good nickname!).

Related to Blender, hopefully, there will be a Bounce, Tumble, and Splash book
on my doorstep soon. (http://www.amazon.com/Bounce-Tumble-Splash-Simulating-Physical/dp/0470192801/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212258521&sr=8-3)

I actually haven't been using Blender all that much in the last week mostly because my general
plan is to get really a good understanding of 2D art and then move more in the 3D direction. That doesn't mean I (silly nicknames!) won't be using it at all, but just somewhat less.

My current project (started in January) is still crawling. The main things left to do
are to re-do the fluid simulation (half-way done), tweak lighting, optimize render times,
and then finally do compositing (blur out background, gamma and tone corrections, etc). The last step will be most difficult because I have the fluid and background all on one layer (the water needed an environment to reflect and since it was on a separate render layer, there were no reflections) and I still need to de-focus the background (which could be done easily if both objects were on separate layers). Hopefully, some sort of solution will present itself in my brain....

And that wraps things up. Have a blessed Sabbath (not that anyone reads this =)


Friday, January 25, 2008

Wow, it's already Friday again.
Just yesterday, I finished learning
about the sacrum in anatomy, and am
learning about the pelvic area today.
Related to that, just two days ago, I went
the the plastination-body exhibit in San Jose at the Tech Center.
It was awesome! (And I would have taken pictures if they would've allowed cameras...)
Even though they were plastic, they didn't really look it. There's not too much
more I can say as you really have to see it for yourself. The exhibit does close after tomorrow
though, so if you live in the Bay Area, this is your last chance!

Animation-wise, this week I learned about
keys (the main sections of an animation that tell a story)
and how about how animators love to circle their frames (when only the
keys are supposed to be circled). Also mentioned were issues with
the lead animator not doing enough work and the assistant being
blamed for messing up the animation.

Blender-related, I have done a little more work on my sink scene and will
post updates soon on BlenderArtists.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Put the Ipod down sir...

This blog has not been updated in awhile, but I just came
back to it today, thinking I will probably start writing here.

On the 21st of December 2007, I received The Animator's Workbook by Richard Williams
and The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
(I bought them with birthday money).
I have decided to go through them, one at a time, taking them slowly, savoring
each few pages. I will probably blog on that here.

On the section about timing and spacing, Mr. Williams suggested sliding a coin
across a video camera in 24 seconds, first in an even pattern, and then
in an ease-in-ease-out. I ended up holding my camera in a steady spot and taking 24
pictures (25 on the second ease-in-ease-out video).
Then, I loaded the images into Blender and rendered
to AVI (using Xvid). You can download them below.

Today, I was reading lesson 1, where Richard Williams describes how he asked
Milt Kahl if he ever listened to music while animating, and Milt blows up, yelling
"Of all the stupid ideas!!" Compare that to another explosion, where he was asked
how he planned a counter-action in some Disney movie scene and exclaimed
how that was not the right way to think of the scene. Even when he was yelling,
Milt still gave wisdom (I find this rather funny).

So, Ditch the headphones, sit up straight (about a 135-degree angle),
and focus on one thing at a time.

Signing off,