Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote Today & Tomrrow (Oct 29 & 30) for Pajama Gladiator!!

The film I produced at BYU is up for a Viewers' Choice Award from the Nicktoons Network. You can watch it online today Starting at 11 pm eastern and all day tomorrow!!!! Please visit their site today and click "Rock" to vote for our film. Remember it's called "Pajama Gladiator"
Here's the link
Here's a press release from BYU
Thank You and Enjoy!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

6. 6 M&Ms. Ah Ah Ah Aaaahh.

This past Saturday evening, we had a Halloween Party at our church. It was pretty chaotic, though less so than last year's where they did a trunk or treat and just let the kids run free to raid the trunks. This year there were no trunks, so they just let the kids run free in the church to raid the treats. The best thing about the party were the contests that the adults could participate in. I'm talking about the "guess how many M&Ms are in the jar" contests, or, my specialty, "how much does the punkin weigh?".
Some of you know of my amazing super talent of being able to determine the weight of things pretty accurately simply by holding them in my hands. It's a power I acquired while working at UPS. For those who may not know, for 3 years I worked as a UPS package handler. I basically unloaded packages from 55 ft semi trailers onto a conveyor belt starting at 3:00 am. each day. 1200 per hour. Averaging 20 lbs a piece. That's 24000 lbs an hour. 96000 lbs per shift. 480000 lbs a week. 24,960,000 lbs a year. 74,880,000 lbs during my time there.

Whoah! I'm tired after all that! The math - not the package handling.

Anyway, Each package had it's weight clearly marked so I just started associating the feel of the weight with the number.

The only reason I'm bragging about this is because at the Halloween party, they had 3 punkins there for you to guess the weight of. I thought I would test to see if I still had the superpower or not. I guessed on all three punkins. I was actually pretty worried, because I wasn't super sure of the weights. I haven't worked at UPS for over a year now. There was a wide range of guesses from other people ranging from 20 lbs, to CJ's guess for each: 520. Not 520 lbs, just 520.

Just before they announced the winners, I confessed to my friend that I think I have completely lost my super power.


They said I guessed all three right! They changed the rules and tossed out 2 of my guesses to let others win. That's OK by me, I wouldn't have been able to carry all 3 punkins home anyway.

As for the number of M&Ms in a jar? I never get close on those. Mia was probably closer. I asked her how many were in this jar. She immediatly answered "4". I asked if she thought there were really only 4, or if there were more. This time she thought about it for a bit and said nodding her head "I think 6. No, maybe 7. No, 6. 6." I entered that as her official guess.

She didn't win.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Video Game Lingo & Pizza

First thing, let me calm all the panic I caused with my last post. I am currently leaning more in the McCain direction. - SO CALM DOWN EVERYONE!!!

Now on to what I really wanted to talk about. Most of you probably don't play video games enough, so I wanted to give you a brief lesson on a piece of gaming lingo. Today's lesson is the word "respawn". I know it sounds like fish procreation - a second time, - but it has nothing to do with that. Respawning is what you call coming back to life after dying in a video game. So like in Call of Duty 4, if you get splattered by a grenade, you respawn somewhere else and continue fighting.

Good, now that you understand what respawn means, I want to tell you something funny. Today at church, one of the speakers was talking about a story from the Bible. It was a story where someone asked Jesus a question. The speaker said "Jesus responded...", Valerie looked at me and said "Jesus respawned"? I hadn't been paying real close attention so I looked (confusedly) at her and thought to myself "Well, I guess He did respawn after His crucifixion didn't He." I answered, nodding my head "Jesus respawned". We had a hard time not laughing out loud and will probably be struck by lightning, but it just goes to show you that even violent video games can help remind you of the most important things at times.

Now lets talk pizza. We ate pizza for 5 meals in the past 8 days. Valerie can't stand to have it more than once a month, but somehow we tend to eat a lot of pizza. Oh, and since you brought up the pizza topic and all, I thought I would share my pizza recipe with you.

If you have ever looked up pizza recipes on the internet, you'll find they aren't much help. You get things like this: Mushroom Pizza, ingredients: Crust, sauce, mushrooms, cheese. or fancy recipes like: Gourmet New york Peperoni Pizza: Crust, sauce, peperoni, cheese. Basically just a list of toppings to put on a pizza - as if you need a recipe for that. (Incidentally, sandwich recipes are almost as useless too). Here is a real pizza recipe that is de-lish-us! It's step by step so start at the top and continue downward or you'll get confused. PS - make the sauce first.

Makes 2 large pizzas.

2 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups lukewarm water
Stir these together and let them sit for a few minute while you do the next steps (to let the yeast get all foamy and active).

1 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Put these together in a mixing bowl (use a kitchen-aide or bosch or the like)and pour the yeast liquid in with it. Mix it up into a soup and add the following seasonings.
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram (optional)

It should smell reallllllly good right about now. Now add the following a cup or 2 at a time and let it knead for a while.
5 more cups flour

Cover and let it rise for 20 min (until doubled). Build your pizza and cook at 450F for 15 -25 min depending on how thick it is.

1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomato
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
Stir it all up, and put in in the fridge while you make the crust.

Here's what I like on mine:
mozzarella Cheese
green olives
artichoke hearts

P.S. For those who care, we are planning on visiting Utah right after Christmas.

Monday, October 13, 2008


So a lot of my family are concerned about my political affiliation. Well, I thought I would take a few minutes to explain my views. Unfortunately I could fill a book with them, so I'll have to abbreviate. I think the majority of the country has chosen a side and blindly votes for their side time and again. Don't you think it would be better for the country if everybody would actually look at both sides each time and pick whats best from EITHER side? Maybe the bad guy is more honest.

First Let's look at what's wrong right now.

Our current Leader is an idiot frat boy whose cronyism and fear mongering has made him an all powerful Emperor. He reminds me of my Senior Class President in high school. He was elected Class President because he was popular and could drink more beers than any of his competitors. The fact that it would be his responsibility to organize our reunions didn't seem to bother anybody. Now years later, his ineptness is all too obvious through our lack of reunions. W and his buddies took care of all their agendas during their time. They got to attack Iraq and 'show Hussein whose boss'. Their friends in the oil business got richer than ever. And I could go on.

The point is simply this. The current Republican Administration doesn't seem to care how they destroy the country as long as they get what they want. Almost everything needs to change!

So lets look at the pros/cons of the candidates. I have a chart at the bottom that summarizes all this.

McCain Pros: He's experienced in Washington. He has military experience so he would probably be more cautious than W and his buddies when it comes to war. He's got a reputation for crossing his party to push legislation he believes is important for the country.

Cons: He's a grumpy old guy who thinks it's OK for the leader of the most advanced country in the world to not know about 'the internets' or use computers. He has really short arms - like a velociraptor. He appears to be towing the party line of fear mongering, and although he has sometimes crossed his party, he seems to be comfortably backing the GOP message. I hope that he's doing that because he needs the party's support to be elected, and as soon as he is, he'll go back to following his conscience. How much do I trust him? 3 out of 5. I worry that he'll be bullied by his party to do things their way.

Palin Pros: She's pretty and young. Tina Fey does the best impersonation of her and 4 years of that would totally be worth it! See for yourself.

Cons: Could she be less qualified to lead this country? Just watch the SNL clip to see what I mean. I know it's a joke, but some of here answers are nearly word for word from the real interview.

Obama Pros: He's young and intelligent. He's NOT a Republican. He wants to change the way things are right now. He preaches Hope instead of Fear.

Cons: He's a Democrat - that's a big one, we could go from a fascist regime to a communist society. He's a slick talker. This isn't necessarily bad, but i get suspicious when i hear the silver tongue. How much do i trust him? 4 out of 5. I'm pretty sure he'll try to do the things he says he will.

Biden Pros: He has lot's of experience.
Cons: He seems to be a non-entity. No one talks about him good or bad, maybe he doesn't do anything beyond being a grumpy old man.

So what it comes down to is this. I would like to vote for McCain because his ideals match my own the closest, but if he were to die because of his old age, the country would be in a very bad situation if it had to rely on Palin to lead. Also, who knows if he will bring a change to Washington, or if he'll just join with the current Empire.


Obama's ideals are far from my own in most cases, but I believe he'll bring a needed change to Washington.


The question is Do you vote for the guy who believes the same as you, but may be more of the same problem. Or do you vote for the guy who doesn't share your views, but at least you know where things stand with him?

I don't know. But I still have a few weeks to decide.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Orange Carpet

"Pajama Gladiator", The student film I produced at BYU won the Producer's Choice Award in the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival. That means that the producers who are responsible for Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Backyardigans, etc. liked our film best out of 4500 other animated shorts. That's pretty impressive and gives me a little hope that we might actually have a chance to win some more festival awards.

The award ceremony was held last Friday at the Nickelodeon Studio in Burbank. They flew me down, put me up in a swanky hotel and sent a limo to pick me up for the event. Glenn, the Director of Pajama Gladiator, just moved down to L.A. to start working for Sony Feature Animation (they made Monster House). He drove up and met me at the hotel and we rode together in the limo. It wasn't a stretch limo, it was a nice Lincoln Towncar with black windows and black leather seats. You know that little cubby on the side of a car door where you can store maps or trash? They filled those up with suckers (blowpops and dumdums).

When we got to the studio, a guy in a white uniform opened the door for us so we could get out and walk down the orange carpet (Nickelodeon's color is orange). We walked down and waved to the lone photographer who promptly asked us to get out of the way so he could take a picture of the front entrance of the event. When he was done, we hopped back on the carpet and proceeded to the front gate where the security guard told us he couldn't let us in yet.


Glenn and I hung out and talked until our friends Dan and his wife Kori showed up. Dan also worked on Pajama Gladiator and, thankfully, he got be there because he works for Nickelodeon. Eventually the guard let us in.

We walked to the check-in desk to get a cool yellow tag, but were told to go to the other table because we actually got a special blue tag identifying us as nominees. Along the walkway there were pictures of the 29 finalists. In front of the Pajama Gladiator picture, there was a little 'light table' pedestal with the trophy plaque on it. We walked into the main area and went straight to the bar. There's no way we were going to let the open bar go to waste! 7-ups for everyone! We took our drinks and grabbed a seat on some cool Ikea couches in front of the stage. I should mention this was all out-doors. Pretty soon one of the event producers came and told Glenn and I that we had reserved seats closer to the front. That was cool, but we decided to lower ourselves to the level of the little people and sit by Dan and Kori until the event got started. We had reserved seats after all. Shortly before the program began, some people sat in our reserved seats. We asked the producer lady about it and she said they were the family of another winner, and said we could sit in some other reserved seats instead. We did. And we decided Dan and Kori are like family, so they came and sat by us in the reserved area.

The program consisted of some dirty jokes by the emcee, an entertaining question and answer with Stan Lee (if you don't know who that is, you are not allowed to read my blog anymore. But in case you had a lapse in memory and you want to be able to read it in the future, you should know he invented Spiderman, the X men, the Hulk, and 200 other Marvel superheros), a performance from a band I'd never heard of, and the announcement of the winners of the various awards. When they announced us, we just stood up and waved while people clapped.

Afterward, the limo picked us up (this time a black SUV with no candy in the doors) and delivered us back to my hotel where I slept on the worlds most softest bed with the softest sheets and pillows. It was like sleeping on room-temperature butter! I flew home the next day and saw Natasha Henstridge in the Burbank airport.

She is a year older than me. I only say that because comparing celebrities ages to mine puts my oldness in perspective. When I start to think celebrities my age are old, I will know for sure I am old. So far, so good.

It was pretty fun over all and I hope we win more awards where I can attend an event. Next time I'll bring Valerie so I'll have pictures to share.

Oh! I almost forgot. Pajama Gladiator is till in the running for the "Viewers Choice" Award. On October 29, you can go to the NNAF website and watch and vote for Pajama Gladiator. It will also be shown on the Nicktoons Network at 11:00 pm EST that night if you have the channel. Anyway, remember to visit the website on Oct 29 and vote for us! Here is the URL: