December 17, 2011

Phoning it in.

I am composing this blog from my brand new phone. I have the just released Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This phone runs the android operating system and is pretty much be the nicest phone on the market right now. I am new to all this but I’m getting the hang of it and enjoying it so far.

People have been asking me if this phone is better than an iPhone. I really have no idea as I have zero interest in owning an iPhone or any other Apple products, so I can’t speak to that. I know that Android does not have as robust of a selection of apps as the iPhone, but i am finding plenty of cool things to do with it, and I’m learning more and more everyday about what these devices are capable of.

I’ve tried a number of games so far. Some of them are trash, but there are a few gems. There are even some video game emulators. I wouldn’t necessarily want to replace a true gaming handheld with a phone like this, but it’s interesting to toy around with at any rate.

I definitely prefer this phone to the BlackBerries I was using before. The screen is bigger, it’s faster, and there’s just more to do with it. While I don’t want to become one of those jerks who can’t seem to pull themselves away from their phones, I do sort of get it in a weird way. These gizmos can do so many cool things, it seems wrong to not use them when you’re just sitting idle and not doing anything else. Of course, this is new, so I’m sure, in time, the novelty will wear off.

Speaking of novelty, one feature that is proving to be frustrating, if not amusing, is the speech recognition. Much of this post was made by me speaking into the phone, so it has taken some extra finessing by hand to get the words to actually be what I want. Trying to use the word “robust” earlier gave “I love robots” and “I haz wii boss” as the resulting text output. Both of those things are true, but not what I was talking about. Not really the time saving feature I was hoping it would be, but at least it has been worth a few laughs.

The only real serious downside is that the battery seems to deplete quickly during heavy use. I’ve heard rumors of a larger optional battery being made available some time soon, so I hope that comes to pass.

All in all, I am really liking this whole smartphone scene. I would like to say that this is going to make me a much more productive person, and that might be the case someday. Right now though, I like it because I can play Angry Birds.


November 25, 2011


I feel like I have a lot to say but I’m not really sure where to start. At any rate, things have changed in a big way so I’ll just get right to the point.

I have moved. I no longer live in the Toronto area. Now I’m much further away, in a cold, desolate wasteland.

OK, it’s not actually that bad. It’s fine. Though it is cold most of the time, and it’s not really the bustling vibrant cultural hub that Toronto is.

I really miss Toronto, and I feel like I didn’t really take as much advantage of living so close to the big city as I should have. Before the day of the move, I went downtown and hit up as many cool spots as I could. It wasn’t enough. I am especially going to miss going to conventions and seeing my people.

I didn’t really want to move, but I’m here for now, and that will have to do until the time comes when I can make something else happen. I don’t want to sound like I’m not going to enjoy being where I currently am, because I’m sure I will, but I don’t want to be here for very long.

I had to leave my job, so for what seems like the first time in more than 10 years I am not teaching drawing to kids. Hey, if I am not a teacher anymore, I guess that means that “Stupid Samurai” loser and those other idiots got their wish! It’s only because I moved, not because I suck. The studio I worked for really liked me and we will be staying in touch. I had some really amazing experiences there, and some great students who have become so much better than I was at their age, and I will miss it. For time being though, I think I am finished with teaching and will be looking into doing other things.

The moving process has been very busy and stressful. I’m looking forward to it being done, but there is still much left to do before I can really say that I’ve settled in. Because of everything else going on, I haven’t really drawn anything in ages, and I’m itching to get back into it somehow. As fulfilling as it was teaching kids how to draw for so long, I think it’s time to focus on my own work instead. I still need to gain more focus, but I definitely want to try new styles and draw new stuff. I want to be more creative and more productive. So, perhaps in this regard, the move will be a fresh start that will turn out for the better.

But, someday, I will return to Toronto. One way or another, I will be back. Then, the ground will tremble, the skies will blacken, and the sun will change to an electric blue. That is when everything will be as it should.


I assure you all, I am not one of those “Mint in Package” toy collectors. But when I thought I was going to move a few years ago, I packed my collection away and stopped opening anything new I bought due to the uncertainty at the time. That seemed like a good idea, but the move did not go through and I kept collecting like that anyway so it kind of spiraled into, well, this:

What you see here are 99 unopened Deluxe class Transformers figures. They’re all mine. And that’s not all. I have several more Transformers still in their packaged prisons that you can see on my Photobucket Account.

I was always one of those open toy advocates, so how exactly did this happen? I don’t really know how to explain it, but I have to say that it’s actually been a lot of fun to collect and display these boxed toys. I’ve really enjoyed it for some reason. Having these on my shelves in my office made for a cool set up. There’s just something cool about seeing them all together, buying more and trying to find room for them, and the excitement of getting new acquisitions in the mail from assorted lines with different packaging. It doesn’t make any sense when you consider what sets Transformers apart from other toy lines, but for some reason it grew on me (and clearly my collection grew with it). It’s kind of like having a toy store in your own house, except that there’s only one of everything.

There are things going all the way back to the Energon line (2004) here but these were all acquired within the past 3 years, so I haven’t been hoarding them for that long. In fact, much of this is just from the past year or two, and a lot of this was purchased for below retail prices.

Now, as it turns out, I am moving in a few weeks so I will have to open most of this stuff just to save space. I figured it would be cool to take some photos of everything before I dug in. It’s going to be like Christmas morning every day for awhile.

So what should I open first?


October 9, 2011


This past summer I saw Weird Al Yankovic live in concert. I’ve been a fan for years and this was the second time I saw his show (You can read about my first Al concert experience here and here). The first time was great, but this year’s concert totally blew my expectations away. It was kind of epic. Kind of really epic. He performed much of his newest album, some of his best loved classics, and a few great surprises too.

Unfortunately, the pictures I took on my phone didn’t really turn out all that clear, but that doesn’t really matter because there was something special about this particular stop in his tour. Al picked Toronto to be the location for his concert DVD, so the whole thing was filmed. This Alpocalypse Tour was released last week on DVD and Blu Ray. It ROCKS!

Other than the work of Weird Al, I’m not really a musically inclined person, but it’s still really cool to have a lasting memento of an amazing concert that I can now watch again any time I want. And it’s not just any random concert out of the dozens he must have performed during the tour, but the actual one that I attended!

One thing that stands out to me now that I’ve seen the video just how much he is giving to his audience while on stage. Al is a funny guy who sings funny songs, but you could just see on his face how important it was to put on a great show. He really laid it all out there to put on a show that no one would ever forget. And now I won’t ever have to forget because I own it on Blu Ray. The picture is so clear, you can see his sweat and everything.

Of course, as I watched, the thing I was really looking for was myself in the audience. I might be in there somewhere, but alas, at first glance it appears that I may have been just out of camera range. I just can’t turn this ninja thing off.

It was just awesome that Al chose Toronto to be the place where he’d film his concert, and I’m so glad I got to be there when it happened. If you weren’t there, then watching the DVD or Blu Ray is the next best thing, and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love it.


September 5, 2011

Fan Expo Follow Up

Overall, FanExpo was pretty good this year. Everything ran fairly smoothly and there were no major problems. It was honestly not that special, coming from a guy who has been going to this convention and several others for over a decade, as it just didn’t have that “can’t miss” memorable moment for me, and thus was a bit “by the numbers” in some respects. However, after last year’s disaster, it was just good to go and not see things devolve further into a complete failure this time around.

It was good that the show has expanded into 4 days, and that made the first 2 days really chill and less frenetic than these sorts of shows often tend to be. I appreciated that, but I just wish there was a bit more to do at any given time.

Anyway, I don’t really do the big convention reports anymore as they just take up too much time, but I’ve got a few pictures that I took with my phone that I can share here.

This dead Abin Sur stood out right away. I wanted to buy it.

Giants Kreon Optimus and Bumblebee at the Hasbro booth. I was talking to the ladies working there, telling them that I love Hasbro and asking how I can work for Hasbro. The only real answer I got was “Luck“.

Paper Mario and Peach cosplay, such as it is. Really it was more like Corrugated Plastic Mario.

Transformers Devastator on the left and Arcee on the right surround an impressive cosplay of 70’s anime super robot Raideen!

I absolutely had to take a picture of this cosplayer dressed as Noriko from Gunbuster, as that is one of my all time favorite series. You just don’t see Gunbuster cosplay very often.

Droid girls! C3P0 is big sister, and thus forced little sister to be R2D2. Very creative abstract take on these characters.

Definitely one of the better TMNT costumes I’ve seen, along with Teen Wolf or something.

Wish I could have taken a few more pictures but, as you can see, the camera on my phone is not the best so I didn’t put a priority on it. You can see a few other things I was Tweeting about over the weekend and some of thus stuff I bought on my TwitPic page.

I did go to a few panels. Saw some artists, Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, and Freddy Kruger himself Robert Englund. All worthy events, but again, wish there was more. At any rate, I didn’t die from either boredom or misadventure so it’s all good.

I wanted to talk about this a lot earlier but I became preoccupied after yet another hard drive died for no reason at all. This one was an external drive I bought only a few months ago to act as a backup after the last hard drive died. This made me incredibly angry, and the universe has yet to suffer the extremes of my wrath.