Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody! Hope you all have an awesome/spooky/candy-filled day of wonders! In honor of Halloween, here’s a picture of the cutest costume ever made (along with the cutest kid on the face of the earth)!
cute sam

Happy Trails,

PS – Google, you’re amazing and awesome for putting Scooby Doo on the homepage for Halloween!

Driverless cars, Android love, and Adobe

First off, this is just crazy some crazy-cool news. You may or may not have heard about Google making prototype driverless cars. Well apparently they’re not only real, but they’ve been on the road for a while, and they look pretty crazy. The laser up on top of the car maps out the surrounding area in real time, and acts accordingly. Just watching it work is pretty cool:

Second, (and this is actually rather old news, but I meant to post about it earlier this month) Android is now the most popular smartphone OS! Woot!! Some of you may remember that a little bit ago I finally upgraded phones to the DROID X, and have been loving it. Before, I had a Voyager but used my iPod Touch for basically everything except phone calls/texting. So for me, it was really a switch from Apple’s iOS to the Google Android OS. And while I truly loved iOS (and sometimes miss it’s stability), the control, freedom, and open-nature of Android have since completely won me over. Plus Steve Jobs is starting to snobbishly let the spotlight get to his head, but more on that in a minute…


Now come on, Apple. It’s time to stop this pointless masquerade against Adobe. Flash is a necessity for web-viewing these days. Banishing Flash is pointless for a media device of any kind, detrimental to content availability, impossible to defend logically, and ludicrous from a marketing standpoint. Listen, Steve Jobs, you’ve already laid down your “reasoning” for blocking consumers from accessing the vast majority of web-content, and now it’s time to wake up to reality. You’re not the only high-end smartphone OS out there anymore. Steve can rant all he wants about how the open-ness of Android is really a big problem (Hey, it’s a pretty good disguise! Fooled me!), but Verizon, Sprint, and Google have all monopolized on the public knowledge that the iPhone OS and the App Store are obnoxiously closed systems with their Android ads. I’m sorry iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. I was right there with ya for a while.

Which is yet another reason I love Android: Flash 10.1 support? Check “yes”. I can view full web pages and have videos running in-page at the same time, or maybe I could head over to PopCap and play some flash Bejeweled.

On a side-note, there’s been talk of Microsoft possibly acquiring Adobe sometime in the future. I hope these talks and meetings don’t actually go anywhere. I love Adobe just as they are, and even if the combination would help level the field against Apple and Google again, I think keeping Adobe independent is important to keeping their products and creativity unmatched.

Happy Trails,

edit — I figured it would be interesting to put up an article from TechCrunch attempting to rebut claims of Android’s openness as compared to iOS. I don’t agree with the article, and it leaves out many points. In fact, it says nothing about Android and more about the carriers and their crap restrictions (which, if you’re a smart techie, you can get around ;-)). Butttt, it’s a good read if you’re into this sort of thing: http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/09/android-open/

C’mon now!

My art design principles class and I have some serious problems. Most notably, it doesn’t seem to respect my time. I can’t just be constantly worrying about it, and it needs to understand that it’s not the only thing in my life. I’ve had classes before it, and I’m sure I’ll have classes after we’re through. Even now I have other responsibilities that I can’t keep up with while spending my nights (late into the night!) working to make sure everything’s perfect with it to make sure it doesn’t have a spaz out and blow up in my face. I’m just not sure this is working out.

My blog here, for instance. I need to have enough time to write stuff on it! And I haven’t because I’ve been constantly doing obnoxious art projects.

However, our latest art project is finished. If you go to UMW, you probably saw the projects today, or at least did in years past. They’re the “giant inflatables” project. Basically we were tasked with creating a [much] larger-than-life replica of some creature using only trash bags and masking tape. On the day of grading (which was today) the teacher, Jake, bring out his moon-bounce inflater and we all inflate our enormous beings into life. This year the theme was “Halloween creatures,” so everyone had to choose different things. One group chose a skeleton dog (with a bone in it’s mouth), one a spider, one a crow, one a UFO, etc… my group and I chose to do a gigantic rat.

We named him Templeton, named after the character in Charlotte’s Web, obviously. (apparently)

You can see pics below:

Ahh! So cute and scary!

Ahh! So cute and scary!

being blown up. evil eyes.

i know it looks like he wants to hug you. but trust us, he doesn't.

It worked flawlessly, and I’ve rarely been more excited in my life. What? You think that’s a bit of an exaggeration or something? You don’t understand! You weren’t there when Templeton was born!!
So anyways it worked perfectly, and we were the only group who’s inflatable didn’t rip or come toppling over!! As it was being deflated, I heard Jake say “That was totally awesome,” which you could say was a pretty good sign. After everyone inflated theirs, Jake had a meeting with the team leaders. All the leaders voted our very own Templeton as the best of the class, and Jake is going to keep just ours for next year.

But first, he says he’s taking the rat with him down to Richmond, and he’s going to blow it up in his small yard for Halloween. So if you’re in the area and see a giant rat, go say ‘hello,’ it’s actually pretty nice, and it won’t bite.

So I’m sorry to say that I don’t think we can go steady anymore, Design Principles. However, this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Happy Trails,

Yes, it is I.

Dear World,

Yes, yes. I know. Once again I have forgotten to post for a bit. But fear not. It is I. I come back to you now, to once again save you from your utter boredom and give you your much needed Sam-information fix. So onto the fix…

Not much has happened.

In other news, I’ve started uploading videos to YouTube weekly on the Umbrellaman Studios account. A while back we finally ended the Island Wars movie project that was so endlessly plagued with problems. In it’s wake, we’ve decided to upload different scenes and clips to YouTube. Since we never eneded up releasing the film, none of these scenes are final or edited entirely, and many include old takes of the scenes mixed with the more complete ones, and I am so fed up with the project there’s no way I’m finishing the editing now. However, at least now you can see parts of it. The first uploaded was this week with a portion of the famous Jimmy Rap. Watch it below!

You can also download the entire Jimmy Rap mp3 here. Do it, it’s AWESOME! No joke, pretty great.

The next video coming up is going to be either the Sexy News studio scene, the Sexy News news scene, the torture scene, or else the 15 minute unedited clip of Jimmy messing up one single line probably 150 times. While he’s reading it directly from the script.

In the meantime, here’s a clip of Jordan playing the Tetris theme on his accordion from a homecoming party/bonfire thing for UMW last night. It’s epic. Enjoy!

Happy Trails,

Photo scavenger hunt

Our latest project for art class is a photo scavenger hunt. I’ve spent the last week photographing and brainstorming ideas, and I’m finally done! Below you will see the slideshow of all the pictures. We were assigned 15 things to take pictures of, and see if you can guess what they are. If you can get it right, then I’ve done my job correctly! Of course… if you want to be lame a cheat the answers are below the slideshow.

The categories (in order) were:
1. Animal
2. Vegetable
3. Mineral
4. Pride
5. Greed
6. Envy
7. Wrath
8. Gluttony
9. Lust (somehow this one got deleted along with Joy, though I was able to upload Joy again)
10. Sloth
11. Joy
12. Fear
13. Creation
14. Light
15. Man vs. Nature

I’d like to thank my roommate Soo Min for being my most-used model in the pictures.

Some of those might have been a little bit tricky to guess. I spent a lot of time on this project, mainly in photoshop. I photoshopped each image quite a bit, actually, so go head on over to my flickr set and start squinting, maybe you’ll see something new you didn’t before! Now that I’m done with it, I’ll admit I spent a lot of time on nine of the pictures. As in, I thought them through, planned them out completely, etc. A few of the others I just find the needed time and/or place to correctly take them like I wanted. For example, I wanted envy to be taken during a class from an over-the-shoulder POV with the teacher walking away in the blurry background. But I just couldn’t find the time. And I did spend a lot of time on this project. Ah well. I’m pretty happy with it, and a few of them are pretty funny/cute (meaning the dog in the first one).

Happy Trails,

PS – No, seriously, thanks Soo Min, for being a Wrathful, Gluttonous, Fearful thing of Envy
PPS – No pun intended by the use of “PS” for that mention, btw. At least not directly…

The Wrath of Soo Min

Wrath, originally uploaded by Chasinglilly.

The vengeful wrath of Soo Min Woo is unleashed!! And this time, he’s not just coming to take names. Watch out!
This is the photo scavenger hunt picture describing “Wrath” for my art class. Whaddaya think?

Happy Trails,

The Official IBU Review Board Review Round-Up

Now, while there are certainly going to be more IBU Review Board Reviews reviewing different things in the future, I thought now would be a good time to pause and reflect on the reviews so far… (As a mildly unimportant side-note it’ll also give us time to start writing more… heh heh).

I suppose this would also be a fine time to explain where the reviewing name came from. Many years back (we’re talking 8-9 grade) Will and I formed a band with our friend Jimmy which we called IBU. It stands for Impaled By Unicorns, but that’s beside the point. Flash forward a few years, IBU no longer existed, but Will and I wanted a name for our league of awesome reviewing, so we simply chose our old band name!

Fun Fact: The IBU website still exists, untouched for many-a-year. You can head on over there and laugh if you’d like, it’s at the readily memorable web address of: http://mysite.verizon.net/vzesffkz/ (and yes, the readily memorable part was sarcasm)

So here it is:

(click image to see full size)

What’s this “reviewing” business about? Click here to find out, yo!

Happy Trails,


Seriously? Are you being freaking serious, Minesweeper?? Screw you, Microsoft Minesweeper, you’re an AWFUL game that I refuse to ever play again! GAH! …Until after my next class…

Reluctant Happy Trails,

Art show with art and 20000 marks??

You know how yesterday I talked about my 20,000 marks art piece? Well apparently my piece might be up at an art show right now! Jake Urbanski said he was going to try and get some of the better pieces in some sort of show, and he emailed us recently with information on where and what the show is. It’s over at the Gallery VC, which is an art gallery in the Fredericksburg Visitor’s Center, and the pieces are going to be up until November 3. The showcard is below…

Now I’m not sure if my piece is up. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not, there were some much better pieces than mine in our class alone, and Jake said he was only picking 10 from his two classes. But we’ll see, I’m gonna go look at the show sometime this week and if it’s up… get ready for ANOTHER POST!! WOOT! But anyways you should go support the art department anyways and go take a look at them, whether or not the gallery has a much-needed sci-fi touch!

Happy Trails,

20,000 Marks

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we recently had an art project for Design Principles in which we had to create an entire composition from scratch using a single symbol drawn 20,000 times with a Sharpie. Each symbol was supposed to take ~2 seconds to draw. Do the math and that’s a 12-hour project. Blech. Besides feeling constantly high on sharpie fumes and getting no sleep a number of nights, it was also pretty hard (see what I did there with that sarcasm? haha).

Well the project’s over now, and I’m generally pleased with what I did! If nothing else I’m happy it’s over. If any of you follow me on Twitter you may have gotten some updates late into the night a week ago regarding my progresses. I figured I’d show them here, though! Below you can see the original photoshopped image I wanted to recreate.

epic space battle mashed-up from probably 10 different pictures around the webz

And now here below you can see the timeline of where I was at whatever time and such stuffs… (obviously click to enlarge each picture)

Day/Night 1:

12:15 1:15 AM 2:15 AM 3:15 AM 4:23 AM

Day/Night 2:

1:58 AM 4:00 AM 4:40 AM Pretty final, 5:55 AM

Now of course I spent much more time than just these two nights on the project, these are just the only ones I chronicled so the only ones I can show. I did enjoy the Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the later pictures, if you were wondering. You can clearly tell I was really distracted and falling asleep as the second night went on, but most of that night was filling stuff in and more shading. I don’t really like the city scene below so much. It looks similar to the original picture, however in just a b&w shading image it doesn’t carry over as well, and it is kinda weird architecture to begin with. In fact, a few people were confused as to whether it was a city, which I can completely understand.

However, I feel like it turned out pretty well, especially in light of the fact I am absolutely terrible at drawing. I’m really bad it. So this was pretty good for me :-) Plus, as the student who critiqued my project pointed out: “It’s obviously Star Trek, which makes it awesome!”

Compare –> <-- Compare

Happy Trails,