Monday, October 29, 2007

Inspiration For Pushing The Human Race Forward

About 7-8 years ago, Apple came out with the ad campaign "Think Different". You may remember it. I didn't think much of it (positive or negative) when I saw it at first.

But, in the summer of 2001, we were preparing to move from Tulsa, OK to Los Angeles - a risky move with a full-sized family.

I needed inspiration; I needed motivation. During that summer before moving, I again saw this ad, and the words grabbed me in a new way.

At that time, I needed to hear that doing something out of the ordinary was OK; that doing something risky was not just acceptable, but necessary for me to reach into the depths of my potential. Some people can reach their potential living in one place for their whole lives, but I needed a new environment.

I was fortunate to have a wife in Chana, that was right there with me, dreaming, scheming, praying and planning. If we weren't aligned, I don't think I could've or would've base-jumped into the unknown that is LA.

Here's the text of the ad:

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.

Click here to see the ad on YouTube.

Click here to see an alternate (and creative) version of the ad.

Sometimes it's easy to forget all of the little links in the chain that helped take you from point A to B, and I had forgotten about this one. I'm glad to revisit it now, 'cause it still inspires me.

Think different my friends.

And think big.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

California is a Great Place to Live

I really do think that California is a great place to live, but for every wonderful thing about it, there are a few hazards too. Earthquakes, mudslides and the fires, and those are just some of the natural ones.

Thank God for the thousands of great firefighters that have worked tirelessly so save what they can. I know that they saved our home on Monday for a start.

According to the reports on TV Sunday evening, one of the fires several miles away had hopped many ridges among the hills and canyons because of the crazy winds, and the reports started mentioning evacuations and roads I knew to be in our neighborhood.

The "Agua Dulce" fire (which started very close to my sister Terri's place Sunday) - moved several miles and became the "Canyon Country", aka the "Buckweed" fire. The "Buckweed" fire now bordered on Saugus (our community) and came within about 1/4 mile of our house, as the crow flies.

We have a mountain (okay, it's a really big hill) right behind our house, and I was getting curious about how close the danger was getting to us.

So Sunday evening, I decided to climb to the top just before dark to check it out for myself.
WARNING: If you ever decide to climb anything during 70mph gusts of wind, you're stupid.
I'm stupid.

After almost getting blown off the hill several times as if I had the mass of a sheet of paper, I finally made it to the top and had a terrific view of the flames, that were at this point within a half mile from us. I tried to get some phone-camera pictures, but they don't do it justice.

Here's the fire just two ridges away:

This is the view from the opposite direction at the same time. This is of the "Castaic" or "Ranch" fire about 6 miles away, and on Monday, the fire crews feared these two merging. We were one block from being evacuated. (many of our friends were evacuated though)

By late Monday - early Tuesday, it was looking much better in our immediate area, thanks to the fire crews. This is a picture I took a couple days later. It's hard to tell, but the dot between the trees is the sun, and because of the stuff in the air, it was glowing a nice apocalyptic RED.

I have decided that if we are to remain California residents, we will buy one of these converted DC-10's and keep it in our garage in case the winds bring fire with them again next time.

Please keep in prayer, the 1500+ families who have lost lives, homes and businesses this week, and pray for the safety of all those fighting the fires. It's still not over.

Here is an extremely detailed map of each fire including the amount of
firefighters used, containment, acres burned and date and time. Click on the "Buckweed" fire if you want to see what went on in our immediate area.

Go to Google Maps

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Looney Tunes Volume 5 Releasing Soon...

Another great Looney Tunes DVD collection is coming out October 30th.

It took about 7 months for me to wrangle the audio restoration of this volume. We had some tough issues with some of the old film elements, and that kept putting us off course. But eventually we managed to get 'em all together for this release.

I think it's a strong collection. It includes a couple of my 'Bugs' favorites, like "A Star is Bored" and "Buccaneer Bunny".

The new rumor is that we'll be starting on Volume 6 very soon. Little did I know when I watched these great cartoons as a kid, that I'd have the opportunity to work on them one day. I'm thankful for that!

Check it out HERE.

Okay, all time favorite Looney Tune... easy, "Rabbit of Seville".
Tell me what your favorite Looney Tune is...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Scottish Highland Games

We went to the Highland Games Saturday in Ventura. Anyway, it's a crazy sub-culture-thing that I never knew existed until 4-5 years ago, when our friend Brenda invited us for the first time.

Chana and I like to go because of the interesting folks you meet, plus she and Brenda went to Scotland about 4 years ago. I really like to watch the strongman competitions too. I'd participate, but I don't want to embarrass anyone (myself), plus I'm not Scottish, you know.

The kids like to go, 'cause they usually get to pick out some kind of toy weapon. (we're such good parents) Also, the kids love haggis! Not really, but there is a band that plays there every year called Bad Haggis. Think 'funk with bagpipes'. It actually works and they're great players.

The above picture was taken when we went in May this year - my camera was full this trip. In the Ravenswood Leather booth they had all sorts of leather garments for warriors and ladies from medieval times. This girl helped Chana pour herself into that leather dress. Too bad it was about $1,000, or I would've gladly got her about three of them... woo!

Monday, October 15, 2007

There's No Business Like Snow Business

This past week, crews were prepping the WB Ranch backlot for a Walmart commercial. My guess is the ad has something to do with snow and cold things and holidays and wintery stuff like that.

First, they laid drift foundations with ordinary Christmas bedding.

Then they sprayed over it with a white pasty texture, kinda like old ceiling texture.

They even flocked the trees. Great detail!

I thought this car in the "Bewitched" house's driveway was nicely covered too.

Me in front of the "Griswold's" ( was used in the "Vacation" movie series).

The truck responsible. Snow Business

This shot below was taken on July 23rd, on the WB main lot. Here they actually were spraying real ice on this street. It was about 100 degrees outside, so they were laying it on pretty thick. (again, forgive the phone-camera quality)

I guess that's about as close as I will be getting to a blizzard in LA anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Remember Me

This video was created by 16-year-old Lizzie Palmer. I'd say she gets it. Not only does she do honor to the subject, but she has a real talent. Check it out.