Archive for February, 2012

Simple Moments

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

One of Dyson’s favorite bath-time activity is to take a cup of water and pour it over my hands. He’ll just keep on doing this, over and over, in the way that only a two year-old can.

Usually, we’ll sit in the bath until I start to get cold and then I’ll tell him that bath time is over. But the other day, I was just struck by how happy he was to do this simple thing. It wasn’t like the iPad or watching TV. There were no singing dinosaurs or flashing lights. He just liked watching the water. Sometimes he would make me cup my hands, sometimes he would stack them. But he was always watching the water.

It occurred to me that as an adult, I had lost the capacity to appreciate these quiet moments. And at some point, Dyson’s going to grow up and move on to more interesting things than hanging out with his dad. It wouldn’t always be like this. So I decided to try to just … be present.

So I sat with him; long past the point where the water had become tepid, my knees starting to ache, my skin already beyond raisin-stage and starting to approach shar pei. But I didn’t mind. We just sat there playing with the water until he said, “Ok. All done.”

Big in Japan

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Remember a few weeks ago when I was interviewed as part of an article for Weekly Diamond? It’s out now!

The issue provides an in-depth look at the various Disney companies. But I like the Google translate version of the issue’s headline: “Other side” of Disney Large autopsy world’s strongest brands!

There’s a picture of me on the right side and the caption says something like, “M. Kobayashi of the Effects Department. Employees can attend Pixar University courses in art and professional development, even outside their own discipline, to help broaden their knowledge and skill.”

Sharing Gummy Bunnies

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Just a little video about sharing using Dyson’s favorite snack, gummy bunnies.

Custom Backgrounds

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Since I made the Custom Dice update for Mach Dice, one of the most requested features (by at least two people!) was to have custom backgrounds.

There’s still a bunch of stuff that I need to figure out like: Should I make it an in-app purchase or free? What’s the best way to store the image? How do I deal with different aspect ratios? (Also, it’s a rare night when Dyson lets me work on iPhone stuff so it’s slow going.) But I wanted you guys to know I’m working on it.

What I Do

Monday, February 13th, 2012

My day job is in the visual effects industry, working as a technical director.

It’s incredibly glamorous to work on award winning feature films using state of the art technology. But it’s difficult to explain to people exactly what I do. So I came up with this handy chart.

Heroquest Dice

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Do you play Heroquest? I never have, but someone asked me if I could make Heroquest dice for Mach Dice.

It seemed like an interesting challenge so I drew my own version of the icons (with actual pen and paper!), then Photoshopped it a bit to give it a subtle embossed look, and then created the dice in the app using the custom dice feature.

If you’ve got the Mach Dice app, you can download it for free by going to the Custom Dice Gallery on your iOS device. (The app will also automatically take you there when you go to Settings -> Custom Dice -> Download Custom Dice from Enjoy!

Kitchen Remodel

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We got our kitchen remodeled a while back by The Wright Construction Company, based in Berkeley. It turned out great, but it took a while get a decent picture because we’ve got a kid so it’s usually a mess.

Anyways, we were very happy with how well it turned out. It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but the biggest difference is that they completely took out a couple walls and the unused chimney behind it to create a much bigger corner work area. They also did a bunch of other stuff:

  • added recessed lighting
  • assembled and installed cabinets
  • cut, sanded, finished, and installed new butcher block countertops
  • installed a stove
  • installed a refrigerator
  • installed a dishwasher
  • painted the walls and ceilings

They also played with Dyson a lot so now he’s totally obsessed with tools.

The Black Guy Always Dies

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

So I saw this trailer a while back and thought to myself, “I bet the Black guy dies”. (Spoiler: he totally does.) Why? Because that’s what happens in these kinds of movies … unless the movie stars, like, Denzel Washington or something.

But why is this so common? As it happens, I had a chance to ask the screenwriter about it and in this particular case, the original script was about three white boys.

But that just begs the question: why is so common in general? I don’t think it’s just straight up racism, I think it’s just that people generally only care about their own issues. And most directors, writers, and producers are white (and male). So all the characters that they really care about are going to be predominantly white (and male). So until there are more minorities and women in film the Black guy will probably die.

Unless he’s Denzel Washington.

Toddlers and Computers

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

One of the more … exciting … aspects of raising a kid is never quite knowing what’s going to happen if you leave them alone with your computer.

It’s not like I ever leave him for long. But in the amount of time that it takes to get him a glass of water, I’ve come back to find my computer:

  • zoomed way out
  • with a sticky keyboard
  • and a new background
  • typing in a different language

I think he might have sent some emails, too. I’m not sure.