Archive for April, 2012

How I Met J.J. Abrams

Monday, April 30th, 2012

In college (back when my name was “Dexter”) I met a guy named Javier Grillo-Marxuach because we both worked for the school newspaper.

Javi left an impression on me because he’s a really funny writer and also, he has a kick-ass name. Years later, I happened to spot his name in the credits for “Lost”.

Flash-forward to today, I got to attend a talk with J.J. Abrams and during the Q&A, I joked that I knew a guy who he knows so could I hang out with him some time? And this picture is the result.

For the record, J.J. Abrams is a really cool guy and if he ever happens to read this: I forgot to say thanks for creating Under Covers! It was really refreshing to see a major TV series that starred people of color. I hope to see more of that some day.

How Tupac Got Me $40

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

A few days ago, I noticed a sudden increase in sales for my iPhone app, Holograms. I had no idea what caused it until someone commented on one of my videos that Tupac brought them there.

It turns out that a few days ago, rapper Tupac Shakur posthumously performed as a hologram at Coachella and it generated a lot of buzz. And then:

  • hundreds of thousands of people search for videos of Tupac as a hologram
  • a couple thousand of them stumble on my Holograms video
  • a couple dozen of those people decide to buy my iPhone app

And that’s how Tupac Shakur got me $40.

Mach Dice is a Top 5 Game

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Woohoo! iPhone Quality Index recently listed Mach Dice as one of its top five dice games, which is especially impressive since it’s really more of a utility than a game itself.

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of the site. But as near as I can tell, they’re like a Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic for iPhone apps. You can list apps by genre and they give an aggregate score based on other review sites and possibly the iTunes Store ratings. Mach Dice is actually #11 in the dice genre, but I guess they exercised some subjective judgement in putting together the list.


Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Well, I managed to get a lot done while my wife and son were out of town, but my favorite part was seeing them back again.

Division of Labor

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Our household, like many others, operates on the principle of division of labor:

  • I do the dishes, take out the trash, watch Dyson in the mornings and weekends, bathe him, etc.
  • Tracy takes care of Dyson the rest of the time, prepares the meals, etc.

For the most part, this works well as we can each focus on our own tasks and do them efficiently. But Tracy and Dyson have been out of town for the last several days, leaving me to fend for myself at home. On the one hand, the house is a lot cleaner than it’s been in a long time. On the other, I am a terrible cook. Case in point, I have learned that although feta and parmesan are delightful cheeses when spread in small amounts on crackers, they make for horrible quesadillas.

Self Haircut

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

I decided to cut my hair while my wife and kid are out of town, with mixed results.

Figure Drawing Struggles

Friday, April 6th, 2012

While Tracy and Dyson were away, I took the opportunity to attend a figure drawing session.

I struggled with this one for a while. But one of the guys there suggested that I focus more on the overall tones instead of the details and that helped a lot.

Sometimes I get discouraged because it seems like I keep on making the same mistakes after a decade of doing this. But I try to tell myself that I’m getting better, even if I can’t see it.

I think part of the problem is that my discernment is improving at much a faster rate than my actual skill. So the more I do this, the lower my opinion of my own skills becomes.

Ah, ignorance was indeed bliss…

Addiction Motors in Emeryville, CA

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I’ve had chronic starter problems with my motorcycle for a couple years and the shop I kept on taking it to couldn’t figure it out so I tried Addiction Motors and they were fantastic! In addition to:

  • replacing the starter
  • cleaning the exterior
  • power-hosing the brakes
  • adding cleaner to the gas tank
  • finding and replacing a missing front fender

… and generally being really cool and explaining all sorts of stuff about my bike, James also added safety reflector lining to my rims that glows when lights hit them.

So not only did they do a great job fixing up my bike, I am also one step closer to owning a Tron lightcycle. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and have a motorcycle, I highly recommend them!

Draw Something

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

As I mentioned, I’ve been playing a lot of Draw Something recently and I’ve discovered some helpful tips:

  • The first color pack you should get is “Mardi Gras” because it has green and orange. The second is “Ice Cream” because it has several flesh tones.
  • Drawing specific people (like Tina Fey) is hard unless they’re kind of distinctive looking (like Snooki).
  • Know your audience. Most men don’t know what Uggs are. Also, it doesn’t matter how good your drawing of an Ewok is if your partner has never seen Star Wars…

See if you can guess some of my drawings! Hover your mouse or click on the thumbnails for the answers:

Temporary Bachelorhood

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Tracy took Dyson to go visit her parents so I’m all alone at home for a bit. I’m taking the opportunity to try to do some stuff. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to get done, but here are the goals:

  • cut my hair
  • make a short film
  • go to a couple parties
  • finish an app or two
  • do some figure drawing
  • finish cleaning up the house
  • run a role playing game

On the one hand, it’s amazing just how much time I seem to have now. On the other, it sure is quiet around here. Also, I have been playing a ton of Draw Something.