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02 April 2006 @ 01:28 am
Lunch at Pixar and other stories  
Met up with craziesunshine for lunch Friday at Pixar. Since my folks had taken off to a spa in Napa for the weekend, I was without a car, so I decided to skate down there. I totally underestimated how long a trip it would be, and it started raining about when I hit Martin Luther King Jr. Way, so I would up late and wet (I'd brought my umbrella, but skating + open umbrella = broken umbrella). Identified myself to the guard at the gate, and he gave me a guest ID. The sticker includes a pic of one of the little three-eyed alien guys from Toy Story and the phrase "A stranger from the outside!", which I thought was cute as hell.

The atrium of the main building at Pixar is really posh. It's a huge open indoor space with a café and couches; the design made me think of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Maggie introduced me to some of her coworkers, who all seemed really cool (and whose names I've forgotten, since my memory sucks), and we went to the Emeryville Public Market to eat. I mostly talked to Maggie and this one Jewish-Canadian guy who was interning. He agrees with me that Snakes On A Plane will be a cinematic milestone. Back at Pixar, the group broke up and Maggie gave me a quick tour of the premises. A lot of the place is off-limits to guests for obvious reasons, but she showed me some photos of people working on previous films and pointed out the ones she worked with directly, and a bunch of preliminary art and materials for Cars. They even had little tubes of soil from various places on Route 66 so they could get the look right. She also showed me the rendering farm, which looks kind of like HAL 9000 and friends. And a big old stuffed Tux the Linux Penguin.

Maggie had to get back to work (she'd stretched her lunch break pretty far as it was), so I took off for home on foot, skates in hand (skating in the rain is a pretty bad idea, really—there's not a lot of traction and water is bad for the bearings). I walked back to the Public Market, stopping there briefly to grab a white chocolate mocha, to wait at the bus shelter for the 6 to take me up Ashby. Except the shelter was a figment of my poor memory, and the buses had been changed around so the 6 doesn't go by there or up Ashby anymore. Oops. So I ended up walking all the way home, actually further than I should have since the Public Market is further from my house than Pixar, in a pair of soaked Converse. What I should have done was walked up to San Pablo Ave. and caught the 72 to University, then transferred to the 51 that lets off a few blocks from my house. But that would have been a very indirect route, and my brain doesn't work that way, even though it would have been faster and resulted in less time in the rain. Grah. Mental note for next time I'm in that situation, at least, which I will of course forget if such a situation does arise.

Despite the wetness and toe-blisters, the trip to Pixar was totally worth it. I had a load of fun and would do it all over again.

In other news, I finally loaded some songs onto my new iPod Nano. And discovered that I had severely underestimated how many gigs I'd need to just load all of the mp3s I have on my hard drive, let alone the ones I've got on CDROM and the live shows I have on FLAC and SHN. Dammit. Oh well, just means I need to trim out the stuff I'm less likely to want to listen to. I'll probably upgrade somewhere down the line, but god dammit I just bought this thing and I'm not getting rid of it until I've gotten my money's worth.

Intended to store a bunch of crap on CDROM so I could delete it from my hard drive and free up some space. Didn't get around to it. Maybe tomorrow. I need to do it sometime soon, because I'm nearing the last bit of my 20 gig hard drive. Sheezus, 20 gigs! I remember when just having one gig of space was a pipe dream, and actually filling it was unthinkable, let along filling it just through casual usage. Filesize inflation is kind of nuts. Then again, back then graphics were in 16 colors and computers had typing buffers that could be filled up by a two-fingered typist, so there's something to be said for progress.

And so, I leave you with a really awesome fan-made lightsaber duel video. Enjoy!
Tags: ,
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Kiyomoto; Kanda Matsuri - Traditional Shamisen
cholma: Oooooocholma on April 2nd, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
Oooh, that sounds like fun. Well, except for the rain, missing the bus, and walking home... but the trip to Pixar sounds lawsome!

The lightsaber duel is fantastic. Great choreography on that with a great ending.
mravac_kidmravac_kid on April 2nd, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
20 gig drive? I have that, plus a 40 and an 80 gig drives, and they're all busting at the seams... :-/
Packy Anderson: normal packypacky on April 2nd, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
I just bought two 250 gig drives. I'm planning on building a MythTV server. :)
gwalla: osaka huh?gwalla on April 2nd, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Derakonderakon on April 2nd, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
Think "open-source Tivo".
Packy Anderson: Apple: Powerbookpacky on April 3rd, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Aye, MythTV. And there's even a client application for OS X, so I can record shows on my Linux-based MythTV server and watch them on my laptop. From, say, my bed. Or the kitchen. Or anyplace else within 802.11g distance from my server (which will sit next to my WiFi hub).
gwallagwalla on April 3rd, 2006 05:51 am (UTC)
Huh. Interesting.
gwalla: king crimson fingergwalla on April 2nd, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
I think the drive is actually 40 gigs, but Compaqs are set up with some sort of backup partition that cuts it in half. Seems dumb to me, because if your hard drive fails you lose both partitions anyway, but I'm really not keen on reformatting my disc.
Packy Anderson: Apple: Powerbookpacky on April 2nd, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Many thanks for the Pixar report! Ah... render farm...

Anyway, I, too, have more music than my iPod holds, and here's how I deal with it: I set up two playlists, one regular and one smart. The regular playlist, Packy's iPod Selection, is stuff I want on my iPod ALL THE TIME. I keep this pared down to the stuff I never want to be without. Then I create a smart playlist with the following rules "Playlist is not Packy's iPod Selection" and "My Rating is not *" and then I limit it to the amount of space on my iPod minus the size of Packy's iPod Selection, selected by least recently played.

This way, I have some things that are always on my iPod, and other things get rotated out as I've listened to them and rotated back in after I haven't heard them in a while.

Of course, I have way more music than I have space on my iPod, so I kinda have to do it this way. ... And I have a 20 gig iPod! *blush*
gwallagwalla on April 2nd, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's cool. I didn't know about smart playlists.

I haven't figured out what I'll always want on my iPod though. This will take trial and error. And 2 gigs doesn't give me a lot of room to fiddle around.
Rev. First Speaker Schol-R-LEA;2: Prisoner Scheme Lisp Lambdaschol_r_lea on April 4th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
Why does it vaguely bother me that, except for the 2002 UFie Meeting and a random run-in with Gav about a year ago, I've never met any of the webcomic fans I know F2F?

Pixar... turns green with envy for Crazy's workplace