05/31/05 - Back from Philly

I'm back from our Nation's first capital, the city of brotherly love (whatever that means) and the home of the Jam on the River.

No time now, but soon I'll tell you all about the fine cheesesteaks and Yuengling Beers I had.

05/24/05 - Cheesesteaks, Cream Cheese and a Clip Show

So I'm heading out of town today for Philadelphia on a work thing. I'll be back on Memorial Day. So to tide you over until then, here's a little Greatest Hits of my website:

05/23/05 - Wedding photos

Got the photos back from the wedding I went out to California for back on Easter. I was pretty scared ... okay, totally scared ... that I was going to mess this up and ruin the wedding photos, and thus the rest of the bride and groom's life. I mean, everyone loves their wedding photos. Even my ex-girlfriend - after she was divorced she still looked at her wedding album!

The only other person in the wedding party more freaked out than I was Ochs, who was the officiator of the ceremony. (He's a minister in some sham online church). Here he is before the ceremony gathering his thoughts.

Ochs is such a damn amusing guy - and an amusing model for photography. I've got tons of photos of him mugging for the camera. They're awesome. Ironically, or maybe not so much, it's his 30th birthday tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Michael Edward Matthew Ochs!!!

05/23/05 - Sebastian

On Saturday afternoon my brother and I saw our folks and they told us some bad news - that our dog ran away. This isn't really news, he does it every three months or so. Usually someone in the area will call and tell my parents that a dog with their names and number on his tags has shown up at their house. See, Sebastian is a good dog, but he's a stupid dog. I doubt he could find his way home if you took him into the backyard.

Anyway, the only reason his wanderlust was different this time (other than the fact that he turned 11 years old since the last time) is that he houdini'ed his way out of his collar. So whoever finds him won't know where he belongs.

I always get freaked out when the dog runs off. I remember one time I was at home for the holidays and it was a freaking blizzard out and he took off. I was sure that he would be frozen on the doorstep in the morning. Or, maybe worse, we'd find him plowed into the snowbanks out on the road.

My parents live on a busy road (well, busy for rural Maine). And with Memorial Day weekend almost upon us, it's only getting busier. So I just get scared when he doesn't show up after a day or two.

So this morning I was running late, I got up late, showered late, took too long shaving, had to stop and get gas, etc. I'm driving through my parents' town a good fifteen minutes past when I usually do. But it's a good thing that I did.

Right when I was on the Causeway in Naples (the busy hub of town) I see a little black dog walking down the road. The traffic is heavy, but I manage to swerve over and roll down the window.


The dog looks up, smiles, wags his tale.

"No fucking way! Get in the car!"

Someone had given him a new collar, but he must have escaped them, too. Other than the wet dog smell (yes, it was raining all day today) he seems no worse for wear. Crazy dog.

05/22/05 - Rainy Weekend

Okay seriously, this is getting old. Every weekend for the past two months it's rained. It's completely ridiculous. The weekdays are sunny and beautiful - when I'm at work. By the time I'm out of there it's pretty much night. Either 6 or 7 pm. Not so warm and sunny then.

But it was a good week, anyway. Fox didn't screw up and renewed Arrested Development.

You're really going to have to watch this show in the fall. Seriously. Go buy the first season on DVD - trust me. You'll love it.

05/18/05 - I have a very bad feeling about this ...

Begun, this bastardization of Star Wars has.

I'm supposed to see Episode 3 Friday night (what with Trump rollin' up finale on Thursday night).

But honestly? On Friday I'd rather watch The Muppets Wizard of Oz at 8 pm on ABC.

05/18/05 - Weird Dream

Last night I had a crazy dream about beer. I was at this party and this Marine in full dress uniform offered me a new beer. It was made by Jack Daniels and it was called "Caramel Pumpkin Pie". My friend Rae was there and she was drinking it, and my friend Ryan from work said that it was better than Shipyard Brewing Company's Pumpkhead Ale.

And that is a tall order, because Pumpkinhead is a good beer. So I had to try it. But I couldn't taste it, which wrecked the illusion, and made me wake up.

05/17/05 - Bumper to Bumper

I meant to write this a while ago. I've seen two different cars in Portland with Kucinich bumper stickers. That's pretty random, other than the fact that Portland is a pretty out-there city. I mean, I'd say there are more Kerry bumper stickers now than there were in November. But Kucinich? I didn't even know that he got far enough to make bumper stickers.

Anyway, this morning a lady in a minivan almost ran me off the road. She had a "W" bumper sticker and a Jesus fish on her car. All she needed was a N.R.A. sticker to complete the holy trinity.

My question is this, why do people put bumper stickers on their cars? Is it to piss off people who don't believe in their cause? Or just inform you that, yes, the bitch who pulled in front of you and almost caused you to rear end her is really a moron because she voted for Bush?

Or maybe to say this whole world would be different now if we had all voted for that goofy bastard from Ohio ...

05/15/05 - I should work at CTU or something.

Hey look, another rainy Sunday! How about that? That's something like, five in a row. Yay for spring.

Needless to say, there's no playing outside today. Pretty much biding my time until the Sox are on at 4:05.

So I spent this morning playing online with some Microsoft software. Yeah, I know, Microsoft is the evil empire and all of that. But the TerraServer-USA is pretty rad.

It's pretty much searchable spy satellite photos. One of the guys at work was using it last week to figure out how large this park in NYC is for this Dave Matthews thing we're doing in July. You just type in the place you're looking for, and photos and maps come up.

So today I was using to look up all sorts of places I've lived and loved. Here's a new page with all of the images.

The creepiest one? I put in Burbank to look at the Disney lot. The photos were from March 29, 2004 - when I still worked there. Cool! Then I scrolled up the street to look at my old apartment. Found Verdugo Gardens. Zoomed in. Looked at the parking lot.

My Jetta is in my old parking spot. I was home when this was taken. Between Jill's lighter gray Kia and my neighbor's daughters red car.


Check out the other images I've put together.

05/14/05 - Traffic

Last night after work I went up to visit some friend in LA. No, not Los Angeles, but rather Lewiston / Auburn. But now that you mention it, back when I lived in California I was home visiting and met someone new. I was all, "Yeah, I live in LA." And they were all, "Really. That's cool. Which one?"

"Uhh, which one?"

"Yeah. Lewiston or Auburn?"

"Oh, yeah, no, sorry, I live in ... you know what? Lewiston. It was nice to meet you. Bye-bye."

Anyway, the quickest way to get to LA from Portland is one of the two highways we have in Maine. Actually, you have to use BOTH! (As opposed to when I used to visit my old roommates in Hermosa Beach - getting there from the Valley? Four freeways. Actually, if you go downtown you have to take five, I think.)

Anyway, I'm all, "Highways in Maine. There won't be any traffic."

Yeah, right:

Yes, that's traffic as far as they eye can see. And for no reason, other than the fact there are just too many people trying to go to the Gray exit.


05/13/05 - Long Lake

Yesterday was a windy, sunny, but cold morning. I had to stop on my way to work to take this photo of Long Lake in Naples. The water looked absolutely freezing:

05/09/05 - FedEx Logo

I saw this last week, and it's still amazing to me. I'm sure you all know the standard FedEx logo:

Have you ever seen the hidden arrow between the "E" and the "x"? (I filled it in with orange below):

This still blows me away. How many times have I sent FedExes or seen trucks or seen commercials and I never saw that arrow?! It took me reading this interview with logo designer Lindon Leader to figure it out.

However, in my own defense, I did notice how the amazon.com logo introduced in January of 2000 has the subtle "A to Z" arrow:

Old logo (1998-2000):

New logo (2000-present):

05/06/05 - Remembering Joe Grant

I'm terribly saddened - I just learned that Disney Legend Joe Grant passed away in his sleep last night. He was 96 years old.

Joe came to Disney in 1933 to design celebrity caricatures for "Mickey's Premiere". He stayed on to create the Character Model Department, ultimately okaying the look and feel of every character to come out of the studio. He personally designed the witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - the first animated feature film. It was released almost seventy years ago.

"Animation Legend" doesn't fit Joe. He was a legend fifty years ago. In the 1990s and 2000s he was a living animation God. Recently books and movies have been made about Walt's "Nine Old Men" - some of the core animators from the 1930s through the 1960s. But there were nine of them. There was only one Joe Grant. And up until very recently he was still going, too, five days a week at the studio (driving himself, no less) coming up with new gags and ideas. He thought up with the story for Lorenzo, which was up for an Academy Award two months ago!

Joe actually left Disney in 1949 after some kind of fight with Walt, but not before coming up with and writing most of Lady and the Tramp. He returned in the 1990s to help on Beauty and the Beast up through to this fall's Chicken Little.

In my several short years at Disney I wouldn't say that I knew Joe well. I helped him pin storyboards and make photocopies, you know, general PA work. I copied more lightbulbs and candles for him and his "Candle Power" idea that never made it anywhere. I'm sure by now is part of the Animation Research Library. It's sad that will never see the light of day. (Excuse the bad pun).

I was always so very in awe of him. Why, I don't know, he was just a friendly old man. Maybe because he knew Walt, but more than that he was one of the few people to defy Walt and not give in. Animator Ub Iwerks left Disney in 1929 but returned in 1940. Roy O. Disney (Walt's brother) reportedly spent almost a year not speaking with his brother, all the while co-running the company with him. Story artist Bill Peet left Disney in 1964, but he was a bit of a rabble-rouser, and he didn't really have time to go back to Walt before Disney passed away in December of 1965.

But Joe - Joe left. Started illustrating books and cards and made a whole new career.

The thing is, Joe always struck me as such a nice guy. I figured probably Walt was being an asshole and Joe took off but didn't make a big deal about it. And then, when invited, jumped at the chance to return to Disney - forty years after leaving! Joe was always grandfatherly to the artists, a kind of resident guru. Some of the recent executives seemed to treat him like an old fogie. I'm sure part of that was because they were idiots, but also I would assume part of their motive was to not validate this animation God that every single one of the artists so revered.

There was one day last January or February after Finding Nemo was huge and the Pixar guys (who also looked up to Joe) had sent him tons of Nemo toys and books and swag. I was in his office dropping off some copies or a book or something. Among the bobbles was a wooden apple from Disneyland. I asked him what it was. Disneyland was opening a new stage show based on Snow White - and this was the invitation to a pre-opening party. I said, trying to hold back my awe as he handed me this wooden apple, "Joe, didn't you work on that movie?"

He laughed, "Yes. And there aren't too many of us left who did."

And now, sadly, there's one fewer.

05/05/05 - Happy Cinco de Mayo

Or as we call it in Maine, "May Fifth". (We're not very ethnically diverse here.)

05/05/05 - Scare me to Death

Driving home last night as I was ten or fifteen minutes from Daniel's house I saw a huge plume of black smoke on the horizon. As I got closer, the smoke did, too - and it looked as if it was coming from Bridgton.

As I got closer still it looked like it was on Route 302 - where Daniel's house is.

As I got even closer, it looked like it was really, really close to Daniel's.

I started to freak out - all of my stuff is there! And I like my stuff!

When I was a few hundred yards away I figured out it was on the east side of the street, and we're on the west side. (Westsiiiide!)

I thought it was the little Morning Glory Diner across the street, but it turns out it was the former Bridgton Lobster Pound - yes, the competition of our family's Naples Lobster Pound. Not that my family owns it anymore, but they did, and well, this place used to be the competition. Now? Just rubble.

Seems someone new bought the place, and had the fire department burn it down - for training. It was pretty scary for a minute there, though ...

05/04/05 - Kidnap Victim Josh Edwards

No, I haven't been kidnapped, I've just been busy. (That's why I haven't written lately.) But have you ever wondered what would happen if you were kidnapped? Or if you were newsworthy in some other manner - a murder/death/kill situation - what photograph your family would give the news?

That whole Georgia "Runaway Bride" thing last week got me thinking. Well, I've actually thought about it before, but last week's events got me going again. Whenever there's a newsworthy individual and no video footage to show the local, and then eventually national, news, the family or friends always pick one candid photo of said individual that gets replayed hundreds of times.

And personally, I felt that the Georgia bride's photo looked marginally retarded.

So if something tragic and newsworthy happens to me, I want a good photo for them to show. Damn that GlamorShots left the Maine Mall!

But seriously, that's why the Army and Navy take photos of all of the grunts in dress uniform in front of the flag. Sooner or later they're going to die in some over-seas hellhole, and a pretty picture makes for better footage than a flag-draped coffin. (Oh, wait, we still can't show those on TV anymore ...)

Yes, that's just one more reason the Army is like the second grade. Think about it. Everyone has the same haircut, you get little gold stars when you do something right, and you get a pretty 8 x 10 photo for your Mom's mantle - or in case you get abducted and killed.

Thus, this weekend I'm searching the photo albums for a recent photo of me taken at a decent angle. I'll scan it at a high resolution (you never know when People magazine or In Style or whatever that other one is) might need a print version of my photo.

Most important of course, I'll make my folks, my brother, my dog ... everyone ... aware of what photo to use. What good is having it if nobody uses it? Yep. Be prepared.

And hopefully then nobody will confuse me with a mentally challenged individual.

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Last Updated on: May 31, 2005

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