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    This is our space on the web to help us keep in touch with our family and friends.   Leo and Ian's Blog. (Password Required) Leo is 6 years old and his brother Ian is 2.   GREAT BURNIN' BLU-RAYS! My favorite backup solution for 2014.   Some of our favorite trips currently and over the years.

    Archive for the 'Friends' Category

    Kit, Cat and Kapoodle

    A short animated film I helped create with my good friend, Mike Milo. Mike animated the whole thing as part of his job working for Adobe, demonstrating the use of their animation software, Adobe Animate, on a weekly webcast he does. I wrote the script and did the soundtrack. Eric Scott Fisher painted the backgrounds. Our friend Marcus Hirn did the animatic.

    These are a couple of characters (two scrappy alley-kittens and a snooty, filthy rich poodle)  that Mike and I have spent years batting ideas around for. Finally, here's their first cartoon. 


    Some of Mike's production drawings from the film:




    Mike Milo on Digital Storyboarding

    My good friend Mike Milo (whom I've known for nearly 30 years now!) has a really cool article on AutoDesk's sketchbook.com. (Autodesk is the company that makes iconic 3D design software like Maya, AutoCAD, Alias, 3D Studio Max and Sketchbook Pro.)

    Check out Part One of what will be a three-part series:

    Digital Storyboarding – Part One


    An example of one of Mike's awesome character animation layout sheets from Disney TV Animation back in the day: (click to view full-sized image)


    digital-storytelling-Fig-2 timon

    Outside of Chuck Jones, circa 1944 to around 1955, I don't know of anyone in the animation industry that draws animated characters as well as Mike!

    Thanksgiving ’12

    Katre, Kadri, Leo, Leila and I had a great Thanksgiving once again. We spent it with our friends the Milos, at the home of our friends Jonna and Jeff where it's been our tradition to go for many years. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

    Leo is 1

    We celebrate our son's first birthday today. He's brought so much joy into our lives that I can hardly believe it has only been a single year. My parents, aunt, family and friends have made this a very special day with gifts for Leo (I think he must think Christmas happened again today) cards and kind wishes. A very big thanks to you all! Tomorrow we will host a birthday party for our son at Kenneth Hahn Park overlooking the city of Los Angeles. I can't wait to see many of our close friends and Leo's little buddies and families there. We love ya lil' Leo! Here's to your first year!

    Friends Over for Dinner

    This evening we had a great dinner with our friends Marcus, Jonathan and Kristi. 


    After dinner, we all took a long walk around our neighborhood. 

    It's a three day weekend thanks to Presidents' Day tomorrow. Since we're both off from work, Marcus and I plan to meet up and do some more writing on our ongoing novel project. We've been writing a book for two years now! 

    Happy New Year 2012!

    We went with our son to a New Year's Eve party at the home of our friends Marcus, Kristi, and Jonathan. We only stayed up to see the New Year in the central time zone… we were home in bed by the time it was 2012 in California. 

    Our New Year resolutions this year? The same as every year: don't make New Year resolutions!

    Back from Strawberry

    Last year, Leila and I went for a Christmas trip to Long Barn, CA. This year, we went on a similar trip, this time in nearby Strawberry, CA. Just like last year, our friends Irene and Toufigh -and their three kids Evelyn, Erik and Emil- invited us up to share a cabin they rented, along with our mutual friends Kristi and Kalmer. 

    Leila went to grade school with Irene and Kristi- they've known each other over 30 years, since first grade! We all got together in Los Angeles back in June, 2005 when Irene and Tofique's daughter was very little.

    Leila and I took Leo for a stroll around Pinecrest Lake- this time of year it was mostly empty and what little water remained was partially frozen over. 

    Enjoying nature next to the Stanislaus River in Strawberry, CA. 

    On a forest hike with Leo.

    Pop and Leo relax back in the warm cabin. 

    At the Strawberry Store, complete with a statue of Bigfoot. I was hoping we might catch a glimpse of the real thing. It's said there have been many sightings in this part of the Sierra Nevadas- but no such luck for us. Or could it be that not encountering Bigfoot is actually a good thing?

    The kids got to enjoy a second Christmas during the evening as we were fortunate to find a small Christmas tree, and everyone put presents they had brought under it. Having had a blast opening his gifts that morning at our house, Leo was stoked to have a go at it again.

    We all piled into our cars and struck out for the Sonoma Pass- the 2nd highest elevation of the Sierra Nevadas at 9600 ft above sea level. Here, Toufigh, me and Kalmer pose at a look off beside the road at a mere 8900 ft.

    Leo- in his winter gear- enjoys his very first meeting with snow.

    Later, he got his very first experience on ice, at the edge of a frozen pond high in the mountains.

    With Pop- venturing out onto the ice.

    Everyone poses for a group photo: Leila, Leo, Me, Evelyn, Erik, Toufigh, Emil, Irene, Karina, Liisa and Kalmer. Missing is Kristi, who took the photo. 

    Christmas Eve in Pershing Square

    Once again we're at Pershing Square in Los Angeles for Christmas Eve.  This year the first with our baby son, Leo. Joining us, our friends Kristi and Kalmer and their daughters.

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    Getting Ready for Halloween

    When it comes to Halloween, they don't mess around in Santa Monica. Walking around the neighborhood our friends Kristi, Marcus and Jonathan live in, Leila, Leo and I saw some serious entries in what must be the "Best Damn Halloween Display Ever" contest. People have gone to great lengths to turn their homes and property into haunted mansions. Where else can you find a life-size grim reaper pumpkin carriage?




    I predict that the above wicked witch- just off the public sidewalk- will likely give some unsuspecting midnight pedestrian either a serious case of the creeps, or a heart attack, one or the other.

    I guess this marriage went beyond 'til Death Do us Part.'



    Pretty much every house on the block was done up like these- it was quite spooktacular!

    At Kenneth Hahn Park… Again.

    Maybe I should stop blogging about this place. It's LA's best kept secret and I hope it stays that way! This weekend, Leila, Leo and I were once again at our favorite park in Los Angeles, Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area. There was perfect weather today, and the park features a gorgeous nearly 360 degree panoramic overlook of the city. We once again brought our little picnic tent and blankets and made 'camp' in an area called 'The Bowl', in the shade of several trees.

    When we arrived at 12:00 noon, the park was completely empty. As luck would have it, few people seem to know about this place, and I should shut up about it, because I like it that way! We did invite our close friends Marcus and Kristi and their son Jonathan to join us, and it was great having their company. They also didn't know about the park before we told them about it.

    As the day progressed, we saw probably 20 to 30 other people in the area we were in- the most "crowded" I've ever seen the place.

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