This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Friday, April 29, 2005

2005: A Plane Odyssey.

No, I didn't do regular updates. Sue me. They worked us so damn hard it was like a boot camp. "YOU WILL HAVE FUN--NOW!" (crack!)

I hope to write about the events in the order they happened, but for the moment, let me tell you about the ride home.

Portland to Dallas--no incidents. I actually had a DC power outlet this time, so my laptop didn't run out. Watched most of The Incredibles. Hey, I am a 3D character animator after all.

Arrived in Dallas, had enough of a layover to grab lunch at McDonald's and rush to the gate. Got on the plane. Took off. Our captain seemed to like to hear himself talk, but this would turn out to be an asset when, about 15 minutes after takeoff, there was a Big Red Light flashing in the cabin and he had to turn us around and fly back to Dallas. Uh boy.

To his credit, he did his best to keep us informed throughout the process. But, to no avail--we got off the plane, and they tried to find us another one, but instead the flight was cancelled.

Did I mention that they told us there was only one more flight to BWI, and it had only four seats available? And no seats on any flights to National or Dulles?

At this point, I was wishing I had stayed in the Portland area. I would have been able to see my college buddy (who I missed entirely), or maybe hang out with the Hash gang a little longer, or just enjoy the Pacific Northwest weather (maybe not that last one). I started racking my brains for alternatives to sleeping at DFW.

On the advice of another passenger I decided to take my chances at the ticket counter, rather than waiting in line at the gate. Good thing, too; I got a flight to National that arrived at 11:00 PM, which would let me take the Metro home. But I still had four hours to kill at the Dallas airport. And did I mention: there are almost no power outlets anywhere in that God-forsaken place? I spent most of my time wandering around, looking for a plug. And when I finally found one at the gate for the National flight, they changed the gate to one so far away that I had to take light rail to get there.

In all this time I had, I did manage to get a good deal of animating done (what good is an animation conference, if you aren't inspired to animate?), and I finished watching Fellowship of the Ring. I finally walked in my front door at 12:30 A.M. My original flight was supposed to arrive at BWI at 4:30 P.M.

I kissed E and D as they slept, and crawled into bed with K. It was all worth it.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Well, here I am at Portland International Airport, waiting to see if I get a seat on the plane. Not lookin' good Oh they called me.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Greetings from...

I arrived at BWI in plenty, some would say too much, of time. But as long as I had my laptop and a power outlet, I was happy.

Surprisingly, for a man traveling alone with only carry-on luggage, I had very little trouble with security. (I haven't flown since 2000, so it was all new to me.) I made some idle chitchat with an elderly couple on their way to Vegas, did a little animating, and then headed to the rear of the plane to gawp at the modern marvel of air travel... or to be more specific, gawp at Liv Tyler in Fellowship of the Ring. I got about halfway through by the end of the flight, coincidentally also the end of my battery. No problem, I had a three-hour layover in Dallas to look forward to.

Of course, I was meeting up with a fellow animator in Dallas--let's call him "Robert," because that's his name--and he took me out to Denny's for dinner, where there were no power outlets to charge my laptop. Bingo, and suddenly I had no way to pass the time on the next leg of the trip--no book, nothin'. Mind you it was great fun meeting Robert, and I don't regret it at all. We had a great time and it's always good to meet people face-to-face with whom you've worked in the past.

But, I still needed my boredom stopper, and so it was that when I arrived back at the gate--where boarding had already begun--I ran down the terminal frantically, searching for a place that sold a DC power adapter so I could plug my laptop in on the flight. I found one--for $50--and also grabbed a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a backup plan. Good thing, too--my assigned seat did not have a DC power outlet. Argh.

In the Kevin Bacon department, not only did the person next to whom I was sitting come from BWI like me, she even knew someone with whom I worked at the Kennedy Center. Bizarre stuff.

We arrived at Portland right on time, and after a bathroom break (I've followed your advice to the letter, gentle readers, and drunk tons of water), I met, for the first time, my good friend Godfrey, and no doubt this momentous event will be commemorated in the future. We took his rental car back to the hotel; I had brought along a print-out of the directions, and he had brought along a laptop equipped with GPS. I used my print-out to direct us to the wrong exit, and his GPS brought us to the hotel. Score: Laptop 1, Paper 0. (Yeah, but at least I didn't have to charge up my erroneous directions...)

Now, in a true affirmation of geekdom, we're both sitting at a table, using the wireless network to write in our blogs simultaneously. I'll have more news from today's adventures next time--suffice it to say, my legs hurt like hell and I'm fucking tired.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Saturday, April 23, 2005


I never get colds. I mean, never. Well, actually I mean almost never. But regardless. The point remains, they're very rare for me, rarer than my Dad likes his hamburgers. You'd expect that a father of a kindergartener and a pre-schooler would get colds all the time, but I don't. Er, well, I should say I don't get them from my kids. I do, in fact, get colds often, but I'm usually the first to get them, and then I'm immune to whatever the other family members try to harpoon me with.

So, of course as I'm about to go on my first flight since 2000, I get a frickin' cold! From my daughter, no less! Worse, I can tell the cold is going to be at its peak right in the middle of the trip. Minor sore throat and some congestion yesterday (lost hearing in my right ear for a while, which made it interesting to mix my entry for the KVR song contest), major sore throat today--and that means tomorrow will be full-blown, nose-runnin' joy. Even a gallon of orange juice, laced with ecinachia, couldn't help at this point. (Old joke: Before I started taking ecinachia, my colds would last for seven days. Now, they're gone in a week!)

I've flown with bad congestion before, and it is not pretty. Your head asplodes as the plane ascends. Must remember to try a bunch of decongestants and figure out which one works for me--in LESS THAN 24 HOURS. ARGH!

Friday, April 22, 2005

The great adventure, or "Ten-Four, good 'tooner!"

On Sunday, I'm going West, young man (though not as young as I used to be). Hash, Inc. is sponsoring a gathering at their heaquarters in Vancouver, Washington. It's for their 'top artists,' but I was invited anyway. I'm pretty excited. I'll be meeting two of the people who worked on Duck Sauce--one of them at the gathering, and the other during my three-hour (!) layover in Dallas on the way out. I'll try to post regular updates, if only to compete with Godfrey, who is also going. We're splitting a hotel room, so expect lots of dish about snoring, bathroom habits, etc., and maybe even a Great Drama of Friends Who Meet For The First Time and Can't Stand Each Other (well, hopefully not that last).

It's going to be exciting but strange, and makes me think of my days in CB radio, when I would occasionally meet people whom I only knew by voice. At least in this case, I know we'll all have something in common other than the need to avoid smokeys.

I'll also, with luck and time, be able to meet up with an old college roommate, who lives across the river in Portland, Oregon. I didn't do a great job planning for that, though--how was I supposed to know that Hash would be working us 24-7?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ten years.

Why don't we remember Oklahoma City?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

It can be done.

A thirty minute animated film, made by one person.

Haruwo, by Shao Guee.

Monday, April 11, 2005


A recent comment thread reminded me that I've never written about the back operation I had over Christmas of 1990, which kept me out of high school for over two months and changed my life in interesting ways. Well, I won't be writing about it today either. Ha!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

DeLay must go.

I'm happy to say that Christopher Shays was once my Congressman.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Improbable Name Dept.

From today's Washington Post:
"One of the Social Security trustees, Thomas R. Saving, has been advising a group... which promotes [private Social Security] accounts."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

All about ME!

The Netizen's Guide to Flame Warriors

Recently I managed to goad a couple people on a forum to tell me how Talented I Was. I thought it was inadvertent, but having read the description of Ego, now I'm not so sure.

Friday, April 01, 2005


It's a hideously vicious circle--I stay up late so I'm tired the following day, and when I'm tired I'm depressed, and when I'm depressed I don't want to go to bed...

I have to break it, somehow. Obviously, staying awake and writing blog entries is not the way to do so.

Used to be, every Friday I would go out and jam with the Gonnas. Now, the Gonnas are no more, but for some reason I don't find myself calling the remaining ex-Gonnas and saying, "Let's see a movie" or something. So I stay at home, the same place I've been all week, slowly but inexorably becoming more and more stir-crazy.

I will get out of the house at the end of April, at least, to go to Washington State for an animation thingy. That will help, and with any luck the jet lag won't utterly destroy me. But even that seems like less a vacation than a business trip, given how busy I'll be. Every day is scheduled to within an inch of its life.

And of course to get there, it's a 3 1/2 hour flight to Dallas, then a 3 hour layover, then a 4 hour flight to Portland, Oregon. I'm seriously considering copying the complete Lord of the Rings extended editions to my laptop hard drive. And even then I still have time to kill...