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Doctor Who Episode 8 - Father's Day
Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 5:15pm cst:

Sad news to report. The bit-torrent site I've been linking to for the new Doctor Who series has been shut down. That means I won't be able to offer download links for new episodes anymore.

I've taken down the links from the previous Dr Who posts, to save confusion. You'll still be able to find new episodes on various BT sites, but I'm a little sketchy about revealing them at the moment. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, in this week's show, Rose (the always excellent Billie Piper) manages to prevent her father's untimely death, with unforseen consequences. It promises to be another great example of the modern, character-driven Dr Who.

 

"Timmy and the Giant Space Bug"
Friday, May 13, 2005 - 8:00am cst:

A short story by me, soon to be a beloved children's classic. Any editors interested in publishing? Enjoy:

Timmy was a nice little boy. He liked bugs and played with them often. One day Timmy was walking down the street when he discoverd an enormous shadow over him and everything in sight. He looked up and saw a giant bug.

"Holy moly!" Timmy said, because for some baffling reason he liked to talk like that. "Are you a giant bug from outer space?"

The giant bug sqinted back. "What?! What kind of stupid question is that?! Where do you think I come from, Detroit?"

"Gee, I don't know, Mister Bug," said Timmy. "You're awful big for a bug, and bugs are my friends."

"Oh, for crying out loud! Of course I'm from outer space! I'm a giant space bug! And I'm not your freak'n friend."

"Well, golly gee, that ain't nice-"

"Wait a second. Why do you keep talking like that? What's your deal, anyway?"

"Gosh, I dunno. Bugs like the way I talk."

"What? You must hang around some pretty stupid bugs. You must be dumber than a bag of rocks! Stupid kid."

Timmy was growing flustered. "But..."

"Shut up, doofus"

But, um...wait..."

"Asshat!"

"B-but..."

"Dipthong!"

"B-but..."

Timmy was near tears, because, to be brutally honest, he was kind of a wuss. "B-but, I'm a nice little boy and you're being mean to me. Why are you being mean to me?"

The giant space bug was really annoyed now. He didn't know whether to walk away in disgust or simply shoot the little spud with his space gun. In the end, he decided to take his wallet, so the giant space bug pulled out his space gun.

"Alright, that's it. Gimmie your lunch money, kid!"

This really threw Timmy for a loop. Big surprise there.

"Huh?"

"You heard me, Poindexter. Gimmie your lunch money!"

"But, um..." Timmy was flustered again. Loser.

"Look, Timmy, you're the dummest kid I've bumped into today, and I already stepped on a couple other butterballs, so don't press your luck, okay?"

"Uh, Mister Bug, how do you know my name?" Timmy bawbled.

"Hey!" snapped the giant space bug. "Stop pointing out the damn plot holes! What is it with you little dorks pointing out all the plot holes in everything?! Now hurry up and cough up the wallet. Burger King still has one of those little hats left, and I don't want to miss out."

"oh. Uh...okay." Timmy pulled out some spare change and a rumpled dollar from his pockets.

"Now hand it over," said the giant space bug.

"But," asked Timmy, "how will you take my lunch money when you don't have any hands?"

The giant space bug thought this over for a moment. He looked around at all the other houses in the neighborhood. He saw the birds in the trees and the clouds in the sky. He pondered all of this, and thought to himself that if he were in a Disney cartoon, then this would be a good moment for some sort of epiphany.

"Hey, Timmy," the giant space bug said.

"Yes?" asked Timmy.

"Is that your house over there?" asked the giant space bug.

"Yes, it is," replied Timmy.

"It's a nice house," said the giant space bug.

And then the giant space bug blew up Timmy's house with his space gun.

BOOM!!

"Waaahh!!" Timmy was bawling again.

The giant space bug really, really hated Disney cartoons.

 

Doctor Who Episode 7 - The Long Game
Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 10:20pm cst:

I wish I could say what this week's Doctor Who is about, but I'm really not sure. The teaser footage at the end of the Dalek was more than a little vague, but it promises a lot of fun and excitement. If you've missed out on this great show, then be sure to give it a chance.

 

Insights From a Disney Animator
Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 8:00am cst:

Last week, I received a letter from Merry Clingen, one of the former Disney animators profiled in the documentary Dream On, Silly Dreamer. My heartfelt thanks to Ms. Clingen for offering her insights. The letter reads as follows:

Thank you for your article about Dream On Silly Dreamer. My brother sent me the link to your website.

I am one of the artists who were interviewed in the film (I am the woman in the sunglasses, sitting next to a bush).

I wanted you to know that I also think that the budgets were too high on films like Treasure Planet. But there were many factors that led to those unnecessarily high budgets.

First of all, when Michael Eisner offended Jeffrey Katzenberg and Jeffrey left to form Dreamworks, he tried to hire us all away from Disney. They paid ONE person a very high salary ($3,500 a week), and the word got around. We all asked for that salary from Disney, and THEY said yes to every one.

That more than doubled my salary, and my four year contract gave me substantial raises for years, and at the end of the term I was making $4,000.00 a week. Normally they would play hard-ball with us during contract negotiations. I had expected them to say "no" to my request, and to negotiate my price way down; but they were so fearful, they not only gave us what we asked for, they were calling up artists and offering them MORE money!

But that is not the only place where the money was going. For example, when we were in pre-production for Hunchback, they sent a large number of people to Paris as a "perk" that was not necessary for their job. When they did that turkey, "The Emperor's New Groove," They sent a large group to Peru (why the Producer and their friends had to go is beyond me).

When they opened Pocahontas, they rented Central Park in New York, set up huge screens, and ran it to enormous crowds. When we opened Hercules, they not only sent a large group of us to New York on a chartered plane, put us all in a fancy hotel, and had a screening in a Broadway Theatre. After that we had a party in Windows On The World at the top of the World Trade Center. How much do you think that cost?

Besides all this, they had a crew party at the studio with free alcohol every Friday night. Why they seemed determined to spend all the money from The Lion King as fast as they could was a mystery. Before all this, we were happy to sit in our warehouse in an industrial park in Glendale, California, and simply draw for a modest living. But because we had one huge hit, management thought it was a good idea to build a fancy building next to the Ventura Freeway, which was expensive to maintain, with lots of wasted space.

They also padded the management staff to a degree that was not justified by the number of projects we were turning out. When we left, there were something like 23 vice presidents in Feature Animation, when we were only making one picture a year! All of those people also had staffs, and all of those people did nothing but go to meetings and wear out the xerox machines, printing huge reports that no one ever read.

I sat for years at my desk, and watched them throw money out the window with both hands, knowing in my heart that we were headed for disaster. As soon as they built that building, I knew that they were headed down the road that led to the end of our industry. Their expectation of ever-increasing profits were unrealistic, and having worked in Animation since 1979, I was painfully aware that "what goes up must come down."

So if I knew this, why didn't turn down my pay raise? Would you turn down $4,000.00 a week? The end was inevitably coming; I was not the only shark in the feeding frenzy! Disney went down by "death of a thousand cuts."

As long as you have fools at the helm, any ship is likely to go down! (forgive me for my mixed metaphors).

 

Weblog Archives Update
Monday, May 2, 2005 - 4:45pm cst:

All the entries for the month of April are now listed in the weblog archives. That link is listed just below the Paypal button. You should also be able to find anything you need via the search bar at the top.

 

April Stats at Daniel Thomas
Monday, May 2, 2005 - 4:45pm cst:

danielthomas.org stats - hits, files, pages

danielthomas.org stats - visitors, sites

Just a short look at the site stats for April. DanielThomas.org got 156, 032 hits, and 49, 615 pages, 17, 178 visitors, and 23,721 sites. These numbers were just slightly below March's totals, mostly due to one more day in the month.

Two more milestones were passed in April - the 1,000,000th hit and the 100,000th visitor. It's no false modesty when I say I never expected to reach those numbers.

By comparison, here are the numbers for July, 2004, the first month I have stats on: 55,908 hits, 9,113 pages, 4,334 visitors, 3,983 sites. And it needs to be said: I was really happy with these numbers. I was happy to get 100 visitors.

I owe all of this to Joe Osburn, an old roommate who works at a Minneapolis internet firm called Internet Exposure. IE hosts this site, and it was Joe's offer to put it on one of their servers that finally forced me to create this site and make it a reality. Joe has been gracious enough to host it for free, for which I am also deeply grateful.

Now the free ride, rightfully, will soon come to an end. Daily traffic is beginning to tax their servers, so I'll have to start paying my dues. I'm told that should happen sometime within the next few months, depending on the traffic. I can't really speculate on specifics, since my traffic guesswork is terrible. In any event, the move to a bigger IE server won't change anything for you, the visitor.

So, as always, my thanks and gratitude to all who helped make this website possible, and to all of you who visit and pass the word along via emails, websites, and message boards. Thanks to everyone from around the world - now numbering over 90 countries. Domo arigatoo gozaimasu.

An arts and entertainment webzine that's actually worth visiting.

Featuring online art galleries, movie and game reviews, and political commentary. Stryper still sucks.

Weblog Archives:

2005

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July
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June 1 - 30
May 1 - 30

April 16-30

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