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Photo Project: OtherWorldy Disney

By April 17, 2011 Orlando, Photography

While poking around the WDW parks over the past few months, I started a fun, little photo project – which I will now share with you since I’ve now taken enough photos to actually call it a ‘collection’. Basically, I’ve been snapping photos of architecture and decor on Disney properties that could look like ‘otherworldy’ or alien when cross-processed in photoshop. Obviously, Epcot has the most variety, but I’ve managed to find some rad buildings in the other parks (and even on the Disney Dream).




At some point, I might make a simple photo blog for them, but for right now I’m going to just piecemeal them out, as I render them. Let me know if you have any ideas for cool Disney places that I can take similar pics.

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Garden Gnome Mickeys

By April 17, 2011 Orlando


Ever since we took Eliza to go see Gnomeo & Juliet, we’ve all been borderline-obsessed with garden gnomes. Okay, maybe ‘obsessed’ isn’t the right word. We’ve definitely become ‘in-tune’ with them – seeing them everywhere recently. So far, we’ve resisted the urge to buy any, and it was especially hard to pass up these Mickey gnomes that we saw at Epcot yesterday.

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My Disney Vinylmations

By April 12, 2011 Collectibles, Orlando

Another byproduct of my obsessive collecting gene…a growing collection of Disney Vinylmation figurines.


I have a rule: I only buy them when we got to the Walt Disney World parks, and I rarely get more than two. My collection is somewhat inflated because I’ve received a bunch for free from Disney and well, we got to the parks a lot. I have a few exclusives and chasers, but mostly it’s just random ones I’ve collected since last summer.

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Hosmer’s engagement photos

By January 31, 2011 Orlando, Photography

I had a chance on Friday – during the last moments of failing daylight – to snap some engagement photos of my friend/co-worker David, and his fiance Kelly. I don’t ever take these sort of photos, so I’m pleased with the results. (And by “pleased with the results” I meant, “glad I didn’t completely screw it up”)



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semi-random nature photography

By December 12, 2010 Florida, Orlando, Photography

I don’t really take nature photographs, but after exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom a few times, and having my parents visit (both are really into taking bird photos), I’ve ended up with a odd, little collection of wildlife pics.




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Video: Two Recent “Buzz Brands” promos

By November 19, 2010 Orlando, Promos, The Daily Buzz

I haven’t posted any of my promos/videos for a while, so here’s two recent items I produced for, and a customizable affiliate generic for The Daily Buzz. (Both were shot with the Canon 5D MarkII) Image Generic from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

Daily Buzz “local’ generic -:30 combo from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

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Driving Daddy around Disney

By November 18, 2010 Eliza, Orlando

Driving Daddy around the park

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epcot at night

By October 17, 2010 Orlando, Photography

Epcot sphere at night

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snapshots of people from work

By October 7, 2010 Orlando, Photography, The Daily Buzz

Lauren doesn't smoke

Kia and the Medieval Times Knights

brandi williams

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It’s hard to look badass while wearing transition lenses

By September 30, 2010 geekery, Orlando, The Daily Buzz

Medieval Times Knights (and me)

Here’s another photo of me getting ganked after shouting “For the Horde!”

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Eliza, tearing up Daytona Beach

By September 21, 2010 Eliza, Orlando, Photography


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A sneak peek into my “nerd lair”

By August 30, 2010 Orlando

my nerd lair (Ikea Besta entertainment center)

Now that our new house is somewhat in order, I thought I’d take a moment and invite you into my home theater room (or as my wife refers to it: my “nerd lair”). It’s definitely not the geek cave that I had in the past, as I’ve decided to only display some of my more useful or favorite items – leaving the real nerdy stuff (action figures, 15 cartons of comics, etc) in my corner of the garage where it probably belongs. This time around, I went for more of a design element, creating my ‘FrankenShelf’ from Ikea’s BESTA line and its high gloss white cabinet doors. This view is only of the media wall, which my 20mm lens makes look way farther away than it is in real life – the reverse angle would show two giant, black recliners where I “sit away the calories playing video games”.

[NOTE: You should be able to highlight over the image for my notes. If not, here’s the direct link to the photo.]

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Kia’s Dance Rehearsal

By August 30, 2010 Orlando, The Daily Buzz

Kia’s Dance Rehearsal from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

My co-worker, Kia Malone is entered in one of those local Dancing With The Stars type of competitions, and I tagged along on Thursday afternoon to see how training went.

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Three various snapshots from the workplace

By August 18, 2010 Orlando, Photography, The Daily Buzz

When I’m not locked away in my office writing code and participating in conference calls, I like to sneak out into the studio and see what the rest of the folks are doing. Here’s a few shots that I’ve taken at work lately.


Tank @ The Daily Buzz studios

Zackleys Girl

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Today I earned my “Explorer Stars!”

By August 4, 2010 Orlando, The Daily Buzz

This morning I took a break from my php coding and internet strategery to save the world (yet again). Diego was out sick, so instead I teamed-up with Kai Lan and Dora The Explorer to go on an adventure. We did some counting, organized shapes and colors, and then KILLED THE LAST UNICORN. All of this ended with a cheerful music number, followed by shots of Barenjager.

I'm helping stop Swiper

Ok, not really. Dora and Kai Lan actually came by the Daily Buzz studio this morning to promote their touring Nickelodeon show. We brought in Eliza, so that she could meet her idols. They were super-friendly (as expected) and were accompanied by a large bouncer/stylist. My daughter waved goodbye to them from inside our office as I snapped a final shot of them getting into a towncar – not onto a Pegasus, which is banned from the Full Sail parking lots. It sorta looks like TMZ was following Dora around town, right?

my paparazzi photo of Dora

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Thank you, Graebel, for breaking our stuff.

By July 28, 2010 Orlando

When the moving truck arrived in front of our Florida home, I felt somewhat relieved. Moving companies usually give you a window – in this case two days – of when you can expect your stuff to arrive. For our relocation, they couldn’t confirm the final arrival dates, nor did they actually make it to our house when they originally projected they would. But at this point, we had already come to expect this sort of customer service from Graebel.


They seemed to always put the fragile stuff at the bottom.

We’ve made several cross-country moves over the years, but had never heard of Graebel until our boss recommended that we get a quote from them. When their sales representative, Courtney, came out to our Houston apartment, she was friendly and professional. Her quote even came in more accurate and affordable than any of the other two companies we considered. Within the next few weeks, we had signed the paper work and arranged a date for them to pick up our stuff. At this point, communication from the company became as reliable as my iPhone’s AT&T cell service; it’s never available when you need it. Other moving companies would call and email up before each stage of the move, making sure we’re ready and always”in the loop.” Not Graebel. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even get our friendly, “How To Prepare For Your Move” email from them until moments before the last few boxes went onto the moving van that day.
Now, mind you, this was the third truck they sent to our house that day. On the morning of our move, the driver showed up with the wrong truck (a logistical problem they forgot to account for) and the crew had to stand around for an hour while he drove back across Houston in morning rush hour traffic to get another vehicle. The rest of the day the work crew worked their asses off, loading up our apartment. That was until the driver had to go back across town for another van to fit everything. One of the Graebel people returned my call from earlier that morning, and she was quite apologetic. I did mention that adding the additional shuttle vans wasn’t part of the plan and we shouldn’t be billed for their mistake. She countered with, “But you’re not paying for it” which made me annoyed, because I don’t want to have to go back to my new employer with additional, padded costs.
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VaultTec engineering at its very finest.

By June 24, 2010 geekery, Orlando, video games

A sure sign of the impending nuclear holocaust is when you start seeing “Pip Boy” the Vault-Tec logo appearing on industrial machinery, like this generator in West Orlando. I noticed the large sticker on this industrial generator on the way home during our boring-ass commute last week and made a mental note that I absolutely had to take a photo before it was gone or vandalized. I’m crazy fanatic about the Fallout games, so to see some random thing like this is pretty rad.

Vault-Tec generator in Orlando

Taking the photo was a real pain. It was off the road, in a place where parking is wholly impossible. I trekked through high, grassy weeds that were crawling with lizards, in ninety-degree heat. Then I found that I had nowhere to stand that wasn’t on an ant hill – which gave me a ninety second window to snap some shots before the little bastards started biting my ankles. It’s sorta funny, considering that in Fallout 3 one of the first things I did after leaving Vault 101 was murder dozens of irradiated mutant ants. Virtual karma is a bitch.

I still ended up having a fun, spontaneous adventure tonight, and was completely floored when I got back home and realized that there’s a perfect robot shadow on the right side of the photo!

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We’re new on the block.

By June 8, 2010 Orlando

We finally bought a house. It’s actually the second house we made an offer on, but the first house on the list that we liked (if that makes sense). Anyway, it’s pretty solid, despite the absence of a Bat Cave or secret lair. And there’s no skeletons in the closet or a Buffalo Bill lotion pit, among many other positive features.

this old house

Actually, the whole house buying process went rather smoothly. Many years ago I launched “Operation: Clean Credit Rating” which has paid off immensely during this transaction, though was nowhere near as fun as “Operation: Destroy Credit Rating”, launched back in my early twenties. I think the hardest part about becoming a new homeowner is coming to terms with the fact that we actually bought a house. Closing date is still several weeks away, so in many ways it still doesn’t seem real. I’m used to downloading songs off iTunes and rocking them on my iPod a moment later, or gadget shopping on Amazon and getting the device the next morning. So waiting six weeks for something that I just bought seems painfully s-l-o-w.

We won’t technically be Orlando residents, by the way. Nope. LLR headquarters will soon be located in the nearby suburb of Maitland (which has its own rockin’ theme song).

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This headline is about moving to Orlando

By May 21, 2010 Orlando, Photography

disney castle (agfa optima)

I feel like I’m on vacation. Maybe it’s because, in the midst of all of our intense relocation efforts, we went to DisneyWorld. That’s right, we didn’t last three days before going to the Magic Kingdom (and tomorrow we’re going to SeaWorld). Actually, it’s kinda perfect that we’re taking a little time off as a family. We didn’t get a chance to celebrate our adoption anniversary, and now we also get to celebrate getting pre-approved for a home loan. The house hunting has already begun, and my chances of having a secret lair or ‘man cave” are still pretty good.

I can’t believe that it’s already been a week since our whole moving ordeal and partial cross-country trip! Logistical nightmare. Also, it was surreal to see the urban landscape transform from the Texas South back to “The South”. You know, I probably should have noticed it sooner, as the number of Cracker Barrel restaurants increased significantly, but it was driving past the thirty anti-abortion billboards in Pensacola that made me go, “Oh yeah. This kind of stuff again.” Though, now that we’re in Orlando I’m finding it to be less “The South” and more just “Awesome America”. All in one region we have: palm trees, theme parks, water parks, alligator hunting, nearly every fast food and retail chain, NASA, NASCAR, and Daytona Beach.

America, fuck yeah.

It looks like my new weight loss plan (called, “Just Stop Eating Like a Pig”) will have to be put on hold, as I now freak out every time I see 7-Eleven and can start drinking Slurpees again. And I’m thrilled to have a fridge filled again with gallons of Publix brand Diet Sweet Tea. It’s a gift from the Sucralose Gods.

I enjoy the little things in life to excess.

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