Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not Done Yet

I was able to run 3 times over the holidays.  I woke up at 6 this morning to see if I could will myself out the door.  Somehow, I made it.  I'm going to try to keep this going.  The true test will be when I have to wake up at 5 on school days.  I have to get it done that early so I can be back in time to make breakfast.

Sunrise in Signal Hill.

Mission Accomplished

We had our first all hands on deck family holiday gathering at our new house this Christmas.  I think it went very well.  There were a lot of people at my office that barely got any time off.  They are making some great holiday pay, but I think I still got the better end of the deal.  I have wanted to start having these family gatherings at my house for a very long time. 

A successful Christmas indeed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All Blacks Haka

When I'm at work sometimes I like to check out motivational sports videos on youtube.  During my many searches I stumbled onto a real gem called the All Black Haka.  All Blacks is a rugby team from New Zealand.  A Haka is sort of a warrior dance, greeting, chant, I don't know you'll just have to watch it to see what I'm talking about.  Just trust me it's freakin cool.  I mean, how cool do you have to be to have a team named "All Blacks"?  Here is the more clear version of it:

They do this on the field prior to every match.  Here is what that looks like:

Now that's what I call getting fired up.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

While my transformers project was in production another similar project was going on in my office.  After we delivered transformers I got about a week of time were I didn't have much going on but then soon found myself attached to the second show.  Apparently, it was not going so well and they needed some extra help.  So here I am once again doing 12 hour days plus weekends.  I guess it helps going into Christmas.  It is also a lot less stressful because I am not supervising.  I only have to worry about the shots that I am responsible for.  It delivers this Friday so it shouldn't be so bad.

Here is the Transformers commercial that we delivered:

We got a bunch of cookie dough and cinnamon roll mix from one of the kids's fundraisers.  I got around to making the rolls last night.  They were pretty awesome.

I doubt they will still be there when I get home.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Healthcare Bomb

I recently found out that our new facility in Playa does not have a shower in it.  One of the first things I asked about when I learned we are moving was that and was assured that there was indeed a shower on premises.  ALL LIES!!!  This is going to make it significantly more difficult for me to get runs in.  Lately, I have been doing my circuit routine in the mornings and then a single 6 mile run on the weekends.  Somehow I need to figure out a way to get in midweek runs or my marathon career could be over. 

We delivered the transformers job earlier this week.  That show went pretty well considering how complex it was.  I think fans of the original transformers tv show will like it.  It uses those old style designs but is rendered with a very realistic look.  The team did a great job.  Hopefully it will be on youtube soon so I can post it.

I don't think there is a piece of legislation that Republicans want to  repeal more than Obamacare.  It's practically the first thing out of every candidate's mouth in debates.  Today I read an interesting article entitled "The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today-Hallelujah!"  Many of the changes that the legislation dictates are slated to take effect over time.  One of the changes that is to take effect today is that all for profit health insurers must spend 80% of money from premiums on actual health care instead of overhead, advertising, or profit.  Wow, imagine that.  Health care companies are going to be forced to spend money on actual health care.  I'm sure the details of this part of the law are a bit more complicated but I have to say, this sounds pretty good to me.  We'll have to see if they actually do it and if the law is actually inforced.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Delivery

We've been doing a nice long string of 14+ hour days here to get this project pushed out before the Thanksgiving break.  Technically, it is not due until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but nobody wants to come in over the holiday (nor to they want to pay us holiday overtime) so it has to be done tomorrow night.  It is looking pretty good right now.  It's always fun to being going 100 mph constantly handling problems and changes and finding things you missed and then.....hey we don't have anything to do, what happened?  That is usually a good feeling because it means you can go home before midnight.

When I was first starting with the supervising thing my friend Richard told me what another sup told him when he was first starting out.  He said "when you are a cg supervisor you are the one driving the bus".  For my first few jobs I felt like I was more pushing the bus and then occasionally running around to the front to make sure it was pointed in the right direction.  The more projects I do the more time I feel like I am spending at the front of the bus.

I heard that the Congressional superdeduperty committee couldn't come up with a plan to reduce the deficit.  What a shocker.  Word is it came down to the Republican pledge to not raise taxes.  My feeling was even if they had come up with some kind of compromise it would been bs.  The taxes would have been instant put into effect while the cuts would have been scheduled to happen sometime in 2013 and then later repealed.  That being said since the committee could not come up with a plan there is apparently 1.4 trillion in cuts that are going to happen very soon.  The pentagon is scrambling to try to save as much of the defense budget as possible.  I think they are in trouble.  Might have to build a few fewer stealth bombers this year.  The key things that I believe aren't on the chopping block are social security and medicare.  This is like me saying I am going to cut 30% from my monthly expenses but my credit card and mortgage are off limits.  Well gosh if I had a $3000 cell phone bill I that might make sense.  It all comes down to what I've said all along, you can't take stuff away from people.

Hey maybe now that the project appears to be on track I can find a way to go for a run at lunch.  That would be cool!

Friday, November 18, 2011

DD goes Public

There was a company wide email that I missed last Friday because I was buried in work.  Turns out the rumors that we've been hearing for the last 6 months about Digital Domain becoming a publicly traded company were true.  They went public today....and promptly dropped around 18%.  I was listening to Mad Money on CNBC last night and happened to hear somebody call in asking what Jim Cramer though about Digital Domain Media group.  He responded that he didn't know enough about the company and couldn't give an educated opinion.  Personally, I think the market is probably freaking out because DD is venturing into some new and exciting arena's but doesn't have a proven track record yet.  This company has been around a long time and has made it through some very tough times.  I think that the management team here must know what they are doing. 

Meanwhile, I've been working a fairly steady stream of 12-14 hour days this week.  It's ok though, we deliver this thing just after Thanksgiving so it'll be over soon.

Sydney seems to really like when I walk her to school instead of drive.  The only problem is that that means I leave for work about 20 minutes later than usual.  Right now with this crazy schedule I just can't do that too often.  After I deliver the show I'm definitely going to do that more often.

Starting to feel tired.  Think I'll go home soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome to Playa

Sorry about the long pause between posts.  Things have been crazy at work for the last few weeks.  I am currently supervising a transformers video game commercial.  It is a rather short schedule which means that the the stress level can be rather high.  We have had lots of weird scheduling issues on this show which has not helped matters either.  What that means is that several members of my team have come on late or been scheduled to do other things at the same time that they are working on my show, etc.  On a short schedule stuff like that can really throw a wrench into the machine.  That being said, I am starting to feel lot more confident in my ability to supervise.  It is starting to feel more comfortable.  It helps that my team is very strong.  With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up we have to be pretty much done with the show by the end of the week.  It's going to be close.

It has been really tough to get out to run lately.  I did a 6 miler yesterday that didn't feel terrible so I guess I'm not totally out of shape yet.  I've been keeping up with the circuit workouts in the garage which pushes my cardio.  I feel like it's a different kind of cardio though.  aerobic vs anaerobic I think is how that works.  I've thought about getting up really early to go on runs at home, but I don't think that is a good idea for me.  Sleep is just too precious a commodity at this point.  I think I will get better results doing runs on my lunch break.  As a supervisor this may prove to be difficult but I've got to find a way.

I promise I'll try to get in writing on a more consistent basis.  Hope everybody is well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Door

My dad has been asking if I can help him fix his corroded door for quite some time.  This weekend we finally organized a construction effort and successfully rebuilt his side gate.  Knowing that hanging a door is not something to be taken lightly I was surprised that it went so well.  The treated wood that he bought was interesting.  I don't think I've ever worked with that kind of wood before.  It seemed like it was soggy.  Unfortunately, I had to miss the pumpkin patch trip to complete my task but I made up for it by baking up a batch of cookies.

Job complete, time to get a hair cut

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flash Mob Proposal

This has got to be one of the coolest ways I've ever seen anybody propose.  I mean I still think my proposal was pretty good.  Sunset, beach, down on one knee, all that good stuff.  This guy really put some thought into it...and a lot or choreography.  I guarantee you will be smiling at the end of this video:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where's the Borscht?

I took a walk down to the Whole Foods yesterday.  I saw some of the usual suspects at the soup counter, but one stood out.  Oktoberfest Borscht.  If that sounds weird let me tell you it looks even weirder.  So of course I had to get it.  You know what, it was pretty good.  Like a pureed beef stew with very little meat in it.  Actually I don't think there was any meat in it.  I would definitely have it again.  Score one for the adventurous appetite!
How bout a nice glass of pepto bismel with your banana cake.

2Worlds Unveiled

In late 2010 my friend and Supervisor Richard Morton brought me into his office to look at some rough story boards of a project we were bidding on.  It was little more than some rough sketches on paper plus two mock ups of what the color scheme of the show would be like.  I've been doing this a long time.  I can not honestly tell you how many car commercials I've worked on.  Maybe 20, maybe more.  So we all get jaded after awhile.  I found just the storyboards of this commercial to be, in a word, moving.  They reminded me of the day I met Michelle.  Richard told me that if the job booked that I would be the CG supervisor on it.  A few weeks later it booked.  Thus began the very long journey that was the 2Worlds project.  I won't go into the details of the long hours and heated client phone calls.  All I want to say further about it is that this is now the crowning jewel of my portfolio.  I hope you enjoy it.  Don't forget to select the HD mode from the bottom right corner of the video for better quality.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Jobs Commencement

For any of you who haven't seen or heard the Steve Jobs Stanford commencement speech. 

Mystery Recovery

So my foot hurt really bad all day yesterday.  As soon as I got home I tried to keep it elevated.  I even slept that way.  This morning, the pain had reduced by about 90%.  By midday it was almost gone.  Every once in a while I'll start walking a little too fast and I'll feel a slight twinge of pain but that doesn't happen too often.  I have no idea what this could have been.  It apparently was not anything broken or pulled or strained because those things don't go away overnight.  Circulation problem maybe?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mystery Injury

This week since I haven't been able to run I have been doing this 20 minute circuit routine prior to taking Sydney to school.  The initial part of this involves about 5 minutes of jump roping.  Yesterday I woke up and my foot felt a little sore.  Like it had a minor bruise on it.  I paid it little attention and did my circuit routine as usual.  This morning I was woken up by the stupid dog wining because she needed to go out at about 4:30am.  The first step I took out of bed I felt a surge of pain in my foot.  Whatever it was that was wrong had gotten a lot worse.  I can barely walk.  I have a feeling this may be related to the jump roping.  Although I don't ever recall hearing about people getting injured doing that.  I honestly don't know how this happened or what exactly is wrong.  Seems to hurt the most when my big toe bends in any way, which is pretty much all the time.  Driving to work in traffic this morning was brutal.  At work today I have been stepping on an ice pack I brought from home.  I wish I had brought 3.  I keep melting this one.  If this still feels terrible on Friday night I might go to urgent care just to make sure I haven't broken something.  Right now my money is on tendon/muscle pull.  Good times.

Wow, that looks complicated.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 in a Row

One of my pet peeves is people who walk slow in front of me.  I always feel rude passing somebody on a sidewalk.   I don't know why.  I think it is because usually it is just me and the other person so it's like me saying "hey look, you are walking so annoyingly slow that I have to go past you now".  Which I suppose is exactly what I am thinking at the time.  A lot of the time I simply slow down my pace and walk 20-30 feet behind them.  Sometimes I feel like I am going so slow I am practically shuffling my feet along slowly.  In my head I am screaming "how can you possibly be walking that slow!  This is like driving 30 mph on the freeway.  There should be special walking lanes for people like that.

Today was my 3rd run day in a row this week.  I think I may have some slight cold or sore throat weirdness going on.  I really didn't feel like going out today.  However, I managed to do it and felt great the whole way.  My left leg was a bit sore prior to running, which worried me a bit.  I am determined to get the most out of this week run-wise.  I noticed that after the run I was sweating profusely.  This did not happen the last two runs, which probably means I was under hydrated those times.  That probably explains why I felt so bad afterward as well.  I feel good today.  I need to get a book or do more research on the proper runner's diet.  I don't think I am doing that right.

 I took this one yesterday.  It was really overcast compared to today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This week is my last week on overhead status at work.  What this means is that I am not officially attached to any project and am doing tutorials and kind of being lazy.  Next week all that ends.  What also ends is my ability to go for runs at lunch time since doing that extends my lunch period well beyond the allotted hour I am given.  When I am on a show I typically take just enough time to eat for a lunch break.  Nothing even close to 1 hour.  Now that I am living closer I have no reason to get up at 5am and drive to work.  The nice bonus to doing this in the past was that I got some free time in the morning to run and still be working at my desk well before anybody else showed up.  I am not exactly sure how I am going to work in runs now.  The only way really is to wake up extra extra early.  Like 4:30-5am and get in a run before I have to start making breakfast and lunches for the kids at 6.  Well, guess I can do that or stop running.  Don't think I feel like stopping right now.

I felt like crap this morning.  I got a bug bite on my foot that woke me up at around 2am last night.  It was really annoying.  Then this morning I just didn't feel right.  My throat felt weird and my head had that heavy feeling you get when you are going to be sick.  Unfortunately, this being my last week of overhead I planned on taking full advantage and running 4 times this week.  Starting with today.  Now, often when I feel really tired and not in the mood to run, I end up having some of my best runs.  Today was basically like that.  Although, I felt great while running.  When I finished I immediately started feeling bad again.  That's ok, at least I got the 6 miles in.  I think it may have been a water issue.  Tomorrow I plan on doing a 4 miler followed by another 6 on Thursday culminating with a long run on Saturday morning.

If you look really close you can see my footsteps in the sand.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Question for the President

I am connected to a site called  This is a site were professionals in various fields can stay connected.  It's not like facebook.  It's more of a way to find a past colleague for professional purposes.  I don't really pay much attention to it, however a few days I got a spam email from them asking if I would like to ask a question of the president in a town hall meeting via email.  That got me to thinking, if the President showed up and pulled me aside and asked me point blank what I was concerned about.  What exactly would I say?  If you really think about it, that is not so easy a task.  Here is what I could roughly put together:

When are you going to give us the bad news?  I think politicians have a hard time giving people really bad news.  Sure they love to talk about how bad things are because of how the other guy is running things.  What not many politicians are willing to do is say "you can't have X, Y, and Z anymore".  I am not an expert on policy, social security, medicare, military spending, etc.  I am also not a medical doctor.  However, if I show up at a doctor's office one day with a runny nose and an achy feeling and he says "just take some aspirin and get plenty of fluids", I'll probably just do it because he's the expert.  If a few weeks later I show up at the same office now with pain in my chest and he tells me the same thing but just take Tylenol instead of aspirin, I'll probably say you know what, that doesn't make sense.  I'm going to another doctor.  Then I when I go to another doctor he says the other guy was an idiot what I really have to do is eat chicken soup.  Well, he's the expert so I do it.  Then a few weeks later I show up at the same doctor with all of what I had before but now I can't see.  He says, you gotta eat a different brand of chicken soup.  At this point I know both doctors are idiots and not telling me what is really wrong with me.  Unfortunately, they are apparently the only two doctors I can go to for help.  I'm no expert, but I'm not stupid.  I know something is wrong and that things are getting worse. Whether my doctor has a D or an R next to their name, I don't feel like I'm getting a straight answer.  That is what I want and I think that is what the American people want.  What is that answer?  I think we'll know it when we hear it.  Go ahead Mr. President give it your best shot.  It may cost you an election, but it will earn you my respect.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


If there is one thing I believe that I have gotten good at over the years it is making breakfast.  For a long time all I ever made was eggs and potatoes.  Which was good, just not every single day.  Now that I am able to cook breakfast everyday at home I have developed a full lineup.  Eggs and potatoes is still there, but so is waffles, pancakes, egg sandwiches, and the new addition french toast.  Also every once in a while I'll throw in cereal and eggos just so the kids can get their junk food fix.  I like breakfast.

Monday, September 19, 2011


From the outset of the financial crisis that our country is still working it's way through I have heard the term "inject liquidity into the system" used quite a bit.  Let me be honest, when I listen to or read financial reporting I probably understand 30% of it.  It goes by so fast that I feel like I can kind of put the pieces together and get the jist.  I feel like I should really understand what they are talking about if I'm going to pretend to pay attention to such things.  So, I googled it.  Here is a short and to the point answer to what bank liquidity is:

"Liquidity for a bank means the ability to meet its financial obligations as they come due.  Bank lending finances investments in relatively illiquid assets, but it funds its loans with mostly short term liabilities.  Thus one of the main challenges to a bank is ensuring its own liquidity under all reasonable conditions. "

Wow, so simple!  I did a little more reading and have come up with what I think is bank liquidity in uberlamens terms:

Liquidity is a short term loan (think of it like a credit card) for a bank to be able to use to pay off another short term loan. 

Hopefully that makes a little more sense.  Also I hope that I'm right.  Apparently, what a lot of big banks do is loan really large sums of money to big corporations or countries or very wealthy individuals.  They do this by borrowing that money from somebody else at a smaller interest rate than what they are lending it at.  That is how they make money.  Seems kind of weird doesn't it?  I always thought that a big takes in deposits from people like you and me and maybe from businesses then loans that money out and charges interest on it.  That was probably how it was done 50 years ago, but not today.  That method of banking probably kept a lot of people out of trouble.

I saw an article today about some rally happening on Wall St.  Occupy Wall St, I think it was called.  Something like 5000 people got together and staged a "sit in" in front of some big bank or maybe the stock exchange.  I'm sure it will come and go as a minor nuisance to those who have to move around in Manhattan today.  I wonder if any of those people know what bank liquidity is.

I mapped out a 6.5 mile route around Signal Hill that takes me down Cherry to PCH, then down to the river bed, then to Willow and finally back to Cherry.  I think I saw a homeless guy taking a picture of himself with his smart phone.  It was a nice day for a run.

The Willow St bridge around 8am.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sparky likes Mexican Food

So I went ahead and paid my fine and opted for driving school.  Luckily you can now do your driving school online.  It is clever how they force you to actually read through the material.  Each page has a timer that forces you to keep the page open for about 10 minutes and they sprinkle random sentences into the course work like "Sparky likes mexican food".  Then after each page they quiz you on some of what you read and sometimes about Sparky.  It's not that hard.

I forgot to mention that I got Sydney up and riding a bike with no training wheels on her second lesson.  She is using Derek's old bike so it is a bit heavy and too big for her.  The only thing she has a problem with is stopping.  I forgot how much running was involved in that process.  I'm glad I'm in shape for it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fraud Alert

I was recently researching the possibility of getting a credit security service like Lifelock.  After doing some digging I found out that one of the main things they do for you is to put a fraud alert on your social security number with all the major credit bureaus.  Then it maintains this fraud alert for as long as you pay them.  The thing is you can do this yourself.  You just have to remember to reapply the fraud alert every 90 days.  A bit of a hassle?  Not really it took me about 5 minutes to do it and I saved myself $160 (lifelock fee).  Unless you are one of those people that likes opening up lines of credit at stores like Best Buy or Pep Boys then this is a no brainer.  Everybody should be doing this.  Click the link below to find out the details:

Here are the specific links that you'll need:

equifax fraud alert form, just click here and fill out the form

Experian  fraud alert form, same deal

Transunion doesn't have an online form, you will have to call them and pay a fee of $10.  However, from what I read on their website this alert does not come off unless you remove it.  So you only have to do it once.


Charlie Brown

I found this today while perusing The Piano Guys youtube channel:

That's some fancy playing Mr. Schmidt.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Diesel Question

Why doesn't the government support diesel more?  I know that 20 years ago diesel was associated with loud black smoke belching buses and big rigs.  However this is 2011, we've got clean diesel with 97% less sulfur.....which is good I think.  Diesel cars really aren't that loud anymore either.  Mine is noticeably louder than a regular gas engine, but it's easy to ignore.  The newer diesel cars are even better.  I really don't see the downside to the government supporting diesels more (don't we own a really big car company now?).  I know that diesel is the cheapest gas to make however it is the most expensive consumer gas to buy simply because of taxes.  I don't know for sure but I would guess that the taxes go towards maintaining our nation's highway system.  I wonder how much this tax really hits all of us though.  Think about it, who uses more diesel than anybody.  Big trucks that haul things.  Milk, computers, car parts, paper towels, you name it chances are it got to the store you bought it from in a diesel truck.  Imagine how much the price of all goods in America would drop overnight if the government lifted the taxes on diesel.  Our cars would also average 45 mpg.  Imagine how that would effect our foreign oil dependence.  Because we got such high gas mileage with the cleaner diesel fuel that we have today imagine how that might effect the environment.  Honestly, what is the downside?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Target Spotted

I think I have a race narrowed down for 2012.  Behold...the tough mudder:

This sounds a lot more interesting than just running.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up on marathons.  There is a good chance I'll try for the Long Beach marathon in October 2012.  I first heard about this race from the one in England.  That version is called the Tough Man.  It looked positively miserable but fun.  I was thrilled to see that they made the same race in the states based off the Tough Man.

I got out for an early morning Signal Hill run yesterday.  It was early so there weren't a lot of cars out.  It was weird that the first part of the run is a steep down hill but I never felt like I really came up hill that much coming back.  That is fine though.  In Chino Hills it didn't matter which way I went I knew it was going to be a nasty up hill climb at the very end of the run.

Obisbo around 7am.  God getting some early morning painting in.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

High Tide

Why is the tide so high right now.  Somebody explain this to me.  Is the moon mad at us?  Whatever, it looked interesting on my run today.  Me knee did this weird jab of pain thing right at the end.  That wasn't so nice.  Going to have to hit the pain stick later to work out the ol IT band.

Also, it would be nice if things could stop breaking in my new house.  That would be great.

Friday, August 26, 2011

When Marine's Get Bored

I once heard a Sergent say if you locked two Marines in a room with nothing but a trash can in it then came back 4 hours later you'd see them trying to throw the trash can to make it land on the other one's head.  I recently discovered a series of videos with the phrase "Marine's get bored" somewhere in the title.  Wow, this just makes me proud.

Good Call, Bad Call

I so wanted to short the market yesterday.  I can't tell you how much I wanted to put down some money on the market tanking on Burnanke's speech.  Well, he made his speech and offered no assistance at all.  Only words.  So what did the markets do?  They shot up of course...???  That is why I don't like to gamble.  I don't understand this move at all.  I am only glad that I had enough sense to stay away from it.

Streak Count: 6

I am putting together a new computer right now so that me and Derek can play video games with each other.  I have never put together an entire machine before so I was a bit intimidated.  I have to say though, component makers have come a long way in making this process easier.  5 years ago any time you wanted to swap out a hard drive or RAM stick it was like sticking your hand into a blender.  At this point I don't think I'll ever buy a computer from someplace like DELL again.  There is just no point.  I can understand why HP is getting out of the PC business.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buffett to the Rescue

The market got a nice pop at the open today based on Mr. Warren Buffett's large investment into perhaps the biggest stinker big bank in the US, Bank of America.  This caused BAC (Bank of America stock ticker symbol) to launch around 18% and give the entire financial sector a nice boost as well.  The rest of the market lagged and eventually the Buffett effect wore off.  Tomorrow is going to be very interesting.  I am sticking to my prediction that we should see a big down day.  However as I said yesterday, I don't feel like gambling.

The streak continues to 5.  Took a nice run out to the pier today at lunch.  I am really not used to running in the sun.  It was probably around 80 degrees today but it felt like 90 because there were no clouds at all.  Really crowded too.  Not really the time I like running.

Did I mention how hilly I found out Signal Hill is?  It really should have been called Signal Hills.  Here is a nice friendly one I ran up on Saturday.

The angle looks weird because I am standing straight and this hill is so ridiculously steep.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Buy the Rumor

This week has given way to a nice run up in the markets.  This appears to be based mostly on the "Jackson Hole" meeting that will be taking place on Friday.  This is were the chairman of the federal reserve, Ben Burnanke, will be making a speech/announcement.  The market, or somebody, is expecting him to swoop in to stop the bleeding that we have seen in the last month or so.  The problem is Burnanke has taken a lot of heat from the Congress and the public for the QE1 and QE2 (Quantitative Easing) measures that he implemented since the 2008 crisis. 

Quantitative Easing: When the federal reserve purchases financial assets from banks which has the effect of injecting money into the economy. 

The money the federal reserve uses to buy these assets is electronically created which is were the calls of "stop the money printing!" you hear from the Ron Pauls of the world.  So Burnanke has done this twice and now here we are.  The majority of analysts that I have heard are saying he will likely not implement QE3.  I think the market is seeing a ramp up on false hopes.  There is a common stock phrase called "Buy the rumor, Sell the news."  What this means is that when favorable news is expected to happen the "rumor" of that news will cause the market to go up.  Usually it goes up beyond what it should.  Then when the news actually happens the market drops or sells off because the market has already made it's profit and wants to cash out.  If the news doesn't happen or isn't as good as it was supposed to be then you see huge sell offs.  I think that could happen on Friday.  I really want to short this market but it would be a gamble.  I'm not in a gambling mood so I think I'll sit back and watch from the sidelines.

I'm on a 4 day workout streak.  I'm really tired of feeling out of shape on short runs.  Went for a 6 miler to the marina yesterday.  I did the run/walk method running for about 10 minutes then walking 1 minute.  That is a great way to not get injured.  I'm alternating a short circuit workout at home with the run days.  So far so good.  My record is 12 straight days, but that was when I was running just 1 mile to bounce back from an injury.  I would very much like to drag my sister out of her house for a run this weekend.  Hopefully I can make that happen.

The marina around lunch time yesterday.

What I was listening to at the time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Counting Chickens

Yesterday's post was probably the stupidest thing I could have done.  I think I left the office between 11 or 11:30 last night.  Nice "ease out" there.  Of course today I show up and there are more holes in our projects levy than I have fingers.  So typical.  We'll make it though.

I saw an interesting article today on

It is entitled "A Problem for US Banks: A Reverse Run".  What a bank run is is what happened during the great depression.  Everybody takes their money out of the banks which is bad for the banks because now they don't have enough money to back up the loans that they have made.  So this is a reverse bank run.  Everybody is putting their money into the bank.  Probably because most have lost confidence in the stock market and really have no other place to put it.  The interesting thing is that this is also a bad thing for the banks.  According to the article the banks have to pay FDIC insurance on all deposits and "banks begin to press up against regulatory limits on leverage as the deposits grow."  This second part makes no sense to me.  Leverage is when you lend out more than you have.  This is perfectly legal and does make sense.  Basically, if you have $100 and make a loan for $200 you are now leveraged 2 to 1.  The government has rules for banks as to how much leverage they can have.  I think it's something like 10 to 1.  So why the article confuses me is that if the banks got more deposits wouldn't that reduce their leverage because now they have more money backing up their loans?  That's why I would think anyway.  I will have to investigate further.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ease Out

We are delivering a video game cinematic project this week for a game called Gears of War 3.  It is a popular game on the XBox 360.  Projects like this are usually very stressful because of the short schedule (5 weeks) and large amount of work to be done.  This time was different however because this is our slow season almost all the artists working on this show are staff or supervisor level.  I got to be an artist again and quite frankly I had fun.  Usually the last 2 to 3 days of shows like this are fraught with last minute revisions and long hours.  This time it looks like we are going to coast into the finish nice and easy.  I probably should say that prior to us actually delivering but I feel pretty confident about it.

Yesterday I left the house at 8:15am.  I did this because I didn't have much to do at work that demanded me getting there early and I wanted to see what traffic would be like at the worst time of the morning.  Just past the 710 freeway traffic slowed to a crawl  but only because a motorcycle rider had fallen off his bike and was lying on the side of the freeway.  He was sitting up so I'm pretty sure he was alive.  After passing him whilst pointing and laughing traffic flowed nicely all the way to the 90.  I am impressed.

I have been feeling really out of shape lately.  I haven't run in almost a week and I can tell.  It is amazing how out of shape you can get just a few months after running a marathon.  I don't think I can run 8 miles without stopping right now.  I did a 4 mile run this morning.  It felt pretty bad for the first 2 miles but was ok for the last half.  I saw a big group of people on the beach shooting something.  It's a good bet it was NCIS LA since every episode of that show seems to involve walking past the Santa Monica pier.  Who knew there was so much naval counterespionage activity going on in Santa Monica?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sunday Ride

Went on a bike ride with Derek last Sunday.  We went out to Cherry and took it all the way to the beach.  I don't think I'm going to take that route during the day again.  It was very crowded.  Once we got to Shoreline village it was nice.  It was a very bike friendly area.  We went out to the lighthouse near the aquarium.  I noticed a sign that led to the LA river bike trail so we took that back.  I'm looking forward to doing that again next weekend.  I think we'll head over towards the Kathy's house.

Derek at the lighthouse.

Friday, August 5, 2011


ok, that isn't really a word but Kathy knows why it's funny.  So the US got officially downgraded to AA outlook negative by S&P today.  That's probably pretty bad.  You want to know what isn't bad though.  This song:

It's probably going to get a little rough.  All I can think of right now is that line at the end of Jerry Mcguire were his mentor says "all I know is, I love my life, I love my wife, and I wish the same for you".  or something like that.

Time to go for a run.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cello Suite No. 1

So looks like we got our Mickey Mouse deal after all.  No major spending cuts and no major tax increases beyond the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  However, we did increase the debt ceiling by 2.4 trillion.  Wow, that seems like a lot.  I wonder how fast we'll burn through that amount.  I'd wager my daughter will still be in elementary school when we reach that mark.  Heck, I bet Dylan is still in kindergarten when it happens.  So what this all means to me is that Congress thinks it can kick the can, stall for time, and people will just forget about it before the next election.  To their credit, this strategy has worked many times before.  Right now it doesn't look like the markets are buying their act though.  We are working on our 9th straight down day on the DOW.  We haven't done that since 1978.  The market does not care about politics, it cares about it's money.  I think the market is losing confidence.  If you've heard the saying "take care of business or business will take care of you", I think we are all getting an example of that right now.

I got a ticket last week.  I've had maybe 4 or 5 tickets in my entire driving career and in each of them I knew what it was for almost immediately.  This ticket was for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.  I was making a left off of Santa Monica blvd when it happened.  I honestly have no idea what the cop was talking about.  Had I seen somebody in the crosswalk I definitely would have stopped.  I can't believe I was that oblivious.  Regardless of my awareness that story ends with my having a ticket which after a short google search is probably going to run me in the neighborhood of $500 plus traffic school.  That's what I call an ouch.  The the first couple of days after I got the ticket I was pretty upset about it because I feel like I'm a safe driver.  I don't speed.  I don't cut people off or drive aggressively in any way.  The law states that you have to stay out of the crosswalk the entire time that the pedestrian is in it.  If everybody did that in LA street traffic would grind to a halt.  I probably break that law 3 times every day.  After a few days of calming down, I realized that I was driving differently.  Because of that ticket I am really looking for people in crosswalks now.  It has made me a safer driver.  So maybe that ticket saved me from the experience of hitting some pedestrian.  A small price to pay.  That's how I'm going to think of it, and that's ok.

I got to work early this morning and went for a 4 miler.  I am definitely on the wrong track with my running.  Being that I am on 12 hour days at work doesn't help matters.  Once this project delivers I'm going to have to get back on a schedule.

Santa Monica Pier around 7:30am

What I was listening to at the time

Check this out, I found it while searching for the original.  This is way cool.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can't Take Stuff Away from People

What's up with this whole debt limit thing huh?  Boy you sure can't get away from that story lately.  From my narrow view of things I feel like our politicians are running out of can kicking options.  They are being faced with a downgrade from two of the major ratings agencies (Moody's and S&P).  What this would mean is an increase in the government's cost of borrowing, which it does a lot.  This has the possibility of starting a snowball effect of us being in even more debt very quickly, which would merit a further downgrade which would again raise borrowing costs, and round and round we go.  This is sort of like what countries like Greece and Ireland are experiencing now.  The only difference being that they are tiny countries who can be easily bailed out as long as the bailer doesn't mind shoveling cash into a black hole.  There is nobody out there that I know of who is going to bail us out.  So Congress is faced with having to cut spending.  That has been the big catch phrase in Washington for quite a while now.  We have to cut spending.  Everybody agrees.  Congress agrees, the public agrees, the ratings agencies agree.  So what's the problem?  The problem is cutting something like a bridge to nowhere in Alaska wouldn't even qualify as a drop in the fiscal budget.  Accord to S&P they need to cut 4 trillion over the next 10 years.  That means hitting entitlements, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  I am going to tell you what the big problem is right now.  What it all boils down to is "You can't take stuff away from people".  That's it.  Remember that because I'm going to be repeating it in the future.  ok, so I guess you don't have to remember it.  Everybody wants the problem solved as long as it doesn't effect anything that has to do with them.  Congress knows this very well.  So they're screwed.  If they vote for a plan that calls for real major cuts then there will be rioting in the streets and Congress will either have to take it all back or stand firm and be voted out in November of 2012.  If Congress makes some kind of mickey mouse deal that claims to cut a certain amount over the long term but nothing to entitlements I predict the ratings agencies will not buy it and downgrade anyway.  A third and perhaps likely scenario is that Congress mickey mouses it and somehow pressures the ratings agencies to not downgrade which the stock market will love until it doesn't.  Raising the debt ceiling is nothing new.  With my rudimentary knowledge of the subject I'm sure the people involved have a better handle on this.  I am worried though.  Economists have said for a very long time that we are saddling our children and grandchildren with a tremendous amount of debt.  Personally, I'd like to get that paid off.

I feel weird today.  I got in early and went for a 6 mile run to the Marina.  It did not feel good.  I felt totally out of energy when I was at the 3 mile mark.  If I didn't know better I'd say I was sick.  I went to bed last night with some bad stomach cramps.  I think it may have been from a bad ice cream sandwich.  I always overdo it at dinner.

Marina Del Rey 7:40am

Monday, July 25, 2011

Move Week

Well this is it.  The last week I'm going to commute across 2 counties to get to work.  Last week in Chino Hills.  I'm trying not to get too sentimental about leaving the place I've lived in for 12 years.  I think a better commute will help me forget.  I'm also looking forward to being more involved in my family's lives instead of just being the guy who goes to work and then comes home to sleep.  I especially feel an obligation to get closer to Derek.  He is going to have a rough time at his age making a new start.  I already have lots of things I want to do with him.  Hopefully some of them he actually will want to do.  With the beach and Shoreline Village less than 3 miles away that opens up a whole bunch of possibilities.  I'm sure going to like having breakfast with my family every day.

Did a shoeless 4 miler this morning.  Felt pretty good.  Some speedster dude went flying by me on the boardwalk.  He must have been cruising at a 6 minute mile pace.  At a dead sprint I could probably hang with him for a quarter mile maybe.  That's ok though, I would hate to be faster than everybody else.  I would have nobody to catch and what fun is that.

Santa Monica Pier around 7:30am

Thursday, July 21, 2011


 I cautiously went on a 4 mile run this morning to the pier and back.  I decided to wear shoes this time.  I say cautious because I definitely had a bad feeling about the last run.  I think I was pushing it with the 6 mile runs without shoes.  I'm going to stick to 4 miles or less doing the shoeless thing for the next few months.  Fortunately, I made it through this morning with no pain at all.  Looks like I dodged one there.  One of the things that I've learned in the last few years is trying to run through pain is about the stupidest thing you can do.  All I've ever accomplished by doing that is compound injuries far beyond what they would have been.  Listen your body.

I dug a little deeper on the Cantor story that I wrote about previously and found out that he does indeed own some shares of a double short treasuries ETF, but only $15,000 worth.  I do not know the net worth of Mr. Cantor however it's a safe bet that that is not a large sum of money to him.  Probably the equivalent of $150 to me.  According to his spokeperson he has that position as a hedge against the treasuries that he does own in a retirement account.  Why one would need to hedge against a treasuries position in an account like that is lost on me.  That being said I think the story of Eric Cantor supposedly "betting against America" was a load of bs easily debunked by anyone willing to do 5 minutes of research.  Shame on you doomer/lefty media.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cantor Shorts T-Bills

I read a story this weekend about how Eric Cantor, one of the chief house negotiators regarding the debt ceiling has taken up a short position on T-Bills.  Specifically a double down ETF.  What that means is that if treasuries go down he makes double the percentage.  I certainly wouldn't give this story too much credibility at this point since the only place I've seen it is on sites like hoffington post, salon, or msnbc.  However, it is quite the accusation and while not illegal is certainly eyebrow raising.  It would be interesting if a reporter were to ask him if he did take out such a position and if so why.  That is basically betting against America.

Took a nice 6 mile run this morning wearing the minimalist shoes again.  I felt a familiar twinge in my achilles.  I think I'm going to dial it back next time.  I've hurt that tendon before and it took a month to get back.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Crane

I did a nice 4 miler to the pier this morning wearing those minimalist shoes again.  Let me be honest here.  I would never have bought those things.  I think they are overpriced and a bit silly looking.  It literally looks like you have a glove on your foot.  That being said, I think they are starting to grow on me.  I certainly would not want to run on the streets and sidewalks of Venice barefoot.  I did half the 4 miles on sand and half on pavement.  It felt great the whole way.  The barefoot advocates preach that running without shoes greatly reduces many common running injuries.  Hey I'm all for that.  I'm going to continue using these things.  Especially since my running shoes are literally falling apart.

The folks at the Google building have been busy.  Ever since we moved out they have had large work crews in there gutting the place.  This morning they had a massive crane that looked like it should fall over from being too tall.  They were lifting air conditioning units off a truck onto the roof.

See what I mean?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Crab Run

Today I pulled myself out of bed and got to work early.  I haven't gone on an early morning run since well before we left on our trip.  Also, I have had a heck of a time getting to work at a normal time lately.  On a few days last week I got in the door past 10am.  That doesn't look so good so I think I might start coming in a few days a week early again.  It felt great to get out on the beach.  I used the minimalist shoes that Michelle got me for Christmas for the first time out on the street.  They felt fine on cement and asphalt.  I would not want to run on these streets barefoot.  However as soon as I got on the sand I had to take them off.  It was overcast and cool this morning.  I did an easy and slow 6 miles to the Marina and back.  It was high tide this morning so I had to run in some soft sand which is a bit of a drag but it was ok.  I like running in the off season.  There is no pressure to keep to a marathon training schedule.  I'm just running to do it.

Speaking of running, I saw this today by accident.  Kathy, you're going to love this one:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mr. Potts

Many people have heard of Paul Potts of Britain's Got Talent Fame.  I have only heard him sing a handful of times.  I think he is so good that I don't want to listen to him too much so I don't get used to it.  I think this guy is just awesome.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Whole Foods Parking Lot

It's gettin real.  I have written in the past about how awesome Whole Foods is.  Well, somebody went and made a rap video about the Whole Foods parking lot.  Specifically the one that I go to at the corner of Rose and Lincoln in Venice.  This video is great and so true.  I don't even bother trying to drive there anymore.  Went there today right after a nice 4 mile run to get my beef stew on.
Me at the Stew and Chili section.  This is my reaction to seeing the price on the organic pasture fed no hormones added New York strip steak.  $25/lb!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Pension Problem

Maybe this is me reading those doom and gloom sites that I talked about a while back, but I think that the US has a pension problem on every level of government.  Check out this article here:

The cliff notes version of this is that the city of Brea just negotiated with it's unions to slash future pension payouts to it's employees while also forcing current employees to pay as much as 4.5% of their salaries into the pension fund.  What that means is that if you want to work for the city of Brea you are going to get less of a pension and pay more for it.  I suppose people will put up with that as long as they have no other choice.  Sounds like a pretty lousy deal to me though.  I guarantee you there are a lot of city employees out there shining up their resumes on company time.  I know I would be. 

What it comes down to is that unions have taken over the state and bullied state and local governments into giving them more and more benefits that can not be funded without some kind of tax increase.  It looks like Brea and many other California cities are starting by taxing their own employees.  I doubt that is going to solve the problem.

Demons are Slow

When things start getting weird in my head I find that a good run can be just the cure.  I'm not sure if it's this blankety blank blanking house hunting business or everybody at Dylan's preschool graduation needing to stand in front of me, but I just wasn't feeling right today.  A bunch of my coworkers were heading out to a Mexican place called Lula's.  The main thing that Lula's is known for is some extremely potent margaritas.  I said I would go, but when it came time to actually leave I felt a strong urge to get my running shoes on.  I did and ran a quick 6 miles to the Marina.  Ran past this guy on my way back:

I didn't think I could run 6 miles today and really only planned to do 4.  However, it went by so fast that I accidentally just finished the whole thing.  I felt pretty good right up until the last 100 meters.  I had to stop to wait for a light.  As soon as I started running again, with my office literally within sight, it felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.  I had to stop and walk really slow to catch my breath.  Maybe I ran 6.1 miles instead of 6.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I saw a Bird

I was trying to come up with a clever title for my post today but I haven't had my coffee yet so this is the best I could do.  I don't get to see a lot of tv but since I finally got an entire weekend without work I got to catch a few things.  For some reason I found myself watching a lot of History and Military Channel shows.  I watched 2 documentaries.  One was called X-Day which was about the planned invasion of Japan to end the war.  The second was called Galipoli which was about the battle of Galipoli between the English and the Turks during the first world war.  What stood out to me about the first documentary was the amount of civilian casualties that were inflicted on the Japanese near the end of the war.  The numbers were into the 100's of thousands.  I know that this was a different time and a terrible war.  The commander of the US bombing campaign had a quote that stood out to me "War is simple.  You kill the enemy as much as you can until he stops fighting you".  That was the strategy in a nutshell.  The war in Europe didn't officially end until Berlin fell so it was thought that the war in the Pacific would not end until Tokyo fell.  Another statistic I didn't know was that Tokyo was 80% destroyed by the end of the war due to constant bombing by the US.  The battle for Okinawa was the first time the US had fought the Japanese on their own land.  The US and specifically the Navy noted the fighting was much more intense and casualties were far higher than expected.  Because of that battle the Navy withdrew their support for an invasion of mainland Japan.  Losses on the US side were estimated to have been in the 200,000 range.  When I see things like this I wonder if leaders of countries ever fully realize the horror that they are sending their young men into.  Even if a war is completely justified and the public is overwhelmingly behind the effort, I can't imagine any president with a soul being able to sleep well at night.  There was a war movie a few years back starring Tom Selek were he played Dwight Eisenhower.  It depicted Ike and his staff during the preplanning stages of D-Day.  At one point he is told that certain divisions were expected to lose 70-80%.  He agreed to meet with these men just prior to their departure.  I believe this actually happened.  How did he do that?  How did he look into the face of a young man of maybe 18 or 19 years of age and order him on to almost certain death?  I know the answer is that his counterpart on the other side of the red line is willing to do the same thing.  If he were to lose his nerve and refuse to order his men onto those beaches, the war would likely have been lost.  Is that war?  Old men in a contest of wills; sacrificing men's lives and souls like so many chess pieces.  For what?  The common good?  I hope so.

I saw a bird today

Monday, May 23, 2011

Late Night Lineup

So as some of you may know we moved out of our old building in Venice and are now being housed temporarily across the street in what is usually the features area.  It's a bit cramped but they tell us that we will be moving to a much nicer facility in Playa Del Rey in the fall.  That should be nice.  It's a little after 11pm and I'm still here because we have a posting tomorrow.  It would sure help if I didn't have to drive an hour to get home.  Tomorrow's drive in is going to be brutal too.  Because I'll be leaving late it will take at least 1.5 hours.  I actually have an even harder time staying awake on those drives in than I do these late nights that I go home.  Something about sitting in traffic makes me want to fall asleep.  Probably not a good thing. 

Got in a good 6 mile run this morning.  Seems like the tide has shifted back to were it is low tide in the morning again.  Maybe I'll try out bare foot running again.  Just have to avoid the glass.

Our new temporary home.  That's my desk on the right.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Still least I got to run today.

Really big waves off of Venice today.  I picked a good day to not wear headphones.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

first posting

Tough day today.  It started out pretty good considering I got almost everything I wanted to render done last night.  Then I found out that part of my team wasn't on the same page as the other part and yada yada yada, things got fouled up.  We ended up sending something to the client tonight that was not quite up to par with what we would like, but the overall look was there.  Not a total disaster.

The bike ride this morning was nice.  There was a slight breeze which can be a killer when you are going against it.  There was a bit of a crowd at the pull up bars so I passed on those today.

I am slowly figuring out what the different members of my team are good at.  An important step I think.  Too bad it is happening with just 2 weeks to go.

a lifeguard tower at Will Rogers State beach

Monday, May 9, 2011

Productive Day

It always feels good to have a productive day.  Today my team has been burning through the work like crazy.  I feel good that I have been able to stay ahead of them and constantly feed them work to do.  This nice compared to the alternative of giving somebody something to do and not seeing any progress for a day or two.  Especially on something that I would think should take a few hours this can be most annoying. 

Had a good run this morning.  It took me an extra long time to get out the door because I felt like I had too much work to do.  They aren't going to pay me for the extra hours yet so if I stayed I be working for free.  It always feels good to run after a long mental battle like that.  Getting out the door is always the hardest part.  Running is the fun part.

Docweiller Beach around 8am.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

8 mile escape

I ran 8 miles this morning.  That is the longest I have run since the marathon.  Felt pretty good, although it did feel like it took forever.  Really foggy this morning.  That was weird considering the last two days have been so hot.  By lunch time it still hadn't burned off.  The tide was low so I got to run on the beach.  Weird how it is usually high now.  Seems like about a year ago it started being high tide in the morning when I run. 

I like it when it gets foggy like this.  The pier emerges out of the mist like a ghost ship in the sand.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Break the Trend

Do you ever feel like you are having a bad couple of days were nothing seems to be going right?  Everybody does.  It's weird, like there is some unseen force turning every light red and making every decision you make the wrong one.  Yesterday sort of felt that way.  It started with a solid 2 hour commute into work and went downhill from there.  This morning I woke up to discover that I had left my dog in the backyard last night by accident and.....the sprinklers turned on.  I find that a good run can often break the trend.  It feels like hitting the reset button.  I got a good one in today.  Although I did break rule #1, it turned out ok and I feel great now.

I had that conversation with my coworker (supervisor) and it turned out fine.  He pretty much put me in charge of all things lighting and lookdevelopement oriented.  Which, to be perfectly honest, is kind of what his job is supposed to be.  That's fine though.  This schedule is so short I think we just need to get this thing done.  Seeing as we are a full 3 weeks into the schedule I feel like we have only just started.  In other words, situation normal already behind.

Marina jetty, 7:30am

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


People sure love to complain don't they.  It's easy to whine about anything and everything.  Almost seems like human nature to be that way.  What I find truly difficult is to complain directly to a person with whom I have a problem with.  Basically, I'm trying to say to this person "I have a problem with you, this is what it is...".  Oh boy, that is no fun at all.  Especially when you have to work with this person on an everyday basis.  Today is one of those days were I have to have a conversation exactly like that.  I think I'll just try to focus on being brief and to the point.  I think in the end most people appreciate honesty.

I broke out the old bike today and rode down to Will Rogers beach.  I've been wanting to do that for a while.  I am trying to make an effort to do stuff other than just run.  It has been a while since I've gone that way and I noticed one of the regulars on that route: RoboLady.  Robolady is awesome.  Someday I am going to have to find a way to get a good picture of her.  I call her RoboLady because she is what I think to be about a 50-60 year old asian woman decked out in as much body armor as you could possibly attach to a 105 lbs person.  Fully loaded she might way as much as I do.  Elbow pads, knee pads, wrist brace, gloves (I've seen her wear these giant things that I can only describe as oven mitts also), thick jacket (probably kevlar body armor underneath), big helmet with a really wide brim, sunglasses, and some kind of face mask which looks like things doctors and dentists wear.  Like I said, it's pretty awesome.  I'll get a picture someday.

Will Rogers State Beach around 7:30am

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Head Game

Running, like many things in life, is mostly a mental game.  Your body can do a lot more than you think it can.  I ran my 6 mile route yesterday.  It had been a full week since I ran last.  I felt really stiff for the first 2 miles, but what's interesting is how long it "feels" like it is taking.  I noticed in training that the longer the distance I ran the shorter the previous "long" distances were.  At the end of my last marathon training program, 6 miles felt like it took about 15 minutes.  Yesterday it felt like 2 hours.  Overall a nice run though.

The nice part of the Speedway around 7:30am

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Favorite Doomer

I like listening to and watching financial news.  I don't really know why.  I completely understand why most people find it boring.  I suppose I just feel like it's something important in the grand scheme of things and that I should know more about this stuff.  To be honest, I don't think I know a whole lot.  It still feels like a giant casino.  I like getting my information from a lot of different sources.  Some of them not so conventional.  One of my favorites is this guy named Karl Denninger.  He is what a lot of people would call a "doom and gloomer".  I shorten that and just call him my favorite doomer.  This guy never has anything good to say about anything.  It is almost comical how negative he is about any news that comes out.  Constantly railing against the MSM or Main Stream Media and how they are blind to the truth that is so obvious to him.  This guy predicts the apocalypse about every month or so.  He makes a lot of seemingly good arguments that I certainly can't dispute, but again I don't really understand this stuff anyway.  All I know is, we appear to not by living through the apocalypse just yet.  So I've put off building the bomb shelter and stocking up on canned food in favor of saving up for the kid's college fund.  This is his website.  Check it out if you don't mind being labeled one of the "sheeple" as he likes to call most of America. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DCHARGER delivers finally

A project that I was on about 2 months ago finally delivered.  It was originally going to be a Super Bowl commercial but the CEO of Fiat did not like it.  Quite frankly I don't blame him.  I think it was a dumb idea for a commercial and could have been easily changed to be epic, but whatever.  Here it is:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Were's the Fire?

It is interesting how in my job we often work all week to solve a problem and get something done by Friday or Sunday.  9 times out of 10 we succeed and finish the week on a high note.  Only to come in on Monday and quickly find out that a rapidly expanding list of items are flawed and require immediate attention.  It's like a game of 10 steps forward 9 steps back.  At some point, through sheer will and determination we always seem to deliver these things.  So I was surprised this morning, when I came in and didn't see any email about stuff being broken.  I'm still searching.  I'm sure there must be something on fire somewhere.

I also got in a good run to the pier this morning.  Stopped off at those blankety blank blanking pull up bars.  Have I mentioned how I hate those things?  I think I have.  Well just to recap.  I hate pull ups.  I got in 6 on the first set this time.  Then 3, then 2.  As minimal as that improvement is, I am happy to see it.  I find it a lot easier to increase the number of pull ups I can do than getting a better marathon time.  I'm amazed at how out of breath I am on my run back from the pull up bars to my office.  It's not even 2 miles, but I'm sucking wind the whole way as if I just finished a very long run.  Good times.

The view from my office parking lot at the end of my run this morning.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Speedway Run

The Speedway is basically an alley behind the boardwalk at Venice.  It's a nice looking alley not that I've been in a lot of allies.  I like running from my office to the Speedway and taking it all the way to Marina Del Rey.  It's about 3 miles to the tip of the Marina Jetty (were I take a lot of my run pictures).  I like this route because, believe it or not, there are a lot fewer homeless people in the allies.  They are all on the boardwalk.  There are just a lot fewer people period.  It's a nice quiet run and a great way to get the day started.
There are a lot of murals on buildings along the Speedway.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Client Review

We had the agency in today looking at a very close to completion version of the commercial we've been working on.  They were very impressed which is a big relief.  I don't want to let off the gas too much because weird things can happen in those final hours of delivery.  This is definitely not a business for chicken counters.  The notes that they gave us should be easy to achieve however.  I'm hoping to have an actual weekend for a change.  It might have been a month since I got one.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gross Shorts T Bills

Bill Gross runs the world's largest bond fund.  He controls 236 billion dollars in assets.  Needless to say, any moves that Mr. Gross makes are closely watched by the entire market.  Recently Gross sold off his entire portfolio of US treasury bonds and raised his cash holdings to 31%.  He has also shorted US debt by a small amount.  Shorting basically means that he expects US Treasuries to go down in price.  What this also means is that if he is correct the bond yields will go up.  Bond yields are the percentage that the government borrows it's money.  It's like their credit card rate.  Since the government never pays more than the minimum, this is a big deal.  Gross is seldom wrong.  So what happens when a government already struggling with a mountain of exponentially increasing debt has it's borrowing rate increased?  I think we're all about to find out.

Just What I Needed

Yesterday was quite productive.  It's amazing what I can get done when there is almost nobody around to bother me.  This morning I got here early and discovered a bunch of stuff that I had forgotten to do yesterday.  I got it all on the farm rendering by around 7:15.  Then I was off for a good run.  I have vowed to do a pull-up circuit routine every time I pass the bars at Santa Monica.  Today I ran to the pier so I did some pull ups.  It's a simple circuit of as many pull ups as I can do (not much) then 40 push ups, then 60 flutter kicks, rinse repeat 3 more times.  The real goal is to get my pull ups to a respectable number.  Right now my sets are 5, 2, and 2.  That is pretty sorry.  Pretty sure I could do that in junior high.  It did feel slightly easier than the last time I did it though, so I know I can get those numbers up.  I have to admit I was pretty down this weekend.  A good run is just what I needed.  I think I need running the same way smokers need to smoke.  Hopefully that's not a bad thing.  Below is the view from the pull up bars in Santa Monica.  Looks nice doesn't it?  Probably would be nicer if I wasn't sucking wind after doing a messily 9  pull ups.  Also a homeless guy came up and tried to talk to me about flowers.  Good times.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strip At Night

Michelle will not be pleased that I've been looking at this site.


What day is it?  Let me look.  Oh hey it's Sunday, guess I must be at work then.  I am losing my motivation pretty fast on this stupid project.  I just want to go home but there is always more to do.  Almost every night when I leave, my entire team is still here.  That is poor supervisor etiquette in my opinion.  On all other projects I've been on the supervisor is almost always the last person to leave.  I'm not sure if this is what I want to keep doing.  I've supervised two projects now and both of them have been epic disasters of overtime hell.  I'm pretty sure the company doesn't like that either.  It's times like this I start thinking about working somewhere else.  I think what I need is a really great run tomorrow.  This place is eating me alive.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Clouds Rolling In

I heard it was going to rain today so I made the prudent move to get up early and come to work ahead of the traffic.  The guy on my team working on the glass simulations got a good test out late last night so I was able to put that on the render farm this morning.  The render watcher people always freak out when I put those glass renders on because it's such a massive amount of frames.  It goes by really fast though.  This probably doesn't make sense to most of you.  If you want I can explain at a later time.  It is just something that I find amusing.  Around 7am I got out for a quick run to the pier.  It started to sprinkle a little on my way there.  I stopped by the pull up bars on my way back.  Did a whopping 7 pull ups (not all at once either).  Plus some push ups and flutter kicks.  I think the flutter kicks put a kink in my neck.  It's really stiff now.  Oh well, no pain no gain.  This director we have working on the project I'm on is a little weird/annoying.  He is new.  By new I mean this is his first commercial project ever.  This is surprising since it is a very large budget project for a major client.  I feel like he is losing confidence in his vision for the project.  I say that based on the comments I hear him give during our screening sessions.  He makes lots of ambiguous comments like "this is working yet".  I think it takes a little more to be a director than to just sit there and be unsatisfied with stuff.  Any idiot can do that.  I've always thought that a good director is good at well, "directing" people.  We are supposed to deliver this project in about a week with another week after that for the 3D delivery.  It is going to be an interesting week.

Santa Monica this morning just as it was starting to rain.