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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Worst/Best Coffee in the World

The coffee we have here at work is both the worst and the best coffee in the world.  It is the worst because it tastes absolutely awful.  I mean like it will send your body into convulsions if you aren't properly prepared for it.  The only time it is somewhat tolerable is immediately after it has been brewed with a splash of half and half and some sugar.  Wait 5 minutes and you've got diesel fuel.  The flip side of this daily masochistic ritual is that our coffee makes all other coffee taste like heaven.  I don't think I've ever complained about coffee anywhere else because it just can't hold a candle to how bad this coffee is.  So in that regard, it's great!  How's that for thinking positive.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Good Morning Charlie

I had the pleasure of meeting my new niece Charlie Winsche yesterday.  She is beautiful.  Welcome to the world Charlie.

It is a great day to be alive.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Epic Traffic Map Fail

Last night I thought I was going to get home a relatively reasonable time.  It was about 7:40.  I checked the traffic maps.  There was just a little bit of yellow on the 10 but nothing too crazy.  It looked like my lucky night.  I had to take care of a few last minute things at the office so in 15 minutes or so I got in my car and headed out.  The second I got on the 10 at 4th street I was met with brake lights.  I pulled up my phone and checked the traffic again.  Now it said that there was nothing but read from here to almost downtown.  Apparently there had just been an accident.  I think there must be some kind of delay in the maps because there is no way traffic could back up that far (10 miles at least) in a matter of 15 minutes.  So I inched my way along the ten and got off on the next exit.  I think it was 20th street.  Looking at my phone again I saw a path that took me through deepest darkest Santa Monica and eventually to Venice Blvd were I could turn and soon meet the 405.  According to my map the 405 was totally clear.  Guess what happened.  About 20 minutes later I'm at the 405 and sitting in dead stop traffic.  At that point I was thinking maybe I should just go back to work.  Clearly there was some grand Trumanesque conspiracy to keep me from getting home.  I pressed on and once I got to the 105 I was clear all the way home.  I left the office just before 8 and made it home just after 9:30.

Sooooooo, this morning I decided to sleep in all the way to 6am.  I got in my car just after 8am.  Remembering what happened last night I checked the traffic maps when I was actually in my car with the engine running.  It showed the 60 being wide open.  My lucky day right:

wrong.  It took me about 50 minutes to get to Grand.  Motorcycle accident, fatality, 3 lanes blocked.  It was so bad the other side of the freeway was backed up for about a mile with people looking.  The body was still on the freeway when I passed.  I was so mad in my car leading up to the accident.  Once I drove by it was hard to be mad at somebody who was alive just 30 minutes ago.  At around 10:20 I pulled into the parking lot at Digital Domain.  By that time it felt like 1am to me.  I can't keep doing that.  I think I'm going to start coming in early more often.