Monday, December 10, 2012


This last month has been a bit challenging.  First the layoffs and paycuts were a one/two punch.  To be honest, the major push over the last year or so to reduce overtime has had a bigger effect on my income than the recent paycut.  This has forced us to come to the realization that we will have to move this coming summer.  That sort of thing is tough.  Moving is not fun.  In the past, the houses that I have moved into have always been slightly more than I really wanted to spend.  However, in those cases my income did not take an immediate southbound path after the purchase.  Such is life I suppose.  In response to this challenge Michelle has taken up a bow making business.  This is the sort of thing that you hear about stay at home moms doing as a hobby.  I think most people would hear about this and think that it would probably wind up being a waste of time and money.  However, Michelle has taken it very seriously.  I am impressed with her initiative and determination.
Meanwhile, I have taken up the freelance banner once again.  I saw an email from my old friend Josh Prykril (yes that is how his name is spelled) from back in the Netter Digital days.  In it he said that he needed somebody for a small freelance job.  I responded to it.  A few days later he replied that that email had been sent over a year ago.  The reason this happened was because I had been deleting old spam email from my yahoo account and had stopped around that time.  So in my inbox it looked like I had just received it a few days ago.  After that, I decided to look up the business that he is now running from China.  It is a company that specializes in outsourcing CG jobs.  After a few emails back and forth he offered me a small job to do over the weekend.  I dramatically underbid it by a factor of probably 3 times.  That's fine though because I think it could open the door to a huge amount of work in the coming months.  I am already being offered a big chunk of work to do until February.  The real question is how I'm going to do any rendering.  I don't really want to build a render farm on the scale of what I had when I was working at home and had 16 computers cooking 24/7.  I think I'm going to get one more machine and see if I can get by with just that.

The second challenge of the past month has been all of us being sick.  I have personally been coughing up phlegm since early November.  A little over a week ago I felt like I was just about done with it.  That was a friday.  When I woke up the following Saturday it was like I had reverted all the way back.  I don't know if this is a getting old thing or what, but I am sick and tired of being sick. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chili Fail

One of my favorite cooking shows is Tyler Florence Ultimate.  Mr. Florence had a show last week about his best Texas style chili recipe.  It looked great so I thought I'd try it out over the Thanksgiving weekend.  It had a lot of ingredients.  I think it cost something like $30 for all the ingredients.  Spices sure are expensive.  So I got it all home and spent about 3 hours on Saturday putting it all together.  After the allotted time was over I eagerly picked up a spoon and tasted it.  My first reaction was that it was really spicy.  This was a surprise because one of the ingredients was 2 tablespoons of ancho chili powder, which I forgot to get so it was never added.  I could have overlooked that if it had tasted good but really it was just spicy and had no real chili flavor.  It was a bit of a disaster.

As I was writing this I wanted to reference the recipe that I followed.  Low and behold I think I discovered the problem.  This is the recipe that I looked up online:

Notice that it is on the official food network site and has tyler florence at the top of it.  Looks legit right?

Now look at this one:

This is what I believe was the correct recipe.  On the surface they both look fairly similar but they are not.

One thing I know I got wrong was the 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  I read that as 3 cans of chipotle peppers.  I actually only had 2 cans but I put them all in.  This was quite an effort.  Someday I'll try again.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lunch Run Proposal

On Monday I decided to go on my favorite 6 mile run.  From DD to the Marina jetty.  It was maybe the worst run ever.  Most likely it was a perfect storm of factors that contributed to this run being so bad.  First, I am still getting over this cold/cough thing and my stomach has been really irritated the last few days.  Second, I had a small bowl of cereal and a glass of a day old smoothie for breakfast, that was all I had until I ran at lunch time.  The one thing that I didn't do wrong (or so I thought) was good ol rule #1 when going on runs.  Always go to the bathroom right before you run.  Well, I had already gone around 9 in the morning, but not wanting to break the rule, I tried and did go.  I don't think I made it a mile before I had to go again.  Then again at mile 4.  It was awful.  I walked probably 20 minutes of it because my stomach was cramping up so much.  A run that usually takes me about 50 minutes wound up going over 1.5 hours.

Tuesday, I took the day off.

So today I decided to head down to the pier and maybe say hi to my friend the pull up bars.  Got rule #1 out of the way and headed out.  This time I felt a lot better.  No cramping, no urges, and no wind.  I made my way up the stairs of the pier and down the side of the pier where the roller coaster is.  I was nearing the corner where you turn to go onto the main walkway when I noticed a couple standing near the railing.  When I was about 40 feet from them, the guy goes down to one knee, holding a small box.

It was a good day.

That's them down at the very end.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Back to Venice

I have been temporarily relocated back to the Venice office.  The one thing that stands out to me about this place is how alive it is compared to Playa.  Playa feels like a quiet retirement community in Irvine.  Venice feels like a hipster college town.  I really miss running on the beach here so today I decided to go on out.  I have been running on the treadmill for so long that I think my body has adapted to it.  Mainly to the cushioning or give that my treadmill provides.  With every foot strike on regular pavement it felt like a shockwave going through my body.  Like somebody was shaking me every time I took a step.  It took about 2 miles for that to ware off.  Unfortunately, this might have been the windiest run I have ever been on.  Wow, was it windy.  Tough going out, easy coming back.  Another thing I have been wanting to do is stop by my old nemesis, the pull up bars.  You may recall that my old best on the bars was 7.  Today I did 10.  I have a feeling I could have done more if I hadn't run 3 miles to get to the bars.  I am satisfied with 10.  I would have been happy with 12.

Sure feels good to be working again.

Had my white balance set wrong so the picture go messed up.  Windy day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Redskins Rule

Today I learned about something called the Redskins Rule.  The Redskins Rule states that if the Washington Redskins win their last home game prior to the US presidential election then the political party who won the popular vote in the last presidential election will win the election in the current year.  This rule has accurately predicted the winner of the presidency in 17 of the last 18 elections since the Redskins moved to Washington in 1940.  The one time that it didn't work?  When Bush beat Kerry in 2004.

This weekend happens to be a Washington home game so this would be the one that determines the Redskin Rule.  Washington plays Carolina.  Both teams are not great but Washington is most likely the favorite to win.  If this happens then Obama would be the Redskin Rule winner.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recovery Day

I thought I was in reasonable shape, then I tried to do burpees.  I should have recorded myself doing those.  It would have been pretty funny or sad by the time it was over.  I warmed up by running an easy mile on the treadmill.  Then I took a good 5 minutes to get my heart rate back down.  I didn't have a workout plan to follow so I decided to pick a nice round number of 60.  I'll just do 60 and see how that feels.  Reality kicked in at about 10 or 12.  By the time I got to 20 I was sucking wind hard and had to stop for a 15-20 second pause.  The final 20 burpees were absolutely brutal.  Today I am sore in places I never expected to be.  I've seen videos of guys doing 1000 burpees in about an hour.  I can't imagine doing that.  However, this is what usually happens when I discover a new exercise.  I had the same reaction to reverse crunches or body weight squats.  I look forward to doing more burpees in the workouts to come.

Monday, October 22, 2012


My last project delivered about 3 weeks ago.  Since then, I have essentially been keeping myself busy by doing some things to improve our look development system.  A worthy cause to be sure.  However, it has been a while.  The entire department is thinking the same thing: when is the next show coming in.  I wouldn't say that I am nervous, just concerned and ready to work.

Yesterday, I left an online gaming group that I had been a part of for over 5 years.  It was surprising to me how hard this was for me to do.  I have never met any of the people in this group which now boasts over 80 members.  I can't even say that I have had a long or meaningful conversation with any of them.  Yet, I still felt a huge sense of loyalty towards this group.  I felt really bad about leaving.  It was like telling a friend that I don't want to be their friend any more.  This probably seems trivial to anybody who hasn't been in an online gaming group like the one I was in.  It's hard to explain I guess.  What it came down to was that I didn't feel that I could relate to any of them in or outside of the gaming world.

There is an exercise that most people do not know about.  It is called the Burpee.  It's the kind of evil exercise that needs to be done in large quantities.  You can't just do 10 of them.  You have to do 50 or 150.  I plan on incorporating these into my workouts.  Yay.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I think I may be inadvertently becoming a crossfit athlete/fan/whatever.  Before moving I had a lot of time to run in the mornings.  Those days are gone but I still want to stay fit so I have to jam as much exercise as I can into a small amount of time.  That is pretty much what crossfit is.  I've been watching some youtube videos on the kinds of workouts they do.  It's pretty intense.  Probably more intense than what I do.  It has peaked my interest though.  I would love to join a crossfit gym.  I just don't have the time or the money.

I found an exercise that I can't do right now.  It's called the V Situp.  They are awkward to do.  It doesn't help that I have horrible flexibility.

I saw a very interesting series of videos on youtube today about Mitt Romney's extended family in Mexico.  Basically, his relatives left the US because they wanted to keep being polygamists.  I guess Mexico didn't have a problem with that.  So there is a huge sect or clan or something of Mormans living in Northern Mexico.  What else do they have in Norther Mexico?  Drug cartels.  It is an interesting documentary.  Somewhat graphic at times, but interesting.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dylan the Considerate

Everyday I get up a little earlier than everybody else so I can come down and get breakfast going.  About 25 minutes later I usually see Sydney or Dylan strolling in.  I am never sure what I am going to get.  Today Sydney was not in a very good mood.  It happens.  A few minutes later Dylan joins us.  Soon after, I put breakfast on the table.  Sydney then declared that she was "really cold".  Without saying a word, Dylan got up from the table and found his Thomas blanket.  He brought it over and wrapped it around her.  Then sat back down.  It was just about the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

Good boy, Dylan Patrick.  Good boy.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Digital Domain was sold at auction on Friday to a wonderful company named Galloping Horse.  Apparently it is a large Chinese company with many connections in the film, tv, and advertising business in China and the US.  I feel like the worst of DD's troubles are finally behind it.  I look forward to the coming period of decreasing tension.

I finally have a goal.  I will build a table this weekend.  I found a very simple plan to follow.  The only caveat being that I will have to modify it to be an office desktop not a picnic table.  The main thing that I am worried about is that I will spend a bunch of money and the table will end up being not level for some reason.  Hopefully I don't screw it up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I've been having a pretty darn good run of following a solid exercise plan.  My problem is I don't have any kind of goal to work towards.  I suppose I can say that I am building up a good base of fitness.  While I figure out what race or event I want to do, it feels pretty good.

I really wish I could find the time to make a stand up desk.  I hate sitting all day.

I saw this video today.  Everybody sort of suspects that the presidential debates are biased towards the major two parties.  This video shows just how much a sham they are:

I still haven't decided what candidate I'm going to go with.  It is looking more and more likely that it will be neither of the two majors though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Accepted Lunacy in Politics

It's election time again and I'm starting to see the typical barrage of political speeches on the news.  It occurred to me last night how insane election campaigns are and how we as the voting public just accept it as just the way things are.  Let me explain.  Let's say you got to vote for who was going to be the next coach of the New England Patriots, or the CEO of Microsoft, or the next quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.  Then the candidates for these jobs went on tv and did nothing but talk about how the guy who currently holds that job has done nothing right since he has held the position.  Literally NOTHING.  The current job holder can't put his shoes on correctly according to this new potential candidate.  How would you react to that?  Personally I would think the candidate was crazy.  Think about this for a second from a different angle.  Think about how much drive, sacrifice, intelligence, and plain old luck it takes to get hold the position of coach in the NFL or CEO of Microsoft.  Is it really possible that somebody could reach that pinnacle of success and be totally wrong about everything they are doing?  Now think about this.  There are 32 head coaches in the NFL and dozens of people who are CEO of billion dollar companies in the US.  There is only one president of the United States.   One guy made it out of 330 million.  How likely is it that that guy is totally wrong about everything he is doing?  It's lunacy and it's political bullshit and we as the voting public accept it without a second thought.  We accept that the candidate most likely does not believe much of what he is saying about the other candidate.

By the way, beware any recipe that calls for you to "wisk on high for 5 minutes".  You are basically signing up to have minor steam burns on your hand when you do that.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I've been on quite a long run of stressful projects for the last 4-6 months and so I took it upon myself to get some vacation time in which I just stayed home.  Originally it was supposed to be 9 days but it was split because I had to come in to work for 2 days.  It was still very nice and I'm glad I did it.  I really needed to get away from work for a while.  I got some good running in.  Got a little house work done.  Almost mowed the lawn.  Mainly just relaxed.  One really cool thing I did was finally use the gift certificates for a place called the Flightdeck in Anaheim that mom gave me and Derek.  It was a good time and I think Derek liked it too.  They give you a lot of time in the simulator.  The guy giving the briefing on how to fly the planes asked if any of us were prior military and I said that I was a Marine.  He asked where I was stationed and I said Miramar.  Apparently he was as well.  I don't think I've ever met another Miramar Marine.  That was kinda cool.  Anyways, I think we'll be going back there again.

I've been debating with myself whether or not I am actually going to be able to properly train for the Long Beach Marathon.  If I stick the same kind of training plan that I had for the LA I will be finishing my 20 miler the week before the marathon.  Technically, this is possible although I still feel like I am rushing it a bit.  We'll see what happens.  I completed a 10 mile training run yesterday and it felt pretty good.  I have figured out that in order to go on a long run and not feel like crap for the rest of the day I need to eat a lot more.  How bout that.

Lakewood tunnel underneath the 405.  A rather uncomfortable place to run.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New 7 Mile Route

Last week was my first official week of marathon training.  In order to build up to being able to do 26 miles I have to increase my long run mileage by 1 mile or 10% (which ever is more) every week.  When I do the math this means I may not be able to make it for the Long Beach.  If I do it means I'll have to cheat and skip ahead which is not really a good idea.  Cheating just means opening yourself up for injury.  If I'm not ready I won't force it.  There are other marathons.  I wanted to do that one again because it is obviously most convenient.  Also I feel like it beat me last time so I'm itching for some payback.  So last week was a 6 mile long run, today was a 7 miler.  This is the farthest I have run in quite a while.  Probably over a year.  There sure are a lot of hills in Signal Hill and Long Beach.  I'm sure I am running up and down more hills here than I was in Chino Hills.

I have an interesting situation happening at work right now.  My supervisor is going to be leaving to go on vacation about a week before we are to deliver the project.  That means it is completely on me to get it done.  This is also a project that I came onto late so I am not totally familiar with it.  This could prove to be a challenge.  The main thing I am looking forward to is a vacation that I scheduled starting July 30.  I really need it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quick Brownie Tip

Never, ever, eeeeeeeeever use olive oil when making brownies.  I was looking forward to having a day off tomorrow, but inevitably work asked me to come in.  Like always I said yes.  Then I thought about it, and decided to say no.  I really want to hang out with Derek tomorrow. 

Monday, July 2, 2012


I was bored this morning so I decided to google a few prices of things like milk and gasoline for the year that I first started working, 1997.  Then I determined how much I could buy back in 1997 for a single hour of work versus what I can buy now.  This is what I came up with so far.

1 hour of work in 1997 would buy me 13 gallons of gas, today I can buy 10 gallons.  The same ratio exists for milk.

In 1997 it took me 55 hours to make enough money to pay my rent.  Today it takes me 67 hours to make my mortgage.

One thing that I found interesting is how difficult is to find historical information about prices.  I tried to find out what a Toyota Corolla cost in 1997.  I couldn't find it.  Tuition at UCI.  Nope.  How bout a Big Mac?  Not readily available either.  In this information age you would think that there wouldn't be anything you couldn't find out in 5 minutes on Google.  Perhaps there are still secrets.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obamacare Upheld

Obamacare was upheld today in the US Supreme Court.  This was a big surprise to many on the left and the right, because it appeared fairly clear that the constitution does not allow the government to force a citizen to purchase something from another private citizen.  In this case we will all be forced to buy health insurance or we will pay a fine.  The court rationalized this by saying that it wasn't a fine but a tax, and the Congress is allowed to levy taxes.  This seems like a blatant end run around the Constitution.  Frankly I am shocked that the Supreme Court has decided this way.  This essentially throws that part of the Constitution out the window.

There are some things I like about Obamacare like forcing restaurants to show nutritional information about the items on their menu.  Not that that is going to stop somebody from stuffing a Big Mac into their face if that is what they went to McDonald's for.  The main thing I have a problem with Obamacare about is not the mandate it is that it does not address the fundamental problem with health care in America.  The cost.  Health care has been going up by about 9% per year every year since the early 80's.  Has anybody's income gone up by that much?  Not many.  What that means is that health care has become less and less affordable.  So instead of attempting to address the cost, Obamacare seeks to spread the cost of this ever increasing burden to as many people as possible.  I suppose hoping that there will be enough healthy people to pay for all the sick people.

What if all the mechanics in a town decided to slow start increasing the cost of an oil change until one day it cost $500 for one.  People would say they can't afford that and would either do it themselves or go to another town for an oil change.  This would in turn force the mechanics to lower their prices to what the market can bare.  This is basic economics.  However, what if the government stepped in and said we'll pay for $450 of that oil change by taxing people who don't own cars.  Why would the mechanics lower their prices in that case?  Of course they wouldn't, and they would keep right on increasing their prices.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Greece Votes

Today is the day of the Greek elections.  The financial news is telling us that this is a very big deal.  It could mean the difference between Greece staying in the Eurozone or rejecting the deal that was painstakingly put together over the past 6 months.  The fear among many is that the Greeks will vote to reject the deal which calls for huge cuts to their already bare bones government.  They literally have people working in government who are not getting paid.  I wonder what they will do.  What does somebody who is already on hard times, being told by somebody in another country that they will be forced to endure even harder times for the good of the European continent.  What would I do?  I would vote for whatever direction is best for my country.  I think I would vote to tear up the agreement.  I don't think a country is a country if officials from another country can tell you how to spend your money.  That would be like me having a checking account but with some random person in Italy also having access to it.  If that were the case, it would not be my checking account.

I am pretty sure they will vote for whatever choice will make their own lives easier in the shortest amount of time.  That is just human nature. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Derek Graduates

I went to Derek's graduation today.  My boy has come a long way and I am very proud of the young man he is becoming.  I am looking forward to hanging out with him this summer.

Good Job Derek!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Late Night Warrior

Here I am again.  It is getting close to 10pm.  I had about a 2 week layover between the last project I was on and the one I am supposed to go onto next.  Usually this layover is spent prepping for the new show, which I could definitely be doing.  However, knowing that another project in house was in dire straits, I chose to offer my services....and here I am.  Even though I would prefer to be home right now, it feels good to know that I have the ability to help my friends when they need me.

I found out that one of the shows I worked on, Nike Knit, one an AICP award.  How bout that.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June Update

Wow, I have been really falling behind on this.  I keep wanting to write something but then I think I don't have enough to say so I don't do it.  That defeats the point.  I think the point of a blog is to let people know what you are thinking.  Doesn't necessarily have to be a long post.  So here's my short post about today.  Yesterday we went to a funeral.  It was sad.  It happened to be at the Miramar Marine Air Station, where I happen to have spent 5 of the 6 years I was in the Marine Reserves.  It has been about 12 years since I was last there.  I couldn't believe how much it had changed.  There has been a huge amount of construction on that base.  We drove around looking for the buildings I used to work in and could not find them at all.  Another thing I noted was that the entire time we were there there was constantly marines running.  This was midday on a Wednesday.  I always remember getting my PT sessions in before or after work.  Marines really take their physical fitness seriously.  Actually I think they take pretty much everything seriously.

Last week I finished another project.  It was the second installment in the Transformers video game series.  It was quite stressful in the final 2 days because we realized that we were not going to make the deadline.  We ended up having to pull people off of other projects to pull all nighters to get it done.  They did.  I think that final Friday night I didn't leave until 2:30am.  Good times.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Elections Matter

This is my quick take on what just happened over in Europe.  There were elections held most notably in Greece and France that resulted in the ousting of the political leaders who negotiated most of the reforms that or attempted reforms that you may have heard about in the news.  Anytime you heard the word "austerity" you were probably hearing about something coming out of Europe.  I won't pretend to truly know what I'm talking about but this is my take on what I think is happening.  Prior to the formation of the Eurozone most of the countries in Europe maintained relatively liberal fiscal policy when it came to things like education, healthcare, and just social services in general.  This was great but most of it was bought using borrowed money, similar to how the US operates now.  Then they thought, wouldn't it be great if we could have a credit card with a bigger limit.  With the Euro that is what they got.  Then 2008 happened and they suddenly realized they were going to start having a problem paying the minimum payment.  This is when the dreaded austerity word first reared it's ugly head.  The good people of Europe were going to be forced to "cut back"?  What?  Cut back, what does that mean?  Like a teenager who just got their cell phone taken away they rebelled.  The leaders were the parents and the populace was the child.  Only in this case the teenager is allowed to vote out his parents and replace him with one of his friends.  In the hopes of what I wonder?  That the money for their socialist paradise will magically appear and everything will go back to how it was?  I would like to think that the people aren't really that dumb and that this election was merely their way of saying,"hey times are tough and somebody's gotta get fired".  I get that.  I have a feeling that situation isn't going to get any better.  This all goes back to what I've been saying for a long time.  You can't take stuff away from people.  Do it, or try to do it, and you are gone.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Train Ride

It is bugging me that I didn't run this morning.  Feels good that it is in my head now.  Need to run.

Wouldn't this be a pleasant way to spend a ride on a commuter train?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Groove of Toughness

I used to listen to the Jim Rome show all the time.  It's a sports talk radio show.  One of the guests he had on many years ago was this exNavy SEAL who wrote a self help book and hosted a tv show.  One of the things he said that Jim used to repeat was that you should take a cold shower every morning to "cut a groove of toughness in your brain".  That sounds pretty awesome doesn't it.  It sounds awesome, but would you actually do that?  Would you do it even once, on purpose?  I've been starting to transition away from doing my circuit workouts lately and started doing a lot more running.  Since I have to take Sydney to school I really only have about 20 minutes to run so I try to run fast.  Afterward, I have 10 minutes to cool down, eat, get dressed, and get out the door.  Lately, I have started taking that infamous cold shower to try and cool myself down faster.  Whoa boy, that is not fun.  It definitely works but for the first minute or so I feel like it is taking my breath away.  Feels good though, and I'm not a sweaty mess as I'm driving Sydney to school.  Groove of toughness?  Well we'll see.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We get emails at work everyday about food specials that may be happening in the eateries around our office.  The selection is fairly limited.  By limited I mean we have one small place that is like a deli, then a couple food trucks.  That's it.  Today however, it was more than enough.  A new food truck was going to be around called Dogtown.  They specialize in hotdogs.   I have to say these were some of the most unique hotdogs I have had in quite a while. 

Behold!  The Spicy Angeleno and the Morning Commute

What was funny/awkward about this was that we have another food truck that comes to our parking lot every day.  That truck is called Rick's.  I have been going to Rick's just about every day.  They have a fairly large menu for a food truck and it's pretty cheap.  It's to the point that Rick knows me by name and let's me pay him the next day if I don't have enough money.  Pretty cool.  So today when I walked down the street to the other truck and then had to walk back (past Rick), I felt like I was cheating or should be ashamed somehow.  Kind of silly really.  Boy oh boy those dogs were good though.  Worth the guilt.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Case of the Mondays

Have you ever been in a hurry to get out the door, gotten to your car, only to remember something that you have to go back into the house for?  Today that happened to me only I had to go back and forth at least 3 times.  Sydney was waiting in the car the whole time so she found it quite amusing.

I should have stayed home today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sunday Walk

This is the first official week of production on my new show.  I was a bit nervous before this one because all of the people working for me will be brand new to the company and brand new to me.  Bringing in new people is always a bit of a gamble because you never know who may have embellished a bit on their resume.  In this job there is very little room for people who don't produce.  After 3 days it looks like I got lucky.  The 2 guys I have working for me appear to know what they are doing.

Still no stand up desk.  I wonder if I could find something like that secondhand.

Took a walk with the little ones this weekend.  Always nice to go walking on the trails at around sunset.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Desk Project

I have put in a request to receive a stand up desk here at work.  That request appears to have hit a snag based on the fact that I do not have a doctor's note stating I have a back problem (which I don't).  The main reason I would like to stand at my desk for at least part of the day is that I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable sitting for 10+ hours a day.  Since the company I work for doesn't appear to value my comfort I have taken it upon myself to seek out other options.  The most obvious way to go would be to just buy my own desk.  However adjustable height desks are hard to find and very expensive.  A cheap stand up desk will be at least $500.  Then I thought, maybe I could build my own desk.  I could probably manage to take 4 2x4's and attach them to a desk top.  However, I would have to be sure that it was the correct height and it would probably be a real pain to transport.  Then I thought, maybe I could buy just the adjustable height legs.  Again very expensive. Then it dawned on me that maybe I don't need to make the entire desk.  Maybe I could just make a small desk that can rest on top of the desk I already have!  It would only have to be about 16-20 inches high.  This is something I could easily build and transport myself.  If I can manage to make this and have it not be wobbly, I will be a much more comfortable CG supervisor.

The latest from the Piano Guys:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Project Glass

I saw this video yesterday on Google Glass

When I saw this I seriously thought it was a joke.  They had just come out with an April Fools joke ad called Google Tap so my fake radar was up.  It turns out this is real.  I am certain something like this would take off in a big way.  However, I wonder how many people are going to hurt themselves because they are texting while walking.  I don't even want to think about people wearing this thing while driving.  It should have something that automatically turns it off when you get in a car.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I discovered this group today.  It is a blend of classical and electronic music.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Time has been quite the rare commodity lately.  There never seems to be enough time for anything.  I am noticing that the older I get the fewer things I am able to do not because I am not physically able or don't have the interest, but because I simply don't have the time.  I blame my job mostly but I shouldn't complain too much.  We have been doing a lot of interviews lately and I have been seeing a lot of people desperate for work.  When I think about it the biggest thing I have had to almost completely give up is watching any kind of tv or movies.  Which I suppose isn't a great loss.  I figure someday I'll get a nasty bout of the flu and get caught up on all the shows I missed in a one week marathon.

Speaking of marathons, the Los Angeles marathon was run this last weekend.  Once again it rained heavily, but on Saturday, not on Sunday (race day).  I am determined to be ready for the Long Beach marathon on October.  I recently got my treadmill back up and working.  The last time I plugged it in there was some kind of blown fuse so I was afraid to plug it back in for quite a while.  I am now able to run midweek.

Took the little ones up to hilltop park over the weekend.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lightbulb Challenge Completed

One of the things I dislike about my car is the fact that the lightbulbs seem to go out a lot more often than other cars I've owned.  Brake lights, tail lights, headlights, I've had to change all of those multiple times.  I have also noticed that the cost of doing this seemingly small repair has steadily gone up.  At this point for me to go to Jiffy Lube and get an oil change and change the light bulb it would most likely cost me close to $100.  So I took it upon myself to change my own light bulb.  This proved to be far more difficult than I ever imagined.  After taking off the plastic cover that goes over the back of the headlight and disconnecting a few power cables I realized that there is so little space between the headlight and the battery that I could barely see the back of the bulb let alone manipulate it with my hand.  At this point I had two choices, remove the battery or get the headlight out completely through the front.  I did not want to mess with the battery because I didn't know what that might do do the electronics in the car.  Probably nothing, but I didn't want to chance it.  So after viewing an extremely helpful youtube video on how to remove the headlight on a 2003 jetta, I along with my trusty sidekick Derek were able to remove the front grill, bumper, and the entire headlight assembly.  At that point, I was able to easily unsnap the locking clamp that was holding in the bulb and replace it.  I also had to buy a small wrench to get off some of the screws that were inconveniently close to the wheel.  The entire job took about an hour.  After putting it all back together, I changed my oil.  That was far less interesting.

All this to change a lightbulb?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nike Knit Delivers

We delivered the Nike Knit project on Friday.  This was an interesting show to be a supervisor on because it was so effects heavy.  This meant having to deal with people whose job specialties I had little experience with.  In the end it turned out pretty good although the technical challenges were great.  This is the sort of project I typically like to be on.  It's like a big puzzle.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Mower

This weekend Derek mowed the lawn for the first time ever.  This was quite the rite of passage for him.  I think he did a pretty good job.  He even had to use the weedwacker to trim the sides because the curvy wall is impossible to mow close to.

How many guys can say they have a picture of themselves mowing the lawn for the first time ever?  Derek can.

I also set a goal to cook two new things this weekend.  I definitely wanted to make a soup and I know that Derek likes minestrone from when we go to Olive Garden so I told him to look up a good recipe on  While he was doing that the little ones were watching Phineas and Ferb and saw the episode were they enter a meat loaf contest.  So then they wanted meat loaf.  Perfect!  So Derek found a couple of good recipes for meat loaf and we picked one.  The meat loaf was really easy to make.  Basically it's exactly like making hamburger meat but with a topping.  The minestrone was a bit more involved but Derek made it completely by himself so it took a while.  He's got to work on his slice and dice speed.  In the end we had a great meal with a lot of leftovers.

What you don't see is the tray of brownies we also made for desert.  I could barely move after this meal.

I ran 4 miles the next day so it's ok.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Another wonderful sunrise this morning.  This is quickly becoming one of the things I look forward to everyday.

I found myself reading a report made by an Army officer regarding the current state of things in Afghanistan.  To summarize the Lieutenant Colonel's comments he basically says we are being lied to about the progress we are supposedly making in the war torn country.  If you have some time on your hands you can read the entire released report here,

Quite the scathing review of our supposed progress.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Evening at the VES

This year I was lucky enough to be nominated in 2 categories at the Visual Effects Society's annual awards show.  Last night the event took place at the Beverly Hilton.  It was quite glamorous.  I don't think I have worn a tuxedo since my senior prom.  There was a photo shoot and everything for all the attendees.  It was all quite foreign to me actually.  I'm not used to dressing up like that.  Still it was a good time and I know Michelle really liked it.  I was 99% sure I wasn't going to win anything, but I kept trying to come up with something funny to say on the podium if I did.  It's probably good that I lost because I probably would have made a fool out of myself.  Below are some pictures of the fine meal they served us.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It is incredible how much more organized I have been forced to be after moving.  Especially in the morning.  As soon as I wake up it seems like every minute has a designated task attached to it.  The one thing I still seem to have a hard time with is getting a work out of any kind in.  I have a window from 7:15 to 7:45 that I can do it.  This seems like plenty of time to do a small circuit workout.  What usually happens however, is I get held up fixing a lunch or washing a dish or something like that.  When 7:20 rolls around I literally have 2-3 minutes to get started or it's already over because I won't have enough time.  I still have yet to wake up earlier to get my workout in first, which is what the smart thing to do would be.  I just can't get myself up at 5am and immediately jump into exercise.  I need a little bit of wake up time first.  Even when I was running early in the morning in Venice I had the hour long drive to work to wake up.  That doesn't sound very safe now that I think about it.

The sky was like this for about 5 minutes this morning.  Wish I had caught it with a better camera.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beautiful Morning

I saw an interesting interview with Mark Levin a few days ago.  He was talking about his new book Ameritopia.  Specifically, he talked about how all the worst dictatorial regimes people think of in history were all conceived of as Utopian paradises for it's citizens.  The fundamental thing that Mark argues that all inventors of such systems did wrong was use the philosophy that if everybody does x, y, and z then everything will be great.  Put simply they ignored individualism.  This is a fatal flaw because all human beings are at their core individualists.  This was true 1000 years ago, it is true in the middle of the amazon rain forest, and it's true in a high rise office building in New York.  To ignore this is to invite failure.  He goes on to argue that the country was based on the idea of liberty.  Liberty being the individual's right to pursue happiness in whatever way without the government infringing on his rights to do so.  Then Mr. Levin goes on to make the correlation between that and what Obama has been doing yada yada yada.  I don't agree with everything Mark Levin says.  In fact, I think his brand of right wingism is a bit off to me.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just don't care for it.  This concept of utopia through collective control is an interesting one though. 

It was a beautiful morning today.  I hope you were able to catch a glimpse.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Smoke em if ya Got em

I tried out my new kitchen top smoker the other day with a nice salmon steak.  It was really good!  Even the kids ate it and that is saying a lot.  Wish I had taken a picture, but I guess it didn't look like anything too special.  Tasted great though.

My check engine light has been on for the past 3 weeks.  I just haven't had time to take it in.  I have felt lately that I am driving on borrowed time.  Every time I am sitting in traffic on the 405 I think, uh oh, this is it, my car is going to die right here.  That would be a real pain.  So I finally loaded my bike into my trunk and took my car to my favorite independent VW repair place in Venice.  It took me only 20 minutes to ride back to my office.  Not too bad.  So 4 hours later I called the repair guy and he said to come in.  He told me that the computer was telling them that I had a bad glow plug.  They pulled out the supposedly faulty item and tested it.  It appeared to be fine.  So they put it back in but swapped the #3 plug for the #4.  They test drove the car around and the engine light never came on.  The bottom line was they didn't want to sell me a new glow plug since they tested fine and that might not be the problem.  It could be a connection to the plug.  It is that kind of honesty that I have come to appreciate from these guys.  I am sure if I had taken it to the dealer they would have charged me $500 and just swapped out all the glow plugs.  Hopefully I don't see that engine light come on again.  The repair guy said if it was going to happen it would happen in the morning because the glow plugs help the car get started when it is cold.  I wonder how hard those things are to replace yourself?

Friday, January 6, 2012

To Juice or not to Juice?

I have been hearing an awful lot about juicing lately.  Multiple people that I work with have gone on the juice diet.  This is not the typical morning OJ that most of us enjoy on a regular basis.  No this is more vegetables than fruit.  In fact, one guy I know didn't include fruit at all.  Every story I hear about this diet goes about the same.  The first 2 days are the worst.  Your body is crying out for the sugar and garbage that you usually eat.  You are basically in withdrawal for that period.  After that it gets much better and you suddenly have much more energy.  One of the artists on my team is very anemic and has to sleep 10-12 hours a day.  He seems constantly tired.  He tried this diet and has experienced great results.  I am very interested in doing this.  I just need to get myself over to Costco to by a shopping cart full of kale, carrots, tomatoes, and radishes.  YUMM!!

Got myself out for a run yesterday morning.  This is the view from Redondo as the sun is coming over the army reserve center.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Garage Project

I had a nice 3 day weekend for New Year's this year.  Things have been starting to accumulate in the garage on my side so I decided to reorganize everything.  This was much more of an undertaking than I thought.  It wound up taking just about the entire day.  At the end, I still don't have my parking space back but we have a bunch of donateable items that will be leaving us soon.  I was finally able to put up the rest of my bike hooks so I got all the bikes hanging from the ceiling except mine.

This is what it looked like half way through the day.  Notice the brilliantly organized shelves next to the refrigerator.

I've been on a pretty good streak of working out either in the garage or by running lately.  I think I've run 5 or 6 times in the last 2 weeks.  The true test comes when the kids go back to school.