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.