Sunday, June 06, 2010
I finally got the ole Vespa restored and back on the road! It took almost a year and a half from when I took it apart, got it painted (Signal Yellow) and then put it all back together again. Certainly more than I bargained for, but I'm loving it!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Today I picked up my Vespa from the shop. It's the first time I've been able to ride it as it was previously immobilized while getting a new engine, shocks and speedometer among other things. On friday I managed to get my motorcycle permit, so today I was able to drive it home! It's a fast little thing and I put almost 80 miles on it today! I love how it feels like a perfect extension of my personality. I drove it home from sherman oaks, then drove it down the sunset strip and then took it up to the griffith park observatory. There were some snags along the way, but at least neither my bike or I got hurt. One time I stalled the engine while at a stop light - it almost stopped my heart since you have to get off the bike to kick start it up again! Thank God I managed to get it started right as the light turned green. Then, I lost the ignition while on Lankersham blvd, thank God I found a small construction road to coast off and see what was the matter. After some frustration I fianally discovered a metal bracket that holds a wiring circuit had snapped and the circuit was hanging by four wires - one of which had disconnected and cut my spark. I found a piece of chain link fence that I bent into a makeshift bracket, reconnected the wire and managed to get back on the road. However, my bracket needed some adjustment since it happened all over again while heading down cauhenga! I'm home safe and sound and the bike is locked up out back - but it sure was an adventure. Oh, and besides being wicked cool looking and totally retro, I still have what looks like a bit more than half a tank of gas! It has about a 1.75 gallon tank and I travelled 80 miles today - you do the math!
For those of you not in the know, XSI and Maya are two leading and competing 3D Animation and Visual Effect software packages. I admit I'm a Maya user through and through and as such, I've been ignoring XSI for a while now. However, two weeks ago I attended an XSI evangelism meeting at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood and it finally pushed me over the edge. Don't worry, Maya is still where I call home, but I got a chance to see how aggresively XSI is working to gain market share. They pulled out all the stops and gave everyone in attendance a free XSI T-Shirt! While the T-shirt is nice, what really suprised me is that they also gave everyone a free academic license of XSI Advanced (it's got syflex and everything)! That's a $3000 or $300 value depending on how you look at it. Besides that, they awarded me a free XSI training class at Gnomon for submitting a 100 word essay on why I needed to learn XSI. That's a $900 value! It starts tomorrow! But dont worry, I havent been bought. The reason why Maya should be worried is that XSI really is motivated to get to the top and has the R&D to prove it. While Maya has been resting on its laurels and really only updating its simulation engines, XSI has developed some SERIOUS strengths, the newest of which is a visual scripting and tool development system called ICE. It's completely multithreaded meaning these tools scale perfectly across multiple processors and cores. What's more, they've gone ahead and rewritted many of the established tools in XSI to take advantage of this performance boost and opened up the tools so everyone can see how they were made and modify them at will. It's pretty amazing and why a technical guy like me should immediately stand up and take note. So if you've been ignorning XSI like I had, now's the time to learn it before everyone else does. People are staring to request XSI skills in job descriptions so it'll give you an edge - for a little while anyway :-)
Well it hasnt even been a year for me yet here in southern california and I'm already picking up and leaving! Two weeks ago a job offer came out of the blue and it was an offer I couldnt refuse. Deciding to leave my job and life here in Hollywood is one of the toughest decisions I've made yet in my 24 years, and so I thank all of you who prayed for me and gave me advice. I am very concerned about leaving XLT in a bad position, since they gave me a chance and were so good to me, but I successfully negotiated a start date one month from now with the hopes that it will be enough time to find my replacement and tie up loose ends. After agonizing over this decision, things have started to fall into place. The only real hitch is that breaking my lease will cost me three months rent as a penalty - no small fee when you consider my rent here is as much or more than my parents morgage in Indiana! My new job wont cover this and I wont be making any more than I used to either - but the opportunities for learning make it worth it. I'm starting at the bottom, but it is a staff position, so at least there are opportunities for some benefits. That's right, you're looking at Industrial Light and Magic's newest Assistant Creature Technical Director. See you in San Fran Sicko!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
While my Vespa is still in the shop getting a look-over, I took the opportunity to shop for a helmet. At first I had my eye on one of the Vespa Vintage Soft Touch helmets since they look so cool and appropriate for a classic scooter like my Super Sport. However, those helmets are only 3/4 coverage and not full face which may look totally sweet but aren't nearly as safe - to me there's nothing worse than the thought of cracking your jaw on some concrete just to look cool. It was tough, but in the end I went for a compromise and bought a modular helmet. These are unique in that you can flip up the whole face for a 3/4 feel, and then flip it down to get the protection of a full face helmet - all while still having the option of flipping up the visor. Scope the pictures - mine is the matte black one - but it has a clear visor. :-)