Monday, October 25, 2010

progress is exciting

Woo! Making progress. Halfway done with the last track. The light at the end of the tunnel is poking through.

Got first draft of the artwork and it is looking mighty fine. Also getting some mixing help this week from that friend I mentioned. Hope you guys enjoy this stuff when it's finished. Exciting stuff friends...

Friday, October 22, 2010

car is dead

It finally kicked the bucket.

I have been dealing with cooling issues for quite a while, without finding a real solution to the issue. BMWs are notorious for their weak cooling systems. I forgot to replace the radiator cap after adding coolant yesterday and by the time I figured it out, a whole bunch of air had been sucked into the radiator. I didn't realize this until I left work to meet a friend for dinner when the temperature gauge nosed into the danger zone.

Pulling into a Taco Bell parking lot off of a busy section of Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach, I pulled the hood off and leaned it against the chain link fence. In order to purge the air out of the radiator, you have to apply pressure to the system and force it all out of a bleed valve. The normal way to do this is by running the engine after letting it cool. The fast way is to pressurize the radiator manually. With your mouth. I was definitely not in the mood for the normal way. It must have been an odd sight to see an Asian man bent over the front of a BMW with the hood off, blowing into the radiator. It worked though.

Made it to dinner late but happy the car was running well. Headed off to small group after that, but noticed white smoke billowing from the tailpipe. Crap. The heat probably killed the headgasket. That's a pretty major repair for a car worth less than the tires it's riding on. Oh well, at least it was running.

Later that night, around 11, I tried to leave but it wasn't happening. No crank, no jumpstart, no nothing. Engine seemed like it was seized. Crap crap. Got a ride home and biked to work in the morning. Gave in and asked my mom for a ride after work to see if a push start would work. That's where you get a stalled car with a manual transmission moving and pop the clutch to start it, when the starter or battery is dead. No luck. Give up. One last try with the key and....a sputter! Okayyy, try jumping it again. LIFE! And more smoke. Lots of it. But life nonetheless.

Limped it to my parents house. 20 miles. Through Friday afternoon traffic. In LA. Every time we slowed down, the temp needle would shoot toward the red. Plus my mom, following behind, doesn't look before she changes lanes. Not the most carefree afternoon. Made it after an hour on pins and needles. Whew. Pretty sure that car is never gonna move under its own power again. Borrowing my dad's car for now. What should I get? This is a stressful decision for me. So many choices...

A- Same car (swap nice parts)
B- Older, cooler BMW
C- Pickup truck (utility?)
D- Motorcycle (coooool, but danger)
E- Volkswagen TDI (50 mpg woot!)
F- Classic American something or other
G- Bike it all day every day
H- Porsche 914
I- Ratty old Beetle
J- Don't say Honda Accord

(I realize you don't care about geeky car stuff. Even though it might get you out of a tough situation some day. Or save your life. And lots of money. You'll just keep a friend around who knows that stuff. And call him when you have car problems. He's okay with that.)

(I also realize that I spend more energy than I would like to on this stuff. Every time I swear it off, it comes creeping back eventually. I can't help it. It's just cool stuff. Gotta get to work somehow. Might as well do it with some style.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

forest home

Pretty awesome setting for a retreat. Dare I say nicer than Pine Valley?

Picture 028

Picture 121

Picture 173

Full set on Flickr

Saturday, October 9, 2010

santa monica place

If you've been in West LA in the last few years, you've probably been to 3rd Street in Santa Monica and seen the ugly construction adjacent to it. There were redoing the old mall there, and apparently it just reopened. They're calling it Santa Monica Place. It's...beautiful. Tons of metal and glass. All open construction with top tier stores. Which means no stores that I would actually shop at. But I've always found malls to be good places to study or read or just people watch. Check it out if you're ever in the area.

Friday, October 8, 2010

between 7:30 and 4:00...

...I am usually quite bored. That is all.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Making a lot of progress on the new music lately. Did a couple recording sessions with a drummer friend (real drums!) and in the middle of editing those tracks. Was able to partially convert my acoustic drums into an electronic drums to make the recording simpler (and quieter for the neighbors). Maybe will post something on that later.

Got an artist friend to do some album artwork. Once I'm satisfied with the arrangements and timings, gonna take it to a friend for some final mixing. It will be nice to get a fresh set of ears, mine are kinda tired from listening to the same tracks over and over. Thankful for friends. Hard to stay motivated working on a longish term project alone.

So I guess I have begun to like these 6 tracks enough to put some effort into distribution, if you can call it that. Just planning to give it all out for free once it's done. Let me know if you want a CD. Gonna mail it out to people who are far away. I'll probably have it up for streaming and download somewhere also.

Monday, October 4, 2010

almost lost it

Barely avoided disaster yesterday.

I've been spending a good amount of hours lately working on the new recordings and it's been pretty productive the last few weeks. After a few hours editing last night, I went to delete some folders off a USB drive but hasty fingers deleted my main recording folder, skipping the Recycle Bin because of the size of it (almost 20 GB). When I realized what I did, I kinda freaked out for like 10 minutes because I knew my backups were more than a month old. That was like 30 hours of hard work . I called a friend to pray for me and got my head back on straight. Figured there might be a way to recover the files and some searching uncovered a handful of free programs. Turns out that when you delete files, they don't disappear off the drive, they just become invisible to Windows (or OSX). As long as you don't overwrite the data, it's pretty simple to recover it. I was able to save all of my deleted files. Soooo thankful. Gotta remember my priorities though, it's not the end of the world even if I did lose it all. Will remember to backup more frequently now.

If you are ever stuck in a similar situation, don't panic. Check backups and recycle bin. If it's still not there, download Recuva right away and scan for your deleted files. It's completely free and easy to use. I'm gonna send them a few dollars, cuz they deserve it.