Monday, November 21, 2011


Dear Blog,
I realize that I have been a bit distant as of late, but I hope you have not been feeling the tinge of resentment toward me.  Good things have been happening! Good things that perhaps are too new and too exciting for me to share as of yet. You must admit that you cannot keep nary even a tiny secret, my old friend. Be assured, however, that though my attentions that have been focused elsewhere, my affection for you is not lacking nor waning.

I am happy to report that I have established a weekly meeting with my writing partner.  Progress is occurring, albeit slowly and uncertainly.  Unfortunately, it means that any time I would normally spend writing to you is being spent writing to that end.  I hope to share with you soon news of great progress! 

Until then my friend,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

joshua tree fisheyed

Finally made it out to Joshua Tree after planning for a few months.  On a whim, decided to buy a real fisheye lens, since I've been enjoying my cheap fisheye attachment so much lately.  It's a Korean off-brand full manual 8mm lens at 1/3 of the price of a Canon branded lens.

So. Worth. It.  Pictures came out amazing.

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Lens flare very well controlled

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My buddy's leg after a run in with a cactus

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Didn't have much time for star shots :(

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It is worth checking out the full set I think.

Monday, November 7, 2011

a long-desired happiness

"Prince Andrew was galloping along in a post chaise enjoying the feelings of a man who has at length begun to attain a long-desired happiness. As soon as he closed his eyes his ears seemed filled with the rattle of the wheels and the sensation of victory."

-War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

Friday, November 4, 2011

all hallows' eve

I figured this would be a good opportunity to get to know some of my coworkers.  Nice break from the drudgery of the typical work day also.

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Friday, October 28, 2011


I guess my dad has no sense of nostalgia. 

Also, I guess I already knew that. 


a healthy dose of nostalgia

I stumbled across this Craigslist ad in the course of my daily internet wanderings.

This car, a brown 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 sedan, is exactly the same as the car my parents brought me home from the hospital in.  They purchased it brand new while my mom was pregnant in anticipation of their soon-to-be expanding family.  This car stayed with us for years.  I remember sitting in the driver's seat when we stopped for gas and pretending for a minute what it would be like to grown up.  I remember my dad telling us he was going to catch up to the fastest car on the freeway and gunning it while I laughed.  I remember overheating on the way to Vegas and being stuck on the roadside with the hood propped up and a light rain drizzling down.  I remember seeing her on the side of the road with a "For Sale" sign after a Korean lady ran a red and T-boned the front end.

Is the memory of a better time worth $1100 and some garage space?  I emailed the link to my parents just now.  Wonder what feelings this familiarly shaped assembly of metal and rubber elicits from them.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I think we actually had the 2 door version.  I guess my parents were not ready to give up THAT much of their youth yet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

tim burton at lacma

First time at LACMA and it was awesome.  Tim Burton has done way more than I was aware of.  What a unique and instantly recognizable style.  It was interesting seeing his growth as an artist and how his characters became progressively more gaunt and disfigured.  Too bad no pictures inside the exhibit.

I have no idea what he is like as a person, but one of the themes I really appreciate in his art is the contrast between external appearance and personality.  His creations are grotesque on the outside but vulnerable and relatable and human on the inside.

Also, I finally got to see those lamps that are in everybody's Facebook profiles haha.

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Studebaker Avanti

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

for those who wander

Highly recommend Through Painted Deserts for anyone who has ever felt numb or lost in the molasses of everydayness.  It will make you feel alive and appreciate the eccentricities of life.  It will make you want to go outside and do something new.

Donald Miller is the only author I have read who has made me laugh aloud while nose deep in a book.  He just posted an excerpt on his blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Not sure if I know how to accept this...
A poet has written, "the desire to feel loved is the last illusion: let it go and you will be free." Just as the sunrise of faith requires the sunset of our former unbelief, so the dawn of trust requires letting go of our spiritual consolations and tangible reassurances. Trust at the mercy of the response it receives is a bogus trust. All is uncertainty and anxiety. In trembling insecurity the disciple pleads for proofs from the Lord that her affection is returned. If she does not receive them, she is frustrated and starts to suspect that her relationship with Jesus is all over or that it never even existed.

If she does receive consolation, she is reassured, but only for a time. She presses for further proofs - each one less convincing than the one that went before. In the end the need to trust dies of pure frustration. What the disciple has not learned is that tangible reassurances, however valuable they may be, cannot create trust, sustain it, or guarantee any certainty of its presence. Jesus calls us to hand over our autonomous self in unshaken confidence. When the craving for reassurances is stifled, trust happens.

-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
It could be that this constant craving for reassurance and requited love is one cause of my often frustrated faith. However, I cannot agree that the desire to be loved is something that we need to be weened from. People who have conditioned themselves to not seek love perhaps have done so as a defense mechanism because they felt unlovable. I believe that it is one of the basic yearnings of the soul and to be detached from that desire is to be something less than human. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Spent the first half of the day at a manufacturing trade show at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Met a guy who I had spoken to over the phone many times over the years at my previous company.  We talked about how odd it is sometimes to put faces to familiar voices.  It is possible to work with someone for years and not know a thing about them.  Business relationships are an interesting thing.

I have been at a random Starbucks since noon relaxing and getting some work done.  Love being out of the office.  My rhinoceros of a laptop can handle any engineering task I throw at it just as well on the road.  I could really get used to this.  I am free to take Facebook and Kindle breaks whenever I need, but it is not really affecting my productivity.  I work well while distracted.  I wonder if this is what life as a writer would be like...

Monday, October 10, 2011

domo arigato

Painting finished!

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The original

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Sketching ideas

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Pencil it in

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Acyrlic paints and brushes from Amazon

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Base coat in brown

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Fill in the mouth and add eyes

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Looking pretty good at this point, nice scale

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Add teeth and eye reflections

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A bit of shadowing

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On our living room wall

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Adds some character

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Messing around