Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari

This is a little video that Grace and I made of the Brockie, Dawn & Dena adventure on the high seas. Keep the sound up for a few seconds and then you can turn it down to cut out the wind noise. We went down to Dana Point and took a 3 hour tour with Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari.
No whales were seen but that was AOK because we saw the white faced pod of about 200 long nose common dolphins. They stayed with the boat for quite some time even following if we turned away or sped up. They didn't seem to want to leave us. About five of them had babies that looked like little footballs with awkward jumps and landings. A priceless trip to be sure. I don't think Grace left the front of the boat for the entire trip.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

City of Los Angeles Budget Cuts

Why in the world can they afford to sweep the streets every single week but not cut the grass on our large boulevards? Perhaps because street sweeping generates revenue from parking tickets and mowing the grass doesn't? I took this picture about 4 weeks ago. The grass still hasn't been cut. It's about 2 feet higher now. It makes our city look trashy and impoverished. It's depressing. You can read about it here. Fort Worth, TX is apparently having the same issues of tall grass along streets due to budget cuts.

In doing my research it turns out that the actual problem is that they accidently laid off all the street maintenance median people. What a bunch of incompetent morons.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Facebook Tagging & Other Features

Wanted to key you in to a feature that has been out for awhile but some of you may not be aware of on Facebook. We're all familiar with tagging people in our pictures but you have been able to tag people on your status posts for about a year now. The way you do this is to type your status - "out scrapbooking with @ir ....." after typing the @ symbol and a couple letter a drop down box appears with matching names. You choose the person you are tagging in your status and it's done. Why is this important? Well, frankly it's not important at all but it does alert your friend that you've posted something with/about them. This also works for any entity on facebook, like starbucks or minabea. Here is a detailed description of the feature with screen shots.

Today Facebook launched a revamped old feature that I'm really digging which is groups. I've always felt that Groups in Facebook was useless essentially but now they have made it easy for you to build a space for important groups of people in your life—your family, your soccer team, your book club. All you have to do to get started is to create a group, add friends and start sharing.

When a group member posts to the group, everyone in the group will receive a notification about that post. Now I won't have to guess anymore about whether my parents saw the pictures I posted of their grandkids; when I post in my family group, I'll know that they've been notified about it and that only they will see it. Since information posted in my new groups is only visible to group members by default, I can feel confident about who sees what I post. Other features in the new revamped groups is group chat and group email.

The last item that I wanted to talk about was another revamped feature released on September 30th, 2010 in Photos. Facebook is now allowing higher resolution (photo quality) pictures, easier picture viewing (it was quite a pain before), easier tagging (multiple photos if you're uploading like a wedding or something with all the same people) and a simpler uploading plug in.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Movie Shots in Downtwon Los Angeles

One of the benefits (well that's debateable) of working in downtown Los Angeles is seeing movies, commercials and TV shows being shot. I've seen them do a helicopter scene for the TV Show 24, they've spent 3 weeks building out the 6th floor of my building for some movie that Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck are in and now they are decorating 6th street @ Olive with snow and christmas lights. Here are a couple of recent pictures.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Solar Update

I thought I'd let you all in on our solar situation. Sungevity has sent out a technician to prefield the installation. They've drawn up the plans for our installation and submitted them to the city of Los Angeles and Department of Water & Power. Now we wait.....we are waiting for approval and permits. It's nice that Sungevity takes care of all this so that we don't have to. All I have to worry about is how the sun is not making me any money yet.

And I know this is stupid but they sent us a present. They sent us a solar charging iGo for our electronic accessories. It's pretty cool and I love presents. If you don't know iGo is the charging device widely available at Radio Shack that allows you to just buy ends to charge different things, like an ipod end, a blackberry end, a micro USB end, and the list goes on....

Troubleshooting my Body

The shotgun approach I am taking with my body to rescue it from all I've done to it in the last couple years is almost overwhelming me. Is it possible I've stressed myself out even further with this self care thing? Perhaps.

What I've done is started seeing a Podiatrist for the plantar fasciitis who subsequently prescribed physical therapy. That's twice a week. I'm seeing a nutritionist to get me on track in the food and diet department. I'm working out twice a week and doing some of the wellness challenges we have at work including 50 situps every day. And I'm seeing a psychologist to help me deal with the stress and mental strain. Between all of these things I'm busy 5 nights a week. Frankly, it's ridiculous. When is a person supposed to relax? I fall into bed every night sometimes as early as 9:30, then wake up in the morning and do it all over again.

I'm totally pissed off at the podiatrist now. They made my orthodics wrong, which required two more visits to fix. I'm reviewing the EOB (explanation of benefits) provided by my insurance company and I am appalled at the over charging that they are doing to me and the insurance people. $50 for this, $50 for that, if the doctor touches my feet it's another $50, if I walk down the hallway with him watching it's another $75 per foot for "gait training". What a load of crap that is. One visit was $617. I mean seriously!?

What I do feel is helping the most is the physical therapy. With the stretches, pool therapy and other treatment they give me the pain is definitely getting better. Everyone says that plantar fasciitis takes a very long time to heal (or heel hahaha) and I can see why. I'm trying to be patient but that is not one of my strongest virtues. I'm also trying to be vigilant and keep up with my stretches and ice but it's exhausting.

Thank goodness I have good health insurance. What do people do without health insurance? I suppose they would have to be good to themselves and stay healthy or go bankrupt.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Long Absence

Let me apologize to all my faithful readers for my long absence. I've been very busy with work, sleeping and trying to practice "self care". I've worked pretty much every weekend for most of the summer and I have to say, burn out is imminent. Thank goodness a vacation is near. It is amazing how important it is to have something big like that to look forward to. I cannot wait.

You might have wondered what this "self care" thing is all about. Perhaps its all come about because I'm working so much, very stressed out about money or a combination of all that has happened in life over the past year or so. I feel that my body has reached its limit and has been whining for years about my lack of attention to it. Over the past 18 months that whining has gotten increasingly louder and moved into a scream over the past few months. That's a scream for attention. Well, it has worked. The back pain, the plantar fasciitis and pain associated with that, the eye strain headaches, the migraines, it just cannot go on.

I troubleshoot things for a living. Yes, those things are electronic, both hardware and software in nature, but let's face it, troubleshooting is a skill that can be applied to every problem in life. There are two approaches to troubleshooting; one being a methodical and linear step by step approach, eliminating each piece as you go until the problem is isolated; the second is the "shotgun" approach. This is the method I am taking to troubleshoot my body.

Tomorrow I'll discuss the details I've been taking.