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    This is our space on the web to help us keep in touch with our family and friends.   Leo and Ian's Blog. (Password Required) Leo is 6 years old and his brother Ian is 2.   GREAT BURNIN' BLU-RAYS! My favorite backup solution for 2014.   Some of our favorite trips currently and over the years.

    I Love Ford

    Recently, Leila is about to toss out some 'junk mail' when she decided to double-check something sent from Ford. Turns out it's this letter, apologizing for an inaccurate fuel-economy rating. (Keep in mind, this for a car I've put three tanks of gas in all year- the number would *still* be one had I not been driving it a lot this summer including a trip out to Palm Springs. In other words… how much better could the fuel economy BE on this car, I'm over the moon about it!) 

    So to make me whole for this terrible outrage, they send me a check for $475. 

    Good thing she didn't toss it out as junk mail!

    Have I mentioned lately that I love Ford? (Oh yeah, I have. In the post title)

     

    Edit: I was skeptical too. My first thought: "Great, another of those 'hey, here's a check, but you can only spend it if you come on down to the dealer and buy blah de blah…" type 'checks' you get, oh every other week or so. But nope. It's legit. Part of an EPA downgrade, and a legit payout program. If I wasn't leasing the car and had bought it, the payout would be $775. Here's an article:

    CLICKIDY CLICK HERE

    Also, from the horse's mouth:

    CLICKIDY CLICK HERE: WATCH VIDEO

    Sometimes, once in a great while, companies apparently do the right thing and it's NOT some kind of sales scam with stings attached. 

    35 Years Ago

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    When I was a kid I could often be found late at night underneath the covers drawing my attempts at comic books by flashlight.

    I’ve somehow managed to preserve quite a few of them.

    Yes, pretty terrible but cut me some slack I was 9.

    I got a chuckle running across this one. In it our hero “The Raccoon Kid” (so named because he fancied himself a western outlaw, not a super hero and seemed to resent being called on for help) is awakened from a nap by a phone call from current president… Jimmy Carter.

    Bedroom Remodel Project

    Recently, we've done a major overhaul of our bedrooms. Leo now sleeps in a new big boy bed in the larger master bedroom. No more crib. (He probably thinks he is now king of the house, but he possibly has a slight inkling he'll eventually be sharing the increased space with someone else.)

    We've moved into his old bedroom. We had the idea of converting our bed  (which used to have bedside shelves that rolled out from behind the backboard) to fit the new room. We wanted to do it without buying much new material, rather by just chopping up the old setup. 

    We decided on a wall-to-wall headboard with bedside tables in front. 

    First I measured everything and spent some time circular-sawing in the garage. Next I glued wood planks together to create supports- exactly 1" from the wall as both supports and spacers from the wall, and attached them behind the backboard. 

    Combo of crazy-glue and wood-glue makes a bond stronger than the wood itself.

    The left end peice clamped in place until the glue dries.

    The top rail in place (cut from our old sideboards)- exactly 3"- hense the need for 1" support/spacers. 

    Our new wall-to-wall headboard and bedside tables! I think it looks great with just the bare wood, despite the seams, but eventually we will cover it with a solid sheet of Panyl. We haven't decided what color yet. The sideboards and foot of our bed is also rebuilt from peices of the old bed.

    The room is very cozy, I actually prefer it to our old master bedroom. Today I did some drilling to put all my wiring (phone and various device chargers, lamp) inside the right bedside table. I still have to wire Leila's side. 

    Check this out! My good friend Mike Milo has been part of AutoDesk's beta-testing program for years. The new animation features built into the upcoming Sketchbook Pro 2015 are in large part due to his urging him to create this!

    Sketchbook is awesome software- many in the animation industry I work for use this software, but of course up until now, just for still images, not animation. Here's a video of him demoing the new feature:

    This combined with the new Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft seems like a killer animation combination to me.

    Is there any doubt I love this car?

    Out of 2695 miles, I've only driven 590 of those on gasoline. Most of that 590 miles were before my first fill up- since then, I've hardly used gas- I'm still on that first fill up (back in January) and I doubt I'll be having to refil for at least another few months. 

    Just stepping on the brakes has netted me 670 miles of recovered energy. I'm a little disapointed with my 91% braking score though, I know I could do better, but I blame it on the realities of traffic- I can't always brake effeciently, have to stop on a dime sometimes. 

    Almost 90MPG when using gas isn't too shabby!

    Have I mentioned I never want a standard gas-guzzling car ever again if I can help it?

    Shakin’

    Wow. A 5.1 earthquake hit in La Habra, CA earlier this evening. (About 25 miles from us). I felt our house shake for a good minute. One of the longest earthquakes I’ve ever felt. Usually they just last a few seconds. It wasn’t a violent shake just a rocking motion. The lamp suspended on a cord in the dining room swung back and fourth. Leila was out for a walk nearby and didn’t feel a thing. Leo was sound asleep.

    Check out my review of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 over at Animationinsider.com.

    (The site is a little bit non-edited, so don't blame me for the tiny cropped images and formatting errors, /layout nitpicking ) 

    Oh, and let me just mention: since my last post about electric cars, I've used *maybe* two gallons of gas or so. I'm still on the first fill up! (And lest you think I haven't driven much, I've driven 1,600 miles so far on this first fill up!) MY kind of technology. 

    Work Contruction

    This is the front courtyard of the office I work in. Every day, even on the 4th floor of this building where the FTA offices are, we've been subjected to the most mind-numbingly loud jackhammering and contruction noises for the past couple of weeks. A few unlucky people have their offices litterally shaking all day. (Thankfully for me, I don't have that problem in my office). Luckily, the front fountains are now pretty much demolished and the worst annoyances should be over. 

    The view from above. Both sides of the courtyard are under construction (East and West), this is the East side. The West side barricade can just be seen. The pyramid water fountain structure is still standing in the photo above- it has since been demolished completely. 

    It used to be a very nice courtyard. Frankly, none of us who work here can quite understand the need for replacing what we already had. I've heard that it was just that the water fountains were too much trouble to maintain. 

    This was the old courtyard in its heyday. Very nice, if you ask me. 

    In the heart of the Los Angeles Miracle Mile, our office complex was used as a 'futuristic' backdrop in many movies over the years. Most notably, the 1993 movie "Demolition Man" starring Sylvester Stalone, Sandra Bullock and Wesley Snipes. 

    Above and below are renderings of what the new renovations are going to look like. Basically no more fountains, but we'll have a sort of enclosed-gardens look. 

     

    Charge Stations At Work

    We have free Charge Point stations at my work! I was plugged in today beside a Tesla Model S.  

    Gas used thus far driving back and forth to worK: not one drop. 

    Plugged in at Ikea

    Neat! Spots right up front at IKEA reserved for electric vehicles. Plugged in while we shop.
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