New Job

It’s been a week since I started and I’m now settling in at my new job. The first week was a little on the crazy side, but pretty positive. I had a weeks worth of training videos, procedure manuals, documents to sign, all that good stuff. I had to get keys, key cards, IDs, email accounts, phone extensions and start the process on even more stuff that I’ve yet to get (ie: it’s on order or isn’t set up yet).

I was right in my guess that I’ll be on a Mac. I’m working off a MacBook Pro at the moment and my giant Mac Pro (with maxed out specs) will be here next week. The cinema display is just sitting here waiting to be used to it’s full potential.

We’re a separate entity inside of the company, complete with our own budget for things like hardware, so they seem to always get the nicest toys. I’ve even been asked to “make a list” of camera equipment I might want or need for any future shoots. It’s like Christmas shopping came early this year.

The job itself is good. I’m really enjoying it. There’s a great bunch of people I’m working with. There’s a graphic designer, a videographer and designer/jack of all trades guy who’s my direct boss. I think with my photo skills and a healthy dose of Photoshop mastery and web design background I’ll be a good addition to the team.

The best part is, I can take time off whenever I want, take real vacations, and enjoy myself. For the past five years I’ve taken a grand total of two, less than 5 day, vacations. I don’t know if my former employer realizes how easy he got off because we were always too busy for me to be able to take vacations. Looking back, it was incredibly unfair that I had to cut vacations short or not take them at all because of projects at work. Now, with a more corporate structured atmosphere, it’ll make having a normal life much more easy.

I’m really happy at the moment, and very glad I made this change. I think it’ll be a good move for me on all levels. I hope everything is going well with you guys, I feel like I haven’t talked to anyone in forever. It’s been a solid month of craziness down here.

Brake Job

I’ve had a wide variety of cars in my life. I’ve driven my parents cars, an old junky pickup truck, an old Oldsmobile with no AC, a nice little Mazda that was in a huge wreck. All of those cars were either free or under $500. My current car is the first “new car” that I’ve purchased solely on my own dime and that I’ve now successfully paid off. The car is mine, in total, and I’m fairly proud of that.

That’s why it hurt so much to bring it in for brake work today. Since it was a new car, I’ve yet to put any major maintenance into it. Normally it’s just $25 for an oil change, or $8 for a headlight, or something little like that.

Today I had to drop $350 for a complete brake job.

I’ve ridden that car pretty hard and recently had a series of brake-slamming incidents that lead to the brake light being on and a faint scratching/whirring sound every time I slowed down. Drivers here in Texas refuse to use any sort of turn signal and have a habit of turning into places at the last second or even from the wrong lane. I’ve had to avoid dozens of collisions since I’ve been here. I blame the drivers from Mexico. If you think that’s somehow racist, I assure you it’s not. It’s simply an observation that the driving laws, or lack there of, south of the boarder and many of that regions residents coming here to visit/work/live, etc leads to poor driving habits by a large portion of the population. They drive the same on small dirt roads in the country as they do on our freeways. I’m sorry if they can’t handle going faster than 35mph on the correct side of the road.

I can’t be mad at them any more. There’s far too many of them and they simply suck at driving. There’s not really any nice way to say it.

So, I’ve had a few close calls and had to put a bit of extra pressure on my poor brakes.

All four pads and shoes needed replacing, and all four routers got machined. They also bleed and refiled the brakes lines and rotated the cylinders. They were also concerned with one of the rear calipers but it turned out to just be stubborn and not stuck or broken. That cost me $350 and half the day.

I don’t really mind, it’s not like brakes are something you can live without. They’re kind of an integral part of the car. Being able to stop is fairly important and I’d rather be safe than rear end someone because my brakes gave out.

I think after my first paycheck at the new job I’ll put a set of new tires on as well. Other than that, the car has been relatively maintenance free so far. I can definitely deal with oil changes and tire rotations if this baby will go 200,000. We just got 150,000 out of Lauren’s car without any major maintenance. At that point, the cars reliability has more than paid for itself.


The upside of being at work crazy early: Being able to browse the new plugin section of, finding interesting plugins and installing them for no reason. Like this one, which is now rocking my NextGen Gallery. Click for the rounded corner goodness.


Goes without Saying

I think it goes without saying that no one, under any circumstance, should be at work at 6am. Unless of course you have a job that involves being some where at 6am on a regular basis. Early AM tollbooth attendant or donut maker for example. In which case you’re more than allowed to take off around noon. Those of us working a regular 9-5 however, should not be at work at 6:00. Yet hear I sit.

We’re doing a big multi-day shoot this week and we get started around 7:00, so “someone” needs to be here before that to open the place up. I love it when bosses say “someone”, as if there are 200 people in the room and they could ask anyone at random. No, it’s you and them and “they” certainly aren’t that someone. It’s a universality. Much like Murphy’s Laws. You, the non-boss, will be the one to come in early.

It’s almost enough to make you want to be the boss, simply to make someone else come in at some unnecessary hour for some unnecessary reason. Never mind the fact that you live, literally, 10 blocks and under 5 minutes away and that your employee has a 45 minute commute in early rush-hour traffic. No, the sensible thing to do is ask that person to get up extra early and come in while you enjoy sleeping late and having that extra cup of coffee.

I’m not complaining of course, merely speculating.

Or it could be that I only have one more week until I start my new job. Not that I’m counting the days or anything.


I’m going to go make more coffee.