Friday, June 4, 2010

#0040 Cleaning Bookmarks

Playful critters at the Googleplex.
Where did I leave my cat?

Image via Wikipedia
Today being Friday,
it's sort of a whimsical day.  I started it around 5AM, but then went back to bed for a long relaxing nap followed by a long relaxing breakfast with reruns of The West Wing.  Then after a look at my garden to see if water is in demand (it wasn't) I headed down down down down to the office.  Please follow along, because this is a sort of process story that ends up with something relevant.  At least I hope so, but can't be sure because the end hasn't been written yet.  (Are we seeing the whimsy yet?)

 If I'm at all like most people, the first thing we do is check our email messages.  Nothing of interest.   (Sigh.  I was hoping to hear from a friend.)

A glance over my open Firefox tabs reminded me I was reading an article before rushing out to dinner last night at our favorite halal Thai restaurant in North Hollywood, Barn Rau.  The article, a blog published anonymously called VFX Soldier, advocates vfx artists need to take a stand and work for better working conditions in the industry.  This led me to an article about

Thursday, June 3, 2010

#0039 Photos from India

If my readers will permit a moment of personal business, some readers have written me about my experience in India teaching Nuke (tm) last February with Steve Wright.  In particular there was interest in my photos, which are at The photos are rather touristy, but the trip was colorful and I captioned everything.

Mumbai during my visit was very beautiful.  Weather was tolerable, but warming.  All in all it was great to get around town during  my limited time off from work. 

Hats off for Mumbai!
Author, Mumbai India, Feb 2010

#0038 Working Abroad - The Contract

The Gateway of India
About working abroad, one piece of advice: be sure and ask lots of questions.  I found out after negotiations that the work week was six, not five days, and that taxes are taken out (to be claimed when filing US Federal taxes).  The taxes I should have expected, after all, there are always taxes.  Also, when negotiating, be sure and make clear if you expect fees for your VISA and traveler's innoculations to be compensated.  After all, these are not fees you incur otherwise.  This is much better than negotiating these fees after the job is done.    (By the way, if any of my friends in Mumbai read this, I  had a great experience and am not at all unhappy.... just saying one has to be savvy, savvy?)

Business Class
Other things to remember are your travel arrangements.  I did not give it any thought, but two of my fellow travelers asked for and got business class travel.  I wanted to work on the airplane, but

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#0037 Updating skills with Lynda's Help

My friends   Darren Kiner and Steve Wright and others have been telling me to visit for their great technical tutorials. may seem like old news to some, but for some time there I only had time for the projects I was working on.  When I checked it out I was busy that day and it slipped away from my attention.  That was a big mistake --because I really love the site and believe that it, or another like it, should be in your CG Supervisor's toolkit.  I consider it a leadership issue.   
I liked so much I arranged for my readers a free 24 hour pass to   If you've never been there, schedule yourself a long, quiet day, pack the family off if necessary, and try out Lynda's tutorials.   Now let me tell you about my experience there and why it's important to have in your toolkit.