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Mar. 10th, 2009


(no subject)

shame on us

doomed from the start

may god have mercy

on our dirty little hearts

shame on us

for all we have done

and all we ever were

just zeros and ones


Dec. 23rd, 2008


raiders of the lost cardboard

Wow, have times really gotten so desperate? I swear that the people that drove down my street last night with their trailer weren't looking for cans/bottles like they usually do - instead, they were picking out CARDBOARD. Caught-in-the-act pics behind the cut.

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Dec. 22nd, 2008


garage door sensing

I really need to wire up a reed switch to my garage door, run it into my house, and have a blinking red LED that indicates that the door is open. I have this awful habit, it seems, of leaving the door up and coming inside and forgetting about it - Not Cool when you have a lot of valuable tools and two unlocked motorcycles just sitting there... right across the bridge from the sketchiest part of Oakland.

Hopefully I'll do this before someone does something to motivate me to do something about it. Okay, sleep now. Dreams of Canon. Yay.

canon love

I picked up the new-to-me canon 40d today, and - *heart heart heart*.

The buyer was very nice and shipped it out immediately (well packed and all), but when Mr Postman delivered it at 8:30am this weekend (saturday) I was (of course) asleep... So that meant waiting until monday and dealing with the lines at the local USPS office (ugh). I made two attempts - the first resulted in me waiting not-so-patiently for 15 whole minutes and not moving an *inch*; I figured morning traffic would be lighter but I was wrong. I had to bail to make an interview (the candidate was really nice, but *mumble mumble censored so I don't get in trouble in some way*). Line moved a lot faster in the late afternoon; got the toy^H^H^Hcamera and made my way home (trying not to get pulled over for speeding!), and spent the next few hours playing with it.

Canon love. What an upgrade from the 350D (rebel xt)!! The AF is SO much better (the 350d wouldn't AF at <f/5.6, and I use f/1.4 glass in low light), the noise is so much better, the dynamic range in higher ISOs is so much better, etc etc. This baby has all the knobs and buttons I was missing. I can set up custom modes on the mode dial - no more futzing with it in the dark at Rocky when I move from the back of the theatre to the front row to catch Trixie. The AF is spot on, and damn if the high speed continuous drive machine-gun sound isn't BEAUTIFUL! I can now swap lenses without turning the body off (very nice), it has a self-cleaning sensor (apparently pretty decent), and .. hey, what's this? LIVE VIEW! Now I can use my EF t-mount adapter to mount it on the 8" scope for imaging distant celestial bodies (not all my photography is of Californian heavenly bodies!), set it to live view, and digitally zoom in to 5x/10x on the lcd to MANUALLY focus in real time! Trying to focus by taking many frames was a royal P.I.T.A. - finally that's solved! Combine that with the low noise of the sensor (okay, it's no $5k cooled dedicated imaging sensor, but oh boy, what an improvement!), and I should be able to put out some pretty good sky shots. I kindof wish I had the 580ex II (vs the 1) so that I could program the flash from the camera body, but that's really quite low on my list. More important is that the body doesn't have an IR receiver built in, so I cannot use my 350D's IR remote control to remotely trigger the shutter - that was really handy for 30" exposures, but I guess I can suck it up and buy a wired remote (or make one... they can't be that complicated). Auto ISO is weird. I haven't quite figured it out, but in M mode with auto ISO it seems to be stuck on 400 - I think it'll work, but I'm missing something. HTP (highlight tone priority) - I'm trying to understand if it's really useful to me. Sometimes I get blown highlights from the spots in the theatre, and it sounds like it might help with that, but no more than effectively underexposing and adjusting the tone curve in pp. I guess that would make jpg handoff a little more convenient straight from the camera. Still, there's an increase in the amount of noise in the dark areas - I'll have to see if that's an issue with the 40d. I'm guessing that since it only has so-so noise reduction in-camera that it'll be a useless feature to me (they advertise it more for wedding photographers - white dress next to black tux). Tomorrow: a trip to <a href="http://www.calacademy.org/>Academy of Sciences</a> to play with my toy. This oughta be fun!

Dec. 3rd, 2008


shell host

I suddenly miss the era when you could readily find unix shell accounts for cheap. I have this urge to download a particular torrent that will be 36 or 72 gb in size. I have a 1mb downlink at home, and undoubtedly some ridiculous bandwidth cap. I have oodles of bandwidth at work, but not enough to access to run a torrent client outside of the firewall/proxy.

It should be a trivial problem to solve. In fact, there's even a torrent relay web site out there that will download a torrent and allow you to stream it via http - wonderful! I could download it to the web site, then to my work computer, then put on a hard drive to take home! However, the only web site I could find that would do such a thing for me complains that there are too many files in the torrent. Hmm.

Other thoughts: stealthily plant some older laptops near open wireless access points. Maybe I can edit the torrent and make the website think there are fewer files to download (it's okay if I download it in several chunks!). Hmm.

Dec. 1st, 2008


new camera

I need a new camera body. Specifically, the canon 40d. I found a great deal on friday (zipzoomfly, $650 !!), but they were sold out. Please, inter-tubes, magically locate for me a new 40d for around $700 shipped. =)

Oct. 17th, 2008


flight info

From Oakland, CA (OAK) to Boston, MA (BOS)
Friday, Oct 17, 2008 Flight 476 Depart Oakland, CA (OAK) at 10:50 PM and arrive in Boston, MA (BOS) at 7:20 AM (next day)

From Boston, MA (BOS) to Oakland, CA (OAK)
Sunday, Oct 26, 2008 Flight 477 Depart Boston, MA (BOS) at 8:10 PM and arrive in Oakland, CA (OAK) at 11:35 PM

Oct. 16th, 2008



I can't wait to go. I miss new england and should go more than once a year.

I will be there at 7 or 8am on saturday.

I just realized yesterday that this weekend is the Head of the Charles. Cool. I'll probably wander around there during the day, and eventually meet up with B. I think we'll find some sort of adventure in the evening; if people are going to rocky, I'll definitely go.

Sunday evening (dinner time-ish) I'll be boarding a train for Maine, where I'll spend a couple of days with my mom. My sister will be driving up.. tuesday?, and we will probably be there until some time wednesday, at which time she'll bring me back (she lives south of boston). Thur/fri will probably be spent with my dad.

Friday night, saturday, saturday night, sunday: GAME ON!

I fly back sunday night.

camera thoughts

I really want a canon 40d. For a not-so-brief moment last night, I used the thought of a canon 40d to distract me, much as I would focus on the thought of a beautiful girl while my teeth were being drilled into.

So, I was tired last night, and - not being accustomed to having my camera gear at BAGG, because, well, cameras are usually not welcome - I put my camera bag down on the ground in front of the club next to my motorcycle. I got my jacket and music ready, hopped on the bike, and rode away. Out of SF. Onto the bay bridge... where I had an "why does my back feel lighter than when I rode into the city earlier.oh.SHIT!" moment. Yes, I was about 10 minutes away from my camera bag containing my favorite lenses and nice flash (probably about $3k total), left sitting alone on a curb in front of a night club in an area of SF that bums wander through.

I can't believe it was still there. I told the club owner his club was blessed.

Anyways, I found the bright side (as I tend to do) as I was riding back across the bay bridge to retrieve my gear - I would finally have a rock-solid reason to justify buying a 40d. But, it was not to be - so again I am faced with the want.want.want.want dilemma. I think I've concluded that I will be buying a 40d - the price point is so much better now that the 50d is out. I've seen them on craigslist, in not too-sketchy listings for $700, vs $900 new - I just have to research whether or not the warranty would be transferable. I also have to set a price point. And then BUY. and love. and make even more beautiful photos (my rebel xt body has poor sensor noise, poor focusing - I think it won't focus at <f5.6? which is horrid, considering I typically shoot with f/1.4 or f/2.8 lenses!). Anyways.. lust.

SF love

I just have to say.. I love this place. Not enough sleep and I'm slightly stressed about the amount of work I have to get done before tomorrow night (holy crap, is it thursday already?), but my head and heart are exploding with the happy. Thank you, SF Bay Area.

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