31 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Waves Lapping Upon Beach Cause I Live in Southern California So I Guess I Am Compelled to Post Some Beach Photos Edition)

Taken at Dockweiler State Beach a few days ago while killing a bit of time before picking up my friend on the way to the gym. It was gray (it's May), but with photo editing I can almost make it look like some color and contrast were visible at the time. I went more than a month without a photo from the beach as a 'daily photo', situation rectified. Haven't uploaded the rest of the shots to Flickr, since they're nothing special, but since I have unlimited storage with my pro account, might as well at some point.

Last day of May, didn't give you much to peruse other than posts of photos, or posts about photography, this month. When I plunge into a hobby, I guess I really get into it. Not like politics this past month would have been any more interesting to comment upon, anyway. Let's see, what I missed, Obama's intent on turning the United States into France, Jr., North Korea is bellicose (but not as bellicose or fragile as Susan Boyle), being a wise latina is part of the tool set required to sit on the Supreme Court, and our money supply is inflating like an overheated souffle. Yeah, I may stick to the photography thing for awhile, or not, I think I've proven to be very consistent in my inconsistency over the years blogging here. Expect more of the unexpected, or expect more of what you've come to expect, either works for me.

30 May 2009

“It’s a bit more exciting than a milk float”

Slogan (as described in this Times of London article) for the EV-0 R prototype electric racing bike to be entered in the upcoming TTXGP, the first zero carbon, clean emission grand prix. Seems like it's a bit early in the life cycle of electric technology to be staging a major motorcycle grand prix with all electric bikes, but fortune favors the bold, I suppose. They're pushing the 'green'-ness of the move, but I think the engineering and performance challenges the change presents are of far more interest and long term benefit. Gaiaism is a fad, but electrifying vehicles of all kinds goes beyond the usual Al Gore nonsense.

The Mission Motors entry looks interesting. They're taking the production electric bike they're developing, and racifying it. Seems like bikes will be easier to electrify than passenger vehicles, and the potential performance benefits of electric propulsion over combustion engines will be staggering as the technology matures. Can't wait till boats start adopting this tech, would be nice to be at a boat launch that doesn't reek of diesel fumes (all the 'zero carbon' crap is just crap, but nearly instantaneous acceleration and no fumes are exciting prospects).

Your Daily Photo (Being In Focus Is Overrated Edition)

20090528_060 Getty Villa

This shot, not quite in focus, just a hair off, but I think being slightly off improves the composition (and Flickr users would seem to agree, it's the shot that's received the most hits since Flickr decided yesterday became today, Flickr stats seem to flip at UTC+0, rather than local time for each user). In some things good enough turns out to be better than being perfect. I swear that makes sense, somehow.

Didn't take any new pictures yesterday, so you get consecutive days of Getty Villa pics, and you are going to like it. Almost took a picture of a business stating proudly with a sign on their front door that they had "Mexican Coke" available, but decided it would be too much of a hassle. The "Mexican Coke" phenomenon has been going on for awhile, in this case it isn't a matter of storefronts openly selling nose candy (that'd be Coca Colombiana, or so I'm told), instead it's a thing that's pretty popular throughout the Southwest, and that's Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico. Why would someone import a non-alcoholic beverage made with Mexican water? It's not the crisp, clean Mexican water people are after, but that pure uncut sweet funk that folks remember from back in the day when soda was made with something called 'sugar'. Coca-Cola insists that sugar based Coca-Cola and high fructose corn syrup based Coca-Cola taste the same, but the steady stream of bottles and cans coming north suggests many people assume differently.

The main reason we get HFCS in all our sweetened crap, while the rest of the world still relies on cane sugar has everything to do with pork barrel (to the tune of $40B annual subsidies for corn in the USA) and electoral politics (I'm giving you the Stink-Eye Iowa), and nothing to do with taste. There's no hard data to support the claims that HFCS is worse than sugar, all the human studies have looked at correlation between obesity and diabetes rates and the increase of corn syrup in the diets, but the mechanism of the link, or if there is any causation at all, remains elusive.

Doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I just drink diet soda when I drink soda, but mostly I drink (filtered) tap water. And yes, I call those sugary (or nutrasweet-y) soft drinks, soda, it's one of the few remaining terms with strong regional quirks in American English. I was born and raised in a 'soda' county, so that's what I call the stuff.

Even I'm confused as to what any of the above has to do with the profile of an attractive young woman snapped furtively and slightly out of focus while she perused antiquities, but I'm sure there's a connection in some way (probably has to do with a theme of 'sweetness').

29 May 2009

28 May 2009

Are They Going to Get Matthew Perry For Their Commercials, Or Will They Go the Ghoulish Route and Create Mash-Ups Using Old Bing Crosby Clips?

Bing, from Microsoft, something new, something getting talked about at the moment, they're calling it a 'decision engine' rather than a 'search engine'.

Don't think Microsoft expects Bing to replace Google, but could augment their Live brand and make LiveSearch more attractive to advertisers. In Scoble's friendfeed I see mentioned that the name might be a recursive acronym (in this case, "Bing Is Not Google").

Don't know what they'll have to offer to get most people to break their Google habit, competition is almost always good, though, so might be worth checking out.

And count me in the use Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing (even though I hate Friends) over Zombie Bing Crosby if they go the celebrity route for ads. Stuff like that Audrey Hepburn Gap campaign really piss me off.

My Promise to You, That Within the Voluminous Number of Pictures I Post on Flickr, Nothing Will Be as Cheesy as Rosie and Aaron's Stuff...

Daily Mail has an article about some perfectly romantic, or perfectly dreadful (depending on your perspective) photo collaborations between two romantically entwined photographers/artists who share a passion for photography and each other, but don't share a time zone, or even continent.

As you can guess by the title of this post, if you were to chart their actions on a line with romantic on the far left, and dreadful on the far right, I'd peg their work (especially the one with the frames) well to the right of center.

Here's Rosie Hardy's flickr photostream, she's 18, takes a good photo, and is a bit too addicted to photoshop, but nothing wrong with a comely lass posting lots of well posed and composed pictures of herself on the internet.

Oh yeah, and here's that douchebag Aaron Nace's flickr photostream. I don't know for certain that he's a douche, but check out the pics and decide for yourself. Also, generally speaking, 25 year olds who date 18 year olds are douches. He's a talented photographer, however, I'll give him that.

Your Daily Photo (Are You Feeling Prickly, or Just a Prick? Take Your Pick Edition)

20090524_005 RedRock

I suppose today is a Thursday Twofer edition, first up a prickly looking cactus from my Red Rock Canyon set at Flickr. It was late afternoon, and the sun was where all the good views were, so if I want to hit that as a photo spot, should do it in the morning.

20090525_056 Vegas_edited-1

Next up, just a prick, not just any prick though, but a reproduction (at Caesar's Palace) of Michelangelo's interpretation of what a young Goliath-slaying David's prick looks like. Didn't Michelangelo know about the whole God's Chosen and getting circumcised thing? Guess not, or his favorite model was as God made him, and couldn't bring himself to alter him, even in statue form. Someone scratched in a poorly shaped heart on his inner thigh, I would imagine restoring this reproduction is an easier process than fixing the original, so hopefully they'll fix that soon. Also of note, clearly David didn't use any performance enhancing drugs to improve his slinging ability, cause his 'berries' look quite round and full, unlike (I suspect) most power hitters in Major League Baseball.

I'm heading over to Getty Villa today, so look forward to many more marble appendages for you to peruse at.

27 May 2009

Yeah, Sure, with a $4000 Camera and a $7600 Lens, I Could Take Shots That Good, Too...

Robert Scoble, the Scobleizer, is at the Twitter 140 conference, and he rented a huge honking lens (photo by Brian Solis) to cover it.

Yes, I'm jealous, and yes, the pics he's taken look fantastic.

But, though I'm enjoying taking snaps and have no problem walking around with $1100 worth of camera body and lenses (that's the $850 Nikon D5000 with kit 18-55mm lens plus the $250 55-200mm zoom), I'm not ready to step up to the big leagues and carry kit worth the same as a brand new econobox (also that Canon 600mm lens looks like it weighs about as much as a Kia Spectra, too).

Your Daily Photo (Red Light District Edition)

20090525_059 Vegas_edited-1

No filters or after-the-fact photoshop shenannigans, just using the available light from Cleopatra's Barge at Caesar's Palace. Vegas has completely abandoned the 'family friendly' vibe they were trying to portray back in the 90s. They've doubled down on the intrinsic "Sin City" feeling that has sustained tourism to the town for decades.

There's even discussion in the legislature to legalize prostitution in Clark and Nye Counties (the two most populous counties in Nevada do not have legalized prostitution, despite what many folks assume, and despite the ready availibility of 'escorts' in Las Vegas and Reno).

From a libertarian viewpoint, let adults be adults and tax what is already a big part of the underground economy in Vegas. Plus, seems like in the rural counties that have legal brothels, there are zero 'streetwalkers', so the transactional sex that is taking place is safer for both the sellers and the buyers. From a personal standpoint, I find it a deplorable activity for all involved, but I don't think my own code of conduct should infringe on what others can freely choose to do.

(and to be clear about the woman pictured above, I am not suggesting she herself is involved in anything other than being a singer at one of the many lounges in Vegas, just the redness of the picture evoked the phrase 'red light district' in my mind)

26 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Where I Copy Woot! and Give You a Tuesday Twofer Edition)

The view from my ninth floor suite on the Vegas Strip, where I spent last night...

The view of my suite at Bally's, cause that's how I roll. In theory, an in room tub is great. In practice, equals one stubbed toe, and one banged shin against that hard, cold marble.

Didn't plan on staying overnight, certainly wouldn't have booked a suite with a 'love tub' going to Vegas by myself, but decided driving to Vegas and back after a few hikes in the desert on one of the worst nights for drunken drivers was probably a bad idea.

Not a good sign for Vegas that I could book a room on the strip (I booked a cheaper room, they bumped me up to a suite) at the last minute on a big holiday weekend.

I regret not having gone to Edwards AFB to catch the probable last shuttle landing on the west coast. I even set an alarm for 5:30AM local time to listen to mission control, and they still seemed determined to land in Florida, didn't want to drive for two and a half hours for something that didn't seem likely to happen, so I went back to sleep and got a few extra hours of shut-eye before I took off for Vegas. I took a detour after hitting Baker, heading towards Death Valley and then up to Pahrump. Got pulled over by the CHP just before the Nevada border, but instead of writing me up for speeding (warning only), the officer was more interested in chatting me up about my camera, so buying my Nikon D5000 has already paid dividends.

And if you are paying attention to the titles of these posts, you'll notice that in this one there's a reference to Woot!'s Tuesday Twofer deals. Mostly they're crappy things that they have to sell two of at ridiculous prices to get rid of, and this Tuesday's deal is no different.

25 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Memorial Day Edition)

That flag continues to fly proudly, because of those that have fallen. Seems the primary way we commemorate their sacrifice is by getting blind stinking drunk, and riding around on various types of watercraft or recreational vehicles. That's America for you.

24 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (It's Your Move, and I'm Pretending I Posted This Sunday Edition)

I was away from my computer yesterday, drove 1000 miles Friday through Monday, so have plenty of photos (but not up on Flickr yet).

23 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Our Public Sector Union Employees Earn Every Penny of Their Gold Plated Benefits Packages Edition)

Someone at CalTrans decided to think 'outside of the box', and rather than going with the boring, old, rhyming admonition to buckle up, "click it, or ticket", decided to throw holiday weekend travellers a little message to ponder, "click it, or diesel". As far as I can tell, this message was on every CalTrans message board that wasn't being used to relay semi-accurate, almost up-to-date traffic information.

I don't see how such well compensated, dedicated, and bright employees of CalTrans could have botched such an easy and cliched phrase, so rather than mere incompetence, I'm going to err on the side of assuming some sort of devious brilliance is behind these non sequitur road signs. After all, with an annual budget of $60,800,000,000, I would expect they'd have the cash lying around to pay for a proofreader to check what they chose to display on every sign they control up and down the state.

    Are we supposed to believe drivers of diesel vehicles are exempt from seat-belt laws this holiday weekend?

    Are we supposed to speculate on the sexual orientation of any unbelted women we spy?

    Are they engaging in some bizarre viral marketing campaign to raise the California motoring public's awareness of the benefits of diesel autos?

I'm expecting for the Independence Day travel period that they throw up on their signs something along the lines of "Don't Drink and Derive" just to make sure folks are paying attention.

Also, just so you know, I did take that shot while driving, but I wasn't operating the camera. I had my camera mounted on a tripod, taking shots at 12 second intervals, and this was the one shot that captured one of those CalTrans signs displaying this weekend's odd message.

I didn't expect the usual holiday traffic jams, what with gas prices, economic woes, Obama chastising folks for going to Vegas and all, but looks like everyone was still trying to get out of L.A., just like on any other long weekend, so instead of a quick afternoon day trip to the desert as planned, I set up my camera to take shots as I drove up I-15 and instead of going deep into the Mojave as the sun set, I circled back and headed up to Big Bear. Below is the rest of the picture I cropped above, the full picture shows you all that early evening get out of town traffic that I had been sitting in all afternoon.

22 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Jim Treacher Should Watch What He Eats, Looks Like He Might Have Started Packing On the Pounds Edition)

I kid because I care. Weight-related illnesses are a big problem in the Orang-American population, so Jim Treacher needs to watch himself, the trim young ape from his twitter profile picture barely resembles the creature I snapped here.

I'm going to address Mr. Treacher directly now. Your witty comedic take on the current goings on, and penchant for generating Haiku, makes you indispensable, so watch your weight, get plenty of exercise, and drink only in moderation big guy, speaking for fans of yours everywhere, we want you to stick around awhile. I know you'll claim that, 'I'm not obese, I've just achieved the proper bearing and characteristics of a mature Orang', but Jim, there's mature, and then there's sloppy, and I think you are right up against that line. And one other thing Jim, would it hurt to run a comb through your arm hair?

(or I could be making up all the above, and instead I snapped some photos at the LA Zoo last afternoon)

21 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Stipulated in Martin's Performance Contract That Lionel Ritchie Never Come Within 25 Feet of Steve Edition)

Or maybe I'm making up that whole part about the contract, but if you look at the full size of this pic, you will see both Steve Martin and Lionel Ritchie separated by at least 25 feet...

(I'm not saying there's a secret, ongoing, and long standing, feud between the two, but I'm not not saying that, either)

20 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Who Will It Be? Adam or Kris? Lakers or Nuggets? Edition)

I was over at LA Live yesterday, I think something might have been going on at Nokia Theater, and at Staples Center. As far as Idol goes, they both annoy me in different ways, I can't imagine ever picking up an album or even downloading a single track from either, but Adam is far more technically proficient, plus he's more charismatic, so America, make Adam your Idol (and presumably you already have, given that voting is closed).

As far as the thing that went on at Staples, I care about that outcome deeply, more than is rational, and this Lakers team makes caring difficult given their inconsistency. I think both teams in this series have maturity problems (aka, lots of knuckleheads on each bench), but having a knucklehead coaching a bunch of knuckleheads makes me lean towards believing that not only will the Lakers win this series, but they'll sweep the Nuggets out of the playoffs, just like they did when it was a 1 versus 8 seed last year, though each game will be close.

19 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Quien Es Un Agente Secreto Edicion)

I went riding on the Metro today, not as a secret agent, though.

(and yeah, can't write that phrase without thinking of this song)

(an epic day of wandering using The Metro, flickr set to follow, just not yet)

18 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Notice the Fascinating Interplay of Sky, Light, Stone and Water Droplets, Also Boooobies!!!! Edition)

Close up of the main fountain at Greystone, the grass area surrounding this statue is a popular spot for outdoor weddings.

When I committed myself to daily photo posts, I did not promise or imply that I would take new snaps each day, just to be clear, some days are just gray, ugly, and unphotogenic (or I don't have the time).

17 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Jacarandas Are Bloomin' Messy Edition)

Jacarandas are in bloom, their scent wafts in the air, their petals litter the ground, and they are a reliable sign of the beginning of summer (the coastal gloom, and an abundance of fresh strawberries are other portents).

Yeah, Your "Keep It Clean" Fish Seems Kind of Dirty All the Sudden . . .


After few minor edits.

16 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Yet More Fauna Edition)

Two turtles, one fish, murky water, and some really negative negative space thrown in. Why must you be so negative all the time, space?

(shot at Greystone Mansion (Flickr set, here), which you've seen a gazillion times in a bunch of crap, it's up high in the Hills of Beverly)

Also, if you are taking snaps with anything that looks more professional than a point and shoot, expect a park ranger to come up and politely remind you that no commercial photography is allowed on park grounds without a really expensive permit.The friendly ranger I spoke with debated the fine points of creative commons licenses with me, I asserted that posting these shots to Flickr don't constitute 'commercial use' if I'm posting them with the non-commercial use license, the ranger implied that the Beverly Hills D.A.s office might beg to differ. Either way, he didn't prevent me from taking pictures, and just told me to tell anyone else who asks that these snaps were for 'personal use' only. Well, for me, uploading my photos publicly on Flickr is part of 'personal use', so go ahead and send me a take down notice, I'd love to challenge your rules in court with regards to what constitutes 'personal use' and 'commercial'.

15 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Oozing Muck, or Maybe Mucking Ooze Edition)

Another shot from the Hancock Park set, this is tar oozing up from the ground just outside of the main tar pit. Lovely in a strange way, bet you wish this photo was scratch and sniff.

UPDATE: And I call myself a NOMEANSNO fan, how could I have captioned this picture as I did and not link the song below?

Situation rectified.

14 May 2009

You Daily Photo (Calvary Baptist Upside Down Edition)

The letters are right side up, but the church is upside down. How'd that happen?

20090511_018 Long Exposures

Above is the original at flickr. Not enough churches employ neon signs above their entrance, thankfully this one does. That still doesn't explain the ghostly letters reflected up towards the roofline. For the rest of the story you need to gaze across the street, luckily I shot that, too...

20090511_013 Long Exposures

The building across the way is reflective enough to bounce the light from the neon back to the front of the church, interesting effect, didn't notice it with the naked eye, but it becomes visible with the naked eye (and it might be visible normally, just didn't think to look).

UPDATE: I've got a free day tomorrow, make any suggestions exactly where you think I should go . . .

... with my camera of course, and within 200 miles one direction from Santa Monica, surely there are some interesting photo spots in the greater Southern California area that I can reach in a three hour drive that might be great, but I haven't considered, otherwise I'm just heading to the Getty Center.

13 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Duck, Duck, Goose Refused to Come Out of Its Trailer Edition )

Goose is a bit of a primadonna.

Also, I was unaware of the many variations on duck, duck, goose.

And I am not a big fan of the whole adults playing children's games trend.

(that trend is #102 on the list of Stuff White People Like)

O'Brien Breaks Guinness Record - The funniest bloopers are right here

Even when it's for a worthy cause, and the adult is a multiple World and Olympic champion decathlete like Dan O'Brien, it's still wrong.

12 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (It's Just Like at the Gym Locker Room, Come Around a Corner and Suddenly You're Staring at Bare Man Ass Edition)

Here's a flickr set shot yesterday at Hancock Park (aka La Brea Tar Pits, aka LACMA, the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden re-opened recently, some nice Rodins and Bourdelles on display)

(I didn't take snaps of Franz West's sculptures on display, I would have called those two "floaters" instead)

11 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (This Is Why I Drink Coca Cola Edition)

I'm not the first person to notice the nauseatingly Obama-centric ad campaign pooped out by Pepsi. Here's a photo with a shot of one of their damn billboards. I've always preferred Coke, anyway (the drinking kind, not the snorting stuff). Being an overcast night I think helped these photos, not sure, though, still don't know what I'm doing behind a lens, just goofing around.

And here's a whole flickr set of me fooling around with long exposures, some of them even look kind of interesting (the original for this photo is there too, before cropping and a bit of color tweaking)

09 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (It's Nice When Men Are Secure Enough in Their Sexuality to Hold Hands Edition)

Or, maybe they're practicing martial arts in the park, one or the other.

Succinct Film Reviews: Star Trek Edition

The new Star Trek, fun if you aren't a Trekker, with plenty of 'fan service' for those that are, highly satisfying.

Now the longer review which won't avoid spoilers, so don't read it if you care about that sort of thing.

I mean it, avert your eyes now.

This is the last warning, don't blame me if you find out something you didn't want to know.

Star Trek feels like a proper relaunch of an old franchise, one built not just to cash in on a name, but to explore a legend from a new perspective, while maintaining a respectful fealty to the original text. The introduction of time travel not only serves as a plot point, but it also serves another possibly more important service. Star Trek fans are known for being a bit too wrapped up in the 'history' of their franchise and worrying about every minute detail of this future history. So by establishing early on that from the events in this film and forward, you are experiencing an 'alternate' future, one that won't have to adhere to any previously stated facts that fans of the previous versions know by heart. Wiping out Vulcan, and essentially wiping out (or at least severely altering their place within the galaxy) the Vulcan people, changes all that happens afterwards in a massive way. This gives the producers complete freedom with where they take the future of this franchise, should this film prove popular enough to be the beginning of a new set of films.

This is a marriage of the usual JJ Abrams obsessions (did anyone say 'Daddy Issues'?, OK, how 'bout a polar bear analog chasing down young Kirk? only thing missing, Uhura going all Sydney Bristow, but maybe in a later film...) with the feel of the original Star Trek series. How long that marriage can hold up remains to be seen, but for this one film it's a successful mating.

Things to enjoy if you are new to the franchise, the action, the characters, the brisk pace of the film.

Things to enjoy if you know these characters from their previous portrayals, seeing Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru exercise, seeing Sulu fence, seeing sexy green alien chicks, seeing Scottie 'invent' transwarp teleportation in the same way Scottie helped 'invent' transparent aluminium, Pike in a wheelchair, the required townie v cadet bar fight (seriously, is that some sort of Star Fleet requirement, beat on, or get beat upon by a local?).

The only major WTF moment was, Tyler Perry as the head of Star Fleet?!? He should have done it in full Madea drag.

08 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Bus Travelling at Warp Factor 2.0 Edition)

It's the stretchiest of stretches to come up with a "Trek" themed photo (though the stretched nature of the bus pictured is due to its speed, and the settings on the camera, no other trickery involved)

07 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (You'd Think in Obama's America, Google Building J Would Take Better Care of Old Glory Edition)

In the big scheme of things it's a minor quibble whether or not a company that claimed to have $33,513,029,000 in assets might have the cash lying around to make sure that any United States flags they choose to fly above any of their locations (in this case, Building J at 6th and Arizona in Santa Monica) meets accepted standards for displaying the symbol for our nation.

From the United States Flag Code
§176. Respect for flag
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

I think this picture speaks for itself. Given Google's seeming distaste for acknowledging certain United States holidays, this might be part of a pattern of behavior.

06 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Smoke on the Water Edition)

The smoke from the fires in Santa Barbara has drifted this way, would have waited for more spectacular shots closer to sunset, but the Lakers were about to start, so priorities folks, priorities (more pictures at flickr, also the view from almost the same spot on January 17th)

Hope they get control of those fires soon, conditions are in favor of destruction, unfortunately.

And yeah, here's some Deep Purple for you.

UPDATE: When did Pau Gasol sing with Deep Purple? (alternately, was Mrs. Gasol a big Deep Purple groupie?)

05 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (This Probably Would Be Offensive if Frijoles Were the Only Comida Pictured Edition)

As President Barack Obama said, "Happy Cinco de Quatro!"

(via Instapundit)

And I'm down for celebrating any holiday commemorating when the lousy French get their asses handed to them by a bunch of campesinos*.

*the whole 'campesinos' thing is a fiction, it was army v. army, and though the French lost at Puebla, they won the conflict and established the Second Mexican Empire.

Also, today is NOT a national holiday in Mexico (more along the lines of a regional holiday like Patriots' Day in Massachusetts and Maine), mainly just an excuse for tequila shooters on this side of the border.

04 May 2009

More Camera Fun, Dashcam Edition

Trying out the Nikon D5000 as a 'dashcam'. HD video, above, also comparing YouTube as a hosting service with Vimeo. Upload was slower, can't download the original file, but it's in HD as soon as it's available, while the Vimeo video uploaded yesterday is still only streaming in SD (Vimeo's FAQ says it takes time for HD streams to be available, doesn't define how long that delay is, also limited to one HD video per week on their free account, no limit on YouTube)

The camera has a limit of 5 minutes per clip, and judging from the results, probably a good idea to turn off the auto exposure settings cause the color goes wonky from time to time. There are four more clips being uploaded now, nothing special just wandering around my city with a camera wedged in front of the passenger seat.

(and next time I'll remember NOT to chew gum while the mic is hot)

Your Daily Photo (I Got Your Back, Dawg, Edition)

Doggie surveying his land, he does that alot.

03 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Bug Looks Like a Lady Edition)

Don't have a real macro zoom lens, so not bad with just what comes with the standard kit.

Took 40 pics in my backyard on this sunny Sunday (that were worth preserving), they can all be perused over at this flickr set, each one is suitable for turning into a fine desktop background . . .

Spam, or Shocking Revelation Regarding the Origin of Swine to Human Transmission of H1N1? YOU MAKE THE CALL!!!

Elizabeth Smith kindly emailed me this subject line (slightly edited for language):
Babe gets wild f***ing in supermarket

We really haven't heard much from Babe the Pig since his glory days headlining two well received motion pictures over a decade ago, but like many stars who still have fame, but no longer are getting steady work, he may be acting out and indulging in all sorts of bad behavior.

I'm going out on a limb and suggest that inter-species sexual activity in a public commercial space counts as bad behavior, I hope you don't regard me as being too moralistic or judgemental for drawing that conclusion.

Also, which supermarket section for such engagements would be more shocking?

A) Produce
B) Meat
C) Feminine Hygiene
D) Bakery
E) Other

Please explain your answer in the comments.

Your Sunday Vimeo Post (Shakes the Bellydancer Edition)

2009 05 02 3rd St Promenade (Between Santa Monica Blvd and Arizona Ave) from xwl on Vimeo.

I've uploaded my shakycam footage taken today around 6:30pm at the 3rd St Promenade. I was walking the whole time, I was holding the cam down at mid-chest level, and I was looking where I was going rather than seeing what I was shooting (mostly). It's only 2:55 long, so it shouldn't be too much of an ordeal, but I can't exactly recommend watching this beyond the curiosity factor. The on camera mic worked decently, didn't pick up too much wind noise, and did a good job of picking up ambient sound and whomever was closest speaking the loudest.

Also, it's overexposed, thought I needed to compensate for the overcast conditions and overdid the exposure compensation settings. Doesn't autofocus while shooting (which is probably a good thing), so I had the lens zoomed out, and focused it on a spot in the distance. The images look sharp enough, on a sunnier day, probably would look better. Uploading as is, no processing, if shakycam footage bothers you, don't watch this, but if you can handle the shakiness, there's a bellydancer in there somewhere, so enjoy.

Vimeo gives you one HD video a week for their free service, so I think I might take advantage of that, I'll try and find an interesting spot where I can use a tripod next time, so expect better next Sunday. The original video is 410MB, but by running it through handbrake (using the settings recommended by Vimeo), I reduced the file to 105MB with no readily apparent difference in quality. Vimeo limits you to 500MB a week, so instead of around 3 minutes of video, that would give me something closer to 12-15 minutes, while still keeping an HD feed.

I'll try and find something interesting each week to shoot, or maybe I'll do the ranting on video thing that's so popular with the kids today, wouldn't be that hard to turn my garage into a makeshift studio . . .

02 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (Saintly and Somewhat Phallic Edition)

It's still today here, I don't know about where you are, so haven't missed a daily photo, yet.

Took some video at the 3rd St. Promenade while walking, it's very shaky, trying to see if I can deshake it some (using the deshaker plugin for virtualdub), if I can fix it so it's not so vomit inducing, I'll post it at vimeo.

01 May 2009

Your Daily Photo (LAT Business Section Edition)

Wolverine looks pretty bad, skipping seeing that one, but will be boldly going to the movies next week . . .

Maybe I Should Cut Back on the Work Outs . . .

"The guy was healthy as an ox," Lightman said. "I spoke to Steve Wynn several times this morning and both of us were shocked. I was with Danny the day before yesterday. Healthy as an ox. I mean, all he ate was egg whites and spinach and worked out religiously."

From the AFP (via Drudge) article on the surprising death of impressionist Danny Gans at the age of 52.