eventful and friendly weekend

this weekend i was told that i need to make myself scarce. christi was having her bridesmaids luncheon and her bachelorette party so i decided that i was going to go out and have some fun. on saturday i went to san francisco for a long overdue visit to see jenny. i checked out her new digs in the city and let me just say that she is living in style!

we had lunch at the ferry building marketplace along the bay. she said we could just walk over there, so i figured it would be a short walk, but no! silly me, i had forgotten that this was my friend jenny, former new yorker, who LIKES to walk.


so instead, what we did was walk. and we did walk…for 1.3 miles! that’s crazy! i don’t think that i’ve walked that much since…i was in new york with her! but it was fun and the weather was absolutely stunning. we caught up with what’s been going on with each other’s lives and waxed philosophy about all sorts of things, some serious, some not quite so much. it was great to catch up with her.

after that, i met up with geoff and checked out HIS new digs. he and pak bought a place in daly city. it is amazing how foggy and cold it can get in daly city when it is still warm and sunny in san francisco. geoff and i were able to catch up on some good times. we had dinner at banana island, this little hidden away malaysian restaurant. geoff called it a filipino restaurant, but i don’t think that i saw a single filipino dish there. i was a little nervous about going there because i haven’t been a huge filipino restaurant fan in the past, but was open to try it out. still, the food was good, i especially liked the roti canal that i ordered there.

after a long day out and about, i came home and rested up.

sunday came and while christi was having her bridesmaid luncheon, she threw a purse making party. basically, everyone gets together to design their own purses. they pick fabrics and designs and a purse gets handmade for them. while christi and friends were doing that, thanh and i met up and had lunch at darda. i love the sesame bread there. our lunch got interrupted short and i had to go pick up my mom to take her to the purse party.

all in all, it was a long, but fun weekend and i was able to catch up with people so it was all good.

ramble, the free AIM client for blackberry

i have had issues in the past trying to get ramble to work on my blackberry, but i installed the new version today and it works without a hitch! finally i have an AIM and yahoo solution on the blackberry. though i really like jivetalk, i can’t get myself to pay money for an IM client. i don’t need to IM on my blackberry THAT much. so now i have to fire up two apps, the official yahoo IM client and ramble, but i’ve got coverage on the two major IM networks i use so it’s all good.

a little disgusting, but true

i was trying to listen to my ipod and when i put my headphones in my ear i experienced a sharp pain. it turns out that a pimple has formed inside my ear and the pressure from the earbud presses against it causing an absurd amount of pain.

this is especially awful today because someone is in the warehouse using one of the circuit board making tools and it is LOUD. i can only half-drown out the noise.

underwater strobe solution, part 1

my otterbox came today. it’s just a little underwater housing, waterproof to 100 feet. i am planning to put a flash into the otterbox and have that as much underwater strobe. the underwater housing for my throwaway camera should be on its way soon.

i also have another lighting solution that i’m going to be trying out. i’m getting some underwater flashlights and i’m going to see if a pair of underwater flashlights are good enough to light up a scene. this sounds like i’m going to need to go out on a test dive somewhere…

hmmmmm, anyone got a pool i can use at night?

the little things

it’s the little things that are life’s greatest joys and also life’s easiest things to take for granted. today’s little thing for me was being able to pop home to make and eat lunch at home and then go back into the office. the little break from the office and going home really changes the dynamic of your day. on one hand, it’s a nice break because you get to watch a little tv and just kind of relax in the comfort of your own home.

OMG. to be able to watch a little tv. in the middle of the day. is the greatest thing, ever. even if there’s no tv to watch. i don’t know why it feels so refreshing, but it is. i’m going to try to make lunch at home more often. this means, of course, that i need to keep my refrigerator stocked with some food. this, goes against my very being. tough times, huh?

amazon is your friend

i recently purchased an underwater housing for my throwaway camera. i know, i know, it’s not going to take beautiful pictures, nothing like what a REAL underwater housing for a REAL camera is going to produce, but i just can’t justify the cost!

but i know how much picture quality i’m going to be missing. i know that no point and shoot is going to compare to my handy 5D. i know. i know it’s going to hurt. i know that i don’t have enough light on my rig to get the best results. i know that my ghetto strobe setup is just that…ghetto. but i don’t care, it’s gonna be cool!

my throwaway camera at the moment is the fantastic fujifilm f31fd. great low light performance, smallish camera, and pretty decent picture quality. good enough for a throwaway. i use the term throwaway lightly, though, as it still is a $200+ camera. but still, for my needs, it has worked out great. it’s small enough that i could carry it around with me all the time. the low light performance is where it really shines.

i’m trying to see now if it will happily work underwater. i’ve read a little bit about it and it seems like it is capable. it doesn’t seem like the camera itself is as important as light. light appears to be the single most important aspect of underwater photography.

once you dive, you lost quality light FAST. so you need to make your own artificial light. i’m trying to figure out what the best way is to make this light. it appears that what you really need are high intensity wide beam coverage of light. i’m going to be experimenting with ways to get that to work. hopefully i’ll come up with something somewhat workable that fits in my budget. heh, i know, budget underwater photography is an oxymoron of sorts, but i’m ok with not doing it right, so long as i can do it sort of.

from what i’ve read, most people who go down the route i’m going down are unhappy with their results and end up buying quality gear. i think the thing for me is that i’m probably going to be easily pleased, so i’m really, really hoping that it won’t bother me. really.

anyway, the underwater housing that i bought from amazon was $118.95. amazon is reselling it from adorama. if you go to adorama’s site and try to purchase the same product, you will see that they sell it for $144.95! why does amazon get a price break? if anything, you would think that the amazon price would be higher than that of the adorama price! amazon also sold this housing cheaper than any other place i could find. so the moral of the story is to always check amazon.

not all power strips are surge protectors

that’s the startling revelation i made a few days ago about the power strips in my house. i thought that i only bought surge protectors, but it turns out that there are several non-surge protecting power strips scattered throughout the house! i never really noticed or cared before, but while i was looking at line conditioners for my new home theatre setup, it occurred to me that i may have power strips in my house.

i checked around and, ‘lo and behold, it’s true. i guess i’ll go and get some surge protectors soon. you always hear about how you need surge protection and all, but i’ve often chalked that up to paranoia. it wasn’t until a friend’s house or power lines got struck by lightning and rendered virtually all of their electronics worthless did i ever really believe that it could really happen.

wow, 720p!

my current TV is capable of doing 720p and 1080i. it has been my experience that 1080i has got some jitter to it and the video quality is just not acceptable. that being said, i have been using my original xbox a/v cable since i’ve gotten it. i have recently ordered and received a component a/v cable and the results are STUNNING. man, it almost pisses me off that i’ve been living in the dark ages looking at crappy video.

i guess with the purchase of my audio equipment, i’ve been doing research and have been reading about how to get improved performance out of the equipment i have. i must say that i’ve been pretty impressed so far and quite pleased with the results.

i recently read an article about 720p vs. 1080p and if there really is a measurable difference between the two. with my TV set back about 10 feet from me, it seems that the human eye is not capable of resolving individual pixels at 1080p versus 720p for the size of TV i have. that would seem to confirm my demos with TVs running at 720 and 1080 when i’m 10 feet back. this does, however, indicate to me that i can get a 100″ screen in my living room!

tv stand has arrived!

that’s right, my tv stand for the bedroom has FINALLY arrived. no more tv on the ground! no sir, it’s going to have its own TV stand. the box is sitting in the lobby of my office. at a hefty 70lbs, i don’t think anyone is going to be stealing it. now, the big question is…will i be able to carry it to my car? and then, will it fit in my car? actually, i guess i should check to make sure that it’ll fit in my car before i lug it out to my car, because if i find out that i had carried it all the way there only to find out that it won’t fit…well, that would be tragic.

dum dum dum

i’m like a kid on the way to a candy store waiting to be standing in the aforementioned candy store. my components for the home theatre are slowly trickling in. i think the cables were delivered today.

i just found out that the receiver (which says that signature is REQUIRED) is going to be delivered on saturday. this, ordinarily, would be great, except i think that i will be playing in a grass tournament this day so i won’t be around to welcome the receiver to its new home.

i’m not sure what’s worse, trying to decide what to get or waiting for it to come.