canon 85mm f/1.2L

for my birthday, christi got me the insane canon 85mm f/1.2L! insane, i tell you. definitely a lens that i would never have gotten for myself just because the price tag itself just seems ridiculous, but as soon as i put the lens on my camera and gave it a go, i see now just how sweet it is.

but first, let me start with the cons. the lens is HEAVY. there’s a huge hunk of glass in this fast prime lens. the lens is fat, short, and heavy, but feels fantastic in my hands.

the lens is the slowest focusing lens i have in my collection of lenses, by far. the lens hunts and is poor in low light conditions, which is ironic because the lens performs FANTASTICALLY in low light once focus is achieved.

the pros: the lens is SO FAST. the bokeh is SO smooth. the images are SO sharp. it’s amazing. i’m doing a portrait photo shoot this weekend and it will be my first run through with the lens. let’s see how it works out.

the dog tried to eat the UPS guy

our dog is a very excitable dog who loves to play. whenever someone new is at the door he very eagerly tries to make friends with them. the UPS guy came today to deliver a package and koda snuck past me and darted towards the guy.

i have never seen a guy run SO FAST before. he ran all the way back into his truck and koda thought it was a game and chased him. i chased koda and finally got him, but man, we really need to work on his commands when distracted. next time, i will be sure to keep him on a leash before i answer the door. – epic fail

looks like DNS servers have stopped resolving hostnames at around 4:30PM today. talk about an epic fail, how do redundant systems like DNS fail like this? i hope it’s a massive DoS attack and not just someone making a really big mistake. =P

it’s too bad that all of my hosting for my domains is done through them and now i’m completely down too.


maybe i should run my own DNS server…

aggressive salespeople

man, how hard must it be to be a salesperson in this economy. i was at fry’s the other day and while perusing the blu-ray section, i was approached by a directv salesperson. she told me that she was invited by fry’s to pitch their services. i told her politely that i was not interested and she left me alone.

then a few minutes later, a different salesperson approached me from the directv group and asked me if i was interested in their services. i told him that someone already approached me and i was not interested. he then asked me if i was informed about their special in-store only promotion. at this point, i was really annoyed and told him i hate directv and i’m not interested.

a minute later, a fry’s associate approached me and asked me how i was doing. i thought he saw my interaction with the directv salespeople and so i told him that i was annoyed at the directv salespeople who were harassing me while i was shopping.

the fry’s associate told me that that was too bad and i told him that they started their pitch by informing me that fry’s had invited them to the store. i told him that i thought they were annoying and he replied that it was his manager’s choice to do so. i told him that he should tell his manager that i thought that they were annoying. he said ok.

then he has the audacity to ask me if i was interested in a fry’s electronics credit card. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? i looked at him and said no. he started his pitch, but you can save 20% off your first purchase. i told him that i didn’t like saving money and walked away.

i know they are just trying to do their jobs, but man, that kind of aggressive sales pitching in-store is enough to turn me away from shopping there.

root beer floats

whenever i make a root beer float, i probably use about 4 times as much ice cream than a typical recipe calls for. this makes for a fantastically creamy and rather largely misnamed root beer float. nothing is really floating in my root beer float, instead it is one big lump of semi-root beer flavored vanilla ice cream.

i never understood how one scoop of ice cream would be enough for a root beer float. it’s the ice cream that makes the dessert! i bought a tub of ice cream and root beer for the office and i thought that everyone would jump at the chance to make their own root beer floats, but this was not the case. i’m surprised, really. it’s free root beer floats, people!

HTPC and me

i know that i’ve talked a lot about the dns-323 and how great the NAS is, and don’t get me wrong, it is great, but the one thing that i have really been struggling with is the PS3 support for video codecs. it is something that continues to be the bane of my existence when it comes to downloaded content. for some reason, some of the tv shows that i get are encoded in some kind of variant of xvid that the ps3 just can’t decode.

i’ve finally had it and have decided to build my own HTPC. the criteria here is to create a budget HTPC. though i want it to look good, i want to try to keep it on a small budget. i don’t need blu-ray playback as i still have the ps3, so this is really more of a media extender than anything else. i will install a tuner in it though, so i can use it as a DVR.

here’s what i’ve decided to go with:
antec fusion black 430 htpc case
gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H motherboard
avermedia avertv combo
intel 2.5GHz E5200 cpu
seagate 1TB hard drive

i’m going with the built-in video card on the motherboard. it’s a geforce 9400, should be plenty for my needs. all the parts are ordered, now it’s a waiting game!

early birthday – the big fry

this year, i had a small group of people over to celebrate the birthday party. i’ve stopped counting how old i am, so when people ask, i really have to think about it and count the years.

but this year, we celebrated with a fry party. i asked guests to bring their own item to fry and we had a range from country fried steak to donuts! i actually didn’t end up eating as much as i thought i would, but it was still quite good.

we had three deep fryers going. i couldn’t put more than one deep fryer on an outlet because it kept tripping the circuit breakers. all in all it was good fun.

battery charger

the la crosse battery charger that i ordered came in today and after about half an hour of trying to figure out how to use the charger, i found out that the 2200mAh batteries that i have been using only holds 150mAh of charge. no wonder they were charging so fast and weren’t lasting long at all.

this charger can recondition batteries, so i’m letting it recondition these batteries. maybe it will bring them back to life. just in time, too, because i will be using these batteries in flashes pretty soon.

DIY backdrop stand

i have been wanting to make my own backdrop stand for quite some time now. i’m not sure why i didn’t get around to it, but i finally did this weekend using this guide as a reference.

it all started with a trip to lowes. i bought the appropriate PWC pipes and went around the store looking for an associate to help me cut the pipes. i was informed that they do not cut pipes for customers. bummer! so now i had six 10′ long pipes that i wasn’t sure how i was going to get back to the house in my car.

i bought the pipes anyway, figuring i’d figure out how to get the pipes home. i bought a hacksaw too, so the worst case scenario would be that i would be cutting pipes in the parking lot.

i had a little trouble getting out of the store, though. see, i picked up a normal shopping cart because i couldn’t find any other cart. the pipes were sticking up in the about 8 feet or so and the doors were much lower than that. i ended up using the lumber exit to get out of the store.

once at my car, i realized just how long ten feet was. it’s a lot longer than what would fit in my accord. so, i did what anybody else would do in my place. i rolled down the back seat window and reclined the passenger side seat. then the pipes proceeded to be shoved into my car. sure, there was about three feet of pipe sticking out of the window, but it wasn’t THAT bad.

i drove home mostly without incident. the last turn i had to make was across a major intersection and at the front of the row of waiting cars going in the other direction was a cop. i was scared that he was going to pull me over for having an obstruction extend beyond whatever the legal limit was…and trust me, i was beyond the limit. i drove on the right hand side of the lane whenever i was driving and made it home.

a couple of hours later, i have assembled the stand and it looks pretty good. i’ll take some pictures later when i have a background to hang from it. i think i am going to make a few modifications to the base, though, to stabilize it some. it’s a little wobbly right now, but all in all, i’m very happy with the results. it sort of looks like a soccer goal, though.

imob online – iphone/ipod touch game

oh my god, i am so addicted to this game, it is not funny. i don’t know what it is about this game that is SO interesting to me, but man, it has got me completely addicted. the crazy thing is that it is a very repetitive game. there isn’t a lot of depth to it, but i just can’t get myself to stop playing!

any ipod touch/iphone players out there? join my mob! 153-177-109.