November 2007

October 2007 -- 2007 -- December 2007

November 1, 2007

And here's the new design!

Every page has been updated with new content, even the oft neglected mp3 list! The biggest content change is the new photo galleries. It's been almost a year, but I finally have the New York and Washington DC photos up, as well as ACL 2007 and New Mexico photos. And with the code I wrote, photo updates are now easier for me to do, so expect to see far more photos in the future, particularly once I get a dSLR (right now I'm leaning towards getting a Canon 30D).

Other new features include a RSS feed to keep readers notified of updates (ha, updates!), a better archives system, and a slightly different AnthonyCam layout.

On the backend, all the pages are now servered using PHP/MySQL. I'm using PHP 'include' statements and CSS, so I can change the look of the entire site by only editing 3 files. It also allows for a lot of nice dynamic touches, such as displaying all the updates that occured on my birthday or all the photo galleries of the trips I've taken.

Let me know if you run into any problems or broken links, as there are probably a couple lurking around in older posts. Also I've tested the design on Firefox 2 in Windows and Linux, and IE6 and IE7 in Windows and they all looked fine. If you're using some older browser that doesn't support CSS well, then you need to upgrade your browser. But if you're using a modern browser, let me know if something looks weird.

And in case you've already forgotten what this site has looked like for the previous 7 and a half years, here's a link.

November 2, 2007

The new design seems to be a success. I'm mulling over making a couple of minor design tweaks but I've gotten really good feedback so far. I'm also still working on some of the backend scripts, so every once in a while something may look really broken. Just reload a few minutes later and it'll probably be fixed.

Also I think the green blob in the corner is a type of Rorschach inkblot test. It actually started out as a photo I took, which I then edited around until you see what's there now. It may fall into the things I change over the next few days as I'm still not entirely happy with it. On the other hand, I can't draw so my options are pretty limited.

In non-website related news, I won second place in a costume contest on Halloween with my Double Dare costume! I went to go see Halloween as part of the Master Pancake Theater show at the Alamo Drafthouse. MPT is basically Mystery Science Theater 3000, but live, and for the Halloween showing, they had Mary Jo Pehl, who played Pearl Forrester on the TV show. Anyways, before the movie started they had a costume contest. I lost out to Ron Jeremy in a Bunny Suit, mainly because in the last round they asked us the random question, "If you had a racehorse, what would it's name be?" and it's way easier to be funny in a Ron Jeremy costume than it is in a Double Dare costume. But I still won a glow in the dark Master Pancake Theater t-shirt, and a bag of Apple Whole Wheat pancake mix from Kirby Lane. I love me some Kirby Lane pancakes!

Speaking of the Alamo Drafthouse, their new downtown theater opened yesterday. I'm going to be checking it out for the first time tonight by seeing Roadhouse. And then, well, I'm basically going to be spending the next 2 months there as well, since they have awesome event after awesome event after awesome event. I joke that that movie theater is half the reason I moved to Austin, but I seriously think it is. It basically takes every cool movie-related event idea I had, and many I didn't, and they actually do it.

I bought a Harmony 880 remote a few days ago, because having four remotes (TV, Tivo, DVD player, and cable box) was getting annoying. The remote is pretty much all kinds of amazing. I also picked it up on Amazon for WAY cheaper than the list price, and even though I did the free shipping option, meaning it's supposed to take over a week to get it, it only took two days since Amazon has a distribution center in Dallas. For once UPS came through!

November 3, 2007

Today I saw a documentary called Confessions of a Superhero that is about the people who stand in front of Mann's Chinese theater in Hollywood dressed up as Superheros and cartoon characters. Most of the documentary focused on a guy who dresses up as Superman, as he makes up to $600 a day from tips from people who take photos with him. The film is trying to get a wider release, so if it comes to a city near you, check it out.

Lately whenever I've been trying to find street parking downtown at night, there are homeless guys standing next to an empty spot waving to it. Which would be useful it it was actually hidden or hard to find, but it's pretty easy to find an empty spot on the side of the street when you're specifically looking for parking on the side of the street. And of course once you get out of the car they want a "tip" for what basically amounts to standing on the street corner, and you kinda wonder what might happen to your car if you don't give them at least a little something. This is why even after 8 years of driving, I still hate parking. And why I keep hoping Austin will one day get some light rail so I don't have to deal with it.

The reason I was downtown was to see She Wants Revenge (in a completely unrelated note, I like linking to Wikipedia because I feel that article will still be there in 5 years, where as most of the stuff on non-major websites disappears after a year or two) in concert, and it was a late show so I'm writing this after I got home at like 2:30 in the morning. Which I'm supposed to be up at 5AM so I can go walk 5 kilometers to support breast cancer research. This will be my first 5k ever, and I'm basically doing it because Freescale paid half my registration fee, it's for a good cause, and the real key: some of my friends are doing it too. Although re-reading my registration email just now, apparently I'm supposed to get my race packet from my team leader, whom I have no idea who that is. I'm also walking to the starting line, so the 5k is actually going to be more like a total of 10k by the time I get done walking from my apartment and back. On like 3 hours of sleep.

Well technically almost 4 hours since Daylight Savings Time ends, so the clocks "Fall back" an hour. I think they should just keep it like this all the time, no one wants to go home from work in the dark! Or at least I don't.

November 4, 2007

On only 3 and a half hours of sleep, I joined over 20,000 other Austinites to do the Komen 5k this morning. And since I walked to the starting line (to save the environment, get some extra exercise, and well, I figured why not?), all in all I did about 7 miles of walking before noon today. And then I promptly took a 4 hour nap once I got home. Sleep never felt so good.

I discovered today that my favorite place in Austin, Barton Springs is now free until it closes later this month for the winter. Thankfully Austin is having a very mild fall so far, today it got up to the mid 80's, so I can still swim there for the foreseeable future.

Less than a week before college basketball season starts up! Football is nice and all, but basketball is where the real men play. I'm pretty bummed I won't be in Gainesville for the start of it for the first time in 6 years, but here's to hoping for yet another basketball championship. GO GATORS!

Speaking of the Gators, I stumbled across this really interesting Fortune article about the Florida Boosters program and the millions of dollars that the top donors put into it to support football and basketball. One of the biggest donors didn't even go to UF or even a 4 year university, but just got hooked after attending a game in the mid 90's. The dollar amounts being given though are amazing...

Oh, and if you still haven't subscribed to the RSS feed, then you wouldn't know that I added some photos from the She Wants Revenge concert and Komen 5k.

I also added a web interface to add new posts, which makes updating really easy, and I can do it from any internet enabled computer. Also since I'm using Firefox which does automatic spell checking in forms, there shouldn't be any more misspelled words! Except the words that I make up, such as "Austinites" from above.

November 5, 2007

Today I started the process of getting my very first passport.

Why? Because last night I booked a plane ticket to spend 13 days in Rome, Italy! American Airlines is running some specials for flights to Rome, and so after taxes, it was only $560 to fly round trip from Austin (as compared to $2000 round trip during the summer). One of my friends emailed me last week about going with a group of his friends, and so there's going to be about 10 of us going. We're going in the late winter, from February 21st to March 3rd, since that's when flights were the cheapest. But after spending January in DC and New York last year, I found that being a tourist in the cold actually isn't all that bad. You spend quite a bit of time indoors anyways, and the crowds were FAR lighter, so I never had to wait in line for anything. And I just checked to see what the temperatures would actually be, and the average high will get up to 60 so it won't be bad at all.

This will be my first time overseas, and first time in a country where I don't know the language. While I've been all over the US, my international travel only consists of a week long cruise in the Caribbean, and 12 hours in Vancouver, Canada. I've been wanting to go to Europe forever, and I still can't believe I'm actually going to be doing this, and getting to see the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and all the other history that happened there. Plus I get to eat the amazing authentic Italian gelato that I keep hearing about! And real Italian pizza! We won't be spending the entire 2 weeks in Rome, as we plan on going around other parts of Italy, and even some of Eastern Europe as well.

And being the type of person I am, I've already started doing some research on the trip. Unfortunately even though the airfare is cheap, the exchange rate (1 dollar is only worth .69 Euro's) is going to be a killer. Also I loved this quote from Wikitravel Rome:
Traffic can be intimidating, but if you are at a crosswalk the secret to getting across is to just start walking. Cars will not slow down, but they will alter their trajectory to avoid hitting you.
Considering this is pretty much the way I treat traffic already, it sounds like I'll be quite prepared.

In completely unrelated news, I bought tickets today to see one of my favorite movies from my childhood, The Wizard, with Fred Savage, Luke Edwards (the crazy good gamer kid) and the director, live in the theater. It's actually not all that great of a movie, but I loved to watch it because it features tons of Nintendo video games, and it was the first time anyone saw footage of Super Mario Bros 3. Which a secret like that would never happen in today's Internet age, but back then that was the best way to advertise a new game. Essentially the movie was a 90 minute Nintendo advertisement, but that's why I loved it.

November 6, 2007

Texas, like many other states, held general elections today so I got to vote on 16 constitutional amendments. I was very disappointed that they didn't have any "I Voted" stickers though. In the end all 16 amendments passed, and voter turn out was under 10%. I don't understand why so many American's hate democracy. The terrorists have won!

Also Rome won't the only place I'll be going next year, I bought a plane ticket last night to see all my friends back in Tampa at the beginning of January. This will be the first time I've been back since I moved to Austin in February, so it'll be great to see everyone again.

I also got around to picking up Guitar Hero 3 and Dance Dance Revolution Supernova 2 yesterday. They're both the kind of game I just buy every time they come out with a new one. I've been sucked in and I can't stop!

I also got to see one of my favorite singers, Regina Spektor, in concert again tonight. This was the longest set I've gotten to see her in, and it was fantastic as usual. I was pretty far away but I added two new photos to the Fall Concerts gallery. If you've never heard her stuff, YouTube is a great place to check her out, with one of her biggest songs, Fidelity and one of my personal favorites, On The Radio.

November 7, 2007

Today I went to work, wiggle my mouse to wake up the computer, and get in response a solid gray screen. So I reboot, and the BIOS screen and all the screens passed that are just a bunch of randomly colored lines. It was as though my computer decided it was tired of crunching numbers and wanted to become an artist instead. Calling up tech support confirmed that my LCD went haywire, so Dell is sending a new one tomorrow. I wish I'd had my camera on me though, the designs were pretty cool.

Things like this is why I think the Alamo Drafthouse is the best thing in the whole world:
Thirty-five of us will be boarding a special bus from Fluid Party Bus featuring DVD players filled with classic western scenes and meat movies as well as two kegs of beer flowing for the whole trip as we drive down to Smitty's in Lockhart, City Market in Luling, Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales, and Big Oak Barbecue in Buda. Plus everyone on the bus will be issued their very own "Meat - It's where me at!" T-shirts (which we'll then require everyone to wear for the duration of the BBQ run)
Now I'm not a fan of Blazing Saddles nor a beer drinker, but just the fact that someone would create an event like this tied to a quote-a-long movie makes me happy. It's a true movie theater for people who love movies.

I've pretty much decided on going with a Canon for my dSLR, and right now I'm leaning toward the 20D since the 40D is out of my price range and there's not a compelling reason to get the 30D for the extra money it'd cost me. The far more important question is how much do I want to spend on lens(es). It's really easy to spend LOTS of money very quickly on lenses, and there's so many kinds with so many features and drawbacks that it becomes maddening after a while. At the moment I'm leaning towards getting a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for my "walk-about" lens, and then a Canon 50mm f/1.8 for my "nifty-fifty". This all subject to change probably tomorrow however. What did I get myself into?

I updated 7 days in a row! First time that's happened since like 2003.

November 11, 2007

Expect a whole slew of picture updates in about a week, as tonight I went and bought my "Christmas gift" to myself, a Canon 20D 8.2 megapixel digital SLR camera. I've been wanting a SLR camera for a long while now and I've been doing research on it for the last few weeks, and decided to go ahead and take the plunge tonight. A leading cause of this was finding a really great deal on a used 20D that a guy was selling online that I knew would go fast. The 20D is actually discontinued now, and was first released 3 years ago, but it's still an impressive camera, and one I was able to get a quite a discount on. I was debating if I should get the 30D, but in the end, I didn't feel the few extra features the 30D got me was worth the extra money it would have cost. And the 40D, the latest model in that series, was simply out of my price range.

I wanted to save some money on the body so I could sink my money into something better than the standard lens, so I got a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 zoom lens and a Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. I really like night and low-light/concert photography, along with landscapes, so I looked for good all-around lenses that would let me do that but that also wasn't ridiculous amounts of money either since I'm just starting out. And then picked up a UV protection filter and 4GB CompactFlash card to round out the package.

If that stuff looked like random gibberish to you and you're interested, check out this guide to camera lenses. But basically the 17-50mm part tells you the "zoom" of the lens. Higher numbers means a higher zoom of far away objects, for example a sports photographer on the sideline might have a 400mm lens. Lower numbers means you can get a wider angle in the photo, a landscape photographer might use a 10mm lens to get in as much scenery as possible. And the f/2.8 part tells you how much light it can let in. The lower the number, the better pictures it can take in low light. These are simplifications of course, and one can spend a LOT of money on lenses very quickly.

So what can it do that my pocket digicam can't?
  • Take 5 photos per second by simply holding down the shutter button
  • Take a photo within 65ms of hitting the shutter button, eliminating shutter lag and missed photos
  • Take a photo within .2 seconds on flipping on the "On" switch, eliminating missed photos while I wait for the camera to turn on
  • Take a natural looking non-blurry photo in a low light room with no flash
  • Create cool background blur effects using bokeh
  • Depending on the camera, an SLR allows for FAR more control over the settings of the photograph. My particular pocket cam lets me adjust just about everything already though, so it won't be a huge jump in this regard to an SLR.
  • The very satisfying "click" sound as it takes a photo!
Of course I'll still keep my current pocket digicam since it's far more portable and some places won't let you in with a SLR camera unless you're press. For example rock concerts with tickets over $10. If it's under $10 the band is just happy to have someone taking photos of them, and showing up in the first place, and they don't care. Also the pocket digicam has movie mode. I'll also have to get used to looking through the viewfinder to frame the photo, as there is no LCD view to frame it, like everyone does nowdays with their cameras. It's not practical due to the way an SLR camera works, although the newest models do have that feature.

In completely unrelated camera news, Japan has some cool musical roads. I wonder what my commute would be like if they had that on Mopac.

November 12, 2007

I spent most of this evening trying to get that Pidgin (formally known as Gaim) script working, that updates your profile with whatever song is currently playing in your mp3 player. For some reason it's not setting the profile data though. I'll sleep on it, and if I'm still stuck tomorrow, I'll have to start getting on some mailing lists to figure this out.

Which reminds me, does anyone ever use ICQ anymore? Does anyone even remember what ICQ is?

I really love Amazon's mp3 store. Finally I can search for songs I want to listen to, at a fair price, and get it without pointless DRM restrictions so I can play it on any device I want to. I immediately rip any CD I buy, or convert every iTunes track I download into an mp3 anyways, so I've never understood why the record labels thought throwing on some DRM would do anything to stop piracy, other than to make people annoyed.

I also added the photos from the Tegan and Sara concert I went to last week. The best surprise was the opening act, Northern State, which is basically a female feminist version of the Beastie Boys. Check them out.

My "x" key doesn't work so well now days.

November 13, 2007

I was browsing the semiconductor news briefs today, being as I work in the semiconductor industry, and I came across this story about a potential recession for the industry that quotes an industry analyst. Of course reading the article, every other sentence involved a "might" or "could" or "hypothetically", and it's all tied into the "possibility" of a general market recession, which well, obviously would affect the semiconductor market. If people aren't buying electronics, we can't sell chips. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just go to get an MBA so I can do "analysis" like this and get paid ridiculous amounts of money to make guesses that anyone of the street could make just as accurately (or inaccurately as the case may be).

I can't believe I'm having to run my air conditioner in the middle of November. But when the high's reach 90, you do what you gotta do.

So you think you're good at Guitar Hero huh? Not so much anymore.

Finally, proving once again that there is always someone for everyone, the Internet famous Peter Pan is now engaged. I've actually seen him in person at The Castle since he lives in the Tampa area, and I hope him and his future wife have a happy marriage.

November 15, 2007

In the 11 years I've been buying stuff online, I've never once an any sort of issue. Until yesterday morning. The FedEx guy came to my door yesterday morning to deliver the camera I bought, and I remember noticing that it seemed kind of shoddily taped and pretty light. It was in an box though, and since I've recently bought some stuff from Amazon, I thought it was just that stuff. And since I'd never had any sort of issue shipping things, I didn't think much of it anyways.

Until I opened up the box and discovered there was nothing inside! I then checked the address label, and yep, it was supposed to be my 20D. So somebody at FedEx swiped the camera in transit and left me just the packing material. So I immediately called up the guy who sent it to me, who was just as surprised as I was, and then he called FedEx to see what the deal was. Thankfully it was insured and he refunded my money, but considering it was a like-new camera at a great price, it was a pretty unique deal. Not to mention I was really excited about getting it and now I'm going to have to go through the hassle of finding other 20D online or through Craigslist or something. This is also the first time I've ever had anything stolen.

Tonight I'm going to see the The Swell Season, which is the group formed by the people who did the soundtrack and acting in probably my favorite movie of 2007, Once. The soundtrack is excellent, I highly recommend picking it up.

November 16, 2007

Last night I saw the The Swell Season, which as I wrote about yesterday, is made up the two lead actors of the musical Once. It was an absolutely amazing concert, which in my "List Of Amazing Concerts", I'd probably place around #2 or #3.

What makes a great concert? Well first and foremost I have to like the music. Being my favorite band doesn't mean it's automatically a great concert, though it does help. I love it when the band explains the songs, where they came from, what they mean. Basically anything that gives me a reason to go to their concert versus just listening to the CD again. And there must be crowd participation! And most importantly, a giant smile on my face as I walk out. And The Swell Season had it all: humming, singing, snapping fingers, funny songs, funny stories, stories about exorcising ghosts, a Justin Timberlake cover, two encores, and ending the concert by having us walk out the door while singing along with them a simple song about vampires while they played on on the stage.

And thankfully because I live in Austin, I got to see them. Probably a good 95% of the shows I've gone to in Austin are of bands that never even come to Florida, much less Gainesville. Particularly the foreign bands, it's always Portland/Seattle, LA/San Fran, Austin, and New York. I love this city!

Speaking of my favorite concerts, if I had to list them in order, I'd probably go with:
  1. Bobby McFarin
  2. Weezer
  3. The Swell Season
  4. Bowling for Soup
  5. Bloc Party
I will admit the Weezer concert is probably so high because they're my favorite band and it was the first concert I ever went to.

I added photos of a concert I went to Wednesday night, Architecture in Helsinki, and then of The Swell Season from last night. My new system of adding photos really does make it far easier to upload and post photos.

Want some REALLY cheap airfare? Look over at Airfare Watchdog for stuff like my $550 ticket to Rome, a $351 ticket to Germany, and across the US from DC to San Fran for $200. All round trip. Granted it's cheaper flying in the middle of winter and the seats are limited and there's plenty of blackout dates. But still, $351 roundtrip to Germany! I really need to do more traveling and take advantage of being born into the first period of history where the average person can travel across the world cheaply and safely and fast.

November 17, 2007

I got my new camera!

Gallery of a small sampling of the photos I've taken is here. I actually haven't had any chances to do outdoor shooting yet (hence all the shots of my apartment), and I'm still getting used to using it. I've still got a while to go before I can get some jaw dropping photos, but I've been extremely impressed so far. I particularly love how using ISO3200 on the 20D is less grainy than ISO400 on my Point and Shoot. Oh, and I ended up buying it from a guy on Craiglist.

Today I went to go see Barack Obama speak here in Austin. This was the second time I've gotten to see him talk, the first being back in February. He's still who I'm going to be voting for in the primary, though it'll already be quite decided by the time Texas gets around to voting. I added some photos of the rally with links to why I support him and why the whole "not enough experience" argument is a fallacy. I would have used the 20D to take those, but "professional" cameras were banned, so I had to make do with my regular digicam.

Scientists have moved one step closer to an internet brain implant (which mark my words, will happen during my generation), this time by reading a paralyzed man's mind to determine what he is trying to say. They think they can convert 80% of what they captured into sound, and in the end allow a person who can't move at all, to speak.

November 19, 2007

Yesterday I went to go check out the East Austin Studio Tour and see a bunch of up and coming artists here in the Austin area. I had no idea there were that many studios in such a concentrated area, and it was a fun way to spend the afternoon wandering around from studio to studio. I'd say my favorite's were SUPER!ALRIGHT!, which did some video work and had a bunch of cubism paintings, and Obsolete Industries which does a lot of rock concert promo posters.

Tonight I'm going to see the original Ninja Turtles movie with all-you-can-eat pizza. Which basically combines two of my favorite things, pizza and the Ninja Turtles. Only the first two movies are any good though, the 3rd one I didn't like at all. The 2nd one is the best simply because it has Vanilla Ice rapping in it. "Go ninja go ninja go! Go ninja go ninja go!" There's even going to be a costume contest, but unfortunately the Michelangelo Halloween costume I wore in 3rd grade no longer fits.

I also added some more photos that I took with my camera tonight. These were taken in raw mode, which allows for easier post-processing on the computer. The drawbacks are that the file size is far larger and it requires time and effort to properly convert it to jpeg's to put online.

November 20, 2007

One of my friends linked me to a cool technology document that Obama put out to explain his views on various technology related issues. It's basically a dream list of everything that people have been clamoring for, particularly in net neutrality and getting the government and the country to become more wired. Obviously it's not perfect, and with all the different arguments there will never be a perfect document, but it's vastly superior to anything that the other candidates have put out. It really shows he gets what the Internet has done and can do for people.

Florida won't seem so far away anymore after ordering ESPN's Full Court package to get all the Gator basketball games this season. It includes a bunch of other basketball games as well, but I got it strictly for the Gator games. And from what I saw tonight when UF played North Florida, it's going to be a very good year. I figured they'd be surprisingly good this year, and even though UNF isn't all that great of a team, they demolished them by 50 points and made very few Freshman mistakes. Marreese Speights is incredible (which I saw snippets of last year when he'd play) and Nick Calathes has sooooo much potential. I predict they make a good run in the tourny this year, and next year they'll be right in the battle for the Championship, no doubt about it. Watching it on TV is nothing like actually being in the Rowdy Reptile student section, but it's the next best thing when you live a thousand miles away.

Tonight I saw a documentary about punk rock music called Punk's Not Dead. It was an interesting movie, but spent way too long on trying to discuss what makes punk music punk and who is really keepin it real yo. Which to me, the most punk thing to do would be simply to listen to whatever music you enjoy. But then what do I know?

Today was also probably the last day I'll get to swim in Barton Springs for a while, as a cold front moves through tomorrow and the extended forecast doesn't have us getting much warmer. It is open year round though, so if I ever miss the 69 degree water I can just jump in and get the blood rushing a bit.

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade makes me miss seeing New York. I need to visit during the Christmas season next time.

Also this year I noticed most of the Black Friday deals that Best Buy and the like are running are really no cheaper than what you can buy it for on all the time. Well except for the super cheap DVD's and CD's. But a lot of the prices for TV's and other electronic goodies aren't worth the hassle of getting down there and fighting the lines.

Finally how to make a great tasting turkey:
  1. Get the turkey a few days (4 or 5) ahead of time to thaw in the fridge
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an oven thermometer to make sure the oven is calibrated correctly.
  3. Mince up about quarter cup of garlic cloves, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme together. Fresh is best!
  4. Melt a cup of butter in the microwave
  5. Mix the butter and herbs together, and add some salt and pepper
  6. Unwrap the turkey and take out the guts.
  7. Rub the butter compound all over the turkey, particularly the breast underneath the skin. This is the really messy (and fun!) part.
  8. Stuff with a few orange slices, half an apple, whole garlic cloves, and the rest of the herbs
  9. Cook about 3 and a half hours for a 12 pound bird, covering loosely with foil at about the 2.5 hour mark.
  10. Take it out when the thigh meat hits 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer. If you don't own one, buy one. You should never cook meat without one, done-ness is decided by temperature, not by time. You can even buy ones that have a timer attached so it beeps at you when it hits a pre-set temperature.
  11. Let sit for 30 minutes, carve, and enjoy!
I use this method every year to cook my family's turkey, and originally got it out of an Alligator news article. There are fancier ways of doing the cooking, but this one works great for me and everyone that's tasted my turkey raves about it.

November 23, 2007

I saw Enchanted last night and really enjoyed it. I am a sucker for both musicals and cheesy Disney movies though, so this was kind of a perfect storm in that regard. Personally, I think the world needs more spontaneous singing and dancing, which is probably why this is one of my favorite videos ever, and if I could find a willing partner, and/or have actual singing ability, I would totally do this myself.

Speaking of cool videos, one of my friends linked me to this cool short film.

Finally some more stuff about Barack Obama. First a NYT article on his foreign policy and how most of the Democratic foreign policy experts actually like Obama more than Hillary and why. And why the "inexperience" argument really doesn't hold much weight. That's always bugged me too, particularly when realizing that Obama has spent more years in elected public office than Hillary, and Dick Cheney spent years in politics and look at how that turned out.

The other piece is new poll numbers that show Obama is gaining on Hilary, and is now only 10 points behind nationally. He's still statistically tied in Iowa, and the most interesting statistic is he's leading by 30 points with voters under 34. Unfortunately voters under 34 don't vote all that much.

November 27, 2007

I got my passport over the weekend, so it only took 2 and a half weeks to receive it. And this was without expediting it at all, so it's far faster than the 2 months plus that people had warned me it would take. I find the idea that I can now fly halfway around the world at the spur of the moment to be pretty cool. It's also less than 3 months until I go to Italy!

I've added some new photos, to AnthonyCam, the SLR random images gallery, and photos from the Tori Amos concert I went to last night in San Antonio. I still can't get over how ISO3200 is less grainy than even ISO200 on my point and shoot.

I also added the ability to see the EXIF data of the photos as well (for example). Or at least the one's I didn't mess with too much. I also came across this useful Firefox plugin to view the EXIF data from any image you come across on the web.

November 30, 2007

If all goes well, in about 7 months you'll see me competing on TV in The Amazing Race as I try to win a million dollars. They had an open casting call in Austin today, so me and my friend applied to get on the show. And my teammate is my ex-girlfriend Candice, which we figure will let us have a better shot at getting on since hey, that makes for interesting dramatic TV right?

The 13 page application is pretty intense in itself, and then we basically ad-libbed a 3 minute video there at the casting call. And even though we got there at 1:30 (30 minutes before they started accepting applications), we were the second to last time to get taped, over 4 hours later. We didn't hang out around the mall for those 4 hours, as we had to drive all across Austin to pick up our passports which we had forgotten. So we had our own little Amazing Race in the meantime. It was a pretty cool experience even if I never hear from CBS, and if you don't watch the show, it's one of the very few reality shows I actually enjoy for the content, and don't just watch for the guilty pleasure of it.

I Netflixed a film called Cashback and I recommend checking it out. It has it's story flaws, but the cinematography is gorgeous. I am a sucker for beautiful looking movies though, as evident by my two favorite movies being Amelie and Requiem for a Dream. And I wasn't at all surprised when in one of the extra's they mention that the director has a background in photography, as many of the scenes in the film would have made great photographs. It also uses some unique scene transitions, and extensive use of "freeze-time" shots, including a spectacular one at the end in the falling snow.

Last night I got to shoot my first "real" concert with one of my friends, who let me borrow his fast prime and wide angle lenses. Which produced these photos. Unfortunately it was in terrible red lighting, so basically everything showed up as bright red. Hence why most of the photos were converted to black and white. The other problem is I now have a major case of lens envy (I loooooove the 85mm f/1.8), and this only leads down the dark and expensive path to more lens buying. What have I gotten myself into?!?!!

October 2007 -- 2007 -- December 2007