May 2009

April 2009 -- 2009 -- June 2009

May 16, 2009

So the last month marked a first for the website, I had a month without any updates for the first time ever. Not that there hasn't been a lack of things going on.

Back in mid-March was SXSW, where I got to see all kinds of bands like Tori Amos, Shiny Toy Guns, Aqualung, The Bird and the Bee, and many, many, more. I even had the pictures up pretty soon afterwards if you subscribed to the RSS feed, but if not, you can view them here

Then in the middle of April I went to visit Kara in New Zealand for two weeks! It was my first time in the Southern Hemisphere, and it was as beautiful as you'd think it was. Kara's in Wellington, and a lot of the Lord of the Ring's scenes were filmed outside there. We also took a trip down to the South Island to visit a gorgeous town on the coast called Akaroa to see some wild penguins and dolphins, and also Christchurch (with a short day trip to some geothermal springs). Then back on the North Island we spent a few days in Martinborough, which is in the middle of New Zealand wine country. Unfortunately I also came down with strep throat in the middle of it, which wasn't much fun, but Kara helped me recover! We also went to a rugby game and learned how to drive a manual car. I'll be going back again at the beginning of June, and again at the end of August, so this won't be the last time I get to see Kara before she comes back to the States at the end of October.

And here's some of the better photos of the almost 2500 I ended up taking. Album 1 and Album 2.

I also had a PI day (3-14) update that I didn't post, where it's now an officially recognized day by the US government. Hooray for nerdiness!

On a serious note, The Independent has a great story about the dark side of the "gem" of the Middle East, Dubai. All that glitters is not gold.

May 20, 2009

I forgot to mention last week that it was my car's 3rd birthday. It's in remarkably good shape for having 45,000 miles on it, particularly the interior. It is a little sad though every time I wash it, and I notice one more scrape or scratch. Though at least most of them are self-inflicted, which does make me feel better about them. The latest haphazard was some sort of rubber-cement like substance that I must have ran over, because it was sprayed up from the wheel well on the passenger side. It took about an hour and a half of hard scrubbing to get it all off, but at least it did eventually come off. I still love my car, and am very very happy I chose to get the TSX.

I also just finished booking my 3rd flight to New Zealand to visit Kara, so I'll be going down there at the beginning of June and again at the end of August. And I continue to love Southwest, particularly their no-fees for flight changes policy, and in fact they "refund" your money if you rebook to a lower price flight. You don't get the money back on the credit card, but you can use those funds for future flights. Which as much as I enjoy travelling, I can guarantee I'll be off somewhere else within a year.

And since I've been flying over to New Zealand so much, by the August flight I should be able to get a free upgrade for one leg, and then enough "Air Dollars" to pay for an upgrade for the other leg. It's not quite business class, but you get real food instead of re-heated stuff.

Congrats to Christin Engelberth, who at only 12, won the Doodle 4 Google contest. I like it!

May 22, 2009

I forgot to mention in the last post that I also bought a new lens a few weeks ago. It's the Canon 50mm f/1.8, otherwise known as the "nifty fifty" because it's a great lens at a really cheap price. My friend pointed out a Craigslist ad selling it for almost half off the normal price, so I jumped at the chance to get it. Shooting at f/1.8 is quite an experience, the depth of field is incredibly small at that aperture. And the photos come out amazingly well. Definitely a worthwhile investment. I'm still looking to get a wide-angle Canon 10-22mm f/3.5 and a Canon 85mm lens one day.... eventually.

I don't really have any amazing jaw-dropping links for today. Just updating for the sake of updating. Granted this might have to do with the fact that Kara is off traveling to Auckland today to check out the glow worm caves, so we don't have our normal nightly call tonight. I have no idea how anyone ever survived before Skype, it's saved thousands of dollars in phone bills over the last year.

Oh and the bio page is updated for the first time in like 2 years. I should put an updated photo in there too shouldn't I? Although I do still look exactly the same.

And hooray for 3 day weekends! I don't have any big plans, but it's always nice to sleep in on a Monday morning.

May 24, 2009

Someone decided to take a bunch of photos of the insides of people's refrigerators. My favorite is the bar tenders, who has his fridge stuffed with styrofoam takeout containers. And so in the spirit of the photo gallery, I took some photos of the inside of my fridge, and the door. As you can see, I don't have a lot in there other than the basic condiments, some eggs, juice, milk, and some beer that's been sitting in there for 5 months now. Don't need much fridge space when you're living alone.

I've been watching the flight prices for New Zealand for a while, since I was planning my trips to see Kara. And even though I've already bought them, I still check to see how much, and when, they'll fluctuate just out of curiosity sake.

So for my second trip, I kept holding out waiting to see if they'd drop any. Then they went up, so I figured I should pounce before they kept on going up. But then not but about 24 hours later, they went back down to their original price. And of course when I called the airline, they just said it was the luck of the game and couldn't do anything for me. Then for my third flight, about 3 days after I bought my ticket, it was $50 cheaper. Also the prices for the itinerary I originally planned where quite a bit more than I would spend by moving it around a few days, so I went with the alternative dates. But then yesterday, they dropped by about $200 overnight, making it just about the same price I paid for the tickets I had bought for the alternative dates. It's craaaazy

May 27, 2009

Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor yesterday for the Supreme Court, to replace Souter. And the standard arguments from both sides pretty much began immediately. ::yawn::

It has been funny though with conservatives getting riled up about how she's racist, when she points out, correctly, that the experiences of a Latina woman are going to be different than that of a white male. And that those experiences might come in handy when making a decision. For instance, there is the amusing fact that Justice Alito, who graduated Princeton a few months before Sotomayor arrived, was part of an organization while at Princeton that opposed admitting women, such as Sotomayor, into the university. That's might make it a tad bit awkward to serve together won't it? But I would think that being barred from entering a college is something that a white male wouldn't have experienced, and I would also think that it could constitute a "richness of her experiences" that a Latina woman would have, and a white male such as myself wouldn't.

In other news, while I'm not surprised a majority of Americans are still against love, I am surprised that a full 40% are against even "like". That's how many people think a gay relationship should be illegal. Yes, that's right, a man having a boyfriend should be illegal. Somehow I bet it's the same 40% who also think the government is far too big and intrusive.

On a happier note, I'm loving So You Think You Can Dance this season. I'm not big into reality shows, but I love dance and they're some amazing performers out there.

April 2009 -- 2009 -- June 2009