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Sunday, August 28, 2005

It's wedding season again

It's been a busy weekend! On Friday I played the part of the ultra-meta-tronic-recruiter and spent half the day running around to get my friend Iridius a kick-ass job. I love that my new company will let me do that for a friend - it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that I did the right thing and helped both my friend and a good company out by getting them someone who can really help them in so many areas.

John and Sarah BysingerSaturday was a non-day for me - I woke up in the morning and immediately went with Brien out to the coast for our friends John and Sarah's wedding ceremony. I was pretty stressed out driving out there because we got a late start (we both slept in) and I was the wedding photographer so I couldn't be late. The wedding itself was a beautiful ceremony on the beach and I had a lot of fun playing with beach shots. This image was one of my favorites - after the ceremony the newly married couple walked out to the beach to share a private moment. Sarah had been very patient with her veil in the windy conditions but the moment the ceremony was done she gleefully cast it aside as they walked ocean-ward.

After the ceremony Brien and I got to enjoy the reception and take some walks along the beach. It's been a long time since I've been to a beach and it was nice to walk along the tide line with the tide coming in washing over our feet. It reminds me of being a kid and taking walks along the beach with my dad looking for agates. It makes me want to start setting aside some money to realize my dream of owning a beach house to see if I can someday have a place to escape to for weekends.

Today was a quite day of editing and looking at photographs. I watched both Final Fantasy and the Incredibles and spent most of the day on my couch. With the weather being kind of crappy it's been nice to do very little and just relax. Given that next weekend is going to be fairly crazy with labor day and going up to see my grandparents it was nice to spend a day this weekend doing nothing.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I have three things to say

1: Myst V: The End Of Ages is very pretty. It's also very fun.
2: I am very tired. It's 11:39 at night and I still have to take care of a few things before I go to bed.
3: This weekend after the wedding I am sure that I will quite some time playing Myst V.

Myst V really does manage to capture the mystique of the first one, while bringing both the 3D graphics and a more classic control scheme into the same room. Once it has the mystique in the room with the hulking graphics we dan send in a few dune trolls and let them all have after each other. Great fun all around.

I suppose announcing this here would make for a 4th item however I'm just going to gloss over that and bust out with the fact that now I'm done saying three things I'm am now going to announce two*: There are upcoming Sparky style movie marathons. I will be holding a Star Wars marathon once the DVD for Episode 3 comes out, and I will be holding a second marathon of all 14 hours of the Lord of the Rings again soon as well. We have all learned our lessons and bringing laptops, powerbooks, gadgets and gizmos work, just so long as there is lots of booze to imbibe and keep up happy.

Who is down for some OMFGToooMuch Cinematographic action? Apply within to my new shiny email address thats all about me and my sparktography.com domain. The dates will be two sepereate weekends. My guess is that the Star Wars insanity will preclude the OMGFwaytooMUCH as LOTR is an investment. Boy is it a heavy duty investment at that. I need thoughts and times from people.

*Didja notice? I managed to turn things I'm talking about into things I'm announcing about.

My first Treo 650 moblog post

So for my lunch break today I decided to get out of the office and take a bit of a walk. I am hiking down Fairview at a brisk pace, a new mix by Fatmouse pumping from my iPod, and typing emails and this blog post on my phone. Chances are I look like a bit of a dork walking down the street this drenched in technology, but I am really the last person on earth to care about something like that.

Go geek!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Running in circles

I've been keeping busy - the past week has brought three deals at work which is finally going to push me over the line and make me debt free (aside from the condo and car) which is good - but it's been a lot of hard work getting here. I've been doing a lot of work with a financial planner and we are working towards the goal of me buying a house with a yard for Skype and a basement for my home theater dreams. The only problem with me keeping as busy as I've been is that poor Skype has not been getting the attention he needs, and I have been neglecting some household chores. With an all day wedding to shoot on Saturday and a bunch of plans for Sunday it might be a while before I get a chance to catch up. Luckily labor day weekend is coming up next weekend and although I'll be up in BC visiting my grandparents for part of it I should be able to eke a relaxing day out of it if I try really hard.

Hot 650 on 4355 actionOn a more technical note I'm 95% in love with my new Treo 650. Aside from a few quirks with the Palm operating system it's a great little mobile device and the push email solution offered by Chatter is truly amazing. I can have 30 second response times to quick emails from friends and business partners alike from pretty much anywhere - a true technologists dream. I had gotten used to mobile email with my HP 4355 but this really takes the cake - it's small, pocketable, and has a built in always on internet connection. I really can't wait till this kind of thing becomes standard fare for the American public and I can have more than a handful of my geekiest friends within seconds reach.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I am pleased to announce

That I will be joining everyone at Burning Man next year. It's been 4 years since I went and that's far too long. I've been looking at too many pictures, dreaming about burning man, and talking about too many burning man plans with friends and I'm finally "cracking" into it. It's of course too late to go this year, but I figure if I plan on going in 2006 then I should have plenty of time to plan, save, and prepare.

On a related note my dreams have been increasingly weird for the past several nights. It started with my intense Burning Man dream on Friday, and although I have not necessarily remembered any of the others they have been of similar intensity and strangeness. I'm not sure what is driving my sudden streak of dreams, and I'm not sure how to feel about it. In some ways I find it a little disturbing, but in other ways it's kind of cool - I never used to really dream (or at least remember my dreams) much at all.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Seattle Hempfest 05

Today I again had the pleasure of shooting the Seattle Hempfest. This year I only shot on one day, but I spent about 5 hours down at the park today and I got some great shots. Check out a gallery of some of my favorites (in no particular order) here. I'm all hot, bothered, and my legs are killing me so I'm going to go chill now. Let me know what you think of the photos - I did a lot of experimentation with character studies and portraits there with strangers. I'm finally starting to get really comfortable working with random people I meet to get good shots of them.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cingular is really starting to piss me off

I'm going on 18+ hours without any connectivity and I can't play with my new toy! Yesterday I was overjoyed to receive the package I had been waiting for - a Treo 650. It's a great little phone, and with the right apps and an unlimited data plan I can do push email, IM, SSH/Telnet, and full web browsing - a geeks dream. Unfortunately I got it only to have Cingular's entire Washington State network got knocked offline. I've been on the phone (friends land line) with them twice and it's really frustrating. They won't tell me what caused the problem, but it affects the entire state and there is no voice or data services - phones just say no network. I'm really starting to get pissed off at this because my cell phone is my only phone - I do all my business and personal calling from it, it's hooked up to the door buzzer of my building, and it's the only way that I can check my work voicemail without going into the office - something I'm going to have to do a lot this weekend.

Aside from being furious with Cingular life is good. Last night the Ian hosted a party at his house celebrating Cahty's birthday. Now that Skype is getting a bit older its nice that I can leave him for a few hours in the evening and go party with my friends. I got to hot tub with Ian, and spend some time with good friends!

-Update-

Shortly after writing this post full service came back to my phone. I guess mistakes happen, but seriously - WTF. I've never heard of an 18 state wide outage... If it ever happens again I'm leaving for another provider - I guess this proves that they really all do suck!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Strangest thing ever

Last night was my annual company wide work party. We held it down at the beach house on Golden Gardens and it was surprisingly interesting. I took my camera and got some great shots for the company intranet. Afterwards some friends of mine were doing a beach burn at Golden Gardens so I dropped by to say hi to them. I don't see some of my friends often enough - something I will have to remedy in short order.

After I got home Brien and snuggled down to watch Mars Attacks before I had to go to bed and get ready for work in the morning. After I went to bed is when things really started to fall apart. I had quite possibly one of the strangest dreams I've ever remembered:

In my dream I on a lark decided to go to Burning Man (which incidentally is starting about now). I packed a few things into my car - too few things upon waking review - and started to drive. About half way there I thought about calling my boss at work and telling him that I would not be in for a week or two, but for some reason decided that it would be better to wait until I was there to notify him. In typical dreamscape style I don't remember most of the drive, and instead seemed to get in the car, be half way there and have my realization about work, then *poof* I was at the black rock desert. Once I got there I discovered that this year they had completely changed the event and half of it was being held indoors in an air conditioned warehouse, with the other half spilling out into the black rock desert - blasphemy. The indoor portion featured a full library of books on every subject known to man, and a nursery for the kids (henceforth known as squids).

I got there and slowly started to set up my stuff. I found some of my burning man buddies, and ended up camping with Dom and Michael like I did the year I went back in 2000. After exploring the event for a short while I decided that calling my work would be a good idea. It was an extremely disjointed phone call and for some reason my boss was completely OK with me leaving for 1-2 weeks and told me to have a lot of fun. As soon as I got off that phone call I got another one from a clinic where I had gotten an STD test nearly 2 years ago informing me that my test results had been inaccurate and I was HIV+. For some reason in the dream I rationalized this by thinking of the HIV- test results that I had received since, and brushed it aside while I frolicked on the black rock desert. The Jiffy Lube camp was back, but for some reason it had become a lesbian hangout and they had an open bar serving jello shots shaped like vaginas.

The strangest part is next: when it was still about three days from the man burning I suddenly decided that I had done enough of Burning Man, packed up my things, and started to get ready to load it all into my car. I then discovered that my car had been stolen and someone had replaced it with a clown car - a miniature one pre-loaded with accordions and squirt flowers.

This is about the point in my dream when I woke up, a bit more confused than when I went to sleep. What the fuck - seriously.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Plodding along

Yesterday seemed so productive. I got a lot done at work (and might get treated to a deal at work today as a result), I nearly got MySQL and MediaWiki hacked into my new project, and Brien and I got a chance to sit down and talk about some things so I feel like progress happened on all fronts and when I finally went to be I was full of accomplishment. It's nice when I have those days were when I'm tired at the end of the day I at least know there is a good reason for it.

Today sucks weather-wise - it's the first day it's rained in a long time. After all the heat I was actually kind of glad when it was overcast yesterday, but when I had to use an umbrella when taking Skype for his morning walk it went from "nice" to "oh god - not this again". Hopefully the weather will be nice for tomorrow's company picnic!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hot hot hot

After a long and productive week (made a deal at work - YAY!) last night it was nice to relax. After a nice salad dinner my friend Ken came over and we talked about technology and ended up watching Blade Runner. Brien got home from work about half way down and joined us. A few beers later and it was 2:00 in the morning and we were all quite tired.

Today has been the pinnacle of lazy days. I got up at about 9:00 to take Skype for a quick walk around the block then ended up back on the couch, wrapped loosely in a summer blanket watching brainless sci-fi movies. That lasted until nearly 1:00 in the afternoon when I finally got the energy together to shower and get dressed to take Skype for a proper walk. Since then I've been writing some reviews and articles for Gear Live and watching movies up in Brien's condo. It's quite humid and hot out there today - I don't really foresee doing much in terms of activity.

Lazy Saturdays can make for the best weekends!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In the nick of time

Today I went and applied for my passport with expedited service. I need it now because my Grandmother is not doing too well and now you need a passport to easily get to Canada and then back into the States. I think I dodged the bullet on when I applied - very soon they are going to require both fingerprints and RFID chips for US passports, and both of those are things I don't think I'm ready to have floating around on computer systems. Don't get me wrong - I think RFID is the way of the future, I just don't think it's ready for prime time yet - way to hackable and dangerous from an identity theft point of view. By the time my new passport expires in 10 years I think the technology for RFID and to secure my biometric information will exist and I will gladly submit to giving that information up.

I'm coming Grandma - just give me two weeks!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Relaxation and balance

I've been making my life a lot more balanced in the past week. Since I have been taking a two week break from working out I've had some extra free time and I've been making efforts to catch up some areas of my life, and let ones that have been getting too much attention cool down just a little bit. I feel much better for it and think that maintaining a more balanced approach to my life for the next couple of months will really help with my stress levels.

I also have been working with a financial planner again on ways to manage my money better and achieve some short and long term financial goals. I'm getting quite excited as the plan he has me on is easy to maintain and projects me to being on track for getting my house in the next 5 years, and retiring significantly earlier than the average retirement age of the time will be. It's going to be a lot of hard work, and a lot of working harder than I want at a young age, but if I do it, and manage my investments wisely I think I can pull it off.

On a side note: Go Apple! I've been very impressed with them in pretty much every single way of late. Not only have I been using OS X almost exclusively but I've been liking some of the products they have been releasing into the marketplace. The Mighty Mouse was certainly a long time coming - but with that Apple has knocked out the last little niggle I had. Now it just waits to see what is coming with the 5th generation iPods (vPods?) in the coming months.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ghostcycle.org

34As much as it saddens me that something like this needs to happen I am really glad that Ghostcycle.org is making a rather in your face statement to the world about sharing the road with bicycles. Here in Seattle we are somewhat of the biker capitol of the United States - everyone commutes on bikes, and rides the recreationally. Sadly most drivers are not as aware of bicyclists as they should be and more accidents happen each year than should. I have lost close friends, and nearly lost family members to bicycle-auto accidents.

The Ghostcycle project has taken old bikes, painted them white, and put one with a sign on the location of each biker that was involved in a accident with a car along with a number so that you can look up the story behind each person. When you look at the sheer number of deaths on the website it's hard to keep a tear from coming to your eye. The project really does show you how it happens in your neighborhood - just on the five minute drive to and from work I see two of the ghost bicycles.

Please - keep an eye out for bikers. It only takes a second to pass them safely and that extra second can (and will) save lives.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Not that happy

Insomnia strikes again... It happens once in a while, and last night a bunch of factors triggered it thus resulting in me getting only about 2.5 hours of twitchy sweaty sleep. I've got no appetite today and feel rather dragging. I think tonight I need to eat a healthy dinner and get a good nights sleep if I'm going to tackle the rest of my week properly.