Friday, August 24, 2007

Cuz I'm leaving.. on a jet plane

Only 2 1/2 more hours till work is done and the mad dash begins.

First: go home, take the dog to mom's.

Then shower etc.

Finish packing everything.

Wait for DaNece to get home with the rental car.

Drive to phoenix.

Catch a quick meal.

Have a tear-filled goodbye at the airport.

Fun in the sun in Philly!!!

Quick Self-Post

Just for future reference.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finally Startin to Feel Better!

Well after almost a whole week of feeling like absolute poop, I'm finally starting to feel better. It turned out to be a viral flu that caused all my woes with a bit of esophogitis thrown in. Lots of fun.

 Big thanks to DaNece for taking such good care of me!!

Oh well, at least I'm getting over it right before my vacation starts (taking the red-eye out on Friday to Philadelphia). That would have really sucked to miss out on the vacation, though I do feel like a bit of a slacker at work now, since I will only be working for Thursday and Friday, then leaving for another week. Oh well I guess, the boss didn't seem upset about it...


Also decided to start messing with me new digital camera, and came up with what I think is a pretty good shot of Scrappy Doo sleeping on the floor. What do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sickness Sucks

So i'm not sure what all is going on today. I woke up early this morning sweating to death, DaNece thought I was melting, then I go right back to sleep. I wake up and I'm achy like nothing else, my throat is constricted, and I'm freezing my nuts off.

I hate weird sicknesses.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Random Restaurant Reviews

For anybody interested in reviews of local restaurants, here is my take (in a completely non-ordered kind of way):

1. 129 1/2 An American Jazz Grille (cortez st): One of our favorites. The food is AWESOME, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the live band is great. Nothing else like this in the area.

2. Bill's Pizza (Cortez St): Best pizza in town! Fresh ingredients, 3 different sauce choices, and no matter what you get on your pizza it melts in your mouth. Only downside to this place is that it is cash-only (they do have an ATM on premisis, that will steal ~$3 of your money to do business with you)

3. Esoji (Gurley St): Some of the best sushi i have ever had. Not the greatest restaurant layout, and the help was still learning the ropes. The sushi-chef is a charismatic older man. He is a little hard to understand most of the time, but is always having a good time. Every piece of sushi that came out to us (and there were plenty) were delicious! On the expensive side for Prescott (i downed $40 worth of fish in an hour, and could have kept on going), but well worth it.

4. St. Michael Cafe & Bistro (Corner of Gurley/Montezuma): Interesting restaurant. Part of the historic St. Michael hotel, so everything gives off that old-time feeling to it. The menu is contemporary, and for the most part very tasty. Some of the dishes don't seem to fit in with the rest (Mediteranean Lamb, and Hamburgers at the same place..?) but they manage to pull everything off very well. Coffee here is in the top ten of the town, so don't be afraid to try a cup. Ask for Ralph as your waiter.

5. Geniovese's Italiano Ristorante (gurley st): I'm honestly not a huge fan of this place. The food is always good, but generally not what i would expect for the prices that they charge. The staff often have a 'mightier than thou' complex that makes you feel like a moron for even opening your mouth.

6. Kendal's Burgers (cortez st): I have to admit: i have a soft spot for this place. Everything is greasy, you have to wait way longer than you should for food, and the staff always seem to be contemplating committing harai kiri at any moment. But it is just so.....good. It has a very home-made feel to it, like you shouldn't care about the puddle that quickly forms in your basket. Just eat and enjoy.

7. Hugo's Mexican Cantina (montezuma st): My perfect kind of restaurant. An absolutely tiny hole-in-the-wall mexican joint, where the guy cooking your food (and standing about a foot from the guy taking your order) is actually.... MEXICAN!! The food is awesome, it all has cilantro in it (like mexican food should). The only downsides to this restaurant are that seating inside is limited (which for most months is okay, because it is hotter than hell inside) though outside seating is available, and their credit card machine is often 'on the fritz'; so take cash with you to be safe.

8. El Charro (montezuma st): Here is the other side of the mexican coin. El Charro has been in business since i was a little kid, and it was a place that we went to often while growing up. It used to be a good place to eat. I'm not sure what happened, but in the last 5-10 years it has been headed on a down-hill track. First off: the wait staff doesn't know their menu. Most questions are met with blank stares, or some oblique reference to what they think is spicy or not. The food can't really be called mexican. It may look mexicanish, it may smell mexicanish, but it most definitely does not TASTE mexanish. Avoid this place if you and your taste-buds are on good terms.

9. Pangea Bakery (Firehouse plaza on corner of Goodwin and Granite): I absolutely love this place. For one thing: it doesn't try to be something it isn't. This is a hippie restaurant. The person taking your order is most likely going to have dread-locks being held back by a 20-year old bandana. And thats OK. They are first and foremost a bakery - so the break here is awesome. This translates well to the sandwhiches that they sell. The flavor combinations are out of this word. Ciopolinni onions with roast beef, and a little bit of barbeque sauce. Fresh pesto with fresh mozzarella and spinach. Come on: those are GOOD flavors. Plus if you want a custom baked goodie, give them a day or two notice, and they will whip up just about anything you have in mind.  Only downside is cash-only.

10. Biff's Bagels (Firehouse Plaza on corder of Goodwin and Granite): I like Biff's, i really do. They have good bagels, even if they are a bit harder than most are used to. And their sandwiches ARE good. But recently they have been jacking up their prices to the point where you would think you were eating at Esoji if you were to look at the bill. A $10 bagel sandwich, and a $5 smoothie drink better be the best tasting things i eat all day: but they aren't. They fall short. The $2 pastry that i pick up next door for desert is the real treat.

11. Goodwin Street Liquor Outlet Deli (goodwin st): I used to like the Liquor Barn deli that previously occupied this space. It was good, it was cheap, and it was good. This new restaurant charges an arm and a leg for 'cuisine' that seems like the red-readed stepchild that got booted out of some eastern city. The food is not good, the help is not good, and the prices are rediculous. Avoid.

12. Sweet Tarts (Cortez St): Prescott has never had a French(ish) food joint before. We didn't know what to do when Sweet Tart opened up. Did you go for the tarts (which are diving), or did you go for the food? In the end you go for both. When you finish that delicious quiche or salmon burger, and Alain (the proprietor) walks by and shakes your hand and asks "Time for something sweet?" it is impossible to say no. They also just expanded to the store next door, so they finally have enough room that you might get a table during lunch hour rush. 

One other thing to note about Sweet Tarts. They have a dinner. On Saturday Nights. It is expensive. If i only had $50 and was going to die on sunday, i would go here for dinner on saturday. It is reservation only, so call and let them know you are coming.



Well I hate to say distraction is bringing this post to an end, but my camera just showed up, and i have to welcome it into the family.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Awesome Movie!!

We went and saw Stardust yesterday. I have to say that I wasn't expecting a whole lot. It looked a little too out there for my tastes. It ended up being one of the best movies that we have seen in theatres in a while.

It was the perfect marriage of the classic 'in love with the wrong person' story, and a fantastical fairytale. And it was worth it just to see Robert DiNero's character. Utterly hilarious!

So basically what i am trying to say is: go see the movie.

Funny Commercials

A few toyota commercials:


And Possibly the funniest beer commercial i have ever seen:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I took the plunge and bought the camera

Well I went ahead about bought a camera after my weird transaction with Broadway photo.

I ended up going for the Canon SD800is, for $288, which seemed like a pretty good deal. It's got lens-level image stabilization, facial recognition, and got pretty darn good reviews.

Now I just hope that nothing delays it from getting here before vacation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Thank you for Smoking

So me and DaNece watched "Thank you for smoking" last night. Wow, was it funny. Definately recommend it.

Latest Photoshop

Nothing terribly fancy, just something to keep me from going postal on the co-workers.

Stock Photo:

My version:

Monday, August 6, 2007

A good weekend

Man, i had forgotten how nice it was to sleep in. But saturday we did just that, until almost 9:00!!! We then proceeded to have a wonderfully lazy day. We decided to go on a date in town in the evening.

We started out going to see the Bourne Ultimatum, which was absolutely PACKED (somebody was raking in the dough this weekend)!! Unfortunately this mean that we had to sit all the way in the front, which gave me a horrible headache (that close up everything is blurry, and you have to pan side to side just to see the whole screen), and gave DaNece a little bit of motion sickness.

Determined to have a good evening of it, we went into town to eat at one of our favorite restaurants: 129 1/2. We both had steak (DaNece had the 4 oz petit filet with brown sugar rub, i had the 12 oz ribeye with mushroom demi glace). It was awesome! We have never been disappointed with this restaurant. The only problem we ever have is that we can't seem to order anything but their steak, and i always want to stay to listen to the live jazz band.

So after our wonderful meal we took a stroll down to the square, watched some country square dancing, and walked down whiskey row. I then introduced DaNece to the joy that is the Young's Farm Treat Center. We both got a cone of homemade ice cream, and Da even got a Charleston Chew, which to me seemed to be a thinly veiled attempt to eat pure marshmallow.


Sunday was more of a work day. I spent 2 hours mowing part of the jungle that had become our yard. Then a quick shower, and a trip to the dog park for Scrappy. Some grocery shopping, and then we cooked up a lovely shark steak dinner with roast potatoes and oyster mushrooms (for me).


All in all: a great weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Silly Internet merchant: tricks are for kids.

So I go to order that sweet SD850is from Broadway Photo (item found here) I get an email saying that i need to call their customer support line to process my order. I figure that the billing address was wrong or something.

So I get connected to a customer representative after being forced to listen to Whitney Houston hold music (should be a crime punishable by death). He starts in with a sales pitch, and i immediately start thinking it was just because i didn't have anything but the camera on the order. So he offers me a case, and a battery, and a memory card, all of which i politely decline.

Then he asks me if i would like to purchase the extended service agreement, which i also politely decline. Then he hits me with something I have never been offered before. He asks me if i would like the USA manufacturer's warranty for the device.

Slightly baffled, i ask 'Why would I need that, it comes with a warranty, doesn't it?'.

He then proceeds to inform me that the model that i am purchasing is the 'international' version of the camera. This model not only doesn't come with a warranty that is valid in the U.S. but the screen is also unable to be changed to English (with a default of Japanese of course).

I say, 'Well that wasn't mentioned on your web site. Doesn't that seem kind of a big thing not to mention?'

He completely disregards my question and asks if i would like to purchase the US version of the phone, which is $349 ($60 more than the international version).

I tell him instead of that, i would like to cancel my order.

All this seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through to get somebody to pay the extra money for the camera that you should be selling anyway.


So now I'm looking for other sites to purchase this camera through, and if i can't find one in my price range, i will step down to the SD800is.

New Digital Camera

Well, a few months back i managed to lose my digital camera (a canon SD600 that DaNece bought for me) out in the woods on a hike. I've been kicking myself ever since then (i mean seriously, who loses their camera on a day hike?), and been putting off getting a new one.

With vacation approaching, i think it may actually be time to finally make the purchase. Here are my requirements for my new one:

- Has to be sturdy (i am kind of rough on the poor things)

- Has to be compact (i'm a pocket toting kind of guy)

- Has to have image stabilization (i swear i must have parkinsons)

- Needs decent optical zoom, since i wont use digital zoom

- At minimum, i need a 2.5" screen so i can see what i am shooting

- Preferably takes an SD card, since everything else i own takes SD (mp3 player, ipaq, our old SD100 camera, GPS)


I'm looking primarily at Canon for a few reasons:

1. The 2 i have had in the past (both powershot SD series) have been great cameras.

2. They aren't as expensive as most of the equivilent Sony's and Nikon's.

3. I've never had a breakage problem with either of my other Canon's (unilke a Casio that the man-child broke in 1 day, or the nikons that i always saw broken come into best buy)


So at that stage it boils down to which Canon model?

It seems like there are a TON of different models right now. There is the sd700 (7.1 MP) sd700is (same camera, but with image stabilization), sd1000 (also a 7MP, but not sure what the other differences are), sd800is (7.4MP), sd850is (8.3MP) and the sd900 (10.4MP behemoth).

Since the sd900 is out of my pricerange of no more than $300 for the camera itself (it falls in at $350), I'm thinking either the sd800 ($270) or the sd850 (found for $290). For the extra 20 bucks the pros to the 850 are:

- extra megapixel of resolution

- facial recognition for portrait photos

- a few extra shooting modes (which i probably won't use)

The cons are:

- it weighs slightly more

- it's video isnt as good (1.3FPS, vs 1.7 on the sd800)

- Canon doesn't list it as using noise reduction when using long shutter speeds, which is probably the biggest problem with it if it is true (though I'm thinking more research will show that they just didn't list in in their comparison chart).


So this really long post has come down to this: $290 for a Canon SD850IS, $25 for a 2gb hi-performance sd card, and $10 for a case. There goes $325 in about 5 minutes. Bummer!

Going to Philly Again

Well, I'm making another pilgrimage to Philadelphia at the end of august to see Daryn, and i'm starting to compile a list of places to go (mostly restaurants, since i don't really care about all the history stuff). So far here is what i got:

 - Reading Terminal, since it was so cool last time i was there

 - Franco and Luigi's for italian food.

 - Definately have to hit up at least one of the multitude of Food Trucks that i hear about. nothing like that here in town that is any good. :)

That's all i got so far, but for only being there 3-4 days, i think that will keep me plenty busy, along with whatever plans Daryn has cooked up.


Man I can't wait to get away from work!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Link Dump

Long time since i posted. Nothing much going on in day-to-day life, just the usual work. Monsoon season is here, so hopefully our house wont float away. :) Other than that, we bought the movie 300, which i totally dig. We saw the simpson's movie, which was about what you would expect from a simpson's movie (it probably won't be up for an emmy). And we cooked a great filet mignon with red wine reduction that i was too busy eating to take pictures of.

Anywho - a random link dump:

52 Influential Photographs

New Philips Digital Drawing Tool for kids (sure looks similar to this technology, just used on a smaller scale).

Bad radio call letters

Think of what MacGuyver could have done with this bad boy.

Rocks that look like faces.

Teaching analytics using star trek? Helarious!!

The History of Prescott

MIT invention: the HypoSurface

The group behind the supercool light-graffiti Sprint Commercial.