Tuesday, September 30, 2008


After reading this boingboing post about the EndNote company suing the creator of the [free!] Zotero firefox plugin, I of course ran out and downloaded/installed said plugin.


After playing with it for a bit I think that this is a TOTALLY rockin little tool for researchers. It has the ability to create different collections and sub-collections so you can track multiple research projects at once, automatically download available source info from websites, create links and snapshots of online resources. You can create notes and annotations for a page or book so that you always know what goes with what.


So anybody who's in school, or anybody who does research on their own should give Zotero a try. It might just be the best thing you don't spend a dime on. :)

TED Winner

"The TED Prize was created as a way of taking the inspiration, ideas and resources that are generated at TED and using them to make a difference. Although the winners receive a prize of $100,000 each, that's the least of what they get. The real prize is that they are granted a WISH. A wish to change the world."


James Nachtwey, an acclaimed photojournalist, was one of three winners of the TED Prize in 2007. His wish was this:

I’m working on a story that the world needs to know about. I wish for you to help me break it in a way that provides spectacular proof of the power of news photography in the digital age.


On October 3rd his wish will come true. His story will be shown all over the world, as well as featured in an 8-page spread in Time Magazine to be released on the same day. I don't know about you, but I'm excited to hear what he has to say.

If you are interested in seeing his TED Prize wish video check it out:


Also check out his website to see some more stunning and impactful photographs.

Pic of the day

Another shot from the Citizen's Cemetery:

Monday, September 29, 2008


"Not everyone understands what a completely rational process this is, this maintenance of a motorcycle. They think it's some kind of a "knack" or some kind of "affinity for machines" in operation. They are right, but the knack is almost purely a process of reason, and most of the troubles are caused by what old time radio men called a "short between the earphones," failures to use the head properly. A motorcycle functions entirely in accordance with the laws of reason, and a study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. I said yesterday that the ghost of rationality was what Phædrus pursued and what led to his insanity, but to get into that it's vital to stay with down-to-earth examples of rationality, so as not to get lost in generalities no one else can understand. Talk about rationality can get very confusing unless the things with which rationality deals are also included."

- Robert M. Pirsig


From Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, one of the very best books I've ever read (and am currently re-reading)

Pic of the day

Recovering from a weekend of illness.

This was taken last week at the Citizen's Cemetery:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pic of the day

Her name is Madison. D's friend Shannon brought her by the office yesterday. :) I love how the fluorescent lights reflect in her eyes:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The ultimate power in the universe

Pic of the day

Looking for fresh graffiti in the old haunts, the reflection of the paint on the wall caught my eye:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Roll with it

Walking around on my lunch Monday I happened upon something that I found really entertaining.


Apparently the city left some bits of metal, used to strengthen a foundation for a gas-station, hanging out of the concrete. These bits of metal happened to be hanging out into the alley way.


So somebody decided to make use of them as hangers for art:


This totally made my day. :)

A simple dinner

Pork tenderloin coated in spiced flour (pepper, cayenne, salt, garlic, onion, generic italian seasoning, sugar), seared in a hot pan, then baked at 375 for 45 minutes (turning every 15 minutes) with some water in the pan to keep it moist. Allowed to rest for 10 minutes, resulting in a very juicy medium to medium-well done loin.


Rice pilaf from a box. :)


Some white mushrooms, onion, and zucchini cooked slowly in butter and the brown bits from searing the pork. Spiced with a bit o' salt, pepper, fresh garlic, and a dash of sugar.

Pic of the day

Found some mis-placed pics from Jerome last night. So here is one of my sis:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mexico Pictures

Okay, finally pictures! Most of them were taken downtown in one fell swoop.


Rocky waters:


Chris and Shayla (our hosts):


DaNece by the water:


The 'stage' where any concerts and shows happen in downtown:


El Camoronero (the shrimper) sculpture:

Another angle here.


Luis Donaldo Colosio sculpture:

Also seen here and here.


DaNece with a splash of color:


We stopped off for drinks at 'El Capitan's', which provides a killer view:


And also provided a nice show as the sun set:


Dinner gave us a view of the resort strip lighting up:


Chris and Shayla at dinner:


Me and D at dinner:


I also made Chris stop off in Ajo, Arizona on our way back to get some shots of the churches there:


And that about does it for pictures. A few more can be found in the flickr set.

Some things to keep in mind while in Rocky Point

So this trip to Mexico was kind of like a reconnaissance mission. A few days into foreign territory to get an idea of what our week-long vacation over christmas will be like.


As such I was more interested in figuring out which direction the beach was than taking pictures (I will post the limited pictures I did take shortly). Which taco stands to go to, and where to get a decent cup of coffee (hopefully with internet access).


So here are some things that I learned during our brief stay south of the border:

- Tacos are a staple food. Everywhere you go has them, and some places sell only tacos. I ate more tacos than any human as a right to. And not one of them was bad. Pork, fish, shrimp, beef, chicken. All are tasty down south. Flour tortillas generally appeal more to the american palette, but the corn are mighty fine, especially when cheese is involved.


Every restaurant brings a condiment tray out for your meal. This generally includes pico de gallo, salsa, cabbage, limes, and guacamole. Some places will include grilled onions or jalepenos, pickled carrots, or a spicy and chunky salsa.


Guacamole is wholly different down there. Almost all the places we went to it comes out as a smooth green goo. It tastes like they ran avocado and water through a blender. Not my cup of tea, but my friend Chris is in love with it.


- Even though most of the population speak a small amount of english, it is generally not enough to convey what you really want. Those two years of high-school spanish really came in handy while we were there.

Important spanish words and phrases:

- Hola: hello. If said with a genuine smile this is the single most powerful word you will use.

- Agua: water. DON'T DRINK THE WATER! Always get bottled. Restaurants generally assume you want bottled.

- Carne: beef

- Pollo: chicken

- Pastor: pork (Catalyst has corrected me. Pastor can be multiple types of meat, with the general theme of coming off of a vertical spit, shepard-style. All the pastor that I tried happened to be pork, but that might not always be the case.)

- Pescado: fish

- Camerones: shrimp

- Buenos dias: good day. Can be used as a greeting or a farewell.

- Bano (pronounced banyo): bathroom.

- Playa: beach

- Cuanto?: how much?

- Gracias: thank you. When all else fails, just say thank you. Because seriously; who doesn't like getting thanked, even if they didn't do anything?


- Driving in mexico. Wow. Take everything you learned in driving school and throw it out the window. Road signs and traffic control devices seem to be more recommendation than requirement. You have to have your mind constantly on your surroundings as people run stop signs and lights without thinking twice. They drive on the wrong side of the road to get around people.


At night, don't assume that people will have headlights or tail lights, because a good number of them won't.


Speed limits mean nothing. It can say 30km/hr (about 20mph), but people will be doing sixty or seventy miles per hour if the road is in good shape. Prepare to be passed on all sides.


- Solicitation. Don't go to the beach if you don't want to get hassled to buy something. Vendors walk down the beach selling everything from sunglasses and necklaces to turtle sculptures and pots. Probably about one every 5-10 minutes was normal for the beaches we went to.


Also don't go downtown if you don't want to hear the sales pitches. That guy waving you into the 'free parking' area expects a few bucks for his trouble.


- Money. You have Pesos and you have Dollars. Both are accepted almost everywhere in Rocky Point. BUT, some places only give back pesos for change. Thankfully the math is pretty straight forward - 1 dollar = 10 pesos (technically 10.2 right now, but unless you are at a fancy grocery store or something, they all round to 10). So if that bottle of booze seems a little over priced ($200), knock off a zero and that is probably the price in dollars.


Most food stands will have their prices in dollars, since they are catering to the tourists, but grocery stores and markets are generally in pesos.


If you don't mind cooking, the produce is unbelievably cheap in the grocery stores. I got two avocados, three tomatoes, a bunch of mexican onions, a plantain, three peaches and some butter for like six bucks!


- Other than all that just enjoy the sun and the generally friendly people. But try not to work too hard.

Pic of the day

One thing I do really like about the SD800 is the way it captures the sun in head-on shots. That little sensor gives a way more holy grail type of sun than the g9 seems capable of.


So here is a shot showing off that capability. Taken in Ajo on the way home from Rocky Point:

I'm officially old-hat


Canon has announced the new Powershot G10 will be released in October, meaning I now have an out-dated piece of equipment. :)


The G10 has a few neat features compared to my G9. It has a wider-angle lens (28mm vs. 35 on the G9), which is probably the feature I would like the most. It also has iContrast, which increases the dynamic range of your images. It features some new blur-reduction items which are always nice.


And it has the new Digic IV processor inside, which means even faster pictures, better noise reduction at high ISO, and slightly better battery life.


Oh yeah, and a new grip due to all the complaints of users, and so many people buying aftermarket grips for the G9.

See an in-depth review HERE.


So will I be switching? Ummm.... NO. As nice as all those new features, they just don't justify a $500 upgrade.


Rich - now is the time to buy! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pic of the day

The one picture I managed to squeak out during the workday. A teaser from the Mexico trip; a sculpture from downtown Rocky Point:

Holy Hectic Monday batman!

So no time to go through pictures yet today. Crazy busy at work.


But this makes it all a little more bearable.


Wow, 350 RSS items, 100+ emails, and (only) 250 pictures to sort through. This could take a bit. :)


Mexico was great, post and pictures will be coming in the following day or two. Happy to be home, wish I would have taken today off of work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Off to sandy beaches

We are leaving for Mexico tomorrow for a few days, so the blog will go dark until I return.


Have a great weekend everybody!

Anti-Virus geekiness

So the company I work for has decided to start migrating from one anti-virus software (Symantec Corporate Edition) to a new one (Kaspersky Anti-Virus).


So far we have converted only a small number of offices to the new software, hoping to find any flaws, bugs, quirks that apply to our infrastructure on a small scale, before deploying out to the entire company. This wait-time allows for some great comparison's between the two for me.

So for anybody in these shoes here are the differences that I've noticed after about a month of use:


- Kaspersky is more of a pain to deploy out to clients. You have to install two programs (the anti-virus client, and the network agent which allows communication with the administrator console). You end up having to restart each machine 2 or 3 times during installation, which can be a serious pain in the rear especially if you are installing at a remote site.


- Kaspersky's administration toolkit is way easier for the network admin to use. You can separate servers into groups easily, setup different scan and update profiles for each group easily, and get an immediate visual idea of how healthy your network is (by the color of the icon on each computer). You can do all these same things in Symantec, but it isn't as easy.


- Kaspersky features remote installer. Hands down one of the most useful little features ever. It allows you to remotely install any executable from one place to a group of computers. Great for those of us who are too cheap to by a program like GFiLANguard. It also allows you to add command switches to your executables so that you can have them install silently, wait for restart, blah blah blah. Very useful when you want to roll out the newest service pack to a group of computers while working from home. :)


- Setting up tasks and remote installs with kaspersky doesn't seem very polished. You have to create a remote install profile, and then go through and setup a task for that profile, then choose which computers that task applies to. Seems like more work than it has to be.


- Symantec has way better communication with their clients. Within the first week of use Kaspersky they sent out a bad update that caused problems on all clients. It took them 48 hours to come up with an update, and didn't provide any feedback in their user forums to address the problems and its resolution status. Pretty ridiculous for a corporate-targeting software company.  On the one or two occasions that this has happened with Symantec the problem was generally resolved within 4 - 8 hours, and there was constant communication with symantec through their user forums.


- Remote server administration. Biggest time saver. I can setup the kaspersky administration toolkit to access any of the networks that I have setup over VPN. So I can track every office's status from one central application, instead of having to log on to each server individually with symantec. This seems like a no-brainer, and something that symantec should totally have. Maybe they do, and I was just not able to easily find it? Either way, it only took 5 minutes to setup in Kaspersky, and will be awesome once we get all of our sites moved to this suite.


- Kaspersky costs less per client. By almost half. Yeah, that is a HUGE deal when you have lots of clients running the software. We will save THOUSANDS every year thanks to this change.


So although there are a few quirks to using Kaspersky, overall it seems like a better program for less money. So far so good!


"My favorite thing is to go where I've never been" - Diane Arbus


Found here.

Pic of the day

Another photoshop image. A cup of coffee, found in the Fate of Eternity, which can be read here on page 9. Compression kills this one, click to open in new window:

For those interested in how this was made, I created a tutorial for the photoshop class, found here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Funny Commercial.

The new VLC Player is out!

Finally the new VLC media player is out (released by VideoLAN). For those who don't know VLC media player will play just about any media file under the sun. And it doesn't suck up nearly as many resources as windows media player.


The new version also gives a new much improved interface.

Graffiti goodness

It's no secret that I love graffiti. So imagine my surprise when I realized that I had completely forgotten to look up pictures after the Cans Festival (which was hosted by famous graffiti artist Banksy).


Well I'm making up for lost time now. :) With images like these, how can you go wrong?:








Here are a few great areas on flickr that really show off the art:

Romanywg's set

Another romanywg set

Greenworrd100's set

The Cans Festival group

Cans Festival 08 group


As well as a good news article found here.


Sometimes there is a quiz that is just SO stupid that I can't help but take it.

I could survive for 51 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds Pedia

Pic of the day

'The Football Player'. Photoshop piece done for a co-worker of her son:

*Edit* - Found the tutorial for this one too. Found here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another coffee shop observation

A young boy walks in, he's maybe seven or eight years old. He is wearing a cowboy hat that is almost as big as he is, levis, and cowboy boots.


He walks up to the counter which his head barely reaches, and orders a large latte and a scone. He pays for the goods and walks towards the exit with full hands,  politely thanking the man who holds the door open for him.


I wonder if I will ever be as grown up as him?

Laying at home with a case of what?

Have you ever gone to stretch and popped something that shouldn't pop?  Totally happened to me on friday. I leaned back, stretched, and felt my sternum pop like a mofo.


And I thought... surely not! There is nothing in there to pop. What the heck? And it started to ache a little bit. I went out and played pool with Luke anyway, but by the time I got home there was some serious pain going on.


So I did what any self-respecting internet junky would do; I went to WebMD! And then I laid on the floor for 14 hours on saturday, with a case of costochondritis, watching movies (free Starz this weekend!) and the entire season of Burn Notice. Oh yeah, and clutching my chest being generally grouchy as hell about the fire occurring in the area of my fifth/sixth rib.


Highlights -

-Burn Notice is way funnier than the previews for it made it look.

- The Big Lebowsky. I saw it for the first time (how did I miss this for so long?). FUNNY freakin movie!


By Sunday I was feeling better, so we went down to the Empty Bowls, and had a BLAST!


That was the weekend.

Hooray for warranty repair

Just heard from the repair shop. The G9 is back up and working, and they should hopefully be shipping it out today or tomorrow.


And the best part? Yeah, EVERYTHING was covered under warranty, including shipping! No cash out of my pocket, which rocks!


I'm kind of hoping that I get it back before we leave for Mexico on Thursday, but I'm seriously doubting that will happen.

Pic of the day

Stoking the fire within.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pic of the day

After the photoshop piece yesterday, I figured I might post a few more for PotD entries. since I am still camera-less.


A photo I took of Daryn on a trip to Pennsylvania a couple years ago, tweaked in PS:

Two guys walk into a coffee-shop (no seriously)

*Oops, meant to post this to the other blog. Oh well.*


They are wearing matching outfits. One is older, one younger. They might be father and son.


They move a chair, lay down a rug and bring in instruments. One sits on the ground with a sitar. The other sits on a chair with a drum.


And they play. Quietly, but assertively. There are no words, just the rhythms of their intermingling instruments. There are no songs, just one long session that changes tempo at their will. My pen changes tempo along with them.


The music supplements and enhances the words flowing into my notebook. I sit and I scribble until I can dally no more. The clock has run away and left me scrambling to get to work. I throw some bills in the tip jar, and thank them.


The notes follow me into the street and into the office. Playing still in my ears as I sit at my desk.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The small world in which we live.

GrannyJ posted a link to Warren's blog.


Warren is based in Tucson, and did a post about his trip to the Heard Museum in Phoenix.


He posted some pictures of sculptures, some of which looked really familiar to me.


I asked him if he had the artist information, and it turns out that they were created by my old neighbor in Prescott, Doug Hyde who exhibits his Native American sculptures all over the country.


Funny how small the world seems sometimes. :)

Blowing a Glass Cat

The simple act of shaping glass. It almost looks easy.


Pic of the day

Not really a photograph, just a montage created for photoshop class a while ago:

*Edit* - Also found the tutorial for this one. For those who are interested.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For all the fellas out there

A country song that every man can appreciate (NSFW):


The last thing you hear is: "I think I'd like to shake your daddy's hand." Effin' Hilarious.


It's the end of the world as we know it

Or, maybe not as it turns out.


They turned on the Large Hadron Collider today. No black holes. But then again they haven't really started colliding anything yet, just shooting a beam of particles in a circle to verify the machine works. Here's hoping all goes according to plan. :)


To find out if the large hadron collider has destroyed the world, check here.

Pic of the day

My favorite shot from our 89 Bridge outing:

You might be a computer geek if:

you have nightmares of walking into a server room that is 100 degrees and filled with flashing amber and red lights.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quote - Walt Whitman

From the current read:

"The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters is simplicity. Nothing is better than simplicity . . . nothing can make up for excess or for the lack of definiteness."
- Walt Whitman


So I am bad when it comes to food addictions. I will get on a kick of liking one food to the exclusion of all others. I will eat it at every meal until I can't stand the sight of it, and then: I will eat it some more.

So, currently when I take this:


and put it here:


I get this:


Every time I make something I wonder if it could be bettered with a little help from my green food friend.

I've been spreading it on bread for sandwiches, putting it on burgers (with green chiles), cubing it and tossing it in with cous-cous, throwing it it with some tomato slices and calling it a salad (hey, it IS green!). Sometimes I just slice up a whole avocado, add a little salt pepper and lime juice, and eat it right then and there. Sometimes I don't even get around to the salt pepper and lime juice. Sometimes it barely makes it off the knife, and I am shoving the entire thing in my mouth. Yeah, THE WHOLE AVOCADO. By My Self.

DaNece looks at me with a funky face, shakes her head, and walks away. Leaving me looking a lot like this:


Sitting here, LMAO

How do I get me some of that Sulphur hexaflouride?


Pic of the day

Neon Patriotism:

sign above a laundromat entrance.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A clearer picture of AT&T


Two Churches fire rockets at each other

via videosift.com

Pic of the day

The last shot of the old Chevrolet in the alley, and the only non-HDR shot of it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pic of the day

A shot of the Grama's Bakery Sign:

Steamed fish that I actually LIKE!

We don't eat a lot of fish in our house. Mostly because I end up spicing the hell out of it, and then it is a bit on the wild side for DaNece.


There is also a matter of the type of fish that we like.

DaNece likes primarily mild fish, like halibut and orange roughy. I enjoy more full flavored fish like salmon and trout. We are both fans of the occasional swordfish and shark, which of course are normally more expensive, and therefore don't get purchased all that often. :)


We have tried a couple different ways of cooking (steaming, broiling, grilling, pan-seared, and boiled), but nine times out of ten the flavor is left pretty flat (hence my spicing-the-hell-out-of-it proclivities).


But then I saw THIS RECIPE for fish that is baked in the oven in a wax paper packet, essentially steaming it. I posed the idea to D and she gave the thumbs up to give it a whirl.


IT WAS AWESOME!! Finally some fish with flavor that didn't require massive doses of salt, pepper, and Old Bay to hit my tastebuds. I didn't manage to take any pictures, but it was every bit as ugly looking as the linked recipe shows.


Notes to self:

- I don't know how they made those cute little packets out of wax paper. Mine were a pain in the ass and ended up falling apart when I pulled them from the oven. I will tape those SOBs together next time.

- Use whole dill, not chopped. That way it can be easily pulled out for those who don't like it

- More sauce in the packet is better.


And as always there were substitutions:

- No sea bass available at the store, so rockfish sufficed.

- No green chile. Thought we had a can, but we didn't

- Added more garlic. Like 6 cloves. But that is because I am a garlic whore

- Added zucchini chunks to my portions

- only had one tomato, so used a can of tomato sauce while cooking the onions and tomato

- added carrot... because you know those are good for you.. or so I am told

- added sugar to the veggies, because that is how I roll and it helps to cut through the acidity of the tomato

- paired it with some potatoes cooked low with lots of butter and some rosemary, which did a great job of soaking up the juice


GREAT meal, which we will definitely be making again.

He's blind

No seriously.



Thursday, September 4, 2008




Pic of the Day

Another shot of the old Chevy pickup in the alley. Another 3 exposure handheld HDR:

Empty Bowls

Just an FYI to all the locals out there. The Empty Bowls event is happening on Sunday, September 14th.


You buy a bowl (created and donated by local artists, like our own Tony Reynolds) and you get to eat soups made and donated by local chefs and restaurants (like Crystal at Sweet Tart's cafe), and all the proceeds go to the local food bank!


Now that's a whole lot of Local! So come on down to the courthouse square and pull up a chair for some awesomeness!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Hidden Radio

No buttons. No little knobs sticking out.

You want it louder? Pull the lid upwards.

You want to change the station? Rotate the lid.


That's all. Nothing more.



*Exasperated Sigh Here*

Went to turn on the camera this morning, and got.... nothing. No lens extension, no display on the screen, not even a grinding noise to tell me there was a definite problem.


Replace the battery, try it without the memory card, manually trip the battery door sensor, verify battery contacts are touching posts. All to no avail. So, I currently have a shiny black brick that looks an awful lot like a camera, but serves only as a paper weight.


Time to email Canon and get another repair ticket setup. Hopefully this one will be covered under warranty at least.

Pic of the Day

Some flowers in an alley. Way over processed for a painting type of feel.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An 'Old' road

This weekend we had a mission. Our mission was to go down to the Old Highway 89 bridge over Hell's Canyon. I'd seen this stone bridge originally from the heights of the railroad bridge that crosses the canyon (post here).


So on Monday we drove out to Drake Rd (a.k.a. 'The other Perkinsville'), and parked the truck. We conveniently dodged under the gate informing us that only authorized personnel are allowed, and that it is considered a 'General Blast Area'. We walked the 1/2 mile or so down to the bridge and started snapping away.


Pictures speak louder than words. :)

Weight Limits (probably why general traffic isn't allowed over the bridge any more):


From this point you get a pretty awesome view of the railroad bridge (3 exposure HDR):


Of course, the view from the bridge is never good enough for me, so we took a bit of a precarious slope down to the creek bed for some views of the underbelly of Old Highway 89 (and decided to play with vertical panoramas):


And why not bushwhack our way to the railroad bridge for a look up it as well (that little spot of blue... yeah that's DaNece standing directly underneath the beast):


Along we the way we picked up a little hitchhiker, whom I called George:


I even got DaNece to post for a pic:


We hiked out of the creek and on our way back to the truck we got a bit of a surprise. See, I have always been under the impression that this section of the railway is no longer used. Sure as shit though, along came a whole section of engines chugging along over the bridge:


I guess you learn something new everyday.

Go here for the few pictures not included in this post.