Monday, March 31, 2008

50mm Lens

I picked up a new 50mm lens this weekend with an aperture of 1.8 and I am loving it. I am amazed at the difference it makes regarding depth of field and I have only just brushed the surface.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photo of the Day

I took today's photo at my desk during lunch. I was playing around with the white balance settings trying to get a better feel for how those work.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Russell Crowe & Me?

I recently had a friend tell me I looked like Russell Crowe. Not sure I am buying it.

I think he is just trying to get me back for all the times I told him he looked like Reggie Bush. At least I didn't compare him to Wesley Snipes. Even if he does have vampire teeth.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Camera - Canon Rebel XTi

So on Saturday I finally purchased my digital SLR. I spent a good chunk of Saturday afternoon experimenting, trying to figure out how to take pictures with the manual settings. It ended up being easier than I expected and I now have a solid basic understanding of what to do. I still have sooo much more to learn though. I plan on taking a class at Santa Monica Community College to help me get a solid understanding of the fundamentals of photography. I am so excited and can't wait. Check out my Flickr page to hopefully see the progress I make.

Here is my most successful photo so far:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama and Wright - The Last You Will Hear From Me

Obama and his judgment in selecting Wright to be his spiritual adviser is still bouncing around in my head. I think I have sufficiently processed all the information, including Obama's speech in which he addressed the issue, to form my opinion. I think that Obama has more in common with Carcetti than he does with Bunny Colvin and that really bothers me. I don't think I could vote for Obama. I seriously doubt his ability to "unify." What else does he proffer that appeals to me? Universal health care? No thanks. Fair trade? Hell no.

For another solid take on the Obama and Wright association with a little Kanye West lyrical analysis thrown in for good measure, refer to Mr. J. Lybbert of On Life and Lybberty fame.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama and Wright

As I have mentioned before, I really do not enjoy politics. I don't enjoy "discussing" them. I don't enjoy watching "news" channels that "discuss" them. And it really chaps my action when regularly scheduled programming is preempted for election coverage. However, for some inexplicable reason I feel the need to write something about the Obama/Wright issue.

I must preface my remarks by saying that I have never been a huge Obama supporter. I have been skeptical of his qualifications/experience and have been turned off by the hype surrounding his speaking skills. It really bothers me when people support him as a Presidential candidate and when asked why they support him they cite his public speaking skills. That seems very short sighted in my opinion. I agree that he is a very talented public speaker but his speeches don't really resonate with me because it doesn't seem like there is much substance nor reality behind his rhetoric. But I digress. The purpose of this post is for me to work through my thoughts regarding Obama's association with Wright.

When I first heard about some of the comments that Wright had made I didn't give them much credence. I figured it was the media looking to create drama and improve ratings/sales/hits. I assumed that the comments were probably taken out of context or something along those lines and therefore didn't really pay much attention. However, this morning while driving to work, the radio station I was listening to played 3 or 4 clips from "sermons" or speeches that Wright had made. By the time the segment was over I had a horrible almost nauseous feeling hanging over me. (I almost said in my loins because I think the word loins is funny but that would have detracted from the tone that I was shooting for with this post). I was shocked by how much anger and hate was emanating from Wright's voice. It sounded like I was listening to a "sermon" or speech from some crazed KKK type religious "leader" from the 40's or 50's. How weird is that? It seemed so hypocritical to me. I tried to picture myself going to church and listening to something like that and was at a complete loss. How do sermons of that sort help me to draw closer to God? How do sermons like that agree with the principles found in the teachings of Christ? "God damn America" is found in the Bible?

So how does this relate to Obama? I don't think that Obama agrees with much of what Wright has said. I can't comprehend a reasonable and educated person such as Obama appears to be agreeing with such ridiculous and hateful comments. However, I am very concerned when a reasonable and educated person such as Obama chooses this man to be his spiritual adviser. Especially when his campaign seems to be founded on change and unification. How are such comments unifying? How does any good come from that? It makes me question whether or not Obama actually agrees with Wright. A close association of 20 years, marriage ceremonies, and baptisms really makes me wonder.

Bleh. I hate politics. I hate how cynical they make me. I hate how they make me start to question the religious beliefs of what appears to be an honorable and good man. Especially when the questioning of said beliefs stems from the not so religious rantings of a "religious leader." When it comes down to it, what confuses/bothers me the most is how "religious leaders" such as Wright have congregations. What is spiritual in those sermons? Really, how does that help people draw nearer to God? Is that not the purpose of going to church?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Newish Music Wednesday

So last night I was on my way home and was flipping through radio stations when I came across what I believe to be the beauty featured below. The DJ never said the name of the song nor the artist so I was forced to use my rather astute hip-hop ear/knowledge base and my mad Google skills to find the song so I could share with everybody. I think I found what I am looking for but I am not 100% sure because my speakers at work are currently not operating so I wasn't able to actually listen to the song to ensure that I was linking to the one I intended.

The little gem (hopefully the gem I intended) which I am linking to is Dat Baby by Shawty Putt. Supposedly this song has found regional appeal and by regional appeal I mean the Dirty Dirty. It also looks like Lil' Jon produced which coincides with my memory of last night. I definitely heard an okay and a yeah or two. Also, the beat that I remember was distinctively southern - Florida-ish or maybe ATL-ish. As a side note, Omarion and Marques Houston were auditioning in the office yesterday. But back to the topic at hand. The beat was very addictive and I found myself bouncing along to it as I cruised down the freeway. I also really enjoyed Shawty Putt's voice. I didn't really listen to the lyrics too much other than trying to find the hook so that I could Google it today to try and track it down. From what I gather the song is about Shawty "passing" a paternity test and how the baby, which isn't his, has features of every other rapper. As far as topics for songs go - meh. But regardless, the song is great to bounce along to with the bass turned up. Seriously, it sounded great last night and I am kind of hooked. Hopefully it will pop up on iTunes shortly. Until then, enjoy:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008


Last night I made another pilgrimage to the Mecca of Burger Goodness also know as Father's Office. And yes, it is still "the best, around. nothings ever gonna keep it down." It totally beats The Counter like I beat J. Lybbert in Madden '0-whatever year you choose.

PS The sweet potato fries are even better than previously advertised.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Wire Concludes

I'm not really sure where I am going with this post. It is kind of a hodgepodge of thoughts bouncing around in my head right now. Thoughts whose only connection is The Wire. Sadly, one of the best TV dramas of all time comes to a conclusion this Sunday. And I have a feeling that it is going to be a rather depressing finale. Which in the scheme of the show is fitting. What will absolutely destroy me though is if Bubbles, the one character who seems to have found some sort of redemption relapses in the finale. I think his story may be concluded but you never know. If they do that to me I will probably cry. I don't really want to get wrapped up in an analysis of the final season, previous seasons, nor different characters. I just want to say that my two favorite characters were Bubbles and Omar. It appears that both of their story arcs have come to a conclusion. At least I hope they have.

If you haven't watched The Wire then you are totally missing out. I rank it as my second favorite TV drama of all time. A couple of my friends - John and T-Bone- rank it as their favorite. And I can totally respect that. Seriously, take the time to watch it. You won't regret it. A little warning though, it is pretty gritty and often painful to watch. Especially this final season. But that is what makes it so good. Watching it makes me feel.

So I was pretty disappointed when I clicked on the On-Demand for the series finale which is scheduled to air this coming Sunday only to be treated to a funny little clip of Clay Davis (I really hate Clay Davis) informing me that I would have to wait until Sunday to see the conclusion. The tactic totally worked though because it increased my anticipation. That old playing hard to get thing still works with me sometimes I guess.

One last thing, The Sports Douche did an interview with Jason Whitlock (aka Big Sexy) for his podcast series yesterday where they discuss The Wire. If you are a fan of the show, this is a pretty decent interview to listen to. I have always been a fan of the Big Sexy, especially when he was critical of the way Notre Dame dealt with Ty Willingham. However, I lost a little respect for him when in the podcast he declared the best fast food burger to be from Wendy's. Come on Big Sexy, everybody knows the best fast food burger is from In and Out. I will forgive him for his misstep though because he may have never been west of the Rockies and therefore never tasted the goodness that is In and Out. But getting back to the podcast, it is available on iTunes as well as on the ESPN website. You can stream from the ESPN site or download from iTunes and it is free. I would provide links but I am too lazy. I trust that anybody reading this has the interwob savvy to find it without too much difficulty.

So this Sunday I will be watching the finale to The Wire. All are invited to join me. I will be providing 40s of root beer and we will poor a little out for Omar prior to watching the episode. I am really going to miss hearing all the little ones spreading the word of Omar's arrival every time he walks down the street. "It's Omar yo!"