poppies

A Garden

The thing that my cousin really enjoys is gardening. Probably that is why I keep asking him questions about all of that since I have become interested in learning more about it. More »

lenses

Camera Talk

As most of you know, I like to take pictures. That should be pretty clear to anyone who has read my blog because I talk about it all the time, but if More »

amd square

The Design Is Already There

I am going to be talking about blogging today.  I was talking to a friend about how I like to write and I post the stuff online and people can find it More »

sleeping

The Extra Bedroom

My friend has been telling me that he snores.  He said that his wife is getting pretty annoyed with him and made him go sleep on the couch the other night.  I More »

moving box

Helping Someone Move

I helped my buddy move today. He lived in an old three-flat in the city but moved to the suburbs to be closer to his job–we joked and told him he was More »

A Garden

poppies

The thing that my cousin really enjoys is gardening. Probably that is why I keep asking him questions about all of that since I have become interested in learning more about it. He was giving me some reasons for why he grows what he does, and all these different bits of intelligence he has gotten from doing so and although it was really interesting to me I didn’t really get much of it because it’s something that I am very new to. But I have been really wanting to create my own garden and I think that I will have to get some more suggestions from him as to what I should do.

The main reason I want a garden, though, sis so I can get some cool metal garden furniture and have like a whole little place where you can go and just do whatever you want ain that type of setting. Having never had a garden I just think it would be a pretty interesting thing to do. And I you are going to invite over people or whatever you would have something to do there as well.

My cousin is the opposite, though. His is basically just for testing function and he doesn’t really have it as part of his decor or anything. It’s just a bunch of plants that are growing and I guess that’s a good way to do it if that is your goal, but for me it would have to be something that provides even better purpose for doing it. I mean it’s like another association that people are going to have when they think about your condo or whatever so why wouldn’t you want it to be helping improve the overall scene? I would, although I understand why other people wouldn’t. But that’s mostly the reason I wt to be able to do it and of course if I can get some other things from it in the process then that would be even more desirable. Probably I should see if anyone else in my city that I know would be able to do anything to point me in the right direction as I’m sure there are probably some people that know about this. The other thing is that I am going to see exactly what I will have to do because it seems that it’s probably not quite as easy as just planting some seeds and then watering them and letting them show up, or is it?

Camera Talk

lenses

As most of you know, I like to take pictures. That should be pretty clear to anyone who has read my blog because I talk about it all the time, but if you didn’t know that, now you do. Anyway, I have a few cameras, and I’m not even talking about the one on my cell phone (which is probably the one I use more than the rest, although that’s a convenience factor).  And speaking of cell phones, I saw  a commercial for a new phone that has a 43 megapixel camera on it.  Crazy.

Alright, so one of the things I look for in a camera is the ability to take good photos from a distance.  You need to be able to zoom in and get a good shot while not necessarily getting too close to whatever it is you’re capturing.  It’s best if you can do this without losing much image quality which is something I don’t want to worry regarding, even though i can usually touch up any weird spots in an photo editing program after I get all my photographs taken.  An issue I face with cameras is dealing with getting enough light in the photos.  I was reading a Nikon D7100 review and it seems like this camera has some features that I would like to see, including snapping 6 photos per second for up to 600 pictures.  I bet you could get some really cool pictures with that.  It’s also got wireless capability so you can upload your photos to your computer without having to actually connect it, which might not always be something you need, but is definitely a cool feature.  I think this one may be a bit better than the previous model, based on what I’ve heard, and I am interested in trying one out for myself.  Of course, I don’t know if that’s going to be the next one that I get, but it’s fun to look online at all the new ones that are coming out and see if there are any that can do the things I’m looking for and if there are any new features I haven’t even thought of and take a look at what they claim.  Of course, I’m the kind of person who likes to read about stuff online, and I’ll also post about it which is part of the reason I blog here on this site.

The Design Is Already There

amd square

I am going to be talking about blogging today.  I was talking to a friend about how I like to write and I post the stuff online and people can find it and read it if they want and he mentioned that was something he had been interested in to, but wasn’t sure where to start.  I guess it might not be clear for some people how to get started.  I mean, I’ve been posting what I write online for so long that I forgot what it’s like to start when you don’t know how to do it.  So my friend is going to set up his own blog, he said.

He was telling me how he wanted to have it set up but then said he was going to have to learn how to do all the programming himself.  I said no way, you can use some template like the one you get from WordPress or whatever.  Or you can just start writing and once you have a good number of posts then you can put them all online.  It think that might be a bit better because you’ll have the stuff written already and you won’t be sitting there trying to come up with something to write.  There are other things you can do with your site, too, as I’m sure you know from the number of sites online where people post pictures and all of that.  But I think that my friend is probably going to be writing about the stuff that he is planning on learning.  He’s one of those guys who is always studying even though he isn’t in school and I think he wants to document it on his site.

So he should go with some blog that is easy to set up or there’s always blogs you can pay for or whatever if you want something a bit different.  I think though that I’m going to wait and see what my friend does and I’m pretty sure his site will get pretty popular within the blogging community since he has a unique way of writing that usually makes me laugh.  I’m not really into the whole aspect of writing and putting jokes everywhere, but my friend is able to do it in a way that I think is totally awesome and not irritating at all.  You know like you’ll be reading stuff and there are some jokes in it but they aren’t actually funny and you’re just like um, why is this even here?  It’s like the opposite of that when my friend writes.  So now that I’ve gotten you all pumped up about it, we’ll have to see if my friend goes and starts his own website for his writing.

The Extra Bedroom

sleeping

My friend has been telling me that he snores.  He said that his wife is getting pretty annoyed with him and made him go sleep on the couch the other night.  I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me, but I don’t think I would go sleep on my couch.  It’s my bed and if someone didn’t want to sleep in it with me they are more than welcome to go get on the couch.  Having never had that happen though, I don’t really know what I would do.

I told my friend he should just try sleeping another way but he didn’t think that would work.  He said he snores if he lays on his back but I think that he should try sleeping on his side.  He said he can’t sleep on his stomach, though, because it is uncomfortable.  I can kind of agree with that because I don’t like sleeping on my stomach, either.

Some of the other things that can cause snoring might be things that he doesn’t have any control over.  I asked him if his wife snores and he said no, so I guess he is the only one.  He shoed me http://www.withoutsnoring.com/ and some info about different products that can help keep you from snoring but I don’t know if if any of those actually work.  I know that it’s  a pretty hot topic and there are people who are trying to come up with ways to stop snoring.  I am not sure if any of them work for everyone though so I’ll have to see what my friend does.  I told him he can sleep at my place if he wants since I’m hard to disturb but I don’t want anyone sleeping in my room with me.  I have a second bedroom at the other end of the hall and if he’s in there I wouldn’t be able to hear him snoring, anyway.  I think that he might actually take m e up on the offer, though, cuz he said his wife is pretty angry bout being woken up by him snoring.  Of course, she might just be making the whole thing up but that would be crazy and I don’t think she’s actually crazy.  Then again, maybe he just started snoring cuz he has some congestion or something.  Does that even cause you to snore?  I have no idea.  I should see if I can find out anything for him.

Helping Someone Move

moving box

I helped my buddy move today. He lived in an old three-flat in the city but moved to the suburbs to be closer to his job–we joked and told him he was turning into a yuppie. The move was much more difficult than I expected because I developed a splitting headache not long after I woke up and now, over 15 hours later, it is still with me. I don’t get headaches too often but man, today was a really bad day to get one. As a guy you’re expected to be there for your friends and not back out of commitments with them, especially if it involves a major life change like a move. I didn’t even wanna bring it up–all I did was take four ibuprofen and drink a lot of water and hope for the best. It didn’t help though. Or rather, the ibuprofen and water did help the headache but the physical act of moving gigantic pieces of furniture down three flights of very narrow stairs made my headache worse, so it balanced out.

I know it probably isn’t exactly fair to say, but in some ways women are lucky when they get headaches. It is usually a bit more socially acceptable for them to excuse themselves from needing to do things that may make headaches worse. Us guys are supposed to be tough and just deal with it. It doesn’t help that men don’t get very many headaches, outside of hangover-related ones, so people don’t even really think about such a thing happening.

We did stop for something to eat in the middle of it all and that helped me feel a bit better. It also helps that my friends are funny and kept my mind off my unspoken misery, for the most part.

Either way, I can tell you I’m very happy to be home from helping my buddy move. He’s all settled into his new place out in the ‘burbs and I’m back at home with some Migralex stress headache relief that my friend told me to try (he said you can use it for other types of headaches we well) and an ice pack on my head, with a bad horror movie on the television. Getting a headache really sucks but knowing how mine are, after a good night’s sleep I will wake up refreshed and headache-free.  I just hope that next time one of my friends needs to move out of the top floor of a three-flat then I wake up that morning feeling 100%!

Five Years At My Other Job

fireworks

As you know I’m a photographer in my heart, but I also have another job

For those of you that know me pretty well, today I celebrate a milestone. This is year number five of my (somewhat) lucrative career working as a mechanic. I had no idea I would end up doing this, considering I went to school for communications. Turns out my niche was on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

How did it all start? Well, I got what I thought was my dream job right out of college, but found out quickly that I absolutely hate working in a cubicle. In fact, it only took a year for me to figure out that almost all of the jobs that I qualified for with my degree were jobs that I really couldn’t see myself doing for a long period of time. Whoops, wish I would have figured that out earlier.

Well, a good friend of mine told me that his place was hiring a person to work on the large industrial machines in the factory he’d been working at since high school. These machines are massive…presses that are twenty feet tall, CNC machines that can cut about anything you could need, giant conveyors, robots, you name it. Well I didn’t have a ton of experience but I had a good work ethic so they gave me a chance.

After about six months, I was finally in the full swing of things and discovered that I really liked getting my hands dirty. Something about fixing things just satisfies an innermost craving I have. I guess I could say it brings out my inner caveman. Either way, I had finally found something I loved, and knew I would stay here for a long period of time.

I love this job, and I definitely love the tools I get to play with on a daily basis. One of the coolest things I have at my disposal are hydraulic torque wrenches by TorqLite. This thing is pretty small compared to what it can do. I hook it up to a hydraulic power unit, hit a button, and this baby can drive a bolt with tens of thousands of pounds of torque. I think it’s the fact that I have this kind of power at my disposal that makes me glad I work here. Like I said, this job brings out my inner caveman and every time I get to play with something as powerful as this, it’s like I rediscover fire.

I’m Kinda DIY

nice-kitchen

I am in the process of remodeling my house and it has been nothing but easy. I keep hitting these little roadblocks and I’m starting to get pretty frustrated over the whole deal. I wish I was rich so I could afford to have somebody else do all the work for me but sadly that isn’t the case. I’m hoping the next room I work on will go smoother than what I have done so far. I’m going to be working on my office and am going to keep it simple. I bought a bunch of wire shelves to hang up to keep things tidy in there for starters. I also bought a new computer desk and chair and am going to add some art to the walls and that’s about it. I thought about putting up new wallpaper in there too but the fact is I’m not in there enough to justify doing that. I have both a laptop and netbook now and am rarely on my computer.

After the office I’m going to tackle probably my biggest project in this whole thing and that is my kitchen. I doubt you want to hear my plans for that but I’m going to tell you anyways. First off I’m removing all the cabinets. They are old and need to go. I already have some new ones picked out because I like to plan ahead. I am also getting a new granite table top which I can’t wait to have. The old kitchen table and chair are also going although I haven’t picked out anything new to replace them.

Last but not least is my downstairs. My friend Mark has a man-cave in his basement and I want to try to replicate that. It wont be exactly the same of course but it’ll be close. I want to get the same sized TV that he has and the same sectional couch. I have spent many of nights on that couch of his so I know it is nice. I won’t however be putting in a pool table like he has. I was never a big fan of shooting pool although I will do it on occasion. I should probably be honest and say I don’t like it because I am downright terrible at it. I can never make any balls unless I get lucky and the way my friends play those lucky shots don’t count.

Remember Film?

negatives

You know what one of the best parts about digital photography is?  It’s not the fact that you can immediately see your pictures as soon as you taken them (as opposed to having to wait to develop the film).  It’s not the ease with which you can digitally edit a photo.  Both of those things are cool, don’t misunderstand, but my favorite part is the the fact that everything is digital and that means storing your photos is simple.

I have shoeboxes and albums full of pictures from back in the day when I used a real camera with real film.  I should really go through and scan all those pictures one day, but in the meantime they’ll just stay in the albums.

But now that everything goes directly to my hard drive, I can do whatever I want with it, I can save the original, and I can send copies to everyone.  If you want a copy of an actual photograph you have to develop the negatives into another picture, which takes money and time.  If the pic is on my computer and I want another copy of it, I just copy and paste it and I’m done.  It’s much easier!

The other thing that’s easier about keeping pictures on your hard drives is it’s easier to back them up.  If you lose the negatives for an original picture you’re pretty much out of luck (well I mean you can scan the picture and have a copy of it that way, but then that’s crossing into the computer realm).  I’ve also been looking for an online backup for all my pictures (just in case something happens to my computer).  There’s always a cloud backup, you know, “the cloud”, which is basically just a fancy term for the internet.  Here’s a Zipcloud review which is one such service.  Basically they keep your data on their servers so if you lose your computer or your hard drive crashes or whatever you still have a backup copy.  It’s kind of a cool idea, and also makes it kind of convenient since you can access your files from anywhere, so like if I’m vising a friend and want to show them something I wouldn’t have to bring my computer or external hard drive with me or anything.  Just something to consider.

Of course, there is still something to be said for old school photography, it’s just that using digital cameras is easier so it’s no wonder they’re so popular.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

http-in-sand

I remember about 15-20 years ago when the internet wasn’t widespread like it is now.  In the early 90’s I discovered bulletin boards.  You’d call up a bulletin board with your modem and access everything through a text-based interface.  Bulletin boards were awesome.  They had a basic form of email (you could send messages to other users of that board) and users could share files with each other.  I remember getting a bunch of shareware games from them.  It was actually really cool though because sometimes game developers would upload their own games there, too.  The only problem was that you had to make sure the numbers you dialed weren’t long distance or you might get a big phone bill!

I remember when the internet started becoming widespread.  I had a trial; one month free.  I gave it a try with my dial up modem and I was hooked!  This was in the days before Google, of course, so I would hop over to Alta Vista or Excite and search for whatever I wanted.  Most of the results were fan pages.  It wasn’t like it is now where everyone is trying to sell you stuff and there are ads all over everything.  The early days of the commercial internet were just people with like interests talking and sharing information with each other.

I remember in the late 90’s and early 2000’s in university when we had classes on how the internet was going to transform the world.  You have to keep in mind that most people there, and especially the teachers, weren’t internet “nerds” like I was.  Some of them were just getting their first email address ever through the university.  We had classes about how the internet could revolutionize business by providing and outlet to sell goods and services without having to actually pay rent on a physical store location.  We studied Amazon.com and some of the teachers said they weren’t comfortable ordering books online.  I remember sharing with them my brilliant strategy of going to a brick and mortar bookstore to find the books I wanted, and then ordering them online to save money.

Now I use the internet for even more.  I pay my bills online.  I spend countless hours online researching stuff (much of which is just for fun).  I talk to other people on forums devoted to many of my hobbies: photography, music, cars, etc.  Of course, there’s YouTube, which needs no explanation.  I can even stock my wardrobe online from many of the online clothes shopping Australia sites.  There’s eBay where I have bought (and sold) a lot of stuff.  There are review sites for everything.  I cannot even tell you how many new bands I have discovered online that I never would’ve heard of otherwise.

So yeah, there’s all the cool business stuff.  My professors were right about that.  But I think it’s even more impressive in its use for sharing information around the world.

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done

handcuffs

One of my best friends from the US is kind of freaking out right now.  He just sent me this email:

“I am not too happy with myself right now. I got pulled over the other night and got charged with a DUI and am sort of freaking out about it. I don’t know what is going to happen but I do know that I am going to be paying a lot of money. I also was reading online that I might have to do community service and counseling and the counseling is not free. This just couldn’t come at a worse time for me financially. I have a huge medical bill from earlier this year that is looming over me like a dark storm cloud. I also will be starting to pay child support in a few months when my son is born. I’m no longer together with his mother in case you couldn’t figure that one out. We broke up about a month ago and I’ll save that story for another time as it is something I don’t want to talk about right now.

I know that I’m going to need to hire a good lawyer to represent me in court.  I found sarasotaduiattorney.net and I am going in to talk with them next week about my case. I don’t think I can beat it but I’m not a lawyer. I do know that I wasn’t that much over the limit and it wasn’t like I caused an accident or anything like that. The reason I got pulled over to begin with was stupid. I was trying to put a CD in to listen to and dropped it on the floor. When I reached down to pick it up I swerved just enough for the cop three cars behind me to pull me over. I should have just stuck to listening to the radio but every single preset was commercials.

I know that I’ll never again in my life get behind the wheel even after one drink. I know this first DUI is going to be bad but a second one from what my friend Kevin said is a lot worse. He should know because he has two on his record. I remember when he got his second one I had to drive him around everywhere. That was back when we lived really close which is no longer the case. He moved like an hour away a few years ago and we still stay in touch with one another.”

I know my friend is a good guy and I wish him the best in dealing with this situation.