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May 31, 2007

Thimblerigger

Albert playing the shell game with transparent cups, pool balls and his foot. I'm sure it made perfect sense to him.

The past two days are a sign I need to get out and take some more pictures.

May 30, 2007

Bartles and Jaymes

Strange things happen when the keg runs dry. People start drinking...other things. Mike and Chris reached for a Bartles and Jaymes premium wine cooler. It would appear that they misplaced their sanity somewhere near the bottle opener.

Keep that pinky out! They thank you for your support.

May 29, 2007

Threadless

I'm mostly a jeans and t-shirt person, at least when I have nothing going on that day. I've always just bought plain old boring t-shirts with nothing on them. One day I decided to order a couple shirts from threadless.com. I only have two, but I've received nothing but compliments on them. The one girl at Starbucks even asked me if all my t-shirts were from threadless. I go in there almost every day (98% of the time wearing a shirt with nothing on it), so I must be particularly unmemorable if she only remembered me from the couple times I wore smart-assy shirts.

What I like about the site is that they have this wonderful community type thing setup around their store. It is like a t-shirt club rather than just a sales outlet. They have a new set of tees each week, and most are somewhat limited edition, so you end up with something that nobody else can buy after a while.

Part of this community thing is that you can submit a picture of yourself wearing a shirt, they post it, and give you some money off on your next purchase! I have no problem putting a few more pictures of myself up on the Interwebnet, so I went for it. Here is me wearing my official Friday BBQ shirt:

If you decide to buy a shirt (they have a big sale going on this week!) feel free to use the link above, as I get a small kickback in the form of t-shirt coupons when you do.

Ambulance in the Night

I was trying to get a neat picture of an ambulance at night. It started to drive off past the camera (from left to right) while the shutter was open and I figured it would look really cool. You can barely see the light streaks though. This is the best shot I had unfortunately.

May 28, 2007

Waterfall: The Big Picture

Here is the waterfall that provided this weekend's photos. Again, this was taken at night with a long exposure time. The colors turned out great considering how dark it was at the time. It looks like the middle of the day!

May 27, 2007

Waterfall Again

I turned the flash on to use the autofocus assist (since it was so dark). I forgot to turn it off and ended up taking the picture I wanted to take using flash, then took it without flash. I liked the way the rock looked without the flash, and I liked the way the water looked with the flash, so I just photoshopped the two together. It isn't a perfect merge, but it would be hard to notice if I didn't tell you.

May 26, 2007

Waterfall

Just a rock sticking out of a pool waterfall. I like the coloring. This is a 30 second exposure taken at night.

May 25, 2007

Sadface-book

I was quite bummed when I saw this news. The reason I was so fond of Facebook was because it had what all the rest of the social networking sites lack: simplicity, elegance, usability and a design that pleases the eye. Let us hope that this "Facebook Platform" stays in check, as it would be a shame for Facebook to degrade into another cesspit of the Internet.

Laundry Pole Raising on Woodland

Since I had a bit of fun with Mike yesterday I figured it was only fair that I oblige his request for today's photo. This was the heaviest, most sturdy laundry pole ever constructed. As if the overuse of concrete wasn't enough, that top piece was a solid rod of steel, not a hollow pipe. This thing weighed enough to turn the two-wheeler you see below into a one-wheeler.

I believe there were at least one or two jokes likening the whole thing to the flag raising on Iwo Jima:


(Image believed to be in public domain, and not protected by Creative Commons license listed here.)

May 24, 2007

Digging for Buried Treasure Beer.

As soon as Mike finished his beer (lower right), he immediately wanted another. We told him the rest was buried at the corner of the house and hilarity ensued.

For those who don't know me (or Mike) the caption above is a joke. We were digging up fence posts that someone put in with waaaaaaay too much concrete, and the resultant holes were quite large, as Mike is demonstrating in this picture.

May 23, 2007

Asparagus Makes My Pee Smell Bad

I love asparagus. Steamed with a little cracked black pepper or cooked out on the grill with a little olive oil. No vegetable matches its magnificence for me. The downside to the wonderful green spear is the unpleasant odor 20 minutes after ingestion. The chemical responsible is unique to asparagus, a disulfide called asparagusic acid. Only about 40% of the population has the enzyme necessary to metabolize this chemical into stinky pee. So you may be thinking right about now, "hey I am one of the lucky ones lacking said enzyme!", but you may be wrong. Not everyone has the ability to smell the stinky metabolites. So even if you've never noticed an unpleasant stench after you ate asparagus, doesn't mean your pee don't stink. Me, personally.. I can both metabolize asparagusic acid and smell said metabolites.

As the comment system seems to be largely underutilized (outside of the spammers advertising community, of course) I pose this question to you, my readers: does your pee stink after you eat asparagus? The comment board is open!

May 22, 2007

Medium-sized Bubbles

I was going to title the post tiny bubbles, but they're more average sized bubbles if I had to score them. The kid's expression is a cross between curious, confused and terrified. I say it is never too late to experience the joy of scary looking plastic Disney characters spewing out iridescent spheres of surfactant laced water.

May 21, 2007

Drummin' Along

Ladies and gentlemen, Jim on drums! Jim who? I have no idea. He was at fish* on Friday.

* "fish" is a weekly barbeque I attend.

May 20, 2007

Rose Water

Rose floating in the water.

May 19, 2007

Me

Yea. I took a picture of myself.

I've added links on the side of the main page to be my Netflix friend or my Facebook friend, if you are into either one or both of those things. I also linked my site's RSS feed to my Facebook notes, so when I add a new entry here, it should show up there. Syndication rocks!

May 18, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part IV

Duuuude...the fourth and final hippy lesson is to not photograph the stoners whilst they're becoming stoned. The gentleman on the left is giving me a malevolent stare (a.k.a. the evil eye).

May 17, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part III

Hula Hoop! Bring your brightly colored hula hoop(s) along. The girl in the second photo is quite ambitious in her hula efforts.

May 16, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part II

There were several cool bikes that made it to WEF 2007, and this is one of them. This guy has what looks to be a bolt-on sidecar for his kid - very cool!

May 15, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part I

You've missed your opportunity to attend Whole Earth Festival 2007, but incase you want to attend next year, I will give you a few pointers based on my observations this weekend. The first step seems to be moving your living room furniture outdoors. Perhaps this is part of the eco friendly ritual - unifying your couch with nature?


May 14, 2007

DIY Macro Lightbox

This weekend I made a macro light box ala strobist, but the pictures didn't look as great as I wanted. I only had one desk lamp and I need way more light. Here are two pictures using different settings. The brighter one I actually used a couple of LED bike lights, but it ended up being way too blue. I need to buy a couple nice bright lights and it should work out great.

I painted this mug myself, so even if the pictures don't impress you, maybe the art itself will!

Here is a picture of my lame setup:

May 13, 2007

Hippy Henna

I walked around the Whole Earth Festival today and took pictures. I've decided I need a longer lens.

May 12, 2007

Climber Eclipse

Just some anonymous person climbing when the sun happened to be in a great place:


May 11, 2007

Colored Flames

Another two pictures from the chemistry magic show. I don't know what exactly is in there, some kind of carbon based fuel source and inorganic salts to make the flames colored. Sodium chloride will make yellow, calcium chloride for orange, and strontium chloride for red.

May 10, 2007

Mg + CO2

I thought I had posted this before. It is from the UC Davis Picnic Day chemistry magic show.

If you start a strip of magnesium on fire, sandwich it between a couple slabs of dry ice, it will react like crazy. The overall transformation is 2 Mg + CO2 -> 2 MgO + C - so in other words, it would not be wise to use a CO2 extinguisher on a magnesium fire.

May 09, 2007

Windy

I went for a long bike ride through the west part of campus (farms and stuff) on Sunday. It was windy and I didn't come back with many photos. Here is an antique tractor on the corner of some little road. The radiator fan was spinning like crazy due to the high winds (the tractor was not running!).

May 08, 2007

Your genes are incompatible with those jeans.

I usually pop into a coffee shop in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee with my daily dose of reading material. Today an elderly couple sat down at the table next to me, and I could help but giggle a little eavesdropping on their conversation. It went something like this:

(she picks up his newspaper)

    Him: There is an article in there about fat people.
    Her: What about them?
    Him: They think that the reason they're fat is because of their genes.
Now, I figured what came next would be great, since just a few minutes prior he attempted to explain the finer points between his "iced mocha latte" and what she described as a "milkshake".
    Her: What, they get fat enough so their jeans will fit?
    Him: No their genes.
    Her: What about them?
    Him: Genes like DNA.
    Her: I don't know anything about those fancy jeans. People spend too much money on those.
It went on like that for a few minutes before he gave up. We as scientists need to examine sources of confusion when naming new discoveries, because I guess in this case context wasn't enough. The word "gene" originates from the German Gen, from Pagen, an 'ultimate unit of heredity' from the Greek pan- 'all' + genos 'race, kind, offspring' so I guess in this case we can't really blame some quirky scientist.

Bobbin for Billiard Balls

Six ball out of the corner pocket...

May 07, 2007

Special Guest Pictures!

My friend Natalia (who organized the wonderful surfing weekend in San Diego) sent me an email last week after seeing the flower photos:

Saw your pictures and wanted to show you these two shots I took when I was in high school.

So with her permission, I give you the guest pictures of the day:

Here is a picture of her from our surfing weekend. Complete with surfboard (and beer bottles).

I've added the remainder of the San Diego pictures to the gallery.

May 06, 2007

Nightswimming VI

I was going to try and take a nice long shot of my friends walking across the beach, but they were using their cell phones as makeshift flashlights, so all I got was a big bright white streak across the shot. I cropped them out, but if you look (bottom middle), you can see the shadow of someone's legs, as cast by the light of a cellular phone display.

May 05, 2007

Nightswimming V

I love this one. No lens flare from the house light, there is some brilliant coloring, and if you play a little Where's Waldo you may see the couple sitting on the beach. With a 25 second shutter speed they must have been sitting quite still.

May 04, 2007

Nightswimming IV

It was hard to manually focus (much too dark for auto focus) in on the right thing, especially at f/1.8 with no distance markings on the focusing ring and very little light with which to see. I'd rather be focused further out on this one.

May 03, 2007

Nightswimming III

This one has some major lens flare going on. You can every element of my cheap ass lens, which I find a sort of interesting - but let us just call it 'artistic'. I dig the palm trees in this one.

May 02, 2007

Nightswimming II

This is my favorite of the series. It looks like a rock sticking out of some dry ice...

May 01, 2007

Nightswimming I

I spent the weekend in San Diego with some friends. I surfed, kayaked, BBQ'ed, laughed and walked along the beach. We were staying about a block from Windansea Beach (be sure to check out the wikipedia link, they have an image of the exact same surf shack as I have below - only in daylight) where I took some amazing pictures in the middle of the night. I have six that I liked and I'll post one each day this week. These are all moonlit pictures, long exposure using a Gorillapod to hold the camera steady. It was not foggy out at all; the fog looking stuff is actually the water averaged over the entire exposure of the shot.