Archive for July, 2007

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Radio silence

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

I’ve been silent for the last week, but I have a good excuse dammit! Both my peer and my boss on the PM side of things at work have been out of the office and a few 14 hour days have ensued keeping up with things. Unfortunately not everything went perfectly, but we have mitigation plans and I think everything will work out in the end. The stress kind of got to me by the end of the week but I managed to keep everything going and for the most part keep all the fires under control while helming the ship.

It’s been stressful on me (and Skype) but the weekend is here, and at least my peer is back so I’ve been able to for the most part take things easy this weekend and relax. Sylwia is here helping me clean right now while I’m working on a few projects, and later Ken and Scott are coming by for an evening of excess – just what the doctor ordered.

The domesticated homeowner

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

This weekend was action packed with wizardry of two types: the literal and the handyman. Saturday brought the literal kind of wizardry in the form of watching the new Harry Potter movie in 3D at the Seattle Science Center’s IMAX with Brien. It’s a very well done movie, and likely in a tie for my favorite with The Goblet of Fire so far. The 3D was kind of cool, however we were sitting at the back (the ideal seating location for 2D IMAX presentations) and the parallax for the 3D is balanced for the middle of the theater so there was some fringing going on. 3D issues aside I was rather impressed with the wizards battle at the end – keeping an audience engaged for 20 minutes of people shaking wands at each other is no minor feat and the director managed to pull it off quite nicely.

Sunday brought the handyman wizardry, along with all the trials and tribulations that home ownership brings. I awoke Sunday morning and stumbled into the bathroom only to splash my naked feet into a large puddle of water. Upon discovering that my toilet had sprung a leak (and after finishing the oh so gay ‘I got toilet water on my feet’ dance) I managed to get the water turned off and started looking for a solution. After consulting with some friends and the Internet I determined that my best plan of action was a quick trip to Home Depot to get replacement parts for the interior of the toilet.

An interesting note about the repair kit is that on the box all of the instructions clearly show the user tightening everything with their hands, yet upon getting home I discovered that clearly some tools would be required. Luckily for me Brien was able to provide some tools for loan and I got things started. Once I got everything apart the reason for the leak became instantly clear: the toilet was very old and every single rubber gasket had all but disintegrated. Every time I touched one of the gaskets it fell apart in my hand, leaving inky black stains everywhere.

After about an hour of man to toilet fighting I was able to get everything back together and working again. The new inner workings of my toilet are even quieter which is a nice bonus for having spent several hours of my day splashing around in dirty water and sweating in my bathroom. I was feeling quite triumphant and domestic until I stepped outside of the bedroom and discovered that my air conditioner was leaking all over my bedroom. I managed to get the leaking in the bedroom stopped and discovered that the condensation pan at the bottom of the unit had sprung a leak on one of it’s welds. For now I have a pan under the air conditioner, but until I can get in touch with the manufacturer I’m scared to run the thing while I’m out of the house.

I miss the renting days when this kind of problem could be solved by a quick call to the landlord.

A new perspective

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Today sucked for a variety of reasons. I had a court appointment for a speeding ticket at 9am at the Walla Walla District Court that didn’t turn out like I had hoped, spent more than 6 hours driving in my car, got ambushed with presentation duties in a meeting upon returning to work, and to top it off there were several accidents on 520 on the way home making my commute worse than normal. I’m tired, hungry, very glad to be home.

That being said I feel pretty damn good about myself! Sitting in court for 2 hours waiting my turn at justice roulette gave me an opportunity to see a stream of inmates from the state penitentiary, and various other dregs of society parade before the judge all with problems far worse than my own. There is something highly sobering about seeing a man brought to court for a list of charges so long that it actually made sense to alphabetize them, and see the ridiculous scuffles neighbors get into aired out for the world to see in public court.

It’s days like today that remind me that I really do have a good life – I might get stressed out from time to time, but when it comes right down to it I’m a productive member of society, I have a decently paying job, I’m father to the worlds coolest dog, a ton of great passions, a mortgage, car payment, and in general have my life together. Things could be worse – much worse, and it’s good to be reminded of that from time to time.

Dear Anonymous,

Monday, July 16th, 2007

To whomever put the deliciously tempting German chocolate and cream cheese cake topped with cherries in the break room at work with a “take a piece” sign: my diet hates you. I don’t hate you, I love you in fact, but the case is clear: my waistline suffers for your gastric generosity.

Regards,

Sparky

P.S. Getting ready for trips sucks.

Lost and found: film from days past

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Yesterday while Sylwia and I cleaned my place we found 3 old rolls of film. They were all more than 5 years old (I haven’t shot anything but digital since) and I had no idea as t o what could be on them. I went to Ritz with my friend Scot an afternoon out at the mall to have them developed and sadly they were so old old they had some decay and color shifting, but I got a couple of cool shots from them.

filmroll 07

The four images above are of building 9 at Microsoft from 2000 back when I was working at there the first time as a contractor. The fact that the exposed film had sat for so many years without proper care or refrigeration added a bluish tone to the pictures, and in general the prints were faded. I’m going to be experimenting more with some of these shots as I like the feel this produces – it might be fun to start taking photos with my Lomo again, but leave the film exposed and in a box for 5-10 years before developing it.

One of the rolls wasn’t even exposed. I don’t consider it a total waste however to have paid for development because this morning I got a chance to experiment and take a few digital shots of film. Talk about meta-photography!

Kodak 400UC

filmroll 07” by sparktography
Kodak 400UC” by sparktography

Population pack

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Dense

Taken on a short Lensbaby walk today around the block with Skype. While cleaning my condo I also found a few old and mysterious rolls of film. I’m just getting ready to go downtown with Scot to the 1 hour photo place in Westlake Mall to get them developed and see what treasures (or horrors) they contain.

Dense” by sparktography

Right back in the thick of it

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Getting back into the swing of things after a vacation can be hard – particularly when you have week like mine lined up. I had an 8:00 meeting to start the week off, 2,400 emails waiting for me, and finished off the day late with a homeowners board meeting for my condo association that went until nearly 8:00 again. Tomorrow morning brings root canals and other miscellaneous dental work at 7:00 in the morning, and a variety of tasks at work that I highly suspect are going to fall in my lap.

I can’t complain too much though – after spending 5 days hanging out with friends, shooting photos, and generally enjoying myself my batteries are recharged, I’m caught up on all my chores, and I knocked off a ton of personal to-do’s! Feeling caught up in my personal life makes it easier to feel slightly behind the eight-ball at work!

Stickers everywhere

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

I took a highly abbreviated photo walk today – I didn’t bring spare batteries and forgot to check my battery level before I left! Life lesson learned – next time I’ll be sure to at least pop a known fresh battery in if I know I’m not bringing the whole bag of spares. I did however manage to get a few shots that I really liked like this one:

TSU

Above is another example of my recent fascination with lensbabied stickers. They feel so urban and gritty and makes me wonder about the stories leading up to the stickers placement. I like yesterday’s sticker shot better, but I’m tempted to set aside a photo walk some weekend to just focus on capturing stickers stuck in interesting places. Anyone interested in joining me?

TSU” by sparktography

YouTube on the AppleTV and the iPhone

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

YouTube logoI’m never was a terribly heavy YouTube user but now that it’s both always in my pocket and on the nice Audio/Video system at home I find myself filling a spare moment here and there with random videos. Most of these videos fall into one of four categories – cute, funny, cute and funny, or the largest category: paper-thin mid-to-post teens producing mostly random and meaningless content. I’m not entirely sure if the world is a better place having been subjected to the last category but I’d rather have crappy user created content be king than populate an internet based on censorship where such drivel isn’t permitted.

Content gamut aside one of the things that has struck me as odd over my past week of using my iPhone is how differently implemented the YouTube application is on my iPhone versus my AppleTV. They both allow for the browsing of a partial selection of the YouTube library streamed directly from the internet, but they both have some features the other lacks. Here is a breakdown of client-specific features that have puzzled me:

AppleTV:

iPhone:

All in all I think YouTube was a great addition to both product offerings, but I’m puzzled as to the disparity in the feature lists. I will be interested to see if future software updates for both platforms bring their feature sets closer together. Google’s “cloud of data” and Apple’s experience in creating engaging and intuitive user interfaces making for a market juggernaut that will be hard to beat.

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