08 November 2007
"Music is my boyfriend
Music is my girlfriend
Music is my dead end
Music is my imaginary friend
Music is my brother
Music is my great-grand-daughter
Music is my sister
Music is my favorite mistress"
"Music is my beach house
Music is my hometown
Music is my kingsize bed
Music is my hot hot bath
Music is my hot hot sex
Music is my back rub
Music is where i'd like you to touch"
The actual ad splices some of those lines together for a more concentrated bad-lyric experience. Here it is:
Here is another one from Old Navy:
"If you are chilly, here take my sweater"
Hey, I get the idea! Could the rest of the song go like this?
"If you are thirsty, here have some water"
"If you are sleepy, here is a pillow"
"If you are hungry, here take my salad" and so the hell on.
Sheer poetic brilliance!
21 October 2007
Diesel the family cat
Kitten in Nicaragua
Major Mitchell cockatoo
Heller International building, Chicago
BTW: I heart Australian critters more, especially Red Back spiders.
Update: Another Iguana.
Iguanas were introduced to Florida from people letting their pets go once they got too big. Now they go through the canals munching on tasty plants.
17 October 2007
05 September 2007
21 August 2007
16 August 2007
Here is a link to the article, it's in Spanish, but it talks about how a study conducted by Stanford university showed that post traumatic stress during childhood makes people more vulnerable to stress, anxiety or depression later in their lives.
Capture of article page (can't be buggered cropping it :-):
13 August 2007
I also have to renew my Visa on this trip, so I'm about to head to Melbourne to do that this week. If I haven't seen you yet, I wasn't able to catch up with you this trip, maybe next time.
I didn't bring my camera kit this time around, but the good ol' point-and-shoot was able to satisfy my shutter-bug needs. The two photos below were taken here in Loxton down by the Loxton Riverfront Caravan Park.
16 July 2007
14 July 2007
10 July 2007
02 July 2007
22 June 2007
I have been working on the 2600 or so photos I took whilst on vacation. A lot of these were experimental, some panoramas, some HDR test shots (for the record, I hate how some people are seemingly abusing the HDR concept on sites like Flickr. Some of the photos are just god-awful). One thing that I am kicking myself about is that a lot of the photos had dust marks on them. It's taking me a while to remove such spots. I tried cleaning the lens whenever I could, but sometimes in the excitement of it all I forgot about that, not that I could see such spots when reviewing photos on the small screen of my D70.
I am extremely happy with my new lens purchase, an 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor. Haha, enough jargon for you? It replaced three other lenses on the trip and did a pretty damn good job at it. Even better - I still have not been charged for it. There was a hold put on my card when I ordered it, I took a couple of days to release that hold, and the expected charge never went through. We'll see what happens with that though.
Photos from France should be up in a few days.
08 May 2007
I'm trying not to get flustered about it (and some people who know me well enough could imagine what I'm like right now), but it's difficult not to. Part of me wishes that the organising part of the trip was finished a couple of months ago. Unfortunately things happen, schedules must be changed, and that is what I'm going through right now.
I've tried to take advantage of what is offered in terms of deals as much as possible, however misinterpreting some things early on has led to a bit of frustration now. I think I switched between buying the Eurail pass or buying point-to-point rail tickets two or three times. I'm flying the cheap airlines (flylc.com is great for finding which cheap airlines fly between what cities) as much as possible. At one point we were heading from Munich up to Berlin via train. We're still using the train, but now going from Berlin to Munich simply because of a cheap airline ticket (and time...) Milan wasn't even on the list, at first. Neither was Prague. They were simply "since we're in the area, we might as well check them out" thoughts. This has shortened time in other areas, and our visit to Berlin is now structured around a "Berlin in one day" guide.
Language. I'm worried and embarrassed that I won't be able to speak German properly, having sworn and cussed at people in German for what seems an eternity now. I've been revising that like crazy recently. I'm also trying to learn some basic Italian and French words just to not feel like such a dweeb. I remember for a time I was in Nicaragua, by myself, not being able to speak Spanish. It was bad, but I actually knew enough words to order some chicken and get the right seasoning (oh, and an accompanying beer, of course). In the end a lot of the people we'll meet will probably speak more English than I speak of their language. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.
Just preparing for this trip has been an interesting experience. I know what not to do next time, and I know exactly how it should be planned out. It seems the places you visit (and when) are more dictated by how you're going to get there. For example: look up what Eurail pass you can use first, then plan what cities you're going to see around that. Better yet, give a travel agent a list of cities you want to visit and see what comes out the end. It caught me by surprise and brought out someone I haven't known for a while: da flustered PK.
After all this, there is one thing I can't wait to do: take pictures. Not just a few, not just a few hundred, but a few thousand. I have a brand spanking new lens, a photo backup device, and a happy little trigger finger. Bring it on!
28 April 2007
At the Winter Music Conference recently there was a big discussion at how music has gone from buying albums to downloading singles. Labels need to embrace this concept, or die. The kids of these days (it seems like I'm 50 years old writing this) buying music don't really know the concept of buying a whole album from an artist. People only want to buy the songs they want to listen to. More importantly, they want to buy it and listen to it now. The internet and iTunes in particular have made that an expectation.
Some labels have not embraced this whizz-bang concept of digitally downloading music. So when I heard that a label was dying because of "illegal downloads" I was curious. Here is a quote from the filter27 website, where I first saw this posted:
My biggest question was: did they offer digital downloads of their artists' music from their website? I looked around and was not surprised when the downloads I found were samples for albums that were available on CD only. Hey, no surprise there! People obviously want their albums but are not prepared to buy, wait for delivery, only to probably rip them to mp3 anyway when they arrived. The only get-it-now method for receiving the music was to download a torrent of the album. This hurt the label AND the artists.
According to Herwig, illegal downloads of Dependent albums outnumber legal purchase by a factor of three or even five to one. "Money was always tight," he says, "and in the future it's only going to get tighter, because even if we were to continue to produce quality CDs, the rate with which they will be purchased legally will continue to decline. Each album released would represent an ever-increasing financial risk."
Herwig also points out that an unnamed Russian warez site recently distributed over 5000 downloads of one of Dependent's releases in just one week while the label only sold about 1000 copies of the same release in physical discs.
"A popular claim often seen on Internet maintains that the P2P culture weakens the majors and bolsters the independent labels. This is, we can assure you, 100% bullshit. Even if there are listeners who download first and buy later, they are clearly in the dwindling minority," says Herwig.
'Dependent' records get no sympathy from me. They were holding on to an old way of doing business in the music industry. They didn't realise that or were too stubborn to change, and thus are getting all they deserve from their lack of foresight.
23 April 2007
The only bad thing was that they were a support act. Muse should not be the support act for anyone and I have, at length, complained about this to people. I guess I should be glad they're even travelling this far south into Florida, but I cannot stop thinking about what could have been. In this case they were supporting My Chemical Romance. Whilst I know a couple of the MCR songs I am not what you would call a super-massive fan. This was just proven to me tonight when after the adrenalin rush of Muse, I sat through the glam-rock of MCR relatively unswayed. The seats were comfortable at least. Some people weren't tricked by the comfortable seats though as they left the building after Muse finished their act.
A couple of times during the MCR performance I was suddenly awoken by massive firecrackers going off. I had to give them kudos to them for that though: their stage presentation was fairly good, with lots of fire and explosions and pretty glitter to keep the kids interested and me awake. It was sort of like "Disney on Ice" meets KISS.
Eh, I wish MCR's music had the same impact on me as it did to all the teenagers at the concert. They were all going crazy and that's when it dawned on me. MCR isn't aiming to be that great musically (and I really don't think they are), they're fulfilling a certain niche that emo-teenagers are craving: simple, emphatic, easily digestible music that doesn't do anything new but is packaged nicely. I think the best way of putting this would be to say:
My Chemical Romance: "The Wiggles" for teenagers.
18 April 2007
I recently helped organise a "baby shower" (I use the quotes since it had guys there too, and showers as such are normally a female-only affair) for my friends Jessie and Omar, and I took pictures at another shower party for friends Maha and Matt.
Maha and Matt's shower photos
Jessie and Omar's shower photos
20 March 2007
Some pictures are included below, click here for the set slideshow.
28 February 2007
UPDATE: Absolutely no damage whatsoever. Yay!
I have to add, and this is the craziness in me becoming more apparent, but as soon as I heard there was a tornado forming I wanted to go home, grab my camera and take some pictures. I didn't do that... perhaps next time.
UPDATE #2: It did touch down! From this site:
National Weather Service Meteorologist Dan Dixon said a tornado touched down near Tamarac and was on the ground for 2.75 miles.
Dixon said the tornado had 80 to 85 mph winds and was about 50 to 100 yards wide.
03 February 2007
One of my friends who lives down in South Beach was invited to dinner by a friend. "We're going to have dinner with Tiesto!" For anyone who listens to dance music, that would be quite a dinner to attend. Except, she hadn't really heard of him. Anyway, they're out at dinner, she asked him questions like:
"What do you do?"
"I'm a DJ."
"Where are you from?"
I think the funniest was when they were approaching the line for a club:
"This is a cool club, except it's really hard to get into. We might have to wait a while".
"Oh, I don't think we have to worry about that :)"