What a Trip So Far

This trip to Texas has been just absolutely fantastic. While I’m missing Ryan more and more everyday, I’m accomplishing so much, preparing contacts and opportunity for my future and having an overall great time.

Today I continued my summer tour of professional photography studios.  The one I went to today was hands down the nicest, most inspiring I’ve seen, in-my-life.

14,000 square feet, three stages, two full sized commercial kitchens, a pool, a pond, an atrium, a vegetable and herb garden, fruit trees, and to top it off, a THX certified theater speaker system. The whole outfit is likely worth around $10,000,000. Currently I’m about $9,997,000 short on building my own…

Tomorrow morning I drive back to the hill country, do some more work, then head BACK to Houston for my birthday (August 2) and then BACK again to the hill country and then BACK again to Houston to fly home to Columbia.

I’ve driven quite a bit on this trip… A little too much if you ask me.  But at least I did it in style! LoL

Sure do wish I could take the car home with me to Missouri… I’m getting used to it haha.  Alas, it’s work’s car and I will soon turn over the keys and go back to driving my Honda Accord.  I love my car but you get a taste of luxury and it sticks.

Speaking of which, I should get to sleep, I’ve got a four hour drive in that car starting early in the morning!  Catch you on the flip side.  Oh and go to the photoblog to see some of the new pics.

KATG – Gay Marriage

Keith and The Girl logo
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Keith and the Girl is one of my favorite podcasts, definitely my favorite comedy podcast, everyone, subscribe to their podcast now.

Ok, with that outta the way, Keith and the Girl (KATG) have gone to the airwaves to defend gays and advocate for gay marriage twice in a row.  Their commentary is not only hilarious, but also straight forward and honest.

[audio:KATG_Gay_Marriage.mp3]

I really couldn’t have put it better, or at least couldn’t have been as funny.  It’s one thing for a group of gay people to get together and stand up for their rights, or lack thereof.  To have four people regularly stand up for gay rights, 1 bisexual woman and three straight guys, means a lot more, at least to me.

Thanks for sticking up for us Keith and Chemda!

Disappointed that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will seem to continue under Obama along with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  Both of these were major issues Obama fought for during the campaign.  I really want to get married some day.  Not for tax benefits but because I love someone and my church recognizes that love.

Sometimes America just disappoints me, but maybe this “Federal employees will get domestic partnership benefits” thing is an olive branch…

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Free Lunch Rocks

Free lunch is the best lunch.

I went to Shakespeare’s Pizza today after they Twittered (@shakespizza) lunch slices at $1.50. I didn’t really want pizza but found it hard to pass up. Shakespeare’s Pizza is a local, famous (?) pizza joint here in Columbia Missouri, best pizza in the city IMHO.

It was delicious! I got a slice of the vegetarian and an iced tea. Being the celebrity that I am (cough cough, friend working the register) I got my slice gratis!

THANKS!

As you can see… I ate it all.

If you ever visit Columbia, you’ve gotta visit Shakespeare’s Pizza for lunch or dinner. I recommend the Darwin and the Vegetarian on the wheat crust. Yum!


Nikon D700 beats $32,000+ Cameras

Isn’t it wonderful when you find out that the “steal” you got turns out to be more of a heist?

Such is the case with my Nikon D700. Not only did I get it, brand new from an authorized dealer, for about $1,000 off retail price, turns out it’s better than a Leaf Aptus75S… which costs about $32,000.

Oh, did I mention that you still have to buy the $7-15,000 camera to use the Leaf Aptus75S?

Check out the stats here from DxOLabs

My camera wins over the latest and greatest Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and the Leaf Aptus75S in…

  • Sensor quality
  • Low light ISO (noise)
  • Price
  • Pixel Pitch
  • ISO Latitude
  • Frame rate

And out of the three metrics where the Leaf Aptus75S wins, two of them are only by a hair.

Now, I will say that the Leaf digital backs are amazing and I’d definitely love to have one but if I can get similar and/or better performance with a more portable camera at a more affordable price, I’ll take it.

I’d much rather have a Nikon D700 in my bag than be stuck lugging around a heavy, and extremely pricey, medium format digital camera. If I ever want to make those stunning 20+ megapixel pictures, I’d probably be just fine with a Nikon D3x… Which, by the way, wipes the floor with the Leaf Aptus75S!

nikon-d3x-vs-leaf-aptus75s.jpg

Oh happy day.


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iPhone 2.2.1 Sync Fix

A really pain in the ass thing happened for many of us who updated iPhone 2.2.1 and even more who updated to 2.2.1 and also installed iLife ’09.

I Twittered the problem and found out that I wasn’t alone. Syncing the iPhone would cause iTunes to crash. Right after the backup procedure was complete a fatal exception would crash iTunes completely.

For a few days there were no solutions for this but many theories and it came down to a DRM problem.

Any apps or songs with DRM from the Apple iTunes Music Store would cause the crash as they were synchronized with the iPhone/iTunes.

One solution was to uninstall all the apps and create a playlist of just DRM free music. That’s what I did while I waited for Steve at Apple, no, not Steve Jobs, to call me back with a solution.

Steve called me today and the solution was remarkably simple!

Here’s how it works.

Open iTunes and click

  • Store – Deauthorize Computer
  • Store – Sign Out

Then click

  • Store – Authorize Computer
  • Store – Sign In

Here’s what it should look like if you are a visual person.

That’s it. Sync your iPhone again and all your problems should be fixed.

Well those related to the iPhone 2.2.1/iLife ’09/iTunes DRM. I find it incredible that this ever happened but it really shows the power of good customer service and a bulletin board. Every Apple technician and engineer I talked to did not know about this problem until it was brought up on their forums.

Klipsch Audio Technologies has had an online bulletin board for years and years now. It has had a huge influence in the direction the company has gone and dramatically helped promote the company. Their customer service is human because of it, not just a 1-800 number.

SmugMug, Klipsch, InCase, Apple, Amazon.com… These are all companies I love and a large portion of my love comes from their customer support.

Hope this helped fix your iPhone syncing issues. If any other problems come up, let me know!


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The Dudestorm

Oh, how I love random.  Wednesday afternoon Chase and Corey called me.  They wanted to go to an arcade for games, drinks and fun.  I, being a huge fan of all of those things, was totally in and within an hour, we were on the road to St. Louis for a major dudestorm at Dave and Buster’s.

We got to D&B, got some dinner and then hit the games. I ran out of credits faster than anyone else… significantly so.  Corey was next so we took our winnings and went to the bar to enjoy a few shots… well, quite a few shots.  One was totally killer, the Lethal Weapon, which was like six layers of hard liquor. I had no trouble drinking it but I can see how that top layer of Bacardi 151 Rum might be hard to swallow.

We left D&B and headed to a local bar with Chase’s cousin where I lost pool (meh, can’t win them all), enjoyed a few more drinks and then learned how to play darts.

We kinda had a dumbass bartender/waitress girl. She kept saying it was her first night working but that really didn’t make it any better.  Neither did her placing her hands all over us. Well Chase might have liked that but it was just weird to me.

And in classic Rob style, Chase’s cousin, just as last call was announced over the bullhorn… he ordered more beer and a Long Island for me.  Corey ordered more shots (it’s just what you do when you combine Rob with anyone else). Holy cow.

Whatevs, we had a blast, chugged our drinks and then made our way home (just a few blocks away).

The next day we woke up to 1 degree weather. WTF?

Once again, I had a random, and awesome trip to St. Louis.  I’m really beginning to like that city.  So glad I have such awesome friends as Chase and Corey.  Can’t wait for the next Dudestorm!

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Mizzou Obama Rally

Apparently you had to line up for the Obama Rally at 9:00am to get a good spot… That’s 12 and a half hours before he even was to take the stage!  I got there at 6:00pm and here’s what the line looked like.  Apparently the total was around 40,000 people, though some estimates go up to 65,000!

And apparently there were some 16 charter buses on the way!  Basically a freaking ton of people were all anxious to see Barack Obama speak.  As I type this I can hear the cheers and music from the quad, it sounds like victory to me!

Here’s a few pics of all the people waiting.

I hung out with the media folk for a while.  With my camera, lenses and tripod, I totally fit in.  Might have even gotten to go further into the rally area if I’d stuck with them but I wandered too far out and the cops sent me across the street.  Apparently you need real credentials haha.

Oh, and of all the people there, I only saw two guys who were for McCain/Palin.  Oh, yeah, you could totally tell too, besides the Obama is a socialist t-shirt… look at that face!  Holy moly…

Yikes right?!

Micheal, Ryan and I walked around, bumped into a few friends but ultimately decided not to stay for the event seeing as we probably wouldn’t even see Obama from where our standing room only spot would be.

I really don’t think there is anyway 50,000 people could fit in the area they designated.

We went to Flat Branch for appetizers instead. I bumped into one of my fellow photography peers.  Her photography is absolutely amazing.  I’m always amazed at how incredible and personal her pictures are.  Stunning stuff.  What’s great though is that she saw me first and told her boyfriend and buddy that I was a really awesome photographer in her class… Wow, so cool.  She’s better haha.

We had a great time, then we headed back to my apartment where we are currently watching the zombie movie, 28 Days Later.  I’ve never seen it, it’s pretty decent though 🙂

Fun night!