December 31, 2008

Meat Parade

Both the vegetarians have left the house for the holidays. The two meat eaters in the house have been having Meat Fest 2008 (tm). We did steak chili, prime rib for Gregmas, steak and eggs for breakfast, chinese food.

There's already a huge fanbase on Internet. So by no means is the bacon weave a new idea, but it's still awesome.

One layer 6 x 7 bacon weave, lightly cook until chewy, definitely before it's crispy. Uncooked turkey slices wrapped around portugese sausage, baked until turkey is done.
Top bacon weave with cheese, roll around turkey/sausage like a bacon burrito and use toothpicks for structure. Bake until done.

Scallops fried in bacon fat and pork stuffing (as the vegetable).

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December 26, 2008

Tequila Christmas

Gregmas. Drinking Gregnogg. Today I was alone.
For the first time in a long time. No where to be and no one to be with. Wanted to do something but not sure what. should I asave the new experience to share with the wife? should I do ot for myself and hav eit just for me? well for now lets just drive. it's too late in the day to do anyting too different, so lets explore somewhere small. something that maybe at least a little bit different. First drive to Honoli'i. Its too crowded. Moreso than usual, surpise; it's christmas. Surfing Christmas sounds about right.

Drive around the neighorhood instead looking for something new. Only find rich houses with barriers, made to cut me off and exclude everyone from the veiw. They paid the money so they steal the view. It belongs to the island; which will be here long after they are gone. They paid sp much money to deny everyone else.
Anyway, I found this silly sign showing a dog pooping as if the person who was responsible for the dog's poop didn know, like the sign would change things, like pooping is wrong or detrimental to anything other than asthetics.

After exploring the neighborhood of Honoli'i I headed north a bit more until I found the scenic view sign. I took a sharp right because it came on all of a suden like. Drove for a way and crossed the bridge that I usually find a sound group of peole hanging around. Today it's emtpy. I park the car and secure the camera. Wearing my Gregmas best I advance, roll up my cuffs, stash my slippers and climb my way down, feeling adventerous. I easly find the water. Set up the camera, fire 1, 2, 3 shots. The battery dies.

Climb back out. Pick up empty coronoa bottle on the way out. There's plenty of trash already dumped there but I can recycle this bottle so I take it.

There's sometimes a debate about who's doing more damage to the aina; locals or haole. On a large scale, developement, polution, toxic waste, industry, haole's win by a landslide. For small dumps, refridgerators, microwaves, couches and bags of trash the the locals take the cake. They'd rather dump it and forget about it than have to pay the few dollars to at least have it shipped somehwhere less delicate and exotic than a paici9fic siland.

Well fuck them. They'll blame it on me and that's fine. It'll continue to happen and at least I tooks something. I lessend the load.
Anyway, finsished the evening with above average gaming with Mittens. For that I am grateful.
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December 16, 2008

A friend of ours is leaving soon. We met him a year ago when he traded a dead laptop for an Xbox controller. "You're like the most legitimate people I've met since I moved here" he said to us when he came over for Thanksgiving. Despite the 6 year age difference and our vast energy levels we became fast friends.

He's leaving on Wednesday back to the mainland and it's likely to be a long time if ever before we see him again. I will be lonely without him.

We said goodbye with fireballs.

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One of the places I work moved across the street to an older place twice the size and the same rent.  It seemed like a smart move for the owners.  What they failed to notice and mention to me was that there was no phone infrastructure.  I think it's rare to find a building in a downtown that has no phone wire whatsoever.

The DSL was activated and phone cable run to the outside of the building in a fancy new gray box and that was it.  The repair man offered to run it inside for an extra $150. They said no thanks because they thought I could do it.

And I could.  
I was called frantically in the middle of the morning at my other job asking if I could come fix the situation.  Having no wire strippers or any phone tools I arrived. I used cat5 cable and ran a length to the wiring area in the back by my repair desk.  Phones only use 1 pair of cables but usually 2 pair are present I think as a backup. Cat5 brings 4 pair, allowing for an additional 3 lines if that need arises in the future.

The only tool I had was my leatherperson mini.  This is a key chain sized tool that is rusty, sticky and has notches in every sharp edged tool.  I have it always.  Using the small scissors I was able to strip the wires and curve them so they'd seat and wire in well. I matched both sides, after checking both sides several times to fix broken wires bent from poor stripping on my part everything worked!

My boss was relieved but was less impressed than I.  Didn't they realize I'd brought their business to life using a 2" 2oz tool and a bit of know how?

I had in fact done this with exactly those tools. It made me think of the phone company. They had it made.  They had infrastructure that rarely needed upgrading, a simple technology that isn't patented by anyone,  easy to install and requires very little maintenance and no competition.  
For decades these companies have sucked out monthly fees from almost %100 of the population. They grew fat with mirth at the ease of the industry they captained.  Even when they were busted up for monopolizing the game didn't really change that much; they were all friends still.

Thankfully Internet is giving them a run for their money.

October 10, 2008


Here I am on the business end of western civilization. Where corruption is ridden with mirth. I always thought it was war that would unstabalize our world, but it appears to be economies. The tools we use to measure debt owed buckles under the load.
We're too apathetic to protest, instead hoping that a candidate with the best propaganda will fix everything in only 4 years, if he isn't killed. The only action I feel will represent how I feel is to leave my strongest middle finger for the unapologetic captains of our downfall to see.

I sink time into DIY projects because that's all I can control, I spend my time reading technical blogs because they're impartial. Technical concepts become standards because they're adapted by the majority. It cuts away the impractical or overly complex and usually the standard chosen is best. Even when it's not, its successor usually is.

Internet was supposed level the playing field. your very own laptop can cost as little as $350. To give anyone and everyone a voice. Free services for everyone to express what they want, to focus and draw out the corruption, to stop these 1% filthy fuckers from taking advantage of everything in their sights.

October 7, 2008


I made a monitor stand! I came across a DYI monitor stand via stumble upon about 6 months ago and have been thinking about it since. The author paid for a fabricated stand and a custom cut steel plate with another custom cut glass plate on top. His TCO was about $125. It looked ultra cool.

I do computer work for Aloha Machine & Welding (best name evar), a local machine shop I considered asking them to cut me what I need in a work exchange, but decided I wanted to be more integral to the process and I didn't really want to spend much money on this, I don't have a lifestyle that dictates form over function.

I took measurements of what I wanted covered and headed to the hardware store. I bought a board, had it cut and came home to paint. I had some spray paint leftover from the previous painting projects: keyboard and mouse. I managed 2 coats of blue on the base before I ran out.
2 x steel cans got 1 coat of white before it ran out and the other two ended up getting several coats of black. I gave the blue base 3 coats of clear finish.

I used a liquid nails equivalent and a real nail fasten them in. I was less concerned about exact measurements but everything is more or less where is should be. My monitor now sits 5" above where it was and I'm sure my neck and back will thank me for it shortly.

Board: $8. Still have 3/5ths of the board left
steel cans: free
spray paint: free
4 x nails: free

October 3, 2008


A gentleman on Craigslist wanted a desktop with a 250GB drive. He offered a flute for trade. The Mrs. plays flute. I had a Poweredge SC420 that was not being used. Well the motherboard and case were not being used.
I took the p4 2.8 chip, power supply & 1GB memory from my desktop, a 300GB drive from my WHS and used a Dell OEM disc to install XP Pro.

Here are my replacement parts:
$30 - p4 3.06 - 64 bit too which is a major upgrade for me. Unfortunately I gave up my fourth GB of memory so I can't take advantage of it just yet.
$50 Antec Earthwatt PSU. It's 80+ certified.
$85 WD 640AAKS

I traded the PSU into my WHS because it runs 24/7. The cpu and hard drive are nice upgrades for me. I've been looking forward to running a 64 bit OS for almost a year and am now on the cusp of it!

The Mrs. got her flute and is excited. She's played while our roomate plays guitar.
Internet delivers

Master Debators

The presidential debates are of interest to me, but since they air in EST it's difficult for me to catch them. I've heard that there are sites that stream them in real time but after pau it's no where to be found. CNN has the first 24 minutes available from the first debate and then sound bites from the remainder. Close but not good enough. Youtube is usually on the ball in these situations but not this time.

For me the only way to watch them is to pirate them.

In case you're in the same boat, here's the first presidentail debate debate, in HD and last night's
VP Debate.

September 23, 2008

No City

for want of a nail the shoe was lost
for want of a shoe the horse was lost
for want of a horse the rider was lost
for want of a rider the battle was lost
for want of a battle the kingdom was lost
and all for the want of a horse shoe nail

September 8, 2008


Your gender, nationality, family name, highschool, your god? How did these things become important to you? These are things that you don't choose.

Children, they're a choice. Your work ethic, how you treat the world; these are things to take pride in. You can control these; they're a reflection of you.

I take a little bit of pride in being Arabic, but not much. I was never taught to speak Arabic, my family went to the Unitarian church, I don't make very good hummus.

The pride I take now comes in my work. The place I live is very special and I take pride in it because I choose to live here and I want to keep it an amazing place. I'm very proud of my wife, she is one of the best choices I've ever made.

There's been some political conventions recently and everyone loves to shout about their pride for this country. Like it's better than others. Like they had a choice. I don't understand the pride some people have in the things they have no control over.

What are you most proud of?

August 24, 2008


My friend wrote a life list. One of the items was to buy a DSLR camera. Here is my response:

I don't know how much time you've spent with a camera since highschool. I tried to get back into photography last November and it was a wonderful decision. Here is what I've learned:

  1. Buy a used DSLR to begin with. Get a used bottom line camera from any of the big manufacturers like Cannon or Nikon. After 6 months you'll know if the limits are your camera or you.
  2. Have somewhere to store your photos in redundancy. Storing all your photos on your laptop will work until your hard drive dies. Then you're fucked. I store them on my WHS with duplication enabled. Your Flickr account will probably suffice for the important photos.
  3. Use the highest quality settings. You bought a DSLR, put that image sensor to use. Storage is cheap. Also DSLR pictures can be pretty large. My D40X on its highest setting takes pictures in the range of 3-4mb.
  4. Buy a case and tripod at the same time as your DSLR. You can manage without either of them but the case will lengthen the life of your camera and a tripod enables a lot of really cool shots.
  5. RTFM. I read the manual every few months and everytime I learn something new.
Here's a Mauna Kea panoramic

July 14, 2008

Saturday we went back to Kahena. This is secluded off the side of the road, you have to hike down a lava rock staircase jutting from the cliffs. It's a secluded black sand beach with a violent wave break. The undertow can be vicious if it's not expected. The point of bringing this up: I caught waves! Small ones for sure, but I even manage to do a turn!

Thanks to a local 16yr old named Solomon who gave me the courage and reminded me that no one was judging. He also told me my board was too small.

The rocks were pretty big and not very soft. I'm really sore today and I have cuts on my knees and feet; keeping in line with my wounds from the sea.

Someone was nice enough to get some video of one of my waves:

July 2, 2008

I could use any argument I like

His followup:
Hi PrisonIndustry,

Have you had a chance to look at our proposal? When do you think you might be purchasing?
Please let me know.

Thanks for choosing [vendor name]

My response:
Hi Vendor,

I've had a chance to look at it but I'm currently waiting on final approval from my boss. I think it's out of our budget for the time being however. If I get the go ahead I will be in contact with you to order.

His final reply:
Hi PrisonIndustry

Just a suggestion,

You could use the argument, that with the current state of technology, you can’t afford not to.
Thanks for the information.

Since I was asking for a quote for Office licenses for a school, I'd say the current state of technology has nothing to do with it.

June 29, 2008


We went to Kolekole (Hawaiian for talk story)beach park yesterday in an effort to go somewhere new. success! It's a nice little place by the ocean, the beach allows a calm pool of ocean water to play in, on the other side of the pool is a rope swing.

The park is simple with families and kids running around. It's what would come to mind when you think about a Hawaiian park.
We brought a picnic of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a strange salad (artichoke hearts, grean olives, onions, carrots & green peppers). I really wanted to go swimming but it was too cool and none of the locals were which is a good indicator not to.

I didn't bring the nice camera because we didn't know how crowded it would be but we did bring her little Chameleon. This is the cheapest of all digicams and is at this point about 6 years old but tends to take some really interesting pictures no matter the situation.

June 26, 2008


Having just been intimately involved with a wedding here are the things I learned.

We relied heavily on friends and family which had lots of good points:
  1. free
  2. we keep all the originals
  3. lots of candids
  4. we have 1,200 pictures
The downsides are:
  1. they vary quite a bit in quality,
  2. we missed a lot of important shots, like the family portraits because
  3. there was no organization for any of the shots
  4. there was no expectation of professionalism
In hindsight, I should have arranged with some of the groom's men to be in charge of organizing the photography.
Style and originality
Be as as unique as you want to. We had a wonderful minister who did an amazing job and she gave us a unique ceremony that many people seemed to enjoy. We also had leis shipped from Hawai'i and my nephew being a flower boy dressed in aloha gear.
But plan ahead. We had some really great ideas but there just wasn't enough time to arrange for them.
We made our own. We designed them in Publisher, used flower graphics that our friend made, printed them at Office Max for about $75 and cut them ourselves. This was a really good decision. We got a lot of great feedback from everyone (grandparents & friends). It really set a nice mood for the ceremony. My cousin advised that as soon as you mention the word Wedding to a professional anybody the price jumpes about %100 because they know you aren't a returning customer.

We did the same for the RSVPS . The glaring error that we made was in not leaving a place for them to write their name. We received so many RSVPs that said "All 5 of us will be coming" and we had no idea who they were. Sometimes though, no matter what you do, the ravages of the USPS can deliver only the useless husk of a one grand RSVP.

Marriage License
We got ours at the Richmond Circuit court. It cost us $35 +$2.50 for a certified copy of the marriage license. To help the process go smoothly, arrive in a good mood, bring cash, and your ID. Turn off your cell phone.
Our ceremony was held at the Unitarian Church in Richmond, and Artworks in Southside hosted the reception. We really lucked out. We only had 6 months to find a place. I suggest start calling as soon as you can, a year before is not too early. Seriously, start calling now.
Having the reception at a venue that already has some decoration helps a lot. Ours was at an art studio so there was lots of gorgeous stuff on the walls already. My brother had his at a nursery, so all of his pictures have plants in the background.
Don't expect to eat on your wedding day. I was lucky, I got a little bit of food during the reception, J got less. We didn't really eat until we got to the hotel room where my uncle had arranged a gift basket with delicious bread and other treats.
My dad arranged the catering, mostly from a Mediterranean bakery. He complimented it with food from Costco for those with more delicate palettes. We got lots of compliments on the food we barely touched.

We had the best minister possible. She is a family friend and has been a part of my life since I was a baby. She's beautiful, smart, resourceful, talented and was absolutely perfect for us. She made the ceremony. She kept me from folding from nerves, she kept me sane, she gave me a kiss. Choosing the right minister will make your ceremony a real success.
Getting married is one of the best experiences of my life. The months leading up to it were very very difficult and put a lot of strain on us. The wedding day completely made up for it. I could not have asked for anything better.

Please comment on your wedding if you've had one, or with expectations if you haven't and plan to, or why you won't if you're not.
Hawai'i looks like this nearly every day at some point. Often it will be overcast and rainy in the morning but by the afternoon the clouds will thin and the sun will shine. Because we live on the rainy side of Hawai'i the vegetation is lush and abundant.

It's a really magical place to live, it's so far from modern society really. Families move down to live by the beach all summer in tents and under tarps going home only to do laundry. The surfing beaches are packed from 3 when school lets out until sunset everyday. Kids are friendly and unashamed of their bodies, they're trusting. Locals are friendly, even to haoles provided you're the same. When you wake up and everyday is beautiful and the beach is over your shoulder for generations your entire culture becomes wonderful.

Coconut Island panoramics. I took these a couple of days ago, I was leaving in a hurry when I took these, that's why a good portion of them are blurry, but I think it's an interesting effect to have a blurry picture merged with an in focus one.
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June 24, 2008

Small Day

You just want to be special. Your life will be boring and without consequence, and you'll die on a deathbed thinking, "but... but, nothing big happened... that means that my existence was worthless... I didn't experience anything out of the ordinary

Thank you stupid Internet.

June 23, 2008

Big Day

1. First news of the day: Wil Morva was sentenced to death today.
There’s nothing more I can do, but there are others like me and I hope you know that and soon they’re going to get together,” says Morva. They’re going to sweep over your whole civilization and they’re going to wipe these smiles off of your faces forever. That’s all.

2. Then I Stumbled this page from Eric Schmidt talking about Net Nuetrality. I got the number for Senator Akaka in Hawai'i and left a message expressing my support. Never have I felt leaving a message to be so proactive.

3. I mailed 48 thank you cards today. The postage is $.42, most of them had a $.41 stamp. I bought $1 of $.01 stamps.

4. On the corner of Mamo and Kilauea I came across a guy passed out in his truck. He was stopped at the intersection. I ran into the art co-op and asked someone to call 9-11 while I opened the door, held him up and turned off the engine. He was breathing but unconcious. The EMTs arrived very quickly and they took over. I waited another 30-45 minutes to give a statement but none was wanted. They said he was on a lot of pian killers. I'm sure he'll be fine.

June 19, 2008

City lights on the inside of my eyelids

I miss living in a city. I haven't very often or for very long. Barcelona for 2 months, Seattle for 5 months, I guess you can count Richmond for 2 years. A corner stone of any city that I'd like to live in is public transportation.

Seattle had an amazing public transit system that would take me from Bellevue into downtown in about 45 minutes. This is me time, time to read and listen to music. NOT talk on the phone, because that's just rude. But I really enjoy the sway of the bus, the other travelers; I feel connected with them in a way that I don't when we drive next to each other. The driving is left to someone else and I can watch the scenery. I can focus on the birds and sunset, I don't have to worry.

Around Seattle also had ferries, these are at least 12 kinds of awesome. They also provide a time for picture taking, down time, time to talk and provide a good adventure, even if only for 30

I enjoy much more riding the subway. The dirty tiled floor of the station, swiping cards or giving tokens has a sense of time to it that cannot be matched anywhere else. Again, I enjoy connecting with the other passengers by their presence only. Talking to strangers in that kind of setting has never appealed, but the clutch of the train as it pulls away and the G forces as it slows down. The flickering of lights, well it just appeals to me.

I miss living in a place where I can travel without being the driver. Here either I bike or I drive. There is a bus, sure, but it runs only a few times a day and isn't really designed for around town commuting, more for cross island destinations.

I enjoy walking on stone. The hard surface beneath me makes me feel small against the age of this stone. It's been around longer than I have and will continue to be long after I'm not.

It's not just the reduced carbon footprint, or the lower cost, the absence of anxiety from not driving. It's also the culture. These things were built during a time when city planners put an enormous effort into moving a large amount of people. This technology comes form a time when society wasn't centered around the individual. You can blame it on whatever you want, video games or media, it doesn't really matter at this point. Pretty much everyone is on this path to manifest destiny.

$4.50 at the pumps yesterday and I still filled up.

To revive my old meme:
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be.
If you had your choice of method of transportation there, what would you choose?

June 14, 2008


  1. Aphex Twin - Window Licker
  2. Beatles - Day in the Life
  3. Ratatat - Nostrand
  4. Daft Punk - Face to Face / Short Circuit (Live)
  5. NIN - The Becoming
  1. Perfume: Story of a Murderer
  2. Sunshine
  3. Paris: Je T'aime
  4. Lookout
  5. Brick
What are yours?
I ignored a phone call from a friend today.
From the beginning of the day until the end of it I've been happy, lonely, energentic, lazy, scared, excited, hungry, full, empty, poor and rich.
I've taken two showers, worn 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts.
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May 31, 2008

quick notes about the last few weeks.

I'm trying to get back into posting, it's been a month and a half it seems. The next few might be quantity over quality.

I fixed the date stamp.

TSA insisted she put her oil of olay bottle inside a bag. Unfortunately the only bag she had contained a half smoked cigar. TSA did not care.

You have to be someone incredibly special to put your seat back down during a flight.
You have to be a premier selfish cocksucker to do this when you're sitting in the Economy Plus section and you already have more leg room than the person behind you. But, when you're sitting in the emergency exit row of the Economy Plus section and you have more leg room than anyone else and I'm in regular coach class behind you, then you put your seat back down? Well. that's when I don't mind throwing my knee into the back of your seat.
For the remaining 5 hours of the flight.

Food on the mainland is cheap. We bought a load of groceries that would've cost >=$250 here, paid $85 at Ukrops. I miss cheap food.

March 25, 2008

Strong Finish

A couple of months ago, shortly before thanksgiving, we bought a Nikon D40x DSLR. We researched as much as we could before choosing, we just didn't know what we'd want or need. I chose the d40x over the d40 because of the higher megapixels. We got the body and a kit lens for about $650 (quitting smoking money) from Amazon. Shortly after we bought a camera case and a tripod for $40 also on Amazon.

I took a photography class in highschool and that's the extent of my formal training. I had a great teacher who loved Macs and really pushed us to create art however we saw it, either with SLR cameras or digital videos. For some reason I felt that all those lessons I learned JR year would carry across a decade.Getting this camera has been a blast for me, it's allowed me to take some really nice shots of the island we live on.

The d40x allows a shutter time up to 30 seconds which is usually more than I need. Playing with the shutter speed for night shots and aperture settings for day shots has been so much fun for me. I'm only recently starting to bump up against some of it's short comings.
1. No time lapse settings: no way to create a gif automatically. It has to be done manually, and I have, it's just not as pretty and a big PITA.
2. No bracketing. This would allow me to take the same picture x number of times with different exposures to make some HDR pictures.
This is a great beginner camera. It's taken almost 6 months for me find things I want it to do that it can't. Also means I can get another camera someday and leave this one for J or our kids one day :)

One of the best things about this camera is that it encourages me to adventure. My dad gave up photograpy because he feels it takes away from the experience of the event. I agree, but I also find that I wouldn't even be at the event if it weren't to take pictures. Now I also get a chance to share some of that experience with you.

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February 29, 2008

wisdom teeth

One week ago today I got my wisdom teeth removed. Both the dentist and the oral surgeon talked to me about the consequences, the healing times and what to expect. The surgeon was very confidant and was not worried about any of the things that scared me, specifically the promiximity of one of the teeth to mandibular nerve. His confidence made me feel a lot better and I went into the surgery with little fear. Here is what I wrote last week:
The procedure was quick to start, an IV and I was sedated but not quite asleep. Dozing but aware of what they were saying. The overwhelming pain, confusion and fear that came from hearing one of my teeth break during removal.
I heard "he's a bleeder," I heard myself moan in pain and their response "relax, we've given you all the medicine we can"
There were several complications, the sinus was nicked on both sides. and I bled profusely on the right lower side.
i remember the pain spidering across my jaw on the left side when they removed the tooth that was so deep into the jaw that on the x-ray it showed being close enough to hold hands with the mandibular nerve. The dentist had tried to explain the elevated risk of losing complete sensitivy of my lower jaw, a risk that there was no way around, I couldn't not get the surgery, and the longer I waited the harder it would be. It's been about 9 hours since they took my teeth and I still can't feel my chin, but my lower lip is incredibly sensitive and stings whenever anything touches it.

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The sinus was hit, I bled a lot, I never went under, and my lower lip, lower front teeth and part of my chin are still numb.
I am still quite sore in my gums. I can close my mouth but it's still not a resting position.

I'm pretty mobile now, until yesterday I hadn't been beyond the mail box. Last night we saw Angela Davis. I'm doing a shift at work tomorrow. Wish me luck.

February 20, 2008

Fine day

This morning I woke up and realized how to take long exposure pictures during the day in plenty of light! Boy I was excited. I also figured out how to use the AF-L (Auto Focus Lock) button. What a productive day and I'd only been awake for 20 minutes. Gosh what a beautiful day it is too! Not a cloud in the sky, I can see all the way up to Mauna Kea and if you look closely you can see the observatories where Kevin works.
Today is a special day so we decided to do something special and go somewhere I'd never been before, Akaka Falls. I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I'd already seen Akaka Falls and many many other places on the Big Island without actually having been there personally. I see tourist pictures of these places every day. Everyone takes the same pictures of the same places Sometimes they put their boyfriend or wife in them but usually they're content with what's there.
Since I'm not interested in posting the pictures with me or my fiance, you get a generic picture. I did try some of the delayed exposure stuff that I learned, but there was just too much sky and it over exposed very easily. There's a little bit of the milky effect from the fall, but not much.

Here is where I really lucked out with the long exposure. There was just enough tree cover to allow a 1.3" shutter speed. If only the leaves weren't so over exposed but I'm still learning and I'm very pleased.
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February 15, 2008

What are you really trying to say?

Partly working means kind of broken, right?

(can you tell I'm enjoying the "blog this!" button in picasa?)
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A respite from the rain

I took this on Monday waiting for my surgeon to open their doors after lunch. some people miss the changing of the seasons. I understand that, but I never get sick of this weather, and the rain provides a balance that's good enough.
There's claim that those that suffer from seasonal affective disorder can reap a great benefit from living in this climate. Sometimes January and February are just rough months.
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February 11, 2008

Mauna Kea Observatory

Gosh it was cold up there. The sunset is more beautiful than this GIF.

Tomorrow I go to research the proper name for the devices that can trigger a picture every x amount of time. Whatever they are called, I'm going to find one so I can sit in the car next time.
After the sun went down I tried to take a couple of delayed exposures because they're my favorite. Unfortunately because of all the snow, the pictures came out brighter than when the sun was up. This is one of the last we grabbed:

How to make a GIF in GIMP the easy way.

  1. Open the first frame with GIMP.
  2. Select all the sequential frames minus the first frame and drag to the picture from step 1
  3. File -> Save -> filename.gif -> Export as animation

February 10, 2008


I like tools. I like having the stuff to do other stuff with.
In the car I have a flash light and an oversize 1st aid kit.
In my backpack I carry a full size leatherperson Core, lock picks and batteries
On my key chain I carry a leatherperson micra (I feel the same way (Leatherperson warranties are the best, I highly recommend their products)), a 4GB USB drive with tonnes of troubleshooting apps, and a red LED light. For a while I had a tiny little maglite on there as well that I just loved. Unfortunately it wasn't very well designed and fell off while riding to work last week.
What kind of tools do you keep around?

February 4, 2008

There is nothing false about hope

Last night while checking out Craig's List I came across a job posting on O'ahu that's right up my alley. I sent an inquiry asking about the hours, but it got me briefly excited. While I'm in not position to take a new job right now because of my upcoming nuptials, I still want to play the field a little bit.
I fantasized about a full time job with a livable wage and having a career and no longer just a job. About living in Hawai'i and thriving, not just surviving like I'm doing now. I thought about living in a town where there's more than just a pancake house that's open after 8pm and the majority of the population isn't under 18 or over 35. Where concerts happen, where I can learn to surf.
I got so excited. I'm sure I won't hear form them. I probably wouldn't get the job and I can't afford the move right now. But for a moment I was really happy about the idea.

the only way to fix it is to flush it all away

Flooding is another one of nature's recitals that can be added to the list. Hilo is getting a lot of rain right now. This makes for excellent pictures! It's very difficult to shoot in the rain without getting the equipment wet. I missed an amazing photo opportunity at rainbow falls but I just couldnt' bring myself to expose my camera to that kind of rain.

Today we went out again to try and grab a shot of rainbow falls, and while it's still an awesome shot, the falls aren't nearly as big as they were last night. Here's the shot of the day, a drainage canal with a 10" exposure time:

For context of the amount of rain that's been showing up, Rainbow Falls before and after

January 25, 2008


I've been on the phone with HP support no <10 times in the last 3 days. Tomorrow will probably be the last straw. Please don't ever buy from them. Their support is the worst. Everyone wants to pawn me off to someone else. One evening I went from tech support to order tracking and back, I spoke to each department 4 times.

My roomate bought short grain sushi rice while I was gone to the mainland. I think short grain rice is great for one thing: Sushi. Otherwise I enjoy long grain jasmine rice. Every pot I've made since I've been back has turned out wrong, chewy or dry. ugh.

I removed the reader applet from my Google start page because I thought it was interfering with my productivity. Now I go the entire week without remembering to check my feeds. I sign in today to find 112 posts. Yikes.

I did a house call yesterday, I borrowed my boss' truck to get there. I did a simple install for this lady. Answered all the start up questions on her new Vista laptop, installed the printer, set up a Gmail address, showed her how to print and attach pictures and walked her through the basics of Word, Exel, One Note and Powerpoint. As I was leaving she said "Here's your money and I have a bag of citrus for you too." I got a bag with 4 oranges, 2 avocados, 2 limes and a bottle of water.

I used Whiist to change the picture on my WHS webpage to a picture of Penfold. He's so much more fun than than the frolicking family.

January 22, 2008

Another gif

Kev and I biked up to imaloa observatory today to take pictures of some plants for the Wikipedia.
It's a steep hill and lots of fun on a bike. As soon as I started down behind Kev I pulled out the camera and started clicking off shots. There's a certain thrill to riding down a hill with no hands looking through a camera snapping away.

It's not amazing, but it's a fun little gif.
It weighs in a just under 9mb so be patient.
The Wikipedia articles are: Schizostachyum and Osteomeles anthyllidifolia.

January 15, 2008

Hand me that tweaker bag

WHS says my desktop hasn't been backed up in 84 days, which is how long I've been stuck solely on my laptop. Laptop keyboards are smaller, there are less keys, the use of the Fn key becomes essential. I've come up with a guide for your laptop and Internet. Here are some ideas you can try to experience something new.
  1. Change the color scheme to silver. This isn't all that amazing and comes default with many computers, but the truth is I just figured out how to do it myself. So I did it and it makes a big difference. Right Click on the desktop, Properties, Appearance Tab, Color scheme -> Silver.
  2. Add some XP Power Toys.
    1. Since I just started messing around with photography, I found it incredibly nice that MS provides support for RAW images. Until now I've been stuck shooting in .jpeg which just hurts my geek heart.
    2. ClearType Tuner. I haven't noticed a night and day difference but when I installed it I saw what I could be seeing.
    3. Alt tab replacement also added a slight change to the interface. It's not terribly exciting but a nice change.
    4. Stay away from Virtual Desktop Manager. It says 'up to four desktops' when it really means 'always and only four desktops that you can't configure very easily and whose background we will mangle.' I was excited and veyr let down.
  3. Buy some memory! Newegg's prices on laptop memory is dropping by the day. 2GB of DDR2 for <$50. This is probably the best upgrade you can make to your laptop. Installing is a cinch, if you want it but don't know how and are afraid to try shoot me an email and I'll be glad to walk you throught he steps. After this upgrade you'll wonder how you ever survived without it.
  4. Windows / Microsoft Update and Driver updates. This shouldn't really be on the list, but I come across so many machines that haven't done much of either in a long time. If you're an IE user be sure to upgrade to IE 7 for the added tab support. I recommend upgrading to Microsoft Update because it will also cover your Office install and more MS software in the future. Driver updates are essential for the smooth running of your PC. Particularly pay attention to the video and chipset drivers.
  5. Uninstall any McAfee, Symantec / Norton system manglers you have. Certainly don't pay for it. I use AVG, it's free and auto updating and it doesn't bring my PC to slug's pace.
  6. StumbleUpon. When you join let me know so that we can be friends with each other. You can set up hot keys too so you don't have to struggle with a touchpad. I use Alt + Z to Stumble and Alt + UpArrow for I like it, Alt + DownArrow for I don't like it + Stumble .
  7. Take your laptop to the head. You haven't joined the information age until you've written an email on a commode.
  8. Take apart your computer and dust it. Especially if it's out of warranty you have nothing to void :). The panels on the bottom are probably fine to take off and look at without hurting anything. Buy a can of compressed air, read the directions and spray out the insides. Cleaning out the fan on the bottom can really help increase the battery life because the fan doesn't' have to work so hard to spin. Also a good time to check what kind of memory it has and see if it can support more. If you don't want to open the case to exam your RAM, head to Crucial's site and use their Scanner Tool, it'll tell you everything you need to know.
  9. Find a forum regarding your laptop. There are enthusiasts everywhere for everything. Who knows, this junk PC could be a DIY dream. People have some incredible ideas for the hardware sitting under your finger tips. Google your model number and forum and you're likely to find something good. I once stuck a hot screw driver into the PCI Express slot at the suggestion of a forum.
  10. Backup your data right now. Not tomorrow or this weekend. Do it tonight. Hard drive failures are the worst. Don't be that teary eyed person that has to explain why all your children's pictures are now lost forever.

Vely solly

I got to work today and in typical fashion I was asked to tackle a problem even before I put my bag down at my desk. A Japanese fellow had been waiting for 1/2 hour for me. His laptop wouldn't connect to Internet. It had been doing just fine in many other places and cafes, but not ours. His laptop was installed in Japanese, not English. Awesome.

I was able to diagnose the problem and fix it without reading any of the text, only the symbols, icons and memorization of common tabs and buttons. Turns out the ethernet card was disabled and a static IP address had been assigned for a network and we use My guess is that the previous visits to other cafes used a .1 subnet and so his static address worked fine.

After I fixed it, I pulled up his browser, Yahoo loaded. He vigorously pumped my hand and then gave me a deep bow (my first). When he was done he gave me a $5 tip and promised to come back tomorrow.

January 10, 2008

Fire inside

I don't like sitting still for terribly long. I have a lot of brains and I enjoy using them to create and develop ideas. I don't mind making small things, but as long as I've contributed something I feel good.
My new schedule at work leaves me with most of the day time to my own devices. A couple of days ago I made this fancy .gif of an ice cube melting.