San Francisco for a Day

imageHad to run to San Francisco for a one-day work trip this week.  Luckily, my work wrapped up a bit early and I was able to go act like a tourist for a bit.  Took a drive up to the Golden Gate Bridge, drove and hiked around the Marin Headlands, and had dinner with some friends.  SF is a really beautiful and photogenic city.  Pics are online at my Flickr gallery here.

New Pictures!

After a long hiatus of posting pictures in the gallery, I've spent a large chunk of this morning and afternoon processing and uploading pictures. In no particular order:

  • Fishermen's Terminal – Pictures taken by Diann while she was at a weeklong training course at Fishermen's Terminal
  • North Cascades Highway Loop – On Diann's birthday, we drove the 431 mile North Cascades Highway Loop. Didn't even have to refill the Prius once, and still made it home with a 1/4 tank left!
  • A few new pictures of Pixel and Bryn
  • Magnusson Park – A park in Seattle alongside Lake Washington that is formerly a military base. There are fins from decommissioned nuclear submarines along a walkway at Magnusson.
  • Montlake Crewing Races & Opening Day of Yachting Season – Crewing is a huge sport up here in Seattle, and then after the races the rich folks cruise by in their mammoth yachts.
  • Deception Pass, which I previously wrote about here
  • Forbidden Gardens in Texas, where we were for Memorial Day.
  • Lower Skyline Loop at Mt. Rainier – we did this hike before the snow had melted enough to conclude it, and had to turn back at 6000' when the snow hid the trail and it also started raining/hailing.
  • Golden Gardens Park at low tide – an awesome couple of mornings with an extremely low tide which uncovered a plethora of sealife: anemone, sea cucumbers, starfish, clams, and — of course — seagulls.
  • Guemes Island – A trip up to Guemes Island, with Jeff & Misty and Dylan & Micha
  • The Museum of Flight – A trip to the Museum of Flight with Rick & Rosanne in town

In other photography news, I have my D70 back in hand. After suffering the Green Blinking LED of Death (GBLOD) much talked about on the DPReview forums, I sent it in to Nikon service. Much kudos to Nikon for taking care of the problem gratis even though my camera was out of warranty!

new toy!

As the more astute readers will notice, there's now a little picture over there on the right hand side of the blog. Well, that's because I've joined in on the moblog bandwagon. What is a moblog, you ask? Wikipedia defines it for us:

Moblog is a portmanteau of mobile and weblog. A mobile weblog, or moblog, consists of content posted to the Internet from a mobile or portable device, such as a cellular phone or PDA. Much of the earliest development of moblogs occurred among foreigners residing in Japan, among the first countries in the world where camera phones (portable phones with built-in cameras) were widely commercially available.

According to Joi Ito's History of Moblogs, the first post to the web was from Steve Mann in 1995. He used a wearable computer, a more elaborate predecessor to modern moblogging devices. The first post to the Internet from a mobile device was by Stuart Woodward, in January 2001; the term “moblogging” itself was coined by Adam Greenfield to describe the practice in 2002. The term is sometimes pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable – MOBlog – out of affinity with the ideas about social self-organization developed in Howard Rheingold's “Smart Mobs”.

It's scary how much info Wikipedia has about the most random subjects. Anyway, this is all made possible by my new toy: the Nokia 6620. Don't let the “Coming Soon” link on symbian.com fool you, the phone has been out for a whopping two weeks now. All in all it's a really cool phone. A bit wider than my old Samsung A500, but still small.

Another note about this… All you people out there with Sprint phones that call me for free can't anymore. I ported my number over to AT&T Wireless. On the bright side, all you AT&T Wireless people out there can now call me for free. And I have real SMS capabilities finally! Yay!

thunderbirds

Well, as I mentioned the other day, the USAF Thunderbirds came to TAMU today. The show was pretty awesome. I took pictures of them a couple times: coming in and landing, the practice session, the Thunderbirds parked at night, and the actual show.

I think the practice session was a little better than the actual performance — the weather was completely clear during practice but we had low cloud cover during the actual performance. (The clouds were probably around 1000' AGL, while the hard deck for the flight was just 150' AGL. It was still a good show though — I hadn't seen the Thunderbirds before, but had seen the Blue Angels before at the Wings Over Houston airshow several years ago. I can't really compare them since I didn't get to see the Thunderbirds do most of their high-altitude tricks, but it's not every day an acrobatic group comes to TAMU.

yay for vacation

Well, I finally took a real vacation. Loaded up the gear and flew down to Belize for a week of beaches and SCUBA diving. Was very relaxing: just what I needed after finishing 11 hours of class this summer (oh, I passed Electrical/Optical Physics without taking the final!) and before starting up with 17 hours of class this upcoming fall. I'll be worn out by the end of it for sure.

I bought an underwater housing for Diann's digital camera to bring to Belize for SCUBA diving and took just under 400 pictures (well, I took more, but only 400 were worthwhile). They're online for your perusal. Vacations: I highly recommend them™.

I had something I was going to make a really long rant about here, but I forgot, so this will have to do now.