Unique bird of the day: Saw a crow pulling a part a small hawk on top of a rusted metal oil pump/rig in Long Beach today. Was wondering if the hawk was dead or alive when the crow got it? Due to driving by at 45 mph, did not take a photo.
January 2008 Archives
Unique bird of the day: Saw a crow pulling a part a small hawk on top of a rusted metal oil pump/rig in Long Beach today. Was wondering if the hawk was dead or alive when the crow got it? Due to driving by at 45 mph, did not take a photo.
Gratuitous Dog Nose photo taken by Jen Hanen with her Nokia N95 in Dec. 2007
Tues 01.29.08 - One week from tomorrow afternoon, I get on an airplane and start the start of my portion of the Nokia Urbanista Diaries!
Hee hee hee... Can we say excited? Yep. Can we say extra excited about traveling to Europe -> India -> Europe with a Nokia N82 in hand? Yep. Can we say that there is too much to do before next Wednesday? Yep!
Here is my Urbanista Diaries schedule:
Wed. Feb. 6th : Leave LA for London
Thurs. Feb. 7th : Arrive London - Trot around London for the Day.
* Celebrate Chinese New Year with Steve Marshall at the Jade Garden in Soho for a Dim Sum lunch!
Fri. Feb. 8th : Depart London for Chennai, India
Late Friday / Early Sat : Arrive Chennai
Sat. Feb. 10th : Meet up with Urbanista Jay in Chennai, receive mobile 'baton'
Mon. Feb. 11th : Depart Chennai for Bangalore
* Hangout in Bangalore for 2 days. Take photos.
Wed. Feb. 13th: Depart Bangalore for Kochi, Kerala
* Hangout in Kochi. Trot around taking photos.
Fri. Feb. 15th: Depart Kochi for Goa
* Goa. 2.5 days. Photos. Old Goa.
Mon. Feb. 18th: Depart Goa for Mumbai
* Mumbai (aka Bombay). 2.5 days. Photos. Have fun.
Early Thurs. Feb. 21st :Depart Mumbai for Vienna, Austria
*(Hello! One small suitcase. Tropical climate to European winter! Hello! Crazy!)
Sat. Feb. 23rd: Pass off mobile 'baton' to Urbanista Ryan
Sun. Feb. 24th : Depart Vienna for London.
*Attempt to stay in Oxford and London for a few days before departing for home (SoCal).
Wed. Feb. 26th : Fall into a puddle and sleep for multiple days.
* Then go to Austin, Texas for SXSW to speak at Interactive and enjoy Music from March 6 - 16th. ;o)
I will mind getting the two client websites I need to finish before departure on the 6th, as well as take my anti-malaria pills on schedule, and you all can mind your bits by doing the following:
1) Don't forget that there is a contest to win a Nokia N82 every week during the Urbanista adventures. Just go to the website, look at the photos, log in, and identify the photo of the week. And hopefully win a kick ass camera phone.
2) Download the Urbanista Ms. Jen Widget and add it to your blog, iGoogle, Facebook or MySpace. If you can't find the embed code to work for you, I have posted a plain text version here that can be copied and pasted onto your blog or MySpace space.
3) Hey, I am going to be in India from Feb. 9th to 20th. If you have any friends or connections in Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Goa or Mumbai who would like to go out on a mobile photo walk or show me the wonders of their city, please email me at 'blackphoebe at gmail dot com'. Any recommendations would be lovely! Let me know!
Mon 01.28.08 - at Phó 79 in Garden Grove, Calif.
One of the things that I love about Nokia's Nseries line of phones is that they are mini-computers with a phone, camera, and internet connection. On top of all of that, one can update the firmware / software of the mobile device just like one can update their computer's firmware or software.
Does your mobile start to get a little slow after a while or have blips & burps or freeze or crash? Well, if it is a Nokia, you can download the Nokia Updater to your PC, plug your mobile into the data cable and then into the computer, back it up, and then Update. Couldn't be simpler, right?
Well, if you are me, an ardent Nokia fan, but also an owner of 2 Mac computers (15" MacBook Pro & a 12" PowerBook G4), you have a wee bit of a problem when it comes time to update one's phone or internet tablet... it is called... how to borrow a PC... Trust me, do not, DO NOT, whatever you do, think you can run Nokia's Updater from the Windows install of Parallels on your MacBook Pro. JUST SAY NO. I have a lovely little N80 brick that no amount of the Kings Men or repair people will put back together again...
Now every time an update is announced for the N95 or N800 tablet, I am VERY VERY VERY reluctant to even think about updating, even though both need it. I call my brother, ask if I can borrow his work PC laptop, drive over there, run the Nokia Updater application and find out if there is an update available. The N800 has had several updates since it arrived in October and the N95 (RM-159) has only had one last July, even though all the other N95's in the world have had at least 3-5 updates since then.
My N95 is starting to sssslllllloooowwww down. It really needs a good firmware shot in the arm or in the patooty. I would love for it to focus and shoot a photo faster than its current stop, focus, focus, focus, pick nose, focus, focus, hey-look-theres-a-squirrel, focus, focus, hey! maybe I should take a photo speed. It is driving me crazy. The lower the light, the slower the focus with our friend the N95 v.1.
Mind you, my N95 is faster than my N80 was, but now that I have tasted the delights of the N82, the N95 is looking and working old & slow. Dang! It is only 6 months old and cost me a lot of $$$. Where is my update? Where is my update that I can do natively from my Mac?
A few days ago, I went and checked to see if there was an update available on the local borrowed PC for my N95. No new update. So sad.
But there was an update available for the N800 tablet. Ok, let's update.
Updating. Updating.. Updating...
Nokia's software tells me to turn off Tablet, disengage the cable, and reboot. Ok.
No go. No turn back on. Oh crap. Oh crap. Oh crap. Look at borrowed PC. Swear. Swear again. Crap.
Google problem. Find that there is a Mac hack to flash the firmware updates for the Nokia 770 and 800 available. So, I download it to my MacBookPro, download the last update and the newest update. Use my Mac to flash the N800 to its last update and... it turns back on... it works... it restores its data. All is well in N800 land, thanks to Mac!
Then I try to use my Mac and the flasher software to update the N800 tablet to the OS 2008 Tablet software. All is well. It works. Birds sing.
Then I use the Mac flasher to send it back to OS 2007 as a test. All is well. Take N800 tablet to borrowed PC, attempt to flash the OS 2008 tablet firmware using the PC. Bricked again. Crap. Use Mac to reflash. All is well again. Birds sing.
Moral of Story? Use a Mac. PC's suck, esp. ones running MicroSquash. (My Dell with Ubuntu Linux is very nice. Linux gets less love from Nokia than Macs do.)
Moral of Story? Hey Nokia, increase your market share and profits by supporting Macs! Give your Mac owning fans some love. Do not accede all the market to Steve Jobs and the iPhone.
Moral of Story? I would like to see all Nseries devices get updates at least every 3 months. If I am going to spend over $500 US, I would like consistent support for at least 2 years.
Moral of Story? I want a Nokia Updater that works with my Nseries mobile device natively on my Mac.
Fri 01.25.08 - At Alex's 8th Anniversary show.
Thomas Hawk on PhotoWalking: I may not agree with TH on all his points, but here is very good guide on how to take daily photos everywhere you go. The main point is to take a camera with you at all times, big or small, and take photos.
The SixtyOne: The Music version of Digg. Have you used it? Added songs or got inspired by SixtyOne?
SVN: While I hate SubVersion with a passion, C. Michael Pilato has been kind enough to put up a pdf version of his O'Reilly book online. I will try to reconcile myself with SVN. Maybe. Maybe not. Darn it all, I like FTP!
Who cares you say... Well, it does matter, folks, as I sent her off in a little FedEx envelope with a check, an application, and two photos to the Indian Embassy's outsourcer (yes, they use an outsourcer) a number of weeks ago to apply for a tourist visa to India in anticipation of the Urbanista Diaries trip.
The Outsourcer kindly had an online passport tracker to let me know how it was progressing along a line of desks on Mission St. in San Francisco (hey, if the Embassy is going to outsource, mighty kind of them to do it to my home state). Within an hour of my passport's arrive, it was "On Hold". Yep, "On Hold".
After a few weeks, a few emails, a few phone interviews to clarify my intentions, and two letters on my part, the upswing is that if one is a "Freelance Artist & Designer" from California, one's visa application will be on hold while the Outsourcer susses out if you are a journalist (no), a filmmaker (no - but you are from LA, no, I am not a filmmaker), a web designer seeking work in India (no, got enough right here at home in California, thanks), or ....
Anywho, after writing the second letter assuring that my intentions for travel in India were honorable and that I will be conducting a whimsical photo tour of India that is a continuation of an ongoing mobile photo project, my visa was approved and my passport returned.
Today, Jay arrives in Singapore.
Tomorrow, Devin completes his leg of the Urbanista Diaries trip and passes the baton onto Jay, whereupon Jay trots off to Malayasia & Thailand.
Two weeks from today, I will be in Chennai, India.
Two weeks and one day from today, Jay will pass the baton onto me.
30 days from today, I pass the baton onto Ryan in Vienna...
The same weekend of CES and the porn convention thingy (sorry, I don't pay attention to acronyms at the best of times, let alone the beachballtits acronyms) in Las Vegas is always the weekend of the American Football finals weekend. Thus, my brother, his good buddy Mike and Mike's dad make their yearly pilgrimage to the Sports Book at Caesar's Palace to spend the weekend drinking and betting and getting sick from the smoke & viruses brought to the sports book room by all the folks who are in there. Got to love Las Vegas.
Whether you go to CES, the porn thingy, PRB, VLV, or any other reason to go to Lost Wages, you will come home with the Las Vegas Flu. The LV Flu is worse than anything you pick up in an airplane. First off there are a wider variety of folk from more ports of call in any given casino in Lost Wages than in any airplane. Then add onto that the canned, recycled air, and SMOKE. Did I mention the extra, pungent, oxygenated smoke that is recycled in Vegas? Add that to at least 243 viruses and you have SICK. Real quick.
Now listening to "Beat Surrender" by The Jam. If you haven't guessed, I have iTunes on shuffle.
Sin City nothing. More like Sick City. What goes on in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. It comes home with you. If you are a mild mannered (me) or a medium mannered (brother) Hanen, it means coming home sick with a nasty head cold which can develop into more. Now if your manners aren't mild or medium, then wrap it. I don't want to hear what you picked up.
So, my brother spent all last week at home with bronchitis, conjunctivitis, and sinusitis. The CL said he had an extendo hangover, but today (10 days later) was his first half day back at work. Hardly a hangover.
Up now? "Not a Crime" by Gogol Bordello.
I felt mild twinges of tummy flu last week but squelched it. I woke up this Saturday for our first day of the Punk Rock Bowling Tournament #10 with my nose dripping at an alarming rate and I was COLD. I am never feel cold. I like 45F. I like skiing. I like cold weather. I run hot. But I have been cold ever since Saturday. I currently have the heat on in my apartment. Shocker.
"Toast of the Town" by Motley Crue from the remastered "Too Fast for Love" cd. Thanks, Alex!
Don't know if I was getting a bit sick before leaving for Punk Rock Bowling, but within 12 hours I was very sick. Now this makes for a boring weekend. I was in bed by midnight and waking up at 10am. No real drunk, but lots of cold medicine. Bah. How can one flirt with hot 40-something punk men when one's nose is dripping and one has a sore throat. Really.
Speaking of the Crue and Ikki Nikki Three & a Half... if you have a copy of the original Leathur Records "Too Fast for Love" contact me. That is one of the best punk/metal albums of all times - Dead Boy-esque. The 1981 EMI version is just metal. Bah.
Ha.ha.ha.ha... In your mind you are thinking, "Ms. Jen must be sick and a bit loopy, she just wrote 'hot 40-something punk men'!" Yes, it was true. But flirting whilst sniffly never is very effective so I have no news to report. But the men were hot.
I hope I don't get as sick as my brother, as I have WAY TOO MUCH TO DO before departing for the Nokia Urbanista mo-pho adventure on Feb. 6th. Like finish two client websites, update the barflies.net's CMS, and put together all of the Punk Rock Bowling photos (334 of 'em) into a mammoth photo essay.
"Leavin' Here" by Lars Fredricksen and the Bastards. Other than Gordy (the Unknown Bastard), none of the other Bastards or alumn Bastards were at Bowling this year. Hmph. Oh, Craig Fairbaugh, where are you? Did you fall off the planet?
Speaking of the Nokia Urbanista Diaries, how did Devin visit Punk Rock Bowling for most of Saturday but he did not post a single photo to the Nseries website? Enquiring minds want to know. I know he got some good photos, as I was with him when he was shooting and talking to the ladies with leopard print Sidekicks.
Actually, I do know why Devin couldn't post his photos from the Sam's Town Bowling lanes... if one can't get a GPS signal than Nokia's Sports Tracker won't post the photos from the route taken. Why are we using software that is not working while the first of our four mobile bloggers is already out on the road? If Nokia would just add geotracking to Lifeblog and toss the Flash interface into the can, it could have worked out of the box.
iTunes is now playing "I Can't Get It" by Hanoi Rocks. Even though I have 1648 songs in my iTunes Library, it keeps coming back to Hanoi Rocks, The Jam, and Sigur Ros. Odd.
Well, to stop the cold induced brain dump now, I will say this, I can't get it why the world's premier mobile phone manufacturer insists on using Flash for their website. Ironic when one considers that most mobiles can't get Flash and Flash Lite is not so great. Gotta agree with Finland's other export, Hanoi Rocks, right now. I don't get it at all.
Mon 01.21.08 - Driving home from Punk Rock Bowling - Lunch stop in Baker, Calif.
Sun. 01.20.08 - Manic Hispanic play the Punk rock Bowling Awards Party, Las Vegas, NV.
Sun 01.20.08 - Punk Rock Bowling - Jeffitaph and Ben Bramlette after Ben's team takes the title at Punk Rock Bowling.
Sun 01.20.08 - at Punk Rock Bowling - She turns him down.
Sat. 01.20.08 - at Punk Rock Bowling, Sam's Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas, NV.
Sat 01.19.08 - Devin Balentina, who is on the 1st leg of the Nokia Urbanista Diaries! Devin came to visit us at Punk Rock Bowling. Good fun!
Sat 01.19.08 - Punk Rock Bowling - Sean, Julia, Luis, and Kelly.
24 hours ago saw myself and Tink arriving at Julie Wanda's house in Orange. The yearly January migration to Lost Wages had begun. Now, sitting on my little bed on the floor of our hotel room in Las Vegas, I am writing to report to you that this year's Punk Rock Bowling is shaping up very very nicely already. Happy Days.
Fun road trip out. Hanging out with friends at our annual Friday night cocktail party in the room. Going to see The Adolescents and 7 Seconds at Jillian's downtown. Breakfast at 1:30am at the hotel coffee shop. Yapping with more friends until 3:30am. My group has decided I must be running for Mayor...
So far I am having a ton of fun! Today is the big bowling day.
Fri 01.18.08 - Punk Rock Bowling - at the Adolescents show at Jillian's, Downtown Las Vegas.
Fri. 01.18.08 - Punk Rock Bowling
If you want the private complete text & photo feed, email me - blackphoebe at gmail dot com.
Otherwise, it is excerpt time for the rest of my feeds. Must make it harder for the uncreative plagiarists out there. Thanks for understanding.
I worked on refining the design of this website and have started making a Mobile version of the site.
Yep, a .mobi - view on your mobile / cell phone, version of the website. It is almost there, when I have it ready all the way, I will ask for help in testing it on various cell / mobile phone browsers.
I also added the Nokia Urbanista Diaries widget to the sidebar on the blog and as a center piece on the entrance page to the website. If you would like to follow along by adding the widget on your blog or website, here is the widget code to copy and paste onto your site:
Or you can download the widget from the Nokia Nseries site yourself.
Hello to all of my lovely regular readers who read this blog on a feed reader,
I have listened to your concerns and have weighed them with mine. Compliments of a dream at 3 something a.m. this morning, I have a win-win solution!
The Fix for my Faithful & Regular Readers who want a Full Feed with text & photos that is formatted nicely:
1) I have made a private full feed for you to subscribe to.
2) Please email me at blackphoebe at gmail dot com and I will send you the URL for the private feed. Also, let me know your blog URL, so I can subscribe to you as well!
3) You get to consume the feed how it best pleases you and my blood pressure does not rise terribly when I look at Technorati. Everyone is happy.
4) If you email me, get the new feed URL, and you don't see the photos, please email me again with the name of the feed reader you are using so I can troubleshoot what the problem is. Right now the private full feed is working in Google Reader, Sage, Flock, and NetNewsWire, but the photos are not showing up in BlogLines of which I am going to get a fix for.
As of this Thursday, I will be setting all the public feeds on this website to excerpt only to discourage content scraping by a pack of unscrupulous jackass travel blogs. Given that I will spend most of the next two months on the road and I want to happily blog along the way, it behooves me to make a fix now.
Thanks for giving me your input and I look forward to hearing from you!
Update: The full private feed is now working with images in Bloglines.
Bloglines subscribers: When you input this feed, please set it to private, thanks!
It is official, the Urbanista Diaries Around the World Mobile Relay Adventure with the Nokia N82 started on Fri. Jan. 11th when Mr. Devin Ballentina departed from his home in Curacao for New York City. Jay Montano takes over in Singapore. Then me. Then Ryan Gallagher.
Can you guess where I am going?
Hint #1 : I went last Monday and got the full round of vaccinations plus some malaria pills. Yes, Ms. I love all things cold is going to the tropics.
Hint #2 : I had to get a visa and it was outsourced by the nation in question's embassy to an outsourcer in San Francisco (I kid you not, this gave me hours of amusement).
Hint #3 : While parts of this nation's society are in technological hyper-drive, much of the nation remains staunchly conservative and I will to be respectful buy at least 2 items of their traditional clothing before I leave within 15 miles of my house to wear while I am there.
I know that at least 1/2 if not 2/3rds of my regular readers here use a feed reader to view this blog. Or so says my log files.
Hello folks who read this blog via an RSS, RDF, or Atom feed! Please read the following, click through to the actual post and comment. I have enabled anonymous comments so that I can have your input.
I love you. Thanks for being faithful. I have been trying through the upgrade to Movable Type 4.0 to make sure that y'all have everything you need to read the posts on this blog. Now I would like a vote...
I appreciate how a feed reader makes life easier, but I would like to change my feeds to excerpts only with a link to the full post. Why?
1) Gesault: I love the merging of image / design / text / code of the internet. Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen is conceived as a loving attempt to combine text, my mobile photography, with my web design. When viewed through a feed reader, unless the css is fully rendered, you are only getting a small portion of the whole.
I look forward to see how folks have combined imagery and design with there content. I generally use a feed reader to let me know when an update has happened then I connect to the actual post so I can see it in its native environment rather than the white and grey of my feed reader.
Do you really like your blog reading in the sterile environment of a feed reader or do you like to see what the blogger has for the whole visual / textual package? Or are many of the blogs on your reading list so poorly designed that the feed reader is a sight for traumatized eyes?
2) Parasites: I have been having a problem lately with unscrupulous humans or bots scraping my full feeds and using my content in their blogs without any proper credit or citation.
I would like to nip this in the bud by only providing an excerpt rather than a full feed. But first I would like to elicit the opinion of my regular readers...
3) Due to image stealing I have put further restrictions on how my images can be used in my feeds via anti-hotlinking .htaccess scripts. I am sorry to my readers who view this in Google Reader, as the images are not coming through at all. On those posts, please click through to see the image.
Vote with your comments and let me know... Do you want a full feed or an excerpt that you click through to is ok?
I would like to weigh your votes with my own desire to have this blog viewed in its native format as well as discourage lazy shits who steal. Let me know... ;o)
Photo taken by Ms. Jen just a few minutes ago with her MacBook Pro's iSight camera.
In early May, I moved my essential furniture and lifebits into my new apartment. In late summer, I finally returned to both my storage room and the loft in my brother's garage to get the rest of the boxes, but I did not have time to get it all.
Today, eight months after I moved in, I went to my brothers and to my storage room for Round III of the move in process. Only one problem, I am already out of room of which to place books and kitchen stuff. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I mostly own books and kitchen stuff. The rest is all superfluous.
I need to open the boxes tomorrow, sort, put things away or desperately look for somewhere to stuff all of it. Hopefully, there will be no black widows lurking in a box, like there was in one of the book boxes in the late summer. I will have hairspray ready if there is one.
Hairspray is a much better solution to black widow extermination then the time one caught me unawares with lighter fluid in my hand. It was pissed to have been forced to exit its nice dark charcoal bag cavern and was coming at me, so I poured the lighter fluid on the charcoal and spider. The spider kept moving, albeit slowly drenched in lighter fluid, I found the click-click lighter and put flame to coals and spider. Spider was pissed and not giving up. So, more lighter fluid was poured on the fire and a column of flame shot up at least 15 feet.
Two lessons from this adventure:
1) Make sure you seal your charcoal bag up before putting it back into a black widow infested garage.
2) Never, ever, never put more lighter fluid on a fire. Bad idea.
Needless to say, I did not see the spider after that. I was missing some eyebrows and the backyard elm tree was missing some leaves, but hey the spider was gone.
Now I use hairspray (very effective on black widow spiders) or Scruffy's anti-flea spray (less effective then lighter fluid sans flame) when opening boxes that have been living in my brother's garage loft and no flames whatsoever.
At dinner last night, it came out that various members of my family think I am a vagabond.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a vagabond.
In my seven years and four months as a freelance web designer and developer, there have been many ups and downs to working as a "consultant" rather than cube farming as an employee at an established company. Over the years, I have attempted to solve many of the major pitfalls of freelancing by purchasing my own health in-sewer-ants (Kaiser), opening my own 401k, and working at even-ing out the cash flow, etc., but I never thought of public perception as a pitfall of freelancing.
In web design and development, I know more folks who are freelance than who work at a company. Of the friends who do work at a firm / corporations, I only know of one who is truly satisfied and the others keep talking of going back to freelancing or at least entertain the idea of it or are jealous of friends who are freelance. Of my freelance friends, many of us toy with the idea of steady cube farming, but instead have started to form informal partnerships with other freelancers or small design/dev firms to have greater reach than just one person could.
But to be called a vagabond. Really.
Now to be fair the person who said this is in their late 80s / early 90s and this may be a generational gap issue and a lack of understanding of contemporary work practices & realitites more than an insult, but I was still surprised.
In the web design & dev world, I am a moderate stay at home freelancer compared to some of my compatriots who are on the conference speaking circuit or have clients spread far & wide. I do get out and about a couple of times a year, be it for conference speaking, conference attendance, or just plain travel. Heck, I haven't even reached the gold status, let alone platinum super-flyer, with my frequent flyer program.
How can I be a vagabond if I am not even recognized by my fave airline as a frequent frequent flyer?
All jokes aside, I have reached the stage of life of which in some folks' expectation I should have bought a house, started a family, and otherwise "settled down". So when the news hit the family that I would be spending a great deal of the month of February trotting about on the Nokia Urbanista Diaries project... vagabond!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I will be out and about from Feb. 6th to 24th participating in the Urbanista Diaries project / challenge with Nokia N82. Now one of the glories of having a freelance web design career is that I can say "Yes!" to Nokia and not have to worry about not having enough vacation time. As a freelancer, I just need to get my work done, give warning to my clients and folks I contract with, and then off I go.
More on my destinations in a bit... I first need to find my tin cup, red kerchief, a hobo hat, and suspenders of which to deck myself out for my trip!
When I first heard of the new Nokia mobile app shipping with the new Nseries phones, Sports Tracker, I envisioned a mobile stop watch combined with GPS and a how many steps have you taken monitor. Dull. Sigh. Where is an updated, GPS enabled Lifeblog?
Ok, I grew up in a family that was sports obsessed, esp. my first stepdad - my mom's second husband. He was on the Olympic committee, competed in the Pan American games and has won in the Master's division of the some sort of spin off of the Olympics (Allison, help me here). My childhood, from ages 3 to 13, was spent with the stepdad, mom, and various other mom-related relatives who were pathologically compulsive about exercising at very darned opportunity.
Beach volleyball in the evenings? Check. Olympic style kayaking and canoeing? Check. Surfing? Check. Running? Check. Skiing? Check. Hiking with a pace meter and stop watch? Check!
By the time I was 8 years old, I was hiding when the folks were ready to go out for yet another bout of daily evening EXERCISE! Me hiding with my mom yelling at me that it was time to leave. My high school rebellion was to cultivate super-white, never see the sun skin. To do this in an ultra-athletic, sun-worshiping family was even more rebellious than teenage pregnancy or drug use. I kid you not. The cousins that got knocked-up and/or were smoking pot were excused as long as they were in competitive sports and winning.
The cousins have sports trophies and I have a great collection of black vintage dresses and goth jewelry. I also now have great skin.
So, the nice folks at Nokia's WOM World asked me to evaluate the Sports Tracker app, as it will be used on the Urbanista Diaries adventure as our way to track our path and upload our photos to the Nokia server.
I love you, please don't fall to pieces.
Kenya, I have admired you from afar for many years. Even though I prefer chilly, mountainous places and am inordinately fond of snow for a woman born and raised in Southern California, I have dreamed of visiting you for years. Even though I take most of my non-California holidays north of the 50th parallel line, when folks ask for me to list my top five places I must visit before it is all over, besides Iceland, Alaska, Greenland, and Lapland, I always list you.
It is not just Mount Kilamanjaro and its lovely glacier. It is not just your rich, deep heritage and landscape. It is not just the animals and safaris. It is not just Nairobi, a city that has been widely recommended to me. It is your people. Some of the best, truly best humans I have ever know where born and raised in Kenya before they came to California. Rosemary Mwangi. Mark Fredrickson. Among many others.
Dear Kenya, please don't devolve into unrest and murder.
Please Kenya, pull yourself up. Shake the hand of the man or woman next to you. Give them a hug. Sit down together and figure out how to make the government work for all the people of Kenya, not just one tribal group. Representative government for all. Justice for all.
Please, no eye for an eye. Instead, love one another. Or at the very least, peace for the common good.
Please, dear Kenya. Please.
Ernie & Royce on Working From Home
Sat 01.05.08 - Kimberly, Ms. Jen, and Judy the Birthday Girl.
As of Jan. 1, 2008, the State of California has a law on the books that one can only use an mobile phone while driving if it is hands free.
In all the articles released in the last week that I have read and the summaries of the new laws that went into effect on January 1st, no one defines what exactly hands free means, there is an assumption that one knows the legal definition of the phrase.
Does this law define hands free as you must have a "hands free" system that mounts your mobile phone on the dashboard and only works with voice commands? If so, I am screwed and will be illegal, as every time I check the NokiaUSA.com website, they do not have any hands free car accessories for the N95 by this definition. Should I ask a European friend to order a Nokia n95 hands free car set up for me on their local Nokia website, I pay them back, and then they can ship it to me?
Does the law define hands free as a bluetooth ear/headset that allows one to answer calls with a minimum of touching one's mobile? If so, then more problems, as I have yet to meet a bluetooth earset / headset that fits me and is comfortable. If I have a problem with small hands, also have a problem with small ears.
Does the law define hands free as using the Nokia wired headset / microphone set that comes in the box with the Nokia N95? I don't think so. Some of the early literature I read about the new law last year said that wearing wired earbuds did not count and violated a law from years ago that one can't where headphones while driving. Yet, other sources, such as the California Highway Patrol site's FAQ page, suggest that the idea of the law is to keep both hands on the wheel and not to be distracted while driving.
Hello, Nokia USA, please start selling useful accessories on your website for mobile devices that you are selling in the US!
Hello, Nokia! Hello, how about having one website for accessories that is not country dependent?
Let's be honest here... I am not really a talker on my mobile phone. I have a lovely lovely camera with GPS and an internet connection that on occasion rings much to my dismay. Given the amount of time I spend in my car, if the State of California wants me to be completely hands free with voice activation for tasks, then Nokia - make my Nseries phone's camera voice activated and let me moblog with voice activation while driving safely.
The true test of any camera is shooting movement indoors at night in low light situations with no flash. The ultra true test of any camera is shooting a band at Alex's Bar in Long Beach, Calif, as there are no windows, the interior lights are low, the walls are all painted dark red, and there is no stage lighting whatsoever unless the band brings their own. Shooting live band photos at Alex's is a huge challenge without a pro-sumer SLR camera with external clip-on flash, but extra flash is a no-no in rock photography as it distracts the band, and at many concert venues will get one kicked out of the photo pit for using a flash.
Any good music photographer worth their salt learns how to push one's camera to shoot in any nightclub or concert venue situation without a flash early in their career. I learned how at age 15 with 400 iso film and setting my f-stops and shutter speed for low light but fast movement. With the advent of digital photography in the late 1990s, this became a challenge as most early digital cameras were point & shoot for daylight at best.
One of the fun & challenging parts of mobile photography with my various Nokia camera phones has been concert photography. To see how I can capture a photo with a camera that was never designed for low light / fast movement situations. Two of my favorite concert photos I have taken in 24 years of shooting shows were two photos I took with my Nokia 7610 - one of Social Distortion's Mike Ness and one of Mike from the Riverboat Gamblers. The fact that the little kickin' 7610 could get those photos... rock on! Rock on!
The big disappointment of the Nokia N80 and Nokia N95 is the delay between pressing the shutter button and ... and... and... and.. and.. focusing... and... and.. and... photo taken. Many times this can take up to 15-30 seconds, esp. in low light situations. How many times did I wish it would just trust me and snap, like the 7610. Stop over thinking, just do it.
The glories of the Nokia N82 is that it just takes the photo. Rarely is there a delay while it thinks, focuses, and snaps. In most situations, even at night with the flash off, it trusts that I know what I am doing and takes the photo without fuss. Without the big delay to focus and refocus and pick its nose and refocus again, like the N80 or N95 does, the N82 about 90% of the time will take the photo that you saw through the viewfinder at the time of pressing the shutter button. Yay!
In the above two photos (double click for the larger versions) I took the one on the left with my Nokia N95 with no flash and the one on the right with the trial N82 with no flash. The Irish Brothers kindly made my job easier by bringing in their own bluish halogen lights that that cast a strong upward light. In the above photos, the N95 was able to capture the two front men clearly and the background decently. The N82 blurred the Keith & Karl a bit, but captured David the drummer and the background with great clarity and lighter than the N95 did.
I also used the flash on both camera phones, of which I am not displaying the results as it was not conclusive in this case. The N95's flash did not add much illumination or significant difference, as the dark red walls of the room and lack of light eat up any of the N95's flash real fast. The N82's powerful Xenon flash was actually too bright and gave both Keith and Karl glowing red eyes, as well as added some flash light bubbles to the photo. In this case it was better without the flash for both Nokia camera phones.
Using the Nokia N82 to take photos at night and at a show was a delight. This is a big step towards camera phone I have been dreaming of, except for the fact that the N82's pre-installed Lifeblog is not interfacing with this MT4 powered blog when there is not good reason why it shouldn't.
Up next in Ms. Jen's review of the Nokia N82 - all the night and indoor photos that I have taken with the Nokia N82.
Upon reading Steve Johnson's post today, My Year in Cities, I remembered to post my 2007 in Cities or places visited for fun or for business or both:
Huntington Beach, CA (lived)
Las Vegas, NV (2)
Palm Desert, CA
Seal Beach, CA (live)
Carmel by the Sea, CA
San Francisco, CA (2)
Oakland, CA (2)
Los Angeles, CA (mulitple)
San Jose, CA
London, UK (3)
Oxford, UK (3)
Omagh, NoIE, UK
Long Beach, CA (multiple)
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95 while on a walk today with the dogs.
The true glories of winter in SoCal is the mild weather, which roses and gardenias love. As I was walking the dogs this afternoon, I spotted this rose next to the sidewalk on 10th St. in Seal Beach. It was similar to a Double Delight rose, but with an apricot yellow rather than cream colored interior. Gorgeous. I was so taken by its beauty that I forgot to sniff to see if it smelled like a Double Delight. Must walk back tomorrow.
The New Year's Resolution Part of the Blog Post:
I received an email from Mrs. Kennedy the other day letting NaBloPoMo 2007 participants know that various folks decided to take NaBloMoPo even farther and start Blog365. When I read the rules, I signed up.
- Blog everyday for 365 days.
- Feb.29th is a Free Day and will be the Blog365 day of rest!
(Thanks Leap Year)
- You do not HAVE to post to the same blog as long as you post everyday.
- No internet? Write your post locally and post it once you are back on the grid.
- Computer Broken? Grab some paper and do some old school blogging.
- A post is a post, not everything has to be in writing. Photos, YouTube videos, and the like are all considered content.
- Have fun, because that's the whole point!
So, I signed up. This I can do, as I do post either photos or text to some spot on the 'net everyday anywhoo and if I don't I do write in one of my two notebook / sketchpads. What I will set as a goal for myself is to post to this blog everyday in 2008, be it a photo or text or both. Wish me luck.
Happy New Year!