Sat 12.31.11 - The last day of 2011 was spent with a nice big walk through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park before returning to my hotel to get ready for Mecca's New Year's Eve Party in Kew just outside of London Central. The party was a good deal of fun and I met some very lovely folk, it was a relaxed way to spend New Year's Eve.
December 2011 Archives
Will it be awesome? Will it be frugal? Will it be open? Will it be the year of yes? What is your 2012?
How will you resound?
Sat 12.31.11 - Before I look to 2012, allow me to look back a bit.
Me on Twitter today:
@msjen: Actually, I am looking forward to saying goodbye and don't let the door hit you on the way out to 2009-2011.
Then @technokitten RT'ed with a +1, to which I replied:
@msjen: @technokitten +2012 I want to move forward rather than a holding pattern w/great effort to not fall back which is how the last 3 yrs felt.
Fri 12.30.11 - This afternoon, I had the marvelous opportunity to join Mecca and Michal for lunch at The Gilbert Scott in the St. Pancras Renaissance hotel. The food was lovely, the architecture amazing, and the conversation was good.
It was a lovely way to ring out the old year on the Eve of New Year's Eve.
Thurs 12.29.11 - I arrived mid-day, with a couple hundred other folk on a Boeing 777 from LAX to LHR, in London today for a two week Christmas present to myself. After cleaning up, I decided to step out in the late afternoon darkness to buy 120 film for the ADOX at Jessops, check out the sales at the various Clark's in and around Oxford Circus, and get wet as I forgot my umbrella at the hotel.
Very glad to be in London.
Wed 12.28.11 - This morning I had a breakfast and a nice long walk with my mom before going back to my apartment to pack for my trip.
Tues 12.27.11 - Photo of Scruffy McDoglet and Belle le Cane taken yesterday at Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, Calif, with Thomas Bertling's ADOX Golf 63 1950s era vintage bellows range finder medium format camera. I used Fujifilm 120 color film at 200 ISO and got the film developed and printed at Fromex in Long Beach.
I am very pleased at the results as Thomas did not think the camera worked any longer as it was given to him by an aunt who had it since the 1950s and neither of us had a manual or much of an idea how it should work. I took the ADOX to Samy's Camera in Santa Ana yesterday morning to see if the folks at the film counter would be able to help me and they did by determining that 120 film would fit in the canister.
The first few shots on the roll were taken by complete trial and error as I tried to figure out how to advance the film, as well as the settings of the f-stop and the shutter speed in conjunction with the focus ring as all three are interconnected at the end of the bellows on the lens with out much explanation and no light meter. When I got to Dog Beach, I used the Nikon D70s' light meter settings to determine that at 200 ISO, I should shoot at f22 and 1/200th shutter speed, as the light declined and the sun set, I switched it to f11 at 1/50th shutter speed.
The ADOX Golf 63 has the following available settings:
F-stops: 6.3, 8, 11, and 22
Shutter speeds: B, 1/25th, 1/50th, and 1/200th
Focal length: 1 meter to 20 meters and an infinity setting
There is no ability to set ISO.
I am very pleased on how well the photos turned out since I was guest-imating on focus, f-stop, and shutter speed. Why was I guessing on focus? The ADOX is a range finder camera and I don't have a siting attachment for it, so I was looking through the little eye hole that does not change in focus at all as you turn the focal ring.
The first roll from the ADOX Golf 63 is here at Flickr so you can see all 12 photos. I just scanned them and did not do any photo editing. The color is pretty accurate to the printed photos, and any grain is from the photo paper and spots on my scanner, as the actual printed photos are wonderfully clear. The vignetting is a result of the square medium format film and the size of the lens/bellows set up.
All in all the whole experiment is/was so successful that I am taking the ADOX on vacation with me, so expect more photos, printed and scanned.
Mon 12.26.11 - Photo of Belle taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D70s using a 55mm 1.8f lens.
It is the 52nd Week of the Year, the 452nd Week of this Blog, and 540th Week of my Freelance Web Business (minus the 53 weeks at Grad School).
It is time for something new.
Wed 12.21.11 - Thomas Shahan, a photographer and printmaker from Oklahoma, has an amazing photography high magnification photography practice with garage sale DIY camera set up and his work has been published in National Geographic.
From today's Flickr blog:
Thomas knowledge about his photographic subjects is paired with gear that helps him achieve the stunning results you see throughout this article: "I'm currently using a Pentax K-x body, a set of extension tubes, and either a vintage 50mm f/1.7, or 28mm prime lens reversed to the end of the tubes. For lighting, I have an old Vivitar Thyristor flash mounted to a flash bracket diffused with a homemade softbox constructed from cardboard, tinfoil, and paper towel. In the past, I've used a Pentax K200D body, and before that - a Pentax *ist DL. I've stood by Pentax as their bodies work with just about any lens they've produced, even back through the film era - meaning as a frugal guy, I could easily attain high quality glass for cheap."
Given that Thomas works a lot with reversed lenses, I was curious if he uses a special filter or other means to protect them. But this isn't a big concern of him: "I'm not the guy to ask about protecting lenses - I'm using 20 dollar lenses that are significantly scratched after years of tumbling around in my backpack without proper caps. I usually keep spare lenses in socks. My 28mm, a garage-sale find, is almost solely mounted backwards and never used as it was intended. I admittedly take very poor care of my equipment."
Asked if he uses any equipment that he would call "out of the norm", "DIY", or "repurposed", Thomas explains that "Reverse-lens macrophotography is a pretty odd way to go - but offers a lot of magnification for cheap."
I love it when I see folks working with whatever photo tool that they have at hand and then pushing the medium to make great photos. Bravo, Mr. Shahan!
Sat 12.17.11 - Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8
With Mike's attendant blog post that describes the filming/capturing of the video and T-bone's antics in Long Beach...
So here are the 12 Goals I would like to accomplish in 2012:
1) Get one of the three mobile apps I am currently working on in the Nokia and the Android stores before the end of Jan 2012. Get the 3rd one in by the end of March 2012.
2) Take the #2 mobile app idea and make it a full working web app that any mobile phone browser can use, which will be a mild challenge as the iPhone doesn't do this activity in the browser.
3) Go visit Cami and Alan in London before they depart to go live in Africa, which they depart in mid-January 2012, so I better hop to it. Hey London friends, I will most likely be in your city very soon.
4) Go visit Abhi & Sudha in their new place in Mumbai. Which then means I also need to get to Agra and drop some of Grandpa Bill off, hopefully CJ will still want to come with me. And then there is the Ladahk trip idea that Dhruv, Seetu and I have... Ok! So it is time for me to stop applying for the 6 month multiple visit tourist visa to India and just apply for the 5 year multiple visit visa. ;o)
6) Read more fiction. Spend less time online in the evenings and read more books.
7) Move. I love my immediate community, but my apartment is the size of a postage stamp and I would like to be able to invite folks over for dinner. More than anything, I want the adventure of a new city. And a kitchen that more than one person can kind of fit in.
8) Make more art. Be it photos, or drawing, or painting, or writing, or poetry, just make more art.
9) Go visit Grandpa Jim and Nellie in Uraguay. Even if I don't speak Spanish, I do understand most of what is said to me, and if my Grandpa can go to South America for 4-5 months per year, I can go for a few weeks.
10) Go skiing at least 2x this season, as I miss the mountains and snow.
11) Even if various iterations of my Creativity in Mobile session idea has been rejected by the SXSW committee for several years running, I would like to write more in this space on creating with one's mobile. The mobile web is wonderful, but my true heart is encouraging folks to create with their mobiles, not just browse.
12) Leave the house more often and interact with more folks more often in real life. Most of my LA friends will be shocked to read this, as they remember my great Extrovert era of 1998-2005, but in the last few years, I have cycled through some introverted times and need to see some more folk regularly.
And you? What do you hope for 2012?
Sun 12.11.11 - My cousin Brian and his wife Kristin threw a First Birthday with a Mustache theme party for their son Weston and it was was great fun.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N950.
Sat 12.10.11 - Saros Cycle 135 Full Lunar Eclipse was visible from Seal Beach from about 4somethingAM to about 20 minutes before the moonset at 6:50am, as the last I saw a faint remnant of the eclipsed moon was at 6:27am. Left my house just after 5:45am to walk along Seal Way to see both the eclipsed moon setting in the west and the sun rising in the east.
While cold, it was a lovely morning to see the full moon slowly but surely being eclipsed by the earth's shadow.
Thurs 12.08.11 - Photo of the peacocks in the ponies' riding area taken at Irvine Regional Park by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.
On the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, Lauren, Dave and I went to lunch and then to the Huntington Library and Gardens. As we were walking to the Sam Maloof exhibit, I was telling them why I will most likely not be attending SXSW Interactive this year, but will most likely be going to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona instead.
As I was saying this a tall man walking the other direction said, "MWC is a boondoggle. I used to work in wireless and I know. I went every year."
I said, "And so is SXSW now and I haven't been to MWC so it may just be a new adventure for me."
He laughed, shook his head and walked on.
"boon·dog·gle [boon-dog-uhl, -daw-guhl] Show IPA noun, verb, -gled, -gling. noun
1. a product of simple manual skill, as a plaited leather cord for the neck or a knife sheath, made typically by a camper or a scout.
2. work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
3. a project funded by the federal government out of political favoritism that is of no real value to the community or the nation."
"A boondoggle is a project that is considered to waste time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations."
Both SXSW Interactive and MWC are huge conference/exposition/party for their respective industries that takeover the cities they are held in. The last three years of SXSW Interactive has been expensive, overly crowded, hard to find people, sessions ok, and impossible to swim through the crowds. Now veterans of MWC describe the same but with the added fun and excitement of Barcelona pickpockets and laptop thieves but with excellent food.
If it was just a matter of being burnt out by the last few overwhelming years at SXSW, I would most likely find myself in the same position as the last 3 years where I didn't register until the very last month before the conference when friends convince me to go and someone offers for me to be their roommate at the Hampton.
This year is different. This year my best friend, Erika, is due to deliver her baby on March 12th, and I have the choice between staying home and getting to meet the New Little One or spending 5 days overwhelmed in Austin, I am going to stay home and be apart of the Team Hope cheerleading team in and around the same time as SXSW.
I am still considering attending the developer days at MWC and making a small holiday of visiting Barcelona and northern Catalonia, but MWC is the last week of Feb / first week of March and babies do come early and they can arrive late.
Hmmm.... I am going to go to Barcelona, need to experience Catalon mobile boondoggle over Texas interactive boondoggle.
A few small tidbits bouncing around my brain from this week's Qt Dev Days 2011 SF:
* One of the things that made me quite happy is that the grand majority of the presenters were using Linux OS of one sort or another on their laptops and a minority had Macbook Pros or Airs. To the best of my knowledge, none of the presentations I saw were run off a Windows laptop. A silly detail, but it still makes me happy. I have a special part of my heart reserved for Linux and Ubuntu, as it was my first toddlings around Ubuntu Breezy Badger that really kicked me deep into wanting to learn to program rather than just script sculpt.
* I am still curious what the Nokia "Qt for the next billion" slogan really means. Mr. Mathers said that it will not be to S40 but to smartphones and that the strategy will be revealed next year. Will Microsoft relent and allow Qt to have a publish to Mango project tab?
* Per the usual with conferences, the best conversations were had at breaks, in the hallways, and at the parties. I am still chewing on and thinking about a few of the ideas and challenges that some smart folk inserted in my brain during these conversations.
* And for the mild humor tidbit... If there is Qt Quick and Qt, I wonder if Qt Slow only uses Terminal and Vi/Vim?
Fri 12.02.11 - After a lovely three days at the Qt Dev Days 2011, a visit with family Kim-Hoffman and the newest family member Ms. Isabelle, dinner at In-n-Out with Jason and Ernie, and then lunch today in San Francisco with Faruk Ateş, it is now time to return home to SoCal.
Fare the well, San Francisco, I'm driving home.
Thurs 12.01.11 - A big congratulations to Min Jun Kim and Jason Hoffman on the birth of the lovely Ms. Isabelle on Monday Nov 28th. I had the opportunity to go meet Ms. I on her first night at home from the hospital along with Annie Lin, Ernie Hsiung and Jason Schupp. It was like Camp Camp had moved to San Francisco.
Thurs 12.01.11 - As the Qt Dev Days 2011 wrap up and are over, I present to you a summary of the photos I took over the course of the three days of the training and conference.
I really enjoyed and learned a good deal over the course of the Qt Dev Days. One of the best parts is the high ratio of nice and smart folks I met and the conversations were good. I attend at least 3-4 conferences a year and this one rates up there with Mobilism for my fave conference of the last 2 or so years in terms of content and inspirational conversation with other attendees.
Even bigger thanks to all the lovely folk I met, the good conversations on mobile & development that were had, and letting me take your photos. Y'all rock.
See everyone next year, if not sooner.
My Qt Dev Days conference notes:
Thurs 12.01.11 - Today was the third and final day of Qt Developer Days in San Francisco (Airport area), being the last day it was a bit more relaxed and the sessions where more give and take. I have really enjoyed this conference, not only for all of the new information learned but for the high caliber of people I have met. I will definitely go again next year.
I have one more post of the photos from the event to come but the photo essay will need to wait until the weekend.
My notes are mostly a transcription but sometimes a paraphrase of what the speaker said and what their slides said, if exact quote then I will put it in "". The use of () is my notes or asides or thoughts.