Dec 30, 2004

Before Kat kills me, I need to mention that she purchased the full 10 piece Calphalon One Nonstick set as a gift to both of us. We haven't used it yet but I'm sure it will be great!

AMERICAN DAD :: FOX Broadcasting Company: Whoa, American Dad got picked up by Fox and they are even making 19 episodes for the first season! I think we might have another funny one on our hands.

Dec 28, 2004

Pontiac | Vehicle Locator | Results: Ok, I have decided that the Pontiac "Locate Vehicle" site is not kept up to date. I *know* that someone picked up an '04 GTO (Yellow Jacket M6, to be specific) and the search is still returning 25 available vehicles. People are getting these cars for less than $20k out the door! That is crazy! It doesn't help that I owe less than what my current car is worth. I'm almost tempted to put it up for sale just to see if anyone would pick it up at the right price.

Dec 27, 2004

So Christmas 2004 has come and gone and I have just about zero photos to show for it. I'm not comfortable enough bringing out my camera around people I do not know well. When I bought the Canon S30, I brought that thing everywhere when I first got it. It helped that I was hanging out with the same people I had been around for years and years. Now, I can't say I'm comfortable around Kat's family yet and definitely not friends or co-workers.

Anyway, I received some cool drinks (Chimay beer with special Chimay glass, Whiskey sampler set, bottle of McCrea Syrah), half of my camera paid, a $100 Starbucks card and a Charvet tie. Kat, among many other items, received a wine cooler and an espresso machine. No offense to the Starbucks card, but homemade espresso/cappuchino/latte is so much better! It took me two tries but now I can make some pretty kick ass drinks.

As for NYE, we still do not have concrete plans. We have a Plan B, but it seems too laid-back for NYE. We might get a small group together and go find a club. I'm more excited for my trip back to Detroit though! I've already reserved a Chrysler 300 (no, it ain't got a hemi) and I'm planning what to buy for my camera for the auto show.

Dec 20, 2004

So the release of the new Hot Snakes album, Audit in Progress, has prompted me to renew my EMusic subscription. To win me back, they offered a free month and 40 downloads. The normal free trial is two weeks and 25 downloads. I just downloaded the entire new album, so I have 28 left. I'm not sure if 40 MP3s is worth $9.99/month. Though, the bonus is that all of the MP3s that I downloaded with EMusic in the past are still linked to my account. If you have purchased a song once, you can download it as many times as you'd like! I lost all of my MP3s in a catastrophic crash so I can reclaim those now! Rock.

God DAMNIT! Two crappy McHorrible bits:

1) I missed not only the release of the new Hot Snakes record, I missed their Seattle tour date! God damnit. I love their live shows. Damnit god.

2) So, I'm sick. That's not the bad part. I ran to Qdoba to grab some lunch to eat back in my office. Normally, I eat with Jeff, but I can barely talk today. So, I'm picking up the completely-full 32oz Diet Coke out of the cup holder of my SVT Focus with one hand. The cup just barely fits in the holder so it requires a bit of strong grip and a bit of dexterity. I'm sick, so I got the grip part without the dexterity. I successfully liberated the cup from the holder and then successfully liberated the soda from the cup. I'm assuming about 20 oz spilled all over my seats, floor, cup holder, heated seat button, stickshift and parking brake. Way to go.

GTO Watch!

Right now, it is possible to get a brand new 2004 Pontiac GTO for $10,000 under MSRP. A 350 HP RWD 6 speed coupe for $23k. Unbelievable! Well, I took a look on Friday and there were 25 available in the "area" around my zip code, 98005. I say "area" because the Pontiac website lets you input a zip code and then it returns a result set. It never says how far away it searches, but it did turn up results in Olympia (65 miles away).

Well, after a weekend of crappy weather, I guess no one wanted to buy a RWD coupe. There are still 25 available. There are three in the exact color combination I want (no, I'm not telling you).

Dec 16, 2004

I found these on the 'tex, aren't they cute??

The rest are here.

3000 LB. CAPACITY LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM RACING JACK: Christmas gift, please? I need a jack to do just about any work on my car. I have ramps, but the front end of the SVT is just too low!

Dec 15, 2004

Ok, I need to preface this post with a HUGE WARNING. This post contains graphic content and should not be read by young 'ins (Definition of "young 'in" varies from state to state. Contact your local authorities as necessary). This post should not be read by my family or by anyone prudish. Ok, here goes.

Jenn pointed this site out to me a few days ago, saying I would love it because of the way this guy can control everyone and not care at all about what he has done. My kind of man! Basically, he is journaling his exploits with women and occasionally work. He has a way with words, except when he is describing his sexual exploits. It gets old, quickly. Anyway, here are some choice quotes:

"I look around the room, and my pussy detector goes off."

"The big question is, do I have to tell her about Tiffany? I made the promise TODAY, but I fucked Tiff a couple of days ago. So technically, that screw should be grandfathered in, right?"

"'I love the way my pussy tastes,' she says.

That makes one of us."

"Any doubt I may have had about Holly wanting to fool around is gone. She's been flirting with me all night, and now she's basically touching my dick."

In my parking lot alone, there are four brand new cars:

Dodge Magnum (Red)

Nissan 350Z (Red)

Infiniti G35 Coupe (Silver)

BMW 545i (Silver)

Is now a good time to buy a car? Did I miss the memo?

Dec 14, 2004 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004: I decided that having 52 pages of images just wasn't very organized. I have broken this down into 14 smaller albums. In addition, I've enabled mod_rewrite on this Apache installation so now my URLs are a bit easier on the eyes!

VWvortex Forums: BMW M6 official photos: Sooo, BMW releases pictures of their sexiest car to date and it has a WOOD-GRAIN DASH and is in flaming red/purple? Not cool, man, not cool.

Dec 10, 2004

BAD: Being woken up at 6:30 AM

BADDER: Being woken up at 6:30 AM by your cat

BADDERER: Being woken up at 6:30 by your cat trying to puke

BADDEREREST: Being woken up at 6:30 AM by your cat trying to puke on your chest

The hacking sound woke me up so I had enough time to pull him off the bed. He puked once in the bedroom and then once in the hallway, both times a milky white substance. Methinks some kitty was nibbling on one of the Christmas decorations and found something that didn't settle well. Gross.

Also, I swear to god, if anyone makes fun of my English, I will come down on them with an unpossibly hugenormous shitstorm of fury.

Dec 7, 2004

As you all know, I purchased a Digital Rebel last month. I haven't posted anything about it since I received it, and with reason. Basically, I was having serious trouble getting good pictures. I've received a handful of complements on some photographs I've taken with my previous digital camera, the Canon Powershot S30. I knew that camera just about backwards and forwards, except for the white balance settings. Anyway, I didn't expect a huge learning curve with the DReb. I was wrong. The first few hundred pictures I took using similar settings to what would have worked on the S30 all looked like crap. Either the white balance was so off that everything looked sickly grey or stark yellow or the depth of field was so shallow that a mere percentage of my desired frame was in focus or, most common, it was blurry! I've gotten better, but I'm still surprised at how great my "cheap point-and-shoot" S30 is.

This past weekend, I decided that I need to go outside before it gets to dark and learn how to use my new damned camera! I had to get used to SLR "features" like added weight and bulk, no LCD preview, viewfinder XOR picture and mirror slap. Though the camera came with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, I also picked up the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II as well. This prime lens only cost $80 and I figured it would help me learn the camera better by removing one variable, the concept of zoom. I went out with my prime to walk over to the nearby park. Just my luck, there was some sort of fire going on over at a nearby business complex! Unfortunately for my photographic experience and fortunately for the building, the fire was out with no appreciable damage. I played around with the available light and the engines, but nothing came out terribly well:

1/40th sec f/8 ISO 400

I continued on, noting some odd "NO TRESPASSING" signs and a "THIS IS NOT A PARK" pipe:

1/25th sec f/6.3 ISO 400

As I made it to the park, it was roughly 3:45 PM and the sun was completely obscured by clouds. The lack of direct light would make it easier to photograph most subjects (no harsh shadows), but it was also getting closer to dusk. My available light, the light I needed, was waning. I took a few photos of dark trees against the swirling clouds. Most of them would look better in pure black and white seeing as there was such little color:

1/50th sec f/10 ISO 400

At this point, I realized what they said was true, you really end up walking around a lot more trying to set up shots with a prime lens. In addition, a 50mm lens acts more like an 80mm on a digital SLR like mine. 80mm is a little bit to much on the telephoto side for good landscape pictures. I kept trying to back up. That works fine, until you back into another tree or a ditch. There was a clump of bamboo hidden in an alcove of the park that I wanted to photograph. The only problems were that I couldn't get far enough back to get full stalks in the shot and the lighting was completely blocked. I decided to play around with the flash and I'm no longer flashphobic! The flash on the S30 was so harsh that it was worthless. The DReb cast strong shadows and darkened the background dramatically, but I kind of like it:

1/20th sec f/10 ISO 400

1/40th sec f/8 ISO 400

At this point, it was time to play with depth of field. I took at a look at this blue flower and over estimated its depth. I figured I wanted to stop down the lens a bit to get the whole flower in focus. I took it a bit too far and the surrounding bush wasn't as blurred as I would have liked:

1/13th sec f/5 ISO 400

In contrast, with the lens one step from full-open, this flower is in focus with a nicely blurred background:

1/40th sec f/2.8 ISO 400

Overall, I'm much happier with the camera now that I've learned some of the basics. Lots of reading on the web has given me a basic understanding of the physics of photography and that will let me take much better pictures. Honestly, I know the S30 didn't have any sort of image stabilization, but I was able to take pictures at 1/13th or slower in moderately lit conditions and get sharp photos. I guess having one of the greatest point-and-shoot digital cameras has made the transition to DSLR less impressive.

On a side note, I've already picked out what lens I want next.

Canon EOS Beginners' FAQ: Amazing resource, not only for Canon EOS system users (like myself) but for anyone interested in photography. Just the section on lenses alone is a great resource.

Dec 6, 2004 - WORLD RECORD EVO CLUTCH (with pictures): Jeezy Creezy, a porter attempted to drive an Evo from one Mitsu dealer to the next. Doesn't seem like much of a problem except the porter obviously didn't know how to drive a standard! The clutch pictures are priceless, especially since it only took 2 hours and 50 miles to do such damage. Most Evo clutches last 35k+ if driven normally (no drag launches, etc).