Things I'm over: average ratings, infographics, trendlines, and your opinion (you internet stranger). Perhaps that sounds a bit unkind. My larger point is that these are all things that are increasingly valueless to me.
I guess that I'm missing the edges of things, where honest opinions are not averaged out into the singular voice of "the people". In a weird way, I consider it to be the equivalent of McDonald's grinding up thousands of cows at once to create the most consistent burger ever. It may be efficient and useful, but it's also bland and soulless, if not unethical and dangerous.
And so, while everyone has the opportunity to express their expert opinion, the point becomes moot when the "expert" part of it is ground up into the noise of general opinion. Should we all really love or hate the same things? Give me some real opinions, not just loud opinions. Give me knowledge, not charts and graphs. Give me something crafted and singular, not derivative. Give me yoyo champions!
More yoyo pics after the jump. (more…)
This post is quickly shaping up to be another experiment on search terms and an informal gauge of the spelling ability of hopelessly adolescent web users. Anyhow, the matter at hand is really a trip to Ano Nuevo State Reserve, where they offer guided tours of one of the largest colonies of elephant seals. The seals mate, birth, and wean their pups on the beaches of the park, and the tours offer pretty close proximity to these interesting, if a bit underwhelming, porkers. I was expecting blubbery flesh on the beach as far as the eye can see, violent clashes between the bulls in the breaking surf, whiskered curiosity gently nibbling sardines out of my bare hands (well, that was more of a fantasy, but a hope nonetheless). What I got instead was beach-y looking lumps of seal scattered here and there amongst the dunes, largely static, and completely impassive. We may have been there at the wrong time, as the mating was over, the females off to feed near Hawaii, and the seals left behind killing time until they were mature enough to swim off themselves. Regardless, what I found to be especially interesting was that they call the weaned pups "weaners" instead of simply, well, "weaned pups", leaving me to spin all sorts of clever lines in my head about the experience. Alas, the rest of the tour group proved to be way more mature than me and no double entendres were thrown out there for the docent to tactfully deflect. Ahh, well. Next time I'll show up boozy and free of taste or social graces.
I'm curious to see what kind of searches this title turns up. I was also curious to try a different video format, thus the long skinny thingy you're seeing up top. It's got potential. Don't be surprised to see some fooling around with aspect ratios in the near future. But back to the matter at hand. Get a good look at what could only be a maintenance issue for some poor guy with hair in all the wrong places after the jump (sorry bearded back guy, but you're the one that put it on display).
Don't know why I started doing this, but while I was randomly shooting some pics, I happened to catch a shot of some bird feet. Ever since then, I've been trying to capture action shots of birds taking off, particularly the feet. There seems to be something kind of human about how wrinkly and flawed they are, but the act of taking off is so packed with metaphor and promise. Also, bird feet are kind of comical. Check 'em out after the jump. (more…)
Well, "thrash about" may be an exaggeration. Anyhow, an impromptu visit to the Golden Gate Park in the morning yielded a very helpful fact: the California Academy of Sciences is open for members an hour before other visitors. We had an hour free of the usual throngs and got a good look at the oh-so-photogenic animals in the place. Top on that list has to be Claude, the albino alligator, who suffered a bit of a mishap with one of his toes a few months ago. Take a look at his right-front pinkie toe, or area that used to be his right-front pinkie toe. Seems he had a run-in with his ex-tank-mate, and ultimately had to get his toe lopped off (full story here, and it's a pretty interesting one).
Anyhow, here's some vid of the guy and some picture of the fauna after the jump.
I came across an article in the SF Chronicle that inspired this latest post. It concerns the art of aquascaping, or iwagumi, which is basically the art or plunging as much money as possible into as small a fishtank as possible. I've mastered that art. I've invested enough time and money into a 7 gallon fishtank to provide for a small family in some other country that does not concern itself with these crazy hobbies (pretty much anywhere but Japan and San Francisco). Regardless, perhaps the time for the tank to pay for itself is near, as I have 2 pregnant Crystal Red Shrimp in the tank.
More about my little xmas bonuses and some pics after the jump.
We actually made it out to catch a movie and some dinner in the Mission. We caught the somewhat questionable "Art and Copy" (it was fine as entertainment, but I get a bit creeped out whenever someone worships at the temple of advertising. Just felt like a bunch of insiders in the theater patting each other on their backs for selling the shit out of something). Here are some random shots of the evening. It began with me waiting for the bus across from the flower shop.
The evening continues after the jump.
Tried playing around with some cross processing presets in Lightroom that I dug up here. I know that there's something to be read into the current trend of aestheticizing something that used to be a mistake, but I'm not gonna go into it now. Anyhow, it certainly is fun to play with. More samples after the jump.
Got the new Canon 100mm f2.8L Macro lens and spent the week playing around with it (love it). Here's a vid shot with the lens. I believe the f-stop was at 5.6. Take a look at more pics after the jump that show a bit of the range of the lens.
I got a Canon 5D MkII two seeks ago and I gotta say that I'm pretty impressed. Here are a couple pics straight out of the camera with no post-processing. This first one is a shot of Jen at a restaurant lit by a tealight candle on the table and some semi-low ambient light. Click the pic to see as full-rez a shot as wordpress would allow.
We went down to the waterfront for the annual SF fireworks show. Last year it was so foggy that nobody could see anything except for the fog changing colors. It was pretty funny, actually. This year was cloudy, but not foggy. It was quite beautiful. As we descended through Fort Mason to Aquatic Park in front of Ghirardelli Square, we could see the all of the boats on the bay lit up and anchored, waiting for the show to begin. Always fun. Hit the jump for a ton of pics.
Some pretty random pics taken while wandering the Tenderloin with a couple beers in the belly. I dunno. It's takes a pretty fair amount of energy to post even semi-regularly, so sometimes the most I can deliver is a bit thin.
Spent an evening at AT&T park where they simulcast Tosca. Gotta admit, we went just to check out a major league ballpark from the field, but we stayed because we got a bit sucked into the story.
Pretty underwhelming animals in the collection, but overall a recommended visit. The museum itself is highly recommended, if only for the great solution that Renzo Piano came up with. However, the visit does really give one a deeper appreciation of just how great the DeYoung museum is, architecturally. Nonetheless, these are just some goofy animal photos (dead). (more…)
Pics from the East Brothers Lightstation.
They have a little B&B on a tiny island with a lighthouse in the San Pablo Bay. This is, more or less, the view from the place on a foggy day (which may be more often than not). (more…)
Shots taken at SF Moma. Went there to check out the Martin Puryear show. Pretty good show, but a bit densely arranged. Can't say that the show seemed curated so much as it simply presented the work. Not a whole lot of insight into it, though, to be honest, I'm not sure that a whole lot is required. Puryear's work is stunning but not terribly complex. Kinda old skool, I guess. Hit the jump to see pics completely unrelated to the show. (more…)
Found this guy at a little yard sale in Japantown. The guy having the sale tried to convince me to buy a little plastic swimming windup panda for another dollar. That I didn't buy it should indicate just how crappy the thing was. (more…)