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24 April 2007 @ 09:24 pm
Current view from the office:

Mauna Lani Resort, Hawai'i
27 December 2006 @ 08:14 pm
Well, the good news came in the form of an email from Tom Stienstra this morning. Evidently, he had quite a holiday vacation and is now enjoying his windfall.

As for the bad news, I'm sad to report that Manka's Inverness Lodge caught fire this morning and burned to the ground. This was where I shot the pilot of my travel show in March of 2004 (gathering oysters and adding them to a grilled skate dish), and where we shot our second "Great Outdoors" show in April of 2005. It was a gorgeous 90-year-old hunting lodge, restyled in the arts-and-crafts movement with a fantastic kitchen.

Gone to cinders.
15 December 2006 @ 12:18 pm
Let me introduce you to my new favorite search engine!

(For kicks, try typing in phrases such as President Bush, Dick Cheney, or Howard Stern)
Current Mood: naughtynaughty
04 December 2006 @ 12:27 pm
I'm looking to get a pro-sumer type digital camera, and I need some assistance from those who have knowledge in this area. Yes, I'm looking at you, queso, gopackgo and honeywoney!

I figure with online retailers offering good incentives/prices for the holiday season, now is the time to buy. That, and I just found out I'm getting a Christmas bonus from my boss (competely unexpected).

Here are my criteria:
1) Professional quality - SLR-type digital camera with high megapixel count that takes really nice pictures and interfaces well with PC and Mac.
2) Ease of use - While I can take a good photo, and know how to work aperture/focus rings, I'm not a "technical" photographer - so I'm not looking for a ton of menu options, nor do I need a camera where I have to bring five different lenses and 20 filters. I'm not going to be in the field primarily to obtain photographs (this is a secondary consideration for my TV job) - so quick n' easy is the key, here.
3) Works well without a flash - don't get me wrong, I will use a flash when I can... but I'll be taking photos on location while our video camera is rolling, so flashes will disrupt (ruin) any footage we're getting. So I'm looking for "image stabilization" technology and the like to assist in taking good photos in low-light settings
4) Affordable - I need an "entry-level" price on this model. But one that doesn't sacrifice quality or reputation.
5) Portable - this will be coming with me on TV shoots, in remote areas in the field, so less bulky (i.e. not a ton of accessories) is optimal. SLR style is fine, and this is a smaller consideration, but I need to know that carrying it in a duffel won't ruin it (packed carefully, of course). Some durability is needed.
6) Resistant - pending weather conditions, and due to the nature of my job, having weather resistance and shockproofing is a good consideration

Use: I'm primary taking this camera into the field to obtain digital stills for my TV shows' support websites, marketing use... and yes, to take great pictures for my own memories & to share with others. I'm more "artistic" than "technical" when it comes to photographs, and often, I need to be quick on the draw (i.e. not a lot of "setup" time or "get the tripod out" time)

Can anybody help me with some recommendations? Links to good deals? I'd be most grateful!
29 November 2006 @ 06:34 pm
So my neighbor. Don't see him much. He's got a wife, couple of kids, an extremely noisy dog and a white SUV. Never gave him much thought until I got back from vacation.



One of my roommates was home at the time, and approached him in the backyard, as he was down to the last 1/3 of the tree with his chainsaw. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"This tree is ruining my garage, and yours," was the reply.

Stunned, and not wanting to further the confrontation, my roommate retreated. The next day, my other roommate filed a complaint with the Redwood City arborist. Not only is it illegal to cut down any "heritage tree" - of which this redwood certainly fit the bill, there was no permit on record. Not that there would be one, as the guy would have had to go through our property owner to obtain one. Not to mention the illegal trespass and willful destruction of property. An inspector came out and surveyed the remaining stump, said the guy would likely have to pay a minimum $500 fine, but that a maximum penalty can involve jail time.


Today, I called our property manager, so that they could inform the property owner what the neighbor had done. She's coming out to see the damage tomorrow.

God, I want this guy to PAY. As a renter, could I call the cops on him? I mean, I'm not the property owner, but if somebody broke into our house and stole something (of the owner's property - not mine) - I'm pretty sure I would call the cops. But I didn't own the tree. I just admired it. It was a real beauty. Gone forever, now.

The tallest tree behind my house - that's the one that's missing.
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
27 September 2006 @ 01:48 pm
I'm no fan of Terrell Owens. But I do feel saddened - as I would towards anybody - when I read about his recent "suicide attempt."

And while I'd like to believe the spin his publicist is putting on the incident (saying it was an allergic reaction to medication, vs. the official police report that lists evidence of a suicide attempt), I had to pause over one of her statements:

Etheredge also appeared at Owens' news conference, saying she "did not take anything out of his mouth."
"This is sad," she said. "Terrell had a reaction to different pills, and just to state he was trying to commit suicide it was unfair."
"Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive," she added, referring to the $25 million, three-year contract he signed in March with the Cowboys.

Yeah, I imagine if Terrell had just those "25 million reasons," and maybe no other reasons in his self-centered life (such as truly close friends, being a role model to thousands of kids who look up to him, a feeling of giving back something to the world, etc.) - maybe he could have felt empty and alone enough to fuel his depression.

What does this say about people who pursue wealth or fame as a means to happiness? Can he learn from this? Can WE learn from this? Or should we still glorify the lifestyle he exemplifies... and pass that on to our children?
Current Mood: gloomygloomy
25 August 2006 @ 09:19 am
Is it bad that I had a Starbucks in my dream last night? I mean, not as a setting or as an integral part of my dream storyline... but just as part of the surrounding landscape? That's creepy.
21 August 2006 @ 10:59 pm
You know what rocks more than a weekend backpacking trip?

Backpacking on Sunday night. NOBODY is around!

It's only an hour's drive from my house to Butano State Park on the San Mateo Coast. I hiked 5.5 miles up to the park's trail camp yesterday and had the whole ridgetop to myself. It was perfect. The fog muffled all the woodland noises... except for the steady drip of condensation under the redwoods. It sounded like a light rain shower.

In the morning, the haze burned off and the damp earth vented steam wherever the sun filtered its way through the canopy in concentrated beams. So pretty.

Campsite #8 is by far the best. There are only seven sites up there (Campsite #4 was smashed by a tree some time ago). Now it looks like six sites remain. A huge tree slammed through Campsite #2 at some point over the winter/spring. Too bad, it was a nice site. Made me a little wary at night whenever I heard a tree creaking outside the tent...
Current Mood: contentcontent
12 July 2006 @ 12:04 am
So I was on my evening run, when a bit of movement makes me turn my head.

There, just landing on a fence, is a robin with a worm in its beak.

It's a familiar image, and one I've seen thousands of times, in art, books, TV, movies, internet, whatever... but for some reason, it struck me as odd. I think it's because I couldn't remember a time I'd actually seen this image in the "real world" - outside of the media - since I was maybe seven years old.

Funny how something so familiar can seem so new.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
05 July 2006 @ 10:27 pm
What do you get when you combine blue skies, seventy-degree temperatures, scented pine forests, azure lakes all to yourself, birdcalls, wild deer, no other campers in sight... but about a BILLION BLOODTHIRSTY MOSQUITOES?

You get the Caribou Wilderness, in early July!

More pics after the cutCollapse )
Current Mood: happyhappy