My First Canon EOS 20D Tests

Leave a comment

I am working with my new Canon EOS 20D digital SLR, which I bought after a buddy snatched up my Nikon D70 for his dad. I highly recommend the camera to anyone who can afford it and either takes pictures professionally or, like me, is moving into serious amateur photography. Warning: This camera could easily be more than what most people need.

For me, the 20D is a rude indictment about how ill-prepared I am to move to digital SLRs. My problem isn’t so much photo basics but understanding lenses, their idiosyncrasies, and what might be right for this camera and my shooting needs.  Read More


Toidy Bowl Packing

Leave a comment

They say that kids do the darnest things or that kids growing up with newfangled technology take to it differently than do adults. These two pictures are evidence of both.

Looks like a toilet boil, doesn’t it? Turns out this Styrofoam wonder is from a first-generation, flat-panel iMac box. Flip the toidy boil over and it fits over the iMac’s lamp-like base. I must have no imagination, because I had unpacked a couple iMacs without seeing the resemblance, flipped over, of course.  Read More

Culture Politics Pulp Media

Law and Disorder

Leave a comment

Good thing I was interested in live TV last night rather than using the DVR. Disappointing would have been the recording. I turned off the TV about half way through the first of two “Law and Order” episodes, disgusted how one-sidedly political the show has become. Naively, I had hoped for respite with the cast change. No such luck.

Episode one sought to put alleged Iraqi prisoner abuses on trial. The timing and context had to be deliberate given the election year. As if we hadn’t watched or read enough already about the prisoners’ treatment for it to be repackaged as entertainment. Geez. I tuned into episode two during the last 20 minutes, which made nonsense out of people devastated by the 9-11 attacks on the Twin Towers.  Read More


More Fun than It Looks

Leave a comment

Vacation last month in San Diego took the family to Sea World. Where else? My wife Annie can be seen here on one of the water rides. She’s not perfectly focused, but that doesn’t diminish the pic’s impact, particularly considering the camera—a Nikon D70 digital SLR, outfitted with Nikon ED 70-300mm lens.

We also traveled with the Canon S500 (used by my wife) and Canon S410 (used by my daughter). But these more typical digital cameras—and most others—couldn’t have captured this image as well. Auto focus and shutter response typically is too slow. Nor could I have achieved the reach with the built-in zoom lens.

Apple Gear Microsoft

A Switcher Recants

Leave a comment

Earlier this year, I blogged about my troubled switch back and forth between PCs and Macs, eventually moving to the Mac for good. Not so. A good buddy bought the PowerBook I purchased back in March, and I put that money into buying a Sony S150, which is a Windows notebook that I’ll blog about sometime soon.

The switch came for many reasons. For one, my boss expressed concerns about a difference in the quality of analyst my reports. I attributed the problem to my working on a Mac fulltime and becoming too distanced from the Windows world; of course, I used a Windows machine everyday, too, but the Mac proved a distraction. I saw the same problem back when I worked as a reporter covering Microsoft. The problem: I like my Mac and didn’t want to switch.  Read More


Sorry, Folks

Leave a comment

It’s disturbing how quickly a month can go by. That’s how long since my last post. I don’t want to make a habit of that behavior. I am prolific blogger, at my two work blogs. Summer should be a slow work time, but I’ve been busy.

I won’t make a habit of this bloglessness.


Porch Light Stays Off Tonight

Leave a comment

I am so work-stuff busy today I have no free time. But something happened in the backyard that warranted my taking a camera break and later a posting break. My daughter brought out her sled for some odd reason (hey, it is like a million degrees here) and left it outside.

Apparently, the purple and bright green attracted bright green and purple mates. Luna moths are a rare treat. I snapped these images with a Canon Digital Rebel SLR, using the default lens or telephoto. Click pic for bigger view. More images are available at the Luna Moth photo album.

Digital Lifestyle Web

It’s Not Your Spam, Ma`am, But His

Leave a comment

Reducing spam is painful. I sent a friend e-mail at the domain she owns. She didn’t get the message, because she changed her e-mail handle off her domain. The reason isn’t rocket science: spam.

I feel her pain. I recently sold a domain I owned since 1995. In parting with the domain, I relinquished an e-mail addressed used for almost nine years. The e-mail change is liberating, because of the greatly diminished amount of spam.  Read More


For the Gipper

Leave a comment

Washington mourned the death of Ronald Reagan this week. While sentimental and opportunity for people to pay last respects, the mourning struck me, as it always does, somewhat misplaced. Why show so much respect for the dead when the living could use it more?

I understand that Alzheimer’s gripped the former president and that maybe he couldn’t appreciate friends or fellowship the way he used to. What about the family? Particularly considering the seriousness of his illness?  Read More


I Must Be Living Under a Rock

Leave a comment

Living in the Washington, D.C. area—hey, right off Connecticut Ave., baby—and tracking high-tech and the Internet for work, you’d think I’d know about what’s going on. Apparently, I have too much in common with Patrick the starfish from SpongeBob Squarepants. There’s a reason he lives under a rock, folks.

This morning, while checking the couple hundred or so RSS feeds I monitor, I stumbled onto this tantalizing headline, “Sex Scandal Rocks US Congress,” from Express India. So exactly how far around the world do I have to go to get local news: “Washington loves nothing as much as a summer sex scandal, and the season is off to an early start this year, as a Congressional aide was sacked after posting her lovemaking exploits on the internet”, according to the story, with a dateline of today.  Read More


Cicada Nation

Leave a comment

Washington, D.C., is now capital of the Cicada invasion. These bugs are everywhere, looking every bit the survivors of some prehistoric meteor that wiped out all other ancient species.

Saturday, while driving through an impending thunderstorm, my wife commented on how the wind whipped up so many leaves the road was barely visible. Those were Cicada shells, dearest.

The sound of the bugs harkens to those old science fiction movies. Best comparison might be the sound phasers made on the original “Star Trek.” To me, the Cicada hum seems the same, but goes on and on and on. If the Creator has adopted the strict kind of copyright and intellectual property right rules as companies here on earth, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry might have some explaining to do there in the afterlife.

Photo Credit: Joe Calhoun