Online Vice: Photo Browsing

Looking at photographs online is a huge time suck for me. Once I start looking at the flickr Explore – 7 Days Interesting I’m lost for an hour or more. I could flip through the pages endlessly. I recognize that 95 percent of the pictures on there are rubbish, but every once-in-a-while I’ll find a good one worth favoriting.

Right now, I’m finding the photos on The One’s We Love similarly addicting.

The Ones We Love is a project highlighting young and talented photographers from around the world. Each artist contributed six photographs of the person(s) who is most important to them, taken outdoors in a natural setting. The goal of the website is to portray the people who are loved, cherished, and inspirational to these artists, and also showcase the differences and similarities in the photographs each of them took within the same guidelines.

Instapaper

Instapaper is the best site I’ve come across thus far in 2008. The basic premise is:

1) You come across substantial news or blog articles that you want to read, but don’t have time at the moment.

2) You need something to read while sitting on a bus, waiting in a line, or bored in front of a computer. Instapaper solves both of those problems.

I suppose the same task of saving a news story for later could be accomplished by posting it to a social bookmarking service (E.g., del.iciolus) with the tag, “to read.” But, the interface and simplicity of Instapaper are what set it apart form a general bookmarking service, email, or other form of saving online articles.

Once you’ve read an item, it’s marked as read. You can edit titles and URLs, the later of which is good if you want to replace a URL with a permalink.

I have two stories posted to my Instapaper, and I plan on posting many more. Time to say goodbye to the “To Read” folder on my Mac.

Blogging vs. Personal Communication

Many times when I post to tumblr, my action is replacing a direct communication I could be making with one or more people. Often, what I’m posting (a thought, observation, link, picture, etc.) is of interest to my friends and family and could be sent directly.

Is the quality of the personal message diluted by posting the same message to my blog?

I think it is and I try to keep my personal communications unique and private – at least until they become bloggable. At that point, all hope of maintaining “place” is lost and I just want to get the conversation out into my (limited) tumblr world.

The funny thing is that I can’t really explain why. All of this is like self-induced micro-paparazzi. Intentionally placing one’s private life in front of strangers.

Very weird.

Gun Blued Wilson 8802

I received my gun blued Wilson 8802 in the mail today. It looks amazing. The top-line and back are matte black. The face and sole are polished. The original putter was satin chrome. I played with it throughout high school, and it showed a great deal of wear (and abuse).

Kevin at Colbert Putter Plating did the work. There are several finishes you can choose from and you can have custom engraving and paint jobs done. I am very impressed, and can’t wait to have the putter re-shafted.

First Day Back

Two of my three classes were canceled due to heavy snowfall on my first day back from winter break.

My courses this semester are:

* Antitrust
* Federal Courts
* Criminal Procedure
* Wills, Trusts & Estates

The only class held today was Antitrust, which has to do with the regulation of anti-competitive activities in the free market. As is common, the first day was a general overview of the topic. Notes were taken, but nothing that will likely be tested.

The real learning as well as the full schedule will begin on Wednesday!

The Smithsonian Life List

The Smithsonian Lift List is below. I’ve been to the Great Wall, The Louvre, and the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is easily the most impressive natural sight I’ve ever seen. The Great Wall was impressive, but it was extremely foggy on the day I visited it. I visited The Louvre in 7th grade and 9th grade. I would have a better appreciation now.

Here is the list:

Portals into the Past
Walk the timeless streets and byways of ancient cities on three continents

– Mesa Verde
– Pompeii
– Tikal
– Petra

Feats of Engineering
The world’s surviving architectural wonders hewed from stone and mortar beckon as ever

– Pyramids of Giza
– Taj Mahal
– Easter Island
– The Great Wall

A Matter of Timing
Choosing the right year, month or even moment can make all the difference

– Aurora Borealis
– Serengeti
– Iguazu Falls
– Machu Picchu

Triumphs of Vision
Come face to face with history’s finest works of art and design

– The Louvre
– Zen Garden of Kyoto
– Uffizi Gallery
– Fallingwater

Scale New Heights
Don’t just see nature’s most spectacular sites—experience them

– Yangtze River
– Antarctica
– Mount Kilimanjaro
– Grand Canyon

In the Presence of Gods
Encounter temples so magnificent then could only have been built by divine inspiration

– Pagan
– Parthenon
– Angkor Wat
– Ephesus

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?
Visit these deteriorating or threatened destinations before they disappear

– Venice
– Amazon Rain Forest
– Great Barrier Reef
– Galápagos Islands

Regarding My Email Habits

Me: i like having zero messages in my inbox… iphone doesn’t allow for that… always has 25, 50, or more. even if you delete it just loads more.
Russ: 0 in your inbox?
Russ: how can you have no mesages in your inbox?
Me: i always keep my inbox at zero
Russ: yeah i know you do
Russ: but it’s not healthy when these things don’t even physically exist
Russ: you’ve created some new form of anal retentive disorder

My Cameras

I own six cameras:

1. Canon PowerShot SD800 IS (link)
2. Casio Exilim
3. Sony MiniDV Handycam
4. iPhone (link)
5. Diana+ (link)
6. Macbook Pro iSight (link)

I just got the iPhone and Diana+ this Christmas and have limited experience with both.

The Diana+ uses medium format 120 film. I’ve only shot in color. You can see my first three rolls here. Having to wait for the local camera shop to develop my film highlights how convenient immediate feedback on digital cameras is. And how impatient I am.

The iPhone seems to take great pictures (for a “phone”). There is no flash, so it is a poor substitute for my Canon PowerShot during nighttime outings. Otherwise I’m thrilled with it.

The Canon PowerShot has given me what I expected – portability and above average pictures. The lack of shutter control is frustrating, but otherwise a good compact camera. I also love the video capabilities and recently upgraded to a 4GB SD memory card that allows 33 minutes of video.

The Casio Exilim was my main camera before the Canon PowerShot. It has 4.1 mega-pixels and takes good pictures, but is slow to shoot.

I rarely use the Sony Handycam. I will make a point of shooting more higher quality video with it this year, although it is not HD. That leaves me somewhere in between the Canon video quality and HD.

The MacBook Pro iSight is used almost exclusively for goofy shots and video chatting.

Preparing for My iPhone

I ordered an iPhone and it should arrive on Friday. I’ve been working feverishly (relatively speaking – it is holiday break) to prepare my sync-able data for the iPhone.

I beefed up my Address Book, which included downloading v-cards from LinkedIn and categorizing people in groups – high school, college, law school, Ruckus, K12, and family.

I also exported my bookmarks from FireFox, my preferred browser, trimmed them down to the most used, and imported them into Safari.

It’s not clear how the iPhone mail.app works, so I haven’t done much with my email.

What excites me most about the iPhone is the compactness of it. Not only is the device itself slim, but it will eliminate the need for me to carry a cell phone, camera, iPod, and laptop.

I’m very excited, and again, as with the Wii, horribly delinquent with my technology purchase.

Wii for Me

I got a Wii for Christmas. It has reignited my long-lost passion for video games. The only reason for this is the high level of interactivity. It is impossible to not be immersed in the game you’re playing. Even bowling is incredible.

Yes, these comments are stale – the Wii came out over one year ago. But, this is my first chance to play and, well, I’m a believer.

I own the following games:

  • Super Mario Galaxy – Fun and frustrating.
  • Tiger Woods 2008 – My current favorite, although even on the hardest setting it’s still pretty easy for me.
  • Wii Sports and Wii Play – Bowling and Tennis are a couple family favorites. A little different than sitting around a table playing cards. Nice to break a sweat.

My Year In Cities: 2007

Here is a list of the cities in which I spent one or more nights in 2007. I visited the cities marked with asterisks more than once on non-consecutive occasions.

United States

* Chicago, IL*
* Edmond, OK
* Herndon, VA
* Hilton Head Island, SC
* Ishpeming, MI*
* Lansing, MI
* Newark, NJ
* New York, NY
* Niagara Falls, NY
* Park City, UT
* Portland, ME
* Raleigh, SC
* Richmond, VA
* Traverse City, MI*

International

* Beijing, China*
* Shanghai, China
* Toronto, Ontario
* Xi’an, China