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Moved Again February 28, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Personal.
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Well I am testing out doing this on iWeb check out the site I put together yesterday. If it looks ok to everybody then I’m probably going to set up shop over there.

To iWeb Or Not To iWeb February 24, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Creativity, Personal.
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Yes, I’m doing it again. I am contemplating moving Braver Newer World yet again. My new camera has got me taking another look at using iWeb to make pages on .Mac. Last night I started playing around with using my own pictures to enhance one of the iWeb templates. I was pretty happy with the results. The pages look clean and uncluttered but most importantly they look like mine. I flipped my way through next blog on WordPress last night. It is somewhat disconcerting how so many blogs that have such a wide range of topics and content all look alike. I like this template but you know so do an awful lot of other people. Sure iWeb has a very limited number of template’s but it is easy to fill all of the spaces with unique content.

The drawback will be losing the random drop in’s. It seems that Apple is committed to a very invitation only website. No random “next blog” kinda discoveries. Being that my invitation only audience would be limited to my mother, my ex-wife and my friend John, I’m risking writing only for them, which, no offense guys I really don’t want to.

But there are ways of getting my url out there even with Apple working against me. I think the trade off is worth it. iWeb is a program that doesn’t require a lot (read almost none) of technical knowledge to produce pages that look exactly like I want them to and to change them on the fly.

This transition may take a little while though. Once again I’m going to want to copy over all of the work I’ve done this year. That all has to be done in order as the blogging function of iWeb doesn’t allow you to insert entries out of order. Thus I have to do all of my back dated posts in order. This will allow me to add some pictures and maybe some other content to brighten things up a bit. Stay tuned. I will however continue to post here until my iWeb/.mac site is completely up to date.

More New Pictures February 23, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Personal, Photography.
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There may be a rash of these while I play with my new camera. Here are some shots I took last night in Union Square. It was fun. Night photography is a real challenge. But I feel less self-conscious holding a camera in the dark. I’m going to want to invest in a tripod I think if I’m going to keep that up. I could see myself going around the city at night with my tripod and camera taking lots of night pictures. One thing I’m going to have to learn to do is figure out which version I like the best. As usual I need to be a better editor. Each shot should be unique I know. I always have trouble making up my mind.

My Flickr is Updated February 21, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Personal, Photography.
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Well I upgraded my Flickr account and began uploading the pictures I took this weekend. 58 in all. Some came out better than others. I was playing around with the camera settings. It’s nice that all of the settings are stored with the pictures. You can even look it up on Flickr. I also played around with iPhoto. Some shots I made into black and white others I played with the color settings. They are not great but they are defiantly a start. I learned a great deal in just a couple of days and I’m actually pretty happy with some of the results. My two favorites are the ones I called “Looking up Market Street” and “Checking the Routes“.

I do need to keep a notebook with me though. If I am going to be taking pictures of buildings I need to get the addresses right. I’m not sure on a couple of buildings and that’s actually a little embarrassing since some of them are important San Francisco buildings. I’m going to enjoy walking around the City with a little more purpose.

And I’m going to be better about taking pictures of City events. So far this year I’ve missed the Pillow Fight on Valentine’s Day, the Chinese New Year’s Parade, the kick off to the Tour of America and that Rally that I tried to take pictures of but they all came out terrible. I will make a real effort to chronicle the City. I’m afraid that may be all you get on my Flickr but you will get more of it.

Stealing Souls February 21, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Personal, Photography.
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So I bought a new camera on Sunday. It’s a Kodak, a Z7590. I went down to CompUsa to look for a power supply for the PC I’m going to sell (if I ever get off my ass about it). This is the second time the power supply wont turn on after moving the computer so I figured I’d better change it out before selling it. Since CompUsa was about double the price of NewEgg I decided to skip that purchase. I had been thinking about a new camera ever since I took my old one out to a protest rally on Union Square and didn’t get a single usable image. Too dark, not enough settings to compensate.

I figure what the heck, I’m here, let’s check out the cameras in person. I hadn’t actually heard of this camera but was drawn to the $130 off sticker. With 6 megapixels common and 8 on their way I was hoping to get one of last year’s 5 megapixel camera’s cheep. At $230 this was way below what I was thinking about paying. I went upstairs to the Mac’s they keep connected to the internet. I checked out the camera. It is feature rich. It has a multitude of manual and automatic settings. The only thing I wanted that it didn’t have was image stabilization. Still with so many manual controls I figured I could compensate. The 10x optical zoom did it for me. I went back downstairs and parted with a little bit of my tax refund.

I’ve always liked the idea of taking pictures. I’ve tried and had very limited success. Part of the problem is that I am most interested in taking pictures of people. This would not be a problem if I didn’t subscribe to primitive the notion that taking a picture of somebody steals a little bit of their soul. There is a scene in a movie from last year called “Heights” that illustrated this perfectly. The main character is a photographer in New York. One night she is lining up a shot of a woman holding a child. The woman turns to her and asks why she doesn’t have a life of her own that she has to steal theirs. This is exactly how I’ve felt about taking pictures. This has led me to taking many pictures of the tops of buildings, coastlines and for a short unhappy time birds. These are not things I have an eye for. I have an eye for faces. I’ve just felt so intrusive taking pictures of people I don’t know. Whenever I take pictures of people I know they are so self conscious that it doesn’t seem to count.

Well a commitment to try to stretch myself and a 10x zoom lens is going to change some of that. Here is a preview. There are more coming (including the tops of buildings). I just need to figure out how I want to upload these larger images than I’m used to (5 megapixels remember) to flicker. I will update my flicker account tonight when I get home from work. For now I will leave you with these two souls I stole while they were trying to make sense of a muni map where California ends at Market Street.

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Changes to the Weather February 15, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Movies, Personal.
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Bay Area weather is shifting. This last week an a half of great weather we’ve been having is moving through. I got caught yesterday without a jacket or sweater. By the time I headed home at 6:30 it was cool and windy. Not that I’m complaining. Complaining about more than a week of highs in the 70’s while the east coast gets hit by a blizzard is bad karma. The weather has been fantastic for my sunglass concession. Last week was one of the three best since we opened in July.

The rough part about living alone is the holidays. I know that is stating the obvious but my apartment never seems smaller than on those days.

I skipped writing yesterday. I neither posted here nor did my daily journal pages. Even today I had a hell of a time getting through them. I actively looked for ways to avoid writing. It was so bad I found myself hitting Blogger’s “Next Blog” in the middle of sentences. My attention span is nothing lately. Both Monday and Tuesday I started movies and just quit them halfway through. They were not bad movies. Just strange and the combination of WTF factor and my own lack of focus just led to me stopping right in the middle. These are the times that are made for TV. I’m so glad I don’t have cable right now. I know I would channel surf for hours when I get like this if I had cable available to me.

See. I didn’t even mention the names of the movies I didn’t finish. Where is my focus? Monday’s movie was truly one of the strangest ones I’ve ever seen. “The Happiness of the Katakuris” is really weird. Click the link, read the description, shake your head in disbelief. It did make me laugh out loud though. Several times. I don’t remember doing that all that much watching movies last year. Well except for old movies. Last night’s movie was “Happy Endings” I should have taken some notes. That might have saved that one for me. In the popular indy genre of “everybody sleeps with everybody else and sets up elaborate¬† layers of lies” this one may be king. Maybe tonight I’ll start over with my notebook open and some flow chart tools available.

So the question of the day is why do I avoid the page if writing almost always makes me feel better? “Three a day keeps the shrink away,” has long been my motto for daily journal pages. I’m calmer, clearer and happier when I write. So why will I do almost anything to avoid doing it?

Where Have I Been? February 4, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Creativity, Personal.
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Been in a funk. Not a terribly bad funk. But a funk nonetheless. Some things were up in the air and I’m finding I don’t like that very much. The company bought out a competitor next to my sister store on Chestnut Street and I’ve been helping out with that conversion for the last two weeks. During that time I’ve only spent three days in my store.

I also made my last three major hardware purchases for my Mac. I’ve been waiting on delivery of my 20″ widescreen Dell monitor, the 250GB external Hard Drive and the upgraded internal DVD burner for the Mac Mini. Over the last week these things have all arrived and made there way into my life. The DVD and the hard drive have finally made my PC completely obsolete. I transfered my last files over and no longer need my PC to burn DVD’s.

The monitor has been the biggest change. I just got it late Thursday so I’ve only had a couple of days to work with it but so far I like it. I like it a lot. The ability to keep two full page windows open side by side is perfect for reading and writing. After all that’s what I was supposed to be doing with this year. Reading, writing and sharing. I haven’t been very good with the sharing lately. Even the writing has been a struggle. I skipped Wednesday in my journal and the last week the entries have been late or light.

360 Degree picture of Paris January 27, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Photography.
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Beautiful High resolution 360 Degree picture of Paris. Probably been around the net forever but I just found it. Nice to see there are some pretty things out there to look at.

read more | digg story

These Kinda Freak Me Out January 27, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity.
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Listed on Digg as the oddest doll ever. I tend to agree. It feels funny. They really shouldn’t disturb me but there is something creepy about them. Miniature baby dolls. No really. Miniature. Baby. Dolls.

read more | digg story

The City as Avatar Itself January 27, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Movies, Photography.
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This guys photos are amazing, he creates an effect of an extremely accurate and super detailed models but they are real photos with an effect on them.

I’m reminded of a line in one of my favorite silly movies, “Joe Versus the Volcano“.

Upon seeing LA for the first time Joe is asked what he thinks.

“It looks fake. I like it”
read more | digg story