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7/25/04: Mexico Photos

  • Tlacolula, Mitla, Oaxaca, and Guelaguetza
  • Guelaguetza, Mexico City, Temple Museum
  • Taxco, and Teotihuacan pyramids

    7/10/04: A new digital camera enters the household

    My digital camera, a Nikon CoolPix 990 (vintage 2000), has finally become unusable due to broken buttons, possibly from moisture exposure. I am not sad about this, because it means I can upgrade to a digital SLR. I have chosen the Canon EOS 300D. I'm still torn whether I should take it to Mexico with me, or take a crappy point-and-shoot film camera I have. It comes down to the question of: Will the quality of the pictures justify the added paranoia of being robbed? I will need to play with the camera to decide if it's portable enough (to hide inconspicuously), and hopefully familiarize myself with its interface.

    Over the lifetime of my old CP990, it took approximately 10,500 photos. That puts the price of each picture at 9.5 cents. Consider that Kodak Premium photo development for 36 picture roll is $15, then the cost is 41 cents/picture. Of course, most of my digital pictures are not printed, but if they were the cost would likely double.

    7/1/04: More Moore Deceits

    Michael Moore has an esteemable position: he is the mouthpiece for the ABBA (Anyone But Bush [Again]) group. The quote "With great power comes great responsibility" applies to Moore. Therefore he must present his anti-Bush case carefully with logical, facts-based arguments. But having seen the tricks he employees in his films (Bowling, Fahrenheit 9/11), he almost never tells the truth of the issues he discusses. Moore is important though, because he draws attention to things the mainstream media is overlooking, but still not enough attention has been placed on President Bush's horrible disregard for the environment and science. I urge everyone to Vote Science 2004.
    Update 7/12: Moore responds with his sources.

    5/5/04: Is my mp3 collection taking over?

    Here's the data. You decide if I have a problem:
    HDD usage graph over time
    (Total songs as of today: 9956)

    Now extrapolate the mp3 usage, and estimate future HDD purchases (keep in mind that 200GB disks are common now) HDD usage graph over time with extrapolated mp3 increased and estimated HDD purchases
    (Estimated songs in 2010: 19912)

    5/4/04: My Amazon.com store launched!

    So I was keeping a secret about my job for the last three months. My first large project at Amazon.com has been to build a new expansion store, called Beauty. The Beauty store offers 50,000+ high-end health and beauty products not offered elsewhere on Amazon.com. I was the only web developer on this store so I was responsible for adding new features for our store, and configuring many aspects of how the merchants' websites look and work. Our launch date was slipped by only three days, mainly due to forces outside our control. Credit goes to my project manager for being extremely well prepared and helpful to me.

    4/30/04: My father's retirement

    My Dad has reached that age when humans put down their work tools and pick up a garden trowel or golf club, and begin a new phase in their life. My father has graduated from the work industry after 20+ years at United Parcel Service as a driver. I remember how relieved I was to finish my school career (only 16 years of my life), so I can imagine how relieved he must feel. Actually, his job was a physical drain, sapping him of energy, which I hope will slowly return. I would love to see him buy a bike, take more walks, pick up some hobbies, and basically do activities while he still can.
    Congratulations Dad!
    Pictures of the party

    12/12/03: Moving to Seattle!

    I landed a sweet job at Amazon.com as a Software Development Engineer. I start work 12/15. Amazon is providing me with temporary housing for 30 days, which I move into this Saturday.

    7/25/03: Keeping busy

    My Bardill.net domain has been transfered to dedicated hosting from the fine folks at PHP Webhosting. I did notice that my WinBar weather script takes much longer to gather its data from WeatherUnderground, I will see what the issue is.

    During the last day I've been copying over my website from my friends server, fixing PHP problems, and recreating my gallery from scratch.

    I've been working part-time for NorTran, building a website and database frontend for them. I've also been working on some projects, which I hope to complete soon and make available online.

    5/19/03: I'm Back

    Sorry about the lack of updates here, but I'm alive and doing very well after my vacation to Italy. Those three weeks touring beautiful Italy were the best of my life, and I can't wait to go back.

    I've added my Italian photos to my gallery. See them here.

    4/18/03: Goodbye

    ... from America. Hello Italy! That's right, I'm travelling to Italy for 3 weeks, starting tomorrow. Arrivederci!

    4/17/03: Photoshop stuff

    I've created two more Photoshop actions, both are really cool. The first one is a noise reduction (great for low light photos) and the other will sharpen your photos better than Unsharp Mask.

    4/10/03: Site updates

    I've create a Photoshop action on how to create "selective focus", similar to a small depth of field.
    My Winbar weather conditions tracker has been improved; it now allows for international cities/weather stations.
    My Still Life gallery has a few additions at the bottom.

    4/7/03: More old books

    I'm back in the library helping clear out some old books. Today, my productivity plumeted because I leafed through many books, hoping to find a book that could be considered "comedy gold." The closest thing I found was an old-school skateboarding book. The tricks they did in the 70's clearly shows how surfing (and ballet) influenced skateboarding, but how little skateboarding had evolved its own language of tricks.

    4/6/03: War

    I visited Yakima's cemetery today, and photographed the veteren memorial. Watching the war on TV creates a "disconnect" in the viewer, and I had a need to photograph the under-televised reality.
    In a similar vein, here is a huge public gallery of anti-war posters. And for those of you who are too impatient to read CNN about the war, check out The Iraq-O-Meter.

    3/28/03: Weird book

    I helped my mother clean out her library at Garfield Elementary School this week. So far, we've deleted 1003 books, all published before 1980. I found some very peculiar books from the 1960s, like "My Brother Steven is Retarded" and "666 Jellybeans! All That? An Introduction to Algebra". Here are some pictures from the Necronomicon 666 Jellybeans! book:
    Cover Boy and girl are tempted by the Devil's candy Boy is now a full-fledged Satanist

    3/26/03: Moab vacation journal

    I wrote a journal about my great vacation to Moab.

    3/12/03: Winbar tools

    I've added a new section to my Tools area dedicated to an amazing program called Winbar. Winbar is a collapseable taskbar full of useful "widgets", such as CPU usage, RAM usage, diskspace, Winamp, DU Meter, and webpage headlines. Here's a screenshot of my Winbar.

    2/1/02: Redesign

    If you see this icon at the top-right of my pages, click on it to display links to similar pages on the web.

    -- Ben