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Old ones-0020, originally uploaded by neko687.

Well, I haven’t written anything in a while so this might be as good time as any.

Quick updates:
Well, I freaking lost my job last week, so the economy situation finally hit home, oh well, I have had a lot of time to take pictures and play with Lightroom and Photoshop so I don’t have a lot to complaint about.
I guess is going to be a little bit longer before I get to buy my semi professional equipment though, so that does gets me, I still plan to go to Philly next month, so I will have some new pictures to boast then.
There another two or three post coming up, but first I wanna set them up correctly, hopefully some time this week.

Please visit my Flickr Photostream and here are some of my galleries in Facebook here, here, and here.

Thank you for reading

quick hitters



Michelle’s 15, originally uploaded by neko687.

Well, another day.

Some quick hitters…

We still have rats (I was calling them mice because my wife’s afraid of rats, but she found out the truth, so no need for lying anymore), but now they’re in our walls, Management closed all the access points from outside the building, so the rats are trapped…. In my wall… Somehow this seems like a bad plan to me…

I decided I’m gonna buy me a Canon EOS 40D as a Christmas present and make the move to DSLR jumping in with both feet.

My younger sister 15th birthday was last Sunday and it was fun (I left early but I took a couple of nice pictures), however, big mistake, my ISO was set at 400 all night so some pictures look nice, some look grainy, some I just erased before I even try to fix them… that should teach me.

Less than a month to go for the Dragon Challenge ’08 and I’m still in high spirits, I really want gold on this event.

Well, that’s it for now, I’ll try to post something longer this coming afternoon.

Have a great day everyone

2008 06 20_0001, originally uploaded by neko687.

Another day, another dollar… spent…

Well, a friend sent me a video of mine from way back in 1999 (it was in a VHS-C tape), and off course I wanted to put it on the web so the people on the video could see it (I should add that this video was from my farewell party when I moved from Margarita Island to Caracas), well, I converted it from DVD to IPod Video and then from that one to MPEG with Roxio suite software, and then the trouble started.

For some reason or another, every time I try to upload the video into YouTube (or Daily Motion) it losses the connection, I though it was the sizing of the video so I re-sized the video a couple of times (which made movie maker look for roxio software because apparently Roxio uses a proprietary codec) with the same result. Then I tried places like Megaupload and Rapidshare with the same result (it would actually never crash, but it would get stuck in certain percentage of upload and never move from that percentage), so needless to say, I was really frustrated because I kept sending emails regarding the status of the upload and I would never meet the deadline (in retrospective, I should have waited until the video was up before making all the fuss about it), thank god I found Phanfare and I ran a couple of test with some other similar size videos I have in my office computer, and so far, it seems like it might work (EDIT. It worked, the videos are up).

In judo news, on 8/16 we have the Dragon’s Challenge tournament in Delray Beach and hopefully it would be as busy as last year, I walked away with the silver medal last time, hopefully I would nail the gold on this installment of the tournament.

Well, I was having the little ZLR vs. DSLR cameras argument going on inside my head, so I contacted the professionals; first I contacted one of my favorite photographer, and ask him for validation on my question, I’m still waiting for an answer… so I contacted the nice people at The Digital Photography Show and after some back and forth emailing, I decided that I’m gonna take the plunge into DSLR at some point this year, I’m deciding between the Canon EOS 30D, or the Canon Digital Rebel XSi, so any suggestions would be welcome.

Well, I think that’s it for now, visit The Digital Photography Show if you’re into photography, and have a nice week.

Three little sis, originally uploaded by neko687.

 

 

Well, it is another day.

My baby started school this week… and by my “baby”, I mean my “wife”; she’s gonna become a dental assistant, and it will take a whole year of night classes 4 or 5 times a week, so there will be a lot of video game playing for me.

The Judo team is back from camp, and I can foresee a couple of weeks of pain for me, these people come back so sharp in their throws, transitions and submissions that is really hard to keep up with them, camp is a great tool for competitors and hobbyists alike, it helps you with your base, but if you’re beyond that, you will come back with a new set of skills that will help you in the long run.

Some of the white belts came back much more smoother than they were before they left (they don’t move like Mr. Roboto), and one of the Brown belts taught me some transitions and sequences to attack the turtle (video will be up tonight), that are really nice and perfect for somebody like me (and by me, I mean “lazy”), all this transitions are courtesy of Sensei Igor Yakimov.

I’m sure the team will have much more to share with the rest of the class in these coming weeks, so I’ll upload videos as they become available.

I did my first photo shoot this past Monday, My sister is turning fifteen and they wanted some pictures for the invitations and stuff, at the top of the page we have one of the pictures I used and liked the most, there’s “some” post production with Photoshop and Lightroom.

That’s all for now, I’ll try to post again this week if something interesting happens, so long and thank for all the shoes

New News

So, it’s another day in paradise.

 

I keep coming on empty handed every time I plan some photographic trip on weekends (Father’s day, it Rained, I’m broke, etc.), so I’m just giving up, I will buy a year membership to Morikami museum (due to all the festivals they have in there, it should provide me with enough photo opportunities), and the West Palm Beach Zoo (not so much for the events, but because the large quantities of animals and subjects to photograph in each visit), and I’ll hope for the best (if I can make it 4 times to Morikami and another 4-6 times to the Zoo, it’ll pay for itself right then).

 

I keep looking at DSLR cameras (I freaking love the Nikon D80), and falling in love with them, but I can not justify buying one yet, the expenses are too great (lenses, cleaning, maintenance, etc.), versus the Pros from my standpoint (Raw imaging and a higher quality pictures), now I know that there’s more to DSLR cameras besides the two points I mentioned in my pros, such as White Balance control, aperture and shutter speed control, less noise at higher ISO settings, etc., but besides the ISO advantage, these are controls that I have on my DZLR camera, my Finepix S700 has all these controls but it only shoots in JPEG and I have a shitload of noise at higher ISO settings (so I only shoot during the day). Enter the S100FS.

 

Now I know that a ZLR is no competition to the DSLR (in most cases), and granted, I have no idea about the response of the camera at higher ISO settings, but the flexibility provided by the ZLR is more convenient for somebody in my budget (no expense in lenses for one), and taking into account that I’m not about to shoot a fashion shot, or a wedding (I mean, I could, but you would not like the results), is the perfect camera for me. The Fujifilm S100FS offers me RAW imaging which is my number one concern when thinking of a new camera (I can finally fix my exposure problems without spending hours in Photoshop or Lightroom to do so), Plus, it has a hotshoe, so I don’t have to rely on the pop-up flash anymore (come on guys, the person who came up with the pop up flash was a sick, sick individual).

 

I could make a case about why I shouldn’t buy this camera (the pricing is the same as some nice Cannon DSLR entry level prosumer cameras for one), but once again, from “MY” standpoint (amateur with a hobby), is hard to explain why I should buy a couple of thousand dollars worth of lenses plus the expense of the camera; if someday I decide that I want to make a career out of this, and I’m gonna leave the civilized world and shoot for National Geographic (unlikely) in the middle of the freaking Congo, then yeah, by all means Nikon D300/Cannon EOS-1Ds Mark III cameras here I come, but until then, my nice ZLR camera will do.

 

In other news, there’s no Judo this week due to everybody being at the greatest camp on earth in North Carolina (I couldn’t make it, I had a scholarship for it, but I really need to take a vacation with my wife before I do anything out of the state with the judo team), so it’ll be a lazy week unless I get in touch with Pandinha and go train with him this coming Sat.

 

I keep playing guitar and it’s getting boring to play alone (“play with myself” if you will), so I think I’m gonna get somebody to pick up the bass guitar and see if that get’s the juices flowing…. Ewww

 

Well, the handyman cover the holes the mice where using to get inside my apartment, he did such a bang up job… he used linoleum to cover the entry point in my cabinets, now I won’t dwell into the fact that these little animals chew thru drywall to get to my cabinet and I’m sure they will chew thru linoleum if they find it absolutely necessary, but the fact that the guy didn’t cut the linoleum for the top shelf to fit the angle, and the linoleum doesn’t bent in a 90 degrees angle, it bows and leaves a half inch opening  on the top shelf…. This makes me think that the little bastards are gonna be able to get in my apartment once more, so I guess I’m gonna take things into my own two hands and fix this problem myself (I have no faith in the handyman to come and fix the problem, and there’s a couple of glue traps and a snap trap left, so I do not want him to get injured).

 

So long and until next time.

So, I totally forgot about father’s day this weekend, so no Morikami museum for me.

I went to my dad’s house, they had breakfast and stuff, and then they all decided to take a nap (all that breakfast makes people sleepy), so I went back home earlier than expected (they had a BBQ afterward, but who know what happened with that).

 

I haven’t been that consistent with Judo lately, I skip classes this past week (Wed. was a really crappy day, and Sat…. Well, it was Sat. so I overslept), I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that there’s nobody my weight in class (I’m 250 Lbs. as I’m writing this), that are committed to competition, and it’s fucking frustrating, so I started a diet and exercise regimen a couple of weeks ago (when I’d hit the 270 Lbs. mark), and hopefully I’ll be competing at the 90 Kilos (198 Lbs.) division sometime next year.

 

On other Judo news, I went and got me a library card, and while searching in the library, I found the vital grappling techniques book by Isao Okano, this books have been out of print for years, and it’s really difficult to find today, and my library has a copy… ok, screw you, it was exciting for me!!!

 

Ok, I’m in love with the Nikon D80 (Ok, I’m in love with the Cannon Mark III, but the D80 is within my budget’s reach), and probably that would be my Christmas gift from me to me (if I have the patience to make it to X-mas), and I guess I’ll hide it ‘til 2016 so my wife doesn’t think I’ve been spending money.

 

I know I said I was only gonna talk about grappling (I’ve been having some success with my triangle chokes…. Against white belts only), music (I’ve been listening to the slackers [ska], and lots of Blues musicians lately) and as of lately, cameras (Nikon D80… yay), but lately there’s something else that’s been consuming my life, I’ve been wasting day and night on this, and I need to share, one more time…

 

So we trapped another Mouse this morning, at this point I believe is an infestation, and there’s nothing left for us to do but move and torch the place (Wife doesn’t agree with me, something about “being illegal”), I felt bad for the little fella, he got stuck in the glue trap sometime last night, so he spend an all nighters in the trap, that’s it I felt bad until he try to bite me, now I can see how after a whole night stuck to glue just because you wanted a little peanut butter might make you cranky, but do not try to take it out on me, I’m trying to make your death as quick and painless as I can possibly can, and here you’re trying to snap at me? I should throw you in my parents table, I saw those insane people eat brains yesterday for breakfast, I’m sure they will make short work of a cranky mouse.

 

Anyway, I’m resetting all the traps tonight, and I’m gonna try to catch all the episodes of “Verminators” and see how the hell can I get rid of this pest without torching the place.

 

THIS JUST IN

 

A little update, the handyman for the apartment development where I live came today to fill the holes in the wall where we think mice are coming in, one of these holes is under the border in the sink cabinet, so he puts his head on the floor to get a good angle of vision on the hole… and apparently he didn’t notice the glue trap on the floor, so the side of his head is on the glue trap, now here’s the series of events in the correct order

 

  • He screams (after all, he realized his head was in the glue)
  • My wife screams (she thinks he saw a mouse)
  • His assistant jumps (I guess he was trying to fit in)
  • He stands up and screams “TAKE IT OUT” (self explanatory)
  • My wife starts laughing her ass off
  • His assistant explains that he can not take it out without ripping his hair off
  • My wife starts holding her crotch in an attempt to not pee herself
  • He screams “I don’t care, rip it off really fast”
  • My wife starts making dolphin noises because she can not take air in to breath due to laughter
  • His assistant rips it off
  • My wife makes an attempt to break the land speed record, and runs to the bathroom just in time to not pee herself
  • When she comes out, she witness a disgruntled employee with a missing patch of hair in his head, and knots of glue still hanging from his head saying “now I’m gonna have to shave it”
  • Now relieve of her bladder juice, she starts laughing her ass off again, the assistant shortly follows her lead and starts laughing.

 

Now, I wish I had called in sick this morning; I missed the best 15 min. of my life and the chance to win $10,000.00 in AFV.

 

Ok, we caught one more mouse last night, hopefully that was it. Here’s the funny thing, I really tough that I wouldn’t care too much for the little pest, and even though I still don’t care enough to cry and remove all the traps from the apartment, it kinda makes me feel bad having to kill them, don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to share my apartment with this pest, I’m just not enjoying the whacking part of the night.

 

In other news,

 

Man, photography is a complicated craft, with all the details you have to remember, and then all the options in Photoshop, enter Scott Kelby (his Blog, his books), now, there are a lot of books out there about photography and Adobe products, but very few speak to people like me (Illiterate dumb bastards), Mr. Kelby does a great job a breaking down everything to the most basic level, so even I can understand him (this is specially true with the photography books here and here, he doesn’t try to explain me why something works, he just lets me know how to make it work).

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t get any kind of sponsorship or gift (Nikon D300 pretty pleeeeeeaaaaasssseeee) from this fine gentleman, and neither do you (unless you do, in which case, I would be wrong), so I’m not telling you “you should go out and buy them” hell, I didn’t buy them, I have a library card and the library is almost half a mile from my office, so everyday after work, I go and get a couple of books from them; but if you’re a serious photographer (and I don’t necessarily mean “Professional Photographer”) you should find a way to read some of his books on photography and Photoshop, Lightroom, or Elements for photographers.

 

I’m probably going to Morikami Museum this coming Sunday, if I take any semi decent picture, I’ll try to link to my blog.