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Saturday, October 31, 2009

ADLs: Walking Past (Top of the Hill, Daly City)

"Walking Past"

On the way with my friend to pick up his mom at BART, I grabbed this quick pic of this man walking past an auto shop. Notice the car's shadow on the auto shop's wall which is us waiting for the green light.

Blissful accident is translated into something beautiful indeed.

The blog roll "ADLs" is a series of images of my "Activities of Daily Living". Yes, that's a nursing term so it's fitting for where I am now--nursing student about to graduate with a passion for photography. A new post is expected to be up everyday.

Review: Apple Magic Mouse vs Apple Mighty Mouse

First off, thank you to my friends Apol and Ghia for getting this for me on my 22nd birthday. Thaaanks! =)

On with the review! After time rolls by and despite Apple announcing this product a few weeks, it finally has shipped and has become in stock in Apple stores! If you've read other reviews online, the majority haven't really compared it to the former Mighty Mouse.

First off, look at the image above: talk about ecofriendly packaging but also how it's so clean and efficient! No bubble wrapping, blister packages... just the product under a plastic case with its brief description on the bottom.

I need to first commend Apple for their not just their new design on the mouse [more on that later] but how they've become environmentally friendly and basically more cost effective. [Think about when they are shipping this: less packaging means more Magic Mice they can fit per shipment meaning reduced costs of shipping overall]

The Magic Mouse freshly out of its casing.

This is all the contents underneath the mouse itself: warranty info and instructions. The AA batteries are already installed and ready to be switched on.

Design: In short, Apple's design for its new mouse is unmistakable. You just know that Apple and its designers made this smooth buttonless aluminum bottom plastic top mouse. It has a very low profile [more on that shortly] and is just slick to look at.

Even upside down it looks great! haha That bit of thick plastic adds that reflective silhouette and again it's pretty gorgeous for an everyday item.

The bottom features two black plastic sliders as I guess I'd call em that helps move it across surfaces smoothly. It has an on/off switch, the laser eye itself, and the battery door to switch AA batteries.

So far, the tracking on this mouse works just fine although it is reported that it does not function on glass surfaces. Battery is expected to last for 4 months so we'll see since on my Might Mouse, a new fresh pair of AA I'd get through in a month!

Now that the design portion is completed, onto the comparison of usage to the older Mighty Mouse!

Cosmetically, the Mighty Mouse is like a pebble in which your whole hand feels it. As for the Magic Mouse, it's more like a pringle in which just your fingers feel the mouse. While the Mighty Mouse has a trackball that moves 360 degrees, the Magic Mouse replaced that with touch sensitive controls that's pretty much the same as its older brother.

The profile shot of the Pringle vs. the Pebble.

What I do miss from the Mighty Mouse is its actual buttons or at least the functions of them. With the Mighty Mouse, I programmed the side buttons to activate my Expose´ allowing me to view all windows at once and if I click the center button down, I can view my desktop.

For the Magic Mouse, the gestures on the touch sensitive surface is limited [hopefully for now]. It still offers 360 degrees scolling, left and right click, as well as gestures to go back/forward on a web page or Preview. And that's it. No other gestures and that's where I hope it will support future gestures to accommodate the expose´ and desktop features. For now though, I just set up Hot Corners to activate that feature. I did read on a rumor blog roll that it will support up to three fingers on the surface. :crosses fingers:

As of now, that is my biggest gripe since I see this part as a down-grade from Mighty Mouse. I would rather perform these features by mouse and not by F3 and F8.

But on the plus side is that the Magic Mouse just feels more natural. It's low profile allows that and while others express their difficulty because of the low profile, it's probably because they are seated incorrectly [probably sitting too high!]. Sit level to your table and I'm pretty sure it will feel much more natural.

As I grip the Mighty Mouse, it just feels so bulky now and even slow to use as I move it across the table. It's definitely not as smooth as the Magic as it moves across the table lightly.

Using the scroll feature is just as seamless as if you're using a laptop. If on any other mouse you'd start to scroll up/down to navigate a web page or document, the Magic Mouse feels the same as using a trackpad--it is responsive and so far I have no complaints of not feeling a scrolling ball or wheel. Its touch sensitive surface is actually big than I thought. It pretty much works edge to edge and works all the way to 3/4 of mouse's body. Plus, it has that scrolling feature with momentum--if you scroll fast, it will continue to scroll up/down and slowly come to a stop [ala iPhone's Safari].

Maybe because it's new but those new black plastic tabs are helping it move smoother than its older brother.

So let's try to break down the recommendation for this mouse...

- A buttonless mouse
- 360 scrolling feature with momentum scrolling
- Gestures to go back and forward on web pages
- Smooth moving across the surface
- Beautiful slim profile and design
- $69

Wait what?! $69 for a mouse?!

So here's my thing: If you don't have a mouse already for your Macbook [Pro], then I'd consider it. Still, I'd look into my options [Logitech I heard has great alternatives that equally cost as much but with programmable buttons] and others. But if you're sold already on the [amazing] and actual comfortable design in my opinion, then by all means get it.

What if you have the current bluetooth [Mighty] mouse?

Well, the Magic Mouse is not really a major upgrade to the Mighty Mouse. The easy answer [if you have money] is get it--it's NEW! But the smarter part of you will reason out and realize that what you have is working so it's all good for now.

Plus, I got this as a gift. =)

For me in general, I actually love this mouse and will hope that new gestures are in the works to allow me to get back expose´and show desktop directly from the mouse.

For more information, you can find the Magic Mouse on its product page here.

Review: Roger von Oech's BALL OF WHACKS

This review is for Roger von Oech's Ball of Whacks widely known for its ability to stimulate creative minds. I forget when/how I stumbled on this but I do have Roger von Oech's Creative Whack Pack for my iPhone and because that was great, I Amazoned "Roger von Oech" [yes, I used as a verb] and saw this item and had to get it.

Basically, this "Ball of Whacks" consist of rhombic tracontahedron (from the Greek triaconta for "thirty" and hedron for "side")--so this is a 30 sided polyhedron. The 30 pieces themselves, called "whacks", form a ball when combined [note of its product title]. But it doesn't end there, because each piece has magnetic sides to it, the possibilities are endless.

The pieces are all plastic with a nice weight to each piece [I was thinking how this would hurt if it was thrown at me]. A nice subtle touch is that each piece has either "Ball of Whacks" or "Roger von Oech" engraved on one of the sides.

The "ball" halved.

The point of this "toy" [as some reference it to] is to just simply let go and play with it. Think of it as the modern Lego pieces for adults [even though I know some adults still play with em]. The point of this is to build, touch it, feel it, break it, combine, create, etc. However we want to be creative is simulated in this ball of whacks.

When you start to play with it more, you'll notice more patterns and shapes.

This is how each piece looks like when it is by itself.

And here it is when it's just dumped into a pile.

Before putting it back, I actually created something--a turtle!

Quarter view of the turtle sitting on its butt and shell on its back.

Profile view of my quick creation.

The Ball of Whacks include a small booklet providing more information on this piece--including how it was created, its inspiration, and how it followed the "Golden Ratio" [if you remember your geometry, this section will make sense]. But more importantly, it includes a section on a "Creativity Workshop" using your Ball of Whacks. It does resemble the Creative Deck [for the iPhone] in which it provides some inspiration on approach of thinking and more.

In general, if you think you have everything [the latest and greatest], I'm sure you don't have this. For now, this is going to stay near my computer since I do most of my creative thoughts here and will be the go-to item when I'm on break studying. The pieces also just feels great in your hands as you start to build something and move the pieces around. The booklet even includes a brief study that those who stimulated their tactile senses [i.e. peeled an apple with a peeler] prior to a test performed better than those who didn't!

You can buy it on Amazon as I did. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ADLs: Cat Walk

"Cat Walk"

Took my cat Iso [named after..ISO] for a quick backyard breather before I take nap for the afternoon and prep for my clinical shift.

The blog roll "ADLs" is a series of images of my "Activities of Daily Living". Yes, that's a nursing term so it's fitting for where I am now--nursing student about to graduate with a passion for photography. A new post is expected to be up everyday.

ADLs: M Jackson (from Interview, September 2009)

"M Jackson" (Interview, September 2009)

Just finally read my September issue of Interview and finally was able to read the [re]published interviews of Michael Jackson with Andy Warhol and Bob Colacello (in 1982) and with Pharrell Williams (in 2004). Here are a few excerpts in which I loved.

Bob Colacello: What's your typical day like?
Michael Jackson: Daydreaming most of the day. I get up early and get ready for whatever I've got to do, songwriting or whatever it is. Planning the future and stuff.

Andy Warhol: Did you ever think you'd grow up to be a singer?
Michael Jackson: I don't ever remember not singing, so I never dreamed of singing.


Pharrell Williams: What you do is amazing. When you are 100 years old, and they're still making up things about what you've done to this and what you've done to that on your body--please believe me, if you decided you wanted to dip your whole body in chrome, you are so amazing that the world, no matter what they say, is going to be right there to see it. And that is because of what you have achieved in the music world, and in changing people's lives. People are having children to your songs. You've affected the world.

Michael Jackson: Thank you very much. It's like the bigger the star, the bigger the target. You know when you're--and I'm not being a braggadocio or anything like that--but you know when you're on top when they start throwing arrows at you. Even Jesus was crucified. People who bring light to the world, from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King to Jesus Christ, even myself. And my motto has been Heal the World, We are the World, Earth Song, Save Our Children, Help Our Planet. And people want to persecute me for it, but it never hurts, because the fan base becomes stronger. And the more you hit something hard, the more hardened it becomes--the stronger it becomes. And that's what's happened: I'm resilient. I have rhinoceros skin. Nothing can hurt me. Nothing.

Go and buy the September issue of my favorite magazine Interview.

The blog roll "ADLs" is a series of images of my "Activities of Daily Living". Yes, that's a nursing term so it's fitting for where I am now--nursing student about to graduate with a passion for photography. A new post is expected to be up everyday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ADLs: Elevator (Lucille Packard, Stanford)


Taken at Lucille Packard Children's Hopsital after my 12 hour 7pm-7am shift.

The blog roll "ADLs" is a series of images of my "Activities of Daily Living". Yes, that's a nursing term so it's fitting for where I am now--nursing student about to graduate with a passion for photography. A new post is expected to be up everyday.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ADLs: Post Office (on Mission, Daly City)

Just started a new blog roll for a series of images entitled ADLs "Activities of Daily Living". Yes, that's a nursing term so it's fitting for where I am now--nursing student about to graduate with a passion for photography.

Hope you enjoy this [new] photography series to increase my blog posting [I'll try everyday to post one picture] and to start a "visual journal" with these pic-a-day.

Try to check in once a day with the posts labeled "ADL".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Signing: Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist @ Paul Smith [Oct. 21]

This is probably the longest I've waited in line to get a book signed--3.5 hours!!! While I can't believe I waited from 7:15pm until 11:30pm, to finally meet Scott Schuman was quite worth it since I see his blog almost everyday. I just didn't know he'd be so popular here. And I knew I was in the right line when all the people lining up looked as if they were from the blog pages of The Sartorialist! Hipsters left and right but hey, everyone wants to dress to impress.

Paul Smith in SF (50 Geary St.). I waited in line around the corner on Kearny and stayed around the blog for almost 2 hours!

Being so close yet so damn far!

Finally seeing the inside of the store: Great! Seeing that there's still a line all the way back to the store: not so great.

I've personally haven't heard much of Paul Smith [=/ Don't bash on me!] but wow, the items in this store are flying off my money to spend scale.

There were cuff links for guys at $150. Toothbrushes for $12 (yes designer toothbrushes). Jeans for $350. Etc!

My copy of The Sartorialist purchased at--you guessed

And finally here I am with Scott Schuman who kindly shook my hand while taking the picture.

Everytime I go to a book signing, there's a pocket of time to ask a question or spark a short conversation while the author signs my copy. My question for The Sartorialist: "Will you ever shoot around here in San Francisco?" He kindly responded "I would love to! I just need to make time!"

For his widely popular blog, visit it at

Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm Sample Images

For my birthday [Oct. 19], my girlfriend Cher surprised with me a photography-themed day. We headed to SF MOMA's Richard Avedon exhibition [which is great btw! A must-see exhibit if you have time!] and before that, surprised me with I have on top of my list when I get a job: a Sony Carlo Zeiss 24-70mm 2.8 lens. =)

This lens is just superb. Yes, it is a 2 POUND 1 OZ lens but the build quality is second to none. I'm not going to run a full test on this lens because there are other reviews out there [Google it!] but from what I know it's a lens that is definitely worth its value for the serious minded photographer.

So first off, thank you Cher for the really nice gift!

So here's some quick shots I did early early in the morning. None of the pics are enhanced except white balance was fixed a bit.

My favorite quick shot. Just look at the out of focus quality aka bokeh! The shots here are all lit with a table overhead fluorescent lamp so this 2.8 lens does its magic great.

My Vornado Flippi fan and if the background was lit more, the separation of the subject and background is awesome.

Mighty mouse.

All shots were also focused manually since the focus points using the lens wide open is really small. Take notice of the keyboard's focus focal plane--from keys f to k.

My Grados SR-80 headphones. If you're looking for new open headphones by the way, I recommend these all the way. Yes, they're not sound isolating but if you're just looking for the quality of the sound, I personally love these. If I had money, I'd upgrade to the SR-120's or the higher models.

Lastly, my Sony Cybershot W120--my pocket camera I have with me 99% of the time. I bought a black silicone skin for it on eBay so it brings that sexy black professional profile to it.

Do expect more shots with this lens as I'm leaving this baby on my Sony A700 99% of the time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So I never drank before a movie...

...but I think this movie calls for it. Give me beer and a bunch of my friends around and this will be good. Guaranteed.

The Expendables directed by Sylvester Stallone; starring Stalone, Jason Stathem, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren [Remember Rocky IV? "I must break you"--yes him], Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and Mickey Rourke. And oh, cameos of Bruce Willis and our governor Arnold Schwarzenegger!

August 20, 2010

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Abbot and East Moltke: "Chair" & "Elliptical

Abbot and East Moltke is an on-going project documenting the various items left by households at the corner of where I live. Different items have been left already and some of which I've already unfortunately missed. This photo series will continue for an unknown period of time and is planned to be [self] published once body of work is completed.

Review: [New] Moleskine Project Planner 2010

Borders gave me a bonus $5 Borders Rewards dollars so I felt inclined to use it towards something useful. Because I get 90% of my books on Amazon, I felt that I should this on something besides books and after awhile not being able to find anything, I result to my default product that I stock up on--Moleskines. I remember seeing this on Moleskine's blog and behold they had about 3 of these brand new Moleskine Project Planner 2010! They were so new infact that Borders didn't have a price tag sticker on them!

Without knowing the price before going to the register, I was wide-eyed when the lady rung it up and it was $12.95! Even she was surprised for such a small thing. Then again, these things are always priced high among the pocket notebooks world.

The paper used in this planner is about the same thickness and feel as the other regular Moleskine notebooks.

I personally use a Moleskine Daily Planner and love it. I am able to write a lot since each page is dedicated for a day and makes as a makeshift diary. This on the other hand is a Project Planner and the special is that it's "pages" is really one long piece of paper so you can roll this thing out on a table and really look ahead.

You can flip through this as a regular book.

But because the end is not attached to the book's spine, you can literally roll this out to be more than 3 feet easily.

Just like the other Moleskine Planners, it has maps, unit conversions, and other handy information.

On the reverse side of the Project Planner pages are a weekly planner pages so you can have a bit more room to write something.

I am still gonna figure out how to write my projects on it since the space is a bit limited.

Overall, I am happy to purchase this because while I do have a Daily Planner that I plan on using every year, it is great to actually "see" your plans on a timeline rather it being one page and flipping to another page.

This will be great for writing down schedules for work [which I do hope I get a job next year as an RN] and portrait sessions.

It is a good at-a-glance project planner although I'd wish there's more room to write a lot of details on a certain project.

Here is my favorite accessory for my Moleskines: my custom Renaissance Art leather case.

Custom because I had it made to order to fit my two most used Moleskines: the pocket Squared Journal and the pocket Daily Journal.

Best part is that it will also fit my new Project Planner 2010!

Say hello to a more organized and planned 2010.