Monday, July 31, 2006

Red Sky

This weekend we were with family having a good time and enjoying the day. The weather was great, cooled down from the historic heat a week ago, the food was great, from carnitas, small clams to ribs, the wine was great, 4 bottles of cab and a pinot noir, and of course the company was great. I noticed the red sky (pics attached) and thought it looked really nice as the sky has been clear for most of the month especially during the heat wave. Only today I realized that in the other part of the world, Lebanon to be exact, at probably the same time we were drinking and having fun, the red sky meant tragedy. Instead of wine being poured blood was pouring from someone's body, instead of music and conversation screams and cries was being heard. The deadliest day of the conflict happened this weekend when IAF dropped a bomb in Qana and killed 56 people many of them children. It is very unfortunate that so many innocent has been killed in this war. We just hope it ends soon as both sides have their part to blame.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Animo La Salle!

My sister who is our only Atenean sibling (three Archers) and smartest of us showed me this music video "Rather Be Green" so cheesy but so funny... Go Green Archers

Tech News...

Intel releases Core 2 Duo:
Gist: Your computer with two "brains" + better performance + low power consumption. This release will push the prices down for the current products from INTEL and AMD so it's either wait for the machines with Core 2 Duo to be standardized all around or buy the "older" systems for cheap. Competition is King for consumers (if the companies aren't a cartel).

I might upgrade in the future with this core, my desktop is about two years old already. But then again I'll probably wait for window vista and see what CPU will be good to run it.

Firefox users be sure to patch up:
Gist: Mozilla rolled out updates to patch FireFox which is said to have eight "critical" flaws. I've actually removed FireFox now as I don't see any point in maintaining two browsers which have to be patched from time to time.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cops with cool cars....

I wouldn't mind being a cop if I'm chasing folks with these:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mideast never stops...

Honestly how can one not have a stand on the current war? Yahoo have had a portion that contains the mideast conflict since years ago Yahoo Full Coverage: Mideast Conflict. One can even just view the slideshow in order to see how damaging it is to Lebanon's economy and civilian population and Israel's civilian in range of the rockets.
Personally I think Israel will not have peace in that area until Hezbollah is eradicated or reduced to a non operational group. The problem is they had six years to build up their bunkers and hideouts and as guerilla tactics goes they will be using civilians as shields and a lot of propaganda to put international pressure on Israel to stop their attack. Since they don't really need to beat Israel all they have to do is survive it will be a hard task for IDF to work on them and make sure they are destroyed as an organization, but time is not on their side as the current media exposure and calls from the international community for a cease fire will probably force Israel to stop their offensive sooner than later.
On this war I'm on Israel's side since Hezbollah, when it comes down to it is another Taliban and their aim is to eliminate or destroy the state of Israel. How much future can an organization really have? Just a hate organization? Yeah...great...and Lebanon can thank Hezbollah for brining them to this unnecessary war. I'm sure the future children will love to work in construction to set up the houses, buildings, roads and bridges that were destroyed in this war.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's so hot here....

25mm-F/8-4sec.-ISO100-w/Flash (created the yellowish effect)



It has been a hot week here in the bay-area, I think we have had 100+ degrees for a week now. Power outage across the board, some places for more than a day and others for a few hours. We actually had a blackout for a couple of hours today. This is the first time I have experienced a heatwave as bad as this one, last year we had some 90's and 100's but not for this long a stretch. The weekend was fun though, had some get together with family with good food and good wine.
The heat is really crazy, it's kind of a dry heat so even if the wind is strong it pushes hot air so it doesn't really help. Hopefully it will end this week, I read there have been heat related deaths already.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

In the News ;)

Same-sex marriage PIONEERS split:
Yes, yes I know same-sex relationships encounters the problems straight relationship encounter and the whole point of same-sex marriage is for their partner to have the same rights as a straight married couple with kids and all of that. I don’t oppose same-sex marriage, but when you pioneer something or considered to be a pioneer shouldn't you hold yourself in a higher plane where you really try and work it out more than the other couple to be the "light" or the "guide"? Well now the conservatives will have more arsenal to ban same-sex marriage and if more separation happens to these pioneers of same-sex marriage then the center will think it's not really a good idea as it won't even help lower the divorce rate ;) teheee....

U.S.A. President G.W.Bush activities:
After hearing his "thoughts" on the Mideast crisis through the open microphone he goes to do something to the GERMAN CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel that people who have watched SEXUAL HARRASMENT videos know this action as a type of sexual harassment. Well naughty boy, very naughty boy, thinking just because you're the President you can shoulder rub anyone. Shame on you. Angela Merkel's reaction is a bit funny though hehehehehe.....

Friday, July 21, 2006

What I shot in our backyard.

70mm-F/3.5-1/60sec.-ISO100-MACRO-(+1 Step)



46mm-F/8-1/160sec.-ISO100-(-1 step)


Nope not with a gun, I was playing with my camera, tripod and various exposure settings in the camera and got the following shots.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Online Shops have great deals.

Triangle is the best base they say.

I got my tripod yesterday from Amazon and only had time to try it out today. It's a small tripod, SLIK SDV-20, good for travelling with nice features and just stable enough for my camera. It's light and would probably not be able to handle SLR or DSLR type of camera but should be able to hold P&S type very well. It's pretty compact just as long as an album and a book but when extended it can go well above 1000mm so a tall person can use it without having to bend. I was initially looking at Target and other retail stores for a basic tripod as I'm not a pro photographer, I just got into it and I consider myself as an enthusiast, but unfortunately their price is pretty expensive for their features and the brands they sell doesn't seem to be of quality. I went to Amazon to check what they offer and I was surprised to see so many options as I didn't know there were so many makers of tripods and so many deals. I saw the SLIK with a price of $11 and the reviews, brand and features were good enough for me so I decided to get it vs. the one I saw at target, a travel tripod for $19 and it doesn't even go as high as the SLIK one. So if you're looking for stuff it's always best to try the online shops first because normally they have very attractive prices.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mideast still raging...Welcome to the Jungle

In the news it's been all about the mideast war though I can't blame Israel for responding, I'm still sad that a lot of civilians are being killed on both sides. I hope the fighting stops as soon as Israel finishes their military operation against Hezbollah, besides they started the fight which was a wrong move as Israel's military might is world renowned and any malicious act will have dire consequences to that nation and their populace. I'm not a political junkie but a lot of people think that Israel is playing on the enemy's hand but I see it as the groups playing on Israel's hand and a distraction to the Iraq war. Israel now have the ability to attack Hamas and Hezbollah until they are satisfied and destroy the economy of Palestine and Lebanon, in long run after this military action the countries in the mideast will see what type of power Israel is and Israel's economy will benefit too as it shows it's able to protect itself from aggression which companies would rather invest in than unstable countries. The Iraq situation (
for now)has been set aside even if there were around 53 killed today because the news has been covering the Israel vs Hezbollah & Hamas conflict.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Random ramblings...

Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy... Last week was a Mr. Darcy week. From the Pride & Prejudice, the older version of Pride & Prejudice, Bridget Jones 1 & 2, Love Actually and Nanny McPhee. I dare say we were having a blast with our Colin Firth weekend. How do you do? Snob? No of course not, how ridiculous. Yes, get us our tea please! :P

Cool car pics and wallpapers at Serious Wheels
Ahhh my dream car, Bugatti Veyron. Now who'll give me $1.2Mil + taxes + licenses for the car? Bill??? Warren??? ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pets have recovered well...

For our dog: After giving four daily baths with oatmeal shampoo and using Advantix for the fleas, within a week his tail has turned to better, hairs are growing and it's not scarred anymore. Pics below of what Hartz did to him, looks worse than it really is, we were luck we did preventive steps to keep him from scratching it and got the Hartz product off by daily baths so he's all pretty and bouncy now and doesn't have to worry about fleas.

For our cats: We didn't wash them as it's hard to give cats a bath, all their claws comes out and they suddenly become Jet Li to get out of the water. We instead wiped them down with wet cloth which they didn't like but they didn't try to do any cat kung-fu on us.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I was playing with the manual settings of the camera and trying them out and got the pics below.



6mm-F/8-3.2sec-ISO100 (cat playing with the key, cat caused the blurrr)


Friday, July 14, 2006

Photo Story: Cat Bird-glar

Tree of Life for the Birds

Baby birds in their nest waiting for mom and dad

parent bird looking down on us monitoring our moves
parent bird making sure I'm not up the tree to harm their kids

Tommy the Fat Cat looking at the nest
Wifey called me from work yesterday before noon and told me that two of our cats apparently caught baby birds from our tree. She was able to save one but the other bird was taken and dragged by one of our cats. When I got home I chased Tommy the fat cat and took the baby bird out of his mouth and placed them both to a container wifey provided. I then got a ladder and checked the tree in our backyard and lo and behold there was a nest there. Now I wish the bird didn't make a nest on our trees as we have cats roaming freely on our yard and the tree they used is like a small palm tree which our cats can easily climb. They were actually lucky that it's only now our cats were able to find their nest otherwise it would have been over a long time ago. So I got the two baby birds, put them back in the nest, bent some dead twigs around the nest so the only way to access it is on top of the nest so the baby birds won't fall off but their mom and dad will be able to get to them. After that I got some plastic sheet which I use to cover the chairs outside and rolled it up around the trunk of the tree. I'm hoping this will discourage the cats from climbing the tree. Then I got the cats in the house so the birds can have some peace and quiet for the evening.
This morning I let my dog out to do his business and the cats were able to rush out too but I didn't worry too much though coz I only need to get Tigger the hyper cat in since it's him that takes the lead in trying to attack the birds. After I got my dog in I notice Tigger setting up under the tree where the nest is again and jumped to climb the tree, he was able to hang on to the plastic for a bit but didn't get enough traction and fell off, so now I know my silly contraption works. Then I got him from under the tree and put him in the house. I just hope when the baby birds are practicing their flying I'll be home to make sure our cats are in the house because I'm sure they will probably fall a couple of times before getting the hang of flying.
We seem to have been able to broker a peace in our backyard for now.
Unfortunately before lunch time my wife told me that Tommy the fat cat went to the fence and jumped on the tree to avoid the plastic thing I placed there. I went straight home and got the baby bird, good thing he wasn't mangled Tommy just had him there chirping in front of him, took it back to the nest then got Tommy and Tigger and placed them in the garage first. I read online that another preventive obstacle is to hang CD's to distrupt the cats when they jump so I'll try and do that later.
Peace is very uneasy in my little mideast.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

mideast conflict rages on

With the mideast situation going from bad to worse:
BBC News - Israel imposes Lebanon blockade
Yahoo News - Israeli warplanes attack Beirut airport
Well they kidnapped Israeli soldiers when Israel is already trying to save the one kidnaped by Palestinan militants. The immediate and harsh response was to be expected and now with this new development it seems that the news from the war in Iraq has been overlapped or dismissed for now huh.

Well with all this going on in the mideast expect oil prices to increase in the US and maybe they'll increase the terror alert too? Death of civilians in the conflict will definitely go up.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Beware of HARTZ Animal Products

I can't believe this, the Hartz brand is normally seen OTC flea drops for pets and I've used them on my pets before. Due to the flea season lately being more active I've been looking around for the best flea medication and found these sites and looking around I found these:

Showcast Hartz Update
Showcast Hartz Warning
Bio Spot

Hartz is POISON your pets might be killed and maybe BIO SPOT too! BE WARY OF OTHER CHEAP OTC FLEA PRODUCTS.
Be careful if you're using Hartz. I have moved to FRONTLINE and ADVANTAGE instead as

I can't believe they are still selling their poison until now. Greedy bastards. Maybe our previous cat died partly because I was using Hartz on them. He disappeared suddenly and was probably eaten but there was a period when he lost some weight and moved slowly, lethargic in a way.

We washed our cats and dog to get the Hartz product out, then we placed Frontline for cats and Advantiz for our dog, we will be monitoring their condition going forward to make sure nothing bad happens to them with the use of the Hartz stuff. How can they and the stores keep selling their stuff with unresolved issues? Well it's greed as usual but some stores only carry their brand so a shopper like myself would be under the impression that they are an ok brand.

Sign the Online petition Hartz Products Dangerous for Pets.

The weekend was pretty fun...

Then on Sunday we went to wifey's trainer's party. It was a good BBQ party, great food, great people and great drinks. Had Wente Merlot which was killed early there so had to settle for beer coz the other wine were Zins. Oh and it's also a very different environment, folks there were mostly fit, some were traininers and some were clients of trainers and some were competitors in the show. There were 40+ yr olds that were fitter than me LOL! Not that I'm a specimen of health, but they have rock hard abs and large guns. Amazing! I won't be posting pics though as I didn't ask them if I can publicly show the shots and cropping the images without their heads woudn't look nice too.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Photo Story:

My cousin wed his long time partner this weekend. They are a great couple and have been through a lot of things together. The wedding was held close to the mountains so the veiw was spectacular, of course the food and drinks was great fun fun fun.... cheers.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ken Lay dies of heart attack...

Take it as you will but I wish he'd been sentenced and served his time though.

Kenneth Lay Dies of Heart Disease - Chron

Kenneth Lay: A fallen hero (BBC)

Oh well...

Photo Story: Itchy Ouch

Our dog has been scrathing his tail for while and we only noticed this weekend that he scratched himself too much which resulted in broken skin on his tail. I went to the pet store and asked a bit on how best to approach it because I've already used the flea drops on him and he was still itchy, I ended up getting a nice shampoo, itch spray and the head cover thing so he won't be able to worsen the condition of his tail. Hopefully it will heal soon but he seems to be determined to scratch his tail forcing the plastic head thing down. While all of this is happening one of our lovely cat just sits and relaxes on the dining table, I took pics of her with and without flash to see how the color will show from the dimly lit place, I think the no flash pic looks better.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Photo Story: Shaky Hands and Fireworks

Well what happens when you take pics of fireworks in action with no tripod? See for your self. Shaky hands made some shots look like spermatozoas...sometimes they actually look like the BIG BANG Theory happening in the darkness of space.

Yes I took those shots.....

I asked a friend how was the pics I posted, do they look nice? He thought I just got them somewhere else so I told him I've just been into photography (not professional though) more of enthusiast. He did like them so it's a good sign. Shots for the Photo Story was taken using Canon PowerShot S3 IS camera.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Photo Story: Zooland

Swim with me! Peanuts Anybody?
Long hot day
What to do?What to do?
Hang in there.

We went the zoo with our nephews, strolling around and walking around. The funny thing is that me and my brother might have enjoyed it more than the kids as we were having fun taking pics of the animals there. The kids on the other hand had fun looking but got tired after an hour and slept for some time then woke up again and enjoyed strolling around. I had a good time practicing various settings of my camera to get my shots, due to the fact that it was a sunny day the pics looks washed up and since the animals weren't as close and I'm not using an SLR cam I was just lucky my zoom goes to 12x so I was able to get reasonable pics.