Anza Borrego Desert State Park


I've posted some photos from Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Melissa and I drove out to see the wildflowers and go for a hike. As you can see above, both of my hiking boots lost their soles. I had them re-soled a few months ago and hadn't used them since. They started falling apart only a little bit into the hike and we shorted the walk when it became clear the damage was progressing. For the last third I had to high-step it to keep the front of the soles from catching on the ground. One sole fell apart completely meters from the car. Happily, I didn't drive in my hiking boots so I had another pair to wear the rest of the day.

We also sorta kinda saw a Big Horned Sheep on the hillside. In the photo the sheep's body is facing you with its head turned to the left (your left). It was hard to see it in the shadow of the rock; I didn't see it until Melissa pointed it out at home. I took the photo on blind faith that everyone wasn't lying to me.

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Glider Port

Hang Glider

Today is especially windy, so we went out to the glider port to see what was flying. We found a bunch of model airplane gliders and one hang glider, seen above. If I wanted another expensive hobby, hang gliding looks awfully fun!

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Caught on Cell

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Above are three photos I've just uploaded off my cell phone. The first is a flier I saw on campus today. Somehow I never connected Tupac Shakur (the artist behind such cultural highlights as Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.) with God. The second illustrates choice supermarket product advertisement. The third shows my lab-mate Rick playing Frets on Fire, an open-source Guitar Hero. He wasn't half bad!

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Aerial Photo

Aerial

I've posted some decent photos I took on my return flight this past Thanksgiving weekend. I even managed to get a photo of my apartment in the photo above. If you look closely enough you can also find my previous residence, and the building I work in at school. I tried the 500mm mirror lens my father gave me, but the airplane window was too dirty and nothing came out looking focused.

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Melissa’s Matrix

Melissa's Matrix

She is very happy about her new car.

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Voltron

Tour de France

Above is our new kitten, a eight-week old female. We have decided to name her Voltron. She is kind of skittish but enjoys some attention. Our adult cat seems unhappy about this and has been hiding under the bed all evening. We hope they'll eventually get along and be friends. For now we're going to keep her in a box when we're not interacting with her.

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Red Dragonfly

King Skimmer

While watering our neighbors garden, as they are gone to yet another wedding, Melissa and I saw this bright red dragonfly. It appears to be a male King Skimmer. Every minute or two, it would take off from its branch, hop around in a few circles, and land on the very same stick again.

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Fun Pics 2

I saw this out on a bike ride recently. Just how am I to cross at the intersection without going past the closed sidewalk?

Bike Hater

Someone parked this awesome Buick Eight in the parking lot next to my building on campus. Here is more information about the Buick Eight, which featured an inline 8 cylinder engine and an early automatic transmission called Dynaflow. Here's a great print ad for the car on Plan59, a for profit repository of historic American print advertisements. The car doesn't change color from one picture to the next, it's my cell phone camera trying to white balance the image. The perspective photos have more accurate color than the close-ups.

Buick Eight

Buick Eight

Buick Eight

Buick Eight

I want portholes on my Volvo.

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Fun Pics

I've got green mouth! Where's medical science to save me? (It's just a green laser pointer.)

Green

This doesn't look too comfortable, in my opinion. I guess they're madly in love because I'm not sure I could stick with this contorsion very long. And what's up with his right hand?

Kissy

Vegitables doing the nasty. Maybe I'll get banned by the p0rn filters now. Sweet.

Veggies

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Cell Panorama

Check out the panorama I made using my cell phone camera. I would have though the distortion would have been just awful, due to the pinhole lens, but it's not too bad. You'll notice that there are some strange pinkish hues in the sky. Is MCAS Miramar releasing pink dye into the sky for this weekend's air show? My more logical guesses are: A.) dirt on the lens; II.) something funky with the CCD; or 3.)something funky with the JPEG compression algorithm of the cell phone. A.) is likely always the case, but I suspect that II.) and 3.) are also quite likely.

Cell Phone Pano

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Mud Machine

I went over to a nearby bike shop to get a quote for my damaged bike (ask if you're interested), and I had some time to kill while I was waiting for the manager, so I wandered over to a nearby dead-end street. Parked there was this very odd machine (which I took photos of, now that my cell phone has been fixed):

Mud Machine

The only hints I can provide is that this machine is parked next to a marshy area, and a 40 food deep hole in the pavement with a pump pumping water out of the hole. Perhaps the machine is a mud processor/filterer/cleaner of some sort?

Mud Machine

Mud Machine

Can you guess what this machine does? I can't.

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Balboa Park Flowers

Tour de France

Today Melissa and I went down to Balboa Park to spend a very nice day outside. We went to the rose garden, the desert garden, and walked through the museum area. We also walked to an off-park deli (therefore it didn't cost too much), and had a bit of a picnic under a tree. Mainly I took lots of pictures of the roses.

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Panoramic Photos

I recently took the time to stitch together a few panoramic photos, which I wanted to highlight. The first one I took over winter break from Indian Rock in Berkeley. The clear and crisp air which follows a winter storm gives excellent views.

Indian Rock

Here are some impressive thunderheads over the mountains east of San Diego.

Thunderheads

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Nighttime Photo of the Bay Area

Bay Area

While I was in Berkeley for Thanksgiving, I took my camera & tripod out to a parking lot near the Lawrence Hall of Science which has a magnificent view over UC Berkeley, Berkeley, the Bay and San Francisco. A rainy weather system had come & gone recently so the air was very clean and cold making the view even better than normal. As good as these photos are, closer to LHS there is a grassy knoll which has an even better view. The hill slopes off in front of you and there are no trees to block the view. However, it is now fenced off and is only accessible through the inside of LHS. Lame!

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Comparison Photos

Continuing on my previous post I'm posting some more photos with my new camera. This time I've made some 4-up comparison JPGs showing my new SLR versus my old pocket digital.

4 up

The main point of the comparison photos is to see how the range of lenses compare. I've scaled down the SLR's photos and cut the aspect ratio of the Canon's shots, so image quality is not the main focus of this comparison. I also didn't play with the advanced features of the SLR because the Canon doesn't have the range of variability like the SLR. But I did take photos in two different modes just to see if I could discern any changes.

S40

Overall the lens supplied with the SLR has about the same range as the Canon, while the telephoto lens & 1.4x multiplier attachment goes where the Canon can't. I took the photos on a partly-cloudy day so the ambient light changed between various shots, which diminishes the comparison value of color & exposure. One thing that is clear is the Canon suffers from the usual problem of depth of field. Even when I'm taking a photo of something close, the background tends to be in focus. In the above photo you can see that the Canon does have the background out of focus somewhat, but not nearly as much as the SLR.

One thing the Canon has going for it is portability, so I don't think I'll be abandoning it yet. It still takes great snapshots, and sometimes all I want is a snapshot.

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