April 25, 2008


A friend pointed me to Sweat365.com, so I decided to start a training blog. I'm not really training for anything at the moment, but this'll give me a place to record when/how I work out. Sure, I could keep a handwritten journal of this, but then no one would get to read it. :)

So, if you get bored, head over to 3leggeddog.sweat365.com and check it out.

April 24, 2008

Splornack the Powerful

If you want to live dangerously, be sure to tease the biggest guy in your office about being a World of Warcraft dweeb player. As he leaves a meeting, don't forget to give him the Spock salute as you tell him to, "Live Long and Prosper". Also be sure to tell him that it's illegal to hunt deer in the Flarknite Mountain range until after the 15th of Dorkcember.

April 22, 2008

Photog Class - Day Three

Very cool class yesterday. We talked about the Auto Focus modes on the rebel and I learned some cool stuff. First, I learned that my camera should make all those "zzzt zzzt zzzt" noises when I use AF Servo mode and that it's not screwed up. Apparently this Auto Focus mode constantly readjusts focus assuming that the subject will be moving, i.e. sports photography. Second, learned that Single Shot (or One Shot) will hold focus as long as I hold down the shutter button. Way cool.

Also learned about white balance, which is neat, and found out how to change to the preconfigured settings. Going to make a habit of checking white balance each time camera is turned on. Don't want to hose up stuff because of balance problems.

And finally, I'm debating on whether I should switch from JPEG to RAW. I learned more about RAW last night. I've got Photoshop so I can manipulate RAW images if I need to, but am not sure if I want to have both RAW and JPEGs of the same shots. Comments? Suggestions?

April 21, 2008

I done blowed it up

I was working on something for a friend and ended up blowing up my iPod. Well, blowing it up is a strong phrase. Let's just say iTunes had no idea that there was an iPod attached to the end of the USB cable. The bad news is I had to restore it from scratch. The good news is that I've embarked on a project to rip all of the CDs in my music collection. I figured since I had to rebuild it, I might as well stick as much on it as I can.

Sitting next to me is a stack of CDs to be ripped. Since iTunes does it so easily, I'm using it to rip them. When I'm done, I'll blow the iPod away again and reload all the music. The only thing I don't like is I can't figure out how to get iTunes to automatically find the album art when I rip a CD.

I've discovered some stuff I haven't listened to in years like old (and good) REM, The Replacements, YES from the early 70's, old blues that I'd forgotten about, and several other gems I can't think of. This is going to be a bitch, but I think it'll be good in the end.

And to the RIAA? This is MY music, bought and paid for, so back off Biyotch.

UPDATE: I love listening to old REM. I can sing along even if I forget the words. To this day, I can't understand half of what Michael Stipe says.

I'm ok, you're ok.

I came to an interesting realization the other day and it made me laugh when I thought about it. I’m never going to be the tall, dark, and handsome man I presume women are looking for. That may appear like a negative statement, but it’s not really meant to be. I guess it’s just me finally realizing that the only thing I’ll ever be is…me.

I don’t know if a lot of people do this, but while driving or just hanging out, I find myself suddenly involved in these Walter Mitty-esque fantasies. Either I’m playing blues like Stevie Ray, or kicking ass like Jet Li, or any number of things. For some reason, I think this’ll make me a better person or more likable or personable. The real truth is that it’d make me nothing of the sort. I’d still be me, but more of an ass-kicking, blues playing me. But still just me.

I was talking to a friend the other day and he said something that got me thinking. We were talking about going out and meeting girls and just dating in general and he said, “We’ve got to build up your confidence” to which I replied something about it’s not so much confidence as not really liking who I am. He said, “Why? A lot of other people like you.” I didn’t know how to respond.

The truth is, I've never been comfortable as me whether it’s because I was never fond of the name “Howard” (sounded like an old person’s name to me), or of being Jewish, or of quite a few other things that I don’t like. And you’re right if you’re thinking that those are stupid things to worry about. I can almost guarantee you that people I meet never think, “Howard? Geez, that’s the name of an old guy” and I’ve never had any issues about Jewish or the myriad other things I think about. But they still hang out in the back of my head.

It’s also true that I am well-liked by a lot of people for various reasons. I’m sure there are some people out there that don’t like me, but they can kiss my ass. I have quite a few great friends and have no trouble meeting or talking to others...as long as I think there's nothing going to come of it...or it's kept on a strictly friendly basis.

Actually, that's not really true. The big problem is letting someone know that I do like them. It's getting rid of the "Why should they like me?" attitude and changing it to a "Why shouldn't they like me?" attitude. I had someone tell me the other day, "I know looks aren't the only thing and most of the time, the good-looking guys are jerks, so why can't I find a nice guy?" I wanted to wave my arms and say, "Uh, hello??! Nice guy here!".

The bottom line is that I’m slowly coming to the realization that the only thing wrong with me is my perception of myself. If I really think about it, I’m a pretty good guy…smart, funny, weird, loyal, respectful, etc. I just need to work on projecting that and quit worrying about what someone else thinks...or doesn't think, for that matter.

April 10, 2008

Brain brakes

I'm walking into work this morning and one of our security guards has a little Bluetooth headset in his ear. His name is Cornelius, but we all call him C.

I said, "C, you got a bug in your ear. Might want to swat it."

He said, "This is how I communicate with everybody. Gotta have my earpiece in."

I responded with something about how technical he looks and he says, "I feel like MT2 or T3...you know, the Terminator."

Now we all know that my mouth will many times speak before my brain has a chance to process it. For example, I was eating at a friend's house the other day and his wife served us blackberries and strawberries with whipped cream. Before I could stop it, my mouth said, "I love whipped cream on my berries"...I thought his 14 year old son was going to choke to death.

Anyway...when C said, "I feel like MT2 or T3...you know, the Terminator.", my brain reacted quicker than ever and stopped my mouth from responding with, "Actually, that would make you the C-minator".

April 09, 2008


Added some shots I took last night as part of my homework. Also added a dog pic or two, one of which has Trey with snow on him...or at least what passes for snow in Mississippi.

Go here and look for the Photography Class set for the homework shots and The Dogs set for pictures of Trey and Fancy.

April 08, 2008

Photog class Day One

Went to my first class last night and it was incredibly interesting. First thing I noticed was that 90% of the class had some flavor of the Canon Digital Rebel. I was seated at a table of 6 and all of us had a Canon. The good news is that the instructor also shoots with a Canon so that's cool.

We started out with the basics; f-stops, shutter speeds, and ISO. I finally understand what a "stop" is, how it's used, and what it represents. I also understand the numbering scheme and how it relates to the size of the lens aperture. I know I learned this in high school, but it makes sense now. Plus, the instructor gave us a cool chart showing the f-stop and corresponding aperture size so I have that picture in my head. In addition, he showed us how adjusting one, two, or all three settings can affect how the photo turns out.

I also realized that using digital, I can change the ISO per picture unlike shooting film. That in itself is way cool.

My homework for this week is to set the camera on manual and go take photos. May go to a softball and/or baseball game tonight and give it a try. First thing I need to figure out is how to adjust the f-stop. :)

April 03, 2008


Hey, if anyone can find this camera lens in stock, I would be forever grateful. Everywhere I've looked, it's out of stock or on backorder. Amazon kindly says "Available in 1 to 3 months". Nice. The reviews say this is a kick ass lens for the price and it's even got image stabilization.

Anyway, I'm looking for the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS for the Rebel XT.

Start scouring the internet Dear Reader!!

April 02, 2008

Takin' pitchers

I signed up for some photography classes yesterday. My alma mater is offering two classes, Basic Photography for 4 weeks, then a Digital Photography class for another 4 weeks. Since Monday nights are free, I thought I'd sign up.

I took Basic Photography when I was in high school, but remember little about it. I know about film speeds and shutter speeds, but don't remember much about f-stops and aperture settings and some of the more advanced beginner things. As one friend put it, "I want to be able to take great pictures in manual mode rather than always relying on auto mode". I couldn't have said it better myself.

The cool thing about the class is that it's taught by a professional photographer instead of someone who just enjoys taking pictures. I'm really looking forward to it, especially since the class ends about 10 days before my Cancun trip.

So keep watching this space for some sample photos. If you're interested in pictures I've already taken, head over here.