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where the wild things are

January 31, 2009
Filed under: photography — bcd @ 10:29 pm

we have friends with a nine-month old, their first child.  the wives got together and planned a zoo trip for today.

since i got my wife a new camera for xmas, this would be a chance for us to try it out on subjects other than our pets.  i have to admit: i am below neophyte when it comes to cameras.  i have been trying to read up and learn a little, but kinda like programming, it appears you can toil for a lifetime in the photography field and still only scratch the surface of knowledge.  i did find a great photo blog using the FZ28 – some really excellent stuff from an accomplished photographer.

anyway, here are three shots that look OK to me…i am sure a real photographer would have some constructive criticim:

Komodo Dragon

Tiger

Orangutans: Mom & Daughter

anyway – i’ve got lots to learn, but it was a great day to be at the zoo!


Oprah & Jeff Bezos’ Pig In The Poke

January 27, 2009
Filed under: Kindle — bcd @ 10:15 pm

if you bought and received a Kindle from Amazon since Oct 24, 2008, you got scammed.  Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had!  Ya been took!  Ya been hoodwinked!  Bamboozled!  Led astray!  Run amok!

why?

Oprah went on her October 24, 2008 show and professed her love for the Kindle.  she ooohed and ahhhhed and talked about the whys and the hows; then she let her viewers in on the deal – b/c she is so magnanimous, if you used her special code, you’d save $50 off a Kindle.  14% off!

for most people like myself – wanna-be techies who know only a smidgen more about technology, PCs, software, games, etc than our parents, their friends, and most of our own friends – we knew that this wasn’t all that great.  Boy Genius Report had already flashed the images of the new form factor on Oct 3rd.  all we were waiting for was the official announcement from Amazon.

so when my mom called me on Oct 25th asking what i knew about the Kindle and would i like one for my birthday (it was that day – thanks for the cards, bitches!) i calmly explained to her that Oprah was scratching Jeff’s back and he was gonna do her front later (shudder).

see, with BGR publishing the leaked images, the gig was up.  who would want to buy a Kindle 1.0 for Xmas (right around the corner) when you could wait and get the sexy, new, sleek Kindle 2.0 in a few months?  i am guessing all those morons people who bought the first iPhones, only to have Jobs try to fsck them without a reach-around, were the first to say no to the Kindle 1.0 at this juncture.  but Jeff Bezos is smart; wicked smart; hella-smart!

Jeff knew that if he got all of Oprah’s lemmings to buy out the dregs of his Kindle 1.0 inventory, then he would have no issues with his Cyber-Monday numbers.  but to get all of Oprah’s lemmings, he would have to offer Oprah something.  hmmm?  but what does one über-rich person give another über-rich person?

if Oprah only had an organization that could use a Kindle-like device for something like school books.

so there it is folks: Bezos and Oprah made a deal: Oprah pimps an outdated device, foisting it on an unsuspecting, captivated audience and in return, Jeff will donate X number of Kindles for Oprah’s burgeoning school projects. all we are waiting for now is Bezos’ announcement of Amazon’s gift to Oprah’s schools.

so why is this bad?  i mean, Kindles got sold, so people wanted them, right?

it’s bad b/c i think planned obsolescence hurts consumers.  i think manufacturers are loathe to discount items – even when it is their piss-poor planning that has led them to overlap production – so if they can unloaded something at almost full price prior to rolling out “the latest, greatest”, well, you can expect that the consumer loses every time.

i mean, if you got a Kindle for Xmas 2008 and the new form factor is coming out in Feb 9th, are you happy?  those crappy, big ass buttons aren’t in the way, right?

so the next time you think that Oprah is all for the little people, remember, she is for her little people.  the rest of you can just keep making her rich.


WCP: freeroll your way to the Borgata Winter Open Main Event

January 22, 2009
Filed under: casinos,latest update,poker,Uncategorized — bcd @ 5:54 pm

via Sir Al, the boys (and their library of girlie pics) at Wicked Chops Poker are hosting a freeroll tonight on Full Tilt Poker for the Borgata Winter Open.

you don’t read WCP?  what, you don’t like girls or poker? most of the images are even safe for work…i think.

hope to make it home tonight in time to see you there!


Sunday reading

January 4, 2009
Filed under: books,finance,WSOP — bcd @ 1:29 pm

lots of good reading here…take a peak!

Michael Lewis has commandeered the opinion page of the New York Times.  even though his background is versed enough to hold his own on financial matters, he teamed up with David Einhorn.

for those who may have forgotten, Einhorn was the guy who made a deep run in the WSOP Main Event in 2006 and donated all his winnings to charity.  yeah, he was the guy in the sweater that featured his kids’ handprints.  he also recently won in the Foxwood’s $3K NLHE event.  guy has got it going on!

as for Lewis, be sure to catch his year-end piece at Portfolio.com – it is fantastic.  as if that wasn’t enough, he also put out a book compendium of articles on the current financial crisis, going all the way back to LTCM.  i am about 2/3rds done and have enjoyed it a lot.

enjoy!


Best of…2008

January 3, 2009
Filed under: music — bcd @ 2:09 am

taking a tip from The Man Zack Lee, this year i am using Imeem for my Best Of list player. how can you beat it?

my goal was to put this out on Wednesday, Dec 31st, which would have truly made it after the last releases of 2008…but i am fscking lazy and was dealing with other issues at the time (don’t worry, mom’s biventricular pacemaker is all peachy-keen.) also, no lie, i was too lazy to boot my work laptop and pull the list off my desktop. so sad.

anyway, better never than late as i like to say. without further ado, my Best of…2008 list! eat your heart out Otter!

**best album to be played at my wake in lieu of contracting angles for services: Saturday = Youth by M83

Before The Dawn Heals Us was a favorite of 2005.  staying in the same vein and only making it better, this French band makes me wish Air still made music this good.  i played this CD more times driving home on the Fort Bend Toll Road past midnight, when i swear it could conjure up spirits from the fog-laden fields.

**best album that poses a question and then delivers the answer: Do You Like Rock Music? by British Sea Power

i wish i had found these guys on my own, but alas, as usual, David did all the work.  he did make sure i attended their show at Numbers, which helped solidify why these guys do in fact like rock music.

**best album by an artist i didn’t get in 2007: Microcastles by Deerhunter

you couldn’t throw a rock in 2007 without hitting a list raving about Bradford Cox; i tried to love Atlas Sound in 2007 but just didn’t.  color me slow, b/c not only was his Atlas Sound release during 2008 pretty damn tasty (Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel), but the Deerhunter release made me question why i even get to make a list after leaving his work off for 2007.

**best album that Nova gave me: Beautiful Freak by Eels

while i had heard about the Eels prior to 2008, i don’t think i paid much attention.  then PBS Nova did a special about Mark Everett and his quantum physicist father.  i went straight from the episode to his albums to his book.  color me sold.  thanks PBS – check is in the mail!

**best junk food for your ears: Feed The Animals by Girl Talk

Night Ripper was in constant play during 2007.  at one point i had to hide it from my wife b/c she was playing it too much.  seriously.  thank god, Gregg Gillis gave us something new (and better) for 2008.  no one has made Journey sound so cool.

**best album you could have had for free: Tha Carter III by Lil’ Wayne

by the time this hit the stores, i must have had 3 copies of all the songs and that excludes the fact that Weezy got in an argument with some DJ who leaked the whole damn CD in its entirety.  no matter, he sold bajillions and with good reason: it is hip hop at its best for 2008.  kudos to the man!

**best album by a Muslim who America should love a lot more: The Renaissance by Q-Tip

finally, after almost 10 years, Q-Tip remembered that his fans were waiting, in the desert, hoping to make it to the Promised Land. put this with Lil’ Wayne’s release you have all the hip hop you need for 2008.  this track, Move, amazes me; catch the beat breakdown at 2:50, where is goes from Amplified to Midnight Marauders.  so strong – the old and the new, wrapped up for our enjoyment.

**best album by a band i discovered b/c of drugs: Songs In A&E by Spiritualized

i bought 1997′s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space b/c i read about the “dosage” packaging and thought, any band that puts that much into their packaging, well, where there’s smoke….twelve years later, Jason Pierce is still making some of the best music out there – melody, orchestra, and lyrics for the tri-fecta!  plus he released this in a limited edition green vinyl – super cool.

**best album by a group i got in 2007: Dear Science by TV On The Radio

not much left to say about these guys – pretty much everyone picked their CD as best in 2008.  glad i jumped on the bandwagon in 2007 with their Return to Cookie Mountain release.

**best album by a Texas band: What Doesn’t Kill Us by What Made Milwaukee Famous

i saw these guys in 2007; just like the album, they blew me away.  then they went and released their Sugarhill Sessions for free for about a month.  ain’t nothing better.

**best album by the next generation of Gallaghers: Only By The Night by Kings Of Leon

another band i wished i had found myself.  David gave my wife their very first album, back when even people in Europe hadn’t heard of these guys.  four albums later and i am still in love with them…even if David and my wife don’t quiet get it.

**best album that makes you want to grow a beard: For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver

this is cheating: i heard the ranting and raving about Bon Iver during the summer.  despite that, i ignored the obvious hints to buy this album.  then, when almost everyone else was adding it to their best of ’08 lists, i bought it in early November.  i have listened to it almost daily since.  no lie.  both quiet and strong at the same time.  clearly one of the greatest things since sliced bread and Pet Sounds.  congrats to the beards.

Best of…2008


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