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My Life

iLife ’09

So I’ve had iLife ’09 for about a week now and have been using it heavily. About the only 2 things I use in this though are iPhoto and iMovie. Both of which are a HUGE improvement over what was previously there.

However, iPhoto is missing a TON of features.

  • Very SLOW! – Faces and Places are both VERY VERY slow. When I add new photos, it takes FOREVER to find the faces, etc.
  • Additional Faces / Missing Faces – It’d be nice if when I click the “Add missing faces” iPhoto attempts to locate missing faces. Also, I wish that you could add the box, and then just CLICK in the Name area to name it, instead of having to click “Done” and then click again to name someone. Another thing is it’d be nice if there were a way to tag “Other people in this photo”. IE people who might not be exactly FACING the camera, but are IN the photo.
  • Smart filters for Places and Faces – These need to be expanded a LOT. I’ve always found iPhoto’s smart filters lacking and now they are missing even MORE features. I wish I could find photos who have a face but are not labeled. I wish that the Smart filters for places were much smarter. Some photos DO have geotagging, but they are not “apple’s” geotags, so it counts those as not having GEO info! Very annoying.
  • Delete from Albums, Smart Albums – I use albums, not events, to manage my photos. This is how I like to do it, I find it MUCH easier to organize. I have folders for each year and then albums in those folders for each event. I also use Smart filters a lot to find photos. But you cannot EASILY move images from the albums to the trash. Give me the ABILITY to do that with a warning or something at least.
  • REMOVE BACKUPS! – This is something people have been wanting FOREVER! I currently have 19,717 photos in my library, at 37.6Gb. But my iPhoto library takes up a whopping 51.73Gb!!! This is insane. I want to recover all the space from images that are duplicates (backups/etc). If I make edits to a photo 5-8 years ago. I don’t really CARE about keeping the original. LET ME DELETE THEM!
  • I haven’t really used iMovie too much yet, but one really annoying thing that I was hoping would be there was the ability to edit background music from within iMovie. Currently if I have a track in the background and want to quickly cut out portions of it, I have to open the audio track in another program and edit those sections out. It’s just very cumbersome. I hope that they continue to make HUGE strides in iMovie they way they have in this last release!

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Around The Globe Not Published

Yosemite National Park!

My legs…. HURT!

I’ve been in Yosemite park since Wed and I have had so much FUN! That place is just gorgeous! I wish that I could spend months there camping and hiking through the back country and just sitting on the rocks overlooking a waterfall and reflecting on life. There were many times when the beauty of that place brought a tear to my eyes.

Wed night Christian came over and brought all his shit, we hung out that night and finished getting the group stuff ready and had a few drinks. Got up Thursday morning and picked up the rental truck and then everyone showed up at my place around 9. We loaded up and headed out. The drive there was pretty easy really, we only stopped once, but got LOST in the town that we were in and could NOT find the way back to the freeway! Once we got into the park I was so excited to just get there. I love flying around all those curvy roads, the people in the back seat though were getting sick. Opps! We got into the park about 3:30ish and quickly unpacked and then did a quick 2 mile hike up to Mirror lake. I fell in. 🙁

Friday morning we got up early and cooked breakfast. We were going to do the Panorama Trail so went up to the lodge to get tickets on the shuttle bus but they were all sold out till 1:30pm! Decided not to do that and went on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail instead. The sign said it was only 3.2 miles, so we figured it’d be pretty easy, little did we know that in those 3.2 miles you gained 3,000 feet in elevation! It was very hard for most of the group. Half of them turned around about half way to the top. Even I had lots of problems the last 3/4 mile. Between the steepness of the trail and the elevation I could hardly breathe! But it was really worth all the work to get to the top and see this amazing waterfall just flying over the edge of the cliffs. We hiked a little bit past there, then stopped at the river bed and filled up our water bottles for the hike down.

Got back from that and made dinner then a few of us went to a talk given by Ron Kauk where he showed Return to Balance: A Climbers Journey which had some amazing shots of him climbing and of Yosemite in general. It was really neat to see. I talked to him after and got some pointers for my next trip up to Yosemite where I could do some easier climbing. After that I had to run to the Village to do some work and then back to the campsite for bed.

Saturday morning we got up VERY early because our bus for Glacier Point left at 8:30am! We got everyone up and breakfast cooked and on the road just in time! The bus driver was really funny and was telling stories the whole way up there. We got there and looked around a little bit and then started our hike down Panorama Trail. This one ended up being around 10 miles total and 5,100 descend and about 1,900 ascending. We got to see some amazing views of the falls throughout the park. Some of which were Illilouette Fall, Nevada Fall, Vernal Fall and ended along the VERY steep but wonderful Mist Trail.

Part of the group turned back once we hit the mist trail. Which was probably a mistake, because they then had a 4 mile hike ahead of them, instead of just the 3 very steep miles that we had. The Mist trail was just amazing though! We got back an hour before the rest of them did. That night Nick and I headed up to Tuolumne Meadows to watch the sunset… The meadows are at 8,600 feet above sea level, it was 41 degrees when we got there and there was still pockets of snow! But we were crazy and went SWIMMING in the river! 🙂 Ok, I was in the water for about 1.5 seconds before I jumped out screaming like a little girl. Nick was more manly and was in for about 4 seconds total! It was wonderfully refreshing though after the long day of hiking we had. We spent a few hours in the meadows and really enjoyed the sunset. It was just amazing.

Got back to camp late that night and we all sat around drinking and talking and having a great time… Got up about 7 on Sunday morning and Sirin made breakfast for everyone which was delicious. Packed up camp and we were out of there by 10am! Got back to LA around 3:30 and unpacked.

It was so wonderful being up there, sleeping out under the stars and just hiking and enjoying nature. I cried a little bit as we left, and then again as we were coming over the pass into LA and seeing all the smog and the cars again. I hate smog and cars. I just want to sleep under the stars and enjoy nature!

All the photos are available here. And you can view our google earth tracks/photos here.

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Not Published

A letter to Const…

Dear Constantine.

I just wanted to write you this morning. I did a lot of thinking and a lot of crying last night and just wanted to follow up with you before we talk tonight. I hope that you understand how much I care for you and how much you mean to me. I hope that while you’re thinking of what you want, that you’ll go back through all the photos of us and that you’ll think of how much fun we’ve had and how close we’ve gotten over the last 8 months. I hope that you’ll think of the times in Europe when we’re just wondering around. I hope that you’ll think of the nights we spent there hanging out and drinking tea and talking and playing cards. I hope that you’ll think of that first day we met and watched the fireworks. I hope that you’ll think through all this.

I love you and every part of you. Every moment we are not together my body aches. I love it when you smile, I love it when you talk, I love your voice, I love to see your face in the morning and I love to see your face every night. I love that we can talk nerdy, but we can have fun as well. I love that you camp and are adventurous, I love your wardrobe, I love your taste in music, I love your deepness, I love that we can read books together. I love how smart you are and how much background you have. I love that you’ve been so devoted to one company. I love that you’re so talented and creative with photography. I love that you are not afraid to be WE.

I wish that I would have been telling you all these things before. I wish that I hadn’t taken advice from an asshole. I wish that I hadn’t been afraid to show you how much I really cared for you.

That first night we met, that most wonderful July 4th. I wish that we could have cuddled up more on that blanket on the beach under the stars. But I’m so happy that shortly after that we’ve had the chance to be so close and spend so much time together. I don’t want to see that end. We’ve both made mistakes over the last few weeks/months. I want to take this time to fix those mistakes and not to give up on WE.

I admit that I am jealous and I will try on that very hard, it’s hard for me to not get to see you so at all after we’ve spent so much time seeing each other every weekend and 2-3 nights a week. I admit that I am sad when you go out and have fun and I am sitting at home, but I will work on that. I feel like I am missing out on this part of your life while you are there, and that makes me sad. I want you to have fun while you are there and make those steps that you need to take so that when you come back we can be even closer and even more in love. I want you to get back to your roots of photography and find whatever else you’ve been missing while with me.

And once you find that, I don’t want you to lose that when you come back. I want to share in that part of your life. I want to see you go out and do more photography here, I want to start climbing with you. I want to share in these things with you, I want to learn and see how happy you are when you do them. I want to be happy with you. There’s nothing more in this world right now then that I want you to be happy. But I want you to be happy and be able to be WE. I want us to be happy together.

At the same time, I too have fallen away from a lot of the things that I like doing and that I used to spend a lot of time with. Programing random things, painting, doing various project, etc. While you are away I will work and am working on finding these individual things in myself again. I want you to share in these things with me too. I’d like it if you were to start biking with me. Even if it’s just a cruise up and down the beach. I’d love to share with you in painting the picture in my room. I’ve always loved photography as well and would love to learn a little bit from you. I’ll never be able to be as creative as you are, but I’d like to make my photos a little better.

I think the spark you talked about last night gets lost in every relationship. A spark of first meeting can never last, the fire eventually dies down, but as long as the coals are still glowing hot, the relationship survives. It’s the same as riding a roller coaster, the first time you have a huge spark, but by the 10th time, you just enjoy it and you become familiar with it. I think we’re at that spot in our relationship and now that you are 1,600 miles away we have to work a little harder to keep the coals burning bright. I feel that if we both work on this though, and work on the things we’ve discussed, that we can keep the fire burning and I hope that when you come back in April and when you finally return in the fall that we can have this amazing relationship and I hope that it will last for years and years.

In conclusion, I just wanted to get all this out there and say it in writing. I want you to know that I love you and that I’m terribly sorry for not expressing this earlier. I will work hard on the things we’ve discussed. I only want to be happy with you and for you to be happy.

Love,
Chris.

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Around The Globe My Life

Napa Valley Trip!

I love three day weekends…

This past weekend we had a great time. First was Jason’s birthday party on Friday. We had a great time, but left early. I felt bad about leaving so early, oh well.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed out to Napa Valley. On the way up there we stopped at Pinnacles National Monument. The drive from the freeway to the monument was tons of fun. But we only spent about an hour there. It was pretty and I’d like to spend a little more time there.

Got up to Napa late that night, went out to eat and while we were
eating this girl next to us saw that we were looking over maps and stuff and talked to us about the winery she worked at called Mumm Napa.

Sunday morning we got up and headed out at 9ish. Our first stop was a few parks and what not. First was Bothe-Napa Valley SP. It was a nice park, but nothing exciting. After that we headed to the Old Faithful of California. That was also fun, but again not that exciting. It was neat to ee though. Then we headed to the petrified forest. Here’s a pic of Const at the Petrified Forest:

From there we headed out to the winery’s! First was Sterling, which was probably my favorite in terms of the overall experience. First you arrive and take a tram ride up the side of the hill to the top of the winery. You are greeted with your first wine tasting and then you go on a self-guided tour of the winery. Here’s a shot of the HUGE wood barrels they ferment the wine in:

As you make your way through the winery you get to try a few different wines, on the balcony you get some wonderful views of the valley and you can just chill and talk and drink your wine.

Once you get through the winery you can take a seat in the main building and you get to try three more wines. On the day we were there they had some AMAZING Truffles there as well from a company called Truffle Gateau. I HIGHLY suggest going and buying some of them!

After this place we headed out and and drove to Burgess Cellers. Apparently you needed reservations or something, because the guy seemed very confused that we just walked into the door that said “OPEN”. So we just left. Headed from there to Sutter Home, which we went to because I really liked the building. Tried a few wines, but nothing I really liked.

Headed from there to V. Sattui Winery. This was another GREAT winery. But only because of all the foods and cheese they had at the shop. Oh my god. The cheese was wonderful! We also ended up buying 6 bottles of wine from them. From there we headed to Mumm beacuse of the girl we met. We didn’t taste anything there, but saw the art gallery and bought two small bottles of wine just for the hell of it

Our last stop of the day was Peju (only because it was basically the only one open past 5). I really enjoyed the modern art they had outside, inside we found this great pic which is just exactly like Tuxedo!! How cute:=

We got a great guy to taste with and basically a private tasting room because they were so busy! We bought two bottles of the Provence wine which was really good.

But this whole wine tasting thing. I really don’t get it. “In this wine you’ll taste hints of bannana and mango and this and that and the bottom half is a little bit sassy!”. Umm, really!? WTF!

We went home and were just so tired from all the tasting that we went to the hot tub and then just ate dinner and hung out at the hotel for the night.

Monday we headed home and stopped at the Golden Gate bridge for some pics.

From there we headed south to the Winchester Mystery House. This place was really cool. Very crazy stuff.

Of course, you can download our Google Earth Tracks here or you can download our GeoTagged photos here.

And photos of the trip are all here.

Categories
Around The Globe

Old LA Zoo – Griffith Park

This past weekend, Constantine and I set out to go exploring a few different abandoned areas of Los Angeles, we started out with the one we thought would be the easiest to find and sure enough it was.

The Old LA Zoo first opened in Griffith Park in 1913, the zoo didn’t do very good and had many animal escapes and was poorly funded, during world war I many of the animals died due to food rationing. In 1965, the zoo was moved to it’s present location just south of where this one is located. This past year during the Griffith park fires, the old zoo was nearly destroyed, thankfully it survived the fires and is still amazingly well kept.

We headed up the I-5 early Saturday morning and got off at the first Griffith park exit and parked in the Merry-Go-Round parking lot. Head back across the street and up the road (away from the merry-go-round). Here you will find a trail that heads to the right along the ridge and through some trees. Go up the trail just a little ways and you will find the first group of buildings. It’s really very easy to get too. This is the back side of what appeared to be the Lion cages. There were plenty of holes in the fence that you can get through to climb around. In fact the day we were there there was some group filming a movie, which included a large fake tiger!

We continued to hike around for a while and found a few different ways to get there. In fact if you don’t want to go through the hiking part, you can actually get to the front of the zoo by going around the Merry-Go-Round to the right of the parking lot and then just follow the larger parking lot to the left.

You can download or tracks for Google Earth here, and see just how easy it is to see. You could easily spend 30 minutes or a few hours exploring this old compound and the areas around it.

Our pictures of the Old LA Zoo are here. Or you can view the GoogleEarth GeoTagged photos here. Lastly you can view the other hard data from the weekend here.

Here’s some more references:
Marilyn Carolyn
Boing Boing
Zoo Zoo Zoo

On the way home we saw this cute little PokeMan bug… Crazy LA people:

(Notice the mini one on the dashboard!)