Tuesday, July 28, 2009

working the usa,

well the goal of the next couple of years is to travel all of the usa. This is my current state...

...layovers don't count...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

if I would had the chance to start over with my whole photo equiqument I would now have a rough idea what to buy and what I want:

  • D700
  • Nikkor 85mm F/1.4 ( I want to buy this lens since 2 years now and can never convince my self to spend the 1300$ on it, maybe for my 28th birthday)
  • 50mm F/1.8 (own it, 1.4 would be nice, but not really needed)
  • 35mm F/2 (my most used lens on cropped sensors)
  • 3 x SB-600 (got them)
  • 1 x SB-900 (got it)
well I got most of the stuff, I just need
  • D700
  • 85mm F/1.4
and guess If I sell some of my stuff
  • 70-200mm F/2.8 - 600$ (love the quality, hate the weight + AF)
  • D200 + Grip 500 - 600$
  • D80 + Grip 400 - 500$
  • sigma 10-20 - 350$
I would be still 2000$ short. Guess I wait 2 more years till they announce the D700 successor and upgrade than. I'm just really missing the low light intensity and after playing with a D700 last night, well I can only say I'm impressed over and over again.

But hey you never know what live throws at you...

friday night:

clubbing in sac

saturday night:

surprise party at sara's
party in sac afterwards till 3am


leave me alone, I wanna sleep...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

so we are back in davis and I learned something new.

I seem to like camping and honestly after buying all this stuff I had no real choice. But yes it was a lot of fun.

lessons learned:

  • my stomach can't handle only dried fruit, I need fresh stuff too
  • contacts worked surprisingly well, but quite a hassle in the morning/midnight
  • getting the brightest light I could find was an awesome idea. I actually could see something in the dark
  • ebooks and rivers are a bad combination. Get a waterproof bag for it
  • camera and rivers are a really bad combination, I found some great spots and couldn't get there with the camera, get a waterproof bag...
  • using only 2 lenses was a great idea, 35mm F/2 and 90mm F/2.8 worked very well, but I could had used something in the 20mm range like this
  • buying the right equipment the first time was a really good idea, it was expensive but I will have it for years.
  • bringing a reflector instead of flashes was a great idea
  • putting water bottles in the sun for 2 hours => hot nearly boiling water
  • waterfalls => much colder than rivers => store beer here...
  • do not sleep on a slope...
  • lots and lots of trouts in the river => bring fishing pole next time
  • if you do rock climbing during the day => bring gloves to avoid burned hands...
whats next?
  • portland/oregon coast in 2 weeks
  • next year hawaii or yellowstone (once i got over my fear of wild animals eating me, like bears/pumas)
  • Yosemite in September?
  • Scotland in October?
  • discovering which food is the right food
  • bring more tea

Well this weekend was a bit expensive, since I had to buy all kinds of stuff, but it was a lot of fun and I wanted to get most of this stuff since a couple of years. At least now I have it and can take it on future trips.

I also managed to rent out my old apartment for the next month, not for the price I wanted. But 350$ are better than nothing.

Friday, July 17, 2009


well the plan for this weekend was to go camping, and ever endless tries to avoid It I caved in.

Means shopping time :(

Which made me realize yet again that it sucks to not fit the standard.

  • sleeping mattress, normal person : 40 - 45$, gigantic tall people like me 85$
  • flash light, people with good night vision: 15 - 25$, people who are more or less blind in the dark, 'sir yo should get the extra bright one', 55$
  • super small lightweight pillow and sleeping bag 180$ (the one I borrowed did not fit in the car and was to big to be hiked in.)

Other stuff I had to buy
  • a hat, 25$
  • a folding knife, 55$ (after negotiating 16$). I'm not going anywhere without a knife! I watched enough MCGyver to know this...
  • 2 x water canteens, 20$. After now people who went hiking with me know I freak out, if I have not enough water
  • bug spray 15$ and they still will bite me...
  • ultra portable pillow, 15$
  • compression bag, 25$
another quest was to get food, which won't perish during the next 72 hours, while being outside in 40 degrees Celsius+ (104 something in weird American Fahrenheit) and gives me my needed 3000+ kilo calories to sustain me.

Short another 40$.

And I still forgot a lot of stuff, I know me...

video from our friends Jen & Abby after the houseparty/mini concert can be found here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

well our weekly gamenight turned out to be something special this week.
This time we got:

  • fantastic food, like always
  • a fun group of people, like always
  • a new game

here it comes,

live music from the touring band "Jen & Abby", which promptly let to an improved photo shoot, while they were performing for us, since they needed some pictures.

Now this put me into a challenging position, how the hell are I'm supposed to take pictures...
  • awe full location, a cluttered living room is just plain bad
  • not able to move anyone around, since I don't want to interrupt there beautiful music
  • no subject/background seperation
well since the girls where young and had great skin, the solution was simple. Just drop a couple of spotlights on them and let the rest of the world go black. I also tried some high keys, but they did not work at all.

Note for later, I could had used a 85mm F/1.4 so badly...

So they are not my best work, but for the circumstances they turned out pretty well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saturday we decided to make a 'short' trip to pine lake nearby. The idea was to hike and swim abit.

But for some reason it turned out to be a 10mile+ hike, since we walked around the lake. Which has 10 miles shore and our side trips and shortcut's did not really help. So to judge how I felt the next day, we walked roughly 2500 miles. Which translates into 12 - 15 miles, after some careful consideration.

Anyway it was a beautiful day and I had the chance to take some pictures.

how to describe twain harte, I guess wikipedia gives it a try, but can't say much about it.

My best guess is to look at this picture to the left. I think it tells you all in a very simple story.

Basically it's a small very relaxed and down to earth community. Celebrating the American way of live. Beginning with the old trucks and proud flags to small American dinners with deer heads on the wall and a waitress running around with a classic coffee pot, serving gigantic amount of breakfast for decent prices.
Everything closes by 9.30-10.00 pm and skunks are running around at night, trying (successfully) to escape me an my camera...

after we arrived at twain hart and got the cabin ready, which included hunting down several kinds of different spiders.

Yes gigantic monstrous spiders, the kind which I hate! They decided to move in since the last time the cabin was used. Ok it's been a year, but still they are not supposed to be there.

Anyway we both ended up (Ashley and I, not the spiders and I) relaxing in the cabin and reading a bit.

so this weekend started a bit unexspected with somebody trying to prove he can park. Resulting in hitting my car in the most unfortunate way. Causing no damage what soever, besides a cracked license plate.

Couldn't he hit my rear bumper? I need a new rear bumper...

Friday, July 10, 2009

well last night was fun, we just ended up going for a concert in the park and playing uno with friends.

The concert was, well different. It was supposed to be latin music, so I expected something like Santana style and instead we got some very strange and unexciting acoustic guitar player singing English songs.

Well at least we had fun with friends.

The picture on the left was only taken, because the light was so pretty...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

since people starting to complain that this blog is to much about work and coding and so, well there is now a new blog, only about coding.

Coding and More

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

SetupX Installation under Ubuntu

moved to: Coding and More

Creating Minimum and Maximum date in Java

move to Coding and More

playing a bit with my friend ashleigh and the camera.

But somehow nothing worked as planned, but we got some nice shots of her.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Grails and some annoying default CSS

moved to Coding and More

Thursday, July 02, 2009

well after years of grilling tri-tip and pan fried tri-tip we tried something new and involves the smoker (what a surprise)

We made an amazing smoked tri-tip and I think this is the way togo. Well the guest's seemed to be pretty happy too and we ended up making so much food, that I have a whole smoked tri-tip left to my self :)

Anyway the recipe:

  • get yourself a good looking tri-tip with some nice marbling and about 1.5 - 2lbs trimmed, or 2.5 - 3 lbs untrimmed (and trim it a bit)
  • make a dry rub out of salt and pepper and rub it onto the meat. You need roughly a cup of dry rub
  • toss in a zip lock bag and leave it in the fridge for 5 - 6 hours
  • remove it from the fridge when you are setting up the smoker, ca 45 minutes prior
  • fire up the smoker with some hickory wood and let it settle at a temperature of 220-250 Fahrenheit
  • toss in the meat, add the remote meat thermometer and enjoy a couple of hefeweizen (roughly 1 hour a pound, so about 90 minutes or 3 -5 hefeweizen)
  • do NOT open the smoker and look all the time, that's what's the remote thermometer is for
  • once the meat reaches 145 Fahrenheit, take it off the smoker and let it rest for 10 - 20 minutes so it's as juicy as possible
  • slice it into thins slices, alone in the kitchen (everybody else is outside...) and serve to the hungry pack
the dip

since I like to keep things simple and quick I just made a spicy (for germans) yogurt based dip.

  • 1 lbs of yoghurt, not the fat free kind!
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano to taste
  • half a red onion, minced

mix everything together and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. It works really well with meat, since it enhances the taste of it, by adding a slight sour and fresh note.

well today I took of the day to move to my new place for this year and I hope to stay longer here. Depending how everything goes with the roommate and my wonderful girlfriend.

So here are some pictures of the front and backyard and I post pictures of the rest of this house as soon as possible.

My room basically has barley any stuff in it so far, since i need to remodel my bed and so. But once it's done it's going to be beautiful.

The backyard and frontyard are nice and I smoked my first tritip tonight, which was just amaizing and pretty cheap at 20$ for 4 lbs.

I guess I have this kind of sandwiches for the next 4 - 5 days.

Anyway it's late and time for bed.