Sunday, August 21, 2005

My Big Fat Dog

I took Scout to the vet a couple of days ago, and they told me he's too heavy. I'm a bit worried, but he only weighs about 84 lbs. Great Pyrenees get much bigger than that, although Samoyeds don't get nearly that large. He seems much more of a Pyr to me though. He's pretty big, but I never thought that he was fat. I think we feed him too much human food, and don't give him enough exercise. We're trying to walk him more, and feed him less. We took him down to Massachussetts St. last night, and he got a pretty good workout from it. We'll have to see if we can give him the Richard Simmons treatment.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

This is more like it.

I'm pretty worthless when it comes to Photoshop, but it can do some good things pretty easily. I'm pleased on how it improved this picture. Much easier to fix things than it used to be. Do a comparison with the one below. I think there's an improvement anyway.

Some more closeups

These are some more that I took with the reversed lens trick. It's a huge pain to do this, though. You gotta take about a hundred shots to get something workable. Well, at least I do. Not too bad, but I gotta clean these up in Photoshop to make them better. We'll see when that gets done. It's a ways down the priority list.

I need to figure out how to use my camera, part 2

This kind of stuff amazes me. Taken with the same camera as I have, but with dozens of times more skill. Of course he is using a lens that costs more than my camera, which costs a ton. It just amazes how much a person can spend on this stuff. My camera is really nice, but it's expensive. I can't imagine how some of these people can drop $2500 on the new D200, plus $1250 on the above lens, and over $1600 on this bad boy. I've seen pictures taken with it, and they're amazing, but I think more than anything I need to learn to use my camera better, and get good shots with what I have. These were taken with my same setup. Maybe I just need to move somewhere with better scenery.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Attack of the 50 Foot Eyeball!

I'm not sure if this is a good photo or not, but I think it looks pretty cool. It was tough to hand hold this thing, and the light source was a crappy desk lamp that we got for 10 bucks at Bed Bath and Beyond. Hopefully when I get my SB-800 it will work much better. If you look closely, you can see me reflected in Hillary's eye. Weird.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Working up my resume.

I haven't figured out how to store .pdf's on my site yet, so I converted my resume to a .jpg and posted it. You'll have to click on it to see it full size, and hopefully then you can read it. We'll see how that works out.

It's a little out of the ordinary, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. Not sure if it'll be terribly effective, but I suppose we'll find out.

Edit: Apparently the .jpg option didn't work out so well, unless you're my buddy Paul Rau, who has 20/10 vision, or something crazy like that. I need to find a place I can host files on the web so I can get my .pdf version out there. Hmmm...maybe I should call Paul. He is a genius. He'll have an answer. More to come...

Edit: Here we go. I think I figured it out.

Marketing gone wild

I've been getting a lot of weird, random posts from people that apparently haven't been reading the content of my blog, but have posted out of context replies to it anyway. I had my initial suspicions, and this article seems to confirm them. Yes. It's spam.

I went through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief.


I'm still working on Acceptance. Is nothing safe from this non-targeted advertising tsunami? But I got to thinking about it, and really, it's not surprising at all that we put up with spam.

For instance, I probably get more pre-approved credit card offers per day, or offers to refinance my student loans than I do spam emails. I love how they have printed on the outside "Please Do Not Discard." Yeah, that's gonna work. "Don't throw me away! Please!" might be more effective, but I doubt it. What really irritates me are these student loan financing letters, that do their best to imitate official mail regarding my pending student loans, and then it turns out to be nothing more than a refinancing offer. Some people surely fall for that. My bank actually sent me a valid, $5.00 check, but in the fine print it stated that by cashing it you agree to a service that costs $10.00 per month. I didn't fall for it, but how many others did? It must be pretty discouraging if you offer a product that only gets sold by tricking people into buying it.

And speaking of widely distributed, non-targeted advertisements, what about TV commercials? Do I really need femine hygiene products? Have I, or will I ever, at any point in my life? Yet I've seen hundreds, if not thousands of ads for all manner of them. My wife always complains when she gets spam emails about penis enlargement, but that's just about as relevant to her as Tampax commercials are to me.

Not that I'm defending spam. No way. It's just that it amazes me that we complain so much about it, when in reality it's eerily similar to forms of marketing our grandparents grew up with. As irritating as it is, I can delete about 30 spam messages in the time it takes to sit through one car insurance commercial, and I could probably install a spam filter, delete 60,000 messages, and bake a cake in the time it takes to sit through one of those Tony Little infomercials.

I don't have a solution, yet. But I'm working on one, in all seriousness. Direct, targeted marketing is the future. Google does it, and makes a mint out of it. If someone searches for "Thomas the Tank Engine" on Google, you get about a dozen hits for places that sell Thomas the Tank Engine related goods. Think if the same thing could be done for your TV. What if you could type in some demographics of your household viewers, interests, hobbies, etc., and would only see commercials that were at the minimum relevant to you. With the internet, and media being distributed over the web, it's really pretty easy to imagine.

I don't know if I'd personally like to see directed marketing or not, but if nothing else, it would be more effective. Any ideas?

Monday, August 15, 2005


I just signed up for SmugMug to share my photos online. It seems to work really well, and I'm happy with it so far. I'm adding it to my links along the side of my blog, so you can check them out if you like.

What the future may bring

This article really got me thinking. It may be kind of pie in the sky, but I'm obviously a nerd, and stuff like this does it for me. Google with an OS? I've heard the rumors for a long time, but this sounds like something that's definitely possible. I can't think of a Google application that I didn't like. It would be interesting to see what kind of office suite they could dig up. I wonder where they'll be in 10 years.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I haven't posted much of my photography lately, so I thought I'd do this. I have a neat trick I learned about that lets me do some pretty decent macro photography with my current equipment. These are some cufflinks Hillary got me last year. I haven't gotten the color quite right, but I think it's just the lighting. I'm happy with the results though.

All's well that ends well.

It turns out that neither of my trials ended up working out. The one guy pled right before the trial started, and I didn't end up doing the DUI one either. That being said, it ended up being an extremely positive experience. I feel like I was able to have a huge amount of actual in court experience for an intern. I tried cases, argued motions, and did a ton of traffic dispositions. I dealt with attorneys, both arguing against them as well as negotiating with them. I have a much better idea of what it takes to do what these guys do, and what it takes to convince a jury that they should see things your way. It really has been a rewarding summer. It was hard work, but hopefully it will pay off. Now I just have to find a job for the rest of the school year. Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

OkiData C5150n

This is a huge beast, but a great deal for $241. Gotta love it. I printed out a 510 page document tonight that fills the 3 ring binder you see in the picture and it didn't break a sweat. You can see my LCD in the pic too. Sold all of the last batch of 28. Gotta love the free market.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

On Deck

Only about a week to go, but things are coming to a head. I'm getting ready to tee-up one of two jury trials for Monday. I'm not sure which one will go though. One's a theft and the other's a felony DUI. I'm pretty excited about them, but it's going to be a challenge. I'm a little nervous about jury selection, because I've never done it before, and I don't have much time to prep for two. More than anything this summer, I want to get a jury trial. I had one scheduled a while back, but it ended up going away, which was dissapointing. I have two on deck, so one of them will almost certainly go. I just wish I knew which one, so I could focus on it.

I have several bench trials scheduled for tomorrow, but I'm not sure how many or which ones will end up going. Then I have another motion to suppress tomorrow afternoon. I was supposed to go on a ride-along with the police on Friday night from 5 PM - 3:30 AM, but I ended up cancelling because I'm going to need some time to devote to my jury trials. It would also suck getting up at 6 AM on Friday and working non-stop until 3:30 Saturday morning. I'm going to see if I can do it next week though.

My appellate brief is finished, and was printed out today to send to the Kansas Court of Appeals. Hopefully that one works out as well.

Wish me luck, and I'll post how things turn out.