Sunday, June 29, 2008


She's headed off to Michigan tomorrow morning. I'll follow her on Friday, but I already wish I was going with her. We'll have fun at Lake Leelanau.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Awful. Just awful. The next time a homeless guy asks me for change, I'll give him $10. Just to remind me how bad a decision it was to buy a ticket for this piece of garbage.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

You may have noticed...

I've been running a lot of stories in the "Brad's Suggestions" section off to the right on the Zimbabwe situation. For those of you who don't know, Robert Mugabe, the long-standing dictator of Zimbabwe has plunged the country into a state of economic disaster through classic nepotism. He's the embodiment of the African strongman dictator stereotype.

Interestingly, Zimbabwe had elections some time ago, and the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai*, surprisingly took first place. However, unlike (most) US elections, there are usually multiple candidates, and unless one of them wins a simple majority, there's a runoff election between the top two finishers. It was initially believed that Tsvangirai won enough votes to claim victory outright, but the Mugabe controlled government claimed that an outright victory did not occur.

This set the stage for the runoff election, which has been a sham since it started. Tsvangirai formally withdrew from the election today. The state controlled media has prohibited his party from running ads, arrested his party's second in command on treason charges (where he faces the death penalty), and Mugabe-supporting militias have been beating, killing, and displacing the opposition's supporters.

It is unclear how the situation will be resolved, but it's mind-boggling to me that this kind of stuff still goes on.

*Pictured above, after being beaten and tortured by Mugabe's government.

Everything seemingly is spinning out of control

Seriously? That's a headline for an an AP article? See the unnecessarily attention grabbing headline HERE. This is one peg down from a newspaper headline proclaiming, "We're all totally screwed" and two rungs from, "OMG! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!" But when you look at the editor's picture, it kind of makes sense.


The article talks about all kinds of problems, such as higher food prices, midwestern floods, and natural disasters. As if these kinds of things are new. I think the Great Depression and both World Wars were much bigger deals than all the things the article complains about. And don't get me started on the Black Death in Europe.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I'm in a CLE. For those of you who don't know, that stands for
"continuing legal education". Basically, to keep my law license
current, I need to attend a certain number of "refresher courses". It

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Hillary and I watched a bullriding competition in El Dorado last weekend. It was a new experience, and definitely outside my normal routine, but interesting. Although someone needs to teach the bulls how to wipe. Trust me.

My D300 did very well. It kept the shutter speeds high enough to freeze the action, even after the sun went down.

This guy reminds me of Tim McGraw, for some reason.

It's ridiculous how athletic these bulls are. And how crazy the riders are.

He is not amused.

You mess with the bull, etc.

And the hooves, apparently.

This guy is pulling off his Kevin Bacon in Footlose impersonation. With a bull. Yeah.

Those horns look like saber toothed tiger fangs. And although I wasn't around, I'm quite confident cavemen didn't compete on how long they could stay on the backs of saber toothed tigers.

This guy messed with the bull as well.

This bull weighs 1700 pounds. And he can beat my vertical leap, four times over.

Tyler, TX is surprisingly nice

Especially given its environmental disaster zone reputation.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

WWDC '08

Here's what I want from Uncle Steve tomorrow:
1. Full Exchange compatibility and push email so I can ditch my
2. App Store up and running.
3. New Macbooks would be nice, but I probably wouldn't buy one anyway.
You can catch it on engadget. They usually have the best coverage.
My lunch hour will be entertaining.

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Stuck on the tarmac at Midway.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

If only we looked so good in real life...

Done by a really nice lady at Navy Pier.

Yet more...

Train at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Airplane exhibit.Another angle.
German U-Boat U-505.
Another angle.
This little propeller (along with the one on the other side) moved this beast through the Atlantic.
Smart Home. Awesome. Check it out.

I'm putting more pics on my SmugMug page.

More pics

The Navy Pier ferris wheel.
Another angle.
Hillary on a bridge across the Chicago River.
Hillary, different pose. (ISO 800, for those of you that care.)

Loving the D300

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Chicago Pictures

From my new D300.
Stairs up to the walkway to Navy Pier. Hillary decided against them.

The tunnel beneath Lake Shore Drive. The above stairs are just on the other side of this tunnel.

Hillary in the Cancer Survivor's Park. It was really pretty.

Just some building. I'm going to try and make an HDR out of it later tonight.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Headed to Chicago

Our 5th Anniversary is on Saturday. We planned a weekend trip to
Chicago to celebrate. We were going to leave on Friday, but my number
came up for a Chicago.

So we're taking off today instead of Friday, and getting some extra
time. Plus our flights were overbooked, so we're waiting for the next
flight, and picked up $850 in travel vouchers for the inconvenience.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

En route

I know I just posted about my camera equipment reshuffling, but I'm already back at it.

I wanted a new camera for Michigan this summer. I really wanted to buy the D80 replacement, but Nikon hasn't gotten around to making one yet. I didn't want to buy a D300, because it's pretty expensive, and really more than I need. I was looking at used D300s, but they weren't much cheaper than new ones. At first, I thought this was a bad thing, but then came to a realization. The fact that I couldn't get a good deal buying a used D300 probably meant that I could get a good deal selling a used D300.

I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.

I ordered one. If I decide not to keep it, I can probably get almost all of my money back out of it. These cost a couple hundred bucks per week to rent. I'll probably spend no more than $100 to "rent" it for a couple months. That will be plenty of time to get some good use out of it in Michigan.

I also think I'll sell my Nikon 85mm 1.8. It's a decent lens, but I'm getting a cheaper Nikon 50mm 1.8, which will work just as well for a low-light lens. I'll probably put what I get out of the 85mm toward a Tamron 90mm Di f/2.8, which will work better for portraits, and will let me do macro photography as well.

If I do that, my lineup will include a low-light prime lens (Nikon 50mm), a flexible superzoom with VR (Nikon 18-200mm VR), a wide-angle zoom (Sigma 10-20mm), and a portrait/macro prime (Tamron 90mm). That *should* do me for a while. The only other thing I'd really want would be a zoom with a fixed f/2.8 aperture, but I'm flat out not willing to pay for one that I'm not reselling. A telephoto would be nice too, but I really don't need one at this point. If I keep the D300, I'll probably get one of these, although it really irks me that the D300 doesn't work with the ML-L3 remote. You can't beat it.

I'll try to post some pics, once it arrives.