Monday, December 31, 2007

The beginnings of some informational documents (photography)

Well, I've finally started something I've been thinking about for a while. There's a lot I still intend to do with this, but it's a start, which will hopefully encourage me to do more.

I now have the beginnings of a guide to the Canon EOS 30D digital SLR.

There's a whole lot more to add to that guide (photos of menus and such, much more detailed analyses of existing concepts, other controls, and general prettification), and many other guides (other cameras, as I get them, and various peripherals and such) to write.

Hopefully, this will become a useful store of knowledge for folks wanting to find information about their equipment.

Eventually, I may even supplement things with short videos. (Gotta get some decent video capability first, though -- and of course more disk space to store it all!)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Aperture versus Lightroom

I just found a blog post by an acquaintance of mine (Ted), comparing Apple's Aperture with Adobe's Lightroom. It's well written, and I think I agree with everything he says in there (well, some things I hadn't tried doing, but everything I've tried...)

I, like him, am frustrated with the lack of an update for Aperture lately. I really liked it for a while there, and I miss it, now that I'm predominantly using Lightroom. And yet, that's the situation: I'm predominantly using Lightroom, because of issues with performance in general, and also, something Ted doesn't mention (because I presume he hasn't tried it), the way that Aperture utterly fails to behave properly with a project whose RAW files are on an NFS-mounted drive, once you quit Aperture. There's a way to work around it ("reconnect" the masters), but boy is it a pain. Those files are in the same place they were last time, and the drive is online and mounted, so very frustrating for Aperture to claim they're missing. Not to mention slow to reconnect a large number of them.

So, here's hoping Apple is still working on this -- both because I want Aperture to improve again, and I want the pressure of continued competition to make both options better.

Alas, for a variety of reasons, the notion of writing my own competitor is unlikely to ever happen... it's very tempting, though. I think the world could have a lot better than either of those programs, in certain ways.

If anyone wants to start an open source project, though, I'd be glad to contribute some time and ideas, and likely code, to the effort.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Google, here we go!

While I must admit to a little bit of ambivalence about returning to the work in the tech industry, and certain other little nibbling concerns, the fact remains that mostly I'm excited about the prospect of working at Google. The amount of time I have for my photography will surely decrease, which saddens me a bit, yet on the other hand, I've been feeling frustrated for a while by inability to make a few key equipment purchases, and having a salary again should help out quite a bit with such things, not to mention having health insurance again, etc., etc. So we'll see. Who knows, it may even re-invigorate me in ways that will leave me doing more photography. Or at least more of my art in that realm. That'd be nice. We'll see...

Anyway, yeah. I've accepted a job at Google, and I'm due to start on January 7th. There'll be two weeks of training down in Mountain View, CA, in the buildings I once worked in when they belonged to SGI. That'll take me back. (And my recollection of that place goes back further than that, as well -- I remember going with my mom to the little produce stand on the edge of the field that once occupied that same land. That was when I was in high school, and my mom worked at SGI, in a group a later worked in. Hmmm, there seems to be some circularity to my life, eh? ;-)

So, I'd love to try to get together with old friends from the bay area, so if you have any time free between January 5th or 6th and say the 20th, let me know, and we'll see if we can make something happen.

I shall do my best to keep to the "don't be evil". :-) Wish me luck.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I believe Amazon Kindle... will kindle a fire

So, I just saw Amazon Kindle the other day, while randomly visiting the Amazon main page. It caught my attention. I watched some of the videos. Pretty interesting, really.

For anyone who hasn't already clicked the link, here's the basic premise: it's a device which will allow you to read e-books, electronic newspapers, magazines, and blogs. It downloads the content wirelessly, and you can carry it with you everywhere. So it's like a book, only it's all the books you might want, all at once. Or at least that's the idea.

My take (not having seen one in person yet, or anything)? It will indeed kindle the fire of people wanting devices like this, but it won't be that fire. I could easily be mistaken, of course, but here's my reasoning:

Basically, my impression is that this device gets a number of things Right, and a number of things... well, let's just say Less Right:

Some of the things they get Right:
  • It's using "electronic ink" instead of traditional LCD. In theory, at least, this means a crisper image, that's more like paper, and thus much happier to read than a regular LCD.
  • It uses the cell networks (EVDO), for broad coverage (at least in the U.S. -- does it work internationally, though? Perhaps, but it looks doubtful, since they won't ship it out of the U.S.), but without charging any sort of monthly fee (of course, that just means the price of each title you download is higher, but I would still say that's the better option).
  • It has expandable memory (just add an SD card).
  • It doesn't use backlighting, which means you should be able to read it nice and easily in any good lighting situation.
  • It keeps track of where you left off.
  • There's a built-in dictionary for looking up words in the text you're reading.
Some of the things they get Less Right:

  • Clunky interface -- they seem to have done a half-way decent job with the interface, but only half-way. You can't touch the screen and have that mean something, so even though you can annotate certain pages, lines, and even words in the text, the way to do that is going to be moderately annoying. Not horrible, mind you, but annoying enough that I'm sure this won't be the final word in this technology space.
  • It only does cell networks. It should do wifi, too, so you can use it in places with wifi but no cell coverage (e.g. internationally, or in large metallic buildings or whatever).
  • As far as I can tell, there's no way to add arbitrary blogs to it. If this thing could be my RSS reader, that'd be killer (as in "killer app").
  • Of course, if it's going to be my RSS reader, I'd want it to be able to show me color, too -- e.g. for viewing images from my contacts on flickr.
  • The dictionary looks limited. It'll help when there's a word you just don't know, but the true word geeks (let alone the lexicographers) will not be satisfied.
  • More interface clunkiness: there are buttons to "turn the page" (in either direction), and thus it would seem it's page-oriented, and yet, at least with certain font sizes, it seems clear that one "page" does not always fit on the screen at once. This is certain to be highly annoying in some cases, even if only mildly annoying in others.
Anyway, that's what's springing to mind for the moment. Perhaps if/when I ever get my hands on one of the things, I'll be able to say more.

My impression, though, definitely boils down to this: I'm really glad someone's doing this kind of thing, and I think in the future there'll be lots more of it. And that's the thing. I don't know what will follow -- new revisions under this name, or competing products, or both, or what, but I fully expect that the current iteration of Kindle will not be the final word.

Still, I would recommend that folks check it out, and maybe even buy one if you've got the cash.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm trying out Etsy...

Well, I figured I'd give Etsy a try, as a way to sell my photos. I've been meaning to do this for a while. Well, I finally did it. Rowing Home is my first listing there. If it sells in a reasonable amount of time, I'll list more.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Time for a day job?

I got this little tidbit in an e-mail last night:

"Congratulations!! Hiring committee recommended to move forward with references and offer."

It's from a company you've all heard of. A company that most everybody who uses, or hears about, the Internet has heard of. A company that owns the site this blog is on. You know the one.

So, the next step is that they check my references, and then the recruiter guy and the compensation team work together to figure out what sort of offer I should get, and then that goes through an approval process, etc. And then I'll get an offer. First verbally over the phone, then in e-mail, and then perhaps a FedEx package, as well.

So now the big question is: do I actually want to take it?

There are numerous factors on both sides of the equation. Not all of them are things I'm comfortable talking about on a blog, for some reason, though I am interested in talking with folks about them. I will mention one of the negatives, though, since I'm guessing that a lot of folks would be hard pressed to imagine any, and see lots of positives with the idea. So, I'm a little bit frustrated at the notion that:

If I accept this job, I'll be going back to full-time work. This will significantly reduce the time, and likely the energy as well (though my hope would be that the job would be exciting enough that maybe it'll mostly just be time), that I could spend on photography.

Of course, the flip side is that I've been having trouble getting inspired with photography lately anyway, so maybe that's OK. Certainly I expect the pay to be helpful in buying some sorely wanted equipment upgrades and such... I know they say it's the photographer and not the equipment that makes the photos, and I very largely agree with that... still, there are certain types of photography, some of which happen to interest me greatly, that require specialized equipment. So... maybe it'll be good for my photography in the long run.

I do also see this job as an opportunity on a variety of levels, some of them profoundly meaningful to me, so... Chances are quite high that I'll accept. I just somehow feel like sharing the fact that it's not completely a no-brainer decision. In fact, I've been thinking about it quite a bit and for quite a while.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More evidence that it's time for a (bloody?) revolution

This had fucking better not be happening at the federal level:

If I find out that any legislator that represents me is engaging in this sort of tactic... Well, I don't know what I'll do, but I'll want their head.

Not. Fucking. Acceptable.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Is it wrong?

Is it wrong that I want one of these? Probably the coolest electric car in existence right now. It's not at all likely that I'll come up with the hundred grand to actually buy one (let alone insurance costs, etc.) any time soon (if even ever), but still, I want one. :-)

And it's electric! No *(&@#$'n gasoline!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Measure What Matters

A bit of wisdom, which I can back up from my own observations of the world, from Alan Durning*, of The Sightline Institute (when talking at a "Seattle Sustainability" presentation at City Hall, 2007-09-12):

Measure what matters -- or you'll end up valuing what you can measure.

What gets measured gets fixed.

In my own observations, e.g. from working in groups where metrics played a roll in management review of employee performance, people would change their behaviors in ways which would make whatever metrics they were having applied to them look good. Often, this was a good thing: e.g. quicker completion of trouble tickets. Often, though, it was a good thing on the surface, with a corresponding loss of something else that was valuable: e.g. quicker close of tickets may just have meant that tickets were being closed without the underlying issue actually being fixed.

So if we take the time to figure out what actually matters, and measure those things, then those things can get fixed, instead of just "valuing" something which happens to be getting measured.

One metric I'd like to see getting measured and having attention paid to it, which very clearly (in my mind) relates to "sustainability" of all kinds, is the birth:death ratio (i.e. population growth). I think we need to have this ratio be no greater than 1 (i.e. zero growth) in order to be sustainable. How we convince people to stop procreating is something I don't have an answer for. For my part, I intend to perhaps not have kids, and certainly if I do have kids, keep the number of them very low (1, maybe 2), and perhaps tie that to deaths in my immediate family or something. As medical advances let us live longer and longer, we need to be having fewer and fewer kids to keep this ratio at 1. Not that it's been anything close to that in recent memory, mind you... sigh.

* note: possibly paraphrased.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


OK, so... I want to make it so there is an End In Sight. I have theories on this. They are, unfortunately, going to have to take a back burner to certain other things for a little while, but hopefully they'll happen before too long.

And meanwhile, we also went and saw 11th Hour... Here's the trailer:

Anyway, that gave me a whole other list of things I'd like to do to take action. There's a lot that can be done, and a lot that needs doing... Hopefully I can tackle enough of it to make some progress towards sustainability in this planet. I hope to be learning a bit more about the options at the first (newly re-instated) Climate Soup meetup, which is to be held at the oh-so-cool store (which I've been meaning to blog about for ages. argh.), Goods for the Planet.. Many kudos to Laura for taking on this meetup! She's both excited and nervous about it, so I hope a bunch of folks will come out and lend their support.

I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say on these issues over time.

For now, let me add two words to some writing I saw on a post the other day:

Impeach, indict

To which I add (one word after each of the above): convict, convict

so we then have:

Impeach, convict; indict, convict.

And no, I don't just mean one person there.

My project that's on hold for the moment has a lot to do with the above, actually... more on that later.

Friday, August 24, 2007

No End In Sight?

Check out this review, and/or watch this trailer.

I'm thinking I need to see this movie. So I will. Tonight. 7pm. Uptown Theatre:

AMC Loews Uptown 3
511 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 285-1022

Anyone and everyone welcome to join me. I hope to lead some discussion afterwards, we'll find a spot for food/coffee/something and chat.

And then I'll surely blog more about it, once I've seen it.

the state of ruby documentation, part 1 (a rant)

[geek alert: if you're not a computer geek, this may not be of much interest.]

OK, so I just saw this in some documentation:
This article is part of the confusing world of Authentication in Rails. Feel free to get lost in a gazillion of nearly useless and/or outdated Wikipages.

I really like a lot of things about the Ruby and Rails communities. Stale documentation, though, is a glaring exception (and this isn't the only example -- rails docs without using migrations (or outdated versions) create a whole category of additional exceptions).

And I want it to change.

For my part, I will make a specific effort to help improve the documentation. I hope others will do the same. And in any case, whether you write anything new or not, PLEASE please please, don't encourage (including by standing by idly and allowing) folks to continue propagating the defeatist attitude above.

There. I've just started on my part, and re-written the above-quoted text to be more hopeful, and also added to the other linked page so it's easier for folks to know how to help. May these be the first of many edits I shall do.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Are there no decent Carnitas in this town?

OK, so, I've been in Seattle for over 4 years now. I have yet to have anything that I would call "decent" in the carnitas arena. And it's not just that it's not good -- they actually aren't so horrible, at some of the places -- it's just that they're not right! It's not the right thing. It's the right base, but not the right thing.

My definition of carnitas:
  1. slow cook some pork shoulder, with seasonings. (This part, at least some of them have figured out.)
  2. fry it (in its own juices, on a hot flat surface)! make the outsides crispy, darn it!
wikipedia gets it almost right:

Prior to serving, the pork is placed in fairly shallow pans to maximize surface area, then roasted at high (375 to 425 °F) heat for a few minutes to produce the famous alternating texture of succulent softness and caramelized crispness.

Emphasis my own. The only part that's maybe wrong is the roasting thing. Yeah, it's a dry heat. But not from anything like an oven; it comes from one of those big flat hot griddle things. With the big iron weight set down on it, too, unless they're just using the spatulas, to squeeeeze it into the perfection of cooking. After which it's slapped directly onto an otherwise-ready-to-go burrito that's quickly wrapped up (and not like they do it in Seattle, either -- they get that wrong here, too, everywhere I've been -- kinda close, but not quite right), and handed over for some serious yummy goodness.

If anyone knows of a place in Seattle that even so much as attempts this, please let me know. I miss my Taqueria La Bamba!. Anyone want to give me a big pile of money so I can hire those guys to help me start up a store up here? :-) I need my fix, and frankly, I need it more often than I go back down to the bay area.

On the up side, the Blue Water that's near me (and none of the others that I've been to as yet) do at least use that kind of griddle to very good effect for my regular order there: a steak & calamari burrito. I just wish they'd do up the Carnitas, as well. I keep asking the guy at the register when they're going to do it, but... alas, it hasn't happened yet. (Even though they do do (the feeble kind -- from steam-warmer-thing to burrito directly -- of) carnitas at at least one of their other locations, so it's not like they couldn't get the meat.)

Argh! I want carnitas! Help!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Taxing Plastic Bags...

So, there's a petition out there to encourage San Francisco in their notion of putting a fee or tax on the use of plastic bags from the grocery store. I like this idea a lot (and I put my name on the petition). Right now, I sometimes (when the check-out clerk bothers to care) get 5 cents off my ticket for bringing my own bag. Frankly, I'd rather knock a penny or so off each item in my bag, and pay 5cents for the bag if I forget my own bag, or need an extra.

I'd like to see this become ubiquitous, frankly.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. I do recycle my plastic bags when I have them, often after re-using them a bit. Wouldn't it be even better, though, to just reduce my intake? I'm working on my part of that... Won't you join me?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Holy Cheap CFLs, Batman!

I just walked across the street to Bartell's, to pick up some laundry detergent... and as I was walking back towards the detergents, something caught my eye. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Well, OK, no big deal, those are everywhere these days (yay). But the price... that was a bit more surprising. $3.99 for a 3-pack of 13W (60W equivalent) lamps. Or $1.59 for a single 19W (75W equiv.) or 23W (100W equiv.). That's like 70% off. Apparently the City of Seattle is somehow sponsoring this discount, though I couldn't find details on-line just now when I looked.

I don't know if it's all Bartell's locations, or just the Queen Anne store, near me, but it was a deal I couldn't pass up, and had to share, as well.

Get 'em while they last!

Monday, July 23, 2007

"Victimizing... with Reason"

Thank you, Laura my dear, for pointing out yesterday's Non Sequitur strip to me.

The rest of you: I recommend it; it makes for some good commentary on the insanity of faith, and the adherence (and adherents) to it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Reusable Bags

Reusable bags are cool. In particular, I like the ones from of the "workhorse" style shopping bag. Laura and I each have a couple, and they're basically with us (in her purse/bag, and in my back pocket) all the time, wherever we go. So, if we somehow randomly happen to need a bag (for shopping or... anything, really), we've got one.

I find them to be strong enough to hold anything I've put in them to date, including some pretty heavy items or sets of items... they fold (or just stuff) down into their attached little pouch quite easily, and once that's done, they're really small. Small enough to fit in... my back pocket, as previously mentioned. Thus, I can always have one with me, rather than the canvas bags I used to use a lot (and still do use for some things), which, while re-usable, you pretty much need to plan to take with you. Which screws you over on the random unexpected shopping trip.

Hence my love for Acme Bags (that's the other name for the same people).

So save the world, and stop using all those plastic bags. (Dog owners, I used to give you an ok on this, but Laura and Sophie have shown me that the cheap small little sandwich bags (which you can get at costco by the... ton?) work just fine, and surely they're lower impact. Hmm, I wonder if you can find those made from corn-plastic. That'd rule.)

Oh yeah, and in my last order, they gave me a little promo thing. You can get a free reusable bag by placing an order on their website that exceeds $25, and putting "FREE ACME BAG" in the comments box. They'll add a bag. (Some limitations apply, but they told me to "pass this offer on", so I feel it's fair game to blog about it.)

I tube with no tube

A few hours ago, I entered the fray and posted some videos on youtube. Just some old time-lapse stuff I had lying around (I really need to do more of that)... for example, the moon crossing the sky at Seattle Center:

I don't "tube", though... I've got no television. Well, ok, like certain other things (ahem, my car), I still technically own one, I just haven't used it in months, and intend to sell it eventually.

(Anybody want an old Trinitron?)

In other news, I'm no longer working with the folks at Villij. They're off in Colorado, and communication unfortunately broke down, and they weren't willing to work on trying to fix that, so... bye bye, at least for now. Maybe that means I'll be more active here, and/or at flickr, and/or etc. It also means I could use another job or something, so... if anyone has any ruby (preferred) or perl (perfectly acceptable alternate) or other geeky (acceptability depends on the details) work you (or someone you know of) might want me to do, let me know.

See? I still exist (not that anyone had asked).


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who needs netflix? free DVDs and more at SPL

Once upon a time, Netflix had a pre-paid-rentals mode of accounts. You'd pay for rentals in advance, in, say, a block of 50, they'd mail you the movies, you could return 'em whenever you wanted to get your next movie. It was great. You see, I'm an infrequent renter of movies, so their monthly-subscription-based plan didn't really make sense to me. I'd rent something every couple of months or so, and be paying a fortune for it. Granted, they've added cheaper monthly plans since then, as low as 4.99 a month, which approaches the point of being "worth it" for my infrequent rentals. But not quite, especially when there's something that's (arguably) even better...

Enter the Seattle Public Library (SPL), and in particular, their holds system. If you're an SPL member (which is free, you just have to live in Seattle or other certain parts of King County -- ok, granted, not everyone reading this will have that privilege), you can log in to the SPL web site, and you can then place holds on a fairly wide selection of DVDs. When they become available (which ranges from quickly to a good long while later, admittedly), you get an e-mail letting you know they're there, and you can wander in, pick 'em up, and do a self-checkout.

OK, it's true, this isn't quite as convenient as having them show up in the mail, but if you're as frequently downtown as I am, or near any of their other branches on a regular basis, then it's just a quick diversion from your regular routine. And it's Free! OK, yeah, there's also this funny thing called a due date, which netflix doesn't have... but you can usually (depending on how many other people are waiting) renew (on-line, with just a couple of easy clicks, 24/7), and if you're late a little, it's a much less harsh fee than what, say, blockbuster would charge.

Oh yeah, and you can also use it for books! And here's the best part: You can place a hold on hold (if you'll pardon my doubling up the word -- they actually call it "suspending" a hold), until you're ready to actually get the thing -- while still moving your position in line forward, in case there's a waiting list. So if, for example, you're in a book club, and you want to place a hold for the next book, but not get it until the day after this month's meeting, you can just choose that date as the target of a suspended hold, and they'll put you at the front of the line (or as close to it as you've gotten) on that day, and you get your book!

The Seattle Public Library on-line Try it. It's fun!

[This has been a random rambling by David Lindes. I just felt the urge.]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ask Lindes - Photography Q&A Blog

OK, I've been thinking of doing this for a while... and I've finally done it. Well, there's no real content there yet, but it's started up. What is this, you ask? Ah, good, you're asking questions! I like a curious mind. Good thing I have one, then, too... I guess that means I can like my own mind. ;-)

Anyway, what I'm talking about is Ask Lindes, my new photography Q&A blog. You (anyone) can send me questions you might have about my photography, and/or photography in general, and I'll do my best to answer -- and if I feel it's appropriate, I'll answer on the blog.

Answers may be edited over time; the hope is that each posting will be a useful document unto itself, for someone trying to get a particular question answered. I expect some questions to be more general than others, of course. Any question is welcome, from a general how-to to a very specific technical question, or a question about how I made a particular image.

So, there it is... Ask away!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Panda Labs - most excellent customer service

OK, that's it. Panda Lab just rules. This place is two blocks from my house [edit: no longer true, but still pretty convenient and still my main place to get processing done, as of January 2011], and I've been by there a bunch of times, and never gone in. Why not? I don't know. They're awesome. Yeah, OK, so their systems could maybe stand to be computerized or something, but... wow, what excellent customer service. I took them my two rolls of IR film (my first ever -- for the class I'm taking at PCNW), and dropped them off on Wednesday. I asked (actually they asked me what I wanted) for just basic development (no push or pull, or anything special), and a contact sheet... Everything was ready yesterday, but I didn't have time to go in until today.

So today, I went in, to pick things up. Eager to see how my first rolls of IR would come out. Well, I got more than I bargained for, and in a good way. The gal at the counter got my stuff, and handed it over, then proceeding to do up the bill. Distracted by watching the hand-processing of the invoice, I somehow failed to even bother looking at the results yet. And then as she was processing my debit card, she apparently mentioned that one of the IR pickups was here. So this guy Dana comes out, and in a very friendly way offers to look over things with me.

And so I opened things up, and looked what was inside. My two rolls of film (cut into 6's, as had been the choice I'd made when asked if I wanted 5's or 6's -- very nice) were there, in Print Files, and 8 contact sheets. Yup, that's right. 4 contact sheets per roll, each exposed a different amount, so that I could see the results of all the insane bracketing I'd been doing. Wow, that's flippin' cool.

And it didn't end there. Dana proceeded to pull out a couple of the contact sheets, and the negatives, and lay them down above and on (respectively) a light table, and take a look with me. He pointed out the varying densities of things, and asked me about how I'd been metering, and gave me pointers about things, and told me which negatives he thought had the best densities (yay, they were mostly the ones I'd metered for -- so I guess I was doing OK on the metering already), and just all sorts of little tidbits about things -- telling me about which shop I could go to (Camera Techs, in Ballard) to find out if I could fix the DX coding reader problem that blasts one set of sprockets on my film -- or to get a different body, if I couldn't do that, and just generally being helpful and friendly and cool.

He even said to say hello to Patricia, the instructor for the Infrared course I'm taking.

Just cool. Contact sheet scans:

Roll #1:

Contact Sheet, IR Roll #1, version 3

Roll #2:

Contact Sheet, IR Roll #2, version 2

Scans of other images to follow over time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Am I really ready for this?

In August (the 11th, in case anyone wants to save the date), it seems I'll be teaching my first workshop at the Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW). The working title for this workshop is Beyond Photoshop: Photo Editing Software. I'll probably be talking about things like Aperture and
Lightroom, on the one end of the spectrum, and Picasa and iPhoto on the other, along with ACDSee, and probably a number of others. The idea is to just give some info on what else can be used... from the free stuff to the professional packages. Oh, and we mustn't forget The GIMP.

I believe, you see, that Photoshop is the wrong tool for many a photography job. It can do some amazing things, and it does a number of things really really well, and it's certainly the right tool for some jobs. Ever tried using it to sort and rate 1600 photos from a full day of shooting an event, though? Forget it. That's not what it's for. And that's just one example of stuff it's not for. And a lot of things that it is designed for, and does really well, it's still overkill for for a lot of situations.

So, I'm going to talk about alternatives.

But yeesh, I've got a lot of work to do to be ready for this thing... not to mention the emotional preparation for being up there at the front of a classroom. I've done some informal teaching before, but not a whole lot, and I've never done anything this formal.

Hopefully I'll do OK.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Eat Local

I was wandering around Queen Anne the other day with Laura, and stumbled across Eat Local, a brand new store emphasizing the use of local and sustainable ingredients to make prepared meals. Well, and not only sustainable ingredients, but sustainable packaging, as well. They're currently using corn plastic (a biodegradeable, non-petroleum thing, that looks and feels a lot like regular old plastic, to me... how cool is that?), and then they're also using re-usable glass containers for some stuff, which you "buy" with a deposit, but you get it back in full when you return the container as you're purchasing your next thing. Greg (the owner) says they're going to be working towards having the glass containers for all their products, eventually.

Combine the latter with a Re-usable shopping bag, like the acme bag Laura got for each of us recently, and you have a zero-waste frozen meal!

Which brings us to the one arguable downside of the place -- it seems to only offer frozen prepared meals. Now, this is a good thing, too, it just might be nice if they had non-frozen stuff as well. Then again, there are other markets around for such things, and so it's fine with me if Eat Local is filling a niche that doesn't include that. They do have some non-frozen items like jams and such. They also have frozen items for a variety of meal sizes, and some pottery (locally made), books that are on-topic, and some other stuff.

They even have a meeting space upstairs which is free for bookclubs and non-profits. Pretty cool. I wish them only the best of success... I expect I'll be back there soon to make some purchases of some sort or other. With my Acme Bag in pocket.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

So, uhm...

So, uhm... yeah. Hi. I've created a blog, here. I sorta already have one on my myspace page, and then of course there's my flickr stream... and of course there's also my photography site, which I haven't been doing anything with lately, though I do intend to again some day. (It's not helpful that I was having some problems with my hosting provider for a little while, though they seem to have cleared up, finally.)

Anyway, I was kind of enjoying checking out my recent acquaintance Lisa's blog, and wanted to comment, and thought, well, I guess that'd be easier if I just created an account... and then figured out that it was all tied to google, so creating the account was relatively easy, so... well... here I am. Too bad I didn't get here a couple years earlier, or I could have had my URL as I wanted it. Alas.

Anyway, I have no idea how much or little I'll post, but here I am.

Does this thing work?