Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pics from the Zoo

Now that they are corrected and such, here are some pictures I took at the zoo with my new Kodak EasyShare DX6450 digital camera. This was the first true test and the camera held up well for over 120 pictures. I'd been researching digital cameras for at least a month before deciding on this one.

At any rate, here are some pics:

This one was taken with the digital zoom at maxed out. It took a while to get it to focus through the fence, which was a problem.

I was most impressed with the zoom and the flash distance. Here's a great example of both working in harmony.

The new entrance to the Los Angeles Zoo.

On our block...all of the her Flamingo...

A not-so-hungry-hungry-hungry hippo.

My overall impression with the camera is that it does the job, albeit slow. It takes time to start and focus, but the payoff results in images that are worth bragging about. These are small versions, too. Here's a link to a full-size image:

Free Image Hosting at

All I need to do now is back them up onto CDs and I'm good.

Until next time...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Today's Summary

What the hell is that about? I'll get to it.

We went to the Los Angeles Zoo today and, thanks once again to our Entertainment 2005 book, admission was 2-for-1. Cripes, lunch cost more than admission.

At any rate, the L.A. Zoo doesn't hold a candle to the San Diego Zoo in terms of...well, anything. They are doing some major remodeling so the gorilla and elephant exhibits were closed.

Ann asked me what they do with the animals during remodeling.

"This is L.A. They could let them roam the street and I doubt anybody would notice," was my reply.

Right at about the giraffe exhibit, I saw a graying dude that looked familiar. Upon closer inspection I noticed it was none other NBC4 talking head Chuck Henry. I approached Chuckles and told him I'd been watching him pretty much all my life. He mumbled something about that being a long time and walked away with his Sony Digicam to shoot the giraffes.

What an asshole! I could have mentioned the time we was crying like a sissy girl in the news van when it was surrounded by wildfires. He should just be glad someone recognized him without the makeup.

On the way back, I saw a car on the freeway with one of those die-cut decals. This one was of footprints and each one had a name underneath it: Mom, Dad, etc. etc. etc. I don't know about you, but my child's name is the last thing I want is to advertise to potential child abductors or sex offenders. Granted posting my son's name here probably isn't too much smarter, but any dickhead walking down the street isn't going to nab him out of cyberspace, either.

Oh, and we heard one hell of an accident today while coming home. To quote Large Marge, "It sounded like someone dropped a trash truck off the Empire State Building." And it did. I didn't see it, but after I heard the crash I looked in the mirror and saw full-size truck careening into the curb.

An interesting day.

(Disclaimer: Chuck did not say he was an ass. But he sure acted like one.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Got Gran Turismo 4 Today

...and it's incredible so far.

How cool is it? You can do this:

That's my 2005 Mustang in Las Vegas in the Photo Mode. These hi-res (1280 x 960) images can be saved directly to USB flash cards.

Licenses from GT3 and up to $100,000 can be transferred into GT4, giving you head-start.

There are tons of old cars. Lots of new ones. Even trucks.

You will worship Gran Turismo 4.

And you will do it now.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Yeah, booyeeeee!!

Okay, so I'm a little Flavor Flav with that heading. But I have reason to be.

See, I worked at Best Buy from 2000-2001. It really wasn't a bad place to work for...except when the bosses wanted you to push those useless product service or protection plans on the customers. I never sold many because I thought they were a ripoff: If they can sell them to the employees for around $3 per item...

At any rate, there were times when, at the end of our shifts, we had already clocked out and had to wait for a manager to finish "walking the store" to let us out. On some nights we could be waiting up to 30 minutes after we had already clocked out.

So some employees got together and decided to lay a class action suit against Best Buy since, if you think about it, we were locked in on our own time. At least Wal-Mart and Target employees are on the clock when they are locked in.

I barely, and I mean barely, qualified for the lawsuit. I filled out the form and sent it in. From what I understood, the payout would be about $280 for those in my class (less than 2 years of service and non-management).

I got the check in the mail yesterday and was shocked to find out it was $747.52! Nice little bonus. We're saving some of it for a trip to Las Vegas later this year.

Nice indeed.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

It's An Outrage - Or Is It?

Is a teenager being shot to death by the LAPD after a pursuit as sad as one being shot to death by a liquor-store owner over a bottle of orange juice?

If you ask me, no it isn’t.

The LAPD recently shot and killed a 13-year-old who was joyriding in a stolen car. The kid lead the police in a pursuit and when it ended, they allegedly asked the kid to come out of the car and surrender. What did he do? He reportedly threw the car into reverse and rammed a squad car. That’s ADW and attempted assault an officer, so the police did what they had to do: Take action. In this case, action was shooting the kid dead.

Then it happened. Out of the woodwork, as if they have nothing better to do but complain about police tactics and prevent the potential closure of a hospital being operated by some of the most corrupt people you’ve ever heard of, the community activists come calling for immediate change in the department's policy.

It's an outrage. They should all be fired. Protests in the street calling to save our youth. No justice, no peace and all that bullshit.

These are the same activists and residents who were outraged when former mayor, now California Education Secretary Richard Riordan told a girl that her name Isis meant "stupid dirty girl."

Was that a bad choice of words? Of course it was. And he immediately became the target of racism. Activists arranged a press conference to voice the disgust at Riordan’s comments and how degrading they were to this little girl, and how these kinds of stereotypical comments must end.

Then they found out the girl was white-and everything was off. Even the kid’s mother accepted Riordan’s apology and didn’t understand what the fuss was about.

But let’s get back to the shooting. What if this joyrider was white? Would there still be outrage? Or loud protests in the street and ministers with bullhorns calling out for the Lord to help the LAPD to see the light?

It’s dollars to donuts that your answer is no, because it’s okay for whitey to be shot by the LAPD after stealing a car. The cops would have ridden society of a bad person. He stole a car and rammed an LAPD squad car with it. Just think of all the other damage he could have caused while behind the wheel-think of the children! We didn’t need him anyway; he was only 13.

“Good job, LAPD! We love you!”


Some great quotes about this incident came from today’s Daily Record:

“I know he was wrong for stealing a car but what I really don't understand is the police have had so much training.”

Right. It wasn’t right for him to steal a car. And people should know by now that if you do steal a car, you’re taking a risk–especially when the police are notified. I guess my question is, if the police were chasing the kid, why didn’t he just pull over? Granted, a 13-year-old probably doesn’t know all the rules of the road, but c’mon…flashing lights in your rearview are good sign that you did something wrong, and you need to stop. If he was smart enough to figure out how to step on the accelerator, he was probably smart enough to step on the brake. And I don't buy that excuse of minorities being afraid of the police and that's why they run when they're being pulled over. I'm a minority, too (Hispanic)

And while it’s easy to sit in your Barc-o-lounger and be an armchair police officer, riddle me this: When you are trained to uphold the law, and stealing a car is by all means a criminal offense, and that stolen car is coming at you after you told the driver to surrender…would you let them continue to put you, your fellow officers, and the community in danger? Which leads to this.

“What happened to the rubber bullets they have? Why do they have to shoot to kill?”

Here we have an absolute sign of ignorance. It doesn’t matter if they shot beanbags or even water cannons at the kid, these activists, residents, and whoever would still be out there protesting against excessive force. It seems you can’t win no matter how you slice it. What do want them to do? Call Spider-Man and have him spin a web on the guy?

Maybe the cops should have negotiated with him: "Okay, kid. If you surrender, we'll give you a Nintendo DS, some Fubu shirts, and Blockbuster gift card."

This was perhaps my favorite of all, a sign that read:

“LAPD ...Thank you for giving us yet another reason to dislike your services. You are a cancer to the community.”

Because complete and total anarchy would be so much better. Remember that sign when the LAPD tracks down the guy who snatched your mom's purse as she was walking to church in the bad part of town.

Someone better get the ACLU on the horn. We don't have enough trouble yet.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Was There A Football Game Today or Something?

I am by no means a football fan. But even so, there's little escape from the media blitz that brings it to the forefront this time of year. Although, perhaps, not as over-hyped as so-called March Madness. Thank God Gran Turismo 4 comes out this month.

So that's why we decided to pack up the car today and head down to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Again, thanks to our Entertainment coupon book, we only paid for one adult ticket.

It's a cool place, but that didn't stop some idiots vandalizing it a few months ago. We at the aquarium on Opening Day years ago and have gone back a few times since. It's amazing place.

One exhibition that we hadn't seen yet was the Lorakeet Forest. For $1, you can buy a cup of nectar and once you enter the exhibit...well, this should explain it:

Image Hosted by

Image Hosted by

Those colorful birds come flocking to you like you wouldn't believe. One of them nibbled my ear, and more stood on my arms. Anthony didn't seem as excited as me, but he's still young.

He did, however, enjoy watching the sea lions. Ann and I did touch a few sharks and rays--one rough and the other slimy--as well as a sea anemone.

What a great way to spend the day. And like so many other amazing places, like the San Diego Zoo, it's a non-profit organization. Check them out during your next SoCal visit.

Football game? Today? I must have missed it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

My New Blog

I've created a new blog dedicated to my Photoshop entires. It's not about votes, it's just a place I'm gonna post whatever images I can find.

Go to Random Photoshops and see for yourself!