Photoblog Thumbnail Updated Daily

Sunday, 27 Feb 2005 | Photography

The photoblog thumbnail in the sidebar is now updated every time I post a new photoblog photograph so you can see a small representation of the currently featured image. Just click on the thumbnail to see a larger version. Please feel free to leave a comment if you enjoy my work. I love receiving feedback. :)

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Taffy's 37 Week Photo

Saturday, 26 Feb 2005 | Pets

Taffy at 37 Weeks

Taffy protects me from my neighbor Steve with her ferocious attack dog look. Her nickname is Fang when she's barking like this. She's our little Secret Service protection dog. She's been known to protect us from neighbors, children, ambient sounds, her own shadow and mirror reflection, our cat Sheba and even doorbell sounds on television! LOL

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A Reunion of Champions

Saturday, 26 Feb 2005 | Family, Food

george_foreman.jpg

Toni and my dad drove to Palm Springs last night after work to meet me. I got free tickets through my work to attend A Reunion of Champions at Palm Springs High School. John Carlos, the 1968 Olympic 200 Meter Bronze Medalist who coaches track at Palm Springs High School was scheduled to be reunited with his good friend George Foreman, the 1968 Olympic Heavyweight Gold Medalist.

george_youth.jpg

Carlos and Foreman had been good friends in the 1968 Olympic Games, but had gotten out of contact. Before the event, I had a wonderful opportunity to snap some shots of George Foreman as he exited from his Hummer limosine in the parking lot. I was impressed by how gentle and friendly he was. He took the time to shake hands, sign autographs and pose for pictures. He thrilled a young boxer by posing for a sparring shot. George gave a very interesting and humourous talk. The Principal of Palm Springs High School was the emcee and his mother played piano and sister and family sang Christian hymns prior to the talk.

george_natalie_ron.jpg

I had the pleasure of talking to George Foreman's daughter, Natalie. She was very nice and cordial. I took a picture of George Foreman, Natalie and the Ron Oden, the Mayor of Palm Springs. Natalie requested a copy of the picture. I'll be contacting the Principal to forward it to her.

Afterwards, we went to Manhattan in the Desert, a New York Style Deli, for dinner. The food was delicious. My dad and Toni got Pastrami Sandwiches. I had the Calves Liver and Onions. Toni tried an Egg Cream and my dad tried the Chocolate Phosphate. We all shared a piece of cheesecake for dessert. It was the best cheesecake we ever had. It was cut into a rectangular shape with a very golden and glossy top and served with butterflied fresh strawberries.

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The Amazing Race

Friday, 25 Feb 2005 | Television

My favorite reality show, The Amazing Race, begins its 7th series on CBS on Tuesday, March 1st at 9 PM ET/PT. I really enjoy this show because it's so frenzied and it's designed so that teams have a hard time scheming against each other and being generally evil.

If you haven't watched it before, I suggest you tune in next Tuesday night. It's a fun contest where teams of two race around the world performing stunts and tasks until one couple is left standing. At the end of each show, the teams stop at a predetermined checkpoint where the last team arriving is potentially eliminated from the race. The only thing I'm not so happy about is Boston Rob and Amber from Survivor fame competing in the race. I'm hoping they will be eliminated early. Plus, Amber already won her million dollars on Survivor.

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Firefox 1.0.1 Now Available

Friday, 25 Feb 2005 | Internet

Mozilla has released a minor update to Foxfire to address some security issues and squash a few bugs too. It's recommended all Foxfire 1.0 users upgrade their browsers to this latest version.

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Google Maps Works in Safari!

Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 | Internet, Macintosh

Google Maps now works in my favorite Macintosh web browser! I had been going to Firefox for my Google Map needs, but I don't need to anymore. Whichever browser or computing platform you use, please do yourself a favor and try out this new internet map resource. :)

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Dad's Radiance

Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 | Family

My dad went to his doctor today for his first Radiance treatment. Radiance is a laser treatment for the skin using a $250,000 machine similar to the ones to clear up acne on Extreme Makeover. It's being used to eradicate some dry spots on his head and torso that may prove to be pre-cancerous if not treated. He said it was not fun, describing the feeling of the laser as hot needles jabbing into his skin. They apply a desensitizing gel prior to treatment. I'm just hoping he doesn't have too much discomfort in the next few days. I would imagine it would be sensitive akin to a sunburn.

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Lost on ABC

Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 | Television

lost_koreans.jpg

Toni and I are quite hooked on the primetime drama, Lost on ABC. We both agree that the plot is captivating and the story is well written. We especially like the flashbacks which give a depth and richness to each character. It's a fast paced show that's complex with lots of sub-plots to keep your interest. It's also refreshing to see Korean actors in a primetime hit speaking in their native tongue. Whenever they speak in Korean, Toni asks me what they are saying even though there are often subtitles. It's funny, the subtitles are mostly correct, but the translations are often not literal.

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Radio Ad Mispronunciation

Wednesday, 23 Feb 2005 | Humor, Pet Peeves

There's a radio station I listen to on the way to work which has been running a commercial for a lending institution. At the very end of the advertisement, as is customary, they mention the company's name and telephone number. It's a toll free number beginning with 1-800. The announcer pronounces it one eight HUNDERD [sic] not once, but multiple times. Every time I hear that commercial I focus on him saying hunderd instead of hundred.

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dysphemism

Wednesday, 23 Feb 2005 | Word of the Day

dys·phe·mism n.

: substitution of a disagreeable, offensive, or disparaging word or expression for an agreeable or inoffensive one

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euphemism

Tuesday, 22 Feb 2005 | Word of the Day

eu·phe·mism n.

1 : the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive word or expression for one that is harsh, indelicate, or otherwise unpleasant or taboo : allusion to an offensive thing by an inoffensive expression
2 : a polite, tactful, or less explicit term used to avoid the direct naming of an unpleasant, painful, or frightening reality

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Million Dollar Baby

Tuesday, 22 Feb 2005 | Family, Movies

chorus_line.jpg

While Toni and Erin went to see A Chorus Line with her friend Susan and her daughter Amanda, I went with my dad to see Million Dollar Baby. If you're looking for a Rocky sort of movie with just action, this isn't the movie for you. Don't get me wrong, there is excellent boxing footage, but this movie is more than just action. It's a movie about relationships with plenty of drama and emotion.

million_dollar_baby.jpg

I highly recommend it if you like Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood or Hilary Swank. Heck, I recommend it even if you aren't their biggest fans. I think Hilary Swank deserves an Oscar for her performance because it was well acted and physically demanding as well, not that Morgan Freeman or Clint Eastwood were shabby in their roles. I give Million Dollar Baby a disneymike two thumbs up!

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The Dreaded Curve

Tuesday, 22 Feb 2005 | Daily, Rants

It rained all weekend and it appears it will continue for the next day or two. I really enjoy the rain, but I don't like driving in it. It slows down my commute and it's just plainly more dangerous when the road is wet and visibility is impaired.

Dreaded Curve

The commute to work today wasn't too bad, but I was reminded as I am almost everyday of The Dreaded Curve. There is a curve on the 215 Freeway on the way to work for me and Toni that makes us crazy. It's a pretty big angle, but it curves gently. For some unknown reason, when people get to it, they freak out and feel they have to slow down to an unneccesary degree to negotiate it. This almost always, except for when I'm on my way to church at 7:00 am on Sundays, causes the traffic to slow to a crawl or even to a complete stop. There is just no good reason for this! Please refer to the map provided to illustrate the curve. I just had to vent about this to calm my nerves. LOL

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Wonderful News from Dad

Monday, 21 Feb 2005 | Family

My dad called today to inform us the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test results came back with a value of zero, which indicates there is no cancer left in his prostate. The average value for his age group is four. He needs to recheck it periodically to ensure it doesn't recur, but this is a promising sign. I am so happy to hear this. :)

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Taffy's 36 Week Photo

Saturday, 19 Feb 2005 | Pets

Taffy at 36 Weeks

Taffy loves to play with her stuffed toys like she's a big dog!

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dejection

Friday, 18 Feb 2005 | Word of the Day

de·jec·tion n.

: lowness of spirits

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Beautiful Colors on the Drive Home

Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 | Daily, Photography

Sunset

Pink Clouds

Yesterday, when I was driving home from work, I noticed that the sunset was very nice. It's very common that I'm driving to or from work and I see very neat things to photograph. Usually it's the light that makes the scene compelling. And that light usually is fleeting; so fleeting that if I stop to park and try to set up a tripod, the light has completely changed. Today, I stopped and as usual there wasn't time to set my tripod up, but I was able to capture a couple shots hand held to at least record the beauty of the evening. The two pictures were taken within minutes of each other. The portion of the sky photographed were different, but it shows how different the light and colors can be at one time.

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Peeraya for Lunch

Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 | Food, Friends, Restaurants

I went to Peeraya for lunch today, my favorite Thai restaurant in Palm Springs, with my friends Glenn and Cindy. I love this place so much I could literally eat there everyday.

House Salad

The lunch specials all start with a choice of soup or salad. I always get the salad because I love their House Dresssing which is tangy, sweet and spicy.

Yellow Curry with Chicken

There are three dishes I always get. My favorite is the Yellow Curry with Chicken pictured above. You get to pick the level of spicyness from 1 to 10. I usually get a 10 as you can see from the red flecks of spicy goodness! I really like the combination of hot yellow curry, chicken, potatoes and onions over steamed sticky rice.

The other dishes I really like are the Chow Mein with Chicken and the Pad Thai. I like that they make the Pad Thai spicy to contrast with the sauce's sweetness and the egg's richness.

Peeraya
2249 North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 320-8385

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Innocent Drinks

Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 | Food

Innocent Drinks

Innocent Drinks from the UK have the cutest little logos and products. They produce a line of juices, smoothies and thickies marketed in England. This is definitely something ljc would love, I'm sure! ;)

I love the angelic cow on their thickie product. Plus, their advertisements are pretty cool too. I especially like the following one. :)

Innocent Thickie Ad

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Nikon Announces D2Hs

Wednesday, 16 Feb 2005 | Nikon, Photography

Today, Nikon officially announced their D2Hs Professsional Digital SLR Camera. The 4.1 megapixel D2Hs retains the DX sized Nikon original JFET LBCAST sensor. It has an increased memory buffer capacity of 50 JPEG or 40 Raw NEF frames. There are numerous improvements over the D2H. A new ASIC reduces noise and improves image quality. It has Advanced 3D-Color Matrix Metering II. The wireless support has been improved to support the WT-2A Wireless Transmitter for transfer speeds up to 54 mbs. The Multi-CAM 2000 AF Sensor has been updated to improve focus and tracking. The Automatic White Balance has been tweaked to give better results under low light and with Speedlights. It also boasts speedier CF card writes and improved battery life. It's expected to ship in March 2005.

For more details and photos, please see the Nikon D2Hs previews at Digital Photography Review and Rob Galbraith DPI.

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Valentine's Day with Toni

Monday, 14 Feb 2005 | Family

Toni made me homemade Cheese Enchiladas for Valentine's Day dinner. Traditionally, we like to stay home on Valentine's Day as opposed to going out to dinner because it tends to be crowded and hectic; not usually a formula for romance. I usually have made dinner for Toni because she loves my cooking, but she wanted to cook for me this year. Since she was so sweet to cook, I decided to make Frozen Margaritas to go along with the food. Everything was delicious and we both ended up very relaxed.

After dinner, I had some Peanut Brittle Toni bought for me. Toni had some Godiva Chocolate from the box my dad bought her for Valentine's Day. Of course, she offered me a piece of chocolate and of course, I accepted. I asked her to pick one for me. It was dark chocolate with a dark chocolate cream center. Yum! :)

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Ray Charles Wins Eight Grammys

Monday, 14 Feb 2005 | Music

Ray Charles

Ray Charles was the big winner with eight Grammys last night. It's too bad that he wasn't recognized MORE for his musical contribution prior to his death. I've always considered him a legendary performer.

Toni and I had the good fortune to see him perform live in a small venue in Palm Springs a couple of years ago. The concert was held at the now defunct Muriel's supper club where I had taken some cooking classes. We witnessed Mr. Charles' musicianship genious from about twenty feet away with a crowd of perhaps a couple hundred. It's an experience we'll always cherish.

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Photo of the Day Images Relocated

Monday, 14 Feb 2005 | Daily

I've relocated my Photo of the Day category images out of the main blog area into an area that will show them at full resolution. You can peruse them one at a time by clicking on Photoblog in the main menu at the top of the page.

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Taffy's 35 Week Photo

Saturday, 12 Feb 2005 | Pets

Taffy at 35 Weeks

Taffy playfully peeking out from behind Toni's pant leg.

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Tteokguk for Lunch

Wednesday, 9 Feb 2005 | Food, Restaurants

I went to a new Korean restaurant I've been meaning to try for some time called Palm Korea 2 today for lunch since it's the Lunar New Year. I asked if they had Tteokguk, not seeing it on the menu. The owner said that they could make if for me! I was so jazzed. So, I got to have the traditional Korean soup and it was very good served with steamed rice and Cucumber and Daikon Radish Kim Chi.

Palm Korea 2
330 North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 327-9588

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Happy Korean New Year!

Wednesday, 9 Feb 2005 | Culture

February 9th, 2005 marks the Lunar New Year (Seollal) celebrated by Koreans. It is also well known as the Chinese New Year since it is celebrated in China too.

2005, the 4,702nd Chinese Year, is the Year of the Rooster according to the Lunar Calendar. There are twelve animals, one corresponding to each year. Chinese horoscopes, although I don't believe in them, give attributes according to the animal for the year in which you were born. I was born in 1963, the Year of the Rabbit.

Tteokguk

Koreans celebrate the New Year by starting the morning with a bowl of tteokguk (soup with sliced rice cakes) and wearing their traditional costume known as Hanbok. They also celebrate by honoring ancestors, playing traditional games and visiting traditional settings.

Hanbok

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Razzmatazz for Breakfast

Wednesday, 9 Feb 2005 | Food, Restaurants

Jamba Juice

On my way to work this morning, I stopped by my local Jamba Juice to pick up a Razzmatazz for breakfast. It was cool and fresh tasting; a nice way to start my day. :)

Jamba Juice
111 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 327-3151

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Google Maps!

Tuesday, 8 Feb 2005 | Internet

I just checked out Google Maps and found it quite nice. The maps are nicely colored and very clean. You can easily look up locations and get driving directions like most online maps. It just seems more elegant than the others I've used. You can also look up businesses in an area.

One feature I really like is the ability to drag the map to change your position. It moves smoothly and there's not the screen by screen delay to redraw I'm used to. There's a lot of features, so go explore and make it a point to take the tour to familliarize youself with the interface.

The main downside to Google Maps is it doesn't support all browsers including my favorite, Safari. They are apparantly working on a Safari compatible version. I tried it using Firefox on my Mac and it worked very nicely. It works with the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape and Mozilla and you must have JavaScript enabled. If your browser isn't compatible, you'll be presented with list of links to compatible browsers.

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oxymoron

Tuesday, 8 Feb 2005 | Word of the Day

ox·y·mo·ron n.

: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words : something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements

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I'm an Oxymoron

Tuesday, 8 Feb 2005 | Daily

Sears Tower

I think I'm sort of an oxymoron. Why do I say this? Well, I am a bit afraid of heights, but I really enjoy going to the top of tall buildings and I love to fly in jet airliners.

I've been to the top of several very tall buildings and loved it. The tallest would be, in order of height, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the World Trade Center in New York and the Space Needle in Seattle. The Sears Tower ranks as the third tallest building in the World according to SkyscraperPage.com. A list of the top 200 tallest buildings can be found at Emporis.com. A beautiful presentation about tall buildings can also be found at MoMA.com.

I have had a fascination with airplanes and specifically jet airplanes since I was a child. I have flown in commercial jets all my life since my dad was a full-time Army soldier for most of his working life and did a lot of moving. I have yet to fly in a 747 though. I was scheduled to fly in one on the way back from Washington Dulles International Airport to Ontario International Airport, but we got stuck in traffic and missed our flight. I still am quite eager to fly in a Boeing 747 someday soon. I am also intriqued by the upcoming Airbus A380 and hope to fly in one of those too!

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Taffy's 34 Week Photo

Sunday, 6 Feb 2005 | Pets

Taffy at 34 Weeks

Taffy cuddled up in Toni's arms inside a nice warm blanket touring the Medal of Honor Memorial at Riverside National Cemetary.

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No Disney at Super Bowl XXXIX

Friday, 4 Feb 2005 | Disney, Disneyland, Sports

Super Bowl XXXIX

At Super Bowl XXXIX on Sunday, February 6th, 2005 in Jacksonville, Florida no players from the New England Patriots nor the Philadelphia Eagles will be saying "I'm going to Disneyland" after the game. Disney has decided to not advertise with that famous slogan for the first time since 1987 at a Super Bowl game.

Disney officials site their campaign for Happiest Celebration on Earth promoting the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, which begins on May 5, and a Magic Your Way plan offering more flexible prices and vacation plans for consumers as the reason for the decision.

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New California Quarter

Tuesday, 1 Feb 2005 | News

California Quarter

The new California Quarter was introduced into circulation on Monday at a launch ceremony attended by California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver at the California State History Museum.

The coin's design, selected by Schwartzengger, depicts conservationist John Muir admiring Yosemite's Half Dome with a soaring California Condor.

I'm eager to see this new quarter since I live in California. The U.S. Mint says it generally takes a week or two for the coins to come into general circulation.

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