Read this book

Are you getting into digital photography? Wish that your pictures looked better? I know I do. Every time I see one of those pro shots — especially if they were taken in a place I’ve taken a picture — I wonder how they got it? What techniques did they use? What about the technical specs (e.g. f-stop, aperature)? This is what frustrates me.
Normally, I’m not big on books. They rarely give me the information I really need. I’ve got lots of photography books — presents from various people, and a couple I’ve bought myself. But they’re more artsy than anything else. Which means “mostly useless” for what I truly need.
What I truly need is time with a pro. Someone who I can go shooting with who can give me all the little tips and secrets that make a mediocre shot look a million times better.
Problem: I don’t know any pros.
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Minus Forty Eight

That’s the temperature right now.
With the wind chill.
My knees are numb.
My thighs are pink blocks of frozen flesh.
I think my eyeballs fogged over when I walked in the office.
Going home is going to be about as much fun — the non-wind chill temperature is only going up two degrees from -30 to -28. I suspect the wind won’t help any.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I love challenge. I love adventure. And I love to travel. If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know that.
Critical Mass is giving me an opportunity to do all three. It’s going to shake up my life a lot (not to mention Alex’s). But we’re having a lot of trouble saying “no”. They’re sending us south of the border. Really south.
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How to get good portability

Yesterday, I drooled over the MacBook Air. At least until I found out that it has an integrated battery. Then I sulked in a corner.
I still have the fundamental problem: How do I get good portability? The answer still seems to be eluding me. Understand — this is more a question than anything else.
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Sleepy

Slowly, I’m beginning to understand what Alex goes through in a given day. Yes, I am a father and I do try to take an active part of my child’s life. But reality is, I’m at work most of the wee one’s waking day. Two to three hours is the best I can hope for on average.
Tonight was not average. I’ve been up since sometime late in the hour of 3; Alex an hour earlier than that.   Sleep has not been our friend tonight.
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The word is "ba"

Vocalisation comes at a young age. Mostly it’s inarticulate vowel sounds. Every so often, you’ll get a glottal sound mixed in there, but the cooing is rarely little more than “ayooooeeiioaaaaaaauuuueeee” in varying pitches.
Yesterday, and throughout today, we got a true consonant into the vocabulary: “B”.
So far, the only word is “ba”, but it’s a start. Mimicry isn’t quite there yet. But “ba” it is. And we hear “ba” a lot. Again, it’s a start. Now comes the slippery slope. Next is “da” (so we’re told). Then multiple syllables. Then “no”. Then “Dad, can I have $5”. Then “can I take out the car”. Then “I’m pregnant”.
Hmm.

A bullet train in Calgary?

I just came across a rather … well, odd article on CBC.ca. It’s a blueprint for 2018. Apparently, the Calgary City council thinks that there should be a bullet train from here to Fort McMurray.
Someone’s been sniffing oil fumes too much, methinks.
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Hello, unlimited wireless data in Canada!

Until today — 12:42 MT, to be exact — I had a particularly negative view of the Canadian mobile market. Generally, I expected the Big 3 telcos to basically keep screwing over us little folk, and continue to treat Canada as a lovely little cash cow where there’s no competition.
Anyone who’s on Telus, pay attention! The game has changed.
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2008 Predictions: History Repeating

The word is about, there’s something evolving
Whatever may come, the world keeps revolving
They say the next big thing is here
That the revolution’s near
But to me it seems quite clear
That it’s all just a little bit
of history repeating
– History Repeating, Shirley Bassey

I love this song for two reasons: First, it’s Shirley Bassey. How could you possibly go wrong with that? Second, it’s because this song itself was the subject of the very topic we talk about a lot: remixing.
Sound familiar? It should — we’re doing the same thing online every day.
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2007, A Year in Review

I just realised — after I’d already posted this year’s review — that this is the 10th one I’ve done. Ten years already! Man… I’ve been doing this longer than I’d thought!
It’s that time of the year again — to look back on the year passed, and reflect on the things I’ve done. Where did I go? What did I do? What have I honestly got to show for myself. It’s been an insanely long year. Sure, it was still 365 (and 1/4) days, but it felt at least three times longer…
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Timetracker is dead!

Critical Mass is a service company. We don’t produce anything physical that we can sell — it’s all time. We build websites, yes, but it’s the time it takes us to make them that counts.
Shortly before I started at Critical Mass, along came TimeTracker. This was the tool used to keep track of the time we were spending. And not in in almost eight years was there a single person who liked it.
Continue reading “Timetracker is dead!”