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2008 (old posts, page 1)

The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers

In the last six months I've re-stumbled upon a resource I've had for a long time but have little used: O'Reilly's Safari Books Online. While reading books in a web format is really no substitute for holding a bound paper volume in your hands, it does make it far easier to taste books that might otherwise get skipped.

Most recently, I've been spending some time reading The DAM Book. By one means or another I've generally managed to work out systems for storing data that seem to hold up for a while but when you're talking about preserving things for potentially 50 years in digital format, there's no harm in taking a look into how others are doing it. I learned quite a few things that I do plan to incorporate into my habits including a systematic workflow, copious tagging, rating and flagging and DNG conversion. I would recommend the book.

Aside: I graduated college with 2,000 pictures which was, to me, mind-blowing, mainly because the memory card in my Fujifilm DX-7 filled up around at around 25 640x480 images and each set drained a full charge of four AA batteries. These days I'm somewhere north of 15,000 and the pace of acquisition is only increasing.

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Measure twice, cut once

When I first moved into my house, the basement was a large, unfinished space of 1200 sq ft lit by two 60W bulbs. Not the most inviting of places but it presented much opportunity. In last year, I've undertaken a number of projects including removing the lowered ceiling tiles, replacing the plumbing, rerouting the electrical wiring, adding lights and building out an office.

Over this last three day weekend, Amy and I got down to some more serious work with rerunning of duct work, framing in some interior walls and setting up a lot of shelving and storage space. All great progress but there remains much to be done - more framing, electrical, hanging drywall, flooring and painting.

And boy am I impressed by the people that do this day in and day out.


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Trip back to England in September

Farecast told me there was an 80% confidence that flight prices would be going up for my planned trip back to Blighty in September and urged me to book.

I'll be flying in to Heathrow arriving early on Friday, Sep 4 and leaving on the afternoon of Wed, Sep 10.

Only a short trip this time unfortunately.

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Seattle Marathon 2008 sign up

I signed up for the full Seattle Marathon this morning. Since I'm already doing 5 miles twice a week it should be a much easier ramp up to race readiness than it was last year. It's not until the end of November so there's still plenty of training time left.

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Kickball leads to the Emergency Room

It's summer and that means kickball season is in full swing. This is perhaps the third year of playing as Balls of Rubber in the Underdog Seattle league. The venue this year is a grass field in Magnolia which isn't the greatest to play on but it's kind of hard to complain about the quality of the setting since this is, after all, only kickball.

Last night was a fun game with two notable occurrences for me. First, I kicked my first home run with bases loaded, so that was nice. Second was a bit of a collision while trying to get a runner out on third which I successfully accomplished while getting an elbow in the face. Add sunglasses to the equation and the result is a blood-producing cut on the face. The red stuff cleared up pretty quickly and I played the rest of the game but on cleaning it afterwards it turned out to be a rather larger and deeper cut than I'd though.

It turns out that if you're not calling 911 it's not immediately obvious what to do next. I called a nurse hotline provided by work, Amy and I talked about different hospitals in the area but weren't really sure how insurance worked and whether you could just rock up with something fairly minor and so on. In the end we just went to closest, UW Medical Center, waited four hours and emerged late in the evening with me proudly sporting three stitches in my right eyebrow.

Hopefully I don't need to repeat that exercise again any time soon but at least I know how it works now.

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Bill's last day

A lot of mixed feelings on campus today and an emotional town hall meeting this morning. Bill's departure won't make a material difference in day to day operations (that transition was figured out months if not years ago) but among those that work here, you'd have to look very hard to find anyone who doesn't thank billg for creating this culture and environment.

As an individual he's played the largest role in the industry over the last thirty years and in some sense he's not even half done and will go on to have an equally huge impact on the world with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Out of Mao's Shadow at Town Hall Seattle

Tuesday night this week, Amy and I went to Town Hall Seattle to see a book talk by Philip Pan, author of Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China. Having just gotten back from our vacation in Beijing, the content was particularly timely. As with all good book talks, Pan gave just enough different snippets of material to make for an interesting talk while leaving plenty of reasons to actually buy the book.

Having spent years in China as a correspondent for The Washington Post, he showed a deep understanding of the country, its history and its hopes and dreams for the future. Perhaps the most interesting part of the evening for me came with the questions from the audience at the end, several of which betrayed convicted points of view on certain issues like Tibet, Taiwan and the One Child policy. Rather than playing into the easy answers that the audience would have comfortably received (reinforcing certain prejudices or assumptions, perhaps), he was deliberate in stating that issues were often more complex than they seemed with reasonable arguments on both sides. And yet he still had and shared his own opinions, a trait I liked.

If the book was the anything like the talk, it'll be a worthwhile, interesting read which will likely raise more questions than it answers.

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Fremont Solstice Parade 2008

Every year, Seattle welcomes the advent of summer with the Fremont Solstice Parade. The Fremont Arts Council -- which incidentally has the fabulous tag line 'Fremont is a state of mind' -- describes the event as follows:

An unparalleled demonstration of free speech, creativity, art and community, we cast a spell of joy, hope and rebirth that spreads from Fremont to the entire universe. We welcome wild, weird, engaging, surprising, delightful, beautiful, collaborative, innovative art of all stripes.
This year Theo Chocolate put together a Mayan theme entry complete with huge snake, Aztec headdresses and some very popular chocolate-covered ladies. Alongside Batman, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Uncle Sam on stilts, karate dancers doing back flips barefoot, full orchestras on hand-drawn floats and a whole block full of dancers in pink, the event pretty much sums up everything great about Fremont in a single afternoon.Start of the Fremont Solstice ParadeMore pictures in Andy's Fremont Solstice Parade 2008 photo set