March 16, 2011

First Shots with Tilt-Shift Lens

While I was shooting this weekend in Grand Marais I took an opportunity to try out my new tilt-shift lens. I really didn’t know what I was doing so I just tried playing with it a bit. These two shots really struck me when I was reviewing them.

I think this shot really struck me because of the falling snow. It draws my eye into the center and the snow flakes suspended in the air. I also like the mood of the shot.

I wasn’t expecting much with this shot. It’s just a bunch of trees with some downed trees in the mix. I tried out the tilt and put the slight clearing in focus. I really like the effect on the rest of the frame as it blurs out. For some reason this picture makes me want to walk forward and explore the space.

More experimenting to come, including some video.

March 15, 2011

Save the Lead

I tapped on a unsubscribe link today to rid myself of another spam list. This URL quickly flashed through the browser as several redirects were occurring. What does this URL say?

That certainly reinforced that I didn’t need those emails anymore. I wonder what cookies they dropped on my browser in all those redirects.

March 15, 2011

My Mobile Data Usage Trends

Now that I’ve upgraded to iOS 4.3 I was itching to enable Personal Hotspot on my iPhone 4. I take the bus to work most of the time and want to use Personal Hotspot to get my MacBook Air and iPad online for the trip. However, both Tammy and I were still grandfathered in to the original iPhone unlimited data plan and AT&T will not let you do unlimited data with the Personal Hotspot feature. I had to move to a metered plan to get the win.

I went on the AT&T website and they now have this great feature that will show you your trends. I consider myself a bit of a data pig and use my phone all the time. The numbers really surprised me.

I’ve never used over 400MB and most of the time fit just around 200MB. That was shocking to me. I am on WiFi at home and work so I guess it makes sense that it’s only my true mobile use, but it still seemed light.

I looked at Tammy’s numbers and they were even lighter.

I was able to move Tammy to a lower plan and save a good amount every month and offset entirely the cost of moving me to a 4GB plan with Personal Hotspot enabled.

The point of this post is to not assume. Look at the numbers. 200MB gets you further than you would think.

March 15, 2011

How Much Do I Write?

At my last book club meeting one of the guys asked if anyone had plans to write a book. Two of the guys in the club answered affirmative very quickly. I didn’t have a very good answer and reflected that I don’t think I could write a book. My friend Dan thought that was odd since I write regularly on my blog, doesn’t that make me sort of a writer already? He even suggested that I wrote more than anyone else in the group which resulted in quick dismissal from our academic colleagues who regularly write research papers.

So the question left was, how much do I write? Dan even prodded me with an email after the fact which left me with no option but to figure it out. :-)

I was able to find a WordPress plugin called Word Stats that made quick work of giving me a word count by month. I threw the data into a spreadsheet to clean it up slightly and make a quick graph. This only includes my writing on my blog.

I write an average of 2,631 words per month for a total of 226,235 words since February 2004. The highest month was July 2004 when I wrote 9,711 words. There were three months when I didn’t write anything: May 2004, August 2010 and October 2010. That graph really highlights that 2010 was a really quiet year for me. That is a trend I’m reversing in 2011.

I did some quick searches and the average novel has about 100,000 words in it. So, it seems I’ve written 2 novels here in the last 7 years. Pretty cool!

If you wish to play with numbers the CSV file of my stats is available.

Dear Diary
March 14, 2011

Tyler Walking

Tyler is an exceptional crawler. He passed his 1 year birthday without feeling the need to work on walking all that much. Why walk when you can crawl super fast! In the past few weeks he has worked on finding his balance and taking steps. He can now walk a good dozen or more steps without falling! He is also now sometimes choosing to walk instead of crawl. I have a feeling he’ll be running around the house in no time.

Tyler Family Video
March 12, 2011

Me Shooting on Artists Point

Dennys grabbed this shot of me shooting in the snow today at Artists’ Point in Grand Marais.