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  • Officially done

    Posted on March 31st, 2007 Jeff Keller No comments

    I have completely my training and am now a full-fledged cat adoption counselor at my volunteer job. I even adopted out two cats today! It’s funny, I may be reserved in social situations, but when you give me a task to do (such as adopt a cat) that fades away into the background. While I’m a 100% animal lover and am dedicated to finding homes for these cats, I’m really doing this volunteer work for “me”.

  • Cool pics of the year?

    Posted on March 31st, 2007 Jeff Keller No comments


    (Click for larger)


    (Click for larger)

    These two may very well be my favorite pictures of 2007. Every year around now, thousands of these caterpillars can be found hanging from the oak trees at Stanford University. If you’re not careful you’ll have them all over you. I managed to get two of them on my hand, and after trying to figure out how to turn on super macro mode on the PowerShot TX1, I snapped the photos you see above. I couldn’t wait to get home to see them, and I was not disappointed when I loaded them up.
    By the way, if anyone can ID this guy, please do.

  • NCAA Western Region Championship pics

    Posted on March 25th, 2007 Jeff Keller No comments

    Saturday I was lucky enough to go to the Kansas/UCLA "Elite Eight" basketball game in San Jose. I enjoy the whole March Madness thing, so when a game is nearby I like to go (last time was in 2002). The game was exciting, and I was pleased with the result (after all, I almost went to UCLA instead of UCSD), though I think my hearing was damaged from all the screaming Bruin fans around me.

    Pictures from the game after the link. All except the first one were taken with my Canon EOS-20D (which is getting a bit long in the tooth, I admit) and 70 – 200 mm F4L lens.

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  • Must. Control. Temper.

    Posted on March 25th, 2007 Jeff Keller No comments


    It takes a lot for me to lose my temper, but I finally snapped while playing God of War 2 tonight. After dying again and again, the game dealt me a cheap hand, I died yet again, and I lost my cool. I threw the controller toward the TV in disgust. The controller broke (the TV survived). Either I need to take some video game anger management classes, or I need to strap the controller to my wrist so it doesn’t happen again (see, those smart Nintendo people thought of this when they designed the Wii).

  • One more weekend

    Posted on March 17th, 2007 Jeff Keller No comments

    Today was a big day in my cat adoption counselor training. I got to lead two adoptions and for the first one I actually adopted out two cats! A family took home two very rambunctious 2 year old cats… boy are they going to have their hands full. I got a good “review” and have only one more weekend of training left before I’m on my own! I got a good review… I guess my people skills are better than I thought!
    Oh, and last weekend my “project cat” Milkshake got adopted… unfortunately I wasn’t there to say goodbye. She really changed from a very shy cat into someone much more outgoing. Funny, that’s kind of why I’m volunteering…

  • Cool pic of the week

    Posted on March 17th, 2007 Jeff Keller 1 comment


    I haven’t posted a cool photo in ages, so here’s one I took at Stanford the other day. I love tulip trees! Photo was taken with the Olympus SP-550 Ultra Zoom.

  • How to do PMA in 32 hours (part two)

    Posted on March 11th, 2007 Jeff Keller 3 comments

    And now, it’s time for part 2 of my PMA gallery — Las Vegas itself. Hit that link to see them all.

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  • How to do PMA in 32 hours (part one)

    Posted on March 11th, 2007 Jeff Keller 4 comments

    I’m back from my 32 hour trip to Las Vegas for PMA. Here’s what went on during that time:

    Friday:

    12:30pm: Got off the plane
    1pm: Arrived at The Venetian. My room was not ready, so I gambled a little bit and then walked over to the monorail next door
    2pm: Casio meeting. Consisted of a seven minute walk around their booth. Rating: Useless.
    3pm: Olympus meeting. I got a tour of the booth and had a 30 minute sitdown with the US marketing people and three guys from Japan who actually designed their newest D-SLRs. Cool. Unfortunately they weren’t talking about the E-1 replacement at all. Rating: Very useful.
    3:45pm: Suddenly, Cher appeared at the Olympus booth. There were tons of paparazzi following her around, yelling her name, taking pictures. I later found out that this wasn’t Cher and was nothing more than a marketing gimmick by Olympus, as all the paparazzi were shooting with Olympus D-SLRs (yeah, right).
    4pm: Fuji meeting. Basically a walk around their booth for 15 minutes. Nothing exciting, really. Rating: Meh.
    5pm: Check into hotel. There’s no soap in the room, and my bag hasn’t arrived from downstairs. 45 minutes and two phone calls later they arrive.
    6:30pm: Meet Phil and Joanna Askey and Simon Joinson from DP Review for drinks at Treasure Island. I’ve known Phil for many years and we’ve become good friends, and this was the first time we met in person.
    8pm: We join up with Steve Rosenbaum (PR guy extraordinare) at The Capital Grille for a tasty steak dinner. Unfortunately Joanna wasn’t feeling so hot, so she and Phil left a little early.
    10:30pm: The remaining three of us cab it back to Bellagio where Steve leaves and Phil rejoins us. We end up playing blackjack until like 1am. The only one who was lucky at that table was the dealer.
    2am: Bedtime at last.

    Saturday:

    10:30am: Panasonic meeting, consists of a walkaround the booth. Looking forward to trying the FZ8 and TZ3 for sure. Meeting rating: Meh.
    11am: Sony meeting. Mostly a walk around the booth but got to meet some people that I should’ve met a long time ago. The new T and W series cameras looked nice. The H7 and H9 felt plasticky and cheap. There were no details about the new D-SLRs (in the pictures after the link) other than to say that the advanced amateur model will probably ship this Fall. Rating: Somewhat useful.
    11:45am: Took the free shuttle over to The Wynn. Nice place but I don’t see where the $2.5 billion went.
    1pm: Samsung meeting. Basically a booth walkthrough but got some good info out of him. Rating: somewhat useful.
    2:30pm: GE/General Imaging meeting. GE is getting into this camera thing in a big way. I got a booth tour and played with some of the cameras. They feel *real* plasticky and cheap, especially given their not-so-discount prices. They are made by a "well known camera manufacturer", one source told me Premier. Not sure if I want to review these things or not. Rating: Meh
    3pm: Canon meeting. I’ve already seen most everything, but got to use the EOS-1D Mk3. My God, that thing is awesome. I want! I also made sure I told them how frustrated I am with their withholding of information in recent years. I left feeling like that would not change. Rating: Above meh.
    4pm: Nikon meeting: Saw the D40x (looks just like the D40) and that was about it. Rating: Meh.
    4:45pm: Leave the show floor and head to Paris. Wander through there before meeting up with Simon at Bellagio. We lost more money at the blackjack table.
    6:40pm: Phil rejoins us and we say goodbye. It was great to finally meet them after all these years!
    8pm: Fly home!

    This was my first trip to PMA, in nearly 10 years of running my website. Would I go again? Probably, but for not much longer than I was there this weekend. Some meetings were incredible wastes of time, while others put me in contact with people I need to know. I don’t think I’d fly all the way to Orlando for it, but its in Vegas for 2 more years, so maybe I’ll go again next time.

    Pics from the show floor after the link.

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