September 17, 2007

Abandoned Part II

My family's gone on a huge vacation without me... again... *cries* The first time was a cruise to the Caribbean, this time it's a trip to Japan, HK, and China. Woe is me — I need vacation!! Being the sweet daughter that I am though I bought them a new digicam, the Canon SD750 and gave it a test run on a biking excursion from Eglinton to downtown along the Don Valley trail.

The nicest thing about the camera is the gigantic 3" LCD screen. At first I wasn't a big fan of the Canon buttons and interface (whereas Sony's interface is much more more elegant and intuitive), but after getting used to it, it's not too bad. The face detection failed me many times, so the most difficult part was getting it to focus where I wanted it to and there's no image stabilizer, so steady hands at high zoom is a must. Another thing I didn't like was that it only had a night portrait mode but no simple night scene mode so night pictures are killed by the flash. If I simply try to suppress the flash, it doesn't try to compensate for light by using a longer shutter so the picture ends up completely underexposed... big thumbs down.

But overall it was a great camera to use on the bike ride and Christian and I had loads of fun shooting ourselves scaling rocky bridge underpasses, running through open fields, and hiding in ferns that double our height. Actually it was just me doing all that crazy stuff and Chris doing the picture taking since he was wearing his super-duper clip-on shoes for his bike :P I had considered just getting a consumer point-and-shoot digi like the Canon one, but after playing around with it, I was pretty irked by the focusing and exposure problems. So today I finally ordered myself the Leica D-Lux 3 after eying it for months. The fact that it's a Leica that's actually somewhat affordable, has manual controls, shoots in 16:9 format, and it's not as clunky as my SLRs completely hooked me in. I went into a spending spree today because on top of the Leica, I also ordered a new Nikon 18-200mm lens o_O They're currently on their way to my cousin's place in the states and he'll be bringing them up for me when he comes visits in October... hey, gotta take advantage of the crazy exchange rate right? :D

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During this year's TIFF I only got to watch one movie, but it turned out to be a little gem. None of the Toronto media had reviewed Son of Rambow so I had no idea whether it was actually good, but the premise sounded so precious. It's a coming of age comedy about two kids, one a bully and the other who had never been allowed to watch TV, who become inspired by the first Rambo film and set out to create their own film Son of Rambow. The movie's filled with colourful characters, hilarious muckups, imaginative fantasy sequences, and whimsical doodle-like animations. I absolutely loved the film and even cried a bit over the touching ending.

Posted by mich at 4:06 PM | return | dreams [1]

June 15, 2007

Maybe I Should Have Gotten a Mac

Ever since I brought my new Sony Vaio back to Toronto I ran into the problem of only being able to connect to wireless networks but not the internet via those networks (I was only able to connect to WiFi once in Montreal). I was downtown to try to do some work, but I tried various networks at coffee shops and at U of T, but no luck. No matter who I asked to look at my laptop, no one was able to help me. So I brought it to the Sony Store and all they could tell me was to restore it back to factory settings, but to perhaps call Sony support before I resort to their solution. I called Sony support and was on the phone with them for TWO freakin hours. OMG those people were unbelievable. The first 45 minutes was with some dude who, after I told him I couldn't connect to the internet, still told me to try to use my browser. Here's how it went:

Him: Try going to www.sony.com
Me: I can't reach it because I'm not connect to the internet.
Him: Ok, then try typing in www.google.com
Me: [What??] Um, still not working.
Him: Now try typing this [and he spelled out each character really slowly for me]... h, t, t, p, colon, slash, slash [and some random ip address]
Me: Still doesn't work [surprise surprise!!!]
Him: Ok try this other IP address then
Me: ............

I just sat there and I couldn't believe where this was headed. After I told him it was a no-go yet again he made me try some other useless stuff for I don't know how long. He gave up and passed me onto the next level of support,who was just as unhelpful. After another 45 minutes with the support person, she got really frustrated and I think she just wanted to give up. The next part of the conversation became quite ludicrous:

Her: Wait, are you running Vista Home or Business?
Me: Vista Home
Her: Hold on. [Goes off the phone for 5 minutes and comes back] Vista Home actually doesn't support networking.
Me: Um, WHAT?
Her: Yeah, only the Business version gives you networking capabilities. Vista Home doesn't have the networking capability to connect through servers and proxies [and she continues on without making any sense], and so you won't be able to connect anywhere outside your home.
Me: [WTH! Now I'm getting really peeved. Is she telling me that Microsoft is seriously that retarded?] So, you're basically saying that my computer is useless.
Her: Um, hold on please. [Puts me on hold for another 5 minutes and comes back to continue helping me as if the last 10 minutes didn't happen]

Basically, the support woman came to the conclusion that I had no recovery partition (even though I told her I could see the recovery partition) and was missing important files, which supposedly was the possible cause to my problem. Now I have a recovery and backup disk being delivered to me. Just great.

I took my laptop to the tech guys at Robarts library and within 10 minutes they were able to tell me that I was having problems because either my network card is too new since it's in draft version so it wasn't compatible with the older routers, or that my ip address was static. Turned out it was the latter, and after fishing around forever in Vista trying to find the IP properties, my problem was fixed and now I'm up and running. I hated my laptop before but now I love it :P

Posted by mich at 11:15 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 12, 2007

iLove

How cool is the iPhone? It's amazing how Apple always just seems to be one step ahead of everyone else when it comes to innovative design. It's so simple, yet powerful: interaction with the interface isn't limited to physical controls or even to one certain orientation. I find this sort of human-computer interaction research so fascinating. Just take a look at this example of the Multi-Touch Interaction Research. Nintendo's pen-based DS and motion-sensored Wii systems have already proved to be immensely popular and it's only the beginning of seeing more natural and intuitive interaction integrated with computers and technology.

Posted by mich at 5:23 PM | return | dreams [1]

December 22, 2006

Wiiiiiiii!

the story of my lifeThe past few weeks spent looking for the elusive Nintendo Wii have finally come to an end. From checking online stock availability, to phoning stores, to getting help from a fellow co-worker up in Sudbury, to even contemplating waiting in line for a Best Buy shipment, I was so very unsuccessful. My favourite picture is an empty skid in the place of a Wii on the Costco website!

Christian, on the other hand, actually just got one today from his friend, who was selling it second-hand (after only playing it 3 times). Yay, a Wii for Christmas!


Posted by mich at 2:20 PM | return | dreams [1]

November 29, 2006

And All That Jazz

Last Sunday I went to see the musical Chicago playing a 2-week run at the Princess of Wales Theatre. It was only after I had decided to see it at the last minute that I found out that Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys was in it, which made me tingle with excitement. And holy smokes, was he ever amazing- I can go as far as to say that he totally made the show. He played the role of the sleazy, money-grubbing Billy Flynn and performed the most enjoyable and entertaining numbers of the night. The set design was very simple but worked really well to create a vaudeville show feel. It was an evening of laughs, comical surprises and great songs, plus we had amazing centre seats in the orchestra section (with a 40% discount, no less)!

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Tonight I just got back from a lecture at Ryerson demonstrating Apple's Aperture software for editing and managing photos (particularly RAW images). The speaker just showed some basic features of the program, which compared to Photoshop, really makes the editing workflow so much easier and faster. From my experience, just the simple task of wanting to carefully examine and compare several photographs up-close is a bit annoying to do in Photoshop, but Aperture actually has a really elegant feature to execute this. As most people already know, I'm really not a big fan of Mac computers, but I would seriously consider getting one just for this crazy Aperture doodad :O I guess it will come down to what is the most important tool I should put my money towards: Leica D-LUX 3 (no, 7 cameras aren't enough for me :P), good film scanner, photo printer, or a laptop. Decisions, decisions.

Posted by mich at 11:11 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 13, 2006

My New Obsession

I play Animal Crossing every day on my Nintendo DS. This is my first handheld game system since the original Gameboy and I love it to bits. It uses a stylus pen and a dual screen which offers a really unique and fun gaming experience. Anyway, who'd have thought that I'd turn into a total RPG nerd (yes this one here, who scorns World of Warcraft)? But instead of killing people and whatever the heck happens in WoW, I run errands, grow fruit farms, catch bugs and fish to earn money in order to pay down my mortgages. And, at the same time collecting/buying stuff to furnish my ever growing house. I socialize with the animals in my village; some move in and some move out, and they can spew out the most hilarious lines. Now that Christian is in on some Animal Crossing action, we can visit each other's villages wirelessly. One of my animals actually moved from my village over to Christian's! LOL

Posted by mich at 5:47 PM | return | dreams [1]

April 3, 2006

My New Razr. It's Pink!

Yup, I got a new phone... so jaaaang! I've succumbed to the throw away consumer culture that corporations force down our throats. My two-year old Motorola V300 is still perfectly fine (with a few scratches here and there), but how can a girl resist the sexy Razr? Especially when her old contract ended and can take advantage of savings on a new phone??! She can't. Even Joy's rants isn't enough to deter me from getting a big banana phone like the ones I was enviously admiring while travelling in Japan.

Sunday afternoon Chris and I ended up walking 2.5 hours along Queen street from Ossington to Yonge, up and down the Eaton Centre, then back to Ossington (that's 14 TTC stops man!). We stopped by the crÍpes place for a savoury snack to satisfy my ice cream craving. YUM. But now my ankles are killing me and my knee keeps locking with every step I take >_<

Posted by mich at 10:59 PM | return | dreams [1]

July 10, 2005

My New Toy

Haven't updated in a long time so this might be a long entry!

The big news first: I finally got a digital camera! The Nikon D70s.
Yup, I've crossed over to the dark side, but it's come to the point where I it's about time I go digital. Especially with the fashion photography course I'm taking, digital is the way to go.

Ok now let's recap on my last few weeks....

The last weekend in June I went camping at Algonquin Park's Mew Lake. I got attacked by vicious black flies, but other than that, the trip was fine and dandy! We got into the campsite at around 11pm Friday night and ended up having to set up our tents using the car headlights as our light source. The next day we rented canoes and paddled around Canoe Lake, then did a little hiking trip to an outlook. Unfortunately those were the only outdoorsy activities we got to do. Most of our time was taken up being iron chefs.

For the Canada Day long weekend Christian and I went to the nation's capital. We got in by bus on Thursday at midnight. We stayed at a cute B&B about a 15 min walk from Parliament. On Canada Day we checked out the events going on at Parliamnet Hill and Major's Hill Park, walked about Byward Market, and went to the National Gallery for the Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence exhibit. We took a lunch break at Byward Market for Chris' mandatory poutine meal, then headed back to the gallery to look at the permanant collections. At 3pm we headed back to the B&B to rest while it rained outside. Mr. Sleepyhead passed out for a couple of hours and left me to go off walking around by myself! When he came to, we had dinner at a Thai restaurant at Byward, then headed to the Hill to catch Sam Robert's performance and the fireworks. The scene after the fireworks was nuts. We were pushed and shoved around and packed like sardines walking down Wellington St. We made a pit stop for Beaver Tails at the Market before attempting to meet Thy at the Aristocrat Suite she was staying at for the night. Unfortunately, with a faulty set of directions we totally missed the hotel and walked all the way down to the Museum of Nature area. By the time we figured out where the hotel really was it was already 12:30 and we were beat so we just headed back to the B&B :(

On the Saturday we watched a bit of the changing of the guards on the Hill, visited the Museum of Contemporary Photography, made necklaces at Sassy Beads in the Market, and had a patio lunch at Black Tomato, where I had a tiny bit of alcohol with my meal. Big mistake. I developed a headache and was so tired after lunch that I needed a nap nap in Major's Hill Park. That evening we took the bus to Kanata, met up with Jon and we visited our old houses- they looked sooo much smaller than we remembered. The good ol' days... *sigh*! We went out to dinner with Jon and his parents at a Texan restaurant then retired early with plans to wake up at 5am the next morning (haha, yeah right!) The next morning we woke up at 6am and explored downtown during sunrise before heading back to the B&B for breakfast. We didn't do much else that morning before we had to head to the bus station back to Toronto.

This weekend has been quite busy as well. Friday night was the opening ceremony for the Toronto Street Festival. Chris and I checked it out at Yonge Dundas Square- we saw Great Big Sea perform and Les Girafes Urban Operetta, which was basically a parade of red elephants on the street. Not as impressive as the Malaya Winterfest closing performace, but still a fun spectacle nonetheless. Yesterday morning I had to wake up at 7am to make it down to Ryerson for our first fashion shoot with models and make-up artists. Everyone was split up into pairs except my group, which consisted of 3 people. More people to split up the time with the model plus a SUPER SLOW make up artist didn't leave our group members much time to photograph. I only got to start shooting after 3:30 (we were supposed to finish by 4). It was pretty stressful and that day only confirmed how uncomfortable directing and managing people. I did come out with some nice shots though... hopefully everything will go better during the next shoot. Later in the evening I went to the Harbourfront Centre's Electronic Music Festival with Chris and Mike, and later met up with my sister and her friend, and Tony. We ended up having Indian dinner in the eastern part of the city at 11pm. The food took FOREVER to come which was driving me crazy. To top it all off, I asked for my dish to be mild, but it turned out to be spicier than everyone else's dishes! It's official- no more Indian food for me EVER AGAIN! Five strikes. Thanks again to Tony for driving me and my sis home :)

Today my family and I went to E.D. Smith Farm in the Niagara Escarpment for cherry picking. It was pretty fun aside from the burning heat, my out of control allergies, and the 40 minute wait in line to get into the fields.










Posted by mich at 10:49 PM | return | dreams [2]

June 11, 2005

Yet Another Camera To Lust For

So you think photos from a camera phone are so sucky that there's no point in even putting the two together? Take a look at the Sony Ericsson S710a phone... the pictures are quite impressive for such a little doodad. They even got the famous photographer Robert Clark to venture out on a trip across the US and Canada for a few months capturing pictures solely using the cell phone. Take a look at the photos in the gallery. Some of the images are absolutely stunning. I want!

Posted by mich at 2:04 AM | return | dreams [0]

November 4, 2004

I'm in Love

I never thought this would happen, but... I want a digital camera! :O More specifically, the Olympus Stylus Verve. It comes in some really bold colours- it's just so darn sexy! And you all know how I'm a sucker for nice design (heck, I'll even buy a CD just for the cover art). For those of you with your jaws still hanging on the floor, don't worry, I could never replace my trusty SLR and other Olympus camera! I could just use this one for fun, plus (as everyone's been trying to convince me) it's convenient, especially considering its size. I've always been wary of picture quality when it comes to digicams, but since this is Olympus, it should be pretty good compared to other ones out there of the same calibre. Have I provided enough justification for getting a digicam, even though I already have three cameras? It's just too pretty to let it go.

In other shocking news... I've decided to learn how to become a decent cook over Christmas break. :O Seeing as I'll have a bit of free time, I'm gonna finish my Japan scrapbook, update my photography sketchbook/journal, and cook up a storm. And I found the perfect book to start learning: Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics: Learning to Cook with Confidence. Looks like I'll be turning into a Martha Stewart in December (minus the whole criminal activity part).

Posted by mich at 11:05 PM | return | dreams [3]