Archive for December, 2007

Congrats Luke & Lauren!!

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Luke & Lauren Schierer!

The nuptials went off without a hitch (or perhaps with a single hitch depending on how you look at it)!

Everyone had a marvelous time, and I’ve uploaded a few teaser pictures to hold you until I can get home and do some real editing.

During the Ceremony
Luke & Lauren

Roses on the Cake
Flowers on the Cake

First Dance (…as a couple… who’s married. Right Will? )
First Dance

Making a Getaway
The Getaway

Seven Months Old!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Nate was seven months old on Christmas so double excuse to take pictures. We have a few shots from Christmas with my Mom and Dad at the house, but most are Nate helping to open various presents. I’ve put them all in Nate’s new seventh month album.

Of course according to tradition, we have once again captured Nathan with the same teddy bear:
7th Months Old

Here are a few other shots from yesterday:

Thanks Uncle Jim! Carrot as artistic medium
Mom has a bit of fun with Nate's hair

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Schierer’s. We wish everyone the peace of Christmas, the joy of family and the love of Jesus Christ.

2007 lights

… the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, goodwill among people!’
-Luke 2, 10-14

Lunar rendezvous with Mars

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Many of you probably heard about this already, but Mars and the full Moon passed beautifully close last night (at least from our perspective). I took the following picture which is not quite what I hoped, but then it’s rather hard to get a good exposure on the moon and still see Mars… even at its brightest. In the northwest US and Canada, the moon actually occulted Mars.

Moon and Mars

Thanks Uncle Jim!

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Nate’s Uncle Jim has definitely made points with his nephew.

Good thing you paid extra for the wrapping…

Nate with Bow

Random images

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Added some random pictures to the Gallery.

This shot is blurry because the light was too low, but I like it anyway. Nate has just a great look of joy (and K is making that truly silly face).
Nate laughs at K

And Oreo has obviously managed to get into the presents again. I did not stage this. There is a bit of tape on the ribbon that has fixed itself to her chin. Her expression is more of annoyance than guilt I think.
oreo with evidence

Edit… one more:

Nate gets a bit eager when he sits next to the big package from Uncle Jim. K snapped a few shots before saving the package from an early unwrapping.
Nate gets eager

Camera Brands from Consumer Reports

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Looks like Consumer Reports has similar feelings to my camera review.

For compact cameras (my N and GG categories approximately) Sony and Canon took the top seven spots. The Sonys were the H9 and H3 models ranked 1 and 2. The Canon S5, A640, A630, S3, and A720 featured in that order. The H9 has some pretty impressive stats but I won’t recommend it without trying it out myself. The top seven ranked within 7 points (out of 100) of each other, they’re probably all safe bets. For subcompact (overlap with the N and RM categories), Sony took 3 of the top 5 spots with Canon (SD800) and Panasonic filling out the mix.

I didn’t link to the report specifically because it is subscription only material. If you’re looking to buy a camera soon, it might be worth checking out, they have some stats from their testing such as shutter lag and battery life for each camera.

They only reviewed two DSLRs (a Fuji and a Leica), so they really shouldn’t be making any claims about them.

Joyful Secularized Pseudo-religious Holidays!

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

So I had a sort-of tongue in cheek conversation with a colleague at work who will not be taking off work for Christmas. We’re in the middle of a crunch as usual so I mentioned to her how useful it was to have “… a mix of cultures on a team to diversify against secularized pseudo religious holidays. ;)”.

She was amused by my loaded fake-political correctness. I thought I’d share my response.

To my family Christmas is a religious holiday (presents are good too!), but in our free society it’s unacceptable for businesses to cater to the needs of any particular religious belief, right? I think this is both fair and appropriate. So why is it that the 24th and 25th are holidays in the US (and at Sensis)? Well it must be because the non-Christian/secular world figures “why fight a holiday” and takes the days off. I suppose at one time (perhaps even now) active practicing Christians were the majority in the US. Now “Christian” has been hijacked by the conservative-fundamentalist-Jerry Falwell-red-state-wack-jobs and I’m almost ashamed to admit my affiliation.

In any case, please don’t be offended if I wish you a Merry Christmas. I don’t mean to imply that you have to celebrate Christmas, but that I am and I want all to share the joy of the day.

So Merry Christmas.

Gallery changes and file corruption redux

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Previously we had allowed only registered users to view the ‘full’ size images on the Gallery. I have now removed this restriction because it seemed to be more annoying than useful. The ‘full’ size images in the Gallery are 1800×1200 which is larger than most people’s monitors, but still significantly reduced from the full resolution image (3504×2336) from the camera.

Speaking of the camera, the corruption issues have continued which is putting a bit of a crimp on my most productive hobby. I’ve come up with a workaround (download images from the camera exclusively with the Canon viewing software which is horribly awkward), but clearly there is some kind of problem that will need to be addressed.

The problem seems to manifest when I remove the card from the camera and place it in any card reader. I can remove the card and replace it in the camera with no issues visible within the camera. Once it touches a card reader, however, the camera and WinXP agree that there are busted files. We have several (two different brands of USB type and one embedded in our printer) and all of them seem to suffer the same problem. I’ve tried multiple CF cards (I bought 2 new ones just a few weeks back when the issue first came up). It doesn’t happen EVERY time, but I’d say it’s higher than 75% that at least one file will get mashed. This is clearly unacceptable. There was even a recent firmware update for the Canon 20D that addressed a compact flash compatibility issue. I’ve upgrade to this firmware, but the problem persists.

The nearest Canon service center is near New York City in Jersey and this is NOT a good time of year to be without your camera for two weeks. I think I’ll muddle through until after the holidays. Yuck.

Santa vs. FedEx

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

So in a not-so-typical free moment, I was talking with one of my coworkers (Hi Jeremy) about the now famous internet/email message about the supposed impossibility of Santa’s magical Christmas Eve trip.

You know, the one that you can read here, or here*… and umptien bazillion other variants.

It occurred to us though that in the modern era, Santa is far more likely to make use of the services of hundreds of thousands of delivery workers distributed throughout the globe as part of his multinational corporation (think FedEx). Here’s how it works… (more…)