DSC_0001

I bought a Nikon D7000 last week. I had called Glazer’s and they put me on The List. A few days later they called me back saying that had a body with my name on it. I picked it up. And it has been awesome.

I thought it would be fitting that the first picture I take with my new camera be a picture of my old camera:

DSC_0001
50.0 mm || 1/30 || f/3.2 || ISO200 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Final stats (as best I can figure out):

  • 38,641 pictures
  • 234 GB of photos
  • 5 years, 5 months, 2 days
  • 3 continents (North America, Europe, Asia)
  • 17 countries

First D70 picture: June 14, 2005
Last D70 picture1: November 6, 2010
Most interesting D70 picture
Most viewed D70 picture

Back to the D7000; I am really enjoying it so far! I’ve been playing around with all the new features and figuring out how I can get the most out of it. The big things I’m having to deal with right now are the increased file sizes (RAW files are about 20MB in size, versus 6MB with the D70) and taking video.

I’m looking for a good movie editor that is either free or inexpensive and can do color temperature and tint adjustment (along with all the regular stuff). I currently use Windows Live Movie Maker, and while that works for slicing and dicing, that’s about all it can do. I’m currently looking into Lightworks, which is a free and open source video editing suite that has won2 both Academy and Emmy awards.

DSC_0007
50.0 mm || 1/25 || f/4.5 || ISO4000 || NIKON D7000


  1. For now, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with the camera. I’m thinking about just keeping it as a backup/secondary 

  2. not just nominated, but won 

Grace and Growth

I’ve been thinking a lot about grace and growth; how and when I grow and how I’ve seen and experienced grace.

I believe that growth happens from the hard things we do in life. And granted: some things are harder for others, and thus you may not grow as much in areas where I find tremendous growth — and vice versa. That’s okay; we’re not all supposed to be the same. Growth occures when each of us reaches our own points in life where we have to make an actual decision…a conscientious choice.

Grace occurs when we attempt to grow, and we stumble — because we are not perfect. Grace is when someone else acknowledges that we tried, or are still trying, and continuing to love us anyway — even if what we did or thought was wrong: you are loved.

How awesome is that?

The Pale Blue Dot

Amazing and stunning and poignant and beautiful:

We were hunters and foragers.

The frontier was everywhere.

We were bounded only by the Earth, and the ocean, and the sky. The open road still softly calls.

Our little terraquious globe as the madhouse of those hundred thousand millions of worlds.

We, who cannot even put our own planetary home in order, riven with rivalries and hatreds; Are we to venture out into space?

By the time we’re ready to settle even the nearest of other planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us. Necessity will have changed us. We’re…an adaptable species.

It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths, and fewer of our weaknesses. More confident, farseeing, capable, and prudent. For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.

What new wonders, undreamed of in our time, will we have wrought in another generation? And another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered by the end of the next century? And the next millennium? Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that whatever other life there may be, the only humans in all the universe come from Earth.

They will gaze up, and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of raw potential once was. How perilous, our infancy. How humble, our beginnings. How many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.

-Carl Sagan

via ✪DF

Discretion

What is discretion, as it relates to cautious reserve in speech? There is this idea of discretion, it’s kind of a tricky I feel — maybe not all the time, just times that it has huge implications.

I see discretion as a continuum, with tight lipped vagaries on the left and loose lips sinking ships1 on the right. Discretion lies somewhere in between, in this hazy fog where it’s hard to navigate.

And even if you think you’re doing a good job of being discrete, someone else always has a different opinion of discretion; a different opinion of what should or shouldn’t be said.

I feel that discretion has a lot to do with expectation and uncertainty. I tend toward full disclosure when I don’t know because, for me, information is a way to reduce uncertainty, and giving more information should help reduce the uncertainty in any given situation. Right?

But is having more information always better? Information can empower, but it can also overwhelm. Take, for example, the paradox of choice:

From www.columbia.edu:

Current psychological theory and research affirm the positive affective and motivational consequences of having personal choice. These findings have led to the popular notion that more choice is better, that the human ability to desire and manage choice is unlimited. Findings from three studies starkly challenge the implicit assumption that having more choice is necessarily more intrinsically motivating than having fewer options. These three experiments which were conducted in field and laboratory settings show that people are more likely to purchase exotic jams or gourmet chocolates, and undertake optional class essay assignments, when offered a limited array of 6 choices rather than an extensive array of 24 or 30 choices. Moreover, participants actually reported greater subsequent satisfaction with their selections and wrote better essays when their original set of options had been restricted rather than expanded.2

While this study doesn’t explicitly deal with truth, I think it’s an interesting corollary: More is not always better and even when we think more should be could, it can actually be bad. Does this hold true for information as well? Maybe I don’t really want-to-want to know the launch codes for the nuclear missiles.

So, what is is threshold on the continuum of truth and disclosure? Where do I find the middle ground? How do I find the middle ground?

Ne quid nimis.

This, like many things, is a continuing process for me, and this is pretty much where I’m at.


  1. “The War Advertising Council’s “Loose Lips Sink Ships” public service ads reminding Americans of the dangers of revealing too much information are still remembered today. This particular campaign encouraged Americans to be discreet in their communication to prevent restricted information from being leaked to the enemy during World War II.” – http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=127 

  2. Iyengar, Sheena S. and Lepper, Mark R. When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? 

Paid in Full

Right now, there are few words I enjoy hearing more than “Paid in Full.”

I’ve paid off all of my Federal Student Aid loans, which feels good. And I’m on track to have the rest of my school loans paid off within 5 years, which is pretty awesome (especially since I have no other debt, thank you Dave Ramsey).

Yet Another Voter Guide for Election 2010

I spent some time — several hours, actually — today filling out my ballot and I thought I’d share how I voted on some of the races with quick sentence or three on why you should vote that way too.

I-10531: Yes
“Since 1993, Washington’s had the two-thirds requirement. In those 17 years, during legislative sessions when it’s been in effect, tax hikes were a last resort resulting in more reform and fewer taxes.” Making it hard to raise taxes is good.

I-10822: Yes
I believe there are enough safe guards in place to protect the public good and make this a good choice for opening up this market to competition.

I-10983: No
The is one of the hot ones. Here’s what it boils down to: In general, I don’t believe in legislating morals. I also don’t believe in taxing just the rich (why tax someone because they were, you know, successful?). The fact that these taxes could be very easily extended to the rest of us also concerns me. Washington hasn’t had an income tax and I don’t see why we should start now.

I-11004: Yes
Two words: free market. Two more words: cheaper alcohol. It also keeps the necessary taxes to regulate and enforce the industry.

I-11055: No
This initiate is very similar to the first, expect it transfers the monopoly from the state to private distributors (instead of anyone willing to cough up the money for a license). It also gets rid of the tax used to help regulate the industry, which actually is important.

I-11076: No
This is my soft spot for taxes: using them as a method for encouraging better behavior (not to be confused with legislating morality).

R-527: Rejected
To quote the Seattle Times, “The schools and colleges spend the state’s money and do not have to pay it back. They will have to say their projects will save energy, but no one will hold them to it.” Bad all around.

Senate Joint Resolution 82258: Approved
This one was a bit confusing at first, but I looked into it a bit:
From seattletimes.nwsource.com:

Here is the story. Under a new program, Build America Bonds, the federal government pays 35 percent of the interest on taxable state bonds. It is an alternative to making the bonds federally tax-free, and for the state it is a better alternative for short- and medium-term bonds. The direct subsidy allows states to borrow more money to build roads, ferries, buildings, etc., with no extra cost to state taxpayers – not now, and not ever. From a state’s point of view, it is free money.

Washington state, however, has a limit on how much interest, as a total dollar sum, it can agree to pay on its total debt. That is the constitutional debt limit, and it is a necessary thing. The formula for setting the limit, however, was written assuming that all the interest on Washington bonds would be paid by Washington state. No one imagined the federal government would volunteer to pay some of the states’ interest bills.

The Stranger put it pretty succinctly, “This constitutional amendment would change the way the state calculates its total debt interest (moving to “net” interest rather than “full” interest as the basis for the calculation). This does not change the total debt limit, but allows us to borrow more federal money for important infrastructure projects.”

Okay, so maybe that one was more than three sentences.

Engrossed Substitute House Joint Resolution 42209: Rejected
I feel like this was hastily put together and doesn’t have the foresight to anticipate abuse by the government. In short, the idea that someone could essentially be held indefinitely without trial is of severe concern to me.

King County Charter Amendment No. 110: Yes
Just clarifying language, which I like.

King County Charter Amendment No. 211: Yes
Essentially eliminates a reporting redundancy and reduces the burden on campaigns by allowing them to register with just the Washington State PDC.

King County Charter Amendment No. 312: Yes
I actually had to take a look at the language of this and it was a bit of a toss up, but in the end, I agreed with The Stranger assessment that it “transfers some public-safety employees’ bargaining responsibility from the King County executive to the King County sheriff. That would deliver a more independent and accountable sheriff’s office.”

King County Proposition No. 113: Rejected
Why do we need additional funding? I’m not confident that we’re getting the most value for our money and I don’t believe raises taxes should be the first (or even second or third) thing done to close the budget gap.

United States Senator: Rossi
This is an important one and it’s going to be a close race, so listen carefully. I’m not a huge fan of Rossi, but I’m even less a fan of Murray (the incumbent). I’m in favor of cutting federal spending to reduce our debt, fixing the tax code, passing a balanced budged (although I have doubts if that will be possible…we’ll see), and repealing the heath care reform; as it turns out, Rossi is in favor of these things too.

State Representative, 46th District, Position No. 2: Gunderson
He’s young and I like voting against incumbents.

State Supreme Court Position No. 6: Wiggins
Rated “Exceptionally Well Qualified” by King County Bar Association. I also like voting against incumbents.

Seattle Municipal Court No. 1: McKenna
KcKenna was ranked as “exceptionally well qualified” by the King County Bar Association; the inncumbent was rated “qualified.” That’s enough for me.

Seattle Municipal Court No. 6: Donohue
Three words: electronic record keeping. The incumbent has done some good stuff, but it’s time he takes a break.

Seattle School District No. 1 Proposition No. 114: No
We spend some of the most money on schooling and get some of the worst results. I do not support funding school systems without comprehensive reform of the system.

As a note, I did not cast a vote for United States Representative congressional District No. 7 because I do not agree with either candidate. I also did not cast a vote for any position running unopposed.

Anyway, I’m going to go drop my ballot in the mail now.

Sources:


  1. This measure would restate existing statutory requirements that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval. 

  2. Authorize employers to purchase private industrial insurance beginning July 1, 2012; direct the legislature to enact conforming legislation by March 1, 2012; and eliminate the worker-paid share of medical-benefit premiums. 

  3. Tax “adjusted gross income” above $200,000 (individuals) and $400,000 (joint-filers), reduce state property tax levies, reduce certain business and occupation taxes, and direct any increased revenues to education and health. 

  4. Close state liquor stores; authorize sale, distribution, and importation of spirits by private parties; and repeal certain requirements that govern the business operations of beer and wine distributers and producers. 

  5. Close all state liquor stores and license private parties to sell or distribute spirits. It would revise laws concerning regulation, taxation and government revenues from distribution and sale of spirits. 

  6. End sales tax on candy; end temporary sales tax on some bottled water; end temporary excise taxes on carbonated beverages; and reduce tax rates for certain food processors. 

  7. Authorize bonds to finance construction and repair projects increasing energy efficiency in public schools and higher education buildings, and continue the sales tax on bottled water otherwise expiring in 2013. 

  8. Require the state to reduce the interest accounted for in calculating the constitutional debt limit, by the amount of federal payments scheduled to be received to offset that interest. 

  9. Authorize courts to deny bail for offenses punishable by the possibility of life in prison, on clear and convincing evidence of a propensity for violence that would likely endanger persons. 

  10. Add language to the Preamble specifying that insuring responsibility and accountability applies to “local and regional governance and services.” It would also amend the current statement of purpose to “preserve a healthy environment” to read “preserve a healthy rural and urban environment and economy.” 

  11. Section 690 of the King County Charter to be amended to specify that timely filing of a statement of campaign receipts and expenditures with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission in accordance with chapter 42.17 RCW satisfies the filing obligations of Section 690 of the King County Charter, as provided in Ordinance No. 16885 

  12. Designate the King County sheriff as the county’s agent for collective bargaining with department of public safety employees on all issues for these employees except compensation and benefits, which would continue to be bargained by the executive. Currently, the sheriff can provide input, but has no authority over collective bargaining for these employees. 

  13. This proposition would authorize King County to fix and impose an additional sales and use tax of 0.2%, spilt between the county (60%) and cities (40%). At least one-third of all proceeds shall be used for criminal justice or fire protection purposes. 

  14. Partially replace reduced State funding and to improve education throughout Seattle Public Schools this proposition authorizes the District to levy supplemental taxes on all taxable property within the District, to help the District meet the educational needs of its approximately 45,507 students