Thursday, December 27, 2007


Well, Christmas 2007 is behind us. I have to say it was the year of the gift cards. I got Visa gift cards from my office, from my sister-in-law, and father-in-law; American Express gift card from my brother-in-law; itunes from my mother-in-law, and Macy's from my mom.

I used my itunes to get Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and The National's Boxer. In addition to those, I got my my wife Jenn new CDs from Feist, Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, and Eddie Vedder's Into the Wild Soundtrack. I heard parts of each on WXPN, or NPR's All Songs Considered program, which featured both critics picks as well as audience favorites during the last weeks before Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Powerbook 2.0

I got my powerbook back from Apple yesterday, and I happy again. Its hard to describe how strange it felt to lose everything that was on there. Apple upgraded me to a 120Mb drive, and I've spent the day loading it back up with my music (thanks to Sentui). Last night I reloaded Leopard, and Microsoft Office. This morning I reloaded Creative Suite 1, although I'm getting used to the trial of Creative Suite 3 and want to upgrade that soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Apple delivers!

Just after my last post, I got a call from the Apple Store that my repair was complete, and my powerbook ready for pickup.

Apple Watch Day Three

Still no word on my powerbook. When I dropped it off, I was told it usually took 24-48 hours for a repair with parts in stock, and that my part was not in stock.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Apple Watch Day Two

Tuesday was a sad day, coming to work without my mac for the first time in a long time.

I had work to focus on, basically reconstructing a major project from last years' version. I was able to get our tech support guy to order a new Creative Suite for my Mac Pro and downloaded CS3 trial versions from Adobe to get started. I hope I'll hear from Apple today on the status of my PB and whether I'll get it back before the holidays.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Powerbook Hard Drive: RIP

Sunday I received an external hard drive as an early christmas present. I am expecting to get a second drive next week, so I elected to move my aperture masters over to this drive and use the second one for time machine.

Monday, my Powerbook hard drive failed, and I lost everything. Now its at Apple, and hopefully will return this week with a new drive. But I've lost so much information that I don't even know what's gone. Most of my work files were safe, because they were backed up to my desktop Mac Pro about a week ago, but everything I did in the last week is gone. On top of that, I've been using my laptop for all of my InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator work because they haven't finished setting up my desktop machine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Office Upgrade

The last week has been an exciting one. I got my new Mac Pro and 23" Cinema Display at work, and I'm thrilled with it. I love my PowerBook, but the mew machine is simply awesome. To match the image quality of the cinema display, I added a Logitech X-230 speaker set (the subwoofer is under the desk), and an Apple wireless keyboard and Mighty Mouse. I haven't gotten my new software, so its mostly been used for Mail, and surfing the web, but I can't wait to get my Adobe software loaded on there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks, AppleCare

Apple has great customer service.

Yesterday, I came to work and plugged in my Powerbook. While I was working I noticed the screen flicker, and the light on the end of the power cord was out. After wiggling the wire, I realized that the cord was shorting out. During the day, I checked a number of sites for replacements, and was tryingto decide between replacing it with one from NewerTechnology or another Apple version. I wasn't looking forward to either, because they were in the 45-79 price range. Then I remembered that I had bought Applecare with my Powerbook in 2005, and I called to see if it would be covered. The agent asked a couple of questions, and told me that it was covered, and she'd send out a new one, but it may take a couple of days due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. That was at 1:30 pm Monday. Tuesday morning, the DHL driver dropped off my new adapter. I'm so pleased that they were able to take care of me with no downtime.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Leopard bugs screenshot

Disclosure: drives/names have been blurred in photoshop.

Monday, November 5, 2007

More strange Leopard behavior

I'm still experiencing some flakiness with Leopard. This morning I was workin in a number of folders, and as each one opened, it seemed like it could not draw all of the icons. I gave it a little whie to see if they'd fillin, but they did not. After a restart, everything worked normally again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Leopard Installation Experience

I've been working with Leopard since last Friday, and I've noticed a few bugs. Not major ones, but I'll recount what I experienced. The first bug was in the install. The screen came up prompting me to select which drive to install Leopard onto, but offered no discs to choose from. I restarted a handfull of times, and my hard drive finally appeared. After this initial setback, the rest of the installation went smoothly.

My first impression of Leopard was thet it felt faster than Tiger, especially Mail and Safari. But these are also where I noticed stuttering, frrezing and a couple of strange creshes. Here's an example: reading email in Mail, I clicked ⌘-R to reply and nothing happened. I clicked it again. Still nothing. Then I tried clicking th icon in the toolbar. nothing. I quit and restarted mail, and as soon as it opened, my three replies appeared.

Another strange event: I modified a pdf in Illusrator CS, but the preview in the finder did not change. I opened it up again in Illustrator, saw my changes, and closed again, but the preview did not update.

My last issue is that all my printer settings got thrown out the window. Now every time I try to print something, I have to re-sign in to my network at work before the printing will proceed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do your ipod headphones fall apart?

I'm on my second set of iPod headphones, and the rubber trim is peeling off the edges of the headphone again.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The proof for the annual report came back from the printer. To my surprise, there were just a few changes to make. One problem that developed when I was checking on the recycled content of the paper: I found out it was zero. My printer scrambed to change the order, and he was able to come up with a recycled paper fast enough to keep us on schedule.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Thank God,

Today I finally sent our company's annual report off to the printer. Every year, it seem to take longer to finish. I think it first appeared on the schedule back in April. The hard part is getting something on the page, but this year, it had to be the changes. Today was the drop-dead date to get this printed and in the mail before our conference, and I must've gotten three phone calls for changes after our CEO headed for the airport. Each call meant more changes, reprinting the report, and burning a new CD for the printer.

Now, its time to move onto all of the other items that have been on hold.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Win a Free Bag from Think Tank Photo

Think Tank Photo makes great equipment for photographers, designed with input professional sports photographers and photojournalists, from modular belt systems to low profile airline compatible travel cases.

They're giving a bag away every day between November 16 and December 15. Just follow this link.

While you're there, check out the Airport International case.

Have you used Think Tank Photo bags? What do you think of them?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


We just got back from Columbus Day weekend in Michaux State Forest.

We had a great camp site, and perfect weather. The trails were a lot of fun, and really rocky.

I didn't get to ride as much as I wanted: It was the beginning of archery season so we kept the dog on a leash all day Saturday.

Tris, Mike and I got a long ride in Sunday. It combined all of the key ingredients of an adventure: Getting lost, breaking parts, and running out of daylight. We were riding some ATV trails that were some of the rockiest I have ever ridden. We ran into some other mountain bikers the next day who were locals, and described the trails we had ridden as 'insane'. I'm glad we rode the insane trails, as that means the next time we ride should be easier.

I'm looking forward to riding there again.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I am all over the blogs...

At least my pictures are.

I got an email this morning from Jeremiah Bishop's wife asking for permission to use a photo of him from Sunday's race (see post below).

And an email announcing 24 Solo's great reception by independent film festivals pointed to Jason Berry's blog about the SM 100, which had a bunch of my pics, including the one above, of one of Jason's friends, 'POZ'. Thanks for the plug, Jason.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

MABRA Ed Sander Cross

Sunday, I shot my first cyclocross race out at the Lilypons Water Gardens in Buckeystown. It was a blast, but it was tough. Much of the day I was hanging out at the top of a runup section that stopped the riders in their tracks. Unfortuneately for me, staing close to the action meant standing in or walking through a tangle of thorns every couple of minutes. My ankles are covered in cuts and look ridiculous.

To make matters worse, at some in the middle of shooting, I realized that I had lost one of my memory cards. I tried to search the areas I had walked through in betweeen the racers' passes, but I never foun d it. I was bummed the rest of the day, and had to be more selective in the shots I took. I was lucky that it didn't have any images that I had shot that day, but it still sucked. I ordered a CF card wallet from Think Tank Photo so that it wouldn't happen again.

All the images are finally uploaded. Check them out at

Monday, September 24, 2007

My First Day as a Production Assistant

I had the best time last weekend, experiencing my first day as a production assistant for two independent short films, "Ten Years Gone" and "Philly", both shot in Arlington, VA.

Saturday morning, cast and crew of "Ten Years Gone" met at Director Ishu Krishna's house to pick up equipment, and caravan to our first location. A small neighborhood park served as the set for a flashback scene. Our biggest challenge there was framing the shot to avoid houses, fences, and other telltale signs of suburban Virginia.

The second flashback sequence was my chance to be an actor. I played a boss who wouldn't shut up. The scene basically involved rolling up to a red light, talking my head off, and oblivious to Ashlyn's(Erika Grace Allen) suffering.

After the flashback sequence, we returned to Ishu's house to shoot two of the main actors filming either end of a phone call that sets up the reunion that is the central event in the film. Because the flashback was shot with available light with no sound, Ashlyn's Room was the first full setup of the day. Once we got lights up and camera set, Erika our actress flipping through record on the bed, Matt with the boom mike, Teague with the slate, Ishu (director), Kerien (camera operator), Matt Leiner (AD), and I in the room, things started to feel tight, but the scene went really well and it got everyone excited for the rest of the shoot.

Because the crew was so small, it was easy to get to try different jobs, and when most of the crew went to film the second car scene, I stayed at the house to set up the lighting for the second bedroom scene. This time Brad (Brad Schaffer) would be standing in a room full of boxes that looked like he just moved in. The tricky part was that during the scene, he had to rummage through the boxes to find the phone. That made the lighting a challenge because when I got the lights right for him standing and talking, they threw crazy shadows into the area he was reaching into. I wish I had brought more clothespins. If you can't figure lighting out, the answer seems to be diffusion. In the end, a gel was taped up to the barn doors to soften the light.

Our big adventure was to go the Cowboy Cafe for our bar scene. When we got there, I was not optimistic. The bar was small, and the only place to set up was right in front of the door, next to the Golden Tee video game machine. Every few minutes, it would come to life with golf and and crowd sound effects.

The bar staff was great, as well as most of the patrons. They put up with bright lights, and our actors running their scene over and over again, including standing and singing,"Hercules and the Dunder Cheifs."

Sundays shoot did not go as well, however. We had some technical difficulties, and the reality of trying to film inside a shopping mall, food court, and bathroom without a permit was enough to cancel the shoot and reschedule.

I was so exhausted Sunday night, but it didn't matter. Both days were so exciting and fun that it beat the best day at my real job. I can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No New iphone

Well, the European announcements came and went, and the iPhone is still only running EDGE+wifi.

I was hoping that the announcement would usher in a true 3G iphone, but it looks like I'll have to wait now. Maybe there will be a new one announced in January when Macworld rolls around. I'm also waiting for new Cinema Displays to be announced. My request for a Mac pro at work was approved, but I've been holding off ordering it until new displays came out.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Powerbook CD Eject tip

I just got The White Stripes' new Icky Thump CD, and when I inserted it into my Powerbook nothing happened. I mean, no opening of the album in itunes, no sign of the CD on the desktop. Nothing. I launched Disk Utility and it could not "see" the disc either. But I found a great tip at macosxhints. It involved booting the computer into firmware and entering the command to manually eject the CD. It was a handy tip, so I thought I'd give them a plug.


Yesterday we had a great ride at Rosaryville. We had perfect weather, and Dave, Mike and I pounded the second lap. In total, just over 20 miles. I started cramping near the end of the second lap, but I was able to back off a bit, and made it back to the parking lot.

I figure I won't be able to ride next weekend, we'll be filming "Philly" and "Reunion", the two shorts I signed on to PA for. I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I took my 96 Mazda pickup to the shop this morning for an oil change and to get them to diagnose the check engine light. First, Roy told me he'd charge $45 just to hook up the scanner and tell me what the problem was: bad coil. I asked if it was a performance issue, or a breakdown issue, and he said breakdown.

I just heard back from them, oil change, diagnosis, coil, spark plugs, wires, and labor is going to set me back almost $600.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quiet on the set, please

My experience as an extra on the Body of Lies set really got me excited about the idea of working in film production, so last week I signed on to be a production assistant for two independent films shooting Sept. 22 & 23.

I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can about the process, and about the reality on set, to see if its the kind of thing I 'd like to get more serious about. I'm working with a really small crew and cast, but some have professional credentials, so I'm hoping there will opportunities to watch what they're doing and ask questions. I think the first thing I have to do is get some appropriate tools. I located a great source has a great selection of hand tools, pouches, and a bunch of stuff I don't even know what they do. I'm conflicted, though. I want to be prepared and useful to the rest of the crew, but I don't want to look like a dork. Maybe I'll keep my tools in a bag...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Body of Lies Explosion

The Washington Post has a video on their site that shows the car bomb detonation.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Day on the Set

I spent a day as an extra(or background actor) on the Eastern Market/Dutch Market set of Body of Lies. For the most part, the day was made up of waiting for long periods in winter coats and sweaters in extremely hot weather for the crew to set up shots, cameras, etc. But it was thrilling to see how everything works behind the scenes. I don't think I'm giving anything away to say that a car bomb goes off in a crowded market. I don't think I'm giving anything away because of the huge amount of media that was standing on the edge of the set when the scene was shot.

We rehearsed the scene a number of times, but it was still a shock when the actual explosion went off. The blast was much louder than I was expecting, and it was followed by a shower of broken glass. There were a number of cameras rolling, including two on a nearby rooftop, and one on a helicopter. For all you Russell Crowe fans, I have to say that he was not in the scene, at least not in the parts I was around for. The best part of the experience was being able to be so close and watch the crew create and dress the sets, set up the scene, and wrangle all the moving parts to the point that even though you know its not real, it feels real. It was also surprising how few changes need to be made to create a convincing set. And of course, it was great to watch Ridley Scott at work. I can't wait to see the finished film.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Shenandoah Mountain 100

What a weekend. After spending Friday in the emergency room, we packed up the car and headed to Stokesville, Virginia for the annual Shenandoah Mountain 100, a 100-mile mountain bike race through the George Washington National Forest. I've got some great photos, including some of the 2006 Tour De France Champion Floyd Landis making his debut at the SM 100. I just uploaded all of the images to my web site.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reply to Anonymous

I really don't know much about the filming details. At the open call, they told us they'd be filming from Sept. 5-25 in DC. They didn't really tell us where, or if any of the stars were going to be in our scene. We have to call the day before our scene to see if they need us. I just know that the original announcement said they'd be filming in the Eastern Market Area. I don't know if this was influenced or changed as a result of the fire that damaged the building in April.

You can check out some of the fire images on my web site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Back from Wardrobe

It looks my regular clothes are pretty much what Dutch people wear to go to the market. I went to the wardrobe department and showed them some of my winter clothes. Its kind of surreal, you know its hot outside, and the wardrobe people are putting scarves and gloves on you.

Welcome to all the readers from CROWE News. I'll try to keep you updated on my brush with hollywood.

So the Casting Department Calls...

I saw a notice on the Voice of the Hill's web site for a casting call looking for extras in a scene to be filmed near Eastern Market. I took a picture of myself(actually several-that's harder than you think its going to be) and filled out a form. When I was down there, they announced that Ridley Scott is directing the film, and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.

Anyway, the casting company called back yesterday and asked me to come in for costuming, and said they'd be using me next week. Of course, the scene is set in a Dutch market, in the winter, so I have to take a bunch of my winter clothes down with me and see what they want me to wear. Did I mention that the average temperature here has been in the nineties?

New Web Site and New Photography Soon

I was a little disappointed to see that the photos I took at the Cranky Monkey didn't make it onto the site, but a number of racers found their way to my Flickr page. I made a deal with Chris Scott to shoot the Shenandoah Mountain 100 next weekend and supply him with images for their site. In anticipation, I've set up a new site at to feature (and sell)what I expect to be quite a few images from the race.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cranky Monkey rolls into Fountainhead

Sunday was a big day. I spent most of it shooting the Cranky Monkey Race at Fountainhead. As a newish photographer, I'm surprized by how much I enjoy shooting sports. Its hard work, though. The weather and the woods conspired to make lighting a real challenge. I started off shooting with a flash, but the flash caused only the riders to be properly exposed, and left the res t of the woods in darkness. Eventually I had to push the ISO up to get useable images. More images on my Flickr page.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Went to a first time buyer's workshop last night. It was an interesting mix of useful info and doubletalk. The Long & Foster realtors pointed out that the problem in the housing market was based largely on the media focusing on the negative, and that the market was great. At the same time, we could hope for closing cost help. I love the idea of closing cost help because the seller gets screwed out of money, but the realtor commissions are still based on full selling price.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday in the Shed

After spending Saturday looking for houses, Sunday was a day to punish ourselves.  I took a ride up to Frederick Watershed with Tris and Mountainbike Dave. The weather was perfect, and the shed rarely disappoints. We discovered that someone's been busy building some new trail that snakes its way over, under & through some wild boulder sections. We had one of our best rides with a few exceptions: Tris had some shifting trouble, bent her brake lever in a tumble, and I flatted. Despite the setbacks, we kept up a great pace and finished the loop in just over 2 hours riding time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

After a big weekend of house- hunting, we are slightly more optimistic than we were. It looks like a townhouse is our best best for a comfortable amount living space within our price range. On the downside, we'll likely be moving farther out than we had expected. 

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A little more about me: I just got married last April, and now my wife and I are looking for our first house. Right now, we live in an apartment in DC thats in between our two jobs. We've discovered that any house we buy is going to involve major commute changes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Well, I just spent two hours driving around Montgomery County lost. The bad news was that I wasted my time, but I was impressed with some of the terrain up there. Its greener, and more interesting up there than down here in DC. Maybe I'll look for a place to live up there.