Don’t worry, boo, I got enough Korean drama for the both of us

Her: Let me finish the episode of this Korean drama.

Me: Why you watching that? You have Korean drama right here! *points at self*

She laughed, so I had to tweet it. 🙂

I think the drama was Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, which she described as, “Kdrama version of Outlander.” All I could tell was everyone looks like a girl, and since all asians look alike to me, I wasn’t going to get my head in a knot watching it.

Photos of your mom

My aunt started an e-mail thread in my family. I’ll include excerpts here periodically.

I am cleaning the house of more pictures — so many. In the album Grandma Omma left, I found some pictures your mom. I will send another email of your mom and dad’s wedding that you probably have seen already.

Teresa so young

My mom, like her father before her, loved science. She started in physical chemistry like her father but her heart condition caused by rheumatic fever led her to work in biophysics studying the neural network of the heart and heart arrhythmias.

Continue reading about and seeing more photos after the jump

On being a beginner (again)

Compiled from three separate discussions on IRC, twitter, and in person:

“Whatcha do with your time these days? Learning Rails? 😈”

I did pick up Objective-C again after an aborted attempt at learning Swift. Mostly I’m trying to catch up on the javascript frameworks that have come out since I stopped coding. Right now it’s AngularJS—I figure I can jury-rig React into it if performance becomes an issue.

On the non-programming side, I’ve been messing with Ansible because I just got tired of doing things by hand—and I never needed to learn this because I’ve always had operations engineers working with me.

The ripping on Rails thing is over with me because there’s no point in arguing over how to solve a solved problem—today, the web problem is the easy part. What I find strange is people still feel the need to defend Ruby on Rails. I mean who the fuck cares what your middle layer code is written in when everything is an API to something written in Javascript?

“I don’t like that everything is an API to something in Javascript. As a user, the Web feels slower and flakier than it used to.”

I don’t like that everything on the front-end is pushed toward a single-page application. The reason for this is that the DOM-based model of front-end javascript (e.g. jQuery) gets so taxing when the application gets big because you’re bolting feature-on-feature, library-on-library to get it to work as smoothly as you envision. At a certain point, a true MV(VM) javascript framework (e.g. AngularJS) gives you much more because it abstracts all that in a consistent manner.

As soon as you buy into one of these, you’re invested into a huge initial javascript payload which causes you to not want the user to leave the page to unload anything, which then forces you into an API-based model with HTML partials and a client-side route/sitemap and more crap in the payload until you have a single-page application.

And then pretty soon your website is like Flickr where I swear every tenth click I’ve got to reload the page because the UI became non-responsive and I’m deciding to open the app in my iPhone just to do something without that frustration. How fucked up is that?

But then I look at Bootstrap and I figure, I’d rather have a SPA than everything looking like it was designed by some Apple-loving hipster (and this coming from a person who has used and loved Apple products longer than they’ve been alive).

“I’ve always enjoyed your talks and lamented that you didn’t remain on the PHP speaking circuit.”

Maybe I’ll start speaking when I have something to say. Like I’ve said before, PHP solves the “web problem” very well, but the web-problem is not a hard problem anymore.

Remember, it’s been four years since I’ve done any UI programming so everything is new to me. Basically, I’m a newbie, and I don’t think anyone wants to hear from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

But I did notice this from managing engineers: the worst problem a coder can get into is fear of having to start over. You get good at what you’re good at and when things pass you by, you feel the need to protect what you have because its what you know.

That’s how I feel about Ruby on Rails and that’s how I feel about me and PHP.

So, I’m a beginner again.

A.J.

Photo from February 28, 2015

I had just written an article mentioning my old high school, when a classmate of mine messaged me on Twitter when he realized why he friended me. It turned out he was in Mountain View on business, so I drove down to visit him. The last time I saw him was 25 years ago!

We picked him up at his hotel and I suggested Clarke’s because it’s one of the best burger joints around. While waiting for food, I snapped this photo.

A.J.
Clarkes Charcoal Broiler
Mountain View, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2
1/350sec, iso 160, 35mm (47mm)

I keep forgetting the razor-thin depth-of-field, so though one eye was in focus, the other one wasn’t. As I mentioned, I prefer monochrome images when I shoot with my Leica, so I used nik Silver Efex Pro. Control points helped me separate his hair from the background and add some sharpening in the blurry eye.

Continue reading another story after the jump

My South Bay Uniform

Photo from August 27, 2007

In the fall of 2007, my friend Megan McCarthy wrote an amusing article on valleywag on the wardrobe of Silcon Valley: a blue oxford button down dress shirt and khaki pants. It’s basically a safe bet at tech meet ups that you’ll see more white guys in blue button downs than anything else.

Later that month, I hadn’t ironed my clothing in a while so all that was usable in my closet were those aforementioned blue button downs. So this particular day, as I was wearing “the uniform,” I took a self-portrait to show I’m as original as all the west. Granted, it’s a little bit different, but that’s because San Francisco is a bit colder than valley 40 miles to the south.

My South Bay Uniform
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Panasonic DMC-LX1
1/4 sec at f/4.9, iso 200, 23.2mm (103mm)

I actually took and processed this image a long time ago for a blog post I never did.
Continue reading about how this photo was taken and processed after the jump

I kissed a girl

Photos from December 15, 2007

The end of my much-beloved Aperture and the start of a new year means a migration to Adobe Lightroom CC is in order. The Python developer who coded the Aperture import plugin for Adobe was clearly underpaid as it is underperforming and crash-prone when you have an Aperture Library as corrupted as mine.

So after a week of failure upon hard disk failure, upon Aperture Vault recovery, upon backups and more backups (lesson learned). I’ve resigned myself to moving one project at a time into Lightroom. But which project?

For that, I wrote a simple Applescript that selects a random project. And then I move it, verify the map, redo the face detection, and fix the keywords. As a reward, I process and post an image from it and hopefully write a little something. You’ve noticed a few over the last week, and this will continue for…

(If I manage a project a day, it’ll be a couple years before I’ve fully migrated. Such is what happens when you’ve been shooting digitally for over 16 years.)

Jonathan Abrams kindly invited me to the christmas party of his startup at a bar he is the co-owner of. For some reason both my main camera (Nikon D200) and event photography lens were broke at the time. I think I was attending so many events and doing so much traveling, I was extremely hard on my equipment.

That day I dug up my old Nikon D70, and my landscape photography lens, try to put the biggest flash diffuser I could find, and started shooting anyway. I really tried to push the camera and lens for all it was worth. Slide is a really great venue, but pre-D3 ISO range and a small aperture lens can’t really do it justice. Oh well, just focus on the subjects lit by the flash and ignore the rest, because who can see anything else?

I kissed a girl
Slide, Union Square, San Francisco, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G
1/20 sec @ f/4, iso 1250, 12mm (18mm)

Continue reading about this photo after the jump

Wrong model?

Me: *grabs the Victoria Secret flyer out of girlfriend’s hands*. Oh, it’s just a L…

Her: Yeah, they always have that free panty deal.

Me: You thought I was looking at the underwear? I was looking at the model…(long pause)… of camera! Hahaha!

Her: *rolls eyes* (sarcastically) Oh, very funny.

(It was a Leica film camera, of course.)

You know you’re a photographer at heart when when the thing your eyes are immediately drawn to in this photo is the camera.