I bought my first DSLR a few years ago but it's only in the past year that I've really begun to use it quite a lot. I bought it because I realized I didn't want to have my precious moments to be handcuffed by how good my latest phone was at the time. I wanted beautiful photos that would stand the test of time. In doing so though, I've found that I love to take photos just for the sake of having a beautiful desktop wallpaper, either for my laptop or my phone. Since I've begun to have quite a few of these now, I thought I'd share them, in the hopes you too might enjoy them. The link to all the photos is below, but here's a few samples from this inaugural pack.
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October 24, 2016 - Comments Off on Getting My Star Wars Political History Straight
After watching the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels, it brought back my confusion over what each political and historical party was called during the movies so I thought I’d try and work this out.
In “Phantom Menace” we start with the “Galatic Republic” (aka: Old Republic). After much strife with the “Separatist” movement1, who intends to leave the Galatic Republic2, the galaxy falls into the “Clone Wars”. Eventually, the “Galatic Empire”3 is formed from the ashes of “Revenge of the Sith”.
After the true nature of the Empire becomes clear, three senators4, begin creating the first “Rebel Alliance” and that brings us to "A New Hope”. The “Rebels” fight it out and eventually we get the “New Republic” after "Return of the Jedi". A fraction of the size of the former “Galactic Republic” and “Empire”, the “New Republic” remained on friendly terms with a majority of galactic systems. A faction called the “First Order” eventually secedes once tensions reached a breaking point and built it’s ranks over the next 30 years. This brings us to "The Force Awakens" when the “Resistance”, founded by Leia, is attempting to fight the “First Order” and it’s rise to power.
So, to sum it all up…
First there’s the "Galatic Republic", but the "Sepratists" cause a huge Clone War and the Republic is turned into the "Galatic Empire". But then the "Rebel Alliance" rises up to fight the Empire, eventually leading the entire galaxy into the "New Republic". A faction alled the "First Order" then arises and causes everyone trouble, leading to a group known as the "Resistance" to fight them.
That is a lot to process but I’m glad I finally worked it out.
- led by Darth Sidious and his apprentice Count Dooku ↩
- they refused to comply with its excessive taxation and corruption in the Senate during the Separatist Crisis ↩
- let by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the real mission was to bring Sith rule to the galaxy ↩
- Bail Organa of Alderaan, Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia, and Mon Mothma of Chandrila ↩
Mom (and Dad) have been throwing a Christmas party for their friends and neighbors for about 8 years now1. They love doing it even though it's a lot of work and I love taking the photos each year. A few years ago I created a collage from all the years and I've added to it each year. It's played on the living room TV for all to see each year via our AppleTV and the magic of iCloud Photo Sharing. People really love watching it and it's a lot of fun to see how I've gone from thin to thick, then back again, as well as see kids grow up and those who are no longer with us.
I'm really glad I've been able to record these parties through the years. My family always complains at first that I'm taking way too many photos, but they love them in the end. I've always tried to use a decent camera so that my pictures stand up to the test of time. Little tip, if you're recording your family's precious moments only using an iPhone, you're going to wish at some point you'd bit the bullet and at least bought a simple point and shoot camera. Sure, phones take decent pictures, but I've got tons of photos from past events that were taken with my first iPhone which only captured photos at 320 x 480 pixels. That's tiny! Not only the size but the quality was pretty bad as well.
So, enjoy the holidays with a photo2 or two and Merry Christmas from me to you. Hey, that rhymed!
As I write this, I'm northbound on Amtrak's Acela Express to NY's Penn Station to prepare for the last ever Downton events1 we'll be promoting in New York at the Hudson Theatre. If you've never gotten a chance to ride the rails instead of fly, you should really give it a try. The train is an infinitely better experience than a flight, it's also just as expensive, which is why most Americans never even give it a shot. I love it though and I'd definitely take the train more if the prices were lowered and the schedules for the southern lines were more frequent.
I'll be meeting up with my colleague Phil Piga who organizes and runs events for PBS. Phil and I have been working together for quite awhile now and I've been getting involved more over the last several years, even Directing the live online stream last year, which was a thrill and something I've missed. This year, there is no live stream, so I'll be there more as a Creative Director, making sure the branding, backdrops, posters, lighting, stage, presentations, and much more are designed and setup properly. Once the event begins, I'll take my place backstage to make sure the lights, audio, and talent get the proper cues.
It's been a privilege to have been backstage with the Downton cast on several occasions. To see and chat with them in such a cordial & relaxed manner has made the effort and late nights all the more worth it; not to mention made my job seem very cool to mom & dad. Once again, we'll be shooting interviews with the fans and recording the event for a video we'll put together later. And of course, I'll have another post on this year's Downton creative when it's ready, so be sure to lookout for that. Till then, remember, Jan 3rd - the last season of Downton begins!
- This is actually my 3rd time at this event. I'd like to think it's gotten better each year. ↩
I just used GTmetrix.com to test out this site’s homepage and I’m a bit embarrassed to say it got an “F”. It takes an average of 3.2 seconds for it to load and one of the reasons appears to be something called “Serve Scaled Images”. It appears that all my photos (including the main image) are “resized in HTML or CSS from 1920x1080 to 300x169.” GTMetrix goes on to say, “serving a scaled image could save 306.0KiB (97% reduction)”. But looking under the Waterfall tab, where you can see each phase of your site loading and how fast it was, I can see that just to reach my server and get a response took 1.53 secs. That’s fairly slow considering it should take around 700 to 900 milliseconds (I think).