Not a web/tech expert blames it on Twitter

My anger at the death of Google Reader that is…

I joined Twitter during the fall of 2008 to stay on top of the elections. The political folks that I followed were sharing links to articles relevant to the election. Following those links to the designated blogs, I found that many of those blogs were ones that I’d like to read on an ongoing basis. The difficulty was keeping up with all of them. Bookmarking at the time was all I knew and doing that for every blog, then clicking through these everyday would preclude me from doing my job, the one I got paid for. The election and my involvement in it was as a volunteer but I still need to stay on top of news and polls and things.  Somebody on Twitter, I’m not sure, who pointed me to RSS.  I could subscribe via this RSS thing and get everything in a snippet. I could get snippets from all over the web and look at them in one place (an aggregator) that aggregator was Google Reader.

Now the web is blowing up with the news that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1st.

What the f#-%/+%+#;;&(;-1($/&(&*+$++%!  I’m not happy about this news at all. For the following reasons:

  1. Google Reader is so easy to set up- I didn’t even know what the hell RSS was and still don’t understand the mechanisms as to how blog posts end up in nice neat excerpts or full posts in one place.  All I know is to click subscribe via RSS, choose the reader, in this case Google Reader and all the posts end up in one spot.
  2. Google Reader is easy to maintain – tagging, organizing and labeling are things that DO make sense to me.  They’re just means of organizing work flow.  I could tag, label and organize to my hearts content.  I could change the names, move subscriptions the whole nine with just a couple of clicks.
  3. Google Reader works everywhere – I’ve had both excellent and craptastic pcs, phones, browsers and operating systems during my years of using Google Reader and it was operable on every single one of them.
  4. Google Reader was social – to the extent that you could share to your social spaces with a click.  I have shared stuff on every social media account I’ve ever had.  I’ve shared to my blogs as well with additional commentary.
  5. Google Reader was for everybody – technical expertise of any kind was not required for use. Just click the ability to click.

All of that comes crashing to halt, momentarily anyway for me.  I guess I’ll check out Lifehacker and see what they have to say about alternatives.  I’d like to know what you have to say about the end of Google Reader.  Let me know in the comments.  As for Google, shame on you!

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Not a technology expert, not an idiot either

As an author of many a Twitter rant about AT&T, I want a pile a little bit more onto the rant heap, however this time it’s not directed squarely at AT&T.

Today was bill paying day. Having received notice that my data usage was at 65% of the monthly limit I decided to check the usage before paying the bill. A quick scan revealed that there was large chunks of data usage occurring at times when I was sleep.  Of course I called ready to issue the standard cuss out.  I got a young lady on the phone from technical support who starts asking.  me do you sign out and kill tasks when you’re done. I told her truthfully sometimes yes, sometimes no which is as it has always been. To see this jump based on typical usage was suspect.  Without swearing for once I made it clear that every time I call the suggestion is that there something I’m doing or not doing that is the cause.  Then we checked a few settings which were five as is, and had a conversation.

She shared that her first bill after getting a smartphone was a whopper because of use of the data network and the unreliability of Wi-Fi in different locations.  She along stated that she uses a task killer App and a data usage App to avoid overage problems. I took down the info, thanked her from the recommendations and ended the call on a pleasant note. Sure AT&T is involved as my service provider by my ream rant is against all the service providers, manufacturers and advertising agencies that have sold us the foolishness that is the smartphone.

When I think of a smartphone or a smart anything my belief is that this smart thing is an expert at what it does. In the case of the smartphone, my expectation is that it makes expert calls, texts and data. What I’ve found, even with my previous iPhone is that they all do plenty of stuff. Some tasks are completely expertly, some average and some poorly. Sure I can talk and text at the same time but every day a call drops. I can look things up on the internet bit sometimes its painfully slow.  Texts don’t always come through and sometimes the phone shuts off without it being touched.  Sure their are many factors that contribute to performance like the speed of or traffic on the network, concurrent processes running on the phone, the operating system and so on. The point is the phone is only as smart as the environment it operates in whether its the knowledge level of the user or all the outside factors delineated above.  As a consumer I look at commercials and hear folks talk about all of the magic that is a smartphone and I want to experience it. These phones aren’t magic.

Providers, manufacturers and advertisers how about getting together and crafting sine disclaimer language? Something to the effect of “this phone is magic, but only inthese situations.” Doing so would temper expectations,  ease nerves, and prevent folks from getting cussed out.

This post was written on a phone with a Wi-Fi connection and mobile data turned off.

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Not a Music Journalist Rolls with McBride

So this is how it went down. I found out that a certain artist whom I love coming to town. I really wanted to go but being a “solo artist” the venue wasn’t a good choice for me.  As it turns out another supremely talented musician was coming to town the same week.  I first heard this musician back in the 90s as a part of Joshua Redman’s band.  Since then HE has been on a trajectory as a leader/musician/composer that has crossed genres, but to me he is a jazz man, that likes to make it funky.  After some crowd-sourcing and a reality check  I got a ticket to check out super-bassist/composer/band leader Christian McBride, this time as leader of a trio of the same name on November 3.

The Scene

I’ve been to Clayton State several times but this was my first time at Spivey Hall.  There was an immediate fail upon arrival as the lights in the parking lot were out.  It was completely black, no security and no police on site.  There were officers on site after the show, to the University’s credit. Spivey is an older, but beautiful facility.  The concert hall is small and intimate with some great architecture.  They have a strict no photo policy so I only managed to snap a few photos on the sly of the stage area.  I dare not take any of the artist though I did see one guy get one after the show.
Having come fairly fresh off another jazz show, this crowd was a bit different.  From what I could tell this was more of the jazz aficionado crowd.  Older, decidedly un-trendy and whiter than the last show I attended.  Atlanta (I think) has gotten better in terms of African-American attendance at jazz shows.  This is a hip-hop town after all, but from what I can see we have gotten a bit better than when I first started going to shows here in the early 90s.  My folk are giving me hope.  Additionally there were very few late arrivals at this show (thank God).

The Band
Christian McBride – Acoustic (upright) bass
Christian Sands – piano
Ulysses Owens Jr – drums
McBride started young and in Jazz years he’s still young, 40 but his trio mates are even younger, the pianist Christian Sands is 23 and a virtuoso.  The drummer Owens, didn’t look to be yet 30 himself but these dudes played their tails OFF.  They had tremendous energy and looked to enjoy playing together.  The interplay between the three was so natural and there were plenty of smiles.  In my years of observation, jazz musicians are oh-so serious.  These guys were playing serious music, they certainly had “the look” from time to time but when they were riffing off each other it was all fun and a joy to watch.  McBride is a master of his craft AND proved to be a master showman as well at times charming and witty and quite engaging.

The Music
The music was the star of the show and in a word was absolutely OUTSTANDING.  Here’s the set list (as I recall it).
  1. Duhty Blues – it’s named blues but this tune was swinging.  We were treated with our first taste of Sands and Owens via solo.
  2. I Mean You – immediately recognizable though I couldn’t recall the name.  A very uptempo and fun interpretation of Thelonius Monk’s composition.
  3. I Guess I’ll Have to Forget – This tune had a distinct beginning, middle and ending. Slow in the beginning, uptempo in the middle and slow at the conclusion with the piano featured.
  4. The Most Beautiful Girl in the world – the drummer, Owens went off on this one, an outstanding solo.
  5. My Favorite Things – had us pretty much whipped into a frenzy.  The way McBride flipped this was incredible.  It started off sweetly with Sands’ piano and moved into the tune that we all know.  The song progressed into a sort of futuristic feel as we heard and watched the drummer and pianist play their instruments in unconventional fashion.  The drummer using elbows and a variety of brush sticks and other things I can’t name. The pianist placed a towel on the inside of the piano and played the inside of the piano.  McBride grounded the future and sent it into funk mode which he does WELL.  The song ended in the same sweet fashion it began in.
  6. Easy Walker – a Dr Billy Taylor composition
  7. I Have Dreams – from the King and I.  This one was all McBride with him employing a bow on the bass, it was really beautiful.  I just closed my eyes remembering it.
  8. Who’s Making Love – McBride made no bones about being a funk guy and from this selection a blues guy, letting us know that the muse for the Trio is Johnnie Taylor.  The band got DOWN on the last tune of the set.  I thought at any minute the show would turn into a blues show, with all the head nodding and lip-syncing.  McBride and the guys didn’t stop however they mixed Michael Jackson’s Shake Your Body, the Gap Bands Shake in which we were treated to a bit of scatting and singing from McBride.  Nobody wanted this to end and it didn’t.

Encore
A dear friend and former classmate of McBride’s was in the audience.  This friend was called to the stage and blessed us with My Funny Valentine and brought me nearly to tears.  Who was it? Ms Avery Sunshine.  Some of the crowd didn’t know who she was, us soul heads knew and she killed it. I even heard folks leaving commenting on how great the encore was.

Final Impressions
Christian McBride/The Christian McBride Trio is the absolute total package. McBride’s talent is incomparable. Just watching his hands put in work was amazing. The two young musicians rounding out the trio bring great energy (not that McBride needs it as he is quite lively) and a level of talent that is really awe-inspiring.  As stated earlier, these guys work well together and it showed.  If the Christian McBride Trio makes a stop in your city, just hit the submit button, make the phone call or run, not walk to the box office to get a ticket.
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Not a music journalist but I dug “Ladies of Jazz”

I know a good ticket when I see one and this ticket was a deal. For $40 + all those ridiculous surcharges, on Friday night October 19, the old broad headed to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center for the Ladies of Jazz show featuring Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding.

The Scene
Last time I went to the Center was four years ago. Having been open only a few months at the time, it was a sparkling facility and it’s just as sparkling now as it was then. The ushers were very friendly and helpful, the bathrooms and common areas were spotless. Upon being seated in the auditorium the crowd seemed to be fairly light. Which was unusual because for a Friday evening, there were no traffic snarls on the way to the venue. Little did I know that there would indeed be a full house. People were just late and not even fashionably late but rudely late. Many arriving halfway through the first artist’s set. Atlanta music patrons, please get it together. The artists deserve better than that.

The Artists

Terri Lyne Carrington
Drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington and her band opened the show. Her set was short, too short for me which amount to about seven songs some of which were from her most recent release Mosaic. I’d only recently discovered her music after watching a YouTube video with footage from some of the Mosaic recording sessions and finally purchased Mosaic a few weeks ago. Carrington opened her set with “Triad” (from Mosaic) which is a burner. Her band consisted of guitar, acoustic bass, trumpet and saxophone. Moving quickly through her set, other standouts tunes included the third cut “Hopscotch” followed by a cut entitled “Sweden” which she said was inspired buy a recent tour date there. The finale which I cannot name opened with an outstanding drum solo, which from what I hard and saw, makes me really dig her playing, which is her efficiency. There’s no wasted energy, no theatrics, flying drumsticks, sweaty brow and such. Carrington takes command of her kit like a bawse! I’ve heard many a drum solo in my day and have watched drummers play as if they’re trying to kill their kit no such thing with Carrington. She commands while being understated and it works.

Impressions
The saxophonist, who also played in Spalding’s band is special. Her name is Tia Fuller. She’s released a few albums as a leader and can flat-out blow. I also would have like to hear more from the bassist. The guitarist was efficient and the trumpeter seemed to be having some wardrobe malfunction with her shirt sleeves. I don’t know how she played as I was distracted by her shirt sleeve fidgeting :-/
Upon hearing Carrington live and reading up on her I regret being late to the party. From this show, I’d say she’s a musician first and a performer second. There’s no doubt that more of Terri Lynne Carrington’s music will be added to my library and hopefully additional opportunities to hear her live.

Esperanza Spalding
Turns out that the auditorium was full for the second set when bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding hit the stage. I first heard Spalding via @Fave and his former podcast show Friday Favecast. She was all the hype at the time and won a best new artist Grammy in 2011. Though I’m not a music journalist, I am a bit of a music snob and when I hear hype or what I perceive as hype I steer clear. Fast forward to 2012 and he release of Spalding’s Radio Music Society. I “caved” copped it and loved it. She has a sweet vocal and in my ear I hear shades of two important vocalists, Michael Franks and Minnie Ripperton. Divergent, a bit, but to me she references them both in delivery and tone but let’s be clear it’s not just Spalding’s vocals that garner attention, she gets down on the bass, acoustic and electric.

The Set
This is my recollection of Spalding’s set (with comments), all from Radio Music Society:

  1. City of Roses – Spalding entered the stage on electric bass, the crowd was bananas and there were catcalls from my section (fans please get it together, this isn’t appropriate). She introduced her entire band which included, piano/keyboards, three saxophonists, two trombonists, two trumpeters (the female trumpeter was also a vocalist) a male vocalist, drummer and guitarist.
  2. Hold On Me – Spalding simmered on this. Nice range and beautiful clear tone. She nailed this.
  3. I Can’t Help It – MJ would have been pleased with this rendition.
  4. Smile
  5. Crowned and Kissed
  6. Black Gold – The intro featured the male vocalist who referenced Trayvon Martin. The intro nearly brought me two tears for both the vocal and the content. Algebra Blessett joined Spalding for the remainder of the song.
  7. Land of the Free – Spalding provided narrative on this one. Telling the story of Cornelius Dupree who was imprisoned for 30 years and set free as a result of the efforts of the Innocence Project. Proceeds from merchandise at the show were donated to Innocence Project
  8. Endangered Species – the entire band went hard on this one, male trumpeters solo was excellent.
  9. Radio Song – finale with audience participation and was great fun
  10. Encore – I’m not sure of the name of the tune but Spalding played acoustic bass accompanied by Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. Brief but nice with a stripped down sound and feel.

Impressions
I can honestly say that I’m now a believer. For me the true test is always how a musician comes across live and quite frankly she nailed it. She has the musical and performance chops and is really engaging. Her band was excellent and didn’t miss a beat. Spalding definitely has the chops and will hopefully be around a long time to bless us with her talent. I’d certainly see her again.

If you caught the Atlanta Ladies of Jazz show or have heard these artists live in your town. I’d love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments.

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Not a Literary Critic reads It Worked For Me

One Saturday at work I had C-Span 2’s BookTv on in the background.  One of the top-selling books they mentioned that week was It Worked for Me by General Colin Powell.  Having enjoyed his book My American Journey I made my way to Barnes and Noble and picked it up (yes I read printed books and go to brick and mortar bookstores to buy them).

It Worked for Me is a leadership book born of Powell’s personal experience both in and outside the public sector.  His leadership rules of the road, boiled down to “the 13 rules” which started as scribbles on bits of paper throughout Powell’s career and became the foundation of this book.  Here’s a sample of the 13: #2 Get mad, then get over it; #7 You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.; and #10 Remain calm be kind.  What’s beautiful about this book is that the 13 are given at the very beginning of the book, the remainder of the book is told as a series of stories that are examples of the 13 but aren’t enumerated as such.  Thus the book is not a prescription so much as it is a loose set of guidelines for persons in leadership in any arena.  Powell is at his best telling stories in lieu of being formulaic in his approach, which I feel is typical of books of this genre. What happened to me as I read the stories, I felt almost as though I were listening to him tell them instead of reading them.  For example in regards to coming in new and taking over as the leader over a group of people Powell says: “start out trusting the people there unless you have real evidence not to. If you trust them they will trust you, and those bonds will strengthen over time.” I would nod my head in agreement.

What are some of these stories? One of my favorites was near the end of the book in which Powell talks about some Brazilian exchange students, participating in the State Department’s Youth Ambassador’s program.  Meeting with these students before their departure home, they tell them about their visit to a Chicago restaurant in which they didn’t have enough money to cover their bill.  The restaurant manager picked up the bill and thanked them for coming to the restaurant and wished them well during their stay in America.  The students were overwhelmed by the kindness shown to them as was Powell.  He ends the chapter by talking about how it was the people, not the congressmen and members of the cabinet these students met who were America’s best ambassadors.

What was the biggest takeaway from the book? That leadership in Powell’s view comes down to thirteen concepts, but at th end of the day, for him is about service to those above, below and around you.  What Powell speaks of is what worked for him as a leader.  I’m inclined to think that his approach would work for anyone in a position of leadership.  If you’d like to learn more and get a fresh perspective on leadership, I highly recommend It Worked For Me.

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Not a Literary Critic Learns “How to Be Black” yeah, that’s #howtobeblack by Baratunde Thurston

Leave it up to an untimely illness I missed the opportunity to see the author live, but said illness did allow me time to finish reading the book.

It was through social media, i.e Twitter that I learned of the author.  Twitter opened me up to his work on Jack and Jill Politics, The Onion, Netroots Nation and appearances on networks like MSNBC.  He’s known for his comedic chops and is (in my opinion) a political activist technologist, who analyzes and then communicates, the political, the technological and the racial in a comedic and palpable way.  Needless to say that I was pleased as punch regarding the release of How to Be Black, and even more pleased after reading it.

How to Be Black is a memoir/manual  about Thurston’s black experience in America and and that of his selected panelists, including a white Canadian.  The story is told as sort of a comedic instructional manual on blackness that left me laughing out loud as well as shaking my head in agreement with some of his examples. The “manual” portion of the book including how to be the black friend (maintaining your cultural connection and serving as intelligence for your home base, while educating white folks), the black employee (doing the job you were hired for, while making the company, diverse, non-racist and cool) and in this particular season, the next black president (with an extensive list of duties).  These roles are all easily identifiable and their descriptions are both humorous and sad because they all delve in to the navigational issues encountered while being black in America.

Interspersed through the manual are not only Thurston’s experiences but those of his panel. Of particular interest to this reader was the question of when Thurston and each of the panelists realized they were black.  In some instances, blackness or the knowledge of one’s blackness was based on the blackness they lived in and were surrounded by versus the blackness that was used divisively, as in the case of Cheryl Contee who described herself as beige (based on the proximity of her physical color to it) when a white nursery school mate informed her that she indeed was black. Contee was introduced early to “othering”.

I found How to Be Black not just entertaining but found it to be first: a model for educating in blackness which was best exemplified by Thurston’s mother’s multi-pronged approach to his education, one that would get him to Harvard (via Sidwell Friends school), and one that would constantly envelope him positively in his blackness (via the Ankobia program, and a collective of his mother’s black and brown friends and;  secondly and most importantly that being black and experiencing blackness is not a singular thing.  There’s not one way to be black and not one way to do it.  Being black is being yourself and doing those things that are critical to your own experience, not something that is prescribed.

If you haven’t read How to Be Black yet, I suggest that you do.  You will be enlightened, entertained and will recognize some portion of the experience because it is part of your own.
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Not a technology expert is skittish about “the verdict”

All my feeds are jumping with the news of Apple’s $1+ BILLION award in this Apple vs. Samsung fight.  I wish I could say that I don’t care but quite frankly I’m a bit skittish about it.  Do I have reason to be?  I’m hoping that the real techies and geeks out there can ease my nerves by answering a couple of questions.

Will sales of existing patent infringing devices cease?
Does Samsung have technology at the ready to push out new devices that would not be in violation and I mean stuff that is tested (or however that goes) and ready to head to the FCC and then to market?
What affect will this judgment have on consumer choice?  I think (but could be wrong) that Samsung is the biggest (in sales) manufacturer of Android devices, then HTC, then everybody else.
What impact will the judgment have on Samsung’s bottom line, both immediate and future?
Will devices already in use experience any problems?
Does Apple now officially rule the world?

I hope that the answer to the last question is a definitive no.  As I prefer my apple to be of the Golden Delicious variety.

If you have answers, please let me know in the comments or hit me up wherever you linked to this post.

This is one of the infringing devices :-/

Guilty
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Not a Photographer but I’m doing the G+ 365 Project Anyway

After joining the Google+ community (and yes it is that, forget what you heard) I found it to be a great place for photo-sharing.  As a person who is not a photographer but takes a lot of pictures and likes to share (some of them), I wanted to participate in/engage with the photography community. During the Christmas holiday last year, a door was opened, called the G+ 365/366 project.

About the G+ 365 project

In a nutshell G+365 is a photo-a-day project.  You take a photo every day, tag it with the +G+ 365 Project tag and share it.  The curators of the project/page may also reshare your “Public” photos.  Day 1 of your project starts whenever you decide to start so if you didn’t start on January 1, it is okay. Overall the guidelines for participating/posting are simple and of course participants have to adhere to Google’s Terms of Service.

Why did I do it?

First there was an expectation that viewing, commenting, re-sharing others photos and sharing my own shots would be inspiring.  Secondly, some skills had to be learned if I wanted to get any better and eventually upgrade to a DSLR. Participating in the project would be an education. Thirdly it was a test to see if for ONCE this old broad could stick to something for an extended period of time, without it being required.


How’s it going?
  • A month and half in, my camera broke (not really just the battery door), other than that snafu it’s been great. Thus far I’ve:
  • viewed a lot of beautiful photos
  • talked to real photographers, who are all very nice
  • learned by imitation and by just trying to stuff to see if works
  • found a couple of photography themes that I really like including +Sacred Sunday and +Powerline Friday 
  • been inspired to look at my surroundings differently
and
  • not quit the project 🙂
There are days when I’m tired after work and don’t feel like shooting.  There are days when I have no ideas, no inspiration and not even the strength to look up a theme to help me, but at the same time, quitting has not been an option. The rewards of participating however, greatly outweigh those bad days, just because of all the cool, quirky and even mundane things that I’ve seen along the way. So if you’re looking for something fun, yet challenging I highly recommend the G+ 365 Project.
In case you’re curious about what a non-photographer shoots you can see my album here.
 
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Not an Opera Connoisseur but LaRoche was Lovely

As a matter of fact I know nothing about opera other than what I seen on TV and what my parents told me as a child. I can name who I know on one hand, Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti. I’m not an opera hater, quite the contrary, I recall “fake opera singing” quite a bit as a child. I just never carried any enthusiasm for it into adulthood until now early one Sunday I watched with bleary eyes a community program on TV People to People which did a segment on a local opera production called LaRoche by Americolor Opera Alliance. The story was compelling, centered around Joseph Philippe Le Mercier LaRoche, the only black passenger on the Titanic. I called up my always game for something new girlfriend and we set out for LaRoche.

The Sights

The performance was held at Atlanta Metropolitan College in a classroom. The set was minimal with the chamber (musicians) seated diagonally from the state. The stage was soon lit up upon the arrival of the performers, who in the first scene of Act I were in a Haitian marketplace.

The Sounds

From the opening of Act I to the finale in Act III I really enjoyed all that I heard. The cast members all sounded beautiful in chorus in each of the scenes that featured choral type vocals. There were of course some really standout performances as follows:

Reisha Lauren, soprano – Ni Ni, flower vendor in the market place. Lauren had a beautiful voice and great stage presence Her range could probably break glass. I tapped my girlfriend and said “that girl can SANG.”

Timothy Harper, tenor – President La Conte, Mr. Futrelle, Father Byles. There was no raised seating in the room and I was seated behind some fairly tall people. When I heard his voice, I had to stand up and see from whom that sound was coming. His voice was really moving.

Marlyssa Brooks-Alt, soprano – Juliette LaFargue LaRoche. The clarity and strength of her voice was the perfect vehicle to portray the heartache Juliette must have felt as she first separated from her father to go back to Haiti with her husband, and when she separated from Joseph who went down with the ship.

Wendel Stephens, bass – Joseph LaRoche. Stephens voice was surprisingly beautiful. Not because I had an expectation that he couldn’t sing, but surprising because his voice had “boom”. I guess I expect a big guy to sound like that, yet he was a really average sized guy who produced a really big vocal which was fitting as the lead of the production.

Special Treats

This wasn’t all opera as it had elements of a stage play, parts of which were absolutely hilarious. The farewell dinner with the back and forth between the LaRoche servants as they mocked Madame LaRoche (Joseph’s mother) was dead on and Madame LaRoche had the aristocratic demeanor down pat. There was also a funny scene (if you can imagine) as the Titanic was going down between two drunken card players, who continued to “drink to that” as though the fun they were having at that moment was all that mattered.

Overall Impression

LaRoche was a perfect first timer’s Opera. The founder and director of Americolor Opera Alliance, Sharon J. Willis has done a masterful job at bringing opera to the masses in a palatable form, while telling a compelling story. That the company is primarily made up of persons of color made it all the more worthwhile for this first timer and has even piqued my interest to go hear more. What I’d like to see happen with the Alliance is growth and that growth can happen through sponsorship. As such if you’d like to know more about Americolor or become a sponsor, please visit their website.

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Not a photographer and still don’t have a tripod

In my last post about the Nikon L105 I talked about how there is no full time image stabilization.  Nikon calls it motion detection and it is not available in the following situations:

  • When the camera is set to Fill Flash
  • When the ISO is set to a specific number in Auto Mode
  • When using multishot
  • When using these scene modes: Night Portrait, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Museum, Backlight
  • When using Sports Continuous mode
or when the subject is too dark or too far away, like the moon. Whew!

I haven’t tried to get the moon again at night, but lucked up on it this evening near sunset.  I know there was some camera shake because of the way I positioned myself on top of the car.  This is what I got:

 
A little fuzzy, but not too bad and no post-processing.

Think I may wait on the tripod a little while longer.

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