gdgt live in Los Angeles on October 28th!

Gdgt live in LA

At the end of this month, I’ll be down in Los Angeles for our gdgt live event. It’s our first time coming to Southern California. If you like gadgets and want a chance to play with some of the latest and greatest devices out there (and also win them), you should come out!

It’s free, all-ages, and open to the public.

When: Friday, October 28th, 2011 from 7:30pm – 10pm
Where: Club Nokia, 800 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
Who: Over 20 of the hottest brands in tech. See who will be there!
How: This event is free, all-ages, and open to the public. Invite your friends! RSVP here.

[more info gdgt blog]

Awesome seats for Fleet Week 2011

My friend Scott and I took the afternoon off this past Friday to check out the Blue Angels practicing over San Francisco. We somehow found ourselves on a boat and ended up having front row seats to the practice. It was incredible!

If you need some proper theme music, may I suggest the Top Gun soundtrack? You’re welcome!

The final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour

STS-134 NASA Tweetup

STS-134 NASA Tweetup and the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour

On April 28th and April 29th, 2011, I was fortunate enough to participate in the NASA Tweetup for STS-134. It was to be the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the second to last mission in the Space Shuttle program. I traveled to the Space Coast from San Francisco and spent three fantastic days with fellow Twitter users and enthusiastic space geeks at Kennedy Space Center. Things didn’t always go as planned (you’ll see), but it was an experience that I’ll cherish and never forget. Godspeed, Endeavour.

Continue reading “The final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour”

What a missile launch looks like in Southern California

The media is abuzz about a mysterious “missile launch” that happened off the coast of Southern California yesterday.

Interestingly enough, while growing up, I remember seeing a number of missile launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base while at our home in Southern California, nearly 220 MILES east of Vandenberg’s launch facilities! I looked through my photo archives this evening and found a series of (very blurry) photos I took on September 19th, 2002 from my parents’ house in Redlands, California.

You can read more information about this particular launch (along with some REALLY COOL photos) right here. It was a test of the Minuteman III rocket and this specific launch is referenced as “Glory Trip 180GM.”

2002 - Southern California Missile Launch

2002 - Southern California Missile Launch

2002 - Southern California Missile Launch

It’s a shame the Space Shuttle never ended up launching from Vandenberg. We would have had fantastic seats for the launch, even though we were 220 miles away!

Best Photos of 2009

Another year has closed, and once again, San Francisco photographer Jim Goldstein is calling for your top photos taken this year! It’s always a blast to participate in and review some of my favorite shots taken over the past year.

You can also see my best photos from 2008.

BART Protest at Civic Center

Protestors gather at Civic Center in San Francisco on January 12, 2008 to protest the shooting death of Oscar Grant by a BART police officer on New Years Eve.

Curious Sea Lion

Buzz, a friendly elephant seal pup that we encountered while backpacking along California’s Lost Coast.


While traveling through Canada this past summer, we took a gondola ride near Banff. The first part of the ride was enveloped in fog. Right after we broke through, I stuck my DSLR out the window (yikes!) and captured this shot!

Space Needle

Visited Seattle for the first time this summer as well and took this shot at the foot of the Space Needle.

Apple - It's Only Rock N' Roll event

Steve Jobs made his return to Apple, after being sidelined with health problems. It was my first time attending an Apple keynote / Stevenote and the first time seeing Steve Jobs in person. Shot photos for gdgt. Definitely a moment that will stick with me for a long time.

Blue Angel #7 High Speed Pass

The Blue Angels always provide fantastic opportunities for shooting photos. I took this photo as Blue Angel #7 screamed right over the top of our apartment building.


In March, the California Supreme Court ruled on the validity of Prop 8 (and made the unfortunate decision to uphold it). I took this photo and thought it represented a nearly perfect representation of each side (literally, metaphorically, politically). Two people on the left, in love and making a point about equal rights. On the right, an older white gentleman, holding up a sign in support of Prop 8.

Robogames 2009 - Day 2, Saturday

Robogames 2009 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Two competitors chat after a battle and examine the damage inflicted upon their robots.

Robogames 2009 - Day 2, Saturday

A second photo from Robogames 2009. A competitor cheers in victory after his robot scores a critical hit on an opponent.

Ovo by Cirque du Soleil

Last weekend, Kerry and I saw the latest Cirque du Soleil show, Ovo, which is currently playing in San Francisco. It was stunning! This was the second time I’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil show and it was every bit as impressive as the first time I saw it! I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open the entire time.

Here’s the trailer for the current show.

One of the coolest parts of the show was towards the end, when a number of actors started using a series of trampolines and running up and down a wall. It looks incredibly fun! (Unfortunately, an awesome video showing the Cirque crew practicing this routine was pulled from YouTube)

Halloween party and uninvited guests

Kerry and Dave

Last night, we ventured out to the East Bay for a friend’s annual Halloween Party. Hilarious and creative costumes were the norm of course and good times were had by all!


Last night, towards the end of the party, I posted a message to Twitter, which received a number of responses this morning:


One of the guests last night brought their chihuahua to the party unannounced. It was dressed up in pirate gear and actually made one of the cutest little pirates around.

Tiny, the Pirate

The hosts of the party have a larger dog who isn’t too keen on strange animals invading its home and the hosts weren’t aware that someone had brought another animal over. The chihuahua was kept in a small bucket, and set on a chair to keep it off the floor and away from the other dog.

Unfortunately, all it takes is one mistake for someone to move the dog from the bucket, not realizing the potential consequences of what could happen.

Anyway, a number of us were chatting in the kitchen later in the evening when we suddenly heard some pretty ferocious snarling at our feet and a blur of twisting and shaking fur.

It was over before any of us could comprehend what happened. The little
chihuahua was laying on its side on the kitchen floor, twitching while blood spread from a wound on its head. No one moved at first because we were all shocked and trying to understand what just happened.

The owner of the chihuahua is a vet, so she immediately began trying to stop the bleeding and was soon conducting CPR. The whole situation was dire, and we were all huddled around her on the kitchen floor, watching as she frantically tried to save her dog.

After a few minutes, she picked up her dog and left with a small group of friends to try and find an emergency veterinarian clinic.

We got word this morning that the chihuahua didn’t make it.

Thoughts on the MacBook Air

So the rumors turned out to be true after all! Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced the release of the MacBook Air, a new ultra portable laptop that Apple has allegedly spent the past two years developing. It’s a small little laptop that’s sexy only in the way that Apple can make a product.

Apple MacBook Air

The specs:
-13.3 inch LED display
-All aluminum case
-802.11n and Bluetooth
-built-in iSight
-multitouch trackpad
-1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
-2GB of RAM
-80GB 1.8-inch hard drive (64 gig solid state drive available as an option)
-1 USB 2.0 port

And all this can be yours for $1799.

There is no doubt in my mind though. It looks absolutely phenomenal and I can’t wait to see it in person. However, I’m still left with some reservations about it. $1799 for a rather sub-par laptop in terms of performance and features? We still need to see benchmarks on the mystery CPU that powers the device. The lack of an optical drive seems like an interesting trade off as well. I get the feeling that this laptop seems aimed squarely at business types and those who travel a lot. Yet there is no user replaceable battery! If you lose your charge (i.e., on an airplane) you’re out of luck until you can get back to a power outlet.

It will be interesting to see if / when some of the features on this make it into the rest of Apple’s lineup. The possibility of a multitouch trackpad excites me. In anycase, this laptop looks fabulous and if it was quite a bit cheaper, I’d probably pick it up in a heartbeat, regardless of my reservations.

MacWorld is here!

Apple Inc LogoThe annual MacWorld Expo is back in San Francisco this week. The Apple Rumor / Product Cycle is in full force. Based on the banners currently hanging up in Moscone Center that read, “There’s something in the air,” websites, blogs and forums have been alive with speculation about the latest Apple product that Steve Jobs will unveil in a few hours.

The current consensus seems to be a new, ultra-thin, ultra-portable laptop. I’m not sure how much that news excites me though. Then again, exactly one year ago at this time, I wasn’t too excited about the rumored iPhone announcement. And now? I wouldn’t be able to live without mine.

Anyway, let’s hope the rumors about iTunes rentals and a revamped AppleTV prove true! The AppleTV sitting in our living has so much more potential.

The thing I am most excited about though? The unveiling of the iPhone SDK that will allow developers to start writing custom third party apps. Currently, the only way to do this is to hack your iPhone (and potentially void your warranty). However, the things developers are doing right now without an official SDK are amazing. I can’t wait to see what an official SDK will bring.

Let’s go Apple!