Showing posts from March, 2011

Camera+ Clarity feature makes good photos great

The Camera+ app for iPhone has always been a really good upgrade to the built-in camera software on the iPhone 4, but the new "Clarity" editing setting on the latest version of Camera+ is just fantastic. Check out this picture of giant crabs I took at the Asian market on the weekend:

And here's the same picture using the "Clarity" feature on Camera+

It's worth noting that I took this picture with the regular camera software and imported it into the Camera+ editing days later. So you don't have to take the pix in Camera+ to take the pictures (although if you don't, you're missing out on the other great features in the app, like burst mode).

Edit: Here's two more. The picture was taken at sunrise this morning around 7 a.m. The effect is really pronounced here, almost to the point where the Clarity pic looks painted. And like it was taken at noon.

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 7 Recap

Matt and Stephanie dueled in a memory turnover game. Both of them hit a pair with their first turnovers, which was pretty freaky. Matt ended up winning again, his fifth time! They noted he'd been at Redemption Island for 12 days at this point. The dude is amazing.

At the Formerly Team Russell, Lawyer David was annoying people. At Team Rob, Crazy Phillip had a tantrum over not getting some of "the crispy." (The crispy rice at the bottom of the pot.) And then he said that the girls were literally sleeping in Rob's underwear. I'm sure Amber loved to hear that.

Team Rob won immunity and reward, ensuring that Phillip will be around to annoy us one more week. And the Ghost of Russell continues to haunt his former tribe. Betcha y'all think throwing that challenge to get rid of Russell maybe wasn't the best idea, huh?

Rob's team got to picnic on an active volcano. Rob found the newest clue to the immunity idol he already has and, when doing his confessional bi…

UFC 129 promo video

UFC's promotional videos have made leaps and bounds recently in their effectiveness to tell stories, manipulate your emotions and sell fights. And not surprisingly, the promo for next month's show in Toronto is really, really good.

The Amazing Race Unfinished Business Episode 6 Recap

The teams had to do a tea tasting in China (and mostly grumbled about still being in China) before finally jetting off to India ...

...where the roadblock was to do a tea tasting - to find the same tea they drank in China from a selection of hundreds. Ooh. Sneaky.

Ron got his almost right away. Other teams had a much more difficult time. And Jen and Kisha didn't realize that their next clue was under the lid of the bottle of ice tea they received for completing the roadblock and had their taxi driver take them to the product placement tea factory. They eventually realized their error and got back in the race. Meanwhile, Luke struggled with the tea tasting, leaving his team well behind.

Gary and Mallory came in first and got a product placement reward. Oh joy. And $20,000. Ok, not bad.

Margie and Luke couldn't make up the lost time and came in last. They're going home. It was very sad.

Next week: It's not on. In two weeks, it's loud.

Sunday afternoon humor


Twitter for iPhone. Umm… what happened?

Any student of social media who wants a good thesis topic in their Masters of Communications class shouldn’t look much further than the strange recent plight of Twitter for iPhone. This was, hands down, the best Twitter app in the App Store: free, fast, full of great features and updated fairly regularly. Then, without any warning, an innocuous update to the app introduced the Quick Bar – a feature that showed promoted (read: paid) and trending topics - which was quickly given a derisive and insulting name by those who didn’t like it. And some of the best extras of the app were removed, like support. Adding insult to injury, the app suddenly got a lot less stable and begun crashingwithregularity. These changes to their iPhone app had some immediate impacts. For me, it sent me to using HootSuite full time for all my Twitter needs instead of splitting my time between apps. I was no fan of the Quick Bar and not happy about some of the other features taken out of the app. But more …

HootSuite does Twitter customer service right

Out of the blue about two weeks ago, my HootSuite iPhone app deleted my social networks and forced me to start everything again from scratch. I was a bit taken aback, because HootSuite has always been rock solid for me as an app. And it had fairly recently become my primary iPhone app for Twitter because of Twitter for iPhone’s issues. (See entry above.) I put a call out on Twitter to HootSuite’s help account (@HootSuite_Help) and they responded quickly offering suggestions and advice. As it turned out, it was me and not them who figured out the problem (I found this on HootSuite’s site) but the point is that HootSuite’s help team engaged quickly and wanted to solve my problem. And, they have a lot of online resources for users to go through to look for their own solutions. Thumbs up for them.

Saturday morning weigh-in - 172.8 lbs!

Even though I'm only down 0.2 lbs. from last Saturday (in other words, statistically nothing), I'm still pretty thrilled because the last week was a terrible one in terms of eating.

All of it my own fault, of course. Last weekend's UFC PPV party involved way to many chicken wings. And there was lots of left over cake and cookies this week and you just can't let that go to waste. Plus, getting up at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday to take my older daughter to the airport (and eating breakfast at 4 a.m.) resulted in me hitting the cafeteria at work at 8 a.m. for a couple of delicious but fatty muffins.

So, yeah, not the best week for keeping my eating under control, so I'll take a virtual wash on the scale. Plus, the 172 lbs. mark was the lowest I weighed during my last big run at losing weight about a decade ago, so I'm pretty close to breaking that on my way to 170 lbs. and below.

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 6 Recap

So ... am I the only one who hopes Krista beats Matt at Redemption Island and then Stephanie gets booted by her tribe to Redemption Island and the two former harem members have to duel it out to stay in the game?



Ok, so, anyway...

Matt came from behind and beat Krista in the duel, so she's gone and she left her Bible for Matt, which was a nice touch. Matt has won 4 duels in a row. And his old flame Andrea suddenly decided that maybe Matt coming back to the game would be too dangerous.

Team Rob won immunity and reward. Team Formerly Russell voted off Stephanie to no one's surprise.

Next week: Phillip is crazy. And so is everyone else.

Monday morning humor


The Amazing Race Unfinished Business Episode 5 Recap

It's part 2 of TAR in China. Can Kent and Vyxen make a stunning comeback from driving the wrong way all night and then leaving their passports on a gondola? (Probably not.)

Well, the drama of the lost passports was resolved in, like TWO MINUTES (they found them) and the cliffhanger was all for nothing. Sigh.

However, K&V were given a 30 minute penalty for not taking their prescribed flight in the last episode. They elected not to tell the other teams.

The Goths managed to catch up and made it on the same train as everyone else.

The teams hit a Double U-Turn. Margie and Luke were the 1st ones there but didn't use it. Neither did Jet and Cord. K&V U-turned the cheerleaders, who were standing right beside them at the U-Turn. AWKWARD!

The Cheerleaders U-Turned the Globetrotters.

The roadblock involved one team member having to build a dinosaur skeleton. Life-size. Think giant puzzle. Gary and Mallory who were way behind, cashed in their Express Pass to stay in the game.

But …

Chris Tomlin iTunes album description fail

Click pic for larger size. Read the album review.

Sunday afternoon humor


Saturday morning weigh in - 173 lbs!

I'm a happy camper this morning, as I'm down to 173 lbs. It's what I expected this morning as I've been pretty much dead on that weight for most of the week, dropping a couple of times to 172.8.

I do need to get back to exercising, however. I haven't worked out in almost two weeks now. That's mostly due to my work schedule, and given that, I'm even more happy I've been able to drop weight.

Where to watch UFC 128 in Edmonton and Calgary

It's UFC PPV time again, so here's my semi-regular post on where to find a bar to watch UFC 128.

I'm totally psyched for this show, and getting together with some friends to watch it. Go Bones!

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 5 Recap

It's a Russell-less Survivor. But Rob is still here. Rob will make the show interesting still. Right?

Matt and Kristina faced off in the duel, which was putting puzzle pieces into a Borg cube and conquering the Alpha Quadrant. Matt used the opportunity to trash talk Rob, who was one of the observers. Matt stayed alive again. Kristina going home.

Russell's former harem of Stephanie and Random Blonde Chick decided that their best strategy was to tell Rob at the duel they'd flip at the merge. Assuming they make it that far.

Team Rob won reward and immunity. Team Formerly Russell was sent to Tribal Council, where it would appear the choice was between the harem girls, Stephanie and the other one who made such an impression on me I can't remember her name.

The tribe sent Generic Blonde Girl - turns out her name is Krista - to Redemption Island.

Next week: Phillip: Still crazy.

The Amazing Race Unfinished Business Episode 4 Recap

The teams were off to China. Kent and Vyyyxxxyyysinnn got off to a bad start when they couldn't find their car. #epicfail Of course, this was nicely juxtaposed (that's such a great word) with Vyyyyyxxxxxxxxxxsinnnnnnnn saying it was a "PMA day - POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE!" She pretty much disowned that about 19 seconds later and was in full meltdown mode about 20 seconds after that. And then they drove in the wrong direction all night. Huh - this may be the only time we've ever had a team basically eliminated before the first commercial break.

K&V missed the mandatory flight and had to rebook.

The teams had to ride donkeys or yaks or something (sorry, got called away from the show for a while) and then searched for zodiac charms in the mountains. Ah, Americans talking to non-Americans in faraway cultures. It's always funny.

Zev and Justin had problems with the road block and K&V managed to catch up. Ron and Christina got on the wrong bus leaving the ro…

Sunday afternoon humor

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Saturday morning weigh in - 174.8 lbs

It was a weird week this week, with my weight bouncing all over the place - from 177 lbs to 173 lbs, but I spent most of the week in the 174 lbs. range.

I'm not really sure why, and at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, I don't really care. For the moment, at least it's down considerably still from Christmas and that line is trending in the right direction.

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 4 Recap

The big attraction tonight was Russell vs Matt in the Redemption Island duel. Matt won and Russell is GONE from Survivor.

Well, he played a one dimensional game this time around - everyone knew what his game was and he never changed it up. He deserved to go out this early.

Russell said on the way out this will be the last time he will play Survivor.

And Matt just became the most beloved or most hated player this season.

Over at Team Rob, Rob concocted a beach day to get everyone out of camp and faked illness so he could find the immunity idol, which be did. Yay, Rob!

The Immunity challenge was a gigantic product placement for a major American retailer that will not be named here unless they pay me. Team Formerly Russell won the challenge, sending Team Rob to Tribal Council.

It must be noted that through the entire show, Phillip has been uber annoying and his tribe mates commented on it the entire time.

Rob decreed that the vote would be for Kristina, as a bigger threat than annoying Ph…

The Amazing Race Unfinished Business Episode 3 Recap

The teams all headed to Japan. The drama was in taking the earlier flight with a connection and making it to Japan 15 minutes sooner, or taking the later direct flight. Five teams took the connecting flight, which did end up delayed in Hong Kong due to mechanical issues. So the gamble did not pay off, as the direct flight landed 90 minutes sooner instead of 15 minutes later.

The teams had to perform a Shogun ritual that involved shooting an arrow from a (wooden) horse. Meanwhile, the cheerleaders clipped the side mirror of another driver, who called the cops. They were sentenced to death.

No, but it did leave them far behind everyone else.

The Detour was either a Shinto prayer ritual or digging for a frog in a mud throwing game. Don't ask. But it was hysterical to watch.

Zev and Justin came in first. The Globetrotters took a 30 minute penalty for taking Ron and Christina's bags by mistake and not returning them to where they were but that just changed them from 3rd to 4th.…

Sunday afternoon humor

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Saturday morning weigh in - 174 lbs!

I finally and consistently broke below 175 lbs. this week, settling in at an even 174 lbs. for three consecutive days now. Not bad considering I only got in one workout session all week.

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 3 Recap

Matt arrives as Redemption Island and starts to put the pieces together on how he was blindsided, while back at camp, Rob basks in his perfect plan.

The tribes picked rocks to see who would go to Redemption Island to watch The Duel between Matt and Fran, where one would stay on Redemption Island and await the next arrival, while the other one would have their entrails eate-er, be sent home for good. Cute Matt Chick Andrea happened to get one of the rocks and went pining for her boy.

The "duel" was just Another Survivor Challenge that involved lashing sticks together to get keys to unlock locks and open doors to win. Matt won and stays alive at Redemption Island, and Fran gets a ticket back to the mainland.

Steve from Russell's tribe told Russell that Matt went home, and then told the rest of the tribe the truth. Russell's "harem" decided to act like they had a hidden immunity idol. Russell's team also decided that they'd throw the challenge in order…