Friday, February 29, 2008

Random Asides: Grand Central and Happy Robot Town

With not much traveling going on, here are a couple other things I'm finding entertaining at the moment.

Grand Central
This is a service from Google where you get a phone number, and all calls made to that number can be auto-forwarded to your home, cell, and/or work phone. You can do real-time call screening, block unfriendlies, and have many options for how to handle voicemail. You never again have to give out any of your "real" numbers. I've just started with it, so I don't have a fully-formed opinion, but so far, it seems pretty cool.

As an added bonus, you can click on that Grand Central badge on the right side of the page, and make a free call to me. . . not that you would probably want to, but you could all the same.

Happy Robot Town

This is a video made by one of my new contacts over on Zooomr. It's very cool, plus she takes some awesome photos to boot. Check them out.
Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snow Days

We got an unexpected taste of winter the other day. I say unexpected because usually when there's even the slightest possibility of snow in The South, the local media initiates a public freak-out, and the reaction (particularly by school administrators) is based on the hysteria as opposed to the weather. This snow didn't even show up in the news until mere hours before it happened.

In our town, we got maybe three inches.
Southern Snow Day Vanishing Point
That's a lot. That's probably the largest single-event snowfall we've had in several years. It started as rain, turned to snow that melted on hard surfaces, and then eventually iced-over as the air temperature dropped. All the streets in Mebane were completely ice-covered, and it appeared that not a thing was done to prevent this.

But in Chapel Hill, where the kids go to school, they didn't get any snow, so there was no delayed opening or cancellation. When I drove the kids to school in my 4WD truck (and actually had to use the 4WD for a minute), a lot of kids pointed at us in astonishment as we were the only vehicle in the lot that was covered in snow. Pretty cool.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fifteen Minutes

Back in January, 2005, the kids and I were sitting around the house on a bleak and bleary Saturday, when Jennifer arrived home from somewhere, and said "How could you not notice that huge fire just up the street?"

Huge fire? We gotta see that!

So I grabbed the camera, and the four of us headed up the street to see the fire. I got some pretty good pictures of it with my Minolta Dimage 7Hi, the most significant of which being this one.


That picture sat around for probably two years before I uploaded it to Zooomr. From there it took on a new life, garnering plenty of comments and a lot of 'faves' from other users. It was probably my second most popular picture.

In November of 2007, I submitted it to JPG Magazine, an international photography mag that relies at least 80% on user submissions. It was submitted in the "Emotion Capture" category. I solicited votes from my photographer friends, and the picture got a decent amount of attention on JPG's site. But I didn't think too much about it.

That is, until I got an e-mail from JPG saying that my photo had been chosen for publication in issue 14. As if that wasn't cool enough, they were also sending me $100 and a free one-year subscription to the magazine. How cool is that?

So everybody reading this, run out to your local newsstand, Barnes & Noble, or Books-a-Million, and pick up Issue 14 of JPG Magazine, and flip to page 23.

Zoe appreciates your attention.
Fifteen Minutes
Friday, February 01, 2008

Where Did My Pictures Go

In the ongoing saga of Zooomr, and their growing pains. . . some good news, and some bad news.

The good news is that my most recent photos are back online! They were moved from servers in Santa Clara, California to Tokyo, Japan, restored to Zooomr's Japanese servers, and accessible once again. Uploads have resumed too. w00t!

The bad news is that my recent, but not most recent photos, including blogged photos from late-September through mid-January, are now offline. Evidently the file backup program missed a whole bunch of pictures, and they were left in the California data center, which is now decommissioned. The Zooomr team is working on getting these moved by boat, or possibly by plane, to Japan pronto. wh00ps!

So at least for now you'll finally get to see the Winterplace ski trip pictures, plus whatever I shoot from now on. Hopefully, you've caught up on all of my old posts (yeah right) and seen all the mid-term blogged photos.

So if you need pictures to look at, you should visit Andy's Photo-a-Day project over at every day.
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