fuji x100s rangefinder

Just a fair warning that this is going to be a very photo-heavy post. I recently was visiting my family in Salt Lake City and needed to purchase some medium format film for a Polaroid camera that I brought along. I discovered that a family friend from my parents’ old neighborhood had recently opened a camera store (Acme Camera Rental) that was basically right up the block from my sister’s house. When I dropped by to pick up the film, I was able to checkout the space and some of the cameras that were available for rental. I have been wanting a rangefinder camera for a long time. I love the portability and simplicity of design. They are especially appealing these days, since the image quality rivals that of pro-sumer level SLRs. I was especially perving on the Fuji X100 S (above). Jacob, the owner/operator of the shop was gracious enough to let me take it and test it out. It took most of the afternoon for me to get used to the controls. Once I got a handle on it, I basically didn’t put the camera down. I brought it along with me the next day to my granny’s house, as well as on a hike with my sister’s family. Below I have posted some of the snaps that I was able to get with the rangefinder. As a side note: If you are in the Salt Lake valley and have any camera needs, I would definitely recommend stopping through Acme. In addition to having a gangster selection of cameras and lenses for rent, they sell a wide variety of accessories from film to seamless backgrounds. Plus, they are cool.

nike+ sportwatch maiden voyage

Marathon training officially started for me Monday. Thk goodness it was only a 3mi. jaunt. I’m not sure that I would have been up for much more. I’m logging the next 17 weeks over here. What’s more, is that I’ll be reviewing the Nike+ SportWatch side by side with the Garmin Forerunner 410. Yes, I will be wearing a GPS device on each wrist 6 days a week for the next 17 weeks. I’m sure that I’m going to get some interesting looks. I should also make it very clear from the get-go that neither Garmin or Nike is giving me any incentive to write this review/comparison. I should also say that everything that I write is going to be my opinion based on my experience with the devices, and there is no scientific methodology involved.

Let’s get started with a few of the things that I really liked about the SportWatch right off the bat. As you might recall from this post, I have become slightly obsessed with Nike Fuel. As I also stated in that post, the Nike+ SportWatch also measures Fuel. I also love the display on the SportWatch. Oversized numbers are boss. I have always been a fan of the Nike+ user dashboard. I like it even better since it was recently redesigned. Checkout the screenshot of the new Nike+ running dashboard below:

fuel band update

You may recall me mentioning this little gadget a few weeks ago. I was a bit skeptical about its accuracy, how much I would actually wear it after the promo period, etc.. Well, here we are nearly two months later and I really only remove it to shower and charge it. I’m referring to my Nike+ Fuelband. I am a bit of a gadgetwhore, this is true. But I really believe that my fuelband has caused me to be more conscientious about how active I am during the day. On top of that, the pedometer appears to be pretty accurate, despite not having a foot pod (like the sportband). What is more, is that Nike recently melded the Nike+ Running dashboard with the Fuel dashboard. I have it on good authority that new new sport watches will also be measuring the “Fuel” metric. Even if all of it is smoke and mirrors, I can’t deny the extra motivation that I get from seeing the numbers and graphs go up when I have an active day. Also, my daughter loves pressing the button and watching the LEDs light up.

bamboo in the house

So stoked about this new keyboard/mouse combo. I came across the setup last week, and immediate ordered 2 sets. They arrived today. I immediately swapped out the oem parts at my work desk for the bamboo goods and thoroughly test drove the bamboo for the rest of the afternoon. I have been very pleased, so far.

The tricky thing about seeing something that looks really awesome online, is that there is always a risk it won’t be as awesome as it looks in the photos, when it actually arrives. I’m very pleased to report that there were no such unpleasant surprises, here. The quality appears to be pretty top notch. The only thing that I would change about the keyboard, is that it doesn’t have the little flip-down feet underneath. I’m sure that If I really needed to angle the keyboard, I could rig something up.

The mouse actually had an added bonus. The scroll wheel is back-lit by a blue LED. I love that detail. It has some small metal glide plates on the bottom. They slide perfectly on my formica desk at work. But I may have to get a mouse pad at home. The wood surface of my keyboard tray isn’t quite as smooth. Anyway, for the price, I think that this combo is totally a value. I would definitely recommend picking one up, to anyone who is considering it. You can order them over here, and they ship from California. I also might be giving one away in the near future or offering a promo code (or both). I’ll get back to you as soon as I work out the details. More images below.

BYU ranks No. 6 on GQ’s list of top 10 d@#chiest colleges

According to one of the stupidest lists I have seen in a long time, GQ ranked BYU the 6th “douchiest” college in America, in its August ’11 issue. I’m not going to lie, I don’t have a lot of nice feelings or nice things to say about BYU. In fact, I don’t like the school– at all. I grew up being a fan (and later earned an undergraduate degree from) their most bitter rival. So, normally upon reading such a blurb in a magazine that I have traditionally enjoyed as one of my favorites, I would smile and snicker to myself in agreement.

Unfortunately these types of satirical/critical remarks lose a bit of credence/humor  coming from a magazine that is apparently trying to bolster it’s own ranking in the douchiest magazine polls. August was one of the worst issues I have read in a long time. I’m not sure if it is just because I started reading it on the same train ride that I finished reading the latest Wired, or if it would have seemed just as bad had I chosen to read GQ before Wired. Either way, it was piss poor. Is Jim Nelson on vacation right now, or what? The overall article quality was crap, and in an apparent attempt to compensate, the magazine was riddled with incomprehensible pervy/porny infographics. Dude, if I wanted to read FHM, I would subscribe to FHM. Stop hiring Terry Richardson to shoot your covers (ok, maybe don’t go that far), and tone down the fratboy pervitude.

Given the massive level of disappointment that I felt towards the latest issue of GQ, I couldn’t even enjoy the dig at BYU. In fact, BYU– you and all of the rest of the schools who made the “douchiest,” you all get a pass. Someone who can’t come up with a better word than “douchiest” in a national publication to describe the schools that they are taking a piss at, is really not in a position to be talking down on anyone.

Step it up, GQ.