Archive for April, 2008

what’s in my tennis bag

April 26, 2008

What's in My Tennis Bag

Clockwise (kind of) from bag:

1. Wilson Tour Super Six Pack with Thermoguard – I think this is the ’05 model. Don’t quote me on that. Anyway, the great thing about this bag (aside from its cavernous space) is that there are backpack straps on the back for easier carrying.

2. Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine Mid Racquet – This is a 93″, 18×20, 18mm thin beast, strung with a hybrid setup (Luxilon Mains, cheap synthetic crosses). It is still selling for an “on sale” price at Tennis Warehouse for $99, but I was able to find it at some random tennis shop in a chinese mall in Houston for $65. They only had one though :-/ Too bad. This racquet swings around quick, almost whip like.

3. Pro Kennex Ceramic Silver Ace Mid Racquet – This is a 90″ frame, and is currently just a backup and grommet-less frame. I used to have eight of these, but being as they were all made in the 80’s I think, and were all ceramic composites, the frames did not last long and all succumbed to various cracks. This is the sole survivor. Too bad, since I was able to get them off of eBay for an avg. price of $25 each.

4. Nike Spring Basic Feather Light Hat – Dri-Fit, very light, very thin, and very cool (meaning it keeps your head cool).

5. OFF! Clean Feel Insect Repellent II – This one has Picaridin as the active ingredient (as opposed to the more popular DEET), which allows it to be non-oily and grease-free.

6. Coppertone Sport Sunblock Spray – Sweatproof, waterproof, and SPF 15.

7. Wilson Pro Overgrips – 10+2 Roll

8. Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Strings – Used for my mains, 16L gauge, Silver. These are great, last forever, and prevent your strings from moving all the time.

9. Wilson Stamina Strings – Used for my crosses, 16 gauge, White. Softens up the Luxilons a bit, and are cheap, as well as durable.

10. Nike Swoosh Bandana – Federer/Nadal style. :P

11. Nike Swoosh Headband – James Blake style. :P

12. Nike Swoosh Wristbands – Ahh, if only I could play like Federer, Nadal, or Blake. Or even a 4.5-5.0 for that matter.

13. Nike Towel – This one almost feels like microfiber. But it’s not.

14. Babolat ElastoCross String Saver Locks – Used for parts of my stringbed which are about to break.

15. Miniature Fisker Scissors – For cutting ends of overgrips and cutting out broken strings.

16. Kleenex – For my allergies to almost every vegetation known to man.

17. Pete Sampras Vibration Dampeners – Made by Unique. In Black and Red.

18. Nike Compression Ankle Sleeve – For the times when I slightly roll on my ankle and need added support.

19. Adidas Barricade IV Tennis Shoes – This is my second pair of this model. The pervious ones were black/white/red. These are the best shoes I’ve tried, although I haven’t tried the new Barricade V’s. The 2nd best shoes would be the Reebok Pumps that Roddick used to wear; not the new KFS ones, but the Match Day Pumps.

20. Express Sweatpants – For warming up when it’s cold out. Windbreaker style.

21. Hanes Socks – Backup socks.

22. USTA Code – The Rules of Tennis, 2007 edition. Great for disputing calls. :P

23. Wilson US Open Balls – Extra Duty felt. Second best balls I’ve tried. Best ones being the Dunlop GrandPrix Extra Duties.

24. Igloo Elite Cooler – 1/2 Gallon.


what’s in my bag

April 24, 2008

What's in My Bag
Clockwise (kind of) from bag:

1. The North Face Surge Backpack – Great look, straps located in such a way to make your load lighter, a great separate compartment for my notebook which is suspended in such a way so it doesn’t hit the ground, and a hidden pocket for my power adaptor.

2. Holga 120N Medium Format Lomography Camera – This toy camera outputs some great over-saturated square yumminess.

3. Eddie Bauer Water Bottle – This 25.4 oz. (751 ml) bottle is made with “virtually unbreakable” Lexan resin.

4. Canon Rebel Xti/400D DSLR w/ 50mm f/1.8 II Prime Lens – My main camera of choice, and one of my favorite possessions.

5. USB iPod Shuffle Dock – A bit clunky, and if it ever breaks, I will replace it with the Marware version that doesn’t have a cord.

6. 85W MagSafe Power Adapter – For the MBP. Make sure you don’t trip over the adaptor while it is plugged in the wall, as you may slightly bend the prong. Maybe they shoulda MagSafed the other end for clumsy people like me. :P

7. Radio Shack retractable USB to mini-USB cord – Used to use it for connecting my PSP (which I sold) to my PC Desktop (which I sold). Now used to connect my DSLR, as well as my:

8. Sony MRW62SE-S1/171 17-in-1 Card Reader – High speed USB 2.0, very sleek and compact, and matches the laptop.

9. Moleskine Ruled Notebook – I love these things, and wished I used the larger cahier versions in school.

10. Cross Metal ION Gel Ink Pen – This pen kinda sucks. It looks cool, and is compact, but it’s uncomfortable to use. The Dr. Grip I used in college was much better. I’ll probably replace this when the ink runs out.

11. Money Smart Clip – Holds bills on one side, and cards on the other. Engraved with WT. I’ve had this for 7 years and still nothing I’ve seen is as slim, convenient, and sleek as this solution.

12. CRKT M16-12 Aluminum Handle Folding Knife – Just in case.

13. Porsche Boxster Keys – Why do people use the plural form and say “Can I have the keys to the [Enter Car Name Here]” when they’re really just asking for one key?

14. Palm Treo 700w – This is the Windows version of the Treo 700. I used to use the EVDO data plan, but Verizon charges insane amounts for their data, so I cancelled that portion. Contract is up, just waiting for a phone that I actually like to replace it.

15. Tucano MicroFibra X Second Skin Sleeve – This microfiber & neoprene sleeve for my MBP is oh so soft and highly recommended. It also comes with a microfiber keyboard protector that doubles as a screen cleaner. Thanks Honeca!

16. iPod Shuffle 1GB – 2nd Gen, in green, and engraved with “musique du jour” on the back.

17. MacBook Pro – 15.4″, 2.5 GHz Penryn, 4GB RAM, 512MB VRAM, 200GB 7200rpm hard drive, and a multitouch trackpad.

d.i.y. flash diffuser

April 21, 2008

For those of you who are too cheap to buy an external flash unit for their DSLR’s, or even a cheap diffuser, here’s a d.i.y. project that seems to be the best homemade diffuser I’ve seen up ’till now. It’s better than those business cards bent and tied with rubber bands at least. Jump:


April 20, 2008

Events and Births on this day:
570 – Prophet Muhammed, founder of Islam
1808 – Napoleon III
1889 – Adolf Hitler
1951 – Luther Vandross
1983 – Will Tung
1999 – Columbine High School massacre
2007 – Johnson Space Center Shooting

lex vs. clark: the beginning

April 18, 2008

Spoilers! (Kinda) The last scene from yesterday’s episode of Smallville (“Descent”) was so badass. The music was great, the cinematography was breathtaking, and the plot marked the official beginning (in my opinion anyway) of Lex vs. Clark. Lex is pure evil now, and Clark is beginning to realize his destiny and the value of his life, and the ensuing war between the two all begins with this scene. The series has kind of been in a slump lately, and this episode was definitely refreshing. Here’s hoping for some great plot lines to now tie more directly into the Superman mythos. (And is he ever going to fly in this show???)


April 17, 2008

Mark Rothko is one of my favorite painters. Something about his images really move me. It’s unfortunate he committed suicide. Here is my pathetic attempt at a Rothko style painting. Obviously, I was not meant to be an artist.

Rothko by Will

my south park character

April 16, 2008

Check out this South Park Studio and make your own South Park caricature. Here is mine:

porsche ride’n’drive

April 15, 2008

Cayenne GTS

I attended a Porsche Ride & Drive event at the Driveway racetrack. Basically, it was an event to allow people to test out the newly released Porsche Cayenne GTS. I first drove the SUV for 3 laps, with a race instructor by my side, giving me tips on when to accelerate, when to brake, what line to follow, etc. It might as well be a car, because this SUV handles like a dream. Then I switched seats and he drove full out for 3 laps. That’s when I realized how lame of a driver I was. Although it felt like I was pushing the GTS to it’s limits, I think I ended up going at 1/3 of the limit. After that I was able to sit in for 3 hot laps each on the Cayman S and the Carrera S, and realized just what that extra $$$ (compared to the Boxster) translates to: balls to the wall adrenaline rushing euphoria, which can be experienced in the Boxster as well, except in these cars, you feel like you might die any second.

snickers adventure bar

April 15, 2008

So although I didn’t find cheese balls on my trip to Sam’s Club, I did come across a new Snickers bar called the “Adventure Bar.” It’s another one of those stupid movie tie-ins, and this one was for the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that comes out May 22nd. What peaked my interest was some marketing jargon that said “…and a cliffhanger kick of exotic spice and a hint of sweet coconut flavor.” Coconut?!?! I’m in. Well it turns out the extra coconut is just artificial flavor, and not the coconut flakes that you find in Almond Joy. Nonetheless, I much prefer this version over the regular Snickers bar, too bad it’s pretty much a limited issue. My perfect chocolate bar? Dark chocolate, nougat, almonds/cashews, and coconut flakes. Pretty much Milky Way Midnight mashed with Almond Joy, with more almonds. Hmmm, I’m gettin’ an idea…

cheese balls

April 14, 2008

Why is it that every grocery store I go to, I can’t find any cheese balls? I’m not talking about the balls of cheese, I’m talking about those snacks that are similar to Cheetos cheese puffs, but in ball form. I used to eat so much of these as a kid, and for some reason can’t seem to find them anywhere. I am craving these so much, and according to the Sam’s Club website, they have a whole jar! I’m on a mission…

Update: WTH? I went to Sam’s Club, went up and down every aisle, went to the chip section, the cookie section, even office supplies (sometimes snacks are there), and no luck! Why are these things so hard to find?!?!

lost theory

April 13, 2008

After reading a friend’s blog, I came across a link to this amazing theory on the plot of “Lost,” and if it is even remotely correct, I love Lost even more than I already do (if that’s possible). Only time will tell. We got two more seasons to go! It’s quite a complicated theory, and I’m not sure how they’ll convey it all on TV within two seasons, so maybe there’s a simpler explanation. If you haven’t watched all of this season, there are definitely spoilers to watch out for! I’m always fascinated with time travel though, which is why I really liked the show Journeyman, which was very unfortunately cancelled by NBC. I really thought the acting was top notch, the cliff hangers were great, and the underlying plot was captivating.

bench project

April 12, 2008

As blogged about on photojojo, basically what this guy did was tie up a disposable camera to a public bench attached with a note to encourage strangers to take photos. Pretty awesome if you ask me. I just might have to try this one out. I think it’d be quite interesting to see this at a location full of college students. Maybe even an E-Bus stop. Just not sure if they would just decide to steal it.

canon rebel xsi

April 11, 2008

Not to be just blogging about random tech products that are coming out and announced on other blogs, but anyway, here’s another. The Canon Rebel XSi, which is the successor to the Canon Rebel XTi, will finally be on sale April 27th. It’s available for preorder from Amazon. 8 Benjamins for the kit, 7 for the body only. Main upgrades? It uses SD Cards instead of the clumsy and less popular Compact Flash cards, it’s got the expected bump in megapixels, from 10.1 to 12.2, faster fps (3.5), faster Digic III processor, and a Live View function that allows you to see your photo before you take it on the new 3″ LCD screen, much like a regular point and shoot digicam. Not that I would use that last feature much, but it’s really odd to me why it took them so long to implement these into DSLRs. Anyway, as tempting as it is, the upgrades are not compelling enough for the amount I’d be spending. If it had a GPS tracker and WiFi, I’d bite. Right now, I’d rather buy a new lens like this Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8.

sony bravia e4000 tv

April 11, 2008

All I can say is wow. These TV’s by Sony are made to look like picture frames. I want.

mario kart wii online footage

April 10, 2008

Watching this online footage just makes me want to pee in my pants. Please, please will anyone I know just get a Wii so we can compete online?!?! My Wii code is 2667-3074-4575-9908. Not sure if Mario Kart Wii will issue a specific one or not, but we’ll see April 27th. Let’s tear it up! (Sorry the embedding didn’t seem to work)


April 10, 2008

This is a cool new website I found from my friend melmyfinger which allows you to basically aggregate all your social networking sites into one big feed. Everything from flickr to pandora to amazon wishlists. It’s a pretty good concept if you want to have just one feed for a particular friend. Here is my particular friendfeed:

brownies & noodles: perfected

April 9, 2008

These are two genius inventions:

Udon Noodle Bowl

Edge Brownie Pan

running, new balance, and nike+

April 8, 2008

I have a love/hate relationship with running. Much like the new New Balance commercials (1, 2, 3). I love the feeling you get when you pass the 1 mile mark, and all of a sudden your body feels like it’s on auto-pilot and you can run on forever without feeling any pain. I love the fact that when you get to the end of your run, and you start to kick it in, your adrenaline pumps through your legs and you can’t feel anything at all and it almost feels like you’re floating to the finish. I love the variety of scenery. I hate that after a few weeks, my knees start to hurt and I am relegated to taking a long break. I hate that I have no friends to run with these days and am pretty much less motivated to do it on a daily basis. I used to run a lot throughout middle school and high school via track & field and cross country, and did it on and off throughout college. I was even so lame in 7th grade that I penned-in “Eat My Dust” on the backs of my shoes. Don’t Laugh. Anyway, now I’m itching to get back in.

When Nike first introduced their Nike+ iPod doohicky which married an iPod with a Nike branded high tech pedometer, I was unimpressed. I didn’t own an iPod that supported it (1GB iPod Shuffle Gen II for me), and I didn’t want to purchase one just so I could have a geek’s gadget fantasy way of keeping track of my runs. Now that Nike has announced the April 10 release of Nike+ Sportband, I just might have the incentive/motivation to get back in, assuming the product is priced reasonably. Funny thing, I’m neither a fan of Nike or New Balance running shoes. I got me my pair of Asics Gel-Evolution II’s. Anyone want to motivate me via an online Nike+ competition?

friday night lights

April 6, 2008

So it’s official: Friday Night Lights will return for a 3rd season. Basically, the show gets all these awards, and critics seem to love it, but the ratings are just really low, so the show is always on the brink of cancellation. People just don’t watch it, mostly because they think it’s about football or something that only guys would watch. Well, the football does provide a sort of location and constant backstory, but I’d say it’s about 10% of the show, and the rest is about real life. The show is so realistic, the acting is so good, and I just love the way the cinematography works in harmony with the soundtrack from Austin-based “Explosions in the Sky.” So anyway, the higher-ups at NBC are big fans of the show, and the main reason why Friday Night Lights was even able to have a 2nd season, although a shortened one because of the strike. Since NBC didn’t want to foot the complete bill of picking up FNL for a 3rd season, DirecTV is going to be broadcasting the 3rd season first, I think Fall of 2008, and then NBC will re-broadcast it Spring of 2008. They’ll start shooting in August, and depending on where I’m at and what I’m doing, I might consider being an extra in the show again. Although, the two episodes of the 2nd season where I was an extra, I was basically shown on national TV as a guy who could not dance and a guy who texts too much on his Treo in a cafeteria. What? It was like a 12 hour work day and I was bored! Good thing I was very much in the background and just another face in the crowd, so even if someone was looking for me while watching those episodes, I highly doubt they’d be able to find me. That’s why I have graciously attached screenshots. :P Please, please watch the show if you can! I think you’d be quite surprised at how good it really is. The 1st and 2nd seasons are available for $19-$20 each on Amazon if you ever want to catch up. I’d say those are quite reasonable prices. And I think they even have a guarantee that if you don’t like it, you can mail it back to them and they will refund the cost back to you.

tennis rant

April 5, 2008

So I was watching the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, which is a Master Series tournament, and basically the second biggest tournament on U.S. soil (U.S. Open In NY being #1 of course). Recently tennis tournaments have been broadcast on Fox Sports Network, moving from ESPN2. The commentators have changed, and the new ones suck, and the coverage is just horrible. Get this. I was watching the men’s quarterfinals: World #1 Roger Federer vs. U.S. #1 Andy Roddick. Federer has been in a kind of slump lately, not winning a tournament yet this year (I think). So if there was anytime Roddick was going to avenge his 11 straight losses to Federer, and to finally get a notch on the win column of his 1-15 head to head record, now was the time. Roddick pushed to a tiebreak in the 1st set, clinched it, but then lost the 2nd set. So now in the 3rd set, Roddick is up 4-3, and it’s on serve. The clock strikes 8pm (cst), and all of a sudden the Toyota Outdoor Report comes on with some guy talking about bass fishing. Ok, so I think this is one of those “coming up next, after the match” preview things, except it isn’t! They stopped coverage on the last set of this match, the closing moments, and I had to get online to find out that Roddick ended up breaking Federer’s serve and then holding to win the last set 6-3! A huge win for Roddick, and potentially a huge win for those who want to increase the popularity of the sport in the U.S. And no one got to see it! What’s up with that?! I mean sure, I can understand tennis playing second fiddle to Football, Basketball, even Golf, but bass fishing? I mean FSN decided to cut a LIVE broadcast, and exchange it for some taped Outdoor Report. Whatev. I am a huge fan of the sport, and it’s a disappointment to see the lack of effort to promote it. I have nothing more to say except that this guy says it all pretty well. 

home slice pizza

April 4, 2008

Home Slice Pizza

Home Slice Pizza

If you’re ever in the Austin area, and you want to try some really good NY style pizza, head over to Home Slice Pizza on 1415 South Congress. I’ve actually tried pizza in NY, so I’m not sure if it lives up to those standards, but it sure lives up to mine. The crust is oh so crispy and thin, yet bendable. You can dine-in to order a whole “pie” or you can order from the side window by the slice. I ordered by the slice since the dining-in option was almost a 45 minute wait (!). There was a nice patio out back where I think they sometimes have live music. There’s also a great cupcake place a block down called Hey Cupcake! which is also highly recommended. Order the Red Velvet. Mmmm….