some of you know i commute to work using the Bay Area Rapid Transit otherwise known as BART. for fares you can either buy a paper ticket or sign up for their BART EZ Rider Card which automatically reloads from your credit card account. i’ve been using BART now for a little over a year and the EZ Rider Card is very convenient. however i was still using paper money or change for the parking fee. one buck is not a big deal. but by not being a usual cash user, trying to find ways to break a twenty has been a challenge… until NOW!
calling it the “EZ Rider Parking Program”, BART allows commuters to pay for parking using their EZ Rider Cards. when it was announced i was very excited and enrolled in this program to get my personalized serial number hangtag for my car. on Monday i received and email notification that they had sent my parking hangtag and today i received it!
after opening up the package and unfolding the contents, these numbers boldly greeted me. i was a bit startled at first and then…
did a 180. not that i was freaked out or anything… just a bit startled. i think it is kind of cool to have all the same digits. anyways… i’m happy now that i have my hangtag. the Fremont station is scheduled to begin the program on December 8 and i can’t wait to not have to worry about making change for the dollar parking fee.
i don’t follow politics. it has never interested me. it has never got my undivided attention. and probably to this day i still don’t care much about it. but i will say we are living in interesting times. that this year i have stopped to watch something political (all of three times). and though i had wished to be a part of history prior to this day, that i still am somewhat glad that i am not a registered voter.
it is not that i’m apathetic to my country. it is not that i have utter disregard and disrespect to the democratic process. and it is not that i don’t believe that my vote will not count. it is because i have complete respect of the voting privilege that don’t vote.
because i view voting with such high esteem, i don’t take it lightly. if i were ever to vote, i want to be a completely informed voter. the problem is that i don’t keep up with the nation’s political climate nor pay attention to the laws, bills, measures, props, etc. that are presented. in fact i don’t think i even tell you the difference between the laters. so when an election year comes around, ads for and against fill the television and radio waves for your vote. how then does one keep apprised and clear without the bias noise?
i don’t know whether or not i’ll vote in four years. i don’t know if the times will be more interesting to get me watching something political more than three times every four years. i don’t know if i would even care to change my…
yeah… that’s the operative word isn’t it? “change”. our country has for the most part voted for change and for the individual they believe will bring about change. so i guess what i’m getting at is that although we hope for and strive for change how far are we willing to go? does it end with my part at the voting booth? does the change history of a candidate guarantee change in the future? am i willing to make and follow through with changes in my life in alignment with the ideals i voted for?
until i come to terms with all that, i’m not going to vote. because as Stan Lee once penned, “with great power comes great responsibility.” when i do vote, i’m going vote like i’m wielding a lightsaber… with power and precision as every vote should be casted… not just for voting-sake. and a vote, especially a vote for change, is indeed powerful.
when we had finished to group shot, we headed to a bowling alley around the corner of Thai Delight to see if we could get in a game or two. the night wasn’t too old yet and we figured we could continue the festivities before calling it a night. when we got there we learned that it was about an hours wait before a lane would be available, so we ditched that idea and decided to go back to the “Best Westerns”. Phil and i stopped off at Safeway to pick up some chips and soda.
when we got there Nitro decided to make me the object of attention… or rather, the object of ATTACK! so he got muzzled. it was very amusing to watch him lunge at me because it looked like he was poking me with his nose. so to temper him down i would catch his head like a football and hold him still while giving him the evil eye. we did this several times much to his frustration. when things seemed to “quiet” down we started figuring out what to do with ourselves. at first it didn’t seem to go anywhere but eventually Chrissie brought out some of their many board games.
we decided to play Sequence. i think it was my second time playing it. it is a pretty easy game to learn and was quite easy to remember.
you play teams alternated around the circle. i was teamed up with Mike and Mae and we won two out of two games. go team green!
Nitro is looking rather depressed because of his naughty behavior. he is probably thinking “once i get this off, i’m going to bite of a chunk out of you!”
before i left i hooked the Westerns up with the latest episodes of Bleach and watched a little of that week’s episode. and that my friends was how i ended my evening… well Nitro did make a lunge at me as i was walking out.
after battling my way through the Friday commute, i eventually arrived at Thai Delight in Cupertino where i joined up with Mae, Mike, Mike, and Louie in waiting for Ted to surprise him on his birthday. i learned that Louie also had a dSLR though she didn’t bring hers. she had some questions about different kinds of shots so i was more than happy to explain what i know.
here’s another picture using my 50mm f/1.4 lens. these centerpieces are used throughout the restaurant. i was hoping to use this lens more than i did that evening. however i did get the opportunity the following night.
Chrissie and Phil showed up at the table first while Ted got distracted with the Friday Fry’s ad at the entrance. the “surprise” was a bit lacklustered since there was no surprise vantage point where we could… uh… surprise him. however when friends can get together for a meal and conversation is good times in my book any day.
i love taking pictures of people as someone else is taking pictures of them. so as Chrissie was taking a picture of Erick and Ted, i couldn’t resist to getting a shot in before she finished counting to three.
now this is the stuff! no wonder Ted doesn’t share. it is THAT tasty. Ted and i were the only vegetarians so i ordered and devoured one myself.
for dessert Ted and i ordered coconut ice cream. however, they ran out of coconut ice cream and brought three different dishes: 2 scoops of mango, 2 scoops of coconut, and one of each on one dish. so Ted and i swapped his scoop of coconut with my scoop of mango so we all got some coconut action.
the obligatory group shot. i was thinking about bringing a tripod, but that would push me over from photo geek to photo nerd. so we had the manager take this for us. not trusting his zooming/framing skills with my all-purpose 28-135mm lens, i threw on my wide angle (10-22mm), composed the shot for him and joined the group. i then noticed that he held my camera at a distance looking very puzzled. “i don’t see the picture”, he remarked. oh, duh… i have to remember to mention people that my dSLR doesn’t have “Live View”. some new ones released this year finally do but that’s besides the point and potential future upgrade. so after telling him that he needs to look through the view finder, he managed to inadvertently take two shots which was cool. this second shot was the better of the two!
part two of the evening will be in my next post.
a lot of things happened last weekend so i’m going to start on Friday afternoon at 12:15p when i went to check to see whether or not my expected shipment of my new lens arrived yet. i work at home on fridays now so it is very convenient to accept shipments that require a signature. there was nothing at the door but there was something on the door. lo and behold there was a sticker stuck on the door that delivery drivers leave when no one is home to sign. it was written that no one was available at 11:40a. what the heck? after getting my car serviced, i’ve been home since 10:00a! so i called the “unmentioned” delivery service and repeated my irritation of their poor service. that i indeed was home at the time of the delivery and HAD the driver used common sense and “rang” the doorbell, that i would have come right away.
okay… that brings me to yet another peeve of mine… why would anybody knock when there’s NO door knocker and a doorbell is provided? plus, if people don’t like doorbells then in subsequent attempts knock HARDER!
back to the story… i was kind of bummed that i would not be receiving my new lens that afternoon but i got the details from customer service that the package will be secured at a shipping location instead of being out on delivery the next day during the time when i definitely know that i will not be at home.
around 3:30p i received a phone call from the driver who told me that he would be back around my area shortly. i wonder if the customer service representative got a hold of him explaining my dissatisfaction. anyways… i tipped him about using the doorbell since i was still working in my office/bedroom upstairs and within 15 minutes or so i received my new lens. after finishing up my work i quickly freed it from its brown cardboard encasement.
my dad was already home for about an hour and was working at the dining room table. yeah… he tends to annex the entire table with his laptop and external drives when he comes home. so i showed it off to him explaining the kinds of photos that the lens will allow me to take.
and with that being said i used him as my model to take the first test shot while he was watching 3ABN.
this cloisonne bowl was on the table, so i shot off several frames with different settings.
later that evening i attended my friend Ted’s surprise birthday party. i was hoping to test it more there but i ended up putting my 28-135mm and my 10-22mm to more use which you will see in my next post.