Saturday, April 26, 2003


Anita Baker - Angel
Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl
Heavy D & the Boyz - Black Coffee
Lisa Stansfield - Been Around The World
Heavy D & the Boyz - Got Me Waiting
Shanice - I Love Your Smile


To yield to any influence, emotion, passion, or power.
To give oneself up, as to an enemy.
To give up one's self into the power of another.

Us Virgos really have a problem surrendering to anything. We rarely like to lose our independence.

I think the fear is that we lose control of our emotions, we lose the freedom of thought and action.

Its about control, and we dont like losing ourselves.

So, we fight it.


The act or an instance of surrendering.

Synonyms: abdication, acquiescence, appeasement, capitulation, giving way, relenting, relinquishment, renunciation, resignation, submission, succumbing, yielding.

These nouns denote the act of giving up one's person, one's possessions, or people under one's command to the authority, power, or control of another. Surrender is the most general.

JPennant: As I said, I knew I was gonna be surrendering to things
JPennant: I didnt realize that something like this could be one of them.
julez: this california water is doing strange things to you ;-)
JPennant: heheheh

Next thing you know, I'll be sporting dreads, quoting Marx and Chomsky, and chanting peace slogans.


Concept: changing, enduring, agreement.

julez: how do you feel about it?
julez: either way?
JPennant: not as scared as I thought Id be.
julez: :-)

Friday, April 25, 2003

"Do Not Mess With Dragons.
For you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

Jeez. Where did the week go?

What did I do?

Nuthin much. People are looking at me funny again like I have no ambition or summat.


Oh yeah this week. I insulted Kate with The Wrong Thing to Say #2.

"Youre a bad friend because..."

Ahh JEEZ. I was just playing, bustin her chops. But her feelings are hurt now, and when my pal broods - you know Ive Gone Too Far.
This month.
(Used to be every week, but we've gotten better over the years.)

See, she REALLY works at being a good friend.

Devastates her to hear otherwise.

Which meant my smiley mug was on the next day to Make Nice to My Dear Dear Friend.

Cuz, you know.. a Dragoness never forgets.

k a t e how ya doin
JPennant :-D
JPennant feelin good
k a t e glad to hear
JPennant :-D
k a t e even though i am a bad friend...i still like to hear that my friends are doing well

Uh oh. *engage laff-it-off-damage-control-to-melt-ice NOW. Move! Move!*. And SMILE when you try to grovel, dammit.

JPennant If you were TRULY so horrible, I wouldnt be talkin to ya, silly
JPennant sheesh
JPennant sensitive
k a t e well, you motivated me to send flowers to my grandmother...i figured..if i am bad friend...i will be a GREAT grandaughter!
JPennant heheheh
JPennant good

*snip part where I throw gasoline onto the coals of a Dragoness's hurt. Shit, I coulda sworn it was the foam of sweetness. *

JPennant but you are loyal
JPennant one of my most loyal friends
JPennant and when we disagree, you make sure we STAY friends
JPennant and that alone is a lot more than most people are willing to give.
k a t e but, still i AM a bad friend

No, no.. this is GOOD. Lemme work...

JPennant let me put it this way
JPennant sometimes you let friendships die
JPennant to let new friends in
JPennant so every so often, you let people go as you drift apart
JPennant and so you ask yourself
JPennant "Would I care if theyre gone?"
JPennant If the answer is "not really", you wish em well and move on
JPennant If Im burdensome, I would expect you to let me loose
JPennant you dont HAVE to be my friend
JPennant but
k a t e ok- i got your point:-) i know what you're saying
JPennant Youre my friend hon
JPennant for good or bad
JPennant And Im honored to be considered a friend of yours.

Now. Watch the replay of me screwing it up... slow motion...

JPennant Even if you talk bad about me from time to time ;-)
JPennant heheh

Ah SHIT SHIT SHIT. I KNEW that was gasoline the moment I threw it on there.

Well, let the flames rise up.

k a t e shut up
k a t e when do i talk bad about you?
JPennant Never, as far as I know.
k a t e exactly'
k a t e i dont
JPennant Everyone tells me you have my back
k a t e i dont usually go around gossiping about people, first of all.
k a t e i get annoyed and talk my problems via with people..
JPennant I know
k a t e but, i dont go around bad mouthing people
JPennant nope, you sure dont

Dude. Its cool. Ive GOT this. Chill.

JPennant have you forgotten we used to work with a common set of folk?
k a t e yeah
k a t e what does 'got my back' mean
k a t e i am taking it as a good thing...
JPennant it is
k a t e ok
JPennant If they start saying bad things about me, after awhile you start rebutting them. Nicely, but its like "BACK OFF him"
JPennant Lets just say they were highly impressed.

And the best part, all true.

k a t e good
JPennant yup
JPennant trust me, its the stuff you think I DONT know is why I consider you My Friend ;-)
JPennant plus, you help me in all sorts of way, that frankly, I would be hard pressed to do without
k a t e :-)
k a t e the same to you
JPennant there would be a definite hole in my life without you, Kate S*******
JPennant even if you think Im silly and dangerous to my own well being ;-)
JPennant when push comes to shove, you back me up.
JPennant And for that, you are Up There.
k a t e :-D
JPennant :-D

Again, all true.

Now, it must be noted that Im not entirely out of Dog House territory just yet. Ive got some nice nice to work with until I get the full Dragon warmth again.

Or *I* get mad at her. (We sometimes take turns.)

But no matter.

She is my friend. :-)

And thats all that matters.

Monday, April 21, 2003

What Camera?

[ updated ]

Ripped off from the forum

1. What kind of camera do you use?

Currently Fuji FinePix 4900. My early NY photos (all 35,000 of them) were taken with two Fuji MX-2700's. I miss that camera.

2. How long have you had it for, and in that time about how many pictures have you taken with it?

I bought the MX-2700 in September of 1999, and when that died, a reader sent me a replacement in May of 2001. It got stolen in December of 2001.

In Fort Lauderdale, I used a borrowed Kodak DC-215 until I bought the Fuji 4900 in June of 2002 to learn how to use high-end cameras.

Currently, the counter is at 10,950.

3. What do you like about it?

The 4900..

- Smaller and lighter than it looks (it actually will fit in the palm of your hand). Incredibly well balanced, making it a great one-handed camera (like all Fuji's). Unfortunately the grip is built for right-handers, and I would be a lefty photographer if I could.
But the thing 'handles' like a pure-bred sports-car.

- Like all Fuji's, extremely rugged. I have dropped this camera countless times, nothing has come apart. Unfortunately, it nearly died when a Mocha espresso drenched it.

- The lens is all-worldly. Its not just the zoom thats incredible, its the ability to gather light properly from macro to zoom.

- Oh yeah, the macro. Wow.

- The resolution. Its nominally a 2.4 megapixel camera, but it outputs at 4 + megapixels. Im not unhappy. And since Fuji is a print company, the images are optimized to BE printed.

- Sensitivity. except for pitch black, if there is ANY kind of light, a good image can be produced without flash. I have taken pictures in near-darkness, where I actually couldnt see, and I was shooting on blind faith. The images it produced were amazing.
Sometimes I have to remember I CAN do that.

- Battery life is actually quite decent for a digital camera, if the screen isnt used..

- The 'cool' factor. The shape and color of it causes people to say daily "Thats a NICE camera". Dont under-rate the 'flash factor' as an important reason for buying it.

4. What do you dislike about it?

- It does NOT like humidity, its achilles heel. In drenching humidity, it will actually fog up the lens INSIDE the barrel and the electronics often go crazy.

- Im limited to SmartMedia memory cards, 128 megs max.

- The MX-2700 had a neat feature, special effects.. and one I dearly would love to have is to strip the color information to produce full-range grayscale images. Doing it in photoshop creates a washed-out black and white image in comparison.

- This sounds silly, but the camera's programming does NOT like black people. It actually has serious trouble focusing on and producing accurate skin tones for people darker than gold-brown.
Apparently the engineers at Fuji didnt have any black folk to test with.

- Fuji's are difficult cameras to use WELL. Left on their own devices, they produce 'okay' images. Its when you start pushing the envelope is where they shine.

- The hard Cali afternoon sun will produce an incredible amount of glare. A quirk of lens and anti-glare coatings maybe..

- I cant slip it into my pocket like the MX-2700. I know, I know, but I want one that can.

- The manual focusing system is shitty. Slow and imprecise.

All the other stuff is addressed by its future replacement, the Fuji S602. It handles CF and Smartmedia memory, it produces RAW and TIFF images and it handles 6 megapixel images.

Very sweet, and an incredible value at almost $450. *The Nikon Coolpix 5700 actually uses the same chassis as the S602. But costs 3 times as much, and according to reports is not a better camera.

But, it doesnt look as cool.

Thats almost a deal breaker for me. :-)

5. Have you given your camera a name?

Yup. Stella. As in "Stella Got Her Groove On."

I was not happy with the images I was getting, then one day - it all just clicked as I took pictures of some Fort Lauderdale life-guards.

Apparently, this camera is at its best taking pictures of people.

And although this camera was bought to be replaced, I have not yet come close to its true capabilities.

Which means I still have a lot to learn.

Stella's portfolio

Fort Lauderdale
June 2002

Thats when Stella got her groove on...



Even in bad weather

And then she got better and better...

(The being-able-to-take-images-in-near-darkness thing I was referring to..)

And once I became familiar with how it works, regularly blew my mind with its capabilities...

And yet, and yet.. something was telling me that I was nowhere close to its potential - or mine...

Until that fateful monday night at the Oakland Coliseum

I think thats when I realized that there was a lot more to this camera than I realized.

And then.. Stella and I crossed a line..

Now, we're both on new territory...

Heheh. I dont need no steenkin LOMO.

I have Stella.