Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drawings of Light

Photos, photos, photos, photos, photos. Photography to me is a hobby. The technical aspect of it astounds me and the artistic aspect of it compels me to continue with it. The ability to capture in an image what is already created or to create the illusion of creating something just immensely fascinates me. All these deal with perception, on how I see things in my eyes. I can try to capture life in light of many things but it falls short to the reality of it.

There are a few words that come into mind when someone asks me, "Are you a photographer," to which I reply, "No, I just like taking pictures." What I'm particularly infering to is that I'm not a professional photographer, as anyone weilding a camera is a "photographer," I'm just a guy holding a camera. I do it for fun, for the enjoyment of it, to be reminded of the time that had passed.

Kathleen Andy

Jacque Matthew

Map Studying Emily

Aaron Green Jared

A few other words that come to mind are:

I really think that most of these things can be learned or revealed through discipline and blessings. Someone can be naturally be gifted with an eye for composition but not technique. Some may just pick up a camera and understand the way light works inherantly within their comprehention.

As for me, I think it's been both a blessing and discipline in photography that makes up my character as a photographer. I prefer to take pictures of people. I like the way someone's face can succinctly describe how that person is feeling or say something about who they are.

There have been pictures I've seen that evoke the emotions that I have felt before in the photographs I've taken. Photographs, unlike paintings, drawings or sculptures are a more literal illustrative of life... even at times it can be playful, endearing and unrealistic. Like any form of art, it's subjective nature leaves us with a more intimate understanding of who we are in our perceptions.

You can check out my Flickr photostream here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamtoday/
or my Picasa Web Album here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/today0

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Straight From the Liferay Symposium

I got lost coming here, we're still going at it. It's definitely a place you want to be to learn more about Liferay, not just the company, but the product.

We have a few speakers that are big Liferay users. It's amazing how diverse the implementation we have and how deep the product permeated within businesses and non-profit markets!

To learn more about liferay visit: http://www.liferay.com
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Significant Little Things

Worm from Ramen

Yesterday mid-morning, while working, I had a hunger... a hunger for salt... so, I perscribed myself a cure: top-ramen. Now, ramen-- or noodles-- as I know it, is a simple and unhealthy snack. College students are very familiar with it. (Most of all when you're a starving student, second to it would be Mac n' Cheese.) I craved this salty, sodium-carb enriched delicacy that day and was somewhat excited to just indulge in it.

It became apparent to me that this pack of noodles had a certain garnish to it. The kind of garnish you'd least expect but wouldn't quite be surprised to see. It's yellowish hue adds life(or the abscense of it) to the soup. The visceral look to it added a distinct texture in my imagination. It's size could almost be mistaken for rice husk or tiny slivers of wheat.

It was a worm... I'm glad to say that I didn't proceed to eat it.

I ended up spending $4.75 on In-and-Out burger: Double-double, animal-style, no pickle, and fries. Now, I just can't really decide if the non-consumption of worms is worth $4.75. So far, I've come to the conclusion that it is. Anyway, watch what you eat... I found three of these before I came to the conclusion that it was not good; I didn't take a bite of it... just so everyone knows. (I mean, maybe I nibbled on the crumbs... but yeah)

Happy Eating.
Click here for a larger picture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Date: Balloons and Beaches

Great Park Orange County A Two Ton Helium Balloon

Yesterday was a fun day. I took Emily out on a date. It started at 9:00am, I was a bit late to pick her up. Early morning blues were overcome with excitement; as the day for both of us was just beggining. That day, we went to Irvine to visit the Great Park of Orange County. It was such great weather and Emily didn't know where we were going. Neither did I... apparently. As we got lost over seven times trying to find the "Great" Park. I wonder about it's greatness because it's location is so hard to find.

On the BalloonOn the Balloon

After going to the park, we went to Laguna and went through some galleries. We talked about art, then we spent a brief period of time in the water, then some dinner at Bjs in Laguna. It was such a fun day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Music: Preacher's Sons

Poison Oak from preacherssons on Vimeo.

This is Preacher's Sons, a band that primarily consists of Brandon and Jeremy Pfaff. Originally named Native Americans, (seemingly, a pun and a play on words) Preacher's Sons have this raw and honest sound to them. There's something about Brandon's strum or how Jeremy keeps a steady beat on the drum. The simplicity of their music continues to astound me.

Whenever I listen to their music, I sometimes forget that they are friends of mine. I so admire their talent, moreover their character and humor. They are really great guys.

Check them out:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pictures, Trains, Los Angeles and Little Manila

Last Saturday was fun... there was a really informative Life Group Leader's training session early in the morning. The speaker talked about certain experiences that he'd gone through being a small group leader but also he gave a concise talk about what it means to be a small group leader. All in all, I found the talk informative and enriching.

After the training session...

Bamboo Shoot

I got to hang out with two awesome friends for a little project. (More about that... soon) I'm still working on the photos for the project... but then also still working on the photos for Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards Night, so these are just another two things on the plate. I'm creating a task list as I go and setting really short term goals to accomplish these.

Trains, Los Angeles, and little Manila

After taking photos and hangin out, I picked up my gal and we went to the Fullerton Train station and took the train to Los Angeles.

Fullerton Train Station

It was a great ride, we spoke talked to this guy named Eric, he was a really nice guy. We finally got to the historic Los Angeles Union Station, then we boarded a purple line subway train toward Vermont and Wilshire. We were headed to the Filipino town.

We got off the train and started walking, through what seemed to be Korea town... we came to notice the hodge-podge mix of ethnicities in the city. We had a great time just walking around, talking about the cultural mix, looking around. It was an adventure.

We later found ourselves in a restaurant called "My Mom's Bakery," which isn't my mom's bakery... although she did have one in the Philippines. It's somewhat a tradition in the Philippines to name an establishment in dedication to someone, or state it's clear owner. In this case, it's whom ever's mom's bakery. We came in and proceeded to order food. I was about about to pay for it, but at the time, their card machine wasn't working at all. The guy behind the counter asked the person serving us food, "...how much was it?" The girl replied, "$12 something...," to which he replied back, "Don't worry about it."

This implied free food. I was only half surprised. The culture in the Philippines, as I was growing up, was somewhat care-free. There was this trust between neighbors based on the decency of the way they spoke and respected the person they were speaking to. I was speaking to him in both Tagalog and English, it was really refreshing to talk to someone outside my family in Tagalog. This man was really nice, he stayed around to talk to us about the culture we grew up in, and not only did he give us free food at the time, he gave us more: Chiken skins (yes, just fried skins), and sinigang (a sweet and sour soup).

It was a great experience just being there and being treated as a true friend. Emily also enjoyed the food, well most of it. We finished eating and dropped by the 7 Eleven a block away, we came back with some cash and still paid for the free food.(Which void's it's validity of being free.) In the bigger picture, it's a business, and the gesture was good. I don't mean to nullify grace, the grace really was the sentiment behind the free food and the hospitality of this good man and not the consumed food. All of which we appreciated. We enjoyed our time spent there.

We left "My Mom's Bakery," (which isn't my mom's bakery...) and were on our way back to the Wilshire and Vermont subway station. As we were walking back we talked a bit about how there wasn't much that distinguished Filipino town, but that was probably because we were in the wrong part of town, the normal part, not the touristy part of town. We finally got to Wilshire and Vermont. Em was resilient, she wasn't tired at all. I asked her if she felt awake, and she said, "Yes..." I told her that Filipino food is usually high in cholesterol, so she'll be feeling sleepy in a bit.

We were in the subway station at this time, just waiting and talking. We heard a sound, the train above our level arrived and departed. A few minutes later, our train arrived... it wasn't our train, before getting on, I sensed that the train was headed north and I asked a stranger what direction that train was going on, and it was headed north... He told us the train we wanted was upstairs.

We hurriedly started running up the stairs, running each step then every two steps. We finally reached the second level... We were aware that we missed our train and we just asked ourselves, "...why did we run up the stairs?" So we waited again, then I asked Em how she felt, if she felt sleepy. She said yes, and I said, it's the food. Shortly after, the train had arrived and about eight minutes later, we were in the Los Angeles Union Station.

We were ready to leave L.A. then, we approached the ticket booth to purchase tickets... and there were no trains coming. We had missed the last train headed back to Fullerton by ten minutes. We called Mr. Winter and told him where we were, then we spent time in the outside square, where there's a fountain, it was beautiful. We spent our time memorizing the top half nations of the continent of Africa. Until Em's dad came and chaperoned us back to Fullerton. He's such a great father.

It was an amazing evening, I can't imagine spending the evening with anyone else.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photos: Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards Night

Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards

Last week, we had a great time as a college ministry, watching short music videos made by our friends. I'm currently working on photographs I took of the occasion... here's a preview... not the best ones of the bunch but... might as well show these two for now.

Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards

New Pads and Rotors

Brake Pad

About a month ago, I started hearing a creaking noise while driving. Mostly while applying pressure on the brakes to stop... a few weeks go by and the creaking becomes somewhat louder, to a scraping, scratching sound. The kinds of sounds you wouldn't want to drive your car around in. I drove with those sounds, drove my friends with those sounds, drove my girlfriend a few times in those sounds.

Rotor

That first picture you see is what had become of the brake pad on the 98' Corolla. In other words, what had been left of one of the brake pads on the Corolla. The second picture is the damage from that brake pad. The grooves on the rotor remind of the ring around Saturn or an old beat-up scratched up record. The wear on the rotors have been so much that I can estimate that the original thickness was around a third of an inch, and what had been left was about an eighth of an inch on the inner part of the rotor. Needless to say, it was bad. It had been somewhat of a blessing in that I drove more carefully everywhere, I'm driving way more safer now.1

So the brakes needed to be worked on. I had already been offered help by two friends that could have most likely helped me by this weekend, September 5th, but unbeknown to me, that would have been too late. Sunday evening, Emily recieved a text message from her father. He was offering to help out on Monday evening after work. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to work with such a great man. I said "yes!" and Em just smiled and excitedly replied, "cool, okay, I'll txt' him tomorrow moring."

Monday, August 31st, had come around and I drove my car with the scraping sounds that it's had for weeks now, it seemed to be normal for me then. I had gotten to work safely. While at work Mr. Winter and I had a brief conversation about the parts that would be required for the job, the difficulty of it and his experience with brake pad replacements. He had called the local Autozone in the area and reserved a few parts for me, so I dropped by after work and picked them up.

The Horror and Hope

Coming up the hill toward their home, making a turn the sound of my brake pads became a terrible howling sound. I was making the turn and unintentionally letting everyone know I was coming. It was so loud that Mrs. Winter was picking up mail and she heard me coming. I was sitting in my car trying to park it... all I can say is parallel parking with howling brakes feels ten times longer than it really is.

Shortly after, Mr. Winter, then Emily, my amazing girlfriend, arrived then we had dinner. After dinner Mr. Winter and I started working on the car. I came out the house and saw the car parked in the garage. We jacked the car up, took off the wheels, took a look at the rotors and calipers. The first one we had taken off was the right caliper, and found only one brake pad within it.

We proceeded to work on the brakes and got the rotors off, and what had been left of all the brakepads... all of the parts looked like those you see in this post. It was horrific. We then put everything back together. Everything came back together easier than it was to take off. The moment of truth came around and I drove the car around the block. There was only one sound... a little "peep" on full pressure to brake.

Many thanks to Mr. Winter for helping me out with my brakes, I thank God so much for giving us that time. If I drove straight home that day, I would have been in danger of not being able to brake sufficiently.

1I referred to it in the Case of the Mondays post.