May 082010

I’ve been woefully neglecting this blog. My days and nights have been filled BaconCamp, a collaborative experience involving bacon. Proceeds go to the San Francisco Food Bank. More info here.

This is my ipad covered in a bacon gelaskin. I love it.

Tomorrow will be a day full of fatty pork.

 Posted by at 5:45 am
Apr 052010

It was cold and rainy all day today. I was going to hide eggs in the house and have a little hunt, but I got attacked by cute poofy chicks! Ahhh!

Poofy chicks want revenge! on Youtube

Special thanks to Dennis, who did a wonderful job as General Beakless and Jen who gave me the poofy chicks. Who knew they would be such terrors in the house?

Did you notice the salt & pepper shakers? They’re peeps!!! Given my lifelong obsession with peeps, I had to have this adorable tableware by Lenox. My dream vacation would to have a private tour of the Just Born factory. I’ll definitely be scooping up a few extra peeps tomorrow to last me the rest of the year.

Feb 172010

Hey Atlas

Macworld was tiny this year in comparison to previous years. I was able to see all the booths in about an hour, and that included dawdling longer than needed at many of them. The above statue is Atlas. Despite all the depictions of Atlas carrying the Earth, in Greek mythology, Atlas held up the heavens & separated it from Earth. I’m not exactly sure what the artist is trying to say with this piece — the iPod could be a representation of heaven (which was divine and far from perfect), or this sort of technology weighs us down. There was a time when I wanted to major in classical mythology.


I made a few videos of all the stuff I saw.

Macworld videos on Youtube

By far the best things I saw was the minidv->HDMI cable from Kanex. It’s not sexy or showy, but this connector allows me to use a mac mini as a media center that I can connect to my HD tv. Hot.

The other noteworthy gadget was the universal remote app for the Iphone. It’s very new and I don’t think it’s out yet. The app will require an infrared iphone case. Without getting into the techy dorky details, some media devices use IR to communicate with the remote, so in order for the iphone to become a universal remote it needs an extra accessory. I have a universal remote at home and it’s pretty confusing to use. The demo of the iphone app makes it look super easy.

Where to purchase the toys in the videos:
Bone flash drives
Joby’s Gorillapod – This is a *must have* for anyone who owns a camera. You can wrap this tripod on anything which makes it much much much easier to take self portraits and long exposure night shots.
Trexta – can’t find a place to buy those amazing little man ipod cases! :( I really want one
iKit kickstand cases – will be available in about a month.

 Posted by at 3:30 am
Feb 022010

This one’s from iJ of us “begging” in front of the apple announcement. It was so much fun!

Oh and she got to go to the reception and TOUCH IT! I went to work. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these things. I can’t stop thinking about it.

 Posted by at 6:28 pm
Jan 272010

anyone? anyone? bueller?

I was hanging outside the Apple announcement today with Justine. We tried but nobody gave us a press pass. Even though we didn’t get to see anything, I’m esploder over the product. They call it the iPad.

hanging out at the announcement on youtube

I’m absolutely thrilled about the new iPad. The wi-fi model is coming in 60 painful days, but I’d have to wait even longer for the 3g model- 90 days! I’m bathing in the kool-aid. Isn’t it lovely?

The skinny:
1/2 inch thick
1.5 pounds
9.7 inch IPS display (some fancy pants type of LCD)
1GHz Apple “A4” chip
speaker & microphone
802.11 wifi
accelerometer & compass

Detailed specs at Apple

What I want to know is, why no camera?

cue heavenly music

 Posted by at 9:21 pm
Jan 122010

A trip through CES on Youtube

This is a little bit of everything we did at CES. I was shooting with a Canon 960is which I borrowed from a friend. I have since purchased and received it just in time for Mexico. (Yep, I’m currently in Mexico.) The touch screen at the Intel booth was absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun. It was running the Intel Core 7 chip. Fancy!

The 3d tvs were amazing. I put on a pair of glasses, and then realized that hundreds of people have been putting them on their faces. Eww! I blame my giant face pimple on those glasses. I saw a lot of devices that made it easier to mirror content from your computer to your tv. Watch out, cable tv. The now is watching streaming content from the computer.

Justine participated in the Build your own pc race. It was so much fun. Next year we are totally going to try to win. We also rode The Big Shot in the Stratosphere. It was a freefall ride at the tippy top of the Stratosphere. I’ve never done this kind of ride before and I seriously regretted it as I was getting strapped in. Turns out, the anticipation is the worst, and it was a lot of fun.

We also stopped by the It won’t stay in Vegas party where I saw Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton. Eeep! They were completely surrounded by a massive crowd of fans and I was afraid I was going to get trampled.

Justine made a ton of videos from CES, so check them out here. The pc race one is great.

I saw some amazing new tech and had a fantastic time. I’m already looking at going next year.

 Posted by at 5:13 pm
Dec 022009


My friend Hans passed away last week. For those who don’t know him, my meager words could not capture the essence of his greatness. He is a man with a huge heart and an unparalleled zest for life. I haven’t spent much time putting my thoughts into words – I could not bear to look at them. I’ve been having trouble pinning down how I feel. The sweet memories of him are all jumbled up with the pain of his loss. Today I decided to jot down a few ideas for his life celebration (funeral is too macabre for my taste).

I got so excited about the idea of working on celebration that for a second I forgot that Hans was dead. I wanted to call him and say, “Hans! I have so many ideas you’ll love and I want tell you all about them. I love you!” Then I remembered that we were doing all of this because he was gone, and I couldn’t call him anymore. Incredible waves of sadness.

For that one second, though it truly felt like he was here; as if he would give his big hearty laugh and say, “Sure Karen. What can I do to help?”. He lives on in my thoughts still and I don’t want that to ever ever change. I feel truly blessed to know this loving gentle Viking. I can only honor his memory by doing what he does best – living life to the fullest.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family you love them. You won’t regret saying it too many times, but you may regret not saying it enough.

 Posted by at 12:55 am
Nov 042009

Fantastico! on youtube

I made edited this movie in 10 minutes on the bus on my iphone. I know you’re impressed.

Reeldirector trimming a clip

ReelDirector video editing iphone application ($7.99)

holy crap, you can string a series of clips together on your freaking phone
good variety of transitions, although you only really need fade and dissolve for most movies
rendering was pretty fast

Room for improvement:
clipping or expanding a clip after the first trimming
overlay audio – either a song or a voice over
include pictures
preview the entire movie before rendering
split a clip – turn one clip into two

Sad panda:
My movie rendered in tallscreen mode. I’m really disappointed the program didn’t correctly detect the orientation of the videos.
Can’t change to high quality option after you start adding clips

Verdict: Not worth $8 yet, but hopefully they’ll have less buggy versions soon.

In depth:
When you open the app, you are presented with a list of your projects. It takes some experimentation to figure out what each field does, but it all makes sense after playing with it.

Be sure to select high quality mode when you start – you can’t select it later. I can’t imagine why you’d want a low quality version, since the iphone camera is pretty low resolution to start with, but the default is off.


Once you’re in the edit screen you’re presented with a mostly intuitive interface. Select the add button and you are presented with the videos from your library. The trimming feature on the clip is well done. Hold down the ends of the timeline and the filmstrip expands to allow you to crop with more precision. You must do your cropping in this screen. Once you chose the clip, you cannot re-crop or expand it (pity).

In the filmstrip screen you can easily reorder your clips and add transitions to the beginning and end. The little ball allows you to scroll through all your clips, but it’s so hard to actually touch and drag it that it might as well not exist.

reorder clips



Back at the project screen, I was ready to export my movie. “Create” is a confusing option – I initially thought it meant I wanted to create a new project from my current project screen. Since the other two available options were “Delete” and “Properties”, I decide to try out “Create”. It actually renders the movie. I assume they chose the term “Create” because most users might not know what “render” or “export” means. You can’t share, play or save until you create. Once you “create” the movie, you could preview the entire thing. “Save” writes it to your photos area. This button seems completely unnecessary. Whenever I create a movie, it should save it to my photos area. I don’t need to save a photo every time I take a picture.


The thumbnails on my clips were all upside down. I hoped it was a preview bug, and my movie would be oriented correctly once I “created” it. No such luck.

Video rendered upsidedown

Aside from the orientation bugs, which hopefully be smoothed out in the future, this is a darn cool application.

Sep 192009

It’s been a long time since I’ve written an update.  I have been lax with the movie-making due a whirlwind of activity that has disrupted the flow of video processing.  At this point I have so many things backlogged that I have video constipation.  The best thing to do at this point is probably to just throw everything away and start fresh.

I moved recently.

When I moved in, it was clear that the house next door was abandoned.  A broken and boarded window, grass as tall as me, and a bright green pond I named the West Nile breeding ground.  We threw bars of soap in it.

On my way to work one day I saw an old man in old Lincoln parked in the driveway of the house.  I smiled.  He stepped out.

“Are you the new owners of this place?”  he asked me.
“Yes.  We just moved in, but we’ve been living in the Mission for years.”
“This home,” he gestured “was my mother’s.  I like to check on it every day.  I’ve lived in San Francisco my whole life.”

He tells me about the soccer field across the street – how the balls used to break his window and the players would urinate behind his stairway.  He reminisces about having breakfast with his dear wife.

I wanted to invite him in.  I wanted to have tea with him and listen to all his stories.  The Great Depression, both world wars and another war in Viet Nam, the haven for beatniks, hippies, gays.  He must have lived through many beautiful experiences in the midst of such a center for social and political change. I wanted to soak in this city through him.

But he only speaks of his wife and soccer field.   The pain of her loss has not diminished much in 10 years.  He doesn’t care for the neighborhood because it is “too dirty”, and yet he spends every morning here.  Sometimes he sits inside the house, gazing out the window and I wonder what memories he sees.

He may never tell me about drinking with Kerouac at Vesuvio, or campaigning for Harvey Milk, or hiking through the mountains with Ansel Adams.  Nonetheless, I still love to hear him talk about holding his wife as she passed on and how the soccer balls broke several of his windows.

 Posted by at 11:15 am