Shrek the Halls, Shopping, Back Pain and More

Tonight (Wed, 11/28/07) is the premiere of Shrek the Halls – a Shrek themed Christmas special airing on ABC at 8pm (in all time zones, so the east coast will see it 3 hours before I do). Katy has been working on this for the past 6-8 months and I got to see it a couple of weeks ago at their wrap party. It’s going to be really good. I enjoyed it when I watched it at the party and even then I could barely hear everything since they turned the volume up so loud that it hurt my ears. The storyline is pretty cute and I was glad that Dreamworks decided to make it have a good moral to the story: that the holidays are about spending time with all of your family! Anyways, make sure to watch it tonight at 8pm on ABC. Katy and I are throwing a Shrek the Halls party at my apartment. A bunch of people are coming over and we’ll watch it in HD on my big tv. I’m supposed to have class until 9pm but my professor said I could give my presentation and then leave early! Yay!

Katy and I have been interested in photography for a while and we’ve been meaning to take an Introduction to Digital Photography class for a while. I started getting annoyed that my dinky point and shoot camera wasn’t taking pictures as nice as I wanted so I spent about a month researching Digital SLRs (DSLR). There’s basically 2 entry level DSLR’s (The Canon XTI and the Nikon D40X) with a 3rd just a wee bit more expensive (Nikon D80). After all my research I decided to go with the Nikon D80. A couple of the stores were selling good deals on the kits but I decided I wanted to get the mid-range lenses and wasn’t going to waste my money on the crappy kid lenses. Amazon had a small sale (about $50 off) on the camera so I decided to purchase it last week. I also ordered 2 lenses: an 18-70mm as well as a 70-300mm VR (Vibration Reduction, aka Image Stabilization) lens. I’ve also be trying to teach myself how to edit the photos using software after they are taken. I originally started learning how to use Apple’s Aperature but have since decided to switch to Adobe Lightroom. These programs allow me to adjust the colors, bring out the shadows or highlights, sharpen the image, and more. Point and shoot cameras tend to do this automatically for you when they compress the image into a JPG. DSLR’s are nice because you can shoot in RAW (the original color info from the sensor) format and then use your computer (with better processing power) to manipulate the image in higher quality. I’m pretty pumped (as you can tell).

I did something really strange to my upper back and it’s been really bothering me the past couple of days. I’m not sure how I did it but I stood up from work around 2pm on Monday and could barely stand up or walk. It seemed to get better yesterday although it’s been bothering me today. Normally I would expect my lower back to be in pain but the pain is right below my shoulder blade. Advil seemed to help a lot but since I thought it was getting better I didn’t’ take any this morning. BIG MISTAKE!

My project for my Space Systems Design class that I’m taking at Santa Clara University is due today. I decided to do my project on Orbital Servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope. Basically, Hubble is designed so that the Space Shuttle can go up and fix anything on the telescope. It’s pretty neat beacuse the whole design is based on Orbital Replacement Units (ORU’s) that can be swapped out just by opened doors and replacing the parts inside or pulling out a drawer and putting in a new one. Most of the components can be replaced if they fail and all of the science instruments can be pulled out and new, better ones can be put in. Most satellites are designed with redundant systems and if something fails, the backup kicks in. Hubble has these too but since it is so complex the only way to keep it working for 20 years is with Orbital Servicing. In fact, about half the science instruments are down right now and need the final service mission in 2008. We have to prepare a 4 minute presentation and a 3 page paper. Notice I didn’t say “PowerPoint Presentation” because I didn’t do it in PowerPoint. I decided to use Apple’s equivalent called Keynote. I have never used it before and I thought it would be a good time to start (since everyone raves about how nice it is). It took a little while to get used to the change in UI from PowerPoint but I think I’ve figured out how to do almost everything. Apple really makes the presentations looks much much much nicer than PowerPoint presentations. The transitions are beautiful, the image manipulation is nice (it can add really sharp looking borders and frames to pictures), and the font smoothing makes the text much nicer to read. For my paper, I also decided to use Apple’s word processor called Pages. It’s a lot like word but I’ve found it much easier to organize your documents and make things pretty. Pages really made it easy to turn my paper into a really sharp looking report. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! It was actually really hard to make my presentation only 4 minutes and my paper only 3 pages. There was so much I wanted to talk about! Oh well, I got it done.

OK, I should prob. get back to work!


Update (Dec 17, 2007): Here’s Katy’s name in the credits at the end of Shrek the Halls!

Shrek the Halls

2 Responses to “Shrek the Halls, Shopping, Back Pain and More”

  1. toast Says:

    i watched it, just because you told me to. it was cute!

  2. toast Says:

    oh, and that is SO exciting about your new camera! I thought about getting an DSLR, but I didn’t think I was up to it right now. it’s so much more effort than a point and shoot! (obviously!) I want to hear all about it though.

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