Damn Lies

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Statistics come courtesy of Google Analytics.

Yesterday we were “stumbled upon”. The social networking site Stumbleupon.com sent Sleeping Wolves more visitors in 1 day than the site normally has in a full month. It won’t last, but it’s fun while it does, good exposure for this humble photography site. (no pun intended).

I’m not a “Stumbler” and don’t really have any plans to become one because I’m definitely not a social networking type. It seems like an interesting concept however and I guess I will at least check it out.

On a related note, for what it’s worth, Google now ranks Sleeping Wolves in the top 100 results for the search string “Nature and Travel Photography”. This is out of over 1 million results. The exact ranking was #76. Remove the quotes and it does plummet though!

:)

Temptation

Just got my year-end performance results at the office. I now have to decide what to do with my annual bonus. Should I spend it on something foolish like food, rent, or shelter? Or do I blow it all away on toys!

How about neither. How about I give in to the urge to buy myself a new camera though. Not really looking for a replacement, just a second body. This would allow me to carry two bodies with two different lenses in the field. For example one could have a wide angle, the other a telephoto.

What would I buy? My first choice would be a Nikon D3. But I’m not into Photography for the money, just for the fun, so at about $5,000 the D3 is too expensive – unless I start selling my photos to recoup the investment. This leaves the excellent D300. Stay tuned to see if temptation gets the better of me and I take the plunge. Photos below courtesy of Nikon USA.

The Good, The Bad…

Ever thought of building your own computer? Or do you prefer to plunk down your hard-earned cash to buy some off-the-shelf junk? If the former, here’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of building your own computer.

The Good
– Do your homework before you start. In my case, I took several months just to research and identify the best components. In the end, unless you can afford to blow 10 grand on a computer, you will likely need to compromise. For this project, it was a balance between high performance, bang for the buck, and staying within budget (approximately $5000).

– Have someone assist you, even if it’s just for the company. I had my brother participate. It took about 4 or 5 hours to assemble this Dream PC from scratch. He’s an exceptionally talented handyman so he was very helpful, particularly when it came to resolve installation problems.
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Size Matters

My latest toy, the newest addition to the family, a fun and challenging PC project. This system was assembled from scratch with hand picked components, in about 5 hours. If I had to do it again I could shave a couple hours off – this was my first do it yourself build so I took my time to get it right.

The Lian Li Server Case houses all the good stuff. As you can see from the center photo, it’s one big mother – I placed the Canada Dry can next to it to provide some perspective.

On the left, the Asus Maximus Formula motherboard. On the right, one of the many components that populate this monster, the Creative Xtreme Gamer Sound Card. This is a dual boot rig with XP as the primary OS and Vista as the secondary OS, each on its own HDD.

Some visible details (click for full size) from the center photo. Quadrants refer to case.
Top Left Quadrant: 2 optical drives and 1 floppy disk drive
Top Right Quadrant: Motherboard, expansion cards, Intel Core 2 Quad CPU
Bottom Left Quadrant: Intake fan, 3 Hard Disk Drives – boots from a 150 GB Raptor
Bottom Right Quadrant: Copper coloured PC Power & Cooling PSU – 750 Watts (825 Watts Peak)

Banff 08

Banff, Alberta: Feb 13th – Feb 14th, 2008.

Should I feel ashamed? That’s two trips in a row, both of them to photo-friendly locations in Western Canada, and I don’t take along my camera equipment? Not even a tiny little Canon PowerShot? So what gives dude?

Nah, no reason to feel bad nor guilty. This was another one of those “fly out, do what it is I do, and fly back” journeys. Once more the weather was less than obliging at departure. A heavy duty snow storm was burying Montreal, resulting in a one hour flight delay including the deicing, but all clouds have their silver linings. In this case, the later arrival in Calgary made the ensuing ride to Banff that much more enjoyable.

So WTF is Banff?
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