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June 2009 Archives

"a short story about recession, attraction, and data visualization"

That's the subtitle of Robin Sloan's short story, Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store. He left out its Gaiman-esque magical realism tone (except geekier). It's delightful!

The Bad Beginning, Mouse Kills Tiger, and other friend's bands

My first attempt at a band promo photo, and also my first attempt at a posed photo using off-camera flash; click to view it larger:

The Bad Beginning - Waiting with Sheep

Thanks to Praveen for holding the flash for me (at camera right). That's what gives their faces that painterly feel. Also, the sheep had actually wandered off by the time I shot this, so I had to photoshop them in from a previous test shot. :P

Here's a Reservoir Dogs style shot:

The Bad Beginning - Walking

And here's another shot that I used off-camera flash on, this time holding the flash in my left hand while shooting with my right; click to view larger:

The Bad Beginning - Look over there!

I like the first one the best. Must be the sheep. :)

Here's the full set from the shoot, and here's The Bad Beginning's MySpace page.

* * *

A few days earlier, I went to their show at the Retox Lounge, where a bunch of their friends played, too. Here is Prof. René Lysoff playing spacey electronic music:

René Lysloff @ Retox Lounge

I tried to give it that new Star Trek lens flare look. (That bright light at the bottom right is my flash.)

I liked how these shots of Husni (guitarist for Orkes Pantai Barat) and DJ Chris Beale turned out:

Orkes Pantai Barat @ Retox Lounge    DJ Chris Beale @ Retox Lounge

And of course, a couple of shots of The Bad Beginning:

The Bad Beginning @ Retox Lounge    The Bad Beginning @ Retox Lounge

Here's the full set from Retox Lounge.

* * *

A couple of weeks earlier, I saw my high school friend Miles perform as they toured in San Francisco. He drummed for Mouse Kills Tiger [MySpace]:

Mouse Kills Tiger @ Kimo's in San Francisco    Mouse Kills Tiger @ Kimo's in San Francisco

Here's Mouse Kills Tiger's lead singer Jens:

Mouse Kills Tiger @ Kimo's in San Francisco

And a spectator watching them:

Mouse Kills Tiger @ Kimo's in San Francisco

Jens also drummed for another band, My Imaginary Friends [MySpace]. Their lead singer, Erin, has a great voice:

My Imaginary Friends @ Kimo's in San Francisco

I feel like this picture looks like something out of an old time musician's biopic or something:

My Imaginary Friends @ Kimo's in San Francisco

:) Another spectator shot. I like the colors:

My Imaginary Friends @ Kimo's in San Francisco

Here's the full set from Mouse Kills Tiger and My Imaginary Friends.

* * *

At Miles' show, I met a friend of his, Alice Tong [MySpace]. She performed later that week at a condo complex in Oakland that's doing events like this as promotions:

Alice Tong @ Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland

Alice Tong @ Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland

I like this shot of her cellist:

Alice Tong's Cellist @ Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland

Next up were Michelle Jasso, an opera singer, and dj fflood, calling themselves The Diva and the DJ:

The Diva & The DJ (Michelle Jasso & dj fflood) Debut Performance @ Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland

The Diva & The DJ (Michelle Jasso & dj fflood) Debut Performance @ Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland    The Diva & The DJ (Michelle Jasso & dj fflood) Debut Performance @ Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland

Their music was inspired by the blue alien diva scene from The Fifth Element [YouTube]! Jasso doesn't have a public page yet, but here's fflood's MySpace page.

And finally, here's the full set from Golden Bridge Lofts in Oakland.

How to use a rebate debit card

Companies are always trying to find ways of minimizing the number of people who actually cash in their rebates. Especially popular these days is issuing rebate debit cards instead of checks. If you don't use all the money at once, it's a pain to properly use up. You might have to ask the cashier to put $X on this card and the rest in cash or on another card... and you had better know exactly how much is left on the card! To add insult to injury, the one I just got has an expiration date of 9/09. I only have 3 months to use it all up, or it expires!

So ideally, you'd use it all up right away, paying exactly the amount on the card. But how? One idea I saw was to buy a gift certificate (which usually has more lenient expiration dates, at least), but that still requires you to go somewhere and remember to do it, and it forces you to buy more stuff at that store. Here's my preferred solution:

Use it to pay your cell phone bill online. Even if you just paid for the month, cell phone companies typically let you overpay and get some credit (useful when going on long vacations), so you can just dump the full exact amount of your rebate debit card in, and pay that much less on your next bill! The money you save is as good as cash-in-hand.* Also, you can do this immediately upon receiving the card, minimizing your chances of forgetting to use it. Finally, your cell phone bill is something you were already planning to pay anyway, so you're not forced to buy more stuff that you didn't really need.

*One caveat is that you still won't get any rewards or rebates when you use one of these cards that you could have with your regular credit card, but that's a difference of only a buck or two with most rebates anyway.

About June 2009

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in June 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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