Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sprint to Offer Free FaceTime Over Wireless

From AppleInsider:

While AT&T hasn't confirmed or denied whether it will be charging for the upcoming FaceTime over cellular iOS feature, Sprint says it will offer the service for free when the next-gen mobile OS launches this fall. 
In a report regarding AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's recent statements pertaining to a rumored fee for over-the-air video chat capabilities, The Wall Street Journalreported that a Sprint spokeswoman confirmed her carrier would be keeping with its unlimited model and is expected to offer the service free of charge.

I'm very seriously considering switching to Sprint now that they have the iPhone and don't seem interested in nickel and diming iPhone customers for the very reasons that people want to buy an iPhone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

"There are two kinds of people in America - the people who sign the checks on the front and the people who sign the checks on the back."

-Bill Whittle

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Star Spangled Banner Rocks

This rendition by a band called Madison Rising is the most awesome version of the Star Spangled Banner I've heard since I first heard the Hendrix version.  Perfect for listening really, really (really) loud.

Monday, July 16, 2012

RIP: Donald J. Sobol


Donald J. Sobol, creator of the Encyclopedia Brown series for children, died at age 87 on July 11. Over the course of his mystery writing career, which began in 1959 with Two-Minute Mysteries, Sobol wrote more than 65 books and won a special Edgar Award in 1976.

Encyclopedia Brown books were among my favorite when I was little, and have recently become a favorite of my daughter's as well.  And in a few years, I hope to spend time reading them with my son, as well.

Obama: Be Grateful, For Your Government Has Given You Everything

From the UK Daily Mail (among others):

President Barack Obama said in a speech at the weekend that governments and not individuals create jobs, telling entrepreneurs: 'If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.'
He added: 'You didn't get there on your own.  I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.'  
He continued: 'If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.
'Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you've got a business - you didn't build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  
'The Internet didn't get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.'

President Obama is making the case for full-on Socialism here.  He's telling us - you and me - that we are nothing and have nothing and can do nothing unless the government allows it to be so - that we're basically wards of the state.

Memo to President Obama: where do you think the government got the money to build the roads that you so graciously built for us?  Where does funding for the military come from that built the internet?  It came from the people.  It came from small - and large - businesses and the taxpayers of the United States.  

The government does not make money on its own. It derives its power and its funding from the citizens of the United States. The government - any government - does not build roads or infrastructure out of sheer benevolence, either.  It does not do so for government employees or use only.  It does so because it allows for free trade and commerce, which in turn allows for more money to flow into government coffers.

Your ideas and rhetoric are insulting.  I have worked for small businesses and none of them were successful because of the government.  In fact, sometimes they were successful in spite of the government.  They were successful because they offered goods and services that people wanted to pay money for and worked long hours and many years to either build a market for those services or to claw their way into that market.

Your ideas and rhetoric are chilling to the successful mindset of entrepreneurs in the United States.  By belittling the success of small businessmen and women in the US, you do not make future entrepreneurs want to work hard to be successful.  You undermine their success and dispirit their ambition.

I, for one, plan on owning a successful small business (again) someday. And I will get there with my own talent an initiative, not with government handouts.  In fact, I could be a lot more successful if I got to keep more of the money I earn, instead of having to send 30 percent of it to Washington in the form of self-employment taxes.  That money would allow me to build my business faster and to feed my family and to buy more products and services. 

You, sir, are a cancer on country and on our economy and on the morale of our nation.  Not only do I hope you are defeated in November, I hope you are defeated in embarrassing margins and are run out of town in a landslide of epic proportions.

I reject your silly ideas of government benevolence and I hope that the voters of our country show you just how stupid you are very, very soon.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Get 'Em Out!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Drinking Superman

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shooting Fireworks

Last night to celebrate Independence Day, we went to dinner in the small country town of Hempstead at the home of some friends from church.  We and another family from church had a great dinner, some really fun conversation and the kids had a - dare I say it - legendary time playing in mud and water in the back yard.

Then sunset came and time for the fireworks.  I've been reading a lot of tutorials this week about how to shoot fireworks, so I decided to give it a shot.  I've never tried to shoot fireworks before (well, not since I've had any kind of clue about photography, anyway), so I was pretty excited about it.

We headed to the outskirts of town to a hill where we would have a good view of the show.  And we waited for the fun to start.

The scene was picturesque.  I opened the shutter at f/1.8 at 8 seconds and got a pretty decent shot of what we were looking at.  It was a beautiful night  - the bugs weren't bad, it had cooled off from the day and a light breeze was blowing.  The perfect evening for fireworks in the country!

When the show started, it turned out that there was a large oak tree that was blocking a lot of the fireworks that were lower to the ground, but the larger ones would burst perfectly over the tree.  Our friends lamented that the tree was blocking some of the fireworks, but I loved it because it gave me a foreground element to add some interest to the frame.  A black frame full of fireworks isn't as interesting as a frame with other elements to set the scene.

Then something cool happened.  The full moon started rising behind the very same clump of trees that were framing the fireworks.  Because I was shooting long exposures, I knew that the moon would be blown out in the shots, but I thought it looked awesome anyway.

Anyway, these are my first attempts at shooting fireworks.  These are pretty much straight out of thre camera - no processing, except for a little crop.  It was a lot of fun, and definitely something I'm going to do again.

And this was a 33 second exposure of the grand finale:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Brief Note...

Earlier this year I decided that I was going to try to keep political content and commentary to a minimum on Destructoville.  I have strong opinions, and it doesn't always fit well with some of the other more silly and geeky and work-related design and photography content that I like to post.

But yesterday has changed my mind.  I started Destructoville as my own personal sounding board - as a place where I can post about anything I find interesting and where I can get things off my chest and rant and rant (and rant) until my heart is content.  I've begrudgingly passed up on some choice Grade A rants in the past few months because of my promise to myself tho limit the political stuff here.

But the fact is that I see the country going in all sorts of directions around me that I either don't agree with or that I find downright offensive.  And it's also an election year.  And I cannot hold my tongue any longer.

So from here out, you can bet that there will be a lot more political ranting here.  I make no apologies.  If you're here for something else, God Bless you.  Please skim past the political posts and look at the others - those will still be forthcoming as well.  I know that we don't all hold the same political views - and I've found that many people in the creative field hold the exact opposite viewpoints as myself.  But I must be true to who I am and what makes me tick.  A being a God and Texas and Country loving Conservative is a big, big part of who I am.

Thank you for reading my little blog, whoever you may be.

Play ball!

They've Got Us Completely Surrounded ... Poor Bastards.