Malia is almost 1 year old

By next week my baby girl will celebrate her 1 year birthday.  She can walk, practically run, use sign language for dada, baby, book, dog, bath, sleep and many more, say a few words like 'dada' and 'nana', crinkle her nose, smile to show her 6 teeth and giggles whenever she does fun things like go to the beach, play with the kitty cat, and sing in the bathtub.  The cutest thing is that she actually dances and has rhythm like her mama and gives big hugs upon request!  Babies are great!


Macy Mullen Wins Heat 11 of Pro/Am Round 1

Rob Machado wins Heat 10 of Pro/Am Round 1

Contest Venue Northside, Huntington Beach Pier

I woke this morning to near perfect surf, perfect sunny skies,  and some of the best pro surfers in the world surfing my backyard.  Standouts Rob Machado and Macy Mullen were best in their heats and advanced on to Round 2.  

Other heat winners included: Local favorite Brett Simpson, Bruno Rodrigues, Shaun Ward, Adam Virs, Eric Geiselman, Jeff Deffenbaugh, Kolohe Andino, Ryan Carlson, Jesse Evans, Brandon Tipton, & Nick Rosza.  Look forward to more action on Wednesday,  that is unless the Surf goes flat...

All Images shot with Pentax K20d and DA* 300 f4

A Warm Day in Sunny California

I know the rest of the nation is freezing,  but here in Southern California,  it is just like any other day.  Warm Santa Ana winds,  and an encroaching WNW Swell will make this weekend epic.  

*all images shot with Pentax K20 and DA* 200 f2.8

The Best High School in the State of California

This past summer,  my wife and I attended our 20 year reunion and were happy to catch up with old friends.  We took the time to take this photo in front of our Alma mater.

Just today, A friend of mine and alumni from the same High School forwarded this to my inbox. It's always nice to know that your roots continue to strive well after you have gone on.  Whitney High School,  in Cerritos California,  continues to dominate the world of academic preparation continually being named one of the top schools in the nation,  and consistently holding the prestigious title: "Best academic prep school in the state of California".

from Prashant Gopal, Business Week, January 15, 2009:

Do you know where the best schools in your state are? With home prices falling, this might be a good time for parents to start looking for a home close to a great school. We have some suggestions. worked with GreatSchools, a San-Francisco-based nonprofit organization that rates schools and provides an online community for parents, and came up with the best high schools in each state in a number of different categories. We identified the best overall public high school in terms of test scores, the best public high school with an economically-disadvantaged population, and the Best Improved public high school. Here are the best high schools in the biggest states in the U.S.


Best Overall Academic Performance: Gretchen Whitney High School
Town: Cerritos
GreatSchools rating: 10/10

Best Low Income: Preuss School UCSD
Town: La Jolla
GreatSchools rating: 8/10

Best Improved: Palo Alto High School
Town: Palo Alto
GreatSchools rating: 9/10

CES 2009

Despite the slowing economy, the show must go on and CES 2009 came and went with a few obvious differences.  

Less foot traffic:

As with previous shows, the wait for a cab is typically a nightmare.  This show was different, Last year I had to wait over 2 hours to get a cab from the airport to my hotel.  The queue was a nightmare wherever you went, but in 2009 with less attendees, it was the cabs who ended up waiting in line for a fare.


Opening day did not have its stampede of media, exhibitors, vendors, sales reps, or consumers but the event was still well traveled.   According to Jeff Bertoluci of PC World: 

"Last week's tech gadget extravaganza in Sin City drew an estimated 110,000 attendees, down 22 percent from last year's audited total of 141,150, according to the Consumer Electronics Association." Read more here.


Some of the big players opted for intimate meetings within luxurious hotel suites, as opposed to expansive booths.  This made more practical sense for Photo Companies, being that PMA 2009 is just around the corner in March.

These are my observations and delights from CES 2009.  A few pointers for those who intend to visit in the future:

1. Research beforehand, the products you are interested in and their locations within the convention hall.

 2. Attack with a strategy and a plan each day.  If you wander around aimlessly you may leave the convention feeling that you don’t remember a thing. 

 3. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.  Otherwise, by days end you might find yourself pretty exhausted.

Here are a random collection of things I found interesting at the show…

I really enjoyed the LG booth,  a nice display and layout drew a heavy crowd.

LED flat panels were all the rage.  It seemed that the bulk of the show was a showdown between who makes the best Flat Panel TV,  with everyone claiming to be the "thinnest."

Wireless flat panels for the computer.  I started to wonder... at the rate at which these monitors are going ever so thin, where do you keep the wires?  LG's solution was to make there flat panels with wireless connectivity,  save for the power cord.

I found the Sling Media booth and their "Sling" box to be one of the most interesting items. It basically allows the user the ability to control their DVR device from anywhere in the world via Computer or mobile phone.  

Since I am often traveling abroad,  and miss my favorite TV show "House" or the NFL season, this device allows me to watch these shows real time, or at my leisure via recording and viewing over a high speed internet connection.  So,  no matter where I am in the world,  I can sulk at any moment watching my beloved Cowboys fall deeper into collapse. 

the Slingbox Solo

the Slingbox Pro-HD (rear view)

the LENSPEN original:

A photographer's tool which may prove to be indispensable. One of the most effective ways to clean your optics.  

Why I love the lenspen:

1. Safe: use on all optical lenses, LCD, plasma, and glass surfaces

2. Effective: nothng removes oily fingerprints and dust better

3. Convenient: compact size, no liquids, and easy to use

4. Custom Design: unique designs and shapes for each application

5. Long Life: Cannot dry out, unaffected by temperature and each pen has a lifespan of up to 500 cleanings.

With a patented carbon compound,  the secret is in the chamois tip.  The carbon molecles have a unique ability to absorb huge amounts of oils and contaminants.

-from the Lenspen press kit.

Golla personal electronics bags from Finland:

With a standout booth presence and clever looking bags Golla made a great first impression with innovative bag design and progressive colors.

Gender specific bags and accessories.  This year at CES there was a noticeable trend toward catering to female buying power.  It has ben reported that most of the purchasing influence for electronic gadgets and accessories happens to come from women.  According to Tom's Guide:
"At a panel discussion at CES called “Thinking about Sex and Electronics,” a design firm called Smart Design aimed to help manufacturers understand why the vast majority of women feel alienated by many tech products on the market. After all, nobody wants to miss out on this vast opportunity: Women buy 57% of all consumer electronics and influence 90% of all tech purchases."

Some really refreshing items from the innovators at PENTAX:

With the female market consciously in mind, and keeping along with forward minded direction,  Pentax Imaging has come up with a nifty little gem that had mixed reception when announced a few months back,  but I'm sure will prove to exceed all expectations this sales year and cater to a wider market then initially planned.  

The K2000 and more specifically the white K2000,  affectionately dubbed the "stormtrooper's camera"  might draw a following from Star Wars geeks, Hobbyist Moms, and simply everyone who wants to be unique.  Going along with Pentax USA's new tagline, be interesting... this little tech marvel is truly an interesting tool, gadget, or accessory.

The Pearly White K2000, 18-55, & 50-200

My thoughts on the K2000...

"It has rapidly become my most favorite camera to travel and shoot with.  Its compact, its simple to use,  but able-bodied enough to have pro features that a seasoned veteran would require.  As a travel-lifestyle photographer, its refreshing to know that i can travel with a kit so small and lightweight.  Couple the K2000 with a set of DA Pancake Limiteds and you have enough tools to get the job done." -MD

Here is a quote from Nilay Patel over at endgadget: 

"Let's just say this straight out: the white Pentax K2000 is one of the hottest DSLRs we've ever seen. It's seriously lustworthy. Considering how great the reviews have been, we'd say it's definitely worthy of a spot on your list if you're in the market."

one of my favorite shots with the k2000:

The Pentax Optio P70

The lightest Optio in the Pentax line,  with 12 mega pixels and wide angle coverage (28-112mm) this ultra slim pocket cam is well built with a durable feel. The white p70 would be the perfect companion to the white K2000

Finally,  a return to my hotel for some relaxation...

Relaxing at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.