Christmas 2012 Wishlist

Dad asked me to post my Christmas wish list, so here I go. As usual, what follows is links to four separate Amazon wish lists, as my occasional OCD tendencies mean I categorize my greed. Though I don’t expect anyone other than my parents to get me anything…I’ve been surprised in the past, so feel free to indulge! ;)

Dad asked me to post my Christmas wish list, so here I go. As usual, what follows is links to four separate Amazon wish lists, as my occasional OCD tendencies mean I categorize my greed. Though I don’t expect anyone other than my parents to get me anything…I’ve been surprised in the past, so feel free to indulge! ;)

In order from “least expensive and most realistic” to “most expensive and I don’t really expect to get anything from these lists, but it sure would be cool!“…

Part the first: Print media. Books! Words on paper! Physical entertainment that doesn’t need plugs, batteries, or anything more than a little free time and a comfortable place to sit. Any books that got added as hardback are perfectly acceptable as paperback if available; I often add these from reviews from when they first come out and hardback is the only option, but we can fit more paperbacks on our shelves.

Part the second: Movies and Music. Audio and audio-visual stimulation. What’s here is a mix of stuff we don’t have and older stuff that I’d like to upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray, but can’t do on my own because I promised Prairie I wouldn’t spend any money on Blu-ray versions of stuff we already own on DVD. Hence, putting those items on a wish list for when Christmas or birthdays roll around.

Part the third: Electronic Gadgets and Gizmos. Just a few things on here. The top two most recently added items would be nice additions to my DJ kit—I’ve got a great setup for iPad DJing, either of those gadgets would interface with my Mac and let me play there as well.

Part the fourth: Photography Bits. Mostly lenses I’d love to add to my kit, but also a couple accessories that would make playing with video a little easier and higher quality.

So there you are: My (sometimes-)biannual “gee, I wonder if anyone feels like blowing money on someone they may or might know over the internet” post!

2010 Wish List

I took a little time to go through my Amazon wishlists to see what was sitting in there. After a bit of editing (removed some, added one or two items), here’s what I’ve ended up with, in rough order from most realistic (less expensive) to least realistic (most expensive).

Dad asked me (through Mom, via Facebook chat) about my current wish list. I hadn’t been paying much attention to wanting “stuff” lately. Prairie and I do most of our book shopping through second-hand outlets, and my (mostly complete) camera upgrade has done a masterful job of taking care of the majority of my technolust — a good thing, too, as that counts as my Christmas, birthday, and graduation presents combined!

But, as I’d hate to let my parents down, I took a little time to go through my Amazon wishlists to see what was sitting in there. After a bit of editing (removed some, added one or two items), here’s what I’ve ended up with, in rough order from most realistic (less expensive) to least realistic (but hey, that’s the “wish” part of wish lists…and who knows, maybe someone else will go for a major combination über-gift, you never know).

Wishlist #1: Print Media

Books and a few graphic novels. As usual for me, tilts heavily towards science fiction, though I do deviate from time to time.

Wishlist #2: Movies and Music

While I’m collecting far less physical media, there’s still a fair amount of good audio and video that’s not available digitally just yet.

Wishlist #3: Electronic Gadgets and Gizmos

Only two things on this list. The first is the Vestax Spin DJ Controller. While it’s been years since I’ve done much of anything related to DJing, it’s still a bug in my system, and I occasionally get the urge to dink around. Unfortunately, as I sold off my equipment a few years back, its not an itch that’s terribly easy to scratch. This would basically be an expensive toy…but a fun toy to be able to play with from time to time.

The second is the iPad 2. I’ve been lusting after an iPad since they were first released, and the recent upgrade just made them look even sweeter. I’m not terribly concerned about the capacity, wouldn’t mind the 3G option (though you definitely pay a premium for that), but given the choice, black is definitely the way to go. The white one just looks like a toy to me.

Wishlist #3: Photography Bits

And here’s where things are definitely slipping into the realm of “not very likely, but it’s fun to dream.” One accessory for the D7000, and eight lenses that I’d love to add to my stable.

  • Nikon MB-D11 Battery Pack: This is a combination battery pack and portrait grip for the D7000. In addition to allowing the D7000 to hold two batteries at a time, drastically increasing the time before a recharge is necessary, this also makes it more comfortable to hold the camera rotated 90° for portrait-orientation shots.

  • Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye: Not really an everyday walkaround use-all-the-time lens, this is more of a special-purpose lens for dramatic effect shots. Manual focus only, but fisheye lenses tend to have a very deep depth of field, so that’s not a major concern, and omitting a focusing motor keeps the lens lighter and a little less expensive.

  • Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D: Considered by many to be the “perfect” portrait lens (well, perhaps the 85mm f/1.4 should get that designation) due to the medium-range focal length and low aperture.

  • Sigma 30mm f/1.4: A highly reviewed fast lens (good for low-light shooting) that, on an APS-C DSLR like my current D70s or the D7000, is very close to the old standard 50mm f/1.4 “normal” lens that many old film cameras came with.

  • Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G: This is kind of a whim. While most of my shooting is more suited for primes (indoors, close to the subjects, often in lower light), there are times when having a decent zoom lens would come in handy. I have an acceptable midrange zoom (the Quantaray 55-200 f/4-5.6), but this lens has higher quality optics, a longer reach, and vibration reduction. Not at the top of my lust list, but wouldn’t mind having it available.

  • Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D: Not quite as wide of an aperture as the 30mm f/1.4 listed above, but a little bit wider. Again, not at the top of my lust list, as I already have a 24mm f/2.8, and this is only a little bit wider than that, but when shooting indoors, sometimes you can’t back up enough to get what you want in the frame, and even a little bit wider can come in handy.

  • Tamron 70-200 f/2.8: A lower-priced, worthy competitor to Nikon’s 70-200 f/2.8 fast zoom. The combination of a decent zoom range with the low f/2.8 aperture makes for a very capable distance portrait lens that’s able to use low depth of field to isolate subjects from a distance.

  • Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Micro: While this is a nice length for a portrait lens, and I’ve seen it used as such, it’s real strength is in its macro capabilities. Perhaps more of a play lens than an everyday lens.

  • Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8: The higher-quality, and much higher-priced, version of the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 listed earlier.

Been A Good Christmas This Year

I keep hearing and seeing people grumble about this Holiday season. Between the economy sucking everyone’s spare change away and Snowpocalypse 2008 burying the entire Northwest coast under more snow than has been seen in a decade (or more), it seems like _nobody’s_ happy. Well, just to buck the trend, we’re not doing too badly here.

I keep hearing and seeing people grumble about this Holiday season. Between the economy sucking everyone’s spare change away and [Snowpocalypse 2008][1] (that Flickr set is now updated with the rest of my snow photos, by the way) burying the entire Northwest coast under more snow than has been seen in a decade (or more), it seems like _nobody’s_ happy.

[1]: http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwudi/sets/72157611462539965/ “Flickr: Snowpocalypse 2008”

Well, just to buck the trend, we’re not doing too badly here. It’s actually been a very nice Christmas this year. Not that these things didn’t affect us — we had to [scale back on our presents][2] a little bit, I lost a couple day’s worth of pay from work on days when we shut down, and Prairie’s been going a bit stir crazy from being cooped up in the apartment (the school’s on its winter break, so she’s not working, and she let me use the car to get to and from work, as my Alaskan-trained driving skills — _mad_ skillz — served me well) — but it certainly hasn’t been the WORST. CHRISTMAS. EVAR. that it seems to have ended up being for many.

[2]: http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2008/12/08/that-isnt-the-question/ “eclecticism: …that isn’t the question”

When we decided not to go for the HDTV, that freed up a chunk of budget for presents. So, we got a couple “big” things (I got a new stereo, so that when we do replace the TV, we’ve got a stereo that can handle the HDMI switching and all that gibberish; Prairie got a very pretty new shiny to wear) that didn’t add up to nearly as much as the TV would have been, then went to Goodwill and picked up a huge pile of books for each of us for right around $30. Once those were wrapped, plus a few other things we’d picked up here and there (dollar stores are _great_ for silly little stocking stuffers, by the way), we had a huge pile of presents under our tree for around half of our original Christmas budget. Not bad!

Short sidenote: I _love_ going digging for books at Goodwill. I’m a fan of sci-fi short story collections, and will pretty much grab ’em when I see ’em whenever we’re digging through cheap used book selections. This time, I found a real treasure: a 1958 edition of [The Year’s Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy][3] that includes a special section titled “Science-Fiction becomes Science-Fast–Sputnik and beyond” and on the back notes that it includes “A novelette called ‘The Fly’–one of the great horror stories of this or any other year…soon to be a great Twentieth Century-Fox picture in CinemaScope and color.” As much fun for the era it was published in as for the stories inside!

[3]: http://www.librarything.com/work/1995466/39575931 “LibraryThing: SF the Year’s Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy 3rd Annual Volume”

Prairie’s been on her winter break for almost two full weeks now. The company I work for gets really slow and pulls back to a skeleton crew over the holidays, and since I’m “just” the receptionist/admin assistant, I’m not part of that skeleton crew, so I get about a week and a half off of work, from the 25th through Jan. 5th. Lose a little pay, but it’s _really_ nice to have a bit of a Christmas break! So we’re both enjoying having a little mini-vacation time.

I’ve got a couple projects lined up for my downtime: I’m going to try to get caught up on processing photos (I’ve got a fair chunk of stuff from October and November to get through), and Prairie and I are working our way through her shelves of books, adding them to the database [and formally combining our collections][4]. We’re at almost 1,000 books so far, and expect to be fairly easily somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 once everything in the house is entered in.

[4]: http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?view=djwudi&shelf=list&sort=authorunflip&sort=authorunflip “LibraryThing: Our Library”

And that pretty much brings us up to date. Enjoy your holidays, everyone. We are!

Greed and Avarice

In the spirit of the season, I’ve updated my Amazon profile and gone through to sort and reorganize my Amazon Wishlist into five categorized wishlists: Photography Bits, Print Media, Movies and Music, Electronic Gadgets and Gizmos and Random Nifty Bits.

In the spirit of the season, I’ve updated my [Amazon profile][1] and gone through to sort and reorganize my Amazon Wishlist into five categorized wishlists: [Photography Bits][2], [Print Media][3], [Movies and Music][4], [Electronic Gadgets and Gizmos][5] and [Random Nifty Bits][6] (the catchall for whatever doesn’t easily categorize into the other lists).

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fpdp%2Fprofile%2FA19PTE9OZ36NPD%3Fie%3DUTF8%26responseType%3Dinfo%26responseCode%3Detps&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957 “Amazon: djwudi”
[2]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fregistry%2Fregistry.html%3Fie%3DUTF8%26id%3D1PHWNN2CFJBZJ%26ref%255F%3Dcm%255Frna%255Fown%255Fwish%255Flist%26reveal%3Dall&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957 “My Amazon Photography Bits wishlist”
[3]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fregistry%2Fwishlist%2F2JZAXPL7DJXM5%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref%255F%3Dcm%255Fwl%255Frlist%255Fgo&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957 “My Amazon Print Media Wishlist”
[4]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fregistry%2Fwishlist%2F2W0AC00LOXF43%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref%255F%3Dcm%255Fwl%255Frlist%255Fgo&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957 “My Amazon Movies and Music Wishlist”
[5]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fregistry%2Fwishlist%2F1W8ZGIXRKM751%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref%255F%3Dcm%255Fwl%255Frlist%255Fgo&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957 “My Amazon Electronic Gadgets and Gizmos Wishlist”
[6]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fregistry%2Fwishlist%2F1P4IU0ESEJFTS%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref%255F%3Dcm%255Fwl%255Frlist%255Fgo&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957 “My Amazon Random Nifty Bits Wishlist”

Feel free to spoil me as much as you’d like. ;)

…that isn’t the question.

After some reviewing of finances and priorities, Prairie and I decided to stay in Standard Definition for the time being, and save our purchase of a fancy-schmancy new HDTV set for some as-yet undetermined future date.

A couple weeks ago, while planning ahead for our expected Christmas purchases, I asked whether [to Blu or not to Blue][1]. Turns out, contrary to the Bard’s already-mangled quote, that wasn’t the question. After some reviewing of finances and priorities, Prairie and I decided to stay in Standard Definition for the time being, and save our purchase of a fancy-schmancy new [HDTV set][2] for some as-yet undetermined future date.

The really fun part of this decision was rejiggering our plans for presents. Such jigs have now been re’d, and after a day of shopping around our old haunts in Northgate (which not-so-coincidentally also involved visiting and lunching with Hope and Peter) and an evening of wrapping presents, we’ve got a big ol’ pile o’ presents under our tree!

[1]: http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2008/11/21/to-blu-or-not-to-blu/ “eclecticism: To Blu or Not To Blu?”
[2]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00141AYIC?ie=UTF8&tag=djwudicom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00141AYIC “Amazon: Samsung LN32A450 32-Inch 720p LCD HDTV”

I did want to thank all of you who contributed thoughts and advice while I was researching the available options. Hopefully I won’t need to call on you again down the line when prices have dropped enough for us to feel comfortable diving into the HD pool with all you cool kids!

Happy Holidays from Me, Prairie…and Flickr

A bit of silliness on Flickr these days: if you add a note that says simply ‘ho ho ho hat’ to a photo, Flickr will add a Santa hat to the photo where the note is placed.

[Firefoxscreensnapz003][1] A bit of silliness on [Flickr][2] these days: if you add a note that says simply ‘ho ho ho hat’ to a photo, Flickr will add a Santa hat to the photo where the note is placed.

[1]: http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwudi/231333124/in/set-1326981/ “Us at Ricksecker Point”
[2]: http://www.flickr.com/ “Flickr”

There’s a few people getting [up in arms][3] about the ‘defacement’ of their photos, but if you decide you don’t like this, you can simply delete the note. I see it as a harmless bit of holiday silliness.

[3]: http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157594417625268/ “Flickr: Flickr Central: FREE hats and beards!”

And I _like_ harmless silliness.