Last month I purchased my first monopod. Today was Memorial Day
and I finally got my butt outside and put it to use. I went hiking
in the Blue Hills and captured some nice nature shots.
680B Compact Monopod is well built and feels very sturdy in my
hand yet maintains a light weight of 1.7 lb (0.77 kg). There are
four sections of metal tubing controlled by three flip lock levers
that allow it to fold down to 20 inches (50.8 cm) and extend to a
maximum of 60 inches (152.4 cm).
A camera can be attached directly via the mounting screw at the
top. However this limits the camera to horizontal shots and makes it
difficult to quickly get back to a handheld shot. That's where a
head such as the 234RC
Swivel/Tilt Head with Quick Release comes in.
It tilts so you can get both horizontal and vertical shots with
ease and the Quick Release system allows you to detach your camera
from the head in a fraction of the time it would take with a direct
As you can see in the pic on the right, there is a plate at the
top of the unit. The plate detaches from the base of the head with a
turn of the lever on the right. Attach the plate to the bottom of
your camera via the mounting screw and you can easily, and as its
name implies, quickly attach and detach your camera from the
And it works as advertised as I continuously had my Nikon D80 and
monopod separated while walking and attached for photo taking.
Another sign of the sturdiness of the monopod is that you can use it
as an impromptu weapon of defense if you find yourself facing a wild
animal or perhaps even a potential mugger. Wield it like a baseball
bat or stab like a lance. No person or thing is going to want to be
hit by this chunk of metal.
Racquel Darrian wallpaper
Racquel Darrian was one of the biggest starlets of the
'90s. I found a high-quality photo shoot from late in her
career and used one to make this wall.
I picked up Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the
Xbox 360. It's a collection of 40 games from the days of the 16-bit Sega Genesis
updated for the current generation consoles (it's also available for
the PS3). I would pay $30 just for the three Streets of Rage titles
as those games hold some of the best gaming memories for me.
I think the resolution of the original games was an interlaced
320x240. Here, they've been converted to 720p. My TV has a native
resolution of 1280x720 and the games (at least the good ones) look
great. They aren't overly pixelated, blocky or blurry. I've been
playing the RPG Shining Force a lot and haven't suffered any
eyestrain or headaches.
Here's a full list of the included games:
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted
Decap Attack starring Chuck
Dr. Robotnik's MBM
Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco II: The Tides of Time
Golden Axe I
Golden Axe II
Golden Axe III
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III:
Generations of Doom
Phantasy Star IV: The End of
Shining in the Darkness
Shining Force 2
Shinobi III: Return of the
Sonic 3D Blast
Sonic and Knuckles
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage 2
Streets of Rage 3
Super Thunder Blade
A fan in my HTPC, which I affectionately call Thivisol,
started emitting a loud whine. I popped off the cover and found it
was the 40mm fan atop the Nforce chipset. It still spun, but the
sound was annoying and a bad sign.
Now all three of my main computers, Dee, Thivisol and Tsianina
have at least 2GB of memory. In the beginning of its life, Windows
XP never seemed like a memory hog. But it has grown quite a bit with
three Service Packs and dozens of updates. With a larger footprint
plus my most essential applications running at the same time, RAM
usage on my systems has grown.
Andie Valentino wallpaper
Andie Valentino is one of those natural beauties that I could
look at forever.
For the past several years, those three words have been synonymous
with high-quality video reproduction and a great home theater
experience. Pioneer has consistently made the
best plasma HDTVs. Their sets are known for state-of-the-art picture
and have consistently earned high marks in reviews. The KURO line of
displays is the benchmark when it comes to such desirable
qualities as black level, shadow detail, color accuracy and
Today, that has all gone away as Pioneer announced
it is leaving the TV market altogether. The company had
previously announced plans to stop
producing their own plasma display panels (PDP) and instead source
them from Panasonic because of shrinking profits of a maturing
market for flat panel TVs. Even though fans did not welcome that
news, a Pioneer HDTV with a Panasonic PDP
and Pioneer electronics would likely still have been better than most of
the competition. The major component would no longer be made by
Pioneer, but the TV would still be engineered by Pioneer. But any
hope for more Pioneer HDTV goodness is now gone. Videophiles will
have to look elsewhere for the ultimate in flat panels.
This is flat-out sad news for all home theater buffs. It doesn't
affect me directly as I don't own a KURO or any Pioneer plasma
television, but I am saddened by the fact that I won't be able to in
the future because the top player is now out of the game.
With Circuit City going out of business, I picked up some Xbox
360 games and an accessory. The games are on the older side and were
cheap to begin with -- the most expensive was $20. After the 10% discount, the price of
the games ranged from $12 to $18. I got the best deal on the charge
kit, which was only $21 after discount.
Jigsaw returns for another installment of bewildering puzzles
designed to test human will and moral codes. I'm a huge fan of the Saw
series and can't wait to watch film number five. Also, finally
picked up Doomsday... hey, I just can't get enough of
apocalyptic action flicks.