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4K in 2014

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At CES this year, 4K video arrived.  All 3 pieces of the puzzle seem to be falling into the realm of possibility for most Americans: content creation, delivery, and consumption.  On the creation side, quality cameras should hit the sub-$2000 price range this year.  On delivery, Netflix is going to start streaming select content such as House of Cards Season 2 in 4K (if you have the bandwidth and capable decoding hardware.  And for consumption, Vizio will be selling a Netflix-streaming 4K TV for $999 , while 4K computer monitors are even cheaper.

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Garage Shelving

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Teri and I love our house, but one thing that is lacking is storage space.  There is no attic and the closets are packed.  When my dad visited recently he suggested installing some shelves above the garage door, since there’s a fair bit of space between the door’s rails and the ceiling.

So I began doing some research and although there are plenty of metal off-the-shelf options, and even a clever DIY scheme using totes, ultimately I figured I could build something more spacious for a lot less money if I just built it from scratch.

After bouncing some ideas off my dad, I settled on a design that was cost-effective, sturdy and not too heavy.  I used mainly cheap 1×2 and 1×3 lumber and 1/4” OSB to build the shelves, and then built some hangers using 2×4s fastened to the ceiling joists (which happen to be made of 2×4 floor trusses, which probably isn’t quite as strong for hanging as a 2×8 or something, but better than the manufactured I-beams that are also in use).

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I recently purchased the Canon S95, a relatively high-end pocketable digital camera that was recently on sale for a price too good to pass up.  My experience with it so far has challenged my previous views on photography and led me to a better understanding of what makes a photo “good.”

I’ve had point-and-shoots before (a 3MP Creative that was actually pretty decent for the time and sub-$100 price, and a 5MP Canon A530 that despite positive reviews, I was never satisfied with), but until my digital SLR (Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D circa 2005), I didn’t really enjoy photography all that much.  With a cheap camera, you might get an ok “shot with friends” every now and then, but between blurry indoor pictures and over/underexposed scenery shots, the results were consistently disappointing.  I didn’t really find myself motivated to pull out my camera when out with friends or beholding a beautiful nature scene, because I knew the end result would likely be blurry or washed out.

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I’ve finally posted scenic and fireworks photos to my Smugmug account from our honeymoon in Vail.  Enjoy!

Scenic photos:
http://bfrantz.smugmug.com/Colorado/Vail

Fireworks photos:
http://bfrantz.smugmug.com/Fireworks/Avon-2011

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Photo Gallery Updates

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Hey all,

In the past couple of weeks I’ve uploaded a number of new photos to both the Wallpaper Portfolio as well as my Smugmug account.

California & Arizona

In January, my family and I took a vacation to the Monterey/San Francisco area of California, and then stopped at the Grand Canyon on the way home.  It was my first time visiting either place, and I’d definitely like to return to California and bring my motorcycle or rent one.  As we drove those awesome roads along the coast I couldn’t help but long to be feeling that cool air rush by me on my bike while getting a full view of the gorgeous scenery.  Not to say I’d be opposed to going back anyway, but definitely would’ve been great on a bike.

I posted the pictures from this trip to Smugmug a while back, but just recently created wallpaper out of them for my portfolio site.  Check ‘em out:

California Wallpaper
Arizona Wallpaper

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