thank god for germany land in epcot.
They know what you want when you order a large beer.
Those are terrific pics.
Funny, when you captioned one as "...a ham next to the snowman," I looked at that hideous pink thing to the left and almost wrote, "that looks more like a mangled chicken than a ham."
Then, I realized that you were referring to your daughter as the "ham." Whoops! My reply would have gone over pretty badly, I'd imagine.
And, a closer inspection of the photo suggests it's perhaps a frilly purse to the left of the snow creation.
By the way, My mom sent me the following silly piece:
California vintners, in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produces Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic.
It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night.
The new wine will be marketed as...
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
another photo of the ham
That's great, Phillyfan! You must be very proud of her.
By the way, I'll be auditioning a pair of Martin Logan Sequel speakers this weekend. I stopped by Audio Consultants in Libertyville last night and, seeing a used pair, inquired about trading in my B&W 602's and paying the difference with proceeds from the wedding I'm DJ'ing tomorrow.
A photo of a Martin Logan Sequel speaker I spotted online
The Martin Logans are a hybrid of electrostatic speakers up top and a subwoofer below. Per my understanding, current running through perforated metal plates electromagnetically vibrates a mylar panel coated with iron oxide in between. I've always thought they were kind of cool.
Anyways, I'm wrapping up an institute day at school and Monday's off! Woo-hoo!
Have a terrific Friday,
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-16-2007 at 02:55 PM.
By the way, is it just me, or does it look like the guy have his Martin Logans in the bathroom?
Geez, if so, I'll bet he spends hours on the toilet!
That, and the guy has them too close to the wall for them to sound right! Maybe I'll just have to confiscate them from the guy in the name of good taste and proper sound.
I can just see it now: "Sir, I'm with Audiophile Enforcement. It has been reported that you're abusing your Martin Logans. I'm affraid I'm going to have to confiscate them!
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-16-2007 at 09:37 PM.
Several nights ago, I interviewed Donovan "Da Bomb" George regarding his upcoming fight tonight in Cicero. Beyong the standard fare questions of how training is coming along, I asked him a few questions regarding promotional issues that have been bothering me for some time now.
He--and the founder of his management team, Mike Michael--had some interesting responses.
Check it out:
Link to Donovan Geoge Interview
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-19-2007 at 02:44 AM.
I stopped by Audio Consultants after work to pick up the Martin Logans and found out that Phil, the store manager, had tried reaching me at home. Apparently, the mylar panels had some type of smoke buildup on them and, as Phil explained it, the smoke damage would dissipate the static charge faster than the speakers could generate it. So, he called up Martin Logan and left a message to see if he could have them replaced.
I was so looking forward to testing those out and actually planning how I'd rearrange my living room for the best space and sound arrangement.
Oh well. If they can't replace the panels, worst case scenario, I'll stick with the little B&W 602s and subwoofer arrangement I already have. That's not so bad.
Man! I'm like a big kid, I tell you. I get so excited about stuff like this and bummed when it looks like it might not work out.
Guess I should grow up, eh?
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-19-2007 at 02:44 AM.
I came across the following piece on O'Neil Bell--which I originally posted on a string in the Modern Section of the Message Board. The reason I'm posting it here is because of the little animation that I found and posted along with it. I find it pretty amusing!
Heh, heh, heh...
I just saw this on www.Fightnews.com :
I'm wondering if the name of the resort town he was training at, Big Bear, had him spooked.DA axes O'Neil Bell charges!
By Karl Freitag
An assault with a deadly weapon charge will go away against WBC/WBA cruiserweight champion O'Neil Bell, paving the way for Bell to defend his world titles on March 17 against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Paris. "We will not be filing criminal charges," San Bernardino County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gary Roth told Fightnews.com on Thursday. Roth stated that there was a lack of evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Bell was arrested on February 4 for allegedly throwing a hatchet and large rocks at 37-year-old sparring partner Larry Slayton while doing roadwork near his training camp in Big Bear, Calif. Bell stated he had the hatchet with him for protection in the event he ran into a wild bear.
Either way, maybe next time, instead of packing a hatchet, he can take a few tips from this guy on self-defense against bears:
I got an email from Bernie Bahrmasel correcting me on the status of David Diaz, who formerly was the WBC Interim Lightweight Title holder. He's now officially the WBC Lightweight Champ, as the WBC has stripped Casamayor. In my Donovan George piece, I was critical of Top Rank for not getting him a title fight.
Here's a link to my retraction:
Retraction on Diaz Link
Here's a couple photos from the wedding reception I DJ'ed Saturday at the Concorde Banquet Hall in Palatine, Illinois. That's just the other side of the township of Lake Zurich, which is about 25 minutes from me. They were shot with my Kodak EZ Share Z740 digital camera. It shoots some pretty nice pics sometimes, as you can see from my Chicago Auto Show pics, but it doesn't hold a candle to my Canon EOS D20.
The second photo was shot by a server after the reception ended and I had undone my bow tie. And, in case you're wondering, that's my headphone set clamped on my head behind my ears. I'd already begun packing things away when this photo was shot.
It was a nice reception, with a conservative Romanian twist. The bride--who's Romanian--gave me a CD with a bunch of Romanian dance tunes. So, I burned a copy and then faded back and forth between discs several times when I did mini-sets of Romanian dance music.
Sadly, I ran into a gal, Ana, whose wedding I DJ'ed several years ago. Her marriage was on the rocks. During dinner, I sat at a table with she and her brother, who'd escorted her to this wedding. I had an elegant jazz CD set on "continuous" play while I ate and visited.
Ana's a real sweetheart by all accounts. And she's intelligent and beautiful. From what the bride told me earlier, her husband just doesn't want to be married. That's too bad, because she's a real catch. Some people just don't know what they've got.
Anyways, the wedding reception was a real success and fun, to boot. Not to mention, I got $550 for an evening's work.
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-19-2007 at 12:44 PM.
By the way, one of my friends emailed me this link to photos "shot at the right angle":
By the way, I called Audio Consultants today to see if the replacement mylar panels came in for the Martin Logan speakers. They hadn't yet. Hopefully, they'll be in tomorrow.
Anyways, in futzing around for a few minutes, I found an explanation of how electrostatic speakers work at the following link:
Explanation of how Electrostatic speakers Work
True, it's part of a sales piece for an "inverted ESL" speaker, but it's somewhat enlightening.
By the way, here's an old photo for an ad of the Quad 57 ESL speaker, which, from what I understand, used to be the reference speaker at MIT:
I used to own a pair, but with the built-in protection device to prevent over-driving the membrane and thus creating an arc when the membrane touches a stator (and subsequent damage to the membrane), the high end sounded somewhat soft and muffled. I also knew if I had the protection device removed, there'd be a chance I'd overdrive them and have to replace the expensive membrane. Sooooo, I sold them.
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-21-2007 at 12:33 PM.
Today, we're having two assemblies at the high school I teach at for Black History Month. The student body, in relation to the size of the auditorium, is too big for them to host everyone in one assembly.
Here are some photos I shot with my cell phone camera from the first one:
A drum corps wows the audience
A gospel choir sings its collective heart out
One of our assistant principals shares some thoughts with the student body
An African-American judge gives a thoughtful and inspiring message to students about studying in the midst of adverse circumstances, crime, consequences and finding freedom in God
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-21-2007 at 12:48 PM.
I have to chuckle a bit. Apparently, the guy who traded in the Martin Logans I'm interested in overdrove one of the speakers with a bad amp. Phil didn't realize this until after he had replaced the mylar membranes. It was then that he realized that one or two of those five cent parts in the wiring needed replacing, due to abuse with a bad amp from the former owner.
I listened to the other speaker (facing the camera) and it sounded wonderful.
Funny, as I stood there listening to the speaker, this quirky guy came in and was bugging Phil to check out a piece of equipment very much like one he was ordering right away. He sounded really nerdy and obsessive.
Man, I thought to myself, I hope I don't come across like that! Yuck.
Kinda stressed out from a long busy spell, I talked on the phone briefly with my friend, Bryan, whom I'd visited in Colorado. Then, I chilled out last night and watched a couple movies, Ed Wood and Ali, until about 10:30 PM or so, when a friend, Michelle, called to chat. What a hoot! We talked up a storm until we realized it was 11:30 PM.
Well, gotta run...
I thought you'd get a kick out of this post-testing celebration flyer I drafted up for distribution to participating staff:
We just completed ACCESS testing, which tests all students who ever qualified for bilingual or Engish as a Second Language services. What a headache!
In April, we'll have the two day Prairie State exams, with ACT and Work Keys portions, and the bilingual version, IMAGE.
Yesterday, I received an inquiry about cameras I used for reports from a boxing writer. I emailed him back with my experience with several cameras, including the Kodak EZ Share Z240 (?), the Minolta M-5 35 mm film camera, and the Canon EOS D20 digital camera.
Following up, I sent him the following email, which you may or may not find informative and helpful, as well:
Coincidentally, my friend, Jorge Bravo used the Canon EOS D20 for the first time in shooting photos for the following report by Rich Lopez's first report for the CBZ:Hi Ricardo,
By the way, here's some links to several reports, broken down by cameras used.
Shot with the Kodak EZ Share camera:
Shot with the Canon EOS D20:
http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/news/...s/00002934.htm (the lighting conditions were GREAT for this fight card), http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/news/...s/00002914.htm
http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/news/...s/00002889.htm (my brother, Luis shot that one with my Canon)
Shot with the Minolta camera:
On another note, Tom Glunz told me to be careful if I'm looking to buy cameras via EBay. Some of them are irreputable.
One vendor he was originally going to buy the Canon EOS D5 from, it turned out, was going to send him the Japanese version, with Japanese text in its readouts, making it next to impossible for him to use. He had a hunch something was screwy and he asked. They told him they were going to send him the "International model." Further questioning revealed their true intent.
Another seller sold cameras really cheaply, but charged very high prices for necessary accessories. It was unbelievable!
Tom also told me that one firm based out of Jamaica sent out the wrong camera and didn't refund the money.
Anyways, good luck and let me know how things go.
Rich Lopez Report
One other thing: I used the Canon D20 for the first time when I shot photos of Holyfield-Oquendo in Houston:
I covered that bout for the Carol Stream Examiner and quickly slapped together the piece for the CBZ from the observations I'd banged out at ringside on my laptop inbetween rounds.
Note: with the Kodak and Minolta cameras, the flash was used, whereas with the Canon, it wasn't. In some cases, with the Canon, I shot at an ISO setting of 800, and in the Merrillville and in Jorge's report, the ISO setting was 1600.
Anyways, happy Friday!
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-23-2007 at 01:16 PM.
As much as I didn't want to revisit writing this piece again, I had to. It was this week's assignment to rewrite last week's piece on the Chicago Auto Show in the journalism class I'm taking at National Louis.
In retrospect, I think I like this version better!
Here it is:
Photo of a Maserati GranSport Spyder above and the GS GranSport interior below courtesy of a Maserati press kit
The Chicago Auto Show 2007—Bigger, Faster, Better at a Bargain!
By Juan C. Ayllon
MIKE Jones attends the Chicago Auto Show at least once a year. He thinks they’re great and this year’s show is no exception. He says, “I liked the ability to see all those cars under one roof—contemporary cars, classic cars, concept vehicles (or car prototypes)—without salesmen trying to size you up.” Noting that fewer foreign cars show up at Detroit’s auto show, where autoworkers resent foreign brands like Nissan and Toyota, he’s sticking with Chicago. As recently as five years ago, Jones said, “They’d key (scratch) foreign cars in the parking lot.”
There’d be plenty of keying for them at this year’s show in Chicago, where a press release touted the Tundra as “the single-most important launch in Toyota’s 50-year history.” Elaborating, sales rep Jerry McDuffie says the Tundra is positioned to “take over the one market we don’t own: the full-sized pickup truck market. It’s bigger, faster, stops faster and hauls more.”
Duffie’s statement says it all: over 1.25 million square feet of McCormick Place showcase the latest cars and trucks in displays resembling movie sets and theme parks, where giant TV screens, programmed lighting, and thumping sound tracks scream, “BIGGER, FASTER, AND BETTER!”
Take trucks and Sports Utility Vehicles, for example. An elephant gray 2008 Nissan Armada SUV is hitched to a mammoth, 28-foot Sea Ray 260 Sundancer cruiser boat, a gray double cab 2007 Toyota Tundra SR 5 hauls a Patten tractor the size of a white rhinoceros, and a gray 2008 Titan V-8 truck carts a baby hippopotamus-sized Polaris 4-wheeler ATV in its truck bed. Jeep ups the largesse with its park ride theme. People stand in line to be chauffeured in shiny, four-wheeling Cherokees, Wranglers, Libertys and seven-passenger Commanders through an obstacle course of small boulders, logs, potholes and two huge, man-made hills.
If it’s faster that you want, this year’s Mercedes Benz SL 55 AMG Roadster sports a “supercharged V8 with 510 horsepower and 531 lb.-ft. of torque, a very noticeable increase over last year’s model,” says its literature. Then, there’s the Maserati GranSport two-door sports coupe that features a 400 horsepower racing engine. It has a top speed of 180 mph and goes from zero to 62 mph in 4.85 seconds. If you prefer domestics, there’s the sleek futuristic orange-copper 328 Pontiac Solstice Weekend Racer concept car with a 2.0 liter, variable flow turbo 325 horsepower engine. Transfixed, a man broke its spell with the incantation, “Not family practical!”
Better environmentally, Honda boasts gas and electric hybrid Civics and Accords, a Civic that runs on natural gas, and a concept “hydrogen fuel cell-powered” car featuring “zero emissions (that) basically emits water vapor,” says a Honda sales rep.
If environmental superiority leaves you dry, there’s plenty more to whet your appetite, from improved aesthetics to satellite radio.
Granted, this doesn’t come cheap. While prices at the show range from $11,000 to $150,000-plus, cars here are generally pricey. For example, www.edmonds.com lists the two-door 2006 Maserati GranSport coupes at $104,200. The 2007 Honda Accord Hybrid has a more reasonable base price of $31,090. A Ford salesman says while “Americans have always been about cars...the real shame…is that half the people can’t afford it because they’re overpriced.”
Yet, still they come. A Nissan rep named Rebekah says, “So many people live out of their cars, (who) want to know the functionality and comfort of their space. People are also image conscious. They don’t buy for 10 years, but buy to have the latest.”
And, if you don’t buy, for $10 admission, you can simply admire, as Mike Jones and so many others do every year.
Photo of a Mercedes Benz SL55 courtesy of a Mercedes Benz press kit
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-24-2007 at 02:10 AM.
Wow! It's snowing up a storm tonight! I stayed in tonight, ordered a pizza from Carmen's and Vesuvio's, watched a couple DVDs and chatted on the phone with several friends.
I watched the 25th Anniversary Special Edition of Pumping Iron and the movie about Chuck Barris, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. They're both very interesting and entertaining movies in their own ways.
It was also good to catch up with my friends, Scott, and--later--Michelle.
She called up laughing, because I'd sent her the photo above of the TV on her cell. She said, "Did you just text me a picture of your TV?"
I said, "yeah," and said I was just chllin' out. It was good talking with my bud. [Note: the TV has been moved to a better place conducive to the placement of my next set of speakers. It sits on the floor so as not to block my view of the lake. Coincidentally, those are my B&W 602s on the floor where the new ones will sit].
Funny, I tried capturing the snowflakes in the photo I snapped at the top of this frame of my back deck with my cell phone, but no luck.
Anyways, stay warm and safe!
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-25-2007 at 12:57 AM.
I just finished sending out this press release I drafted up for a special performance at a coffee house held at my church. Check it out!
Contemporary Christian Singer Kristyn Leigh Performs at ‘Comfort Zone’ March 10th!
NINETEEN-year old Kristyn Leigh is not your typical, attractive contemporary Christian singer cranking out Top 40 bubblegum Christian pop. With a deceptively strong voice, she belts out a wide range of genres ranging from classical hymns, to alternative, rock ballads and punk-pop.
“I love to sing the old hymns of the church, but at the same time, I love to rock out wearing a long pink skirt,” says Leigh. “I finally realized that is exactly what God wants me to do. He wants my praise, but at the same time, he wants me to take his message of love to a hurting world of people. And he wants me to do that being myself.”
So far, Leigh’s presented her unique message in over 100 concerts and two CDs, Glimpse (2004) and Heavy and Holy (2006).
As part of an interstate tour, on Saturday, March 10th, Kristyn Leigh will make her 10th scheduled stop of the year at the Comfort Zone Christian coffee house at Harvest Bible Chapel in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
Comfort Zone runs on the second Saturday of every month from 7 to 10 PM, free of charge, following Saturday’s 5:30 PM service at Harvest Bible Chapel-Lake Zurich. Harvest Bible Chapel is located at 255 Quentin Road in Lake Zurich, Illinois. An “Open Mic” session follows the scheduled guest’s performance.
So, grab a friend, join the fun and experience the talented Kristyn Leigh’s unique message up close and personal on Saturday, March 10th. See you there!
Harvest Bible Chapel-Lake Zurich (847) 438-7440
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-25-2007 at 10:47 PM.
The Art Institute of Chicago, just south of Millenium Park
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-27-2007 at 09:30 AM.
Guess those awards are worth a glance now and again...
I just received one of the most innane press releases today. Rather than just delete it, I posted it up and added an Editor's note. Was my reaction too over the top?
Innane Press Release Link
Sheesh! Enough already!
Wow! I was bumbling around the Physics Department at school today and came across this time travel machine prototype. I punched in the name, "Evander Holyfield," set the year at 2047, and something strange happened!
I heard a husky and whispery voice say, "I'm going to win that fifth heavyweight title, if it's the last thing I do!"
Then, the following photo appeared:
Click on this link to see the mystery time travel photo
All right, all right! So, that last one was a bit obnoxious. Sorry about that, Chief!
Anyways, it's been a long week.
Have a safe Friday, all!
Juan C. Ayllon
Here's several shots from "the Pit" in the basement of Waukegan High School, where they held an intermural boxing program headed by coach Mark Morgan. You'll have to forgive the quality of my shots. I was using my cell phone camera and had a dickens of a time getting decent pics.
The program is still being weighed out, as the Athletic Director, Mel Washington, is looking into the district and state's stances on the matter from safety, liability and insurance standpoints.
Local fighters WBC Lightweight Title holder David Diaz, WBC USA Middleweight Title holder Miguel Hernandez, Jose Hernandez and David Estrada all expressed interest in coming out next week, if their schedules allow.
On another note, I just had to share this photo of a macab art piece done by a student at the high school. If you can't see it clearly, it's a casting of the hands, arms and torso of a student who has reached into his chest, pulled his heart out and is handing it out in a gesture of love. That's quite some statement on relationships and love, isn't it?
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 03-07-2007 at 04:26 AM.
Ha! I googled David Rigert, a favorite weight lifter from the 70s. Wow! Talk about a blast from the past. I remember him winning the Gold Medal in 1976. What an amazing athlete.
He beat out American Lee James, who took a Silver Medal that year. Lee's performance was a pleaant surprise to many, as Americans had slipped in Olympic lifting.
You can actually read more about him and watch clips of Rigert lifting by clicking on the link below and scrolling down to a series of buttons labeled, "Play," under a large photo of him:
David Rigert Link
I don't know about you, but I used to be into the weight lifting and bodybuilding magazines back then, even more than Ring Magazine.
Funny, I also had a weight lifting record at Buffalo Grove High School my junior year in the squat that lasted several years at the 175 lbs. division.
I used to lift weights in my garage and tried doing a series of maxes one day at school. They all went up pretty easy and my coach was getting impatient. I think on my third attempt, Coach Grant Blaney put 320 lbs. on the bar. I went down to parallel, rose, and that was that!
A couple months later, I was doing 335 lbs. for sets, but I was already at a bodyweight of 180. I didn't care to cut weight, as back then, I wanted to be big.
Funny how times change...
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 03-07-2007 at 10:40 PM.
Sierra Is 4 years old and Keana is 9, they're my son James daughters
Nice pic of the grandkids, Frank!