January 27, 2012
by Chris
Comments Off on Williamsburg Restaurants

Williamsburg Restaurants

Recently, I’ve been going to more and more of the various restaurants in the Williamsburg area so I wanted to make a list of them. I’m only putting restaurants in the list that are good so if it’s there, you can trust that the food’s good (not that I’m a restaurant critic).

Doraldo’s
http://www.doraldosrestaurant.com/

Maurizio’s
http://mauriziositalianrestaurant.com/

Carrabba’s
http://www.carrabbas.com/restaurant/locations/VA/Williamsburg/Williamsburg/

The Library Tavern
http://www.allmenus.com/va/williamsburg/55512-the-library-tavern/menu/

Buon Amici
http://www.buonamiciwilliamsburg.com/

Green Leafe
http://www.greenleafe.com
If you love cheese sticks, then you have to go to Green Leafe. They have the best (and largest) cheese sticks I’ve ever had.

Black Angus Grille
http://www.blackangusgrille.com/

Pierce’s BBQ
http://www.pierces.com/

I’ll be updating this post as I find new ones to list.

December 24, 2011
by Chris
Comments Off on Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 2012 is going to be an exciting year!

September 14, 2011
by Chris
Comments Off on Windows 8

Windows 8

I’ve been excited to see how the new iteration of Windows will look. Now that I’ve seen it on Youtube, I must admit that I’m disappointed. I don’t think making an operating system built around tablets/touch screens for the mainstream PC market makes any sense. Yes, on a tablet device, what I’ve seen of Windows 8 so far would be great, but I don’t want that interface on my PC. It’s been decades of using the Start menu and I like that. Microsoft is saying Windows 8 allows you to personalize your experience — I don’t want to be forced to personalize it. I can do all the personalization I want in Windows 7 and it’s still usable as an operating system.

I was hoping Windows 8 was even more visual than Windows 7 while staying within the boundaries we’re accustomed to in the OS. As a designer, I need an OS that’s easy to use and Windows 8 doesn’t appear to be it. I’m also a Mac user and I love what they’ve done with OS X Lion. If future versions of Windows is going down the path of Windows 8, I’ll be switching exclusively to OS X.

At the very least, Microsoft should give users the option of turning off the new “experience” and be able to use Windows traditionally. If that function doesn’t exist, I’ll be skipping Windows 8.

June 7, 2011
by Chris
Comments Off on Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

After looking at some reviews of Cupcake Vineyards different wines, I decided to buy some of their Cabernet Sauvignon. I plan on opening it this weekend so I’ll report back on how it was. If you’re interested, check out their website.

Cupcake Vineyards

June 7, 2011
by Chris
Comments Off on iPad 2

iPad 2

Well, I figured I wouldn’t be able to resist getting an iPad 2. I bought the 32gb WIFI model and it’s definitely a nice upgrade from the original version relating to processing power and the form factor. There’s not much else to say, it’s an iPad and it’s the best tablet out there. I bought the Nook Color and it’s just no where near as nice.

Best Buy didn’t have any cases I liked so I bought one sight unseen from Amazon. It’s silicon-based and it’s perfect. It gives the iPad nice grip, protects the back and the edges and simply works.

On a last note, playing Infinity Blade on the iPad 2 is quite nice (not to mention fun). I wholeheartedly can say it was worth the purchase.

May 12, 2011
by Chris
Comments Off on Updates and Nook Color

Updates and Nook Color

It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to the blog. I’ve been busy with work and life in general so I haven’t had the time to do this. Anyways, it’s been interesting. Some recent happenings I’d like to cover are:

1. HTC Inspire 4G – Being an Apple purist(?) I’ve been using the iPhone since it came out and every model in between. I love my iPhone 4 but I got this wild hair to try out an Android-based device. AT&T allowed me to use my upgrade early so I got an HTC Inspire 4G. The phone itself is overall, excellent. There are some drawbacks to it but they’re few and far between. The screen size is one of the best features — at 4.3″ it seems like a big screen compared to the 3.5″ iPhone 4. The downsize is the resolution is 480×800 which shows obvious pixelization in some graphics/movies. The build quality is overall quite good except for the battery cover and sim/micro SD cover. They’re plastic and are quite easy to scratch/break/bend etc. The Android OS is also awesome as it is much more open source unlike iOS which is very limited in the modding community. The phone was delivered on a Thursday so I used it over the weekend. I decided to return the phone in the end as it was simply too difficult using my vast iTunes library on the Droid. Another thing to mention is that the Android market is not policed nearly as much as iTunes, so you get some real crap in there. The whole time I was using the Droid I was longing for my iPhone 4 again. I’m happy to say that my iPhone 4 is back and working and it’s great!

For more information on the HTC Inspire 4G, check it out at AT&T’s website here
.

2. Nook Color – My experience with the HTC Inspire 4G and the Android OS got me longing for a 2nd device to use as a companion to my iPhone. I could buy a contract-free Inspire 4G but I found a much better alternative… the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. It’s $250, has a nice sized screen and can be modded as it used Android as it’s base operating system. I have one on order from B&N and it should be here Friday. I bought the Nook Color, a silicon case and the 2 year protection plan. My intent is to run the Nook stock for a while to see what it has to offer. Once I decide to mod it, I’ll be going with the Cyanogen 7 mod. The installation seems to be a pain in the ass, but in the end, it’ll be worth it to give all the additional functionality. I downloaded Firefox 4 for the Droid when I had my HTC and I liked it, so I plan on loading it onto the Nook. I’ve played with the Nook before and I think it’s a great device. Being an Apple user, I actually prefer the size of the Nook Color’s screen over the iPad purely because to me, it’s just more portable. I love the iPad, but if I’m leaving the house, I’d most likely take the Nook over the iPad. Sorry Apple, but if you make a 7″ iPad, I’ll be all over it.

For more information on the Nook Color, visit Barnes & Noble’s Nook page here.

3. Firearm stuff – I have 2 interesting things to note on the firearms side of the house. 1 — I sent my Glock 26 slide to Glock so they can refinish it. They say it takes 6-8 weeks and so far, it seems like that time frame is accurate. The total cost for the refinish is around $68, $45 for the slide refinish and another $26 or so for a new night site. I hope it looks like it came from the factory when I get it back. The other thing to note is I’ve sent my recently purchased M&P 9C to Smith & Wesson for a defect in the polymer on the frame. I was starting to give up on S&W because it was almost a month before I sent the gun back, but the guns in the mail and we’ll see what S&W does to resolve the problem. This will be the decider as to whether or not I ever buy another S&W product again. I really hope it’s resolved because I truly want to get some more M&P models. They’re great guns.

4. Wine – I haven’t been drinking much wine lately. I’ve been so busy with everything I never get a change to open a new bottle. I’ve decided it’s time to start trying more varieties out so I’ll report back on that later on once I’ve had the opportunity to try some new wines.

5. Apple/Mac – I’ve recently purchase a new 11″ Macbook Air and have to say, for the size and specs, it’s a really quite fast considering. I love it. In most cases, I’d choose to use that over the iPad as it gives you a real keyboard and a full operating system. They’ve released the new Intel Sandy Bridge based iMacs however I’m in no need for an upgrade. Since I’m using Windows 7 64 Ultimate and a beefy PC along with my Mac stuff, I don’t feel the need to upgrade the iMac as often. In fact, I will most likely upgrade my iMac every 4-5 years or as long as it’s serviceable.

6. Photography – Last but not least is my interests in photography. I haven’t bought any new camera gear lately, however there’s quite a bit coming out I’m interested in purchasing. Some of those items include the 7D Mark II, the 16-35mm, 8-15mm fisheye, 24-70mm II, 70-200mm f2.8 II, and a few other lenses and items. My last photo trip was was back in March in Williamsburg. I take a lot of photos there as it’s close and normally there’s always something to take pictures of. My latest gallery can be seen here. Since the Tsunami has affected Japan, Canon has taken a bit of a hit on their product releases (understandably). Additionally, camera gear costs full MSRP or even more at this point due to shortages.

January 12, 2011
by Chris
Comments Off on 2nd Amendment Under Fire Again

2nd Amendment Under Fire Again

I don’t discuss my interest in firearms and 2nd Amendment rights on my blog typically, however after the recent shootings in Arizona, I felt the need to post. For one thing, I can’t stand the media… they’re the scum of the earth and will run any news story in order to pad their “ratings”. They post things like “Lotto winners come forward!” as “Breaking News!”. They’re bottom feeders of the lowest kind.

I was checking CNN this afternoon (why? I have no idea) and noticed a story on the front page that was the center of attention. The title? “How to cut gun death toll“.

The story basically goes like this: “The Arizona shootings could have been minimized if we had smaller capacity firearm magazines”. My first issue is that the 2 “experts” are economists… How the hell does an economist know what’s best for firearm regulation and safety? It’s the same old story you hear over and over. Gun rights are too liberal in this country and is why it’s so easy for people to acquire firearms and commit crimes such as shooting someone. You could tighten firearm regulation so much that you couldn’t legally buy a pea shooter, but you know what? The idiots that make the rest of the law abiding gun owners look bad will still be able to get guns, magazines and ammo. What do they care? They’re going to break the law anyways so why stop at getting an illegal gun?

While much of the country is circling the drain as far as deficits, illegals demanding rights, border protection, etc. these people are focusing on guns and our right to bear arms. I’m no expert in what’s best for the rest of the country, but I think common sense is all that’s needed in this case. This country has well over 300,000,000 people in it so things like this shooting are going to happen. There’s a lot of nuts out there and you simply can’t stop violence.

One of the reasons I own firearms is to protect myself, family and property. If anti-gun idiots had their way, law abiding citizens couldn’t own guns which would mean the only ones carrying them (besides law enforcement) would be the criminals. No thanks, I want to be able to defend myself from these same gun-toting criminals should the need arise.

My bottom line point is this: 2nd Amendment rights are our forefather-given rights. I enjoy my firearms and legally own them. I will continue to own them as well. Thank God we have the NRA to fight these issues because if they didn’t exist, who knows how many of our rights would have been stripped by now.

Please support the NRA, they’re helping to keep our freedoms that many folks want to take away.

September 7, 2010
by Chris
Comments Off on Canon Wish List

Canon Wish List

Well, there’s a lot of stuff on my list to get. Even though the new 60D is a let down in a lot of ways, I’m still compelled to try it out. I don’t want to switch to SD, but I do have some SD cards I can use with it that are adequate for the task.

With the autumn season coming, here’s my “shortlist” of stuff I’d like to get. Guess I need to win the lottery. 🙂

Canon 60D
60D

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II
70-200mm

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L
16-35mm

Canon 8-15mm f/4 L Fisheye
8-15mm

Canon 85mm f/1.2 L
85mm

Canon 2x III tele-extender
2x III

July 27, 2010
by Chris
Comments Off on New Apple Hardware

New Apple Hardware

Today was a big update day for Apple. They announced updates for the iMac, Cinema Display, Mac Pro and introduced the new Magic Trackpad. Some of these updates have been a long time coming. Apple has really stepped it up a notch regarding their Mac Pros. The option for a 12 core system is now available albeit for an impressive $4,999 starting price. They’ve added solid state drives to both the iMac and the Mac Pro. Also, they’ve upgraded the video cards in the iMac and Mac Pros which will greatly increase the 3d performance.

Here are the links to all the new goodies:

Apple iMac
Apple Mac Pro
Apple Cinema Display
Apple Magic Trackpad

Enjoy!

July 25, 2010
by Chris
Comments Off on Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Price Drop

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Price Drop

I was browsing around B&H’s website and noticed that the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens has come down $200 in price. This is good but it needs to come down a little more before I can splurge. The original version is also available, but it’s still hanging in there at $1899.00. For a difference of $300, is the new version worth it? I don’t know but I’d love to find out by using both lenses.

Another interesting lens is the new Sigma 8-16mm. It’s selling for $699.00 through B&H but again, I’d love to try it out first before jumping. I’ve never really been a fan of Sigma lenses but I’d definitely be up to getting it providing it produces nice results.

Here’s the Canon 70-200mm link and the Sigma 8-16mm.