Archive for April, 2012

Coldplay Live at HP!

Coldplay concert
Confetti, wrist bands that light up the place…Coldplay really knows how to put on a show!

I got a chance to see Coldplay at Steve Job’s memorial at the main campus last year, and that’s when I decided that we need to go see them live.

So, several years late to the party, Chesney and I went to our very first Coldplay concert at HP Pavilion! We are not concert-goers, but we both love Coldplay, and I thought it would be a good Christmas present for Chesney last year. I snatched up tickets on Ticketmaster as soon as they were available (that was an experience in itself), and a year later we were sitting in the lower bowl at HP Pavilion witnessing Coldplay put on their famous shows.

Through the years, we’ve always heard friends and family talk about how good Coldplay is live, and they weren’t kidding! We were given multicolored bracelets when we entered the stadium and were told to put them on. Coldplay made their entrance to the Back to the Future theme (awesome), and when they began their first song, thousands of bracelets lit up the place, blinking to the beats of Mylo Xyloto. It was spectacular!

Even without all the lights, confetti, beach balls, or props, Coldplay just sounded awesome live. Chris Martin was dynamic and entertained with his running from one end of the stage to the other. For their encore, they appeared in the other end of HP in an aisle and played a song from there!

All in all, it was a great night–Coldplay did not disappoint. Chesney and I both took pictures and video and they’re up on our site.

Almost Champs

MiZ Winter 2011
MiZ Winter 2011

Last year I started ice hockey and even designed our team’s jerseys. Yeah, that season turned out to be a pretty bad one for Mark it Zero and we finished dead last in our single-E division. Personally, it was a season of learning for me. I was still learning how to really skate effectively and play positional hockey–something I didn’t have to worry about as much in my years and years of roller hockey.

The following season we had some turnover, had a captaincy change, picked up some new players, and really came together as a team, finishing 2nd in E West, giving us a bye in the first round of the playoffs. In our first playoff game against Ice Legion, we stuck to our game plan of conservative, defense-first play, and finished strong with a 4-1 win! photos

The Angry Beavers knocked off 32 Degrees, the team that took 1st place in the West above us, so we faced them next. With a hot goaltender, an awesome penalty kill that went 8 for 8, and forwards that got the job done, we shut out the Angry Beavers 4-0! photos

We came into the championship on a hot streak, outscoring our opponents 8-1 in the playoffs, and we cautiously confident facing The Reapers, the winners of the East. The play was pretty even but we had the lead 2-1 at the start of the 3rd period. Then everything fell apart and we gave up 3 unanswered goals, losing in the final, 2-4. photos

Thanks to Lem for being there for every game to take pictures! I put together an album of the best shots.

Nothing to be ashamed of this season, given our season before. We were proud of our squad and had a deep playoff run! Congratulations, Mark it Zero on a great season! The full E division playoff run

For me, this season I really got my “ice legs.” Even though I spent a year skating Gretzky Hours, playing pick-up, and even completing an intermediate ice hockey class, it felt like I spent my first season in learning mode. I would often blow a tire, or go down to the ice easily. This season, I’m happy to say that I’ve improved quite a bit. Though my points were down, I play my position better and cut down on allowing breakaways or blowing coverage. I can’t wait to (hopefully) improve even more next season!

playing D
Playing good D and smiling while doing it!

A Season of Sharks at the Tank

HP Pavilion, section 205, row 9, seats 10 and 11
At the last game of the regular season, me in our seats for the 2011-2012 season:
section 205, row 9, seats 10 and 11!

And so ends my first season as a Sharks season ticket holder! Or rather, season ticket co-holder. Chesney’s parents were oh-so-kind enough to gift a large portion of the cost of season tickets to us, so we split the two seats between the three families.

It was a great year of Sharks games! Because we had tickets to so many games, I was able to go with Chesney and Tayte, and have some father-son time with Caleb and Tyler for some games as well. There wasn’t as much pressure to get get there way before game start time.

We were lucky–out of all the Sharks games Chesney and I went to, we only saw them lose twice–the rest of the time were glorious victories and fun times at HP!

And though the Sharks made the quickest 1st round exit in franchise history this year (a blog post for another time), it was great to be able to go to so many games. A big thanks to Andrew and Brittany and Curt and Donni for all the child-care throughout the season, and giving Chesney and I a chance at some Sharks game date nights!

Season tickets
Happily divy’ing up the season tickets between the 3 families
Tayte and I
Tayte and I doze off during one of the more boring games…
Chesney and Tayte
Tayte got to go to a lot of games
Tyler and I
Because we had so many games, we got to take each of the kids at different times during the season
Caleb and Sharkie
Caleb happened to be in the right place at the right time to get some 1 on 1 time with Sharkie!

So I’ve Started Running

I’ve promised myself I would start running many times before, so we’ll see how long this lasts! I’ve noticed that my beer gut has been getting more pronounced in my ripe, old age of 32, and it looks especially ridiculous to have a beer gut when you’ve got a slim build like mine.

In everything that I do, I’ve always been a gear-head, so I wanted to get the right running shoes. Oliver mentioned that he had to get a specific type of running shoe because of his flat feet, and that got me researching the different kinds of running shoes for foot/gait types. Armed with the knowledge that I probably needed either really good stability or motion control shoes, I headed over to Sports Basement to find the right pair that I liked.

One of the guys at Sports Basement had me run down the aisle with my shoes off to analyze the amount of pronation was going on, and just as I suspected, we Malabuyo boys “severely overpronate,” as the guy put it. So motion-control shoes it is. I tried every motion control type shoes that they had and settled on these beauties:

Brooks Addiction

I was leaning towards the Asics Evolutions…but then I saw the Brooks were on sale, so I snagged those instead. So far, I’ve been pretty happy with them–which is a good thing, since these are the most expensive pair of shoes I’ve ever laid down money for.

I’m only doing very short mile to mile-and-a-half runs so far, but I hope to work myself up to a solid 6 mile run at a 10 minute mile pace. It should be a good fitness complement to hockey, especially during any long gaps between games.

Lightroom Convert Here

Lightroom's Interface
My Lightroom trial has been a joy to use over the Easter weekend.

Hey, I’ve been inspired to make an entry in my blog! So here goes…

I’ve spent hours over the last couple days going over the pictures that I’ve taken over the Easter weekend–and there were a lot of pictures–only this time instead of using Aperture, I used Lightroom. I’ve actually been using the demo for the last month, but it didn’t take me that long to warm up to it. Being a longtime Aperture supporter, I really didn’t want to like it as much as I do, but I have to be honest: right now, Lightroom is just the better product.

Lightroom’s speed alone gives it the advantage in my book. For years I have been grumbling over Aperture’s sluggish performance. I knew it was slow, but I didn’t know the competition was that much faster. Lightroom is snappier, and it’s interface and little options here and there actually makes tasks quicker through 1 or 2 less clicks. When I can import, browse, and edit my photos more quickly, over the course of thousands of photos…it all adds up to lots of time saved!

Lightroom also has a superior interface as well, when I used to think the opposite (I guess I should try out the competition before deciding things like that). LR’s philosophy in workflow is different from Aperture’s to be sure, but the panels are more customizable, easily shown and hidden, and I do now think that Adobe’s approach to folders is better.

The tools are better. Sorry Aperture, they just are, as much as I hate to say it. There is actually noise reduction and lens correction built-in. The vignette effect is much more flexible.

I have been an Aperture-user from the very beginning, and Apple even had a head-start on Lightroom, so it’s pretty disappointing to see that Aperture has languished while Lightroom has thrived to the point where, for my money, it is the superior product. Hats off to you, Adobe! While I believe some of your products suffer feature bloat and a UI that still hangs on to the 90’s, Lightroom is in a class all it’s own, and a great tool for photographers!