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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Doesn't Matter if You're Black or White!

Staying at Clarion Hotel in San Francisco (for free, thanks to Kuya Bong) had inspired me to do more black & white photos. Y'see, all the photos hanging on their walls are done in B&W.

Now, lemme warn you that not all photos would look good in black & white. Imagine stripping off your photo of its colors! Texture and shadows would step up to the plate now.

Buying a B&W film is expensive. For your digital pictures, a graphics application such as Photoshop is our manna from the heavens. Photoshop has an easy way to convert your pictures to its B&W version.

I took this shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. It looks nice but I thought it needs some more drama.
I didn't want too much plant on the lower left or those hideous octagonal marks at the bottom right section. I made sure that the focal point is the bridge itself.
So I made a rectangular selection. Using the Crop command from the Image menu, you can get rid of unwanted parts.
And here's your trimmed picture. Looks nice and all.
For the final touch, go to Image menu and choose Mode -> Grayscale.
Here's the final product:


Before the Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

The only downside of my being away for a few days is that I've missed my favorite teevee shows. Thanks to Mr. Torrent, I was able to watch and get updated again.

Grey's Anatomy
Made me cry when O'Malley delivered that speech about giving his own heart if that would take to save his dad. I'm happy that they brought back that bubbly doctor. Yang-Dr. Hahn situation would be interesting in the next episodes. I also like Izzie and Yang's confrontation scene. Am bored with Meredith.

What a season ender! I truly enjoyed each episode. I really like Mia's character (played by Madeline Zima). Hank and Karen are the coolest parent, doncha think? I'd love to see how their relationship grows in the next season.

America's Next Top Model
Ebony, Ebony, Ebony. You screw it, girl! Tyra was so disappointed in you! What's happening to my girl, Lisa? Bring it, baby! At last, Heather knew how to do a frontal.

Desperate Housewives
I think the ladies would enjoy this episode because John (Jesse Metcalfe) makes a comeback. Now if you're pro-Carlos, you'd get a shot of him in boxers ;oP

Pushing Daisies
I'm happy that Olive (played by Kristin Chenoweth) and Digby get more screen time. They also showed more of Ned's childhood. Got a glimpse of a young Digby, as a bonus. In the Philippines, the young version of the main character normally lasts up to 2 episodes only.

A lot of our "Heroes" were given exposure in episode 6. Daddy Noah's back to his bad self. Claire would really do anything just to be a cheerleader such as, perform a badly-choreographed number, do a back flip, and get dropped from the sky. Kids, these days! Niki has been healed? Nuthin' is happening much with Sylar & the Wonder Twins.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back to Virginia

Woke up at 6:40 am. Just brushed my teeth and washed my face. It's time to go back to Virginia. Caught different stages of sunrise while waiting for my friends to finish their morning rituals. Bid goodbye to my BFF, Zooey =o(
Our flight is at 10:40 am. We've got 3 hours to kill but traffic is bad on Mondays. Gev and Fe drove us to the airport.
We reached the airport around 9ish. Security check wasn't so bad. I didn't have a seat number yet so I gave my boarding pass to the girl behind the counter.

We had brekky first at Monet's. I had a bacon & egg sandwich.

We still have enuff time so I went back to the girl and asked for my boarding pass. We checked out the nearby store for some more souvenirs. While looking around, I heard an announcement, "Final boarding... Passenger Balan!" Oh my god! We rushed towards the gate and got seated. Too bad, we're not in First Class anymore. That would really be a dramatic entrance!!!

The 4.5-hr flight from LA to Cleveland was uneventful. "Evan Almighty" and "License to Wed" were shown but I wasn't interested. I promised myself to finish "Wicked" today.

Inside the Cleveland airport, they have these paper planes for decorations. Pretty nice.
We transferred to a smaller plane from Ohio to DC. Reached DC around 9ish. Took a cab ride home (28 bucks including gratuity). Before I dozed off, I finished my book ;oP

Sunday, October 28, 2007

San Francisco (Day Two)

After checking out of Clarion (by the way, Kuya Bong provided our hotel; isn't he great?!), we went to pick up Fe & Jesse. They plan to visit Fisherman's Wharf while we have our lunch with Kuya Bong.

As soon as we dropped the couple at Pier 39, we headed back to Pacifica where Kuya Bong lives. He's got a nice place. There are lots of religious items from their hometown, Liliw.

He asked us where we wanna eat again. Gev wanted seafood which is fine with me and Ogz. Kuya Bong decided to take us to Todai's. Am excited 'cause I've been wanting to eat here for the longest time.
When we entered the resto, it looks like a big food court. So many people lining up to get their food. The waitress immediately asked us if there's a birthday celebrant in the group. I guess the birthday celebrant would get to eat for free. I didn't wanna eat salad so I just went directly to the hot meals where there's a huge line. I grabbed fried rice, chicken, crab legs, calamari and tempura. I got some soup too. The food is delish!!! No wonder people eat here all the time. I must try their desserts. I took a bite out of Ogz's banana crepe. Yum-O! Pretty close to Cafe Breton's taste. I also got some small cakes. Peach cake is my favorite!
After more than an hour of eating, we decided to leave. We still need to check out Fisherman's Wharf and locate the Crookedest Road. Dropped Kuya Bong off at his house. Thanked him for his wonderful welcome to all of us (even to a stranger like me). Free food and hotel accommodations. How can you beat that?!

It's time to reunite with our other friends. Parking is quite a feat here in San Francisco especially near Fisherman's Wharf. We found one near Joe's Crab Shack. Fisherman's Wharf is alive with peeps! I love this place ;oP
Found this store called Boudin where bakers create bread and shape them into animals: koala, turtles, crabs and even alligator. I wonder how they taste.
Ogz and I haven't been to Pier 39 so we checked out the place. I've been wanting to get a big US flag so I got one at "Flags America". I haven't got a photo yet with a cable car. Good thing we found this car waiting for passengers. A nice Aussie lady offered to take our photos.
Outside Pier 39, we could hear sea lions barking continuously. They're pretty hard to ignore so we went there first. Some are just sunbathing. A few are swimming. They're just lazy and loud.
A few distance away, I saw the Alcatraz. Too bad there's no time to visit it.
Before we met our friends again, I spotted the Harry Mason jewelry store on the second floor. I asked the lady associate if she has something for guys. She gave me this. Instantly loved it. I suggested to Ogz to get one too. He got an ear wrap.

We have Bubba Gump back home in Manila and here in San Francisco, they have the same setup where you could put your feet into the shoes of Forrest Gump and sit on the bench. I had to do it for souvenir.
Before we headed back to LA, we located the "Crookedest Street" on Lombard. That capped our 4-day trip to the West Coast.

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