Showing posts from 2009

DSLR - the ultimate camera??

Like many people, my interest in photography has increased dramatically the past few years. For most people, the DSLR represents the pinnacle of photography. It's what the professionals use and few would argue that these cameras produce gorgeous pictures, capture more light than other camera types and allow more control for the "hobbyist." With prices now sub-$1000, the number of people with DSLRs has truly exploded.

I recently had a chance to use a DSLR extensively on a trip and was surprised by my experience. Having started with a cameraphone (that I take everywhere), a point and shoot, and a zoom camera, I assumed a DSLR would be the next logical step. Boy, was I wrong!

The camera that I was able to test was a Canon EOS-10D, one that my fiance obtained several years ago and was released in 2003. While slightly older, this $2000 MSRP camera is still highly rated and representative of the prosumer DSLR-class.

The Canon 10D was paired with an excellent ultra long zoo…

Starwood Preferred Guest

I'm a member of several loyalty programs (United, American, Hyatt, Hertz, Best Buy, etc.) and it's easy to understand why. The costs to joining these programs is usually zero and they reward your loyalty, even if spread out over years, with free flights, stays, or other discounts.

By far, my favorite loyalty program is the Starwood Preferred Guest program. The Starwood Group is an international conglomerate of hotels that consists of such brands as Westin, W, Sheraton, and St. Regis. Their loyalty program has consistently been awarded as one of the top loyalty programs out there and the winning characteristics are availability (no black out dates), flexibility (you can transfer to airline miles, use cash+points) and affordability (free hotel stays for as low as 2000 points).

Combine the Starwood Preferred Guest program with American Express's top notch service and you get one of the most popular reward credit cards out there. $1 = 1 Starwood point.

I absolutely love the p…

B&W HTM3S Center Channel

I've been an audio/video and home theater enthusiast for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite purchases has been my speakers, B&W 804s in a gorgeous rosenut color. Though I have a nice home theater setup, for the longest time, I've lacked a center channel due to space. I'm thinking about fixing that and my dream center channel is the one shown here, a B&W HTM3s that matches perfectly with my front speakers.

Home Cooked Meal

beef wellington (1), originally uploaded by _Mr. & Mrs. Smith_. There's nothing quite like a special home-made meal.  Tonight, it was home-made Beef Wellington. Top notch filet mignon (courtesy of Whole Foods) wrapped with house-made filo dough alongside a generous scooping of creamed corn.  Thank you!  What a treat!  And perfectly medium rare as well!