my weird dream from last night:

my sister and i were visiting a friend of hers. when we got into the apartment, the friend was busy packing, because her mother was their with her younger sister, and the mother told her she had to move out today, because her father - who's a russian gangster - has found out where they're hiding and is coming after them. in fact, i actually saw the father when we came in the building, and when i told the mother this, she seemed more distressed and hurried her daughter even more.

the daughter was pretty upset that she had to move suddenly, but seemed resign to the idea. the father looked like rade servedzija, the russian gangster father in red widow. he brought either his henchman and/or son who looked like keifer sutherland. when we were coming into the building it sounded like the father was disciplining his henchman behind closed doors because we heard sounds like somebody was getting beat up.

the mother and young daughter decided to leave the apartment to look around to make sure the coast was clear. that seemed like a dangerous idea considering they were trying to hide, but i voiced no criticism.

we were in an old apartment building, the first floor of a corner unit. it was old enough that in one of the corners was a custom-made curved window that spanned floor to ceiling. the window was a little dirty from years of neglect and there was some was distortion from outdated glass-making techniques, but it was a great place to look out, with the view was of the town's commercial center a few blocks away. i sat on a bed and took photos with my telephoto lens, of buildings. there was a tower with a romanesque flair, and on top of the tower was the name "ames." nearby was an old looking theatre, with an ornate cast iron verdigris painted facade, also named but i couldn't make it out. i thought to myself, after this is all over, i should come back to this town to take some better photos.

just then i had an idea. if this family was looking to get away without getting seen, then they should climb out the window. my sister and i would leave first, pull up the car a few blocks away to pick them up. the only problem was the window couldn't be locked from the outside, but if they're moving out and never coming back, that wouldn't be a concern.

in the late morning i went across the street to star market to stock up on stouffer's frozen lasagna, my emergency/lazy food of choice. normally they're $4.49 a brick, but every few weeks star has a sale and they sell for just $2.50. i go for the meat variety, the other one being 4 cheeses. stouffers used to make an italiano flavored one that's actually pretty good but i haven't been able to find them in a 19 oz. size (i did however see it in a larger size for $7.99).

my other reason for going was to use the $15 american express gift certificate card i got as a rebate payment for some forgotten piece of electronic i bought months ago. rebates are already a hassle to apply for, but now instead of sending me checks, they give out gift cards, which are a pain to use. the goal is to use up everything so nothing is left on the card, and the best way to do that is to buy groceries (which aren't taxed, making it easier to calculate). along with the lasagna, i also got 10 yoplait yogurt cups (normally 79¢, now 50¢ each). these are actually pretty nutritious at 170 calories each, more than a canned soup - which depending on what brand - is 100 calories (progresso).

it was already raining when i went to the supermarket, and the drizzle picked up when i came back. i had a yoplait (vanilla) for lunch, but then made myself a sandwich a half hour later. just a tablespoon of mayonnaise is 100 calories! not that i'm a calorie counter, but i think it's useful to have some sort of idea of caloric values.

i'm all about 3D photography these days. i'm glad i had the foresight to buy a 3D panasonic HDTV that pairs perfectly with my panasonic ZS20 camera that can take 3D photos. 3D wasn't one of the main selling points when i got the tv, but now i use it all the time. it's still very much a gimmick, but a fun one at that. i also love how the pasasonic HDTV has a SD memory card slot so i can pop the memory out of the camera into the tv and display my 3D photos in a matter of seconds, no computer transfer required.

the way the ZS20 takes 3D photos uses a passive technique where you pan the camera slowly and the camera picks the 2 best matches and marries them together into a 3D image. what it's actually doing is taking the initial photo and then attaching a suitable match from the pan. because it's passive, the technique works well for static subjects, but terrible if there's anything moving. moving objects create disparate regions in the image that breaks the illusion of 3D. there does exist dedicated 3D cameras, like the fuji finepix 3D W3 ($200), which comes with 2 lenses. this is good because you can shoot moving subjects since you don't have to do any panning/scanning. what's even better about the camera is it has a 3.5" lenticular LCD screen that allows viewing of 3D photos, so no more having to wait to come home and see it on the HDTV.

another thing that a dedicated 2 lense 3D camera would allow me to do: shoot videos in 3D. right now i'm fine with just 3D photos.

manually creating a 3D image isn't that difficult, and you can do it with any camera, doesn't need to have 3D capability. you just need to take 2 photos that are about 2 inches apart. i've created side-by-side jpegs that i can display (manually) as 3D on the tv, but i haven't been able to successfully create/modify a MPO file yet (which are automatically displayed as 3D).

macro objects like flowers make great 3D subjects, since they don't move (unless it's windy), that's why i think this will be the year of 3D photography in the gardens. i can also get better depth of field with macros, which further enhances the extra dimensionality.

one thing i wished my panasonic could do is take 3D images with zoom. currently i can only take 3D photos at the widest setting. zoom 3D would be difficult since it's even more important to hold the camera steady so the paired images will be synchronized.

my cable television is holding me hostage. i feel like i have to watch as much as possible to get my money's worth, particularly since i only have 3 months of premium channels then it's back to basic HD (even then i'll still have 2-3x more channels than what i had before). yesterday, i watched a few episode of charlie's angels (cheryl ladd goes undercover in a women's prison). today, some good eats (i learned how to make pound cakes), happy endings, davinci's demons, and HBO vice. i particularly like vice, which is investigative journalism visiting the most dangerous hot spots in the world. watching it made me yearn to travel, particularly to volatile destinations. i also finished watching season 3 of downton abbey, but i still need to see the christmas episode.

i heated up one of the lasagna for dinner. reading the nutrition facts on the box, i was surprised it was only 270 calories per serving. that seemed surprisingly low, until i realized there are actually 2-1/2 servings, so the total is 675 calories, a more respectable amount. there's an awful lot of sodium though, 1775mg, which accounts for 90% of the daily recommended value. next time i ought to make my own lasagna, just to reduce the level of salt. during the summer i'll be able to use some of the roma tomatoes i'm growing to make my own sauce.

i finally finished dishonored. the final mission was sort of anticlimatic, especially since i was on low chaos. even though i clicked admiral havelock, his death wasn't registered as a hostile kill, so i finished without killing anyone. maybe it was the way i killed him though: i possessed his body, choked him out, then climbed to the top of the lighthouse and threw his body overboard. i don't know if i want to replay the game again. i still have skyrim to finish, but i sort of want to install a new game to try out. maybe bioshock: infinite how that i think about it. i just hope i have enough space left on my bootcamp partition.