It Has Arrived


It’s here, the giant iMac, I picked it up today.

Joelle: “Aren’t you going to the Post Office?”

Brent: “Why? The tracking says it’s still in New York”

Joelle: “Honey, I think it’s not going to get updated again. I think that’s the NY FPO — it’ll just be here.”

Brent: “You think so really?”

Joelle: “Yes.”

Brent: “Ok, I’m going to go.”

10 Minutes pass as I drive out to the Navy side with Moka, I figured why not just take her with me. I get 2 yellow slips for packages and I’m trying not to be to excited.

The guy brings out the first box, it’s just a little one, I was thinking coffee. The next box is gigantic and looks promising…the guy tells me, “it’s heavy.” I wrestled it out to my car and as I’m fumbling for my keys I notice the B&H tape on the seams of the box. I’m trying not to be too excited, after all it could be Joelle’s iLife software I ordered at the same time…right?

The box is in the car and the next 15 minutes are the most agonizingly slow and I am behind the slowest drivers on the base. At least school isn’t in session so I can go 40 through there instead of the normal 25, remember, I’m in Japan, that is 25 kph (kilometers per hour)…that’s like 16 miles per hour or something.

I made it to the house with the computer and it’s already set up. My screen…ya…it’s huge…in fact, maybe even gigantic. I have to actually move my head to see from one side of my screen to the other. I wish I had my pictures on so I could see them but that’ll have to wait. Poor me, I have to work tonight, and tomorrow night. It’ll have to wait until Wednesday afternoon, but it’s something to look forward to. I might not even come home and sleep after my watch on Wednesday morning… Maybe I’ll just come home and play with my new computer.

Wow, B&H Photo is super fast.

(Shout out to Aviva for suggesting I try them since Mac won’t ship to us here.)


Can You Believe It???


I wrote about PC vs. Mac a while back, I’ve been trying to figure out whether I should go with a Mac or stick with PC.  Well the decision is in.  I ordered an iMac, but I did not come to this decision lightly.  It seems, PC people really do HATE Mac.  I’m not talking about those PC people who have a PC because they can’t afford a Mac, or those people who just haven’t switched to Mac yet.  I’m talking about those people who really do love their PCs.  Ya, those guys, they HATE Mac.

Mac people on the other hand really do like their Macs, you might say they love their Macs.  I have spoken with Mac people the most over the last several weeks, mostly because I know what the PC guys are going to say.  I wanted to find out what the Mac guys had to say.  Strangely enough there are something like 4 Mac guys here on the island that actually work at the BX on Kadena or the PX on Camp Foster.  I’ve run into 2 of them.

The first guy was a PC guy and is now a Mac guy and I asked him “Photoshop or Aperture?”(Photo programs)  And the 1st Mac guy said Aperture, but he was running videos on the Macs and didn’t really have too much information, so not really that helpful.

The second guy is neither a Mac guy nor is he a PC guy, he’s a UNIX guy.  Since he is a UNIX guy and Macs are UNIX he is a Mac guy by default.  When I asked him “Photoshop or Aperture?” he says to me “GIMP”.(Gimp is the UNIX Photoshop that is free)  I am thinking to myself, this guys an idiot and I’d like to punch him in the face.  Stop being a smarty pants and answer the stupid question.

2 of the 4 Mac guys here on the island are idiots and have the job as Mac guys because they…well…I don’t really know, but they are idiots and were no help to me what-so-ever.

The biggest help I got  came from EVERYONE else I spoke to or e-mailed.  It appears that everyone who’s anyone in the world of photography uses Mac, now I’m sure there are the anyone’s out there who do use PC but for the purpose of this discussion I’m not talking about those folks.  I’m talking about the people who have said to me Mac’s just work, it just works.  I don’t have to download blah blah blah, virus blah blah blah, doesn’t crash blah blah blah, it just works.

So…I ordered it the other day, actually I think it was the 21st and the stupid thing has been sitting in Brooklyn for the last 4 days.  So, anyway, I came down stairs on Christmas day and turned on my PC so I could check the shipping status of the Mac…I turned on my PC so I could check…I turned on my PC…hmmmmm…I TURNED ON MY PC!!!!!!!

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.  Now it appears I have some sort of Power Supply problem, maybe.  Now I’m not saying Macs don’t have problems, I’m sure they do have problems.  But…

Macs…  they just work.

The Stockings were hung….

So, my family is amazing and I love them all.  I know, I know, your family is amazing also, and I completely agree.  I’m not saying my family is better than yours, just simply that mine are amazing.

My Mom and Dad (Grammy and Grampy) have gotten out of their California home several times now and have come to visit us, in Hawaii, England, and here in Japan.  But even though my Dad is from Hawaii, I had to get married to get them to come out for a visit.

Jo’s Mom (GranDee) is world class.  She’s come 3 times to Japan, 2 of those times were to take care of her girl after pushing 2 whoppers out.  Quinn 10 pounds 10 ounces, Kira 9 pounds 12 ounces, both with no drugs. She came to England and even drove on the right side of the road, not the right side but the right side.  Haha, sorry that’s a little bit of humor from us who drive on the left hand side of the road.

Then there’s Joelle’s Dad & Judi (Pop and Grandma Judi), they are supportive in everything we do, they’ve come to visit us wherever we’ve been, but none of these people are the story.

The woman I would like to tell you about tonight isn’t EVEN technically related to us.  She is Joelle’s dad’s wife’s mother (step grandmother???), but she has taken us in and treated us like we are her own.  We keep having kids and she keeps doing these incredible things.   This is not to take anything away from any of the other grandparents and family but this woman is 86 years old and still going strong.  She is Grandma Jones and this is the kind of thing she spends her days doing for my kids.  This arrived two days ago, just in time to be stuffed with goodies for Christmas:

Kira's Stocking

And get this… she has handmade these for ALL of the kids….

Here’s Hannah’s:

Love it


I love the bowling pins hangin' on by a thread.

And Quinn’s…

My favorite Candy Cane tree decorations.

Wow, is all I can say.  She’s always a delight when we visit, she always makes conversations with the boys and keeps at it until they finally open up to her.  She’s welcomed us into HER family and we are thankful.  We love you Grandma Jones and we are happy to be apart of your family.

My Best Buddy


The other day I’m sitting at my computer trying desperately to finish my last assignment, hoping someone logs on and posts their homework so I can see how they interpreted the directions.  I mean JB has already posted but she’s a professional graphic arts lady who’s coming back for a degree in Web Design and Interactive Media.  She’s older and a awesome.  Her work is…well…I’m not going to follow it if I don’t have to.

Anyway, I’m sitting there  when all of a sudden I feel these little arms creeping around my neck and a sharp pain in my leg from a knee trying to climb onto my lap.  Jake was climbing me and I was so frustrated, but I relented and picked him up to give him a hug.

He says to me “Dad…you’re my best buddy.”

Sometimes you just need someone to come up to you and lift the weight off your shoulders for a little while.  I finished my assignment and I got a 98.08% for my class.

Thanks buddy for your love and support

That wasn’t so bad!


That wasn’t as bad as, ummmmm, well, as bad as, well…as it could have been.  You see, I just finished my first term back at college.  Up to this point, and there are 2 assignments to grade still, I’ve only dropped 7 points.  The next to last assignment I think I did good on, but the last one…well, I thought I had read somewhere it had to be like 1 or 2 slides, man was I wrong.  While I was trying to take stuff out everyone…EVERYONE was putting more in.  Aaaaaaaaugh!!!!

I had to work and I couldn’t do the homework at work because all the stuff I needed was at home.  I couldn’t download the example she had for us because I couldn’t find it.

Anyway, before it’s all going to be over I’m going to end up dropping a few more points(Thank goodness for partial credit)but not to many.  I’m figuring since I have 97.76% I’ll still end up with an A.  Not bad for my first time back.

If only I’d done this back in 1988, wait…Oh, I remember, in 1988 I knew all of 4 people including me and had no idea what in the world I wanted to do.  I guess it has pretty much taken me 20 years to figure out what I wanted to get a degree in.  Not really something they tell you when you are starting out college at 18.

A huge thanks to everyone out there who has written an e-mail to me or on my FB, sent me something through the snail mail, called or in some other way offered me some words of encouragement.  It was only 5 1/2 weeks, but about 1/2 way through the class I started to get a little sluggish with my homework.  I made it through, however, and made a couple of online friends, I don’t think I’ve ever done that.

My next class is Computer Literacy, I’ll be getting into the photography classes after that, hopefully that one won’t overwhelm me.  I’ve gotten a lot worse at computer stuff since I’m old and got kicked in the head.  Oh, and here’s a bit of news if you follow my blog much….

I’ve decided to go with Mac.  In my research I discovered Mac people say Mac and PC people say they don’t know.  Also there’s the part about anyone who is anyone in photography uses Mac.  I’m not really sure what that means, but it sure does sound important.  Anyway, it just makes more sense to use Mac for photography for me right now.  I’ll try and get some good posts in over the next 96 and the next 96, which is basically the time between now and the start of the next term.

Mac or PC?

Ok, so….

I’ve got another one for ya.  Mac or PC?  You see, I’ve started back to school recently as an art student, photography art not drawing or any other kind of art really, just photography.  Although I do have to take a drawing class in which I suppose I will be able to practice my stick figures.  Before I get to side tracked about how bad I am at drawing, let me get this dilemma out.  Back when I was in school, college, Mac was the way to go for anything visual arts.  They were still using film back then, but everything else was Mac.  These days I’m wondering if anyone knows which is the better platform and why.

That’s important to me…the why…I’ve already asked around.  From one of the professional photographers that really helped me in my decision of camera Aviva(Mac) to my friend(I didn’t ask him but I KNOW what he is gonna say) Pete.  Including 2 of the 4 Mac guys we have working at the main exchanges on Okinawa.  What I am getting from both camps is:

MAC – Oh, Macs are so great…They never crash…They never get attacked by viruses…Mac programs were made for Mac computers by Mac people…Everything just works…It’s so easy…Mac can run windows also.  Mac this, Mac that, wonderful Mac.  My wife has a Mac, we have iTouches, I’m getting an iPhone when I get to the states, Jo’s iCal is on my iTouch which helps me to be more in touch with my wife’s schedule.  A definite boon to my existence if you know my wife.

PC – Are you kidding, Mac’s are so expensive…I can get twice the computer for the same price…I can get exactly what I want in my computer…PC’s are so much cheaper….

Bottom line, Mac people love Macs, and PC people hate Macs.  What I am looking for is the why, why should I switch?  Why should I not switch?  Remember I am getting my BS is photography.  I have to use Photoshop, I may switch to Aperture 2, I have to use Microsoft Office, I may switch to iWork09.  I’m looking for a mostly unbiased opinion, which I understand I will probably not be able to find one that doesn’t have some sort of slant to it.

What I’m not really looking for is the last time I was at the BX talking to the Mac guy, I asked him “Photoshop or Aperture?” his reply, “Gimp”.  DUDE!!!!!!! That is SO NOT HELPFUL.  “I’m a programmer so I like Unix, and it’s free.” Ok, ok, fine, fine, free, yes I understand that.  Stop being a smartass and answer my damn question.  I’ve downloaded Gimp, I have no idea what I would be doing either there or in Photoshop and at least Photoshop’s interface is a bit more refined than that of Gimp.

You see, I have a PC already, but I don’t upgrade.  I don’t get faster chips, I don’t get better cards, I’ve only a rudimentary knowledge of what I am doing on my computer.  I have to ask my friend Pete if I want to upgrade anything and even then when he asks me a question to inquire about what I am looking for I just have to say, you choose, because I have no idea.  I have no idea about Mac either, my wife is always toying around with getting this so PC people can see it or that so it shows up right on a PC.

In the interest of not taking up to much of your time I’ll end with this,  even open minded people can be closed minded about some things.  As for me I think I’ll see what all the hype is about and make a switch. (At least that is the way I’m leaning right now, who know about tomorrow)

Are we Island People?

It’s not official, like official.  I don’t have official hard copy orders yet but I’ve been put in the spot for…you guessed it.  Whidbey Island.  So that makes Hawaii, England, Okinawa and Whidbey Island.  The only time in my Naval career I haven’t been associated with an island…San Diego and Bootcamp in Great Lakes.

Now I understand Whidbey Island, while it IS an island it’s really, really close to the mainland, and there’s a bridge connecting the island to the mainland.  Still, it’s in the name.  It’s also not tropical but then again neither was England.

Hmmmmmm, I wonder where I’ll end up living when I retire from the Navy?