Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I Moved My Blog to

As of today October 1, 2008, a new quarter, I moved my blog to the following location.

I decided to host my own blog rather than hosting on Blogger. There are many advantages to having it on my own web server. I have more control, I can upload more images, my slideshows will run faster, I can add plugins for special effects, etc. Essentially, I have outgrown Blogger and I am ready to move onto another level.

I want to thank Blogger for hosting my blog for the past 3 years. I totally recommend Blogger over any other free blog services out there as it served me well, served me consistently without down time, and most of all... it's free. I would definitely recommend Blogger to anyone who wants a quick turn-key solution.

I look forward to your comments and your continuing support. Drop me a line anytime. I also want to thank Jeff Revell who helped me make the transition to my own blog. He did it without any expectation of benefits of any kind. Basically, Jeff did it out of the kindness of his heart. I have to say I only met Jeff once at Photoshop World in Orlando, and he's been a big help and resource to me. Thank you Jeff. You can read Jeff's Photowalk Pro blog by clicking here. He's a fantastic photographer and his posts share many of his insights and tips on photography.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Truckin' for Kids 2008

Tiamo was “Blinded by the Shine!” These are no ordinary truckers, but rather men, and even ladies, who not only know the value of a great cause like Juvenile Diabetes, but also take immense pride in their trucks. Tiamo Photography once again had the privilege of photographing the Truckin’ for Kids Truck Show and Races. Those astounding semis began arriving on Saturday morning out at the Irwindale Speedway and out came the polish and rags. It is chrome so shiny, that you can see your reflection (just check out the photos for the proof)!

Some of the real magic happens on Saturday night when the lot turns into a light spectacular courtesy of the thousands of lights coming off the trucks and trailers. As photographers, it’s magic to see what we see traveling around the states delivering goods and produce become a piece of art. Sunday the gates open to the public and they are treated to the sights of these hard-working folks as they are given the opportunity of getting up close and personal with the trucks and drivers. Of course, they are treated to the sounds as well when the racing begins on the drag strip in Irwindale. The crowds fill the stands to watch the rubber being laid down and the smoke off the tires as the trucks compete for top speed.

Tiamo photographers truly appreciate being a part of an event that year after year does so much to benefit the children they represent and the hard work on their behalf. Diabetes hits close to my heart because my Mom has been living with this disease for the past 35 years. It's difficult to see my mom take insulin shots every day. The add bonuses are the meeting of new friends and the renewing of old ones, and of seeing trucks we’ve enjoyed photographing before and discovering new favorites. We will see you all next year!

(We invite you to take the time to visit our online proofing to see for yourself just how fantastic these trucks are, and ordering images for yourself is also available.)

World Team Tennis Sectionals

The Finalists fo 2008 8.0 WTT National Qualifiers

These guys met up against a very tough team this morning playing last year's National 8.0 WTT Champions. They fought hard and provided the spectators with thrilling tennis that equal to the professional level. I'm so proud of all of them. It was a long journey for them this season and unfortunately it ends here this year. Well, there's always next year. :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Window in Arizona"

Brick Window by Meteor Crater in Arizona
I photographed this picture exactly 10 years ago today when I traveled to my first Arizona camping trip. This brick window was at the visitor center by Meteor Crater exhibit. It intriqued me because it looks like we're peeking into the great southwest of this great country. I remember reading many details about Arizona when I was in the 4th grade. Now that I was there 10 years ago, I thought it would be so cool to capture it and bring it back home with me.

I photographed this picture with my first Sony Mavica digital camera. That camera used floppy disks as storage media and each picture is less than a megapixel. But it did the job for me back then when I primarily photographed everything on film... from 35mm, 6x6cm medium format, to 4x6 large format plate film. *Sigh* I haven't looked at this picture for almost 10 years.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Edna and Paul Driving to the Petroleum Club

I've been tailing Edna and Paul for the past 15 minutes waiting for the perfect moment to photograph their wedding day while driving from one venue to the next. They looked so cool in their vintage Mustang convertible. Everyone was driving by and honking at them as a way to congratulate their recent nuptial. This is such a Southern California Style Wedding. :-) I'm glad to be part of their special day.

Edna and Paul Ramirez Wedding

This is a picture I took with my iPhone right before the lovely couple exchange their vows. The St. James Church in Redondo Beach is gorgeous add to the perfect afternoon lighting. I rate this church as one of the best churches to get married.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Amanda & Cris Montoya Wedding

I wasn't feeling well today so our associate photographer Jennifer "pinched-hit" for me working side by side with Brian. I came by later in the afternoon to join the dynamic duo in photographing Amanda and Cris's wedding. Their wedding coordinator Helen Wu did a fantastic job in assisting the lovely couple with their choice of venue at the Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel, CA. This church had the right amount of ambiance to make their wedding ceremony extra special.

We then headed out to LA River Center and Garden for their reception. This place is magnificent as it's decorated with beautiful greeneries. We couldn't be happier to be part of Amanda and Cris's special day . Here's a sneak peek of their wedding images. Enjoy and turn up the volume. :-)

Here's what Amanda and Cris have to say about Tiamo Photography, LLC.

Amanda & Cris Montoya Wedding from Terry Chan on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Titanic Exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel

My high school buddies and I spent a day touring Las Vegas. We ventured into the Titanic Exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel. We were not allow to take any photos inside the exhibit. However, we did take a photo by the house photographer in front of a green screen. She then superimposed us in front of the grand staircase of the Titanic. By the way, this is a real set. They did a great job replicating the grand staircase. The tour was relatively short because we read every entry and looked at every artifact carefully. And still, the whole tour took less than 1 hour even though we spent 15 min at the gift shop. Fortunately, we got half price tickets at the Tuscany Suites Hotel where we stayed last night. I believe the exhibit will be moving to the Luxor Hotel next month. All in all, it was facinating looking at the artifacts that are almost 100 years old and how well it was restored from the bottom of the ocean. Definitely a must see but leave the kids home as it is a somber exhibit.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Photoshop World Star Trek Spoof Blooper Reel

This is the Star Trek Spoof Blooper Reel at Photoshop World Las Vegas 2008... ahem the G version. There's a R rated version as well. :-)

Photoshop World Las Vegas Star Trek Spoof Blooper Reel from Terry Chan on Vimeo.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Please Say a Prayer for Jasmine Star's Mom

I met Jasmine Star briefly in the past and most recently at David Jay's Freedom to Succeed Tour. She's a wonderful and gifted photographer. In fact, I have seriously considered to hire her as my wedding photographer if and when I get married.

On her post today, she spoke of her Mom's illness. Click here to read Jasmine's blogpost and say a prayer for her and her mom. Jasmine's mom produced such a talented and gifted child, she deserves to win this battle against cancer.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Adobe Announced Photoshop CS4

Adobe announced Photoshop CS4 Launch Date today. I signed up for the webcast on 9/23 at 9AM. You can also sign up by clicking here. Johnny L gave us a sneak peek of CS4 at the Photoshop World Keynote this morning.

Photoshop World Las Vegas 2008

Well boys and girls, I'm heading down to the Mandalay Bay Convention Hall to attend the Keynote Address and other entertainment by Scott Kelby and his crew of Photoshop Instructors. I've been looking forward to this convention for several months now because it is a fun place to learn a very difficult graphic program... Photoshop CS3. I get a good bang for my bucks because for $399 I get 3 days full of instructions from the nation's best instructors. Can't beat that! Stay tune, I will update what I learn from some of the classes this week. By the way, you can download your own hi-res version of the poster above by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Afternoon at the Beach

Finally, kicking back taking a little R&R at the Mandalay Bay wavepool beach. Tomorrow will be hectic running around at Photoshop World Expo and Convention.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

World Team Tennis 3.5 Division

Ditto, my WTT 3.5 team remains undefeated the whole season after we won our final match today. We're heading to Las Vegas as well in April. I'll be having both of my teams competing in UNLV. I'm hoping that there will be no schedule conflicts (like I did at Mixed Sectionals earlier this year). Stay tune for more info and progress. :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

World Team Tennis 4.0 Division

Yay, it's official, my WTT 4.0 team made it to sectionals. We will be competing with other WTT 4.0 teams around the nation in April of 2009. It was a tough season but we managed to stay undefeated and therefore clinching the local title without even have to win the last match of the season. We played our final match today and even though we lost to the 2nd place team, we are still the local champs because every team as lost at least twice. SO, stay tuned and I will update our progress at Sectionals next April at UNLV!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Photoshop World Las Vegas in a Week!

Yes, it's that time of the year again. PhotoshopWorld Las Vegas in a week!! I usually learn so much during 3 days of conference. It's well worth the registration fee because I end up using what I learn and apply it to my photography business. It has brought back the registration fee many times over. Besides, I enjoy networking with other Photoshop users in the world. You know how the NBA claims they are World Championship when it's just teams within the US. Well, PhotoshopWorld attendees are actually from all over the world. Scott Kelby and his elite team of instructors draw attendance from all over. In fact, NAPP has reached new heights in membership back in April at 700,000! I'm sure it's much higher by now. Also this year, the theme is my favorite television show... Star Trek TNG. Yes, I'm such a geek. :-) So, you folks who have not joined NAPP ($99 annual membership), just come to the PhotoshopWorld in Las Vegas, and they will even throw in 1 year NAPP membership. Members has their privileges as they say in AMEX commercial. You get full access to PhotoshopUser website which is filled with tutorials, and an annual subscription the Photoshop User magazine. In addition, you get discounts on all Kelby Training materials, DVDs, books, etc. Oh, I forgot you also get discounts from AVIS rental car, hotels, and B&H Photo to name a few. I really learned a great deal about Photoshop since I joined 7 years ago and I encourage all of you to join. It will be the best investment you would make in your photography business.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jennifer and Michael Macaranas Wedding

It's a beautiful sunny Southern California day today and why not? It's Jennifer and Michael's big day. Allen and I have been looking forward to photography our lovely couple for more than a year now. We did their engagement photos last year at our favorite beach location. We had many awesome images. Today is no exception as we capture our lovely couples' special day. Here's a sneak peek of their wedding images.

Here's a brief comment from Jennifer and Michael about their wedding photographers.

Jennifer and Michael Macaranas Wedding from Terry Chan on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tacoma WA: Glass Museum

This afternoon after visiting Museum of Flight, I ventured 27 miles south to Tacoma and visited the Museum of Glass. I didn't get a chance to walk into the museum because it closed 5 minutes (5PM) before I arrived. However, as most of you know, I'm intrigued about photographing stairs and this place is paradise for me. :-) The outside structure is so interesting that I spent over 30 minutes photographing it. Here's a slideshow of some of the images I photographed today.

REI in Seattle WA

I woke up kinda late this morning from the early flight to Seattle, and working all day yesterday. But, I managed to stop by the REI store in Seattle WA. I believe this is the original REI store. I remember making my first mail order purchase when I was 18 years old. REI is now a large chain store covering the entire US.

It's the biggest REI store I've ever been to. It consists of 4 stories, and an outdoor the middle of the city!! I was also intrigued with the giant compass embedded on the floor on the second level. You can see right through to the ground floor. I actually compared the compass heading with my trusty Tissot Multi-Touch watch. Surprisingly, they both point to the same direction. ;-) LOL

REI in Seattle WA from Terry Chan on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Michael Phelps: The Most Decorated Olympian in History of the Olympics Games

Well, I got back to my hotel after dinner and a long day photographing a wedding in Seattle WA. I washed up and got ready for bed. It was a good thing I turned on the TV and sure enough it was Micheal Phelps winning his 8th Gold medal in one Olympics. What a feat! I ranke this way up there with Pete Sampras winning 14 grand slam titles. The only other athlete to do so is Mark Spitz and he only won 7 gold medals... back in 1972... 36 years ago?!?! Now Phelps has raised the bar to another level, a level which no human can attain any time soon. Perhaps another 36 years?!?

Let me put it in perspective for you... I was living in Hong Kong at the time when Mark Spitz won 7 gold medals in one Olympics. Now, I want to remind you that it was 1972 and broadcasting was at its infancy... no Internet, no WWW, no nothing. We didn't even know the sport of competitive swimming but we all knew who Mark Spitz was. He was a household name! Thirty-Six years later finally another American not only matched Spitz record but surpassed it a day later. Michael Phelps' performance is not human as he had to swim 17 races, setting 7 world records, winning 8 gold medals with one winning only by a mere 0.01 seconds... in 8 days. By the way, this makes 16 medals, 14 of them gold...WOW!

Anyway, I'm glad that I watched it tonight. It's inspiring to know that with a little talent, a lot of hard work, plenty of self-discipline, and undying competitive will, one can achieve greatness. This is a recipe of being successful and achieve anything we set our minds to. It's an inspiring lesson. I hope all of you enjoyed this Olympics as much as I do.

Huimin Zhang and Shawn Call Wedding

I flew into SeaTac Airport early this morning from Ontario Airport. I'm not usually a morning person, but today it was different. I was looking forward to photograph Huimin and Shawn for a number of weeks now. It was a beautiful day with blue sunny skies and warm comfortable temperature. Bascially, a recipe of a perfect day. And why not, it's Huimin and Shawn's wedding day. :-)

Here's a sneak peak of some of their wedding images.
And here's what the lovely couple have to say about me at the end of the day. Turn up the volume for this one. :-)

Huimin & Shawn Call Wedding by Terry Chan from Terry Chan on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Celebration Dinner for Christopher, Tiffany, and Stephanie

Tonight, my whole family drove all the way to Beverly Hills at the famous Mastro Restaurant to celebrate Christopher, Tiffany, and Stephanie's venture into undergraduate studies at UTI, UCI, and USC respectively. In addition, it was a welcome back event for my niece Briana's recent travel to Europe. It was a festive event as we dined at Mastro's famous Napa room surrounded by many expensive bottles of wine (as you can see in the photo on the left).

The food was superb as well as opulent because it was served to us in astronomical portions. We first started with the crab cakes which is basically, biteful after biteful of crabs. Then came their famous "Seafood Tower" appetizer which includes lobster cocktail, shrimp cocktail, king crab legs, roar oysters, and crab cocktail. I was 75% full after the appetizers. Then came the bone-in fillet which was big enough to serve 3 people. The sides were family style size which includes saute mushrooms, lobster mash potatoes, wasabi potatoes, steam broccoli, and cream corn. Honestly, I couldn't finish more than 40% of my fillet even though it melted in my mouth. I also had a bite of their Chilean Sea Bass grilled in butter. It was so moist and tender that it disintegrated as soon as it entered my mouth. Each bite was a mouthful of moist and tender morsel of the best fish I have ever tasted. Finally, we topped it off with dessert which includes Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, mouth watering pecan pie, chocolate mousse cake, and crème brulee. We all had a doggie bag as no one could finish all these delicious food.

After dinner, we had a live musician dedicated a rendition of Elton John's "Lion King" which the girls love so much when they were younger. Here are few photos of tonight's festive event. Congrats Chris, Tiff, and Stephy! Also a big "Thank You" to Kwok & Esther because they picked up the hefty tab!! :-)

Stephanie Makino and Kai Nagata E-Session II

Today, I woke up early to join Stephanie and Kai at Will Rogers State Beach for their engagement session. As you may have noticed that I photographed Stephanie and Kai a couple of weeks ago at Long Beach, CA. Today is just a bonus session because Kai wants to have crashing waves photos for his engagement photos. Well, if that's what Kai wants then that's what I'll provide. I had a wonderful time with Stephanie and Kai because they are the nicest couple ever. I wish them happiness and the very best with their marriage. Here's a sneak peak of their engagement photos today. Enjoy the slideshow and turn up your speakers. :-)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

David Jay: Free to Succeed Tour with Jasmine Star

Tonight, I drove all the way down the the LAX Sheraton Hotel to attend David Jay's Free to Succeed seminar. He had many insightful ideas about pricing packages, post processing, and branding oneself.

Jasmine Star was the guest speaker. She gave an inspiring speech about how she started 2 years ago as a wedding photographer literally with nothing. Yet, that didn't stop her because she photographed 37 weddings the first year because she was "determined". DJ and JS were funny, insightful, informative, and inspiring. They were surprisingly good speakers. Spending $99 and $15 for parking is well worth it. I would definitely recommend every photographer whether amateur or professional wedding photographer to attend the Free to Succeed seminar.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5.6 Earthquake hits Southern California

Hello Everyone,

Just in case you're curious, everyone is ok and we survived a 5.6 earthquake today. The epi-center was in Chino Hills. It was a little scary because I was on the 9th floor in my building and we swayed back and forth for about a minute and a half. 90 seconds may not seem like much but it's like an eternity when it comes to earthquake.

I quickly drove back home to check if everything was ok. I then realized that my house is so messy that it looks exactly the same. In fact, I think the earthquake sorta move my stuff in a more orderly fashion. :-) That's bachelor living in socal and working 2 jobs.

Peace. Talk to you soon.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stephanie Makino and Kai Nagata E-Session

Today I had the pleasure of photographing Stephanie and Kai's engagement photos. They were so funny and photogenic which made it easy to capture great photos of this lovely couple. Unfortunately, we tried to capture a mixture of urban and beach front photos, but we ran out of time because we lost the light when the sun sets. No worries, I offered to do a 2nd part of their engagement session at another place and time. Keep your eyes peeled for the 2nd part of their engagement session. In the mean time, here's a sneak peek of their images today in a slideshow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bose Companion 3 Speakers Follow-Up Review

A week ago on July 4th, I purchased a Bose Companion 3 computer speaker system (comes with a wired remote and subwoofer). I finally hooked it up to my Mac Pro tonight, and it is phenomenal. It sounded even better than the ones in the Bose Showroom. As with previous experience in trying out speakers in the showroom, it always sounds better there because the showroom is acoustically controlled and design to accentuate the quality of the speakers. However, this speaker system delivered sweet melodic mid-tones, non-ear chilling highs, and a heartful deep bass. It's by far the best computer speakers I've heard. Considering, I almost bought the Companion 5 system. Now, I'm convinced I made the right choice because Companion 5 would be too much speaker for my purpose and the Companion 3 delivered the perfect blend for the money. Bravo to Bose Sound System!!!

Finally, the iPhone 3G in my hand!

Well, after trying 4 times since Friday morning including twice on Friday, and 4.5 hours yesterday morning at the Apples Store Pasadena, I finally got the iPhone 3G in my hands. Yay!

I have to say one of the nice new feature of the new iPhone 3G is that it comes fully charged right out of the box so that you're up and running as soon as the plastice wrapper is removed and the acitivation process is completed. It also comes with a soft cleaning cloth to dust off grit, dirt and grimes on the phone as well as the screen. However, I have not need for that because i promptly purchased the antiglare shield an a see-thru plastic case to encapsulate the phone to avoid damages scratches and keep it in as mint condition as possible. Can we say "nut-job"? :-) Actually, it's a good thing as I already dropped my iPhone 3G twice already. I have this theory, the newer the phone and the more pristine condition of the phone, the slipperier or my inability to hand on to the phone gets. At least, that's my theory. :-)

I have to say the new iPhone 3G seems and feel thinner than the first generation iPhone. I made a side by side comparison. It's the same length as the previous phone but it's about 2 mm wider than the older phone. That's why the crystal protection screen shield will not work for both phones. You have to purchase the correct crystal film for the phone.

I also noticed that the screen seems to be sharper and crisper in displaying images. However, it's slight warmer and it has a yellow tint to all screens, not just images.

The virtual keyboard seems to be more accurate as I am mistyping less often. Yes, after a whole year, I'm still struggling with the virtual keyboard.

The battery life which Steve Job boasts is a lie. It can't possibly last more than 24 hours without charge, unless the phone is in non-use mode. Currently, I have 3G and bluetooth turned on, and it's sucking up battery like there's no tomorrow. I might have to bring it back to exchange it if it's defective. The battery went out on me 3 times today. Fortunately, I had my old iPhone portable charger with me. I was surfing on 3G, watch a quick movie clip of the "Shooter", and the bluetooth was turned on to connect my wireless headset. Literally, I can see a quarter of the power status bar went down. That's within 10 minutes of time!

I also noticed my cell phone coverage under 3G is not as good as EDGE. I usually have 4-5 bars of signal in the San Gabriel Valley area, but now it's only 2-3 bars. I also noticed that I had a couple of dropped calls for the first time in the SGV area.

Although, I still can't copy and paste, but I with the new 2.0 software (older iPhone can download for free upgrade), it's nice to at least delete multiple emails at once. And also a complete delete all emails within trash, sent items, junk, outbox, etc. It saves alot of time maintaining storage capacity and not get cluttered up with unwanted emails.

Incidentally, just a side note, a year ago today I almost returned my first iPhone due to a number of issues. Click here to read that post.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The New Apple iPhone 3G is here today!

I got up bright and early and head over to the Apple store at the Grove arriving just after 8AM, which was the scheduled store hours for today. The parking lot was relatively empty and I thought I beat everyone there. To my surprise there were at least 250 people already on line. I guess, I'll have to come back as the line is not moving at all. They are only letting a handful of people in at a time.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Upgraded My Macbook Pro with a 250GB Hard Drive

I upgraded my Macbook Pro from 160GB to 250GB hard drive tonight... actually it's early in the morning. It was no easy task because I needed to remove over 24 screws and 4 of those are torq screws which required a special tool. After 45 minutes of surgery, I was up and running with my new hard drive. I now have 90GB free space.

The whole process begins with getting a SATA 2.5" hard drive enclosure. I searched all over including the Internet. Most of these enclosures costs approximately $100 or more. I found one surprisingly of all places at Fry's Electronics for $19.99. Yes, $20!!! It's made by Coolmax. It comes with a carrying case and it's own little screw driver to tighten those tiny screws. You don't even have to buy a whole precision screw driver set. You can even use your tool for future use. My favorite part of this external enclosure is that it comes with it's own USB cable. When connected to a computer, it draws power from the computer via the USB. No additional AC adapter required! This really streamline the use of this hard drive enclosure without hunting for an electrical outlet.

I then connected my new 250GB hard drive to my Macbook Pro by installing it into the Coolmax hard drive enclosure. I then downloaded a freeware called SuperDuper and duplicate my hard drive to the external 250GB hard drive This freeware worked flawlessly. Copying 145GB worth of data took several hours. I basically click the start copying button and went out for dinner. When I came home, it was all done. I then followed the long process of removing the screws to open the case to get into the internal guts of my Macbook Pro. It was a delicate procedure. The hardest part is keeping track of all the screws that were removed. I removed the 250GB HD from the CoolMax enclosure and replaced the 160GB HD. I then took on the arduous task of replacing all the screws and secure the Macbook Pro.

When I turned on my Macbook Pro, it just kept on blipping and a quick constant LED flash. I was nervous that I might have screwed up my Macbook Pro. Most of all, I told myself "Crap! I have to remove all those screws again to get to the hard drive!!! Argh!!!" Fortunately, I stayed calm and researched on the Web with Lan's Sony VAIO laptop and Googled the symptom. It turns out that all posts on the Web points to a loose memory module. I guess I didn't seat the memory module tightly enough when I had to remove it to get to the internal hard drive. I reseated it and Voila! The computer booted right away and I heard the familiar chime. :-) My Macbook Pro now has an additional 90+GB of freespace!

By the way, the Fujitsu hard drive is only running at 5400 rpm . It's not the fastest but it's only $99.99 at Fry's Electronics this weekend. I needed more storage space and if I needed more speed, I'll just move projects to my Mac Pro.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Bose Companion 3 Desktop Speakers

Today I purchased the Bose Companion 3 Speakers at the Bose Outlet at Cabezon, CA. I've been checking out this speaker for months. I couldn't decide between the lower model Companion 2 system (no subwoofer) @ $99 and the Companion 5 system @ $349.99. The good thing about the Bose Outlet store aside from the discounted price is that their demo station is side by side with the same music. I liked the Companion 2 speakers @ $99 but it's definitely sub-par to the 3 and 5 series. I found the Companion 5 is superb but maybe too much speakers for my need because if I really want superb quality sound to listen music and watch movies, I'll just turn on my home stereo system. The 5 series is perfect for those consumers who do no have a high quality home stereo system. That leaves the Companion 3 system which has low profile and footprint satellite speakers with a fantastic subwoofer for the low bass. It's like no other computer speakers I've ever heard. Just think the Companion 5 is even far better than the Companion 3 speakers. So, for those of you who do not have a home stereo system and want to listen to music or watch movies with your desktop computer, the Companion 5 system is the way to go. The Companion 3 and 5 system also features a remote volume control which also has a headphone jack and audio input jack for plugging in your mp3 player.

I've been lurking like a vulture for a sale for months. The retail price which never goes on sale is $249.99. It's finally the 4th of July weekend sale with an additional 10% off of the outlet price of $219. It's $197.10 before tax. It's such a good deal, I just couldn't pass up this offer even though these are considered refurbished models. It still carries the 5 year Bose warranty. Go check it out this weekend before the sale is over.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy 75th Anniversary SAG!

Seventy-five years ago today marks the birth of the Screen Actors Guild. We were watching a documentary at the AMPTP and it says the official date when the Guild was registered is June 30, 1933.

Who would have thought that exactly 75 years later that the Guild would be on its last day in Theatrical / Television negotiations with the studios at the AMPTP. The picture above was taken this morning while SAG was waiting for AMPTP’s counter (final) offer. This is a historic event as this contract agreement will not only affect the next 3 years’ 4+ billion dollar contract, but it will set precedence and impact the Entertainment Industry for decades to come. If SAG negotiation team gives in too much it will affect the lives of many working class actors.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bridal Show @ the Pomona Fairplex

This morning my partners and I got up bright and early to venture all the way to Pomona or "Here Comes the Bride" bridal show. This is a picture of our booth. What do you think? :-)

We're showcasing our canvas prints. I'm not tooting my own horn... I think our images printed on canvases look fantastic. This is what differentiate us from our competitiors.

As a bonus, anyone who books a wedding with us today gets a matching engraved his and hers iPod Nano with their wedding slideshow. I have one in my hand and it looks great!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Outrageous Gas Prices!

This is insane! This is not trick photography nor very good Photoshop work. The display is correct. I just filled up my gas tank and it cost me almost $76! And I filled up my tank 5 days ago. That's an average of $18 per day to operate my car for commute. I gotta find another way to get to work.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

BODA Dry Lens Bag Follow Up Review

Just a quick follow up with my review of BODA Dry Lens bag after a couple of months of use at weddings and engagement sessions.

All in all I like the system a lot because all my accessories and most use lenses are centralized to a single position on my waist. When I need something from the bag, I swing it forward and when I'm I'm done, I swing it behind my left buttock. This way, I don't walk around knock down things around me. The zipper and the ballistic nylon material is well constructed and not once, did the zipper caught onto anything and it was easy getting in and out of the bag.

However, the belt is not as rigid as the Think Tank belt or other belt system such as the Lowe Pro. Its lack of rigidity makes it uncomfortable to wear the bag on my waist throughout the entire wedding day. It slips and slide too much. To further add to the problem, the waist belt that I got was size medium. According to their website, medium fits 34"-47" waists. I'm 34 but I found the belt still a little loose and I couldn't tighten it any more. So, I've been looking to replace the belt with the small belt which is 26"-34" waist. This way, I can tighten a little bit more. The shipping for this $10.99 belt is $6 which didn't make sense to me because shipping is more than 50% of the cost of the belt. Finally, my business partner Allen decided to get the Boda bag as well after seeing me use it in action. So, I piggy back my order for the belt.

Much to my dismay, the belt is too short!! You say, how can it be? I say the same?? How can it be that my waist is in between 2 belt size? Impossible! Especially according to their website there's no gap between the 2 belts. How is it the longest length of the small belt is still shorter than the shortest length of the longer belt? I'm gonna contact Boda tomorrow to first complain and the inquire about their quality control of the belts. In the mean time, I still can't wear my Boda Dry Bag on my waist. My waist size falls right in the gap of the two belts!! :-(

Monday, June 09, 2008

New iPhone 3G announced today

A little more than a year ago, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the MacWorld 07 Conference. If you're a follower of this blog, then you would know that I have been using the Apple iPhone for the past year. Although I was not completely happy with the first generation iPhone in my initial review, I wanted the new 3G iPhone to improve on the first generation and I've been anticipating today's keynote address by Steve Jobs.

The new 3G iPhone was announced today at the WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This is a much anticipated and rumored announcement. For months, there are forums speculating the new iPhone of its features, design and cost of the phone. It's now only $199 for the 8GB and $299 for the 16GB version. It sports a 3G data connection. Basically, Apple finally addressed most of my gripes (and other iPhone owners as well) with the debut of this new iPhone. I'm happy to say, job well done. Watch the keynote below.

This is the commercial for the new 3G iPhone.

As you already know, this new iPhone has 3G data connection from AT&T which is not available to the iPhone until now. 3G was only available to the Blackjack, Treos, and Q. The old EDGE data connection was so slow that it wasn't feasible to use the iPhone for Web access unless you have a WiFi access near by.

The other new feature that I was anticipating is the Enterprise email connection to Microsoft Exchange Server. iPhone users can receive their company's corporate emails, data, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, with their iPhone. They improved on their PDA portion of the iPhone

The new 3G iPhone has built-in GPS. It's not a big deal to me since I already have a portable GPS (Navigon 2100) and my Blackberry Curve has TeleNav. Nonetheless, it's one of the big selling point of the new iPhone 3G.

Finally, you will be able to download Apps right from the iPhone such as games, and other utilities.

SAG Rally Against AFTRA

SAG had a rally against AFTRA's decision to sign with AMPTP this morning. A number of celebs showed up to support this effort. I, of course was on site photographing the event.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Movie Review: "Kung Fu Panda"

This is by far the funniest animation feature film since "The Incredibles", "Toy Story", and "Cars". Jack Black was amazing as the adorable chubby Panda chosen to be the Dragon Warrior to battle against the evil Tai Lung. His epic journey from the day-dreaming kung fu master wannabe noodle shop seller to the hero of the movie albeit predictable. However, the characterization and the animated voice-over by the entire cast is just phenomenal. The dialog plus the comedic timing of Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman really kept me laughing in tears throughout the whole movie. Yeah, I know all you macho guys might be laughing at me for watching this movie... well I challenge you to go see this movie and walkout not laughing or think this movie is for kids only. As I recall, there were many men in the theatre with me and they laughed even louder than me! Now that's a feat in its own! So, don't miss it. It's a definitely a 2 thumbs up.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Rackets

I'm so excited today. Lan ordered a pair of brand new Wilson K-Factor Tour 90 rackets for me and the order arrived today. This package came with 4 sets of synthetic strings, tennis bag, tennis stencil, stencil ink, and 12 grips. I'm gonna have this racket restrung Friday. Can't wait to try it out!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chris & Julie's Wedding

Today, I was invited as a guest to Chris & Julie's wedding. A little
change of pace :-) Chris was on of my boy scout kids. I met him when
he was on 11 years old. Wow how time flies. It's 17 year's later and
I'm so proud and happy for the two of them.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Movie Review: "Indiana Jones in Kingdom in the Crystal Skull"

Lan and I wanted to catch the midnight show on Wednesday night of "Indiana Jones in the Kingdom of Crystal Skull" but we were a little tired even though I've been looking forward to this movie for quite some time now. Fortunately, we didn't stay up late and stand in a long line because this movie was actually somewhat disappointing. I guess partly because the previous 3 movies set the bar so high, and we've been anticipating the 4th movie for more than 19 years.

Harrison Ford's age actually showed as he didn't do any of his own stunts. He moved slowly. Too bad, his character was one of my childhood heroes. :-) The story was a little far-fetched, and a little weak. George Lucas' ILM's CGIs were fantastic as usual. That's a given. Moreover, re-introducing Karen Allen as Marion was a nice nostalgic touch. Also, early in the movie a quick reference to the original movie really added to this movie. Shia LaBeouf of "Disturbia", "Transformers", and "I Robot" did a magnificent job playing his long lost son. The tension between the characters showed throughout the movie and it made the movie somewhat dull plot to be more interesting. Finally, at the end a brief foreshadow that Shia's character would eventually take over as Indiana Jones was good tease to the audience.

All in all, Lan and I gave a small thumbs down. :-( Sorry "Indy".

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vancouver BC

Took a short weekend trip to Vancouver BC. This place is beautiful. Taking a short break right now to enjoy the scenery. The weather is perfect 70 degrees. The sun is shining and most of all the air qualityis superb. I'm almost hyperventilating from the high level of oxygen. :-)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

San Marino High School's Production of "Cats" the musical

Tonight I went to San Marino High School to watch my niece, Tiffany, perform in the musical "Cats". Needless to say she was magnificent as she had many solo dances. She grew up so fast as I still remember holding her when she was just a baby. She showed maturity in her performance. Her pose and her lines were so perfect. I definitely noticed major improvement in dance expression from previous years' performances. I, being the proud uncle, was so proud of her that I was welled up with emotions... happy ones of course. Here's a slideshow of her performance.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tennis: We're Sectional Bound!!!

Well, we did it this year! We're Sectional Bound for the 8.0 Mixed Team representing San Gabriel Valley! It will be the weekend of my birthday next month. From the beginning of this mixed season it is my goal to get the team to Sectionals after a tight lost to Hatty's team last year. We missed sectionals by a match lost. I'm so happy that we pulled it off despite all the obstacles we had in the past week. Two of my key players Tac and Judy were on the injury list. I had to leave work for a couple of hours to win with Beverly to clinch out berth to So Cal Sectionals!

Match summary is below. Who would've thought with 3 of my key players not on the lineup, we were able to pull it through losing only one match out of nine matches!!! That's phenomenal. It's much more than I expected!

Sat. 4/12 1PM vs. Santa Barbara
David and Sandy won 3-6, 7-5, 1-0
Tac and Beverly lost 7-5, 6-4
Alain and Lan won by default

Sat 4/12 4PM vs. Temecula Valley
Terry and Beverly won 6-4, 6-3
Lan and Alain won 7-5, 6-1
David and Sandy won 6-7, 6-2, 1-0

Sun 4/13 1PM vs. Ventura County
Terry and Beverly won 3-6, 6-1, 1-0
Lan and Alain won 6-3, 6-2
David and Sandy won 6-2, 6-4

Above is the team photo of all who played in the last round. Too bad, Tac, Raj, Linda, and Judy were not present. I'm sure we'll have another photo op at Sectionals!

P.S. Now I have a dilema. I wasn't expecting to have all 3 of my mixed team go to Sectionals. The schedule are directly conflicting with each other and at 2 different location. I'm gonna have to choose which team to play for. Perhaps, I can play one match with the SGV 7.0 team.

Friday, April 04, 2008

BODA Dry Lens Bag

I first came across BODA at the WPPI Convention in March. I didn't pay much attention to this bag at first. In fact, I walked by it a couple of times without even stopping, just casually glancing. Anyway, today is the last day of the Photoshop World Trade Show in Orlando Florida. I walked by the Boda booth several times for the past 3 days. Once again I was not intrigued enough to stop until today. They had a tiny little booth with just 2 salespeople, one table, and a couple of samples for people to look at. You have to understand that every other company has elaborate setups for their booths.

Boda features 2 bags, the Boda Dry Bag and the Boda Dry Jr. bag. Why do they call it Dry Bag? Beats me. :-) No actually, it's suppose to be weather proof because the zippers and the tough ballistic nylon is to keep your equipment from getting wet during inclement weather or being splash by a big wave while at a beach shoot.

This nifty little bag carries a whole bunch of stuff with its tiny little foot print. Its design is to carry all your accessories and several of your essential lenses. It has a compartment for batteries, one flash, one long lens (70-200mm), a divided compartment to hold 2 shorter lenese ( 16-35mm and 50mm 1.2), business cards, 8 CF/SD card compartments, pens, cell phones, a lens cloth, etc. The Jr. bag is essentially the same except smaller. It can hold one long zoom lens or 2 shorter lenses. It's not intended to replace your camera bag. It's used when you just need to be on the run and need quick access to your accessories. That means you still have to carry your camera on your shoulder. The Boda Dry bag can be worn with a shoulder strap or a waist belt. The belt comes in 3 sizes. Make sure you purchase the right length otherwise it would be hard to run around with 15 lbs strap around your ankle. :-) I think it's a great design because I don't want to carry my entire rollaway bag to a wedding anymore. Althought the cost of the Boda Dry bag is about the same as medium size roll away bag. Incidentally, BODA is "wedding" or "marriage" in Spanish.

I've been looking for something like the Boda for quite some time. And in fact, not long ago, I wrote a review for the Think Tank bag back in November 17, 2007. I was and still am very satisfied with this bag system. It fits snugly against my waist and I'm able to carry my essential lenses and memory card storage system. In fact, I can run with the system around my waist. I'm gonna give this baby a try and will do a follow up review later in a month or so. In any case, I couldn't pass up a really a good deal because the show special is $175 which includes a waist belt, a lens divider, and most of all... no sales tax and shipping. So, if you attended WPPI or Photoshop World, be sure to mention the show special when ordering online or over the phone.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Midnight Madness at the Peabody Hotel

It's Midnight Madness where it's the only Photoshop World session which they guaranteed that you will learn absolutely nothing about Photoshop! My good friend Jonathan joined me this time and he's a newby to Photoshop World and Midnight Madness. He initially stated that he can only stay for a moment, but he had so much fun, he end up staying practically for the whole night. :-)

The picture above is of course me in the middle sandwiched between the Layers Magazine weekly podcast hosts... Corey Barker and RC Concepcion. These guys teaches everything about Adobe which means they know every Adobe application inside and out... Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreaweaver, Flash, etc. Go to iTunes or to their website to view their podcast.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Epcot Center

Well, I landed safely after my red-eye flight to Orlando landed safely. It was still only 8AM after I rented a car. So, it was too early to head out to Epcot and also I was still pretty tired. So, I decided to head over to my hotel and check in first. Fortuntately, they had a room available and I as soon as I got in, I feel asleep in bed. I didn't get up until 12 noon. I know even though I lost half a day, I had a much needed nap and as I'm still very jet-lagged.

It's pretty humid here and the locals were laughing at me when I made that comment. Mainly, this is pretty comfortable for them. :-) I'm such a whimp now that I lived most of my life in southern California. It also rained from time to time but I managed to fit in all of Future World. I have not been back since 1996. I had a chance to sight see a day before the conference began and I had a blast at the Epcot Center.

Epcot Center hold a special place in my heart because when I was 16, I read that Disney World is opening a new theme park called Epcot Center. Ever since that day, I've been dying to go there. Unfortunately, I never had the money to go until after I graduated and started working. And even then, I had to wait another 8 years before I had the chance to go. I actually had a bit of anxiety anticipating my arrival to Orlando because of the Epcot Center. If I were to do this again, I would spend more than 1.5 days there because I had to rush toward the end before the park closes. Perhaps next time, I don't have to wait another 16 years.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photoshop World Orlando

Well, it's only a week a way. I can't wait to go there next week and learn a whole bunch of Photoshop "stuff" from the great teaching faculty of Kelby Training. Perhaps, I'll join in on the Photoshop Guys live taping of Photoshop User TV as well. This year, the theme is Star Trek. I can't wait to see what the Keynote address has install for us. It's gonna be a riot. These guys are so funny. Well, come back next week to have a day to day recap of Photoshop World Orlando '08!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Got an Autographed Photo of Michael Dorn (Lt. Cmdr. Worf)

Today I had the biggest surprise! While working hard at my desk, I was summon to go to the President's office to photograph an event for Alan Rosenberg. So, I hurried down the hall and when I arrived, to my surprise, it was not a photo op at all but it was just a ploy to get me down to Alan's office so that Anne Marie Johnson can give me a autographed picture of Michael Dorn who plays a well known role as Lt. Commander Worf in Star Trek TNG.

To most of you, this is just a regular picture, but to me this is priceless because Michael Dorn doesn't signed Star Trek memorabilia anymore. In fact, last month when Lan and I went to the Star Trek Tour at the Queen Mary, some of the cast of TNG artwork has everyone's autograph except for Michael Dorn's. This is a very rare Star Trek TNG keepsake. It's all due to Anne Marie Johnson. She's a good friend of Michael Dorn. When she invited him to the SAG 75th Anniversary celebration, I was somewhat starstruck when I saw him. I'm usually pretty cool around celebrities. Anne Marie found out about my admiration of him, and worked her way in for the past 5 months to get an autographed photo for me. She is such a sweetheart.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is a special day for many couples as they celebrate their love and affection for each other. I know it's been way too commercialized in the recent years and most everyone lose sight of what today really means. To me, it's not just a celebration of love of your significant other but it's a day to cherish the people you love in your life... friends, family members alike. So, even if you're "hitched" or "attached" to a significant other, please take some time out today to cherish the people around you who loves you, and how much you love them. No need for fancy gifts, extravagant dinner plans, or exorbitant bouquet of flowers. You don't need that to show your love for each other.

And for those who got engaged today, a big CONGRATULATIONS to you all. Please remember to keep me in mind when selecting a wedding photographer. :-)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Rat!

Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choi, Lay See Dow Loyr. :-)
I called my parents early this morning to wish them good health, wealth and happiness. It's always better to do that early in the morning vs. later in the day. They were happy to receive my call. :-)

This year is the year of the Rat (rather than mouse??). It's also the beginning of a new Chinese Zodiac Cycle and the year of the Pig ends it. There's an old fable that explains the "pecking" order of the zodiac signs. Unlike the western zodiac cycle, our zodiac lasts a whole year rather than a mere 30 days. By the way, this year is a good year to get married, so contact me when searching for a photographer for your wedding this year. :-)

Chinese New Year lasts 10 days and is considered a major holiday for us and our neighboring countries... except for Japan which celebrates the Western New Year on the first of January. Although the traditional Chinese calendar did not use continuously numbered years, its years are now often numbered and 2008 to be 4706.

I remember growing up in Hong Kong, Chinese New Year was a lot of fun and I looked forward to it every year. My Mom used to make a big fuss by cooking special sweet dumplings, turnip cakes, which she only bakes once a year. It's one of my favorite foods but I only get to eat it once a year. It's a long laboring process, but my Mom always seem to handle it all by herself. She also make a big fuss by buying new shoes for me. It's the only time of the year I get to buy new shoes. YES, once a year! Unlike the US culture, children get new shoes at the beginning of the school year in September. There were years where I would get new clothes too. I remember not able to sleep the night before and waking up early and get all "snazzy up" in my brand new clothes and shoes and ready to visit my relatives who we only visit once a year... yes, Chinese New Year. It's equivalent to Christmas morning for me. I must confess, it's not that I was looking forward to meet my distant aunts (who pinched my cheeks) and uncles, and cousins... it was because I get "Red Envelopes" filled with money. :-) Yes, married adults give out "Lay See" or Red Envelopes to gain good fortunes for their love ones as well as for themselves. We did however, had to rehearse a song so that we can perform in front of our relatives over and over again from one house to the next. Every year is a different song, and I was so young, I didn't even know what I was singing in English. :-) Also, since the New Year lasts 10 days, we didn't have to go to school for a whole week! Now do you see why I used to get so excited about Chinese New Year.

I was however perplexed that every year is a different day. I asked my Mom "why is it not the same day as last year, it's so hard to keep track of?" I was inquisitive because I wanted to know how many days to the New Year. I was told that our culture follows the moon phase to determine months, and therefore years. Whereas, the western civilization follows the traditional long and short months, and every 4 years an extra day in February to adjust for the misalignment to the moon. Whose system is better, who's to say? For me, just tell me when is it, and I will be ready to receive my "Red Envelope", Lay See, Hung Bao.

On a side note: the Space Shuttle Columbia crashed on the morning of Chinese New Year on Feb 1, 2003. It was a sad day for me even though it was Chinese New Year. I remember watching the first Columbia Launch in 1980 as a young lad dreaming of being on the Space Shuttle some day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My iPhone Ran Out of Space

Crap! My 8GB iPhone ran out of space today. I was trying to sync up my latest podcast download of Photoshop User TV, when I discovered none of my videos were able to sync nor download due to storage capacity exceeded. I couldn't believe it because my capacity had always been near but never exceeded maximum capacity. It must have been a recent email I received with a large attachment which pushed it over the limit.

The problem with iPhone email is that it's not search-able by size. It's near impossible to find the culprit that rendered my iPhone useless. So, I tried to delete all emails on my iPhone since I have all emails downloaded to my Entourage. But there's no quick way of doing it. I can only delete one email at a time by the tedious procedure outlined in the Apple website. I searched most iPhone user forums and no one seems to know how to do it swiftly and quickly. I even went to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, they don't have a brief way to delete emails either. I'm really stuck because not only emails in my inbox is taking up space, my sent items are equally just as guilty in killing my iPhone.

So, what I did finally was reset my iPhone to factory settings, and then download my music, videos, and movies again. It cleaned out my trash, sent items, and drafts. I also deleted all instant messages and its conversations. This was a relatively brief procedure (15 minutes) as compare to deleting each email one at a time.

I'm Not a Goldfish!

Anyone of you out there own a goldfish as a pet? I remember when I was young, I was fascinated with them. My uncle lived with us in Hong Kong (actually, everyone lived in one roof in our traditional Chinese culture), and he had a fish tank full of goldfish, angelfish, etc. I remember I kept feeding the little fishees and eventually their belly got bloated and they turned belly up. I did it out of love and affection for the little guys but I didn't know better. I thought I was loving them and doing what's good for them. *Sigh* I was only a little lad without any understanding and knowledge of their limitations. I was thinking from my point of view and didn't pay attention to their feedback and response. This is a prime example of bad communications can result in a bad outcome.

This is the primary reason why I always avail myself and open a 2 way communications with my clients so that I have a better understanding of the needs/wants. This way, I can provide the top notch service that I strive to provide on a daily basis. Most of my clients can attest to that respect.

On a followup story, when I got out of college and decided to move back in with my aging ailing parents. I was the goldfish and my Mom was the little me. She missed having me in the house so much she fed me 5 meals a day. And I was like the goldfish, not wanting to protest and eat blindly until every morsel of on my plate (bowl in my case) was consumed. As a kid, I was told/taught to eat everything in my bowl. The old fable of if I don't eat everything, then the face of my wife will resemble my bowl which is crater-like and scared like the leftovers in my bowl. And also, my Dad kept telling me that the kids in Congo are starving. They would be so lucky to have the kind of foods we had on our table. So very soon, I gained 40 pounds and my heart rate and cholesterol level soar to unhealthy heights.

In retrospect, I should have told myself that I'm not a goldfish and that it's ok to not eat everything on my plate. It's not that I condone wasting food, but when I'm full, I should have the consciousness of saying to myself to STOP EATING!.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I was out picketing with the WGA at Paramount today!

I was out picketing along side with the WGA writers in front of the Paramount Studios this morning. It was a cold windy morning, but I managed to toughen it out. Actually, I had a blast. Yeah, on contrary to most people's belief, picketing was fun. This was an initiative by our new CEO (well, it's been a year, in SAG relative term, it's NEW) Doug Allen, who encouraged all employees to take time out from work and volunteer to be on the picket line for the past 3 months. Today was my turn and I gladly accepted the assignment to break up the monotony of SAG's day to day mundane work.

I met several people including a character actor Victor Kobayashi. Character actors are usually not recognizable until you pay full attention of their background work to support the main character of the story or to enhance the storyline. He told me that the main reason why he participated the WGA strike and picket every morning with them was because he remember back in 2000 when SAG had our Commercial Strike a teamster took time out from lunch and walked the picket with him. He thought to himself that when presented an opportunity in the future, he would pay it forward just like this gentleman did for SAG. So, even though it was cold and windy this morning, he thought it was the right thing to do. What a guy! :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award - The Only Award Show This Year?!?!

I was photographing on the red carpet at the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium today. It was more exciting and packed with celebrities than previous years as it may be the only Award Show in 2008!

SAG President, Alan Rosenberg speaking on stage at the SAG Award Show.

WGA (Writers Guild of America) is currently on strike. The close bind between 2 unions SAG and WGA put a bind on last month's Golden Globe Award Show. The Hollywood Foreign Press did not sign at least an interim agreement with the WGA, the Golden Globe Award Show became a big "Golden NOPE"! The show was aired without a red carpet entry because no celebrities wanted to cross the picket line in solidarity with our sister union WGA. Also, no celebrities came to present at the Golden Globe either. The show consists of only a several (non celebrities) people reading off the nominees, and announcing the winners without the usual "Hoppla and Fanfare". It was a sad, sad, sad Golden Globe Award Show. I hope by the time the Academy (Oscar) Award Show comes around, the strike will be over otherwise, the SAG Award Show will be the only Award Show of 2008.

The beautiful Angelina Jolie!

...and hubby Brad Pitt!

Carla Gugino of "American Gangster"

The beautiful and talented Rebecca Romeijn. "X-Men, Ugly Betty"

Teen Hearthrob Zack Efron of "High School Musical" and "Hairspray"

Amanda Bynes of "Hair Spray"

America Ferrera of "Ugly Betty" not so ugly tonight...

Eva Longoria-Parker, looking just as lovely as ever even without hubby
fame NBA superstar Tony Parker.

Jeremy Piven of "Entourage" looking just as dapper as his character, fast talking talent agent.