Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lowepro Fastpack 250 Backpack

Lowepro Fastpack 250.When we travel I end up lugging around a lot of gear. Most of the bulk comes from the fact that I have 2 bags — one for laptop, one for camera and lenses. I wanted to merge them together and the arrival of D700 kind of forced me to. The older SlingShot1 bag that I used for camera gear couldn’t fit D700 with 24-70mm lens attached.

Here is a short list of things that were a must:
  • Notebook compartment for 15 inch MacBook Pro
  • Good sized camera and lens compartment
  • Additional compartment
  • Ability to take out the camera body out of the bag easily without a fear of anything else falling out
  • All of the above in the smallest possible package

Lowepro Fastpack 250 next to Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW.I had good experience with my current bag and I liked the idea of taking the camera out without taking the bag off. Naturally the first thing we looked at was Lowepro SlingShot 350. In my opinion that thing is just hideous and just too huge. After that I read up on a lot of different stuff and in the end we had two main contenders — Tamrac Aero Speed Pack 85 and Lowepro Fastpack 250. I actually realized that when you have so much weight it better be a full backpack as opposed to a sling shot type bag, to distribute the weight better.

Both of these bags meet all of my criteria including the fact that you can take out the camera without exposing any of the lenses. Judging purely by design I would probably give slightly higher marks to Tamrac bag, but everything else went for Fastpack.

Lowepro Fastpack 250 loaded with gear.Fastpack has a lot more pockets and it really comes in handy when you’re carrying trip plans, passports, filters, wires and so on. Another huge plus for me was the flap that goes over the lens compartment. While traveling you can put put all the zippers under it and thus prevent anyone from trying to pull a fast one on you. We tried both of them on at B&H and Fastpack just felt more comfortable and more secure to me. Overall they are both very good bags and it will probably come down to your own preference.

This past weekend I tried walking around with it having several heavy lenses and a camera inside. It felt very good. I was able to take the camera out without taking the bag off and I think I’m going to be pretty happy with it. The real test comes at the end of April, during our California road trip. I’ll have it fully loaded for the plane and will remove non-camera gear for hikes.

Lowepro Fastpack 250. Side view.

  1. Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW. []

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts

Parmesan crusted chicken breast.I felt like eating chicken with potatoes last night, but for obvious reasons did not want to spend more than 45-60 minutes in the kitchen, and also kinda wanted to boldly cook that I have not cooked before. )

Raychel Ray’s Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Basil and Potatoes with Peppers and Onions came in very handy. The dinner came out nice, just as I hoped it would. ) I followed the recipe almost to the letter — my only deviations were increased cooking time for both potatoes and chicken, and I also dipped chicken breasts in a beaten egg before rolling them in Parmesan.
In: Food & Dining   Tags: , , ,
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

SALT Dafoe Sunglasses

SALT Dafoe BHG.Last Saturday we dressed up for a walk around the city and were ready to leave when I decided to put my trusty Prada sunglasses on. To my dismay the side of the frame broke off in the process.

SALT GlassesNot to put this off for long we drive right to the optics store. My eyes are extremely sensitive to bright light, so I use my sunglasses all year round, every single day.

Wearing SALT sunglasses.After trying on close to everything they had I ended up picking out Dafoe sunglasses by SALT in brushed honey gold. I usually disliked brown and gold colors, but it looks like my taste is shifting with changing fashion.

The new glasses have polarized lenses, which I guess is a big selling point, which to me seems like a disadvantage. Polarized lenses don’t really do much good in my experience, but they sure end up showing all kinds of artifacts all over the place, especially car windows.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the deal we got and with the comfortable fit. I hope they serve me as long as Prada glasses did, which is somewhere around 4-5 years.

SALT Glasses
In: Gadgets & Gear   Tags: , , , ,
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pattern Walk

Yesterday we went for a work on which turned out to be an uncharacteristically cold day. We ended up looking for patterns and textures of all kind and taking photos. Here are some of them.

Brick Wall


Brick Wall

Building Facade


Building Facade

Cobblestone Pavement


Cobblestone Pavement

Garage Door


Garage Door

Ivy Wall


Ivy Wall

Graffiti


Graffiti

Metal Sidewalk


Metal Sidewalk
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Midpoint

Today is approximately a midpoint in my pregnancy — 20 weeks. A couple of days ago I started feeling baby movements — it’s quite a unique feeling, nothing like I expected. Some people compare it to swimming fish, some to butterflies, some to gas bubbles. I have to say that all of these 20 weeks in.comparisons are somewhat valid, but still — nothing can describe the sensation of new life moving inside you. ) I also expected the movements to be somewhat higher up my body, but I guess it will change as the pregnancy will progress and the baby will get bigger and bigger. Needles to say I am excited to finally get to this point!

I feel good (tfu-tfu-tfu), just get tired a little bit faster than before and need a little bit more sleep (I think 8-9 hours per day would be perfect). Overall I gained about 12 pounds, and my belly have grown somewhat (although for many people it sill does not look like a child chamber, but rather like a food storage ) ). I didn’t get any maternity pants yet (although I am planning to go shopping soon) 19 weeks into it.– instead I ordered a belly band online ($18 dollars including shipping) and use it to wear my pre-pregnancy pants partially unzipped and unbuttoned. My jeans and 2 pairs of pants which were a little loose in the waist still fit, but I am growing out of them too. ) My nails have gotten stronger and longer, and my hair looks better too (I think it just falls out less than normally).

I still can’t fully believe that we’re going to have our own little baby in less than 5 months. ) I think the reality of having a baby will settle in only after caring for it for some time. I am excited and anxious at the same time, but I think this is a perfectly normal feeling. ) I am having another ultrasound in a week — hopefully, everything will look fine. So far they said that my placenta is a bit too low, but this will most probably change with the progress of the pregnancy. Let’s hope so. )
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