This has been a big week for digital photography -- notably Nikon and Canon releasing
new DSLR bodies, a full frame (FF) sensor in each, and the first ever FF for Nikon! More on this now:
Canon announced a new flagship body upgrade, their 1Ds Mark III which is now 21 MP. It's very expensive, around $7,000 and
won't be shipping for two months. Nikon announced their new flagship, the D3 at 12 MP ($5,000) and it is more of a pro sports shooter camera.
The Canon 1Ds3 is mostly aimed at high end pro wedding photogs, runway model shooters, and also upscale advertising and landscape photographers.
Links here for both new cameras -- Canon 1Ds3 and the Nikon D3.
Canon also announced their new upgrade body for the 30D, it's now called the 40D and is 10MP resolution; it can capture Raw format in 14 bits of data (older models were only capturing Raws in 12-bit mode).
If money were no object I'd have one of each of these new FF bodies (and would have to buy a lot of Nikon lenses since I own none). Also why should I or any Canon shooter CARE that Nikon finally announced a FF camera? Because it's good for competition! Canon needed a serious threat; they've never had one in that FF space. Excellence. Now the game is on and those striving for best quality cameras will see nothing but positive fall-out (innovation + price competition) these next couple years.
On the agenda today: B.R. Cohn wine and olive oil tasting; sandwiches and assorted from Glen Ellen market deli;
patio lunch and wine tasting at Imagery Winery; Jacuzzi Family wine and olive oil tasting; sparkling wine on the
valley overlook patio at Gloria Ferrer. This was a very fun birthday celebration!
Later we had dinner reservations at Boca in Novato and experienced a nice room for our large party of eleven. Steaks there were excellent.
Part of our group (Jeff & Ellen and kids) explored Muir Woods and Tiburon.
At the right: B.R. Cohn olive grove at the winery...
We'll be taking the ferry later this morning from Pier 33 out to Alcatraz and touring the prison. I was just
out there two months ago. The fog never really burned off of the bay today but the weather out on The Rock wasn't so bad.
Ten of us took the 11:30 boat over and we had a great time!
Afterwards we visited the Presidio and Pres a Vi for wine then did an excellent BBQ grilling of skewers as these photos below illustrate.
Tiger Woods won his 13th Major today, the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK.
It was very hot and humid but he led this tournament since Friday afternoon after smoking the field with a 63. I spent a lot of time
in front of the tube watching his 4 hour victory lap.
I pulled some tired, old and stalky annuals out of the front windows' flower boxes -- maybe replace with some autumn bloomers? I planted these annuals from seed -- I went through three packs of different flowering species seeds and semi-randomly put them in the boxes' dirt and they all grew and bloomed and were pretty fun. It's the most gardening I've done all year.
As far as I or my beer snob aficionado friends are concerned, the Toronado is the best beer bar on the West Coast.
Thanks for 20 great years David Keene! Being a "beer snob" is a good thing; it sets you apart from the corn & rice
factory super light "beers" of Bud, Miller, Coors, Heineken, Moosehead, Beck's, and their ilk.
Back to the subject at hand -- I'll be at the T today for part of the celebration. There was a nice article in the Chronicle yesterday with an interview of David.
As it turned out, the party was definitely awesome -- seemed like close to twenty special beers on the sign on offer at tap. There was no way I was going to hang for long at this party but just being there for a little under two hours seemed special.
I got a fun photo standing next to Pete Slosberg (Pete's Wicked Ales) and as I left a veritable who's who of Amercian brewers were planning on attending the T later in the day.
Photo at left -- Later I picked up Cindy near Union Square and we went to Pres a Vis for a little bit of wine tasting.
Some more photos from today:
The sign at 547 Haight Street.
Interior, early moody long exposure brew shot.
Congrats sign from new Belgium Brewing.
Quaffing a Russian River Blind Pig IPA with longtime barkeep Steve in the background.
Interior opening and very early bar scene looking to the street.
SN Celebration Ale in the Toronado 20th Anniversary commemorative glass.
OK, I am an early adopter naturally. I've been doing my own Web site since early 1996. I estimate I am in
the top 2% of Web adopters in the world. I still suck at writing HTML by hand but at least I can do it and have even
made money doing it (not much, it doesn't matter though). However, this is the first time in those 12 years I've had the fun to say "yes" and attend
two BBQ parties in one day, and a Sunday at that! I really do put myself out there. Thank you Matt & Sara and thank you Jill!
Right now I am gathering ideas for my own little party -- red wine tasting, probably blind and from a numbered, brown bag. One idea is to limit the cost of the wine, with a minimum of $15 (to ban any plonk) to a max of $30 per bottle. Then if the cheapest wins c'est la vie! Some official party ideas are here. While Levy's excellent wine tasting party strategy is here.
Some of the BBQ peeps:
Today is Navarro Winery's annual open house to their club members. We went two years ago and had a blast!
The winery and vineyards are located in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. Navarro also is doing barrel tastings of
their premier Pinot Noir and offering futures for sale (you can pick up your order in a year's time, which is all the more reason for
another fun visit).
Photo at left: the green grapes are from a vineyard tour we took in Aug. 2005.
Navarro vineyards rising to the hilltop horizon. You can take a 4x4 truck tour to the topmost vineyards as we did 2 years ago.
Navarro offers an annual special wine tasting and picnic type setting with plenty of food -- e.g., the BEST spicy grilled chicken wings I've ever had. Afterwards the three of us (self, Cindy, & Linda) went to Goldeneye to taste their pinot noir and then to Meyer Family Cellars for syrah and port tasting.
Photos: Meyer tasting room and view from Meyer to the outside.
Meyer Family website.
Goldeneye's Confluence Vineyard which grows some of the BEST pinot noir in the valley. Goldeneye is a Duckhorn winery. They were tasting five Pinot Noirs at Goldeneye; the first was a rose' of pinot which of course was very refreshing and top quality. Then they tested their Migration and Goldeneye pinots followed by their two pricey single vineyard pinots, Confluence Vineyard (photo) and the Narrows Vineyard. I decided I liked the Narrows the best. These guys (Zach Rasmuson, winemaker) make some of THE BEST pinot bar none!
And, in sports news, Bonds crushed his 755th career homer this evening against the S.D. Padres. Nice job (and tomorrow, Sunday, Tiger crushed his opposition at the Firestone in Akron; he looks good heading into the PGA this week at Southern Hills in Tulsa).
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