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Welcome to my den of consciousness on the Internet. Here you will find information about myself and things I'm interested in, as well as news of things going on in my life.

You can begin by using the list of main topics above, the list of recent updated items on the right, or peruse my poor man's blog below. You may also use the site map and the Contact Webmaster links at the bottom of the page, should you have real difficulty in finding what you're after.

I hope you enjoy your visit!


Poor Man's Blog

Now that I've finally taken the time to figure out how to put a dynamic list of what's been recently changed on my site (see right column), I no longer have to manually post stuff here just for the sake of announcing changes. Now this will morph into what it probably should have been all along... a poor man's blog, or stream of consciousness. I am looking at implementing a blog extension to formalize this, but for now that it just for testing. Smiley

If you are looking for something older, you will find it on the Home Archive page.

Welcome Back (01-05-2011)

Wow. Well, between getting engaged fully in various social media and going through some pretty nice (and yet time consuming) life changes, this poor site has been sadly neglected -- beyond simply ensuring that I stayed current with TYPO3 upgrades, though getting onto the latest RealURL version still eludes me.

Anyway, I have been browsing around in these pages and realize that a good deal of the items I have here really are better encapsulated in places like Facebook or Flickr. So I'll be doing some mopping up soon and freshening content (esp the Mercedes SLK docs!) that's a bit long in the tooth.

I can't promise miracles, but refactoring the content here does seem to be a good place to start. I think I'd like to see this site turn into a home base for info about me and my interests that goes beyond the simple (and shallow) "Like" in Facebook. I'd also like to kickstart the blogging features I had once hoped to get going here. I think rather than go for a full, flashy blog I may instead go simpler and do some things with TYPO3's venerable, yet quite useful, News extension.

Do keep your eye on this space!

I came across this sensor comparison report as I was researching info on the new Canon 7D, and looking for qualitative comparisons between it and other options, including staying with my current DSLR body, an older Rebel XT (350D).

I have since decided to stay with my current camera body and invest in some different glass, starting with a prime lens. I should soon have my 50mm f1.4 USM and a few accessories. I have also opted to finally get a proper flash unit, which will allow me to better control lighting in situations where flash is needed.

Gay Marriage Videos (06-10-2009)

I've been tweeting (follow me at @btaroli) and commenting in my Facebook page about gay marriage lately. These are three youtube videos that I have found particularly amusing and wanted to share. Enjoy!

The Defenders

The License (my personal fav!)

Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage

TYPO3 4.2.6 (06-06-2009)

TYPO3 has some great things coming and I've really enjoyed using it as a CMS. Starting with the 4.2 release, though, I kept having difficulty upgrading my site in a test area. I left it for a long while and finally decided to get back to it and make another go... especially now that 4.2 is considered the "stable" branch and 4.1 is "old".

I learned that my issues were very likely due to extensions that were designed to correct issues with Firefox 3 in the early days. Upon disabling those extensions and then upgrading I found the experience much less painful.

I think PHP5 at my hosting provider must have been compiled differently, as I had to enable curl this time. But otherwise things seem to be working great. Now it's time to test my site with 4.3 alpha 3! Smiley

Fareed Zakaria (04-23-2009)

Went to hear Fareed Zakaria speak as part of the Celebrity Forum series.

Maureen Dowd (04-02-2009)

Went to hear Maureen Dowd speak as part of the Celebrity Forum series.

Smart. Insightful. FUNNY. Maureen started by warning us that she's not really a speaker (she read most of her speach)... but I thought she did marvelously. I missed seeing Charley Rose in February, and I learned later that I missed very little (which was sad, because I thought he'd be really interesting). Maureen, though, had us in stitches with laughter almost the entire evening. It was marvelous. :)

Carly Fiorina (01-22-2009)

Went to hear Carly Fiorina speak as part of the Celebrity Forum series.

In some ways, her presentation reminded me of the time I was there during her oversight of HP. She came on very strong in the beginning and seemed a little confused and random toward the end. I think she's an incredibly talented and smart person, but perhaps a little focus would help.

Mark Russell (10-30-2008)

Went to hear Mark Russell speak as part of the Celebrity Forum series.

I found him incredibly funny, all that I remembered from the days I would eagerly await his appearances on PBS many years ago. He's aged, sure, but the dry wit and hilarity are still quite present. My favorite from the evening was... "Proposition 8... Is that the one that says if I wander into a bar with a bunch of gay men I can only proposition 8 of them?"

Jazz by the Sea (02-15-2008)

I was part of a group that went to see a friend and others play some great jazz in Half Moon Bay at the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society this evening. It was marvelous! See below for a video of some portions of the performance, and enjoy!

David Gergen (02-14-2008)

Went to hear David Gergen speak as part of the Celebrity Forum series. I, as many others, have watched and read his commentary and analysis. And although the topics being discussed were reasonably dry, I was quite pleased to find there were several moments of unrestrained hilarity. The insights into the current presidential primary race were quite interesting, and I am interested to see how some of these play out as the various campaigns proceed.

Mia Farrow (01-31-2008)

Went to hear Mia Farrow speak as part of the Celebrity Forum series. She had the entire auditorium in bubbling with laughter. I am inclined to believe she is a true comedian, but sometimes it was hard to tell if she wasn't trying.

Then there was a major shift in topic, as Mia focused attention upon her humanitarian efforts. Front and center was Darfur, including an extremely moving account of Mia's travels to the region and a slideshow to demonstrate just some of what she's seen there. For example, here's one image of a refugee child's artwork that she showed tonight and is posted on Mia's website ( children are exposed to, and often directly involved in, these scenes is apalling... and the degree to which this taints their view of the world is plainly evident in their art.

Before tonight, I was entirely unaware of the link between the Sudanese government and China (oil, arms). But the more I learn the more I am left wondering how anyone couldn't draw parallels between this and the atrocities committed by the Nazis in WWII. Mia at times spoke with such ferocity and conviction that it felt as if we'd transported to a revival meeting. Even so, I was profoundly moved by her presentation.

Once the Q&A started, it was once again as if we were transported. The questions were focused primarily upon Mia and her colorful life... which seems far removed from the antics of her youth.

Going into this evening's lecture, I was uncertain what to expect. But as so many others, Mia was more than I would have expected... and that is, in itself, a good reminder not to judge too much on what we see in the media and instead go and have a look for ourselves!

Updated: November 29, 2017