Sunday, January 13, 2008
So here is a sample quality comparison. The image on the left is scanned from a print. The one on the right from the negative. I did not correct or post process either. I let my flatbed scanner software to its thing and ditto for the negative scanner. Yes the flatbed scanned picture is darker. The print was dark to start with and that's how it scanned. But notice the tie. You can't even tell that the tie is a paisley tie on the left, but it's clear on the right it is. The negative has more range of exposure, and finer detail. I would say the negative scan is a bit over exposed. I remember that suit. It was a light gray-blue with a slightly contrasting weave. About one notch darker than what the negative scan produced.
I have a lot of negatives that I don't have prints for, and some negatives that are not with their prints. It's hard for me to look at a negative and tell if it's one I want to scan or not. I'm going to see if I can just put the negatives on the flat bed scanner and scan them in mass. Then invert them and see what they are. Pick the ones I really want to scan using the film scanner and ignore the rest. In effect create a contact sheet. The film scanner came bundled with PhotoShop Elements and I think it can invert. Stay tuned.
Well I caught up last night on my reading. Maybe tonight I can actually get ahead.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I went for my run about noon and I was sort of surprised that I only saw one other person in the park. It was nice out today. 60 and sunny. When I got home I had a phone message from Larry my friend and neighbor. My iPod pedometer was delivered. I have packages delivered to Larry's house because my drive way seems to cause box delivery trucks to stay awhile. They usually stay a couple hours until the tow truck get them out. I returned Larry's call and he suggested I come over about supper time and pick up the package. I said he had steak for me if I would like to join them for supper. U bet I would. Nice, hot, juicy, and pink in the middle...yumm...that's how I like my steak.
Well the steak was very good as was the wine, but it was the after diner coffee and desert that I REALLY liked. Larry's wife Toni got out her Dark Chocolate Adelaides. Yummy! Two of those babies was plenty.
Larry and Toni sent me home all warn inside and well fed. I settled into my recliner, and watched Green Bay handle the Sea hawks. I had DVRed that game and the New England game which I'm watching as I do this post.
It is suppose to rain tomorrow so I plan to check out the PrimeFilm PF3650u film scanner JB ordered and had delivered here last month. He asked me let him know before he heads this way. No use of him bring all his slides and negatives if it's no good or too painful to use. I'll let you all know also.There is still hope I'll finish the book. One page read in three nights. I just can't keep my eyes open. There is no motivation for me reading in bed. If I wanted to do something in bed other than sleep, reading would not be my first choice.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I also got that fax sent today and added a couple more numbers to my Person-to-Person call interceptor database. This handy device shown in the picture is not for everyone, but it is for me. See I only like talking on the phone to people I like. I don't like phone spam which is what most of phone calls I get are. Well used to get. My phone rings maybe twice a week now instead of twice an hour. P2P will intercept calls and simply will not let the phone ring, or will route the caller directly to the answering machine. Only the phone numbers in it's database get to ring my phone. If you have outgoing caller ID blocked then I'll never even know you called unless you leave a message. It has a password that will allow the phone to ring if you happen to call from a unknown number. It can do time of day screening also so the phone will not ring during the hours you specify. All calls go to the answering machine during that time unless you know the password. I don't use time of day screening. Instead I just use the Sleep button which blocks all calls for the next 8 hours or until Sleep button is pressed again. Very handy for napping and when I want to sleep in.
It has other features like routing calls to certain extensions in the house. Handy for teenagers. Sends all the calls to their phone and the rest of the phones don't ring. It has a little gizmo (smaller item in picture) that you plug your phone(s) into for call routing. I don't use the gizmo. Calls come into my house on line 2 and go into P2P. Then P2P sends only the calls I want onto line 1 which is the line standard phones are wired to. Phones ring, sound, and like exactly like the P2P is not there. Even called ID still shows up on the phones in the house.
Best $129 dollars I ever spend. Check amazon.com if you are interested. I have no financial interests in P2P or in amazon etc. This is just my personal recommendation.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I like hidden wires. Notice I didn’t say I must have hidden wires. The design of the computer desk I have allows for hiding most of the wires, if a bit of engineering is applied. Using some scrap schedule 40 PVC pipe I started engineering. Schedule 40 is the heavy thick PVC not that thin schedule 20. I drilled holes for and installed super size cup hooks in the pipe and mounted it to the desk. I did this because the cup hooks threads don’t hold well in melamine which is what the desktop is made out of. I also didn’t want to drill through the metal desk frame. Using nylon cable ties captured between the desktop and the metal frame I secured the pipe.Why you ask? So I could mount my UPS which weights ~15 lbs and hang cords and those power packs from the hooks. The UPS has a bank of outlets that are surge protected only, and another bank that is battery backed. The surge protected only bank is what the power strips plug into. The battery backed bank of outlets only handle the cable modem, router, sip (VoIP), and the telephone handsets. You do know that most of the telephone handsets require power to operate? I have one old Western Electric phone line powered handset in a closet. The ringer on it can't be turned off, so I don’t have it connected. But I know where it is in case of prolonged power outage.
I mounted three power strips using the same captured cable ties technique, and screwed the super size cup hooks into the melamine. The hooks will be supporting a pound or two so the threads can grip the melamine well enough for that light load. As I’m sure you all know most electronic equipment now days use power packs that are wide and their width (or depth) means you get to use about one out of every three outlets in the strip. I solved that waste of outlets by using handy Y cords that I got mail order. You’ll never see these in stores because if they sold them in stores then they would reduce power strip sales by 75%. One six outlet power strip would support 12 power packs instead of three. I paid under $2 each for the Y cords.
One end of the desk is now very visible and that corner of course was scuffed badly.But my sister Gale on one of her visits introduce me to “Magic Eraser”.It’s one of those cleaning products that really work as you can see from the after picture. I’m sure this is not news for some folks, but just in case you didn’t know about them I thought I mention it.
Well the proof is in the pudding. Here are the before and after.
Here are the almost no wires showing.
The one small loop is a miscalculation on how far down the X10 appliance module descends. The X10 appliance module allows me to remotely turn off ALL the power strips without crawling under the desk or unplugging from the wall. I’ve used these X10 devices for years. Long before X10 became famous for using the pop up or under adds that we now have pop up blocks to suppress. The other wire is for the HI-LO-Off switch for my under desk heater which is the flat panel you see against the wall. This heater is one of those things I wished I would have purchased years ago. The front of the panel gets warm but the back stays cool so that you can mount it to the wall or desk. It’s in its stand right now until I use it enough to know exactly where I want to mount it and then I’ll mount it upside down so the wire exit the top which will then be hidden by the desk so that will be one less visible wire.
Well doing the office relocate allowed me to rearrange my bedroom so I can go on and get my new HD Flat panel for the bedroom. Just have to decide. Another 50 inch one or maybe a nice 5 footer?
While I decide I’ll give you a peek at the next indoor project - Garage cleanup. JB is coming soon and it would be good for him to have a place to work. I’ve finished one page in my book over the last two nights. I’ll need to catch up to get back to my 10 pages per night average.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
The picture shows my real time heart rate is 139, and I’m 56 minutes 18 seconds into my work out. The heart symbol flashes each time it picks up a beat. The vertical bar means a period of 10 minutes in the target range. It’ll show 3 vertical bars after 30 minutes. In this picture the bar represents 40 minutes since it cleared the three bars after I completed the 40th minute.
My Polar heart monitor allows me to set my target heart range. I have it set for 135 minimum and 155 maximum (shown in picture below). If my heart rate goes outside that range it beeps at me. If I stay in the target range it doesn’t beep to nag me – I get to run along in peace. It’s also is a stop watch so I know how long I ran. On top of that it keeps track of the total time my heart rate was in the target range. Then after 30 minutes in the target range it beeps to let me know I’ve achieved 30 minutes of quality cardiovascular exercise. The true beauty of this is it doesn’t matter how I keep my heart in that range. I typically have to run pretty fast on downhill grades to keep it over 135. But I can slow down and walk on steep uphill grades. This means I don’t overdo it and get burned out which is a common reason people stop exercising.
The Polar device is wireless. There is a chest strap (black in the pictures) that picks up your heart beat and transmits that to the wrist watch receiver to display. The watch does not have to be worn. I used to mount the watch to my handle bars when I rode my bike. I believe Polar is the well known brand/market leader in this area. When I traveled the workout equipment in hotel fitness rooms often worked with the Polar device. Very handy to see your heart rate on the equipment read out. Some of the equipment would increase and decrease the intensity to keep you in your heart range.
The battery in the watch last 5 years. I replaced the battery in the 1st Polar watch that I had, and it ruined it. So I purchased the one I have now. I’m still using the original chest strap that came with the 1st watch– it’s over 20 years old. Now granted there have been years at a time that I’ve not used it. I believe the battery in the chest strap is good for several thousand hours of operation. I assumed the electrical signal it picks up turns it on. Somehow it turns itself off. There is no on or off switch on the chest strap. It is totally sealed. Watch and strap can be used in the pool. The picture below shows my heart was in range for 42:50, and the workout lasted 1 hour 2 minutes (I forgot to hit stop).
If you are looking for a gift for that person that has everything this could be it. It will totally change their exercise habits. I have no financial interests in Polar. My recommendation is purely my opinion after having used one off and on for over 20 years.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Karen met me in front of my former office building and she had a package for me – pair of noise canceling head phones I got as a ‘Thanks’ award from Bobby. They didn’t get delivered before I left, but I had Karen my neighbor on the office cul-de-sac watching for the package. She also let me know the visiting 2nd line from Italy has settled into my old office while he’s here. We had a great lunch and as usual mine was good, but Karen’s looked way better. Good manners prevented me from asking for a taste this time. Next time we go to lunch I’ll use that “hey would you like to try mine” so out of politeness she'll offer me some of hers! hehehe - I’ve never been slow when of comes to eating.
I went by Wally’s house after lunch to showed him the headphones. Wally is the expert on them. He has several pair. Out of politeness Wally didn't tell me what he thought of mine. I also know Wally well enough to know he wouldn't fall for that "Hey, you try mine and I'll keep yours" trick - I've only been able to get one thing by Wally in the 15 years I've known him - and I have to say - when I did get something by him I didn't even know I did it until HE explained it to me. Sort of takes all the fun out of it when you didn't even know you won. Anyway, I actually have a pair of the 1st generation Bose noise canceling headphones. They are broken, and I’ve been meaning to send then in for repair for about 3 years. Never found the time. Note to self: Send headphones in for repair.
I stopped by the new super Wal-Mart in Holly Springs on the way home. I bought stuff for the house and a replacement UPS for the still underway relocate of the home office. I just shoved the stuff I piled up on the bed into two boxes. One box is what I will keep and use in the new location. The other (much larger box) is what will go to the next electronics recycling drive. I might try to sell some of it on eBay. I’ve bought stuff off of eBay, but I’ve never sold anything.
I upped my average pages per night. I’m through the 2nd chapter. Bobby, whom I assume will be the main character throughout the book, and Ted are going to try and put one over on Bobby’s mom. My guess is that is going to get Bobby into trouble. What do you Moms out there think? Your sons ever successfully put one over on you? hehehe
Sunday, January 6, 2008
No e-mail or IMs or new blog activity to enjoy with my coffee. I was feeling a bit blue for some reason, so I decided to start on the office relocate while it warmed up outside. I got it mostly dismantled. As the morning wore on I really started not feeling well so I took a break. While on my break Bob is on his way to Tennessee to do some work. He IM me and with his help I got Yahoo Messenger set up and we exchanged pictures and used Yahoo Voice and talked until he needed to pack. I invited Bob over, but this is a quick trip and he goes home Friday. Getting over to see Bob, Julie, and see his granddaughter in the UK is on the list for this summer.
I could tell today was not my day when I went for my run and the only female jogger in the park was bundled in full sweats even though it was 65 degrees. San Diego is the late game so there is still hope for seeing some skin today. Oh right. It’s raining in San Diego – just my luck. Tomorrow is supposed to be 70. Surely full sweats won’t be needed.
A 65 degree day in January is too nice to stay inside so after my run I cleaned up the xB. I then took some pictures of it and the GMC.
David is down under in Sydney IM me on Yahoo when I got back inside. So now I have dots for NZ (Thanks Mark and Toni) and Australia on my tracking map. No dot in the UK. Maybe when Bob gets back it’ll show up. FotoMom would like a visit from you all outside the USA please.
I’ve just seen the Giants beat Tampa Bay and Titans verses Chargers is on now. I had the DVR record them. I’ll have to do a bit more on the office relocate before bed time. I guess I could just sleep in the recliner…
Saturday, January 5, 2008
We had a severe drought here in North Carolina but Kenneth Branch never stopped flowing. It slowed to a trickle during the worst of the drought when we went weeks without any rain. After a heavy rain it will overflow its banks and flood that area. The branch is at the bottom of a valley and the trails wind up and along the hills on both sides.
Besides running I do inclined push ups and squats as I cross over the various springs that feed Kenneth Branch. The rails on the bridges over the springs make a good support for the inclined push ups and provide steadying support for the squats. I added a new exercise starting yesterday. I added three sets of 12 reps of Triceps Dips with Straight Legs . They fit nicely into my run since there are benches along the trails I can use.
Well I'm through the 1st chapter in the book I started a few posts back. I don't remember the title, but I've had distractions. My pages per night rate has dropped to under 10. JB let me know he picked up that book somewhere and realized he already read it so left it for me. I've not read enough to know what it's about. I should be able to know that by 4th of July.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Anyway I pour some of the hot water into the glass pot to rinse it. The pot is on the right with a metal cage and black handle already made in this picture. The rinse also help preheat the glass becasue I like mine hot. I pour that water out and dump the grounds in and fill the pot to the top of the band and stir with a plastic spoon. Then I put the press in and secure it, but I don't plunge for a few minutes - you can't hurry good things. I think the instructions say wait 4 minutes. I like to wait a bit longer since I like it strong. When the time is right I plunge and then pour a nice full steaming hot tasty cup . Ahhhhhh that first sip. Almost nothing beats it. It was way hard this morning to take that a picture instead of drink my fill first.
If you like to enjoy it in the morning like I do you can go to Bodum and check them out. Being single I have the liter size (8 cup) which is plenty. But if you are going to share this morning pleasure with someone consider the 1.5 liter 12 cup press pot so that it lasts a lot longer.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I case you are wondering with all this electronic communications if I actually spoke to anyone face to face today. I did speak with 4 people face-to-face. The UPS guy was the first. Do you know that UPS will actually ring the bell when they come? I've never been home in the day to find that out. They just leave the package and/or the yellow sticky to sign. Today I was treated to an exchange of hellos, then hearing “sign here”, then me saying “thanks”, and a back of a head mumbling something in reply as it headed down the porch steps. Ahh the joy of face-to-face communications. I also will point out I signed using a stylus not a pen. I signed on a line drawn on the screen of some type of big Palm Pilot with an antenna.
The other three people were a nanny and two kids in her care walking in the park where I run. One of the kids (the older one 12? 13?) was complaining about the cold even though she was bundled head to toe. The nanny was British and of course was in typical British style "It's a lovely winters day... step lively, step lively now to stay warm...Look at this gent coming he's in his kit and he's not cold" - it was about 35 and sunny and when the wind blew you understood why they call it "wind chill." I shook the leg of my running shorts and said howdy as I went jogging by. I meet them later on a bridge and stopped for a minute and chatted, the oldest still protesting that it was cold and asking why wasn't I freezing. I started to say what my mother used to tell me when I complained about cold..... "This is not cold. Why when I was growing up I walked 5 miles up hill both ways in 3 foot of snow just to go to school." or something along the lines. Instead I just said truthfully - as long as I kept my pace I stayed plenty warm. I went on to explain I rather jog in 35 degree weather than 90 degree. The nanny agreed hearty, and marched on. The oldest as she past stared at me in total disbelief. A look I often get from anyone under 20. I just smiled back and after a few strides let the smile turn into a grin. I knew the nanny had won since that bridge was about as far from the entrance as possible, and the nanny was taking the long way back. Age and experience beat youth this time - but time is on their side.
Well needless to say I didn't make much progress in the Home Office relocation. I did clear the destination, but after taking one look at unwiring job at hand I and a well timed jingle from a incoming IM from the laptop in the den carried me back into my recliner with the glow of the plasma over the fire place keeping me warm.
I started reading "Hearts in Atlantis" by Stephen King last night. 14 pages in I was out like a light, but not the bedroom light. Note to self: Get a sleep timer for the bedroom light. I'll see if I can make the end of chapter 1 tonight before I go lights out. I think JB left that book here. He read it about a day. Now where is that list of books JB left for me to read? That list of books will last me at least 10 years at 14 pages a day. That's OK, with practice I should get up to 50 pages a day and that will get me through the list, and I'll still be younger than most people when they retire.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
So I watched the AM morning news and was a bit disappointed that the traffic reports on WRAL showed NO backup at my favorite parking lot I440/US1. So I suspect there were others not working today.
I got out about 10am and had a tasty low fat 'good for you' lunch and went to one of my favorite places: Harbor Freight in North Raleigh. JB (my brother in Hawaii) introduced me to them a couple years ago on one of his mainland visits. I limited my purchased to what would fit into the xB. When JB is with me we take the GMC.
That's nice person with the xB is Linda. I bought the xB from her May 2007. This is the only picture of the xB aka 'The Toaster' I have. Note to self: wash The Toaster and take another new picture. After Harbor Freight I went by the computer box store in preparation for tomorrow.
On the way home I stopped by main campus of Wake Tech to check out the CNC classes (Machining Technology). I've always been interested in robotics. I did a paper in College on them ~30 years ago. Gulp. I attended the ShopBot Jamboree in 2006 and hope to go again this spring.
The Sugar Bowl last night was, well, boring. Sorry JB. Hawaii didn't look to good. Hopefully the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl tonight will be better. If it's a blow out also I'll just get a head start on tomorrows project "Clean up/relocate the Home Office." Good thing to do indoors. The high tomorrow is suppose to be chilly 38 . I guess retiring in winter does have a few drawbacks.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Maryann IM me and shared Ground Control to Major Mom blog which motivated me to create this blog. I had actually thought about creating a blog already, so Maryann's message prompted me to take action. Hopefully I'll use this as a form of personal accountability to keep busy and share the things I do. As I IM to Mark a buddy of mine in New Zealand a few minutes ago, if nothing else the blog can be used by others as a sleep aid, or for a quick break from the work place grind .
I did my run and finished about sunset. I had intended to take a picture of today's sunset, but it was a cloudless sky and very bright so today's sunset wasn't special. Which is actually good because it gives me a chance to share my favorite sunset picture. It was taken in Willow Springs early last month by Maryann. She really got the composition dead on. The tree and branches in the foreground framing the beautiful colored sunset. The clouds leading the eye into the horizon.
I got home an went for a jog, and watched the DVR game of Alabama beating Colorado. I didn't get to watch it Sunday since I was up all night finishing work. New Year's Eve I was a bit down, but I got a Happy New Year IM just after midnight and when off to bed looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life.