This is the first website in a long time that is focused around me. I normally wouldn't even have this, but I know that there are a few people that will really get some mileage out of the blogs, and it gives them one central way to display their galleries to other people.
I really don't know how much I'll use the blogs, but since I took the time to make them, I might as well use them, and if nothing else, it prompts me to finally finish the events section so that it is more usefull.
Check out the addicting games link, it'll have you hooked for hours.
Today I bought my first LED lightbulb as a replacement for a burnt-out 65W incandescent floodlight. I picked up a Sylvania 11W Ultra LED and it is a great buy.
Wattage This bulb consumes 11W versus the 65W of an incandescent. That is only 17% of the power consumption of the bulb it replaces.
Brightness This bulb puts out 800 lumens of brightness, that is 200 more than the bulb it replaced. So for 80% less power it puts out 33% more light.
Color Temperature The temperature of the light is 2700°K which puts it right in the same ballpark as the incandescent. This is a great warm feel and not a problem like compact florescent used to be.
Cost and Savings This bulb cost $15. The cost for a replacement incandescent bulb would have been around $7. The lower power consumption estimates that it would save $4 per year on electricity, so in 2 years the bulb will make up the difference. But the bulb is supposed to last 20+ years, so it will save at least 6 replacement bulbs.
So 20 years with incandescents would cost around $150 ($100 in electricity, $50 for bulbs).
The LED will cost about $50 ($15 for the bulb, $36 for electricity).
If you're a photographer who has finally collected enough junk to merit a larger gear bag, then look no further than the Lowepro Magnum 400AW.
This bag will easily and safely cary your camera, a few lenses and plenty of accessories with room to spare. It is completely modular for easy configuration based on your needs and comes with great extras like: a memory card/CD case, 2 microfiber cloths that velcro into the bag, and a quality built-in rain cover.
The construction is top of the line with zipper covers and clasps to protect your gear while in transit. The strap is wide and well padded for long use. I regularly keep this bag on my back for 4+ hours while covering NCAA football games.
This bag has become my primary storage and transportation bag. I've never tried to take it on a plane because I feel that it is slightly too large to fit in the overhead compartment on a plane.
These things are great. A small profile, easy release, and pivot your camera to almost any angle. The quick release plate makes it a key piece of photographic gear.
Mounts to 3/8" screws, so an adapter may be required if your tripod has a 1/4" screw.
I've used this tripod head all over the world: Rome, San Francisco, Galapagos, Paris, ... It's never let me down. I should also mention that I use this with a Canon 5D Mark II, with battery grip and 24-70 f/2.8 lens. It doesn't have a problem supporting the 5 lbs of camera gear I've regularly got on it.
I recently purchased an iPhone 6 and really love how much Apple improved their product since the 4s. My only complaint is that it is so smooth and sleek that I know it's going to go flying out of my hand. So I would have to do something that I have never done before, get a case.
I was shoping for groceries in Virginia over Christmas when a little pamphlet caught my eye entitled "SCAN IT!". With my curiosity peeked, I took a flier to see what the buzz was all about.
SCAN IT! is basically a hand-held electronic device with a bar code scanner and a screen. You use your bonus card to check out a SCAN IT! unit when you enter the store. Then, as you walk around and purchase your groceries, you scan the items before placing them in your cart. When you check out, you scan "End of Order", scan your bonus card and pay. Talk about a time saver!!!
The welcome screen on the ScanIt unit.
Here are some pictures showing the device.
I was able to try the unit out in Boston at a Stop & Shop and it worked great. Two of the largest questions were around single bakery items like doughnuts and around purchasing produce that is by the pound. For produce, there is a scale with a touch screen.
The produce weighing scale and bar code printer.
Select your type of produce, weigh it, then print out a sticker with a bar code that can be scanned into the device. For baked goodies, just scan the bar code for that item right above it. Simple as that.
Bakery single item bar code sticker
More pictures of the whole process:
scan member card
put unit back
unit checkin station
One annoying feature about this tool is that every 5 minutes, or so, there is a loud cha-ching sound as the device shows you a new item being sold at discount. I can see the point for promoting products for impulse buyers, but the frequency and volume are a little much, especially if you are using the scanner for extended shopping trips.
Oh, and I learned the hard way that removing an item from your cart requires you to rescan the bar code. I don't know why you can't simply select and remove the item, but I had to retrace my steps through the store to clear out my fake shopping list. Quite annoying, but not a big deal if you are shopping for real and the items are actually with you.
remove item scan screen
Let's do even more
But since this is tied to your Giant bonus card account, the possibilities are huge. Giant, are you taking notes? Imagine sitting at your computer at home, entering your Giant bonus card number and then entering in your shopping list. Then that list is used when you get to the store and check out a SCAN IT! device and the items are checked off the list when you put them in your cart.
Or what if you could select meals that you would like to eat and the ingredients you need are added to your shopping list for you to buy when you get to the store.
Take it a step further. What if you had a SCAN IT! in your home and when you threw something away that you wanted to buy the next time you were at the store, you scanned it first and it was put on your shopping list. Then you barely have to think when you leave for the store.
But, the coup de gras, what if the stores could tell you where the items were located in the store? Wouldn't be that hard. Divide an aisle into sections, say 3 feet wide, indicated by section bar codes. Whenever the aisle is stocked or reorganized, an employee walks the aisle, scans the section, then all the items in that section are scanned. That information can then be used to quickly and accurately guide you through your shopping as quickly as possible.
Ok, those are my thoughts. SCAN IT! looks to be a nice system and I hope Kroger's or Public's gets a similar system down in Georgia soon to use.
So it has been almost exactly a year since going to Italy and I thought I would share the videos I took on that trip.
There are two reasons the videos haven't been put up till now. The first is because I was so focused on creating my blurb book about the trip. The second was that I just didn't take the time to edit and post the videos.
Before I show you the clips, there is one lesson I learned that I would like to share with you all. That lesson is to always shoot in the highest quality you can! My camera supported HD video, but I didn't have a computer that could process that resolution, so I shot in DVD quality. My intentions were good, but I can now support HD editing and am sad that I didn't record high enough quality video.