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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.

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Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Honeymooning in Beautiful Barbuda
I guess the best way to start blogging again after a year and a half is to write a little about my honeymoon. I'll work backwards to the proposal and wedding in future posts but here is a little about the lovely island of Barbuda.

Barbuda is a part of Antigua. It is 12 miles long and 8 miles wide and only has 1,500 people on it. Travel time to get here is about 4 1/2 hours and takes you through Antigua.

The island has vacation space for around 50 people since there are only a handful of places to stay. We chose to stay at Barbuda Cottages on the island's south side.

Barbuda Cottage
Barbuda Cottages

Barbuda Cottage - Front Porch
Front Porch

Barbuda Cottage - Cabana
Private Cabana

Barbuda Cottage Sunset
Sunset view of Cottage

With so few people, It is common to have the entire beach to oneself.

Tropical paradise in Barbuda
How alone time on a tropical beach should look.

fresh coconut
Some fresh coconut

private cabana
Only our cabana is on the Coral Group beach

Beautiful wife on her honeymoon
Cori and I alone on the north beach

Empty Beach
Another empty beach.

Easy to find an empty beach in Barbuda
And another empty beach.

The entire island is a photographer's paradise. Clear water, great skies and white sand are all abundant.

even the rocky beaches are beautiful
Great colors

take a private boat ride around Barbuda
Speedy's Boat

some fresh coconut
fresh coconut

amazingly beautiful sunset in Barbuda
perfect sunsets

the milky way at night
easy to see the milky way.

Barbuda cottage with stars at night
so many stars

fresh coconuts
fresh coconuts again

The only complaint we could have about the honeymoon is that it was hot. 85 in the day 83 at night with 90% humidity. That combined with the itchy bites of the sand flies made the evenings quite unpleasant.

Aside from that Barbuda is a beautiful island. It was a good honeymoon and a good start to a wonderful marriage.
Posted by aparker @ 9:56 AM [No Comments]
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Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Back from the grave after a year and a half
Wow, haven't written on this blog in forever. I'll have to post some updates here, especially with the trip to South America coming around the corner.

Actually had a problem where tweets were being pulled in multiple times. I had 70,000+ blog posts in the table, had to go in and play cleanup.
Posted by aparker @ 2:50 PM [No Comments]
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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Giant and Scan It! Self Checkout to the extreme.
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:

checkout screen

welcome screen

produce scale

produce barcode

scanned item

savings alert

bakery item

remove item

shopping cart

checkout station

done shopping

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.

Posted by aparker @ 10:41 PM [No Comments]
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Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Airport power is convenient at Boston-Logan Airport
Thanks to massport, power supplies embeded in the seats are easy to reach, easy to see and don't present the typical walking hazard that power cables at other airports create. Well done massport!

And, as you can see, to top it off they have added 2 USB power ports to charge your cell phone, MP3 player, etc. Very Very cool. Wonder if you can plug a USB hub into there?
Posted by aparker @ 5:51 PM [No Comments]
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Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Videos from my Italy trip last year
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.

Ok, now on to the videos, enjoy:

Compiliation of Italy read here

Rome read here

Florence read here

Venice read here

All videos captured with an aiptek HD camera.
Posted by aparker @ 10:17 AM [No Comments]
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