Incase I forgot to blog about it or haven't even mentioned it....during the summer, I broke down and snapped up a DSLR.
In a strange move, I had gone with a Pentax....specifically the Pentax K-r. A large part of my decision was the ability to use commonly available batteries. Came in handy during my last trip...where I seemed to keep running into the hotel gift shop to buy batteries.
I did finally get around to ordering some extra LiIon batteries and an extra charger for the Pentax K-r, but not sure they'll arrive in time for my next trip. Maybe I've bitten myself by setting my mail hold to start before the trip, rather than the day of the trip....
I haven't done any real shooting with the camera yet, just been walking around home getting a feel for it. One thing I've found, is the autofocus is really slow if live-view is used. (which I guess is well covered online...) So, I guess the real SLR experience is there. Though it does default to having review on...like most digital cameras, so I can do the chimping.
Though I usually disable the review function on my digital cameras, especially in situations where I want the least delay between shots...like when I was at Chicago Tardis. So, I'll probably turn it off on the DSLR.
Anyways...the thing I miss...is that they don't sell cameras any more with a 'normal' lense anymore.
It used to be all cameras typically came with a 50mm prime lens...typically an f/1.8 (or better.) Now instead, they come with a simple/slow zoom lens (in my case, a 18mm-55mm f/3.5-5.6). Wishing there was a ~35mm (1.5x) prime lens as the stock.... Since being the standard lens, it would probably be cheap too.
Now, I have a Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens for it...though I'm questioning if that's what I really want to use.
In the old days I had a nice Tamron 35-80mm f/2.8-3.8 zoom lens...though that MF and Nikon (though I don't know if tracking down an adaptall mount for Pentax would get me anything).
Thing is that while I was shooting at Chicago Tardis....I saw there was quite the difference between my Canon Powershot SX120is with its f/2.8-4.3 lens versus my Nikon Coolpix S80 with its f/3.6-4.8 lens.
So kind of wishing for a nice affordable 35mm or 50mm (23.33mm or 33.33m) full frame equivalent prime lens in the f/1.8 or better kind of thing.
Maybe I should've gone with a Nikon DSLR...at least I have the normal lens that came with my first Nikon somewhere still (the later Nikon's were body only.)
Yeah...I primarily shoot in situations of low light and no flashes allowed (though it doesn't stop other people from using flash and ruining shots of mine here and there....) Zoom is nice, but to some extent I can crop better in post. Might want some other size primes though, in case I don't find myself right up close.
Not sure if or when I'll get to getting a hot shoe flash for this camera....
Still working on a case to carry my camera around....miss my old case, but it was bad that I used a lot of duct tape (rather than gaffers tape) back then....and had left a lot taped to it before it went into storage....
Meanwhile, the Lytro camera sounds intriguing...
This being Cyberweek...I tried to cram some stuff in other than just recovery from Chicago Tardis into this week.
Though I haven't actually gotten to all the things yet...I felt that I should start this post before I forget all the things I wanted to cover. Too late
Anyways...one of the important items was new CO detector. I used to have a First Alert CO400?, battery operated CO detector that took a couple AA batteries and didn't do much else. I was looking to buy something like it again, except reading the negative reviews on amazon.com... a number of other people were complaining that unit disintegrates when you try to change the batteries. Which is why I was needing to replace my old one. So, I decided that maybe I would look at a different brand this time around.
Also noted that these things have like a 5 year life expectancy...though my First Alert CO detector was only a year old. I noticed that Kidde CO detectors claim a 7 year life span (though only a 5 year warranty). Though (in part due to Amazon 'recommendations') I got the Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM, which has a digital display....showing current CO levels and historical levels, etc. Which I debated on whether I would want to know if there was a CO level, that wasn't alarming.
Don't know if I paid attention to the fact that it uses 3 AA batteries....one odd thing I've noticed, is that it doesn't say if I should replace batteries regularly....but I suspect it'll be part of the same routine with replacing smoke detector batteries.
Though I don't think I'll replace the CO batteries along with the smoke detector ones on December 25th (because of long DST, I had changed my bi-annual to be on or around June 25th and December 25th.) Though, I've already replaced the battery early in one of the smoke detectors. Odd, because there hadn't been any nuisance trips in some time...and it isn't one that is typically set off by these situations. (usually ones that nuisance trip is the detector in the living room [near the kitchen or the first bedroom from the kitchen. Yeah...something I'm burning on the stove or in the microwave is usually the cause.)
But, getting a new set of 4 9V batteries was something I got in my recent cyberweek purchasing...
I thought I heard ENG… though I was still close.
ENG is Electronystagmography, so I had visions of being wired up similar to my previous PSG/MSLT experiences… but what I had was a VNG, Videonystagmography…where I just wear goggles that watch how my eyes respond to various visual stimulus, positional situations, and blowing warm and then cool air into my ear.
The blowing of air…makes for some pretty horrible spinning….nauseous, and a horrible headache.
Wonder what kind of find I want though…. in 2002 I had heard terms like BPPV and Meniere’s…and that the medication sucked more than the dizziness. Of course, Meniere’s is yet another idiopathic disease…and autoimmune. Though ENT is thinking that my dizziness/vertigo, etc. wasn’t due to an inner ear problem, but rather some other neurological condition….so that he might be referring me back to the Neurologist that had referred me to him.
So, do we just confirm that its still the same thing I had in 2002, and I just suffer…because primary doesn’t want to give me anything that has a potential side effect of causing drowsiness… Like that has anything to do with my hypersomnia. Or even when its medication prescribed by my sleep doctor. Or, that …. not sure…that this overlooked symptom combined with all my other issues, finally leads to the correct diagnosis.
Hopefully its at least something definite.
So, I went to another Chicago TARDIS. I originally didn't think I was going to go this year, so I didn't preregister at 2010. But, later when they announced Alex Kingston and Peter Davison as guests...I rushed online, and registered for a Reserved membership. As time went on, other guests were added, such as Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton. Though later I heard Alex Kingston had dropped out. Kind of sad.
I had tweeted wondering if the set of companions would complete, and Matthew Waterhouse would appear. Though how would that work with Tony Lee being a confirmed guest.
As it happened, the day before Thanksgiving...between entering the schedule into my work calendar and deciding that I should put it on my google calendar so that it would appear on my personal cellphone...Sarah Sutton couldn't make it. I don't know if I was disappointed or not, at that moment... but later I was.
So, this year...on Nov 18th, American Eagle added a new direct flight to Chicago. Before there was only the one 07:00->09:05 to Chicago and 19:30-21:15 from Chicago. Not a huge fan of coming in to Manhattan in the evening, since for some reason there's always trouble getting taxi to come get me at night...and the last few times the airport closes and kicks me out before the taxi finally shows up....over an hour after the flight had arrived too. The new flight of 12:40-14:40 to Chicago and 10:15-12:00 from Chicago.
This year I wanted to arrive closer to start of Thursday night activities, so I took the 12:40-14:40 flight to Chicago. This also meant that I could have Thanksgiving dinner in the hotel restaurant this year...instead of trying to get the most I can out of the free pizza at the All-Access/Reserved reception. 2009 I had prime rib, and 2010...well, I was too late...due to various issues, and not just because I came via DFW. Though I heard other people recalling the weather being more challenging last year. Also this year, I went with booking my transportation with Windy City Limos....there was a link from the hotel's site after I reserved the room to do this. There airport shuttle service turned out a whole lot better than the Go Airport Express service I had done in previous years, and didn't cost a whole lot more. First year was $61, second year was $57.20 (they offered me a coupon code...to 'repeat' the same ride, they offered it again this year). I kind of knew that I didn't want to do Go Airport Express again this year. Since, it was shortly after I booked that shuttle, that the credit card I used got jacked. And, I had to wait until after Chicago TARDIS 2010 to get my replacement card. It was part of the reason why I didn't preregister last year.
Going with Windy City Limos was really nice...a black sedan 'limo' where I was the only person going both ways....was quite nice. Even times when there were only a few people in the shuttles, it can't come close. Wonder how this'll impact my future travel needs....
So, arriving plenty early....just slightly before 3pm...but they let me check in right away. Though there seemed to be some question on what kind of room I had reserved, and if I wanted 1 king or 2 queens...or that 2 queens was more likely all that were available. I was sure that in my Starwood Preferred Guest profile, I had set 1 King. But, got 2 queens....on the 11th floor. (later saw Peter Davison trying to get an elevator from this floor....which apparently was the pre-cursor to his 'Aha!' going down later...)
Then set up in the room and wandered a bit, before finally going in and getting supper. I went with Yellowfin Tuna. Which now as I recall, I had had last year....perhaps I should've gone with the Salmon. I also ate good pretty much all through the convention using the hotel restaurant. Has made the adjustment back to home eating rather poor. Thinking I'm going to get a turkey just so that I can have the whole home experience with one anyways. Though think I need to make room in fridge for one.... perhaps I should plan to use other frozen items up first.
Debated whether I wanted to stand in line for reserved tickets at registration....but the crowd sucked me in...though no hassles this year, since I remembered to bring my form this year. Last year I hadn't, but they found me anyways...after showing them my id. I went up to room briefly to revise my schedule and then hit the reception.
A pretty good reception this year....there was a strange pizza with chopped celery on it. And, it was pretty bad. During things...Janet Fielding and Peter Davison made visits to the tables, and that was nice. Other guests were kind of making rounds, but they didn't get to every table....eventually, I called it a night.
... Hmmm, was going to start many more pages of this...but no, I'm going to publish now, and write other entries later....that way I at least get some stuff out, despite many technical issues I ran into during and since the convetion....
Wow, this is interesting….Doctor Who only started in my area on May 9th, 1983….
Does that mean I became a Doctor Who fan almost as soon as it started for me?
Wonder when exactly The Talons of Weng-Chiang ran …
So, I'm about to go off for a trip...and therefore take a little break from my IntelliPAP AutoCPAP machine....
....and go back to use my old M-Series Pro CPAP machine.
Anyhoo....a while back I had picked up a 'new' laptop computer
Well, the purpose of that computer was primarily intended to easily record smart codes from the readout of the IntelliPAP AutoCPAP, enter them on the intellipap website and generate my latestly report. But, the laptop is currently spending most of its time competing with my other laptop in the living room. But, I did recently pick up a Thermaltake Toughpower Ultra Slim 95 Watts Universal Laptop Power Adapter High-Efficiency USB Charging Port using Amazon Prime....to be part of a rush shipment of goods that I wanted before going to Chicago TARDIS. Except that I'm sticking with my old laptop for travel, and the reason I wanted a new/different laptop power adapter...was that the Compaq 6910p's adapter uses a 3-wire AC cord...and there isn't one easily available near my bed. So, buying a new power adapter that uses a 2-wire cord seemed the way to go. Though there are cheaper, slower shipping ones available.
And, wouldn't you know it...I was on that sight buying a pre-Black Friday/Cyber Monday special and forgot to get the power adapter I had looked at earlier as part of the order. And, now I probably can't...because the adapter alone isn't enough to get free shipping. But, what I did get is getting free shipping....and it would've be nicer to have it with it. Maybe later...
Though I remember why the logic broke....the other power adapter I was looking at, would've been more suited for permanent use in my bedroom (green features) and the Thermaltake more useful when traveling (can never have enough USB charge ports in a hotel room...) So, not sure what I'm doing now....should really finish packing. Took today off to do that, and I haven't started yet.
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Just remembered there are two other things that I wanted to say relating to my Kindle Fire.
First, the touch sensitivity seems problematic for me....I've heard people complain that its too sensitive, for me its not sensitive enough...there are times I get stuck moving, because I really have to press for it to see that I am pressing the next button. OTOH, I'm having a lot of trouble with they keyboard...because it keeps trigger the wrong key next to what I've pressed. Wonder if the alignment is actually the problem?
Meanwhile...the Kindle Fire's keyboard is moving up another issue.
Most of my personal domainnames have .net, and where a domain extension is applicable, only .com is offered on the Kindle Fire's keyboard (doesn't do long press for some other extensions like the iPhone did.) Also my main email domain, is @chen-online.net...and the Kindle Fire's keyboard makes it extra hard to type the '-'...when it is showing the '.com' keyboard.
I had gotten this domain before I knew that lots of places consider domainnames with '-'s in them to be spam (though I didn't know there was also a rule against 12 letter domain names [spamassassin rule]....cursed that my parents' gave me an 8 letter name to go with a 4 letter surname...), and before there were smartphones/tablets where typing '-' or numbers presents extra challenges. And, last weekend, there was a service outage that affected most of my @chen-online.net email addresses. So, I've been thinking for a long time that I need to migrate my accounts over to another domain name (and perhaps find a email centric hosting provider...or leaving the domain with the registrar and use their email services). Seems the Kindle Fire is pushing this up in priority now....
Oh, there's a third annoyance. I emailed the link to an app to my Kindle fire a couple days ago, and it opened the browser and downloaded it and all was good. But, now every time I open the browser it downloads it again. And, can't make it stop...I've cleared cache, history, cookies, etc. It just downloaded it yet again.
Well, it's been just a touch over 72 hours since I got my Amazon Kindle Fire.
I pre-ordered it shortly after it was announced, with an ETA for November 17th with free 2-day Amazon Prime shipping. I knew there was a chance that they should ship early, because they did that the last time I pre-ordered something (The Kindle 2 and the Nintendo 3DS). But, its been a busy week...and I tried my best to keep my calendar open to receive it....I had an appointment pre-Kindle Fire announcement on the 14th, and I was keeping the 15th open for something that was later scheduled in conflict to the 14th....and ended up having an appointment on the 16th. If I had some notice from Amazon just before they shipped to adjust its timing...I might've...since the 15th being open now...I could've gotten it then. Instead I had to wait for UPS to make a redelivery attempt and bring it to me on the originally scheduled day... November 17th.
I didn't open it immediately when UPS gave it to me, in fact I put it down first and then had to find it before I could open it. It was easy to open...no info with it, but I eventually found the power button and it eventually booted and walked me through setup...though complicated by the fact that I needed to know its MAC address to add it to my radius and dhcp server configs. Plus I hadn't decided on an IP for it yet. Fortunately with radius access controls, its easier to find the MAC address of new devices than before.
It came pre-activated, in fact I had seen it in my kindle account before they shipped it (but no serial number was associated with the registration yet)...but I changed its name to follow the naming scheme I had gone with (if you can call only one previous device the basis of a scheme)...though I am tempted to get a Kindle Touch 3G to succeed my Kindle 2....though wonder if they're going to come out with a DX version? What I liked was that my Kindle Fire's email address was my first Kindle's address with '42' added to the username. Though there's a bunch of Kindle apps associated with my account that I don't recognize....wish the automatic naming was more descriptive. Suspect some are devices where I had to reinstall the system or have since be retired.
Though I wasn't crazy enough to buy content for it before receiving it...though I was tempted.
Anyways...what I was getting to, was once I got it working on my WiFi network, the next step would've been registration...and it flashed it briefly before telling me that it was registered and had the name I have given it earlier. And, then it was to update itself. So I found somewhere to plug it in and left it.
Big problem that is getting worse in my home now...so many things that need to get plugged in, and all the convenient outlets are already full and now I'm running out of inconvenient ones too. The Kindle Fire is using one of those inconvenient ones. I've been meaning to build myself some kind of charging center, similar to the kind of thing Cali Lewis was presented doing in a GeekBrief. Perhaps I'll have to step up plans to get around to 'building' it. Just haven't found that piece of furniture to buy to modify yet... Probably just a matter of time that I come across something reasonable on Amazon.com with Prime and get it though....
For quite some time, I've been running WRT54GS routers....that I had hacked to run Sveasoft Alchemy...eventually reaching 1.0 release and then pretty much doing very little to.
Originally, I had gotten a WRT54GS v1.1 that I upgraded, and used with my Roadrunner Cablemodem service. Later word came out that newer WRT54GS had less memory than before, and were switching to non-replaceable OSs. So, I started keeping an eye out for older WRT54GS routers...to get as a spare. One day in a Wal-Mart, I was going through the WRT54GS's on a shelf...when way at the back behind the newer v5 stock, was a v2.0. Well, I had to buy it right then and there.
Later when I moved to Manhattan, KS...I was presented with the opportunity to go dual WAN. Well, wasn't my intent, but I was forced into it. So, not wanting to mess up my 'cable' configs. I set up the backup WRT54GS for DSL use.
And, things have been humming along pretty well, with the two WRT54GS routers and the running of both Cox and AT&T broadband.
That was until last September....I was trying transparent proxy and ended up bricking the WRT54GS for DSL. So, I started looking online for a new router to replace the WRT54GS that would be better than what I had now. One of the key features of Sveasoft is the better QoS...which was important since I was doing a lot of VoIP (having at the time both Lingo and Vonage, since neither had Manhattan, KS numbers...they have since gone away...and its just Broadvoice now. But, I've been thinking of getting another....) But, I had turned of QoS on the cable one, because I found that it was affecting my ability to see the speed improvements that Cox had been making to it. So, I had already started looking at what next after WRT54GS....but now with a bricked router, things were more urgent.
So, what I did was order a pair of Buffalo WHR-HP-GN (with dd-wrt) routers from Amazon, using Amazon Prime...on September 9, 2010.
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I was in Las Vegas, NV for the 26th Annual Patient Narcolepsy Network Conference from October 13-16, 2011 at the Stratosphere.
This is my second Narcolepsy Network conference. My first was the 25th Annual one in Arlington, VA (actually the Hyatt in Crystal City, VA)....
What led me to my first NN Conference was kind of strange. In early 2010, I first heard the N word raised in relation to my continuing EDS problem after successful/compliant management of my Sleep Apnea using CPAP (AHI was less than 1.0....closer to 0.0. In fact it was 0.0 in a PSG I had in December 2010, so sleep doc lowered my pressure so that its around 1.5 now.)
I honestly didn't really know a whole lot about Narcolepsy then, so I started researching it online. Since, I was a regular on the TalkAboutSleep message boards, and attended the Sleep Apnea chats regularly too....I started showing up to the Narcolepsy/Idiopathic Hypersomnia/Fibro chats as well.
From the chats, I feel like I've gotten to know Tracy and some of the other moderators. And, Tracy suggested a few times in chats that I check out Narcolepsy Network and its upcoming conference. With the implication that we would finally get to meet face to face if I went to the 25th one.
So, that's why I joined Narcolepsy Network and then went to the 25th Conference in 2010. Somewhere after I was committed to going, namely I had purchased my non-refundable coach airplane ticket. Tracy started saying she might not show up, and eventually it became a definite. But, she would be on for regular Thursday night N/IH/F chat....so I could do that the night before the conference from the hotel. During the chat I met Ann Austin....
At this point, I wasn't sure there was going to be any future NN Conferences for me. Since they seem to usually be second weekend in October...and doesn't line up too well with other conference/convention activities that I want to do this time of year (namely the Ohio Linux Fest...which is usually in mid-ish September, though the year I last went it was on the Columbus Day weekend....and some day I want to go again. And, Chicago TARDIS....Thanksgiving Day weekend. I actually wasn't planning to go this year , but decided that I would when Alex Kingston was going to be there....she's not now, but Fifth Doctor Fest makes it still seem ok....though its missing one companion that I associate with 5, though Tony Lee kept saying at last year's Chicago TARDIS "Adric is dead"... )
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