Monday, May 30, 2016

Olympus OMD EM10

Badlands March of Clouds

I have always liked Olympus Cameras.  It all goes back to a Stylus Zoom in the 1990’s.  At the time I was using a 35mm Canon Rebel and wanted a compact camera to carry around.  I don’t know why but that little Stylus zoom took pictures that were just as good or better than the Rebel.  The Rebel went into the closet.
Fast forward to the modern era and I decided to upgrade my Digital photography equipment and I went back to the Canon line of cameras.  When I was done I ended up with a Canon 40D a couple of Sigma lens and a flash.  The 40D takes great pictures is built like a rock and can take some abuse.  I’ve fallen flat on my face while trying to keep it from smashing into the ground, the camera faired better than my face.  There were some disadvantages to my 40D though. It is fairly heavy.  It does seem to attract dust on the sensor.  And to buy a Canon lens takes a lot of money.
I had my eye on the mirrorless digital cameras as they came out and I started recommending those to people that wanted a better camera than a point and shoot.  One day I decided to go and look at one myself.  Probably came from walking around China trying to take pictures of my kids and stuff with the 40D.  It is a bit of an ordeal to get it in and out of my Lowepro Slingshot Bag.
When all was said and done I walked away with an Olympus OMD EM10 and a couple of lens.
It feels right in my hands.  I’m left eye dominate and a lot of cameras feel uncomfortable when I hold them up to my eye.  Sometimes there is something poking me in the right eye.  The EM10 minimized this.  There were also a number of instant rebates available at the time that made the cost more manageable.
The Electronic Viewfinder was a must, as I approach 50 years of age my eyes want to see things further and further away.  It is getting harder to hold a camera at a comfortable distance if I’m trying to use just the LCD screen.  The EM10 has a diopter on the EVF so I can adjust it to clarity for my aging eyes.
I  can carry the camera and a number of lens's the charger and a number of other items in my Lowepro Slingshot 100AW (no longer made, but the best one).  The weight is very manageable.  When I carried the 40D with all of the lens's I liked the weight would drag me down.
I really like to take Landscape Photos, the EM10 takes great Landscape shots with the OLYMPUS M.14-150mm F4.0-5.6 II.  It covers all the focal lengths I like for Landscape and gives very nice results.  But that particular lens is not so great for Action Kid shots, with my Kids most shots end up being action.
What I don’t like.
The eye cup keeps popping off in my bag.  Luckily it has been popping off in the bag.
The affordable zooms are pretty slow lens's.  They make taking photos of my kids a bit hard.
The focus is just not as fast as the 40D.
The Prime 25mm that I have is faster,  takes very nice pictures and focus’s faster.  I just like zooms a bit better, It is what I’m used too.  I’m working on this.
I suspect that the Pro lens’s are better but outside of my budget right now.
Would I buy it again?  Yep..  Is my 40D in  the Closet?  For more than a year.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Demonic Wind



Ive been listening to the album Mark by Michael Card.  There is a song on the the album title "A Great Wind, a Great Calm, a Great Fear”.  In this song there is reference to the storm that comes on the Jesus and the Disciples as they cross the Sea of Galilee.  Michael puts forth the idea that the storm is of a Demonic Nature.  This is something I had never considered but he makes some very good points.

First a number the disciples were fishermen by trade.

The apprenent purpose of the crossing is to confront the man possessed by the Legion of demons.

When Christ awakes and silences the storm the words recorded are the same he uses to silence demons.

Since I’ve usually viewed these two accounts as separate I had never considered the thought that they were linked.




Friday, November 13, 2015

Remebering my Mentor

My friend Mike Loser has been gone for awhile now.  I've been thinking about the impact he had on my life and saying goodbye.

Mike liked to make people laugh. It was one of his many skills, when he was around people would be laughing..

 I remember that when he would lose something he would clean his work area over and over again until he found what he was looking for.  It was an effective means of cleaning. I wonder if he every lost stuff on purpose just so he could get his work area cleaned up. Mike taught me a lot about life and work. There were many a days that I just stayed late at work because neither of us had anything better to do and we enjoyed each others company. One of the last times I saw Mike before his passing was taking my wife and first born son to meet him at dinner. He was older and tired but he still laughed at the energy my son has always exhibited. I was very glad that Mike got to meet them.. I miss you my friend.

Monday, October 12, 2015

This House shall pass away.


Deuteronomy 6:6-7

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.


The homes I grew up in as a child are no more. The effects of fire and tornados, in a moment all you remember can be transformed to rubble and cinders. It is the way of things that the dwellings of this world are very impermanent. Even the places of my Wife's homeland while old are still impermanent they will eventually pass away and be ash, dust and rust.

What are the things that last? Are we to be confounded in our lives that everything will pass away and be as nothing? I do not think so. There is one thing that is eternal in this existence. That is our  soul and the soul's of those we know. They are made to be eternal, fulling the purpose of all life, to exist in Eternity with a Loving God. In this knowledge what are we to focus on building? What will have lasting effect 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 years from now? The only thing we can leave to eternity is, if those around us see God in our lives. In seeing God, if they make the decision to trust His plan and accept that Jesus Christ suffered and died so they can be reconciled with God. Fulfilling God's plan for eternity dwelling together forever in His presence.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 is a command given to parents to focus on the things that matter. To spend time telling our children of God and His love. To make it the center of our home. To make it the center of our travels. To be the first thing taught in the morning and the last thing to be taught at the ending of the day. We fail at this in our modern society. So often focusing on the things that fade and rot away. While neglecting the eternal, the souls of our own Children.

As I think on the places where I lived, all gone now, I recall the things that remain. The moments with my parents and grandparents. The times in church, the friends I knew the days and accomplishments of school. Above all I recall the night I lay alone on my bed in fear of dying, trusting Jesus to come into my heart. Not knowing all that meant at the time but it being the start of a journey that has brought me here to this place and will carry my on into eternity. These are the things that matter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Grand Sable Dunes


Grand Sable Dunes Log Slide


We recently traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. One of the most spectacular sights is Log Slide of the Grand Sable Dunes.  It is near a city called Grand Marais.  This is just a spectacular bit of scenery. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Disappointment (A cautionary tale of names)

When you marry outside of the United States many countries require that a person provide proof of singleness. This is usually some form of official document that is a certified affidavit of singleness. In the case of some one with a prior marriage I believe a divorce decree is required to obtain the document.

When I married my wife I required this document, there is a process that China will accept where by you create a notarized affidavit, have it sent to the state’s secretary of state, have it sealed and then send it to the nearest Chinese Consulate to have it sealed by the Chinese government. So I traveled to China with this very document in hand thinking well I'm ahead of the game, yay.

My fiancé’s and I traveled to the local provinces' main city (sort of like the state capital) to submit our paper work.  After a lot of discussion in Chinese the young woman that was the local bureaucrat decided that since my passport had my full name including my middle name while my affidavit only had my first and last name, the affidavit and the passport were not for the same person.  Hence my Wife to be and I could not receive our marriage paper work…..    

As I watched the thunderstorm developing on my beautiful fiancé’s face I was thinking okay who do we appeal this to..  She was thinking “I’m going to marry an idiot".  Okay take a note here, in China the local desk clerk pretty much makes the rule and going to the next higher authority seems to really not be something that people do.  So we walked outside and my Fiancé tells me you need to fix this right now.  Call your consulate and make them fix this.  And that was the course of action we would take and her face was set like flint.

Did I mention that we were getting married around Christmas.  I recommend against this especially in the States.  But at least in some foreign countries things are open.  However the US consulate was not one of them, sigh…..   After some calls with our friends and them getting on the consulate web site we had a plan and an appointment we would fly to the Consulate and get the right papers unfortunately it would be after the new year and our dreams of tax refunds were dashed (later I discovered that was the most infuriating thing for Nancy). Well back to our friends house. 

Traveling in a taxi back to the bus station with my Fiancé, face of flint, frozen anger, we decided to eat.  She walks in a restaurant places an order and sits down glaring..  I tell her you really need to eat, “No”.  Come on dear you really should eat your need your strength.  At this point she looks at me a hint of a smile cracking her stoney demeanor and announces.  “Disappointment is my FOOD!”..  

After that things were alright.  Nancy did become my wife, when we returned with the new documents with my full name everything proceeded nicely.  Interestingly when we had lunch at the same restaurant the works remembered us and remarked that she looked much happier this time.  This was not the end of our battles with local bureaucrats and faces of flint but we still forge ahead together.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Union Pacific 6944



Here is a photograph of the newly restored Union Pacific 6944 at the St. Louis Transportation Museum.  It looks like it had just been there a short time as it is still on the track that comes of the main line which runs by the Museum.  This is one of the largest diesel electric locomotives ever made.  It has two diesel engines on a single deck that appears to be about double the length of most trains.  This locomotive after it’s restoration looks great.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Christ is Risen

The tomb is empty!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

You robbed my cradle

My wife and I are about 14 years apart. I waited till I was 44 years old to marry. I now realize I was waiting for my wife to get a bit older.

My wife is from China and while she speaks very good english as with most people who speak english as a second language she does not know a lot of idioms. While taking either an ESL lesson or some study on the internet she learned the idiom about robbing the cradle.

So one day she looks at me very serious and says "You robbed my cradle!!" :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Precious Pearl

A Precious Pearl

A fierce Dragon
A stubborn Stone
Is my precious pearl
A mountain Stream
A feast in the Desert
Is my precious pearl
A book of Wisdom
A high Shelter
Is my precious pearl
Her hair is like the night
Her eyes like sun kissed waves
Her lips are spring time berries
Her arms a refuge for the weary
My love is a Precious Pearl

Gifts of God

A person from my Facebook friends Don Carson posted this question.

 Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -

Here is my answer, I may have gotten carried a little bit away.

Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -

This is an interesting question that has caused me to reflect some on the nature of God and the nature of Man as well as the relationship between the two.

The question can be approached from a few different interpretations.

One interpretation would probably be a more odd way of looking at it than you  planed.  But if we approach the result of God in our hearts and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit  it is for Salvation and the power to live in Grace from that point on.  And if we approach the thought of the Gifts of God as the things He brings into our lives we can see that those Gifts can not take the place of Salvation and Grace.  We see the example of the Hebrew Nation at various times living in captivity pre and post David.  They would bring great blessing and gifts to those nations and the people would receive gifts and blessings but they did not receive Salvation.  For this discussion we will follow the principle that Salvation is only via the Messiah and those prior to the Cross lived by faith looking forward just as we live by faith looking backwards.  We can also see this in the New Testament in the person of Judas.  He received the Gifts of God but it did not take the place of God in his heart. 

I know that this approach to the question is most likely backward from the intent but that is what came into my mind first.

Lets look at an interpretation that is probably more in line with how most others would view the question.  That is do Gifts from God Come in to our life that will take the Focus from God and turn it to the Gift.  We will once again consider Gifts to be those blessings that we interpret as coming from God.  And here is where the nature of man enters into the picture and where I will take a bit of a contrary view.  My conjecture is that we interpret things as blessings from God when it is actually our desires, wants, greeds, manipulations, bargaining, and such that has colored the event.  That when those things come in to our life and they pull the focus from God, compete in our Heart so to speak for His place. those things did not come from God.  They came from us.

Take a look at Lazarus the one with the sisters Mary and Martha not the beggar.  And realize that the gift that Jesus brought into their lives was sickness and death.  Jesus has healed others at a distance prior to this.  He purposely delays His departure.  Lazarus, Mary, and Martha considered Him the Messiah the One that was to come the Son of God.  Yet He allowed Lazarus to die, this is not something we would ever think of as a Gift but it was.  It was a matter of their interpretation prior to the full revelation of God’s plan.

So, with that view we must be diligent about what is entering into our lives and ask is this for the Glory of God or for my glory.  Is this the leadership of the Holy Spirit confirmed by the whole of Scripture and sound advice of those grounded in the Word of God.  Have I sought the answer to this in Prayer with an open heart. Have I seen confirmation to Prayers that are in line with sound Biblical understanding.  Or is this what I want is it what I desire.  Is it of God.

Now the concept of the Gifts being the Gifts of the Spirit are a matter I will leave to someone else to consider..

Hello World

Hello World: Just to let you know if you happen to look over at the flicker you will see that having kids certainly slows things down..

Sunday, April 13, 2014


It is time to start writing again?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Say Hello to Daniel

Untitled by reboot95
Untitled, a photo by reboot95 on Flickr.

Say Hi to my Son.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I have seen the Lord

“I have seen the Lord” these words that are recorded in John 20:18. These words are the Hallmark of Christianity they are one of the prime characteristics of the Christian religion and experience. They are spoken of the very Deity that is the center of our Faith. A Deity that was fully God and Fully man who dwelt among us and gave up His very life for our benefit. The grave held Jesus with utmost tenacity. Yet that grip of the grave was not sufficient. In Glorious Triumph He burst the chains of death.

“I have seen the Lord” signifies that we serve a living God not a dead god hidden in a grave somewhere, trapped in stone, nothing but an image, a recollection. Our God has lived with us, triumphed over death and dwells in glory. Our religion is of a relationship with a loving, living Deity. One Who desires to bridge the gap between humanity and Himself. Instead of mankind reaching into heaven, instead of mankind trying to make themselves acceptable, God reached down to us and lifted us up with the Lord. We have seen Him.

“I have seen the Lord" proclaims the hope of all Christianity. The knowledge that the grave is not absolute. That our God and Redeemer has power even over what we see as completely final. The Resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to what awaits those who are redeemed, those who are buried in the same death as Christ, Death to Sin. We will also share in His resurrection. In His Everlasting Life.

“I have seen the Lord” is the personal testament of the Christian. Each who have known redemption and been freed of Sin can proclaim boldly they have seen the Lord in their own life. We know the working of a Risen Lord in the conviction that brings repentance, in the sorrow that accompanies realization, in the comfort of forgiveness, in the joy of triumph. We have seen the Face of God and have known the truth by faith we have seen the Lord.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It Is Finished.

It is Finished! The words recorded simply in John 19:30. Echo down the corridors of History. These words announce with absolute finality with no room for doubt. It is Finished. In all of History these words are among the most important ever uttered by anyone. These words ushered in a Covenant made by God with mankind.

The Genesis of this event goes back to the beginning of our time. When Holy God in His wisdom created a Man and a Woman knowing that they would reject Him. God knowing the awful price that would be required to reconcile that relationship gave the Man and the Woman freedom to make their own choice. In that moment of decision they rebelled and were exiled from the fellowship of God who loved them.

Yet at that moment Holy God decreed a promise. He told the Man and the Woman that a child would rise up to crush the head of the serpent and pay the debt for sin. Then History waited, and waited. At the appointed time a Woman conceived a child that was in nature fully man but also by nature fully God. God had sent His son into this world.

God in the person of Jesus Christ dwelt among men. He taught us many things. He established His Church to carry on His Word and Work. He Healed the sick, and sinful, He forgave the guilty. But most important of all He came to a place and time. Where Man in his own wisdom cried out crucify Him. Our very creator came to be with us and we in our own wisdom cried out for His death. Oh, Shame on all of mankind, when confronted by God we wish to destroy Him.

The Cross where Christ died in agony brings us to these words. These Precious words, where a Holy God in the person of Jesus Christ paid the debt of Sin. Where the Son of God took upon Himself all the sins of the world, all the sins ever committed all the sins ever to be committed. There on a hill in this small insignificant world the Creator took the burden of Sin upon Himself. When the transaction was complete he uttered those three words “It Is Finished” and mankind was redeemed. By nothing good in our self, no act was capable, only by the Blood of Jesus and the words “It Is Finished”.

Now what will you do with these words? Will you accept them, in your life? Will you take this healing blood and cleanse the stain of sins from your entire life? Or will you reject the Holy God that offered Himself up, on that cross? Will you reject Him and make the choice to walk into Hell knowing that so long ago “It Was Finished”?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


There are many important words in our lives. Some words are nonsense others convey great meaning in our lives. Of all the words that we can focus on in all of history the three most important words ever uttered were “It is Finished”. Without context these words may mean little. In the context when they were voiced by a bruised and bleeding man hung on a cross they become the most important words to Human Kind ever. It was in the person of that Man that the Creator of the Universe paid for the sins of us all. It was there where my sins were redeemed. Those words echo across history calling out to the lost and dying world that Christ came to purchase with His own life.

In each of our personal lives there are words of significance. Perhaps the most important of my life were tied to the three words of Christ. They were “Jesus please come into my heart” Those words occurred in my mind one night as a young boy. That was when I accepted the gift purchased for me by the life of Christ. It took me years to realize just how significant those Words were for me. That they would be forever etched in the fabric of my life. They have set the course of all the Chapters and Sentences to follow.

A few days ago there were words given to me that will change my life once again. They may be the second most important words of my life. Strangely they are tied to the other words I’ve talked about. The Words of Jesus on the cross and the Words thought by a small boy in his bed. The Context of those words are rooted in the leading of God in two different lives of two different people from opposite sides of the world. Both share a love of God and His redemption. Both have sought the leadership of our Great Creator and Redeemer. The words were in answer to a question. Those Words were “Yes I’ll Marry You”.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reflections on the Third Cross

Luke 23
32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[f]"

43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Think about this.
Here is a man that has wasted a life, he is now near the end, he stands accused and is sentenced to die. We don't know much about him. What exactly were his crimes? We know from Mark at one time both men heaped insults on Christ. We know that one of the criminals expresses the desire for his life to be spared. But then he mocked Christ, little did he realize the power right beside him. However this other man eventually defends Christ. Admits that he himself is being punished justly getting what his deeds deserved. Then he proclaims this man (Christ) has done nothing wrong though. Only by the Holy Spirit could this man have known what to do next. It defies all logic. He looks at the man hanging beside him. Seemingly powerless, dying as well. And says to Him "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom". Jesus replies "today you will be with me in paradise". Oh the joy at those words... Did this common criminal understand the full meaning of what he had just heard. Today even you who are a sinner condemned by your sin to death. Today you will be with me the King of all Heaven today you will join me in my home...!!!!

There are a great many things we can learn from this....

It was not the righteousness of the criminal that saved him. He starts by hurling insults on Christ. He had no chance to do good works. He repents and admitted his evil deeds. All he could grasp a hold of was the grace and mercy of Christ. That was all the he could claim.. And that was more than enough.

Baptism was not required. Although our faith stresses the importance of baptism. This man entered the Kingdom of Heaven with out it.. He received assurance from the ruler of heaven that he would be with Him without undergoing any ritual. Once again the grace of Christ was all that was required. No ritual needed.

Even on his death bed so to speak the criminal found mercy in Christ. We should never give up on anyone. We should continue to tell them of Christ up until the last moment of their lives. This man wasted all of his years and in the last hours he accepted Christ.

The Love and Compassion of Christ goes beyond our understanding. Here is Christ hung on a cross in agony. Suffering the turmoil and punishment of our sins. Bearing the burden for all of us. Standing in our place so we could stand in His. But in the very midst of that he reaches out to this Criminal and draws him to Salvation. Oh the Love Christ has for the lost.. And the desire He has for them to be saved is marvelous.

The criminals are a picture of all of us. We may think of ourselves as having lofty thoughts and mighty deeds. We might see our selves as John standing there at the foot of the Cross with Christ's mother. But we are truly represented by these criminals. Sentenced to death by our sins, rightfully so. Heaping insults on the Creator of the universe. No way of denying our guilt. We are completely and totally dead in our sin.. But there just beside us reaching out to us is Christ. There are no acts of righteousness on our part. We don't have anything to bring to impress the Lord of Creation. We are nothing but Criminals. However the King of all Heaven reaches out to us and says I have a gift for you. All you have to do is receive it. One of the Criminals brazenly rejects that gift and hurls insults at the Lord and stays condemned for all eternity. However the other Criminal humbles himself repents and begs the forgiveness of the Lord and resides with Him to this day in Heaven.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grace Mud and The Living Sacrifice

We are sinful we reject God. While we were still sinners God dwelt among us walked with us and loved us. He then gave up His life on the cross to redeem us.. God comes to us with the gift of Grace but we still want more... We ask what is it God wants for us.. I think we really are asking a lot of times why doesn't God give us what we want... What we really need to be asking is what does God want from me...??

We so often want a complicated answer something that we have to search for and work long to find. But God gives us a simple answer. Romans 12: 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (NLT). This is how I picture it... We crawl off and sit down in the Mud and go wow I'm in mud how did I get here. What is God doing in my life. I wonder what it is He wants for me.. I wonder what it is God wants to give me.. Then God appears to us and we say God look I'm in the mud.. Why did you put me here? What is it you want to give me. God holds out the hands that were pierced for our Sins and says "I have given you my Grace it is sufficient". We would reply but God I'm in the mud please what do you want for me. God would then point to the the alter and tell us "Give your life to me dear child". I think at that time most of us say well God that is not really what I had in mind. I would like to go over there and sit in the field under that tree. It looks exciting... Please God I "want" that excitement.

This made my mind turn to the statement I've heard over and over.. God has a wonderful plan for your life. I realized that God does have a wonderful plan for my life. But it is from the viewpoint of God that it will be wonderful. I think I have a hard time seeing how wonderful it is because I don't have the viewpoint of God.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Nature of Worship

What is the nature of Worship? It is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. Really the last few years. The word Worship is used to refer to a great many things. But what does it mean to God? That is the question that concerns me.

A few years ago I heard a definition that probably put me on to this line of thinking. "Worship is a personal expression of the Love we have for our God and His son Jesus". An expression of gratitude for the reconciliation offered through the sacrifice of Jesus. The word that really struck me was personal. It is what I myself do. That has been a revelation, one of the good ones. It tells me Worship is first between God and me. Worship can take place at any time and any place! It can be expressed in many ways!

But what has Worship come to mean in the modern Christian Church? My thought is we have come to think of it as the part of a Church service where we sing or listen to someone else sing. Christians are starting to call this part of the service Praise and Worship. To a lesser degree Christians might call the part of service where a, Pastor or Preacher delivers a message, Worship as well. Christians are even calling the place this occurs a Worship center.

Why does this trend cause concern? Foremost is confuses the nature of Worship. Actually it constrains the nature of Worship. It promotes the idea that Worship occurs in a certain way, at a certain time. It even goes beyond that it changes Worship into something we watch for the most part instead of taking part in. I believe that these ideas are contrary to what God desires of us to experience in our time with Him.

Now to be clear watching a music performance that is of a Christian nature or listening to a Preacher expound on the Bible and the nature of God can certainly be parts of a Worshipful experience. There are many times I have heard a song that impacted my thoughts of God at that moment or heard a Sermon that helped me to have a profound appreciation and Love for God. I have always been a person that has filled their life with music. If I'm not listening to music I'm usually humming a tune or two. But sometimes we do need to turn that off and know God in the Silence.

So if Worship isn't these things or if these things are only a part of Worship, what is it that God desires for us? My personal thought is that God desires every activity and event in our lives to contribute to Worship of Him. God desires to be with us in everything we do. When we go in and come out, when we are in our rooms alone, when we are in a crowded school or workplace. God desires for us to express our love and adoration for Him in a personal way at all times of our life.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Macbook Pro 15 Inch Unibody

Originally uploaded by reboot95
I recently purchased the Macbook Pro 15 Inch at the Applestore. The buying experience was very good. If you are employed by a large company or the Government make sure you inquire about a discount. Also remember that Students and Teacher get a discount as well. These discounts can range from 6 to 8 percent.

The technical specs of the laptop are impressive. The performance is extremely snappy, but it is hard to see a difference between it and my old Macbook. However the screen is noticeably brighter and richer than any laptop I've ever looked at. Now every laptop looks like I'm looking at it through a layer of dust.

I have noticed that at low screen brightness there is a very annoying flicker visible. My understanding is that due to the nature of LED back lights to get a dim light they are cycling the LED's on and off very fast. Some people can see the flicker. I'm one of them.

Carrying the Laptop is a joy compared to anything else I've every picked up in this screen size. It is sturdy and light. I really don't notice a difference in weight between it and the old white Macbook.

PROS: Light weight, beautiful screen, Sturdy construction, lighted keyboard, processing power to spare.

CONS: Expensive, screen flicker at low brightness.

Nutshell: If you can afford it, this is a great laptop.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

DD-WRT Linksys Wrt-54gl slowdown

I have a fairly complicated wireless set up in my home. My device of choice has been a Linksys WRT-54GL loaded with dd-wrt. Recently I noticed that my transfers over wireless were running about half the speed they should be. I was actually at the point where my Charter Cable connection to the internet was faster than my wireless connection. After verifying that the problem existed for multiple laptops I started trying to track down the cause. Switching wireless channels, simplifying things a bit, going back to WPA from WPA2, switching to G only. By the way the G only broke my WRT-54GL that acts as a client for the TV computer downstairs. None of the changes fixed the problem.

I finally ran across a post on the DD-WRT forums that talked about a similar problem. Their solution was to restore to factory defaults and set the router up again. This solved the slowdown problem! It also prevented the downstairs WRT-54GL from working with the newly factory defaulted router upstairs. To solve that I had to reset it to factory defaults and set it up again. When all was said and done I'm back to transfer rates around 2 Megabytes per sec. Which is about the best I ever get out of wireless G.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

They Speak English Here Right?

I've discovered that one cultural myth about foreign countries is true, every one does speak English, however the part they don't talk about is none of them understand English... The airport in Japan had a very nice lady holding a sign that said United Bangkok and kept saying "Bangkok, Singapore" and pointing to a line. But when you asked her if this was the line we were supposed to be in she would repeat the speech say "ANA" and nod emphatically. I guess it worked I ended up in Thailand not Singapore.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pack Rat

I'm preparing for a large long trip overseas well it will be about a week and a half which seems a long time for me having never really been out of the country. Well there was that trip to Canada but that doesn't really count does it.

I have found that for the last two weeks I have been obsessively going over the things that I should take and the things I should leave at home. Like which clothes I need to take, which chargers, will they work, which cameras, how much does this weigh, on and on. So the virtual duffel in my brain has been filled and emptied many times. Now I just need to do that in real life...

The clock is ticking.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Exceeding Expectations

With this post I make this my most prolific year of Blogging. Sure it might seem unfair to make a post about exceeding my previous number of blogs for a year the one that pulls ahead, but hey it is my blog I set the rules.

This year I refound the joy of taking pictures, so many of my posts were about this picture or that. Digital makes taking photos so much easier and cheaper in the long run. I think I grew weary of it in my film days mainly because of the cost of developing pictures. But being able to take multiple shoots to see what works at little to no cost is great.

The year of Geotagging. I'm addicted to geotagging photos now. I love being able to pull a picture up on a flickr map and go oh so that is where I took this.

This is the first year since 2002 or 2001 I have not bought a new computer. Well if I can just hold out a few more hours it will be :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Empty Mart

Empty Mart
Originally uploaded by reboot95
This is a photo that can only be taken one day a year.

It is so odd to see the parking lot of a Walmart complete and totally empty the doors all shuttered and the carts stowed away. I saw this a few years ago on my way out of town. This year I purposely drove by in the afternoon to capture this shot.

Incidently when I turned in to the lot three cars followed me. Each person drove by the door with a look of anticipation on their faces. They slowly left the lot in disbelief that a Walmart could be closed. While I was taking the pictures four more cars came through the lot and repeated the ritual.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Amazon the only way to Shop

I Had the occasion to go out to the local Mall on Friday. I and a friend both live pretty close and know the back ways in so getting into the parking lot is painless for this time of year. Also I had a great experience at the Apple store talking to a sales person about Aperture and the new MacBook Pro's. Barnes and Nobles check out line was a bit on the long side though. But that works as long as you are willing to get a Hot Coca and check out in the cafe. As painless as all this was I still really prefer to shop by internet.

It really is no surprise that I prefer shopping on the internet at Christmas I usually shop that way all the time. I sort of like coming home and finding boxes on the doorstep. When it comes to giving gifts I just go in pick out what I want to send, put in the shipping address and it shows up two days later at the recipients home. That way I can spread around some of the joy of finding boxes on the doorstep.

What makes Amazon the best for this? There are actually a number of things. One is the Prime Membership I have, free two day shipping, this includes items given as gifts. Amazon's selection of items is nearly unsurpassed buy anything. Their price is generally the best. The wishlist feature that allows you to view friends desired items. And when you need them their Customer Service is pretty customer focused. All of this combines to make Amazon the perfect shopping experience.

Oh and by the way I just ordered light bulbs from Amazon...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Lonely picture

Originally uploaded by reboot95
I'm really getting interested in Geotagging photos. This is accomplished by syncing the time between your camera and a GPS device. Then using the tracking feature of the GPS to keep a log of your coordinates. I then use Gpsphotolinker to match the log file with the pictures and presto you now know where your pictures were taking.

I took this particular picture of an old Baptist Church out in a rural area called Handy. This is near Doniphan MO. When I started to look at the map data on flickr I realized this was the only picture geotagged in a large area. Sort of cool to be the first someplace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Niagara Falls and the Scam.

Recently I was on vacation and ended up at Niagara Falls. There are a few things people really need to know about traveling there. As you get within 100 miles you start to see these little road side dumps that claim to be the "Niagara Falls Visitor Center" avoid these they are trying to sell you very over priced tour packages.

As you approach the State Park that is the falls you will notice a big glass building with an international food court. There will be some one with a tan shirt and a flag waving you into the parking lot. Pass them by... This is not the park these are people that are trying to make money on tourists. Once you have passed by you will see a nice paved lot that is part of the Park. It still costs $10 but I would rather my money go to the park.

Here is the other thing everyone will be trying to sell you some sort of tour package. Just walk past them go through the visitors center and take a look at the falls. After you have done that you can decide what sort of tours you want to take and then pay for them.

It is free to look at the falls it is free to walk over to Goat Island and get a much better look at both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. I would advise walking around the park and taking the grandeur of falls in before you fork over any more money. It is an awesome sight and well worth the trip.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mac OS X Your network has been compromised revisted

To see a description of the problem check out this old post.

Mac OS X Your network has been compromised

It appears one of the latest updates to Mac OS X has fixed this problem. I can now have my MacBook remember networks that have multiple access points under the same SSID.

I think the specific update that corrected the problem can be found here AirPort Extreme Update 2008-004

This has been a problem since around the First of 2008. Little bit slow on the old repair.