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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cameras?


I have been looking at cameras for awhile. Shooting with film is just enough of a pain compared to digital that I haven't used my old Minolta SLR for years.

I like a lot of things about my current digital camera, a Canon Powershot A95. It is easy to use, small enough to carry around easily and at 5 mega pixels, I get some pretty good quality shots. I also love the flip out screen. It makes it easy to get a great shot over people or a self-portrait without using the timer and a tripod.

But now, I am thinking about getting something else. I have been eying Digital SLR cameras for some time. I am considering the Nikon D60 and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (or maybe the XSi for a few hundred more with a stabilized lens and a few more megapixels).

Maybe Father's Day will be good to me this year :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Well, 6.25 miles this morning. A bit of soreness partway in my achilles area, but it passed. Still using an informal plan of gradually building up after IM. I still haven't gone swimming or biking since IMAZ. I am a bit sad about that, but I just haven't felt like going out. I know I will get back on the tri-bandwagon sooner or later but forcing myself out there sooner just doesn't feel right. Anyway, my current focus is on trying to qualify for Boston, so biking and swimming are sort of on the sideline for while.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Learning web tricks

Well, I've update my profile and added a link to my photo site. It is easy to add a link in postings, but to do it in the description took a little bit of research. Turns out it was pretty easy with some simple html code and I found it with a quick Google search and following the instructions on this page.

I've also spent some time adding a bunch of friends blogs into the Google Reader. This should make it easier to keep track of what friends are up to. I will also be marking particularly interesting posts/blogs as "shared" so if you sign up, you will be able to see what I have marked shared.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bike Rights

A while back when I was on my bike (bicycle, not motorcycle), I had a guy honk at me and wave me towards the side of the road (I was pretty much on the line and the shoulder went away completely just ahead). I caught up with him a little ways ahead and stopped next to him and motioned for him to roll down the window and said "did you have something to say?" He said "get further to the side and make room for cars" I said "In this state a bike has the same right to the the road as you do." he comes back with "you don't pay taxes". Since when do my rights depend on how much I pay in taxes? Not to mention, it is likely that I probably pay more in payroll taxes than he does, so his argument was not only flawed, but wrong as well. It is this kind of ignorance or bike-hating that contributes to the danger of biking when this kind of people feel justified in running us off the road.

One movement that is trying to raise awareness of bicycles is the Ride Of Silence. This is a once a year ride on May 21st held in many places around the world and is also held to honor and remember the many bicycling friends that have been hurt or killed simply pursuing a healthy activity.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's not about customer service

It seems like customer service is a lost art for most businesses these days. If you order your meal to-go and they give it to you on a tray, it can seem like they are ticked off at you when you remind them that you ordered it to go. Some businesses excel at taking care of their customers, most of them seem to not care if you ever come back.

A few weeks ago, my son broke his glasses and I took them in to get fixed. This company was referred to our eye Dr. It was a reasonable price (cheaper than buying a new pair) and they had a guarantee (see the red box below).

The repair was good and my son was able to wear his glasses again. I thought the only time I would mention this again would be when I heard about someone who needed their glasses fixed and I would be able to recommend this place.

Unfortunately, my son had an accident and the repair broke. "No problem" I figured, since it was under warranty and I could just get it fixed again.

I dropped by after work, but the guy at the counter said he could cover it under warranty, but without my receipt, he wouldn't be able to honor the warranty. He said they were not computerized and couldn't look up my information. I dug around at home and found it and brought it with the next day.

The next day, I stopped by again expecting to get the glasses repaired under warranty (as promised in writing on the receipt and verbally the prior day). Michael (different guy from the day before) said they wouldn't cover under warranty because "titanium flex-frames are excluded". I asked him where it said that on the receipt, he couldn't say, but just kept repeating "not warranty".

So now my son has an appointment at the eye Dr to get his annual checkup and will get a new pair of glasses. Paying for the new pair of glasses is not a huge burden for me, but what about the people in this kind of situation that cannot afford them. How many people or kids are walking around without their glasses (and struggling to see the board in school as a result) because of this kind of breach of contract?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Drivers drive me nutz!

OK, not all drivers, just some. I've been riding the motorcycle a lot more lately and have been noticing things that really tick me off. Some because they are dangerous (tailgating, sudden lane changes w/o looking), some because they are rude and dangerous ("turn signals broken buddy?") and others are particularly dangerous to those of us on 2 wheels (toss your cigarette butt somewhere else, like your ashtray).

It just seems like there are more than the usual amount of these unsocial folks out there lately. Or is it just me?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What your name says about you...

Found this on a friends blog and gave it a shot. Very uncanny how accurate it is for the most part.

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Occasionally, you do get a little selfish and persuade people to do things that are only in your interest.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.