Monday, March 24, 2008

SONY CyberShot Operation

In 2004 we bought a Sony CyberShot Prosumer type camera. It was pretty awesome. Not an SLR, but as close as you can get without the size. In November of 2005 I took a trip back to NY and dropped it in the airport. (And by dropped I mean flung it a few meters across the baggage claim area.) The LCD shattered, but we were still able to use it... we just couldn't see the pictures we had taken. It went from a "prosumer" camera to a "point-and-shoot" camera. SONY wanted $300 to fix it.
Here's a close up of the cracked LCD and the good one in back:

We got another lame little camera to tide us over until we felt like we wanted a new "good" camera. (Nikon Coolpix - don't go there.) Recently we decided we ought to buy a new camera but still didn't want to spend the $$ for an SLR or have to deal with the size and weight increase. AJ had this great idea that we ought to try and fix the Sony camera. I bought an "as-is" camera on eBay and took it apart. I figured out what piece I needed to replace and removed it from the camera and replaced them in mine. KAZAM! We had our old camera back! It cost me $30 for the as-is camera and $15 for the special tweezers to use on tiny electrical equipment.

Take it SONY!
JASE + tweezers for the win!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Doctor Frank and Fruit Bouquets

A couple weeks ago on a Friday after work I went to a book store opening event. I don't usually do that kind of junk, except that this bookstore was having a special guest for signing. The book is "King Dork" and the author is the singer of one of my favorite bands (The Mr. T Experience) Mister Frank Portman, or Dr. Frank.

Dr. Frank sang a couple songs and read a couple excerpts (which was nice since I haven't actually read my book yet...) and signed things for people. I brought in my "Love is Dead" CD and he graciously signed it for me. It was nice to meet and talk to Frank and see that he's just another regular guy. I hate the "stars" who've let it go to their heads. Frank was easy to talk to, seemed a bit nervous and in general a nice guy. Like maybe someday I could be in his shoes having people want to meet and talk to me. Or at least be recognized for decent work. Yeah, right; If not by now then probably never, huh?

The other thing that happened a couple weeks ago was I complained to the neighbor about all the construction noise. He's been having his house rebuilt from the inside out for the last few months. Mostly on evenings and weekends. Times when one would think they could relax in peace and quiet in their own home. Well, table-saws and sanders and tile-cutters make a lot of noise that carries pretty well. He's a pretty nice guy though and promised to try and keep it down and within reasonable hours. (This, after I told him about Menlo Park noise ordinances concerning construction.)

One night it was 11:30pm and we were still hearing the saw. AJ gets up at 6:30 and we were already in bed so I just grabbed my cell-phone and text-messaged him. "It's after 11. Please make the noise stop. Thanks." The noise stopped and the next day there was a fruit bouquet on our doorstep. It was awesome. Dark chocolate (no milk) on fruit is TASTY! That Friday I went over to thank him for the basket and 3 hours later (boy, was AJ peeved) I stumbled home with a newly acquired knowledge of many local wines and new wine types. "Icewine" I had never heard of - but boy can it rock an empty stomach. Is it customary to get complainers drunk to ease their pain? Seems like a good strategy to me. Maybe that's why prohibition never worked out too well.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Can o' Worms

A couple weeks ago I went to Common Ground and picked up a worm composting thing. Can o' Worms. I also ordered one pound of worms to be delivered to my door. Can you guess how many worms are in one pound? Let me tell you. - 1000! It's awesome. I put the coir in the bottom of the 3 layers and put the worms on top. They immediately dove down into the dirt and I couldn't see them at all after about 10 minutes. Then I put some food scraps on the next layer up. They have been climbing up and eating it regularly. In a few months they will have filled layer two and I will put food on layer three. After a while they will all have migrated away from layer one and I can use it in the garden as fertilizer. Then that empty layer will become layer three and the cycle will continue. In a few years, I will have about 15,000 worms eating my scraps. Awesome!

Here are some pics:This is the box and bag the worms came in. There was a little bit of dirt in there too. I held it in my hand and although I couldn't feel any distinct movement, I could feel the bag pulsing as they squirmed around - it was like I could feel their energy. Very weird.

This is the worms just after putting them in the can. They dove out of sight immediately.

I was wondering to myself - is having a worm composting bin going against the morals and ethics of being a vegan? I'm not abusing them, but I am using them to my own ends. I'm not eating or selling their byproduct, but I am using it in my garden. I assume they're pretty happy to have food to eat all the time, but they are trapped in my can. I'm thinking it's not going against my personal beliefs or way of life, but I could see how people might argue against it.