Joel's Page

my stuff
Robin's page

2017 Solar Eclipse


Studied computer science in college. That got me involved. Now have a lot and spend a lot of time using them.


Acer Aspire One

Recover Acer BIOS

Sometimes the bios gets corrupted. Luckily there is a way to recover

Acer spot to get bios

I have an A0A 150

===== from the link above =====
First format an USB stick with FAT.

Download the latest BIOS, and put both FLASHIT.EXE and the BIOS file in the root directory of the stick. Rename the BIOS file to ZG5IA32.FD, that's important. Do not remove the USB stick.

Turn the AA1 off, make sure both battery and AC adapter are connected. Press Fn+Esc, keep it pressed and press the power button to turn the AA1 on. Release Fn+Esc after a few seconds, the power button will be blinking. Press the power button once. The AA1 will now initiate the BIOS flash, do not interrupt it under any circumstances. After a while the power button will stop blinking, and the AA1 will reboot shortly after. Wait patiently.

Actiontec GT701-WG

IBM 5150

Got my original IBM PC in early 1982.
This PC had a 4.77 MHz 8088, a 64kbyte motherboard (with 16k soldered in), 5 slots. The slots filled up fast: video card, floppy card, hard drive, printer. This left only 1 for the memory card. Strange I remember having 3 memory cards plugged in at one time. Maybe my multifunction card also did floppy. My original BIOS did not support BIOS extensions. My first hard drive had to boot off a floppy. Then I got a copy of the BIOS with the extension.

Some guy is making an 8 bit ISA, IDE controller card

Getting it running again: April 2018 See the child page

Getting the 5150 running again

Entry 1

Pulled the PC out several months ago after getting a VGA video card. Finally have some time to try it.

For some reason the floppy drives are missing. Why would I have taken them out? Maybe I moved them to another PC. I have the originals but they are single sided. It could get me going. I will need to get a floppy working on one of my current machines so I can transfer files before I get the network working.

I had a HD controller, a floppy controller, a CGA video card, a QuadRAM quad board with RAM, serial, parallel, and clock, and a memory card. Total memory was 640k. I know I had an 8087 at one point. It is not in the machine. I should look for it. It is probably with the 8088 and original BIOS chip. It has the V20 chip I installed long ago. The current BIOS is the 3rd version.

New cards I will be trying out: WD Paradise PVGA Plus 16, WD 8003W ethernet, XT-IDE. I will keep the floppy controller and Quadram boards.

The VGA card worked great. I tried a couple of monitors. Some didn't work. I remember reading something about some implementations not working. So it might not be 100% compliant.

I have been pretty lucky finding manuals for these old cards. I had located the ethernet driver back in 2010 when I bought that card. It has some documentation and drivers.

The XT-IDE card is starting. It came with a disk on a module with MS-DOS preloaded. I wanted FreeDOS but the guy already had these. It is detected and comes up with a boot menu to select floppy, HD, and BASIC.

I got into BASIC. I thought that was great. Then I tried some simple commands. It just locks up. Sometimes it will restart, but most of the times it hangs.

Next things to do:
try with less than 64k to see if BASIC works. (might need to reseat memory chips)
Get it to start without errors with memory card in and all memory selected.
get it to start DOS
would be nice it did it from HD
can try from floppy
get floppy installed and tested

Future things
install other programs on HD:
serial transfer (would be nice if old ZIP would work on Windows),
editor (IBM Personal Editor like the old days)
get ethernet drivers transferred
get it on the network
find a browser
surf the internet
try CD drive
try FreeDOS (does it still support 8088?)

Entry 2

I tried several different switch settings. None of them worked. The 5150 was not working. Never fear, I also had an XT laying around. I was using it to hold up my monitors. I got that to work. It has 8 ISA slots and more built in RAM. It is starting up and running. The HD that was in it still boots up. I also booted with the flash disk with the IDE controller. Now I need to get new files onto the flash drive so I can try the network card. My first thought was floppies. That is not fun. Then the serial port. I would need to get a program to do that from both ends. Then I thought I could just plug the flash drive into my external case and plug it into my PC with the USB port. That didn't work because the connector on a rotating drive is female and the one on the flash drive is male (so it plugs directly into the connector, so you don't need a cable). I pulled out an old PC and plugged it in. It sees something but won't read it. It needs power on pin 20 or an external cable. I looked to see if there was a cable I could buy. I didn't find one, but found a drive that came with one. Waiting on that to come.

When I get the files transferred I will try the network card. I know we did networking with DOS back about 20 years ago. We had a Novell network running in the office. It came with drivers for the cards. That was with computers that had PCI slots. Now I have to try it with my 8 bit ISA bus.

After that I might try spinning media (or my new 2nd flash drive) and load FreeDOS. It will be interesting to see if I can get it to boot from a CD on the IDE controller. If so that would be the easiest way to get it loaded.

Entry 3

I got the new drive. It powered up and I could copy some files to the card I am using. Now have the network drivers on the card. I also found a place to download my old editor, the IBM Personal Editor.

5150 reference links

Links to documents, drivers, diagrams that will help setup the PC

A place to get jumper settings

WD Paradise PVGA Plus 16, VGA video
Has a picture of the card and some jumper settings

Allows use of IDE drives on an 8 bit ISA bus
I also have two drive on module flash drives

RAM, serial, parallel, RTC


Media PC

WinBook PowerSpec 410
Keyboard - Adesso WKB-3000UB
AverMedia M150 Analog TV/FM Tuner
AverMedia AverTVHD MCE A180 digital TV tuner
1.5 gig RAM
3.0 GHz Pentium 4

Got this in 2005/2006 so I could record HDTV. It came with just the analog tuner, but I put in the digital one. I had removed the analog one and put in a second digital one so I could record two shows at once. I was using Beyond TV.

Finally said good bye to this PC. Had an Asus that could take full height PCI cards for the tuners. I also got a network based tuner. Now using a Dell Optiplex 790.


D-Link DNS-321

Current Firmware Version : 1.03
Firmware Date : 08/17/2009

Name: netNAS
Description: DNS-321 NAS
System Temperature:
113°F / 45°C

Volume Name: Volume_1
Volume Type: RAID 1
Sync Time Remaining: Completed
Total Hard Drive Capacity: 981858 MB
Used Space: 107234 MB
Unused Space: 874624 MB

WD My Cloud EX2
SN: WUQ244904192
Dev Name: WDNASEX2-1

Firmware: 1.05.36
date: 7/12/2015


Drive1: WDC WD40EFRX-68WT0N0, 4 TB
Drive2: WDC WD40EFRX-68WT0N0, 4 TB

Nokia N800 - Tablet

Development - install Maemo SDK on OpenSuse


Samsung - ML-1740
[cartridge ML-1710D3]
HP Color - CP1215
[cartridges CB540A, CB541A, CB542A, CB543A]
Brother Duplex - HL-5370DW
[cartridge TN-620 or TN-650]


Actiontec GT701-WG - DSL modem with ethernet, wifi, usb

Linksys SD2005 - 5 port gigabit switch [used, replace caps 10/26/2010]

how to open -

Linksys EZXS55W - 5 port Fast Ethernet switch (100 M) [new]
Linksys EZXS88W - 8 port Fast Ethernet switch (100 M) [new]

D-Link DGS-2208 - 8 port gigabit switch [new 10/2010 NewEgg]

Other links

Tools I use regularly

Take command console lite edition (TCC LE)
Foxit Reader
Web Album Generator

Not quite as regularly

Smart Photo Statistics
Swift To-Do List Lite
Hex Editor Neo (HHD Software)

Looks promising

Take Command (4DOS, 4NT, NDOS)

My start up files for Take Command

my tcstart.bat

@prompt $p $t$_
@REM @window /pos=150,60,850,650
@set dircmd = /2ZP
@history /r "c:\Program Files\jpsoft\tccle9\history.txt"
@alias /r "c:\Program Files\jpsoft\tccle9\aliases.txt"
@cdd c:\data\

my tcexit.bat

@history >"c:\Program Files\jpsoft\tccle9\history.txt"
@set dircmd=

my aliases.txt

mc=`md %$ & cd %$`
tlib=`pushd & c:\utils\tlib %$ & popd`
pe=`pushd & c:\utils\pe %$ & popd`
dir=`*dir /2zp %$`
ppc=`C:\FPC\2.2.2\bin\i386-win32\ppc386 %$`
dox=`"c:\program files\doxygen\bin\doxygen" %$`
lcc=`c:\utils\lcc\bin\lcc %$`
lcclnk=`c:\utils\lcc\bin\lcclnk %$`


MenuMaid allow edit stuff in Explorer right click menu

Product Company Link Comment/Description
Filezilla FTP transfer
FireFox Mozilla browser
Thunderbird Mozilla email
MozBackup back up Thunderbird and Firefox
Take Command Console/LE JP Software enhanced command shell
HTML-Kit Chami HTML editor with ftp
Web Album Generator Generate website for pictures
Xenu Website checker
tftp32 TFTP server
TeraTerm Terminal emulator
Ponderosa Terminal emulator
TxtPrint Print files
VCW Vicman Photo Editor Vicman Edit images
Irfan Viewer View/change images
XnView View/change images
GeoHTML define areas on map for hot spots
GeoSetter tag photos from data from GPS
Web Camera Viewer Softology Capture images
Aida32 System report
CD Burner XP CD/DVD burner
Metapad Editor
Notepad++ Editor
Sendto Any Microsoft Add send to anywhere
FilZip ZIP file tool
Foxit Reader Foxit Read PDF files
BG Info SysInternals Show system on desktop
PortMon SysInternals Monitor serial and parallel port
COM port emulator Aggsoft puts data onto serial port
Drive Manager Alex Nolan Show drive info + SMART, also has system info program
Clonezilla System cloner
HHD hex editor HHD software hex editor
lcc C compiler
CDex CD rip, play
Audacity Audio edit, rip, play
MP3split split long MP3 files
MP3gain set gain/volume of files to be the same
Dorgem Webcam FTP/capture
FWink Webcam FTP/capture
MPlayer classic Guliverkli Project on Old media player
TreeSize JAM Software Show list of all files sorted by size
ImgBurn DVD/CD ripper/burner (replaced DVD decrypter)
DVD Identifier DVD/CD media ID
Ad Aware Ad Aware Spyware detection
SpyBot Spyware detection
Defender Microsoft Spyware detection
Firewall Comodo Firewall
Ethereal IP packet capture
Free Pascal compiler
Cygwin unix command line tools
Subversion version control
Wamp server, php, mysql
AVG Grisoft anti virus
AntiVir Avira anti virus
HTTrack Website copy
NetCPS check network speed
PingPlotter Trace route to URL
RAM disk code guru
VLC video view VideoLan video player
ExamDiff Prestosoft file compare
FotoTagger Add text with arrow to images
Clock GlJakal simple analog clock
USBDeview NirSoft Show USB devices on your system
Startup Control Panel Mike Lin Interactive view/change startup programs
Xpsyspad Show windows settings
AvaCam RGS-Avance simple webcam viewer

Other lists of utilities

Product Company Link Comment/Description List of tools List of tools
Major Geeks Download site
Crucial Memory upgrade
Just say no to Microsoft Microsoft alternatives
Free Desktop GlJakal Talks about free desktop (office suite, graphic, editor, compiler)
Portable Apps various apps to run on flash drive
Terabyte Unlimited utilities to make bootable disks

Other lists

Product Company Link Comment/Description
phpGEDview family tree on web
PHPbb forum


List of software

Dorgem is good, free, but the FTP gets locked up if there is an error and does not recover.
Manycam can splt the stream, making virtual cameras that share the same signal. And it is free!

Cameras USB webcam with auto infrared
Philips Vesta Scan PCVC 690K
Logitech QuickCam Pro 3000

What my cameras see
Local weather cams

Crossword Puzzles - interesting clues - help solve word


We have been studying ballroom dance since 2002.

We took a dance lesson with community Ed before we were married. We enjoyed Jimmy St Jacque. After about a year we moved closer and took more community Ed classes at Highland Jr High with Skye Payne. After about 2 years with Skye we actually knew what we were doing. We continued with her until she and her husband moved away. We were sad because we had become friends with them. We took a more community ed classes from the next instructors, Woody and Shannon.

We met some folks at a dance show, who knew our friend from Spanish class, and they take private lessons. We are trying that out with Tom at Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio. He also has dance instruction weekend at some local resorts.

We went to one of Tom's retreats in June 2008. Here are some photos.

In addition to ballroom dancing Robin is also studying flamenco dancing. She goes to the Zorongo studio.

We love to go to Como Park in the summer for their concerts. They are free. We also try to go to the Cafe Accordian Ochestra concerts.

Other dance lists

DJ software

Electric vehicle

2017 Chevrolet Volt LT
18.4 kWh battery
3.6-kW onboard charger
battery weight 405 pounds
8.9 gallon tank
1.5 liter gas engine
August 2016 Luther Chevrolet

Siemens VC30GRYH
Versi Charge 30 Amp
20 foot cord
NEMA 6-50
on 40 amp dedicated circuit
Oct 2016 Amazon, new

My parents looked at a Citicar in the early 1970s

EV links and info

GS Motors

Someone recommended
Adam Wortman at Ray of Light Electrician. contact him at


Pinecone Builders (from Villager)
Ron Rapacz

Sussel Builders (Eric's neighbor, Doug Hodsen)
Dennis Argot

Daniel James Developments, LLC (Jim & Terese)
Daniel Wickham

Daniel James Developments

Daniel James Developments, LLC

Jim and Terese recommended him.
We know him from Flamenco

6/21 - looked at site. Spoke with Robin. Will give us a quote. recommended tear down.

Garage progress

Mon June 18 - demolish garage, take down block walls, remove lilacs and rasberries, remove top soil
Wed June 20 - remove garage floor, remove dirt to floor, deliver gravel
Thur June 21 - remove rest of dirt, put in forms for footings, pour footings
Fri June 22 - put up wall forms, pour walls
Sat June 23 - remove forms
Sun June 24 - seal exterior walls
Tues June 26 - put in drain tile, back fill walls
Wed June 27 - pour floor
Thur June 28 - attach stringer to back wall for platform

Thur July 12 - put up tyvex wrap
Wed July 18 - apply shingles and install vents

Wed July 25 - install service door

Mon July 30 - interior stairs

Wed Sep 5 - final inspection
Wed Sep 12 - final payment

Pinecone Builders

Pinecone Builders (from Villager)
Ron Rapacz

called 6/16 2:30 - I will call back for appointment next week
6/17 - set up appointment for Tuesday 6:30
6/21 - Met with Ron. Suggest tear down old. Will talk with his landscape guy and get a quote to us.
7/12 - Ron left message; $14,000 tear down, dirt, foundation; $20,000 new construction; total $34,000
7/13 - Talked to Ron confirming quote
7/27 - Talked to Ron; time to tight right now. He said 22x34, poured wall, 3 windows, 2 garage doors, attic truss with OSB flooring

5/10 - Met with Ron. Going to have him do it. Saw plans.
5/31 - went over final details. Signed contract. Expect to start in about 2 weeks.

Sussel Builders

Sussel Builders (Eric's neighbor, Doug Hodsen)
651-645-0331 - office
651-483-8684 - cell
Dennis Jarnot

called 6/16 2:15 - Dennis will call me back, out of office/town
6/20 - Spoke with Dennis, set up appointment 6:30 Thursday
6/23 - Dennis came and measured
7/6 - Spoke with Dennis about guy wires he is tracking down Xcel
7/13 - Spoke with Dennis; They think moving guy wire for Xcel out and putting in sidewalk push for phone and cable would work.
24x24 2 1/2 car, 5 foot platform, $27,600 (20 year structural warranty)
7/27 - left message about waiting for spring


Software to capture video
GBPVR - - free
Yahoo Go - can record and watch - free
BeyondTV - - $80 - can schedule recording through their website when away from home

Splash -

List of some tools -

My tuner card
AverMedia A150 - Analog + FM
AverMedia A180 - ATSC
SiliconDust HDHomeRun DUAL

Antennae siting

Local Stations info
What TPT did with their lineup -

Holden Village - radio decode

Their: 151.865 MHz
Red Dot: 151.625 MHz
Lat:48.20 Long:-120.77


site with lots of phrases -

Inexpensive, comprehensive, language instruction materials -
We got their Bulgarian. It was much more than we needed.


I took Spanish in high school.

Robin and I have been studying Spanish since 2004.

We took a trip to Guatemala to attend a Spanish language school in September 2005. Here are some pictures from that trip. We attended the Proyecto Lingüistico Quetzalteco de Español. is nice website that ranks many schools in Guatemala.

We have taken classes at home as well. The Saint Paul community education is where we started. We also enjoyed classes at the Resource Center for the Americas. Unfortunately they have closed (2007). Now reopened (2008). We attended classes at the Spanish Institute as well. Now we are going to the International Institute. Many of the instructors from the Resource Center teach there now.

We have purchased many resources. We really like the Pimsleur Spanish audio learning system. We got some nice flash cards for kids at Trend Enterprises. We also have been watching Destinos. This is a video language course done in 1992. It has 52 half hour episodes. It follows a woman around the world looking for a man's lost family. You get to hear Spanish from several countries.


We learned a little before going to Tanzania and Kenya in September 2009.

ne vesri kukutana nawe - very pleased to meet you. (formal)
asante - thank you
asante sana - thank you very much
jambo - hello (informal)
karibu - welcome
safari njema - safe travel


Learned a few phrases when went to Turkey

nerede - where
merhaba - hello
Teşekkür ederim - thank you
Tuvalet nerede? - where is the toilet
Türkçe biliyor musunuz? - do you speak Turkish
Engalisce Bilior musunuz? - do you speak English

Using computer with other language


Waypoint distance calculator
coordinate conversion
Mapwel GPS map generation
GPS resources
Make path and see mileage
Google Earth tool
Mapset Toolkit - upload stuff to GPS

NASA World Wind Free Windows GIS data for maps

Show KML on Google Maps - has show where this country is in the world maps (with watermark) - book on mapping

Map sites
Google Maps
MS Live maps

Bolivia mapping info

Map resources
IGM - Bolivia Military
World Trade Press NGA GEOnet Names Server at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) interactive

Mapping resources
Name Site Notes
Falling Rain Locate small villages
Index Mundi Locate villages Map and locate, tag
Panoramio pictures to show on Google Earth
Geody Maps, towns
Agua Bolivia interactive picking of departments and municipalities
Geo Names

GPS tools and info monitor stuff from GPS via serial port - collection of GPS maps - create map from GPS data (online) - GPS swiss army knife. File merge

Unistar Info

Plain text icon unistarpts.txt22.8 KB

Location info from Aug 2008 at Unistart. Captured with Garmin 60C by Joel Lagerquist

Waypoint BOAT1 31-AUG-08 8:34:32AM User Waypoint N47 25.691 W94 33.117 1319 ft
Waypoint BOAT2 31-AUG-08 8:35:48AM User Waypoint N47 25.684 W94 33.122 1314 ft
Waypoint BOAT3 31-AUG-08 8:36:50AM User Waypoint N47 25.686 W94 33.108 1309 ft
Waypoint BOAT4 31-AUG-08 8:37:51AM User Waypoint N47 25.680 W94 33.099 1313 ft
Waypoint BOAT5 31-AUG-08 8:38:44AM User Waypoint N47 25.678 W94 33.110 1320 ft
Waypoint BOAT6 31-AUG-08 8:40:09AM User Waypoint N47 25.673 W94 33.101 1318 ft
Waypoint BOATHSE 31-AUG-08 9:02:21AM User Waypoint N47 25.675 W94 33.173 1349 ft
Waypoint BOATSHD 31-AUG-08 8:57:32AM User Waypoint N47 25.716 W94 33.110 1298 ft
Waypoint BOUY1 31-AUG-08 8:42:19AM User Waypoint N47 25.680 W94 33.078 1321 ft
Waypoint BOUY2 31-AUG-08 8:48:05AM User Waypoint N47 25.630 W94 33.100 1314 ft
Waypoint BOUY3 31-AUG-08 8:49:07AM User Waypoint N47 25.622 W94 33.101 1316 ft
Waypoint DCKBASE 31-AUG-08 9:01:24AM User Waypoint N47 25.680 W94 33.162 1327 ft
Waypoint HOSEIN 31-AUG-08 9:45:16AM User Waypoint N47 25.691 W94 33.129 1346 ft
Waypoint RAFT1 31-AUG-08 8:52:57AM User Waypoint N47 25.654 W94 33.096 1311 ft
Waypoint RAFT2 31-AUG-08 8:55:03AM User Waypoint N47 25.673 W94 33.131 1316 ft
Waypoint SH2 31-AUG-08 8:58:59AM User Waypoint N47 25.703 W94 33.127 1315 ft
Waypoint SH3 31-AUG-08 8:58:15AM User Waypoint N47 25.711 W94 33.114 1316 ft
Waypoint SH4 31-AUG-08 8:59:40AM User Waypoint N47 25.698 W94 33.133 1292 ft
Waypoint SH6 31-AUG-08 9:00:34AM User Waypoint N47 25.686 W94 33.149 1316 ft
Waypoint SLIDE 31-AUG-08 8:55:41AM User Waypoint N47 25.677 W94 33.127 1317 ft
Waypoint SWIM1 31-AUG-08 8:45:43AM User Waypoint N47 25.652 W94 33.073 1315 ft
Waypoint SWIM2 31-AUG-08 8:47:02AM User Waypoint N47 25.641 W94 33.084 1316 ft
Waypoint USTARDK 30-AUG-08 3:30:38PM User Waypoint N47 25.666 W94 33.134 1305 ft

The file unistarpts.txt can be renamed to unistarpts.kml and loaded into Google Earth


Name Lat Long Boat House Boat Shed Dock Base
Distance (ft) Heading Distance (ft) Heading Distance (ft) Heading
BOAT1 47.428183 -94.55195 250 67 154 190 196.77
BOAT2 47.428067 -94.552033 217 75 200 194 166.42
BOAT3 47.4281 -94.5518 276 75 182 177 225.10
BOAT4 47.428 -94.55165 306 84 223 168 259.14
BOAT5 47.427967 -94.551833 260 85 231 180 214.32
BOAT6 47.427883 -94.551683 297 92 264 171 254.60
BOUY1 47.428 -94.5513 393 85 255 148 345.52
BOUY2 47.427167 -94.551667 406 132 524 175 396.67
BOUY3 47.427033 -94.551683 438 137 581 176 432.96
RAFT1 47.427567 -94.5516 447 106 381 171 314.09
RAFT2 47.427883 -94.552183 173 94 275 198 134.55
SWIM1 47.427533 -94.551217 435 108 417 158 403.72
SWIM2 47.42735 -94.5514 421 119 468 166 398.96
BOATHSE 47.427917 -94.552883
BOADSHD 47.4286 -94.551833
DCKBASE 47.428 -94.5527

Oral History

medical conditions in the family
Use photos to stimulate conversation and enhance memory

OCR conversion

free online service

list of online OCR services


1.What is your full name?

2. Why did your parents select this name for you?

3. Did you have a nickname?

4. When and where were you born?

5. How did your family come to live there?

6. Were there other family members in the area? Who?

7. What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?

8. Were there any special items in the house that you remember?

9. What is your earliest childhood memory?

10. Describe the personalities of your family members.

11. What kind of games did you play growing up?

12. What was your favorite toy and why?

13. What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?

14. Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?

15. Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?

16. What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?

17. What school activities and sports did you participate in?

18. Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?

19. Who were your childhood heroes?

20. What were your favorite songs and music?

21. Did you have any pets? If so, what kind and what were their names?

22. What was your religion growing up? What church, if any, did you attend?

23. Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?

24. Who were your friends when you were growing up?

25. What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?

26. Describe a typical family dinner.

Did you all eat together as a family?

Who did the cooking?

What were your favorite foods?

27. How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?

28. How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?

29. Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?

30. What do you know about your family surname?

31. Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?

32. What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?

33. Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?

34. Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?

35. Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?

36. Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?

37. What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?

38. When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?

39. What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?

40. Where and when did you get married?

41. What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?

42. How would you describe your spouse? What do (did) you admire most about them?

43. What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?

44. How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time?

45. Why did you choose your children's names?

46. What was your proudest moment as a parent?

47. What did your family enjoy doing together?

48. What was your profession and how did you choose it?

49. If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

50. Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?

51. What accomplishments were you the most proud of?

52. What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?


My Video

Copy slide with digital camera

Nice comparison of techniques


Casio - EX-H20G [Have 2, plus another that has dirt in the lens]
Canon - SD600
Canon - EOS Rebel XT (350D)
Canon - EOS 40D stolen 10/2013
Canon - EOS 70D
Canon - EF lenses
Canon - 320EX flash [new, 5/2013 NatCam]

Other stuff
Velbon tripod - 5000 (plate QB-4LC)
Giottos monopod - MV-8250 [new, 1/2009] (plate 6E01)
Manfrotto tripod - 190XDB [new, 8/2009, NatCam]
Manfrotto tripod - 190XDB [used, 3/2013, eBay]
Manfrotto tripod - 7301YB [open box, 3/2013, Adorama] (plate 200PL-14)
Manfrotto head - 390RC2 [new, 8/2009, NatCam] (plate 200PL-14)
Manfrotto head - 390RC2 [used, 3/2013, eBay] (plate 200PL-14)
Manfrotto head - 128RC [new, 5/2013, NatCam]
Manfrotto monopod - 776YB [new, 12/2010, Amazon]
Manfrotto head - 234RC [new, 12/2010, Adorama] (plate 200PL-14)
La Crosse BC-900 battery charger
Tamrac 5586 Expedition 6x bag [new, 1/2009, Amazon]
220V Power strip - Wonpro - WES4 - 6 outlet - [new, 1/2009]
220V Power strip - Wonpro - WES2 - 3 outlet - [new, 3/2011]

Used to have
Pentax - Optio S40 [light sensor went out, over exposing; still took video]
Pentax - Optio S50 [Gave to my dad]
Fuji - S602 Zoom [gave it to my brother; I gave one to my nephew too]
Fuji - S5000 [gave it to a friend]
Olympus - Camedia D100
Canon - SX120is [Sold it]

Video equipment

Canon Digital EOS Rebel XT (350D)

Canon Digital EOS Rebel XT (350D), 8 megapixel [7/21/2008, ebay]

Remote - Canon RC-5 [7/21/2008, ebay (with camera)]
Opteka Battery Pack Grip BG-RXT [1/15/2009, Amazon]
Opteka remote control cord [1/16/2009, Amazon]
uses: NB-2LH battery (7)
Canon CB-2LW charger (2)

Quantaray QTB 7500A flash [7/21/2008]

Canon Lenses
Canon 40D

Other cameras

Recommended Stuff to look at
lens picks -

Steve's Digicams
DC Resource

Canon EF lenses

Canon EF-S 18-55 F/3.5-5-6 lens (standard kit lens) [7/21/2008, ebay with camera, used]
Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM [1/13/2009, ebay, used]

Tamron 18-270 F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD [11/30/2013, NatCam, new]
Sigma 70-200 mm f2.8 DG Macro HSM II [12/22/2013,ebay] filter: 77 mm
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mark I [12/28/2013, ebay]

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II [12/21/2008, Adorama, refurb] [stolen 10/2013]
Canon EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM [7/25/2009, ebay, used] (serviced 8/19/2009) [stolen 10/2013]
Sigma 70-200 mm f2.8 DG Macro HSM II [2/22/2010, Adorama, used] [stolen 10/2013]
Pro-Optic 2x Tele-Converter [8/20/2009, Adorama, new] [stolen 10/2013]

Canon XT (350D)
Canon 40D stolen 10/2013
Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon Digital EOS 40D, 10.1 megapixel [11/22/2009, ebay]

BG-E2N Battery Grip [11/22/2009, ebay (with camera)]

uses: BP-511A battery (1), BP-512 battery(1), BP-511 (2)
Canon charger (CG-580) [11/22/2009, ebay (with camera)]
Canon dual charger (CA-PS400) [11/28/2009, ebay]

Quantaray QTB 7500A flash [7/21/2008]

Canon Lenses
Canon XT

Other cameras

Recommended Stuff to look at
lens picks -

Steve's Digicams
DC Resource

EOS Info

Canon EOS 70D

Canon Digital EOS 70D, 10.1 megapixel [11/30/2013, NatCam, New]

uses: BP-511A battery (1) with camera
Canon charger with camera
xx battery (2) [ 2013, Amazon, new] (with charger)
Neewer battery grip [2013, Amazon, new]

Canon 320 Flash [11/30/2013, NatCam, new]

Quantaray QTB 7500A flash [7/21/2008]

Canon Lenses
Canon XT

Other cameras

Recommended Stuff to look at
lens picks -

Steve's Digicams
DC Resource

EOS Info

Canon SD600

Canon SD600, 6 megapixel [1/21/2010, ebay]

uses: NB-4L battery (1), NB-4L(like) (2)
Canon CB-2LV charger (1)

Underwater enclosure: WP-DC4

Other cameras

Recommended Stuff to look at
Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK)

Steve's Digicams

Canon SX120is

Canon SX120is, 10 megapixel [1/22/2011, ebay]

uses: AA batteries

Other cameras

Recommended Stuff to look at
Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK)

Steve's Digicams

Casio - EX-H20G

Casio - EX-H20G

GPS Hybrid with digital compass. Great for traveling because it geotags all the photos as they are taken.

Had to buy an new one a week before leaving for Turkey because I dropped the original one on the beach. It survived but got sand in the lens.


Geotagging lets you get the location from your GPS and add the location to your pictures.

Software that does it
WWMX Location Setter
WWMX Travel log (generate web page with pictures and map)

JetPhoto Studio - generate mapped photo strip for website


Nice talk about what to bring -
Asks what to bring, says what he used -

Web page photo gallery generation

Programs to make website photo galleries

Web Album Generator

JetPhoto - generate photos with map

JAlbum - - gen album for upload, uses flash
fotoplayer - - gen album from JAlbum, Picasa, Lightroom, uses flash

Preparedness - water storage (amount, adding bleach)

Augason Farms 12 day pail (20 year shelf life)



Some compilers
Microsoft has a simple basic called Microsoft Small Basic


First language I programmed in at college
Used UCSD pascal on Terak 8510/a computers


Natural transition from Borland Pascal with Objects
Now can do windows programming

Serial Port I/O
Looking to do serial I/O to talk to my weather station. Really need it as a thread so runs on its own to capture the asynchronous messages the station sends.


LCC - nice simple C compiler
Just Basic - interpreter for windows


Zac and I are working on a them for zenPhoto. Matt created one that looked like flickr.

We are using SVN and Google code.

How to load the first block into google code:,guid,b984a8e7-e94d-4eed-a705-5dc479f...

Google code info -

Quad copter

From 10/2017 Woot

Have Cyclone Quadcopter
From 12/2013

Model v262

Robin and Joel's Travels

Countries Year Countries Year States Year
Bolivia 2006 Bolivia 2008 New York 2006
Guatemala 2005 Argentina 2008 Alaska 2007
Peru 2006 Uruguay 2008 Washington DC 2005
Virgin Islands 2003 Tanzania 2009
Puerto Rico 2003 Kenya 2009
Mexico 2004 Greece 2010
Joel Only Robin Only
Countries Year Countries Year
Indonesia 2000
Hong Kong 2000
Tahiti 1989

Languages Countries States


One Ocean Expeditions - ocean tour 10 - 18 days - see on GlobeTrekker (3/2011)

Data sources

How to make a map that looks old (use it for front of book, slide show)

"I wanna travel around the world, and have a map with pins in it showing where I've been. But first I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it stays up."

Holden Village

Their Radio Frequency: 151.865MHz
Red Dot: 151.625
Lat:48.20 Long:-120.77

Motorola Radio model number decoding

Money Conversion

Other travel sites

Road Scholar Transantlantic London Theater

Sunlight around the world

Hours of Daylight by Latitude
This table shows the varying length of day with latitude. The day length is calculated as the period between the rising and setting of the sun. It does not include the period of twilight before and after sunrise and sunset. Read the months on the left of the table for the northern hemisphere, and the months on the right of the table for the southern hemisphere.
Length of Day at Various Latitudes (in Hours and Minutes on the 15th of Each Month)

Month Equator 10° 20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80° Poles Month
January 12:07 11:35 11:02 10:24 9:37 8:30 6:38 0:00 0:00 0:00 July
February 12:07 11:49 11:21 11:10 10:42 10:07 9:11 7:20 0:00 0:00 August
March 12:07 12:04 12:00 11:57 11:53 11:48 11:41 11:28 10:52 0:00 September
April 12:07 12:21 12:36 12:53 13:14 13:44 14:31 16:06 24:00 24:00 October
May 12:07 12:34 13:04 14:22 15:22 17:04 22:13 24:00 24:00 24:00 November
June 12:07 12:42 13:20 14:04 15:00 16:21 18:49 24:00 24:00 24:00 December
July 12:07 12:40 13:16 13:56 14:49 15:38 17:31 24:00 24:00 24:00 January
August 12:07 12:28 12:50 13:16 13:48 14:33 15:46 18:26 24:00 24:00 February
September 12:07 12:12 12:17 12:23 12:31 12:42 13:00 13:34 15:16 24:00 March
October 12:07 11:55 11:42 11:28 11:10 10:47 10:11 9:03 5:10 0:00 April
November 12:07 11:40 11:12 10:40 10:01 9:06 7:37 3:06 0:00 0:00 May
December 12:07 11:32 10:56 10:14 9:20 8:05 5:54 0:00 0:00 0:00 June

Travel Log

Travel Photos

Travel Tips

Here are some Travel tips I have after our travels.

These are not for going on a cruise or going to Club Med. These are for traveling to countries where you will be outside of your normal comfort zone. Places where people say "Don't drink the water".

Here is a link to Rick Steves travel tips site.
Some nice travel tips -
Here is a link to the US state department travel tips site.
The statements about countries are rather canned. Don't do things because there are bad people around. They do mention the types of incidents that have been seen recently.

Your identification
Obviously you will have a passport. You might also have an international medical card. Don't lose these. Carry a back up. The US passport is a powerful document. Be grateful that you live in a country where you are granted many travel opportunities, both by being allowed into countries and being allowed to leave your country. Don't be an ugly American. Treat everyone with respect.

When you enter a country you will fill in a form. They will give you part of it back. You will return this part of the form when you leave the country. Don't lose that form. They are generally small pieces of paper so they could easily be lost. Have a plastic bag or travel document folder to keep everything together in a safe place.

Carry another photo ID as well. Most people will have their driver's license. I recommend getting a photo ID card for even those too young to drive (most states issue these if you do not have a driver's license). It will make getting a replacement for a lost passport easier.

My travel clinic gave me a nice plastic holder for my passport and health card. I would get some sort of holder. These keep the documents together. It keeps them from getting wet and bent. I don't think highly of the ones people wear around their neck. It just makes it easier for someone to see it and steal it. If you keep it under your shirt you should be fine.

When you travel in groups carry copies of each other's passports. You might not lose all the bags. Carry a copy of your own too. We have found that you need the passport number to fill out forms in lots of places like hotels or museums. Don't carry your original everyday. Just have it with you when you go through customs.

Carry a pen with you. On the plane before you arrive at a new country you will be given immigration forms to fill out. If you have a pen you can fill them out while you are on the plane instead of standing in line at immigration. If you also carry paper you can make notes about what you see. I recommend note cards because they are sturdy.

I recommend giving your doctor and dentist's address to someone back home. If something happens to you the people you leave the information with can track down your medical records so the local people can know what conditions you have.

Before you go
Do you park your car on the street? Check with your city departments to make sure that they are not going to be cleaning the street while you are gone. Also see if they have other street work planned (trimming trees, sewer, water). My city puts up signs only a day or two before they do these things. Of course have someone available during the winter to move your car when the streets are going to be plowed.

Health and safety
Follow the local laws. Don't do anything that will get you in trouble. This might sound like I am your mother but it is really true in many countries. You do NOT want to get thrown in jail. They are not nice places to be staying. If you think things will be clean and you will get meals you are thinking of the US. You do not have rights like you do in the US. You are in a foreign country. Just because you are a US citizen you are not granted the rights of one in a foreign country. You would expect people from a foreign country to obey the laws when they visit the US.

Look both ways when you cross the street. Remember to do this when you are in the middle of the street. That is when you forget because you "know" that you only have to look one way. Unfortunately it will be the wrong way.

Don't touch animals, even to pet them. The little dogs, cats, burros, and lizards look cute but they could have fleas or other insects. Their bites could make you ill. The street animals have a hard life. They will probably bite you. They could possibly have rabies. They might also have fleas or other insects that will jump on you and bite you.

Travel insurance. I buy travel insurance because it covers medical evacuations. This means that if you need medical care on the way home and need an air ambulance that they will pay for it. It can cost fifty to one hundred thousand dollars to do this. If you don't want to stay in the hospitals in the countries you are visiting you should do this. Having it cover the cost of a cancelled trip is nice too. I have used CSA Travel Protection. You can do this all on line. The cost is generally based on the cost of your trip.

Use the ATM to get your money. This is a great way to get cash in the local currency. The problem is that in many countries the bills you get are very large (What would you do if the ATMs in the USA gave you $100 bills). Where do you change the big bills into smaller bills and coins? I do not have an answer for this. I have tried to spend them at grocery stores and on city-to-city buses.

Be aware that in some countries certain types of cards are used more often than others. We saw that Visa was much more widely accepted than MasterCard. We saw very few places that took America Express. I wouldn't even try a Discover card.

Notify your credit card companies that you are leaving the country. Many will put a hold on your account when they see a charge outside of the US. It could take you a while to get the hold taken off.

Here is my simple idea to keep your valuables in your pocket. Place a wadded up bandana in your pocket after putting your wallet and money in your pocket. Someone would have to pull the bandana out before they got your stuff. Hopefully you would feel the bandana coming out of your pocket.

Always learn a few simple phrases in the native language. Don't assume everyone knows English. Even if they do you should ask them in their own language if they do.

* Do you speak English?
* Hello
* Thank You
* Where is the bathroom?

Many words used for travel are of French origin. Some of them we know but are rarely used. Is embarkation the line to get on or off the plane? (is is getting on the plane).

Know the local gestures for greeting. This is just as important as speaking in the local language. Is bowing normal? Is handshaking not done. You can watch what people do ahead of you in line so when you get to the agent or vendor you can do the same thing.

If you are speaking to someone in English try not to use contractions or idioms (figures of speech). Think about yourself trying to learn a second language. You do not learn all of these. Many times they do not make literal sense. Here is a simple one: "What time do you get up?" What you should say is "What time do you awaken?" or "What time do you get out of bed?" I say think like a thesaurus. If someone does not understand one word, you can use another that they might. A photo album is just a book of photographs. Book is a more common word than album.

Remember that different voltage and frequency electricity is used around the world. Most are either 110V 60Hz or 220V 50 Hz. The plugs are different too. If the voltage is the same as home you might just need a plug converter. If the voltage changes you will need a voltage converter.

Many battery chargers and laptop power supplies can take both types of voltages. Make sure before you plug them in. You will probably need a plug converter though. Has a list of voltages and plug styles listed by country. Another list of plugs

Computers and Internet
The great thing is that there are internet cafes everywhere. They are not very expensive. All that I have seen have PCs running the Windows operating system. If you mainly use something else (say a Apple Mac) you will want to learn how to use the browsers under Windows before you leave. The browsers and web sites will probably be displayed in the language of the country you are in.

Know how to access your email using your provider's browser interface (web mail). Make sure the email addresses you want are in the web mail address book. You could also send yourself an email with a list of the email addresses you use. Write some down so you have access to the important ones. Give someone on that list a list of all your email addresses so they can send it to you if your provider loses your list.

The keyboards are not US English. This means that you will have some letters in odd locations. The Spanish keyboards have a special shift key labeled Alt-Gr (for Alternate Graphic). You need to use this key to get the at sign.

I would recommend not using too many punctuation symbols for passwords because you might find them hard to type on a keyboard. You can still use a period and the other common symbols for better passwords.

Most of the keyboards are not high quality. This means some keys stick or are hard to push. There isn't much you can do except to ask for another PC. I would definitely wash your hands after using the mouse and keyboard at one of the cafes. The person before you might have been sneezing into their hand while they where typing.

Check the web sites you use regularly to see if they have recommendations for using them in a different country (especially your email provider). They might have a different URL that specifies you want English.

Web sites will normally be in the local language. When you go to in a Spanish speaking country, you will see that all the instructions and labels are in Spanish.

If you know the web sites you use frequently from the icons you will be able to use them even if the words are in a language you do not know (assuming that the layout is the same in both languages).

You might want to bring some writable CDs and a sturdy carrier. Most internet cafes have CD writing services or PCs that will do it. You can make backup copies of your pictures. They will sell you CDs, but you might not have a good way to carry them.

Start a web travel log (blog). These are great for posting pictures and highlights of your trip. People can look at it anytime. You don't have to send emails to everyone you know. is a site that allows you to create a web log.

Create a web page that shows the country, or countries, where you will be visiting. You can put a map, the weather, and the time there. You can look at it for the weather. Your friends can look at it to see how things are going in the country you are in. Include a link to other sites that talk about the country. I put one to the CIA world fact book: The World Travel Tips is also good: You also might want to link to one of the travel guide sites such as Lonely Planet. WeatherUnderground has some simple HTML code you can paste into your site for the weather around the world. The Time and Date website has the time in foreign countries:

Documenting your trip

If you want to make a scrapbook when you return you might want to get a second copy of the brochures you pick up. One you can show people latter. The other you can cut up and place in your scrapbook.

If you have printed pictures write on the back where the picture is, when you were there, and who is in the picture. You might forget some details 20 years from now. If you have digital pictures you will want to document this information as well. You can do that many ways. One thing I have done is make a slide show that is burned onto a CD. With my software I can record my voice as the slide show plays. This way you get a commentary about the trip. You can also play this so you don't have to give the same description for the twentieth time.

Save your travel web log onto a disk so you have it in case the site goes away.

Write down what you do each day. On a long trip it is easy to forget the name of the restaurant you ate at or which day you went to the museum.


I think using email is the best way to communicate. You don't have to worry about time zone problems. Also many countries do not have the same quality of phone service that we are used to.

Many of the major phone companies have a local number to call to get an operator in the USA. The number might also let you dial direct into the US. It might also let you dial a toll free call (800 number). My brother found this out many years ago while he was traveling in Europe. The local edition of USA Today had a list of numbers to call. He cut it out and kept it with him during his trip. I have seen similar lists in the airline magazine. Here are some websites for the same list.

* MCI -
* ATT -
* ATT -

Toll free numbers only work in the USA. Make sure you have non-toll free numbers for your credit card, insurance, airline and travel companies. Many have numbers that will accept the charges. Usually the international numbers listed above will allow you to call to a toll free number once you get to the operator.


Film cameras are great. The problem is you need to carry your unused and used film around with you. The type of film available where you are going might be limited. The quality and age might not be what you are used to getting.

Battery chargers. Many good battery chargers will accept all standard power you see around the world: 100 to 220 volts, 50 and 60 hertz. Make sure you know what you can plug your's into before you plug it in. Make sure you plug it into the correct socket. Some hotels will have two different types of power. Check to see what types of outlets are used in the country you are traveling to. It is easier to buy an adapter before you leave.

Don't forget to bring your USB cable. Some places might be able to read your card directly, others might not.

Back up your images from your digital camera. Don't have all of the images stored on one memory card that goes bad or is stolen with your camera. Uploading pictures is one way to do this. Another is to have multiple cards. Don't carry the other cards in your camera bag with your camera. They you lose them all. You can get CDs burned at some internet cafes. You could also carry a USB flash drive and get them copied onto that.


It is nice to send cards to people while you are gone. The mail service in most countries is not as reliable or fast as we have in the US. You might just want to buy some cards, write your note while you are inspired, and hand carry it to your friends. Keep them up to date with email and a travel web log.

Luggage and Clothes

Don't bring too much. It seems we take the same amount of stuff for a week trip as a three week trip. Don't stuff your bag so it is bulging. It is more likely to break open on a luggage conveyor. Another reason to not bring too much is to have a little space to bring souvenir home.

Bring layers of clothes. A long sleeve shirt, a light weight sweater or polar fleece, and a shell jacket will keep you warm. You can wear the sweater on its own if your long sleeve shirt is getting washed. I travel with light weight pants and a pair of long underwear.

Have clothes, especially under clothes, that are quick drying. This means underpants, undershirts, socks, bras. You will be washing them regularly. The polypropylene material used in these items is good because it wicks moisture (sweat) away from your body. This can keep you warmer.

Invest in good clothing. Some travel clothes make you stick out like a tourist. This is not what you want in places where there are pick pockets. Many people like pants that have zip off legs. I say "Nothing says tourist like zip off pants". Pants with zippered pockets are good to keep money in. Some have small pockets that are hard to see just for this purpose. A friend of mine said to go to Goodwill and get clothes there. If they are lost, stolen or soiled you don't have much invested in them. If you are traveling for many weeks you might not want to wear the same thing ever again because you had on the same pants for 8 weeks.

Bring some form of sandal to wear in the shower. A simple, cheap foam sandal is small and works great. We wore ours to the beach when we had a lay over in Miami. The showers and specifically the shower floors might not be up to your cleanliness standards.

Don't bring "loud" clothes. By this I mean clothes that are bright colors. Remember that come places will require that your legs are covered. This means you will need pants or a long skirt. Shorts are not typically worn in other countries.

Don't put your home address on the luggage tag. Don't do this even if you have a fancy luggage tag that covers your address. People can flip that open and find out where you live. There are scams where people do this and call their accomplices in your town to take your stuff. Put a tag with your business address on it. I just put a business card in the luggage tag. Carry an extra luggage tag with you. Pick up a free one or two at the airline. You can use it or give it away. I had mine ripped off my bag on the conveyor once. If you have a business card in your bag someone could open it and know how to get the bag back to you.

Now that there is more luggage searching going on it is harder to put a lock on your luggage. I have never put a lock on mine. This is because I use soft-sided luggage. A knife would go through the luggage. The little locks will not keep someone who whats to steal your stuff out of your bag. It is easily broken. I have used mini carabiners to lock my luggage. They seem to confuse the inspectors. I rarely get them back. Maybe a large paper clip. It is nice to keep the zipper from opening up while the bags are being toss around.

Pack like your bags are going to be tossed around. They will. Don't stuff it full. Make sure the latches or zippers will hold it together. Don't have things that are breakable. Pack delicate items inside with soft things around them. If something has liquid or gel inside put it inside a plastic bag. That way if it opens it won't get everything in your bag wet (or make it smell like the perfume you bought for your mother).

Wheels on bags are great on level floors. A lot of places don't have level sidewalks. I would save the weight and go without. Get a bag with a good shoulder strap or straps.

Bring your swim suit. Even if you are not planning on swimming. My dad always told me this. It is small and if you get somewhere where you can swim, and you don't have it, you will wish you did. You can use a pair of shorts and a shirt, but they take more time to dry. You might want to bring a pair of swim goggles too. My wife and I are swimmers so we might get into the water anywhere. You might want to take a sauna or sit in a hot tub. The local shower might be outside.

You might want to bring a bed sheet with you. This way you have a clean barrier between you and the bed you are sleeping in. Some beds get bed bugs (and they do bite). I don't know if a sheet would protect you but it is a start.

Things to bring along

Your smile!

Tape. Many people bring a small amount of duct tape. You can buy a small roll in some travel stores. I prefer athletic tape. You can use it for bandaging and sprains in addition to taping your camera back together.

Heavy duty zip close plastic bags. One or two in your bag you carry around can come in handy. Use them to carry food. Put your wet suit in. Put some dirty clothes in when they become unexpectedly soiled.

Hand sanitizer. Use it before eating. Either just the liquid or as a tissue.

Toilet paper. In many countries restrooms do not have toilet paper (if they do it will not be your favorite). Save the last part of the rolls at home for some months before you leave. Carry them in your plastic bags so they don't get wet. In some countries the sewer system is not very good. They place the used toilet paper in a waste basket beside the toilet. It takes some getting used to. Don't be the person who plugs up the toilet by putting your paper in the toilet.

Change for the toilet. Many places have public restrooms that require you to pay. It does not cost much. You need to have small change to use it. Try to have some coins for the country you are traveling to before you get there.

Food. Always have a snack with you. You might get off the train ready to eat lunch and you find out that the city closes from one until two for a siesta. The city might be closed because of a funeral. Try some local candy bars, chips or other items.

Water. Don't drink the tap water. Always carry bottled water. Have enough to keep yourself hydrated. This is conundrum. The bottles are now littering many countries, but you get to drink safe water. I just carry the water in the bottle it came in. No need to transfer it to another bottle. You can buy a large bottle and transfer it to smaller bottles (share a large bottle among several people and keep the plastic to a minimum). If you use a hydration system (Camel-bak) make sure you wash it with clean water. Ice is generally made with tap water. Try not to use it in your drinks unless you are confident in the restaurant when they say it was made with bottled or purified water. It is best to not have it and be safe.

Many buses don't stop for bathroom breaks. Don't drink so much before you get on the bus. Sip your water during the trip.

Electrolyte mix and energy gel. If/when you get sick you will need to eat something. You also can get dehydrate. Having these items provides you with something to keep you going. You will feel better having something. You can get Electrolyte (gatorade) powder in individual pouches that make a liter/quart of drink. These are great if you have not been able to eat because you have been sick. You don't want to be dehydrate too. There are a few calories in it too. You can drink it when you have been sweating a lot too. Runners and other athletes use energy gel while they are competing because it is easy to digest. There are not a lot of calories, but it is easy to eat. There are many kinds: GU and Clif Shot are the two popular ones. Make sure you try the different flavors before you go. You might as well have something that tastes good. Take these items a little at a time. Make sure your stomach can handle them.

Pictures of your life. Take a picture of your family, your house, your pet, the state fair, snow, your car, everyday things. These are great to show people when you are at your hotel or on the bus.

A world map. When you talk to people you can show them where in the world you live. You might/will meet someone from a different country and they can show you were they are from.

Knife and fold up pliers. This is harder now that you can not fly with anything pointy (other than your brother's head). Don't carry the knife that has sentimental value (the one Grandpa showed you how to whittle with). Don't carry a $400 fold up plier. Get a cheap one for $5 or $10. If it is taken or lost you don't care. These will have a bottle opener. They still use bottles in many countries. Clean the blade before you cut your sandwich. Don't stick it under a flame to pick out a splinter (this is bad for the blade). Just wipe it down with your hand sanitizer.

Sewing kit. At least a needle and thread. You might have to fix a ripped shirt. You might want to sew on a new patch too.

First aid. At least carry some adhesive bandages (Band-aids). Keep the items at the top of your pack. You will need it quickly if you are bleeding. Keep the items in a zip close bag. At a minimum I would say: adhesive bandages, tape, gauze pads, anti-bacterial ointment(Neosporin), sterile gloves(you might be working on someone else). Some pain reliever (Aspirin, ibuprophen). Feminine panty liners are great bandages. They have a protective layer and are large. Remember to restock before each trip.

Small length of thin rope. I carry about 10 feet of a 5 mm cord. A little thinner is not bad. Use it to make a clothes line or fix your backpack. You can tie your new purchase to your pack. You can tie your bag, or coat, shut if the zipper fails. You can use it as a belt.

Shoe laces. If one breaks while you are traveling you might not find one right away. You could always cut the other one in half and only thread the last few holes.

Bandana. Great for so many things. A head cover, a neck cover, a sack to carry food, a bandage for a cut. Get some fancy ones and give them away. Stuff it in your pocket to keep other people's hands off your stuff.

Sink plug. Many people laugh at this until they travel. Many hostels and even some hotels, especially in Europe, have shared bathrooms. There might be a sink in the sleeping room. Many do not have an integrated plug like we are accustomed to. If you want to wash you dainties out in the sink you need to plug it with something. These are sold at the hardware store or a travel store. Forgot to bring one? Try to tape the drain shut. You could use a plastic bag to plug it too.

Laundry soap. A small container of soap will help you when you are washing your close. There are also bars of laundry soap. You could also use your hand soap in a pinch.

Laundry bag. When you drop off laundry it is easiest to have it in a sturdy bag. You might want it to be able to breath a little to keep the smells from building up a lot.

Soap. I have a trick for this. Instead of carrying a large soap bar in a large soap dish, I carry a used soap bar in an old throat lozenge box. The box I have is plastic(Sucrets). I drill some holes in it to allow the bar to dry out. I also put something in the bottom to keep it from sticking (I use a piece of a suction cup soap holder) and to give it a better chance to air out.

Flashlight. The power might go out. You might need to read a map late one night. There are great LED lights. The coin sized ones are good for clipping to your bag. A headlamp allows you to see without holding the light. If you read in bed you might need this if there are no bedside lamps.

Compass. A nice zipper pull compass is nice to have. Some have a thermometer too. But you will know if it is hot for you. You could use it to report the temperature to others. If you are looking at a map because you are lost you might be looking the wrong way.

Nail clippers. If you are going to be gone a while you might need these.

Ropes & Plates


Nov 2018 Menards $700
Briggs & Stratton
24" dual stage
electric start

Had this for a couple years. Bought it at a garage sale for $125
Motor seized after the April 2018 snow
9 HP
26 inch, dual stage
electric start
model: 536.886260


Editing Software

S/W for editing (Non-Linear Editing (NLE))
Sony Vegas
Pinnacle Studio

Some online video editors ( selection)

Sony Vegas

Multi camera edit -

* Use VASST InfinitiCAM (5/2011)

* Shows how to take multiple tracks, merge into a single one as multicamera, then pick the take

* Simple multi track edit

* Using built in multicamera

Picture in Picture/Multiple images

* Use VASST PIP to get two images

* does it without 3D feature

Contour Xpress keypad (new, 5/2011, ebay)


Camera - Canon Optura 30 (2)
Camera - Canon Optura 40
Camera - Canon XL1S [6/2011, eBay] [Sold, 12/2012, eBay]
Camera - Canon Vixia HF M40 (2) [new, 11/2011, eBay, OneCall]
Camera - Canon Vixia HF G10 [almost new, 12/2011, eBay]
Camera - Canon Vixia HF G10(Asian) [used, 11/2012, eBay]

Velbon video tripod - VideoMate 607 (head QB-6RL) (new, 8/2008, Amazon)
Polaroid tripod (2) (new, 10/2011, Amazon)
Ravelli AVTP Professional 75mm Video Camera Tripod (new, 10/2011, Amazon)
ProAm DVC200 crane (new, 8/2012, eBay)

eBenk LANC Zoom Controller (new, 2/2012, Amazon)
Canon ZR-1000 Zoom controller (used, 5/2017, eBay)

Audio stuff
Audio Technica ATR-55 Condenser Shotgun Microphone (new, 5/2009, Amazon)
Audio Technica ATR35s lapel michrophone (new, 2009, Best Buy)
Audio-Technica ATH-M30 headphones (2) (new, 1/2013, B&H)
Headphones (new, 2010, Half price books)
Behringer Eurorack Model MX602A Ultra Low-Noise Design 6-Channel Mic/Line Mixer (used, 1/2013, eBay, AssestRecovery)
Tascam DR-07mkII Portable Digital Audio Recorder (new, 2/2012, Amazon)

Photography equipment

Canon Optura

Camera - Canon Optura 30 (2)
Camera - Canon Optura 40

Compare camcorders (2004) [where I figured out what to get for me, Canon Optura 30] -

Video equipment

Canon Optura 30 Specs
CCD Size 1/3.4
Low Price $595.88
Manual Shutter Speed Yes
High Definition No
CCD Pixel Count Video 2200000
CCD Count 1
Video Processing DiGiC DV
Still Resolution Dimensions Max 1632 x 1224
Still Media SD Memory Card
Flash Yes
Filter Diameter 0.0
Focal Distance Minimum 0.0
Focal Distance Maximum 0.0
35mm Focal Distance Minimum 0.0
35mm Focal Distance Maximum 0.0
Optical Zoom 12.0
Digital Zoom 240.0
Firewire Yes
svideo In Yes
svideo Out Yes
Composite In Yes
Composite Out Yes
Microphone In Yes
Microphone Out Yes
Control L No
Manual Exposure No
Manual Exposure Steps 0
Manual Shutter Speed Steps 0
Manual White Balance Yes
LCD Size 2.5
Progressive Scan No
Recording Format MiniDV
LP Mode Yes

Canon Optura 40 Specs
CCD Size 1/3.4
Low Price $628.81
Manual Shutter Speed No
High Definition No
CCD Count 1
Still Resolution Dimensions Max 1632 x 1224
Flash No
Filter Diameter 0.0
Focal Distance Minimum 0.0
Focal Distance Maximum 0.0
35mm Focal Distance Minimum 0.0
35mm Focal Distance Maximum 0.0
fstop Minimum 0.0
fstop Maximum 0.0
Minimum Lux 0.0
Optical Zoom 14.0
Digital Zoom 0.0
Firewire No
svideo In No
svideo Out No
Composite In No
Composite Out No
Microphone In No
Microphone Out No
Control L No
Manual Exposure No
Manual Exposure Steps 0
Manual Shutter Speed Steps 0
Manual White Balance No
Manual Gain No
Manual Gain Steps 0
Manual Audio Modes No
Audio Dubbing No
Accessory Shoe No
Hot Accessory Shoe No
LCD Size 3.5
LCD Pixels 0.0
Touch Screen No
Hybrid LCD No
Viewfinder Type Color
Viewfinder Pixels 0
Camera Body Type Horizontal
Weight 0.0
Width 0.0
Height 0.0
Length 0.0
Included Battery Life 0.0
Sister Model Down Optura 30
Webcam Yes
Progressive Scan No
Recording Format MiniDV
LP Mode Yes
Max Recording Time 0.0
Body Color Silver
Video Light No
Image Stabilization Electronic

Canon Vixia HF G10

Canon Vixia HF G10

1/3-inch HD CMOS Pro, RGB Primary Color Filter
Video: Approx. 2.07-megapixels (1920 x 1080)
32GB internal flash drive

filter: 58 mm

Canon Vixia HF M40

Canon Vixia HF M40

1920 x 1080i HD Recording
16GB Internal Flash Drive Memory
2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Slots
2.37MP 1/3" CMOS Sensor
3.0" Touch Panel LCD
Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens
Dynamic SuperRange Optical IS
Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor
Microphone and Headphone Connections

filter: 43 mm

Canon XL1s

Canon XL1s

How to use DVD

Video equipment

Other video links

Shooting in a theater media changer now something else, like lots of information

Handbrake is a video coder
VidCoder is a scaled down GUI for Handbrake

Compare camcorders (2004) [where I figured out what to get for me, Canon Optura 30] -


Dell Precision T7400
Quad Xenon 3.01 GHz
80 GB HD
Bluray burner

VisionTek HD 5570 video (quad)
HP L1950 monitors (4)

Contour Design Shuttle-Xpress keypad


I have two weather stations. Both are Oregon Scientific WMR968. I collect data and post it on my website and also upload it to Weather Underground.

Home weather page. Weather Underground page

Work weather page. Weather Underground page

Local weather cams

Had been using FreeWX
have tried WUHU
also like Cumulus - shows freeway temps

Temperature conversion


Mental Conversion Algorithms

If we use as multipliers 2 (instead of 9/5) and ½ (instead of 5/9) in the AMS conversion algorithms, we will only be introducing about 10% error, and this change of multipliers will make the calculations simple enough that the conversions can be made mentally.

Although the amount of error introduced by the use of these approximate multipliers is only about 10%, the amount of error in the final answer will sometimes be a much greater percentage. Thus it is desirable to include a correction term into the calculations. The mental AMS conversion algorithms involve the use of a correction term to obtain a highly accurate final answer.

The mental AMS algorithm for conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius is the following:

1. Add 40 to the Fahrenheit Temperature.
2. Multiply this sum by ½.
3. Add 10%
4. Subtract 40 to obtain the equivalent Celsius temperature.

The mental AMS algorithm for conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit is the following:

1. Add 40 to the Celsius Temperature.
2. Multiply this sum by 2.
3. Subtract 10%
4. Subtract 40 to obtain the equivalent Fahrenheit temperature.

Think metric

Funny comic about thinking metric


IBM describe Drupal =
10 needed modules = - use CCK to make new content type and Views to show it - new content and views - use mashup to make data and map - Update 6.x to 6.y (helpful. how not delete modules?) shows CCK Views, Panels - clock faces for your website - conversion to drupal - company that has a release and does support - list of tools to install; gallery, CMS, forum, blog


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Google Maps JavaScript API Example


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Other CMS/Blog tools

PivotX - blog/CMS

PHP coding

How to fix user input or parameters -
Secure database passwords -


Started out with a Windsurfer 1984 Olympic edition
We went to Lake Perris.
Moved on to a Windsurfer Rocket99
Went to the Ponds near Palm Springs.