Archive for August, 2003

Florida birthday celebration vacation!

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

I’m going on vacation, starting now. Florida should be fun. I’m driving down with my camera and will take lots of pictures. Hooray! (:

Know of any sites I simply must see in Florida? I’ll be approximately mid-way down, on the west coast of the state.

If I’m able to have ‘Net access, I may post a few updates from the area. I will try to stay away from computers otherwise (more or less).


Wednesday, August 27th, 2003

Last night, on my birthday, I had organic cereal. I poured the cereal into the bowl and then added some vanilla flavored soy milk.

Shortly afterward, I began to have severe allergic reactions. I could barely breathe, and my throat swelled up. My chest started hurting, my stomach region was in pain, and my head ached. I felt cold and hot at the same time and my skin felt odd. I started feeling a little dizzy. It got worse as time progressed, too.

I ended up running to Harris Teeter, a local 24-hour grocery store and bought some Benadryl. I quickly paid for the stuff, dashed outside and took two of the little chewables (I had to buy the "children’s" version, as it seemed to be the only non-pill type at the store and I figured that I might have some sort of issue swallowing something).

Almost as soon as the reactions started with whatever sort of trigger food, they stopped upon taking the Benadryl. It was just a couple of minutes, it seemed (although I could be slightly off with the time, considering the circumstances).

I really don’t know what caused it. I checked the ingredient listing for both products and I noticed that I happened to have had every single ingredient over the past week, except for the soy milk, which was almost exactly a week prior since the last time I had it.

Whatever it is, whether some sort of nut, oat, bread, or soy, I think I will have to change what I eat. If soy is actually the culprit, then does that mean I shouldn’t be a vegetarian any longer? I have to get enough protein somehow, I would think. Many veggie-friendly things are made with soy (although not everything).

I am planning on trying some very small tests here in a bit with some Benadryl handy, just to try to isolate the culprit….

Anyway, it was not a fun birthday surprise, as I’m sure you could imagine.

Does anyone have any experience with any of this stuff? Does anyone have any suggestions or comments about my situation?



Tuesday, August 26th, 2003

Today is my birthday. I am now 26 years old. (:


Monday, August 25th, 2003

There’s yet another new Canon camera in the DSLR space.

Basically, the Canon "prosumer" (second usage defn.) digital SLR family of products has been a progression as of the following:

  1. D30
  2. D60
  3. 10D
  4. 300D / EOS Digital Rebel / KISS Digital

It should be noted that everything from the D60 onward has the same megapixel rating at 6.3… The sensor hasn’t changed too much between the last few models.

The 300D is basically a 10D with less features and a lower price. The 10D is essentially a souped up D60, with more ISO settings, a faster auto-focus, and a couple little annoyances fixed. The D60 is a nice upgrade to the D30, with higher resolution (6 versus 3 megapixel). The D30 was one of the cameras which caused a few pros to start switching.

I did not mention the insanely-priced 1D and 1Ds, both of which are quite nice. I imagine it would be nice to have the 35mm sized full-frame 1Ds, but finding a place to store 11.1 megapixel images would be quite a task. I’m currently having storage constraints with my D60’s 6.3 megapixel photographs.

Printer cartridge price gouging…

Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

This past evening, I went to the local Office Depot to pick up ink for my Epson 1270 oversized photo printer. When I went to pay by credit card, the little machine asked me to authorize the purchase.

The screen read:

[OK] [Cancel]

Now, I know ink refills for printers can be expensive, but this was a little too much. I told the cashier of the problem, so she tried to correct it. She hit a few buttons on the register and then the screen flashed the following:

[OK] [Cancel]

I normally wouldn’t mind being overcharged a penny. I laughed again and said that I don’t think I could afford the Epson ink refills. I was pretty sure that I didn’t have enough money in my bank account to afford it. She tried a manual override and told me not to hit the "OK" button.

…I waited, and of course did not hit the "OK" button.

After having lots of good laughs with the other people in line and the cashier too, I began to wonder what would have happened if I would not have caught the mistake and would have just accepted the bill.

Maybe next time I’ll just buy the ink from Laser Monks, a group of real monks in a real monastery who sell honest deals at really low prices. Fifteen bucks for both the black and 5-color ink is a much better deal, I think. (For what it’s worth, the list price is typically around $54, which is also a much better deal than the cost given by the credit card machine, but not as good as the one those monks can give.)

Oh, and this is not an ad for the monks, I just think it’s odd that a group of monks who pretty much have no worldly possessions at all are concerned about the cost of ink. I guess ink cartridge prices really have gotten out of hand for them to take notice.

Ate at Joe’s

Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

I went with Joe K. and a few others from RHN to Joe’s Place for lunch today, and we ate Joe’s mom’s food. Yum.

“Please call Stella”, the accent database

Monday, August 18th, 2003

I just found out about a really neat accent database which has samples of speech from around the world. All have the same phrase, in English, in common. It starts out with "please call Stella" and continues with some sort of nonsense phrases.

It seems as though the paragraph was constructed to get a maximum amount of different sounds within a relatively small speech, much like the sentence about the lazy dog getting jumped over by a quick fox works out all the letters in the alphabet. Instead of using a variety of letters, however, the silly, nonsensical paragraph is a string of phrases to play through most of the major phonemes.

It is quite interesting to hear how different people across the world pronounce things.

Oh, just as a note: The site requires Quicktime to listen to the clips. I’m not sure which version of Quicktime it needs, but it may play fine under Xine or MPlayer on Linux. (Of course, then there’s always the Crossover plugin stuff or using a Mac or Windows box, if you have one.)