sumo, ergo bloggum (delta)

March 7, 2007

Injured Canada Goose

Filed under: Animals,Miscellaneous — Rob @ 3:29 pm

Please drive carefully out there.  I saw an SUV hit a Canada Goose on a country road this morning and it wasn’t pretty.  In fact, it was extremely upsetting.  I saw the possibility of the collison moments before it occurred and, by slowing down myself, was able to cause the SUV driver to also slow down — but not enough to avoid hitting the poor goose (which appeared to be trying to protect other geese).

As the goose tried to get airborne to avoid the collison, it was struck from behind at approximately 5-10 MPH.  It got flipped over and hit the windshield, and then roof of the SUV before ending-up on the road in front of my stopped vehicle.  As I inched forward to see if it was alive and/or could move, the goose flapped it’s wings to pull itself to the side of the road.  As it did this, I could see it dragging its apparently useless feet helplessly behind him.  Talk about a heart-wrenching moment.

I wanted to help the poor animal but had no idea what to do — or whom to call.  The other driver stopped long enough to see the goose pull itself off the road and then continued with her trip. 

When I arrived at work about half an hour later I did a quick Internet search and found a local wildlife rehabilitation group. Though they possibly were able to help the injured goose (if it’s feet/legs weren’t actually broken), they didn’t have the staff or resources to go look for it and pick it up.  So they gave me the emergency phone number for the Humane Society which, in my area, is staffed and equipped to pick up injured wildlife.

After calling them and reporting the nature, time and location of the incident, I immediately programmed their emergency number into my cell phone. At least now I’m prepared in case I ever again witness a similar incident.

In the future, I’ll pull my car off the street, call the Humane Society and stay with the injured animal until the Humane Society arrives (It occurred to me after leaving the scene that the injured animal was extremely vulnerable to predators.).

The point of this post is three-fold: encourage people to 1) drive more slowly on winding country roads, 2) program the emergency number of their local Humane Society into their cell phones and 3) do whatever they can to save injured wildlife.

An acronym for what you might do is: SCS (Stop – Call – Stay).  I know I wish I could have.


December 14, 2006

Photo Manipulation Software — Help!

Filed under: Photography,Software,Technology,Tools — Rob @ 12:12 am

For about 2-1/2 years now, I’ve been using Canon’s ZoomBrowser EX to download photos from my Canon PowerShot S500 camera to my computer. This would basically happen automatically whenever I’d stick my Compact Flash (CF) card into the multi-card reader. The photos would automatically be grouped in folders that were automatically named with the date on which they were taken. It was all very nice and neat and even I was able to follow what was happening and, more importantly, locate the photos later on.

About a year later, I bought and installed Adobe’s Photoshop Elements (PSE) 2.0. This had no effect on the previously described download process. But, after downloading images, I was now able to open them in PSE and do minor manipulations. One thing that was hard to do, however, was to remove red-eye from photos. Then I heard that PSE 5.0 has an automated red-eye corection feature, so I bought and installed the upgrade.

Well, things haven’t been the same since. Now when I install either a MicroSD card (from my LG VX8300 camera-phone) or a CF card into my multi-card reader, both Canon’s ZoomBrowser EX and PSE 5.0 simultaneously, it appears, prompt me to allow them to automatically load the pictures to my computer. I basically say “yes” to both prompts because I prefer the way the ZoomBrowser EX organizes the photos into new folders and, at the same time, want to be able to edit the photos in PSE 5.0. Only now the photos are not going into new folders. Instead, it appears they’re being appended to the last folder that was created before I downloaded PSE 5.0. Either that, or they go to a new folder I recently created expressly for camera-phone photos.

Now I’ll admit I haven’t RTFM yet. Just no time and I also find some of it hard to comprehend. But it seems to me that I should be able to designate one of these programs as the default program for downloading photos, right? If so, then, in simple language, how is it accomplished? Any advice, suggestions, etc., would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Update (1/23/08): I finally figured this out — sometime ago, actually. The programs use different file naming schemes and that’s what caused the confusion. Turns out I had duplicates of all my photos. So now I just use the Adobe Elements scheme to simplify photo-editing — though I still prefer Canon’s naming scheme for organizing files.

December 13, 2006

LG VX8300 Cell Phone – Update

Filed under: Communications,Photography,Technology — Rob @ 11:43 pm

I’ve been making progress with my phone.  This may not be a big deal to most folks but it’s huge to me.  I got a 512 Mb MicroSD card (~$35 @ Best Buy), formatted it and set-up the camera to record pictures directly to the card (rather than the phone’s memory).

The upshot of this is that I no longer have to pay Verizon for each photo that, previously, I would send from the phone’s memory to my email address.  In the last billing cycle I was charged ~$10 to email 42 photos (mostly hi-res) to myself.  So you can see that once I’ve recorded another ~120 photos, my MicroSD card will essentially have paid for itself.  Thereafter I’m in the clear.  Ain’t that cool? 😉

November 27, 2006

Dell Computer – Defective USB Ports – Update

Filed under: Computers,Technology — Rob @ 6:07 pm

Well, it’s been six months since my USB ports crapped-out on me. I bought an internal hard drive from Best Buy so that I could easily copy the data and applications on the current hard drive before reformatting it.  You don’t want to know the gory details but basically the ribbon cable I was hoping to attach the new drive to was actually connected to the Zip drive and there wasn’t an available ribbon connector for a new hard drive. At least not one that I could locate.

So I took a different tack and installed a board with 5 USB ports on it (this took less than one minute) and, presto! I now have 5 new working USB ports  (Yea!!!) in the rear of my computer despite the fact that 6 of the original 8 USB ports are still dead. The really good news is that I can now use my multi-card reader to upload photos from my digital camera to my computer.

Still, the 6 dead ports continue to piss me off. So the revised plan is to exchange the unusable internal hard drive for an external hard drive that connects via USB. Then I’ll copy my data and applications to the external unit. Once that’s all good, I’m going to contact Dell again to have them help me reformat my original hard drive and reinstall the OS, etc. That should fix the defunct USB ports. If it doesn’t, then Dell’s going to have to send out a tech.

New Pilot (Namiki) Vanishing Point (Capless) Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Filed under: Pens — Rob @ 5:31 pm

It’s “Ice Blue” in color, comes with an 18k gold medium nib (only) and has just been released for sale. Only 2,000 are available worldwide.

They retail for $200 but I’ve seen them for $150. In 2-3 years they’ll go for $400-$500. Yeah, I know I don’t need one but I really want one. Sort of.

Pre-diabetes: Update #1

Filed under: Food,Personal Stuff — Rob @ 5:23 pm

This will be short and sweet. I meant to make weekly updates but it looks as if monthly updates are more realistic. I joined a local gym and am exercising on the treadmill and elliptical machines about three times each week. The workouts have been for about 45 minutes but I’m going to try to up them to an hour.

I’ve also been lifting weights about two times a week. It’s amazing how weak one can get when he hasn’t done any real physical exercise in a long time. Not a good rut to fall into. The first two weeks were quite difficult but now the muscle aches have diminished and I’m able to do three sets of each exercise (was just doing two sets initially).

Then there’s the diet side of the equation. I’ve managed to really cut down on sweets and am working on reducing simple carbs — basically bread products. But I still have a long way to go. Am getting back into apples again. Thanksgiving wasn’t too bad — but there were roasted potatoes, a little stuffing and two pies that had to be dealt with. All that stuff’s out of the way now so I’m getting back on track later this evening with a one-hour cardio workout to be followed by a light dinner.

I don’t know whether I’ve actually lost any weight but am aware of the slightest increase in muscle tone and the slightest decrease in waist/hip girth (pants are slipping and I’ve moved to the next notch in my belt). So something’s working.

Til next time… 😉

October 9, 2006


Filed under: Food,Personal Stuff — Rob @ 5:13 pm

Inevitably, given the lifestyle I’ve been living the past several years, my fasting blood glucose (105) has finally caught-up with me. Or my pancreas has slowed-down while my liver has slipped into fourth gear. Either way, it’s a wake-up call and time to get off the couch and begin to move again. That and good-bye to the Cheez-its (which, for now, will be the whipping boy for all snacks carby). Repeat after me: “It’s not beer’s fault, it’s not beer’s fault….”

In contemplating this latest development, I’ve come to the conclusion that TV-watching is one of the major conspirators that has led me down the path of many chairs, couches, benches, futons, and other butt rests. It’s been a veritable anti-motion magnet. It’s ironic, too, because in the midst of most viewing, and especially during commericals, I find myself vehemently conversing with the set in a somewhat unfriendly tone, making disparaging remarks about the content of the message or the effectiveness of the production. However, I do think the GEICO ads are absolutely stellar, especially the latest one featuring a caveman on a walk-alator. But that’s getting off-topic.

Another conspirator has been portion size. And yes, as were many others, I was taught to finish everything on my plate. So if someone, me, for example, accidentally puts a helluva lotta food on my plate, I tend to eat all of it (because all the starving people in the world would never forgive me if I threw away perfectly good food). Intellectually, I know this isn’t smart. But psychology and emotions trump intellect almost every time food enters the mouth — which is at least three times a day.

Yet a third conspirator is the typical American workplace — at least so-called white-collar workplace. Yep, the desk job. There’s a cafeteria stocking every type of donut, bag of chips, candy bar, etc., imaginable just one floor above my office. So when I get off my butt to stretch a bit, I invariably find myself walking to the cafeteria for coffee and a bag of glucose.

So I guess a fouth conspirator might be a lack of self discipline. And how did this happen? And when? Must’ve been a long time ago ‘cuz it seems like things have always been this way. Or maybe it happened in concurrence with the advent of the computer and then the subsequent entrenchment of newer and newer technologies in the workplace. Someone had to sit down and figure that (this) stuff out. Nowadays, I can control a small world of activity (in others) simply by moving my mouse. It can’t be a good thing. I realize this really doesn’t address the topic of self-discipline. So I’ll come back to this later after I’ve thought more about it. I think it has alot to do with internally set goals, ambitions and timetables along with a strong sense of self and the ability to put one’s self, first.

And then there’s the whole nutrient value or density of foods. People talk about our soils being depleted of vital minerals with nutritionally inadequate produce being grown and distributed as a result. So we’re really craving nutrition and all the while we’re stuffing ourselves with nutrient deficient food substitutes. Didn’t used to be this way when we all lived down on the farm.

Anyway, gotta get serious about this now. So, to keep the issue front and center, I’ll try to post blogs about my progress once a week (Sunday night) over the next few months. One index of progress will be my weight, which is currently 180 lbs. I really need to weigh 30 lbs. less. But I intend to lose fat, not lean muscle tissue. But I know it’s not about weight at all. It’s really about inches and shape. So the pot belly has to go. My waist (measured at the navel) is (gasp!) 42″ so I’ll set my goal at 31″. Yep, that’s a lotta lard.

Just a brief aside about my waist size: I wear size 34/32 Dockers and Levis but the waist on the pants rides about 4″ below my navel. So, all the time I’ve been wearing this size trousers, I’ve had no idea that my waist was actually 42″. So there’s just a little complicity from clothing manufacturers, don’tcha think?.

So I’m going to develop a TV-watching, diet and exercise plan. I’m lucky that my daughter has a degree in nutrition (in addition to Pilates training and teaching experience) and has offered to help me with the diet part of the program (maybe she’ll even comment here and share her two-cents on all this). The exercise will include daily brisk walks of at least 30 minutes (ideally 60 minutes) and, perhaps, weight-lifting 2-3 times per week. But that will require a gym membership, something I’m only lukewarm about. I’m thinking of limiting TV to 7 hours per week. I think that’s do-able.

Edit: or maybe not, I’ve just managed to watch for 3 hours straight and it’s not even Tuesday yet.

Hey (hey), You (you), Get Offa My Lawn!

Filed under: Humor,Ramblings,Uncategorized — Rob @ 4:01 pm

Actually, I’m not that guy. At least, I certainly don’t mean to be. I don’t even water my lawn and lately, I haven’t even mowed it. And as for black socks, well, I only wear them with black shoes and black trousers — never with shorts (which are almost always the cargo type and never, shudder, plaid).

October 4, 2006

Oh, No! Not ‘Best Buy,’ Too!

Filed under: Blogging,Opinions,Rants,Technology — Rob @ 11:03 pm

I recently wrote a short post about my very negative experience with Dell technical support and at the end of the post recommended that current potential computer buyers forego the extended warranty and just call in the Geek Squad if and when necessary.

And then this evening, while perusing some posts, I stumbled across this:

So be very, very careful out there and above all, back-up your data!  Sheesh!

September 27, 2006


Filed under: Blogging,Technology — Rob @ 1:59 pm

Hey, I just registered this blog with Technorati. So now what? Something about badges? Or RSS feeds? 

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