Monday, May 23, 2011

Captain Hill versus The Banana Chip

Captain Hill with a freshly made banana chip.

With a food dehydrator I've been making a constant array of chips out of bananas and fuji apples. The hamster seems to like this stuff. I figured tonight would be a good time to take some photos of the sampling of these chips.

Stuffing the banana chip in mouth.

Ready and looking for the next piece of food.

Found a apple chip

The Captain inspects my multi max receiver

Attempting to escape from the POD

Here's a good product placement photo for the Habitrail

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beef Jerky

While the world seems to be filled with roller derby somewhere. I spent the day cleaning and organizing the apartment. This was all just something to do while I was waiting at the various stages during the making of beef jerky.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I had my fill of banana chips and dried apple slices. I made some bagel chips from some of the Montreal bagels I still had in the fridge. Those didn't last long.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

3D on the W3

The Fuji W3

Mix a few weeks of work with a small surplus of cash and a long weekend with nothing to do. Add to that a random sale on a specific camera and you've got one impulse buy for the month of May. I was showing the Fuji W1 to some people in the Art Department at my current work and a few days later (while supposedly drunk) one of the guys went online and bought the Fuji W3 at Henry's for $400.00. $100 off the regular price!

The Fuji W3 back

Today while stumbling around downtown looking for a few replacement trays for the food dehydrator (as I melted two of them while burning my finger and I still don't quite know how this happened) I went into Henry's to see if the camera was on sale in the store (and not just the internet).

I realize that going into a camera store would not find me food dehydrator trays. I've gone into camera stores while looking for trousers, not camera trousers just normal work clothing. So going into a camera store while looking for food dehydrator parts isn't a big leap out of character.

One thing led to another and "Viola", an upgrade from the W1 was made.

The built in HDMI 1.4 port will allow you to attach the camera right into a 3D TV!

The Fuji W3

The first thing one notices, other than the lower price, is that the power cable that came with the W1 is replaced by the battery charger for the W3. The W3 does not have a visible power outlet. Instead the power adapter is sold separately and fits into the battery chamber instead of the battery. This means you cannot charge the battery in the camera like the W1. Instead of a power output on the side of the camera there is an HDMI output (version 1.4 compatible with HDTVs with 3D capability).

The USB plug on the W3 is in roughly the same spot as the W1. Controls for the camera have been moved over to the right side. I suppose this makes for easier handling. One thing that they removed is the buttons that light up. Which in the end, while it might have looked cool, really didn't help the camera shoot (or focus) in a dark setting. Sure you could find the controls but the camera was pretty much useless without some external light to light up the subject so the camera could see it.

Since the W1, controls have been moved to one side of the camera for easier operation.

The Fuji W3 top

Convergence controls

The zoom and shutter button

The Fuji W3 bottom showing the camera mount and the battery and SD card slots.

Close up of the battery and SD card slots

The new NP-50 battery

The old NP-95 battery next to the newer smaller NP-50 battery

you can see the that the NP-50 is thinner too

Overall I like that the camera can shoot HD video. I find that the photos taken at higher ISOs are really grainy compared to my Nikon SLRs but it does fit into my pocket. Also shooting action photos really isn't this camera's strong suit. It takes a long time to focus on objects (even if they are well lit). So unless you're focusing in advance, I wouldn't recommend this camera for fast moving things.

For 3D though. Well there really isn't anything comparable out there is there? You could buy a lens in a cap for your Nikon or canon but it'll split your existing 4:3 image into two. The Fuji W3 allows you to shoot in 3 aspect ratios. 4:3 (3648x2736), 3:2 (3648x2432), and 16:9 (3584x2016). There are smaller resolutions but who really cares about them?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Food Dehydrator

Salton Food Dehydrator

Monday night at work, one of the snacks that made it's way to the craft services table was a bunch of banana chips. I ate some and took a few home to see if Captain Hill liked them. She did. This was the seed that started today's mission... "Buy a Food Dehydrator"

I reasoned that the food dehydrator would allow me to make banana chips from scratch thus eliminating any odd preservatives that might be used in the banana chips available at the grocery store. I did a bit of research and as the world of food dehydrators opened up to me I realized that banana chips weren't the only things you could make with one of these things. Beef Jerky, bagel chips, various dried fruits and herbs, I imagine you could even dry a pair of socks in one of these things. There's a web site that refers to the drying to lingerie. I don't own any lingerie (sorry to disappoint any of you out there) but I do own socks.

Not that I would put socks into this thing as there's that whole stink thing they one would have to contend with, but if I had to MacGyver a solution for wet socks, well there you go.

As with any purchase being done with limited research I found it difficult to find a dehydrator for sale. The Bay, Kitchen Stuff Plus, Future Shop, Best Buy, Sears, none of them sold food dehydrators. I ended up getting the last one on the shelf of a Canadian Tire. It was $50.00.

Made by Salton there's not a lot to the thing. There's a base, 5 drying racks, and a cover with an opening that can be open to closed. I'm not really sure what the opening does as there's no mention of the vent in the manual.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Speking of Sax

Fred Spek plays the Dundas West Station

While transferring from the bus to the subway I heard the sound of the saxophone. It made me retrace my steps back up the 10 stairs I managed to navigate to find Fred Spek playing in the busker area. It was his birthday a few days ago and I thought I'd say "Happy Birthday" in person even though I was in a rush to get some hard drive cases before the computer store closed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Himy for Mayor

Volley ball posts.

Ended up walking down to the beach today. It was rainy and it's been a while since I've been down there since moving to the other side of the city. Not surprisingly there was no one around. Torontoians are odd that way in that a bit of rain scares them off. Being a saturday they couldn't even use the excuse that they were at work.

The boardwalk

While walking toward the life guard station, in the distance I saw a figure moving rocks around. On of my friends, Himy, would make mazes or patterns out of rocks on the beach for the public's enjoyment. As I got closer the figure turned out to be Himy. What were the odds?

"Hey, It's my yogurt!" Himy

While talking to Himy I found that he was still head deep into Toronto politics. He even ran for office. He'd do a better job than Rob Ford just because he lives in Toronto and sees what the people of Toronto see. Hopefully our new mayor doesn't screw up the city too much by making short sighted budget cuts.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Hammer City 2011 Season Opener

Deep Fried Mars bar at the Jet Cafe

Today marked Hammer City's fifth season opener also known in some circles as Mother's Day Massacre. Times change and with it names. The 'Mother's Day Massacre' was dropped for the PC 'season opener'. Meh. I was told this was done to lure sponsors and to not upset overly sensitive fans.

One of the coaches of the HCRG had passed away. Affectionately known as 'Mister Dave', he had been a major influence in the early years of the HCRG training. His funeral was today. This put a damper on the season opener.

Breakfast at the Jet Cafe

Harlots at breakfast/lunch

I can't remember if I was invited or I hijacked the Harlots lunch. I think I let myself in, come to think of it as I bummed a ride from one J.J. who was driving in from Toronto. The deep dried mars bar had been cooked too long and any moisture had left the lump of battered chocolate had left at least two deep fries ago. The breakfast was good though.

I like the 'more beer' sign where the 'kids' are

Slamtastic Slam Wow and Demolition Dawn of ToRD


Definitely one of the high lights of the day was seeing Diane. She's a girl that i keep bumping into in different cities and almost travelled across Canada west with her. As things worked out, or didn't, the guy with the car got someone else to drive it to B.C. and the person on the other end needed their car in B.C. for a wedding. So that all fell though. It's just as well. I managed to snag a paying job soon after.

Lunch lady feels the HCRG love

There were two games. The Lunch Ladies VS the Hamilton Harlots. The Thames Fatales VS the Eh Team. While watching the first of the two I thought to myself "Who are these people?". The freaky thing is then the same line, more or less, was verbalized by the guy behind me. It was the Derby Nerd.

It's true. I didn't recognize more than half the skaters. It seemed that the HCRG had been upgraded and I hadn't noticed until now. In both games the Hamilton teams got wallopped (see derby nerd for coverage).

Bitch Slap Barbie

Naughty Bee (#58) in action


Slacker Smaker of forest city manoeuvres through the Eh team pack like a hot knife through butter

HCRG's Eh Team and the Thames Fatale