Coolest Camera Bag EVER!!!

Turns out I wasn’t quite done shopping for the trip. I started trying to fit all the electronics into the camera bag, and discovered that the camera bag did not formerly belong to Mary Poppins and actually could not hold an infinite amount of stuff… While shopping for shoes, I came across a Ritz camera, and decided to poke my head in and look at their bags. I talked to the sales person, and she found a rather nice bag that was larger than the existing bag I was using. I asked if I could load it up before purchasing to make sure it held everything I needed it to. She agreed, and as we were walking to the counter I glanced over and spied a funny looking bag on the floor. My geek eyes were immediately drawn to the top of the bag, that resembled a series of solar panels. I was intrigued, and grabbed the bag as we walked by. The clerk excused herself to assist another customer and left me holding the bags. 🙂 (Ok, I had to say that) I began putting things into the bag she had chosen, all the while staring at the magical bag I had found. I noticed the writing on the side that stated “Eclipse Solar Gear”. Hmm… “No way” I thought… At that the sales person returned. “Ok, tell me… Is this really actually a solar panel?”

Ion Solar Powered Camera Bag
Ion Solar Powered Camera Bag
“Sure is! It’s really cool!”
“…and it actually works…”, I said fumbling for my 12V charger, assuming the bag was 12V…
“Yeah, believe it or not, we charged one of our iPods on it the other day”
“Ok… this I have to see”
“You will need…”
I dangle my 12V batter charger in front of her interrupting her.
“… exactly! come on!”, and she excitedly headed for the front door of the store.
By the time we reached the parking lot,she had already attached my charger,and battery to the bag.
“Take a look!” and she pointed out the status indicator lights on my charger.
“Holy cats!!! Thats Awesome!!!!!”
I stood there playing with the panel watching how much needed to see light to get a charge going…
We then returned inside the store, where… after loading in all of my equipment, and noticing there was plenty of room for everything else I needed to put in it, I bought it.

Oh, did I mention it was on sale… $50! HA! MSRP $139.95

One week

It’s hard to believe that one week from today I will be in Germany. Am I ready? No of course not… I still feel like there are about 200 thinks to do. I have a todo list and it tells me there are not 200 things but I can’t get it in my head that I should believe the list. “it lies” says my brain… Which is kinda funny as it came up with the list in the first place…
Last night I bought TSA locks, an around the neck wallet thing, and a special audio cable. With the exception of getting earplugs I think I am done buying stuff for the trip. With the exception of some new shoes tonight.
I still have to pack, and I need to curb my need to over pack. There is not going to be a lot of room in the van so the smaller the luggage the better. I’m now questioning my big collapsable rolling duffle bag but I think I can make it work ok.

Upgrades are fun…

Upgrades are fun. Really they are! I just finished upgrading the version of PHP used to power this site. It seems the upgrade last week to wordpress required a slightly newer version of PHP than what was on my server… Hopefully this upgrade will be the last for a little while. (Still not on 5 yet, but this is at least an improvement to what I had)
And look: captions on images don’t generate errors anyl onger!

Anoki and John
Anoki and John

The right place, with the right prop, at the right time…

I love life’s little opportunities…
I was showing off Anoki to the evening staff, when a little girl about 8 years old ascended the staircase. She was followed by her mother, and grandfather. The mother was there to return some books, and the little girl, and grandpa had to come along for reasons that do not need to be aired here. Our library, being an academic library, is not really kid friendly. Most of the time kids are bored out of their minds here. This time it was not the case. The little girl stood at the desk along side her mother looking down while quietly shuffling her feet. I moved closer to the counter, she, curious of the movement looked up. At the site of Anoki, her eyes grew wide and a faint smile appeared on her face. I waved with one hand, and she waved back. At this I stepped over to one side of the desk and she and grandpa followed. He then played along and prompted her to wave to the bird, which immediately scrunched its head down, slightly shy. The little girl drew back a little as if to give Anoki some room. He of course responded by raising his head back up. The grandpa said “see, he’s watching you” Some one else moved behind the desk, and Anoki turned to look at what was behind me, breaking contact for a moment with the girl. He turned back towards her and stared again. she smiled. The grandpa said, “see he likes you!” Anoki nodded his head. The girl smiled bigger. I nodded. She again waved, and Anoki raised his head fully. The grandpa again repeated “See I told you he likes you!” Anoki again nodded, this time very pronounced. The girl giggled and then there was silence as she just stood and stared as Anoki looked around the room interested in any movement going on.
By this time the mother had moved off to take care of some other business in the library, and realizing this, the Grandpa and the little girl moved on to join her and Anoki went back to his perch on my file cabinet.
As I said to someone this morning, I think I live a charmed life…

Me and my… Parrot?

This weekend at faire turned out to be a pretty good weekend. Saturday and surprised me at the front gate. It was so nice to have them both back. We got to spend some time together off and on during the faire day, and then also at dinner with , , and . Overall Saturday was pretty much a blur for me, as I didn’t have a lot of sleep the night before.

Sunday was Dave day, and it was nice to catch up with a lot of Dave’s friends. Unfortunately his folks couldn’t make it, but we still had a good time. Some time before the parade I was rowing along and ran into and . They informed me that Mid-summer nights dream had a parrot puppet. So we headed off to investigate this new oddity. Once there, I chased the owner around the shop to get him to let me see the bird. 🙂 To my surprise it was a wonderful green and blue color, and with very little prodding I tried it on. a minute or so of wearing it, and playing with it in the mirror had me sold. So the rest of the day was spent with my new parrot on my shoulder. Seconds after stepping out of the shop someone came up wanting to see it, and asked its name… I blurted out the 1st thing that came to mind, “feathers” and so for the rest of the day his name was feathers.
Feathers and I wandered the site getting stopped regularly for pictures, and to talk to people. After the parade I met up with the sweetest little girl, by the name of Eve. Eve is 3 years old, but will be 4 next week. She came up and met Feathers, and then struck up a conversation with me. She told me all about her pet gerbil who’s name I have forgotten, and her pony Lilly. Then she prompted to tell me about her boyfriend. At the mention of a boyfriend, her father who was standing off to one side looked at me with a look of shock. “Haven’t met him have ya dad?” “No… this is news to me!” I prompted Eve for a bit more information about the boyfriend, and was informed that they were getting married soon. Dad’s reaction to this was priceless, and I needled him with a “Yer’ invitation must have been lost in the mail” “uh yeah, I guess so” “So, do you have an engagement ring yet?” “Nooooo “, I nearly lost it. Someone listening to the conversation chimed in, “Typical male”. At that point my friend Gabriel, also 4, walked up and I introduced the two of them. Gabriel had the typical 4 yr old “ewww girls” reaction, while Eve seemed thrilled to meet another boy. I feel sorry for Eve’s dad in a few years. 🙂

I tried a few times during the course of the day to get some food but never could make it to a booth. I stopped for a while to watch Ogham, and cracked them up as feathers started to bob his head in time to the music. When I noticed I was starting to steal focus from Ogham I excused myself and wandered off. Finally, around 4:00, I managed to get near enough the nacho booth to grab some nachos. As I made my way to sit and eat I was engulfed by a group of kids again. 🙂 “Are you a real one???”, “Real one what lad?” “Pirate!” Poking myself in the arm I responded, “Well I sure feel real enough ta me!” His eyes nearly popped out of his skull. Then after much conversation, gifting of messages in a bottle, attempted tipping, and some petting of Feathers I did finally get to eat my lunch.

I did a little research today, and have decided to re-name Feathers to “Anoki”, which means Actor in Native American, according to the baby name website I found. Seems appropriate…