All posts by Paul Cipywnyk

Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby Turns Milky

Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby was running milky today. All drains on streets and parking lots lead to local creeks!

I don’t know what the substance was, but local streamkeeper volunteers first shared the info just after 1:00 pm today, and as I walked the creek from 2:30 to 3:30 it was still running milky.

City of Burnaby staff were out trying to track the source through the storm system.

This is the second such event in a week! Last week the creek was running silty brown from what appeared to be construction-site silt.

Here are some shots of today’s event:

MIlky Byrne CreekThe pond near Griffiths Dr.

MIlky Byrne CreekThe outflow from the pond into the creek

MIlky Byrne CreekClose-up of the milky flow

MIlky Byrne Creek
Further down the creek, near the playground at Ron McLean Park

 

Finally got Google Analytics Functioning on this Blog

Getting Google Analytics functioning on this blog was a bit of a head-scratching experience. Despite successfully setting up a Google Analytics account for the blog, and following directions from several WordPress websites, and even a WordPress book, I could not get Google Analytics to recognize the blog and get the “Tracking Status” to light up.

It turned out to be a simple problem — when copying and pasting code snippets from here to there, straight quotes were becoming curly quotes, and were not being recognized.

Changing all “smart” or curly quotes to straight ones solved the problem and the tracking script began running. I am not a programmer, but I am aware that this can be an issue. I just didn’t think of it. Lesson re-learned.

New Battery Rejuvenates Cell Phone

I began noticing a few months ago that the battery in my Samsung SIII smartphone was not lasting nearly as long as it did when new. I was getting barely a few hours out of a charge.

I was in Toronto in early June for several conferences, and was using my phone more than I usually do to keep in touch with local relatives and friends, read my email, check Twitter and Facebook, etc. At home I do many of these things from my office computer, so hadn’t noticed as much how weak the phone battery was getting.

I had an hour to kill over lunch one day, and tried four or five cell phone retail outlets in downtown Toronto, and none of them had a battery for the SIII. It’s not that old, but old enough in the rapid model turnover of the cell phone world that none of them could be bothered to stock batteries for it.

I returned home, and put up with the shorter and shorter battery time, until the last day or two the battery wouldn’t take hardly any charge at all. I could leave the phone plugged in overnight, and have less than a quarter bar of battery power in the morning.

About a week ago I ordered a new battery from an online battery shop, but yesterday and today, I could not get more than a minute or two out of a charge. So I searched for battery specialty shops in Burnaby, and came up with Battery World on Boundary Road. I called them, and they had four SIII batteries on hand.

So I drove over this afternoon and bought one. Staff encouraged me to pop the non-Samsung branded battery into my phone and make sure it fitted properly and powered up. It’s nice to see a full bar of power on the screen again, and it’ll also be nice to have a backup battery when the one I ordered online arrives.

The new generic battery also has a tish more  capacity than a stock Samsung battery at 2,300 vs 2,100 MaH, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet to see if that realizes more uptime per charge. That’s only around a 10% increase, so I doubt if I’ll notice a difference.

It’s amazing how one becomes addicted to technology. If I leave the house without the cell phone, or if I’m out of juice, I feel naked. And I’m not a power user by any means. I might make and receive half a dozen to a dozen calls on my cell per week, and about the same number of texts. I am using it more for email and GPS location finding than I used to.

Oh, yes, I’d also like to thank Samsung for making batteries easy to change. Just pop the back cover off the phone by sticking a fingernail in the slot, and there you go — easy access to the battery, SIM, and microSD memory.

Sticky Notes Can Change a Life

So I’m supposed to be practicing guitar for 30 minutes  a day, on the kitchen-timer-accomplish-your-goals plan.

My wife walks into my office, looks around, and says: “Hasn’t that music book been on the same page for over a week?”

Um, I can fix that. . .

Yesterday music

tomorrow

 

Paul’s Photo Tips – Tip 2 – Read the Manual

Learn Your Camera – Read the Manual

This is obvious to me, but it seems few people read manuals for anything.

Do you know what every button on your camera does? What all those menu items are?

I strongly encourage folks to read their manuals, and follow along and practice changing settings on the camera. Don’t worry that you may “screw something up.” More than likely there’s a single menu item to return everything to default settings.

Manufacturers put hours and hours into developing manuals. I occasionally get work editing manuals translated from, say, Japanese to English (I’m a freelance editor with some connections in Japan).  I know how thorough and detailed the process is for developing manuals that are accurate, readable, and understandable.

I try to skim my camera manuals every year or two, and always find stuff I’ve forgotten, or have never tried. You might be surprised by features available on your camera that you may have not known existed! I keep the manuals out in a prominent spot in a bookshelf in my office, and delve into them from time to time.

If you find the manufacturer’s manual dry, publishers like RockyNook offer books on how to use, and get the most out of, popular camera models.

Of course digital cameras also come with software, and that software also has a manual. Yes, I’m going to advise reading that manual, too!

But I’m not going to get into the software side now.

Have fun reading!

What? You threw out your manual?

Go to your camera maker’s website and download it (they’re nearly always free to download even if you haven’t registered your camera).