A milestone for our solar powered home

2009.09.04 updated with URLs for equipment (see bottom of post) Since we’ve been married, Samantha and I have lived off the grid. We don’t have any utility bills and we haven’t had a single power outage. However, today (September 3rd, 2000) still marks a big day for us in our off the grid living. Because today we connected our new batteries and solar setup to our house. We now have over 30x the electrical storage capacity! Energy during the day

Small tripods

Small tripods (some tiny, some tabletop, some misc.) I’ve been looking for a great travel tripod to use with my Olympus E-P1. So far I haven’t found the perfect match. However, I have found some cool tripod stuff… Sweet looking Leica tripod: Turn a tripod into a laptop/notebook desk: “Table top” tripods One of my favorites: Amazon.com: Manfrotto 709B Digi Table Top Tripod with Ball Head Also cool and functional, will probably support quite a bit of weight: Amazon.com: Cullmann

Install (or “downgrade”) to Windows XP on Sony VAIO-Z series

It’s that time of year again. Time to reinstall Windows after my laptop has finally succumbed to the mass of programs I’ve installed or evaluated. It’s getting slow, not painfully slow, but slow enough that I crave a clean install. Currently the laptop has Vista on it. Rather than paying for a Windows 7 upgrade, I’m considering “downgrading” to Windows XP. I would have done that a long time ago, as I am not a Vista fan… but at the

Cool camera straps for the E-P1 (neck, y strap, shoulder strap)

[photos for this entry to follow later] I didn’t bring a strap with me for the E-P1 on our two week Colorado trip. That meant I either: (a) carried the camera handheld (b) kept the camera in my backpack, a Lowepro CompuDaypack (<$40 new on eBay) which has a quick access compartment for the camera (c) kept the camera in a pocket of my cargo shorts (not many DSLR like cameras can fit in a pocket!) All three worked fairly

Lush Summer in Missouri

We’re back from our Colorado vacation and WOW, everything is amazingly green here in Missouri! For August, this is the most lush I ever remember seeing the vegetation. There must have been some serious rains while we were gone. The following photo is meant to show the almost jungle like state of the forest around here ;-). Hopefully we will have a lot of black walnuts this year! The pine trees I planted, which are about three years old, grew

Cancel a GoDaddy domain registration and get a refund

Yesterday I needed to know how to cancel an inadvertently renewed domain registration on GoDaddy. Here are the instructions I received from GoDaddy: Discussion Notes Support Staff Response Dear Jay D Hodges,Thank you for contacting Online Support. We would be happy to request a refund for your order. However, we will need you to first cancel the item(s) in question within 45 days of the renewal date. Once canceled, please reply to this email and we will submit your refund

Bicycles in Hawaii: Buying vs. Renting

Transportation in Hawaii Our plan of attack for our two month trip to Hawaii continues to coalesce.  So far things are proceeding nicely and there aren’t too many things left to do. On island transportation is one of our final hurdles remaining. We want to do a significant amount of walking, biking and hiking while we’re on the big island.  This will help us get some nice exercise as well as saving some big bucks on car rentals. I’m particularly

Playing Pente, a cool boardgame, on the computer

Pente is a fun board game created in the late seventies by a guy from Oklahoma. The object of the game is to get 5 pieces in a row  -or- to capture 10 of your opponents pieces. The game is surprisingly fun and very easy to learn, yet it has enough depth to keep things interesting. We keep a Pente board and playing pieces in Colorado. My family has been playing the game for over 20 years. The past couple