Sep. 5th, 2016 11:06 am
tegyrius: (Warning Self-Replicating Device)
I may have blogged before (I'm too lazy to go back and check right now) about my Garmin ForeRunner 235. It's a GPS running watch with some other functions. One of those is an accelerometer-based activity tracker.

One of the problems with a wrist-based tracker (as opposed to, say, a waist-clipped FitBit) is that it only picks up steps when you're swinging your arm. So activities like pushing a grocery cart - or, mowing, which is worth about 4,500 steps in my yard - don't get tracked accurately.


I've discovered that my ankle is just slim enough that I can put the watch on it at the very last notch in the band. This is enough to get an accurate accelerometer trigger on each step.

Downside? Black electronic device strapped to my ankle while I'm out mowing. I'm pretty sure some of my neighbors think I'm under home incarceration.


Aug. 13th, 2016 04:25 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Antimatter)
Although I'm unlikely to ever go on a transcontinental expedition, I follow a couple of offroading blogs because they're well-written and interesting. Last year, one of them recommended the Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start XP-1. It sounded interesting enough for me to put it on my "do want" list and [ profile] elalyr bought me one for Christmas last year.

Holy crap, folks. This thing underpromises and overdelivers like nothing I've seen before. I recently started the VR-4 for the first time since February. The car's battery, as you might expect, was deader than disco. Usually, jumping that vehicle requires me to hook up the cables to the Outback and wait a good 15 to 20 minutes to build enough charge to crank.

With the XP-1? 30 seconds from hooking up the leads to starting the VR-4 on the first try - and the battery pack still was showing 4/5 bars of charge afterward. And that was after charging the XP-1 in December and leaving it in the Outback's cargo bay (parked outside, I remind you) with no top-off charging for eight months.

If you ever go anywhere that a jump-start or emergency power (it also comes with a metric assload of adapters for personal electronics) might remotely be necessary, make one of these things part of your car kit. Order today. I'm not kidding.


Jun. 25th, 2016 02:37 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Ubiquitous Surveillance)
For the last two years, I've been tracking my runs with a Suunto Ambit 2R GPS sports watch, which I also wore as an everyday digital watch. The Ambit itself has been reliable but in the last six months, both the charging/sync cable and the chest strap for the heart rate monitor have needed replacement. I'm also not a fan of the user interface on Suunto's associated exercise data site, Movescount.

About six weeks ago, I picked up a Garmin Forerunner 235 as a possible replacement for the Ambit. I'd gone around and around on this versus a couple of other products. What finally sold me on the 235, quite frankly, was my annual REI dividend - enough to effectively get the watch for free. But the feature set was one I wanted in an upgrade: Bluetooth sync so I wouldn't have to jack with a cable after every run, an optical heart rate monitor to remove the need for a separate chest strap, and notifications from my iPhone.

Was it worth it? )
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Finally back on a regular running schedule. For the last four weeks, I've gotten three runs a week logged. Not great. I've lost a lot of cardio. Did 3 miles today but 0.25 of that was a walk, so it doesn't really count as a 5k. But it's more than I've accomplished since December.

Also accomplished today: )

Whew. And now it's flake o'clock.


Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:57 pm
tegyrius: (AEG Spycraft)
I thought a handful of the world's air forces had a monopoly on aerial refueling. Not so. Apparently, private midair refueling service is a thing (though good luck finding a Gulfstream modified to take on a fresh load of Jet-A over the North Atlantic). Omega Air Refueling operates a small fleet of air tankers to support Navy and Marine aviation, "as well as Foreign Military or specialized industry R and D projects."

Somehow, this is a Spycraft thing.


Nov. 3rd, 2013 06:42 am
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
As a facet of some current freelance work, I've been thinking about the future of the US space presence - specifically, whether routine military operations in space will come to be dominated by the US Air Force (for its aerospace expertise) or the US Navy (for its competence with the systemology of large-scale, long-duration autonomous deployments). I hadn't really considered the development of a separate space regulatory and constabulary agency along the US Coast Guard model until this article wandered across my blogroll, but now it has me thinking.

The full article is fairly hefty. In brief, the proposal entails the creation of a United States Space Guard with the following aspects:

  • Converting NASA to an exploration and research agency while moving its regulatory functions, routine launch operations, and infrastructure-related tasks to the USSG;

  • Picking up the USAF's non-warfighting-related space functions, while maintaining the potential of wartime subordination to the USAF (similar to the USN/USCG relationship in WWII and, to a lesser extent, Vietnam);

  • Assuming the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration's authority to regulate technical and operational aspects of spaceflight;

  • Maintaining space debris tracking ("space situational awareness"), space weather tracking, and space navigation roles;

  • Serving as the US government's primary agency for contracting government space missions from the private sector; and

  • Future law enforcement and search, rescue, and recovery operations in space.

I'm intrigued. The full article (linked above) is worth a read if you're interested in an unconventional take on the future of American involvement in space.


Oct. 14th, 2013 06:18 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
So, a post of updates not about running.

Friday was odd. I resigned from my job - the first time since high school food service and retail that I've voluntarily left a position rather than being booted for corporate budget reasons. It wasn't an easy decision but I have something new lined up which will be a massive step forward in terms of career progression. It's a major financial hit - [ profile] elalyr and I spent a good chunk of the previous weekend figuring out the household budget revisions - but we can make it work.

I have a lot of regrets about leaving the current gig. The pay is good, the people are good, and most of the work (less the software documentation) is very interesting. But this new thing, which I shall refrain from naming until I start on the 28th, is likely to be better for my resume, skill set, and networking over the long term.

Also scored an iPhone 5S on Friday. My previous 4 was showing its age, mainly with a balky Home button, and I'd been hammering the Apple site to catch the new model in stock at the local Apple Store. I don't think the new machine is any better as a phone but by Kibo, as a pocket computer, it's phenomenal.

Saturday began with a run, shower, breakfast at Magee's, and a trip to the farmers' market for apples, pears, and fresh pasta. We returned home to drop off the spoils of our raid, then headed for Cincinnati. There's a relatively new REI store up there and we acquired some gear for running in cooler weather - we're about to run out of comfortable mornings, I'm afraid. Swung by Yottaquest, where I acquired a couple of Shadowrun modules from previous editions. We tried to get into one of the outlet malls north of Cinci but were stymied by a complete lack of parking, so we just parked and sat in the car with the windows open to enjoy the afternoon.

Dinner was interesting. On the recommendation of a co-worker, we tried a cook-your-own-food-and-eat-it dinner class at The Learning Kitchen. I prepared (!) filet mignon with whiskey/mustard/cream sauce and a sweet potato and parsnip puree - which is a hell of a lot better than it sounds, especially with nutmeg and honey in it. E produced a massive ribeye with cherry sauce - again, not a flavor combination I would've expected to be good - and sauteed snap peas. Om nom nom.

The basement remodel has been slow because weekends have been taken up with so many other things, but all the IKEA shelves are now assembled and we have all the other components necessary for fastening them together and bolting them to the walls. We just have to figure out the assembly sequence and do the work.


Apr. 2nd, 2013 09:34 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Self-Replicating Device)
Anyone else been having problems with a sticking or unresponsive Home button on your iPhone? If so, CNET offers four possible solutions.

(The first one has worked for my 4G, at least since I tried it at lunch today. We'll see if it stays fixed.)


Jan. 30th, 2013 08:04 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
You may have run across a meme which advises you to put "in case of emergency" - ICE - information in your phone's contact list. The idea is that when first responders recover your unconscious body, they can check your phone and immediately know who to call.

Great idea, but it tends to be foiled by the same technology that facilitates it. Most of us these days carry locked smartphones. Obviously, if you're incapacitated, you won't be unlocking that phone to show the nice officer your ICE contact.

The solution, then, is to embed that information in the wallpaper image of your phone's unlock screen. Scrawl it on a piece of paper and take a photo of it, or use image editing software to create a JPG... or, if you're running iOS, install Acadian Ambulance's I.C.E. App (free). It has some other features which are of marginal usefulness in a locked phone, but it does a nice job of pasting your selected contact's info onto an image already in your photo album and saving the modified image to your camera roll. Then you can select the new image for your lock screen, as shown in the first screenshot on the iTunes page in the link.

This concludes today's PSA.


Oct. 25th, 2012 02:04 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Learned this week in ICS-300:

Yes, the National Guard will be happy to send a Blackhawk to help you out with whatever aerial operations you want during a disaster. They will, however, bill your county. Current operating costs run to $5,300 per hour of flight time.


Aug. 22nd, 2012 09:05 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Apropos of nothing, I've been reminded tonight that there are airbrushes small enough to use for painting miniatures. Do any of my three loyal readers have any experience with such contraptions? Recommendations for or against? Approximate outlay I'd be looking at for an entry-level rig - and what, exactly, would I need to get besides the brush itself?


Jul. 8th, 2012 10:41 am
tegyrius: (Warning Self-Improving Software)
You get people to enthusiastically use services by making them compelling and awesome and easy to use. You don't get people to enthusiastically use your services by forcing them to. In fact, that's probably a great way to ensure that a huge number of people who may have been interested in trying out your service never even look at it.

- Wil Wheaton commenting on recent Google+ Events shenanigans, but really pretty relevant to all sorts of decisions in tech (coughAppleOSXLionAutosaveVersionscough)


May. 7th, 2012 09:50 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Just what the package says. Thank you, University of Wisconsin.


Mar. 14th, 2012 09:43 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Lack of Internet Connectivity)
LED light bulbs with onboard emergency power.

I'd love to see a decent T&E, but the raw concept is awesome.


Feb. 3rd, 2012 06:19 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Huh. It's a network-ready gun safe. USB, Ethernet, and power passthroughs.

This says "semi-secure location for backup network storage device" to me.


Jan. 23rd, 2012 05:38 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Lack of Internet Connectivity)
I had not heard of the National Radio Quiet Zone before following a Wikipedia rabbit hole today. Now I'm trying to decide how to best apply it in about four or five different modern horror/fantasy/SF settings...


Dec. 28th, 2011 11:03 am
tegyrius: (Default)
Check it out: a massive photo set of the Caspian Sea Monster.

Wing-in-ground-effect technology is just one of those things that makes me happy because of its sheer absurd awesomeness.
tegyrius: (Default)
I don't post a lot of videos but you really need to take 59 seconds out of your day to watch this 1000fps video of an owl landing more-or-less on the camera.


Aug. 31st, 2011 08:10 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Zombie Gunship is the best $0.99 I've ever spent for an iOS app.

You're the gunner on an AC-130U. You're killing zombies. Enough said.

(The in-app purchase of extra coins? Totally not worth it. Just keep hosing Zack with that GAU-12 and you'll cash in soon enough.)


Aug. 4th, 2011 07:22 am
tegyrius: (Default)
Dark Roasted Blend presents Russian nuclear icebreakers in the seas north of Siberia.

Also, this is what happens when you try to drag race a locomotive and launch with too much power.


tegyrius: (Default)

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