Down the subway

Down the subway

The subway is a fascinating place to me. You can see so many different types of people. And there can be quite a few different forms of entertainment, from violin players to tap dancers to one man bands. Some people who commute on the subway everyday might not find it as interesting. I guess because where I live we don’t have a subway it seems more interesting than it might actually be.

Bluetooth works!?


I tried Bluetooth several years ago and it left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s kind of like diet sodas. They taste alright for a couple of seconds but then that taste sets in and you want to pour the rest out. So I stayed away from anything that said Bluetooth. On every laptop, tablet pc and PDA I’ve messed with, one of the first things I did was turn off the Bluetooth. One reason was for power consumption but another was because secretly I was afraid of it. I’m a computer guy, give me a computer and some software and I’ll have it figured out in a short period of time. I’ve just about never been stumped by something that I couldn’t research it on the web and get it working. Bluetooth stumped me back then and I never forgot it. The scar is like that scar on Harry Potter’s forhead. Instead of a lightening bolt though it’s the shape of the Bluetooth logo.
I got a new phone, the Motorola Razr V3c and it’s got Bluetooth. It was frightening but I turned it on, turned on the Bluetooth on my tablet PC and set about getting them to talk nicely. It took about 10 minutes but I overcame my fears and conquered the beast! Then I was feeling cocky and I got the phone to talk to my Pocket PC and guess what… it worked too! :) Read my review and article about the Motorola Razr V3c on my other blog

Motorla Razr V3c

If ever there was an electronic device that would easily entice a guy to forsake his wife and have an affair with, it would certainly be the sexy Motorola Razr V3c. It is hot. I had the Motorola v265 and actually really liked it. Not enough to forsake my wife or anything, but It worked really well and I have had no problems with it. I used a V60 for a couple of years awhile back and really liked it as well. For a brief time I was enticed away from Motorola by the Kyocera Slider se47. It was bad. The thing got so hot I thought it might explode while I was talking on it for long periods of time.

I’ve had the Razr a couple of days and like I said I love it. The screen is huge and beautiful. The mp3 ringtones are way cool. The design and shape is great and solid. The sound quality is amazing. The camera works really good for a camera phone. Check out my moblog for some shots. The images on my moblog that are 640×480 are from the Razr. All of the other shots are from the v265. It’s not likely to replace my Nikon D70 anytime soon, but the camera works good.

I messed around and figured out the Bluetooth transfer for getting images on and off of the phone as well as getting mp3 ringtones onto it. It took a couple of minutes to get the two devices talking to each other. This was much faster than I expected. I experimented with some bluetooth stuff when it first came out and had a world of trouble getting it to work. I got the Razr to talk to a Motion Computing tablet PC and with my Dell Pocket PC. You’ll need to go to settings/connection/Bluetooth/Setup/ and do a couple of things on the phone. Change the name to something easily recognizable, make sure the bluetooth power is on and after those hit Find me. The Find me will make the phone “discoverable” by other devices for 60 seconds. This is a security feature so that your phone isn’t just out there all the time able to be connected to by other devices. Goto the other device and do a search for the phone and it should pop up. I always come back in and turn the bluetooth back off just to be safe.

Making ringtones out of mp3 songs was pretty easy. I used Sonic Foundry Sound Forge to get the piece of the song I wanted. Most of the ones I did were around 15 to 20 seconds. Since the clip I’m using is in the middle of the song I use the Process menu and select Fade-in to get a clean start to the clip. Then use Fade-out at the end of the clip. Then re-encode to mp3 and change the bit rate to 32k a sec at 22,050 hz, set it to mono and save. You then end up with a 80k to 100k mp3. From there I use the blue tooth file transfer to send it to my phone and viola! The Razr seems to not like long filenames so change the name of the file to something short. It didn’t like “I still havent found what I’m looking for” for a filename.
For the wallpapers 176×220 seems to be the perfect size. I just took regular jpg’s from my photoblog and grabbed pieces of a couple of those and get them sized to 176×220, transferred them to the phone and they look great! Here are a couple of the wallpapers I made for mine: (you are welcome to take these and use them all you want)

razr_columnsview  razr_fallleaves razr_railroadties

razr_raysoflight razr_sky razr_sunflower

One little tip, I renamed the wallpapers and mp3’s after I got them on my phone and put a period at the beginning of the filename. That way they are all grouped together. The phone comes with a bunch of default images and sounds (which I’d like to just delete, but it won’t let me) and this little trick makes it easier to find the stuff you’ve put on the phone.

Overall I’m highly impressed with the phone. I didn’t really have any problems with my last phone, I was adding an extra phone to my plan so my wife would quit taking mine. I started to go with one of the cheaper phones and decided to splurge and get the Razr. Mostly because Brandon has one and I’ve got to keep up with him. You know that whole keeping up with the Jones disease. :)

Cemetary head stone

Cemetary head stone

I wish I had framed this a little better and got the bottom portion of the head stone in it. What do you think about posting shots of grave stones with people’s names on it? I’m not doing it disrespectfully at all, but the thought came to my mind that some might find it offensive.


I’m not a big city guy. I like where I live, it’s not big, but it’s not too small either. If you ever get a chance to visit Chicago I highly recommend it! I get to go there at least once a year. Over the past couple of years I’ve gone 2 and 3 times a year. During our many visits I’ve done most of the museums and attractions. Michigan avenue is the shoppers paradise. Riding the subway is pretty fun.
We flew in yesturday and walked ourselves into pain! We fly out tommorrow, so you can probably guarantee you’ll see shots from there over the next week or so.
It’s way too big for me to live there, but visiting sure is fun!

Thanks to Brandon for the picture of the Chicago skyline. He’s also my fellow Chicago adventurer. He’s started posting some of the shots he got this time around as well.

  • Camera: NIKON D70s
  • Taken: 16 September, 2005
  • Aperture: ƒ/13
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s

Cemetary bird house

Cemetary bird house

While wandering around a cemetary that’s near my house I noticed alot of flowers and memorials left on and around graves. Then I saw this bird house that was hanging over a grave and thought “what a wierd place for a bird house.” But I suppose it’s not so wierd, is it? Maybe this guy liked birds, I don’t know. Whatever the reason it was pretty clever I think.

House of D


I love finding movies that were shunned by critics and yet are actually good movies, at least by my standards. House of D was written and directed by David Duchovny, he also plays one of the parts in the movie as well. Also in the movie was Robin Williams, Tea Leoni, Erykah Badu and Anton Yelchin. Anton Yelchin did a great job as the lead character Tommy. He was also in Hearts In Atlantis with Anthony Hopkins a few years ago and I liked that movie as well.
This movie isn’t your big blockbuster action packed movie. It’s follows Tommy as a 13 year old back in 1973 and some of the experiences that changed his life. Robin Williams plays Tommy’s retarded friend and did a great job as he usually does. Tea Leoni also did well I thought as Tommy’s mom.
The critics gave this movie a C with comments like “…House of D, is like the kind of sticky greeting card you’d find on CBS some Sunday nights…” or “…goes from bad to unbearable…” I have to disagree with them and easily give this movie a B+.

New years resolution

I’m not usually one for making New Year resolutions. They tend to not make it past the first week in January. But I decided this year to actually make one. Check out these definitions of resolution; resolving to do something (you aren’t supposed to use the word you are defining in the definition). A course of action determined or decided on (I like this one). A formal statement of a decision or expression of opinion.
I think alot of people make New Years resolutions without a course of action. They say I’m going to exercise more or I’m going on a diet or I’m going to stop smoking, but there’s never a plan or thought to how they will achieve the goal.
My New Years resolution isn’t top on many people’s list. Some might ask why that, but it’s to read my Bible every day this year. I started my photoblog almost a year ago. February 5th will be one year of posting a picture a day and I’ve actually managed to do that. So I thought surely I can spend 15 to 20 minutes each day and read the Bible. I hope by making my decision public and telling others that I’ll build some accountability and outside incentive to keep to it.
What are your New Years resolutions? Do you have a plan or thought to how you will stick to it?

  • Camera: NIKON D70
  • Taken: 2 October, 2005
  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Focal length: 82mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s

Scroll Wheel in Visual Basic 6 IDE


This is exciting, it’s long been a pet peeve of mine that the scroll wheel never worked in the user interface for Visual Basic 6. I managed to get it working once awhile ago but it quit working soon after and I couldn’t ever get it back. I tried mouse drivers and a ton of other things. Well, while searching the web for tips on capturing extra mouse button events in Visual basic (which I still don’t have down yet) I ran across a blog called Unhandled Exceptions and a link to an article on Microsoft’s website for a fix. In his blog he mentioned the fact that the link on Microsoft’s site was broke, so I’m putting the fix on my site for future downloads in case Microsoft’s quits working. Of course now I can goto Microsoft’s support site and search for “scroll mouse visual basic 6” and the article with the fix is the first one in the list. For those of you who this is old news, I swear I tried searching Microsoft’s site, honestly I did. :)



My sister reminded me that I was remiss in not showing a picture of her on December 30th since it was her birthday. Although I did remember to call her which was a first in recent years! So although it’s a couple of days late here she is. This was from our trip to Chicago this past September. I am returning to Chicago this coming week although I don’t think we’ll have quite as good weather. I’m pretty sure you’ll see a bunch of shots from there over the coming week.