Sunday, March 27, 2011

7/52 — Week 12

A slow week, but here goes.

Day 6 of my avocado seed. Not much change.

On March 21st, we got a somewhat freak snowstorm. It was all pretty much gone the next day.

On Saturday, we observed Earth Hour and turned off all our lights for an hour. My son was playing around with his flash light, so I got my camera out and snapped a dozen or so shots.

Some of our candles during Earth Hour.

My son goes back to reading for the rest of the hour.

I was looking for a new profile photo for Facebook and other social networking sites. This was my fav.

I needed a seventh photo to complete this week. This is a clock I made that hangs about my computer. :)

That's all for this week!


Another setback — Week 19 progress

Friday's weigh-in... not so good. Gained a pound or two. I'm confident I can lose it again. I did a real ass-kicking workout this afternoon in attempt to punish myself make up for it. :)

I'm still climbing the Your Shape Fitness Evolved leaderboard for the world standings.
(17 is my world rank)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's not about sharing what you had for lunch

Every once in a while I hear someone mention Twitter, and it usually goes like this:

Why do I care what someone ate for lunch?

I tell them that it's not about that and tell them about who I follow and why. I'm not sure what took them so long, but Twitter finally made a little promo video that pretty much sums it all up.

It really is worth checking out. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

7/52 — Week 11

The first photo this week is one that I took for a DailyShoot and ended up choosing another one. I think this one might actually be nicer. I didn't choose it because it had less green for the assignment.

I'm attempting to grow an avocado plant at work. This was day 1.

A DailyShoot assignment where my hand had to be in the photo. It was tricky to shoot. Holding and operating a camera with my left hand was not easy. :)

My sister got some new bridal gowns in her shop and asked me to shoot photos of them for her web site. My family and I visited the shop on Friday and her infant son was there. This is my wife holding him beside a large mirror so he could see himself. :)

My favourite dress from the shoot.

Shooting dresses on a mannequin involves a lot of waiting, while my sister and my wife change it... or her? 2-3 seconds to snap the shot, 3-5 minutes waiting. While I waited, I looked around and saw one of the mannequin's hands in the sunlight in the front window. I liked how the light fell on it, so I had to shoot it. I really like this one.

Grapes! I ate a lot of these today.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Another milestone reached — Week 18 progress

This morning I weighed 240 lbs. So now I'm 27 lbs down from what I was when I started.

That's a big milestone for me. Not because I lost 3 lbs since last week (that's great too!) but because every pound I lose from here on basically puts me at a weight I haven't been in about 25 years.

I also reached the #2 spot on the Your Shape Fitness Evolved leaderboard for Canada earlier this week. :)

I really need to go buy some new jeans.

Monday, March 14, 2011

7/52 — Week 10

I lost track of time, so my posting is a bit late. :)

Once again, I ended up short for photos this week. I decided to walk around my house and look for some of my favourite things to add to the shots. Not so creative in some cases. Anyway, here we go...

First, a DailyShoot contribution from earlier in the week. As it turns out, this is also one of my favourite things. I love this stuff.

Next, another DailyShoot contribution. Ice, in a glass of water. It didn't quite look the way I wanted, so I added a bit of a blue tint to it during the post processing.

What would a week be like without a shot of my cat. :) My son was holding her and I was trying to get a close-up of her eyes. She doesn't like cameras invading her space, so she kept looking away. This was one of the best I could do.

On to my favourite things. My Sens jersey. We won't talk about how the season went.

My Rock Band guitar. It's also an addiction.

I love my 100mm lens.

We'll end off with today's DailyShoot contribution.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slow... — Week 17 progress

There was very little progress this past week, but any progress is good so I'm happy. As of Friday morning I was down to an even 243 lbs.

As far as the Your Shape Fitness Evolved game that I use for my workouts, I am in 25th place worldwide for most calories burned, and I am nearing 2nd place in Canada. One workout today should put me there. :)  1st place is going to take a while, and that person seems to workout very often so it may even be unreachable unless they stop, or I double up on my daily workouts. I currently spend 45-60 minutes per day and it's unlikely I'll do more.


Monday, March 7, 2011

CrashPlan needs a better support plan

I'm a believer that a product is only as good as the support that backs it.  Unfortunately for CrashPlan, this is where their product falls short.

CrashPlan is a data backup service. For free, you can back up your data to an external hard drive, or to a friend's PC across the internet. For a subscription fee, you can also back up your data to their servers — CrashPlan Central. The big draw to their service is that they have an unlimited data backup subscription.

Some time at the beginning of February, I decided to try out their 30-day trial of the service. It worked well. So well that I was impressed enough to subscribe for their 4-year unlimited plan within days of trying it.

After activating my subscription and backing up more data to their servers, I noticed that most of my data was no longer appearing under the restore option.

I used the search function to look for files that I knew I had backed up. It found them, so I was confident that they had the data backed up. But that's not very functional if I needed to restore a folder full of files where I may not know the names of every file in that folder.

I logged onto their web site and submitted a support ticket. Within minutes I received an automatic reply informing me that I could expect a response within one business day.

Two business days passed with no response.

Only after expressing my displeasure on Twitter, twice, about not receiving any response I received one — two weeks after the original submission.

They asked for more info and screen shots. They also apologized and credited me 30 days. I provided the requested info immediately.

Another week passed with no follow-up. Again, via Twitter, I got another apology and then a reply to my support request appeared in my email inbox. This time they asked for the log files, and instructed me on how to provide them. I provided them.

As of today, that was two responses in 26 days, and no solution, and I think the only reason I got any response at all was because I commented publicly on Twitter. Or was it a coincidence? Twice? I have serious doubts that I would have received any response if I had remained quiet. I have since seen other people comment, in their support forum and on Twitter, about the response times.

My original intent was to wait a full four weeks before canceling, but the more I thought about it this morning, the more I asked myself "Why?" Why should I bother? They've had almost four weeks to at least provide me with a little hope that my issue would be resolved soon. And what if I needed that backed up data immediately? Could I trust that they would be there to help me when I needed them?


I logged onto my account and tried to cancel. It failed, and informed me to contact If there were any doubts in my mind about the decision before this, they were gone now.

It took three or four attempts to cancel before it actually worked. Oddly enough, the one that worked was the one where I didn't bother to add a reason for canceling.

Minutes later, I received an email from CrashPlan informing me that my subscription was canceled and a refund — minus $2.86 for the month used(?)... so much for that 30-day credit — would be issued.

It's too bad that they weren't as quick to keep a customer as they were to let one go.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back on track... again — Week 16 progress

I must be losing my mind.

First, I forgot to write my week 15 progress. Second, I'm sure I started writing my week 16 progress — including something for week 15 — twice now, and yet, I still have nothing posted. Ugh.

So anyway, despite the fact that I had gained about 1½ lbs for week 15, that's not why I didn't write it. I simply forgot. I think the fact that I had a cold that weekend was a contributing factor.

The good news is that for week 16 I lost the 1½ lbs I gained and a bit more, putting my weight at the lowest it's been in about 6 or 7 years. In 3½ lbs, and every pound after, it'll put me at my lowest in about 25 years.

That's going to be a major milestone for me.

7/52 — Week 9

I have plenty of photos for this week, and didn't have much difficulty in choosing which ones to post. Oddly enough, it turns out that all of those I chose were shot today.

First up, is my son hugging our cat. Our cat is 17 years old. My son is 15. It's only been in the last two or three years that she let anyone, aside from my wife and I, go near her. She used to be extremely timid and cautions of our kids. I'm pretty sure she lost her hearing in the last two or three years, which seems to have contributed to her calming down. Sounds weird, but I can't explain it any other way. She'll even sit in his lap as he uses the computer. They're best friends now.

Sam watching the bird feeder and "chattering" at the birds.

Today I took a trip out to Rideau Falls, with the hope that I'd be able to shoot massive chunks of ice piled up at the bottom of the falls. They did the ice blasting last weekend. It was not to be. Maybe I'm still too early?  It was damn cold with the wind coming off the river though.

A closeup of the cool ice formations at Rideau Falls.

I saw a couple of workers on the bridge just before leaving Rideau Falls. I think what they were doing was thawing the sluice gate with hot, pressurized water.

There's a somewhat humourous story to these next two. As I drove to Rideau Falls, I passed a cool, snow covered tree that I thought would make a great photo. I decided I would stop on the way back and shoot it. So I did. Kinda.

In the winter, there's only one parking lot open along the Rockliffe Parkway and I knew it would probably be a fair walk to get to the tree. I parked and walked. And walked. And walked. In foot-deep snow. I kept thinking it had to be "soon". I couldn't find the damn tree. Either that or it looked much different than what I saw when I first passed it. After about 30 minutes of wishing I had brought my snow shoes, I knew I had to be mistaken about what it looked like. On the way back, so my walk wasn't all for nothing, I shot some of the trees. This isn't what I saw, but it's still cool nonetheless.

Looking back to where I went...

At least I got some decent exercise. I also realized that it didn't tire me out as much as it used to, when I smoked and was more out of shape.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One rant, two rant...

I am so frustrated with the lack of support for a service I pay for right now.

I'm not quite ready to turn up the rant volume yet.  Depending on how this next week goes, I may have a fairly beefy blog posting to put up. I've been keeping notes — a small diary of sorts. Next Wednesday will be the day, if things don't change in the next six or seven days..

Even then, I may still post something about it. I haven't decided. Stay tuned.

As an aside, yes, stuff is still broken and missing here on my Posterous blog. I'm serious considering dumping this and going back to only posting on my Blogspot "mirror". As with the aforementioned service, I can't trust something that loses my data. I'm glad I kept up the cross posting.