Off we go! We have departed for Hawaii and are now at the airport awaiting our flight. It’s pretty early for us – we had to be out before the sun came up. Luckily, all the traffic was flowing inbound and NOBODY wants to leave! It seems that the Superbowl we are escaping is drawing flies like…
So we lounge in the President’s Club using their free wireless network while we waste time before the flight. It’s kinda cool, really. I’m glad they put this here. Now, I can do more work when I travel! … well, maybe not…
Speaking of diving: Laura found a great deal on the dive computer I have been waiting for. It’s a Cochran Gemini that will do multiple Nitrox mixes and allows for decompression diving with different gasses. Not only does that mean I have the computer I thought I’d be buying next year, it means that now Laura has a dive computer! She has my ‘old’ one. Now, my old one is one model down: the Cochran Gemini Plus and has only been used on 30 or so dives, so that means two dive trips. So: we both have Computers, BCs, Regulators… basically, we are all stocked! We even have new boots as the old ones caused raw spots on our feet. These new boots from Poseidon are much thicker – I think they are made of 5mm neoprene… maybe even 7mm. They fit wonderfully and have a firm sole. My old ones didn’t. Laura got new, shorter fins so that she won’t feel like she’s kicking herself.
It may seem like we’ve spent a lot of money, but in fact we got most of these items on clearance for less than half of what they cost retail. That is very handy! Next on my gearing up list is a new BC for me. Laura has a nice back inflation BC which helps her to balance better, while I’m stuck with the one I had from the beginning. It’s not bad, but to prepare for cave diving (which the new computer and high performance regulator are good for) I need a back-inflation, redundant bladder BC that will hold doubles. I’m leaning toward OMS for that. We’ll see what’s available by the time I get ready to purchase.
And speaking of gear: I seem to have misplaced my gloves… Has anyone seen them?
Well, soon Laura and I will be departing to Hawaii. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are really looking forward to it. I don’t think it could come at a better time. The project I’m working on is at a slow point – several sites are finishing up and won’t need my help after this week. The schedule for the next sites hasn’t started yet, so I’m in kind of a holding period. So, I will disappear!
I have never been diving in Hawaii, but I hear that the sea life is fantastic. Large mammals: whales, dolphins, etc. and large fish like sharks and manta rays often are seen. In fact, one dive operator advertises that between dives, they go whale watching or swim with dolphins. I’m all excited, now!
Well, I did it. I completed the firmware update for my Vetta. Now, it is software-identical to the Vetta II. I even was able to keep my preconfigured favorites. It has tons more amplifier models to chose from and some more effects. Of course, I have to re-learn a few things: the old amp models are named something else now. I will say, though, the sound is awesome.
I’ve been playing more now. I have not played in a while because life and work have kept me busy and far away. However, I make it a point now to play on the weekends when I’m home. I don’t want to lose my skills and it always makes me feel better when I play. At least I found the new feature called “half power”. I won’t blow the windows out by accident now!
Well, the possibility of going to Hawaii has come up since a good friend of ours is staying there for a while and I’m trying to ‘work remotely’ for a couple of weeks after this one. Now, if it doesn’t work out, I will probably just take some vacation or something… not that I mind! Who wants to work in Hawaii? Of course, it must be approved by the boss man, but I don’t think I’ll have a problem: I’ll just say I’ll take vacation and all will be well. Things on the project are slowing down enough that there should be a break until we go to other remote sites. Then, I don’t think I’ll be travelling… but who knows? Not I.
I have been notified that MovableType 2.66 is out and I haven’t upgraded. So, now, I have. It has protection from ‘comment spammers’ which apparently has become a problem. I’ve only seen it once on my site, but it never hurts to be protected. So, enjoy the new version of MovableType! (not that you’ll notice much difference…)
Well, it’s that time again: the time when Microsoft has put out a new server product and made all of our Microsoft certifications obsolete. So, instead of waiting a while to take my tests, I have beaten the curve and passed the two upgrade exams for MCSE on Windows Server 2003. Now, that makes 4 MCSEs total. I have one way back from version 3.51, one for NT 4, one for Windows 2000, and now one for Server 2003. Ugh. Takes a bit to stay current.
Of course, this means that I have to find something new to study… .NET maybe? Probably. I think that’s where I’ll go next. It would be nice if I could move into development and be able to write code from anywhere.
Well, I found out the other day that my ‘new’ amplifier [I say ‘new’ because it’s over a year old now…] is not the top of the line anymore. Line 6 has a Vetta II out. That makes mine obsolete! Not to worry, though, because there is a firmware update for the amplifier. For those that don’t know, the Vetta isn’t just another guitar amplifier – it is a digital modeling amplifier that ‘models’ or imitates other popular amplifier brands. This new update for my older Vetta [ver 1.03] will bring the digital modeling software in the amplifier up to spec with the new Vetta II [2.03]. So, in essence, I will have a brand new amplifier …
which is identical to the brand new Vetta II – except for one feature which I won’t use.
However: problems arose. When I applied the update, the knobs and switches performed everything slowly so that I couldn’t switch between presets quickly. Well, that’s a simple fix and I reloaded them from system memory. Then, there’s the matter of when I backed up my preconfigured favorite amplifier mix, “Church Funk”, I couldn’t get it to restore. Now, I’m upset because I can’t figure out which effects at precisely which configuration I put on it. So, I think “I’ll just rebuild it close to what it was.” So, I start by trying to select the amplifier model I used before. It’s not there! Well, I find out it is but now it’s been renamed something else. Okay, that’s fine. Now, the problem is when I try to select a different amplifier. I get an error message! Argh! Playing guitar is not supposed to be as difficult as IT support!
I’ve found out since that there are several parts to this update and I will have to re-do this work this weekend when I get home. In fact, I even discovered some tips on how to restore the backup that I took so I can get my original “Church Funk” back. Of course, I like the one I created in it’s place… maybe there will be a “Church Funk II”…
Well, I keep trying to catch up on my backlog of photos to post but it seems like I make no progress. I have just posted some pictures of our New Year’s “trip” as well as some low-res copies of selected professional wedding photos. I still have many many more pictures to post. Who knows how long that will take…
After much research, I have found a way to add random shots to my home page. So, instead of “picture of the week” which wasn’t really “of the week” more like “of the whenever I get around to changing it”, now every time you refresh the page, it changes. Try it. See? It works!