Owl Prowl

On Sunday, November 13, I took the Cub Scouts and their siblings to the Delaware Nature Society’s Owl Prowl at Bucktoe Creek Preserve.  We had a lesson from the instructor on what owls are in the area and what we can expect.  So we walked as quietly as we could in the woods under the super moon looking for Barred Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, and Great Horned Owls.  We heard a few owls but didn’t have any luck on see them.  We had a lot of fun in the two hours we spent out doors.  I’m looking forward to the next Owl Prowl.

More information about the Full Moon Owl Prowls

Fixed Fading Issue for HP2605 (again)

About a month ago I ran out of black toner (124A if your shopping for replacement cartridges) and was thinking about getting rid of the printer.  I have not used it as much over the last year or so.  However, I decided to keep the printer to print worksheets for Boy Scout merit badges and maybe a few resumes if needed.  I stopped by Staples and purchased my replacement cartridge, and once again I have fading on the right side of the paper.  This time issue was with the black toner cartridge.

Going through all the cleaning steps did not help, the problem was the optical box at stated in a previous post.  This is the second time I’ve had to clean the mirrors in the optical box.  The printer works well and I’m sure I’ll keep it for another year or two, but I’m not sure if I want to continue putting total faith in HP printers.  Maybe I’ll spend some time over the next few months researching for an excellent laser printer that works with Apple Print (print from my iOS device) or maybe ditch the whole thing and be more green.

Here are some before and after pictures.  Merit badge found on nerdmeritbadges.com.

Star Wars and Camping Weekend

First off Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens, was the best Star Wars movie…ever!  All I can say is ,”WOW!!”  I saw the movie Friday night at 10:15PM at Penn Center IMAX at the Waterfront in Wilmington, DE.  We arrived about 45 minutes early and wait in line.  We ended up in the second row from the screen.  Normally I cant stand to be that close, but it didn’t matter this time.  Like many, I will see it again in the theater.

On Saturday, I was on a camping trip at the Henson Scout Reservation with Boy Scout Troop 660.  The Scouts shot black powder and .22 rifles.  In the afternoon, the first year scouts worked on orienteering while older scouts worked on camp gadgets for their First Class rank.  The meals were fantastic, and we enjoyed good stories by the fire.  I was up till almost midnight putting out our camp fire and enjoying the cold night looking up at the stars (27 degrees F).

It was perfect “guys” weekend, and I’m looking forward to the next.

Returning to the blog

So I’ve been busy learning how to use Apple Motion 5 on my iMac and making videos for my son’s Boy Scout Troop, my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, family videos, and goofy videos for friends.  Some are publicly published on my YouTube channel.

This summer was my first return to Boy Scout summer camp in 30 years!  Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, I spent many years at Camp Conestoga at Somerset, PA.  Living in Delaware, my son attended summer camp at Camp Rodney in North East, MD.  I spent my mornings at the rifle range helping with supervision, and the afternoons completing my training for Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills.  I’m looking forward to returning to camp again.

ECCENTRIC RACOON FULL COLORThis is my second year belonging to a bowling league.  Out team is called the Eccentric Raccoons and we hired someone to design a logo for our shirts.  We are a three person team, but our Team Captain quit, which is causing us to lose points (but I’m suppose to have fun and not worry about winning and being upset losing the game.)

I also took an extended vacation this summer.  Three days at Janes Island and then drove to Nags Head, NC for a week of relaxation with my family.  Although the black flies and greenheads we out in force and it was humid, the trip was worth it.  I turned off the work email on my phone and iPad and enjoyed the beach, some tours, wave runners, and bike rides.  Hopefully I’ll be back next summer.

Dougherty Creek at Janes Island
Dougherty Creek at Janes Island

Fading Fix for HP Color LaserJet 2605

Over the last 2 months or so, I’ve noticed my color print outs did look as good as they use to.  For example, I was working on a new idea for Cub Scouts, designing a new pit pass for the scouts to wear for Pinewood Derby in Spring 2014.  The pass included a red, blue and yellow car, but the colors were off.  The red car car looked yellow-orange with yellow flames.

So I ran the color calibration from the printer, and afterwards, the pit pass looked the same.  I prided the supplies status page to verified there is toner, but it looks faded.  So I stared searching for a reason why this was happening, and I came across the following page.

HP Colour LaserJet Fading Fix

The problem is the mirrors in the optical box on the HP Color LaserJet 2605, the box is not sealed.  The mirror for the magenta cartridge collects a lot of dust.  This dust keeps the laser from reflecting off the mirror correctly, and preventing toner from being picked up and placed on the paper.

The process took me about 2 hours 45 minutes to complete, but it was well worth it.  My printer works great.  Except for this one issue, the output is fantastic.  Also, I didn’t have to spend $300 plus on a new printer.  Below are pictures of the status supply pages.

Fitbit Flex

Over the years I’ve tried to spend some time exercising.  Usually riding my bike (bought a bike trainer for Christmas 2012 for the winter), walking or hiking.  Although I’ve had some success with weight loss or maintaining my weight, I’ve been wanting to lose some more weight.  Exercise is a great way to accomplish this, but I never seem to get anywhere.  I need to track my calories, and being a gadget guy, I bought a FitBit Flex on August 1st.

Fitbit Flex

What do I like about the Fitbit Flex?  It’s easy to use.  Install the app on your Mac or PC, connect the Bluetooth Sync Dongle, and setup your online account and set some goals.  Then download the app for your mobile device, and start walking, jogging, or running.  Fitbit Flex will track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minuets, hours slept, and quality of sleep.  You will need Bluetooth 4.0 in your mobile device to sync directly to the Fitbit app.

There are a list of other apps that work with FitBit including my favorite, MyFitnessPal.  You can also set goals, earn badges, and workout with friends.

With the wrist band, the device is water resistant, not water proof.  You can leave it on while washing your hands to taking a shower, but you shouldn’t swim with it.  Fitbit Flex is light weight, and I don’t pay much attention to it.  I’ll check my progress through out the day by double tapping on the face.  Flashing dots appear to show me how far I am to reaching my goal.  Once I hit my goal, the device buzzes like a phone on silent and flashes lights on the front.  I have to admit, it is a good feeling knowing i hit my goal for the day.

With MyFitnessPal and Runtastic, I can track my calories burned and try to keep under my allocated calories for the day.

I’ve lost some weight within the last three weeks.  I’m learning to eat smarter by watching my caloric intake and understanding I can have a snack once in a while, but it may cost me later for dinner, or maybe longer periods of exercise.  I know it’s common sense, but sometimes you have to go back and retrain yourself on making better choices.

Happy Labor Day 2012

Happy Labor Day my fellow Americans!  

I’ve made it another year staying employed as an IT consultant.  The last year was very productive for me.  My project for migrating the client I’m assigned to from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Office is almost complete.  We migrated everyone from BlackBerry to iPhone 4S for Exchange server connection (including iPads), and shortly we will be migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Tonight I’ll be feating on slow cooked ribs, grilled corn on the cob when the rain stops (thanks remnants Hurricane Isaac).  I might tape off a small section of my office to complete the accent stripe for the office walls, and maybe read a book tonight.