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June 2006 - Posts

Prius Mileage

Green Hybrid has a database of mileage information for many hybrid cars, thought it'd be neat to share mine.  The image is dynamic and will update itself whenever I add info to their database, in short it's current info on my Prius' mileage.

Posted: Thu, Jun 29 2006 10:35 PM by Humpty
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I've been playing games over at ItsYourTurn for a while now.  It's a nice way to pass the time at work when you're supposed to be, uhm, working.  Due to the nature of the games there it usually takes days to finish one up, it's like correspondence chess.  Since you have so much time to make a move I've gotten used to slowing down while making a move and not feeling so rushed.

It's interesting what I've been discovering though.  Quite a few times, actually nearly all the time, I get "suggestions" as to what will be an advantageous move to make.  You know, at first I was like, "yeah whatever", and make a move after (hopefully) thoroughly analyzing the board.  As the games progress I'll sometimes see what the board might have looked like had I made the move I initially dismissed and discover making that move really would've been a better move to make.  The thing is sometimes the moves seem to make no sense, like instead of attacking a piece and capturing it I'll get an urging to do something else instead, but me being stubborn I capture the piece anyway; later on I see had I made that move I would've been in a better position.

Since I keep getting these urgings I'm starting to look at playing games at ItsYourTurn as a way to tune my intuition.  Sure I'm just playing board games but it's actually turning out to be really useful.  There is a subtle difference between this intuitive voice in my head versus the other voices I hear. :)  Playing these games as much as I do I'm starting to discern what this voice sounds like, or to be more accurate what this voice feels like since I don't literally hear it.  So if you're up for honing your intuition head on over there and challenge me to a game or two, humptyz.

Posted: Mon, Jun 19 2006 8:40 PM by Humpty | with 1 comment(s)
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Goin' cold turkey

What's my addiction that I need to go cold turkey on?  Wearing glasses.

I've recently gotten new lenses put in my glasses because I had been using an older prescription, -3.50 in both eyes, and since my present prescription is -3.00 in both eyes my eyes were starting to hurt me.  (Since I was wearing the wrong prescription for months without incident I actually think my eyes are now better than -3.00.)  So I go and get new lenses.

Yesterday, Monday, I decided to stop wearing my glasses for the last hour I was at work.  Even though I have new lenses my eyes were still hurting some while wearing my glasses so I just decided to take them off.  I've been more inclined to not wear them since a visitor to my blog decided to start restoring her vision after reading about my experiences, it's like a positive feedback: I inspired her, she inspired me.  So Monday I spent an hour without glasses.

It was hard because everything was blurry, but I decided I was going to do it, live what I preach, get off the glasses, heh...  It is true what other natural vision restoration people have said, glasses suppress vision recovery.  My work monitor is probably 2 feet or so away -- just a guess, I've never measured -- so I had to set my 22" monitor to an 800x600 resolution, about half the size of my typical 1400x1120.  But, even in that short time without glasses I had moments of clear vision so I was jazzed.

Today, Tuesday, buoyed by my success from the previous day I again decided to ditch my glasses, for the entire day.  I've basically decided to relieve my eyes.  It is tough I must say.  There's no straining to see my monitor when it's blurry since that actually results in nearsightedness.  Since I wear my glasses most at work not wearing them means I have a lot more time to learn how to see again.  It feels like the time when I learned the Dvorak keyboard layout.  For the first few days it's absolutely tough and I thought about quitting, but I knew to just persevere.  I'm in day 2, roughly, of going without glasses at work so I'm still in that tough period.  But, I can definitely see results from doing this.  I get more frequent bouts of clear vision and they last longer, my eyes are starting to feel stronger, things that I couldn't see so well at home I can see just a little bit better.

And, today, Tuesday, my glasses decided to assist me in my vision recovery goal by breaking themselves! :)  Don't ask me how it happened but they snapped in two on my first full day of not wearing them.  Personally I think it happened when I got the lenses put in my frames, maybe something happened then that weakened the metal.  But, anyway, today they broke.  I can still wear them but without the right part of the frame they're not too stable on my face.  And I just bought new lenses too, argh!!!

It is definitely possible to restore your vision to clarity.  The eyes are a sense organ like the ears, nose, tongue, and skin; all of them work passively to receive information.  So it is with the eyes, they work passively, so I'm learning to see passively...and it's working.

Glasses and you

I've been getting more interested in restoring my vision after someone started tearing up my blog finding out what I'm doing. :)  I found a cool site that deals with this and found a cool quote in reference to how glasses affect our eyes:

Glasses compensate for the [refractive] error in such a way as to consider it a completely fixed condition that never occasionally gives way to relief. When they are worn, the particular level of refractive error must be continually produced in order for us to see clearly through them.

Assuming you believe that refractive errors; nearsightedness, farsightedness, old-age sight; are curable and not fixed conditions that's a pretty intriguing thought.  Think about it, it's saying that as long as you wear glasses, or more generally corrective lenses such as contact lenses, that your eyes must continually distort themselves in order to see clearly through them.  Essentially, corrective lenses suppress any chance of your vision recovering.  If a person with perfect vision were to look through corrective lenses their eyes would have to distort themselves in order to see clearly through them, were the lenses worn for some duration then the muscles allowing for accommodation in the eye would get used to their position and begin to stay that way.  This person would then be dependent on the lenses in order to see clearly for their muscles have essentially "frozen" themselves, adapted, in order to see clearly.

Kyocera Slider Remix KX5

Verizon has been a pain for me ever since I signed up with them because the reception is horrible where I live.  You know that old joke your grandpa would tell you about how he had to walk to school on one leg in the snow with rabid dogs chasing him?  Well, except for the one foot part, and snow, and the rabid dogs, it's pretty much the same for me with reception where I live.  I have to talk in my bedroom with the antenna stub facing on open window to get a reasonably good connection going -- oh, and moving my head is a no-no otherwise I'll change the position of the antenna.  So I was overjoyed when I called Verizon about this and they informed me that I live in a marginal coverage area, as the tech put it, so they couldn't offer me good service and so would release me from my contract!  Yippie yai yo kai yay!! :D

So now I'm phone shopping and I've settled on Alltel, for various reasons I shan't get into.  As you may know I have a Prius and I got the Bluetooth option with it so I've decided I'm getting a Bluetooth phone.  Alltel only has three in the price range I'm willing to pay and I've just gotten one of them: the Kyocera Slider Remix KX5.

This is actually a pretty nice phone because it has my required Bluetooth feature, a 1.3 megapixel camera, an MP3 player!, and removable memory.  Plus, and this is a biggie, it supports USB connections so you can easily move the pictures off the phone as well as moving music, ringtones, pictures, or even data files onto it.  After reading about how Verizon cripples their phones such that you can't move the pictures off them without paying them money I was super glad to find out I could easily transfer stuff from the phone to my computer.  I really wasn't in the market for a music phone at first but after discovering so many out there I added that to my list of wants :).

The Slider Remix is a slide phone, meaning the front face of the phone slides up to reveal the keypad.  This is a pain if you ask me.  The problem I have with it is that it's not easy to open the phone with one hand without undue effort.  There are raised notches on the front face where I guess you're supposed to push your thumb against in order to move the face up, the problem is that since the phone closes with a click you have to exert a lot of pressure down on the face to get it to move up.  So much pressure in fact I couldn't see myself doing that routinely so I don't even close the phone properly anymore, I stop just shy of the clicking mechanism taking hold.  Luckily you really don't have to open the phone that much since you can access most things from the front face.  So the slide mechanism is a bit of a letdown for me.  I also don't really like having the buttons exposed on the front because when I put the phone in my pocket, and subsequently remove it, I end up accidentally hitting a button.

Also, the navigation buttons are somewhat hard to hit because the central OK button is kind of loose and large; the buttons feel flimsy to me.  The side volume buttons have one minor annoyance for me.  On my current phone, an LG VX4500, the down volume button can be held to put the phone in vibrate mode.  This happens with the Slider Remix too but if you don't release the button soon after it goes to vibrate mode the phone will pick up the key still being pressed and begin lowering the ringer volume.

Some other minor gripes about the phone are that the interface looks cheap and the screen keeps cutting off after so many seconds of inactivity.  My current phone's interface looks okay, the Motorola RAZR V3c and E815 I'm now looking at have good looking interfaces, but this phone looks like crap.  It's not so bad but since I just got the phone and I can return it without incident any minor gripe is becoming large with me.  Maybe there's some setting I haven't found but there are only two color themes, blue and lime; there's actually a third color choice but it's just like the blue only it has a purple looking highlight...  As for the screen cutting off I can find no setting to stop this.  And this is not the usual backlight goes dim thing, this is the whole screen just disappears completely.  The phone is still on and you can press any key to get it to come on -- I recommend pressing the end call button to make sure you don't accidentally do something you don't want.  I kind of like using my current LG phone as a watch but since this Kyocera phone cuts off like this it's not quite as easy to do that.

So I'm going to return this phone and probably get the Motorola E815.  That phone has pretty much everything I want in this one: Bluetooth, camera, music, PC connectivity, plus the phone's interface is really nice.  You can set the navigation buttons to do custom activities, rearrange the main menu, and there are true color themes!  Plus, I think I like the flip style of phones, only if it has an external screen though, which the Motorola has.  The RAZR is thin and I would love to get it, but with no PC connectivity I no like.  Maybe there's a way to do that, just buy a USB cable and download some software, but the E815's expandable memory helps it win out, plus it has tactile buttons as opposed to the RAZR's flat ones.

If Kyocera had a better interface I'd probably keep the Slider Remix but, oh well, ain't competition grand!

Posted: Thu, Jun 8 2006 8:44 PM by Humpty | with 1 comment(s)
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Happy Hell Day!

Yes, today is officially 6/6/6, the mark of the Beast, Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Diablo, the Prince of Darkness, George Bush......the Devil!  (Okay, just kidding about ol' Bushy boy...)  Today is the day where the skin will peel from your flesh because you're going to Hell!  But you can just run really fast barefoot down a hill on asphalt to get the same effect.

Oooh, my feet are hurting after doing that today.  But I did learn an even better way to run barefoot, and that's to basically run somewhat flat footed.  I just mean instead of coming down on your heels try to come down on the middle part of your foot.  It's kind of a rocking motion actually, it's cool because in a way you kind of glide over whatever surface you're running on; it is loads easier and way more comfortable to run this way.  Probably because the force of impact when you're running is spread over more of your foot and not just the heel.  I quickly realized I had to run that way today when my heels were hurting after I just started out!

Posted: Tue, Jun 6 2006 8:34 PM by Humpty | with 2 comment(s)
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