Home » science » technology

Category: technology

My summer in review

I worked all summer long at Safeway on 33rd.  I guess this means I passed my probationary period and they intend to keep me.

  • I used the money to buy a lot of t-shirts in Banff and Moraine Lake, a new lens for my camera, a great looking Timex Expedition watch, and all of my Christmas shopping.
  • Who was done his Christmas shopping in August?  This guy.
  • We went to Banff and Yoho National Parks despite dad being really sick. 
    • Dad pulled it together and still was a lot of fun on the trip.
    • We hiked in the backcountry.
    • Oliver and I got lost in the woods.
    • Dad was almost eaten by a bear.
    • We discovered Montreal Smoked Meat Crepes.
    • I found out that Lake Louise is just minutes away from British Columbia.
  • We went to Fort Carlton and I learned a bunch of Treaty 6 history with Oliver, Mom and Dad.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Dad and I walked around outside the fort (and were eaten alive by bugs) while Mom and Oliver made bannock.  Oddly enough there were no bugs inside the fort the day we were there.
  • I wasn’t going to play football after the trainwreck of a season I had last year but I had a lot of long talks with Dad about it who reminded me that everyone gets knocked down, it’s how you get up is what is important.  So when football started a week ago, I was out there.  It felt good.

Sigma 70-300mm lens for Pentax

I babysit Oliver all summer long.  Well technically the dog is in charge but if there is something she can’t do because of a lack of opposable thumbs, I have to do it.

I don’t really babysit Oliver anymore, he is pretty chill but Dad cut me a deal and said that if I take care of him and the dog, I could pick out a lens I want.

The first couple of lenses I wanted are only made for Canon and Nikon.  After suggesting them both Dad and I cried a little bit.  I then asked for a 70-300 lens so I can shoot some outside sports.  Dad was cool with that and tonight on the first day of school, he gave me a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens.

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax DSLRs

I am taking yearbook for credit this year and this means that I can get some better shots of activities and sports around Bedford Road Collegiate Institute and the city.

New cell phone (again)

Samsung Galaxy Prime cell phoneSigh.  I dropped my Windows Phone and killed it the other day.  In the last year I have wrecked three phones and a tablet.  Dad and Mom are about to lose it.  I think the vein on his head is still pulsating.  That’s not good.  Not only that but I just paid back dad this week for the phone I broke.

I am working but I need to stop breaking my phones. 

Mom moved from Bell Mobility to Fido because she gets more data for less money and upgraded from her Samsung Galaxy Prime to a Motorola Moto G4 Plus.  She told me that I could buy her phone for $50.  She had a white case for it and I bought a new charcoal case for $30.  We set up both her phone and my phone this morning.

The good news is that while doing it, Samsung sent a big Android update which updated the phone.  It’s not a gaming phone which is fine by me.  I need it to text, check email, and keep in contact with work, Jordon, Wendy, and Oliver.  It also plays Spotify well.

Now I just need to stop dropping devices.

Winnebago’s Concept Adventure Vehicle

From NewAtlas

Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle is ready to rough it

Winnebago may still be synonymous with large Class A and Class C motorhomes that tour via highway and camp in paved lots with full hookups, but the company is determined to push its way onto the dirt and rock. It has been trying to woo people like the outdoor-crazy crowd at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market with its the Era 4×4 and all-new Concept Adventure Vehicle, which was unveiled at the 2016 Summer Market last week and shows the possibility of an off-grid-capable 4×4 Winnebago optimized for boundless adventure.

Not many of us can afford this (it starts at about $110k in US dollars) but I think all of us want one.  It looks spectacular.

Fender Benders on Water?

More from the New York Times

It is a section of Panama’s newly expanded canal that has troubled veteran canal workers.

To safely guide the new generation of massive ships through the two sets of locks, tugboat captains and ship pilots rely on an approach wall to properly align the vessels before escorting them into the first narrow chamber.

The wall is an antidote to the currents and winds that push and pull ships into awkward angles, making tugboats wrestle the elements before achieving the proper position.

Each entrance has this structure — except one. And it was at this opening on the afternoon of July 21 that the Chinese container ship Xin Fei Zhoustruck a lock wall, tearing small holes in its hull — canal officials call it a dent — and forcing it out of service. The new canal was not even a month old.

Another container ship had experienced tense moments three weeks earlier as crew members responded to “countless” instructions from a canal employee who was attempting to guide it into the same set of locks.

Ultimately, that transit was successful. But the Xin Fei Zhou’s mishap was not the canal’s only setback. Other vessels have sheared or badly damaged up to 100 buffering fenders that are supposed to protect the lock walls and ship hulls should they come into contact, according to interviews with canal workers.

Several days before the expanded sea lane opened — nearly two years late and with more than $3.4 billion in disputed costs — an examination by The New York Times raised questions about its viability, citing concerns over safety, design, changes in the world’s shipping patterns and demand.

Canal workers had expressed concern about whether the plastic fenders on the lock walls would be adequate and whether tugboat captains had received the proper training in how to guide the giant ships through the chambers — a procedure that differed from the one used in the original canal.

What a mess.  The solution, ban cell phones who take embarrassing photos!

Cosco Container Lines, which owns the ship, said in a statement: “This is a serious matter.”

“Is it a serious marine incident?” Mr. Kinsey asked. “That will depend on the findings and the extent of repairs. Is it a concern? Yes, there’s a hole in the ship.”

Another Chinese container ship, also owned by Cosco, was the first commercial vessel to pass through Panama’s enlarged canal, in late June. At the time, the authority proclaimed a “new era of global trade” that would provide “greater economies of scale to global commerce.”

Witnessing this historic transit, the officials said, were “25,000 jubilant Panamanians,” heads of state, shipping executives and nearly 1,000 journalists. Canal publicists asserted that the ship carried thousands of shipping containers, a load that would not have fit in the smaller, original canal.

But the new canal’s sparkling narrative omitted one important fact: Most, if not all, of the shipping containers were empty. And even with the lighter load, the ship awkwardly brushed against a canal wall, according to photos posted online by canal workers.

Mr. Quijano said some containers had contained cargo. Besides, he said, cargo containers constitute cargo even when empty.

On Tuesday, Mr. Quijano announced that the canal authority was contemplating a ban on cellphones during transits because they were a distraction.

The Risky Bet That is the Panama Canal

Interesting article in the New York Times about the mess that the new Panama Canal project has turned out to be.

After an intense two-year competition, a consortium led by a Spanish company in severe financial distress learned that its rock-bottom bid of $3.1 billion had won the worldwide competition to build a new set of locks for the historic Panama Canal.

The unlikely victors toasted their win at La Vitrola, a sleek restaurant in an upscale neighborhood east of downtown Panama City. Within days, executives of the four-nation consortium, Grupo Unidos por el Canal, flew to Europe to begin planning the project.

This time, there would be no champagne. Disputes quickly erupted over how to divide responsibilities. Some executives appeared not to fully grasp how little money they had to complete a complex project with a tight deadline and a multicultural team whose members did not always see things the same way.

Internal arguments soon gave way to bigger problems. There would be work stoppages, porous concrete, a risk of earthquakes and at least $3.4 billion in disputed costs: more than the budget for the entire project.

Not really related is the top video.  It shows a massive container ship crashing into a train as it is being pulled through the Panama Canal.

Timex Expedition Atlantis Watch

Timex® Expedition® Atlantis Men's Digital Watch

Well I finally have my first full paycheck from working at Safeway.  Some idiot stole my backpack a couple of weeks ago so I had to replace that with my first partial paycheck.  With my full check, I had to use most of it to pay Dad back for my Windows 10 cell phone.  He suggested I keep back some of it and get myself something.  I had been looking at smart watches but what do I need a Pebble or a Apple Watch for?  I don’t.  I just want a nice watch that I can wear every day.

Dad has Timex Expedition Atlantis watch in silver and black and I have always liked it.  I saw one in black and realized it was the one I wanted so I bought this for myself with my own money.  It feels pretty good.  It looks good too.