DIY External Camera Enclosure / DIY POE

Posted on April 11, 2012 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral.

Tree CamI really like the cheaper Panasonic network cameras(Pet CAM). The older/cheapest BL-C1A’s outperform the newer ones in power usage and low-light performance.

I discovered that the Cantex 4×4x2 junction box is a near PERFECT fit for a BL-C1A. The next 6×6x4 is large enough for most network cameras and with an all clear front allows for more adjustment.
IMG_4420_smallFor the 6×6x4 housing, I drilled 3 additional ‘vents’, the camera has been operating/in-weather for about 4 years. During that time, I had 2 Power Supplies burn-out(faulty OEM power supplies) and ants ate through the foam vapor barrier that came with the junction box; including a nest INSIDE the camera. I replaced this with clear silicone caulking, around the Plexiglas and after cleaning out the camera caulked the opening they used(the wire holder for the DC plug).

The 4×4x2 housing is new, and without venting holes. The camera almost perfectly fits inside the lid for the junction box, after drilling hole for the lens(wide angle, it HAD to be as large as you see), I used black silicone based caulking in 2 rings (one around the silver near the lens, the other 1″ out from that) and put a brick on the camera to hold it tight for 24hrs(clamps would likely be better). The next step will be to put a tiny piece of Plexiglas over the lens on the exterior, this could possibly have been from the inside with something very thin, but I’ll go the external route.

It should be noted that POE is not 9Volts, and this is simply a cheat to get power to a normally plugged in camera. Because it is not 110V AC, it should also be “SAFE” to run unprotected if someone cut into it(One doesn’t have to enclose the PSU as well). I’ve not had any problems with power/voltage drops over a 75′ run using 4 wires. BL-C1A’s also only consume about 1.5 watts; One should consult a reference for pushing more amps over your rj45 cable wires if using another make/model camera.



Posted on July 1, 2011 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral.

Nose2I am so annoyed with google. I’ve been using it since I gave up webcrawler in the 90’s after it left the simplicity search for spam central. Google is now $#%@WQ$ing terrible. You have top menu bar, left menu bar(still does nothing useful) ads on the right, ads at top of search, corrupted search results(ads), auto-complete/search assist forced on you, and “google Instant” magically re-enables itself regardless of clearing cookies etc… Filth! ^&#%@$

Google, go restore a backup from 1999.. Otherwise, any good minimalistic alternatives?

Doing It Online… Home Security.

Posted on June 30, 2010 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral, Positive, negative.

Fun, and not so fun. This last Friday our family vacation home in Lehigh Acres, FL was broken into. This became newsworthy because of my actions ~2000(road) miles away in Nova Scotia.

Around sunset, I logged into my remote power switch and decided to leave a window AC unit running a bit to help dehumidify the place. Hours later I noticed the backyard motion sensor light go off, but didn’t see anything in the still image and since it wasn’t unusual for animals too trigger the light, it was ignored. Turns out it was the Human Animal.

c3-640fc20100625231225503c4-640fc20100626120301894A few minutes later I lookup(Likely from email motion notification beep from front camera(less often)) to see a burglar in our living room! WTF rings in my head, seconds later I find the Lehigh Police number(That I requested when 911 is not available(911 is only good locally and never on skype)), logged into the remote power switch, turned on the loud Shop-Vac(Wish I had footage of that), and stereo, turned off the AC unit(didn’t want them staying comfortable), a second later their was no response from the house. I then dialed the police using my Skype(Terribly bloated, invasive software/interface but good price($65/yr “unlimited” CDn/US Calling + dialin #)) account at 11:18pm; I gave the site address and my real location and callback numbers immediately, and proceeded to give as best verbal information about the buglers as I could. She kept me on the line until a detective reported being on-site at which point the call ended with the understanding the detective would be calling me back.

Detective Daniel Bray, called me several times exchanging email and information updates, thankfully he was tech savvy and was able to check images emailed to him on-site positively identifying one of the suspects who were pulled over as they were driving away with headlights off(On: wouldn’t have helped them blend-in any, as traffic is very low). The detective was also able to email me photos taken from outside the suspects car of equipment I could easily identify as my stolen property, and later condition of house.

The suspects were charged, and I was later emailed documents which were signed and returned. I am waiting to see what happens. Apparently it is not uncommon for break-in suspects to get bail and never be seen again. They are also even known to return to the crime site before doing so… To get what they missed… I was advised to secure the location as soon as possible.

c1-640fc20100625144210519Hindsight: One or more of the criminals seems to have driven by earlier in the day, apparently casing the place. A living room light was on, curtains(non-see-through, only the light) closed, window AC unit running, grass mowed(Basically just how it is when I am there!)… They were reported to have entered through the bedroom window armed with a taser and tools. Had I been there, it could have ended very badly, as I would say they had to have considered the building potentially occupied.

I also probably shouldn’t have turned on the shop-vac/stereo, this likely would have given the police more time to catch them IN the building(Or even surprise them). Tho. perhaps the distraction had caused them to leave sooner, causing less loss/damage overall.

Other Thoughts:
If the adrenalin rush from seeing(remotely) buglers in our house had given me a heart attack(died), would that be an additional charge against them?

The Rovio didn’t do much good at all, except for a distraction. Perhaps if I noticed them earlier I could have logged into it and gotten an audio feed, or manually snapped additional pictures. Software on Rovio really needs to be updated for basic motion detection and ‘position lock’, so it doesn’t roam(to find base station) on power failure.

Update: 3 Days after the arrest at least one of the perpetrators was released, bail apparently. I was notified by an automated victim notification system.

Update: Other one was released on bail a couple days after the first, It has since been over a month and their first court appearance… To much freedom if you ask me for the so obviously guilty, and hiding the identity of a cohort. If they stay free, run, or get a slap on the wrist the legal system in my book is worthless; less-than actually as it protects the criminal from retribution.

Security Images bundled into a Video file: Burglary-June-2010

Rovio Unboxing… User Review…

Posted on March 26, 2010 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral, Positive.

I was considering purchasing a WowWee Rovio for over a year now, and when Woot had a ’special’ for $99.99 + $5 shipping… I just had to have one, and figured since I was ‘almost’ willing to purchase one for $200, lets double my chances for getting a problem free unit! Two were ordered…

If you did any digging into the Rovio online you would surely have found the many problems WowWee seems to have with Batteries and Power supplies. My fingers were doubly crossed but unfortunately I received 2 bad batteries(run times of approximately 4 and 5 minutes, after leaving on the base the night before running the Installation Program), and a power supply that makes such a high pitched whine that it drives one even more insane(or just can’t fall asleep with it in the same room).


After opening everything, I would have to say my opinion is that this is on the ‘higher quality’ end of what you typically expect out of China. Quality manuals, good USB cable, well boxed.

Rovio itself has a little bit of weight to it, and doesn’t feel ‘cheap’.

RovioBlueBatteryRovioPowerSupplyThe power supply is as you can see a 9V DC 2.5A adapter and is a newer ’solid state’/'hollow sounding’ adapter. These in my experience fail much more often than the heavy/solid adapters from the 1990’s and earlier.

It seems when you hear about the bad batteries, more often than not they are blue in color vs the green ones. 5LMH-43SC3000-W-T (NIMH 6v 3000mAh) .


After attaching the charging stations mast (just push it on with the lens facing the rovio) and plugging in the power supply, a red targeting light shines up to the ceiling. Center the lights in the room so the rovio can later find the station to charge. If the red light goes out, just move/touch the lamp base and it should turn on again.

Download the latest installation software and follow instructions, it’s fairly straightforward from there on in. I suggest moving the base station next to the computer so you can leave Rovio charging while doing firmware updates. Given the problems so many have with the battery…


I’ll update this post with some video and my experiences with wowwee and how well they send me replacement batteries and new power supply. If only we can get WowWee to release the modified open source portions of the OS, so we can add some built-in motion detecting etc.

If you own a Rovio, leave a comment on how much run-time you get out of your battery, the battery color/model. How many I wonder get a totally working Rovio right out of the box, 1-3 hour (So I hear!) run time off station etc.

After repeated charges/discharges, one of the Rovios seems to have gotten some battery life, about 30-40 minutes so far. In addition to the full cycling, I am also restarting the charge cycle often by moving it just off and back on the docking station. This may also be aiding in the overall recovery/charge. I’ve done the same with the other Rovio and there is no change.

Rovio Sample Images:

Rovio Save Home Position Video

User Review: Panasonic BL-C1A aka PetCam

Posted on March 25, 2010 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral.

bl-c1aPanasonic has been in business for a while now, and their name increases price point somewhat. Over the last couple of years I have purchased a number their BL-C1A cameras paying about $40.00 each.

The software on the camera is very clean with most every feature you could hope to have with exception to the ability to place a filename of the image in a notification email on triggering of an event(motion detection say). The software seems compatible with most other Panasonic Network Cameras, and using the Multi-Camera page you can see up to 12 on a single page(updated every 3 seconds). There is also nothing stopping you from loading up multiple browsers to view even more simultaneously.

Camera Strengths:
Excellent low light performance.
Motion detection and email and/or ftp on triggering.
Digital Zoom; Really it does something ‘more’, see below.
Bandwidth Throttling * Very important in multi-camera systems.

No Infrared support
Power supply

Power Supplies included with these adapters are faulty! Model#: PQLV206, 3 failures so far, and after researching the issue, I expect more too fail. So include the costs of replacements in your budget.

Digital Zoom, is implemented properly on these cameras, the first I’ve seen. It is unusual in that, when viewing motion images at say 320×240 and you zoom in, it will take data from the maximum resolution the CCD will support(640×480). Believe me, it helps!

I could go into more detail with screenshots and all that, but why re-invent the wheel, Panasonics manual is well done.

Look at the fun this guy had with a BL-C1A!

No-name (WiFi) IP Camera ; China ; Foscam Clone

Posted on March 18, 2010 by Onlooker.
Categories: Neutral.

ChinaCam0I took a chance and purchased one of these cameras new in an ebay auction for $64 shipped. Overall I would say it was worth it, but it would sure be nice to be able to tweak the ActiveX(Java would be so much nicer) software and or the software on the camera. Please comment if you know how…

The biggest negative I have to say is that there doesn’t seem to be any network throttling capabilities, and that the ActiveX program automatically tries to save event triggered video to the hard drive of current viewers, with no apparent option to disable.

  • No-Name China Camera
  • ChinaCam2



  • Panasonic BL-C1A

  • The internal speaker is terrible, and the microphone only of much use a few feet away from the unit. Although it can pickup a knock on the door in the next room, it is considerably low.
    The good news is it does seem to be possible to install external microphone/speakers but one would have to do some wiring/find adapter.

    http://IP-or-domainname:port/videostream.asf as a link in VLC media player with steam audio and video directly from the camera.


    5V DC 2 Amp Power Supply
    Inside One, Two, Three
    Inside Four, Five, Six.

    Baked Amarillos – Plantains

    Posted on January 8, 2010 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    BakedAmarillos6I bought some green Plantains intending to fry up in butter, but never got around to it. Before long they were yellow, then I thought, may as well wait until they are black/ripe and try ’something’ new.

    This one surprised me on how simple and tasty it was. Little sweet for me, but reminded me of baked apples!

    2 Tbs Butter, melt. ; More butter wouldn’t hurt anything.
    1 tsp Cinnamon
    2 Plantains

    Place plantains on baking sheet or oven safe frying pan, peal a top strip off the top and open airspaces along the sides not breaking skin. Put a slit down the middle half way into the plantains.
    Mix butter and cinnamon and pour into slit and over top.

    Preheat oven to 400F and bake for 30 Minutes.


    Canada Sucks: Another Irony for my digital memory.

    Posted on January 7, 2010 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    I’ve loved lobster for 20 years or so, but after seeing seeing the way it’s regulated and the most recent disgrace of Halifax lobster making it into the markets… I plan never again to consume lobster from a grocery store or restaurant unless I know from which waters it was fished AND stored/processed.

    100 Million liters of raw sewage a day was and is pouring into Halifax harbour. Lobsters are both fished from and processed in harbor water, and no-one in authority cares. Lobsters, for those who don’t know are bottom feeders and all the wonderful human biological waste, drain chemicals and toxic chemicals ignorant fools pour down the drain that should have been disposed of property wined up on their dinner plates.

    Of course if enough complain that would be changed, but it tells nothing of the many fish caught and processed down river of the many other polluted run offs around Nova Scotia, so it just seems a safe bet to cross it off my menu less I can be sure of where it was harvested. Unlike most other countries/states in the world, it is illegal in Canada to fish lobster/crays for your own consumption, so one more thing to #%$# with the common citizen.

    The irony for me is, it’s illegal to take a sh!t in a marine toilet and pump it into an isolated harbor, but it’s ok to pump millions of liters from a city and feed it to the people.

    I scuba/free dive and can speak first hand to the voracious appetite of the fish in our waters, and mammal waste does not last very long at all. I would swim confident in water soiled hours before from a single(or dozen) marine toilets. Hundreds of boats, or millions in a city dumping massive amounts into a harbour is why the regulations came about. Polluting in such massive amount the local ecosystem can’t absorb it fast enough.

    My two cents.

    Cheap Quality Meal: < $2 Poached Eggs and Asparagus

    Posted on December 27, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    AsparagusAndEgg1Well I thought this might be worthy of an entry into the blog(digital memory), and boy was it delicious! As usual I read a bunch of recipes found via google then modified/combined for my own.

    1/2 lb. Asparagus ($1.50); Boil for 4 minutes in salted water.
    Then drain water, and fry in butter($0.07) until poached eggs are finished.

    2 Poached eggs ($0.22); Boil water add 1 tbs vinegar($0.02), turn off heat, when boiling stops drop in eggs for approx 3 minutes.(Until whites are cooked but yoke is runny).

    Toast bread While eggs are poaching.
    Add pepper, salt, cheese(Cheddar and m. jack($0.05)) over top of finished plate.


    Cheap Quality Meal: $2.99 Beef Tenderloin

    Posted on November 12, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    3DollarBT1This product is likely common place for most, but with me originating in Nova Scotia, with $18.99/Lb. Beef Tenderloin, this thing looked too good to be true!

    $5.97 for two 5oz($10/lb) (TENDERLOIN) Steaks, Now this is a little bit of a cheat I’m sure. It is packaged in what seems like light flavoring and of course bacon wrapped, which no doubts adds to the total weight.

    Perfect for bachelor or freezing, the pair can be cut into singles without having to break the vacuum seal.

    Cheap Meal:
    $2.99 Beef Tenderloin Steak(Wrapped in bacon) fried in small amount of butter over medium heat for 10 minutes per side(Internal Temperature of 160f is about perfect imo).
    1/2 a Plantain, fried in butter(~$0.50)
    Veggie Side… I enjoy raw baby carrots.


    There’s a reason the good die young.

    Posted on October 29, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Neutral.

    They are being rewarded!

    Best dog *I* could have hoped to have. Here’s hoping there is life after death; where we might hike(explore) across the universe together. / Halifax Herald

    Posted on October 26, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.


    The main source for printed news in Nova Scotia, Canada. Their news site is about as restrictive as they come; I must wonder who owns them, political/business interests? The site is extremely selective in even allowing comments on different articles with no apparent policy on when they do or don’t allow comments. If to many people disagree with a sympathy a reporter is trying to manipulate, they block comments even tho they were once allowed.

    Things the Herald should change if they want an ounce of respect from the ‘thinking public’(granted it is a minority).
    Allow comments on all articles ; if they must filter, filter only offensive language, and anything that would be ‘illegal’ Revealing names in pending court causes, young offenders etc.

    Herald – Window of opportunity – Nova Scotia News –

    V for Vendetta Eggs – Eggs in a Basket

    Posted on by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.


    After watching the movie again, those eggs just looked soooo good.
    Cut a hole in the bread with small cup, butter both sides of the bread, and butter the pan, place in heated pan over low heat and drop egg in the middle, don’t flip to soon.


    It’s like making a grilled cheese.


    Very tasty!


    #$%# Lucky dog!

    Actually I made 2 for ‘myself’ and after putting egg in the ‘basket’ noticed a little blood in the yoke. I’m not one to eat eggs(especially super market bought) with any sign of blood, so I cooked it well, cooled it, and made a meal for the family member who doesn’t care about such things!

    Another Distraction

    Posted on August 31, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.


    Pyramid Parts Fork Seals, inferior?

    Posted on August 16, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    pyramidpartsJust a quick comment that the Pyramid brand fork seals I purchased for a Honda CB450SC failed(imo) far too easily in a hard braking situation. Both forks squirted oil and they have had a slow leak since. The seals were replaced about 2 months ago.

    When you go through all the trouble of changing your fork seals, you want them to last. Similar braking using genuine Honda replacement seals on VT500 motorcycle did not have the negative results(stayed dry).

    $2 Camera/GPS Motorcycle mount…

    Posted on July 15, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Neutral.

    2dollarCameraGPSmount2I was looking for a GPS mount for a motorcycle and the only ‘good’ one I found was about $12 USD shipped, plastic and cheap looking. Being a cheap bastard I decided to spend ~$2 and 15 minutes building a simple mount for a Camera(GPS as soon as I get to the store again).

    It’s not pretty, but it works and is much stronger than the massproduced plastic junk I’d wager.

    Take a piece of 3/4″ Birch Flooring(Any wood may work, hard wood is less likely to break), and drill hole the size of handle bars in the center of it.
    Then drill 3 holes vertical on the flooring, 2(Clamp holes) beside the 1st hole(as close as possible) and 1(GPS/Camera bolt) through the middle of the fist hole.
    Counter sink as desired.
    Then cut/shape the wood, with 1 cut down the middle through the 1st hole purpindicular to the last 3 holes.

    Obviously I didn’t mesure(Except for bolt sizes) or try very hard with the one pictured, maybe next time.


    Canada Sucks, Car Imports.

    Posted on July 4, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Honda ActyA friend was browsing kijiji(Like craigslist but Canadians use this; “we” like the slower html and ads I guess?), and came across Honda ACTY ads for sale in Nova Scotia… 1993 Models for $8000. I found on wiki that the new models sell for $8000 USD NEW!, and after e-mailing the seller and researching it a bit. Canadian law doesn’t allow importing of these until they are 15+ years old. I don’t really blame the sellers of these cars as they are just taking advantage of the ignorant(as most business do to some level(Walmart sells many dollar store items for $4-18 each)), but if Canada didn’t have so many laws like this in place at least it would be possible for those smart enough to use google to not get ripped off AND be able to buy a NEW car for about the same cost(driving the used prices down where they should be, $1000).

    Incidentally, many of the 15 year old Honda ACTY’s have 35,000-85,000km on them, and have 660cc engines, if the ‘general rule of thumb’ for motorcycle engines applies(I think it would), a 500cc motorcycle engine needs rebuilding(low compression) after about 60,000km, and a 1000cc engine @ 120,000.

    So these small vehicles won’t last nearly as long as conventional cars/trucks, and will likely need rebuilding in the near future, wasting!!! even more money.

    Critters – I need to find more…

    Posted on February 23, 2009 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    I heard some scratching outside one night and went out to see what it was… I saw from a distance an Armadillo… I only recognized it from remembering the TV series Night Court, and the judges stuffed one seen in many episodes. It took 3 nights of trying to get close enough to get a couple of pictures. These cute little guys can run pretty fast!


    Update: My aunt and I met another one(or maybe two). They are oblivious if you sneak up taking a step whenever their head is to the ground and moving. Yet ‘walk’ from 20-40′ away and they notice and run off.

    Videos: One, Two, Three, Four, Five


    Lobster, an insect of the sea.

    Posted on December 27, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Neutral.

    lobster4There is apparently a recession happening now, thankfully no-one I know seems to be feeling any ill effects. The lobster fisherman are ‘up in arms’ about the low prices they are getting for their catch. The quote is, Lobster is a luxury food and no one is buying luxury right now. The media is largely reporting that, at the current price of lobster, it is no longer a luxury food and it’s even cheaper than beef! It annoyed me how many times the media made the “cheaper than beef” quote, so I thought I’d collect some numbers myself(That’s the only reason! (grin)).

    This year, lobster was said to have dropped as low as $2 USD a pound in Maine, but Nova Scotia’s catch has been $3.50lb off the boat(for wholesale purchasers, $5.98 for the rest of us).

    I often thought lobster weighed less after cooking, this appears to be untrue.
    Raw Weight 2.026kg ( $26.93 )
    Cooked Weight on home scale in 4 plastic bags: 2.062kg

    Figure the extra weight is some of the water used in cooking, and the bags.

    Our Empty Plate weighs: 287 grams (0.287 kg, 0.633lb)
    Cooked Lobster(minus plate): 539 grams (1.19lb)

    lobster1 lobster2lobster3lobster5

    Most people who eat lobster only eat the front claws/arms and tail, the rest of the meat found in the legs, inside body, and tail-end is generally not worth the effort to extract, and if one did, it wouldn’t equal 1 quarter the meat found in 1 claw.

    Weight of meat from Tail and front claws/arms(minus plate): 152 grams(0.335 lb)


    So in this case, 28%((152 * 100) / 539) of the lobster is consumed meat.
    Meaning 1lb(0.454kg) of lobster is 0.28lb of meat putting the price per pound of meat at approximately ((0.454 / 0.127) * 3.50) $12.51 for fisherman, and $21.38/lb for us grocery store shoppers.

    Making Lobster, even today, more costly than the most expensive(and delicious) cut of Beef Tenderloin ($17/lb). Enjoy the luxury!

    WordPress Exploited…

    Posted on December 17, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Nose2Wordpress seemed pretty simple, and it was popular, so when I wanted something quick and dirty to post information for reference, it seemed like it might have been the way to go… It was exploited and some viagra pushing script or kid got into it… Apparently passwords were taken and any new posts would contain pages worth of urls to try and generate fraud of some type…

    I had scrapped the whole thing/site, but after figuring I really didn’t want to write my own custom blog software(too much like work), I am now attempting to restore with the latest version of wordpress in hopes the doors are closed. We will see…

    Pizza Dough 1st attempt

    Posted on July 8, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Neutral.

    I felt like trying to make my own pizza dough(thin crust). I would say it turned out good, but nothing remarkable… nice, simple.

    My Recipe (educated guess based on other online recipes) :

    250ml white flour
    2.5ml salt
    1.25ml bread yeast
    14ml peanut oil
    98ml cold water

    Mixed yeast, salt, flour together in mixer, added oil slowly followed by water.
    After 10-20 minutes it was well kneaded, and with a dusting of hands with flour, easily stretched.

    Place on flour dusted pan, shape, add toppings and bake for 8-15 minutes @ 400F(preheated) until done.


    The beginning of the end.

    Posted on June 12, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    prisonplanet.jpgWell, maybe not the beginning, but the next step in the progression of oppression. There has been a few news articles over the last few weeks that I think it worth pointing out.

    Lets start with new Airport security scanners that see right through clothing, I wonder what kinda cancer causing energy they will be found to use eventually. Ref. Ref. Ref.

    H.R. 4279: Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008:
    Intellectual Property Enforcement Division within the office of the Deputy Attorney General. Rep. John Conyers says the goal is to ‘prioritize intellectual property protection to the highest level of our government.’” Ref. Ref.

    Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which will allow Canadian/foreign border security enforce copyright laws without actually requiring a complaint from the copyright holder. This would be a license for the government fine/tax and steal when it involves the confiscation/destruction of actual property. In other words, don’t travel with copies of your music or movies on your computer or media player, even if you own a legal copy but don’t have original on you. Ref.

    Lastly, is a warning for anyone traveling with a computer to the USA, to know that all personal data can be copied/examined, including personal legal/business documents, deleted Internet history, email and more. Data collected has successfully been used in prosecution already, and I’d be almost willing to bet that when an international business person is searched, copies of any potentially useful economic information will be saved. Ref.

    Our freedoms are constantly under attack, and even when we stop one offensive, 5 more follow it below radar. Ultimately getting the undesired laws installed. When have you ever known laws to be relaxed without revolution/riot?

    Nova Scotia – Trailer

    Posted on June 7, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    My father paid to have his 1/8th of an Acre lot cleared up a bit, with nice results. Makes me want to go down and cleanup the trailer to spend a few nights in it myself. Here are some old and new pictures.







    Banana Bread

    Posted on June 5, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    bananabread.jpgJust made a couple of batches in my B&D Breadmaker, with good results using the following recipe:

    1.5 Cups White Flour (375ml)
    0.5 Cups Stone Ground whole wheat (125ml)
    0.5 Cups Sugar
    2+ Cups mashed bananas(ripe)
    0.5 Cup Butter
    0.5 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    1.3 tsp Vanilla extract

    (#7, Light crust on bread maker – 1hr 40min including mixing) Suggest 175C for 65 Minutes otherwise.
    My first time cooking bread with Baking Soda, worked very well… Irish Soda bread next maybe…

    Population Control – It’s a good thing.

    Posted on May 24, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive, negative.

    wfp.gifNorth American population would not be expanding if it were not for immigrants. With the human population expanding out of control world wide, won’t one of the best resources in the future be a low population? This would allow for greater exports of virtually anything else, while securing a healthy and wealthy domestic population?

    It seems to me feeding the starving is a big mistake, and should NOT be done without at least a trade off of sterility. To most this may sound terrible, but think about it, by feeding the starving(who are often uneducated, and poor) they continue to reproduce only creating additional mouths to feed and additional drain on the region. When you do feed a starving person, you are saving their life, a life that would be ended anyway from natural causes. I suggest it be an open trade, “we will save your life, provided you agree to sterilization and education”(& That they agree to help their countrymen).

    We then would help secure a workforce obligated to learn, and teach their native population to look after themselves(Sustainable farming, water management, education).

    One theory as to why first world countries choose to not have as many kids as others is education; Knowing what and how to prevent children, the effects of kids on personal finances, and separation of church and state.

    Thinking of having kids? Ref. Ref.

    Bagna Cauda – Recipe – First try

    Posted on May 13, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    I first heard about this ‘dish/meal’ through a comic stretch on Babylon 5 TV Series. It just looked like they were enjoying it sooo much, I remembered the name. Years later I started looking it up on the net, and while it is a very basic hot dip, there is no set recipe. Some dishes call for 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup olive oil, some 1 cup butter 1/4 cup olive oil, and variations including cream(Most reviewers don’t recommend the cream version).

    So based on no standard recipe, I took what reviewers said and settled on:

    1/4 Cup Butter (62.5ml)
    1/2 Cup Extra-virgin olive oil (125ml)
    2 Cloves Garlic
    1/4 Tin Anchovies (12g)

    Heat Oil and Butter, add garlic and anchovies and stir over low heat until Anchovies dissipate and ideally just before garlic browns(Although many recommend browned garlic).

    Red/Green Peppers, Mushrooms(very nice), Carrots(nice), zucchini(nice), green beans

    Result? It was a very mild sauce, but there were some ‘hints’ of deliciousness, next time more garlic and more Anchovies(and I’m no! anchovy fan). Some shrimp and beef tenderloin strips might be good dipped in this sauce.


    MMMmmm good.

    Posted on May 11, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    BreakfastI was so happy with my breakfast this morning, I had to take a picture. Notice the ‘feet up on the heater’, ahhh.
    Unplanned, I just noticed a leftover tomato, last of some lunch meat, and last piece of home made bread; threw it all together in 10 minutes.

    Scrambled eggs with salt and white pepper
    Sliced Ham ; Nuked
    Mild Cheddar cheese

    * The camera just happened to be beside me. ; The suckers bid.

    Posted on April 17, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Nose2It seems to me was thought up by a group of brokerages who were starting to get wise to the ever growing real estate available on ebay, and wanted to try and slow the trend. An ebay alternative would be a wonderful thing, but not through, their sales/listings are totally in the sellers favor with $1500 “transaction fee” charged to the winner(That’s $1500 less you have to spend than with a conventional offer).

    Even if you are the winning bidder, there is no obligation for the seller to actually close the deal, and if you find fault and not purchase, it’s a $350 charge to your credit card.’s sellers reserve the right to accept or reject any bid on this website regardless of how that offer is made, whether or not it exceeds the reserve price and whether or not it is the highest bid offered.

    There’s no clear way to contact sellers for questions before bidding, few details, and one last nail in the coffin, the site forces Flash for functionality. review… 1 of 5 stars; It does have a few listings

    Adobe/Macromedia Flash – Doomed(We are)

    Posted on February 24, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Flash SucksFlash is one of those technologies that the novice web developers seem to love, because it’s easy and well ‘flashy’. Unfortunately the reality is, by using Flash you are supporting software that will ultimately restrict/control your web experience. Boycott flash, don’t install it, and send e-mails/feedback/guestbook entries to any site using it(Asking them for a flash alternative).

    Reasons to boycott Adobe Flash: (In no particular order)
    DRM(It’s a BAD THING ppl); Will restrict access, and force commercials on you.
    Closed Specification: DMCA(Lets not get into that, yet)
    Search engines can’t easily index content.
    Difficult for people requiring accessibility features.

    Why Flash Sucks

    Lama v3 Helicopter

    Posted on January 11, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    Lama v3My father bought another toy, one I had to try for myself. A 4 channel, full tilt control, RC helicopter called the Lama v3, purchased from for ~$88. A dual rotor full tilt controlled helicopter is likely the safest/best next level helicopter to fly after the Bladerunner/Mosquito.

    The Lama arrived properly trimmed but we had to open and adjust the transmitter to trim the rudder control(or else have to continually make manual adjustments to keep it from turning. It is very heavy and much more care must be taken when powering down the engine or it will hit the floor hard. With a flight time of 10+ minutes, I look forward to increasing my skill level with this model, next helicopter will likely be a single rotor outdoor model.

    Video of first flight.

    Black & Decker B2250 – Breadmaker “All-In-One”

    Posted on January 1, 2008 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Neutral, Positive.

    B2250-1I did some basic math and figured the cost of plain bread is about 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of buying it in the store, and should taste a whole lot better fresh. After debating over which unit to buy, I picked the cheapest one from a retailer with a good return policy(Since most all < $120 bread makers have a good % of poor reviews); Wal-Mart $48 30-90 Day return/replacement.

    The B2250 looks and feels well built; at least the store demo did. Out of new factory sealed, undamaged box my unit had some scuffs on the display, and part of the stainless covering around the buttons and side were scratched and not installed 100%. There were some metal shavings in the unit as well.

    The unit starts mixing slowly, then speeds up as it continues. About 1/2 way through the mixing process this unit started making a loud clicking noise but did not seem to effect the mix... It seemed very well mixed once the process stopped. The clicking noise was the mixer blade not resting evenly on the bottom of the baking container.

    I have since made a dozen or so loafs and have narrowed in on the best/easy bread for my liking, which is simply:

    * Revised
    1.0 cups water (250ml)
    3 tbs brown sugar
    0.5 tsp salt (2.5ml)
    0.5 tsp yeast (2.5ml)
    0.5 cups Stone ground whole wheat flour (125ml)
    1.5 cups Regular white flour (375ml)

    Bread setting #4, 1.5lb loaf, light crust.

    The unit's metal trimmings seem to be separating from the unit, and if it continues might still be returned, tho it seems to do an adequate job so far, once you tweak your own recipes.
    What the unit needs: Stainless steel baking container, and mixer with notification on when to remove mixer prior to starting a bake.

    End of season.

    Posted on November 17, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    Been busy traveling and winterizing; I meant to take lots of pictures of finial harvests of garden, but I have very few. This year in Nova Scotia, it has been reported by many home gardeners as a very bad year. Having said that, here is a list of seed planted and results:

    Saltspring seeds all Organic & Heirloom:
    A: Wild Cherry Tomato – Slow to sprout, sweet, tasty, all came to fruit.
    B: Manitoba Tomato – Tasty, good producer.
    C: French Breakfast Radish – easy, fast growing, eat early.
    D: Onion, Perennial Bunching – Sprouted quick, none grew to edible size.
    E: Olga Romain lettuce – Sprouted early, did not survive transplant, sowed grew but not large.
    F: Sue Singers Chili – 20 planted, 1 survived(still going!), Super HOT, insane HOT, How to use?
    G: Flagg Pole Bean – Fast growing, early producer, dry bean, but I just ate fresh.
    H: Manitoba Brown Soy – None
    I: Brett’s Yellow Bean – Tasty, early, bush bean.
    J: Kamut – It grew, to slightly smaller size than orginial seed.
    Halifax Seed:
    K: Migonette Mixed Strawberry – grew well, plant green as of today, Fruit next spring?
    L: Connecticut Field Pumpkin – Some nice large vines, and flours, no fruit.
    M: Earlivee corn – Didn’t grow well, 4′ high, tiny tiny corn cobs(if any)… ants enjoyed.
    N: Hybrid Earligold Cantaloupe – All sprouted, but died or eaten after transplant.
    O: Sugar Baby Watermelon – 1/2 sprouted, but died or eaten after transplant.
    P: Bon Vivant Lettuce-Mesclun Mix – Good value, edible early and tasty.
    Q: Gourmet Herb Mix – No info; aunt planted all.
    R: Sugar Snap Pea – Tasty! I never liked peas… But these fresh, I do…
    Dollar Store:
    S: White Corn – of 20 seeds, and 8 stocks, 1 produced edible size cob. Deer got it! $%#$
    T: Early Squash – some did produce, but late and small… Bugs got to them.
    U: Turnip – Grew well. Bugs enjoy.
    V: PResidents choice bean – Grew, but sub-par taste.

    No pesticides were ever used on anything. Full sun garden was initially fertilized, and tilled, with good drainage. Otherwise plants grown in closed containers, were not initially fertilized, but some small amounts of miracle grow was added some some water and used(once every 3 weeks?) after some plants seemed to be struggling(they recovered).

    Garden – End of July

    Posted on July 28, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    So far so good I suppose… Some things don’t seem to be taking off very well, others are well on their way. I need to get some string or poles to prop up the tomato plants…


    Won’t have any reason to go to Mcdonalds now…

    Posted on July 16, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    Quick Breakfast:
    Whats needed:
    1 Egg, Cheese, English Muffin, 1tsp butter, Jar, Microwave, Toaster

    Home Made “Egg McMuffin”
    While English Muffin is toasting:
    Put enough melted butter to cover bottom 1/2 of jar.
    Put egg in jar, over the butter.
    Poke holes in the egg(to reduce poping; It will still expand and pop, but not splatter out of jar)
    Microwave uncovered on High for 48 seconds in 1000watt microwave.
    Shake whole cooked egg out of jar onto now toasted muffin.
    Place Cheese(velveeta), and or cooked meats on top of egg.

    One more reason DELL Sucks(In this case, for Canadians)

    Posted on July 11, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Dell Canada marks up the same hardware a silly amount, essentially ripping off Canadian public. Then of course Dell Corporate, won’t allow you to order directly except from the Dell in your country.

    2 Identical systems priced, vs
    Vostro 1500 – Dell Canada Summery ; $1229 Cdn
    Vostro 1500 – Dell USA Summery ; $699 USD = $737.49 Cdn(At time of this post)

    Additional charge for being Canadian customer: $491.51 ; It’s often much worse for other Countries “DELL”.

    In addition to the inflated base price for Canadians, standard features on the DELL USA such as Geforce vs Intel Video(+$100 for Canadians), 120gb HD vs 80gb(+$40), Duo vs Celeron(+$100) were additional costs for Canadians.

    Dell was having a typical USA Only discount at the time, without the discount: $265. Rarely will you find equiv. sale in Canada, and IF there is, it’s still hundreds more expensive than Dell USA discounts

    Cheap RC Helicopters

    Posted on July 8, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    walmartheli.jpgMy father enjoys inexpensive remote control helicopters, and they are kinda fun. Here are some videos and basic information about 3 models:

    BladeRunner2 – 3 Channel, Sale Prices: ~$50
    Mosquito – 3 Channel, ~$80
    HavocHeli(Walmart) – 2 Channel, $20

    2 Channels: Up/Down, Left/Right turn. Helicopter is weighted to constantly fly slightly forward.
    3rd Channel: a Forward/Backward (Weighting not required)

    After flying the BladeRunner2 and Mosquito for a few hours(over many months), I find myself wanting to get a 4+ channel to increase the control and difficulty level. 4CH Hughes 300 is tempting @ $115 Shipped on ebay(Although that is a lot to spend on a plastic flying machine ;)

    Waste not, want not.

    Posted on June 14, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    The garden centres seem to be giving/throwing away the wooden shelving their plants are shipped on. Signs locally recommend breaking up for kindling.

    I find they are great internal support for walls, and have made a gate using one shelf(re-enforced with screws vs staples)…

    If enough can be collected, it would be interesting to fence in the backyard at my fathers place…


    Useless meteorologists…

    Posted on June 4, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Bad Paste
    Plants were doing well, been taking them inside when weather reports suggested it was going to be below 4C or frost warning… Night before last there was no frost warning but people woke to frost on their windshields… Being June 2nd at the time, and no warning, I expected everything was ’safe’ but… Everything was outside, so will be interesting to see what if anything/everything dies.

    Dare one look at it more closely, it’s June! and still there is a risk of frost.. That leaves 3.5-4 months of growing time, with still less than ideal weather… The rest of that time we have messy through to terrible conditions… Any Australian ladies out there love Canada(or want to help me out(literally)) and want to ‘trade citizenship’ with the only legal method(marriage?).

    Ring your neck.

    Posted on June 3, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    Ring-necked PheasantSaw a few Ring-necked Pheasants in a field today, not all that common around here lately. Took a picture with old Canon S45, and crop’d it… I need telephoto…

    Nice to see some green.

    Posted on April 27, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    April 15th: planted 1 of each seeds in jiffy pots(1st batch)
    April 21st: planted another 1 of each seeds in jiffy pots(2nd batch)
    April 22nd: Seeds visibly sprouting from first batch are: cdijmpru
    April 24th: BG From first batch
    April 25th: CE from 2nd batch
    April 27th: BCEJPU visible from 2nd batch
    April 27th: Planted 3rd batch with following(Top to bottom): 4 A, 4 B, 4 F, 4 L, 4 T, 3 D

    Replanted lettuce(E) in first batch, and also set about to plant 12 Wild Cherry tomatos in egg carton…

    First Batch

    Jiffy Pots and seeds.

    Posted on by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    My aunt already has a green thumb and since there were way more seeds than we both needed, she picked a few to add to the order and we split the cost and seeds down the middle. We each bought 100 jiffy pots as well.

    I bought a couple of pill box sets at the dollar store and split the seeds in them, labeled A-V(Less writing when keeping track). Some seed packets had a lot more than would fit into 2 pill compartments, I just left remaining in packets until sowed or needed later.

    Seed ListPots in container

    Green or Brown thumb?

    Posted on April 26, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    This year, I am going to try and grow some vegetables… I wanted to buy heirloom/organic/open pollinated with exception to various plants that wouldn’t grow up here without more extensive human involvement…

    Seeds bought:
    Saltspringseeds: while a BC company, they were unquestionably open pollinated/organic; and with slight reservations about viability in our zone 4 climate; I ordered 10 $3 seed packets from them. $6 shipping. I focused on typically early producing and hardy plants.

    Halifax Seeds: Oh my, Halifax seeds… established 1866, Heirloom lists, lots of potential, but after questioning them about discrepancies between their ‘heirloom list’ and catalog, on how many of their heirloom listed plants were not open pollinated, and imo poor phone and email ’service’. I tried to minimize my order and ordered what more I could from saltspringseeds..

    Dollar Store: 4 seed packets for a dollar, sell before Sept. 2006 was stamped on the back, all supposedly heirloom… So far they are all sprouting!

    Used Batteries?!?

    Posted on March 18, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    usedbatteries_3.jpgWe typically buy packages of 50-100 double A’s for $9.99, often Rayovac @ Canadian Tire, but were always paying through the nose for AAA batteries. We were strolling through the dollar store picking up some odds and ends and noticed 6 AAAs for a dollar(60 for $10) and figured ‘nice’. Rather than buy 20 packages, I picked up 5 and figured we would test them out… Oops, I should have read the back, but seriously who the #$%& expects to be buying repackaged USED alkaline batteries? 20-60% of the batteries in each package were useless, needle didn’t move on the amp meter…


    Taking Orders for FlipStart

    Posted on March 16, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive, negative.

    FlipStart I had wantedAfter being overdue for at least a year, the FlipStart brought to you in part by Paul Allen(co-founder of Microsoft) is taking orders. Unfortunately the system is 50% heavier(1.5lb vs 1lb) and has a lower screen resolution(1024×600 vs 1024×768) than was promised. It still remains one of the lightest and smallest x86 clam shelled handhelds you can find, at only twice the price that it should be(based on similar OQO and Sony UX models).

    Hopefully this will get the ball rolling for smaller more portable clam shell Windows XP+ computers.

    Flipstart, OQO, Sony UX.

    First attempt at bread making.

    Posted on February 8, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    I modified this baguette recipe and did the following:

    Mix 1 tsp yeast with 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup of 100F water and let sit for 10 minutes.
    Add 1 cup white flour, mix and knead for 10 minutes.
    Cover and leave in warm place for 45 minutes.
    Pat flat and dust with flour. Fold in half and then half again.
    Return to bowl and let rise 30 minutes.
    Roll into ball and pat flat until oval and roll up along the long side.
    brush egg white long top and place in oven for 20 minutes @ 425F.

    Before OvenOut of ovenReady to eat

    It tasted like very plain bread, it could possibly have used some salt(none was added).

    News you can trust?

    Posted on February 6, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    After watching a news report(On Global News) on how a couple their 70’s living in rural Nova Scotia was charged(and found guilty (8 months suspended)) for firing a shot in the air to scare off 16 teenagers from approaching their home(despite repeated verbal warnings). I wanted to find the story for reference(and maybe learn more). I started by checking Globals web sites, and while most of the headlines were there, this story wasn’t; So I emailed Global to get what information I could. Their Reply:

    Hi Jason – thank you for your email. We don’t post our news stories
    from our newscast on our website. Also, due to legal reasons, we are
    unable to release our script of the story.


    Debbie Grady
    Marketing & Production Co-ordinator
    Global Maritimes

    Now it seems to me if a station is going to Broadcast the story to potentially millions, it should be made available for reference. What would you bet that if a site started recording/repeating Globals reports, that the site would soon be sued for copyright violations.

    Visual Trick

    Posted on February 5, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    A friend sent me this, maybe this has already been seen by most, but it’s new to me. It’s just interesting enough for me to post.

    Dot Trick

    Let your eyes follow the movement of the rotating dot. The dots will remain only one colour, pink.

    However if you stare at the black “+” in the centre, the moving dot turns to green.

    Now, concentrate on the black “+” in the centre of the picture.
    After a short period, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see only a single green dot rotating.

    It’s amazing how our brain works. There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don’t disappear. This should be proof enough, we don’t always see what we think we see

    Quality cookware

    Posted on January 23, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Because of the links of Aluminum to Alzheimer’s, I’ve been trying to filter out my everyday use of the metal.

    In the last several years we have been replacing all of our aluminum/teflon cookware with stainless/glass. Just to push home the point, I’ve even tried to avoid buying tri-ply and aluminum based cookware. Manufactures know full well that copper is a much better heat conductor with a higher melting point, but because aluminum is so cheap, marketing goes to work and they sell it as the ‘best’… Note: If your pan boils dry the aluminum can melt and hurt the unaware when they pickup the pot to move it off the stove burner(My mothers elderly aunt was seriously burned this way).

    I’m writing this post to vent mainly about:
    This 2006/2007 holiday season we bought a larger 12 Liter Arcosteel “Stainless Steel Stock Pot with dome lid” (HWI Anglo Canadian Housewares) from Canadian Tire; and a Stainless Steel roasting pan from Superstore… BOTH of these pots on a single use have started to rust, the rivets appear to be made with aluminum and have an apparent white corrosion which could surely rub off into food placed inside the pans.

    Compared to the MSR Stainless Steel pot set bought 6+ years ago, used almost daily, and not a trace of rust, I would suggest Canadian Tire and superstore do a LOT more quality controlled purchasing.
    Rusted after first use.Rust after first use/washSuperstore roasting pan rust.

    Is it just me?

    Posted on January 18, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Nose2It seems as soon as I turn on the news, I hear more about Bushs plans for the rest of the world and the domestic ‘temporary’ laws put through to help support the never ending war on terror; I was however happy to hear about his PR attempt at sending manned space flights to the moon(and base), and mars. At least until I heard about the NASA cuts of important Earth Science satellites/projects.
    I wonder, did the Big Oil/Manufacturing puppeteers know this would be the result(or arrange it)? Remove data of environmental change/damage, and it’s that much easier to argue it’s not a problem…


    Who you calling Chicken?

    Posted on January 15, 2007 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    My ChickenI made one of the best chickens I’ve ever eaten yesterday, at home, in my oven! Here’s how:

    3.5LB Small Frozen chicken, thawed, put a stainless steel pot with 4 Liters of water and 187ml(Next time, 175ml) of table salt(dissolved) refrigerate for 11 hours.

    Remove from brine, rinse under cold fresh water, pat dry, rub Peanut oil with pinches of cinnamon and white pepper all over.
    Then broil breast side down for 60 minutes in preheated 180C oven. Turn breast side up and continue cooking until internal temperature is 75C(Took 20 more minutes for me).
    Cover and let stand 5 minutes, and serve.

    Trade freedom for security; you’ll end up with neither.

    Posted on December 28, 2006 by Onlooker.
    Categories: negative.

    Nose2Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 Attacks.
    Dick Cheney, Bush Family; People with more greed than common sense or respect for others.
    You are a slave.
    Electronic voting machines are completely, and totally untrustworthy without a simultaneous printout signifying selection(Still 1/1000th the paper required vs paper only system).
    Criminals generally don’t inform authorities when they have a firearm.

    Everybody knows.

    Posted on December 26, 2006 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    NoseLife is a meaningless descent into the void. Or so the story goes… Just testing out some blog software/themes. This one looks very nice, but is hell on the slower systems.

    Useful information for some.

    Wasting time with the best of them.

    Posted on June 7, 2002 by Onlooker.
    Categories: Positive.

    Damn it, I lost…