USPS 2006 X-Plane Express Mail Stamp (Canceled). I had never seen this stamp before. It was the postage on the express mail envelope that contained my renewed passport. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 105 mm f/2.8 mm macro lens (ISO 800, f/10, 1/60 sec, flash).
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath — Day 3. Many trees and wires were down. Still no power to the house. Those with gasoline emergency generators were out of luck when they ran out of gas — the gas stations if you could get to them didn’t have emergency generators. I still had a bit of propane in my RV to run the generator. Food in the fridge and freezer in the house was going bad. I was cooking outside on a charcoal grill. Images taken with a Leica V-Lux 30 camera.
The team to install the solar panels on my roof arrived. It only took a few days to install the panels and DC/AC inverter. It a lot more time before the building inspector approved the work to cross-connect the power generated by the sun to my house electric panel. To date, the solar panels have generated 65% of the electricity that I have consumed. I have also received nearly $1,600 in SREC credits which more than covers the 35% of the electricity I had to pay PSE&G. For two months this summer, I produced more electricity than I consumed.
The power company (PSE&G) and tree service folks starting to repair the downed power lines. Nine days post Hurricane Sandy and there was still no power at my house. By mid-afternoon it started snowing making the repair job even harder. Images taken with a Leica V-Lux 30 camera
Mary’s Lake. Autumn in Rocky Mountain National Park. Exit to the Alva B. Adams tunnel (or how Colorado river water makes it east of the continental divide). Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/11, 1/80 sec).
More images from the post Hurricane Sandy series. The power was still out and not much to do but go out and take some images. Some of the neighbors did use the outlet on my RV to recharge their cell phones.
Several months ago I started replacing some of the incandescent and compact fluorescent lights (CFL) lights in my house with LED lights. The LED lights are still relatively expensive, but the price is starting to come down. In addition there are now some more choices in the color (soft white, cool white, daylight, warm white) of the LED lights. The LED lights do use less power and are supposed to have a longer lifetime. Note that when the CFL lights came out, they also claimed to have a longer lifetime than incandescent lights – however I have had several CFL lights fail. I also like that the LED lights come to full power instantly vs. the warm-up delay with the CFL lights. I purchased several different brands for testing and have been relatively satisfied. So all is good — sort of….
I live about half way between the New York City and Philadelphia TV transmitters, so with a high-gain TV antenna in my attic I am able to receive over the air high definition digital TV signals from both markets. Some times when the seasons and temperatures change I have to tweak the alignment of the antenna and re-tighten the antenna cable connections. I was really looking forward to the season premier of Downton Abby, but the signal from WHYY in Philadelphia was getting scrambled. Trying to realign the antenna didn’t help. I did notice that the interference was only happening on stations that broadcast in the lower (what used to be VHF) frequencies. I about gave up, and figured that I would have to wait until the NJ PBS stations rebroadcast Downton Abby two weeks later. I turned the lights in my office off, and was going to go bed and read a book. Normally, I turn the TV off first (before the room lights) but didn’t this time. As soon as I turned the lights off the reception for WHYY was crystal clear. Turn the lights back on, and the interference reappears. What is going on????
I did a search on Google, and found several references to LED lights causing radio and TV interference. Apparently, some of the cheaper LED lights do not have sufficient shielding for the electronics converting the AC voltage to DC needed to power the LEDs. Bottom line, make sure that the LED lights you purchase are rated for low radio frequency interference. Some do have FCC markings, this one didn’t have any identifying information. I wonder if it is even UL tested/approved???? None of the other LED lights that I have been testing cause radio or TV interference.
After staying the night at the Princeton Marriott Residence Inn, I went home and found the power had been restored. Checked the refrigerator, and everything seemed to be OK. Did take some time to reboot the computers and storage disk arrays. While waiting, I dropped off my car for regular service before a trip out west. I also wanted them to check out why my radio and GPS were only working intermittently. When I got home the computers were all running – but did need to run several hours of checking to make sure that the last backups were good. Later in the afternoon I got a call from the Land Rover service department. The problem with the radio and GPS center console was the Bluetooth transmitter (needed for hands free phone). It will only cost $1K to replace. A Bluetooth transmitter that costs $1K??? And if I don’t get it fixed the center console (radio, CD, GPS) don’t work. ARRG!!!
So back to the networking issue with my W700ds computer. I waited until one of the backups was repeated (took overnight). I loaded the PC recovery CD that came with the HP MediaServer (MS Home Server) into the computer, and rebooted. During the reboot, needed to hit the ThinkVantage (blue) button so I could configure the BIOS to boot from the CD/DVD drive. The computer then booted to the CD recovery disk. Unfortunately, it did not recognize the network to the HP MediaServer, and asked for a driver for the network to be loaded via a USB port. I went online with another computer and downloaded the network driver for the computer (both the 64 bit and 32 bit versions) from the Lenovo site and put them onto a USB drive. Moved the USB drive to the computer, but it still didn’t work. If all else fails, read the help. It told me that when the HP MediaServer makes a computer backup that it also copies the drivers that will be needed to restore the computer. All I needed to do was copy that folder onto a USB drive. Since the only computer that I currently have configured to work with the HP MediaServer is the one in question – I needed to reboot and remotely connect to the HP MediaServer. This time when I rebooted, my wireless network started working again. I still want to go through the recover/restore process just to confirm to myself that it does work (and that I have everything I need including the drivers on a USB drive).
The Land Rover folks called back and said that there were still problems with the new Bluetooth transmitter. Possibly a loose connection or shorted wire that they need to track down. So I keep the loaner vehicle over the Labor Day weekend. Too bad that I am not a bit further north as there may be some good aurora displays this weekend.