Security Flagged

It always feel wrong, but somehow fun to cut up a credit card. Recently, a voice message at home from a 1-800 number, apparently from MasterCard Security made me a little nervous. After talking to the person, and not recognizing the number, I decided to call their regular 1-800 number.

Turned out someone in the US had tried to buy something from HomeDepot, and used my card number. They had the wrong expiry date though, and that flagged something at MasterCard. They canceled my card so I got to cut it up.

Nerve wracking at first, but not too much hassle after that. Just need to update the automatic payments.

Lost Loose

I had a cool experience on the way home today: I helped re-unite a lost dog with its owner. Leaving work, I was about to turn onto Oak Bay Ave, and I saw a lone dog crossing the road while some shop clerks were watching it. Realizing it had escaped from being tied up, I circled the block, and tried to track it down.

Dogs are fast. It was a couple blocks from “home” when I caught up to it. No matter what I tried, the dog would not come to me, so I walked behind it a bit while it wandered towards the shop.

I had to get my truck, and when I saw the dog again, it had headed up Wilmot Rd. I parked, and went back to the shop in case the owner returned.

A lady crossed Oak Bay and looked a little frantic, and began asking if someone had let her dog loose. I told her where I last saw him, and she ran towards the rd and thanked me.

As I got to my truck I looked over and saw she was hugging the dog. She thanked me again, and I was very glad I took a few minutes from my day.

LOTD – Geotagging Records

Geotagging is the name for tagging your photographs with GPS coordinates. Kind of cool if you come home with a shot, and 6 months from now you forget where you took it from.

Not many cameras (if any) have GPS built in, and I have seen a couple flash hotshoe adapters that record GPS when you take a picture. You must always have the flash turned on though, and can’t use a real flash.

ThinkGeek is selling an interesting device. It is a GPS receiver you toss in your pocket or backpack, that continually records where you are. When you offload your pictures from your camera, you can use the supplied software to merge your pictures with your GPS data. Cool.

via ThinkGeek

Firetruck Equipment

Some friends of ours know a firefighter who works out at the Victoria International Airport. He invited our kids out to get a little tour, and to ride in a firetruck. I was pretty pumped to see the trucks too, so I was extra special to make sure that the camera was primed and ready to go. We were not disappointed. The firetrucks are huge and insanely cool. We got to climb in one, go for a short ride, spray water using the canon (Sprout’s friend hit the button to do that), and turn on the siren (Sprout hit the button for that).

This is their newest truck, and they’ve only had it for 8 months. On the front of the truck there was a spray nozzle that is directed from within the cab using a joystick. Next to the joystick is a screen showing an infrared view of what the nozzle is seeing. We could clearly see the hot spots on a person standing in front of the camera.

This is the truck we rode in. It’s hard to get the right scale in this picture, but that step on the back bumper was about 3 feet off the ground, and the tires are about 4 feet tall, and extremely wide.

Inside the cab there was a lot of equipment, indicators, levers, switches and gauges.

That is one happy boy. He was a little stunned at first, and was quite overwhelmed, but I think he had a great time. I know I did.

I never would have thought that Victoria International Airport would have so much big equipment. I always think of it as a rinky-dink airport with nothing much going on. I was pretty impressed with their setup.

Antsy Park

Yoshi was pretty antsy yesterday, so when I was finally able to get him out for a walk, he was pretty pleased. He ran around a lot, and ate a bunch of grass. He played fetch a little, and wanted to head down to the water, but I wouldn’t let him.

I took my camera in hopes that I would be able to get a couple shots off, and I was not disappointed.

We ran into another pointer there named Starbuck. Very handsome, and very similar to Yoshi.

Spring has definitely hit. Most of the park looks incredibly brown still, but once you look a little closer you can see the buds on the trees and on the blackberry vines.

Someone was apparently trying to feed the birds. Seems like an odd thing to do in an off leash dog park.

The sun was out, and there wasn’t much of a breeze. This made for a very enjoyable time for me. Yoshi behaved himself quite well too, which allowed me ample opportunity to take pictures.

LOTD – Launcher Training

A timely archive item popped into my radar today. Two years ago I posted about a dog cookie launcher. The other day I came across this YouTube vid for an automated tennis ball launcher.

I can’t imagine building such a thing for Yoshi. It would be going non stop! Also, he wouldn’t get much exercise since the ball doesn’t travel that far. Supersize this, and Yoshi would have a great time …. only after the training hump.

Morning Maintenance

Sox had a brunch thing that she was taking Sprout to, so I had some free time this morning. Yesterday I decided that I would use it to go for a bike ride. Wouldn’t you know it though, I woke up this morning feeling completely unenthused by the idea!

Sox convinced me to head out anyway, and I did. I had a hard time deciding on which bike to take, so I opted for the easiest one to grab. This turned out to be the Bullit, since my hardtail still had the trailer attached to it.

Once on the trails I was amazed at how few people were out. I saw one other rider while riding, and a bunch of other people doing some trail maintenance. Strange since it was almost sunny, and kinda warm (compared to the rest of the week).

I rode a lot of the roads, mainly just to get the blood flowing. I chose some of my favorite downhill trails as a way to remind me of how much I liked riding. There is something about Snakes and Ladders that always makes me ride fast and have a blast.

Over the course of the ride I worked up a good sweat, but I wouldn’t call it a great ride. I am glad I went though, as it gave me a chance to take a couple pictures too.

Motorist Constricted

Driving to work this morning, I witnessed a complete brain-dead move on the part of another motorist.

As I drove up the street from my house I saw a firetruck coming from a couple blocks away. I pulled over to the side of the road, with my turn signal on, and waited. A mini van coming the opposite direction didn’t see it for a while, and when they stopped, they were on the opposite side of the road from me.

The problem is that the road is not that wide, and firetrucks are. Firetrucks are big. Firetrucks move fast. Nimrod didn’t think about the fact that he just constricted the road for a big, fast moving emergency vehicle.

Shaking my head I moved my truck forward so there was more than enough room for the firetruck.