I was all geared up, tested and ready to go when the winds of change would once again blow in my direction. An incoming text message from my friend Oliver popped up on my phone about a week before the eclipse. “Hey Aaron, I’m heading to John’s why don’t you come down and go to the eclipse with us?” John being an old friend whom I haven’t seen in a very long time and had been nearly two years since Oliver and I had crossed paths, this got the wheels turning. Shortly after another friend of mine posted on FaceBook she would be in that same area for the event as well. Well who am I to argue with the universe if I get to spend the eclipse with 3 friends now? It seemed that more than just the moon and sun were coming into alignment for this particular journey.
Sometimes traveling on the wind can be fun yet frustrating.
I’ve always been able to find adventure everywhere I go and this trip was no different. This year’s trip was overdue, needed and unexpectedly one of the best two weeks I have experienced on so many levels. After a long spell of recovery from a motorcycle accident and an Indiana winter, I was foaming at the mouth to get out and do something grand this year. The previous big trip was in October of 2015 and due to work and the accident the walls were starting to creep in on me. This is not how I like to live my life and my no means should one ever be incarcerated by their vocation and confined to a life that does not facilitate living life.
Sorry for the late update. Bill and I left TN the day after the eclipse and went our separate directions. I wound up in NC that night. The hotel had wifi…. obviously connected to a 1200K phone modem so I left and worked my way south to catch up with yet another friend. I have found intewebs and the speedy kind!!!!
So for all of those who wanted pictures of the event, here you go. I am still working on the composites of the eclipse from the 2 different cameras and the milky way photos captured over there my stay at Pigeon Roost.
But I wanted to get these thrown up anyways as it is and I’ll come back to the blog later when time permits.
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Update on my photography
Wow, what a year and huge steps into my personal photography. What started out as a venture to just increase my overall skill set as gone full bore, balls to the wall shutterbug nut. My focus was just step up my game in Landscape, Weather and Food photography but now I am doing it all. It would seem I am slowly developing a creative style beyond my original intentions for this blog and here I am today. Added notches to the camera strap include, Long Exposure, Astro, Macro and Portrait.
My journey in photography didn’t start with a smartphone. It started at a garage sale at the age of 10 where I procured an ancient Zeiss Ikon. I was able to get film and my father showed me some basics but I was dirt poor. There wasn’t much money and surely not much to get film processed. But this wasn’t my mother’s Brownie 110 so I was good.
Later in my teens I was loaned a Nikon FG with a small selection of AI-S lenses and I was off to the races for over a year. Using all manual lenses made you think and even more so with film. My cousin was into astrophotography so we would spend hours photographing the moon, stars and sunspots. There was a crazy solar maximum going on so it made sense to do so.
By the time I was 16 I was pretty busy with music, ham radio, being a teen and working. I worked at a video transfer company in Orlando which happened to be one of a few in the country at the time that did this. I would spend what seemed to be an eternity splicing 8mm and 16mm film together. We would then shoot this film through a loom lens into a video camera and record it to VHS. I did this for a long time until the business never caught up to the changing time of digital and went under.
My biggest regret is that I never got to keep any of this photos and videos of my youth. They were lost to my nomadic lifestyle.
So I got back into building custom PC’s this winter as I am still recovering from a motorcycle accident. It’s a perfect little indoor hobby to keep my. It also has reconnected me to some old friends since it has thrust me back into gaming. While I decide to dive into this build the big trend starting last year was RGB LED lighting in custom computers. I mean everyone has started to implement this but no one is doing it right! If they try to attempt to do it right it is usually encumbered by horrible software development.
5050 RGB LED
This standard RGB header which we see all the new motherboards coming out is a 4 pin type. It is not addressable which means you set a color on the chain they are are all that color. It makes for a very limited lighting solution as it is either all on, off, color and brightness for that channel. These types also require 12VDC which is good for lots of high current lighting, not so great for PC lighting as you don’t need a lot of current to run this limited amount of LEDs.
I haven’t had any time to play with these yet and I am not sure if many are still using this dated platform
The WS2801 is a “3-Channel Constant Current LED Driver With Programmable PWM Outputs”. It allows you to adjust the brightness of every LED in 256 steps using PWM. A WS2801 chip controls three channels, so you need one chip for every RGB LED. Theoretically this means the WS2801 strips can be cut next to every LED, but I haven’t seen any strips where this is the case. The chip runs on 3.3-5.5V.
Smart controller with easy control scheme
8 bits, 256 levels per channel, 16.7 million colors total
English datasheet available
The LPD8806 is a lot like the WS2801 with the following differences: it works from 2.7V up and has six channels allowing it to control two RGB LEDs. The downside is that it only does 7 bit PWM, making 127 brightness levels per LED for up to 21 bit color (2 million colors). There are no LPD8806 Arduino library.
More to come as I dive into this project on advanced LED lighting which this computer I am building is the test bed. Eventually at he end of the day when I start building my next home I will leveraging what I am developing here and doing a hybrid electrical system in the house. My goal will be to light the house off of 99% solar/wind power. Stay tuned!
I keep wonder how in today’s society that the most basic thing we call communication has broken down. It’s so broke, now people can’t even say what they feel and resort to memes (I hate them for the most part). Being a very active man and single people come in and out of my life frequently. But now I see this growing trend in people that they cannot nor will not effectively communicate their thoughts, intentions or feelings. Continue reading
About a month ago I decided to remove Facebook from my S5A. I was doing some research on a few things and oddly enough one evening while having a conversation with my roommate on an unrelated topic. Low and behold ads starting to show up on my Facebook feed about what we were taking about. This was a freaky moment, I knew Facebook was tracking all sorts of things with their super cookies but this was a little too much.
Starting something like this is not as fun as it used to be. After the 100’s of websites I have built over the years the luster of site creation has lost its luster. Fear not, I prod along wasting bytes of data just to get this thing up to speed. Lots of work has gone into just setting up separate social media avenues that are me but not me, just linked directly into this blog. One of these things…. where I’d like to keep my private life away from this as much as possible.
So today I’m jacked in hard to the matrix, connected via Facebook, G+, Twitter and more to be added. Cross posting like mad to see what takes and what doesn’t. I think the biggest perk is I’ve pretty much removed all the social media static from my phone which allows me to save battery life and do other stuff other than stare at the phone. Hopefully you too will become allergic to staring at LCD screens and start noticing what’s going on around you.
I’m not sure what it will be other than me documenting my life, experiences and thoughts. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t fit into Facebook, G+, Instagram or other avenues of social media. I am so over memes, tweets and snap-chats it makes my stomach turn. If you are going to make the effort to share something with the internet or your friends…. make it worth while!!
I picked up a leather bound journal recently and think it will live in my camera bag indefinitely. I have this urge to travel again and like many things in life I just enjoy it to it’s fullest. It is real hard to categorize me, thus the time is upon me to throw it all on a wall and see what sticks.
My favorite definitions of “Lyfe” on Urban Dictionary is this…
Sometimes you can have a Freudian slip and just randomly let out a loud sigh in the middle of class: “LYFE.” that word alone with the presence of the “y” speaks a thousand words.
So I am not sure what it will be or become, I do know my “Lyfe” is fun and adventurous so if it can inspire, change, educate, entertain you or just merely give you another perspective on things then I will consider it a bonus as I air out my thoughts and experiences on the internet.