Dallas and London

Wow. It’s been forever since I last updated my blog — not since early July. Let’s see if I can think of what all has happened since then, reliably chronologically.

In mid-July I went with my wife to Dallas — she was attending a Mary Kay convention, I went to Six Flags and had a great time. I bought my Six Flags ticket online and save a fair bit of money but ended up spending what I side to get a little device that lets you virtually stand in line — you place the device by a special sign near a ride you are interested in and it then tells you when to come back — you are now free to walk around the park. When your time to ride comes up, you just go near the ride exit and pretty much just get right on. This device is worth the money if you are by yourself or in a small group. May not be worth it if you have six kids with you as you. Everyone in a group must ride together, I think.

Later in July I went with a friend to test out his new scuba gear at Blue Hole, Santa Rosa. We had some good dives including a dusk dive when it was raining. The rain looked neat from under water.

In August we took a vacation to London which was a lot of fun. The only downside to vacationing in London is it is really expensive. Everything is about twice as expensive in London as it is in the United States. Saw most of the touristy stuff around the city, rode the tube a lot, went on a tour out to Bath, Salisbury, and Stonehenge (which was very cool) and took a day trip/tour down to Paris. Paris was neat although kind of short. The highlight was walking through the catacombes. I figured out how to use my Canon A80 in low light conditions by using a long (1 second) exposure. Since I didn’t have a tripod I had to hold the camera VERY still, but, many of the pictures did come out quite nicely.

In September I started working on a Linux system to run MythTV. I have been a long time ReplayTV lover but ReplayTV lacks a lot of scheduling flexibility which MythTV has and is free software with no monthly fee. MythTV has been a bear to get running. I “almost” have it up and stable now, I think. Now I am just having problems with channel 4 coming in, which seems really strange. I think it is probably related to IVTV (the software that controls the Hauppauge WinTV cards I am using). Maybe the problems will shake out soon.

Also in September, after 3 months of training, I received my Yellow Belt with Green Stripe in (ITF) Taekwon-Do. I go for my Green Belt in December.

In early-mid October I am planning on going to Roswell, NM with some friends to dive Bottomless Lakes. Should be fun.

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