Archive for October, 2010

One Year

A year ago today we closed and moved in to our house in Medford! It doesn’t feel like we’ve been here a full year, yet thinking back to living in our old place seems like years ago. Not much has changed to the house since we bought it, as we haven’t had the money for all the big projects we imagined, but we kept ourselves busy with plenty of small ones. I was just noting to myself how much happier life has been in the last year, now without the stress of a crazy commute, questionable renters, insane neighbors, and the ups and downs of trying to sell the old house. Not to mention all the extra space! We have no regrets with this house, and hope it brings us many more happy years ahead.

Posted from Medford, Massachusetts, United States.

2010 Mustang

I’ve been driving a 2010 Mustang Convertible for the past week, a covered rental while the BMW is at Sublime finally getting a new rear bumper after the accident way back in April.

After requesting something cheap, I was surprised when Enterprise dropped off the Stang, and even a little excited. Sure the V6 has some power and the rear wheel drive is enjoyable, but it is amazing just how far corners can be cut to make the affordable American pony car.

The automatic transmission is by far the worst I’ve driven; it takes several seconds from flooring the pedal to gear catching and eventual acceleration. Brakes are extremely soft and mushy with no precision. Steering slightly better than a pickup truck. Suspension feels like an old mattress, bucking and diving drastically even at slow speeds as you operate the pedals.

The most disappointing is the chassis. Apparently Ford has managed to build the whole frame out of 100% American rubber. Though the queen bed suspension absorbs an initial shock, the whole car ripples afterwards like Jello. Massachusetts’ signature crappy pavement blurs your vision and vibrates your arms.

However, it is a great-looking Mustang, and the first opportunity I’ve really had to drive a convertible. The 55-degree temperatures didn’t stop me from driving home with the top down on the first day. After all, it has a powerful American heater.

DB Wings

Anniversary Sketch

It’s hard to believe that we’ve had the BMW over a year now. As a reminder, BMW sent a nice 1-series concept sketch print. Not quite the tons of fun stuff that MINI sends you, but still a nice thought.

Spicy bacon chicken corn chowder

One of my favorites

Geotagging with PlaceTagger

Many modern photo gallery sites (as well as my own) now support geotagged photos–displaying where exactly they were taken on a map. Very few cameras, however, have a built-in GPS. For years I had considered getting a specific gadget for doing so, for $100-200 it is essentially a small GPS logging device that you later sync with software on your computer that matches up the time of each photo to find where it was taken and adds that information. But with the iPhone, you already have all you need.

PlaceTagger was one of the first iPhone apps to do this, and I grabbed it when it debuted a few years ago, but had only used it occasionally. Last month’s trip to Europe was the perfect opportunity to record the location of the hundreds of photos that I took. With the iPhone 4, PlaceTagger barely uses any battery either, about 5% per hour, and runs nicely in the background.

Typically the computer PlaceTagger app finds your iphone on the same network and works very easily to find its data. However I came across some trouble thanks to changing time zones. After some research, it turns out that PlaceTagger records time in GMT, then assumes the camera is set to the time zone of your computer. Of course that wasn’t true with my home computer. I had to export an XML file with the date range, then search & replace the times to correct for it (in my case, setting everything 5 hours ahead). Had I left my camera set to EDT, I wouldn’t have had that trouble.

So as I slowly start adding my Europe photos to my galleries, be sure to look for the Map link in most photos to see where they were taken. Of course, the iPhone does this all automatically for any photos taken with its own camera.