Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

Past Blogs

The Policy of the Photographer's Spouse.


I have a new policy that I recommend to all spouses, and special friends, of photographers.

If the photographer brings the camera's tripod to any activity, then you bring your book, or DS, or knitting. In this way, you can remain entertained while photography is happening. Also, you are less likely to be pressed into duty as a voice activated light stand.

Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend.


You may remember that I'm too cheap to pay the required $50 a year so that I can play Xbox games online. But this weekend, I get a free ride. T-Mobile is sponsoring free online Gold membership (that's marketing code for "can play online") from 9am on Saturday until 9am on Sunday.

I've yet to unlock some online-required achievements Carcassonne, Catan, and Uno, that I know of. Who's up for some play this weekend?

Voter's Pamphlet as Résumé.


The next time you receive a voter's pamphlet, read the candidate's statements. (There can be some particularly entertaining statements in the primary elections.) I have found that there are two basic types of statements - the "what's wrong with the current administration" statement and the "experience and accomplishments" statement. I look at these statements as the candidate's résumé, and I find a list of complaints very unconvincing as a job application.

Wil Wheaton Would Turn His Flash Off.


There are only a few reasons why an event or attraction will declare "no flash photography":

You wouldn't want anyone to get hurt because you've blinded them, right? You don't want to be "that jerk" in the audience, do you? Take a couple minutes now and learn how to turn the flash off on your camera.

In many of these cases, your pictures probably won't turn out well, even with the flash firing. The effective range of the flashes on most consumer level cameras is, at best, 20 feet. Visualize that - that's roughly the length of a car. If your subject is any further than that, and you don't have a tripod, you're wasting your time. If you must try for pictures anyway, please turn your flash off and don't ruin the show for the rest of us.



The <noscript> element can be used indicate content to be displayed if the desired scripting language (usually JavaScript) is not available in the browser. Here are a couple of finer points about <noscript> that I'd like to remember:

The Cost of Being Poor.


The Seattle PI Times published an article discussing the expenses of being poor. Little in the article surprised me; though perhaps it's surprising to many people.

The article was pretty interesting, but I would have like to see more examples of the costs of being poor. For instance, health insurance is expensive; but it's far cheaper than emergency room visits. An old beater of a car is cheap, but in a collision, the occupants of that beater are much more likely to be injured, and much more severely. Also, it is more expensive to eat healthy.

Nothing Lasts Forever.


We have only brief temporal intervals in which we can enjoy the things we love. Examples:

Is Captain Ron's the Dory Cove?


The Dory Cove was a tiny seafood joint just north of Lincoln City with a dining room full of seafaring kitsch. More importantly, it was the best restaurant on the Oregon Coast, and very likely served the best clam chowder in the world. Sadly, the Dory Cove burned down in late 2006.

Storefront for Captain Ron's / Dory Cove About a year later, a new restaurant opened up in Lincoln City - Captain Ron's. It appears that Ron's was the successor to the Dory Cove, inheriting their menu, cookbook and even some kitchen staff. Despite the somewhat less "vintage" appearance, the husband and I checked Captain Ron's out during our trip to the Oregon Coast this spring.

Menu from Captain Ron's / Dory Cove Captain Ron's may have a bit of an identity crisis, but it's rather less than the Dory cove, sadly. Short of a time machine, the Dory Cove is gone, and it will never be replaced. If you do go to Captain Ron's, go for the chowder; somehow it's not as good as at the Dory Cove, but it's quite good. Skip the fried seafood - it was all quite heavy on the "fried" and light on the "seafood".

HGTV as Real Estate Market Indicator.


I often leave HGTV on the TV while I'm cleaning the kitchen. (For a network that's supposed to be about homes and gardens, I've never seen a show about landscaping.) Most of the shows I see on HGTV are about housing and the real estate market. In fact, I've noticed that HGTV can be a broad indicator of the real estate market.

About two years ago, while the real estate market was just starting to crash, nearly every show on HGTV was about buying (or selling) a house; the real estate agent helps folks find their dream houses; "Flip That House"; three properties are shown, and the couple picks one; someone buys their very first home.

But nowadays, there are several new shows on HGTV, and house-flipping shows are nowhere to be seen. Such as, an agent takes folks to find their dream rental / apartment. There are a couple of different shows about why a house has been on the market for so long. There's even another show about remodeling homes to add rental space - so that the homeowners can get a little help with their mortgage payments.

I shall feel that the real estate market is truly back on the rise when I see the boom-time programming of old back on HGTV.

Costco For The Win.


Costco has always had crazy cheap photo prints.

I was further delighted when they started offing a digital upload service a few years ago - I could upload my digital pictures from my home computer. I did have to go to the store to pick the prints up, but it was no big deal, because I lived barely half a mile away from a Costco.

I ordered some new prints last week, and discovered that Costco will mail the prints to me - FREE! I ordered 5 prints for 71 cents (13 cents each with 6 cents sales tax) without leaving my house. When's the last time you got anything for 71 cents?!? I bet you had to drive (or spend travel time) to get it.

I don't think you are grokking how awesome this is. Perhaps I should post pictures of other 71 cent items for context.

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