Wait a minute ~ It’s Zeke…

Zeke 554He has posted a story about weighty matters and even has pictures. Hey, I recognize those scales. They are my former Tanita IronMan 554 that Zeke purchased from me–looks like a happy pumpkin.

Glad you are enjoying your "new" [to you] scales and that you have plans to put them to use real soon.

Thanks for your entertaining article [post], the pictures, the acknowledgement & links. Thanks to your better-half for the seasonal & delightful pictures.

I’m working on a project ~ 10/30

…and have been for the better part of this week. Remember this fellow. Well, I’ve had it since February or so. I’ve used it with my Canon 35mm, but did not put it to use as expected.

Given the Maria Parker blogcast [I thought I may have coined a new term—nyet!], I have been thinking of things to do to enhance coverage should I ever do such an event again.

Here is what I’m working on and have commented on to a few in recent post & comments. I’m using one of my webcams on the top of the panohead. Using the AutoMate [Don French’s name for his panohead and software], I can pan and tilt my WebCam using my iPaq 5555 Pocket PC. Did you get that? Using software, I can sit at a computer several hundred feet away and control the panohead. That’s through the magic of Bluetooth technology.

The WebCam connects to a computer via USB cable [which is limited to about 30 meters using 5 hubs—not very elegant and not for rainy weather]. So, how do I lengthen the tether or have no tether at all. A bit of brainstorming and I arrive at a laptop that has a Wi-Fi connection to my hub. Through the software I can see the streaming video and control the panohead. Well, my broken Tablet PC [crushed in my ’08 Cycle NC baggage] is even better and cheaper than another laptop. So, off to Motion Computing it went today for repair.

I’ll use a larger 6-volt battery for the panohead for all-day video streaming. I’m modifying one of my waterproof gym bags to hold the Tablet PC, the battery, etc. I may use an umbrella for shade and some rain protection. The first thing that came to mind for rain protection is a coke bottle [of sorts]. I’d want to use glass though. An umbrella introduces a stick in the view for 360° panning. An umbrella may work except for blowing rain. I’ve tested all of the concept [except the rain part] that I’m presenting.

Now, you may ask: how do you get access to the stream? I’ll have a streaming video page for you to select a link to see the vid. I have also tested with the WebCam on my laptop. I’m not sure you want or need close ups of me doing what I do. It is possible, because I’ve tested it. At the Maria Parker coverage, I had my house phone and could have made and received calls from my VOIP phone system. With this setup, video conferencing  is possible.

I’m brief here. Over the next several weeks, I’ll give more details on the development of this package. I do not know if I’ll blogcast again; if I do, I’ll have some cool stuff for you to experience.

I want your comments and ideas. Thanks!


10/30 Tidbit

Photo from Maria's CrewRemember Maria Parker and the 46-seconds iPhone video I shot of her as she passed the lap marker has soared to the number 2 spot on my all time list of page views. My Catrike 700 page formerly held that spot.

Congrats to Maria for being the popular subject in my little vid and garnering such interest. As I shot it, I had no idea how popular it would be. It continues to receive multiple daily views.

Cycling Experiences All Time Top 10 as of 10/30/09

It’s like magic—well almost…

Late last night [or early this morning], around 2:00 a.m., I setup my Tanita BC-1000 Scale, ANT+ USB Stick, and Garmin FR60 Watch, that I received yesterday. The entire process was like magic—uneventful. What a delight to have everything work so smoothly. Thank goodness I have Internet access because I had to download drivers from Garmin for the ANT+ USB stick [seems they would have been on one of the CDs in the package]. Also, to use the FR60 with Garmin Connect [GC] I had to download and install the ANT Agent. At the end of the process all I did [save weighing] worked. GOOD! [pity the poor soul who has no Internet and only wants the watch integrated with the ANT+ stick and the  Healthy Edge Software]. GC has a real nice wizard for the setup.

…the rest of the story…

On a tease from Zeke ~ 10/29

Tanita BC-1000 GroupI do not know that Id even be making this post except that a friend [remember Zeke] and reader of this blog made a statement regarding a special item he received today.

I didn’t get very good images of the new toy… I was going for a true “Jim Artis” effect and posting but, alas, it isn’t meant to be… The new toy is simply delivery of the new Blackberry Storm 2. I’ve been waiting on them to get released for sale and they finally showed up on the Verizon website yesterday. I have it charging now…

I’d likely just said, probably in a comment to this post “that the scale arrived.” But, no, in the “Jim Artis” Effect, I decided to do a bit more. So, this post is for you.

The scale did not arrive until 5:15 p.m. EDT. When I’m not waiting for a package, I see the UPS [and FedEx] truck mid-day. When I’m waiting–it is at the end of the day. I have not done any setup. I just took the picture above and prepared this article. BTW, this friend is the purchaser of my Tanita IronMan BC-554. After getting my package, I immediately went to ship his and made it before the UPS pick-up—drop off at 5:30 p.m. Thanks to Zeke for giving my BC-554 a worthy home.

The marketing pictures I have seen of this scale, the BC-1000, do not do it justice. It is a quality piece of workmanship. The box [now holding Zeke’s scale] and the reading materials are well done. I know that I’ll enjoy using my new toy.

I’ve been busy the last couple of days working on a new project. I’ll tell you what it is later [it is now later]. I think it will be useful and fun. Should I ever cover an event like I did Maria’s Parker’s ride, I’ll use it.

Welcome to the OWLE Bubo

The OWLE (Optical Widget for Life Enhancement) Bubo is a camera mount; stabilizer, repositioned microphone, and 37 mm wide-angle lens built for the iPhone 3GS that improves the quality of mobile video.

The simplest and yet most effective feature of the OWLE is that it’s built for to be held just like a standard camera. Taking photo’s and video is as much about the device as it is the subject. The OWLE give you the feeling that you can shoot any scene or cover any story with confidence.


The OWLE Bubo constructed of anodized billet aluminum and is basically indestructible. The Bubo is being introduced at a special price of $99.95 (MSRP $129.95) and will include a high quality Vericorder microphone, an aluminum .45x wide-angle/macro combo lens, a rubber iPhone case and an instruction booklet with recommended apps.  This discount will be extended to all of our customers for as long as possible.  We feel that is very important everyone has the ability to get the benefits of an OWLE for under $100 so we will try to make that price work until the plastic option is ready.

The information and pictures above are from the wantowle.com website.

Okay, why am I commenting on this device you ask. I have an iPhone 3GS which I find extremely functional. It is a very good photography platform. I think the OWLE BuBo raises its picture taking ability several notches [audio, lighting, & stability]. Given this functionality, I’m sure we’ll see lot more from innovative users. I’ve read lots about the product and the excitement in its availability [they started taking orders 10/27/09]. The developers Graham McBain & Harold B. Smith IV went from the prototype you see above to shipping in a little over 4 months. Lots of information at their website. And, yes I have one on the way.

Videos & Links

Potential interesting data~ANT+ Technology

I think this will be a curious walk into technology [I mentioned it earlier] as I try to maintain better fitness in 2010 than I did in 2009. Mind you, I have cycles [7 of them] and I have a Tanita IronMan BC-554 Scale.

But, this is different…

FR60 Train Indoors or Out

In the gym or on the road, Garmin FR60 tracks all your workout data, including time, heart rate, calories burned, lap times and averages, and more. FR60 boasts advanced training tools, such as training alarms and Virtual Partner™, which lets you race against a virtual training partner to improve your performance.

At the heart of its success is FR60’s wireless ANT+™ technology, which allows it to connect to other ANT+ compatible devices, like the included heart rate monitor, optional foot pod, or even ANT+ compatible fitness equipment.

Monitor your health

You can also track weight, body fat, body water and six other measurements when using the FR60 with the Tanita BC-1000 body composition scale. The readings are stored on FR60, then automatically sent to Garmin Connect when in range of your computer.

Add the Tanita BC-1000: 

bc1000 When using the Garmin FR60 or Forerunner 310XT Fitness Watches and their wireless technology, the readings of weight, body fat and body water are wirelessly displayed on the watch, while all nine readings are stored in the watch. When in range of a consumer’s computer, the information is automatically transmitted to the computer using the wireless USB Stick and captured with Tanita’s HealthyEdge Software and Garmin Connect.


A FootPod:

FootPod This tiny foot pod is small enough to attach to your shoelaces or fit in the mid-sole pocket of compatible shoes. It’s always ready to use, and a small, replaceable watch battery powers the foot pod for a year of training. Unlike simple pedometers, this foot pod uses advanced MEMS inertial-sensor technology to analyze your movements and is responsive to stride-length changes to achieve 98% accuracy for speed and distance. Additionally, this sensor measures running cadence to help you optimize your training.

Interesting combination of technology. All the data can be maintained in Garmin Connect [like magic—no wires—no uploads]. The FR60 is not a GPS watch—so no tracking of walking or running route. Call the iPhone 3GS—ready to meet that task with its array of running apps. At this point, I’ll probably do more walking than running [and I use to be a fairly serious runner]. I’m saving what left of my feet.

I do like the idea of recording my weight. In the past, I weighed frequently—just didn’t write it down and never body fat data. Those days will soon be gone. Again, this is an interesting combination of technology.

I’ll keep you informed. –jim