Cerebral Gibberish

What's on my mind, might just blow yours.

A MP3 player for the 80’s

Posted by heymoe on May 1st, 2008

I came across this really neat retro 80’s looking tape cassette MP3 player. It looks like tape cassette (whatever those things are.. hehe) but instead of tape it uses a SD card up to 2GB to hold your tunes. It contains a headphone jack and controls so you can take your music with you on the go.

Tape Cassette MP3 Player

Or, if you still have an actual tape cassette player, you can just pop the MP3 player into the tape deck and listen to your MP3s as if it was a real tape cassette. The MP3 player cost ~$40 and can be purchased online at ThinkGeek. Long live the 80’s!

Posted in Entertainment, Internet / Tech | 1 Comment »

Falls Lake

Posted by heymoe on April 26th, 2008

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While heading to Home Depot to pick up some yard supplies, I decided to make a detour to Falls Lake (one many to come I think) and continue my exploration of local parks. When I left the house the sun was out with some clouds but nothing that looked like rain. While heading down Highway 50 the skies opened up with a really good down pour maybe about 2 miles from Falls Lake. I kept on going despite the rain figuring it would end as quickly as it started and I was right.

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Falls Lake is pretty big so this little detour is only a taste of what future visits will hold. Since this was my first visit to Falls Lake, I took the first turn off I came upon on Highway 50 which turned out to the the Highway 50 Boat Launch area. I was not really interested in the boats so luckily there was a picnic area and a trail down to the water with bridge over a spillway. The water level was high enough that you could not tell there was a spillway there which I think is a good sign from the drought point-of-view. I was the first one down to the bridge since the rain just stopped but it did not take long for others to show up with fishing polls in hand. I did not see anyone catch anything while I was there though. On the other side of the bridge was a man-made land bridge that went all the way across to the other side of the lake.

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I didn’t see a lot of wildlife while I was there but did come across two geese so I practiced using my zoom lens on them. My photos of the geese are nothing to write home about but it was still fun “stalking” them to get into position for the shots. I did not adventure to far off the main path this time around and I was very careful where I was stepping especially on the loose rocks. I did not want to have another unexpected run in with a snake like I did at Pullen Park.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Posted in Photography, Travel | No Comments »

There’s a Cat at the Door

Posted by heymoe on April 26th, 2008

Here is another video in continuation of my previous post: Cat Wake up Call. So without further ado I present: Simon’s Cat in “Let Me In”


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Wine, Skydiving and Barbers: Oh My!

Posted by heymoe on April 20th, 2008

Phew! The weekend is over.. Finally.. Saturday was the annual Uncork the Fun wine festival in Cary and since I forgot to buy tickets advance, I got up early so I could get there when the gates open to beat the lines. Getting their early also had the benefit of not having to deal with the lines at each of the wineries’ tents which allowed me to take my time while sampling their selections without feeling rushed by the line of people behind you. This year several wineries put out wines made wholly from strawberries or as a blend with traditional wine grapes. The strawberry concoctions typically ranged from semi-sweet to OMG sweet. I bought one of these concoctions that had a semi-sweet to sweet start and finished with an interesting “kick” that caught my attention vs. the others I sampled. Any ways, sometime between getting there and around 1pm, when I took a break for lunch, I started to feel really “happy” after all the tasting and Casey has the voice mail to prove it 🙂 hehe..

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At around 2:30pm I decided I tasted all that I could and it was getting crowded so I hit the road and headed to Carolina Sky Sports in Franklinton NC. to check out their facilities and to get more information on jumping out of an airplane. Getting there was pretty easy and the drive down Highway 56 was scenic. Being that this is the first drop zone I’ve been to, I have no reference on how good or bad it is compared to others but I liked what I saw and everyone I talked to were really nice and were more then happy to answer any questions I had.

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There was a large observation deck out back and I was able to take some photos of some skydivers making their way back to Terra Firma. Well, after talking and watching for a bit, I decided I really wanted to jump from an airplane so I went and asked about scheduling a jump. They told me that due to the 4 straight weekends of rain they had a back log of people already scheduled but they did have spots for one or two people tomorrow (Sunday). At this point I gave Casey a call again, this time not so “happy”, to see if he was up for a jump and he was, so I scheduled us for the 2pm class and headed home.

To end my Saturday I watched Sweeney Todd on DVD. I was not sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. I thought Johnny Depp and Helena Carter did a great job playing Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett as was their singing.

On Sunday, Casey, Lindsay and I met up at Carolina Sky Sports for our 2pm class and the first line of business was to watch a short video explaining the dangers of skydiving. It was hosted by a guy who looked like he was a member of ZZ Top which was amusing. Next we had to sign away our ability to sue pretty much anyone that we, our family, our next of kin, etc could sue in the case we are injured or die from skydiving. Then we paid for the jump and moved to the training room were an instructor ran through the gear used and the process of the first Tandem jump. During this time we could hear a down pour of rain going on which caused a weather delay for the three groups ahead of us which means our jump also got pushed back. The weather delay was lifted not long after we got out of training and the weather was looking good… so we thought. When the third group was on their way up, Casey and I were called into to staging room where we were given a jump suite to squeeze into. Lindsay came in and took pictures of Casey and I in our jump suites and we all chatted with the other two guys and their family who were in our group. Our jump masters came in about 20 mins later after completing their jump with the previous group and attached the tandem harness to Casey and I. So at this point we were ready to go but another storm front moved in and we were grounded. We waited for a while hopping for it to clear but when it got to be around 6pm it was decided to call it a day so Casey, Lindsay and I spent 4 hours at Carolina Sky Sports and all we had to show for it was a rain check to try again later.

Weather 1, Skydiving 0.

We all agreed that the next time we make our attempt that we would try to talk two other friends to jump with us or at least have them come out and be our cheering squad as we fall from the sky (hopefully cheering for our safe decent 🙂 hehe). Lindsay has update their blog with her account of our skydiving adventure including the pictures she took so check them out.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Posted in Events, Home, Transportation, Travel | No Comments »

Bain Water Works

Posted by heymoe on April 13th, 2008

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Yesterday I joined up with about 40 other photographers at the old Bain Water Treatment Plant near downtown Raleigh to explore and take photos of the architecture among other things. I don’t know what it is but there is something about exploring old abandoned buildings. Maybe it’s neat to see how time puts a toll on things when there is no one around to maintain them. Maybe it’s the mystery that around the next turn when going down a dark corridor. Or maybe it’s just the models who are there posing for the cameras 😛 hehe. Whatever it is, it’s just a lot of fun.

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I spent just about 5 hours at the location exploring the different levels and rooms and there was still a lot left to see. The Bain Water Treatment Plant went online in mid-1940 to meet the demand for city water. The architecture of the building falls into the Art Deco style which included a two-story lobby with a circling mezzanine on the upper level and stairways rising to both sides and ornamental details applied throughout. The facility eventually closed down in the 1987 and used as storage during most of the 1990s. In 1999 the facility was sold to Capital Area Preservation, Inc. and Historic Preservation Advisors, LLC who are planning on renovating the building to house shops, restaurants and / or office space.

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While there I got to try out some of my new toys that I got in the last few weeks for my camera. First up was the Nikon MB-D80 which acts as both a multi-power battery pack for my Nikon D80 as well as a portrait grip which includes access to a secondary shutter release, both command dials and focus/exposure lock button. Next up is the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO Macro DG HSM lens which allows me to get some really close close-ups and seems to work great for taking portraits. My last new toy is the Nikon SB-800 flash. I really enjoyed using the flash and learning how bouncing and defusing the light effects the photos. I also got to test out the wireless mode of the flush which not only allows me to light up an area from a different direction but also gives me a second light source when used in conjunction with the camera’s built in flash. Really cool stuff.

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Oh yeah, did I say models? I sure did. For the most part the photos I take are typically landscapes, flowers, nature stuff, etc.. but that all changed yesterday. There were 4 female and 2 male models were there and everyone was allowed to take photos of them as long as you where courteous and gave the photographer who was working with the model priority. The type of modeling going on ranged from high-fashion to goth / punk and all of them were really nice despite being surround by multiple photographers. It was really cool and I think I got a lot of great shots for my first try at taking photos of people / models. I want to thank all of the models that were there and if any of you happen to see this and would like a copy of any of the photos I have for your portfolio, just drop me an email. Thanks again!

Well there you have, that is how I spent my Saturday.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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NOTE: Photos of the models are in separate sub-folders of the main “Bain Water Works” folder so click on the “More Photos Here” link above to see the sub-folders for each model.

Posted in Photography, Travel | No Comments »

WRAL Azalea Gardens

Posted by heymoe on April 13th, 2008

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A guy I meet at a Flickr meetup told me about the WRAL Azalea Gardens so I make a quick trip to check it out since the Azaleas where in bloom. The garden is small when compared to Duke Gardens but none the less a worth while place to visit when the azaleas are in bloom. While walking down the garden’s maze like paths, you are surround by a wide array or colors from all the different azalea plants. It’s very impressive. Next to the azalea garden is a somewhat large grassy area which is nicely landscaped and bordered by other colorful flora. I don’t know if you’re allowed to but it would make a nice place to have a small picnic with someone special I think.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Posted in Photography, Travel | No Comments »

Free Film Developing

Posted by heymoe on April 7th, 2008

For one day only (04/09/2008) you can get one roll of film developed for free at a Walgreens store with the below coupon. I guess you could go to multiple Walgreens stores if you have more then one roll of film you need to get developed on Wednesday if you wanted. Click here for more details and additional coupons.

Free File Developing

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ThinkGeek: New Products

Posted by heymoe on April 1st, 2008


ThinkGeek has some really cool products available today on their website. Some notable ones include:

* Wireless Extension Cords
* Spazztroids – Caffeinated Breakfast Cereal
* Betamax to HD-DVD Converter
* PTeq – USB Pregnancy Test
* CaffeDerm
* Super Pii Pii Brothers Game
* PC HabiCase

… and Much Much More.. Check them out. Get them while they last.

Posted in Entertainment, Internet / Tech | No Comments »

Skydiving Anyone?

Posted by heymoe on March 31st, 2008

Sky Drive

I’m thinking that this year is going to be the year I jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Does anyone else what to join me? I’m still researching Drop Zones but so far it looks like the closest one is Carolina Sky Sports located in Franklinton, NC. which is about 45 mins. from my house. Of course the jump will be a tandem jump where you are connected to an instructor who does most of the work and you’re just there for the ride. The jump consists of about 60 seconds of free fall time at 120 M.P.H. and then about a 6 min. parachute ride back to the ground. Carolina Sky Sports charges $195 for the first tandem jump. It looks like there might be opportunities to get a 10% discount depending on the day of the jump.

If we get hooked and want to get our Class ‘A’ Skydiving license, the total cost will be ~$2,500 which consists of 25 jumps. After getting the license, jumps cost $24 + $15 if you need to rent the gear which seems reasonable after the initial training costs.

So if anyone else wants to join me in this adventure let me know.

Posted in Transportation, Travel | No Comments »

Duke Gardens

Posted by heymoe on March 23rd, 2008

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Today was such a nice day I decided to get out of the house and visit Duke Gardens for the first time. I guess this could also count as yet another local park I’ve explored as well. Any ways, after taking a wrong turn due to me not writing the direction down correctly, I arrived just to realize that a) A lot of people are spending their Easter afternoon here or b) A lot of people are just spending their afternoon here. There were two parking lots and both were full of course but after making a circuit or two around the lots, I was able to get a parking spot. Parking was listed as costing $2.00/hour with a max of $8.00 but they only charged me $2.00 for two hours which was just the amount of cash I had on me and they don’t take credit cards for parking. There is no charge for visiting the gardens which was nice.

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The gardens are divided into four sections: The Doris Duke Center, The Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, The Terraces and The Blomquest Garden of Native Plants. The Doris Duke Center acts as the welcome center and gift shop as well as a library and classroom space. The Culberson Asiatic Arboretum garden features ~550 species of flora from eastern Asia. The Terraces’ main attraction is, well, the terraces which were full of color from the wide range of flowers and the New Jersey limestone. Last but not least The Blomqueist Garden of Native Plants which features, can you guess, ~900 species and varieties of regional native plants.

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You could see the signs of the drought pretty much everywhere in the gardens especially the south lawn in the Terraces garden which was fenced off and looked really dry but I guess that might just be how that type of grass looks in early spring. A lot of plants and trees were still leafless but I figure in a few more weeks the gardens will really be hopping. Two hours was not enough time for me to explore all 5 miles of paths and trails so I will definitely have to go back. Hopefully next time there will be fewer people wondering around and I’ll have a zoom / macro lens to get up close to the flowers.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Posted in Photography, Travel | No Comments »

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