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John Ross-Storage for the Travelling Photographer

Tuesday, May, 24 2016

John Ross, Guest on the Good Neighbor Show, Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Topic:  LaCie Rugged RAID portable hard drive

My search for a tough and reliable hard disk to house all the photos I take on my many road trips came to a very successful conclusion. 

Thanks to the PR folks at LaCie, I was able to acquire and test their Rugged RAID 4 Terabyte hard drive.  To label it rugged is an understatement.  I have seen other photographers and individuals using an orange colored drive before, but I had never really examined it closely.  It is encased with a rubberized skin that inherently protects it from the elements and the casual drops that everyone seems to do.  It is shock, dust and water resistant.  It is IP54 rated for dust and water, with a 1.5 meter drop in non-operating mode.  It also comes bundled with a password encryption – AES 256bit software encryption.

The internal storage is actually 2 hard drives , set up in a Hardware RAID 0 or 1, with RAID 0 being the default.   RAID 0 is much faster, but RAID 1 is more secure. I may only have 2TB of storage actually being used, but I am comforted with the fact that the other 2TB is ensuring my once in a lifetime photos are secure.

The device is bus powered, with either Thunderbolt (Mac) or USB 3.0 (Windows or Mac). The speed of Thunderbolt is impressive. When you are moving large image files, that speed really comes into play.  The bus power means you are not looking for another AC receptacle and are truly mobile.

I use this drive in the field for all my photo storage needs.  I can put it in my backpack or camera case and not worry about it taking the shocks inherent in an active lifestyle.

It hits the average price point , about $100 per Terabyte.  Retail for this unit is $419.99. 
I highly recommend you check this hard drive out for travelling purposes.

posted by: Kathy Keene 1 day ago Comment On This Post


Friday, Apr, 15 2016

Go ahead and eat and enjoy fast food, but don't stop counting calories when you're facing that menu board. To keep calories in check, follow these five rules developed by Dr. Jessica Bartfield, an internal medicine physician at Loyola University Health System:

1. Select grilled rather than fried.
A fast-food grilled chicken sandwich has 470 calories and 18 grams of fat, while the fried version has 750 calories and 45 grams of fat.

2. Pass up the cheese, mayonnaise and salad dressings unless low-fat options are available.
Cheese can add an additional 100 calories or more per serving, as does mayonnaise, and you probably won't miss the taste when ordering the plainer versions.

3. Order the smallest size available.
Go for the single burger rather than the double, and order the small fries rather than the super size.

4. Skip the sugar-sweetened drinks.
Beverages sweetened with sugar don't have much nutritional value and don't make you feel more satisfied. In addition, calories from sugar quickly add up, leading to excessive calorie consumption, especially at restaurants offering free and unlimited refills on drinks.

5. Save half of your order for your next meal.
Bring your own take-home dish and scoop half your food into it before you even take the first bite. This will not only save calories, but also time and money.

posted by: Kathy Keene 1 month ago Comment On This Post

Good Old Family Values

Thursday, Apr, 14 2016

Family Circle magazine surveyed 2500 adults asking them how they felt about family values.

    Should a couple stay together for the children? 51% of the men said absolutely. 35% of the women said yes.

    What age should your children move out? 55% said once an adult child can afford to move out they should. 18% said their children can stay until they are 25. 14% said they should move out when they get married.

    90% said they believe children should be allowed to pray in school. 76% believe it should be against the law to burn the American flag.

    67% believed in fertility drugs are good because they help people have babies. 18% said fertility drugs are unnatural and should be outlawed.

    78% said there should be a law banning the use of cell phones while driving.

    94% believe that having metal detectors in schools is a good idea. 76% believe random drug testing should be allowed in high schools.

    83% believe that spanking is an acceptable form of discipline.

    36% said "living together" is never acceptable. 27% said cohabitation is fine, while 30% said it was up to the couple and it was not anyone else's business.

posted by: Kathy Keene 1 month ago Comment On This Post

Germiest Public Places

Wednesday, Apr, 13 2016

Avoid touching these surfaces in public places to stay healthy. An average adult can touch as many as 30 objects within a minute, including germ-harboring, high-traffic surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, phone receivers, and remote controls. At home, you do all that you can to keep the germs at bay. But what happens when you step out the door to go to dinner, do some grocery shopping, or visit the doctor's office? Know where germs are most likely to lurk.

Restaurant menus
Have you ever seen anyone wash off a menu? Probably not. Cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. If it's a popular restaurant, hundreds of people could be handling the menus--and passing their germs on to you. Never let a menu touch your plate or silverware, and wash your hands after you place your order.

Lemon wedges
According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Environmental Health, nearly 70% of the lemon wedges perched on the rims of restaurant glasses contain disease-causing microbes. When the researchers ordered drinks at 21 different restaurants, they found 25 different microorganisms lingering on the 76 lemons that they secured, including E. coli and other fecal bacteria. Tell your server that you'd prefer your beverage sans fruit. Why risk it?

Condiment dispensers
It's the rare eatery that regularly bleaches its condiment containers. And the reality is that many people don't wash their hands before eating. Squirt hand sanitizer on the outside of the condiment bottle or use a disinfectant wipe before you grab it. Holding the bottle with a napkin won't help; napkins are porous, so microorganisms can pass right through.

Restroom door handles
Don't think you can escape the restroom without touching the door handle? Palm a spare paper towel after you wash up and use it to grasp the handle. Yes, other patrons may think you're a germ-phobe--but you'll never see them again, and you're the one who won't get sick.

Soap dispensers
About 25% of public restroom dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria. Soap that harbors bacteria may seem ironic, but that's exactly what a recent study found. Most of these containers are never cleaned, so bacteria grow as the soap scum builds up. And the bottoms are touched by dirty hands, so there's a continuous culture feeding millions of bacteria. Be sure to scrub hands thoroughly with plenty of hot water for 15 to 20 seconds--and if you happen to have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, use that, too.

Grocery carts
The handles of almost two-thirds of the shopping carts tested in a 2007 study at the University of Arizona were contaminated with fecal bacteria. Swab the handle with a disinfectant wipe before grabbing hold (stores are starting to provide them, so look around for a dispenser). And while you're wheeling around the supermarket, skip the free food samples, which are nothing more than communal hand-to-germ-to-mouth zones.

Airplane bathrooms
When tested for microbes in the bathrooms of commercial jets, the surfaces from faucets to doorknobs were contaminated with E. coli. It's not surprising, then, that you're 100 times more likely to catch a cold when you're airborne, according to a recent study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research. Use your hand sanitizer.

Doctor's office
A doctor's office is not the place to be if you're trying to avoid germs. From the magazines in the waiting room to the doorknobs and the furniture you sit on, all contain bacteria.
Use a handiwipe or hand sanitizer when you leave the doctor's office.

posted by: Kathy Keene 1 month ago Comment On This Post

The Riskiest Driving Distractions

Monday, Apr, 4 2016

Do you multitask behind the wheel, such as reading and sending text messages, making phone calls or even eating a meal?  There's just one problem. That kind of behavior can kill you.  80% of all car crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver inattention.  U.S. News & World Report has identified some of the riskiest driving distractions.

1.  Texting
Texting is the most dangerous followed by dialing a cell phone.

2.  Dealing with our Kids
Passengers of any age are always a distraction, but the risk increases when those passengers are rowdy or rambunctious children.  When kids misbehanve in the car, parents naturally take their eyes off the road, and the result could be tragic.

3.  Playing with the Controls
If  you want to play that new CD or turn on the navigation system, set the controls before you pull out of your parking space.

4.  Eating
Eating or drinking while driving are distractions.  Dashboard dining doubles  your risk of a crash.  Some foods are more dangerous than other, especially hot liquids and greasy or gooey foods since they are more likely to spill.

posted by: Kathy Keene 1 month ago Comment On This Post

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