I suppose the big question at this point is this: just what am I planning to do with the site now? Didn't I make a big show of pledging to keep the blog updated in my last post over two years ago? Really, I don't have a good answer for that. All I can say is that I intend to use this site for things that can't be readily expressed in 140 characters or less. Opinions, observations, links, and anything I find interesting enough to put here - a view of the world from a spectator's point of view.
So much for that pledge, huh? I'd make it a New Year's resolution, but I'm sure we all know how well those tend to play out.
I guess the big news is that, after a little over ten years of active duty with the Navy, I'm headed back to civilian life. It's a bit earlier than originally planned (in a nutshell, medical issues), but I'm taking it in stride. I've achieved just about everything I set out to do with the Navy, and I'm looking forward to taking on the next challenge: I'm heading back to school.
Going to college full-time is always something I looked forward to doing at some point, even way back when I was just graduating from high school. A bachelor's degree was my ultimate goal - the only question was, how in the world was I going to pay for it? With my grades, scholarships of any kind were basically out of the question. Taking out loans and building up a mountain of debt wasn't the most attractive option, either. So, I decided to take option #3, and head off to the service. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, while I'm waiting for admissions decisions to come through in the spring, I'm looking at majors and electives and everything else that comes with heading off to school. Truth be told, I wasn't always this excited about the prospect of attending college; my 18-year-old self would tell you that yes, it was something to look forward to, if sometime well into the future (like, say, at least half a decade or so). Paying attention while sitting in a classroom for hours at a time wasn't one of my stronger points, though easier access to caffeine and snacks did help to alleviate that issue over time (while causing more than their share of trouble over the years themselves).
Thankfully, my older and arguably wiser current self knows better, and is relishing the opportunity for a fresh start (and on the government's dime, no less!). So, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the next few years will bring.
...the social networking game, that is. A while back, I setup a Facebook account, after MySpace nearly drove me to gouge my own eyeballs out with its garish design philosophy and horrible site coding that caused more Safari lockups than I bothered to count.
The problem is, I ended up jumping ship not long after I setup my account, focusing most of my attention span (what little there is of it) on Twitter, which requires very little focus to use: think of something short to post, type it up, and boom! Done. Follow the people you think are interesting, and that's about it.
Facebook, on the other hand, has many other options for interacting with your friends and followers. Post pictures, videos, and website links; create groups and fan pages; and find out who you might be interested in following based on who you're already friends with. To someone used to the utter simplicity of Twitter, it takes a bit to get back up to speed, but I think I've managed to strike a balance between the two that helps me to keep in touch with both old friends and new acquaintances.
I've setup Facebook to link with my Twitter account, so that everything I tweet (sans replies to other users) is automatically posted as a status update on Facebook. All I have to do is login to Facebook every once in a while to check for (and reply to) comments on my posts. I've also setup a link with my Flickr photostream, so that any photos I upload get posted to Facebook as well. The interaction between services is very convenient, saving the extra time it takes to copy, paste, and repost links every time I post or upload something.
So, the end result is that I get to keep in touch with friends and family back home more efficiently (and timely!) than ever. Ain't technology great?
If you're reading this, then you've found your way to the newest iteration of Spectator Mode, the sporadically-updated blog covering widely varying topics from photography and technology to sports and current events!
With a new location comes a new direction for this humble blog. No longer will there be a six month interlude between posts: as I now have working tools at my disposal, I hereby pledge to post something here at least once per month! (That, and my Twitter feed is prominently displayed in the sidebar, so you can just read that if you so desire.)
More importantly, however, is the focus not on the blog itself, per se, but on my media collection as a whole. As such, a post consisting of a Flickr slideshow will be permanently visible at the top of this blog, so that my latest shots will always be visible. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all, and since I snap better than I write, I'll let them do the talking for me.
So with that, welcome to the new site, and enjoy your stay!
This was a clip I shot way back in April, during the first half of the GW's cruise around South America. We were gearing up for an at-sea refueling with the USS Kauffman, a frigate that was accompanying us on the Atlantic side of the transit.
This is also the first video I've ever posted on the SpecMode site. Expect more in the coming weeks and months!
I really should learn to do a little basic research before I set out to buy something. Today's example:
I decided that, since my Apple TV is (like most of the rest of my belongings) still floating around somewhere in the Western Pacific, I would come up with a creative alternative: use my MacBook Air as a substitute, streaming my videos and music from the MBP in the next room to the TV. Missing from the equation: a Micro-DVI adapter for the Air, and a suitable cable to connect it to the TV. So, off to Akihabara!
A twenty-minute walk to Kitakurihama Station and roughly an hour and change on the train later, I make my way to the Mac Collection (mentioned in a previous post) to acquire the appropriate hardware. After carefully examining each of the options available (read: looking for the cheapest, shortest cable they had), I settled on a 2m DVI-DVI cable and the Micro-DVI to DVI adapter. A quick stop for dinner at Beckers, another train ride, and a stop at the supermarket later, I made my triumphant return to my domain.
Being a proactive sort, immediately after putting away the groceries, I pulled out the cable and went around the back side of the TV...and my folly became very quickly apparent.
I had forgotten to physically verify that the TV actually had a DVI input, as just about every other HDTV I've either owned or used has. It has HDMI, S-video, multiple composite inputs (but no component), a couple of coaxial inputs, RJ11 and RJ45 jacks, but no DVI input.
[cue sound of head impacting repeatedly against desk]
Looks like I'll be making a return trip sometime in the next couple days to correct my oversight. In any case, let this serve as a warning to anyone who might stumble onto this post: always make sure you know exactly what you need to buy, before you buy it!