Thoughts From My Life

December 2007 Archives - Page 1

Written by Neil Galloway
Roux At Tie Lake

Roux, a doberman, was laying out on the grass. About two feet away was a volleyball court so I think he was just pretending to sleep. I took this with my 10-20mm Sigma wide angle lens. Really stretched him out and made his face look big, but the rest of his body small.

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Written by Neil Galloway
Victoria Bay

This little bay was on one side of Saxe Point in Victoria, British Columbia. I liked the scene and some of the houses with the nice view.

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Written by Neil Galloway

Well, here is November's results. It was a great month for my passive income! New records which I am happy with. I received payments from Kontera and Adsense for passing the $100 thresholds.

Thoughts From My Life Traffic Stats for November

November's numbers and October's numbers are in brackets.

  • Page Loads: 5754 (5239)
  • Unique Visitors: 3016 (3049)
  • Average Uniques/Day: 100 (98)
  • Lowest Uniques/Day: 73 (60)
  • Highest Uniques/Day: 129 (142)

Traffic leveled out a bit more this month. My days are definitely more consistent with the 100 uniques/day being the average.

November Traffic
November 2007 Traffic

Thoughts From My Life Revenue

Overall, my earnings for November were $127.04. Here is the breakdown with last month's numbers in brackets.

  • PayU2Blog: $55.00 ($70.00)
  • Adsense: $41.71 ($34.62)
  • Kontera: $23.38 ($14.53)
  • PayPal: $6.95 ($0.00)
  • LinkWorth: $0.00 ($14.00)

My Adsense and Kontera set records for monthly earnings. This is my big plus as these are more the passive income sources for my site. I did fewer PayU2Blog articles so it lowered my earnings overall by a little bit.

Blog Revenue Summary

This blog has officially been live for a year now. I have grossed over US$1000 since I started this thing and now my actual profit is $800 after expenses. I have purchased my hosting for a couple years now so my expenses are fixed unless I do advertising or something.

My big change was a redesign of the site. I hope you all like it and I will be adding little features here and there over the next while.

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Written by Neil Galloway
Notre Dame

I managed to rest my camera on a large wood shelf to get this photo. I didn't have a tripod and it was super dark in Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal, Quebec.

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Written by Neil Galloway

Note: I am trying to win a contest for one of these. Please vote for Neil Galloway using voting form on the right side of the page at BenSpark.

Tagging photos with GPS information is becoming more and more popular with photographers and just enthusiasts with GPS. If you do not know what GPS is, it stands for Global Position System. Basically it involves a device that can detect satellites and determine the exact latitude and longitude of its location.

Digital photos contain extra information (called EXIF) in the file that includes info on the date, camera settings, and other data regarding the photo that was taken. Geo tagging means adding the GPS information into the EXIF data as well.

I have written about this in the past, but there is a new device out called the GiSTEQTM PhotoTrackrTM Lite. There is a contest to win one of these right now where you basically write an article like the one I did here. You can check out the details at Win a GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr Lite.

Why Geo Tag Photos?

There have been countless times I wish my photos were geo-tagged. My wife and I have been on several trips in the past few years. As you travel through countries it would be nice to know the exact location the photo was taken when you are looking back through the photos at home. Since 2004, I have traveled through Russia, Mongolia, and China; Eastern Africa; South East Asia; Ecuador and Peru; and I will be going to New York City this March. I keep details of these in the Thoughts From My Life Travel section on my site.

Everyone of my trips in the past few years I could totally have used the GPS data for my photos.

What Can You Do With Geo Tagged Photos

First and foremost, it is a good reference to have. You can always pinpoint the coordinates on Google Earth or some other application to figure out where you were when the shot was taken.

Applications are starting to come out that take advantage of geo tagging information as well. In April of 2007 I wrote about Adding Google Maps To Your Photo Album. This is a friend of mine who has written his own photo album and web page that utilizes the Google Maps API to display his photo collection.

Check out this sample photo or go check out Scott Carmichael's Photo Album. If you click on one of the flags, it will display the highlight photo for that album. You can zoom in closer on the map and see that his photos even have the detail of where they were taken within our city.

Scott Carmichael Photo Google Map

A lot of the on-line photo sharing sites support this as well. This includes Flickr, locr, and even sites like Google Earth.

How Can I Geo Tag My Photos?

PhotoTrackr Lite

There are devices on the market now that will let you do this. One of the blogs I frequent is called The Ben Spark and he has recently done a review for the PhotoTrackr. This device is made by GiSTEQ.

Basically, it is small lightweight GPS unit that also has an internal clock. Whenever you are traveling, make sure your camera's time and the PhotoTrackr's time are the same. When you upload your photos to your computer, you can then use the PhotoTrackr to add the GPS information into all your photograph. It looks at the date information for the photo and inserts the corresponding GPS information.

I haven't personally used this device, but I will definitely put it on the Christmas wish list. This device looks pretty nifty and has a few features I like in particular.

  • It uses AA batteries. Easy to find almost anywhere in the world and you don't need to carry another charger just for this.
  • The battery life is 14 hours. This isn't great, but it's not bad. If you turn it on when you are in photography mode and turn it off all the other times it should last you a little while. It also includes a vibration sensor for automatic powering on and off. It would suck if you forgot to turn it on.
  • They have their own software which lets you manage your photos. View them on one side of the screen and see the map location on the other side. You can view your photos based on the day you took them and you can give them titles and descriptions as well. There is even a trip route playback feature. Basically gives you a whole new way to look over your photos.
  • It is compact. A necessity.

For some more information, you can check out the product sheet for it: PhotoTrackrTM Lite.

The cost is reasonable as well. The price on it is about US$100 brand new and you find a list of retailers for GiSTEQ on their site.

There is also a video review you can check out below for the PhotoTrackr. If any of you have used it and have some opinions on it, please post a comment. If I don't win this, I seriously think I might just pony up and buy one.

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Written by Neil Galloway

This hippo was laying listless in the water in the Africa exhibit at the Calgary Zoo.

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Written by Neil Galloway

I have been using the DSOrganize web browser for the past little while. It works reasonably well. I decided to try the Okiwi homebrew web browser out at as well. It is in version 0.2 alpha right now.

It was simple to get running. It has a nice interface and is fairly simple to use as well. It renders the text and background colors, but I notice there are no other images and I could not actually click on the links for this site. I surfed to a few others sites and the links worked just fine though.

How Does It Compare To DSOrganize

It definitely isn't as polished, but it is a good start. He is actively working on it as well, so you can expect features to be added.

Getting It To Run

The setup is very simple. Make sure to check out the site and go to the Okiwi Blog if you have any other problems or want further instructions. It is written partially in Spanish and English, so you will need to skip through to the parts you can read.

  • Download the latest version from the Okiwi SourceForge Page. At this time I am using 0.2 Alpha.
  • Unzip the download into its own folder. There is a folder called okiwi and a couple of application files, okiwi.nds and okiwi.ds.gba.

  • I don't know if I needed to, but I patched the okiwi.nds file with the DLDI for my hardware.

    I have written an instruction page on doing this called Patching NDS Homebrew With DLDI. Follow the instructions there and then continue on here.

  • Copy the okiwi folder and okiwi.nds file onto your memory card.
  • Boot your NDS and start the application. The first boot up takes a little while. You should see a green spinning circle on the bottom screen for a couple minutes.

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Written by Neil Galloway
Sailboat In Victoria

This sailboat was just coming in off of Saxe Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia. Just over to the right of where this photograph was taken is the Esquimalt Canadian naval facility.

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Written by Neil Galloway

Aeroplan points are a great way to get a little bit of a return on your purchases. You need to be careful though. Never spend more money just to to get Aeroplan miles (or extra Aeroplan miles) unless the value of points you are getting are more than the extra money you have to spend.

I have written a number of articles on this including Collecting Aeroplan Points and Their Value, Aeroplan Versus Air Miles - Comparing Them, and New York City Using Aeroplan Points.

One great way to squeek out some more points is to find coupons and Aeroplan special offers that are going on. I was looking around the other day and found a few places that offer Aeroplan deals to get more points.

Air Canada Aeroplan Special Offers

Check out the Air Canada Aeroplan Special Offers page. I just found this on their Air Canada website. This is a page on their website that advertises deals that are currently on.

For example, as of December 4th, 2007 they have extra Aeroplan points available for booking flights between certain destinations, booking on-line, and for purchasing their fall flight passes. There are 3,500 bonus miles for booking return flights between London and a Canadian location or triple your miles if you book executive class. I'm certain that the executive class will not pay for itself in extra point, but I didn't do the math.

If you happen to be flying and can take advantage of these, make sure to check it out.

Rewards Canada Site

This site has a whole collection of the various Aeroplan miles deal that are on right now. Check out their Aeroplan rewards page to see an up-to-date summary of everything going on. They will have what rental car company, hotels, airlines, and other companies that have incentives to book with them. The Air Canada bonuses I mentioned above are also listed on their site.

That little extra bonus might be enough to overlook the few bucks in price.

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Written by Neil Galloway
Jamie Chopping Wood

This fellow was chopping wood during a camping trip this year and I caught him in full motion coming down on this block. Loved this expression. I had my 18-200mm Nikon VR lens on with the shutter speed as high as it could go. The shot has almost no blur except for the end of the axe.

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