Saturday, August 8, 2009

Time for the Fair

The Tanana Valley State Fair is running through next Saturday. One of my sons wanted to go hang out at the fair so I decided to go as well. I don't think I've been to the fair for a couple of years so it seemed like a good idea. We got there just after it opened for the day so most of the food and vendor booths weren't open yet. The Red Hackle Pipe Band was playing at the bandstand so I stopped and listened to them for a while. I was trying to use the Nike+ during my walk around the fairgrounds but everytime I stopped at a booth, it paused and needed to be manually restarted. So after a whole day of wandering around, it only registered 5 miles. Roughly half of what I actually put in wandering around. I tried to resist most of the really unhealthy "fair food" such as all of the deep fried stuff and the sweets but I did cave in and get the grilled corn and a smoked turkey leg (most of it is now sitting in the refrigerator). I enjoyed talking to a lot of the vendors and picked up a lot of brochures. The blood mobile was there so I took a half hour off to donate a pint. Picked up a free t-shirt from them. Seems like a fair trade. DOT had a lot of equipment on display and I picked up a hat (baseball cap) that actually fits. I have a large head and most caps are too small. So I now have a nice walking cap. I also picked up a nice metal water bottle from the bird observatory who were selling them as a fundraiser. I've been meaning to pick one of them up for quite a while. The rain stayed away for most of the day as did the smoke. All in all, it was a good day.

I passed the 2500 mile mark on the Nike+ site so I think I'm still managing to get enough exercise. I think I still rather use the iPod Nano with the Nike+ receiver since it doesn't need restarted as often. The iPhone will pause if you just stop for 30 seconds or so. The Nano allows stops of several minutes without having to be restarted. It just affects your speed which is fine with me. I would rather not have to check it continuously. The good side of the iPhone is that I almost always have it with me.

One of my goals at the fair was to check with all of the satellite TV vendors as I really want to switch away from the GCI ultimate package that I signed up for last year. I thought the bundle would be cheaper but they are charging more than they said they would and they keep harassing me to switch out my analog phone line for their VoIP product. The problem with their VoIP is that the power in Fairbanks isn't as reliable as it could be and the battery on the VoIP route only lasts about 8 hours. After that, your phone is dead. With an analog line, power from the phoned comes from the CO (Central Office) and it is much easier to provide an adequate backup power solution there than at all of the individual end station locations. VoIP scales better in the enterprise than at the home. I think that I did find a combination of DirectTV, AC Wireless plus ACS for telephone service. My project for the month....

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