Welcome to Cor & Julie's journal

Add a second harddisk to your Macbook Pro 15″ (Computers, Photography)

I never have enough harddisk space. When I travel I have at least 5 external USB disks with me. One for the images I take during the trip, a backup for that one, one with my lightroom database, a rescue disk for my laptop, and usually a disk with movies and tv series for those moments where you dont feel like doing anything else. Lately I’ve also started to take a disk with most of my originals, as fate would have it that im always asked to deliver some specific image while im traveling.

Unfortunately USB is not the fastests, and trying to run both Lightroom and my disk with originals externally has proven to be very annoying. It’s just too slow. My friend Eric Cheng runs a laptop with 2 internal disks, so I figure that would be a good option. Just add a second 500GB harddisk for my image data.

A company called MCE Technologies has a product they call the Optibay that allows you to replace your internal SuperDrive with an internal harddisk. You can either have them do it for you, or just order the parts and do it yourself. Naturally I opted for the latter and ordered a 500GB Optibay. It arrived a few days later, ready for me to install.

Read on for more info on my upgrade project.

Geocaching (Geocaching)

As if we didn’t have enough hobbies, Julie and I have started to do geo caching. It’s actually a great way to get some exercise and see areas you otherwise probably wouldn’t visit. The object is to find a treasure that’s been hidden. You find it by following GPS coordinates towards a location. Sometimes the caches are easy to find, somethings quite difficult. You then take something out of the cache, and put something back in yourself.

You can do geocaching all over the world. Probably within a few miles of everyone reading this post there is at least 1 cache. Here on St Croix there are about 10 caches, and we’ve found 5 so far. One turned out to be unreachable as the area it’s in was flooded after the last hurricane. Maybe if I take my dive gear out!

Finding the caches turned out to be a lot of fun. One was right near our dive shop. Literally a few steps from it. We never knew it was there. Another was on the highest peak of St. Croix and was pretty hard to reach as there was no real path. We had to hike through dense forest. The photo was taken during our last hike. We had to walk about 2 miles over hills, past deserted beaches, through dense grass, and finally we found it near a beautiful little lagoon with several pelicans flying around. Just perfect.

Lenovo installs 30GB of crap on your laptop (Computers, Rants)

Julie just got a new Lenovo X200s laptop with SSD. When we got it we noticed it had only 60GB free space out of 128GB. There was a 10GB recovery partition, but that didn’t explain where all the space had gone. The C partition had a whopping 42GB of data installed, and this is supposed to be a virgin machine!

Now for the really stupid part. When I reinstalled from the recovery partition, the same system was only 13GB. Still way too much if you ask me, but better than 42GB.

Lenovo, you suck.

We don’t just dive (Horses)

If you’ve read this journal before you probably know Julie and I dive a lot. But we’ve got other hobbies as well. One of our other serious hobbies is riding horses. In Amsterdam we ride at a stable and take dressage lessons 2 or 3 times a week . In the US Virgin Islands we only ride western, as they don’t really do dressage here.

Last week I did my first dressage test and managed to get first place. A dressage test is where you must show proficiency at specific figures you must ride in the arena. You get graded on 35 elements and that gives you a final score. If you score higher than a certain amount you have passed and can continue to the next level. The person with the highest marks has won the event for your level, but this is more honorary than anything else. It doesn’t really mean much.

Julie snapped my test with a Flip Video Eric Cheng gave us. I should be getting a proper video of it later. For those that personally know me, this is the only time you’ll see me all scrubbed up like that!

(larger version)

“Boat Surrounded by Sharks Eating Babies” (Computers, Funny)

I can hear you think…WTH?  That was my first reaction as well when I saw this in our referer/search logs. Im using Woopra for our webstats now and the things people search for are just beyond comprehension! I can highly recommend Woopra. It’s a very cool way to view your webstats, especially because you can watch it live on a world map. And yes, I know it means a third party gets my web logs.

Dam tot Dam Loop 2008 (Photography)

Every year the Dam Tot Dam Loop passes through our street. This is a 10 mile run from Dam Square in Amsterdam, home of the royal palace, to the Dam in Zaandam. It’s always a lot of fun to watch as all the neighbors come out and build a huge party. The runners are of all levels, from pros that come by so fast you can barely see them, to people that you know aren’t going to make it. We live about half way so we can usually tell if someone is going to finish or not.

I’m always on the lookout for people I know and this year didn’t disappoint, I counted at least 5 people that I know. All the people I know looked pretty fit, so I’m sure they made it just fine. The saddest part to watch is towards the end, as the stragglers get bypassed by a little bus that tells them they can’t continue. There is a strict time limit and if you can’t make it you’re supposed to stop. All in all we had a great time.

Read on to see more images..

Site upgraded (Photography)

I just upgraded wordpress to version 2.6.1, as easy as ever. In the coming days i’ll be changing things around on our website, primarily moving wordpress to the root instead of just the journal section.

Molting spider (Gardening, Photography)

Julie found a molting spider today in the garden, the first time we ever found one. Pretty cool to watch it squirm out of its old skin and harden its new one.

More images

Litter Robot (Cats)

One of the worst tasks of being a cat owner is cleaning the litter box. I absolutely hate doing that. About a year ago Julie told me she had ordered a robot litter box. At first I thought she was crazy. A what? I looked on the website and my first impression was that this was never going to work. Our cats are going to run like hell when they see this thing. Another few hundred dollars wasted, and no one else was going to buy this thing from us because they’re not fools, unlike us.

Was I wrong. This thing rocks. How did we ever function without it. The cats go in, a few minutes later it starts cleaning the inside, all the bad bits get deposited in a small bag, and it’s done. At the end of the week you take out the bag, add a scoop of litter, and presto. Clean box. Honestly, if you hate cleaning the litter box as much as I do, get this thing.

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks (Diving, Photography)

In may Julie went on a trip by herself. She claims it’s to see the Oceanic Whitetip sharks, but by now we all know it’s because of the pigs. It’s quite difficult to find these sharks. As the name suggests they are usually found in the open ocean, so basically you have to use a lot of bait and hope for the best. Last year this trip got skunked (one of the reasons I didn’t feel like going) but this year they got some good action.

Read on for some Oceanic Whitetip images

Pigs on the Beach (Diving, Photography)

On a recent trip to the Bahamas Julie photographed some really cute pigs. These are wild pigs that live on an island in the Bahamas, and whenever a boat stops on the beach they come over to check out if there are scraps. They’ll come right to your lens, even if you’re waist deep in water. Julie actually went on this trip, meant to track down Oceanic Whitetip sharks, to photograph these pigs and she got some nice shots. Who needs Oceanic Whitetips when you can photograph small piglets!

Continue on for more pig picures

Shark Finning (Diving, Rants)


What does this number mean? »»»»

Sucking Relaxes (Funny)

Julie found this today at the local supermarket. 


Lost in Translation (Funny)

Julie bought a small packet of seeds the other day and noticed a little translation snafu. I guess they meant “Seed Box”.

Smugmug Gallery integration and PicLens Support (Computers, Diving, Photography)

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages but I finally got around to it. I can now add SmugMug Galleries to WordPress which can then also be viewed with either Lightbox or PicLens. Ive been prompted to finally finish this by my friend Eric Cheng, who added this to his blog recently as well.

Here is a gallery I created at SmugMug’s request a few months ago »»»»