All week I was looking forward to riding my V-strom to the Suzuki Christmas Open house. I can handle cold but not ice and snow. All was fine until Friday night, then it started and didn't stop until half way through Saturday morning. This is what I saw as I was on my way to breakfast
(our back yard)
Lucky I managed to put on my snow tires a couple of days before. I have my tires mounted on spare rims and usually wait until we get our first snow warning before I lug out my hydraulic jack and T-bar. And so it was on Wednesday night, in the dark with a flashlight that I mounted my 4 snow tires. I can't wait to test them out. I purchased these last year but we didn't get any snow.
Here in British Columbia they do not allow you to install only two snow tires. No one will sell you two, you must have four - one for each wheel due to liability issues. Winter tires with the 'snowflake' imprint are more suited for cold weather, unlike summer tires which go hard (and lose their grip) in the colder temperatures. I have Nordic ice radials with aggressive tread.
(our front street)
Sometimes the weather forecaster is wrong and we often miss the front, but not this time. The temperatures are below zero and there is lots of ice on the roads.
Often times our snow has melted by noon but with no heat in the air it is taking longer than normal. I check the road conditions after breakfast hoping that I can still ride but prefer not to take the chance. I have to ride an hour south into Surrey and usually the conditions are worse there.
Today, the wise thing to do is to take my 4 wheeled commuter
I finally get to the Dealership. Not too much activity this time of year
There are some bikes outside but only a few as compared to what would be on display during the summer
(Brian (middle), owner of Motorcyle World, Surrey, BC)
Soon Santa arrives and starts to hand out some goodies
I don't know who these people are but others were taking their photo with Santa, so I did too
I've been keeping myself quite busy these past few weeks learning more about the pleasures of photography and immersing myself into getting all of my equipment in working order, and also upgrading my printer. A few years ago I purchased an Epson flat bed scanner with the idea of scanning E6 from my panorama camera(s) but I couldn't figure out the software and it just sat gathering dust. Then Geoff posted an entry about embarrassing photos and I thought that it was time to set it up.
I purchased this model just at the time the new improved Epson V700 was introduced. It came with all the negative holders and can scan all the film formats that I have, up to 8x10. It came with a simplified version of Silverfast but when I installed it on my newer laptop running Windows 7, it kept freezing. I could not get a free upgrade as they only allow you to upgrade ONE version newer, so I had to purchase it again. This time I have the lastest version (incl ICE) and it seems to run without problem.
In case you didn't know, I am a hobbyist. I experiment and do a lot of reading about things. When I had my last printer, which was top of the line 5 years ago I started to use bulk ink to refill the inkjet cartridges. I never had any problems with clogging heads, nor problem with colours in the final prints (photos).
I purchased this bulk ink refiller kit around 4-5 years ago and was refilling the ink on my Canon i9100 wide carriage printer. Real OEM cartridges are around $14. each and I need 6 . I purchased a new replacement printer from eBay and gave my old printer away to a deserving person who I hope will appreciate it. It is practically new and has been used very sparingly, perhaps less than 10 , 13" x 19" and a handful of 8" x 10" prints.
I now have a Canon Pro 9000 Mark II printer. I set it up last week and it uses 8 cartridges x $22. each . That's a lot of money for a few ml of ink in each cartridge. Also the cartridges now hold less ink than the prev printer. People like myself, who like to do their own printing know that the cost of the printer is negligible as compared to the ink and paper supplies. I was not sure whether I wanted to refill these ink carts or not so I did some investigation and found the company in the US who makes ink basically identical to the Canon formula. I also found out that the formula for this printer was changed slightly from the prev i9900 model. I ordered my bulk ink from eBay and it arrived on Monday
There is enough ink here to refill each cartridge 8 times. A complete set of OEM ink will cost around $180./set and I purchased all of this for around the price of 3 cartridges BUT one problem . . .
They decided to put a chip on each cartidge for ink status monitoring, and once the ink is empty it will never show full, even though you refill it yourself. There is a sequence where you basically deactive monitoring on this cartridge but then when it runs out of ink the printer would not know and you would probably damage the head(s). For every problem there is a solution, so I purchased the Chip resetter. It resets the chip to let the printer know that the ink is full. By doing this the printer would not show any error codes in case you had warranty issues.
If anyone is thinking of getting a new printer I would recommend the Canon Pro 9000 mark II, over the Pro 9500. The 9000 is a dye based printer with better colour. The 9500 is a pigment printer which is more archival but pigment can clog the heads more easily. If you print on a more occasional basis then the 9000 is more than adequate.