Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Think Ink

After feeling raked over the coals for years whenever I've had to buy ink for my HP Photosmart printer, I finally found an alternative with ink prices that are not completely insane.

I bought a Kodak Printer/Copier for $120 that uses an ink cartridge that is only $15, instead of having to buy 2 cartridges that total close to $70 to print photo color.

But, you say, I don't care about the cartridge cost, tell me about price per page!
OK. Here it is based on this Quality Logic report:
You may notice on the right-most column that the Kodak are the only ones with 0 directly to the right of the decimal.

My Photosmart cartridges aren't even in this study, but I feel certain that their results would be equal or greater than the costliest of the HP cartridges that were reviewed.

I don't claim that the photo-quality is better than the HP Photosmart that I've had for years, but for the price of the ink, I'd rather send out for prints when I need them than continue to operate my Photosmart printer.

One other interesting thing I read about the Kodak is they are the best manufacturer for keeping their cartridge form-factor consistent. Most other brands have a plethora of ink-cartridges to choose from, whereas Kodak has reused its 10C in almost every printer. I expect this is one of the ways they are keeping costs down.

So, three cheers for competition. I'm glad someone finally entered the market with some reasonable prices for ink.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mothra Lives

Arthur spotted this beast on our exterior wall today. It looked like a tarantula carrying a large piece of bark on its back.

I used my telephoto lens because I was scared to get too close.

Once I saw how furry it is in the hi-res photo, I can't decide if I should run screaming or snuggle it.
Decide for yourself:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poppies and Potatoes

Although I'll never admit it, the chickens helped me to discover that some spring potatoes were ready for harvest.

We've been having issues keeping the chickens trapped in their field, due to the holes that keep appearing in the plastic fencing material we used. Heidi broke down and bought some real, metal chicken wire, so once we set that up, the problem will be solved.

In the meantime, however, they are asserting their status as adjunct gardeners and providing weed and pest control in our various garden beds.

Though their work, while vigorous, is typically spotty and overly destructive, in this case it proved useful, as they uncovered a potato that was clearly large enough to harvest.

Therefore I harvested some and fried them up yesterday for a delicious breakfast. And with all the potatoes we have planted, we'll probably have all we can eat for the next two months at least.

Now on to the discussion of Poppies.

Heidi obtained some poppy seeds three years ago from a long-time grange member Lily Meek. Mrs. Meek has spent years cultivating poppies in an attempt to create a uniquely beautiful variety. Though I'm not sure which traits she was most interested in, here are some examples of what we have this year. I'm flagging them with their variety so that we can isolate the seeds from a given variety if we want to next year.

We have 6 general varieties this year.
We have pink and red, and in each color we have "Simple", "Complex" and "Dense" petal structure.

Pink, simple

Red Simple

Pink Complex

Red Complex

Pink Dense (not fully opened)

Red Dense (not fully opened)

It will be interesting to see what we can get by isolating the seeds we get from each of these types.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Latest Goal

My latest obsession is to commute with the most efficient vehicle I can find. That means this:

The biggest problem with this is raising the money to spend on the "risky" idea that it will be a suitable car replacement.

Heidi gave me some of her egg money to start my fund. By the time I get there, I'll have had plenty of time to weigh the risks.