Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016 Philmont Montage - Trek 608BB2

Google Photos made this silly little video montage from some of my Philmont 2016 photos from Trek 608-BB2.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Alec 2016 Winter Band Concert

Alec's first symphonic band concert of his Sophomore year. Three tracks, holiday spirit. Pardon the audio; the mic picks up the HVAC almost better than the band. One of these days I'll just run a line into the mixer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Facebook for Scouting Units

A slideshow from a few years ago I put together going over the basics of Facebook for Scouting Units - Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing Crews and more.   Handy information for all levels of units.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Interesting Eagle Bench Project Plans

I've seen a lot of Eagle project benches - these are some nice, rustic artistic benches with a great design and easy construction.  They're free standing - unless you attach them via concrete and angle iron.

Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center Photos and Review

We went to the the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center this weekend with our Scout Troop.  Enjoyable afternoon - smaller place than I'd expected for the family side, but still good fun.  Follows are some wide angle photos of the place from the corners so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

(photos taken with the Kyocera DuraPlus Pro as part of the Sprint Product Ambassador team - #sprintemployee)

Yes, the wide angle 'action camera' has massive distortion at the sides - you can see the poles and walls circling around.  I think it's pushing 170 degrees of view so distortion can't be helped; and that's the style these days with the kids.  Didn't get a chance to do a trip down the slide or similar to get some real action footage and didn't have a body mount to do anything cool, so you get to see static photos.  Clear enough for a mid-range durable camera!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Getting Awards

Been with Pack 3094 for near on 10 years - finally got the paperwork turned in for the Cubmasters Key knot - 2 years service as a Cubmaster and 1 year as Assistant Cubmaster.  It was presented last night at our Pack meeting by our incoming Cubmaster, Allan.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

April 2000 flooding at Fox Lake, KS

Flooding at Fox lake, April 2000. Recovered from my UNIX box, transcoded from MPEG-1 VCD format. Shot on Hi-8, edited on a Pentium 200 with Pinnacle video software.

2015 Robyn Spring Choir Concert

Shawnee Mission West Choir - Spring Concert. Forgot to edit and upload this one; finally had time to get it posted to the internet!

Thanksgiving at the England House - 2016 Version

A full family Thanksgiving - And thanks to the modern self timer, we all got in the pre-dinner photo!  Good food, good family, good times. Even the table joined in the celebration - it got cleaned off for it's annual scrubdown and polishing!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Alec Riding a Bike - October 2005

Found an old short 15fps video from a Palm Centro (?) of Alec riding his first bike.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Ceremonial Umbrella

Tonight we visited with the London delegation from Westminster, including the Lord Mayor of Westminster.  The Shawnee Mission West Marching Band was invited for the 9th time to play in the London New Years Day Parade - on New Years Day, 2018.  Being London, and winter, of course it's going to rain.

So the Lord Mayor of Westminster presented Alec with a ceremonial umbrella - because of course if you bring your umbrella, it won't rain!

Video courtesy Todd Atkins:

And photos:

Blogger Video Upload Test

Directly uploaded this video to Blogger vs the usual Youtube.

Our Animals

Reblogging Robyn's post about the cat and dog:

MY cat and Dog



Saturday, November 12, 2016

A nice shot of Scoutmaster Monty

Just something about the western feel of this image of Troop 387 Scoutmaster Monty appealed to me.  I cropped it a touch and applied an 'Instant' filter to it for the vintage look.  Out at Gobblepalooza November campout, 2016.

Shot with Canon Rebel T3i, Tamron 28-270 lens at 220mm, F7.1, 1/400 sec.  
Photo courtesy W&N Photograpy, under CC-BY attribution.  
Original photographer Will England

Gobblepalooza 2016

Fire. Food. Friends.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Alec playing Saxophone at Hy-Vee for Veterans Day

Alec was invited with the Shawnee Mission West Band to play at a Hy-Vee for their Veterans Day Breakfast.  One of the coolest, and yet oddest, concerts I've been to.  The whole band clustered around the Deli counter while the veterans had tables to sit at with a (great) free breakfast.  Alec rocked out!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

2016 Philmont - Baldy Peak 360 Degree View

Got out to Philmont in 2016 and summited Baldy. A quick shot from the top!

Glow Marching Band Concert, October 21, 2016

Senior Marching Band glowstick event for Shawnee Mission West from 21-October 2016!

First Audiocast in 10 years

Then there was sound . . . . 10 years ago I was podcasting using a variety of tools that have all gone the way of the bitbucket.  So now it's a Google Sites host for the files and Audacity for the recording.

Just a basic test to see if this is all working!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Blogger Mobile photo test

I'm trying photo uploads on Blogger mobile client. Last time I tried this it didn't work very well matter fact it just crashed. I'm doing the audio transcription via the Google speech to text just add one more layer of complexity.

About them people skills

" If you don’t have or don’t learn the people skills, even if you’re a superstar engineer you won’t advance. You have to be able to interact with people as a person does, not as a engineer. Even if your juniors can’t design their way out of a paper bag, be supportive; help them, don’t complain they can’t design. If your superiors won’t listen to your excellent ideas on how to improve process and/or save big $$, explain it to them once and then move on; don’t dwell on how foolish they are. At some point you’ll be given leadership responsibilities. If you don’t think you have the people skills, ask for training in them. You may not get it, but at least it will show initiative and that you care about self-improvement. Being a good leader isn’t about rewarding good performance or punishing bad performance, you need to inspire your team. " (cribbed and modified from a Quora post)  -- applicable to any technically related career. Coder, Architect, Designer, Engineer.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Adding a home screen on the LG X power

By default, the LG X power Home Screen with App Dock only comes with two home screens for widgets and icons.  This quickly gets cramped as you add weather widgets, agenda widgets and more.  While limiting the number of home screens can help to reduce CPU and memory usage from widgets, it does limit your flexibility and creativity in using the phone - which is a key feature of Android!

So, lets figure out how to add more home screens to allow you to customize your LG X power to the max.  Unlike most Android phones where you simply drag a widget or icon to the edge of the screen the LG X power is different in how you add more home screens.  To add a new home screen to the LG X power when you are running the Home Screen with App Dock, you need to pinch from the corners diagonally - at which point you will get this view:

Tap the '+' button to add a new home screen for more widget space, icon storage or more. 

That's as hard as it gets - just pinch diagonally and tap plus!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

LG X power SD Card Support

The LG X power is one of the nicer phones to include SD Card support!  You can add up to 256 GB of online storage for your music, movies and more.  But in inspecting the phone, there’s not a slot visible to put in your SD card!  What now?

Simple – LG has combined the SIM card tray and the SD Card slot together.  You’ll need the SIM Card removal tool from the box (the thin pin on a loop) or a fine safety pin.  On he left lower side you will find a tiny hole – gently push the SIM removal tool into the hole and the card tray will come out.  Beware – the SIM card will try to fall out.  Do not do this outside or on a windy day!

Above the SIM card slot is the SD card slot; just gently place the SD card in the tray, metal contacts facing down, and reinsert the SIM card tray.  This works best if the phone is powered off first.  You can follow this Sprint Tutorial for visual guidance on putting in your SD card into the LG X power.

You’ll be able to store your personal music and video library on the SD card without any problems.  Some apps may be able to be moved the the SD card, but they may not behave as expected.

Enjoy your new memory space on your LG X power – you certainly have the battery life to watch a few movies or listen to music for a long while!

Will England

LG X power App Drawer

By default, the LG X power ships with their new homescreen that does not include an app drawer.  All the apps you install are dropped on the homescreen.  You can use folders to organize them but there’s not a formal app drawer.  Not sure of the thinking behind that – perhaps other phone makers have tried it and found It successful. There has been lots of discussion about this on a variety of online forums, and even Google has considered dropping the app drawer.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround!  If you go to Settings – General – System Updates and update the LG Software, you will download a new homescreen with an app drawer.  To make it your permanent app drawer, tap the circle icon on your icon bar. 

A popup will appear asking if you want to use the LG Home Screen or the LG Home Screen with App Drawer.  Choose the one with the app drawer and set it as default.
From then on you get the classic Android experience with your downloaded apps installed in the app drawer and your home screens available for widgets and icons of your choosing!

- Will England

Outlook / Exchange on the LG X power

LG has dropped their own mail client, instead shipping the phone with Gmail.  So, the first thing you may ask – what do you do if you have an Exchange or other email account?  With the 4,100 mAh battery and days of battery life, the X power is a great business phone, good for long commutes, days away from the desk and never ending conference with no power outlets.   Well, the installed Gmail client does support Exchange and it works relatively well.  You can simply go into System settings, Accounts and Add an account of type ‘Exchange’.

However, if you’re a power-user of Outlook features, you’ll want to go to the App Store and download the Outlook for Android client.  It’s fast, powerful and feature filled with full view of your calendar, a great agenda widget for the home screen and more.  Best of all?  It’s free from Microsoft.  It does use about 60 MB of memory space on the phone, but that’s minimal compared to other apps (Facebook, *cough*, 200+ MB). 
When you’re first setting up Outlook, you’ll need to cancel out of the default Office 365 setup screen.  From there you can choose the account type (Exchange in our case) and it even has an Advanced settings panel to set your server, username, domain and more.    For more help you can visit the Microsoft help page for Outlook on Android
Once set up you get a ‘Focused’ view of your inbox with messages sent just to you.  You can tune what appears there and what goes to the Other tab.  You also get to see all your folders on the server, your full calendar, contacts and a slick view into flies attached to your email.  I find it more efficient than the desktop Outlook client I use.

In a nutshell, the LG X power offers a good email experience out of the box even for Exchange users, and Exchange power users can install the Outlook for Android client for even more power and features.

       The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Scholarship Links

Mostly creating this for Robyn and Alec so I have an ongoing list of scholarships for them to apply for.  Originally created 8/24/2016.  Ideally these are non-need based scholarships for high school seniors entering their freshman year of college.  A couple are for current college students.

Also a nice tool to estimate your EFC from FAFSA before you dig into all this:

(Tip: Create a scholarship application email address; some of these are going to get you *spammed*)

Boy Scout, Eagle Scout and one Summit Scout scholarship:

Simpson Strong Tie $2,000 architecture, structural engineering and construction management scholarship:

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships (many different scholarships for women in Engineering)

Look Twice, Save A Life Scholarship ($1,000) - Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Jack Cooke Kent Foundation - typically income based but worth a shot up to 95K a year.

KC Metro area 11th graders ($10,000 annual scholarship, up to $12,000 EFC eligible to apply)

Essay, 750 words, $1,500

Essay, 2500 words, $2,500

ARRL Scholarships for HAM Radio (80+, single app by Jan before college year)

Q-Switched Laser Scholarship (needs acceptance letter from college), $2,500 

Bryant Surety scholarship, up to 2000 words, $1,000 Essay (3 essays, 1,000 words each, $3,000 

SME Engineering Scholarships

Clubs of America (current college student?) 600 word essay, $1,000

Courage to Grow 250 word essay, $500 (Spam Warning)

ESA Scholarships for Kansas (various) - current college students - $1,000 essay

Hospitality Matters - 750 word essay, $500

Inverters-R-Us $1,000 500-1500 word essay

Moll Law Group 1000-1500 word essay, $1,000 (college student)

PreJax Foundation - have a parent with MS; 500 word essay; $1,000 - 1500 word essay, $1500. - 1000 word essay, $1,000 essay about CPAP , $1000

Jackson White Law Essay, 1000 words, $1000

Young Patriots Essay Contest 1,200 words, up to $5,000

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Over 1700 articles on Scouting

Unofficial, but some fantastic information on scouts and scouting.