Archive for December, 2010

Making your own soda

Posted: December 31, 2010 in General

Since I have made the commitment to reduce my caffeine intake, and although drinking water is not distasteful, I don’t love it so I wanted to find something that met with my new diet. I switched to diet soda probably four years ago, specifically Diet Dr. Pepper. To be honest it didn’t take long for me to actually prefer diet over regular. That said, I don’t think there is any doubt that soda in general lacks any health benefit at all, beyond that I’ve never really trusted Aspartame. I feel like there is a very real possibility of negative health effects related to Aspartame. For all I know, my latest headaches could be Aspartame related, and not caffeine related. Regardless the less soda I drink the better.

At home, not too long ago, we bought a SodaStream system. For those unfamiliar, it’s a home carbonation system that allows you to carbonate 1 liter bottles of water (note that you have to carbonate water, not other things). They also sell a variety of syrups that you can add afterwords to make your own soda. I’ve tried their Dr. Pepper clone (which is horrible), and their root beer (which is passible, but something in it tends to give me a sore throat). The SodaStream sodas use Sucralose (Splenda) for their sweetener which I feel better about, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t love any of their flavors. I had considered trying to get Diet Dr. Pepper syrup, but after looking at the cost, it was actually more expensive to do that instead of just purchasing 2 liter bottles for 99 cents each.

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Battling the headache

Posted: December 26, 2010 in General, House, Projects

For a very long time now, close to half of my life, I’ve battled headaches in one form or another. It seems as though each time I find a “cure” something new comes out of the woodwork to kick my ass.

Starting about three or four years ago I would start getting a muscle ache at the base of my skull which would quickly turn into a headache. I couldn’t seem to relieve the symptoms of these headaches, and occasionally they could even be debilitating enough to have me call out sick. Most of the time, these neck-based headaches would be present when I awoke in the morning, which lead me to believe that it had to do with my sleeping.

With that in mind, I tried a few different things, but my best find was a the Core CervAlign Pillow which made a noticeable improvement, although it wasn’t a solution. I think I get headaches every night when I sleep, but I don’t notice because they’re low-level, and gone by the time I wake up (usually).

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The down-side to the iPhone 4’s retina display is that developers need to now create two sets of graphics for their apps. For apps to take advantage of the higher resolution iPhone 4 screen, they need to create double-sized graphics saved with an “@2x” at the end of the name.

Moving forward, creating those double-sized graphics aren’t really a big deal. The standard workflow (for me) has usually been to create all of my graphics at 2x, then open the exported graphics and scale them down to the 1x size. Not really a lot of work, but using Photoshop for this is a little overkill, and to be honest, Photoshop’s actions and replication skills tend to leave a lot to be desired. Luckily in about 3 minutes you can build your own app that will do the job quickly and easily.

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