Category Archives: Reviews

DIY: Easy Fix For Lens Creep / Slip

Happy new year everyone!

I have a used Canon EF 24-105mm and one of the issues it had was that the lens kept sliding out from its own weight (and apparently this happens a lot with this model: here’s a link to an example: Lens creep 24-105mm). This made it really annoying when I would hang the camera around my neck (or any time the camera would point upward/downward) because the lens would fully extend (or sink back down) out on its own; this problem is what camera-folk call “Lens Creep.”Apparently this happens to a lot of heavier lenses with zoom from either “wear and tear” over time or some say their lens came straight out of the box this way. If your lens is new and out of the box this way, I’d recommend you return it or contact Canon (or whoever) for a different lens, BUT! if it’s a problem that has developed overtime and you want a cheap fix without going to some fancy-expensive camera shop, then please continue on with this blog :)

The example I’ll be using is my Canon 24-105mm Lens, but this will work on any lens! So I’ve seen places recommend rubber bands or using “Lens Bands” which is a company that makes bands specifically for this fix, however, the Lens Bands run around 5-13 bucks if you go on Amazon (which a rip off for what it is) and I didn’t have good enough rubber bands that people were recommending on hand, so I found something that lots of people would already have instead! Just looking at the Band, I realized that all you really needed was a Charity Wristband. I got some, tested the theory and boom! it worked like a charm! plus, this method is super cheap and the money goes to a good cause! Charity Wristbands generally only run $1-2 bucks and you can get them in any color or support a specific cause of your choosing.

3 DIY steps for an easy and cheap fix to Lens Creep / Slip

1) Obtain a Charity Wristbands. Drug stores, sport stores, etc will generally carry these.

Image2) Get your lens, remove the lens hood if you have one (for the fastest way to put the band on with ease), and locate the Zoom Ring.” This is where the band will go around.

Image3) Place the band around the Zoom Ring. This will provide a small amount of needed friction around the zoom ring and prevent further lens creep / slip. (Ensure that the band will fit around the lens. Depending on the size of the lens or the band you have, you may have to get a smaller/bigger one.)

ImageTa daaa! Now your lens will no longer have that annoying creep/slide…hopefully!

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DIY Asian Fit Goggles – A cheap fix and solution

Your snow gear is really important when it comes to skiiing/snowboarding. You got to make sure everything fits right and is at the right comfort level.

Unfortunately for me though, being Asian, not everything fits me properly :/ With the lack of a bridge, my goggles never fit me properly; they all leave a giant gap at the nose area, that my finger could easy fish through. This basically means there’s a funnel of air that streams up that gap and into my eyes. So on windy-snowy days, or going up the lift, my goggles are basically ineffective.

We were pretty hesitant to buy Asian-Fit goggles though (and not just because most of the good looking ones are ridiculously overpriced)…The main reason for that is because the Asian-Fit goggles use completely different lenses, even if its the same model. For instance, I have Smith-Phenoms, and I have a bunch of spare lenses for it, but if I buy the Smith-Phenoms- Asian-Fits, the lenses for it are COMPLETELY different. This basically means I’d need to buy everything new and all my current goggle-gear becomes useless. Also, there are very few places that carry anything Asian-Fit in the United States, so good luck finding them in store and good luck finding lenses.

Well, instead of succumbing to buying Asian-Fit goggles, which I’ll emphasize again- there are VERY few of (especially in store), we decided on a quick and cheap solution! Here’s what I did! I’m not recommending people do this though, since I know people will end up jacking their gear up and blaming me, but here’s what I did, documented, so that people can see what others have done for a solution. So basically, what I’m saying is…don’t come crying to me if you glued this on your stuff and it didn’t work out. This is purely me showing you, what I did :D

Foam from Fred Meyers

1) So I purchased foam for 10 bucks at Fred Meyers, and started cutting a small square piece out of it. I aligned it to my goggles, to where the nose was, and with a permanent marker, outlined the cut of the nose on the foam.

Cut out nose pieces

2) I then cut out the nose pieces of foam out; these come out triangular. I had to cut out a few extra pieces as trial runs since I goofed up a few times  and wasn’t sure of what kind of cut I was making. Also, had to make sure that the width of the foam was about the right size too. I was originally planning to use an exacto-knife, but a good pair of scissors seems to work better. They didn’t need to be precise, since the foam shapes to you. Plus, everyone’s noses are different. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see that both triangle pieces are slightly different.

Insert foam pieces – then glue

3) Next step is to insert the foam pieces in and try them on!When I tried them on, I made sure that I didn’t see any gaps from the inside. If there were gaps, I just started over and cut out larger pieces. On a different pair of goggles (the neon-green-pair that is cut off on the far left of the photos, which are Smith IOs) I had to make a wider piece that extended out. Once they seemed like they fit properly, I tested them with double sided tape first. When it seemed all hunky-doory, I put a small amount of glue on, and voila (I only put a little in the middle because the glue hardens and if its around the edges, it’ll poke you).  I purchased gorilla glue for this since it says it works for foam and is also waterproof, but other glues could be a better option that I don’t know about.

I hope this helps you guys who struggle with this same problem! Oh…and as a disclaimer again, since I know there are a lot of foolios out there, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR GOGGLES. If you suck at arts and crafts, and dealing with cutting and gluing, you should probably find another solution or buy proper Asian fit goggles haha. Also, I can’t guarantee that gorilla glue works best for this either, but for me, so far, so good.

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Snowmobiling in Washington

Khang and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by doing something adventurous! So, after some time surfing the net of to-do’s, we decided on going to Mountain Springs Lodge near Leavenworth, WA and doing the Snowmobile Adventure Package. Even though it sounded a bit steep in price at the beginning, we tacked on an additional $50 for a bigger room (Aspenglow), which included a jacuzzi inside, and a hot tub right outside the entrance door. The price was pretty darn steep when you’re only doing an overnight, but when you divide the price by 2, and remember everything that you’re getting in the package, it ain’t so bad!..sorta haha (I found it totally worth it)

Day 1

On our journey to Mountain Springs Lodge…the roads were ICY….we even ended up sliding ALLL over the roads and hitting the median hella hard at one point..but couldn’t stop to take a look at the bumper for awhile because there was no shoulder and had no urge to be a “road obstruction” and get in another accident. Thankfully, Khang drove, and by the time we pulled to the side of the road, we saw that Khang’s truck was a beast…barely any damage besides a little dent in his bumper! my car would probably be eaten alive….

Anyway! after knowing that Khang’s truck was ok, we remembered that we were starving! and on our way the the lodge, we stopped by 59er Diner, probably one of the best pit-stops we’ve EVER had. The service was so peppy, fun, and the food was awesome. By the time we left with our full-tummies, we were determined to return since we had such a good time. So seriously folks..if you EVER pass this place or are in the area..you GOTTA pull in. I seriously love it.

By the time we got to the Lodge, it was 3pm…check in time! Everything went smoothly and when we got our room, we were blown away about how..EPIC it was. Giant bed, fireplace, hot tub outside, and jacuzzi inside….See for yourself……….

Around 4pm, we headed out and went to check in for our snowmobile tour. They gave us helmets that need to be DOT approved, and after a run through on how to work the beast, Khang, me, another couple, and the tour guide (named June) were off! the snowmobiles were awesome machines. A little scary at first, but once you get into the flow of it, it’s a giant adventure. June memorized all 120+ miles of the trail, and we took on 20 some miles of it in the night (about 1.5-2hr worth), as our headlights lit up the trail…sooo gorgeous. For those uncomfortable with extreme sports, this MIGHT not be for you..although the ride is pretty easy, there are a lot of turns, cliffs, and powder to get stuck in..and unless you do as June (or any other tour guide does), you’re gonna have some trouble if you don’t know how to shift your body weight when turning. Oh..and it’s surprisingly a work out on your upper body! Overall.. LOVED it. Definitely one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. And to top it off….the package included an awesome,  prime rib and salmon dinner…Mmmm goodness

Everything about this short trip was amazing! The staff is SOooOoo kind..it makes me understand why people move away from the city…and after meeting people from Mountain Springs Lodge and 59er Diner…I started rethinking my retirement lol

Day 2

After getting breakfast delivered to our door, we cleaned up and checked out of the awesome lodge and said our good byes. As mentioned earlier..we were determined to head back to 59er Diner before leaving the small town. Well…with us still itching from how fun snowmobiling was, we asked the waitress at 59er Diner what was available around the area, and she gave us a ton of insight and personal preferences =D In the end, we chose to rent snowmobiles from 59er Diner since her first recommendation to dog sled option was full for the day….Oh and yup!..59er Diner isn’t just a 50’s lookin diner with awesome, down to earth staff, and diner food, but it also rents out cozy lodges and snowmobiles =D I definitely want to go back…

Anyway…owners had us sign our life away on paper, and then we were given 2 snowmobiles to ride on from 11am-5pm.The trail definitely doesn’t look like much on the map..but since you have no tour guide and there aren’t limitations (besides staying within snowmobile boundaries), you get a great sense of freedom and adventure as you get to explore the terrain! oh..and the snowmobiles aren’t THAT cool and new looking..but it’s totally deceiving..They’re fast machines with power!

Khang

me!

Fair warning though..although I LOVED the idea that you can have all that freedom as a new snowmobile rider…this is definitely NOT for everyone. It’s VERY easy to get stuck or roll your vehicle over! Khang got stuck in powder 3x and every time was like TORTURE getting it out since we didn’t really know the best method to do so and the snowmobiles are wicked heavy. If you’re experienced..getting out of powder is a breeze..but for those noobs out there like us…good friggin luck! Luckily..Khang is a strong dude…otherwise..I’m not sure what we would have done. Oh..and after all the trouble of getting stuck in powder…Khang changed his mind of ever wanting a snowmobile of his own lol

So in the end..if you want to snowmobile in Washington:

1) Check out Mountain Springs Lodge if you want an awesome stay and safe- tour..although, it’s definitely on the pricey end

2) Check out 59er Diner if you’re in the area! whether it’s because you’re hungry, want to meet the staff, want to snowmobile, or have a cheap place to stay near Steven’s Pass or Leavenworth. Renting Snowmobiles here is an awesome way to figure out if snowmobiling is really for you since you’re on your own with all the freedom of the world…although, you might deter from the idea when you head out on your own to trails with cliffs or get stuck with no pro to help you out..haha

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Florida Trip -Part 5/5 – Down hill from here

On the final day of our trip, we decided to return to Island of Adventures to see Harry Potter World for the last time.

Oct. 22, 2010 – We got up bright and early as usual to get ready and were out of our room by 6:30am. We decided to check out in the morning, spend the rest of our day out and then head straight to the airport. So at 6:30am, we checked out of our hotel and before eating our morning breakfast buffet there, we dropped off all of our luggage in our car.

As usual, it was dark outside. Right after loading our car up with our stuff, we returned to the hotel….while walking back, a police officer was walking toward us, and just as he was within a few feet in front of us, he yelled “PLEASE GET DOWN ON THE GROUND!”.. in shock, khang and I stared at each other and then notice that the cop went past us..we looked behind us, and literally within 20feet of us were 2 black men, which thuggish looking clothes on… they looked at each other and then RAN. The cop pulled out his gun and his walkie talkie and took off after him…. O___O

Well….we went back to the hotel and got our breakfast…soon after, we headed down the street to pick up some stuff at walgreens, and to our surprise, the area around us was all covered with 8-10 cop cars closing off a 2 mile radius. Awesome.

What a morning right? haha..I never found out what that was all about…but yes..soon after we went back to Orlando Studios and enjoyed our final time there. We hit up The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first of course, got tons of butterbeer, last minute souvenirs and then went on other rides in Island of Adventures that we enjoyed. I will miss you Harry Potter World….

With such an eventful week and already going on all the rides we wanted, we were out of the park by 11am. Our flight didn’t leave until 7:30pm so we still had the whole afternoon. We dropped by the Orlando Premium Outlet mall, which is very similar to the Seattle one..just..better weather? haha..then killed the rest of our time at Downtown Disney again. By 4pm..we were pooped..so we headed to the Airport early..and thank god we did.

Delta Airlines…YOU SUCK. I’ve never been on such a HORRIBLE airline in my entire life (this will be long…warning you).

So we arrived to the airport around 4:30pm and did the self-check in. I tried to pay for one check in at the booth but it didn’t give me my option. When I asked for help about it, they just said go line up..so in counter-lines I went. Khang and I lined up at the first counter and there were a handful of people in front of us. We didn’t know what was going on really, but people kept getting turned away. By the time we got up to the front to check in our luggage, the lady told us that this was for pre-payed customers…..and it ended there. WTH..why wasn’t there a sign? or someone directing ppl? Anyway…so we hopped into a different line..again, with a few ppl in front of us. When it was finally our turn, the lady at the counter walked away. I saw her wandering back and forth and then I heard her saying to another co-worker that she was off work……so..that was it.. we had to find another line. For the next 2 lines we hopped into..the person at the counter kept switching counters by the time we arrived tot he front of the line……..after 45min..we were checked in.

We found out that our flight would be late..so instead of leaving at 7:30pm…we were leaving at 7:50pm…this raised a lot of concern for me since our layover in Atlanta (ATL) was originally suppose to be: arrive in ATL at 9:05pm…depart to Seattle (SEA) by 9:45pm..this meant that with our delay..our flight would come to ATL by 9:25..giving us only 20min until the next airplane took off. When we asked a Delta worker about it..they responded “You at least have to try”………….

So…we of course ..had to try. Our flight landed at ATL at 9:20….the flight was parked by 9:25pm..and we exited the plane by 9:30pm… this meant that our next plane would be leaving in 15minutes. We darted out of the plane and Khang got a head start running off while I looked at the sign to see where our transfer gate was. Delta SUCKS..they don’t have the “technology” to tell you what the transfer gates are while you’re on a plane….wtf? so you have to land and find out. So we landed in gate A20 ..or A30…I can’t remember..and when I read the gate to Seattle it said “T07″ …I was horrified! and I didn’t even know where to go! I thought I read it wrong..but we had to just run. So Khang and I ran toward gate T…we stopped really quickly at another board to confirm..and yup.. T07.. we started running at full speed again and then down a set of stairs. T was so far that there was a subway that could take you there….when we got to the subway..the doors JUST closed…you had the choice of running ALL the way around..but since it was only 30seconds until the next train, we waited. We hopped on…quickly got off and took off running again.

We arrived to T07 at 9:40m. 10 solid minutes to get to it. When we got there..the door was shut but there was still a lady there and she told us to hurry. We told her that we were rushing the entire time and she just opened the door and said huurrry hurrry…when we told her that our flight had JUST landed, she responded “everyone else made it.” …BULL SHITTT.. I don’t believe for ONE second that anyone from our flight made it..if there were anyy at all. We were the only people in the airport running..and by the time we were on the plane, there were tons of empty seats in the back..The only positive outcome of this was that, we got a row to ourselves.
Delta. Your service sucks. Worst layover I’ve ever experienced. I sent a complaint to Delta via email and I got a response back really quickly. To my surprise it wasn’t automated and was actually quite polite. You know what they gave us as a “sorry our service sucks”? , they rewarded Khang and I each 4,500 Delta sky miles… effing useless……….Wanna know the best part?  A few days after this whole escapade…I saw this article about American airlines and which was ranked the meanest..guess who took the cake?  Article: America’s meanest airlines

well..in the end..we got back in one piece Anne kindly picked us up. What a day…Delta.. I hate you.

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Florida Trip – Part 4/5: Going to shows

This was one of the more relaxful days =)

Oct. 21st, 2010 – We went to Seaworld! As noted before, I went to Florida before with my family..and on that trip…I vividly remember that  Seaworld was one of my favorite places, and when I came back…I realized that it definitely still is.

When we got in, we darted towards the major rides! We first hit up the Manta. We had be anticipating this ride from the very beginning and damn was it awesome. You ride it superman style! basically, head first and belly down…and wow does that create a completely new sensation when you’re riding rollercoasters and taking twists, turns and going upside-down! I felt like a bird flying =) Afterwards, we hit up the Kraken, a floorless rollercoaster, which my bro and I went on over and over again when we went a few years ago..and it’s definitely still just as amazing!

Well..after hitting up the awesome rollercoasters, we were going to conquer all the big shows! On our way to find them though… we ran into the Dolphin feeding area! and of course, we had to do it =)

Feeding dolpins =D

After feeding the cute dolphins, we hit up 3 shows…one with dolphins, another with walruses, sea lions and otters, and then the shamu one ( one whale had just given birth to a baby only 12 days before we arrived, and we got to see the mommie and calf!). The shows were all cute and the animals were all brilliant. Given.. I was quite hesitant to go to Seaworld after reading the news about Seaworld and finding out that the life of a captive whale is basically half than one in the wild…but..I still had fun? plus, lots of their animals there are ones that they have rescued.

Well..we left by 4pm and took a short nap…but since it was our last full night in Florida..we couldn’t just end it like that! We went to eat at a meat buffet place called Texas De Brazil, which is very similiar to Ipanema Grill, but instead the meat is more pink (awesome!) and if you don’t like how the meat is, you can ask them to cook you a skewer that is more red or even with less salty. Delicious! To burn off some calories after some fine-meat-dining, we played  2 rounds of some intensee……. mini golf at Pirates Cove!

Why don’t we have mini-golf courses like this at home? *sigh*

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