New WiFi Router: TP-Link Deco X55 Mesh System

I bought a bunch of stuff for myself this Black Friday. One of these is a new wireless router system. I’ve been using a Netgear Wireless N150 router from more grad school days, and I get spotty connections from my bedroom and bathroom in a small 620 sqft apartment, so it’s time to upgrade. I decided to get the TP-Link Deco X55 Mesh WiFi two unit kit, and here are my first impressions.

Deco X55 two unit mesh Wi-Fi kit
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Fast Fall Follow-up

It’s almost US Thanksgiving, and it feels like winter in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s time to do my seasonal out-and-about update. My main outing during autumn was the family road trip down to Southern California, and that was a lot of fun. Other than that, didn’t do much during the fall other than some late season foliage hikes. Here are the photo highlights.

View of Lake Ann from the Maple Pass Loop. This is probably the most popular fall foliage hike in the area.
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Oregon-California Road Trip 2022

I recently went on a family road trip through Oregon and California, all the way down to San Diego. It’s been a long time since we have been in Southern California. We saw some friends and family, and visited a number of national parks along the way. It was a fun trip and here are the highlights:

Crater Lake Watchman Overlook
Crater Lake from the Watchman Overlook. Seeing that beautiful radiant deep blue that the lake is known for
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Summer Saunters

It’s mid-September and I can already feel the crisp autumn chill in the air at where I live. This means it’s time again to post some highlights and photos of what I’ve been up to during the past season. Summer is a good time in the Pacific Northwest as weather is nice and it’s usually not super hot. We didn’t get a record-setting heat wave like 2021, but there were plenty of hot (by PNW standards) days. I didn’t take a long vacation or travel far during the summer, so pretty much all of the highlights are hiking and outdoorsy stuff in the PNW. Without further ado here are the photos

Summit Lake
The absolutely gorgeous Summit Lake. Probably the most beautiful scenery I’ve encountered so far hiking in the PNW. Was here two years ago but couldn’t see much due to foggy weather. Picked a clear blue sky summer day this year and got this fantastic view.

Read More Year 16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hits its sweet 16! Don’t really have any celebration planned other than this post, but happy that I’m still keeping my websites alive. As usual, not much in terms of updates. Mostly I just write some travel posts or the occasional gadget post here on my personal blog. The Google Adsense revenue has declined to a point that it no longer covers the hosting and domain name costs, but that’s not a problem since my personal income has grown a lot more during these years than the decrease in ad revenue. Anyways, onto Year 17!

Now a Patent Holder

Was looking through my Google Scholar’s profile, and realized that the patent application that I was a part of at my former employer (years ago) has become an actual US patent this year. Of course, my former employer holds the all the rights of use, so it’s of no financial benefit to me, but it’s cool to have my name on a patent. Nobody can say that I didn’t help invent anything in my career. Some details of the patent and link to the full document below for those interested.

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A Not-so-Springy Spring

Time for another recap post of my “adventures” through the last quarter/season of the year. Summer and warm weather has finally arrived in the PNW, which is a good thing since spring has been rather cool and damp this year. I escaped the wet weather for a little bit by taking a trip to Las Vegas/Utah/Arizona. Other than that, I still managed to get outside a little bit locally, and here are the highlights with photos/videos.

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Las Vegas + Utah and Arizona Trip

I took my first family trip since the Covid epidemic. In a repeat of three years ago, we went to Las Vegas, because just like three years ago, I won a weekend trip to Las Vegas from a sweepstakes. We tacked on some extra days to see some spots in Utah and Arizona as well. It was a great trip, and this post has the highlights.

Las Vegas night
Night time view of the Strip from the other side of Bellagio’s fountain.
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Winter Wonders

It’s April and spring has begun, which means it’s once again time to look at what sort of fun I had during the previous season. This post is actually half a month late because… I’ve been lazy about writing here. For winter, most of the fun I had was with skiing. I took my first flights since the COVID pandemic started and skied in Colorado for a week. Also skied in PNW. Here are the photo and video highlights.

Skiing down Harmony Ridge at Whistler Mountain
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Fixing My Old iPod Color

I still have a 20GB iPod with color screen that my parents bought me for college in the mid 2000s. Recently it stopped working completely and I want to see if I can get it working again. Turns out the old iPod had a bloated battery, and a loose connector port on top of that. Here’s my experience bringing this old gadget back to life.

iPod bad battery
The bloated battery pack explains why the iPod popped open on its own
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