in the end i decided it was too windy to go to chinatown/haymarket today. i microwaved a burrito for lunch along with some chocolate milk. in the early afternoon i went to star market to pick up some grapes, then i biked to the cafe to grab my new gopro camera. i was going to open the box and start using the camera, but decided to wait until i got home so i could look over the manual at least.

i spent about an hour adjusting my bicycle. the seat was tilted forward again so i fixed that. while i was at it i also removed my front wheel and took a look at the slow leak. i removed the inner tube and submerged it in the tub to check for leaks. sure enough, there was a very tiny puncture. i patched it up and before re-installing the tube, i checked the tire and found a tiny metal shard poking through the rubber tire. always check the tire when replacing or patching the tube! after reinstalling the front wheel, i hit the front brake arms with some WD-40 and aligned the front wheel.

my taisioner super clamp mount arrived yesterday. i bought it late one night in bed because i saw there was a $3 off coupon, so i got it for $17. the taisioner looks like a more robust clamp mount, compared to the koolehaoda clamp i got for $9. the taisioner looks to be a knockoff of a RAM mount. for one thing, the taisioner uses 1" diameter ball heads. supposedly it can also hold up to 11lbs. i tried the taisioner clamp on the bike, figuring out the various places i can mount the clamp. it's pretty handy, and really easy to remove and attach the clamp.

i also cleaned my french window door, first some glass cleaner, followed by 2 rain-x treatment to prevent rain drops from clinging to the window. i also grabbed some christmas lights from the basement. i bumped into a neighbor at star market who requested i put up the lights because she said they were the prettiest colors she'd ever seen.

only then - 3:30pm - was i finally able to check out my gopro hero9. i opened the box carefully, since there could be a chance i might return the camera. when i first saw the box i was surprised because i was expecting something bigger. inside was a gopro case, and inside the case the camera. they cheaped out, instead of foam inserts it was simply pieces of cardboard. the camera felt heavy in my hand, heavier than my old action camera at least. i was surprised it didn't come with a manual, just a double-sided postcard with picture instructions on how to put in the battery and memory card. there was a booklet, but it was all warranty and legal information in various languages.

even with the instructions, it took me a while to figure out how to open the battery door. i was also confused by what direction to insert the memory card. it came with a 64GB sandisk extreme, but i had a spare 32GB sandisk extreme PLUS, which i ended up using. i removed the protective film from the lens, front LCD, and rear LCD. the battery only had 15% power.

once powered on, the first thing it asked me was what language i wanted, then it asked if i wanted to turn on gps (i said yes). i managed to connect the gopro to the gopro app (confusingly enough called the quik app) i downloaded on my phone (no registration needed) in order to activate the camera. it wanted to update the firmware on the camera, but wouldn't allow me to do so because there wasn't enough power.

i decided to charge up the battery before continuing. i couldn't figure out where the charge port was, and mistakenly thought the microphone drain was the charge port door. in fact, the charge port is actually on the same side as the battery and memory card. it's kind of an elegant solution, because the interior of the camera is exposed to the elements when charging because the door can't be closed. i wonder if gopro does this to either get you to buy their dedicated charger or invest in a $20 camera door with charging flap.

i ended up updating the firmware since the camera was connected to the charger. i could also play with the camera while it was charging. having never used a gopro before, i thought the UI was fairly intuitive. the camera is divided into 3 different functions: video, photo, and time lapse.

the thing i learned right away is in wide angle mode is there is no stabilization. you can turn on hypersmooth, but i don't see any difference between hypersmooth and non-hypersmooth. the only stabilization setting that seems to be worth anything is linear + horizon leveling. in that mode, the stabilization is pretty amazing. i can rotate the camera to nearly 45° and the image is still perfectly leveled and stabilized. the only time you'd ever use the wide lens option is for stationary time lapses. all other times you'd probably want to turn on linear + horizon leveling.

something i noticed right away when i was using this gopro was a dead pixel on the rear LCD. it so tiny maybe most people wouldn't notice, but it bugs me enough that i want to return this camera to costco and get a new one. i even went ahead and almost returned it online, before i decided to hold off for the time being. i'm still not even sure if this camera is worth it, so first let me make sure i want to keep on using it before deciding to get a replacement and not simply return.

my koolehaoda clamp mount arrived today. compared to the taisioner, it looks like a cheap toy. it's probably still useful for lightweight objects (advertised to hold up to 2.5 lbs), like an action camera or maybe even a remote flash, but i'd be worried about that clamp, there are a few places where it could unscrew and fall apart. i might return the koolehaoda and get another taisioner.

before dinner i finished the leftover beef larb. it was quite the mess, i ate with my hands in the kitchen after first reheating the larb in the toaster oven. a bit later, i ate the bun. i didn't bother heating it up, at it more as a cold chicken salad. i didn't think the fish sauce was enough, i should've added my own.