Monthly Archives: June 2011

Sharp Rock Vineyards


    Jan and I just spent a wonderful weekend at Sharp Rock Vineyards at the edge of the Shenandoah National Park. We stayed in the cottage, which is the original farmhouse on the farm. The host, Jimm, was gracious, the winery dogs and cats were fun, and the wine, especially the dry Rose, was wonderful. We hiked the Old Rag circuit on Sunday. I fished a bit on Saturday and Monday in the Hughes River, and we enjoyed a weekend unplugged (no cell phone coverage and no towers in Rappahannock County, VA. If you appreciate a rustic B&B experience and like good wine, it’s a hard combination to beat. Good hiking (Old Rag, White Oak Canyon, and others). You can make wine the focus of your trip, sampling not only Sharp Rock vintages, but several other wineries in the Rappahannock/Madison county area. This is one of the most scenic areas of Virginia, in my humble opinion, and we’ve already planned to go back next summer.

iPhone pedometer/running log app “Log Your Run”

i don’t run much, but I still like to get out and run a bit, particularly on summer mornings. Years ago I ran 5 and 10K races, but that was as they say, “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”! I saw a blurb about an app that worked for running training, a so-called “couch to 5K” app, but it was too rigid, plus it really wasn’t what I wanted. I browsed the app store and found one that looked better, and splurged the $2.99 😉 from the $25 iTunes gift card Jason and Jenny gave me for my birthday. It’s called “Log Your Run” and I’m quite impressed. I’ve used it two days to jog thru the neighborhood and along the creek, stopping to throw sticks to Lessa along the way. I’d guessed this at 2 miles, and it measured 1.99 miles each day. The app lets you upload the results to its web site ( and track your walks/runs. Lots of features & flexibility. It plots your run on a map and does an elevation profile. I am very impressed with the mapping accuracy and elevation profile accuracy. I’ve compared against a topo sheet and its spot on. The combination of GPS and accelerometers seem to work very well in the iPhone 4. I just drop the phone in my shorts and take off with the dog.

Makes me want to run more! That’s worth $2.99! Will take it to the mountains for hiking this weekend and see hoe that works. So far, very nice!

Lovin’ my iPhone personal hotspot

I have been using the personal hotspot feature on my iPhone for about two months now, and it’s one of the “greatest things since sliced bread.” 🙂 I’m sitting in a hotel in Charlotte right now at the Southeast Regional Educause meeting, doing a bit of email and general web surfing. Downstairs the conference provides nice WiFi, but it doesn’t reach the 9th floor. I could go down to the meeting room floor, but it’s much more comfortable to have a desk and a regular chair to sit and type. I fired up the iPhone, opened up the MacBook (and authenticated WPA2), and it’s good to go. Yes, I brought my MacBook instead of just bringing the iPad, since I thought I was going to have to work on some slides, but one of my co-presenters is doing that. The iPad is here, tho, and it a great conference device due to the form factor and battery life…anyway, this post is about the hotspot, and the thing to say about it is that it just works, and gets decent thruput.

We’ve also used the hotspot for traveling to the beach, for getting traffic reports and for general web surfing (by Jan, while I drive!). My iPad is the AT&T 3G iPad1, and I had a data plan since May 1 of 2010, but have dropped that now in favor of the iPhone. There’s not a time when I have my iPad with me and don’t have my iPhone, so it just made sense. I can say that the Verizon iPhone hotspot connectivity is far superior to the AT&T connection on I40 between Chapel Hill and eastern NC. I’d lose 3G in several spots, going to Edge on the iPad, and now with the iPhone and Verizon, solid rockin’ 3G all the way. It’s very empowering to know that you can set up connectivity like this, virtually wherever you want.

I’ve not had more than two devices connected simultaneously, but I don’t anticipate problems going up to the limit of five. Also, I’ve not found the battery consumption to be horrible in hotspot mode. It does go down faster, but no more so than if you have other active data-hungry apps running in the background. The bottom line is a big “thumbs up” from me. Try it on your iPhone or your Droid…it’s a cool feature.