Heading to Bassclave 2008 tomorrow…this year it’s on the Greenbrier River in West Virginia…will post pictures and a report when I get back!
I’m taking some time off this week…I worked Tuesday, but that’s all this week…meetings I needed to attend. Jan and I went to Jordan Lake again today. Monday was wonderful, almost like having the lake to ourselves. Today was just as good. Got there about 10AM, put the boat in the water, and headed to “our” beach. Threw balls & frisbees to the dogs…have to get that tennis ball a long way out to wear out Lessa. Anakin, as you can see, likes to stay closer to shore. Stayed about 4 hours, until the weather started to look like it was changing. Lessa wanted to fetch more balls, but it was time to go. As we motored back to the ramp, we could see the clouds building to the west. Drove home through some showers, the timing was perfect!
Our neighbors came over for some wine & watermelon on the patio last night. A fine evening to listen to tree frogs and enjoy July in the south. He’s the facilities manager at a local “eco institute”, and they have some new piglets there. As we were visiting, his cell buzzed with a text message…it seems that the pigs had opened the gate, but were still in the electric fence. No emergency, but one that would take attention in the morning. With apologies to Robert Redford, my wife asked our neighbor if he was a Pig Whisperer 😉 (and apparently, this was the title of a 1996 episode of “Spin City”, but heck, I’d never even heard of that). She then mused that perhaps “Dances with Pigs” might be more appropriate. At any rate, we ordered a “pig whisperer” t-shirt for him as a gag. You too can have one if you feel the need!
A while back, probably sometime in late 2006 or early 2007, I uploaded pictures to Picasa from my July 2006 canoe trip into Quetico Provincial Park with my scout troop. It just sat, and I’d not done anything with it. However, earlier this summer, a colleague sent me a Picasa album link from a conference he was attending, and he had used the map tagging features that Google has added. This got me to thinking that I ought to, before my memory completely passes on that trip, try to tag locations on the map for this set of pictures. That’s what I’ve done in this Picasa album. I’d done a fairly detailed writeup of this trip back in 2006, but it was fun to try to tag exact picture locations. I’m close with a lot of them, but some are a bit of a WAG ;-). It’s an interesting feature. Now, hmmm…seems like that thinking about my last blog post on MobileMe, and the galleries, that an iPhone could get GPS info and automatically tag a picture in a map overlay…heck, maybe this feature is already there! I dunno…no iPhone for this boy for a while…about 6 months left on my Alltel contract with my current phone 😉 and while $200 for a termination fee isn’t a lot, it irks me to pay that, so I won’t!
I’m sitting here this evening happily listening to the rain; it’s been dry here in Central NC and rain is good! I’ve been playing a bit with Apple’s MobileMe. I was a dotMac subscriber, but didn’t use it much except for file storage, and synching contacts & calendars between my home and work Macs. I like MobileMe, and am using more and more of it. It’s a more focused tool, with mail, contacts, calendar, photo gallery (more on this in a bit), and files (iDisk). One thing I like is the ability to allocate the 20GB of storage between files and email; if you don’t have much in your @mac.com or @me.com mail account (like me, as I don’t really use it), you can shunt more of the storage over to files. I’ve also started connecting my iPod Touch to MobileMe for its contacts & calendar; works very well with the 2.0 software. I’ve put a couple of photo collections in the gallery tool, and it’s a very nice way to present pictures; very flexible end user experience. Here are two examples, Bassclave 2005 and Bassclave 2007. I also have some miscellaneous flyfishing pictures in another gallery, and I’ve now found an app feature that really gives me a Jones for an iPhone…you can take a picture and immediately load it to a nicely formatted gallery on the web (via email upload). With my iPod Touch, I can upload pictures in the same way over email, but only pictures that are already on the device, obviously, as it doesn’t have a camera ;-). The updated Facebook App for the iPhone/iPod Touch (v1.1) also allows uploading of pictures, and that’s cool, but that’s outside of the focus of this post.
Got up and about about 7:30 this morning, fixed breakfast, read the New & Observer, then loaded up the boat and the dogs to go to Jordan Lake for a few hours. Got to Fearrington Point about 10AM. Tried the first set of ramps (nice little beach there for loading/unloading dogs). However, there was so much sand on those ramps I went to the second set (the 4-ramp complex). Dropped the boat in the water, and motored about 3 miles to our favorite lake beach (it’s the one on the south side of the point). Threw frisbees & foxtails to the dogs, read the NY Times, floated on rafts, and were generally lazy until early afternoon. Back now (doh!) and the boat is drying out…looks like thunderstorms well out to the west, coming out of the foothills. Need to close up the boat before going out to dinner tonight.
I have an iPod Touch, so I don’t get all the benefits of the new software, but there is some cool stuff enabled by the update. The app store seems to be really taking off with the apps multiplying like proverbial rabbits. Like many folks, I think that the Remote app is just such a great concept. For those who’ve been under a rock, this free app (from Apple) lets you control the iTunes library on a machine reachable with the wifi connection. As I’ve written in this space before, I’ve got a Mac Mini as a media center computer in my den, hooked up to a set of Bose Companion 5 speakers. Really works well for controlling that. It’s easy to switch to another library on another computer, such as the one on my iMac. Just a really great concept; kudos, Apple!
OK, I got a little cash for my recent birthday, and I decided to get an automotive GPS system…I looked around, talked to some folks, and ended up buying a TomTom GO 730. It came today; I’ve not driven anywhere with it yet, but I think I’ve figured out the operation, I’ve got it synced to my Mac, and I’ve got it paired with my work Blackberry and my personal Motorola phone, and have tried calling with each phone (yeah, I really wish I had an iPhone, but that’s still off in the future…or Android?). I really like the way the applications work on the TomTom; it seems quite easy and intuitive. I’ll try it out driving around tomorrow — it claims to know where I am, and has acquired appropriate satellites. More tomorrow!
Back to Bear Inlet again today. What a difference a couple of days makes…I think that there were three boats at the inlet on Tuesday; today (the 4th) there must have been 50…but still nice! Wide tidal flats, flat beach…dogs had a great time. Here’s Jeff throwing a frisbee to Lessa…
Shrimp & scallops on the grill tonight; fireworks at 9:30 shot from the pier over the beach…
It’s been a great week…nice weather, relaxing. No agenda to go and do. Yes, I’ve read email every day, even work email, and written a few notes each evening, but really that’s not intrusive. There are times when I completely unplug…for example on backpacking trips…but this time, it’s not a problem.
Today was a picture-perfect beach day…temps in the 80’s, water temps in the low 80’s too, hardly a cloud in the sky. We actually went to see a movie today during the early afternoon, and then out on the beach. Gentle southerly wind, nice waves coming right directly onshore. Good seafood for dinner. Nice bottle of wine on the deck after dinner. As I type this, it’s clear, with a cool ocean breeze, very comfortable.
Tomorrow, we’ll take the boat and go back to Bear Inlet. Showing my sister how to get her boat from her house over there.
Not much else to say, just another day in paradise 😉