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Archive for July, 2012

We are on the last full day at being at the beach at Emerald Isle, North Carolina and tonight is taco night. Last week, we drove from

English: Split, gymnastics Deutsch: Spagat

English: Split, gymnastics Deutsch: Spagat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cincinnati, Ohio to Mechanicsville, Virginia. We still don’t know if we are driving home to Cincinnati on Saturday or Sunday. Yeah, it is a bit late to be discussing such maneuvers, but such goes vacation.

The greatest lessons learned during this whole trip is one easily forgotten: be flexible. When things don’t go as planned, change the plans or perish. Too many people get completed stuck in the schedule and fail to see when it is time to change. They ignore the signs and complain. They get angry and point to the schedule. They will not relax.

Some things do require a tight schedule. Open heart surgery being one. The patient will not live for too long if left open. Very few things in life, however, require such a tight schedule. Failing to plan is as dangerous, so plan, go and be flexible.

Who knows where we are going tomorrow. We may drive to the in-laws and head home on Sunday. We may drive about half-way and stay overnight and then drive the rest tomorrow. Doesn’t really matter. When the decision is finally made, that is the direction will will go, until the signs say to move differently.

Be flexible and succeed.

 

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The Delicate Arch, a natural arch near Moab, Utah

The Delicate Arch, a natural arch near Moab, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The intent was to blog each night. The idea was to share the experiences in Utah with everyone. The days became long. The hikes far more tiring than anticipated. Here now lies the last night, beer in glass.

While I am sipping on a 4-Play Porter from Shared of Pale Brewing Company and a video is being exported from iMovie of scenes shot at Canyonlands National Park, the time has come to finally updated the readers of where we are. This whirlwind tour of Utah started with beer and it will the same way.

The first day saw us at Park City, where beer was consumed at the Olympic Park and the No Name Saloon. A panoramic video was shot at the top of the town lift near the old silver mine (King Silver Mine). The area was beautiful and it was warm. Flies abounded. In the late afternoon it rained and that is when we ate at the No Name Saloon. The Buffalo cheeseburger was great.

Mid-tour found us in Cedar City and enjoying Zion National Park. It is quite interesting how little English was heard amongst the visitors. The two most popular languages were German and French. I didn’t get to speak to many. But it was fun trying to remember the vocabulary to attempt at understanding.

This last night we went to Arches National Park to see the stars. This park is open all day. A quite drive out of Moab and we are there. Pull over. Let our eyes adjust. Oh my. I took some long exposures with my Nikon D7000. I’ll post some results.

The beer is nearly gone. It is a LONG day tomorrow making our way to North Carolina.

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Great Salt Lake And Valley

Great Salt Lake And Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh my. Getting to our vacation in Utah proved to be no less an adventure than what we planned to see. As we were leaving from Richmond, Virginia, we elected to fly from Newport News as it saved us quite a bit of money (more to spend on the actual vacation…). Getting there wasn’t too bad and it gave my wife and her friend time to talk. Once there, a sequence of events transpired that was nearly tragic and comical.

It started with security that had a slow moving line, despite the shortness of it. There are six gates in concourse A, why does this have to be so hard? The line grew and it was slow. Next came the sterilizing body scan. As they made me take off my belt, my pants would not stay up high enough. I went to hold them, but all that did was have the TSA inform me that I need to put my hands over my head. This made my pants fall a bit (yes, I’ve lost a few pounds when I changed my workouts). After a few rounds of this, I pulled them up high enough and pushed my gut out to make them stay long enough for the scan. Ugh, now what?

That was the wrong question to ask, albeit only in my head. As I had had my camera backpack on, my back was sweaty. This made the scan register stupidly which lead to a pat down of the areas marked. Nothing was found that way, of course, but as the TSA does not train the agents to think, we danced anyway. Finally, redressed and through security.

After a bit of food and waiting, it was time for congregating around the gate and waiting to board like cattle. The biggest problem is that there wasn’t a plane. Oops. I guess we wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, it arrives 30 minutes late from Denver. Plane cleaned, we get to board. Plan full. Finally, off.

Our Denver arrival was only about 30 minutes late. No worries. Our scheduled layover was 3 hours. Find the next gate, ask about the exit row (it was full)  and get something to eat. Done, done and done. Congregate at A42 in Denver at the appropriate time. Oh wait. No plane. Hey, I’ve seen this play.

I check my boarding pass again. It says we are flying Frontier, not Delta. What’s with all the delays? I expect this from a heartless giant like Delta Airlines, not from a locally run regional. Plane finally arrives. Crews gets off. It is cleaned. New crew boards. We board. Well, sorta. Very slow to board and then someone says they forgot their laptop in the terminal. Ok, get it. She does. Pilot is still chatting with co-pilot. Nearly full plane. We are hot.

Someone finally figures out that customer comfort on an Air Bus 319 is a good thing and gets the air on. Pilot and co-pilot are still chatting. Time goes past 30 minutes since time to leave. We aren’t. What is going on?

Finally, an announcement that we are waiting on passengers from a flight from Atlanta. We wait more. Lady in window seat huffs and fidgets. Inside, I giggle. Outside, I am in discomfort. Very tired and seat will not recline. I’ve been awake since 5:30 am Eastern. It is nearly 10 mountain time. We still have to fly to Salt Lake, get bags, get shuttle to rental car, etc.

Finally, the last passenger is on-board. Seems he had to stop at McDonald’s on the way. Thanks buddy. I smile. I know karma will get him back. It did me. We fly.

Ok pilot, full throttle, we have time to make. Nah.

Arriving in Salt Lake started with one of the loudest and hardest landings of which I been a part. Nearly thought I was on Alitalia, except we didn’t bounce. Former Navy pilot I guess.

Now the very long wait for bags. Walk to shuttle area. Wait….wait…oh crap, midnight approaches and Fox Rental car closes then. I call. Get the recording. Another person shows up at the waiting area. She is on the phone. Turns out, she got the only human available to answer the phone. We wait and shuttle finally arrives. We drive…long way.

It is well past 12:30 am when we are out the rental area with the car. Now, the trip to the hotel. We find it without problem, though there is no stoner walking about in the drive way and security is following him. Welcome to the Red Lion Hotel. I check in and am informed our room does not have a closet. I don’t care at this point. We take everything up and I go to move the car. The elevator comes as expect, I push 1 and head to lobby. The car gets there and the doors will not open.

Really? Is this really happening? The time is pushing past 1 am Mountain time. This 3 am for me. I’ve been up nearing 22 hours. I push buttons. Nothing. I push more. Still nothing. Oh wait, I have the key and the envelope. A number. I call and get the front desk. I get disconnected before I can be understood. I call again. This time, good communication happens. In a few minutes I hear noises. Finally, the doors are open. How often does this happen??

Car is moved. I make my way back up to our room. I try to sleep. My mind is racing. I doze. At 5:30 eastern, my mind says “Wake up!” I hit snooze.

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Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000 (Photo credit: jaredpolin)

My typical camera bag is showing its age. It is a great backpack and I’ve taken many times on driving and flying trips. These days, however, there is the added need of taking a laptop. When going by car, this really isn’t much of a problem. I put my MacBook in another bag with books, power cords and other materials. Taking two bags on a plane though, that’s a problem.

I started looking at larger backpacks that could hold the 17″ laptop. Holy cow they are expensive. I settled on one from Sam’s Club. The Case Logic DSLR Travel Pack. Though it is inexpensive, I am already seeing problems in the design. For starters, it doesn’t seem to have much room and there are no straps for the chest and waist. Hiking is going to become a problem. I don’t need to worry too much about the tripod as it isn’t making the trip (all aluminum and too heavy).

I have an idea, I’ll pack my existing bag in my suitcase. I stuffed it full of underwear, etc, placed it in the suitcase. It fits! Well, sorta. There is some room leftover, though not enough. It will have to stay home and I’ll need to get used to the new bag.

The biggest problem here is that I really do need two bags. I need one large enough for traveling. Stuff all my gear, lenses, cleaners, filters, laptop, etc. Rugged so I can take it on the plane. Once where we are going, I need a smaller one for hiking around, whether town or wilderness, in which I take only what is needed for that trip. I have tried a few other bags, results are crap.

Are there any bags out there that fit this bill? Perhaps a bag in a bag? Let me know.

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emerald water, indeed

emerald water, indeed (Photo credit: rachel in wonderland)

The last time I traveled for the Legacy workshop in New Jersey, I used a plane to fly from Cincinnati to Newark, a train, two actually, to get from the airport to near the hotel and an automobile to get to the airport. My adventure made for a long day, though nothing experienced by John Candy in the titular movie. The time to travel has come again. The yearly vacation trek will start on Wednesday.

Most years, the travel involves taking the family to the beach at Emerald Isle, North Carolina. This year, a slightly different plan is afoot. On July 11, 2012, it we will our 20th wedding anniversary. Trying to celebrate such an event in the midst of starting a new business is trying. Where should we go? There were thoughts of Ireland or perhaps Germany. The state of Utah some how became a compromise. No, I don’t remember how.

We will still drive to the in-laws in Richmond, Virginia. The kids will go to Emerald Isle with them while we fly to Utah to some hiking around and way too much driving. My wife wants to see the whole state in one week. Salt Lake City to the Bryce Canyon area to Moab and back to Salt Lake for a tiring plan ride to Jackson, North Carolina.

Yes, I will most as I can while traveling. I will take many pictures and put some on my photostream in Flickr. Enjoy.

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English: IssueBurner interface on iPhone

English: IssueBurner interface on iPhone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your website mobile ready? It is no longer good enough to have a site that will look good in a web browser running on a mobile phone. Users do not want to have to resize and move your site around their phone. A full 57% of users will not recommend a business with a bad mobile website. You can’t afford to lose that many customers.

What does mobile ready mean? It is a rework of the experience to look made for the mobile phone: large buttons, organized for the platform size, quick. The user wants to see about your business and make a purchase during the same session. Annoy them and they are not likely to return. You have to get mobile ready.

What about the QR code? Yes, that needs to not only be in your advertising, it needs to take users to a mobile ready website. Having it go to a website designed for a computer and a full size screen will annoy your users. Don’t annoy them. Get mobile ready.

Don’t know how to get mobile ready? We need to talk. Visit and get signed up. You are losing customers until you get mobile ready.

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This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, another July 4th. A day to drink heavily, roast hot dogs and set off fireworks. What does it all mean? Who cares???

Very much like Thanksgiving, Independence Day in America has been reduced to sales, eating and drinking. Long gone are the ideals that shaped the country: individual Liberty, the right for an individual to pursue their dreams, opportunity for all. Instead, Americans have traded the Liberty for 30 pieces of silver and the promise of money when they retire. The largest con job in the history of the country was declared legal last week and the useful idiots are celebrating.

Sad

The founding fathers noted Liberty was something that required eternal vigilance if it was to be kept. Abraham Lincoln noted we would not be destroyed from without, but from within. And he was correct. Our country is swimming in debt and is now owned by a central bank (thank you Woodrow Wilson). We are no longer Independent. We elect moron after moron to every office. Our schools fail because an educated populace is hard to control. America is not alone, Europe is gladly jumping off the same cliff to Tyranny.

Stop!

Take back your Independence. Learn to provide for yourself. Follow Your desires. And live.

My vlog on the 4th.

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