Sunday, December 30, 2007

Technology and nature on the road

A footnote to my posting about last week's trip to Grandma's house...
When we ran into bad driving conditions along Hwy 20 in eastern Iowa, I checked my GPS for nearest lodging and found a couple of them seven miles ahead. I punched the button for more details and got the phone number for the Super 8. We called ahead to see if they had any rooms available and we reserved two of them, telling the manager we would be there in a few minutes. We were also able to check the road conditions and the current weather radar while driving because my wife has a Verizon broadband card and account (for her work) on her laptop computer. Once at the hotel, I used her computer to go online and review geocaches. It's all pretty heady stuff when you consider how far connectivity has come in just the past few years.

Just so you don't think I'm a total geek, I "unplugged" for awhile this afternoon to take some photos of the winter scenes brought to us by the recent sticky snowfall. Here are a few selected pictures from today.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Over the river and through the woods... Grandmother's house we go. Or at least we tried to go today. We're on our way to Grandma's for Christmas but because of the blowing snow and icy roads, we're spending the night in a hotel in Dysersville, Ia. Not what we had in mind when we left home this morning, but all in all, not a bad place to be considering what it was like out there on the highways today. We'll continue our travels during the daylight hours tomorrow and, hopefully, make it the rest of the way to western Iowa. And yes, I did check to see if there are any geocaches around here. It turns out there is one less than .1 mile from our hotel. But it's kinda chilly out there right now -- something like 5 degrees with a wind chill well below zero, so I think I'll stay right where I am and watch Sunday Night Football with my family. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope everyone you care about is safe and warm tonight.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wrist camera - GoProCamera

A couple of months ago I saw an ad in Sea Kayaker magazine for a small waterproof camera call the GoPro Digital Hero 3. It looked like it would be great for all sorts of outdoor activities, so I did some online research including checking out the company's Web site. I ended up purchasing the Digital Hero 3 and so far I have used it for kayaking, scuba diving and yesterday for geocaching in the snow (see video below). It's a great little camera that shoots both still photos and digital video. Recently I sent some video footage that I shot on our latest scuba dive trip to GoProCamera. This morning I discovered that they are featuring my footage on their home page. How cool is that?

Edit: Jan. 4: It looks like GoProCamera has replaced my video with someone else's, but you can still view mine here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The best geocache creator? Here's my nomination

I don't know of any other geocacher who creates more ingenious and fun geocaches. Quite simply, he is the best geocache creator I know of. So this is a challenge to all my readers: Look at Iowa Tom's geocaches and see if you can nominate another geocacher who has a better portfolio of caches.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Winter is here

Sometimes I think I can tell what the weather is like without venturing outside, looking out the window or looking at a radar image. All I have to do is check the review queue to see how many new geocaches have been submitted. So far today, for example, there were only four new caches submitted (only one of which could be approved so far, pending a couple of issues that need to be fixed for the others). The reason for this relatively low number is most likely the snow storm that's sweeping the upper Midwest. Pretty easy to understand that people don't want to place caches during inclement weather. Most people, anyway. I think we all know at least a couple of geocachers who don't let a little thing like Mother Nature slow them down.