I took this in late January. I’m still amazed that it came out of my iPhone camera. More later.
I guess I didn’t do a very good job last year of blowing the dust off of this site or my work blog. One big reason for that has been the sheer busy-ness at work this year. And working here is a lot like work, even more so this year, and I want to unwind from work when I’m at home. I hit my 10-year anniversary at UF last March and it’s still my dream job. Two other reasons for inactivity here are called Facebook and Twitter, which make sharing brief updates very convenient.
But the biggest reason is that I’ve been working on something very big offline and it’s shown wonderful progress. I’m happy.
Here are some photo albums from the past year:
- New Year’s Eve Ichetucknee River kayaking 2011
- St. Augustine Ice Skating and Lights – Dec. 28, 2011
- Dana and Craig – 2011 – Photos of us from some of the year’s adventures.
- Cockspur Island Lighthouse and Fort Pulaski – Nov. 12, 2011 – Kayaking near Savannah
- Gator Growl – November 4, 2011 - featuring the Goo Goo Dolls
- Duran Duran in Concert – October 13, 2011 – at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre
- UF Gator Football 2011
- Spirit of America concert – Sept. 24, 2011 - at the Jacksonville Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum
- Ichetucknee River Tubing – Labor Day weekend 2011
- Atlas V Juno launch – Aug. 5, 2011 - shot from Playalinda Beach
- Ichetucknee River Tubing – July 15, 2011
- Rainbow River Kayaking – July 14, 2011 - A new favorite place
- SW High Class of 81 30-year reunion weekend – May 20-22, 2011 (on Facebook)
- Launch of Endeavour – May 16, 2011
- Green Cove Springs 3rd of July Fireworks 2011
- St. Augustine Alligator Farm – May 7, 2011
- Launch of Discovery – Feb. 24, 2011
- Weekend at the Postcard Inn – Feb
- GCC Chilly Chili Picnic – Jan. 29, 2011 - My favorite bicycle club event at O’Leno State Park.
Some older stuff not linked here previously:
- Favorites of 2010
- Best of 2010
- Vampire Weekend in Concert – Oct. 14, 2010
- Space geekery – Various photos related to space from all years
Find me elsewhere online:
Check back. I might not be done yet.
I’ve got plans to do more here, too. I changed the template last weekend to the new WordPress default after discovering a problem with the old one. I’m also planning to shake up the content a bit, first by getting rid of the old photo galleries. Some of those may move to my Flickr, others will just live forever in an archive on a hard drive at home.
I also have some cool new content plans that I hope to start executing in the near future (hint: think kayaking). And there may be a new template, too.
Here are some links to stories and photo sets from my adventures of 2009:
- Ichetucknee River – New Year’s Eve 2008
- Sante Fe River – February
- St. Augustine Beach – April
- Ichetucknee River – April — Flood! (and manatees)
- Ichetucknee River – April — Flood, part 2
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – June (lots more manatees)
- Ichetucknee River – October
- Enoree and Broad Rivers in South Carolina – October
- Turkey Creek in Palm Bay, Fla. – October – with the Ryans
- Ichetucknee River – New Yearâ€™s Eve 2009
- South by Southwest Interactive conference 2009 – March
- Panama City Beach vacation – May
- Kayaking in South Carolina – October
- Osborne Holiday Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – just after Christmas
- Garden and butterfly pictures from the year.
- Palatka Fourth of July fireworks over the St. Johns River – July 4.
- Ichetucknee River tubing with my cycling club group – August.
- Midnight launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery – August.
- Gator Football 2009.
- My Best of 2009.
- Happy Holidays 2008 – last year’s version of this.
Find me elsewhere online:
I took the iPhone plunge in early 2009, getting a 3G a couple of months before the 3GS came out because my old Motorola Razr died.
I knew I needed to get a protective case for it because I’ve had previous phones meet their demise due to repeated drops, a couple of friends with iPhones have dropped theirs and cracked the glass, and, well, it’s the most expensive phone I’ve ever bought.
Dave (boss, colleague, friend) solves this with a belt case, but I have long been opposed to the concept of the Batbelting of geekdom. I like to carry my phone either in a shirt pocket or in the front pocket of my pants.
My first case, purchase when the phone was less than a week old, probably, was an incase Slider. The case served me well with my only complaint being that the lower, smaller part of the case that was intended to slide off for docking more often stayed put while the larger part slid off. This wasn’t usually an issue because I don’t have a dock that requires removal of the small part. The case also started to lose its matte finish over time and became speckled with shiny spots.
My second case purchase was an Aquapac Waterproof iPhone case. I bought this for kayaking and other water sports after having a good experience with an Aquapac camera case. The iPhone fit is a little tight, but the phone can be fully operated inside the case, which allows texting and checking the weather while paddling (or during a rain-drenched football game).
My most-recent case purchase is an OtterBox Commuter TL (in blue). This is a two-part case consisting of an inner, colored silicone jacket that is nicely textured for grip along the edge. The jacket incorporates shock-absorbing coring to protect the phone from drops and has covers for the dock, headphone jack, and button covers to help keep dirt and moisture out of the phone. It is not, however, a waterproof case. The second part of the case is a hard, clear plastic spine that provides extra protection for end drops and covers most of the silicone to make getting the phone out of a pocket easier than with an all-silicone case.
My only negative (barely) observation so far on the Commuter is that the plastic spine has less friction than the Slider on hard surfaces like desks, dining room tables, and nightstands. As a result, it tends to slide around when I’m trying to type on the phone at my desk, for example.
The Commuter is also thinner than I expected. I was worried that it wouldn’t fit into the Aquapac case. I was wrong (though either case is easily removed). I’ve tried it once and it may slide in and out of the Aquapac more easily than the Slider due to the low friction of the plastic spine, apparently.
Many of my readers now that being asked for camera buying advice is a somewhat regular occurence for me. Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer summed it up about as well and succinctly as I have ever read in one in a series of recent posts:
â€œBut seriously, hereâ€™s how to buy a camera: figure out what lenses you need first, and who has them; figure how big a camera you want to carry; figure out (from that and from the pricing and your budget) what level or tier youâ€™re going to be looking in (and this level is a good one); then pick one and get on with it.â€
My usual advice is to find the Canon camera that best fits your budget and desired features and then talk yourself into the next higher-priced model. If someone complains about not wanting to buy a Canon, I tell them that they asked the wrong person for advice. That’s not entirely true, though, since I do occasionally recommend Panasonics too.
Update: The day after writing the above, New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue offered this even-briefer bit of advice in response to the cocktail-party question, “What camera should I get?”:
“The Canon PowerShot SD880. Or, if youâ€™re willing to carry around a bigger, heavier model (an S.L.R.), the Nikon D5000.”
I’ve recommended the first camera. The latter I’m not very familiar with, but I have long found Nikon’s user interface to be confusing.
I’m in the midst of this year’s journey to the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX. I have described it in the past as a giant, five-day-long group hug for the builders of the web. This is my fourth visit to this conference in the past five years.
You can stalkfollow me around on
Here are some links to stories and photo sets from my adventures of 2008:
- South by Southwest Interactive conference 2008 – March
- Buffalo/Niagara Falls – March
- Gulf coast road trip – May
- Fall color adventure – October
- Kayaking Turkey Creek near Palm Bay with my brother Andy – Dec. 2007.
- Ichetucknee River – New Year’s Eve 2007 – a.k.a. “Hernia Day.”
- Ichetucknee River – May – wherein I met the Whites, who became my kayaking buddies.
- Santa Fe River – June with the Whites.
- Silver River – July – a new favorite place.
- Salt Springs Run – July – not as interesting as I’d hoped.
- Oklawaha River – September – I may seen enough of that side of the Ocala National Forest now.
- Lake Washington and the St. Johns River with my brother – December.
- Ichetucknee River – New Year’s Eve 2008
- Lunar eclipse – February
- Garden and butterfly pictures from the Summer.
- Night launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour – November.
- Happy Holidays 2007 – last year’s version of this.
Keep checking back. I might not be done yet.
I don’t post here often enough. I realized the other day when I was thinking about posting this that I haven’t posted one of these in a year. I hope to be able to start writing here and on the work blog more often.
Without further adieu, the most popular content here for the third quarter of 2008, according to Google Analytics, is:
- MyCokeRewards vs. PepsiStuff – The post I sometimes wish I had never written. It’s number one with a bullet and far outpaces everything else on the site. Readers seem to like to comment on it, too, but I recently turned those off. The truth is, I pretty much stopped drinking the stuff over a month ago in an effort to resolve a health problem (tinnitus). It didn’t relieve the problem, but I don’t feel any worse for not having all that caffeine and aspartame running around my system so I now only very moderately consume diet cola and unsweet tea. I had a thought while preparing myself to write the post that you are reading of trying to dethrone it by writing something like, “Divorce – one man’s strategy.”
- Ichetucknee Springs tubing photos – My first attempt at writing a post with the expressed intent of collecting search engine traffic. It worked. I’m currently number three behind two official pages if you use the post title as the search term.
- Geotagging photos for Flickr with Mac OS X and a Garmin GPS – This makes me happy as it’s the type of writing I would like to do more of around here.
- Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival pics posted – Must be all search engine traffic.
- JBL On Stage II comments – I’m pleased to see another recent techie product-oriented post make this list.
The old photo gallery still gets a bit of traffic here, too. One of these days I may actually finish moving all that stuff to Flickr (some of it’s duplicated), properly handle redirects, and get a nice solution in place for displaying the Flickr stuff here. Some day, maybe.
The most-viewed old photo galleries here in this time frame were:
- Ichetucknee Springs Tubing – July 23, 2005 – This set is also on Flickr.
- Horse Farm Hundred – Oct. 2, 2005
- Ichetucknee Springs Tubing – July 30, 2005 – This set is also on Flickr, where a certain photo was, for a while, getting a bit of search engine traffic from fans of Ultimate Fighting’s Dana White.
- Greathouse Butterfly Farm – May 1, 2004
Tubing, bicycling and butterflies — yeah, that sounds like me.
If you’re interested in what search terms bring traffic here, they would be:
- Pepsi stuff, MyCokeRewards, and related terms.
- Ichetucknee tubing and variations thereof.
- Digital photography presentation – leading here.
- Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival and variations thereof.
My latest gizmo arrived today. The JBL On Stage II iPod speaker was an impulse buy last week when I saw it on dealnn.com for 40 bucks. I had been looking for something like this to take along while traveling and for occasional use around the house. I don’t like wearing earbuds.
I like the size. I’ll have no problem taking this along in a suitcase. I can leave the iPod charger at home since this will do that, too.
The sound is big. It sounded good in the large great room in my house. I have no doubt that it could be cranked up loud enough to have hotel room neighbors complaining.
It comes with a short cable for hooking up non-dockable mp3 players or, say, a laptop. I think it would work well in a dorm room too, but a student might rather have a device that also functions as an alarm clock radio.
I was wondering why these were being sold at over half off. Well, I think the most current dock connecter in the package (and there were many) is the one for my now two-year-old 5g 60gb, which is shown. Also, the remote control only seems to be working intermittently so maybe the battery in it is nearing the end of its shelf life. There also may be concerns for some about whether it is iPhone compatible. I can tell you that it is iPod Touch compatible.
Some may consider it a drawback that it doesn’t take batteries to make it truly portable. I don’t care about that. If I need to be that portable, I’ll put on earbuds or headphones.