Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Summer Snowbirding: The Fall

The signs of the times are upon us. Our favorite source of produce, Fujiwara's Farmer's Market (on 124th S in Riverton, near I-15) is beginning to fill up with straw bales — an absolute indicator that Halloween is screaming down the path directly at us.

Unfortunately, that also means that our favorite thing to eat – succulent ears of sweet corn – is also coming to an end. The Fujiwara brothers apologize profusely, but what can they do? They've made an almost superhuman effort to keep their coolers stocked with corn in this "down" year for corn due to the prolonged early rains – but, alas, it is not meant to be.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Trails: California, Northern Sierra

Continuing the mad rush to return three offroading map books, I have now finished extensive updates to the California: Northern Sierra Region with many new hand-drawn trails from published waypoints and completely updated route descriptions.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Offroading Home: California Trails]

Similar to those finished last week, Colorado: North Central, and the week before that, Colorado: Southwest, these trails are through beautiful forested country with significant historical significance.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Trails: Colorado North Central Region

Under the gun to see that the person who loaned me the book got it back in time — I continued the all-night vigil and hand entered more than 20 new trails in the Colorado North Central Region. All of the trail description's have also been improved and/or re-done.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Colorado Trails]

Take a quick look on over to the website and see my handiwork! With the Southwestern Region done last week and the Front Range Region done last month, almost the entire Colorado map has been upgraded!

Now is probably a good time to explain how/why Offroading Home maps integrate with the written maps in the book: Colorado Trails North Central Region by Peter Massey et. al..

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Trails: Southwest Colorado

Somewhat like getting hit in the head with a rock, I just got a new book and found that it contained 25 more trails than what it had supplied on disk. That meant a lot of "hand drawing" of track lines and entering of waypoints if I wanted to add it to the master file — which I obviously did. [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Colorado Trails]

Take a look on over at the web site and navigate to Colorado Trails Southwest Region, and see over 25 new trails and 23 other updated desctiptions, directions and locations.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doing GPS: 201 - "From GPS to Google" (Part 3)

The adventure that you planned for weeks has come to fruition and you now have only memories of sights, sounds and smells to give you solace during your work-a-day existence.

But wait, you did remember to turn on your GPS and you have the whole thing down in digital format; but, how do you look at it during your coffee break? Lets plug that thing in, fire up our software and create a Google Earth file that will fly us over the whole trail.

This week we complete our understanding of "GPS Visualizer" and make a shareable KML file which fits our own personal preferences and requirements.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jordan Districts - "Silver Crest" Elementary School

Finishing touches are still being put on Jordan School District's new elementary school near Snowbird Headquarters, probably even while the school kids watch longingly out the windows.

Needless to say the traffic pattern around the area has been a nightmare for the past year while they constructed the odd school. Why odd you ask... well, for one thing its an elementary school and it's two story. Not common.

And for another, they plunked it down right in the middle of about the only road into Herriman — hard to believe some money didn't line some pockets for that one!

But, the real oddity is the exorbitant price tag! It seems to me as if the entire school board had no more sense than a couple of adolescent newlyweds who think they absolutely can't live without a house and all the furnishings better than their parents.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Doing GPS: 105 - "'Visualizing' GPS Data"

What a bumpy ride making this screencast has been. After four tries it was still too long so I decided, yet again, to split discussing a new program - "GPS Visualizer" - into two parts.

'Visualizer' is such a broad, flexible program that putting its explanation into basic, plug-and-play language was nearly impossible. So I developed a basic 'template' of sorts which will allow you to nearly 'fall into' your first file.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Entertainment: Hale Centre Theater - The Scarlet Pimpernel"

Disport, diversion, entertainment - no matter what you call it, at least the latest production at Hale Center Theater fits the description.

As the house lights dimmed, it was obvious that the child size carousel on the focal point of the circular stage was already stage lit; and with the million dollar stage it was easy to make the whole parquet floor, on which it rested, rotate so "Marguerite" could enter and begin her opening sopranic solo.

At the second verse however, just as the music swelled, the entire stage rising (or audience sinking) to reveal a full size duplicate of the carousel complete with Elizabethan costumed riders, signaled that we were in for a "wild ride" (if only the audio didn't drive us out).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Doing GPS: 104 - "From GPS to Google Earth"

I can't tell you how many emails I've answered about this topic with: "I'm working on a screencast for this." Now is the time.

Capturing your off-road journey onto your GPS unit is only the first part of the journey. You must want to prolong the pleasure for times when you are shut up in an office breathing recirculated air. Don't you?

Sure, you can lunge for the photo album, and re-live the adventure. But what if those photos were tagged onto a map which showed the trail you actually rode, over an actual detailed image of the earth? Now that's what I call reminiscing!