Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Seneca Rocks, Dolly Sods

Want to see what mountain bones look like? Take a trip to Seneca Rocks West Virginia. This is a place where the backbone of the mountain has worn through. Sort of a spectacular view but if you want to get good photos you need to be careful with the lighting. I'm thinking afternoon lighting will give you the views. I took my photos in the morning so the lighting was not as good.

People even like to climb up the rock faces but nope not me. I get dizzy on the top step walking down the the viewing area.

One of the nice out the way places to visit is Dolly Sods. Head north on 28 out of Seneca Rocks

and look for Jordon Pond Road. This will take up to public road 19 then FR 75. FR 75 takes you through Dolly Sods. This is definitely a wilderness area, no McDonalds. You also want to be

careful if you decide to really do some serious hiking in here. There some unexploded artillery shells left over from practice during

WWII. I mainly just stuck to driving through and checking out the overlooks. Also check out the Northern Loop Trail. Although the loop does come out down the road from the parking lot. I'm thinking loops should come where they start....

A must see is the last overlook of the area "Bear Rocks" you can see all the way to Virginia from there. Isn't that cool?

Roadside Cafes

You know when you stop at little out of the way places on little out of the way roads you can end up with a gem of a meal or maybe not.  Probably best to go with your instincts, even if they are really proud of what they are serving unless it looks like a Bar-b-que place their Bar-b-que will probably not be good.  So go with what it looks like they might be good at regardless of what they are proud of.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New River Gorge

The New River Gorge known as the grand canyon of the east.  Sort of a cool stop along highway 19.  As long as you are going by take a stop at the visitor center and check out the New River Gorge bridge from the outlook below.



Also as long as you are there go ahead and drive down to the bottom of the gorge to see the bridge from way way down there.


You can see the old bridge that has been replaced.CIMG2229

And take a look at the gorge framed by the new bridge.


This area is sort of famous for white water rafting.  Ummm Yeah you're not going to be seeing any pictures of that :-)


Babcock State Park, home to probably the most photographed grist mill in the world.  The Glade Creek Grist Mill.  Here take a look.

IMG_1565 IMG_1577 IMG_1609


Took these pictures today.  I've visited this park several times, the have some cool cabins you can rent but you really need to reserve them ahead of time.  I've only gotten lucky once and that was because someone had canceled.  Really a must see in South West Central West Virginia.

Definition of Morning

How come every time you go on a vacation you just can't sleep the night before.  So the next morning instead of getting your clothes together and car packed you are just wanting to sleep.  Well 11:30 is still morning right?


Needless to say we did get a late start this morning but we are now in a Quality Inn in West Huntington West Virginia.  Yeah I know we were supposed to be camping but hey it is nicer in the hotel and it will give us the chance to get up and out in the morning and hit some of the cool areas in West Virginia.

A simple camping trip


Amazing what it takes to go on a simple camping trip....  Oh yeah and we still need to stop at WalMart.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Getting ready.  The air smells right.  Clothes are being washed.  All electronics are charged and all the camping gear is in a closet waiting to be tackled.  Yep it a vacation.  More to come.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

iPhone and terms of service

Most people have heard about the iPhone "update" that bricked (technical term meaning it is broke) any iPhone which had been manipulated to unlock it from the AT&T carrier. This reaction and remedy by the combined legal, technical power known as Apple, AT&T causes one to ponder when did terms of service start allowing a company to come into your home (virtually) and destroy your personal property.

Now a lot of people on the net have been proclaiming loud and long that you bought it you agreed to the terms and you got what you deserve nah nah nah. Okay I'm game what subsection of the terms of service allowed Apple, AT&T to destroy equipment (virtually). Yes I know they had a warning "oh thank you mighty Apple, AT&T". Where is Apple, AT&T's proof that everyone who had equipment destroyed agreed to those terms. Say they did not activate through iTunes and used Tmobile as a phone carrier would they have ever agreed to those terms. Is it okay to sell a device that has such terms of services if the consumer can not view and agree to said terms prior to plunking down cash and walking out of the store. When did it become okay for a company to provide a "software patch" that destroys a device and not have responsibility for said destruction. And so what if the software patch did have terms of service as well what the heck gives a vendor the right to destroy things. Is there a clause that goes

i Blah da Blah
ii. Oh and hey if you have fiddled with this thing in a way we don't like we reserve the right to kill it.

This is where it leads folks. Microsoft has terms that states Vista home can not run under a Virtual environment. So say they detect they are in a virtual environment and if they are say the running Vista zaps the hard drive of the Operating System running the Virtual environment. Or if Sony had its way when you tried to rip a CD little spikes would come out and turn the inside of your CD drive to shreds. Actually they might even be happy if some of the little spikes flew out and did bodily harm just to teach you not to steal.

Consumers need to wake up and take a look around realize this goes way beyond cows and cheese (Read Leo Laport's blog) it goes to the heart of ownership and what it means to "have" things. If we don't pay attention some of the Sci/Fi stories about consumers existing only to support large companies might come true. Where ownership is taboo and all you are allowed to do is lease items for a "reasonable" rate and if you are not willing to lease things, well there is a van down by the river for "those" type of people.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Canon Rebel XTi

It is a joy to take pictures with. Settings are easily changeable and the basic shooting modes do a good job. In the creative modes the photographer can control just about any aspect of the shot they desire. One miss though is the control over the flash. In the basic shooting modes it does what ever the heck it wants. So you have to switch to the creative modes to force it on or off. Maybe this is something they can fix in firmware. It seems like an odd feature on such a user controllable camera otherwise.

The shake the sensor to get rid of dust spots does seem to work. And yes dust spots are a huge problem on DSLR's. I will probably be investing in a cleaning kit for the sensor at some time.

My old EF lens work great. My 200mm with the 1.6 multiplier of the DSLR is effectively a 380mm which is pretty nice. It allows you to get in real close on anything.

The weight of the camera is just about right, it has a nice heft to it, you won't forget you are carrying it but it does not weigh you down.

The function for the most part is a lot like my old old Canon Rebel EOS so it took very little time to get comfortable with the camera. And the magic of digital shows through in that you can snap off as many pictures as you want with out worrying how much it is going to cost to get them developed. You end up with a lot more bad shots but hey you just through those away and you end up with a few spectacular shots that you would have missed with a film camera

I've put up a flickr gallery of what I think of as some of the best shots I've taken with it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Originally uploaded by reboot95
Picture of a iron bird about to take flight. Don't blink, don't look away, blink and you are Dead.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Check out this blog

Check out my friend Stephanie's Blog.

She is spending a year teaching in Taiwan.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

All Things Cool

I am becoming more and more frustrated with the drive in American Business to grasp on to the the latest Cool things. This is most likely exacerbated by the fact I'm taking a very boring online course dedicated to the Japanese concept of Lean manufacturing. This is being presented as the answer to all business woes. Well why not a few observations.

Oh where to begin. We are taken into a fantasy land of a Major cooperation and follow around a new hired Product manager who is a intolerable suck up. He is given a troubled division and soon is being indoctrinated (brainwashed) into lean concepts. I really wish training creators would stop trying to be clever with these silly things. Oh yeah they come up with what they believe to be clever scenarios situations that will engage students. Then they get some of the most dull and flat voice actors in existence. Yep that works....

Next on my list. The training essentially formalizes a concept of organization, simplification, reduction. Wow there you go genius why hadn't anyone thought of this before. Well we have. The key to what is being presented is to wrap it up in a new box so people will think it is revolutionary and will make changes in the way they do things. But any system can always benefit from those concepts. The key is just to do them, so I get a bit aggravated at something that is being sold as revolutionary just to get people to do things they already know is the right way to do it.

Another fallacy is that all cultures are the same and concepts that are key in one culture will work in another. We have a lot of basis and patterns dictated by the culture we are a part of. Philosophy that might be somewhat predicated on the culture doesn't always work in another. Let's have a reality check. Japanese companies are based on a culture that has a different level of commitment to jobs and work that the American culture does. When a workforce is completely dedicated to there job above all else there is a great potential for success regardless of anything else. American culture is no longer that job focused, we are more self absorbed. For us a job pays for what we do, for the Japanese culture the job is what they do. Given what I've read though the next generation in Japan is more self absorbed so we will see what happens.

So come lets' just say hey these have always been good ideas and lets figure out how to organize simplify and reduce with out acting like we have been on a mountain and received some new stone tablets.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Originally uploaded by reboot95.
So don't you think the cars below are about to get a big surprise.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Brrr Brrr Ice (Originally from 1/16/2007)

We had a pretty major ice storm hit the old midwest. And you know what that means don't you. One you better go to the store and get your bread and milk. It is a midwest thing. Anytime we have snow or ice or the predicition of snow or ice we have to stock up on bread and milk. Man you if you don't have bread and milk you could die. Second power outages.

Yep power outages. The ice covered trees amy be pretty but those limbs snap like tooth picks and take out any power lines that happen to be near by. I thought I was doing good until Saturday night. As I drove up to my house I noticed hmmm lots of dark houses. Pushed the button for the electric garage door to go up nothing, pushed again, nothing. Pushed it with more force nothing. Got closer nothing. Stared at door in disbelief pushed the button again. In resignating started digging in my pocket for the manual over ride device (ie keys).

It was dark and cold bummer... Okay lets start bringing in firewood. While my fireplace is a really pretty little fireplace in the basement it does lack a bit in the heat the house department. It is more of a ohhh what a pretty flickering there is there in that there fireplace. So time to cart out the camping gear and climb in the 20 degree mummy bag and stoke the fire all night long. Not a bad night but was a might chilly. I also have a new appreciation to how much work my Dad put into heating the house with a fireplace.

And brrr taking a shower in a house that is 50F is a challenge. But don't want to smell on Church Sunday morning now do I. And the old wood fireplace makes everything in the house smell like smoke...

Stayed the next night at a friends house. Did not want to do with out the CPAP a second night. You can wake yourself up snoring only so often before you cry out enough I must do something else.

Power came back on Monday afternoon huray.... Given that the temps were in the Teens F wow that would have taken a lot of firewood. And if I had not been at home the cat would have been mad and very cold. And I'm already concerned that she might be trying to kill me. Leave her one more night in a freezing cold house and it might just push her over the edge.



I'm not exactly impressed by the old iPhone. One issue two year contracts, most people are currently tied up with a two year contract on their existing phone and service and breaking those contracts are really expensive.

Next it costs a lot of money, man is it expensive. Not sure I buy the idea that most people that have a smart phone have an iPod. I don't think they bought them at the same time.

Really disappointed that Apple choose to bring out a wide screen video device on such an expensive low memory platform. I was thinking about getting an iPod but not the iPhone. I'm in a two year contract.

It looks like an okay PDA with innovative features, but I already have a PDA that I paid less for and there are tons of third party applications for. And more importantly I can read a lot of books in the Microsoft reader format. Which for me is the killer PDA app.

What it did do right? I think they got the concept that these devices are for consuming data not creating data. That is where I think the PDA market has made a huge mistake in building devices that you are supposed to take notes on, put contacts in, and do you scheduling. PDAs excel at reading text and that is about it. So as a book, Bible, text web snippits reader they are great, data entry not so much.