7:30am to 7:45pm never makes for a fun work day but i think it was worth it for sake of putting this audio slideshow together: http://www.vcstar.com/videos/detail/new-american-citizens/
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I can't really complain considering we now have trails so close to home, but I was reading about the folks at Moots Cycles who hit the singletrack over their lunch hour. How sweet would that be!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Since Donna works in the evening she's always sitting at her desk around sunset. Then, on weekends, about the time the sun is setting, we're resting on the sofa following a near-epic mtn bike ride. Since we kept the mileage down on today's ride, we were both feeling energetic enough to get out for a bit, so after a stop at Starbucks, we headed for Sycamore Canyon to watch the setting sun cast long sweeping shadows across the hillsides.
Awww, isn't that sweet? Walking hand-in-hand into (well, away from) the setting sun. Yes... that's Donna with me.
We took a short 'hike' (it was only .3 miles) and found this great scene as the sun set over Sycamore Canyon. I would not recommend walking dirt trails in Crocs or flip-flops. We were ill prepared to say the least but it was a spur-of-the-moment sorta' thing.
Every now and then I'll drop down through a technical area then turn around to let Donna know if she can clear it or not - I'm quite in tune with her technical skills. Today I was turning around to give her the go-ahead and I barely had time to get my camera out. She blew right by me.
the dummy standing in the middle of the trail trying to take her picture. I dove out of the way right after snapping this photo.
Nope, I don't have a photo of the fellow... how crazy do you think I am? We crossed paths with a monster rattle snake today. I used my bike to coerce him off the trail though as he parted the scene he shook his rattle to make sure I knew he wasn't happy with me.
After some painful hours of steep climbs and what seemed to be blistering heat (85 deg maybe) we ended up at China Flats, a section of trails that spend more time going left and right than up and down. 25mph... 30mph... 35 mph... makes it all the more interesting when a patch of sand sneaks up on you in the middle of a tight turn.
The relief from today's hot sun didn't last for long but we managed to find about 150 yards of shaded trail between Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley today. I suggested we just ride that stretch back and forth until we had our mileage in for the day.
Every now and then you come upon a view that requires a panoramic photo to really capture the landscape.
The fire road along the ridge of today's ride was less than stimulating in terms of technical riding, but the views off to either side were amazing. Plus, given the lack of technical demands, I actually had the time to look left and right while riding.
Donna puts up with all of my complaints on the trail. She's a sweetie!
Umm, a 'garden' would imply a short stretch of the trail. The trails in this area really had 'dirt gardens' - small stretches of singletrack blessed with smooth dirt.
Monday's ride was great but I felt much more comforted at least having an Apple store in my sights.
We just wrapped up Monday's ride and wow, what a ride. We continue to explore new trails - the best part of mtn biking. I always say my favorite trails are the ones I've never ridden before. We came up a little shy on the mileage today but the sights were great as was the weather - all in all, just a great day to be outdoors.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Fortunately this monk at Gardens of the World was kind enough to explain a quote I've never really understood.
Of all the flowers in the world, these are always the ones I most enjoy. Orchids are a close second but I'm a sucker for a Calla Lily!
After this morning's ride and lunch at Jersey Mike's we headed over to Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks. Surprisingly, despite all the great weather and substantial rainfall a while back, life at the gardens is just starting to bud. A few if the more fragrant flowering trees and bushes however were working their wonders with our sense of smell.
The highlights of Donna's rides are NOT the switchbacks, but she cleared this one just fine... granted, it was nice and rounded but still, clearing it is clearing it. She also cleared a pretty nasty one much closer to the house but I think that was just because she was anxious to get to Jersey Mike's for lunch.
We got out for a great ride today but kept it a little on the short side so we'd have a little time to enjoy life off the trails. The downhill into Westlake pushes my technical skills to the limit - steep drops covered in small, loose rocks which translates to absolutely NO stopping power.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I've been using ReelDirector on the iPhone to edit videos but I just figure out I can use it for audio slideshows also. I knew you could import photos and record audio but I didn't realize it would allow you to layer multiple audio files - a key element to most, well-done audio slideshows. I hope to try it out on tonight's bike ride & we'll see how it goes.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Step one of the Pro HDR app asks you to expose for the highlights in the first frame. Steps two and three to come....
Step two of the Pro HDR app asks you to duplicate (as close as possible) the first photo in terms of framing, but expose for the shadow areas. The final image, to come...
After taking the first two photos, Pro HDR combines them, rendering exposed shadow areas without blowing out the highlights. Pretty sweet, but some better content would have been more beneficial.
Twittelator on the iPhone rocks and despite all the bells and whistles, what I like the most is the visible thumbnails of photos attached to tweets. Just one of the many features of this Twitter app that rocks!
Great news on the tax front. I might just have to order that iPad after all. YeeHaw!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This isn't exactly the best example but I made a quick snapshot of some funk growing on a cement wall with the iPhone and the Owle Bubo macro lens. Not bad for a phone camera.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I left work today with every intention of heading to Starbuck's for my usual end-of-the-day unwind, then at that decisive moment decided to turn left instead of right and head to the beach for a SoCal sunset. Thirty seconds later I remembered I needed to head home to help a friend with some bike work. Then I realized I was a good 15 minutes ahead of him so I decided to stop for that coffee. I guess you should always stick with your original plan, right? Fifteen minutes of a comfy chair and a decaf latte goes a long way to helping me unwind.