Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seattle, CAM 2010, Big Red

Wow am I behind on my blogging! So here is my first real blog entry on Blogger. This picture takes us back to March 2010 and the metro in Seattle, Washington.

The view from my hotel room at night.

The registration area at TechReady10, the reason for my being in Seattle. It was late this time because the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, Canada, had all the rooms in Seattle gobbled up.

Moving on . . . these are April flowers that got a head start on all those other flowers in May.

And what do April flowers bring? Ants apparently. These were all over a part of the sidewalk.

Spring also means it's time for Cache Across Maryland. This mural is in the Hall Spring area of Herring Run Park.

I was in the park to find the "CAM 2010 - Herring Run Park" geocache.

This is Herring Run, near the site of the cache. This is in the City of Baltimore, believe it or not. You might have a little less hard time if you noticed the trash floating in the river in the lower right corner of the picture. Still, relative to Baltimore, it's a really nice trail. Lots of dog walkers.

Note: Fire is prohibited in Gunpowder Falls State Park. See, if you didn't read these captions, you'd miss great commentary like that.

I had to get up early to take my parents to the airport, so for once, I actually got to a park very early in the morning, before it was even open! Even more unbelievable than that, this giant X was in the sky in the direction of the cache ("CAM 2010 - Maxwell Hall Park"). X actually marked the spot!

The Chalk Point Generating Plant along the nearby Patuxent River.

This rusted out old truck is in the middle of a horse trail, which I was on sans horse, in pursuit of another geocache in the park.

When I arrived at the next CAM stop, near the St. Clement's Island Museum, I saw this old car. Only it is sitting in someone's yard, not in the middle of a horse trail.

Also nearby, The Little Red School House, a.k.a. Charlotte Hall School, c. 1820.

The Park Ranger Office at Pemberton Historial Park. Home, I take it, of Park Naturalist Kerri Liming. I just liked the lettering above the door.

Another mural, this one near the park ranger's office.

This interpretive display lets you know what sort of houses you're looking at. I'm not sure what that extra bat house is doing there on the ground.

Don't do it! Courtesy the folks at the Silver Run - Union Mills Community Park.

This picture answers the question, "Who is buried in Gath's tomb?" The tomb is located in Gathland State Park, in Gapland, Maryland.

And this historical marker answers the question that naturally follows from the previous answer.

One of the last 2010 CAM cache locations I visited, the site of the Old Brant Mine, along the Meadow Mountain Trail in the Deep Creek Lake Recreation Area.

The end goal of CAM 2010: the CAM picnic!

There was picnic food, of course.

Another big event is the cache toss, a sort of shotput event that involves throwing a heavy ammo can (a favorite type of geocache container) as far as possible. It's pretty heavy, but if you get a lucky bounce it can roll far. I got a lucky bounce and won, but I thought it was really too close to call between me and the second place finisher, so I challanged the top 2 runners-up to a "toss off." I didn't get a lucky bounce the second time, though, and lost out to the original second place finisher. I took this picture, so that is not me in it. I don't know if anybody took a picture of me!

There is also a junior division of the ammo can toss! Here a member of the geocaching team The Incredibles gives the can a mighty toss.

More yellow flowers. That's it for CAM 2010.

After traveling all over Maryland to find caches, I went back to the Appalachian Trail (well, technically, an area on South Mountain near the trail) near where I live. The cache at this site was described as being under a big rock. So, lots of help there, eh?

The cache container (an ammo can!) for this cache ("Steep Creek"). The cache was marked as lost by the cache owner but I found it!

This is the travel bug known as Big Red ATV. Clink on the link to read the story of Big Red. I was happy to recover Big Red in May and help him along his way (more on that in a subsequent blog entry, hopefully written before another six months goes by!).

A picture from the Black Rock view on the Appalachian Trail one evening in June. It's a little over-exposed; it was not quite that bright, but it was not night, either.

A couple weeks later, I nearly stepped on this guy. Fortunately for him, he jumped out of the way. Doubly fortunately for him, I had no interest in eating him after he gave away his location like that.

Same critter, different angle. I was pleased that I got a couple sharp close-up pictures out of my camera. I thought these turned out well. That's it for this blog entry!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My blog is now at

The beginning of the end at MySpace started when they blocked access to the index of my MySpace blogs that I created on I see now that MySpace also blocks all sites. Lame.

MySpace has totally reworked its layout, including the way blogs are displayed. Stats seem to have completely disappeared. None of these things are changes I like, so through much effort I have copied all of my posts from MySpace over to

All of the Flash on MySpace really slows down my computer and I find the site difficult to navigate because of that, so I do not use MySpace nearly as much anymore. Plus for me personally, the music player has been broken for a year or more and I cannot get any help from MySpace to fix the problem. MySpace without music is kind of pointless.

Now I just need to catch up on my blogging . . . on Blogger . . . .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Little More SoCal in February

I was only in Santa Monica for a few days in February before I had to head to Anaheim for work. The sun at the beach was a bit overpowering for my camera.

I was on the beach to walk from the Santa Monica pier down to the Venice Beach pier. That sounds innocent enough except that it's just about 3 miles from one pier to the other.

This would have been a much quicker way to transit the 3 miles. Once again, I would like to remind everybody that this is February . . . .

Did this bird have any fear of people? No.

Did this one? No. Camera shy, maybe, but no fear.

I took several pictures at sunset. I couldn't decide which I liked best. So you get to see them all while I make largely irrelevant commentary.

I really didn't have time to be taking these pictures, since I was supposed to be back at my brother's place in like 5 minutes.

I estimated the time to get back to Santa Monica OK, but I kind of neglected the additional mile walk back to his place. Oops.

I had to get back on schedule because he was going to the airport to fly up to San Francisco and I had to tag along to get the shuttle down to Anaheim.

I made it to my room around 9:30 p.m., I think.

The hotel was the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort.

You can tell it's a resort because there is a bathrobe in the closet. I guess there are other ways, too . . . .

Just the vanity in the hotel room.

And here's the shower.

Anaheim was kind enough to celebrate my arrival with fireworks.

I suppose they could have been entertaining the crowds in Disneyland, too, but that's just conjecture.

I seriously needed to get these pictures up in the blog before I have a chance to start confusing them with other pictures I might take of 4th of July fireworks!

I was at the Anaheim Convention Center to support PMA 2010. This is the fountain at the convention center.

Here is the self registration area at PMA 2010. This is where I was camped out for several days! I am proud to say that while I was there, no computers exploded or burst into flames.

The folks at PMA were great to work with. Here I am handing over credentials to one of the HP booth personnel. I hope this finally puts those rumors to rest that I am the Batman.

Before checking out of my room at the end of the PMA show, I took some pictures out of my hotel room. Here's the Hilton next door.

I could almost see the pool. I had a small, but honest-to-goodness balcony, too. Nice!

It's a very green hotel, huh?

Here's a panoramic picture I strung together. This is about a 180 degree field of view. In February.

I wanted to do my laundry the night before I left, but they locked up the laundry room at 11:00 p.m., and I didn't have time. I didn't want to be naked and locked in the laundry room.

Evidently, laundry is dangerous. Not good, especially if you've previously removed all of your clothes.

Seriously! Sure, there are warnings about rattlesnakes and mountain lions posted where I go geocaching, but at least they don't explode!

So, once my laundry was done, I headed for the elevator.

And then to the lobby where I purchased a late-day discounted ticket to Disney's California Adventure park.

Those pictures were from the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, of course. The park wasn't too busy, so I rode the ride a few times.

Here's another view of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride from Mickey's Fun Wheel.

Disney was finishing up work on what looked to be a mammoth water show. I mean, the fountains look like they are part of a printed circuit board! There has got to be some heavy-duty Imagineering behind this display.

Apparently, the Little Mermaid lived in California. Who knew? They were just finishing that section of the park and testing The World of Color fountains while I was there, but the fountain show appears to have come on line recently. I'll bet it's impressive.

All of this was happening at Paradise Pier. California Adventure still feels like an incomplete park, but Paradise Pier is good fun. The park closed a few hours early because it was Wednesday, and as I keep saying repeatedly, February. So I didn't get to ride much in the dark.

I took the shuttle back to the airport after the park closed, and my brother picked me up there once again. The next day, we headed to La Jolla, where my brother had a conference. We stayed in the aptly-named Hotel La Jolla. This is the view from the restaurant at the top of the hotel.

The view from the hotel room. We had a spectacular view of the hotel parking lot. Still, with the palm trees, it's not so bad.

Think people in California are not different? In Seattle, I encountered a similar motorized curtain in my room in the Grand Hyatt. The curtain in the Hyatt was the heavy curtain that blocked all the light from outside. But this is an interior wall . . . so what does this curtain reveal?

Umm . . . the shower. Yeah . . . so . . . . Well, anyway, there it is. Sorry. No pictures of me in the shower here. You will just have to look elsewhere.

This . . . is not my brother's car. It belongs to one of the guys I saw going up to the restaurant to have lunch as I was checking out of the hotel.

This . . . is also not my brother's car. I suspect he was having lunch with the guy in the Viper.

I was checking out of hotel La Jolla and on my way to check into the Sheraton La Jolla Hotel. We stayed at Hotel La Jolla only for a night so my brother could get to his conference early the next day. The Sheraton was the conference hotel, although the conference was not at the hotel.

The hotel had a nicer TV! Not that I watched a whole lot of TV.

The room had a microwave, which I guess was nice. Of course, I never used it. Or the in-room coffee. And needless to say I did not avail myself of the water placed there for my "convenience," for which convenience there is a pretty steep charge, relatively speaking.

A view of the vanity and some of the bathroom.

So, I don't know if there is a minimum clearance required between door and toilet, but if there is, I doubt it's much less than the three inches (or less) here.

We also had a view of the pool from the room. No balcony, though. Or patio, rather, given the room was on the first floor (of, umm, two). I think there were some rooms with patios around. Anyway, ours was not one of them.

"Wet Paint": ironic, huh? My plan for the day was to do some geocaching while my brother was at his conference.

This is not a view from a hotel room. It's from an overlook near the Green Eggs And Ham geocache, near Dr. Suess' house.

The view overlooks La Jolla, obviously.

See that out there over the ocean? Guess where it's headed. Time to hurry up and find the cache!

I had to go through a bit of mud to get to the cache. Maybe not the best footwear choice, but it's what I had. As I said when logging the find, you don't go geocaching with the shoes you want, you go geocaching with the shoes you have.

Fortunately, there was some tall grass that I could walk through to clean off my shoes some more after I scraped the big chunks of mud.

Also fortunately, I found the cache and finished cleaning my shoes off before this started.

I guess you can't really tell that it's raining hard here.

The storm was over pretty quickly, but it still sent a torrent of water down the hill.

Again, it's kind of tough to see, but this construction site was dumping this water out on the street like someone had opened up a fire hydrant. I don't think a waterfall is in the construction plans for this house!

After getting rained out of La Jolla, I hustled down to San Diego to get a quick look at the USS Midway.

Some fighters on the aft end of the carrier. I didn't have time to go to the museum because I got a late start and I didn't make good time because of the rainy weather.

I was able to see some of the exhibits from the ground, though!

These are some heavy-duty helicopters!

People on the carrier got to see a lot of helicopters up close and personal!

There is also a sculpture of Bob Hope near the USS Midway.

It's a tribute to his USO performances. You can listen to a recording of one of them while you look at the sculptures.

There is also this mushy gigantic sculpture near the carrier.

After snapping a few pictures of the USS Midway, I hustled back up to La Jolla to pick up my brother, and we headed back to Santa Monica.

In case you were wondering where rainbows end, they end on I-5 near La Jolla. It's hard to make out from the pictures, but the rainbow was in front of the concrete barrier and just ended right on the shoulder of the road. That's it for my February trip to California!

Sunday, June 20, 2010 

Category: Life