It has been a very long time since I last posted to my blog and instead of catching up I'm going to show off some of the fun ways technology can help you understand the geography you play on.  I have a season pass to Northstar ski resort and recently went snowboarding with my tech-savvy cousin.  Unbeknownst to me his cell phone is very high tech (especially compared to my basic prepaid) and he was using GPS software to log our day of riding (Firefox is telling me "unbeknownst" isn't a word).

The green marker in the maps below is the mid-mountain lodge, where he told the software to start logging.  The red marker is at "the village" where we eventually finished after riding in all the areas marked in red.  The areas in dark red are places we rode multiple times.  Zoom in using the satellite view map and check out some of the tree runs we took!



Topographic Map View



View northstar in a larger map



Satellite Photo View



View northstar in a larger map



Street Map View



View northstar in a larger map


Drastic elevation changes were logged due to riding lifts up then boarding down!  The first four elevation spikes were to the summit when we were riding the backside.  The rest were from riding the not-as-high Lookout terrain.







The phone claims a top speed of over 38 MPH but I doubt that is accurate.  Maybe his phone flew out of his pocket at a high rate of speed!  ;-)


Other noteworthy statistics include:
Total Distance: 31.1 mi (including the lifts)
Min Elevation: 6298 ft
Max Elevation: 8596 ft
Elevation Gain: 19475 ft


PS:  I just realized how horrible my blog looks on high-resolution, big screen systems.  I need to fix that.



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YouTube in 1080P! (4)

11:03 AM by , under

Footage from my Panasonic HDC-TM300 used to not play properly when uploaded to YouTube, but ever since YouTube upgraded to be able to play 1080P video I have been able to successfully post footage!  Unfortunately my laptop's screen resolution can't go up to 1080P but I hope some of you can enjoy some of the high quality video I will now be posting!
My computer is unable to edit my HD footage so it will probably be a few months before I can edit any footage I shoot.  So in the mean time I will upload completely untouched clips starting with this one from the Waseda University Festival on November 7th.





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I woke up to the weirdest voicemail I've had in a long time.  I have Google Voice so I'm going to try out the voicemail embedding feature.  Check out the message from a random San Francisco number I got:





You've got to love modern technology and how much easier it makes life.  Google Voice allows me to make free calls to any type of phone in the USA and Canada from any land line or from my computer, even when using my computer here in Japan!  Sending and receiving text messages is also totally free and unlimited!

I also get a single number that rings all of my numbers, and I can add and remove numbers it rings at my convenience.   This feature is very good for people who are constantly using different prepaid cell phones like I am because you can still be reached at a single number that everyone knows!  I would never get a regular contract phone the way I am in and out of the country all the time, and couldn't afford the $1000 a year that many of you pay.

This has nothing to do with Google Voice but I actually pay nothing for cellphones or service in the USA.  I actually profit $5-$10 every three months.  This is a totally free and legal process (it doesn't involve returning anything to stores)!  I only get voice and text messaging, but that is more than enough for me!


I can also totally customize it so when certain people call me I can have their call only go to my "home" number, and perhaps, have a client's call go to my cell and work number.


Voicemail is extremely customizable and am able to screen calls without the calling party realizing what's going on because they continue to hear the ringing sound.  I can also listen in on voicemails to see if they are worth picking up, no matter which phone I'm using!  Different outgoing messages can be recorded for different people too!  I can listen to, and manage voicemails online, download them in mp3 format, and share them online like I just did.


Google does its best to transcribe voicemails and instantly sends them to me as text messages and emails in case I am in a situation where I can't listen to anything (restaurant, meeting, class, etc).


Here's more info on Google Voice!





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I was very impressed with Judith Hill's singing at Michael Jackson's memorial, and now she's back on Lopez Tonight with the "This IS It" band putting on a great rendition of "Man in the Mirror."  I love this song because it conveys the simple, yet important message of be the change you want to see in the world.




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For my birthday this year my wish was to simply see somewhere new.  I was in Redway at the time and asked Bullet and my dad if they wanted to go to Petrolia.  Though I am a native of the Southern Humboldt County area I had never been to Petrolia.




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We chose to take the route through Humboldt Redwoods State Park along Mattole Road.  I once read somewhere that this route was considered to be made part of California Highway 1.  It is a very beautiful drive which leads you through multiple different ecosystems.  Though you might be car-sick, you will eventually make it to the coast!




Looking north

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Looking south




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Looking west




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The beach was an experience exactly as I hoped it would be.  The air was warm, nobody was around, and the surrounding area appeared generally untouched by human hands.  There aren't even houses visible in the surrounding hills.
Someday I would like to hike from Petrolia south to Shelter Cove along the Lost Coast Trail.  Below are some pictures from 2005 when Robert and I hiked north from Shelter Cove to Big Flat, but that isn't even half way to Petrolia.  We brought regular camping gear which was very heavy, and we both got hit by waves going around a point.  The wet boots were probably the worst part of the hike, but waking up to see that mice had eaten a bunch of our bagels was also tragic!  Though I seem to remember eating what was left of my bagel in the morning!  Another memorable moment was seeing what we thought was a person and their dog far ahead of us.  The dog then took off up into the mountains and when we talked to the person she said it was a fox!  We were also almost totally screwed when I apparently left Robert's car's trunk open overnight in Shelter Cove.  Luckily for us someone noticed and pulled the illuminating light-bulb out of his trunk and taped it to his window so his battery wouldn't die!  Thank goodness for nice people.



Looking north from Big Flat

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Way too much gear!

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A good looking wave at Big Flat

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Surfers walking from Shelter Cove to Big Flat, the furthest point visible

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