• External HDMI monitor

    Yet another video, this one is a bit shorter and has a bit more action in it.

    Point is, we are really cranking out the video content.
    Trying to hit 2 a week.
    Its amazing how much work goes into each of these videos that you don’t really see. The script writing, the getting of the equipment, the dry runs, the multi camera shoots for the different angles etc.
    Might seem like fun, but trust me, its work…. And I am glad to be at it.

  • Grand Canyon North Rim

    Through a coworker, Lloyd – yet again, we had the chance to go for a quick hike in the Grand Canyon, this time from the north rim.
    Not many people visit the North Rim as its a bit of a drag to get to.
    It took us 9 hours to drive there (vs 5 to get to the South Rim).
    Something like 16 million visit the south, only a few hundred thousand visit the north. Fewer still hike in from the north.

    Just like a lot of mountain ranges, one side gets more rain and so has more vegetation than the other side, so the north rim gets more of everything and so tends to be more woodsy than the south rim.

    The fun part is that its also at 7000 feet, not 4000, so rain tends to be snow.
    When we arrived Thursday afternoon, this is what greeted us;

    Snow. Feet of it!
    And a howling subzero wind just for good measure.
    At this point we three (Lloyd, Terry and myself) seriously considered calling it a bust and going home…. But after talking to the ranger who assured us that the weather in the canyon itself was beautiful, we figured we could survive the first mile or two and go from there.

    Next day, we parked the car in the snow and black ice, shouldered our packs and tried to find the trail.

    Thankfully it was the opening weekend and so the rim to rim (to rim) runners had beaten down the trail and it was very clear where we had to go.
    It was just a matter of watching out for ice. The top of each step was slick. The snow was Okay, but the steps, of which there are many many many of, were really a trap that had to be avoided.

    As hopped, the views were amazing.

    The trees and snow made for some really quiet and peaceful hiking.
    We spread out and just got lost in our own worlds for a good hour or so.
    Very pleasant.

    Before long, snow to turned to mud and slush and then to damp earth and then to the usual dry trail.
    Sure enough, it was a beautiful day for hiking in the canyon.
    Terry in the famous tunnel.

    Lloyd crossing the bridge about half way down.

    Terry and I got to the camp site first.

    Did not take us too long to get a bit settled and the hunger hit.
    So we heated up some freeze dried food and tucked into lunch.
    Unfortunately Terry’s meal sort of exploded and stuck to his hand causing a pretty nasty burn. We had a full first aid kit and so were able to dress it, but it took a little of the shine off his day.

    We went for a walk after lunch, but there was still plenty of down time.
    Terry took his Kindle to read a novel, Lloyd also brought some reading material and I slept.

    Before you know, dinner rolls around and after dinner, desert!
    Terry had cheese cake, but Lloyd and I both had apple cobbler.
    The instructions for ours were rather complicated, and I was not in the mood to mess about, so I just put hot water in mine and called it done, we ended up with this really bad textured apple custard weird hybrid mix…. It looked bad, but tasted pretty good.
    Lloyd was a stickler and so followed the instructions, here is the bit where it has to simmer in a pan with a lid for 10 minutes.

    No star photos, too cold for me to get out of the sleeping bag!

    Next morning, up and out.

    The snow had largely melted and it was another beautiful day.
    8 miles in and 8 miles out. (25ish kms)
    Fun little hike.

  • New Ham.

    Short story short. Terry got his amateur radio license.
    Of course, Terry being Terry, he studied hard and went for the ‘General’ level which is the middle of the three levels. (As a reminder, I went for and passed the lowest level – Technician).

    Pretty proud of my son and its great to share hobbies with him.

    Here is a shot of him messing about with his new software radio on the back of his phone. Its a pretty sweet setup.

    For about a year Terry has been doing the odd bit of coding for me and 2 guys in Arizona. They are hams and love to welcome new hams to the hobby by helping out with some gear.
    They sent Terry a radio to get him started.

    So, in short, he is pretty much set up and is having a blast listening and talking with people on the local repeaters.

  • Wildflowers

    Our garden of wildflowers has finally kicked in.
    Only half the size it was meant to be (Still no idea why the other side refuses to grow anything – we even put tomato plants over that side and they are really not doing great) but they are beautiful.

    The thing that Freddy and I both love is the variety of flowers. The more you look, the more different ones you see.
    Not sure how long they will last, but its been about 3-4 weeks so far. Holding up well and really glad we put the garden in for them.