Full Disclosure: 101.1

Somewhere in the past year or so I’ve discovered that CBS-FM radio is playing a surprising number of really enjoyable songs. Uh oh. That used to be the ‘oldies’ station.

But how can it be wrong to admit that you love listening to Chaka belt out “Once you get started…” and the band was so tight and funky.

I mean, check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii4VeGsgoOs&feature=kp

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The Singularity meets aging brain and finds missing iPad in kitchen

With some embarrassment I will admit that I couldn’t find my iPad last weekend. Normally, not a problem. Never really have to search for it, easy to locate where I left it or nearby. But after a thorough scan of our home I began to get worried. Retracing mentally the last known location and time I kept coming up to the point where it should have been here in my office and wasn’t.

So I gave up and tried Find my iPad from Apple’s iCloud, which only works if you turned on that feature in setup…and I couldn’t recall if I had. Happily, I had.

lostmode

The short happy ending is that it showed my iPad located right here at home and helpfully offered to make some noise. I followed the bleeps to the kitchen, where sure enough I had stashed the iPad in my breadmaking bucket and then aborted the start of that activity and never retrieved it.

Useful, certainly, and a bit like being taken care of by the global intelligence — good and bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to make Bonjour services work across wired/wireless connections to Asus router

The key, apparently, is to enable multicast routing. I found this option under the “IPTV” tab of the LAN Advanced Settings in the Asus web admin interface.

The problem this solves is that when I hooked up my Laserjet 1606 directly to the router via Ethernet, my Macs no longer saw it (via Bonjour) unless I hard-lined them, too. Enabling multi-cast routing here must mean that it otherwise segments between the wired/wireless connections.

My router is the Asus RT-N56U, generally pretty good and with bonus 90’s-era sci-fi styling.

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How to batch delete photos from an iPad with iOS 7

I’m embarrassed to admit that this was a long and frustrating search, involving dead-ends and bad info from Apple support tickets and forums. Somehow I got a few imported albums onto the iPad and there was no good way to get them back off, until I found this post:

http://forums.imore.com/ios-7/269495-ios-7-tip-batch-delete-photos.html

Which basically says:

  • Go to the Photos app
  • Drill down until you get a “Select” option in the upper right corner of the screen (for me, it meant showing all photos for one day)
  • Click Select, then enjoy the modal ability to select days and delete them

When you’re out of space and there’s no obvious way to delete a bunch of photos, that’s frustrating.

Thanks to “Massie” for helping me and others out.

 

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Colorado Splitboarding

I’m an ocean guy more than a mountains guy, but when my friend Jeff asked me to come on a backcountry adventure to a legendary mountain hut in Colorado, I jumped in. Truth is I’ve been recovering from a knee injury late last summer and was worried about keeping up but with the help of the masterful Dr. Scott Duke, I steadily built strength and conditioning while counting down the days. And I needed it.

mcnamara_path

 

Getting to the McNamara hut (one of the 10th Mountain Division huts) required almost 5 miles of climbing on backcountry trails starting a few miles outside of Aspen, CO. Within minutes you have left the world behind, no cell coverage, no roads, no sound but the occasional bird call and your own heart pounding out breaths into the trees.

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I also, to the chagrin of my loving wife, acquired a bunch of new gear. Of these, the most valuable turned out to be:

  • Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Jacket, which was WARM when I needed it, and packed up tiny when I didn’t. Stopping on the trail I would put it on over everything else (including shell) to keep warm during transitions.
  • Outdoor Research Furio Jacket, both water/windproof but breathable (especially because of the full-length side zips from high pits down to the hem). Thanks to my friend John for helping me figure this piece out and get one into my hands in time.
  • Platypus insulated hydration pack (2 liters) was fantastic. Thanks to some sage advice from Mike Cherim’s excellent blog, I learned to blow air back into the tube after drinking to keep it from freezing. Chewing on the end a bit would break up any bits of ice forming, and I could consistently drink even with temps below 20F. The Platypus stuff is really well made, and the tube was thick but fit through my Pieps Plecotus pack (found at a great sale price…) that also had an excellent avalanche pouch on the outside for holding shovel and probes.
  • Columbia’s Omni-Heat expedition-weight baselayer turned out to be pretty excellent. Warm, breathable. I also had some old Patagonia Capillene lightweights that were good but not as warm when it got cold.

I am not a skiier, so I tried Splitboarding which is a crazy hybrid of alpine touring skis (Randonee) with snowboarding downhill. So you have a board that splits in half lengthwise and turns into skis with movable bindings. Going uphill or on flats you feel like x-c skiis, with snowboard boots in bindings that lift at the heel. You use poles, and there are removable skins on the bottom of the board that have one-way grain (so you don’t slide backwards). The folks on the touring skiis can stop, peel off the skins, lock in their heels, and ski down. Not quite so simple for the nutty boarders, though. It went like this:

  1. Bend down and release your boot bindings
  2. Find a place to step that doesn’t plunge your leg into several feet of snow beneath the surface
  3. Release the bindings (was using Magnetos, smart but still work) and slide them off the board
  4. Turn the board halves over and peel the skins off, fold and stow them
  5. Line up the two halves of the board and scrape away any ice that’s formed around the clasps
  6. Manage to get your increasingly-cold fingers to work the parts together and in tightly
  7. Attach the bindings to the new board-oriented locations and lock them down
  8. Stow the poles or carry them
  9. Get your boots into the bindings and get your pack back on
  10. Stop breathing so hard, take a few sips of water
  11. Go!

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So my conclusion is that Splitboarding is better suited to places with fewer transitions. If you’ve got a few hours of climbing and then a long ride down, great. But if there are any flats, you will find yourself wishing for a pair of touring skiis pretty quickly. Or a younger body.

Already I’m forgetting the frustrations and remembering the good parts, though. The brief periods of plowing through powder were pretty exciting, and climbing up to see the top of Bald Knob was heavenly:

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And the best part of all is sharing the experience with a group of new and old friends.

Glad to be back in one piece.

 

 

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Evernote death spiral?

Call me contrarian, but I’ve been finding the product increasingly unusable. I’m really disappointed and frustrated, having invested heavily in it. On my Mac, on Android, on iOS — all are increasingly bad experiences and suffer stability and performance problems. That does not bode well.

Update 2/4/14: Glad to report that tonight’s Evernote Mac update appears to have significantly improved the most egregious problem, when entering new notes and having the beachball effect freeze all activity mid-sentence…encouraging.

Except I now see that when editing a note, hitting return sometimes kicks you to the next note in the list (in the middle of what you were typing…) Ouch.

Update 2/5/14: Return of the beachball when entering a new note…

 

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Evernote kind of sucks lately

I’ve been a huge fan of Evernote for awhile now, and have built my daily routines around it, across devices and activities. I remember when it was getting better and better with each build…but now it just seems to be getting slower, flakier (data gets trashed when clicking in between pauses), and the user interface seems to just get more awkward and keep changing.

I write this feeling hopeful that it’s a temporary setback while things get straightened out, teams organize and deliver solutions, the company commits to making paying customers satisfied — but worried that hyper-growth is taking it’s toll once again and I am going to have to find another solution soon.

It’s funny how the small annoyances can add up to make something hard to use. I know I’m not the only one experiencing these pains because searches on the forums show others with similar complaints.

Hope they get it together.

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The pain that is Google Cloud Print

I have been doing things with computers and software for long enough and at a low enough level of detail that I know when something’s just not there yet. And I’m really sorry to say that Cloud Print is just a huge PITA. I have wasted more time on it than I want to admit. First, trying to connect up a “classic” network printer through the vendor software (HP claims to support the 1606 for HP E-Print, but I could not get it to work). Then using Chrome to make it into a Cloud Print printer. Then trying from a Raspberry Pi I built for the purpose (and it was fun). All failed at various stages, though that last one got the printer to show up in my Google Cloud Print (GCP) printers being managed. But I could not print to it successfully.

So I broke down and bought a little Samsung ML-2165W because it is “Cloud Print Ready”. Nice little printer, built-in WiFi, setup was a bit painful because OSX 10.7 is stuck in a permanent loop of trying to pull down drivers from Apple but not finding any (looks like they stopped at 10.6…)

But once you get the printer onto your network (which you can do with the Mac installer that comes on the CD-ROM) then you can find out its IP address (I use IP Scanner, the app) and then you can visit the web admin for the printer itself. Log in with the default credentials (admin, sec00000) and you can set up Google Cloud Print at last. Which I did. And the printer shows up in my GCP admin page.

Except that I still can’t print to it.

I haven’t given up, but I have decided it’s immature and painful to work with.

 

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Fast access to Android phone cameras from the lock screen

I’m embarrassed that I didn’t figure this out sooner since it’s been bugging me that to get a quick photo I had to swipe, unlock, find the camera icon, click, wait.

Turns out there’s a setting to enable shortcuts in the lock screen. So if you turn them on, you can hit the camera from the lock screen by swiping it down. You still have to do the pin unlock, but you can turn that off for activities like running.

On my HTC One S, the option is under Settings->Personalize->Lock screen shortcuts.

 

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Running Rockefeller — or, how I learned to love the robber barons

Thanks to my good friend John Cool, I have been introduced to the joy of running the trails at the Rockefeller Estate. If this post were more likely to influence public behavior I’d be more worried about sharing this discovery, but the nutty few who read this are likely to either already know about it, live too far away, or just not care.

That said, it’s gorgeous, and worth a visit to walk or run:

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Miles of trails, originally carriage roads, covered with crushed rock, with a fair amount of hills rolling up and down between fields, through forest, alongside farmland. Over about 10 miles of running we climbed about 1,000 feet total gain. And the network of trails means you can tailor the run to the distance you want. We did this:

rockefeller_run

The point of the title was what John pointed out to me as we ran — that we did have to thank the barons of early American industrialization for buying up big chunks of land, preserving them, and then donating them back to the people for use long after they are gone. Like Acadia in Maine, too.

But in the end, I just loved having a quiet place to run through the land, without worrying too much about my feet and where they were stepping. And no poison ivy in sight.

Technical notes:

  • Ran in Brooks Cascadias, but the trails are groomed and non-trail shoes would be fine.
  • I tried out my new Nathan Minimist water pack (1.5L) and loved it, much better than a bottle on the butt.
  • John says that because there is potable water at the visitor’s center, you could design your run to carry little and refill there.

 

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Cedar Point Trail Running

I’ve been working up my running so that I can spend more time running trails in beautiful places. This morning I made it to 8 miles for the first time, in a gorgeous stretch of the Northwest Woods:

NorthwestWoodsTrail

 

My friend John Cool, a colleague and longtime mentor for biking and running, coaxed me well past my stated “probably about five miles” intention. And I was rewarded with this view as we arrived at the bluffs near Cedar Point, about 4 miles in:

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The way back was fragrant with pine and maybe cedar, the trail varied but inviting, and I was surprised that even though my water supply ran out, my legs and heart did not, and I was very happy to still have something left in me when we got back to the car.

Now I am tired, a little sore, and very happy. We cannot figure out why people run on the roads when there are such fantastic trails.

 

 

 

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