Added England Trip details

Rosa and Richard on the London Eye
Rosa and Richard on the London Eye

I have completed the uploading of all of the London trip details. For each trip we have taken, I want to add some of the stories about what we saw, and what happened, plus our photos (protected gallery), and also I want to give a sense of where we were using Google Maps and Google Earth. I don’t have the Google Maps working on the gallery yet, but the GPS data is there in the metadata. I’ll have to write a tool in PHP or some other scripting language to allow me to convert the GPS data into Google Maps URLs. Maps are so fascinating to me.

Our trip story:

Our gallery:

Our Google Earth file: England 2009.kmz

Two Small Steps for Me

I am so proud of myself this evening. I did two things for the first time.

After my first kayaking
After my first kayaking

The first is that I finally took my Clearwater kayak out for the first time. I found that, despite my optimism, it was too far to carry my kayak from the house to the river. By Google Maps, it’s 1.1km. So I went back to Ottawa Paddleshack and bought some foam and a tie-down. It’s not very strong, but I only have to drive that short distance, going about 30kmph. It does not need to be able to hold the kayak on my BMW at highway speeds.

So I get to the launch point, carry my kayak and equipment down, put it in the water and carefully get in. No major problems, and off I went. I paddled up stream a little bit, then a distance downstream before heading back. I crossed the river twice. There were lots of boats out with skiers and wake-boarders. I had to ride the waves they were generating.

After an hour, I came back to shore, packed everything up and came home.

I was so excited about this, that I decided I needed to have a picture to remember this evening. So, for the first time ever, I took a self-portrait. It turned out pretty good. I used a tripod to hold the camera, set the camera to a 10-second delay, and set myself in-front of the bedroom window. I set the external flash to balance the light and bounced it off the ceiling, and the result is above. I’m so happy with how well it turned out.

We Choose to go to the Moon

40 years and 6 minutes ago, the human race lifted off for the first mission to land men on the moon and return them safely to the earth. The live (tape delayed by exactly 40 years) audio feed is available at We Choose the Moon.

Have we lost the ability to wonder at the world and the possibilities? Is there anything as exciting anymore? I’m feeling a little depressed that I missed the original moon landings (I was 3 years old when the last mission completed); that so much could be accomplished by the team with so little [technology]. The International Space Station is amazing, but it has been in operation for 11 years now (and may be planned to be de-orbited in 2016, which is even more depressing). Are there any missions to push the human envelope, to push the human race forward, anymore?