Ideas, dreams, and long things-to-do lists are bumping around in my head. Most of my ambition for the past month has been preparing for the 2010 Revelation Software User's Conference in Las Vegas. There is a nice article along with some pictures on the Revelation.com website.
There are more pictures and stitched panorama images waiting for posting to my blog. As one of the designated photographers I took the opportunity to try out some of those "advanced" features on my camera. The end result, nice pictures, most of the pictures of me with my eye's closed (I sense the flash), and some pretty cool shots. What's even better, I figured out how useful the correct metering setting is (i.e. 1/4 of the pictures were not the best .
So much could and should be said about the Revelation Conference and Las Vegas but it comes down to this - you should have been there for yourself.
After spending almost 5 days in the desert my nose was able to smell the color green when I landed in New Jersey. What a rich and wonderful smell.
But just for the record - I came back from Vegas just as chaste, a little wiser, and immensely thankful.
Just a couple tidbits I learned while trying to figure out the New York Subway.
- Referring to a particular line by its color instead of the alpha or numerical designation you immediately let every local around you know that you have no idea what you are doing.
- Know the last stop on the line you want to take.
- Uptown and downtown, get it straight. North, South, East, and West mean nothing. Streets and Avenues.
- Local trains can help you get to the next stop if your train hasn't arrived.
- Express trains that follow the same path but have a different designation can be used as long as there is a all trains stop along the same path where you can catch the local. Otherwise, you'll pass your stop and end up back tracking.
- Streets can have west and east designations. Sections of Manhattan could be "X West Xth Street" or "X East Xth Street". 5th Ave is the east/west divider.
First real day trip to New York. Rather spontaneous but MA and I took the train to Penn Station and then hopped the subway downtown. We didn't have an agenda and just went with the flow. Here are a couple pics. More on my Facebook page.
I also started a Things To See and Do List
The motivation came to me that it is just about time to replace my tent. The only way I can stretch out in it is to lay diagonal. Even then it feels like my feet and head are bushing against the tent walls. After a night of tossing and turning and some weird dreams induced from sleeping on a lumpy patch of earth I woke up at my leisure.
With no plan, no idea, and nothing better to do, and generally no clue I did the best thing possible. I ate breakfast. On my camp stove I put a wad of butter in a pot and cooked the chicken legs I picked up when I went for supplies. It took a while and I managed to get through another chapter while the legs turned a golden crispy brown. When I removed them from the pot they sparkled in the morning sunlight with all their fattening buttery goodness.
I broke camp around noon which took no time at all. The most difficult decision came when a choice had to be made concerning the excess wood I had in the truck. The previous night I managed to burn 2 of the 5 boxes of wood. Taking extra wood home seems like a waste and I often hate burning wood just for the sake of burning it. The wood was kiln dried, nicely boxed, I thought about offering it to someone for a couple dollars. The idea, for lack of a better word, weirded me out.
The neighbors had a large campsite and appeared to be a family on vacation. The previous night I saw them trying to chop up some logs and stick that they collected. They stuck me as good a place as any to give the wood to. It turns out they were from lower Michigan camping as a family. They were very grateful for the wood and the lady there said “God Bless You” twice, once when I offered and again when I returned to the site with the wood. The first time she said it I dismissed it as a common thank you, sort of like how people ask “How was your day” and then don’t wait for an answer. But the second time she said it I really started to think about the encounter. It wasn’t until I walked away that I wish I had thought to respond something like “Yes, God does bless and the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is a great blessing indeed”. I must be my character, quick to listen and slow to speak, some times. It wasn’t that I was ashamed to say something but I don’t understand why the reply came to mind well after the situation was over.
Well, packed up, and in the truck I made my way through the South Boundary Road to Presque Isle. I kept a close eye on the road because it might be a nice one to Mountain Bike across. It was a nice day for a drive and there was no traffic on the road. I drove along with the windows down listening to Paul Van Dyke “Nothing But You”.
I took two detours on my way home. One was a hike up to Summit Peak. The view was spectacular and there insects were extremely mild. The breeze was blowing and the sky was clear. The second stop was at the mouth of Presque Isle.
By the time I got back to down it was still early in the afternoon so I drove back out to Lake Superior and spent the afternoon with my parents and sisters at the beach. The water was very nice and I did some snorkeling.
One of the nicest Mondays I have had in a long time.