Places to run – part X

It is always fun to go for a hike/run/walk, whatever you do outdoors for exercise or enjoyment. I recently was in Georgia and did a fun trail in the Georgia Forest system, Unicoi State Park. There are several trails but the one I did, since I was staying in Helen Georgia, was the Helen to Unicoi trail. It was also a good chance to try out the GeoSetter software with some pictures I took. The trail is very nice, from the hotel to the lodge and back was just a shade over six miles. With the gain/loss of elevation, and the temperatures in the 90’s it made for a pretty good work out. Glad I took a bottle of water along with the camera! (Which did make for a bit of a load to carry the entire time.) I have a hand held water bottle (Nathan) **Runners Tip! While the Nathan comes with a bottle with a valve on the top, I find it just as easy to use standard water bottles from the store. No clean up afterwards, you can also (properly recycle) dispose of the bottle if you no longer need it and just stick the carrier somewhere and go “hands free” then.** I also have a SPI belt and travel with small zip lock bags… I can put the camera in a zip lock bag and stuff it in the SPI belt when I am done with photos. The bag is necessary, at least for me, to keep sweat from destroying the camera. You might be surprised at how NON-waterproof digital cameras are… another story for another day.

One thing that is in the album I will mention here since it sounds pretty cool. Georgia State Parks offer a number of incentives to attract people to visit the parks. One is for hiking, running, etc. The
Georgia Canyon Climbers Club. Sign up, give ’em ten bucks, visit four parks and do the specified trail at each one and get the Tee Shirt! Looks like fun. I need to map out where the four parks are in relationship to where I go and see if it is something I could do. Unfortunately I have limited time and Georgia is big enough that getting to the site in time to do the trail may not be feasible.

Hey, try this link to see the trail in Google Maps! It seems to work okay. Click on the link on the left and the picture should show up in the location along the route it was taken.

Until the final State Park is visited,

Runs you don’t think about… but should

When I go to different locations I enjoy finding a new place to run. I also enjoy taking photos along the way, especially if I am in a park, or somewhere unusual.

But sometimes our backyards we don’t think about… but should. I go out the back door several times a week and run in a great place, Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor MI. In several years of running there I never took a camera, or even thought about it.

I have been playing with some new software to do Geo-Tagging of my photos, and was looking for some pictures which I could use. To do this I needed a GPX track recorded to match the camera time against, not having anything like this I decided I needed to go take some photos while wearing my Garmin 305….. so I did. I put on the watch, grabbed the camera and headed out the back door to the park.

There are several outcomes from doing this. The easiest is to create the photo album with the tagged photos using Jalbum. When viewing this album (as well as most of my others) you can click on the word “See Map” below the photos and it will open Google Maps and take you to where the photo was taken. Pretty cool. I have been doing this for some time, but using Picassa and Google Earth to do the tagging. This works great, but is far to time consuming to tag each photo with an individual location so I usually resorted to grouping photos in areas. This method allows every photo to have its own location code. The software also lets you reposition the photo on the map to correct for any inaccuracies in the GPS coordinates that were saved. These are typically fairly close, but not always close enough to suit me. It also allows you to create a “track” or “route” which can then be displayed on Google Earth with the pictures on it in their proper locations.
I need to do a little more experimenting on that function yet before I release it. I did some experimenting way back when, but haven’t done much with this project lately.

Until I get a track laid down I guess this will have to suffice. Update July 25, 2010… I “got the track laid down” and am sharing it here.

As to the photos of the park itself, I actually ended up with a lot more photos than I thought I would, and actually ran a few places I do not normally go, just to see what was there that might be “photogenic”. I hope you enjoy seeing “My Running Park”.

Until the final bridge is crossed,

United States Air Force (Half) Marathon

The United States Air Force in Dayton Ohio held the 13th annual Marathon weekend September 19, 2009.

The Legend Publicity Flyer

This was the first time I ever ran the race. I debated for awhile whether to run in this race or the Fort For Fitness the following weekend. Dayton appeared to be a fairly flat course and I was unsure about the Fort4Fitness course. The other reason was they had pace teams for the half marathon that you could join. Since my goal was to try and get under two hours I elected to try Dayton and go with a pace team. Main reason I wanted under a two hour time was to try and get a better starting position in an upcoming race.

At the start I was pretty fresh, and ready to roll and hung with the 9:10 pace for about 4.5 miles, then I gave out. It was just a little to ambitious I guess.

A really cool medal!

The front of the finishers medal.

It didn’t take to long to discover that I wasn’t ready to maintain this pace for the distance. Dropped down the pace a bit, but it was to late, the legs had already gone south. I kept hobbling on to the end, but not all that happy with the time. Out of the three half’s I have run this was the slowest.

The bib number even had my name on it.

Still, it was fun. A night at the top of the line Super 8 hotel only about two miles from the race. My photographer learned how to use the “continuous” mode on the camera so got a good series of the finish line, including the good shot with the finishing time showing.

The Final Results

They gave out a really nice finishers medal, some day going to have to do something with them other than toss them into the shoe box.

The Finisher Photo

Some stats for the race:

a) 13.1 Miles
b) finished 2132 out of 3839 overall
c) finished 61 out of 114 in my age group.
d) finished 1347 out of 1930 men.
e) had a 10:26 pace, 2:16:29 total. (Definitely not a PR.)
f) You can see the full details on the running stats web page.
h) had a great time – which is always the goal right?… Right!

You can view all the photos if you are tired of watching the grass grow.

Until the Sky’s of blue are no more,


Movie Test –

So… I love to play with widgets, gadgets and other things. When they do not blow something up, they are neat.
This is a new one that pops video into the blog. I have a Quicktime mov file of the Lumberjack competition in Frankenmuth Michigan that I put here just to see how it works.

Frankenmuth Michigan [2006-05] 027.MOV

The video itself is maybe not the greatest, but the idea is what can be done!

May have to stick some more on here sometime.

Update 12/14/2015 – It appears Quick Time is no longer working as it once did. But you can go ahead and try. This will now download the MOV file which can then be opened and played outside of the browser.


This is to cool – or is it?

I just found out about a new plugin for WordPress which integrates Jalbum directly into a WP blog entry.
I needed a post to try it out, so here it is. Let see if it works!
Okay, test one failed… getting errors in path.
Okay, test two failed… getting errors in path.
Okay, test three worked, I think the only issue was the direction of the slash!

But, putting the entire album in means every thumbnail is in the post! Way to many!!
Using the option for showing only 4 thumbnails.

I am going to try single photo….
. . . . some time later . . . I was reading the authors website . . . I am supposed to be able to limit the number of thumbnails . . . . somehow . . .
That works really great, even shows how many photos are in total album. Only issue I have is that the thumbnails are getting pretty grainy when I move them up to 300 pixels, which is the size I normally like them. Moved them back to 150.

[jalbum_photo:/GSlideShows/Alberta2007,Alberta Canada 2007-07 005.jpg]

Now that works sweet!
I like that I can see the thumbnail, then it opens the actual album. Other than tracking down the correct album and photo name it is easier than the LightBox Plus plug in I was using… which I still like to quickly show a thumbnail and then a full size photo, which can be the same or different photo which is nice.

Now . . . . I wonder what the IFrame option does . . .
Okay . . okay, but not my preference. It does allow the full album to be inserted, and maybe with a different theme, like one that resizes, it may work better, but I don’t like all the scrolling this way. I like opening the album from the thumbnail, then the new album can be close so the user returns to the blog entry.

Until the final plug in blows up,

Excitement! Well, for me anyway.

Two new small features being added to Kazology.

  • A search engine that I have on the server
  • A new flash photo album created

I have worked off and on for months to get Google (and other search engines) to index the entire site. Seems like with all the genealogy pages that exist it just will not do it. In part because there are only a few “back links” to Kazology it does not rate very high in priority. (So if you want to put a link to in your page somewhere feel free!)

There are so many names in the genealogy section it is difficult to find a particular person, so it really needs this feature. Since I am not getting “Googled” I started looking for another means. Is Google going to be our next door neighbor? New office a mile away is rumoured to be Google’s new Ann Arbor location!

I searched and found one by APB Search. It uses CGI scripting to create an index on the server, which is then used when a search is performed by the user. It is pretty fast unless you pick a very frequent word, but even then it is not to bad. I currently have the most of the actual genealogy pages in the index, but not the PDF files, photo albums and so on. The site currently has over 18,000 pages and even the “free” version of APB Search is choking. To be fair it is not the APB Search program, it is the server timing out. The server only allows CGI scripts to have six seconds of CPU time per operation. Apparently this is just not enough to get the job done. I believe there is a way around, which involves purchasing the full version which can add directories one at a time after the initial index creation. I have tried performing searches using both Google and APB Search, and am getting more results every time with APB, so I like it. You can try out the search now if you like. It is way down in the right column in small font. Once I get it the way I want it, it will be moved to a more prominent position.

The other new feature is a flash photo album Paul located. It is by Atomix Technologies Limited and is called JetPhoto. It creates pretty cool albums with flash effects. Only one concern seems to be it is not well known and not well supported. Templates are limited at this time. So may have to learn PHP to do some editing.

It is also available down in the “test” area in the lower right hand column. Only one quickly created album there to test it out on.

NOTE: This never panned out as a photo album maker. I have used “Jalbum” almost exclusively for years now. Still highly recommended. Updated 12/21/2012. George

Until the final web page is indexed,