Epic Road Trip – Day 4

Today took us through some of the most interesting areas of the entire trip. While one might think that Utah would be empty (and don’t get me wrong… it is very empty) it has some amazing rock formations we saw along the way.

TRIP STATS

Miles Traveled Today: 130 (appx)
Total Trip Miles: Not Yet Calculated
Gallons of Gas: Not Yet Calculated

Today’s Map:

GALLERIES

Epic Road Trip – Day 3

Day 3 was not so much travel as it was relaxing and seeing the sights. Today’s destinations were Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak. We woke up at 4 am to make the 1.5 hour drive down to Colorado Springs from Boulder in time for the sun rising on the mountains. We explored there for a few hours and then got breakfast.

After breakfast it was time to make the trip to Pikes Peak. There we made the 19 mile drive to the summit where there is half the oxygen that there is at sea level.

We were going to possibly stop by Mt. Evans which has the highest paved road in the world (14,240 feet)  but as this is only a mere 130 feet higher than where we were at on Pikes Peak (not to mention the fact that we were pretty tired at this point…) we opted to grab some lunch and head back to Boulder for the night.

TRIP STATS

Miles Traveled Today: 130 (appx)
Total Trip Miles: Not Yet Calculated
Gallons of Gas: Not Yet Calculated

Today’s Map:

GALLERIES

We had so many pictures from today that I decided to make separate galleries for each location (and some random photos from in between destinations as well)

Epic Road Trip – Day 2

Day 2 of our trip took us through all of Kansas and into Colorado. The two words that best describe Kansas: VAST and FLAT. We took some pictures to try and capture this, but nothing quite does it justice. To top it all off, many parts of Kansas lacked any form of cellular data network. That meant my Blackberry was rendered useless for anything email or internet related.

TRIP STATS

Miles Traveled Today: 570.2
Total Trip Miles: 1246
Gallons of Gas: Not Yet Calculated

Today’s Map:

The pictures for today pretty much sum up our experience in the flat, barren, vast, open, boring, (did i mention flat) area that is Kansas and eastern Colorado…

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We’re not in Kansas anymore!

We just crosses the boarder into Colorado and shouted: “We’re not in Kansas anymore!”

To quote David:

“We’re not in Kansas anymore!” – that is a universally positive statement.

Onward now to Boulder, CO!

Epic Road Trip – Day 1

Day one of the epic road trip draws to a close! Todays trip began in Cincinnati, OH and ended in Topeka, KS. Along the way we stopped in St. Louis to visit the Gateway Arch. As you will see from the photos below, the ride to the top of the arch is in these tiny pods that accomodate up to 5 (small) people. You begin underground, under the center of the arch, and ride on a track all the way to the top. Once you exit the pod you are on a 30-40 foot long walk way with windows on either side where you can look east to the Mississippi or west to downtown St. Louis.

Miles Traveled Today: 675.8
Total Trip Miles: 675.8
Gallons of Gas: Not Yet Calculated

Today’s Map:

Read on for today’s photo gallery…

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Epic Road Trip – Day 0

Yes, you read right, Day 0. It is about 11:30pm and I am just finishing packing in preparation for the longest road trip of my life. Here is a short overview of what is to come:

Starting Point: Belmont, OH
Start Time: 2008-05-12 06:00 EDT
Ending Point:
San Jose, CA
End Time:
2008-05-17 16:00 PDT
Approximate Distance:
3,000+ miles
Number of Stops: Many*
Gallons of Gas: :-( **

*Many : A technical term to denote a large or possibly changing number.
** :-( This is also a technical term for very expensive…

Some points of note on the trip will include:

  • Colorado Springs / Garden of the Gods
  • Grand Canyon
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Las Vegas
  • more?

I will be posting a log every day or so with updates as well as pictures (if bandwidth allows) of the trip. Leave comments with any suggestions as to must see points of interest or just general thoughts on our progress.

(Now to get some sleep before we depart)

New Laptop

In preparation for my summer in California, I purchased a new laptop (since trying to ship my entire desktop out there seemed excessive). The model of choice was the Lenovo ThinkPad T61p. It just arrived yesterday and needless to say it is awesome. I am currently writing this post from it and it seems like it is up to the task of meeting my requirements.

The specs for anyone interested:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo (2.5GHz, 6MB L2)
  • 4GB DDR2 RAM
  • 128MB nVidia Quadro FX 570M
  • 14.1′ SXGA+ TFT Panel (1400 x 1050)
  • 160GB 7200RPM HD
  • Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Wireless + Bluetooth
  • 9 Cell Battery

Geiger Counter

I recently acquired a Victoreen CDV-700 Geiger Couter from a local surplus store. The unit appeared to be in good condition, however, upon testing it I found that while it does detect radiation sources, its meter is not registering anything.

Victoreen CDV-700 Geiger Counter

I tested the meter and found that the gauge itself is actually working and that the problem was somewhere in the circuit board. Luckily the good folks at Victoreen Instruments were kind enough to include the following diagram inside the box:

Victoreen CDV-700 Circuit Diagram

I will have to test the components to find if there is a short or a bad part and then see if it is fixable. On the other hand, it was manufactured in the early 70’s, so it may be hard to find replacement parts if anything is in fact bad.

Web File Listings

I finally made my web file listings integrate with my web site theme. Normally web file directories look pretty very ugly and this certainly was an improvement. Apache has built-in support for header and footer files to be wrapped around the file listing. You can even wrap PHP or other scripting languages around it if you configure Apache properly. I chose to use PHP as it can easily pull in template changes from the main site.

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Wordpress 2.5

Wordpress Logo

Wordpress has been gearing up for their much anticipated 2.5 release. As such I though it only fitting that I upgrade to one of the latest test releases. I installed 2.5 RC 2 and have been nothing but impressed so far. The admin interface is the largest visual overhaul. It is much more streamlined and now offers many new features.

My favorite new addition is the new media management interface. This makes it almost trivial to upload and manage images and other content. This will certainly be useful in the future. Another great aspect to the media manager is the gallery feature, which allows the rapid creation of photo galleries on a given article.

Looking foward to the final release, but at this point the RC 2 seems very stable.

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