Exploring Colorado

Kelly and I were fortunate to be able to spend a week exploring Colorado this month, mostly around Boulder, Vail, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat. It was a great chance to visit some family in the area, see some different landscapes, hike/bike/raft/etc., and just generally enjoy life at 8,000 feet above sea level. Apparently there's a lot more of the state than one can see in a few days, so I expect we'll be back again soon. Some photos and notes from our trip follow.

Chris and Kelly

Vail is like Disneyworld (but cuter) for people who want to be able to pick up an expensive handbag or some sushi right after they get off the slopes, with everything laid out just so for the optimal outdoorsy tourist experience:

Continue reading "Exploring Colorado"

Notes from Moogfest

I took a quick trip to Asheville, North Carolina this past weekend to visit some friends and wander around the area. It's one of my favorite parts of the country, having spent a fair amount of time there as a kid, with my grandparents when they lived in Swannanoa and attending a summer camp for several years in Black Mountain.

But in looking up things to do while I was there this time, I found a whole new great reason to visit, the Moogfest music/art/tech festival.

Moogfest 2014 Wristband

Continue reading "Notes from Moogfest"

A trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Cute pairIn May, Kelly and I took an amazing two and a half week trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in South America.  We spent a little time in the capital city of Quito, but otherwise we were off enjoying the jungle lodge in the cloud forest of Mindo, exploring the Galapagos on a small boat that was our home for seven nights, enjoying whitewater rafting, volcano-heated hot baths and great food in the mountain town of Banos, and checking out the sprawling and lively markets of Otavalo.

The photos and videos I've posted on Flickr capture some of the experience, and while the trip held too much adventure to describe here in great detail, I'll hit some of the highlights below.  (You can also go back and read individual posts written during the trip.)

Our trip was a nice combination of planned itinerary (primarily, the week-long stay on the boat M/Y Eric to tour around the Galapagos) and "wander around once we get there" mode.  The Lonely Planet Guide to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands provide indispensable for the whole experience, from helping with food to lodging to cultural experiences and everything in between.  We were also visiting in advance of the heavier tourist season, so we were able to get into most any experience without advance reservation.

Continue reading "A trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands"

Links for the Week - February 24, 2009

Things feel kind of in limbo right now, don't they?  What are you in between?  While you think about that, here are some links you might enjoy:

4 reasons to start using Gravatars right now

I've said before that to truly participate in public life, we must do so as ourselves, with our identities revealed.  Online discussions are now a part of the public sphere, and when used well, can bring people together in ways that complement and enhance real-world community.

A related trend I'm appreciating is the increasing number of tools available to help make online conversations more personalized.  A particular tool I'd like to encourage you to start using right now is that of a Gravatar - a "globally recognized avatar" - which displays an image of your choosing (sometimes a photo of you) next to your contributions to online conversations.

Here are 4 reasons why you should: Continue reading "4 reasons to start using Gravatars right now"

Using Stock Photos to Show You Care

Creepy scary stock photoOne of the funniest parts of browsing the Internets is when I come across the funny stock photos of professional people in various professional settings, used by site owners to put a "human face" on their web presence in the most generic way possible. It began with using the headshot of the attentive and waiting customer service representative to show you that "operators are standing by now," and it's just gone crazy from there.

With the photo here, I don't even know what the hell is going on. It's like the creepy older guy is trying to arm wrestle with the maniacally screaming younger dude over who gets to use the laptop, while the two women totally ignore them and instead grin broadly at the hamster dancing on their screen. But I'm like "creepy older dude, BACK OFF!" Why does he need to lunge into younger dude's space like that, using his fingertips as a push-off to further invade? And why won't either of the women help younger dude? This is some messed up stock photography. What was the photographer yelling at them? "Pretend you went to the office holiday party and took Ecstasy!"
Continue reading "Using Stock Photos to Show You Care"

Flickr Photos Featured

I love Flickr, which shows off the world we live in through the eyes and camera lenses of everyday folks. In the last week I've had a few of my photos posted there (most of which are released under the Creative Commons license) appear in some interesting spots:

  • Schmap Nashville Travel Guide: a couple of photos I took at the Tennessee State Museuem are apparently now a part of the fourth edition of this online tourist guide. There may be a print version too, but I'm not sure where to find it.
  • All Around Ohio for November 11: a photo I took of Antioch Hall at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio was featured in an article about the college staying open.

Moving Photos to Flickr

I've been slacking off for a few years on getting my photos online for folks to see. Partly that's because I've been slacking off in actually taking photos (has the world become less beautiful and interesting as I get older?...hmm, probably not...lazy ass) but also because my ancient and clumsy methods for formatting and posting them became a significant mental barrier to even bothering. So, driven by a desire to share and a need to have better tools for doing so (and not to mention saving some space on the Summersault webserver where my site is hosted), I've engaged in what is hopefully a mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship with Flickr, an online photo sharing service. You can already check out my photos there, but know that it's all in flux as I transition my existing online photos, add and remove some, and rearrange how they're sorted. Let me know how you like it, and I'll post something when I'm done.