Scott's Thoughts

Trail Discovery: “Jack Daniels”

I know Water Dog in Belmont pretty well. I’ve ridden there for years, at times as often as four times a week, before work. I was surprised when I joined Passion Trail BikesWednesday Wride last night and we rode a trail completely new to me.

To be fair, it wasn’t in Water Dog proper, but on the other side of Hastings Drive, on the way to the jump area farther down the hill. But this trail, called “Jack Daniels” by the folks on the ride, was good stuff. It’s steep and loose and has lots of tight turns with berms. It’s pretty soft, probably due to summer conditions and obvious wear—it clearly wasn’t built as a sustainable trail. But it sure was fun, and I’m looking forward to hitting it again the next time I’m at Water Dog.

Olympus E-P1 Pen

The Online Photographer has a review of the new Olympus E-P1 Pen online today. I love the concept, but think that the lack of a real viewfinder is a real bummer. I love the 17mm pancake lens, and perhaps the reported chromatic aberration at wide apertures is something that can be corrected in Lightroom fairly simply.

Still, it’s wonderful to see a camera like this getting made and the bottom line is that I’m not really in the market to replace my Canon G9 yet. I think I’m going to continue sitting this generation of small(ish) cameras out. I am definitely looking forward to the E-P2 though. On top of the excellent start with the E-P1, I’m hoping to see a real viewfinder and simple refinements to the rest of what looks to be an excellent camera. Improved autofocus would be nice too, but I’d be willing to manually focus to get an otherwise superb camera.

BC Riding

Dave, one of a group of friends riding up in British Columbia, is posting pics and accounts on his blog of this year's version of the BC trip. I'm jealous that they're up there and I'm not, but what's up with that pic of Brian on those steep features? Check out that pic of his fork. His zip-ties are only 3/4 up the stanchions! I thought this was BC riding!

The Flip Will Die

According to Fortune, the built-in video functionality of the iPhone won’t kill the Flip. While they’re certainly right in the short run, I don’t think it’ll take all that long for the Flip and its ilk to die.

I have the Flip HD and have now had the iPhone 3GS for a couple of days, and the main saving grace the Flip has is that it shoots in HD and the iPhone doesn’t (yet). But the old adage that “the best camera is the one you have with you” applies here. Now that the iPhone can shoot video, I’m less likely to take the Flip with me anywhere. Yes, I still keep it in the living room to shoot a video of the baby when she does something cute, but when we leave the house, I’d rather not have to remember something else.

As the article points out, the iPhone already surpasses the Flip in functionality, other than the aforementioned HD quality. Users might like that simplicity (although I’d argue that the additional functionality is out-of-the-way in the iPhone’s interface), but I think that the “camcorder industry analysts” who believe that simplicity is what Flip users really like are underestimating the power of one less thing to carry.


I have a heck of a time maintaining a blog. I blame it on the fact that my friends and I have participated in a walled garden of my own creation for many years, and when I think to post something, I think of them as my audience, and I post it there. I’d like to have a more public way to do that, and that’s what I intend this to be.

That said, I’ve started a blog before, and I’m not sure what I can do short of pure willpower to keep it current. Anyway, I’m going to try again.

I’ve set this up with the latest Movable Type and some plugins, and I’m certainly not done. It has a mostly default style, with my “action streams” (read: my updates from other sites) thrown in the sidebar. I’ll work on making this look better, but I didn’t want to wait for that to start posting here.

Using 1password in Safari 4 Beta

I got this from the 1password support forums:

To enable 1password in Safari 4 Beta:

- Quit Safari
- Locate 1Password in your /Applications folder
- Ctrl-click > Show Package Contents
- Contents > Resources > SupportedBrowsers.plist
- Root > Safari > MaxBundleVersion > Change value to 5528.16
- Start Safari

Works great for me.


I didn’t mention this in the main post, but the “1P” button doesn’t show up, but the keyboard shortcuts still do. Command-\ is your friend. (Thanks, Etay.)


There’s a new beta of 1Password that supports Safari 4 beta. Go to Preferences → Updates, make sure you have “Include Beta Versions” checked and update.

Best Picture

I completely agree with John Gruber about the Best Picture Oscar. Well, at least I agree with the premise that he puts forth--I haven't seen WALL-E, so I can't really comment directly about that, although it's definitely on my Netflix queue. The Oscars is a popularity contest, not among people who love movies necessarily, but of the movie-making establishment. This means that the process in inherently political more than a straight vote on the absolute merits of the movie itself.

All that said, I had even less skin in the game last night. I hadn't seen any of the movies that were nominated. Most of them came out late in the year, after Ainsley came along, making it hard for me to get to the theater. Either that, or I didn't care about the movie. Either way, not a lot for me on this year's version of the Oscars.


Back in the day, my friend Todd and I used to play Street Fighter II in just about any venue we could, usually the local 7-11 or bowling alley. Now, many years later, Street Fighter IV is out for the home systems. Despite my fond memories of SF2, I didn't pre-order SF4. The other entries in the SF series just never captured my attention like the second one did. But after reading glowing review after glowing review, and also because I was rained in for most of the weekend, I ran out and bought it. The verdict? It's marvelous. The gameplay is very similar to what I remember of SF2, but it's been completely remade with a modern aesthetic and modern specs (it looks great on an HDTV). Aside from some really hideous character fight intros, it's a pretty game, and visually arresting. The new "black splatter" theme that adorns the game and its new "focus" moves is neat. It's fun to play these classic characters on a modern system (in my case, the Xbox 360) that out-powers a handful of the original arcade machines. My only regret now is that I didn't pre-order it and also get the real arcade-style joystick, which is now sold-out everywhere. The gamepads the youngsters all use these days don't cut it for an old joystick-loving fogey like me.

GXV Unimog

This is the RV that we really need for the bike trips. No problem camping at the top of Gooseberry Mesa in this one!

(Via Squob.)

The European Airstream Bambi 422

Not that I'd trade our 25-footer for one, but Airstream has just introduced a new European-specific model, the Bambi 422.

Very cute. Apparently, it's lighter and narrower to accommodate the roads and lighter tow vehicles in Europe.


Gooseberry, Here I Come! Oh, and Moab and Fruita Too!

Dave sent an email out about this year's version of the Fall mountain biking trip about a week ago. Val and I have taken our RV (the Minnie at the time) for the last couple of years, but was figured to be down for the count because of the new baby. The trip usually starts in Vegas, moves to Gooseberry Mesa (near St. George, UT) and then on to Fruita, CO and lastly to Moab, UT. This version is no different, although it is a bit later, being at the very end of April/beginning of May.

Since joining Veodia just a year ago, I've taken a bike trip to British Columbia (North Shore, Squamish) and used the rest of my time off after the birth of my daughter. Luckily, I've recovered enough time to string together 5 weekdays off. Val was cool with bringing Ainsley along, so we're going to pull the Airstream to meet the group for part of the Fruita/Moab legs. I can't wait.

Because of the dearth of vacation time, I had written off Gooseberry. I love Gooseberry (it's certainly in my top 10 places to ride), but I've been there the last couple of years in a row and haven't been to Moab in probably 5. I used to make an annual pilgrimage to Moab, so I definitely miss it.

Then, things started falling into place for me to be able to fly out for a weekend of riding in Gooseberry. Many thanks to Dave for offering to schlep my bike out to Utah so it'll be there for the weekend and also for doing pickup/dropoff duty at the airports.

It's going to be a most excellent spring!

Renting Lenses

James Duncan Davidson, who also recently bought a D700, has a good blog post about renting lenses. I’ll have to try this before laying out cash on some of those pricey Nikkors.

New Toy

New Nikon, originally uploaded by Stmpjmpr.

Loving it so far. More soon.

Peter Moffatt – 1923 -2007

Peter Moffatt, a director of seveal classic Doctor Who episodes, died recently. He did one of my favorites as a kid, The Five Doctors.

2008 Tour de France Course Unveiled

I’m a mountain biker, but I do enjoy watching some coverage of the Tour de France when it’s going on. They just today took the wraps off of what will be the course for the 2008 edition of the race.

Ruby, Leopard and Upgrading

Today’s the release of Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard,” and it’s a big release as far as Ruby is concerned. Ruby is finally supposed to be built-in as a framework, with Rails, RubyGems, readline support and a whole bunch of other Rubylicious goodness. You can read all the details on Mac OS X Forge. I’ve been working on updating my personal projects to work with the Rails 2.0 Preview Release, so we’ll see how customizing the installation that Apple gives us goes.

As far as getting Leopard goes, I’m not planning in waiting in line to get a t-shirt, but I’ll definitely be making a stop by the local Apple Store to get my copy at, say, 9 o’clock. You know, after the lines die down a bit and I can hopefully just walk in and grab a copy.

I usually do a clean install when I get a new OS, but I just did a clean install about 3 months ago, and I think I’m going to try the upgrade route this time and see how it goes.

Update: The official Rails blog has an entry on compiling the native C extensions for MySQL to work on Leopard.

Why is this here?

Those of you who know me know that I regularly post in a walled garden with a few close friends and also recently started a blog with my wife. Why another place here? Am I really lacking for an outlet? No, not really. But there are times when I’d like to write something viewable by the world-at-large and perhaps isn’t really relevant in a blog with Val. So, I decided to start this up. I’ll try and post here and if it doesn’t work, I’ll kill it off. We’ll see. :)