Thursday, September 16, 2010

Maine - Labor Day 2010 - an iPhone4 experiment

I brought my dSLR to our Maine trip but I've been using it less and less these days. In part, it is a Too Cool for School thing. It is the 1st consumer dSLR on the market, so I had it long before most people I know owned one. Now that everyone has one, I take pride in the fact that I have an old camera, or that I don't use an SLR at all. Or maybe I'm just too cheap to upgrade, and the new pocket phones/camera phones are as good as my decade old SLR.

So this trip, I wound up using the new iPhone4 only, which while taking passable photos (great in bright sunlight), struggled in other conditions. Though this is a week before HDR came out which is a shame as it would have been quite useful.

From Maine - Labor Day 2010

First stop was Portland, ME. As bo-bo a town as I've ever seen. We stopped only as a break from driving, but it was interesting. Surprisingly few tourists (most were scared off by the Hurricaine threat that never materialized), but we did see many groups of people on the "foodie" tour. Lots of tragically hip coffee houses. But it all felt too clean, manufactured, too Disney.

From Maine - Labor Day 2010

They say people go to Maine for the 3 L's, Lobster, Lighthouses, and LL Bean. We certainly did the 1st two, with quite a lobster feed by the shore enroute to Rockland, lots of impressively Lobster-y Lobster Rolls, and of course lighthouses. The above photo was with the front facing camera in low light. Clearly low quality, but still useful.

From Maine - Labor Day 2010

At National Parks, I always seek out the "most strenuous" trail, which usually is not too strenuous at all. Arcadia's are the exception. 0.8 miles of nearly verticle climb on the Precipice Trail (our trailguru link), aided by metal ladders, but still not much to stop you from falling. One girl we passed enroute got so terrified she couldn't move. Can't say I could blame her.

From Maine - Labor Day 2010

Ended our trip with a sail boat ride aboard a century old schooner, with a nice bottle of local wine (yes we went wine tasting in Maine!) a nice way to end the trip.

From Maine - Labor Day 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grand Cayman Photos

Part of our recent trend (post Scuba certi-fication) of island mini-vacations. Grand Cayman, known for its offshore banks and world class diving, small population (30,000 or so) and per capita gdp higher than the US. Stayed at the Reef Resort, on the quiet east side.

As recommended by a guide book, we tried not only the tourist food (which was surprisingly good, in a solid non-Contempo way) but also the local places, Bourdain style, which was also consistently yummy. The scuba did not disappoint, as well as their most famous tourist attraction, Sting Ray City. My photos here.

We probably had some of our best dives that we have had anywhere, with a dive down a miles deep reef wall (we only went about 100 ft ourselves) as well as exploring mazes of under-reef tunnels in more shallow waters.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Florida Keys - Jan 2010

Photos from our 4 day jaunt to the Florida Keys over New Years Jan 2010 before the AEA meetings. Part of our series of dive vacations. Amazingly, despite our trips to exotic locales (Bali, Great Barrier Reef, etc.) some of the most impressive dives in terms of sheer quantity of sealife was here at Key Largo, just at the end of highway 95 at the southeastern tip of the US. As our luck would have it, we arrived in time for the cold snap (it was snowing it Atlanta those few days), so the beaches were not so pleasant, but the water was fine underwater (so long as we had a wet suit, R- wore two). Had lots of stone crab while we were down there, and as timing would have it, Bruni's review of his Miami favorites came out that weekend, so we got to try Michael's Genuine Food and Drink for some great contempo food before we left (great cocktails).

Saturday, March 06, 2010

New Blog URL and Site Feed

For various technical reasons, I was forced by google to move my blog to

Their automated mover worked pretty well except that their auto-post pointed to the wrong site feed. For those using it, the updated site feed is now: