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It's been an exhausting couple of weeks.

Things I've learnt:
  • Driving in mud is nasty, driving on ice is scary - driving on icy mud is tantamount to insanity, even with 4WD.

  • Driving on icy mud with a 1,000 foot drop to one side of a single track dirt road with 17 hairpins up a mountain miraculously improves your driving skills.

  • It is possible to take a dying company and come up with one big idea that completely changes the way the world thinks of its brand.

  • 3-D printing-as-a-service is one of the coolest and neatest ideas around.

  • Good GPS makes driving in a blizzard an awful lot easier.

  • 6F at 6PM is bloody cold.

  • The Arizona and Utah deserts are spectacularly beautiful in the snow.

  • A US National Park annual pass is a wonderful thing.

  • It is possible to spend nearly a week in Vegas and not see a single bride.

  • Bad colds and CES do not mix well, but hefty doses of bio-active smoothies and cold drugs do help.

  • GPS locator beacons are now so affordable everyone who goes into the great outdoors should have one.

  • Good design is everywhere.

  • Robots are still cool - educational robots are even cooler.

  • The silence of the snows above a deep canyon is a perfect stillness that leaves you in awe of the world around you.

  • Ravens are the kea of the American Southwest - smart and teamworkers.

  • The state of Utah has some of the maddest road engineers in the world.

  • Coal Creek Canyon is out there somewhere.

  • It is possible to get a great steak in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday night.

  • Zion has some the most amazing icicles I have ever seen.

  • If you're going to be caught in a blizzard, Bryce is one of the prettiest places to watch the snow.

  • Tin churches in the high desert make me think of U2.

  • Bono's mullet from the 1980s was really quite something.

  • Frogs are not a good conference give away.

  • You can clean the sensor of a DSLR easily.

  • The same rap song in every corridor and lift in a hotel can be rather annoying.

  • California is surprisingly wide.

  • You can get a decent curry in the USA.

  • 9600 ft is a long way up for a road.

  • 70F at sea level is really rather pleasant for January.

Normal service will be resumed shortly - once I've actually taken all the photos off my cameras.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Frogs, she asked? Live? Beanbag, keyring fob?
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
My sister down near Orlando reckons she knows a place.
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
You can clean the sensor of a DSLR easily

I demur from this opinion, having tried it without success.

[...] rap [...] can be rather annoying.

On the other hand, with that I'll agree.

BTW, I was rather bemused while reading 'Fopdoodle and Salmagundi' to find your surname therein.
Jan. 20th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
I picked up a rather useful cleaning kit from the Lenspen folk. The trick is an illuminated 6x loupe...
Jan. 20th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
"BTW, I was rather bemused while reading 'Fopdoodle and Salmagundi' to find your surname therein."


What did it say? Apart from being a Norman-French corruption of Buisson?

(I've kept it quiet that I'm a Bush for the last 8 years!)
Jan. 20th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
adj. Blind

A somewhat interesting definition considering your user icon.
Jan. 14th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
Am I a weirdo for really enjoying driving in mud and ice? Wouldn't want to do it in heavy traffic, mind!
Jan. 16th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
GPS locator beacons are now so affordable everyone who goes into the great outdoors should have one.

Hmmmmm - how affordable? I know me going for a walk alone in the nearby woods is not really "the great outdoors" but, if I had a fall and was unable to call out from my mobile fro some reason, it would be nice to know that hubby, mum, etc. could find me...
Jan. 20th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm going to be writing about it soon, but the SPOT hardware is about $100 with a $100 per year subscription.

(It also makes a useful geotagging tool!)
Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
Eek! Too expensive for me...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )