Aliso Woods

Hiked 11 miles in Aliso and Wood Canyon park today. The GPS app on my phone says it was over 2000 feet of elevation too, but I don’t believe it. It also drained my battery down to 25%, clearly I need a dedicated GPS if I decide I actually care about mapping whole trips as opposed to select points.


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Sunday, August 1st, 2010 Hiking 6 Comments

Holy Jim Trail

Today I hiked the Holy Jim trail.  Or part of it anyway.  This is the most popular way to reach the top of Saddleback mountain (or more correctly, Santiago Peak).  I wasn’t expecting to make it to the peak, and so of course I didn’t.  Next time!  I did hike somewhere around 9 or 10 miles, round trip.

Santiago Peak

You can see one of the radio towers on top of the peak in this picture (click to embiggen), which is from right about where I turned around.  I’d done 2000 feet of elevation gain at this point, and the peak would’ve been another 1000 and several more miles.

Holy Jim Falls

The highlight of the hike was Holy Jim falls.  Who knew there was an actual waterfall in Orange County?  And it even flows in the middle of summer! At least this year when there was lots of rain.

This was my favorite sight of the whole trip though, from the drive out to the trail on a very, very bumpy road.  The mist rolling over the valley and the sun just starting to peak through was spectacular.  I had to stop and get out to take pictures.  I don’t think they turned out very well though.  This is the best of the bunch, it’s the only one where you can really see all the hills going back.


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Saturday, July 31st, 2010 Hiking 1 Comment

Bridge to Nowhere

I hiked out to this place last weekend.  About 10 miles round trip, maybe 11, I had to backtrack a couple of times.  This bridge was built in the 30s as part of a road that was going to cut through Angeles National Forest.  A flood washed the road out before it was completed, and the project was abandoned, but the bridge still stands, reachable only on foot.  Today the bridge itself is owned by a bungie jumping company, who lead trips to it on weekends.  You can see someone dangling down there; watching people jump off this bridge was lots of fun.

I’m also using this post to test geotagging features on the site.  There should be an embedded Google Map below with the bridge’s location, and the new Map page for the site should show markers for all geo-tagged posts, including this one and a few random others I went and tagged.


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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 Hiking No Comments

iTunes Expressions

iTunes smart playlists are actually fairly complex boolean expressions (since iTunes 9, previous versions were not as robust). This page describing iTunes library management contains more text than the entire Lua 3.0 manual! (I’m cheating here, Lua is on v5.1, and the manual is more than twice as large these days, but the point still stands). Via dropdowns and text boxes you’re practically writing SQL WHERE clauses when creating a smart playlist.

Yet for all that complexity, there is STILL no way built into iTunes to make a Smart Playlist that can precisely select between High-def and standard-def TV Shows and movies.

My compromise is making a playlist that selects shows between 20 and 31 minutes that are greater than 500MB, and shows 39 minutes or longer that are greater than 900MB. Those numbers aren’t very precisely chosen, but they seemed to work properly for all but one episode in my library, there was one hour long episode that says it’s “HD” but is only 600MB, I ignored that one, but it illustrates why this is such a bad solution. There are standard def shows that are nearly 600MB in my library too.

The compromise some people come to is manually adding an HD Tag to the composer, description, comments, or some other field, but the whole point here is that I’m trying to avoid manually doing anything to differentiate them. I could just as easily add all the HD videos to a dumb playlist, and then select on that playlist in a smart playlist.

I’ve had this frustration for at least a year, since we first got an Apple TV. When, when, when will Apple fix it? Or if they have, then when, when, when someone on the internet figure out how to do it?

Since the thing I wanted this playlist for is already an Applescript that’s iterating TV Shows from a playlist, I suppose the “solution” in this case is to make the Applescript able to differentiate. The filename actually has an “(HD)” in it for HD episodes, and Applescript does have access to filenames, but iTunes proper can’t select on filename contents.

On the other hand, the horror of having to actually write more than a few lines of Applescript caused me to write just enough to be able to call out to a python script instead. So there’s a whole ‘nother rant about crappy Apple “programming languages” right there. I do realize that Python can use Applescript interfaces directly, but then it’s harder to just Download a script that almost does what I want and fix the parts that don’t.

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Today’s hike

Did this today:
03/13/2010 Route

The hardest (though not tallest) hill, had already walked down it, this picture was on the way back. The trail on the left and all along the ridge in the background to the hill at the right.


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Saturday, March 13th, 2010 Hiking No Comments

Huatulco, Mexico

Just walking around town pictures.  This is one of my favorite stops.  There’s an actual town right at the pier where the ship is docked, not an hour’s bus ride away like so many stops.  And the town is nice and clean and beautiful.  It is a tourist town, but at least it’s right here!  Hurray!






Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

March of the Pigs








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Sunday, December 14th, 2008 Uncategorized No Comments