Monday, January 26, 2009

Google Maps on your GPS!

Last year I bought a used Garmin, etrex Legend Cx off Craigslist. I bought it for the trip to Ishpatina Ridge that unfortunately never happened. It came with Topo maps for all of Canada and street navigation software. I loaded the streets software and loved it so much I even bought an aftermarket mount for it to use in the car.

The only problem I have with it is loading new way points by address. The software is very awkward to use and even after entering an address the chance of the software finding the location was 50/50 at best. So, I would have to manually search the map and once found, enter the way point on my computer then upload it via USB to the device. What a pain in the ass! The thing that really sucked was that I would often use Google Maps to find the location and then search the software map. So many times I wished there was a way to just find a location on G. Maps and upload it to my GPS.

Well now there is!!! While looking up the location of an arena for a hockey tournament this weekend I stumbled upon the answer. (SEE IMAGE) After I plugged in the address and it was found I clicked on the "send" button (..thinking I would send it to the team) when I noticed the GPS option. Moments later I loaded the plug in for my device type (Garmin) and within minutes I had uploaded the way point. This is so cool!!!!

It's compatible with all the big GPS makers as well, so if you have one check it out!

Check it out.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Great article alert!

I stumbled upon this article (originally posted in the Washington Post) and it really stuck with me and although it's almost a year old it's an excellent read.

I am not about to wreck it for you, but it involves someone famous and immensely talented that participated in a social experiment that rocked the music world to it's core.

Interested? Read on....

A Most Interesting Story

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about

45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy.

His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a
commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things
are we missing?

Maybe it's not just the Bears I should be worried about.

The Ontario Puma Association.....nope, not a joke. I did a double take when I read this one, but it's true. There numbers, near extinction at the turn of the century, are now on the climb and if the the map of sightings is accurate they may be coming to a back country campground near you.

The Puma weighs between 140 and 220 lbs and can reach lenghts in excess of 2 meters (including tale).

Despite their menacing appearance there have been relatively few attacks. From the Ontario Puma Association website...

"In the past 110 years in North America, humans have encountered Pumas 66 times, resulting in injuries 59 times, 15 were fatal. Excluding cases where people were killed by captive Pumas and cases where people intentionally approached or harassed a wild Puma, the attacks drop to 54, injuries to 48, and fatalities to 9 times.

In the last 30 years, there have been 10 deaths due to Puma attacks. Five occurred in British Columbia, two in California, and one each in Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico. Almost half of the Puma attacks in the past 100 years occurred in the 90’s."

They considered a seclusive creature and an encounter is considered VERY rare. That said, now I have two animals to let my imagination run wild on while in the park at night. "Was that a branch, a Puma or a Bear?.....please let it be a branch!" lol

Is your XP PC slow? This may be the soloution

Over the past year or so, I have really started to see a dramatic downturn in the overall performance of my work laptop running Windows XP. Slow start-up, slow program start and even slow web browsing had gotten so bad that it was painful to try to do just about anything and expect a quick response.

I started to look for solutions. The first thing I did was defrag and it helped, but only in terms of file retrieval. Then I downloaded a pair of anti-malware/spyware programs and scanned my computer. These programs remove malicious software from your computer that may be gobbling up memory and even sending out your personal information without your knowledge. Scary Stuff!
I used and really like these two Freeware programs, Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy. They worked well and despite having a very good handle on what sites I visit and monitoring what comes into my system, the programs found and removed hundreds of these little corrupt files. With this I saw a noticeable performance boost, but still not back to the lightning fast response time I was once getting.

Then I found FreeRAM XP Pro and everything changed. This program works in the background and manages you RAM or "working memory", allocating more if the demand is higher. Very cool! I just followed the simple instructions for set-up...

"Even if you're not a RAM whiz, you can still easily free up RAM on your running system? By selecting AutoFree mode and then 'go,' FreeRAM XP Pro can automatically optimize your system, balancing levels between your memory cache and the computer's speed."

It was really that easy and the performance boost for web surfing, DVD burning and multitasking large programs is incredible! What a simple and great program that I can't recommend enough to anyone running a Windows XP OS.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's Official!!

"Jim Cavers you are now Registered

for Muskoka Ironman 70.3."

Well I just got the confirmation, so there is no backing out now....GULP!!!

On Septermber 13,2009 I will become an Ironman!!!

EDIT: Below is a short, but excellent video I found after I posted that describes what this event is all about. It has video from the 2008 race and the scenery is incredible. I get chills every time I watch it and have already watched it TEN TIMES.( ...and counting)

Check it out....

Monday, January 05, 2009

That is so true!

"If you are calm while everyone around you is losing it, you probably don’t know what the hell is going on."

While registering for Ironman Muskoka this morning I stumbled upon this quote that I think perfectly describes the moments before a Triathlon starts.
The anxiety is palpable and standing on the beach, as the seconds tick away to start time, no one can hide their fear. In many ways it's one of the most honest moments a person can experience. In life you can hide your fear, but not there and everyone standing there knows it. You compete against each other, yet for that moment you are bound by purpose and fear is the common denominator.

I registered for the Ironman Muskoka, which is a half Iron. (Swim 2km, Bike 90km, Run 21km), but plan to do an Olympic and Sprint as well. The Half Iron wil be my last race of the season and will be the focus of my training this year. If all goes well, I plan to use this race as the launching point for my first Ironman in 2010. Lake Placid!