Superman in 3D

Yesterday my team at work went to see the new Superman movie as a "team building" experience. In my opinion it was a pretty average movie, but it did have some great visuals. We went to see it an an Imax theater. Before I went I found out that parts of the movie were going to be in 3D. Upon hearing this I wondered how they were going to accomplish this, and thought it was going to turn out to be gimmicky. I imagine only part of the movie was shown in 3D because converting it to 3d is a new post processing effect and I can see this being very computationally expensive. After seeing the movie I was very impressed with the visual quality of the 3D portions. They signaled us to put on the 3d glasses by briefly flashing a red or green pair of glasses in the right corner of the screen before turning 3D on or off. Most 3D Imax films I've seen are done in a manner where they seem to be trying to poke your eye out. Superman used the 3D effect in more subtle ways that I really appreciated. I liked it enough so that if any movies I plan on seeing in the theater are also offering a 3D version at Imax I'd probably pay the extra $3 for the 3d Imax version.


Tree Carvings

While this weekend was supposed to be a washout I managed to do a good job at dodging the raindrops. On Saturday I headed into Boston for a day at the Aquarium.

Then today I went out to do the mother of all geocaches. It was a six stage behemoth. After hours of searching and about 5 miles of hiking I got stumped at waypoint number 4. Waypoint 4 is where I saw these faces carved into the sides of living trees. There were 4 different faces in the area. So while I didn't finish the cache I still call it a win because I found this cool place. In my opinion the best part about geocaching is when you find these little secrets hidden in an out of the way place. Without geocaching there is no way I would have found these wooden faces that were miles from any roads and about 500 feet off the nearest trail. Geocaching rocks!


Hiking and the Zoo

I did some hiking this weekend with my new boots. They are incredible! I need to remember to get new boots a little earlier next time. While I was out on the trail, I ran into a painted turtle. I think this was the first painted turtle I've seen in New England where it wasn't just sticking its head out of the water. This dude was strutting across the trail like he owned the place. I crept in to get a picture, but when I was about 10 feet away he must have either heard me or felt the vibration from my foot steps because he quickly pulled his head and legs into his shell. Shortly there after he peed out the back of his shell onto the trail. I wonder if recoiling into his shell squishes his bladder, or if I scared him. I hope I didn't scare him since I just wanted a picture. This brought back memories of when I was little and would pickup toads. It seemed that without fail they would pee into my hand. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I kept picking up every toad I saw even knowing that they would pee on me. I guess I wasn't the brightest kid.

Today on Fathers Day I went to Southwick's Zoo. I would have gone with my dad, except that he's 2000 miles away :-( Anyways when I got there I found out it was free since I was a father. I was about to explain that I wasn't a father and pay, but the young lady did this little shake of her head and give me a wink so I felt obliged to accept my free ticket. I see on their website than I can make donations to this zoo so I plan on doing later tonight. I'm not a huge fan of zoos since I always feel a little bad for the animals being caged, but I do recognize that animals in zoos today are treated well. They usually live longer lives in captivity than they would in the wild. Also you need to consider the amount of benefit kids and adults get from the educational experience that zoos offer. With that said if I was one of those animals I'd gladly take the shorter life in my natural habitat rather than those cages.


Hiking Boots

You can see my old hiking boots and my new boots. If you look closely you might notice they are the exact same boot, one pair is just 2 years older than the other pair. I was ecstatic when the store told me they still made my old boot and that they had my size. It's a great boot and has served me well. My old ones were literally held together with glue and duct tape, and they had started to leak. Plus the soles had been worn smooth which was making hiking on wet rocks more treacherous than it should have been. That said by my estimates it took around 1000 miles of trails to finally wear out my boots. During those 1000 miles of hiking I can credit my boots with keeping my feet completely blister free. Good job boots!

It all started back in April of 2004. I had taken a Sabbatical for the summer from my computer programming job and was ready to do some serious hiking. I had just arrived at Glacier National Park in Montana with an old pair of hiking boots. I quickly found out a new pair of hiking boots would be a good investment (at least my feet were telling me this). I decided to go with a high end Asolo hiking boot (FSN 95 GTX). While I was a little doubtful of paying $120 for a boot, I thought it would be worth it if it kept my feet happy all summer. Not only did they keep my feet happy for that summer out in Montana. They also keep my feet happy all of last year and the spring of this year. Considering all that I think it was a $120 well spent. They were even more expensive this second time I bought them, but if they give me another 2 years of joy on the trails it will be well worth it again.

I tested out the new boots today and even though they are the exact same boot they felt weird on my feet. They felt good, but not quite as good as my old pair. That's not surprising to me. I remember having a break-in period with all my hiking boots. I remember my first pair of real hiking boots were leather and they took over 100 miles to really break them in. These new Gore-tex boots have a shorter break-in time, but they still need a few good days of hiking, before they've really formed to my feet. It's good that I got them now since I'll have plenty of time to break them in before my trip out to Washington where I plan to summit Mount Rainier with a friend in August.

It's odd I never really thought about my boots much until I started writing this. But thinking about how many good memories were made while my hiking boots were on my feet is amazing. I better stop now before I go getting too mush-glushy about my boots.

See ya'll on the trails.


Ramstions 4 - Be Passionate

I believe that a passionate person is a happy person. I'm not necessarily referring to passion in your love life, though I believe that can be one form of this passion. The passion I'm talking is defined as boundless enthusiasm. So to restate my introductory sentence, I believe when someone really cares about what is happening in their life then they'll be happier. For me that something has changed between a lot of things in my life from hiking, to geocaching, to work, to girls, to scuba diving, to hang gliding, to photography, to a host of other things. I've always been happiest when I have one or more things that I really care about in my life. As I've aged many of the things I've been passionate about have turned into hobbies for awhile and sometimes they become my passion again. Other passions seem to get dropped entirely. This isn't how it works for everyone; I'm just stating how it is for me.

I started watching my friends and coworkers around half a year ago trying to judge their happiness level. It amazed me how much happier people are who have something to be passionate tend to be. Those people who just watch TV or doing something similar every night seem to be letting life pass them by. These are the people who when you ask them how it's going and they always say that it's just ok. These are the people that never seem to know what they are going to do next. They just float through life. Never being really happy, and never being really sad. I know most of these people would be happier if they became passionate about something, but they never seem to.

During this past half a year I've tried to figure out why this is and I've seen two reasons for it. I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are the two I've identified. The first is simply because some people seem lazy. It seems that more often than not it's not that a person is too lazy to try new things, but that they are too lazy to figure out what they want to try. This is bizarre to me because it's so easy for me to find new things that I want to do. I tend to have a list of things I want to do that is so long I keep forgetting some of the things. But I know people that that just don't try new things and it seem that laziness is the reason. The second reason I've seen people not try to find new things to become passionate about is because they've fooled themselves into thinking what they do now is good enough. For instance the people who watch lots of TV can't find time for anything else because they need to see that new show tonight.

Personally I wouldn't mind if I found something I could be passionate about for more than a year, but if I don't I guess that will just make me one fine Renaissance man. If I ever do find something that I can stay passionate about, I would never stop trying something new. Without anything new to compare what I like to, I don't think I could confidently claim that I'm passionate about anything. And when I'm not passionate about something I'll be a boring old man, which just isn't my style.

For god's sake get out there and care!