Monika, the kids and I went to Florida this past weekend for a friend’s wedding. We had a great time soaking up the sun and playing in the pool. The weather was great, much warmer than Colorado in April where swimming outside isn’t such a good idea. While we were there we had the opportunity to drive down to the Everglades and see some wildlife along the way. We had a good, fun, mostly relaxing long weekend! I put together a set of photos of our trip on my Flickr page.

Plumeria Samuel Canal Waves In the Pool

Samuel’s Photography

A lot has gone on in the past month, my parents came to visit us in Colorado and spent a busy week with us.  Samuel and Benjamin had a good time visiting with their grandparents, and we got to see parts of CO that we hadn’t seen before.  Samuel has taken an interest in taking photos, so we gave him our old camera – a Canon Powershot G1 to play with.  It’s interesting to see what a 3 year old wants to take pictures of,  he certainly has a different perspective on things than we do.  I’ve uploaded some of his pictures to my Flickr site.

Spiderman! Benjamin Eating The Fridge Living Room

Ouray Ice Park

Last week I went to Ouray in southwestern Colorado to climb at the Ouray Ice Park. The ice park is farmed by redirecting water to flow over the edge of the canyon, freezing and creating quite a few good ice climbs. There are convenient anchors to set up a toprope with, and the park itself is only a few minutes walk from town. Ice climbing is supposed to be a suffer-fest, Ouray changes that big time. Breakfast in town, climbing in the park in the morning, lunch in town, more climbing in the afternoon, soak in the hot springs at the hotel after climbing, dinner in town. You couldn’t ask for a better place to improve your climbing skills than Ouray.

Update: Andy Welter posted some more pictures of the trip on his website.

Ouray - Gazebo Wall Ouray Ice Park Ouray Ice Climbing

Arapahoe Basin

Monika, Samuel and I went up to A-Basin yesterday to get a bit of skiing in. Samuel complained a lot, but he learned how to turn and follow me down the run fairly well. I think if I try to make up some games for him he’ll do better with his endurance. He only took 2 runs, but they were pretty long since he isn’t too fast. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and even though the temps were in the 20s it felt warm. I snapped a few pictures at the top of the first lift and stitched them together to get this panorama.

Arapahoe Basin

Handheld Video

For the past few years I’ve been using a video player for my Palm Tungsten T5 called TCPMP. This video player allows me to play video files on my mobile device from a SD card or internal memory. This is a great feature of my T5 because now I can watch my own movies when flying on an airplane, entertain my son when we are at a restaruant, or show a home movie to someone on my handheld. I can fit most movies that I watch between 256M and 512M, so I can get at least 2-3 on one 1G SD card.

TCPMP on Palm

To rip DVDs to files that you can load using TCPMP, you can use the free software Fair Use Wizard. This software will convert straight from a DVD to a file that the handheld can handle. I set the resolution to the native resolution of my Palm, which is 480×320. Two pass video encoding will take longer than a quicker setting, but you will get a better quality movie. Fair Use Wizard also works well for me in Ubuntu Linux using Wine, although it is slower than running it in Windows. A fast processor with a lot of memory will help in the conversion process.

I use TCPMP on the Palm platform, but this software is also available for Windows Mobile. The files that are generated from Fair Use Wizard will work on either platform. For my Palm, I use a clear protective case from Proporta that keeps fingers and other objects from smearing the screen and buttons.

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