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Written By: Gary on May 1, 2012 No Comment

Last week I announced their Birds app as 99 cents, the price has gone up but many other related apps have dropped in price. See the Audubon apps by Green Mountain Digital.

Audubon Birds Field Guide for iPad and iPhone is only $2.99 cents! The second best price ever they’ve ever had. This is their 606 MB huge book (app) that’s is normally $19.99. audobonbirds.png

Another interesting choice is the deluxe Audubon Guides – A Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Wildflowers, and Trees for only $14.99 this is normally $39.99 (but occasionally on-sale for $24.99-$19.99) and this combines their four main apps (books?). But this huge multi-book app weighs in at 1.3 GB (that’s a big chuck of space if you’ve only got an 8GB iOS device).

If you want to see what these apps are like, the North American Owls app is free!

If you’re looking for Butterflies, Insects or Fish (or Tropical Fish), those are on-sale too!

This is one of those deals you should pick up even if you’re into birds/nature/etc. and thinking of getting an iPad or iPhone in the future (assuming you’re interested in birds/nature at all). It’ll be hard to beat these prices.

FYI, I think most (except the Owls?) run natively on the iPad and iPhone, but please double-check before buying!

And the 5 Audubon apps/books available for Android on on-sale at Amazon too.

Written By: Gary on April 22, 2009 No Comment

It just started to rain out. It’s really been looking like it’s wanted to for a few hours now, the waves have been pretty rough all day (I didn’t go into the ocean, even though I planned to) and there’s been cloud cover and extra humidity all day. I dashed into the Pizza Parlor in Montezuma. I’m now sitting upstairs under the steel roof and it’s coming down pretty hard right now and it sounds great. I can see the waves crashing in and I’m pretty happy about it.

It’s been pretty long since they’ve had rain in Montezuma. It’s been drier and a lot dustier than normal since I’ve been here. I’m hoping for at least a 1/2 hour of this (if not hours more), I can see it’s pretty clear in the distance. Although I’m looking more south than west; hmm, do the weather patterns go NW here? And I meant to bring a plastic bag for my stuff

Everything has just been so dry. I’ve really been missing some of the greenness I saw on my last visit (there are leaves, they’re just kind of wimpy/sad looking). Hiking has been a little tricky since there is gravel and pebbles everywhere making the hills a little slippery, some rain would help wash that away.

So I’ve got a great slice of pepperoni and a glass bottle of Coca-Cola for 1,800 colones (the exchange rate isn’t great right now, so I’m guessing about $3.50). Actually, it’s dos (2) bottles of Coke (they’re only 12 ounces). And if I’m trapped here in the rain for a while I might need more.

Direct link to video.

The other problem is they tore up the road to put some new draining piping in. I’m not sure how far they got before the rain started. It’s been inconvenient for people driving who drove into town and a few minutes later there was no road. There’s only two ways in and out from that section of town and it’s probably ten kilometers around the long way. That’s really annoying if you don’t know your way around.

It’s cut in and out a few times since I’ve been typing this but I think it’s go for a little bit longer. I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to cut through the forest and clears the paths, but I guess I’ll know tomorrow. There was one big flash of lightening/thunder when it started and while I’ve heard some thunder I haven’t seen more lightening. It’s by far the coolest for this time of day since I’ve been here.

Later: It’s stopped (maybe 45 minutes of rain?) but I can hear lots of thunder in the distance so maybe we’ll get some more later.

Written By: Gary on August 23, 2008 2 Comments

So my Mom got me an early birthday present, it’s a portable Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS. This has been on my Costa Rica to do list so she asked me what I wanted at just the right time. Obviously, it’s a specific model I picked out for her and it’s been great the little bit of time I’ve played with it this past week. It’s got the color display, the compass (this is an extra) and the memory chip expansion. It’s a whole lot easier to us than I expected it was almost Apple-ish in it’s use, but there are too many buttons (it’d need a touch screen to make it a little more intuitive).

As of right now it’s telling me we’re at 7,284 feet and traveling at 527 miles per hour (we’re somewhere south of Cuba). That’s seems a little low to me (I thought they didn’t let us use electronics until 10,000 or 15,000 feet) but maybe it’s having a hard time tracking out the window of the plane (but that’s not really my area either). I’ll be sure to upload some of the tracking info later superimposed on a map. I’ve always been into maps so it’s a fun gadget for me.

I wanted it for Costa Rica for a few reasons:

  • the signage for the roads are awful and since some of the roads are so bad you don’t want to backtrack unless you have to.
  • When I’m hiking I’d really like to know how far I’ve wandered away from civilization and have a better idea if I’m walking in circles.
  • Maps here aren’t the greatest so maybe one of the Points Of Interest (POI) will help me find something I’ve been missing.This portable unit only has basic highways and major roads (roads like Telegraph and Michigan) for the US, it’s assumed you’re using this for specifics like hiking any you’re going to buy the topographical maps for it, but it does have exit numbers for the highways and food and gas info for those spots. I think you need to purchase the local maps for turn-by-turn directions but I never got a chance to play with that.

    In anticipation for this trip did purchase the detailed maps for Costa Rica. The unit had very limited details before that upgrade, although I think it still would have helped me orient myself quite a bit. I purchased them from www.NavSatCR.com who does about 3 updates a year and then I can purchase future years for a lot less. They actually sell cheaper 10 day and 30 day versions so if it’s just a one time trip you don’t have to invest as much, but those maps actually stop working after that time frame (I purchased the non-expiring ones). From reading around, the folks at NavSatCR seem to be the place for Costa Rican GPS maps.

    I also purchased a mount for handle bars so if I rent an ATV, scooter or bicycle it’ll help with getting around that way too.

    As I’m wrapping up writing this, we just left the air above the Atlantic Ocean and passed into El Salvador…

  • Written By: Gary on April 16, 2008 One Comment

    So I was feeling pretty great while I traveled this trip. The allergies weren’t too bad (even with all the extra dust and strange plants) and I slept great but never long enough (even the nights when I had my own room).

    But the part I really noticed was:

  • I didn’t have any headaches. For the previous few weeks I’ve been eating Ibuprofin like they were M & M’s, I actually had to cut myself off since I was starting to bruise to easily (disturbs the platelets?). But I didn’t take a single one while I was on this trip (even after hiking and taking a little spill). The only time I considered it when banged my forehead last night.
  • My neck/back hasn’t bothered me much at all, even after sleeping on all sorts of strange beds, flying thousands of miles and carrying all sorts of luggage and other junk with me. And these cRaZy roads and all the bouncing around on them and I still feel pretty good.

    So what is it about home that causes these headaches and neck/back pain? Any thoughts?

  • Written By: Gary on December 2, 2007 No Comment

    Here was my mission: I was looking for something so I could go hiking or walking along the beach. But I want to have my camera with me, but when I go swimming (or something where I need to put my back down) I don’t want to leave my stuff unattended. So what I had in mind was a smaller version of an military duffle bag (that really think/tough material) that you could somehow clasp at the top and lock it to a tree. Yeah, someone could cut through it, but they couldn’t just grab it and run (and they’d have to work at it).

    What I found was the “PacSafe DaySafe 100 Security Backpack“, it’s two things in one. The first is a backpack made for security, the zippers can be latched so someone can’t easily open it while you’re just walking down the street (the latches are hidden and hard to get to) and like a lot of luggage and you can (optionally) lock the zippers. Part of the main bag is slash-proof, it’s got a metal screen in the material, so someone can’t cut it to get stuff out while you’re wearing it. Plus, one of the straps is detachable and latchable so while you’re sitting there someone can’t just grab your bag if you’ve attached it to the table you’re eating at (this doesn’t work if you leave it unattended). It’s also got a few other areas that they have to make it harder for someone to casually grab things from it. It pretty much looks like a regular backpack.

    ExomeshinsertThe second is a DaySafe (they sell this as a separate product) the DaySafe is pretty much a small tote bag (17 liters) made completely out of the material with the steel built into it (eXomesh®). The drawstring is a metal cable that latches and locks (included) and is pretty secure. If you take the cable and wrap it around a tree (or a stationary object in your hotel room or rental car) before you lock it, it becomes pretty hard for someone to just grab your stuff and run.

    The safe fits inside the backpack perfectly and there is a special spot (hole) for the cable to secure the backpack too (the stuff in outer pockets would be at risk). I do have a smaller backpack that this fits into that is perfect for just running around like that, the included backpack is pretty big for a casual hike/walk.

    I wouldn’t leave my stuff locked to a tree all day but for the bit that I want to go in the water and stay mostly in sight of it it’s perfect.. Or if I hike up into the hills to the waterfall, I can both take pictures and then go for a swim and not be too paranoid about my stuff. So I’m kind excited about this one, since I don’t have to limit what I take when I wander far…

    Written By: Gary on March 26, 2006 No Comment

    So the results of the School auction are in!!! Actually all thats in is my results. I’ve got lots of items I bid on and many I lost, I won way too much chocolate and lots way to many margarita baskets… And me in the cat suit weere also bid on (see below). So my loot consisted of:

  • A small fancy chocolate basket that I bid high on
  • A much larger chocolate basket I paid not so much for (something I was kinda disappointed with that I got after getting the first, although mom loves chocolate).
  • A hiking basket backpack with compase and trail snacks and a cool water bottle holder that I thought would be great for my trip to Egypt. I won’t bring the backpack but the trail snacks and compas and water bottle will make the trek.
  • A basket full of board games that I haven’t even checked out yet. But I know it’s got one in there that someone wants for their birthday.

  • A bizarro basket with shampoo and conditioner and a free haircut from Mastercuts plus a gift-card for Borders. The bonus was that the giftware was worth more than I paid for it and it still had the shampoo and haircut too! Gift certificates for Borders and B&N always work well for me.
  • Plus some other gift certificate (or two) from the section they haven’t tallied yet when I left. But I know I got at least one one. (I’ll owe someone some money in the morning)

    I’m assuming the Grand Raffle Prize$ weren’t for me or I’d had someone tell me by now…

    And the Cat in the Hat and his package of CitH stuff went for a mere $60. I’ll have to go to a birthday party for a few hours and read and speak in seuss-isms and have my photo take with the kids.

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