Monday, 28 July 2008

Happy memories

Jelte has belatedly posted up a day-by-day account of my sailing stag do (well, the sailing parts of it anyway), along with some of the photos we took. That was a good week :-)

Friday, 18 July 2008

My new toy

Image courtesy of Blog-Shmog
I've been thinking for a while that it would be nice to have an easy way to mark where my photos were taken so that I can view them on a map and get a good overview of my travels. You can place photos on a map in Flickr to set their location, but it's a drag (tee hee) and I'm clearly not that motivated.

So, to cut a long story short it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to buy a new toy. My first stop was a Di-GPS from DawnTech as that would plug straight into my camera and tag the photos as they're taken - what could be simpler. Well, they turned out pretty expensive (£150+) so I decided to look at other options.

After a bit more searching I settled on the AMOD AGL3080 (great review here). Compared to the DawnTech it's a bit of a bargain too (£57 right now from Storage Depot - or you could get one at half the price from the USA).

This baby is a GPS logger - I just switch it on before I start taking photos and then leave it in my bag. It records my location every 10 seconds and when I get home I plug it into my PC and sync the locations to my downloaded photos using time stamps. It runs for ~14 hours on three AAA cells and has enough memory to log for about a month 24/7.

The download and combine stuff sounds like a bit of a faff (that was certainly what I thought at first) but it actually takes moments and there's very good software available for free. Rather than work all this out for myself I adopted All Narfed Up's workflow - why re-invent the wheel?

Geotagging (as its called) is well supported by Flickr and 23 (and elsewhere, I'd think). If you chase those links you'll see that I've uploaded a test photo (of my local pub) to each and they both place it automatically and provide a map overview of all geotagged photos. There's a gotcha (isn't there always?) in that you have to enable full geotagging functionality first. In both cases this option is well hidden (why?? why???), so for the record here it is: 23 (to enable the "places" tab) and Flickr (to enable automatic geotagging full stop).

23 actually had a bug on their website that blocked uploading of my geotagged photo, but kudos to them in that I reported it late last night and they had it fixed by 11am today, emailing me twice in the process to keep me updated. I'm liking these guys more and more.

I didn't think about it too much at first, but there's actually one other big advantage to buying a logger over a direct photo tagger: the logger remembers exactly where I've been. This means that after a walk I can upload the route to Google Earth to see exactly where I got lost, and means that I could log a day's sailing if I ever went again so that Jelte wouldn't have such a tough time filling in his log book.

The bottom line is that I'm a very happy consumer so far and itching to get out into the countryside. Time to go look at the weather forecast...

Thursday, 17 July 2008

No going back now

I just got confirmation from the solicitor that we've exchanged on the new house. No going back now! Suddenly I'm feeling all grown up...

Completion is agreed as Wed Aug 20th and we plan to actually do the moving over the bank holiday weekend that follows. Now we need to get the white goods ordered so that they turn up at the right time. And we need to decide whether we can actually choose some sofas without moving in first to get a feel for the place. Decisions decisions...

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Scientology not universally loved!

It seems some people dont like The Church of Scientology. In fact they're downright unhappy with it. 'Cult' was the term they used - apparently it isnt even a registered religion (you have to register?!?). There were hundreds of them out, all with masks on to illustrate the sinister faceless puppetmasters behind the scenes (or something). Anyway, www.xenu.net is the place to go to get the lowdown, and for the record they were all very nice and friendly.

Monday, 7 July 2008

More photos posted

After a stern ticking off from Inga I've finally got round to posting the photos we took when she came to visit in May (oops!). It all starts off nice and sedately in the garden but soon degenerates into a Wii-fueled frenzy.

Inga: sorry it took so long to post, wont happen again...

In other news, Kristin visited our house to be again today (on the pretext of showing it off to her dad), and after a bit of discussion it seems we've agreed on Wed Aug 20th for completion. We should exchange next week, then the count-down begins for real!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

The contract has arrived

A big manilla envelope dropped onto our door mat this morning: the contract for our new house and a bunch of supporting docs. It seems like we might be getting close to exchange!

We're not quite there yet though - a couple of clauses in the contract need querying and we're still missing an inspection certificate for the boiler. Hopefully we'll be able to close out those issues quickly and exchange in the next week or so. I think we'll bang in notice on the current house on Monday and start the clock ticking there, aiming to complete in late August - quite possibly just before the bank holiday weekend. It could end up as a nice celebration of our wedding anniversary :-)

Lasse is over visiting from Sweden this weekend. We picked him up from Heathrow this afternoon and then persisted in barbequing even though it got decidedly cloudy and cold. Tomorrow we'll be watching the British Grand Prix (on TV, from the safety of the lounge) and on Monday Kristin's taking him on a tour of our new-house-to-be. We'll need to fit some whisky drinking in at some point too, as he;s brought a very nice bottle of Talisker with him! Thinking about it, I could just stop typing and...