Sunday, September 28, 2008

Picasa 3.0 Is The Shizzle

Picasa 3.0 rules my world. Check out the full resolution Collage Example from above. I've been playing round with the pictures that we took on our hiking trip today and stumbled across the new version of Picasa. I honestly couldn't tell you if the last version of Picasa had a Collage tool or not, but I can tell you that the curret version does and it's pretty cool. You can make contact sheets and all kinds of cool stuff. Plus it links up with Picasa Web Albums which I prefer over Flickr, Photobucket, and all the rest for the geotagging capabilities and bulk uploading. Plus it integrates perfectly with my blog which is powered by

I really hope Google never pairs down it's services or starts charging.

Favorite Things: Nalgene

I have no idea how it's said, (nal-geen, nail-jean??) but I do know that I absolutely love these bottles. They're extra tough, dishwasher safe, widemouthed, and last forever. I've always despised the old squeeze type water bottles due to the fact that the water always ended up tasting like plastic and I never could drink from them without inhaling a bunch of air as well (I know... I'm "special").

These Nalgene bottles are made specifically so that plasticy taste is NOT leeched into your beverage. I dig the wide mouth variety because it's easier to add a bunch of ice for hot days and I just prefer to drink from them over the narrower variety.

Sam's Club has a pretty good deal on a Brita water pitcher packaged with two narrow mouth Nalgene bottles for about $25. If you're lucky, you may find the same deal I did on closeout from Sam's: a Brita on-tap water filter with an extra filter plus two wide mouth 32 oz. Nalgenes for $15. Awesome deal.

Hiking Lake Fort Smith

Angel and I decided to go for a hike today at the recently reopened Lake Fort Smith State Park. The weather was beautiful but the park was a little bit of a disappointment. I recall riding mountain bikes here when I was younger, but unfortunately, most of the trails I used to run with my dad were flooded by the expansion of the lake. The only trail that remains is the beginning leg of the Ozark Highland Trail. To be honest, my legs were aching before we even began from jogging on the new treadmill, but we set out anyway.

We only made it about 1.5 miles up the trail and back. It's a fairly rugged trail in some parts, but isn't too strenuous. I got some really cool pictures along the way. Angel kept pointing out mushrooms as we went so we amassed a great little series. I also got to play with a new technique that I've only tested before called Geotagging. Basically, you turn on a gps that has the capability to timestamp while you walk around and snap pictures with a digital camera that has the capability to timestamp jpegs. Put the two data logs together with a nifty little application and presto-bango, the GPS data is embedded in the picture file enabling programs like Google Earth, Picasa, and several other programs and services to plot the pictures on a map. Check out my example.

Here are a few of the mushroom series pictures. To see more, click here...

Fort Smith, Arkansas
...just narcissistic enough to own a blog.