May it be.

So let it go.  May it be.

The lyrics of Enya’s song “May it be”:

May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
you walk a lonely road
Oh! How far you are from home

Mornie utúlië (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantië (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

May it be the shadow’s call
Will fly away
May it be your journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun

Mornie utúlië (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantië (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

A promise lives within you now

Advantages of Karelia’s The Hit List (task management) over OmniFocus & Things

Screenshot of The Hit List

I am evaluating the task management applications for Mac for my personal use.  Mac OSX 10.10 operating system has nice Calendar and Reminders applications built in, but I am looking for a little bit sophisticated one.  I lean toward purchasing Karelia’s The Hit List for Mac because of my good experience with Karelia’s Sandvox website design application: easy to use, simple and adequate.

I think that putting the “to do” list in a simple visualized format will assist in getting the tasks done sooner.  I also believe that the software application should be easy to use, intuitive, beautiful and stable.  I find this forum discussion topic “What does The Hit List have over OmniFocus and Things?” informative; I thus quote a user’s comment that probably has addressed what I need to know in selecting The Hit List over other task management applications for Mac (or iPhone as well).  The discussion is on this web page http://www.karelia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=4901.

I quote (Last edited by GerryMac (December 19, 2014 6:00 am):

“What does the Hit List have over OF [OmniFocus] AND Things”
You would have to merge the two of them to compete with THL. Things is great. It does exactly what it says on the tin and does it with style. It just does not have the power, subtasks and nested hierarchy being the biggest issue. OF, well it’s just ended up being a bit of a mess, no built-in workflow, questionable user-interface, hard to use, tasks get lost in a sea of il–defined perspectives……
THL has got what it takes to run a busy professional life: Here are my highlights:
Hierarchical Structure (Missing in Things)
Actual time and timer (Missing Things and OF)
*Card View (Missing in things and OF)
*Multiple tags (Missing in OF)
*Multiple contexts (Missing in OF and Things)
Built-in workflow (Missing in OF)
*Smart Folders (Missing in Things and much better than OF perspectives)
Visually nice, interesting to work with.
(The starred items are what make THL special for me)
I’ve been using it for about a month now, managing a busy software development dept. It has replaced several tools I used before.
I think the best thing I can say is that it is very fluid, in that it adopts very quickly to my increased demand for extra granularity as
I being to trust it more..

Top 15 Apple Watch apps per Apple

I enjoy seeing the beautifully made Apple products including the recent released Apple watches (available in three versions: Watch, Watch Sport, Watch Edition).  I don’t plan to have an Apple watch soon because I’ve had two adequately waterproof quartz watches for my ocean swimming need.  I, however, always want to learn how people are to use their Apple watch; and learning what applications for Apple watch are popular is one way to learn about it.  I find this article “The Top 15 Apple Watch apps — according to Apple” by Sead Fadilpašić a great quick read, so I copy the entire article here as a reference.  The web page is on http://betanews.com/2015/04/27/the-top-15-apple-watch-apps-according-to-apple/.

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I quote:

When the Apple Watch hit the stores last Friday, the Watch App Store opened its virtual doors to everyone in possession of the fabled wearable device.

The store already has some 3,000 apps available for download, but the Cupertino company narrowed the choice down to a handful of apps it believes are a must-have at this point.

BuzzFeed News published the list just as the Apple Watch App Store opened for the first time. As you will see in the list below, many of the apps are popular social media apps we already use, while others are fitness-oriented, taking advantage of the Watch’s health-tracking features.

So, without further ado, here’s what Apple thinks you should have:

1. Target

The Target app allows you to create a shopping list on your wrist.

2. Instagram

Browse your favorite vintage-looking cat pics right from your watch.

3. Twitter

Read all the irrelevant Twitter posts faster than ever before.

4. Citymapper

If you want to go from point A to point B and do it fast, Citymapper is for you.

5. Strava

Strava is an app for all the sport freaks out there.

6. Dark Sky
Why look at the sky to check the weather when you can look at your fancy new phone?

7. NY Times
Read the latest on ISIS, Ukraine, North Korea and other things you really don’t want to know.

8. Pacemaker DJ
It’s like an auto song-mixer which mixes and plays songs from your iPad.

9. Lifesum
An app which sends you reminders when you should eat and drink. I didn’t know I needed this.

10. Mint Personal Finance
Let Apple handle your finances when you’re not able to control your impulse buying.

11. Elevate
An app to help you train your focus, memory, speaking abilities and stuff like that. Fairly useful.

12. Fitstar Yoga
Control your yoga sessions from your wrist.

13. Golfshot
It’s a golf course management app. You know, for when you play golf. You don’t play golf? Oh, my!

14. Centered
An app to help you schedule your meditation sessions.

15. Yelp
Find the closest (and best) restaurants.

The Apple store is my dream store; see this video.

I was wondering whether I could bring my Rottweiler into the Apple store inside the UTC Mall in San Diego; so I’ve found the following quoted video.  I can say that Apple store has become one of my dream stores after seeing this video.

http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/26/things-allowed-in-apple-stores-dates-dogs-darth-vader-goats-pizza-deliveries-video/

The hidden reason for poverty in the world

While I was having lunch and tuned to the free TED recordings from the internet connection, I stumbled into this recording; I was reminded to have this compassion to address this hidden reason for poverty in the world.  I quote the introduction in the following and the web link here: 

I quote:

Collective compassion has meant an overall decrease in global poverty since the 1980s, says civil rights lawyer Gary Haugen. Yet for all the world’s aid money, there’s a pervasive hidden problem keeping poverty alive. Haugen reveals the dark underlying cause we must recognize and act on now.

A flower on a local Black Mountain trail near Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego

So I find this flower while hiking with my Rottweiler dog on a local trail called Black Mountain trail from Black Mountain Open Space Park: http://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/parks/osp/blackmtn/

A flower, April 11, 2015, on the Black Mountain trail from Black Mountain Open Space Park, Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego, California
A flower, April 11, 2015, on the Black Mountain trail from Black Mountain Open Space Park, Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego, California

The public library: Am I missing somthing?

I find this Wall Street Journal online article interesting, so I copy the entire article following some short quotes.  The entire article titled “Metro Money: Growing Number of New Yorkers Are Using the Library for Office Space;
Local branches respond with quiet rooms, laptop bars, charging and coffee cafes” by Anne Kadet, April 17, 2015: http://www.wsj.com/articles/metro-money-growing-number-of-new-yorkers-are-using-the-library-for-office-space-1429301421?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_smallbusiness.

Short quotes:

His colleagues, it seems, are legion. Long a sanctuary for students, seniors and oddballs, the city’s (New York City) libraries say they’ve been seeing more freelancers lately. And they’ve responded by installing quiet rooms, laptop bars, charging stations and yes, cafes for caffeine junkies.

“We wanted to provide a dignified space where people could say, ‘Yes, I look at this as my office,’ ” says Jesse Montero, manager of information services for the Brooklyn Public Library.

Some branches make better work spots than others, of course. I love the friendly vibe at my personal office, the Carroll Gardens Library, with its chatty eccentrics and goofy kids. But others prefer a more professional atmosphere. I asked the city’s three library systems to recommend the best spots for workers.

The most impressive may be the Brooklyn Central Library’s information commons. Anyone with a library card can book a conference room for a meeting. There are 10 27-inch iMacs equipped with Pro Tools, Illustrator and Final Cut Pro. There’s even a digital recording studio.

… I prefer working in the branch’s three-story atrium, which features excellent people-watching and a cafe with a coffee menu to rival Starbucks—not to mention pastries baked on premises, and, of course, kale salad. The service is leisurely and the line is long, adding to the authentic Brooklyn cafe experience.

Entire article

By ANNE KADET
April 17, 2015 4:10 p.m. ET
2 COMMENTS
App designer Jay Collins loves his free office space. The building features fireplaces, hardwood floors, oversize windows and oak bookcases. The Wi-Fi is excellent. The research facilities, superb.

The location? Staten Island’s Port Richmond Library.

“I usually find myself in the teen room, because no one’s ever in there,” says Mr. Collins.

The 32-year-old, who schleps his laptop and iPad to the library four days a week, says he has tried other options, “but once I found the library, I didn’t have to stay home being lazy, or at Starbucks getting fat.”

The library may lack the cachet of a rented desk at a pricey co-working space, but as Mr. Collins discovered, the stacks even offer networking opportunities. He has landed side jobs designing logos for fellow entrepreneurs, not to mention a gig designing a clown suit for a professional jester.

His colleagues, it seems, are legion. Long a sanctuary for students, seniors and oddballs, the city’s libraries say they’ve been seeing more freelancers lately. And they’ve responded by installing quiet rooms, laptop bars, charging stations and yes, cafes for caffeine junkies.

“We wanted to provide a dignified space where people could say, ‘Yes, I look at this as my office,’ ” says Jesse Montero, manager of information services for the Brooklyn Public Library.

Some branches make better work spots than others, of course. I love the friendly vibe at my personal office, the Carroll Gardens Library, with its chatty eccentrics and goofy kids. But others prefer a more professional atmosphere. I asked the city’s three library systems to recommend the best spots for workers.

The most impressive may be the Brooklyn Central Library’s information commons. Anyone with a library card can book a conference room for a meeting. There are 10 27-inch iMacs equipped with Pro Tools, Illustrator and Final Cut Pro. There’s even a digital recording studio.

One afternoon, the sleek, stylish hall was packed with a good-looking crowd of laptop jockeys. In one of the seven glass-enclosed meeting rooms, a tutor read to her student who, judging by his posture, may have been dead. In another, a man in a purple vest gesticulated wildly to an audience of no one.

I had to circle the laptop tables like a vulture for a good long while before I found a seat. It’s a bit of a squeeze. I accidentally unplugged my neighbor’s laptop every time I shifted my leg. And it was hard to get settled in the stiff-backed chair.

This, it turns out, is intentional. “It’s meant to be a rigorous space,” says Mr. Montero. “The chairs aren’t meant to be the most comfortable seats in the world.”

Despite the wondrous amenities, I didn’t stay long. The place has no windows; it feels like a Danish modern submarine.

I prefer working in the branch’s three-story atrium, which features excellent people-watching and a cafe with a coffee menu to rival Starbucks—not to mention pastries baked on premises, and, of course, kale salad. The service is leisurely and the line is long, adding to the authentic Brooklyn cafe experience.

The Queens Library recommended its Flushing branch, located at the end of the 7 line in the heart of the city’s most overwhelming Chinatown. Welcoming 5,500 patrons a day, this place is said to be the busiest library in the state—if not the nation.

Luckily, there’s a dedicated quiet room, plus teen and children’s rooms, keeping the buzz to a low din. And while this is a library where patrons chat freely on their cellphones, it isn’t so distracting because they’re mostly speaking Chinese.

Beyond the 36-seat computer farm with printers and endless sea of laptop tables, this library lacks the gee-whiz amenities of the Brooklyn Central Library. But you can’t beat the space. It looks like a high-end art museum, spacious and airy, with lots of potted plants. Natural light floods the sheer glass facade with its gauzy white curtains—a perfect environment for reading. This may be the snazziest space you’ve ever called your office.

If it’s quiet you’re craving, perhaps no branch takes the mission as seriously as the 67th Street Library on the Upper East Side. Manager Rebecca Dash Donsky says patron requests lead to the creation of a noise-proof room on the garden level. The place is monitored by volunteers who enforce the rules. “The demand for quiet has grown as we’ve become a noisier society,” she says.

The space feels a bit like a rectory basement with its motley assortment of antique furniture, plastic flowers, linoleum tile and Georgian windows overlooking the library garden.

The quiet (and the Wi-Fi) extends to the back patio, which features yellow daffodils, forsythia, a bird bath and a hapless cherub missing all four appendages.

Overseeing the room one afternoon was Roberto Cristoforo, a culinary agent who does his work in the library and doubles as a volunteer monitor, shushing chatty interlopers.

“We’re strict,” says Mr. Cristoforo. “No whispering, no eating.”

And the crowd? A student attacked his textbooks with a highlighter. A man with a yellow slicker thumbed furiously through a stack of phone books. A prim-looking writer pecked her laptop with manic intensity.

“People who go to a co-working space or Starbucks want to socialize,” said Mr. Cristoforo. “Here, you can’t.”

Mozart – Violin Concerto No 3 in G major: Brings joy?

So I like the joy that Mozart brings like this one: “Mozart – Violin Concerto No 3 in G major” performed by Hilary Hahn. More details:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Violin Concerto No 3 in G major, K 216

1 Allegro
2 Adagio
3 Rondeau. Allegro

Hilary Hahn, violin

Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Garmin 24K & 100K TOPO maps, other GPS map sources

I find an informative post by “Jager Osons” discussing issues related to GPS TOPO maps and other map source links on this web page: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=838762. I quote a short paragraph offering some web links that users can download GPS files for their GPS (like hiking or off-road bike riding) units.  I then copy Jager’s entire post.

Short quote:

In my view, the most reliable source for trail data is going to be private, cooperative websites like http://www.dualsportmaps.com/. It happens to be dual sport riding specific, unlike websites like http://www.gpsies.com/?language=en which warehouses tracks for hiking, horses, mountain bikes, you name it.

The entire post:

I might be misunderstanding the question in thinking it is about 24k versus 100K, but…

One needs to remember that dual sporters are almost certainly not the main market for Garmin’s mapset. It would probably be the footborne recreationalists who are the major purchasers of these mapsets. For hunters, hikers, etc, more detail in hypsography is going to be infinitely more important than a routable trail. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a little bit of legal defense involved: “We could be sued if somebody used a trail we put in the map that led them into danger”. Sort of like handguns that have “This firearm will discharge with the magazine removed” rollstamped into the frame… But that’s an aside.

I can tell you that trails are an enormous difficulty for mapping. Take a look up in Canada where Backroad Mapbooks have been providing detailed recreational maps for backcountry recreationalists for nearly 20 years now, first paper only in gazette form, now paper and Garmin mapping as well. They try to have everything – trails, campsites, paddling routes, you name it. I’ve done some consulting work and ground truthing for them; narrowing it down to trails, the problems are legion.

First, what defines a “trail” anyways? Some are truly foot only, man or beast. And when does a wildlife trail become a human “trail” – when recreationalists start regularly using it and it becomes known? So who finally maps the thing? Conventionally, some government agency does, normally one associated with parks or outdoor recreation. But money for those projects is nonexistent, and if it was done, they didn’t hand the warden or ranger a high quality GPS. They were asked to sketch it in on a paper topo map in the course of a horseback back country patrol (been there, done that), using the contour lines, creeks, etc as a guide. Or they were handed one of the earliest Garmin GPS units to capture the trail – and nobody has been told to update the mapping ever since.

Or they relied on “local knowledge”. There were posts here a few years ago from somebody wanting to know if anyone had ridden the Grease Trail, an old native trade route heading north from Ft Ware, because they wanted to ride it on their KLR. Sure enough, on maps, there is a nice straight line from Ft Ware heading north towards the Yukon. I supported a friend who wanted to try hiking it last year by making some custom Garmin maps for him. Found out very quickly that the “trail” involved some government official in the distant past asking some native guy who had been over the trail at least once on a horse to draw a line on a map…. I’m sure the native guy did his best, but I’m also sure he probably never used a map in his life and probably hadn’t been on that trail (or at least in its entirety, if ever even that) in probably 20 years. Short story – they fought through swamps and alder for about 30 miles before showing the good common sense to turn around and return to Ft Ware. Said they encountered hints of trails here and there, but that’s about it – the forest and bush reclaims trails and roads pretty quickly when unused.

An example of official government mapping: Banff is Canada’s most heavily hiked in national parks, and Waterton nearby adjoins Glacier in Montana. Go see if you can find any digital trail information available for those parks from the government.

The explosion in personal GPS devices (particularly present day, with their enhanced reception and accuracy) has been a game changer, and neither the government nor recreationalists have responded well to it. There is no organized data warehouse I’m aware of that collects trail input with a data manager who has a system for groundtruthing submitted data to ensure it is both reliable data (or has a reliability rating) and updated as changes occur.

Backroads Mapbooks approach has been to seek data from any source they could find, not just for trails but for the billions of miles of dirt roads that access (or often just used to access) logging, mining exploration, etc. Many of the roads in their mapping (which might be what the OP would consider a ridable “trail”) haven’t been passable even by foot for over 20 years now. Alder hell… So you have a problem in that sources will give you mapping data – but while people will add mapping data, RARELY does anyone get sent to remove road and trail features when they are no longer passable as roads and trails.

So when you’re Garmin (or Backroads Mapbooks or a similar company) what do you do? Your GIS/cartography employees have had it drilled into them from Day One in their profession that mapping information must be reliable. You can’t groundtruth the whole bloody country like governments do with gazetted highways, public roads, streets, etc. The question that nobody has fully resolved yet is how you collect reliable trail data that you’re confident about putting in your maps. Look at all the posts we see here where somebody was pissed because a road that supposedly went through turned into a dead end, or now had a fence running right across it somewhere with “no trespassing” signs.

To end a long story, until somebody decides to take the initiative to formalize a means of collecting, groundtruthing, and updating/removing trail and non-public road data, companies are never going to be able to provide uniformly satisfactory data for those features in their mapsets. A trail on slick rock in Utah may have been there for a thousand years and be reliable when mapped for the next thousand. But in Washington, Idaho, Montana, etc, old mining and trade trails disappeared a decade after falling into disuse.

In my view, the most reliable source for trail data is going to be private, cooperative websites like http://www.dualsportmaps.com/. It happens to be dual sport riding specific, unlike websites like http://www.gpsies.com/?language=en which warehouses tracks for hiking, horses, mountain bikes, you name it.

My take – with my recreation being in NW Montana through SE BC – is that the 24k maps are far more valuable than the 100k maps due to the far more accurate hypsography and natural features. I have no interest in routable trails or roads for a variety of issues. The enhanced natural features of fine scale mapping really assist in orienting yourself to your surroundings when you’re somewhere in a maze of old roads, new roads, and sometimes no roads.

The tracks don’t have to be in the mapping for my Garmin, at least in my view. It sure would be nice if they were, but I can go get them from a place like DualSportMaps, where somebody actually rode the trail, made comments, attached pictures, points of interest, etc. And where people who later rode the trail added commentary on the accuracy, updates, etc. I know a track in DualSportMaps is going to be far more accurate for dual sporting than anything that Garmin can come up with, given their necessary generalist approach to mapping.

The moral of the story is: get the mapping you’d like to have by collecting and sharing the mapping you’d like to have. Think on this for a moment: if every ADV member riding with a GPS collected and submitted GPS data from the tracks they ride off public highways (ie the data Garmin and others have a hard time collecting and ground truthing) to a website like DualSportMaps… how long do you think it would take to have a truly comprehensive GPS datawarehouse of the dual sporting available?

I’ve been uploading and mapping the crap out of the best dual sport riding in SE BC for that very reason, and I suspect others have been doing the same with popular riding around places like Colorado and Utah.

One final note: Backroads Mapbooks http://backroadmapbooks.com/GPS/index.html realizes that much of their collected road and trail data from governments, forestry companies, etc is unreliable or no longer in existance. Their approach to getting road and trail data current and reliable as possible is this: purchasers of their products who submit trail and road corrections, new roads, new trails, etc get free map updates for as long as they continue the process of submitting corrections and updates. Most purchasers probably don’t bother, but there’s an example of where at least the users of the product have an opportunity to improve the areas they use that they see shortcomings in.

There are other private recreational Garmin mapping providers throughout North America at least, and some of them probably do the same as Backroads. Between that and websites like DualSportMaps, it seems to me that the quality of the GPS mapping available to dual sporters (and hikers, mountain bikers, etc) is in our own hands. Instead of just (correctly) complaining that the mapping for our Garmins lacks what we need, we can do something to change that.

BTW, just for clarity, I have no financial or other personal interest related to any company or website mentioned here, other than the fact I’ve paid for and use their products when they are for sale instead of free.