Geeking Out with Big Kitties

While I'm sitting here jamming out to Bruce at half time of some football game (not quite sure if that knee slide across the stage resulting in his crotch all over the camera lens was necessary, but whatever, its Bruce) and waiting for my new batch of satellite data to decode itself, I figured I'd tell a little story about my ride yesterday... Saturdays are always reserved for mountain biking. Usually it involves a fun group ride with the Bella crew, but I awoke in a panic on Saturday morning about how much work I have left to do on my thesis and only 2 months to get 'er done. So I bailed on what was likely a blissful day of single track heaven at Campus and opted for a quick solo spin around the sandy routes of Ft Ord. Solo spin does mean that I can totally geek out and no one can make fun of me, so I strapped on the heart rate monitor (perhaps to make sure I never worked too hard and crossed into zone 4?), turned on the sweet GPS app for my iPhone, and grabbed my camera and off I went. I took a page out of the tri-geek book of secrets and got one of those nutrition box thingies that straps onto my top-tube and perfectly holds my little Canon G10 within reach as I roll along. Since I loathe stuffing my jersey pockets full of crap, this little $15 pouch makes Beth happy.

So I would roll along, swooshing along the trails and pulling out the camera occasionally for a quick snap while I pedaled.


And then I snapped a few more when I stopped at the new lollygagging spot above the old lollygagging spot...


Three hours later, as the ride was winding down and I was on my way back to the car, I got bored and decided to do silly things like try to take pictures of my tire as I rolled and my own shadow. I'll spare you those photos. But while I had the camera out for this little bit of creative silliness, I rounded a corner and saw wildlife up ahead in the trail. A coyote, perhaps? Oooh, no, that looks like a kitty! I rolled to a stop as the very large cat decided to sit down in the trail ahead of me. He's facing away so he can't see me, though I thought he heard me. So now there's a big ass cat in the trail ahead of me and since he sat down, I couldn't see his tail--the easiest way to tell a not-so-threatening bobcat from a potentially not-so-friendly mountain lion.


I stood there, weighing my options, taking a few more pictures, while the cat lies down on the trail and takes a little dust bath. At this point I'm thinking he's not so threatening, so I could just roll by and he might not bother me...but I really didn't want to be on the evening news, so I had to come up with plan B. The route was downhill the other way, so I decided to make noise. The kitty would either be scared and run away into the brush or see me as a tasty treat and run at me, at which point I'd pray that all those standing starts I practiced at the track would get me down the trail faster than the kitty cared to chase. So I picked up and dropped my back tire, the kitty looked at me and then darted into the woods...and as he ran away I could tell it was just a bobcat with a short little tail. Phew.

Oh, now for the geeky part...we found this cool plug-in for Aperture called Maperture that can add a geotag to the EXIF data a photographs. Basically that means that we can add a latitude and longitude to the picture so we know where we took it. But today we discovered that we can take the GPS data from our iPhones and it will match up the location of any photo from any camera as long as the time setting on the camera is the same as the cool is that? So from now on we should be able to tell you exactly where we took every single one of our photos.

Don't expect to see much of me on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, TwitPic, Flickr, or anywhere else for the next few weeks since I'm hammering out some thesis stuff...but I'll leave you with one more picture to hold you over...