Pecos Hiking Trip

Last weekend I went on an overnight hike with two friends to the Pecos. Pecos is located east of Santa Fe, about 2 hours away from Albuquerque. Actually, the hike itself was to the Hamilton Mesa which is north of Pecos.

The original plan was to hike 7 miles in but when we were 2.5 miles in and found some good campsite, why keep hiking? During the day the weather was perfect and in the middle of the night it was piss-ass cold. A good sleeping bag helps with that.

This was an opportunity for me to get geotagging down with my SG-289 data logger and and to take some HDR photographs. The geotagging didn’t work out because the stupid SG-289 didn’t record more than a few dozen points. I swear I read 609 points on it at one time.

HDR photography was much more successfully. I took nearly every picture with auto bracketing on and about a quarter of the landscape photos made good HDR. The two problems with the pictures were moving objects such as wind blowing trees around and most of the photos were taken free hand without a tripod. Photomatix Pro did a pretty good job of aligning images but it can’t do much about the moving objects, at least in this case.

You can view all the pictures in my Flickr set: Sept 2008 Pecos Hike. Note that pictures of people have privacy set so you have to be a friend or family to view them.

Here’s an example of a non HDR and a HDR photo.

IMG_0716IMG_0716_7_8_HDR

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Wasting Water

Pasted Graphic

My water bill for the month of August shows I used 9000 gallons of water. A 10x increase over the last 9 months. I’m a single guy who’s not home most of the time and didn’t water his yard at all this summer. Something’s not right.

City of Rio Rancho Water, I will be visiting you.

Garden Hose Quick-Connect Connectors

Camco hose quick connectors

Back in October of 2007, Cool Tools recomended Melnor Quick Connects for garden hoses. The quick connects are similar to quick connects used on air tools. I am a big fan of these quick connectors and I use them on all my hoses. The only problem with the ones recommended by Cool Tools is that they are plastic.

There’s a number of problems with the plastic connectors for which I don’t recommend them. If you leave them outdoors all year round they get brittle and they don’t take a lot of abuse like when your dragging your hose across the cement. Instead I recommend the brass connectors such as the ones made by Camco.

Another issue with these things is they tend to get dirt in them and expand and contract with the weather. Sometimes you have to bang on them to get them to move again, try doing that with a plastic part.