In July 2009, we flew from Huntsville to Denver to Jackson Hole and drove from there. The airport in Jackson Hole is spectacular – it’s in a field directly in front of the Tetons! We stopped off for a little while to walk around in Jackson Hole. We ate at some cool burger place called Billy’s Hamburgers that we definitely recommend if you happen to be in the area.

Here is a link to the Yellowstone Map that you can use to follow along.

Our first night was at a campsite between Tetons and Yellowstone called Lizard Creek. We set up our tent and drove up to the Yellowstone entrance to take the required Langley photographs. We didn’t really do anything else that night other than cook in the rain.

The next morning we broke camp and drove into Yellowstone.  We stopped off at Lake Yellowstone for breakfast and some pictures.  We didn’t eat at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel (the big yellow one) but ate at the lodge instead. It was nice to be able to look out at the lake while we ate breakfast.

The sky was clear and there was a definite blue cast to everything, partially due to the Velvia film. I converted some of the shots to a monotone, since the blue dominated them anyway.

There is a large meadow in front of the lodge, and I was able to catch this guy having breakfast as well:

Eclipse Console Window

Here’s a quick code snippet for using the Console view that is included with the standard Eclipse views when using RCP.  In the example, I am using the output from Log4J and streaming it to the Console.

The Console import declarations are:

import org.eclipse.ui.console.ConsolePlugin;
import org.eclipse.ui.console.IConsole;
import org.eclipse.ui.console.IConsoleManager;
import org.eclipse.ui.console.MessageConsole;

The code that you will need to create the Console and direct the Logging output to the console is:

// Connect the Logging output to the console view.
ConsolePlugin plugin = ConsolePlugin.getDefault();
IConsoleManager consoleManager = plugin.getConsoleManager();
MessageConsole console = new MessageConsole("Console", null);
consoleManager.addConsoles(new IConsole[] { console });

logger = Logger.getLogger("default");
logger.addAppender(new WriterAppender(new SimpleLayout(), console.newMessageStream()));

And that is basically it. All output to the logger is now streaming to the Console window in the application.

Overlay Icon

I had a good bit of trouble in Eclipse with taking an Icon and adding another Icon as an overlay. This was needed for creating an ILabelDecorator for the Common Navigator. I found a few posts on different forums that used a class called OverlayIcon from a package in Eclipse. The problem was that I didn’t seem to have that package installed, or just didn’t have access to the class.

It took forever, but I finally found a class that works. It was posted in a user folder from LSU of all places. It is from the package, which was available for import with my plugin.xml file. The problem is that it does not contain the OverlayIcon class. So I would up using the source from the link below and putting it in my own package.

Here’s a link to where I found this code: Link to OverlayIcon

Also, here is a copy of the code (with package removed) in case the link above is ever broken:

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Schecter C1+

Here’s my guitar! It’s not quite new anymore; I’ve had it for about 8 months now. The picture doesn’t quite do the guitar justice. Of course, the sound is incredible. The only problem I have so far is the jumbo frets. I’m not used to playing with frets that are so large, and it has taken some time to get used to. The body sustains tone as well as any other guitar I’ve ever played.

Peavey Rockmaster

It is hard to have a category on guitar without mentioning the pre-amp that I use. While I was working at Peavey, there were a load of Rock Master Pre-amps that were made for Europe but were not able to be shipped. I was able to get my hands on one (all I had to do was ask) and convert it over to use 120V/60Hz. This preamp is probably the most versatile amp I’ve ever played. It will do everything from a warm, clean sound -to gritty blues – to hi-gain sustain. The lead and ultra channels also have an active three band equalizer with an adjustable middle frequency to get more of a metal/thrash sound. Now I just need a good clean tube half stack to drive it.

Buffalo River 2010

This is a placeholder to remind me to write down all of the crazy stories from this trip.

What a trip! The river was up so much that we finished 4 days worth of floating in 2. So we hauled the canoe up to Ponca and floated to Kyles Landing again.

The best info that I’ve found so far are river level charts for Ponca:

and Pruit:

Marmot Aura 2P

When April and I decided to hike and camp our way through Yellowstone in 2008, we thought that it would be the right time to finally get a lighter tent. The tent that we normally use is over-sized for what we need and quite heavy. After a ton of research, reviews, and web browsing – we decided to get the Marmot Aura.

This tent is everything that we expected. Here’s a few items to note:

  • Price – ~$300 on the web including shipping.
  • Weight – this tent only weighs 5 pounds. Compare that to the 7+ pounds for the Eureka that we normally used.
  • Setup – It took a while to figure out how to set this tent up. After my first attempt I realized that the instructions are on the inside of the tent bag – much easier with the instructions.
  • Functionality – This tent helped us stay warmer than our Eureka would have in 30 degree temps in Yellowstone. There was a bit of wind, but nothing that I would use as a test of the tents wind resistance.

So far, I’m very happy with this tent. It seems to be well worth the price that we paid for it. The bent poles allow enough room for us to sit comfortably and gives the feeling of more space.

My wife is getting annoyed with me asking her questions about price for a review on my website. She thinks that it’s totally “LAMO”

B&W Printing by George DeWolfe

B&W Printing Book Cover

B&W Printing – “Creating the Digital Master Print”by George DeWolfe. A Lark Photography book in their Digital Masters series. $29.95 at Barnes & Nobles

I purchased this book after having problems creating a print (particularly in black & white) from a photograph that I had scanned from film. Here are my thoughts on it:

The book starts with a definition of terms in a glossary. This bothers me to some extent because we already have plenty of terms that are commonly used in photography that cover any idea mentioned in this book.

The first section of the book is quite interesting and should have expanded with additional information. DeWolfe discusses the things that make a master B&W print different from a normal B&W print. He covers edge definition, using shading to bring out form, and tone separation. Each of these items are treated to a type of before & after discussion to show the affect that they have on an image.

This section also introduces the PercepTool, written and sold by DeWolfe. The current price listed on DeWolfe’s website is $89.95. I was pretty angry that I bought a $30 book only to have the author use it to try and sell me a $90 software tool. I would estimate that 1/4 of the book is useless without the PercepTool. DeWolfe could have at least explained how the tool works instead of just how to set the parameters of the tool and use it.

The book also includes small sections on featured artists. These features provide a before & after image of the artists work. The featured artists were all helpful and inspiring.

The second section discusses the image workflow used by DeWolfe. While the first two chapters of this section are wasted on setup and customization of Lightroom (DeWolfe was on the development team for Lightroom), the majority of the material was very helpful. I have taken the suggestions and incorporated them into my own workflow.

There are several other concepts covered that help describe the differences between a mediocre print and a master print. The reader is forced to read between the lines a bit to discover the concepts.

As for actually printing the digital master print, there is a single short chapter that mentions printing. Of course, it only covers printing with Lightroom.

This book would have been much more helpful if it had been reduced to its essential elements. It should cover workflow and the attributes of a master print. The inclusion of the PercepTool and Lightroom customization seem to be a poorly disguised attempt at salesmanship. Useful information on B&W printing would have been nice, especially in a book titled “B&W Prining”

This book is useless as far as actually printing an image goes. I’m still looking for a good manual for printing a B&W image with an inkjet printer. If you are looking for information on how to use a consistent workflow, there are articles available online that are very informative.

Buffalo River 2007

Getting information together for a trip report – really waiting on the pictures to come back.

Day 1 – Saturday

Tim and I had a nice drive up to Jasper on Saturday morning. I should say that I had a nice drive – Tim pretty much slept until Russelville. We stopped at the overlook to make one last call to the girls before hitting the river.

We had unloaded all of our gear and were waiting for the next bus, when two couple started piling their gear next to us. The girls looked at our stuff and said that they didn’t feel so bad about bringing so much stuff since we had as much as they did. We told them that we were going for 6 days – “How long are you guys floating?” They were on overnight trip.


We finally got loaded and on our way to the river. The driver was the son of the owners. He said that they had bought the bus at an auction for $350. I think he paid too much. We passed a sign going down (and I mean down) the road to Steel Creek landing that said: “Not recommended for busses or RV’s” I really should have taken a picture.

Steel Creek was PACKED with people, canoes, and tents. We were lucky to get on the river before the crowd – that way nobody saw us flip when we got around the corner. I think we had the weight riding too high. We learned our first lesson of the trip at this point – DO NOT PUT YOUR FOOD IN A CARDBOARD BOX FOR STORAGE IN A CANOE.

  • Hike to Hemmed In Hollow
  • Campsite at Kyle’s Landing
  • The rest of the crew finally shows up

Day 2 – Sunday

  • On the river
  • Early to bed
  • Don’t remember much else


Day 3 – Monday

  • Jumping off the cliff
  • Best campsite ever
  • “Little Bastard” invades the campsite

Day 4 – Tuesday

  • Dropped the crew at Carver
  • Stupid rope swing
  • Best Campsite Ever 2

Day 5 – Wednesday

  • On the river at 11:00 am
  • Jumping out of the tree
  • Rain shelter
  • Hiking the Narrows
  • Church group
  • Camp site
  • Broken nose

Day 6 – Thursday