Friday, August 25, 2017

Courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" -Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eclipse Camping

For a year we've been planning on going somewhere in the line of totality for the August 2017 total solar eclipse.  Most of the parks and open spaces were charging an arm and a leg for a parking spot - but we, being a Scouting family, were able to get a reservation at Camp Gieger Scout reservation, for free.  Only about 300 people were scheduled to be at the 1,000 acre reservation - no overcrowding here!

The original plan was to go up Saturday with the whole family - but one son had a scout campout with the troop; the other kids were scheduled out with their respective fathers for their weekends.  They wouldn't be home till 7PM Sunday.  With the eclipse traffic hitting on Monday, we went ahead and set up camp Saturday and planned to come home and fetch kids on Sunday, returning Sunday night.
Panorama of the campsite

Sunday comes and goes and we head back up I29 to Saint Joseph, MO for a night of camping.   The site had some heavy rain and straight line winds and one ancient tent failed to stay waterproof.  Fortunately, I had a spare REI Quarter Dome 1, so it was quickly set up for the middle son.

Monday arrives and boredom sets in with the kids - they aren't used to no-program camping and weren't sure what to make of themselves.  They ended up exploring and found toads:


They also left the place better than we found it - using a 'fishing magnet' he built at his dad's they trolled a trail near the campsite and found about a box of decking screws left behind from summer camp:


But the morning passed quickly and the eclipse started!  We were starting to get socked in by clouds but still able to see the moon eclipsing the sun.  Unfortunately, right at 1PM the rain rolled in and heavy clouds blocked the totality from viewing.  Even without being able to see the totality, we could easily observe the effects as the bugs started chirping, the light dropped and it appeared to be midnight in the middle of the day:

Campsite at totality - 1:10 PM 

With the continuing rain and disappointment of missing the totality, we voted and decided to spend the next 4 hours on the road in traffic instead of hanging out in the rain.  Wet tents were stuffed and the van loaded back up.  May not have been the best choice as traffic was as heavy as I've seen in the country.  After a few hours on the road, tempers were short and the typical family roadtrip fussing and fighting broke out.  We survived, if not thrived, and returned home by 6PM to watch the eclipse show we recorded on TV at home. 

Not an optimal weekend - bad schedules, bad weather, etc - but still memorable.  And possibly our last family vacation before the oldest daughter goes off to college next year!

Your humble correspondent,

- Will England

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Creating Spot Color Photos on the Moto Z2 Force - Sprint Product Ambassador

You've all see the artistic photos where the foreground subject is in color, while the background is black and white - now see how to create them easily on the Moto Z2 Force!  Just watch this short video explaining how to use the Depth Enabled camera to create spot color photos right on your phone.



 The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Moto Z2 Force Camera Walkthrough

The Moto Z2 Force has a great interface to the camera, giving you intuitive controls and many options for taking photos.  Take a closer look in the video walkthrough:



The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Unboxing the new Moto Z2 Force

As a Sprint Product Ambassador I get to demo phones from time to time - this month it's the flagship Moto Z2 Force!  Today we're unboxing the phone.  #sprintemployee


Test screenshot from Moto Z2 Force

Test screenshot from 'share to...'

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Alec elevated to Firebuilder

Tonight, Saturday July 22nd at 9pm in Lone Bear Council Ring at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, Alec was elevated from Warrior in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say to the responsibility of Firebuilder in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.

Congratulations, Firebuilder Night Smoke. Your father is proud of you and how far you have come. May the Great Spirit watch over you and guide you through the future.

-Will England

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Samsung Tab3 and Keyboard typing backward-ish

As the proud owner of a new Samsung Tab3 with the optional keyboard cover, I've been trying to use it as much as possible to see how well it works.

At most everything it excels, but for one thing.  In Gmail replies, the cursor position will often jump backward a word and start typing behind the last word I typed - or backward typing.  I can't find a setting in the Tablet or in Gmail that would indicate that I wanted to have right to left typing, and I'm not touching the screen in any way to indicate that I want to move the cursor position.

At this point it may be that the keyboard is slightly undocked, or it's an odd conflict between the device and the WYSIWYG editor pane in Gmail.  I've seen similar behavior on the Mac with Outlook on Chrome, which leads me to think the jumping cursor and reverse typing may be a software conflict.  As I find more about it I'll update . . .

- Will England