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November 18, 2006

Thanksgiving approaches

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I have a lot to give thanks for. I have a good job, my health is pretty good for an old man, a have a wonderful family and I have my son Jason and my girlfriend Teresa. Retirement is just around the corner and a new and hopefully exciting phase of my life will soon begin. Our new dog Max is starting to become a part of our family and overall I am feeling pretty good about things. Teresa, Kirk, Jason and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving by having brunch at the Bay Breeze Community Center at Fort Monroe where I work. The menu sounds great and it is a beautiful location. With Christmas also just around the corner I have started some Christmas shopping. I hope that I can get into the Christmas spirit more than I did last year. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I am really looking forward to my vacation in Alaska next year and I need to start exercising more to get into shape for it. It is amazing how hard it is to maintain or lose weight at my age. But I have resolved to get into the best shape that I can for my trip. Where I am going I am going to have to be in great shape because it is a very isolated part of Alaska and if anything goes wrong with me physically, it will be the end of a great adventure.

I am also looking forward to the return of Spring so I can continue with my backpacking adventures. I was not able to do much backpacking this year but next year I plan on taking a local trip followed by a longer trip to the Great Smoky Moutains in North Carolina. I should also mention that I will be on leave for a large part of December because I have so much use or lose leave. So The rest of the year should be pretty easy for me if I can find something fun to do with my spare time.

Posted by Michael at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2006

Africa !

There has been a lot going on lately but not much time to write about any of it. There is one thing that I do want to write about. I recently came across a website Wavelit that hosts a live streaming web camera at a private game reserve in South Africa. This is the most amazing web camera I have ever seen. It is manned by a human operator 24 hours a day (mostly) who can pan and zoom in on the game that shows up at the watering hole that is the centerpiece of the web camera. This web camera has proved to be very addicting. I feel like I am almost actually there in South Africa. The web camera has a live microphone that picks up all the exotic sounds that go with the exotic images that are streamed to you day and night. At night the camera uses infrared so that you can see even in the dark. It is hard to describe how amazing this site is, you will have to see it for yourself.

So far I have seen Cape buffalo, impala, veervet monkeys, baboons, warthogs, giraffe, rhinoceros, and numerous other types of African game. As I said before, it is simply amazing and very addicting. And if that were not enough, I found another very similar web camera hosted by National Geographic that is located in Botswana. I have seen elephants, zebras, jackels, croccodile, kudzu, all types of exotic birds, as well as all the other animals I mentioned earlier. The only animals I have not actually seen yet are lions and leopards, although others have seen them and posted screen captures of them. The web camera is located at Pete's Pond on another private game reserve.

If you do nothing else on the web this week, check out these two amazing sites. You will not be disappointed. Below is a screen capture I took from one of the sites earlier this week. 


Posted by Michael at 9:59 AM | Comments (0)