Archive for December, 2012

2012 in review

Posted in Captain's Personal Log on December 31, 2012 by William Hooks

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Catching an oldie but baddie, STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997) on SyFy

Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction on December 25, 2012 by William Hooks

Cheesy graphics, cheesy announcer, Grade B actors, predictable plot, interrupted by modern but cheesy commercials.

Just what the doctor ordered on Xmas Eve after a good hike earlier today….

To those who follow my site– Feliz Navidad! from a devout agnostic

A note to my blog followers

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video on December 18, 2012 by William Hooks

Many thanks for watching my site!

Please ask if you would like a review of some item, if you want to know more about a location I mention or show in a video or image, or should you like to contribute to my site in some way. Contact me by e-mail at benjaminlafayettesisko@gmail.com, or phone (951)-255-9568.

If you are interested in one of my wilderness, landscape or video workshops, please let me know.

Again: I’m grateful for your interest and have a safe, exciting 2013…………..

William

The view from 7300′ NW of Mt San Antonio, southern CA-Blue Ridge

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel on December 18, 2012 by William Hooks
the front door of the mobile office

the front door of the mobile office

Black Diamond Megalite shelter, less than 2 1/2 pounds

Black Diamond Megalite shelter, less than 2 1/2 pounds

Room with view, no rent

Room with view, no rent

First chance to head out with the <2 pound, 70 liter Golite Jam pack

First chance to head out with the <2 pound, 70 liter Golite Jam pack

improvised attic
Love the La Sportiva Batura boots!

Love the La Sportiva Batura boots!

Today there were spring-like conditions, and I had a good time preparing for the Sierra trip in 8 days

Shakeout day trip to the snows above Palm Springs, CA yesterday

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video on December 17, 2012 by William Hooks
4 snowshoers, Left to right: Raul and Joann Loo, Adi and myself

4 snowshoers, Left to right: Raul and Joann Loo, Adi and myself

The view approaching the South Notch, Long Valley, CA- you can see to Baja from here

The view approaching the South Notch, Long Valley, CA- you can see to Baja from here

Preparing my crew for true winter conditions expected in the High Sierra (east side) in 9 days.

I demonstrated use of a hanging stove in an ultralight hybrid snow shelter/ teepee-style tent (Black Diamond Megalite), use of wands and GPS navigation, and basics of constructing snow blocks for caves and igloos in 20’s F weather with approx 25 mph winds and blowing spindrift.

Here’s my finalized equipment list for the outing. I’m extremely impressed with certain items in my inventory for winter including the <2 pound Jam 70 pack, ❤ pound Megalite tent,the WM Vapor jacket, MHW Mithral hard shell jacket, and WM Antelope sleeping bag- these are highly recommended!!

Little Lakes Valley Eastern Sierra Winter Camp/ December 2012

Equipment Planning-William Hooks (final draft)

My personal gear:
Camera body: D600/ Kata weather cover, wired remote, spare batteries, SD cards, GP-1
Carrier: LowePro Toploader 75/ chest harness
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 Nikkor

GoLite Jam 70 pack (modified*) w mini-carabiner, pack cover
Western Mountaineering Antelope +5F, 850+ fill down sleeping bag/ REI Minimalist biv sack
Therma-Rest NeoAir XLite air pad*
BD (AAA) -LED headlamp
Freeze-dried food and drinks, Titan mug, spoon, trash bag, OP sack; packtowl, snacks
WAG bag in OP sack; snow collection bag (for melting)
GU/carrier, and other snacks
Smartwool shirt/leggings
Marmot Scree soft shell pants, WM Vapor (Windstopper) 850 down jacket
Mountain Hardwear (MHW) Mithral hard shell jacket
La Sportiva Batura boots, full mtg socks, liner socks
U-reservoir
1-liter Nalgene Lexan bottle, 1 water bottle parka; 1LPlatypus flexible bottle; Potable Aqua ClO2; REI storm matches
MHW (XL) SubZero Parka
toiletries, sun protection= sunglasses/carrier, Croakies, sunscreen, goggles, lip balm
Marmot Alpinist semi-mittens, MHW Altitude gloves w liners; MHW Ozone thin gloves
Sleeping clothes= MHW pile hat,1 pr socks, REI pile shirt, Icebreaker leggings
Leki trek poles, MSR Lightning snowshoes
REI Snoqualamie eVent hat, midweight balaclava, neck gaiter
TR closed foam sit pad

GROUP GEAR:
Permit and map , compass/inclinometer, Garmin GPSMap62
Micro-light table tripod with attachment to axe
2 Jetboil stoves w hanging kit, fuel canisters, matches; option- MSR Reactor stove
Rx (bandages, antibiotic, decongestant, XS Tylenol..)
Snow gear=2 snow saws ,2 shovels, 70 wands/ 3 pockets, av probe pole
Black Diamond Firstlight, Megalite, and/ or TNF Assault 22 single-wall 4season tent/ footprint, snow stakes

Optionals:
[Alpine climbing gear= hardware, helmets/helmet liner, ice axes, rope/s, pickets, crampons]
[carbon fiber or basalt ultralight Gitzo tripod/QR]
[whistles, transceivers]

Lightroom 4.3 and “full support for D600″……???

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video on December 15, 2012 by William Hooks

Apparently full support does not (at least yet) include tethered capture for my camera. No word yet as to how much longer the wait might be… so I’ll use Camera Control Pro2 from Nikon and head east to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway tomorrow with my film crew to resume winter preparations- for the third segment of ETERNAL GRANITE. Temperatures expected in the 20’s F with significant wind, perfect for snow shelter demos and shaking out the crew’s gear for the High Sierra after Xmas.

It would be nice if winter came in late October or November the way it did here in the 1980’s…

Followup: Nikon’s Camera Control Pro 2 supports the D600, BUT…….

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Video on December 3, 2012 by William Hooks

I’m unhappy to report that this software renders a large number of older Nikon camera models unusable for tethering with CCP2.

I just completed tests with my D600 and the functionality includes ability to remotely shoot movie files, as well as all of the customary still features. I had no technical problems with the straighforward download, nor with the images or video. For how many years the D600 will be supported, who knows?

Please refer to the information I included directly from Nikon USA below:

Modifications enabled with version 2.12.0

Modifications that apply to both the Windows and Macintosh versions
•Support for the D600 has been added.
•The D2X, D2XS, D2H, D2HS, D200, D100, D80, D70, D70S, D50, D40X, and D40 are no longer supported.