The Day Before The Day Before Riding

Today I did this:

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Before you raise me on your shoulders and declare me an olympic medalist, I should tell you that I didn’t bicycle 503 miles! I haven’t started bicycling yet. I’m still enroute to the route.

I’m here with the lovely Erika (who has a cold; poor thing) in the living room of some family friends, getting some quality computer time after nine hours behind the wheel. Mostly what I’m doing is trying to get this crazy blog set the rest of the way up. I think I’m just about at the stage where I haul the printing press onto the flatbed trailer (see previous post).

As I write this, the iPhone 4S has been out for a few days, and people have been going nuts with the new voice recognition features. Since I don’t have the very latest hardware (only the second-latest, boo hoo, poor me) I’ve set up the following for on-the-road bloggery:

The sequence goes like this:

  1. See something interesting along the side of the road.
  2. Take a picture of it using the camera app, while – of course – poking it with a stick.
  3. Open Dragon Dictation and blither out some appropriate commentary.
  4. Open the Flickr app, and upload the photo with the commentary.
  5. If I feel like composing a novel, use the WordPress app.

It’s amazing to me that this works. All I need is a decent data signal, and with this little device that’s smaller than a pack of cards I can take a photo, embed my GPS location in it, turn my speech into text, and put it all online for others to see, in seconds. I am astounded.

Of course, for longer writing, like this blog entry, nothing beats a keyboard and a mouse. And for keeping a precise record of my movement even without cellular towers, nothing beats a dedicated GPS unit. And for getting really marvelous photos, nothing beats a real camera with a real lens. The trouble is, getting these specialized instruments to cooperate with each other is worse then herding cats — it’s like teaching cats to herd mice. They’ll chase things around with great enthusiasm, and at the end of the day, the paddock will be suspiciously vacant. Just so with your data.

Luckily, I’ve written some AppleScript to help with the herding. I’d Blog About that on The Internets, except I’m too exhausted now, and should sleep. I’ll conclude this with the award that Erika just drew me as a congratulation for making my second post:

Erika drew this for me to congratulate me on my first post

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