Archive for November, 2008

Horseshoe Lake, California

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Richard Wong recently blogged about his trip up to Horseshoe Lake in the Eastern Sierra. He noticed the many dead trees close to the parking lot. (To get a better picture, here is a Bing Map of Horseshoe Lake.) And he wondered why there were no warning signs.

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Mark Zanzig/

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When we visited Horseshoe Lake back in 2003, they used to have big warning signs up there, right next to the parking lot at the end of the road. These look like warning signs, and at that time the signs made very clear that you better watch your step (click the image to enlarge):

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For example, this sign reads:



The soil concentration of CO2 in the entire hazard area is 20 to 90%, compared to a normal level of less than 1%. CO2 is heavier than air, and can collect in depressions on a calm day.

ON THE BEACH, please adhere to the following guidelines for your safety:
* Don’t dig in the ground (a source of CO2).
* No sitting, picnicking or sunbathing on the beach.
* Keep children and pets out of the area.

Symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid pulse and heartbeat, etc. – Loss of consciousness and death can occur very quickly.

For more information, see the interpretive signs on the buildings or contact the Ranger Station at 760-934-5500

The phone number belongs to the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center & Ranger Station. Unfortunately, there is no further information on their web site (or I just did not find it). Which puzzles me a bit, because it does make sense to promote this area as it is a really interesting sight, and obviously additional warnings might help preventing accidents and injuries.

Having said that, the whole area is just one super beautiful spot. Even more so, when the weather is really good (hehe)! When traveling to the Eastern Sierra, you simply have to go up there. Here are a few more photos of our trip. And our USA Photo Gallery covers our entire four week trip to California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

A sedan car stands next to Horseshoe Lake, Mammoth, California
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A peaceful afternoon at the Mammoth Lakes area, featuring kayakers and fly fishers.
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Bright yellow flowers and a tiny river, found on the trip up to Horseshoe Lake.
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Alpine vegetation in the mountains next to Mammoth, California.
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4th of November. Election Day. Your Day!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Mark Zanzig/zettpress



Today is an important day.

In case you have not noticed, it’s Election Day. It’s important for the country, for the world, but first and foremost – it’s important for YOU!

Your vote can make a change, an essential change that certainly will influence not just your life, but the lives of many people. Around the planet. For the years to come.

Just imagine, you’d wake up tomorrow and your first thoughts are, “geez, now we have this clown as president for the next couple of years. I should have done something!” – Then it will be too late. Then you will realize that you could have done something. But the chance will be gone for another half decade. Tomorrow it’ll be useless to complain. Today is the day to make yourself heard.

So, please, please, please, do yourself a favor and vote! For once, stop surfing the Web, right now, and VOTE. Bookmark this page, close the browser, turn off the computer, go to your polling place – and then vote. Then come back and continue surfing. :-)

Now, if you think, your vote does not make a difference, think again! If you believe that your candidate has made it already, then you are wrong. All the polls and predictions are completely worthless unless YOU make your vote. Every single vote counts. Your vote counts. And yes, you can make a difference!

You’ve seen the candidates over the past couple of months and weeks, and you (should) know by now who should run the country. You know what’s good for you. You know who to vote for. But knowledge is not enough. You will have to move your body over to the voting booth and make your vote. Protesting does not help. Complaining does not help. Ranting does not help. Just voting helps.

Just think of it – today is your chance to prove to the world that the United States of America are a truly democratic country, a fantastic place that deserves respect. So why not make a solid statement and show that respect to everyone?

And while you’re at it, why not ask your friends and neighbors and colleagues and everybody you know to join you? Convince them to vote as well. Explain the importance to them. Make them understand, and make them feel proud about voting. Their votes do count, too. Just as your vote does. All of you, vote! Be the change you wish to see in the world!

The future – it’s in your hands. Don’t let it drop.


Mark Zanzig

Lightroom 2.1 available

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Just a quick notice – the update to Lightroom 2.0 is now available for download (Adobe registration required). It will update the existing version to version 2.1. I have not done any testing of this version, and based on the mixed feedback in Adobe’s user-to-user forums, I will wait for some time before doing the upgrade.

While Lightroom 2.0 is quite slow lately and sometimes crashes on my system, it still works OK most of the time, thus I do not feel the immediate need for the upgrade. Better wait and see what others are reporting on this new minor release. :-)

BTW, Adobe’s readme file for version 2.1 confirms that they were having issues with memory leaks both in the Library and the Develop module, leading to “decreased Lightroom performance”. I had always suspected this. A bunch of minor bugs have apparently been fixed as well, e.g. (one aspect of) the undo bug, and the crop aspect ratio bug.