For all our collective labor, we (the collective populace on this third rock from the sun) seem to have not moved much

So… yeah i reddit.. a lot πŸ˜›

And sometimes, i come across gems of threads/comments like this one here.

Now, if it were a measly observer of this.. what we call our culture/society, I wouldn’t put in as much weight into it.

But, give the essay a read… Its written by one of the sharpest minds of the last century…and it could have been penned down yesterday.

Seems, for all the progress we have made, we seem to have changed little.




So… that happened :)

First the apology

Well, i am truly sorry to have put so many folks on the high alert… i truly am… This will not happen again.. I promise you that!!!

There… now that we have that out of the way.. lets get to the What…

So… what happened?

Well, this past week was a few days in heaven… or to say, one of the versions of heaven that i can envision… right here on earth. The amazingly beautiful Glacier National Park.

Was there with a good buddy of mine on a camping trip. We camped at the St Mary campground on the eastern side of the park. Hikes were hiked, sights were seen, roads were traveled, photos taken (tons of them, only managed to process a few that were on my phone… like this), and last but not the least… Spot messages sent πŸ˜‰

Thanks for the word salad… but get to the point!

Well… ok… since you are askin… The Spot message happened… Alright… well actually two of them did happen πŸ˜€

To understand the what… you gotta understand the how…

Backstory time…

The year was 2018…

Me and a buddy of mine were headed out on this WA-BDR trip and we thought it to be a good idea to set up a custom messageΒ (scroll down to “Custom” on the link) on my spot. All it was supposed to be was a ping a to a buddy of my buddies (and by association, my buddy ;)) and let him know that we are stuck n need help with getting unstuck…

And as usual, since i tend to push the chores to the last minute, i set this message up in a hurry… and managed to not take out my wife from the notification list for the message… or unlink my TwitterΒ  as a feed for the messages… (mostly cus i had forgotten that i am on twitter πŸ˜‰ )

What has the message been set to.. something on the lines of:


Seems im kinda stuck here… need some help”

You don’t really need the full text to see where this is goin… do ya?

…and now we are back

I have completely blacked out this change that i mentioned above from my memory…

Day two of trip

So… on the trip… its day two now and since i have this weird itch to play with all my gadgets, its now the Spot’s turn… Me thinks its been too long since i sent those pings of my location to my list of contacts… I turn it on and try to send a check-inΒ (scroll to “check-in/OK”) message. Test it out, and somehow one of the lights (might have been the gps) blinks red… and then eventually the power LED is also blinking red… its battery replacement time…

Batteries have been bought… and its time to get this to really work.

Day three

Its windy.. like really windy… steady winds at 20 to 30 knots with gusts up to 50. They say the west side is supposed to be calmer…

I test the track functionality first at the campground… well everything is green.. and the itch gets stronger to press more buttons… So i think, well, the Custom message is set up to tell folks (my wife and my sister is what i recollect as people being on the list) that im all set at the current location.. and all lights blink green… and i move on my merry way… westwards.

We hike the avalanche lake hike, and i think this is a good place to i wanna see what happens to the device when one is under heavily wooded areas.. so this time i press both the track button and the custom message buttons…

As we hike,Β  various lights are blinking.. n its fun.. sometimes the device cant lock onto GPS, at others its not able to send the message… and finally once we pop out the other end… i mean get to the lake… all lights blink green… and then only the tracker light is blinking. I decide to shut it down, after all watching leds blink different colors is only fun for so long…

We hike back, its 1pm… time to head back to find another hike. We do decide to stop by the Rising sun restaurant… for food. N guess what they got… they got some of that sweet internet… its a trickle… but its like striking gold for those of us wandering the land of data drought… N the messages (whatsapp) start to trickle in… n then it comes back to me… I sent “im suck” 😦

I screwed up mightily…Β  n them some :). Park rangers are on the look out for two guys lost in the wilderness… Cops have been contacted… Some folks over in the twitterworld contacted the Montana rangers… My bro in law (which you ask.. well both of them) are tryin to locate me, talkin to convince the Montana rangers to launch a full scale search n rescue for two indian guys. Thankfully the rangers are pushing back…

Thankfully, this is the point where we were able to shut it down… everything is back to normal.. well almost… the raised blood pressures for quiet some folks took a while longer to settle down (if its still not down at the time of reading… check with a doctor… you need help :P).

Takeaways from the event

  • Fun trip… some really sick hikes n really really awesome landscapes. I would highly recommend the trip to anyone… well, outside of off-course sending messages that kinda freak everyone out!!! unless you are really into it… then go for it πŸ˜€
  • Food inside the park is meh to say the best… especially if your a vegetarian. its there… n edible… if you got nothing else πŸ˜‰ Its not that bad, but the lack of choice kinda will get to you after a few trips.
  • Always carry bear spray
  • Roof top tents are awesome man!!!
  • Spot GP

N thats it… i think its a wrap!!!




Ok Ok… the real takeaways for me

  • I got me some really amazing folks as friends and relatives… Lots of folks stepped up.
    • Yes, im taking this as a sign that i can go on real wilderness trips now that i have so many folks that have my back!!!
  • Dont let stuff slide, revisit your emergency gear.
    • I have set up a monthly event on my calendar to revisit the pre-defined messages set up on Spot. Good to occasionally revisit thing… i guess.
  • Two way communication is paramount…
    • Am getting a newer version of the device, called Spot-X. It lets you do two way messaging.

Problem solved… πŸ˜‰

In conclusion…the real takeaway

Never let anyone tell you that One can’t solve any problem by throwing more money at it!!!

Over n Out… don’t cheap out πŸ˜›





Smugmug redesign…

Smugmug redesign…

I was kind of skeptical to see what kind of an update smugmug had in store, but this is a pleasant change. A change for good…

One can customize their site pretty easily, with most of the stuff being just drag and drop. Witching 20 mins I had a great looking site… much better than what I had previously. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there is plenty of room for improvements, but the current set of changes was a breath of fresh air…

I would love to see the site become more customizable with more templates available for those of us who are not pros yet and cant afford the more expensive subscriptions as yet. The displaying of images in the galleries could use more formats and the slideshows could use more options (randomize for one)…