Monday, January 24, 2011

Found Them

I found out what happened to all those little Google Earth (GE) cameras... they morphed the photos into the landscape. Somehow the GE geniuses have integrated those millions of photos they took at street level with the actual GE program.

If you look in the top right corner of your GE screen, you'll see a yellow image of a man below your compass. That's the 'street view' indicator. What you do is just drag that icon over to wherever you want to get a closer look and wait a few seconds. If GE ever took a photo of that spot, your satellite image will soon morph into an actual street view.

I tried this with my home town. I moved the yellow 'man' icon to the main street Montmartre and waited. Soon the street emerged--as well as a guy getting out of his pickup at the local store. As I moved closer to the 30' replica Eiffel tower at the end of the street, the guy got out of his truck and looked at me. Well, he wasn't actually looking at me, he was looking at the GE vehicle with the camera mounted on top. And he wasn't actually moving, but the camera takes photos approx every 75 feet so it looked like he was moving. Very neat. And weird.

So, mystery solved. I guess when I looked last week, I put the street view icon on an area where a GE vehicle hadn't taken a photo. :( This isn't strange considering my hero and heroine are on a wagon trip on the old Carlton trail which is in the middle of someone's field now.

Today's photos were taken yesterday on a beautiful day where the temperature hovered at 0c.

Except as you can see, the wind was blowing up such a ruckus it tried to obliterate the western horizon. Immediately after taking this shot, I turned around and took the next...

This photo is looking east down our driveway. Now those snow drifts don't look too big, but they were made with hubby's 4wheel drive truck. He advised me not to take the kids to church today because those drifts are so high, my 2wheel drive van would've got hung up on them.

So now that you know about the street view icon on Google Earth, why don't you go try it out and then come back and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where are all the Google Earth Cameras?

Monday was a horrible day for me because I lost my Google Earth (GE) cameras. If you've followed along my writing journey, you know I rely on those GE cameras for research. I've done a couple posts here and other places showing how much I rely on those GE vehicle mounted cameras which roam the streets all over the world to bring us photos of what it really looks like.

That GE camera vehicle was even in my hometown taking a photo of our 30' tall Eiffel Tower. I especially liked seeing that on GE.

However on Monday, I was using the cameras like I usually do, which is to look around at the landscape, then go to another one a few hundred yards up the road and look through that one. Then suddenly, the GE cameras all disappeared! I spent 2 hrs of writing time looking for them on 2 different computers in case it was a glitch but nope, they're gone.

Now, I know there were issues where people complained the cameras were an invasion of privacy, but for a research tool to people who didn't have time and money to visit the actual locations, those street view cameras were the next-best thing. :(

Today's photo is of Canada's famous military aerobatic team the Snowbirds. At least I think it's the Snowbirds' jetstreams. While I was looking for the GE cameras, I heard a noise outside as if a jet was passing over the farm, but it was so much louder than normal. I went outside and saw 5 jetstreams and took a photo of them. They were travelling from the direction of their home base at CFB Moose Jaw which is a couple hours away.

Then my  brain kicked in gear and I turned to see the actual jets, but this is all I got. I'm not sure where the 5th one went. Looks like they decided to play a bit since by that time they would've been over an area with scattered farms and very sporadic towns and villages.

And if you're wondering about the difference in the sky colour, the sky was cloudy to the left (SE) of the sun.

Anyway, if anyone knows what happened to those GE cameras, can you fill me in? It sure would be nice if I discovered it was a glitch after all.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What is a sundog, you ask?

I received a comment from Josi yesterday on my Bunkering Down post. Josi wanted to know what a sundog was so here's my answer:

Sundogs (also called mock suns) are a phenomena we see several times a winter. They are caused by light refracting through ice crystals and are usually in very cold weather, or in not-so cold weather but where there's lots of ice crystals in the air - you know, the kind that turn the trees white. Although the twin mock suns on either side are the actual sundogs, the whole thing is commonly called a sundog in these parts much like a ring around the moon is called a moondog.

Usually a sundog is close to the horizon, like in the photo I showed yesterday or in some of my previous sunrise pics. However last year, I took several photos of one at noon on our way back from church. I wouldn't even have noticed it except for the bright light at ground level which peaked my curiosity so I followed it upwards.

Taken Feb 7, 2010

What made this sundog special was that it had twin sundogs on each side. In other words, it had a double ring around it. So in my posts, I've referred to it as a double sundog:

Double ring Sundog Feb 7, 2010

For more of my sundog photos, check the LABELS on the right side of this blog.

I've even turned some of my sundog photos into  jigsaw puzzles.

Next time it's a cold morning, see if you can see a sundog.

Thanks for asking, Josi. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bunkering Down

I'll be bunkering down for Book in a Week with the Sask Romance Writers starting Jan 15. Yes, I've almost reached the mid-point of NovelTrack with the ACFW but this is when my writing intensifies.

You see, during Aug-Nov of 2010, I basically stayed in my cave all day and evening, only coming out for pit stops while completing Emma's Outlaw. The family took care of me. They made meals and called me when it was time to eat. They did the dishes, laundry, etc.

In return, I gave them an old-fashioned Christmas complete with lots of homemade baking from scratch. I made the meals and did the dishes, etc. I've continued that in January.

However, as of this Saturday morning, all that stops. Last night one of the boys even asked when it's their turn to do the dishes again and I reminded them about this weekend. He nodded and left.

The main problem is that it's now too cold to work in my office in our converted garage until April so my current cave is in a corner of the living room. The boys want to have a friend over this weekend - from after Youth Group Friday night until we bring him to church Sunday morning. I said okay but reminded them they have to stay downstairs in the basement where the XBox lives (now that we cleaned the area) and be quiet because I'll be working. I ignored the look of horror on their faces. I like to think it was more of a respectful nature. LOL

Meanwhile, here's a photo taken the last week of Dec 2010 with my new iPhone. It was taken about a mile from our farm, which is when I was able to convince Nelson to stop and allow me to roll down the window. Once that man gets going, he doesn't like stopping until he gets there. And if he stopped every time I wanted to take a photo, we'd never get anywhere. :)

Final Sundog of 2010.

So far I've seen one sundog in 2011. Have you?