Today I went out with some guys from Re:Hope for a hike up to ‘the cobbler‘, which is a rock formation at the top of Ben Arthur. When the hike was described as a ‘Hill Walk’, I assumed it would be a small hike up one of the rolling hills in Scotland. I was wrong. It was a lot of vertical hiking, which included a lot of scrambling up the rocks to get to the rocks up at the very top. It was exhausting, but an amazing place to get to once you are there.
We met every kind of weather on this trip. Hail at the car park then sunshine, rain, sideways hail and even a bit of snow! I was really glad I brought my fleece and rain parka!
When it wasn’t raining/hailing I popped the camera out of my bag and snapped some shots:
Here’s a few shots from last weekend, I went to Stirling with Kevin, Susie and Chris! Kevin and Susie have a WordPress Blog now too!
Made a quick trip with my brother Kevin to Edinburgh last Sunday. He was able to pop up for a quick weekend while he was in the UK for a work trip.
The shot is from the top of Edinburgh castle. Beautiful city!
I’ve found myself using a lot of great new software and gadgets, especially since I started working from home. Here’s a list of what I’ve been using lately:
TextMate is an extremely versatile text editor for OS X. I use it constantly for code editing (especially PHP), cutting/pasting text, text searching and for taking notes. It correctly colors all of the code I throw at it, and integrates really well with the command line. My favorite new command is “svn diff|mate” which opens a diff in TextMate in its easy-to-read diff formatting.
I waved bye-bye to Firefox a few months ago and switched over to Chrome. It’s fast, can handle a bazillion open tabs, remembers your last tabs if you accidentally close one, and has a Firebug extension (and yes, there’s also built-in developer tools that work great as well)!
For a lightweight, reliable and free OS X Twitter client look no further than YoruFukurou. It has a nice tabbed layout, can auto-add your contacts to a tweet, and has built-in search for public tweets. I tried the official Twitter client, but it doesn’t play nice with multiple monitors and Spaces.
The creators of Skype branched out into an online music service called Rdio. For $5 a month, you can listen to unlimited music online. It does a great job of importing your current iTunes library and provides recommendations based on what you listen to. I’ve been able to discover a lot of great new music through this service, especially really cool Scottish bands!
Sennheiser HD 595 Headphones
What good is the Rdio service if you don’t have decent way to hear the music? My birthday present last year was a pair of the Sennheiser HD 595 headphones, which I selected based on Matt’s recommendation. I wouldn’t categorize myself as an ‘audiophile’, but these have better sound than any other headphones I’ve ever heard. They are also extremely comfortable – no pinching or head squishing at all, quite remarkable.
Allright, so scotch isn’t really a ‘Gadget’ but this is my list and I can put what I want on it! It’s been fun to ask the locals about what scotch they drink, especially our taxi drivers who all have differing opinions on which is the best. So far I’ve purchased two really popular makes and I like Macallan the best so far. It’s an acquired taste for sure, but it becomes quite enjoyable once you know what flavors you are looking for. I will be exploring more of this in the future!
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