Hey, nice to see you! Glad you could make it. Before you join us on our little trip, though, there are probably a few things you should know about these pages. Brian has made up some questions and answered them ahead of time. If you have questions or just want to say "howdy", e-mail us at Deshka@FunkyMoose.Net.
A: We are finally taking advantage of both
being teachers and taking the summer off. We are taking a road trip
around the lower 48, with tentative plans to visit New England, the Florida
Keys, the desert southwest and drive back up the California coast.
Our intention is to stick to two lane roads, rather than interstates, to
travel a little slower and see more things. I am particularly interested
in large fiberglass representations of animals, people and things.
Theresa is interested in local art and, as it turns out, cows.
We are going to attempt to update our web site with daily entries and lots of pictures (particularly of large fiberglass creations). We can't promise interesting or even regular content, and I imagine uploads will happen in spurts. We will e-mail folks that are interested when there is an update, let us know if you are interested. This is really more of an experiment, and should provide us with a little scrapbook of our trip when we are done.
Q: What are you driving?
A: The beast you see in the pictures is the pillar of German engineering that is the 1977 Volkswagen Van (also known as a Campmobile, Type II, and Transporter). We call it "the bus". It has a powerful 2.0 liter engine and forgoes needless frills like power steering, brakes or anything else. It has a top speed of around 70mph, a nice cruising speed of 60mph, and is very susceptible to wind sheer. The bus has 170,000 miles on it, with 10,000 on a new engine. It has a roof rack for hauling stuff and a fold out bed, ice box and closet built in. We have a host of pop-out camping gear, from the simple lawn chairs to the truly monumental "Quick Shade". We have full camp deployment down to roughly 5 minutes.
Q: Hey guys, this is great but what's with all of the pictures? It took five minutes to download one page.
A: We can only imagine how slow this might be on a dial up modem. I say we can only imagine, because we have no internet access at all. If you think this is a lot of pictures, you should see how many we are not showing. According to the digital camera, it has taken 142 pictures in the last six days. We don't think this will be too slow on cable modem, at work, or burned on a CD later. Our apologies for those of you trying to tag along on a 28k modem, but isn't it really time to upgrade anyway?
Q: Are you bothering to look out the window or are you just writing web pages?
A: Actually Theresa has put most of this together so far in the last hour of driving each day on the trip down the Alcan. We have an auto adapter for the laptop and a cool little beanbag laptop desk mom loaned us. Theresa has made a template for each day's page that we will just copy over and over. She has written some Photoshop actions that automate the resizing of pictures. My job is to add didactic text and smart aleck comments after. We expect to turn it into a ten to fifteen minute end of the day project. The mileage and gas stats are something Brian has always tracked anyway and we are using a spreadsheet to crunch the numbers, so it's pretty quick. Day four has a picture of Theresa hard at work.
Q: What are you doing this with?
A: We are using our Macintosh PowerBook 2400, a Sony Mavica digital camera and more adapters, chargers, and converters than you can shake a stick at. We have pc card modem and intend to either upload the pages when we find a place to plug in or copy them to a floppy and head to the library. The pages (after uploading) live on Brian's experimental Linux server, which is currently residing in a basement in Anchorage. The server is brought to you via a cable modem.
Q: ...and the software?
A: On a daily basis we are using Netscape Composer for page authoring, Photoshop 5.5 for graphics manipulation, and Mac OS9 to make it all work. Theresa used GifBuilder and Photoshop to make the little cruising bus. We had to slow the original cruising bus down for accuracy.