Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A hike and a movie

Mt. Sefrit from lookout at Goat Mountain
I could have gone skydiving this past Sunday, it was such a beautiful day, but I opted instead to go on an "extra" hike with four other Trailblazers. We were scheduled to head out somewhere on Monday (yesterday), but the weather was so much better on Sunday that we decided to find out how much snow has fallen on Goat Mountain in the High Country. Plus, I leave for a southern California skydiving adventure tomorrow, and since I will miss Thursday's scheduled hike, I was happy to go.
Criss-crossing contrails
It was very warm and beautiful, with a high dew point, making contrails from jet aircraft visible all over the sky. We ran into snow at about 4,300 feet, but it was sunny and warm, so it got slushy pretty fast. There was somewhere around a foot of fresh snow on the lookout at Goat Mountain, with evidence of previous snows that had already melted. This might all be gone by this coming Thursday, while I will be (with any luck) having a great time at Lake Elsinore.
Taken by Diane with my camera
I used my cellphone camera for the best pictures of the day (those first two were taken with HDR on my iPhone 4S), and this one was taken with my Canon PowerShot. Notice the definition and especially the sky is much better in the first two pictures. I also took some closeups using my Camera+ app, and they were very good. It makes me think maybe I will stop carrying my Canon on these hikes. I am simply amazed at the quality I can capture with my cellphone!
Bullock and Clooney in Gravity (not taken with my camera)
Yesterday I went to see the new Gravity movie with my friend Judith. (This is a different friend than my usual movie-going partner Judy, who wasn't available.) First of all, let me say that the special effects in this movie were simply amazing. But I don't think I will hurry to go to another movie at the Regal theater any time soon. The level of sound, throughout not only this movie but all the movie trailers, was incredibly painful to my ears, even with ear plugs. I ended up giving away all the extra ear plugs I had with me, since there were other people who couldn't deal with the sound level. It was damaging not only to my ears, but I felt it in my entire body. No more.

That said, the movie itself was pretty awe-inspiring in 3D. Sandra Bullock did a great job, too. But it was very thin on plot and basically told the story of one person who survives a catastrophe in space. There were a couple of groaners involving space itself, but that's only going to bother people who know anything about orbital mechanics. Since their original space station has been destroyed, Clooney suggests that they use his jet pack to get over to the International Space Station. Well, from this review by Dennis Overbye at the New York Times, I found a salient quote:
To have the movie astronauts Matt Kowalski (Mr. Clooney) and Ryan Stone (Ms. Bullock) zip over to the space station would be like having a pirate tossed overboard in the Caribbean swim to London.
If you go to see the movie, be sure to take ear plugs and please, let me know if you enjoyed it or not, and why. I'm all ears.


  1. laughing at the movie critic quote. :)

    when i saw your post pop up, my first thought was, 'my gosh! is it thursday already!' glad to know you snuck in an extra hike before your skydiving adventure.

  2. ha. so it stretches reality a bit eh? maybe too thin....think i will wait for the dollar theatre...

    movies are def loud now...over the top at times....

    and the view looks beautiful from up there on the hike....travel well on your trip

  3. I felt the same way at the last movie I saw. 6 year old Beau held his hands tight over his ears. Much too loud, it took away from the ability to really enjoy the experience.
    I, too, am impressed with phone camera capabilities. My dad just got the latest & greatest phone, and I couldn't help but play with all the camera features. So cool!
    Safe & fun travels to So-Cal! Can't wait to hear about it.

  4. Wow on all the views from your extra hike. You and the Trailblazers have had great weather lately. Your phone does an amazing job on pictures.

    Haven't seen this one and will probably wait and stream it, maybe. I haven't been much of a Sandra Bullock since I met her (and her ex, Jessie) at a private party in Mexico a few years back.

  5. What an absolutely glorious extra hike. Thank you for going - and taking us along.
    I don't do movies well. They are too loud, the theatres are too hot, and too many of the audience indulge in anti-social behaviour.
    Have a heap of fun of your sky-diving adventure. And take photos. Please.

  6. An extra hike AND a skydiving adventure coming up. You sure do keep busy doing what you love. And lucky us.. we get to live vicariously through your blog. Safe trip.

  7. I'll bet your feet were wet at the end of this hike. I well remember taking 11 year olds up on days like this. Of course , they just had regular foot wear and did they get wet.

  8. I notice that to be the case in movie theaters in Hawaii, too. This is why I prefer to watch movies at home, where we can modulate the volume.

  9. Interesting. We were planning to see this, maybe not now. Thanks for the review!

  10. I guess you are on your way to playing in the California sky by now. Loved the pics in the mountains!
    I heard some scientific criticism of the movie today too. Not sure it's one I want to go to a theater to see.
    Have fun!

  11. That is an absolutely fabulous photo of you with the snowy mountain in the background DJan! :o)

    Loud movie theatres aren't too much of a problem here in Spain, so I'm not worried about that.

    I have been really looking forward to seeing Gravity though! Not only do I really like Alfonso CuarĂ³n as a director (and his choice of movies is usually excellent, have you seen Children of Men? Wow!), but I for one have only heard/read goof feedback about this movie! Including the "you HAVE to watch it in 3D" voices, which I will probably obey (I'm very picky about what I pay extra 3D for).

    I'll report back once I've seen it! ;o)

  12. You know what - OK you are way up there on the Mountain in the clouds and I speed read, so I am going through your post and suddenly I see two people in space suits and you are talking about the quality of your iphone photo capabilities - My over active imagination saw the pun immediately, until I read the paragraph below the "space" photo. ha,ha Had a good laugh as not everyone shares my different sense of humour. A foot of snow you say, in the mountains - bring it on Mother Nature - we are ready. Just starting to decorate for Halloween. Have a wonderful time in southern California DJan. I shall let you know my thoughts on the Movie, as I have not yet seen it. Have a wonderful day.

  13. I added a note under the picture so that others might not wonder if my camera is that good! LOL

  14. Gonna see the movie for the visual effects, but thanks to your warning I will take ear plugs just in case. Have a great trip to California!

  15. Dear DJan, I think that today--Wednesday--is the day you're flying off to meet your Portland friend and go to the skydiving event. Your cell camera truly does do a wonderful job--such clarity. I hope you'll use it at the event to give us some outstanding photographs.

    With Meniere's I don't feel comfortable at a 3-D movie and so I probably won't be seeing the movie, but your review interested me because on the news yesterday an astro physicist spoke about the incongruities of the movie. Take care on the trip. Peace.

  16. How great to get an extra hike in before your next adventure in the skies. Can't wait to hear how many dives you manage this time.

  17. I like your photos BETTER than the Gravity shot. Beautiful but still realistic.

  18. I will wait for the Television version where I can control the volume! Great photos with your phone..you don't need your camera anymore! I hope you had a safe trip..be careful up there:)

  19. Well, it's Thursday [I think] so I probably missed you being able to read this as you're on your way to sunny California....

    Oh, I agree with the sound in theaters...and the temperatures. Why they do this, I'll never understand. This movie is a bit like Armageddon then? Ms. Bullock is so cute, tho. I adore her.

    Love the contrail photo!! Enjoy your trip DJan.

  20. I took Hope to the movies and brought ear muffs with me so she could flip them up and down whenever the sound bothered her

    Love your pics, so beautiful

    Hugs from me and Hope and Athena

  21. and here I thought it was just me. They make standing near a jet engine operating at full power seem quiet. Thanks for the heads up.....

  22. I found the sound perfect, but that has not always been the case. Sometimes, the sound level is almost painful. I do know what you mean. As for the movie, I loved it, had to suspend disbelief more than once, but it was so entertaining and I loved the metaphysical undertones so much. I go gaga over anything space, but I think I may have enjoyed this even more than "Apollo 13," which is still in my top ten.

  23. I love all your gorgeous photos, especially with you in them, DJan. I'm really upset we were never able to get out to see The Butler. Our lives got crazy. We also want to see this movie and I hope we manage to actually see it. Thank you for the warning about the sound. It ALWAYS bothers me when the sound is too loud. I wear ear plugs to Zumba class. I'll tell the family to make sure to take ear plugs for this movie. WHY do they do this? Are Americans getting more hard of hearing.

  24. Great photos!
    I've heard a lot about the movie but still haven't seen it yet.
    As for the sound-- Maybe next time you can mention it to the manager. Sometimes staff gets things out of whack and they don't realize how loud it is until someone mentions it???
    xo jj


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