July 26, 2012

Chicago

Chicago

Sometime in the 1970′s my family packed all their belongings into a used station wagon and drove from Chicago to Flagstaff. One of my earliest and most iconic memories is the sight of the Sears Tower receding in the distance though our rear windshield, vanishing along with good friends and family as we left the only world I knew for a completely unknown future in the west (more…)

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July 11, 2012

North Face Verto S4K

North Face Verto S4K

The North Face was tired of seeing their elite athletes in other makers’ boots, so they decided to make a boot of their own. The result of that effort is the Verto S4K GTX. The Verto is a technical/mountaineering boot very much in the class of La Sportiva’s popular Trango S Evo. In-hand the Verto S4K feels quite a bit beefier than the Trango, but it turns out they’re almost identical in weight: 3 pounds, 6.6 ounces per pair (more…)

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July 6, 2012

The Contour+

The Contour+

The Contour Plus (or Contour+) is Contour’s flagship helmet camcorder, offering a wider 170° angle of view, wireless streaming capability, and a sharper lens. Think of the Plus as a horizontal rather than vertical evolution—particularly where picture quality is concerned. Compared to Contour’s earlier top-of-the-line 1080p camera, image quality is only modestly better and in many cases (more…)

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July 5, 2012

Marina del Rey Fireworks Return

Marina del Rey Fireworks Return

Budget woes forced the cancellation of Marina Del Rey’s annual 4th of July fireworks celebration last year, robbing us of one of Southern California’s best free pyrotechnics shows. Happily, the fireworks returned last night. Though the show seemed lighter overall than in years past, it was still a fine return, concluding with a spirited Grand Finale that admirably resumed Marina Del Rey’s tradition of excellence. Happy (late) 4th of July!

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July 3, 2012

Mammoth Lakes Declares Bankruptcy

Mammoth Lakes Declares Bankruptcy

Only days after Mammoth Mountain gave the axe to June Mountain, plunging the town of June Lake into crisis, Mammoth’s hometown of Mammoth Lakes has now declared bankruptcy, following a botched development agreement and a failed court appeal that leaves the tiny community unable to pay a massive $43 million dollar breach-of-contract judgment (more…)

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July 1, 2012

West Coaster: Hero2 vs. Contour+

West Coaster: Hero2 vs. Contour+

Contour lent me their flagship Contour+ helmet cam this past month, so I’ve been trying to think of good off-season ways to compare it to my GoPro Hero2. Here’s something interesting: a side-by-side comparison shot taken from Pacific Park’s West Coaster roller coaster at Santa Monica Pier. What makes this a good test shot? Heavy vibration and lots of abrupt motion (more…)

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