26 February 2014

History of National Parks

The history of US National Parks is pretty interesting.  While the US is fairly young but we were pioneers in the protection of public lands and the establishment of national parks.  NPS.gov has an useful page on the history.

24 February 2014

Trails in Massachusetts

I am a bit disappointed that Mass GIS doesn't show that many trails for the Commonwealth.

While the entire state view looks like this:

Even when you zoom in to the large open space lands in our area, you don't get that much more information:

So to get trail data for the area, you need to do a Google Search.  You might find, for example, this site.http://www.americantrails.org/resources/statetrails/MAstate.html

And you might find buried in WWW land, this 2003 trail guide for the area. http://robertbristow.home.comcast.net/~robertbristow/userguideweb/guide.html

21 February 2014


Where can you find info on recreation in America?  Well besides Google, try http://www.recreation.gov/. You can search by location (with or without a map) activity or just browse the databases.  This site links many other federal government websites.

Good stuff.

19 February 2014


The US has some unusual weather this season.  The west is experiencing a serious drought and the rest of the country has been hammered with cold and snow.  You can track the season of snow, and compare it to the snowfall in the west.

For local weather, see our station at this link.

18 February 2014

Jamaican Bobsled Team

No gold, but we have to give them credit for their Olympic Spirit.  Here is a news report from the Caribbean Journal.

15 February 2014

75,000 flights cancelled since 1 December 2013

and 14,000 just this week!

Seems weather is the big culprit.  But can we really call weather the culprit since we may be the blame for at least some. of it?

The site FlightAware keeps these kinds of records (reported by wire services). The site is also good for tracking flights and even estimating arrival times, something I do when I need to pick up someone at the local airport (BDL).  Also you can weather reports, news reports related to the industry and lots of useful information for us, the client/passengers.

14 February 2014

Curling rocks.

In between shoveling a foot of snow, I watched some more curling on TV.  Check out http://www.sochi2014.com/en/curling

I know they are athletes and all, but I am glad most of them look like normal people and we find individuals all different ages.

Curling is the sport of all ages.  Locally you can check it out at the Petersham Curling Club

10 February 2014


Last week's foot of snow was generally light and fluffy.  It fell on an inch or two of crusty ice.

I needed to increase the number of paths for our dog to walk in since the main path around the property was pretty well "visited".  So I figured a snow shoe path would be good for the dog to traverse.  She is pretty small and since the snow is still a foot deep, often you just see her curly tail above the snow.

Increasing Biscuit's snow trail system.

09 February 2014

I am feeling very Olympic today, how about you?

Who said this?

Think about it.

Ok, I'll tell you.

It is one of my favorite films:  Cool Runnings.

This is a great film and I highly recommend viewing it and do it now, as the Winter Olympics are live of TV.

Good stuff Sanka!

See http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/02/cool-runnings-gifs-life-lessons.

07 February 2014

good website

I always like the site http://sectionhiker.com/
that helps novice and expert hikers.  A recent post dealt with water along the AT in the Presidentials and noted several good springs with maps to get a bit of water.

check it out.

05 February 2014

Yippee Snow Day

We in academia are lucky.  I mean even with "adult" children, the administration closed school today.

Sure, there is about 10 inches of snow on the ground right now (9:45 am) on top of the 2 inches we got over the weekend, but just think about all those workers in the real world, going to work in the grocery stores and Walmart, so that people like us can buy another loaf of bread.

I encouraged my students in Recreation Geography to go play in the snow and I hope most do.  This class of students seems to be more active than the last class.  More activities outdoors and more places to do the activities.

So what I am doing on the computer?  Well, doing some tax stuff, and getting ready to snowblow the driveway, so I can get that loaf of bread.

02 February 2014

Biggest Sporting Day of the Year

Yes, it is the Bowl Day.

Puppy Bowl and new this year is Kitten Bowl.

What a great day for sports.  Adopt a shelter animal.