Saturday, November 28, 2009


I was so excited to receive the "wearable" GoPro HD Helmet camera. I accidentally stumbled upon the site and let me tell you, I was blown away by the demo clips. Simply amazing. So I decided to get the camera for my expedition to the South Pole. I know it's not gonna be the same coolness cuz I will be moving at a snail pace while the demos have lots of actions. Anyway, I got it this week week and couldn't wait until my training day last Thursday to test it out. It turned out I didn't quite know how to use it yet (talking about being technical :)) and I captured nothing. Today I brought it again to my training and shot some videos while doing my usual thing around on the beach.

The videos from today are not too impressive. I do think it was the sports that were used in the demos make it so great. The quality is just ok, in my opinion. I am using full HD mode with 30 frames per second. The clips are a little bouncy as I wore the camera on my head. Next week I definitely want to test it again in different setting (snow) in Colorado, and will mount it before my chest. I think the bounciness should be reduced.

Below is the one of the results from today. It was *very* windy and quite "cold" (to Calif standard - in the 40s (8C) without windchill). If you're looking for something interesting, it's not :). There was not much going on on the beach, just deserted as usual. However, people can go for horse back riding as you can see in the clip (besides hauling some dead weight like me :)).

The test GoPro video clip

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blast From the Past

Well, it's not my past but these North Pole photos are taken from Mark Abouzeid, a photojournalist who went to the North Pole at the same time as I did:

He also has a post that has my picture (and a paragraph about me :) ) Longyearbyen – day 1

Prep Works

I have done a lot of preparation, since the beginning of the year but somehow I still find myself having too much to do before the departure. I guess part of it is this time I do a lot of things myself, from custom made stuffs for the expedition to technology support. I pretty much multitask right now. Here's my typical week day and weekend.
- Weekday: go to work, hit the gym after work, then either work on an application I called kbot (a helper which I will explain later) on in a meeting for work with remote site at night.
- Weekend: Hit the beach for tire pulling, shop for additional stuffs I could think of, make some custom items for the trip.
Of course there are other things I do too, like going out or catch a movie, but these activities are rare.
One good thing is I know what I want for this trip. And I want lots of good cookies. Actually cookies are not the only things I will be eating. More like mix with others like chocolate, candy, salami, powerbar, nuts and dried fruit. I will bake some, to my own taste but I have my family send me their creation too. Cookies are going fly in from all over the place, from Toronto, Guelph (Canada) to LA. It's going to be Christmas after all. Looking forward to eat good stuffs on the way to South Pole.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beach Again

Just want to post a couple of pix I took yesterday on the beach pulling a tire. Good thing Half Moon Bay beaches at this time of the year is quite empty. And yet, people stopped me to ask what I was doing. It's funny one lady said "did you realize that you are pulling a tire?" I laughed, I was fully aware of it.

Dragging a tire with additional weight attached on wet sand can be quite tiring (a tire is tiring, duh)

My tracks on the beach

Christmas Treats

The expedition will span over Christmas so I want to have some Christmassy feel at the bottom of the world. I asked my family to bake me some cookies, make sure to load them with lots of calories. These will be my "meals" at each break on the way skiing to the pole. I will also bake my own, too. Another thing that reminds me of the holiday is Second Cup apple cider (Canadian da best!). I love this drink, especially with a cinnamon stick. I can't wait for a hot and steamy cup of cider mixed with wonderful aroma of cinnamon while it is completely white outside. I'll have my family send me this for sure. Maybe I'll find some cinnamon sticks in Punta Arenas?

I also think I should bring a tiny Xmas tree with me, or maybe just a paper pine tree, the kind you find people hang in their car :)