Category Archives: Software

Pour Forters

…er, um, I mean, four porters.

Tröegs, Ballast Point, Founders, and Fuller's

Porter, porter everywhere and lots of drops to drink

Don’t worry; I won’t always post pictures of every beer I sample. It was just very interesting to compare four very different takes on the same style of beer. The first three are American (and I might be able to visit at least two of those breweries on my trip); the one on the right is imported from England, and it made me miss the excellent beers I had in England, even if they do serve them at cellar temperature instead of cold.

While I was at Market Street Wineshop doing the beer tasting, a younger couple was already there with their dog, Mazey or Maisie or Maisy or something of that sort (I didn’t ask them to spell it, but it rhymes with “daisy”), who apparently also enjoys beer. As I’m still playing with my new smartphone, I took a picture of the dog, too.

Fight Terrierism!

Also, showing off my mad punning and MS Paint skillz.

In travel news, it seems there are a few breweries on my route to Maine for the first leg of my trip. I may not get to visit them all on this trip. Plus, two of them are the same company in two different locations, and I haven’t yet decided if that means I have to visit them both to meet my eventual “every microbrewery in the country” goal. One of the sites I do want to visit is Tröegs, mentioned above; another is Yuengling. I don’t care for Yuengling’s beer, but to visit the oldest brewery in the US would be interesting.

Speaking of visiting places… if I didn’t have computers and a smartphone, here’s what I would want to do: I’d want to make up index cards of every place I plan to visit along the way, with address and phone number and hours and such, and arrange the cards in the order in which I want to visit them. Then when I found another place I wanted to visit, I could insert the card in the correct place in order. Or if I decided not to visit a place, I could just take the card out. The result would be a stack of cards that would form an itinerary of sorts.

Thing is, I do have a computer and a smartphone, so you’d think there would be a way to do this with a program or the cloud or an app or whatever it’s called these days. I tried using Evernote, which came with my computer and has a handy Android app. It doesn’t work the way I want it to. Oh, I can add all my planned destinations, but I can’t sort them dynamically. I have to title each one like 100 and 200 and 300 and so forth to allow for future resorting, like I used to do back in the 80s with Basic. Clunky. I’d rather have something I can dynamically resort and rearrange. (Evernote seems good for lots of other things, however; for instance, it claims to have text recognition so if I put in the pic of the porters, I can later search “porter” and that pic would come up. Theoretically.)

A friend suggested Google Notebook, but a quick look at Google’s offerings didn’t reveal that. I’ll search for it, but I’m still soliciting other ideas for a “virtual index card” thing. Perhaps something that is designed for travel itineraries? Cheap would be good. Free would be better. If you know of one, leave me a comment! (Or, well, leave a comment if you want to anyway.)

Googly

I’ve been marking the locations of microbreweries and other interesting places in Google Earth so that I can tell how close these things are to my expected route. This will, in theory, keep me mostly on track and yet able to visit places that are relevant to my interests. All you have to do in Earth is look at the map and see which markers are close to the route that Earth conveniently generates between any two points.

That's when it doesn't send you here.

Problem is, Earth only generates the (in theory) most direct, efficient route between those two points – and I want to be indirect and inefficient, avoiding highways wherever possible. One way to do this is take the route from Earth and send it to Google Maps, via an option available in Earth. Maps then enables you to change route settings for avoiding highways and tolls; plus, if you still don’t like the route, you can move it around interactively. But then what often happens is you have a route that’s very different from the Earth-generated route, and it’s on a different platform from your place markers, so you can’t tell how close the place markers are without moving the route back to Earth.

And there’s no way to do that.

Oh, wait, yes there is – but I had to search for it, and it’s a non-Google link.

With that website, if you follow the directions, you can get your modified route, including any highway-avoiding options and user revisions, and export it as a .kml file that Earth will read.

I’ve only done this with one part of my route so far, but it worked like a hooker at a bankers’ convention – fast, easy, and cheap.

So I put the link here in case someone else might find this obscure workaround useful – though with my luck, Google will soon update Earth and/or Maps to do it directly and I won’t get to feel quite so accomplished.