Monday, October 8, 2018

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.

A couple of months ago, I signed up for Audible. My first order was Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It's 126 hours long. I'd be lying if I said I finished it.

The audio is high quality and Charlton Griffin's narration is excellent. It's hard to believe this book is 200 years old. If you merely want to read this book, it is also available on Gutenberg. This version is also excellent.

One thing that you miss from the Audible version is the maps. Gibbon meanders through history and of course he assumed you'd be holding the book with the maps as you read. I am surprised that Audible provided a PDF for the record, but didn't include the non-copyrighted maps. It is an odd omission. I have pulled the maps from the Gutenberg copy and loaded them here. Perhaps some day I will make a PDF of just the maps for easy printing.

West East
North West of Western Empire

North West of Eastern Empire

North East of Western Empire

North East of Eastern Empire

South West of Western Empire

South West of Eastern Empire

South East of Western Empire

South East of Eastern Empire


The list price attached to the ad is for an purchase outside of your Audible account credit. An Audible account is $14.95 a month, which entitles you to one credit or book per month. Well worth the cost.

Also available for download at Downpour.




Camp Schoellkopf - Phillips Cabin - Feb 2017

SSR - Schoellkopf Scout Reserve is my favorite place to camp. The last time I was there overnight was back in 2017. We got all four seasons that weekend. We arrived on a Friday night and lit up a fire outside of Phillips.

Nathan at the fire ring
 It was a gorgeous first night, mid 50's if I recall correctly. We unpacked and set up the campsite for our weekend. This is one of my favorite cabins as it has a massive fireplace and two very large windows looking out on to the ravine.

The kitchen area is a little odd, it is sectioned off in the back of the building with a door facing out the right side of the cabin.

The real joy is the windows facing the left side of the campsite. You wake up trees and a beautify framed river scene. It really is breathtaking.

Later that night, the storm came in. The temperature dropped 40 degrees and the wind was incredible. It didn't stop us from making peach and cherry chocolate cobbler in dutch ovens over the fire.

The site is very exposed to the weather, we all needed to put on extra layers. My son Paul braved the cold, but Nathan retreated inside to enjoy the fireplace and a couple of card games before dinner.

Despite the breathtaking scenery, there is a real hazard of falling to in the ravine. We had to keep a close eye on the drop off to left the cabin. There is some fencing on that side, but I suspect it would make a poor safety net. Over the summer of 2018, I noticed some improvements to the fire ring and the landscaping near the dropoff. While the safety fence is still there and in sad shape, the landscaping provides plenty of warnings before you reach the ledge.

By Sunday morning, the temperatures came back up and the snow was gone. 



The right side of the cabin, with the door to the kitchen barely visible. 

The front of the cabin in daylight.

This window has some of the best views in SSR. The drop off is to the right in this image.

One of the best secrets around SSR is the trees can block the wind so efficiently that air doesn't move at all. When approaching Phillips from the ravine, it can get breathtakingly cold. But if you stop moving, the warmth from your own body doesn't move away. It feels like magic. It reminds me of The Wood Between Worlds from C. S. Lewis's The Magicians Nephew.

I can't wait to go back.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Proof of concept images for Social Studies Project

I made a little gif of some British and Zulu Warriors for a proof of concept test. This is for SSE-370.


This assignment is an example of digital storytelling.