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Creating Google Earth Fly-over Movie: Part 2

Ok, so in the previous post, I went through the steps to manually create a Google Earth fly through of a GPX file.

Since then, I’ve made it a little easier on myself, by creating a script to do some of the cleanup for you. Basically, the script creates a copy of the GPX path, and cuts out every Nth waypoint. It then re-times it, and creates a set of tracks. You’ll may have to play with the decimation value (N), and the the re-timing setting.

Run the script with something like this:
gpsbabel -i gpx -f trip.gpx -o kml -F trip.kml
python ~/scripts/ -i trip.kml -o - -d 25 --folder Points

In the above example, you’ll end up with trip_dec.kml.

Once you’ve run the script, to create a KML, open it in Google Earth. If the decimated tracks don’t work too well for your flyover (Tour), then play with the folder of decimated ( “*_dec” ) waypoints, and as in the previous post, “copy as tracks” and create a new Tour. Repeat until satisfied, then export with the “Movie Maker” option.

Saw Sharpening


First attempt at saw sharpening. Went from doesn’t cut at all to mostly working. Used a needle-nose plier to set the teeth, instead of the proper tool (no lo tengo) but it worked.

Lesson (re)learned: a little wax goes a long way towards reducing friction.

I was surprised how straight it cut. Ripped a 3/4″ piece in half (the skinny way) and came pretty close to my line.

But until I get the saws running a little better, this task will continue to be difficult.

Awesome Soup Night


Thanks for coming everyone. Awesome soup night!  Thanks to the early birds, night hawks and gift elves!  Some spoontastic artifacts and cloth treasure were left with much thought. Someone forgot a wood trivet (or maybe just didn’t need one, in which case one is up for grabs). Some hard spirits were offered. 

Again thanks all. Nothing like ending a night amongst good friends.

Heavy snow


Saturday afternoon at Keystone. I only skied for about an hour, but there was almost 4″ on the car when I returned.

Massive, Bierstadt

I didn’t make it up Mt Massive last weekend. I just wasn’t “feelin’ it”, and it was much colder and windier than I expected.

This weekend’s sneak up Mt Bierstadt (because I’m waaaay too slow to attack a mountain) was successful, but also cold and windy. Winter is on it’s way if the mountains are to be believed.

Pictures of both in the 2014 hikes album.

10 Books

Robert Howard asked for my 10 most memorable books. Here are the ones I remember the best:

  1. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein, although I think Starship Troopers was my first Heinlein, and is also good (especially since it was written as juvy fiction). But Stranger is in its own class.

  2. The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell. Again, this book, for me at least, is in a class by itself. Children of God (sequel) was also good.

  3. The Four Pillars of investing, William J  Bernstein. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton G. Malkiel covers the same material, and is the classic reference for this stuff, but I found Bernstein much less dry.

  4. So much less dry, that I also read Bernstein’s Birth of Plenty, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and really made me think about economic/political trends a bit.

  5. Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson. This is one of the first Sci-Fi authors that took it for granted that the reader was already familiar with computers, and general Sci-Fi concepts, which was refreshing. I’ve like a lot of his other stuff. This is just the first one that I read.

  6. Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins. For which, I think you need to also be listening to Maryn Cadell’s Angel Food For Thought, the whole time.

  7. The Many Colored Land, Julian May. I think I read the entire 10+ book series. One of the very few that I’ve done that with – Usually can’t get past book 3 or so in many series.

  8. The Magic of Recluse, L.E. Modesitt Jr. I really liked the philosophical ying/yang thing going on in the magic system.

  9. On a Pale Horse, Piers Anthony. Although A Spell for Chameleon is what got me started on Mr Anthony, and his many other series.

  10. Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut

Honerable Mention

The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey. Even though this is the 3rd book in the series, it was the first one that I read, and this is the first series that I can remember where I read most of them.

Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson. Pretty dense reading for a piece of fiction.

Dune, Frank Herbert. I think this might have been the book that really got me started on science fiction. As a kid, I found a hard copy of it lying on the sidewalk one day. I think it took a couple of years before I got around to reading it.

A Fire Upon The Deep, and Marooned in Realtime, Vernor Vinge. Two very different series.  Marooned is kinda neat in that it is really a detective/mystery story in a sci-fi setting. Fire, I just liked.

The God Engines, John Scalzi. I got this recently as part of a humble (book) bundle.

And may I say, that at this point the recommendations on Good Reads is turning into a giant time suck.


On the way back from Chasm View Lake this morning, I saw this sign:


I don’t know if they didn’t buy flood insurance,  or if they did and Allstate didn’t make them whole. Either way, unfortunate.