July 2007 Archives

Into the Smokey Mountains

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I had a quick trip to the Smokey Mountains and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast with mountain views just outside of Gatlinburg.) The journey through the Smokey Mountains included seeing a lot of wildlife (black bears, deer, wild turkeys) and some short hikes to see a waterfall and a trip along the 'loop road' to visit some log cabins and other old buildings. The views are amazing, and we climbed high into the heart of the mountains to see the smokey-blue hue projected on the mountains from miles around. (The mountains get their name from the colour and the haze from the humidity.) Here are a few photographs of my journey into the mountains.



North and South Carolina Road Trip

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The major travel plans of the year include a road trip in America. The American road trip started in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is beautiful with many small shops and markets selling crafts and artwork, nice parks, and views of the ocean. I stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast that served warm cookies and milk in the evenings with views of the fountain where children played. Charleston's houses lining the coast have large porches on both levels. I got some nice views of the city by taking a horse and carriage ride; I know, that is very touristy.

The next stop was Myrtle Beach. The beach and town itself is too touristy and down-market, but there are several nice shopping centres outside Myrtle Beach itself. I enjoyed the aquarium and the putt-putt golf courses; there were some interesting and fun designs of the courses.

After Myrtle Beach, we traveled to the North Carolina Outer Banks, Ocracoke island, Hatteras, Kitty Hawk, Roanoke, and other villages in between. There were beautiful beaches and lighthouses in this area, and some of the beaches are part of a wildlife area. The ocean was a little bit too rough to swim in around some of the areas; kites were flown and sandcastles were made on the beach. Raleigh, Old Salem, Asheville, and many small villages in between were all stops along the way to the Smokey Mountains.






MySpace is popular with a lot of music artists, and the sites are fairly customisable, but there are a lot of bad designs out there. Huge background images that take forever to load, background images where you cannot read the super-imposed text, the list goes on and on.

The reason for many bad designs is, in part, due to the fact that MySpace can be customised. Anyone can attempt to make their own page unique, and this normally means a quick-fix job such as a flashing background and a wide spectrum of font-colours and animations and neglecting white space. However, another reason for the bad designs is due to areas of the customisation being limited. In order to customise areas of the site, one must know some tricks and programming.

I have found a few good designs, but these are few and far between, and I have been watching my boyfriend struggle with integrating a design on a MySpace page, so that it looks less like MySpace and more like a proper website for a band.

Overall, I think that MySpace is a brilliant means for showcasing music and media. However, MySpace should make its application a little more customisable, and MySpace owners should let only those with an eye for design (and ability/knowledge of customisable areas) do the design and programming work. 


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