Travel

Fuel log

I needed a better way to keep track of my gas purchases and so, buoyed by the clever things done here, I took at shot at creating my own page.

I had kept it in my organizer but found it not as convenient as I'd hoped so I printed a stack, stapled them together and keep it in the glovebox for the end of the year.

I always use pencil to fill it in since sometimes the pens don't work in the cold. ;)

Thumbnail: 
Fuel_report2.png
Usage advice: 

I needed a better way to keep track of my gas purchases and so, buoyed by the clever things done here, I took at shot at creating my own page.

I had kept it in my organizer but found it not as convenient as I'd hoped so I printed a stack, stapled them together and keep it in the glovebox for the end of the year.

It seems odd to have multiple things there but I have multiple sources. I have the stock gauges in the car and I also have an "UltraGaugeII" http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/ which reads data from the "On-Board Diagnostics Buss" (ODB) and displays it.

I also, occasionally use a GPS which can keep track of fuel use but I've not been traveling in a while so it's not been put into use that often.

Date/Time
Date & Time (approx) of fuel stop.
Milage
Odometer reading from the car. (No tenths displayed.)
Trip
Trip odometer from the car, to be reset at will.
MPG
Miles per Gallon as computed by the car.
Gal
Fuel quantity purchased.
US$
Cost of fuel
US$/Gal
Cost of fuel per gallon. (I use this to double check the purchase if needed.)
Fuel Level
Amount of fuel left in tank as displayed by the UGII
Ave Gal/Hr
Average consumption rate since last reset as displayed by the UGII
Ave MPG
Average economy rate since last reset as displayed by the UGII
Fuel
??? I honestly forgot the purpose of this field. It may have been used in an older configuration of the UGII
Runtime
Time the engine has been run since last reset as displayed by the UGII
Distance
Distance the UGII has registered since last reset.
GPS Milage
What the GPS views as how far I've traveled since last reset.
Fuel Cost
What the GPS guesses as the cost of the trip since last reset.
Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Open/Libre/Star-Office
Language: 
USA English

Mileage Logsheet

Just a simple mileage log that I use for work. Prints on A4, but I use it in an A5/Classic Filofax type folder.

Thumbnail: 
logsheet.JPG
Usage advice: 

Logging mileage for vehicle travel

Paper size: 
A4
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Excel
Language: 
English

Travellers Checklist

A travellers check list based on an old Filofax sheet from 1988 which is no longer available.

Usage advice: 

Print double sided. Or scale to suit your binder

Paper size: 
A4
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Open Office Writer
Language: 
English

Travel Ininerary Template

Thumbnail: 
Travel Itinerary.jpg
Usage advice: 

Capture your travel itinerary at a glance.

Fields are available for:
*Airport Parking
*Flights
*Rental Car
*Hotel

Paper size: 
Index Card (3 x 5)
License: 
Public Domain
Applications required: 
Adobe Acrobat
Language: 
English

Into the Wild (no starvation required)

Sorry I've been away a while, folks, but sometimes my work takes me places that just aren't accessible to the Net. Thanks to Innowen, as usual, for her tireless leadership (and great articles, as usual!) while I was away.

Wood Bison, (c) 2008 Douglas Johnston

So, I came face-to-face with a small herd of wood bison last week. These are truly wild, shaggy creatures nearly the size of a small SUV --I'm told they're the largest land animal in North America-- and quite capable of running up to 50 mph. And right now, at the end of the lean season, they can be downright ornery and rather dangerous as they roam through the sub-Arctic Northwest Territories wilderness in search of patches of frozen, dried-up grasses. I did manage to sneak up within 20 or 30 feet of them and take a goodly number of photographs before my fingers went numb with the cold and I lost the ability to manual focus. When the alpha male began to feign charges, I figured it was a good time to leave.

Here's yet another shout-out for Noodler's Polar Black fountain pen ink. Yes, it does work in extreme cold, and I've used it in -50C temperatures. As soon as I got back to the vehicle, I wrote up my notes using a still-frigid Moleskine and Polar Black in my red Lamy Safari. (Red, because it inspires warmth....)

On a vaguely semi-related note, does anybody else think the main character of Into the Wild should have spent less time reading Thoreau and more time reading nature books, and perhaps even buying a map and compass? Sheesh. An excellent film, but ultimately a very frustrating one for me to watch.

Review: First Impressions of the Eee PC 701

Eee PC 701 BlackOkay, I can be a little obsessive. (For example, see my recent posts about fountain pens, fountain pens, fountain pens, and ...erm... fountain pens.) Unfortunately, combined with my persistent belief that my next productivity tool could be the non plus ultra, this can translate into drawers filled with unused gadgets, bookcases jammed with partially used planners and notebooks, and a selection of writing utensils that would shame any office supply store. And, although I am embarrassed to admit it, while I tend towards the intimacy of pen and paper, the tinker in me is certainly inclined towards items demonstrating an almost awkward complexity. But do those help me be more productive? Rarely.

I've mentioned not only my Macs in these pages, but my Palms, my Newtons, and various other attempts to find a perfect portable writing machine that also allows for efficient time management. The Newton eMate 300 (or alternatively, the Newton MessagePad 2100 with keyboard) was the closest thing thus far, as it offered me the ability to write without being tempted by the distractions of the web, use the amazing MoreInfo to structure my days, and have a smallish and rugged package that lasted up to 20 hours. But, as attractive as the Newtons were, I started yearning for the ability to look up online resources, draw small diagrams, send email, sync easily with my other computers, and so on, all of which are possible on the Newtons, but not easy nor intuitive. The thought of typing several dozen pages on a cramped smartphone thumb-board while the battery ticks down didn't seem to offer any respite. What I needed was a very small laptop... a subnotebook, and one that wouldn't cost a fortune. And then, I unexpectedly received one: an Asus Eee PC 701 4G Surf, currently going for an average retail value of roughly $350 USD ($400 for the non-Surf model, which means it has a webcam).

I eyed it suspiciously. Small, clunky, inexpensive, tiny-screened, Linuxy, and therefore decidedly un-Mac-like. Could it fit the bill?

The Versatile Notebook: A Modular Circa Setup

Yes, there is something a little sensual about writing with a quality fountain pen in a nicely bound journal like the Epica, or perhaps a Moleskine inside a rustic Renaissance Art cover. They exude a certain romance, evoking a cafe Hemingway or a WWII pilot jotting down his desperate days in a foreign land. But, romantic as that is, it's often not very practical in a workplace environment. (Would you jot random boardroom notes in an exquisite $100 leather journal? I think not.)

However, these past few days, I've experienced a shining example of how the modularity of disc-based notebook systems like the Circa/Rollabind and Myndology/Atoma ones can be extremely practical from an informational and organisational standpoint.

Although the nature of my job dictates a degree of confidentiality, and thus I can't get into specifics, I've been recently working on a video project that involves a lot of notetaking, paper-shuffling, scheduling, file-toting and creative exercises. While some might prefer a laptop for such things, carrying one in this case would not be a particularly bright idea. Walking outdoors in semi-mountainous terrain, I had to keep my weight low, and had to expect both rain and extremely dusty conditions with little notice.