Browse Author: Kevin B

Thoughts on River Access Rights

River usage laws

River Access is an ongoing concern for paddlers the world over, and it’s a perennial issue when the desires of landowners conflict with the recreational desire of paddlers.  Water rights and river usage laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and these have a profound effect on what privileges and rights we as paddlers have with regard to the water we seek.

By and large, the law involved revolves around property rights and is tilted generally in favor of the local property owner.  The notable exception in most cases is where a body of water is designated ‘in the public trust’- that is, like a public road, the body of water is held by the state for public use- but generally, in order for a public trust designation to be assigned to a body of water, it needs to have a history of use for commerce- think running logs downstream to a mill or barges carrying grain to market and the like.  Generally, these rivers aren’t the most desirable whitewater for our purposes- and what this means is that very few of your choice stretches of whitewater are actually designated ‘public’ water.

“…but it’s NAVIGABLE,” you say.  Navigability has historically been the test for public trust designation of bodies of water, true, but this sort of challenge has been repudiated in many courts- specifically, a person’s ability to “navigate a body of water in a canoe” (in the words of at least one legal decision) does not make it ‘navigable’ in the legal sense.  This limitation is on the books to protect the property rights of landowners, whose interests are seen as more weighty than those of other users, such as fishermen and boaters.  After all, if the state designates the river to be a public trust resource, it generally claims the property up to the high water mark… effectively taking their property from them.  Most states don’t want to do this.

When all is said and done, the recreational boater enjoys very few ‘rights’ on rivers bounded by private property, but this isn’t the end of the world.  Remember, we fall back on our rights as a last resort, folks.  What we really want as a first priority is good relations and good understanding with our land-owning neighbors- the idea being that if they don’t mind, they won’t bother with you.

Because much of the law around rivers is rooted in property law, you need to be familiar with the mechanisms landowners will use, once motivated, to get rid of you:

Trespass- a person’s driveway and front door constitute, in legal terms, an *implied* invitation for you to go to their door for a legitimate reason- say, to collect canned goods for a good cause or to canvass for political purposes.  This invitation is implied until the landowner has made their wishes explicit- this means that a fence or a ‘no trespassing’ or ‘private property-keep out’ sign (or a verbal directive from the landowner) makes the difference between wandering onto private property and trespassing.

However, if you enter someone’s property in flight of dire peril or in the course of conducting a rescue, trespass doesn’t apply- you’ve got the right to come ashore if the alternative is immediate danger.  As a rule, you should never cross private property to get to or from a river unless you’ve obtained permission to do so, implied invitation or not- landowners who might otherwise be happy to grant you explicit permission can get testy if you take them for granted and all it takes is one bad experience to convince many landowners to post signs and build fences.

The reason landowners have the right to control their land, aside from that it’s theirs, is that with ownership and the privileges that accompany it come responsibilities- and another way to express that is in one word- “liability”.  One major reason landowners tend to cite for wanting to keep people off their property is their fear of liability for whatever may happen there. Their perception is that if someone trespasses across their property and drowns in the river, they could be sued and lose their property. This perception may motivate them to regard anyone, even you, as a threat to their way of life.

After all, who can say whether your heirs would come and sue them if you died?  Do some research to see what liability laws are in your area- in Washington State, the landowner has no duty to see to the safety of people who enter his/her property unless a) they have paid to use the property, or b) there is something hidden, artificial, and dangerous on the property that a reasonable person might not notice.  If you know what their duties are, you’ll be able to responsibly discuss land use with the owner. You can get more ideas for paddles at beach pliz.

“Nuisance” statutes- these are the local laws that many jurisdictions invoke in order to keep ‘undesirables’ (who may be just anyone that gets complained about) moving, hopefully away from wherever it is you are.  These ordinances vary from locale to locale, but they’ve become effective, if unpleasant for all, methods by which local law enforcement can more or less legally discriminate.  So, if you… have a beer after boating (open container violation), change clothes outdoors or pee in the bushes (public indecency) spit, (no spitting ordinances), you may be subject to harassment by the local law enforcement people.  99% of the time the officer involved has something better to do and wouldn’t be there unless someone called in and complained.

What to do in damage control mode

In this sort of legal climate, where the landowner has the upper hand, it’s important that if ever we choose a battle for access rights that we pick the battle carefully and well.  This means that if Joe Landowner or the local deputy comes out and challenges you, you’re already in damage control mode, yes?
Here’s what you do.

1) Be polite and respectful, numero uno.  Your job is to turn his frown upside-down in a hurry.  If you suck at this, your best bet is to do as little harm as possible and return with diplomats later, maybe.
2) Know the law in your state.  If possible, know the legal designation of your stretch of water.  usually, ‘public right of passage’ is a doctrine valid only on waterways that enjoy a public trust designation, and usually the legal derivation of public right of way is that the public should have right of way for reasons of commerce.  If you talk smack because you think it’s your RIGHT and are wrong, you may have motivated a previously disinterested landowner against not only you but other paddlers.
One very keen bit of law in my state, (Washington, USA) is this: landowners are not liable for accidents on their property if they let the public use it for free, unless the accident was caused by something the landowner has a reasonable duty to warn you about (like a hidden tiger trap or something that’s unnatural, latent, and hazardous).  This is a good thing to tell landowners here- they enjoy significant immunity from liability and often that’s what motivates them to exclude people.
3) NEVER argue with someone who’s already mad.  Discuss if they’re receptive to it, but if you’re ordered to leave their property, do your best to comply immediately, even if you think you’re right.  Remember, the only way to win on this is to pick your battles, don’t ever let them be thrust upon you.
4) If you meet a landowner on or near your take-out/put-in, make that friendly contact.  Be a good ambassador.  Do ask if where you’re parked is cool, but if they don’t bring up your right to do the river, you probably don’t need to bring it up either.  Make sure your contact is a positive one, and the subject may never come up.
5) In places where you have an impact or presence, like where you park or change, be invisible.  Park up the road a ways.  Don’t block driveways. Don’t pee in their prize flowers or get naked in front of their daughters. These are common sense things, and the bottom line is to be courteous.  Remember, it’s complaints that lead to rules, arguments, the calling of cops, the sorting out of ‘rights’, and the like.
6) If it’s marked ‘no trespassing’, don’t… unless in the legal opinion of the local law enforcement folks (who will be the ones you’ll talk to if there’s a complaint) it’s okay.

Above all, don’t be an idiot, be a diplomat.  We have very few iron-clad rights in the world of whitewater kayaking- much of our choice water is not subject to ‘right of way’ as a doctrine and as often as not, it’s idiots that mistakenly try to assert their ‘rights’ that screw things up for the rest of us.  Until we own put-ins and take-outs and all the river frontage in between, diplomacy is our finest tool.

After all, we’re incredibly low-impact users of the river.  If we park considerately, choose where we walk around on shore responsibly and considerately, and aren’t a major pain to have around, we’re not a burden and there’s no reason to worry about us floating by. If we’re pleasant or at least not irritating to have around, the question of what our rights are should never come up.  If we’re strident, inconsiderate, or annoying… you may see motivated landowners doing what they can to keep you away… and people, even though our interests are legitimate, the laws of this land strongly protect the interests of land owners.

Abduction 2 (application)

Gameplay
Much of the original Abduction! World Attack has been expanded and improved upon in this sequel–the larger world map, additional power-ups and platforms–as well as new features like music and sound effects, and fun new mini-games.

The core of Abduction’s gameplay remains true to its roots: it’s a platforming game where players must jump from point to point, using the phone’s tilt detection (accelerometer) to steer their character upwards. Abduction! 2 improves upon the original by giving players the option of playing through a more forgiving set of rules (you won’t always die instantly from falling off the screen), while keeping the “Classic” option available for those seeking the challenge of the original game.

Expanding on the original map featured in Abduction! World Attack, Abduction! 2 turns players loose across the entire world. Hop your way across each continent: visit snowy Greenland, the sand dunes of Egypt, or even the murky depths of the Ocean Floor–the world really is your playground.

Abduction 2 also integrates the OpenFeint scoring service add-on, letting players upload their scores to compete against other players from around the world. Jump your way to the top of the leaderboards, or try your hand at unlocking achievements like “Rocket Scientist” and “Fashion Guru” while playing through the game.

Shop ’til You…Drop?
As you play through new levels, you will be shown a difficulty rating based on a star system: start out with only one star for the easiest, beginner levels, then hone your jumping skills as you advance to the nail-biting five star difficulties! Completing each level awards you new ways to customize your Abduction! 2 experience: Medals are awarded for fast clear times, and may be cashed in to purchase exciting new game modes. However, if you choose to take the time to rescue all your animal friends, you may miss out on medals, but will unlock new accessories for your character.

Classic Mode
Return to the same classic gameplay of the original Abduction! World Attack. Jump upwards to reach the top platform of each level without falling–if you touch the bottom of the screen, you’ll have to start over. The difficulty of Classic mode is sure to appeal to players who enjoyed the original Abduction game, or are just looking for a new challenge.

Adventure Mode
Set out on an epic adventure across the world in search of your abducted friends. In this mode you can fall a short distance off the screen, but if you fall too far without a parachute, you will have to restart the level. Players are also awarded a medal for their efforts here–reach the top as quickly as possible to win bronze, silver, and gold medals, then use these to purchase items at the shop.

Kids Mode
Whether you’re too young to grasp the finer points of Abduction’s gameplay, or you are simply not the most accomplished platform gamer, Abduction! 2 has you covered. Hop into a Kids game mode to experience casual gaming at its best: no high scores, no falling, and a whole lot of fun.

Quick Game
This mode is actually a set of several different mini-games which may be unlocked through earning medals and spending them at the shop. As an additional feature, Quick Game modes allow you to upload your highscores automatically to the OpenFeint network so you can see how you stack up against other Abduction players around the world. Cash in your hard-earned medals from rescuing your friends to unlock exciting new modes like “Cow Pie” and “8-Bit.”

Abduction 2 has a rating of 4.5-stars in the Android Market. It has a 3-star rating in the Amazon Appstore. The developer notes in the Android Market that some have commented that the app is “too simple,” and asks for suggestions.

Gambling on the Esprimo Q1510

Esprimo Q1510

Esprimo test time is also time for confessions: I have not gambled excessively for years on the calculator. I play a handful of social games like Farmville – but the social character actually breaks through the most in the verbiage with the Facebook friends who loathe those games.

In addition, Anno 1404 is pretty much the only game I’ve bought in the last – say – five years. Actually, blogging and surfing take up enough of the available time, making it easy for me to smoothly pass trends like World of Warcraft.

If I ever feel the need to knock something down with swords, then I have a real classic deposited in the depths of my computer table: Diablo2 – the mother of all monster Abmurk. Not so old, but at least since 2003 is a Simpsons game, with which I like to pass the time or have expelled it at the time. I’m starting to get used to using the Esprimo Q1510 for my YouTube tours and watching DVDs (Blu-Ray, of course). It goes without saying that a modern computer has more to offer, even if one has these minimal dimensions as my test candidate. Therefore, I will try to take into account as part of my Esprimo test phase and other facets – today just the games.

Of course, I have not set out to shoot a high-end game for 45 pieces, which overwhelms the Esprimo graphics chip hopelessly and brings it to its knees – it goes without saying that this internal solution can not compete with highly-grown games boxes , My focus was more on the above games. The supreme discipline is not exactly the resolution, the jerk-free gambling or the like. No, the hardest thing is to get an age-old game on the road, which promises Windows 95/98 support on the packaging. With my notebook, I’ve often failed, but in the rush to gamble Diablo on a huge TV, I’ll try it again, of course.

First, I watched the social games. As mentioned above, I play Farmville myself and Fishville, and I like to play time jacks like Bejeweled. Of course, the graphics are laughed at in these games, but the focus is of social or casual games, of course, elsewhere. Still, it’s often frustrating to start a game on an older or non-fresh system, because even a technically supposedly unpretentious game like Farmville or Bejeweled is extremely unlikely when it’s jerky or hanging. Therefore, I felt the Esprimo in this regard on the tooth. As you can see in the second picture, I zoomed the window – just so I can feed the fish comfortably from the couch. What you can not see in the pictures – both run fluently and quickly, flash games So, as expected, no difficulty for the Esprimo.

What was more exciting for me now is what with my old games. Heroes of might and magic could not be found here spontaneously, but the Simpsons game and Diablo2 were at hand. I’ve come to grips with evil tinkering and perpetual googling to get the old games running – but what can I tell you: both were very painless to install – and also to play. Also, I have some screenshots ready: Logically, no state-of-the-art games, with which you could celebrate the graphics chip or the TV, but hey – I can play the old things, and in huge! No graphics tidbits here today, but believe me – the blogger aka Esprimo tester is quite enthusiastic;) Graphically demanding it will then hopefully, if I then in the next few days with the photo editing using Esprimo and on the big TV busy. I test it with both Photoshop and the tools provided by Fujitsu.

The Angry Birds attack – in the Chrome Web Store

Angry Birds into Web Store

Like yesterday, there was again the big hit in the Google box of tricks at the conference Google I / O in San Francisco. New on my Wishlist is just a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and also have me in the two days – or the two Keynotes – some developments really flashed. I’m also pretty sure I’ll write a few things about Android and Chrome OS in the next few days, but for now I’ve picked out a point from today’s keynote that particularly appeals to me and the game junkie While the Keynote put a smile on your face, the Angry Birds find their way into the Chrome Web Store 🙂

As we said, Chrome was the focus of the keynote today, and today Rovio proudly announced that they have finally released a version that is accessible to all. Anyway, I think it’s important to push Google’s Chrome Web Store a little more, and games like Angry Birds can do that, of course. The creators of Angry Birds let it resonate that the achievements of the browsers so far simply were not good enough to run an appealing version of the angry birds in the browser. With a current version of Chrome, this looks different, and so you get the WebGL-based version now in the Web Store. However, this HD version is not the only option, because even the non-Chrome users were thought.

I noticed two things while playing: First, it seems to be a little bit laggy – here and there it hooks a bit. In addition, I find the game on the smartphone – or with the touch operation – interesting. But I’m still going to fight hard through the levels, because Rovio has also missed a few extra levels of this Chrome variant, which come up with Chrome-typical items. Incidentally, this is just the current state in terms of levels – you want to gradually supplement new levels of play. In addition, there will be a pay feature: If you buy a Mighty Eagle, it will help you through levels where you are so desperate.

As we said, Chrome was the focus of the keynote today, and today Rovio proudly announced that they have finally released a version that is accessible to all. Anyway, I think it’s important to push Google’s Chrome Web Store a little more, and games like Angry Birds can do that, of course.

Whitney Houston: The greatest voice of all

Las Vegas Boulevard

Sometimes I wonder about what I’m doing here. Sometimes I get carried away to very personal insights, where afterwards I get scared of my own courage and sometimes I sit on the 20th floor of a hotel and look at Las Vegas Boulevard while writing and can not believe I’m there because of my writing squat. Well and sometimes you get awake at an inappropriate time on a Sunday morning, actually just want to scurry to the toilet – and take a quick look at his Facebook stream. There you can see that decidedly too much Whitney Houston content populates the timeline.

People who independently post the videos of a particular artist have never been a good sign – ask Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse. And so it is in this case, as a quick glance at the daily press shows: Whitney Houston has died at 48 years, she was found in a hotel room in Beverly Hills. It is said that at the present time, there is no indication that her death was caused by drugs, but history has the flaky connotation of systematically ruining her body for so many years. Personally, Amy Winehouse comes directly back in my head because she also had such a great voice and also ruined herself. And it comes to mind Michael Jackson – and that feels much worse.

How so? Because it seems Whitney, like Michael, has been with me all my life. I do not mean that I’ve been listening to her stuff all the time, it was not like that. But as with Michael Jackson, she was already a world star in my teenage years and has been making headlines over the years with both her music and her escapades. As with Jackson, I only heard from her in recent years when she either caused another scandal or wanted to start a comeback attempt again.

Memories…

I was 14 when I saw her for the first time on a German television show called “Peters Pop Show” – a program comparable to “The Dome” – just starring stars. There was a very cute girl in her early 20s, which had her first No.1 hit in her baggage and truly blew away all her audiences with her voice. These things come to mind in the face of such a death message, as well as their songs like “One moment in time” or “I wanna dance with somebody”. Whole host of casting participants of X-Factor over DSDS to super talent still try – mostly in vain – in their big hits, probably with a reason why I almost never felt the urge to pull their songs again.

I also do not pretend to have been a big fan of their music, but at least I heard their first album a lot back then – just in 1985 – and songs like “all at once” still appeal to me today. That’s probably why I like the story, and why I write here on Sunday still Sunday – after watching Whitney clips on YouTube for half an hour – writing these lines: these golden times have come for me again Lost face. Freddie Mercury, Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston: The Eighties are slowly dying under my ass and it has been affecting me ever since my mother’s death – even in the event that I have not been with an artist for a long time have.

Meanwhile, more than 30 years have passed since I listened at home to the radio of the music, which has shaped my life and presumably, each of these death messages is a hint that for me the impact slowly approaching. That leaves me – even now – a little stunned and deprives me of the hope that I can sleep on this Sunday morning after writing this article just another fast, one or two hours.