Let’s Hear It For The Toys

The BBQ road trip is a story moving at 70 m.p.h. (and sometimes 85, when the cops aren’t looking). When we’re done eating and reporting at a BBQ spot, one person is driving to the next place, and the other writing, editing, uploading photos and videos. We strive to bring you our stories as close to in real time as possible. Some of the technologies we employ:

Mobile Web Access Card
Plugged in a USB port of our computer is the Verizon VZAccess Laptop Manager. By far the most important tool, it keeps us connected to the Broadband Internet even on single-lane country roads in the middle of nowhere. We use this update the blog and plot our next destinations.

Laptop
We use a 15-inch Macbook Pro. The blog is built in Tumblr, though we also work with Vimeo for videos and Adobe Photoshop CS3 to prep photos for the site. We use Twitter and Facebook to notify readers of blog updates.

GPS
We use the GPS capabilities on our Blackberry and iPhone to navigate between stops. Many incredible BBQ locations are on small country roads that would rob us of a lot of time if we got lost. GPS gives us the confidence of know where we are going.

Still Cameras
Our primary camera is a Canon T1i digital SLR. When we pull up to a location, we begin by taking some establishing interior and exterior photos. When our BBQ is served, we photograph it untouched prior to taking a bite. We usually try to sit near a window where the natural light will be best. We’re also using a Diana camera to document the trip with lo-fi photos, which we hope to post later.

Video Camera
We’re using a Kodak Zi8 camera to shoot videos in HD on the site. We prefer this over a Flip camera because this has an audio input for microphones. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring any mics. 

Audio Digital Recorder
For interviews, we use an RCA 1GB digital voice recorder. It’s recorded as mp3 files, very convenient indeed.

Car Plug Power Adapter
We’re using a CyberPower adapter to keep the computer charged throughout the trip. It powers the computer via the car’s lighter.

BBQ Business Cards
Rather than explain to everyone we meet, we pass out these cards to explain what we’re doing. It also has our website for them to visit. 

Notepads
Old school, still reliable for taking notes.

—Keith Claxton

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