Sunday, April 29, 2007

I know -- I told you before that it was back, but -- now -- I have made some repairs. This image is from Death Valley National Park.

Most of it works now. If you've never seen it there's an occasionally good shot out there -- take a look around.

For the techy geeks -- I quit trying to use an Apache server with PHP, and went bck to the oh so totally awesome tclhttpd server. It took me about 20 minutes to get up and running -- and fix the little bit of brokeness that I introduced trying to make it work with Apache.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Trail Cooking Trial

Many people don't understand the need to test your gear before going afield. With a remarkable boil time of 3.75 minutes the MSR Whisperlite™ is truly a great stove and came highly recommended by the elder brother. The 2 cup sized stainless cup is great, because you can cook in it and drink from it and eat from it and it's fairly light and easy to clean. My friend Jim gave it to me ...

Does anyone notice a problem in the above picture?

Just a note [Edited]: This was a dry run. I didn't actually light the gas stove in my house. It produces a basketball sized fireball, which is probably normal. I'd recommend never lighting a gas camping stove inside a house. Please don't light your house on fire testing out your stove.

Backpack Checklist


___ 2 pair extra socks smartwool hiking & Wigwam Gobi liners 7.0 oz.
___ North Face convertible pants 1 lb.
___ SmartWool Microweight Long-Sleeve Crew 6.3 oz.
___ Patagonia Capilene 3 bottoms 5.1 oz.
___ Alpaca Hat 1.90 oz.
___ Outdoor Research Wool Pullover 14.1 oz.
___ North Face Summit Rain Parka 1 lb. 12.2 oz
___ marmot precip rain/wind pants w/stuff sack 7.80

Subtotal for Clothes: 4 lbs 11 oz


___ Sierra Designs Light Year Tent 3 lbs. 15 oz
___ North Face Snowshoe sleeping bag, 3 lbs. 10 oz.
___ Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite 4 Regular 4-season ultralite mattress 1 lb 9.5 oz

Subtotal for Shelter & Sleeping System: 9 lbs. 1.5 oz.


___ Kelty RedCloud 5600 6 lbs. 0.5 oz.
___ equinox pack rain cover 3.67
___ stuff sacks, freezer bags, & garbage sacks 4.00

Subtotal for Packing: 6 lbs. 7.72 oz.


___ Katadyn Hiker Microfilter with stuff sack 14.8 oz.
___ 2 Nalgene 1-liter water bottles 12.50 oz.
___ 1 Platypus 2-3 liter hydration bag/pouch.
___ coffee pot w/lid, cup, fork, and spoon 1 lb.
___ mesh “kitchen” bag (includes condiments, toothbrush & powder)
___ MSR Whisperlite Stove 15.4 oz.
___ matches 0.35 oz
___ cigarette lighter
___ bear bag 3.49

Subtotal for Cooking (without food & fuel): 3 lbs. 0.72 oz.


___ monocular 2.1 oz
___ Silva Ranger compass 1 oz
___ maps (2 @ .2 oz per map) 0.5 oz
___ Waterproof notebook, pencil, reading specs 0.5 oz
___ Aurora Princeton led headlamp w/ 6 AAA batteries 4.2 oz.
___ (1)Streamlight Scorpion Stinger Flashlight 3.3 oz

Subtotal for Navigation: 11.60


___ first aid kit 6.0
___ (*) waterproof matches
___ (*) firestarter ~
___ Gerber Folding Saw
___ (*) duct tape ~
___ (*) fox plastic whistle ~
___ all (*) items in small freezer bag 3.30
___ signal mirror
___ bug guard/sun block 3.00
___ sting-eze bug-bite/bee-sting relief 0.78
___ Dermatone Lip Balm with Lanyard 0.35
___ tent repair kit 0.5
___ expedition sewing kit 0.74
___ pack towel 1.52
___ toilet paper 1.50
___ candle

Subtotal for Essentials & Other: 17.69


___ Fuel for 3 days (includes extra): 13.20 oz
___ Food for 3 days (23 oz per day x 3 "full" days): 4 lbs. 5oz.
___ 2L Water 4 lbs. 4 oz.

Total weight: 9 lbs. 7.83 oz.

TOTAL PACK WEIGHT: 31 lbs 7.25 oz


Canon 20d with 17-85 lens 3 lbs. 4 oz.


___ Gerber Freeman folding knife 7.8 oz.
___ Nordstrom Off white cotton oxford shirt 11 oz.
___ North Face Polargaurd vest 1 lb.
___ GPS with neck lanyard
___ REI Men's Sahara convertible pants 1 lb 3.4 oz
___ smartwool hiking socks & Wigwam Gobi liners 3.5 oz
___ Merrill Wilderness Boots 3 lbs. 10 oz.
___ Manfrotto 679B Monopod, to double as a hiking pole. 1 lb 4 oz.
___ Smith Factor Sunglasses 4 oz.

Wearing weight 148.97 oz or 9 lbs. 4.97 oz.


Pack 31 lbs 7.25 oz.
Camera 3 lbs. 4 oz.
Body 9 lbs. 4.97 oz.

Total Burden 44 lbs 0.22 oz.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Back to the Desert

I am getting ready for a trip to the desert; a backpacking trip. The last real backpacking trip I made was in the spring when I was 20 or so to Cloud's Rest in Yosemite. I might even be as strong as I was then, although a lot less likely to make that hike.

This is a Banded Gila Monster, (Heloderma suspectum cinctum) in Bluff Springs Canyon, Superstition Wilderness. August 6th, 2006.


John awarded me this:

because I offered him a choice between beer and food, which he clearly decided was thought provoking. Then he immediately used up some choices for tagging granting this wonderful award. Folks like Jill and Joanne, good thinking bloggers, very deserving of such prizes. A nice guy. I am proud to be in such good company.

I have previously declared myself immune to tagging, but apparently unilateral decisions like that don't necessarily work. In my acceptance speech, I'll say something nice about him.

Five people who have made me think ... recently. Dillon, who leaves me fascinated that he can be so objective about such a polemic subject. Paul, for reminding me of Phoenix's darker side. BirdChick, when I was young the Whooping Cranes fascinated me. Lauren who has left me wondering about poop habits or poo, more than once ... And Marscat, whose story I can't wait to finish. Thinking Blogger Awards to each of you.

The rules:

1. If, and only if, you got tagged an award, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the irritant award.
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Pound a Day

2 Folgers Coffee singles 0
2 creamer packets ?
2 Granola Bar 360
12 triscuits 240
2 3 oz Tuna Pouch 220
2 Gu Honey Stinger 200
One Top Ramen 360
Box Raisins 130
2 Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate packages 240
6 whole wheat fig newtons 330
2 instant oatmeal packages 320
1 bag of tea 0
Quart of Gatorade (dry) 300

Total Calories 2600

Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.

A 12 ounce Guinness in the bottle weighs about 1 lb. 4 oz and contains 153 calories, so the question has to be -- which would you pick?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Images from Tokyo, Thanksgiving 1997

Aerial view of Tokyo. It's literally a sea of 10 story buildings for as far as the eye can see.
The Yellow Raincoat

See more shots here.

Monday, April 9, 2007

My Library

I used to enjoy reading, when I was in the fourth grade. When I got to be a grad student I kind of lost my taste for it. 4 solid years of serious study and research, left me literarily bereft of any desire to read.

I have been unpacking a few things recently, and since I came across yet another box of books, that's the 16th, it reminded me of how good it feels to read for the fun of it. I have been reading on the way back and forth on the train everyday, and I am seeriously enjoying having an hour to read everyday.

It is always fun to meet someone new and then get to see their library. It's so fascinating. "Oh, look, Strunk and White." "She has a bird book." "There's Janson's History of Art right next to
Latin America at the Crossroads
." So much to learn about a person from their library. "He has a dictionary in the bathroom."

I started a list of books in the sidebar.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Ohhh -- I Remember When ..

Slim: Hey -- want to go fishing Sunday?
Me: Sure, where?
Slim: in the ocean. In Pacifica.
Me: Really? OK.

Sunday morning we get up and go over the hill to Pacifica and rent a sixteen foot outboard rowboat and they launch (drop) us off a steep, long ramp made out of telephone poles and we paddle through the breakers, drop the outboard, and poof -- we're in the Pacific in a 16' wood (freakin) outboard rowboat. Fishing for Ling-Cod.

"Just point right at the beach and the waves will take you home -- and {stay to the left of) try to miss the rocks and you'll be ok ... pull the motor up at the last minute ..." I can remember the shoreline from the ocean as if it were yesterday, but the odds of finding it from the beach side today are impossible.

I was sixteen, and Slim was about sixty-nine and my neighbor. I never was scared, and I never felt in danger. I never caught a fish, and I never was seasick. Slim threatened to throw his teeth up over the gunwale and told a shark story or two ... "The shark bit at the back end of the boat and left a bunch of teeth in it -- see -- here's a few," and he holds out a fistful of shark's teeth tied together with a string. If he were here today, I'd get in that boat with him again.

Holy crap. I wish I had taken a camera. You can't imagine the feeling of being on the very edge of the world, beyond the edge of the world -- and out there in the water. Looking back at the land with childish wonder. Holy crap. I wish I had taken a camera. I think it was here where the pillars are in the water.

And, damn, I won that camera the year before at the county fair, by shooting little targets with serious deadly accuracy, or some other crazy game.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

400+ March

Date: 31 March 2007
Mileage for the week: 82.37
March total: 407.84
On the Ipod: Nothing