Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins."

“When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins.”

- Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

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Saturday, August 13, 2016



I love Crashlands. It gives me all the warm and fuzzyies of Clash of Clans without the feeling that I need to quit to save my sanity.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pebble 2, Time 2 + All-New Pebble Core

Pebble 2, Time 2 + All-New Pebble Core:

I wish I didn’t have to wait until December for my Pebble Core, I want it now!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Tale Of Tallest Rabbit

I’m currently reading The Tale of Tallest Rabbit by Roddrigo D. Lopez. It’s a nice easy read so far. Rodrigo is also part of the excellent Major Spoilers Crew who have several fun and entertaining podcasts such as Top Five and Critical Hit. I’m working harder to keep to my plan for reading more. It’s difficult to make time but worth the effort.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Pebble Health

I am going to try out Pebble Health for a while to see how I like it. I am not one to obsess over tracking my number of steps each day but I am curious to see how well it monitors my sleep habits. If it starts to kill the battery… delete.

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Monday, August 08, 2016

I always enjoy a train ride, followed by a bike ride. It...

I always enjoy a train ride, followed by a bike ride. It doesn’t get much better than that! The Ohio Towpath is a really beautiful trail to bike or hike.

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whorinforcorin: Portlandia A O River!



A O River!

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Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience

Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience:

You can never read enough books…

“We need libraries. We need books. We need literate citizens.

I do not care — I do not believe it matters — whether these books are paper or digital, whether you are reading on a scroll or scrolling on a screen. The content is the important thing.

But a book is also the content, and that’s important.

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.” - Neil Gaiman

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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Listening to Audiobooks

I have a few preferences when it comes to listening to Audiobooks on the go. On Any Platform - I use Audible to play purchased books. I have lots of books I purchased through Audible over the years. It is a reliable app that works well. Downloading is easy right in the app. The only downside is that it won’t play my rather large library of books in MP3 or other formats. To do that, well, it depends on the platform… On iOS I have been very happy with Bookmobile, it is simple and just works very well. On Android there are several options, including free ones. I chose Listen Audiobook Player for it’s ease of use and clean way it handles files. There are a few others that work well such as Mort and Smart AudioBook Player. I rarely listen to books on the PC but when I do it is usually in VLC.

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

Pebble Time

While it still has some bugs to work out, the Pebble is a nice watch overall. It was nice to only charge it once during our 9 day trip. I am looking forward to seeing the larger screen of the upcoming Pebble Time 2.

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Friday, August 05, 2016

Camp Breakdown

This is a short time lapse video of us breaking down camp along the GAP trail.


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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

So I thought I’d write down some of my thoughts now that...

So I thought I’d write down some of my thoughts now that the big bike trip is over. Several people have asked me if I would do it again. Yes, absolutely. Even though the heat was at times very hard to deal with, the ride was very beautiful. I had a great time spending time and talking with Stefani who didn’t complain a bit.

What surprised me on the trip? I was not as sore as I thought I would be. That is not to say that I was not fully ready to get off the bike nearing the end of the day’s ride, I definitely was. And I was sore for a while after getting off the bike but usualy by the next morning I was good to go. My rear was a little sore every day but the biking shorts did help with that. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The thing I had the most trouble with is pain in my hands and to some extent my shoulders. I constantly tried to shift my hand positions while riding but even so my palms hurt every day. Wearing the gloves did make it bearable but I would like to research a little to see if other people have similar issues and how they deal with it. Stopping to rest and get water at regular intervals was a great way to alieviate some of the discomfort and fatigue. The shoulders did not hurt until later in the week, I think it was mostly because of the posture on the bike for such long periods of time.

What would I do different? If I knew if was going to be so hot every day I would make plans to alternate each camp night with a hotel or B&B. I think I would rig up another water botle or two to take with me because there were a few stretches of path where there was no easy access to water. Sometimes it was not obvious when stopping at a “town” if there were any stores there. It might be a good idea to check the maps closer at intervals along the way for places to get water and mark how close to the trailhead they are. I would also practice a few longer rides with full weight on the bike. Time just didn’t permit us to really do that easily. Front panniers would be nice to more evenly distribute the weight on the bike. Both of our bikes were back heavy which made it a little more difficult to lift the bike over things or push them up very steep inclines. Fortunately we did not have to do that much on this trail. One thing I was irritated with was the Sporks that came with my Dualist cookset, they are very flimsy. A better set of silverware would have been nice. Using the MSR Pocket Rocket was awesome, it boils water in no time flat. I would also recommend Good To Go Meals for interesting and tasty dehydrated meals. We had the Pad Thai and the Indian Vegetable Korma and both were good. That is not to say you need to buy dehydrated meals though, you can certainly get by a little cheaper by improvising. We also had Hummus-Tuna wraps that we created ourselves for lunch. Tuna in Foil packs mixed with a little hummus (Casbah packaged, just add water) were pretty good. We occasinally bought some fresh fruit to snack on, and stored it in a insulated lunch bag we got at a dollar store. We had a bunch of the Don’t Go Nuts Granola Bars which were fantastic snacks. Did we take to much stuff? Yes and no, we could have done without things but overall I think we did pretty well. I think I would trade out the cookset for a simpler metal cup that could be used to boil the water. My sleeping bag was a cheap flannel one which really would not have been enough if the temperature would have been cooler. I would like to invest someday in a little nicer down bag, something that would compact well. The polar bottles worked well, it was very refreshing to have cold water to drink.

How was the milage? I am not a world class biker, I am probably below average and more on the slow side but I thought 45-65 miles a day was a great choice. More than that would have been very rough. If you want to do more sight seeing at stops along the way, I would cut the milage down some. We did most of our sight seeing on the trail itself. I think I calculated about 380 miles total, the trail itself is 330 miles. Several of the towns have difficult hills to get to places. Getting to the Divide was a tiring uphill ride but that downhill right after it was heaven. The trail would be more difficult northbound I think…

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Monday, August 01, 2016

Stef and I played games and chatted on the train ride back. I...

Stef and I played games and chatted on the train ride back. I really love riding the train, as long add you are not in a hurry to get somewhere. A tip to remember though, if you want a full meal selection, don’t take the last dinner reservation. The views are nice up until it gets dark. It will be so nice to sleep in my own bed again!

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