Tag Archives: outdoorsy

Camping trip foreshortened

By the way, the main reason that I cut my camping trip short was that, on Thursday, the 4-wheelers showed up in their hundreds, and transformed my haven of silence into unending din, and it wasn’t pleasant anymore. So I came home.

And while home, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading Apache web server documentation, and tweaking it. I’ve found that in the busyness of the last year, I’ve fallen way behind on improvements/changes to the server, and there’s a lot of cool stuff in there that I simply don’t know about. So if I want anybody to think that I’m something of an expert on the topic, I really better read the documentation.

Analog Blog 3

** Transcribed from the original manuscript **

Camp, evening 1. Either the coords were about 100 feet off last year, or they are now, but I’m in roughly the same spot as I logged last time.

So far, it has rained twice, but not enough to go inside for. And I saw two wild turkeys, strutting through the trees just at the edge of my clearing.

Finished reading “Quicker than the eye” by Bradbury, and started “Death is a lonely business” by same. Still to read: some Lewis and two books about St. Francis. We’ll see how it goes.

This analog blogging stuff has much to recommend it. More time to think over what to say. And the errors are forever preserved. Not that you’ll see that in transcription.

Wow, it’s quiet out here.

incommunicado no comment to make

Starting Tuesday evening, I will be incommunicado for a week, or as long as I can stand to be offline. I’ll be going way out into the woods, with no electricity, no internet, and probably out of cell phone range for much of the time, although I imagine I’ll find somewhere with cell coverage at least once a day.

I expect that when I come back, I’ll have roughly 15,000 email messages, of which perhaps as many as 20 will be something I actually want to read. Ok, I’ll be generous. 25.

I’ve been getting more and more spam lately, and nothing that I do to filter it seems to make any difference at all. I’m currently running SpamAssassin, a plethora of Postfix rules, and client-side Thunderbird filtering. Yet still, more than 90% of everything that winds up in my inbox is spam. I’m finally coming around to believing that email is worthless as a means of communication, but I don’t know what can replace it. I keep hoping that spammers will collectively realize that they are killing their golden goose, but clearly they aren’t that bright.

Also, I’ve noticed that the spammers who have succeeded in obfuscating their email so that it can get past my filters have finally reached the point where their messages are completely illegible. I have absolutely no idea what most of them are selling, or how to go about buying it if I did understand. And, I’m told, this makes up more than half of all the traffic on teh intarweb. While it’s reasonably clear to me that this is criminal, I can’t imagine any way that this could ever be prosecuted. 🙁

Stopping by woods …

Last sunday, I went on one of my favorite hikes, down a lovely stream that empties into the Kentucky. I had done this same hike about a month earlier, and discovered that the last 50 yards of the stream were completely blocked with mud. This time, with the recent rains, the stream had cut a canyon down the middle of the mud, and was flowing steadily into the River. I kinda wish I had my camera with me – it was a very cool effect.

As I walked back up to the Jeep, I heard a police siren, and as I emerged from the bushes, there was a policeman checking out the Jeep. He seemed very interested in where I had been hiking, and wanted directions for getting there. I asked if I wasn’t supposed to be parking there, and he said that it was ok, but that he was checking to see if the vehicle was abandoned. Perhaps I need to find a better place to park next time, and perhaps bike from there.


Shadow and I spent Tuesday night in a tent, in my back yard. I wanted to know how she would deal with sleeping in a tent, before I drag her out into the middle of nowhere and discover that she can’t handle it.

She did very well. In fact, I think she did better than I did. I got very cold around 4 in the morning, and she was snoozing quite happily. So I imagine we’re going to do just fine.

And the winner is …

After much deliberation, I finally settled on the Trek 7.3 FX. I don’t know if this actually is in line with anyone’s recommendations, but I found your recommendations helpful anyways. I took it out for a short spin today, reinforcing what I already knew – I’m in terrible shape. I rode just over 4 miles – down to the Walmart and back – and had a peak speed of about 21mph. When I got back home, my legs felt like rubber. So I’m clearly going to have to work up to this. But I’ve determined to do this thing, and by Yuri I’m going to.

Oh, and at 12mpg, and $3 per gallon, I saved $1 on my trip down to Walmart.

Bike to work

Long ago, I determined that I would bike to work every day – or at least when it’s not raining.

I did this a total of twice before wimping out. The main reason I wimped out was that I had a cheap bike that didn’t gear properly, and made it extremely hard to bike efficiently.

Fast-forward about 6 or 7 years, and I’m considering it again. As I likely mentioned before, I’m looking for fuel-saving alternatives, without actually having to get rid of my gas-guzzling Jeep, which Sarah and I both love, but which we can’t afford to drive at $3 per gallon. And, since it’s paid for, it would be an enormous financial strain to trade it in and pick up a car payment.

I briefly considered a motorcycle, but the more I think about it, the more it frightens me. Yes, I expect it would be a lot of fun. But it would only take one careless move to break bone and bank.

So I’m considering investing in a real quality bike that I can ride to work 2-3 days a week. This will save $100+ a month in gas, and get me in much better shape into the bargain. It’s only 12 miles one way, so presumably I can do it in 30 minutes or less once I get in shape.

I’ve looked at several different bikes, all of which are considerably more expensive than I expected. But if it really saves me that much in gas, and if I can really discipline myself to do this 2-3 days a week, then it would more than pay for itself in savings and health benefits.

Any bikers out there willing to recommend a particular model for a 12-mile each way jaunt to work? I guess I was willing to spend about $2k on a motorcycle, so I’m willing to spend perhaps half that on a bike if it’s good enough to actually help me stay disciplined to do this thing.


My brother-in-law recommended the Koga-Miyata company as a good one to look at, and the Randonneur looked VERY sweet, if rather pricey. Don’t know if they are available in the US.

First day of Spring

Today is the first day of Spring. (Ignore what the calendar might have told you. You know how calendars are – deceitful, wicked things.) I know this by the unmistakable signs. Namely, that yesterday on the way home from work, I had the top down, and, more importantly, that this morning I am having my coffee out on the deck. Yes, it’s still a teensy bit nippy, but Winter’s hold has been broken, and warm days are coming. 🙂

Full weekend

The last few days of last week, I toyed with the idea of going camping Friday night. When it rained all day Friday, I decided not to go. But, around 16:00, I decided, what the heck, I’ll go anyway. It’ll guarantee that I have the campsite to myself, right?

Cyklopz3 recommended Turkey Foot, and, armed with several maps and a GPS, I started out for Mckee, Kentucky. It was 6 by the time I pulled out, and nearly 7 when I got to Richmond, due to traffic, so it was getting somewhat dark. I went through such delightful places as Sand Gap, Clover Bottom, Waneta and other places along 421 that are rather too small to be on the map that I have. While I’m sure that there is a faster way to go, I’m not sure there could be a more interesting one.

I’m always fascinated by small towns, wondering what the people do in those towns to, as Dickens puts it, “keep soul and body together.” There don’t appear to be any businesses that employ anyone, but there are plenty of nice houses, and evidence that the people there do well for themselves.

I arrived in McKee when it was completely dark. One of the things that I enjoy about camping in the Daniel Boone is that it does indeed get dark. There are some places in this country that never get dark. When the power went out in New York City a few years back, some of those people saw darkness for the first time in their entire lives. Fascinating.

Anyways, I missed the turn for Turkey Foot, somehow, and arrived at the S-Tree campground, which seems to be nearby. I’m not entirely sure where I missed a turn, or if I didn’t go far enough, or what. But the S-Tree campground was totally full. Lots of 4-wheelers, who are, according to the signs there, the main denizens of the campground.

By that time it was maybe 8, and very very dark. I drove for a little bit further, and found an elderly picnic area that appears to have had campers there in the recent past.

Once I turned off the Jeep headlights, all I had for light was a little hiking/caving light that I wear on my head. This illuminates a very small area, and so I had to try to figure out in small pieces what sort of terrain I was dealing with. And, it had started raining lightly.

I picked a spot and got the tent up just as it started to rain a little harder. I put the tent under trees. I vaguely remember from Boy Scouts that you’re not supposed to do that. Something about falling branches. Well, there were falling nuts most of the night, but no falling branches.

It was very quiet – another fascinating thing about being far away from civilization. For a long time, I listened to the rain. I could hear it coming, in the leaves of the trees, getting nearer, and then it would start hitting the tent, then move on. The steady on-off rain continued througout the night, and occasionally it would “rain” under the trees by virtue of the wind picking up and shaking down the water from the leaves.

Having an evening away from electricity and internet is good for the soul. Really. I feel much more relaxed than I have been in a long time. And I have been extremely motivated today to get useful things done. I’ve replaced the spray hose thingy on the kitchen sink, installed some new light switches, done some laundry, and cut down nasty trees and bushes that are threatening to push down my back fence. Now, I’m off to cut the grass, and maybe I’ll actually get some of that laundry put away. Perhaps I’ll finally get my hair cut, too.