Friday, January 18, 2013
(nearly ran out of Google Maps pins - you can only do 21 destinations on a map!)
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Monday, January 14, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
First full week of 2013 is in the books. Good week. Scouts. Karate. Cub Scout Recharter went far smoother than expected. We even got the gold Excellence Award for our pack. Kids kicked off youth group with a timely session on bullying. Friday night was dress up and photo fun with my wife. She is learning new makeup and hair techniques, and we're both learning photography skills.
Weather is changeable; grey and warm one day, clear and cold the next. Snow later Saturday. I think the grey and short days are wearing us down. We're having great times, doing amazing things, but just not feeling it all the time. Hmm. Waiting for summer.
Summer - riding season. New Grand Tour announced ; the Z to A tour. Ride to and photograph towns starting with Z or ending with A. Good times! Cannot wait. Even Nikki is getting excited about riding again. I think I may have burned her out a bit on the BS Rally ride. :-/ 500 miles in 2 days, on 250's.
This also marks the first full calendar year Nikki and I have been together. We're getting better at this and having far fewer problems than expected. I credit Nikkis forgiveness and both of our flexibility. The kids have been amazing, blending together without any real problems.
Enough for now, posting mobile on the phone...
Monday, January 07, 2013
Ideally I'd have a VW Vanagon Westfalia, but failing that, lets see how we can set up the Subaru for in-car camping.
The list, in no particular order:
- Solar tinting for the back half to cut down on heat loss / intake.
- Blackout curtains or shades. Harder in a wagon, easier in a conversion van.
- For ventilation without bugs, use fairly heavy screen spline to hold the top and sides of the fine mesh plastic window screen material in the groove the glass rolls up in and tape the bottom.
- LED lighting is power efficient and no risk.
- For winter, cut foil backed foam to shape to fit in the window openings. Cover with neutral colored fabric so you don't look like a trash can.
- Keep everything clean, neat and put away while parked or traveling. Avoid looking like a ragamuffin.
- Toilet? If you're doing dispersed camping (boondocking) a 5 gallon bucket, a toilet seat lid, several odor proof trashbags and some cat litter make a great under $20 portable toilet. Using the trash bags keeps cleanup easy and you can store other supplies in the bucket while traveling.
- A couple gallons of gas; if you have to run the engine overnight for heating (or cooling) you may find you're low on fuel. Can also be used in your Coleman Dual Fuel lantern and stove.
- Well maintained car. Ensure exhaust, cooling and lubricants are in good shape.
- Small portable 12-volt DC powered ATSC (digital over the air) TV for weather and local information
- Small portable AM / FM radio. No need to power up the whole car to listen to news, weather or music.
- Solar panel to trickle charge the battery and / or charge gadgets.
- 500w power inverter to charge AC items.
- Battery or 12V DC powered fan.
- Long, heavy duty drawer runners from a scrap yard used in hearses or ambulances make great full length drawer slides. You can install a 6" deep drawer on the floor of a van or Suburban, slide it out 6 or 8 feet and have compartments for everything. Saw a guy in Montana with this setup; he had over 20 cubic feet of hidden storage in the 'floor' of his Suburban.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Found this quote from Massad Ayoob:
The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a “high capacity” semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for us to use to protect ourselves and our families .
Interesting point - I have noticed every patrol car in our white-bread suburban non-crime-ridden neighborhood has an M4 clone AR-15 clipped to the dash. And every officer has a 12 to 17 round magazine in their semi-automatic pistol.