Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 Riding Map

Great year of riding - all local stuff, nearly 2,000 miles on the new CBR250R!  Got married, my new bride is learning to ride and we have two brand new CBR250R's.  Sold the Ducati and the broke ass BMW.  Lots of local destinations on the USA Grand Tour.

(nearly ran out of Google Maps pins - you can only do 21 destinations on a map!)

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2011 Riding Map

Got a 'new' 1994 BMW K1100LT in preparation for a multi-thousand mile ride to Nelson BC, Canada this year.  Check ride to Arkansas came out great!  Then 45 miles out of KC near St. Joe MO the rear main seal went out oiling the clutch.  Turned around and got the Subaru to finish the Canada trip.  But miles on the motorcycle were down - just over 800 for the year.  Riding also got put on the back burner - I met my now wife!

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2010 Riding Map

2010 - a bit busy.  Burned out on riding.  Or something.  Went to a lot of baseball games with the boy.  And Cub Scout camps.  But I did get out a bit (1600 miles)

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Career Advice from CEO's at CES

My VP got (had?) to go to CES and took some notes from a CEO panel.

From panel with Marissa Mayer (CEO Yahoo) and Laura Desmond (CEO Starcom MediaVest) 


1.       Don't let the urgent drown out the important (I love this one)

2.       Work with smart people

3.       Do things you're not ready to do (push yourself, don't get comfortable)

4.       Find comfortable work environments (culture, peers/boss, etc.)


1.       Talent is the most important thing (similar to Marisa's 2 - surround yourself with it and nourish your own - to managers nurture and foster culture to embrace it)

2.       Shadow technologists (follow tech, be smart, understand how things work even if you're a marketer or whatever)

3.       Go live in China (kind of like Marisa's #3 but better)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

First week of 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

Car Camping Tips

I love to travel.  And I've got a great station wagon for camping.  Been reading up on some tips for setting the car up as a mini RV.  Particularly helpful on the slog out to the mountains and back; just hit up the back of a truck stop for a parking spot, set up the car and you're in business.  Also great if it just gets too cold out in the tent, especially if you have insulation for the windows.  Or at Bluegrass festivals where you have either room for the car, OR a tent.

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
Other great ideas that won't work in the Subaru:
  • 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.
Add your ideas for camping in your car in the comments!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Interesting point of view on full capacity magazines

Used to be all in the gun rights issues.  Now reading both sides of the aisle.  I still have my opinions, but I tend to keep them to myself.

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.