Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I went on a discovery flight with Silverhawk Aviation Academy in Caldwell, Idaho. It involved a 30 minute ground lesson and a 30 minute flight in a Robinson R22 helicopter with an instructor. It was my first time in a helicopter. After the ground lesson, preflight and startup the instructor did a hovering turn over the interstate next to the airport and put the R22 into cruise flight. I was then given instruction to use the anti-torque pedals to keep the helicopter trimmed correctly. I did pretty well, small inputs is all it took. The instructor then gave me control of the cyclic (the joy stick looking control). I did alright-- wasn't real smooth but I was tense and nervous, which didn't help much. We flew a 4-5 mile pattern from the airport and the controls were handed back to the expert. Back at the Caldwell industrial airport, Scott put the helicopter into a steady hover over the taxiway. He then gave me control of the pedals and instructed me to turn left 90 degrees. I finessed the helicopter slowly to the left using small pressure inputs and held it steady. He then had me turn right 180 degrees and I slowly walked it to the right. I was then given control of the cyclic and was told to keep a steady hover. This was the most difficult part. Our smooth steady hover turned to PIT (Pilot Induced Turbulence). The helicopter started yawing to the right so I put a small left input into the cyclic (or what I thought was small) and the heli nose tilted up and yawed to the left, so I tried to correct it with a forward right input... and process repeated itself. It felt like I was balancing the aircraft on a pole. It didn't help that I was tense and nervous and my inputs were probably more like butter churns. I tried 4 more times and our 30 minutes ran up so we headed back to the helipad.What's next? hopefully a flying career. This is going to be a long and expensive process but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm ready for something new.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Serves 2 hungry people.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Last weekend was spent climbing Borah Peak, located in the central section of the Lost River Range. My friend Chris and I talked about climbing it a few years ago and we finally made it happen. We left rainy Boise Friday morning, stopped for lunch around noon, and visited Craters of the Moon National Monument along the way. I remember going there as a kid but it didn't make much of an impression on me then as it did this time around. I would like to do some more research on the area and plan a hike. I think it was around 6:30 when we reached the parking lot/campground at the Borah trailhead. We set up tents, had dinner, and loaded packs. The next morning we were on the trail by 6:00 am and making good time. My right hip started hurting after we reached the timberline and we ended up taking a break around 10400'. I ate a sandwich and put a sweatshirt on under my windbreaker because it was getting colder with the clouds rolling in. I stood up and tried to walk but the sharp pain in my hip wouldn't allow me to go any further. Chris and Kevin decided to press on and Justin and I hung out on the mountain for awhile. We hiked a little higher but with each step the pain got worse. I was frustrated with the situation, I wanted to make it to the top on my first attempt at climbing a big mountain but it wasn't going to happen. I think my pack was a bit too heavy and I wasn't used to it. We ended up dumping out some water bottles to lower the weight and Justin switched packs with me. 10446' was our highest and we started down the mountain.
If I would have had some Tylenol I could've popped 3-4, waited 45 minutes and kept going but I didn't have any. (note to self: take some next time)
It was a fun time and I am looking forward to climbing it again next year.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
More hikes to come.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
from the Surly blog:
The good news is that we managed to squeeze in another run of Big Dummy frames. That's one whole production run more than we had originally planned. It is much easier to type about adding another production run of frames than to actually implement such a thing. We did it because of demand, because you people have embraced the Big Dummy and other bikes of its ilk instead of simply buying a somewhat more fuel efficient car. There are not enough thank yous to express how gratifying that is. So more BD frames are coming in a few weeks, and then late this summer we should get even more. The bad news is that steel prices and transportation costs have increased significantly of late, which means our costs are going up and so are yours. While the price increases will be felt across the line, there are a lot of people waiting on Big Dummy frames who may have paid a deposit already. If you are waiting on a Big Dummy, or if you are a shop that has quoted a price to a customer for a Big Dummy (or Long Haul Trucker for that matter), check in with whoever you need to and update your agreement. MSRP for a Big Dummy frame and fork is now $1050. It was $895. We've actually factored into this number another impending and definitely happening price increase so that we won't have to do this again anytime soon. So that's that. Again, this will affect the prices of everything we sell, but it should be of particular importance to those of you who have been waiting and budgeting and maybe even paid some money down at your local bike shop in anticipation of your beautiful new whatever... Big Dummy, Long Haul Trucker, what have you. Sorry to get all business but sometimes cold got to be.
I tried to find the receipt for my Dummy frame but I can't find it. If I remember correctly, I was able to get my frame for under $800...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I left my Raleigh Rx1.0 at work over the weekend and needed to get it home tonight so I secured it to the side of Dummy and made it home without any problems. I ended up using a grande zip tie around the down tube and front rim of the Raleigh to keep the chain ring from chewing up the left Wideloader if I made any sharp turns. I think if I transported other bikes more often I would invest in a Traybien.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The canoe is a bit awkward to carry long distances in the storage bag so I think next time I will bring a pack frame to carry it on. Better PFD's (life jackets) are on their way too. Other than that, I'm very happy with it. I'm looking forward to exploring Wallowa lake in Oregon soon!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Here I am using my MSR Dragonfly stove to boil a little over 2 cups of water in the largest pot of Snow Peak's 3 piece titanium cook set. This set is ultra compact (maybe too compact) and light weight.
The pots stack up nicely, the handles fold in, and they go inside a mesh bag. Very clever.
Backpacker's Pantry meatless Lasagna ready to cook.
Stir boiling water into mix, cover and wait 13 minutes.
I was worried the skillet would be too small for making grilled cheese sandwiches, luckily we had a mini loaf of sour dough bread.
13 minutes later, gourmet food in the wilderness (or on the back deck).
I really enjoyed the lasagna-- it tasted homemade and familiar which is probably why I liked it so much. The Snow Peak cook set will take more practice to get used to but I think they'll work out well.
Freeze dried camping food is the way to go!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
This past weekend we went camping with Kevin, Anne and their daughter Toren at Bruneau Dunes state park, located 63 miles from Boise. Bruneau contains the largest single-structured sand dune in North America and geologists believe they started forming 15,000 years ago. It is also home to Idaho's largest astronomical observatory. It was a great time and the landscape was awesome!
We spent early Saturday hiking, climbing, and exploring the smaller dunes for a few hours. Later in the afternoon we took our first canoe trip around one of the small lakes. I really enjoyed the canoe part of the trip and hope to do it again soon (I've been looking at inflatable canoes). Around 7pm the weather turned ugly bringing rain and strong gusts of wind through the campsite. Fortunately our tent was staked down and made it through without any problems. The storm blew over and we hiked to the observatory to watch a short orientation program about comets. After the slideshow and Q&A session, we lined up for a chance to see Saturn through the large telescope. I wasn't really interested at first but after the line shortened up I decided to climb the ladder and take a peek. Looking at Saturn through a telescope was probably one of the coolest experiences I've ever had, it was amazing!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday night I finished mowing the back yard and decided to do something about the tree branch that has been pushing down on the back fence for awhile now (see Rain below, just right of the well in the background, mid photo). I did some searching and found a couple gas powered chainsaws in the shed. Surprisingly they both started and ran fine, so I decided to start cutting! The first saw, the smaller of the two, wasn't the sharpest so I ditched it after about a minute of no progress and went for the bigger saw. It did the trick and the branch crashed over the fence into the horse pasture. I didn't realize how big it was until it was on the ground, I was committed - no turning back now. I spent the next 2 hours cutting it into more manageable pieces and throwing them over the fence into the back yard. I would've finished sooner but the local horses kept getting in the way and I was almost attacked by a jackass (or donkey, I'm not sure what the hell it was).
Last night I was out stacking and trimming the branches with a cordless chainsaw when the blade slipped, caught my left thumb and split it wide open. I wrapped it in a wet bandanna and Justin drove us to my parents house to have my dad look at it and advise me if it needed stitches or not (he's an urgent care physician at an area hospital--fortunately he had the night off). Of course it needed to be sutured, so off to the hospital we went. I ended up getting 4 stitches and a thumb that doesn't bend so well.
I think my chainsaw days are over with.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Jenna from Nebraska says: "It's a sad time in America when people who work hard and should be (and used to be) considered "Middle Class" are now living paycheck to paycheck and could lose everything if much more hits the pocketbook. What do we tell our children about why we have to stay home this summer? I guess it's a good time to become green and start growing our own produce, baking our own bread, and limiting the meat."
Katie from Sacramento says: "We will be spending a lot less. We usually do rib eye steaks and racks of ribs with lots of sides - macaroni salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, etc. This year it will be homemade hamburgers with french fries and soda instead of beer. The ground beef was bought on clearance a few weeks ago and frozen - I'll thaw it for weekend use."
Laura from California says: "Instead of our usual ribs, we are having hamburgers. As bleak as it sounds, next year we may have a cup of soup."
Yolen Jeunky, 45, collects dried mud cookies to sell in Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince on Nov. 29, 2007. Rising prices and food shortages threaten the nation's fragile stability, and the mud cookies are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger.