in the bag
25 May 2016

Questionable salami, right up in here.

So, that happened. Nothing like being alone in the woods and having INTESTINAL DISCOMFORT. Well, I suppose the "alone" part was a Good Thing.


Cut the trip short since going 11+ miles with all the rumblings and stoppings was not going to happen and pissing off the wife is NOT HAPPENING.

I wasn't gonna use it for THAT.

stabby stab stab
22 May 2016

Evidently in the world of #AssassinsCreed, stairs were never invented.

my asshole cat
18 May 2016

I miss her so much.

Gotta go hide and scare the pitbull.

She really was a jerk sometimes. Her favorite was the paw swipe from behind the hallway curtains STOP CAMPING YOU NOOB. But she put up with me picking her up so she could look out the back window. She really had no idea why i did this, but she went along with it and purred away. In cat-speak this was probably meant as "I will kill you LAST".

We picked her up from the pound after my first cat died. Picked her out right off the bat without thinking how she'd fit in with the other pets in the house. MY BAD, but I wouldn't have changed it. She was a jerk but she wasn't mean. She put up with being belled, after all (no sneaky-peteing the other cats). And having to wear the name tag belonging to the cat she wanted to tangle with the most (man, I think I was the jerk here).

Not how text messaging is supposed to work.

The plan was to hike the entire Gerard Trail in Oil Creek state park.


Well, a lot more climbing than I counted on. And oops no leaves for shade. Stupid sunny days. Boo. 18 of the 36 miles still feels pretty good, though. Still learning what I can do and how everything works.

Mile, mile and a half.....?

Not a total loss, though. First stealth camp a-HAH!

Stealth-ish. Tyvek doesn't come in camo.

One particularly annoying aspect of hammock camping is all of the adjustments you need to make. It's true you have a ton of flexibility, but sometimes you just want to SLEEP WARM ALL NIGHT.

The most annoying thing for me so far -- beyond screwing up the hang angle ("hangle" hehehe), not looking around carefully enough for dead trees ("dangle" heheTHIS IS DEADLY SERIOUS STOP LAUGHING), yadda yadda -- has been the shifting of the underquilt as I toss and turn. I ritch around (! not what you think it's an Ohio-ism) a lot and the foot end of the quilt always seems to wind up sliding under the hammock. Of course this entails actually getting out and adjusting it (or thrashing around like a flounder, trying not to tear or break anything in the process).

I don't like getting up if I don't have to. So I rigged this up.

This is many shades of Not Right, but IT'S THE BASEMENT, PEOPLE

This is the backside -- I tied a rabbit-through-the-hole-around-the-tree knot to one of the underquilt's d-rings. Then through the next one and over the ridgeline to the front.

This end has a tautline hitch (I remembered how to do it! AND WHAT IT'S CALLED) so I can pull the backside of the underquilt up from inside the hammock. I added a Dutchware s-biner so I can unhook the contraption without tangling myself in it during my panicked late night egress 'CAUSE I TOTALLY HEARD A SNORTY BEAR FOR REALS.

Next time I will make this all much easier by getting a hammock with d-rings already attached so I just have to mittenhook everything in place. RANDY AND DEANNA FTW

glue the skids
23 April 2016

So you've done your research. You've found that obscure piece of gear or ridiculous tchotchke that you simply MUST have. You find the one place that can totally help you self-actualize your commercial acquis -- yeah. Ok. You're just on a web site. The one with that thing you like.

And the site is a total piece of....charming. IT'S ARTISANAL! (but really it's just amateur). It's hard to use. You don't know what's going on EVERYTHING IS BLINKING WHY IS IT YELLOW. Sometimes, it's hard to order. When this happens to me, every part of my being screams out (pancreas included) "I CAN FIX THAT FOR YOU".

But sometimes that crufty web site is well-suited to it's purpose. (I am so getting my web developer union card revoked).

A poorly designed or clumsily executed site can serve as a brake to sales. It's like a governor on a truck. It can keep mayhem off the highways and Tracy Morgan out of the hospital (too soon...?). It also keeps a small cottage business from being completely overwhelmed and risking a hard-earned reputation for quality and great customer service.

Come to think of it, a great web site can act as a crutch for those who aren't willing to put the time and effort into providing a great shopping experience. Technology isn't everything (yes, I gasped there too). Not everyone can build an effective web site, even (especially) with tools that claim to do everything for you with just a few clicks. They just want to have something to point to...anything, really. So an app spits out tables and columns and what is image23_v2.jpg again? and WHY IS IT WEIRD just don't think about it just hope for the best.

Despite itself, it works. Kind of. But enough to keep the sole proprietor as busy as they want to be. As long as they don't want to make changes. And it's easier to just call ON THE PHONE EVEN because putting a new page on the site is traumatic.

See what happened? They've won a customer the old fashioned way, by working around the site's limitations (or they really wanted coffee).

I'm still sure I can make it all better, though (sorry, Tracy).

20 April 2016

I am suddenly hungry...