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They're Baaaack
news : by Tommy - July 14th 2008, 11:16AM
news
Wow. Quite the trip. We didn't experience almost any bad weather the entire trip. It never really rained on us while we were camping. No real vehicular problems. No sickness. All was well.

Almost every night we were camping in the mountains so the air was nice and cool at night. We stayed a week in Flagstaff with Corey and his fiance, Misty, taking countless day trips to the surrounding National Parks and attractions. After we parted ways Jennifer and I continued tent camping all the way back home with the exception of a few nights in hotels when the weather wasn't going to cooperate (too hot, potential storms) or we just plain needed a break and some running water. (Most national parks don't offer showers of any kind.) Our biggest accomplishment, aside from actually surviving the trip without problems, was climbing Guadalupe Peak, it was probably one of the tougher things either of us had done, but it was a great feeling of accomplishment when we finished.
We camped at over 8000ft after climbing 3mi and 3000ft with our 25-30lb packs to the campsite. We climbed the final mile to the summit the next morning before packing up and climbing down.

We also visited Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, the McDonald Observatory, Big Bend, family in Austin and Baytown, and managed to meet up with my brother before he leaves for Ranger School next week.

We just got back last night, so I'll have some pictures to post this afternoon sometime.

For now, here's our route. We kept a journal of things we did each day, kept a list of wildlife seen along the way, and logged gas mileage. My car did excellent - averaging around 35 mpg. I was pleased, but it's time for another oil change!

Continue reading...

tags: camping road_trip

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
Desert Voyage 2008
neodux : by Tommy - June 18th 2008, 08:03AM
neodux
Well, the time has arrived. Jennifer and I are loaded up and will start heading toward Flagstaff, Arizona today. We'll be stopping at Palo Duro Canyon along the way, then we'll stop by Bluewater Lake State Park near Continental Divide, NM. The next day we'll push on to the cabin we've reserved with Corey (Mackieman). We'll kick it old skool for a week and visit the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, one of the nation's largest observatories, Petrified Forrest and other notoable locations.

After Flagstaff and seeing all the sites within sane driving distance, Jennifer and I will drive south to Summerhaven, AZ atop Mt. Lemmon where we'll meet up with the Tucson Amateur Radio Club for the annual ARRL Field Day.

After Mt. Lemmon, we'll head west into New Mexico to stay at Aguirre Springs near Las Cruces, NM. The next day we'll head to Alamogordo to see the dunes at White Sands and visit Cloudcroft before driving on to Carlsbad to see the giant caverns and bazillions of bats. whew! still not done...

We'll attempt to climb Guadalupe Peak (highest point in Texas) after we've crossed back into Texas, then drive down to Fort Davis to see UT's big observatory there and swim at nearby Balmorhea Springs swimming pool. At that point we'll be at a crossroads as to whether or not we want to try to go south to Big Bend for one last grand view or head back to Longview by way of Enchanted Rock.

I'd hotlink all of these locations, but that'd take forever and you know how to use Google.
I'll check in periodically whenever I get wifi, now that the world has our literary you'll know where to see search parties...

Grendel sez: See you soon Mackieman, good day!

tags: camping road_trip

( Comments : 3 | Full article )

 
Double Edge Safety Razor pt 3
news : by Tommy - May 15th 2008, 09:31PM
news
Continuation from "Double Edge Safety Razor" part 1 & part 2.

Well, I'm totally comfortable shaving with the new razor now. I've tried 3 different blades (plenty more to try) and I can't tell a big difference between any of the manufacturers. So far I've tried a Merkur blade that came with the razor, Gillette, and Dorco. I understand that these blades are all some of the best, so maybe that's why I can't see a big difference in them - they're all good. Or maybe I just haven't encountered a "bad" blade.

I have yet to try the $1.52/10 blades from Walmart, but I was shocked to find a 10 pack of Gillette blades at Walgreens for almost $6! Still that's around .50/blade (which lasts me 2 shaves at the very least).

I am able to tell that I get a closer shave on certain spots (cheek, sideburns, mustache) and an average shave around the neck - no better or worse than the old Mach3 shave. It's still smooth as it's always been, so no complaints. Like I said it's fun to shave with, it does take just a little longer than it used to, but not as long as when I first started. I guess at first I was terrified of the blade and must have been being very patient and taking my time with it. Now that I'm comfortable with it, it doesn't take much longer than it used to.

I've also found some good links for vendors of shaving products as well as a very helpful forum all about the art of shaving. (There really is a site for everything on the internets.)

tags: razor shaving

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
Operation Keep Jeff Informed
news : by Tommy - May 12th 2008, 04:07PM
news
My brother Jeff (Grimlen) is at Basic Training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma for the summer. He is a cadet with the SFA ROTC and will be serving with the Nacogdoches National Guard until he graduates. After he completes Basic, he will go on to Advanced Individualized Training (AIT) to learn the skills necessary to be a Forward Observer.

As many of you know, while you're at basic no cell phones, computers or TVs are allowed - only mail. This will remove Jeff from being able to view neodux or catch up on any news. So I'm hereby establishing a summer project called "Keep Jeff Informed" where the neodux community will post news summaries, image macros and other bits of information he needs to stay "up" on while away at Ft. Sill, OK.

I will, from time to time, copy/paste new posts from this thread to a Word document that I will print off and send to him. At Basic, sometimes recruits are required to read their mail from home to the other recruits aloud while in formation, so the more bizarre/insane it is, the better. Try to reduce the size of large macros so that I can squeeze text around it to conserve space. (Army-related macros get priority)

One again, this is the thread to post in, not the comments of this post.

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
Double Edge Safety Razor pt 2
news : by Tommy - May 4th 2008, 02:20PM
news
Continuation from "Double Edge Safety Razor" part 1 and continued on part 3.

I survived my initial shaving with the new Merkur Heavy Classic razor. The Merkur HD really is a fun shave (sounds goofy I know) but there's something fun about vintage shaving. I got the hang of the "shaving angle" in short time and was able to shave "upside down" before I finished.

It did take me about twice as long to shave with this style razor, but part of that was me being careful and getting used to the new technique. These blades are also not meant to be fast, but to make a clean cut with several successive passes. The learning curve isn't steep at all. I just had to remember not to press down and to hold the blade at the proper angle. The "safety razor" prevents you from cutting yourself if the angle is too steep, as you might do with a straight razor. All of this, of course, is helped if you have a proper lather with good shaving soap.

I'm sure I'll get quicker with the shave as I get more practice. The shave does seem to be closer in spots, I missed a few of the "tricky" spots - they're just not as smooth. For now I'm happy I didn't have any knicks or cuts.

More to come after my next shave...

tags: razor shaving

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
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