[ home | files | links | topics | stickers | about ]



Todays Stats

Visitors: 344
Referrers: 18
User Agents: 79
Pages Served: 963
 
Total Pages
Served:

5281946


Search


The Right Camping Gear
outdoors : by Tommy - March 30th 2008, 09:37PM
outdoors
I've been on a camping kick recently and realized last week that having the right gear makes a huge difference in comfort. About 2 weeks ago for a pre-Spring Break camping trip, we went with some friends up to Beaver's Bend, Oklahoma. While we were there the zipper on my sleeping bag broke. I didn't have a sleep-mat so, needless to say, I had a very lousy night. After we got back I ordered a nice Slumberjack mummy bag that actually fits my tall frame.

Last weekend we went to Caddo Lake State Park here in Texas. I picked up a cheap $5 foam mat at Walmart, which wasn't the softest but it was better than nothing. The new Slumberjack bag was downright awesome - I've never slept so comfy in a tent before. It was while laying in my new bag that I realized it's all about having the right gear.

That was it, for my birthday I wanted the right gear. My birthday came early this year in the form of an additional paycheck from some extra hours I picked up. We went to Whole Earth Provision Company and REI in Dallas this past weekend in search of a few essentials. I first picked up a nice, new Kelty Coyote backpack for containing all my new loot. The sales rep at REI loaded me down with about 30lbs. After getting the pack adjusted I walked around the store, it was wonderful. Again, it was all about the right gear. I also picked up a Thermarest sleeping pad to cushion me from the ground. I can't express how awesome these mats are - You just have to feel them, otherwise you won't understand. Never again will my back sleep on terra firma.

Another problem I ran into while at Caddo Lake was poor cookware.

Continue reading...

tags: camping gear

( Comments : 4 | Full article )

 
Hummingbirds
outdoors : by Tommy - March 12th 2008, 02:48PM
outdoors
It's 2008 Hummingbird season. Depending on where you live you can expect the influx of hummingbirds in your vicinity very soon. Being in northeast Texas, I anticipate that I'll have them here sometime within the next 2 days.

My feeders are ready to go. I dug them out, cleaned them up and checked their hanging hooks. I mixed up a batch of hummingbird nectar (see below) and filled one feeder up. The others will come out after I see the first hummers here. Walmart has some great wide-mouth feeders for less than $4 that are super easy to clean and plenty of feeder holes. If you have a window that's easy to get to, why not put up a hummingbird feeder. They're one of the best forms of entertainment while sitting outside doing nothing. The little birds will dive-bomb each other and dog-fight all around you trying to protect their precious sugar water.

Hummingbird nectar recipe
1c table sugar (don't use honey or any other sugar)
4c tap water (nothing special here)

You can make more, just keep the 1:4 ratio. Stir the sugar until it dissolves in the water. Don't use red food coloring - it isn't needed and can be bad for the birds. You don't have to boil it either. If you do, just remember not to put boiling hot water in your feeder! Store any leftover nectar in a 2 liter bottle in the fridge until needed. Check your feeder every few days for any signs of contamination (bacteria and mold love sugar water). If it is dirty, empty the feeder rinse it out (don't use soap!) and refill.

To find out when hummingbirds will be in your neck of the woods, check out this cool migration map (if you're out west, you get birds too), and here's a some video of hummingbirds from YouTube.

Continue reading...

( Comments : 7 | Full article )

 
Spirit of Knoxville IV Balloon
radio : by Tommy - March 11th 2008, 11:55AM
radio
The University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club (UTARC) has launched their latest balloon "The Spirit of Knoxville IV". It took flight late last night on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, into Europe, via the swift moving winds of the jet stream.

The team put a computer and GPS on board to transmit the balloon's location and altitude via ham radio. The data stream is sent out via RTTY and CW at ~10.146 MHz. The data is displayed in rather raw format here and in a more presentable flash-based "dashboard" which features a Google Maps fix on the balloon's last reported location.

Quite a few people are monitoring the balloon so the site is a bit slow to load, but to track the little autonomous balloon is pretty neat. Right now, as I write this, it's zipping along at 111mph @ almost 40,000ft out over the Atlantic.

update: The balloon fell short of its European goal. The payload splashed down about 2:00pm CST, 425 miles southwest of County Cork, Ireland. The balloon began losing altitude the night before and never full recoverd. The decent was partly caused by the loss of sunlight heating the gas in the balloon and/or icing on the surface of the balloon. "Grams will make/break you in this business," one UTARC member said. The balloon's exact location was unkown as radio contact was lost at about 1:51pm CST. Better luck next time guys!

tags: balloon ham_radio

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
Image Uploads
neodux : by Tommy - March 10th 2008, 01:49AM
neodux
I've finally grown tired of having to upload images to other hosting services such as ImageShack and hotlink them in my own blog posts. I finally decided to do something about it and create an image upload feature when creating posts.

At this time you can only upload one image only when creating an entry. (You can't go back to edit an image and upload) I'll go ahead and stress the point that this is only temporary.
I'd like to have the ability to better control images that have been uploaded, upload (and display) multiple images, and remove images associated with blog entries (such as the butterfly image displayed here).

So there ya go, one more feature that will be little-used and few will care about, but I can finally say I've mastered PHP file uploads.

tags: neodux features

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
Ultra-Light Alcohol Stove
outdoors : by Tommy - March 8th 2008, 01:55PM
outdoors
While looking at various camping stoves, like the MSR WhisperLite and Pocket Rocket, I came across the old alcohol stove design. I was curious how they worked and found several howto videos on making your own alcohol stove.

Of all the videos I found this one was probably my favorite. I was able to track down some Bud Light in aluminum bottles. It's not Shiner, but it's not the beer I want - it's the containers.

I followed Russell's howto video and was able to hack apart a bottle and assemble it into a modest imitation. It wasn't the most sound design, so I made another. The second stove turned out better than the first and I was actually able to boil a standard sized pot of water!

Pics are forthcoming.

update: From the moment I lit the stove, it took 10 minutes to boil 2-1/2 cups of water (what my dehydrated meal calls for). Not too shabby.

tags: camping stove efficient

( Comments : 4 | Full article )

 
< ... | page 15 | page 16 | page 17 | page 18 | page 19 | page 20 | page 21 | page 22 | ... >

-+- neodux blog -+-
Page generated for 54.161.116.225 in 0.08590 seconds.
rss 2.0 feed