Bleg: New England Backpacking

As a test of an idea that Brogan kicked out today:

It’s a ways in the future, but I’m looking for suggestions for good places to get Jake hooked on backpacking. Here’s what I’d like:

– less than 2 hours from Hartford.
– Actual backpacking, not car camping.
– Preferrably something cool to do once the hike is over.
– Campsite not more than 3 miles from the trailhead
– Something cool between the trailhead and the campsite

I’m considering Pauchaug State Forest, just ’cause it’s really, really close to Mystic. Looks like Nipmuck State Forest has actual camping, too.

Other areas that I know are large and wild and close-by are Arcadia in Rhode Island (unsure about camping there; know the fishing’s great), and …

Is there anything like this in the Berkshires in Mass? I think the boy’s a bit too small to head up to the Whites in New Hampshire. And I love, love, love the Adirondacks in New York, ‘specially after going to prototype at Ballston Spa, but most of the places I’ve been up there are a pretty good ride in the car, which I think might kill interest on the boy’s part. And completely would rule out taking the two-year-old.

Thanks in advance, Internet. You’re the greatest.

30 minutes makes a difference

Jamestown from first beach, January
Stopped at First Beach on the way home from the office today. There’s something about winter that really perks me up, ‘specially when the weather is reasonable. Foggy days, especially, really, really make me happy. During my drinkin’ days, a nasty, foggy day was a good excuse to find a deep red wine, or better yet, a stout as black as the secret parts of my soul cut off from the rest of my mind. And there are few spots in the US as good as Newport for having a foggy winter bender, complete with singing and dancing in the street.
Cliffwalk in January - 2
Continue reading 30 minutes makes a difference

True Phone call with the Wife

Me: blah, blah, blah, blah
Her: Just a minute – (aside) Jacob, we do not throw food at your brother. Ok, blah, blah, blah…
Me: blah, blah, blah, blah…
Her: blah, blah, blah … (aside) Yes, Nate, the doggie did eat it. That’s what happens to food on the floor. Blah, blah, blah…
Me: Ok, well, it looks like I’ll be home about the regular time tonight.
Her: Whatever. It doesn’t matter much by that time. (aside) Oh … Nate, we do not throw food at anyone. (to me)Yeah, sorry, I’ve got to go if there’s any hope of Jake making the bus.

7 Good Miles

Friday Afternoon – out of the office by four, past the other office to pick up someone’s pay stub, and over to Jamestown by about 4:30. Strap on the new sneaks, fire up the Forerunner, fire up the iPod, and bang out 7 miles in 62 minutes. Not so bad.

The upside is that the run was outstanding. Hit the runner’s high again. Again, heck – this was the first one in about nine months. Audioblogged it.

Nothing earthshaking this weekend. Messed about with the kids. Messed about with the house. Didn’t clean up nearly as much as I wanted to.

Last week – not quite so great as I’d hoped. One bike, one swim, two runs for 13 miles. Such is life.

Next week, my goal is to get something done every day.


I’ve added a couple of things –

1. Over on the top of the ubiquitious sidebar, I’ve added some pure “Admin stuff”, like contact information, in case you’re not getting enough Bill from the pages here.

2. Also began an ongoing list with pithy and unoriginal thoughts about why I really, really dig what’s going on with technology and blogs.

Pretty much it. I’m still struggling to get into a workout routine this year. I’m loving it when I do get out, but while the body is willing, the mind has been weak.

Expensive press release

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), today announced that it will immediately begin to make its line of GPS and mobile electronics devices compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger.” This makes Garmin the first major GPS designer and manufacturer to announce direct support for Mac OS X.

Hmmm…. The new 305 is $350, and Tiger is about $100 on ebay. But Google Earth doesn’t look like it’ll run on my G3 iBook in any case (how is this related? Not sure, but it should be), so I’m out another $1K-$2K for a new laptop.

So, looks like I’m out $2,500… Wish I hadn’t dropped my Adsense when I migrated to WordPress.

Wonder if I can convince myself that I need a new bike, too…

Got to be the shoes…

Broke in the new Gel Helios’ today. I think I like them; however be advised – what Asics calls “lightning” really means shiny silver.

Have I mentioned that there’s this feeling in the back of my head that life is going to be good? Today, I sat down with my client and got an absolutely great project. I’m doing a pretty wide-ranging strategic plan for our program. Good stuff, great combination of digging down in the technical weeds, wading through the swamp of finance, and in general pulling the whole thing out of my butt. And here I was bashing grad school the other day – turns out that two years of learning buzzwords and BS is going to pay off for the next couple of weeks. Vision…

Today was 5.4 miles on the north end of Jamestown in 46:17. Pace back down under 9’s without feeling like I was going to die. Saw bunches and bunches of deer. Not the tiny puppy deer like they’ve got in central Texas, but real, big Yankee deer, the kind that total cars. Great run, didn’t feel winded at all, and the only reason I didn’t push out to the 6 mile loop was because the wife was bringing home food from her trip to Hartford, and picking up a new computer. Best part is it’s her company’s policy to let her keep the old one… But I wanted to get takeout while it was relatively fresh…

Tuesday? Hit the pool. The lifeguard was a guy, and he spent the whole time walking laps around the pool. Kind of distracting, but I’d probably do the same thing. 2000 yards total (2000 meters for you north of the border folks with a brand-spankin’ new government, as I understand from NPR). 250 yds breast to open up, a pretty good set of 500 yds free, 250 yards of decent free, another 250 yards of flopping and twitching – just couldn’t find a groove. Stopped, took a couple deep breaths, and did at least 10 laps – man, I really got into the zone. Life was good.

24 – High Noon

First question – it’s 11 PM and I’m not asleep. Why? Have I learned nothing?

Got in 40 minutes on the trainer. Didn’t get on the bike ’till about minute 15. Cranked up the resistance one notch during each commercial break, did the highest (of 3) for two segments, and did the last segment in neutral. The trainer’s great to have for just mindless spinning, which is what I wanted to do tonight after hitting it relatively hard on Saturday and Sunday. But, I kind of wish I’d gone for the one with greater resistance and a handlebar mounted control. Suppose I can upgrade when I wear this one out.

I also think I’d likely be better off running gears instead of the singlespeed on the trainer – big ring, small cog on the highest resistance would be something. But, I like to think I’m saving wear and tear…

Oh, and it turns out that I’m likely the last one to whom you should come for bike mechanical advice. Sunday afternoon, as I pulled out of the drive, I noticed the bike was making a rubbing noise. Did a quick check, wasn’t the brake pads, so I went on wondering if the couple of semi-wet rides I’ve had were enough to fry the sealed bearings in the wheels. I’d convinced myself they were, and continued muscling along, listening to the scraping.

When I got home and was putting the bike away, I noticed the rear wheel wasn’t turning particularly well. Crap, I started to think, wondering if I’d ruined the entire wheelset. (in hindsight, there’s no way – if Ray doesn’t go through about a dozen hubs a month, no way did two rides in winter rain ruin mine).

Closer inspection revealed that I’m a bleepin’ idiot. There’s a reason that singlespeed types use bolts to hold the axles to the frames, and it’s not that, like deraileurs, shifters and three syllable words, quick releases are too complicated to use. No, when you’re dealing with a rider <sarcasm>as massively powerful as I am </sarcasm>, the skewer will sometimes shift, as it did in this case. The drive side moved a fraction of an inch closer to the pedals, causing the non-drive side tire to spend the entire ride rubbing gently on the inside of the nondrive chainstay.


The tire looks fine – it’s a specialized armadillo, with a ton of rubber and a thick kevlar belt. The frame looks fine – nothing 50 cents of Rust-O-Leum won’t fix. It’s just my pride that’s wounded.

On the upside, it was another week of avoiding springing for brake pads…

One last plug, since it’s still before Thursday – if you’re not watching “My Name is Earl”, you shouldn’t be watching television. Seriously. The show’s that good. Better even than “Desperate Housewives”, and I’m sayin’ that after seeing the episode complete with hot-model-wrestling-creepy-hot-nun-fu. Last week’s Earl episode kept me in stitches, even though my wife kind of panned it. Best lines?

(on entering like a real office building)”It’s like when Ted from Bill and Ted put on the magic sunglasses and went into the future…”

“I know some guys who run a counterfitting operation – they’ll give me $10,000 in twenties for (the big giant color copier)”

Go set the Tivo/VCR now. I’ll wait.