Archives For April 2014

Hopefully I’ll have some great stories and photos to share.

See you on the other side!

P.S.  This was post number 666. I hope that’s not a sign! o.O

Just 3 days until Tough Mudder Atlanta.

They published the course map today, which helped assuage my anxiety.  I’ve transitioned from being nervous to “let’s get this over with already.”  I’m certain it will revert back to the butterflies as we line up at the gate…

I’m continuing to train hard by consuming all my left-over Easter candy, dining out and ensuring I have at least one sugary drink a day.  In-between all that, I’ve found some time to upgrade from P90X to the P90X3 routine.

At the risk of sounding like a woman, I still need to figure out what to wear.  I don’t believe I own anything appropriate to wear for a shirt.  Cotton is completely out of the question and everything synthetic I own is too loose.  (I’m thinking the tighter, the better to keep muddy garments from flopping around.)  I’m also considering wearing some compression shorts to keep the mud out of my girly bits.  No sense in being any more uncomfortable than necessary.

Still undecided on wearing gloves or not.  Wear them and they *might* protect my hands from any debris when crawling through the mud or splinters when climbing the walls.  Or they might just fill up with mud and I toss them halfway into the course.  Who knows?

The shoes I’ve been exercising in I purchased with the purpose in mind that they wouldn’t survive Tough Mudder.  I bought them back on sale in December and they’re starting to break down on me, so I expect to leave them on the course.

Two of the guys on the team have arm or shoulder injuries that will prohibit them from doing 99.99999% of the course.  Since they’ve paid and Tough Mudder doesn’t offer refunds, they still plan on running the course and skipping the obstacles.  I say each of them should have to do the Arctic Enema at least twice.  That leaves at least 10 other participants on our team that should be able to drag my fat ass over the walls.

Way back when I installed a driveway camera, the intent was to keep a watchful eye on the front of the house.  Never once did it occur to me that it’d reveal all sorts of crazy things that happen at the house when we’re not home or otherwise not paying attention.

Since its installation, its captured all sorts of entertaining images.  Its captured plenty of video of spiders in progress of building their webs.  Its captured an assortment of wildlife crossing through the yard such as deer, turkey and even a coyote once.  Its even captured a photo of squirrel nuts.

Entertainment aside, it’s also very informative about the activities and habits of other people that come to visit, so to speak.

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It all started sorta like this, “So i signed up for this event in April that sounds a lot like something you would do,” my best-friend from college (and coworker) tells me in a chat one afternoon.  “It’s this endurance race event thing that’s about 10 miles long and has a bunch of obstacles like in boot camp.  You should check it out,” he says.  I agree that does sound interesting and promise to look it up.

A couple days later I recall my promise and cruise over to the website where I spent approximately two minutes looking it over briefly before registering for the event.  I was busy at the time and simply wanted to check another item off my “to-do” list for the day.  And that may be the simplest (and dumbest) way anyone has signed up for “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet.

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Last weekend (April 12th-13th) I participated in the Georgia QSO Party and while I achieved a score I’m proud of, I have mixed emotions about the contest.  But before I discuss all the reasons for that, here is a summary of my contacts for the weekend:

Contacts Multipliers
222 United States 43 Unique States
4 Canada 2 Unique Provinces
3 DX
229 QSOs x 45 multipliers = 10,305 claimed score


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Yesterday was a “Spring Holiday” (don’t you dare call it Easter) so I thought I’d make great use of my time off and get some things done around the house.  We were expecting a LOT of rain and thankfully it held off long enough for me to get the yard taken care of.  However, I decided I was going to tackle a more ominous project: leaky valve gaskets.

So my Friday afternoon started off like this:

2014-04-18 14.53.05

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I previously reposted an old blog from my past where I revealed the identity of The Actress.

What was a fun St. Patty’s photo then:


Has perhaps turned into a new family tradition:


“Is it powered on?” might be the most fundamental question you can ask when troubleshooting electronic equipment.

Laugh all you want, but when remotely troubleshooting a hardware problem, the immediate answer to this question might save you a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Until it doesn’t.

And just such a thing happened to me this morning.

But before I dive into all that drama, how about an example from the past? Continue Reading…

Just when I believe I’ve got it all figured out… I have to run off and change something.  And by “change,” I mean different.  Not necessarily better.  Just different.

Pack weight is the holy grail of backpacking and experienced long-distance backpackers are always looking for ways to reduce their pack weight.  Some forego the comfort of cooking hot meals on the trail.  Others purchase insanely priced and light-weight materials and even others go so far as to cut the unused straps off their backpacks.  When it comes to saving weight on the trail, I don’t believe I’ve seen it all — but I’m definitely not surprised by what I see.

I wouldn’t consider myself a chronic over-packer, but I tend to obsess over items I pack that don’t get used.  At the end of the hike, I’m always evaluating the gear I brought to determine if it is truly necessary.  Can that item be replaced by another item that performs other tasks or was it really required for my comfort or survival?  If I’m guilty of carrying more than I should, it’s always water.  I’m still haunted by that weekend on the Art Loeb Trail when carrying THREE LITERS of water between sources wasn’t enough.  I still refer to the Art Loeb Trail as the Bataan Death March.
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This post is part of a short series of posts describing my weekend backpacking the first three sections of the Benton MacKaye Trail on March 21st-23rd:
Backpacking Benton MacKaye Trail Prologue
Backpacking Benton MacKaye Trail Section 1
Backpacking Benton MacKaye Trail Section 2
Backpacking Benton MacKaye Trail Section 3
Backpacking Benton MacKaye Trail Epilogue

I’ve been considering how I would conclude this topic and exactly what I’d be discussing in my summary and I’ve decided that I would split it between two different posts: 1. Discussing my thoughts/feelings being back on the trail and 2. Discussing the gear I used and what changes, if any, I would consider making to my setup.  So for any gear-heads trolling my blog (Duckhunter), you’ll want to read the post after this one.

After I told my wife that I’d been invited on this trip and that I was considering it, she strongly urged me to go.  I was confused by this response as I was expecting her to protest a bit about me being gone for the weekend and leaving her alone with the baby.  Instead, she said something to the effect of, “You need this trip.  I need this trip.  You always come back a better person: more relaxed; polite.”

I’m not certain I return more relaxed and polite so much as maybe I’m just too exhausted to be my usual self for a couple days.  That must be what she means…
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