Tuesday, May 31, 2011

can you put a number on that?

today's activities:

write lots of geocaching logs.
process video.

watch a documentary about data visualization.
write more geocaching logs.
go run a 5k.
and more geocaching logs.

that's my list. this week the run felt marginally better than last week; last week in the fog of pain it simply ranged from "excruciating" to "subsuming" and tonight it only went from "severe" to "extreme", so that's progress.

when you go to the doctor, they always want you to rate it on a scale from one to ten, or one to five, or some other managed care claptrap. i always want to ask: what kind of scale? is this meant to be expressed as a percentage of the relative pain i've EVER felt? the relative pain i imagine there could possibly be? or just in relation to a general baseline? 'coz let me tell you, i am no stranger to pain but that night i nearly froze to death i learned there were whole new dimensions to pain that i never thought possible, so if i have to judge my present pain in comparison to THAT, it only come sin at about a two, but if i rate it according to a scale on which five is the level where i can't function too well, this comes in at about an eight.

or is your scale based on exponential growth?

by the time i'm done talking, they have made a little tick in the checkbox labeled "pain in the ass."

fine. NOW may i have the refill for the muscle relaxant?

Monday, May 30, 2011

stuff! and more stuff!

it's not that i have nothing to write about; it's just that i've been very, very busy writing about it.

and doing more stuff that i can write about later, if i ever get caught up.

so today i wrote a whole buncha geocaching logs, which means uploading and processing pictures, ad that included two new videos for youtube; nothing earth shattering, but just some footage of some wind chimes i saw on the way.

don't laugh; one of my most popular videos is one i took of windchimes i saw while geocaching in buckland, MA. for some reason that gets about as many hits as the one of two carrion beetles moving a dead vole, and many more hits than the one of my hair growing back after i got my head shaved.

and also on my list today: i went out and played a round of disc golf, and shot a surprisingly good 74, which is +20 on the course, but i consider it an outstanding day if i break 18 AND i hadn't played in a while and was experimenting with some new drivers.

new drivers or other excuses notwithstanding,  shooting +20 is still a good day for me.

then i came home and made a batch of pizza dough for later use, and some insanely good pasta salad involving black olives and tomatoes and a roasted garlic ricotta sauce you could just die for. and i roasted an extra head of garlic because i'm looking at some darling little recipes that call for a clove or two of roasted garlic and you can make that stuff up and freeze it ahead of time and use as you need.

oh. and i'm catching up, bit by bit, reading all the blogs and articles and such (thousands) sitting in my inbox.

i gotta go.

Friday, May 27, 2011

addison county got power

last night a set of powerful storms came through here. then tonight a line of lesser but still significant storms also came through, setting back the efforts of the power companies to restore electricity to the thousands of households that went dark early yesterday evening.

you may know that i'm a big fan of extreme weather, even when it's happening to me. ok, maybe not house-destroying weather, but if my power goes out for a week during the winter, it's an adventure.

and you KNOW i love maps.

so today i've been watching a really neat website that shows the general outages by county and by utility.

essex county has been largely red since yesterday afternoon.

here's a screenshot from earlier today:

in other news, i'm still plodding through the infernal geocaching logs, and am now caught up to halfway through october 15.

and while i was at it today, i processed some video footage to make a little movie about hunting a cache:

so. that's it for me.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


today i wrote more geocaching logs, which is quite a project if you have hundreds of them to write.

but i also made a little google map of all the chuches where i've been to services.

you know how i like maps.

View churches where i have attended services in a larger map

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

stress incontinence


today i didn't get out of my pajamas, except to go run a 5k. it was the first of the season, and the longest most painful 5k ever.

but nevermind about that. i meant to maybe write you about my time on PEI, but today i wrote a bunch of geocaching logs, so now i'm only nine months behind telling those stories.

now i'm going to have a nice hot shower and take a whole bunch of advil and some muscle relaxant.


Friday, May 20, 2011

high point

so yesterday i made the strenuous climb to the high point of PEI.

the hike in was nearly two tenths of a mile, with an elevation gain of about twenty feet.

here's a picture of me, standing triumphant at the top of PEI.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

short and stout

this morning i did my reading at the church (where i am sleeping) and then i went out to play.

i did a cache that involved some compass skills, and apparently this area has a LOT of  declination (more than 18 degrees), so i had some head scratching. go ahead look up declination here.

but i was too distracted because i really needed a bathroom. i needed one so badly that i actually got into my car and drove into the nearest town, looking for the CAP site which turns out not to be the town hotspot (go figger) but they have a sign that says "open" and i need a bathroom SO BAD that i decide to just go into the business (they're a CAP site, right?) and beg to use theirs, but it's a weirdly set up building and you go in the front door and there's no reception area and no visible people but there's an open bathroom door RIGHT THERE so i decide to use it first and ask after but then i'm done and what's the point of asking?

and i don't see any point in going to find a person at a desk so i could announce that i'd just used their bathroom, so i just slink out.

but then there's a lot of looking for geocaches and fiding most of them and i'm having a blast and the filthy rain stops and the water begins to evaporate from the fields and turns into thin, fast-moving fog and the sun almost comes out and i hear on the radio that there's a rumor (rumour?) that they've seen the sun in cornwall and they're actually talking about this on the radio like it's news.

come to think of it, it's a happy, gentle kind of conversation. they intermittently play music that listeners have suggested will break up the mood caused by all the infernal rain.

and then i go look at some awesome natural features, mostly from erosion. there's a heart-shaped sea cave, a giant teapot, and i have included here a picture of my awesome parking place. do you like it?

and then i return to the church to use the bathroom there before heading out to the parking lot and the pastor  introduces me to some people in the parlor as "our new friend" and they ask me if i play guitar and i say i do, but i didn't bring one and the mandolin player says that's all right, i can play his.

and he goes to get it.

so apparently we have a gig sunday night.

marathon reading

so i'm up here on PEI and i heard on the news hat there's a church here doing a marathon reading of the bible. out loud. the whole thing. it's going to take them nine days.

and i thought: wow. i should go see some of that. and the next time i heard it on the news, i'll have to listen carefully and find out what church that is and where so maybe i can go while they're doing it.

and the news report came out and i was listening for the name of the church and the town it was in and all of a sudden i think: hey! isn't this hunter river? and isn't it that church over there?

right then, as i was driving by.

so i went in, figuring to see some of it, and they signed me right up to read a portion. and then there was a thing with a reporter and i think i'm in the paper tomorrow.

meanwhile, i'm hunting gocaches and doing some real fun mudbogging. the mud here is not just red, but really, really slippery. but it has solid botom, so you're all over the place, but you stay in low gear and you get there.

thing is the floor on the driver's side of my car is covered with red mud and the outside of the car looks like it's been sprayed with tomato juice.

i gotta go. rain or not, i'm working on a set of caches and i want to get back out there so i can do the math later.


Monday, May 16, 2011

bright red

yesterday morning i woke up and skipped church because i had the opportunity to go loo at some cool tidal anomalies, but i had to go at high tide, which was right about church time and i have to think that God would not so much mind me going to admire such handiwork.

but then for some reason i just decided to go to PEI. the mud here (and there is a lot of mud) is the most amazing red color.

and i have been listening to canadian talk radio, which is stunningly polite. yesterday i hear one guy saying that if the government doesn't fully compensate the farmers in manitoba for the intentional flooding, "well, then, i'm one guy that will be angry".

that was about the height and pitch of the discussion. one thing i notice is that no matter how strongly these people hold their opinions, they are all willing to look at the other guy's side, and that's a LONG way from US talk radio mouth-foamers.


i have to go find some geocaches or something. it's sleeting here today. i'm glad i brought my long johns.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

what time is it?

i'm pretty near lubec, maine, which is the most eastern town in the contiguous US. i'm on my way to campobello island for the day.

my cellphone keeps alternating between picking up US towers and canadian towers, which here means that i never quite know what time it is. all of maine, even the eastern parts, are in the eastern time zone. this part of canada runs on the atlantic time zone.

i'm totally toasty with the idea of changing timezones when i actually cross over for the day, but all this switching back and forth is driving me nuts; i have alarms that go off when it's time for prayer and for when i'm supposed to take a picture and since i keep switching back and forth, it's crazy-making.

well. i'm off into new brunswick for the day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

straight answers

sometimes i hang out on yahoo! answers just to kill time, or to break up stretches at my desk when i'm sitting here doing stuff.

people ask the goofiest questions over there, and apparently what 13-year-olds have to say about relationships is considered good advice.

my favorite questions involve people who want unseen strangers to diagnose medical conditions for them.

sometimes it's just a case of people who need attention, or people who are too lazy to use google properly, or kids who want their homework done for them, but sometimes there are questions i actually can answer, and it's nice to be able to help.

some of the questions just break your heart, so be careful if you go there.

Monday, May 09, 2011

back in time

PLEASE don't try to follow the story very linearly; it will only drive you mad.

i'm writing to you today about a sunny day LAST may (30 may 2010) because i happen to be there writing my geocaching logs in case that's the sort of thing you care about.

it was this fantastic sunny day and i was driving along 414 on my way back into watkins glen admiring the wineries and the lake views and in general enjoying the sunshine and the day.

i was also looking for a winery. it's wine country.

i'd asked at church what local wine they would suggest if i wanted to buy something special but not too expensive for friends back home, and since i don't drink, i have to go by advice rather than tasting. the people at the church in tburg recommended something from lamoreaux landing, so i went there.

i walked in and the first person i ran into was the manager of the tasting floor and i explained to her that i wanted to buy something special but reasonably priced for my pastor and for my best friend, but that tasting is out of the question for me, so could she advise me, please?

she could. and she did.

and i came away with two very fine bottles of wine for under $20 each.

what i was trying to capture, of course, was the sunlight and slope and the crispness of the day, which i guess is what they're doing with good wines, anyway.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

that video i promised

i very unexpectedly had to come home yesterday.

of course i couldn't find out that i needed to come home NOW while i was still north of skowhegan and therefore nominally on the way; oh, no. i had to find out after i'd driven all the way to BANGOR.

so anyway, i'm home for a few days, which means i can get my snows changed off of my car and i can upload pictures.

this is a short video of a spring that comes up through fine glacial till. it is such an amazing thing to look at that while i only shot a few seconds of it, i stood int the cold and rain, watching it bubble for several minutes.

there's a little shed built over it, and when you look down into it, you're looking down about three feet.

that's some clear water.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

one amazing thing

i see a lot of cool things on the road.

right now i think i have enough of a connection to upload video i took yesterday of the single amazing-est thing i saw yesterday.

now, maybe you don't spend a lot of time looking at rocks, but i'm a big geology fan and i was doing this earthcache that follows along an impressive esker and near the end of it is the place where the still-active underground river pushes up through the sand in a fresh spring and i just stood there for a long time, looking at it.

it's almost like watching a living thing.

i was going to upload a video for you, but  it'll have to wait until i get out of the woods.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


i was going to post for you pictures of what i saw today, but this is a powerful slow internet connection, leading me to believe that someone does not understand what the words "high-speed wifi" mean.

anyway, i got into my car yesterday to come here and found this tied inside waiting for me:

Monday, May 02, 2011

should be gone by now

i'm waiting for my ipod to sync.

it was only going to take a minute, but i decided at the last moment to load MORE podcasts on it, just because i can.

so it's going to take a few minutes.

while i'm at it, i'm printing up some golf scorecards to take along. and don't let me forget the extra gallon of wash water!

anyway, i never did tell you about the cheese; it'll have to wait until i get home.

but here's my parting shot:

last week i made ginger ale. it's just about ready, and i made it extra lemony and i infused it with lavender, just for giggles because cr likes lavender.

it was really pretty in the bottle before i filtered it, with the ginger and lemon on the bottom and the lavender on the top, and the pinkish liquid between. for a couple of days i just kept shaking it up like a snow globe, just to watch the magic.


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