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Quick future plan [May. 31st, 2009|01:22 pm]
I'm saving up for an ocean-going yacht which I should be able to purchase in a couple years. Some friends are going to crew (well, Scott W. is, who else?), and we're sailing to the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, all the tropical islands leading down to South America where we'll hug the coast and port in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo for some beautiful Brazilian partying.

From there, we've got two options: (1) straight across the South Atlantic to South Africa and Madagascar. Another long voyage across the Indian Ocean will take us to Australia, then around the bottom of Oz to New Zealand, or above Oz to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Then hit Fiji, and either go up to Hawaii or straight east to the western shore of South America and go up Chile and Peru, Central America, Mexico, and finally port in San Diego.

Option (2) is leave Brazil and head north towards the west coast of Africa, through the Straight of Gibraltar and visit Spain, France Italy, Greece, etc. After that, pop back out of the Med and head north to the UK, then probably make the pilgrimage back to New England.

Who wants to come?
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Anodize your titanium [May. 19th, 2009|11:33 pm]
I wrote up a brief how-to on a simple method to anodize titanium.

Read it here: www.instructables.com/id/Anodize-Titanium/





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Make a cheap, easy wallet [Jan. 2nd, 2009|06:08 am]
Make a wallet!

http://goldtronics.livejournal.com/2301.html
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Bike Accident [Aug. 6th, 2008|05:01 am]
On Sunday, August 3, I was hit by a pick-up truck. I was going westbound on Cortland, he was going southbound on Ashland. I didn't realize Ashland had two lanes going southbound, because one of them is obstructed by pillars holding up an overpass. I thought the intersection was clear, so I went through it.

The truck, going about 30 mph, hit me so hard that my shoe fell off, and I flew/slid about 12 feet across the street.

I was in the hospital for about 40 hours (two nights).

I was wearing a helmet and did not sustain any serious injuries (except for a possible refracture of my hand from January). I have a lot of lacerations and abrasions. My right thigh required 6 sutures, and my forehead required three sutures. My ankle was overlooked, but the gash is rather deep, and could've probably used some stitches as well. My right leg is swollen and sore from taking the brute of the impact. My left heel is bruised. This makes it hard to stand and walk, but I'm hobbling around alright.

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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2008|04:31 pm]
Day 13 (Sunday July 6) - Rocky Ford, CO to Walsenburg, CO (69 miles) route:

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Hit an elevation over a mile high!

The first 48 miles were unbearably hot. The climbs weren't that bad. The 3 mile downhill was awesome. It opened up the views of the mountains. The weather got cooler and I could see the lightning storm over Walsenburg and surrounding areas. I stopped with about 7 miles to go and took some pictures and pet some horses. The landscape is absolutely beautiful. I would've liked to take more pictures, but the rain was coming, and I wanted to get to shelter. The last 4 miles of my ride were in light to medium rain, with a moderate to heavy cross-wind.

I'll post pictures later.
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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2008|04:30 pm]
Day 12 (Saturday July 5) - Haswell, CO to Rocky Ford, CO (56 miles) route:

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Today has definitely been the hottest day of my journey. The digital thermometers outside the bank in Rocky Ford read 102 degrees. I was planning on pushing ~120 miles to Walsenburg, but that ain't gonna happen. I'll be riding the 68 miles to Walsenburg tomorrow.

The forecast calls for highs to be in the 100s for the next week, so I'm going to be riding shorter days. The desert is going to be brutal, once I get into Arizona. I think I'm going to be terminating my cycling at the Four Corners (where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet) and have my father come pick me up. Riding in weather this hot is not at all fun, and towns are even more scarce in the desert. I'll have cycled approximately 1300 out of 2114 miles. Kind of depressing. I'm an idiot for trying to ride 1000 miles through the desert in the middle of summer though.

No pictures today.
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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2008|04:29 pm]
Day 11 (Friday July 4) - Sharon Springs, KS to Haswell, CO (102 miles) route:

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It was a hot day; I would've stopped in Eads, CO after 80 miles, but it was mid-afternoon and I want to keep pounding out the miles. My right knee is really messed up - it hurts a lot.

Not much to see on the road, but the residents of Haswell invited me to their potluck and fireworks celebration when I arrived. Small-town folk are the nicest people. Delicious food, too - my first time trying homemade ice cream. So good. An old fellow named Guy showed me around town: took me to the country's smallest jailhouse, as well as their volunteer firehouse. He told me about a lot of the old buildings as well as a description of basically everyone in the town. I have a new respect for small towns - there's a lot there that passers-by don't see.

I used my tent for the first time - camped out in the park. It wasn't bad; there was a crude bathroom and running water available. I don't know if I'd camp out on the side of the highway, though. I need running water and a bathroom.

I took lots of pictures of the town and its residents. There was a water balloon toss and sparklers. Their fireworks show is funded by a box in the post office for people to give donations. They go out and buy fireworks from various stands in the surrounding towns. It's a really small show, some roman candles and big sparkler type things, as well as a few typical fireworks that one see at most shows. It lasted a good 45 minutes, but it wasn't constant action. A few of the volunteer firemen lit the fuses in a field right in front of where everyone was gathered. The kids loved it. Actually, everyone really appreciated it. It's no spectacle like July 3 in Chicago, but there's so much heart and community pride. Without a doubt the best Fourth of July I've ever had.

I'll post pictures later.
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(no subject) [Jul. 4th, 2008|01:58 am]
Day 10 (Thursday July 3) - Hoxie, KS to Sharon Springs, KS (93 miles) route:

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I could certainly tell I did some climbing today. It wasn't bad though. Very easy gradients. Tailwind for the first 40 miles or so.

The weather was wonderful. It was supposed to rain all day, but it just rained last night. The temperature was perfect.

Encountered some new flora and fauna today. I saw some field mice surrying about the side of the highway, as well as a little snake slithering down the shoulder. I actually saw a sunflower! And even some cacti in the undeveloped fields.

I crossed into the mountain time zone - my first time here!

The best part of the day was getting into the western-most 50 miles of Kansas. As I hit the peak of the climb at around 70-75 miles or so, the landscape changed. The corn and wheat fields became sparse, and the soil no longer rich and moist, but rather hard and dry, like the desert. This part of the country is absolutely beautiful. Definitely the most beautiful 30 miles of my trip so far. I'll be honest, it brought some tears to my eyes.

To make the day even better, about 10 miles before reaching Sharon Springs is a little town called Wallace which was once a popular city in western Kansas that housed Fort Wallace back in the 1800s. There's now a museum just off the highway that exhibits the history of the fort, the town, western Kansas, conflict with the Native Americans, and what life was like on the frontier. Many artifacts are found and donated by local history buffs. I spent about an hour browsing, reading, and taking pictures. I was never much into history, but actually seeing these things makes so much more of an impact. It's wonderful that these people collect these things and are able to display them for the public to see. I got to see a small part of how our country was built. Simply put: it's incredibly fucking inspiring. It made me cry. I was never really patriotic before, but I can now say I am damn proud to be a citizen of this country. If you're ever near here, spend at least an hour at this museum. You will not regret it.

Tomorrow I cross into Colorado. I know the scenery will be even better than today. My progress will probably slow down due to (1) long climbs and (2) photographic opportunities.

Pictures:

Barbed wire buffalo sculpture outside the museum, by the mayor of the town
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Fort Wallace Historic Marker
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I would really love to see some live buffalo, but the few in existence are on farms not along my route
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Cavalry hat
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Organ
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Cannon
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(no subject) [Jul. 3rd, 2008|01:38 am]
Day 9 (Wednesday July 2) - Smith Center, KS to Hoxie, KS (118 miles) route:

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Apparently I did a lot of climbing today, but didn't really feel it. What I felt was the damned heat. It was very hot again today. I rode 63 miles to Norton by 1 PM. I didn't want to end my ride that early, but the next town with a motel is Hoxie or Colby. Hoxie is 20 miles closer, so I went for it. Turned out to be a good move. The wind was coming out of the NNE, so I had a tailwind for the last half of my ride. It also felt like I was going more downhill than uphill during the second half... Having a tailwind makes one hell of a difference!

Nothing interesting to see today. No pictures. Just hot hot hot and pedal pedal pedal. I'm beat. I'm just glad there were no T-storms today. It's supposed to rain all tomorrow, but I'm going to try to get to the next available town with a motel. Any progress is good progress, right? No need to sit in Hoxie for two days...
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(no subject) [Jul. 1st, 2008|11:07 pm]
Day 8 (Tuesday July 1) - Belleville, KS to Smith Center, KS (63 miles) route:

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It was very hot today; upper 90s. Today started off slow. I was tired from yesterday's long ride. It went slow all day. The heat was just sucking the moisture and salt out of me. I drank as much as I could and used my Gatorade powder. My water quickly heated up to the temperature of the surrounding air. Drinking hot water sucks. I wanted to ride the 92 miles to Phillipsburg, KS, but it was just too unbearable out. Tomorrow is supposed to be just as hot as today, with isolated thunderstorms. Thursday calls for showers all day and isolated T-storms Friday.

I met another cyclist touring eastbound today. Jason's blog is at http://intentionaldiscomfort.blogspot.com/. He told me he's done a lot of hiking all around the states, as well as bike rides all around, so it seems he has quite a lot of experience. On this trip, he is heading from Montana to Virginia.

Pictures:

This little abandoned farmhouse reminded me of something out of a Steinbeck novel
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And... I made it to the center of the U.S.
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