Month: September 2010

Bikes, hikes and fishing

After the “full body workout” from the mountain-biking on Saturday, bro-in-law Bill and I decided a stroll in the woods would be a nice outing. We strategically picked the Little Missouri Trail because it had been one of the candidates for mountain-biking that had been passed up in favor of the Lake Ouachita Vistas Trail. We had gone the previous day to the Albert Pike Recreation Area, the site of the devastatng flood on June 11, 2010. Our hike would be on the trail from the Little Missouri Falls to Albert Pike. That trek gave us a good understanding of how devastating the flood damage was, and why so many people were unable to escape the torrent of water that washed down the canyon in the wee hours of that morning. The photograph on the left is of a U.S. Geologic Survey high water mark on a sign post in the parking lot. The photo on the right is a high water placard on the bulletin board in the same lot. Just 50 yards away is another parking lot overlooking the river in a way that allowed getting a perspective of how high the rise of the water really was. In this photo, the camera is being held level, even with the high-water placard, looking straight across the river. I’m guessing it’s at least a 25 foot rise. The...

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It’s now official: dumped Google Chrome, back to Firefox

Why you ask? First, why did I try Google Chrome?  It was touted as faster and better integration with other Google products, which I like.  That was the main reason. So why go back to Firefox? Let me tell you the ways: Google is not faster. Not a scientific study, but there is clearly no discernable difference. Firefox has more add-ins. The Google add-ins that parallel those available in Firefox tend not to be as elegant or functional. For example, the clipper for Evernote in Google does not allow you to clip directly to the Evernote database on your computer, but only to the web-based database (which later syncs to your local copy). The NoScript add-in for Firefox is an essential protection. It’s now available in Google, but is not as highly developed. Firefox has a master password to protect your stored passwords — Google does not. Firefox does a better job of opening links in new tabs — which is my preference. Those are the “biggies” but another argument I’ve heard frequently is “I don’t want to be that tied to Google” meaning the user is concerned about the Google usage of browsing patterns. Like this:Like...

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Adventure meets ability

I’ve always been adventuresome in spirit but rarely acted on it except in spurts. As a young boy I think I had the typical fantasies ranging from being a swash-buckling pirate to a “spaceman” (yes, that was before the term “astronaut” was coined), to a fireman and so on. Having originally been an electrical engineering major in college and later getting my degree in accounting, I was immersed in the more “stoic” part of our population. Times gradually bent me toward outdoor interests more and more. While in the Navy another young officer and I took USO-supplied bicycles (3-speed touring bikes with fat tires) from Sasebo, Japan to the resort city of Karatsu. Upon embarking, we had no clue that there were seven mountains in between! Adventure met ability head-on that day, but that’s another story in itself. The years from then to the current period have seen backpacking, running, motorcycle enduros, water and snow-skiing, instrument flying, long-distance motorcycle touring and camping, kayaking and more. Having recently gotten serious about running and recently rediscovering the joy of cycling, it seemed an obvious transition to get my mountain bike (a classic, Trek 850 Antelope) fixed up and so when I headed to Arkansas to the Ouachita Mountains, taking the mountain bike was a no-brainer. After a brief warm-up the day before, Bill and I set out to explore the Lake...

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Breaking news: I found where God lives!

What? Rain? Darn sure is. Can’t find my watch to check the time but it must be 3am or so — so this is September 3. Now it’s almost 6 and I’m so glad I turned off the alarm before I snuggled into bed in the Jayco 19H camper. It’s cool here in the Ouichita Mountains of Arkansas, especially down here in the valley. Must be 64 degrees or so. A few rays of light are peeking through the pine and hickory forest. In the cool, still air I hear the creek flowing over the swimming hole dam. I’m here alone, me and the animals … and God. He definitely is here and that makes sense because only God could make a place like this. Now there is just enough light to make the birds tune up in full song. I have no idea what kind of bird that is, but the low-high warble wafts easily on the cool breeze and fills the valley with song. It’s a beautiful morning in the Arkansas Ouichita Mountains. Driving now into Norman, AR (hey, it’s an easy choice: 6 miles East to Glenwood or 6 miles West to Norman — 50/50 chance of getting it right!) to see if Melba’s Diner is open. Passing through Caddo Gap — doesn’t take long — and along the Caddo River valley the road gently winds...

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