Dec 14, 2013

Harold the Christmas Spider(s)

Google turned a couple stills into an animated
GIF automatically.  Wasn't that nice of them?

It's Harold, the Christmas Spider!

We took out some Christmas decorations today and Lily noticed a couple of dead spiders.  They looked kinda curly and scary, but my first thought was "let's look at them closer!"

When we were at the LaBrea Tar Pits I found a pocket microscope in the gift shop (I do love a good gift shop) and picked up a set as my souvenir for the day.  They were pretty cheap, but I can't remember how much.  Less than $20 for sure, plastic lens and all.  We've all used the magnifier for lots of interesting examinations, from beach sand to, well, Christmas spiders.  It has a white light to illuminate the subject, and a blue light for counterfit bill detection, but I don't know how to use that properly.  Nifty little case and it tucks in my travelling bag quite nicely.

I used an old trick - putting the camera lens right next to the magnifying lens.  It works for distance, also, using binoculars or a monocular.  It doesn't give you the best image in the world, but it's surprisingly effective.

Here is a quarter close up:

 And a few more pictures of Harold, the Christmas Spider..

Oct 2, 2013

British Comedy I love, also available streaming on Netflix.

Going Postal.  Trippy, funny, dark.

Snuff Box.  Comedy about hangmen.  What's not to like?  I wish there were a thousand episodes.

Spaced.  Simon Pegg, a bunch of wonderful actors, and more sci-fi references than you can keep up with.

Black Books.  I wish I was Bernard Black.

The League Of Gentlemen.  A show so strange and funny you can smell it.

The Inbetweeners.  If I were British, I would be this uncool.

Peep Show.  Mitchell and Webb are an amazing duo, watch also for "Mitchell and Webb"

Shameless (UK Version).  Loved it till the McGuire's took over, but it's still good.  Scatter!

Hyperdrive.  Like Red Dwarf, but with more contemporary comedians like Nick Frost - the other half of the latest Simon Pegg movies..

Assuming of course that the IT Crowd, Little Britain, etc, is all known as wonderful, of course..

To be honest there are very few shows from the past decade (i.e. not Benny Hill, not Fawlty Towers) in the "British Comedy" list on Netflix streaming that aren't good.

Sep 7, 2013

343 miles in one day

A Blister run record for most miles in one day.  Two Harbors, Grand Marais, all the way down the Gunflint trail (and up and down and up and down a few times), Grand Marais again, Betty's Pies and back to Canal Park for beer and meat.

Lots of fun, nobody died, Scott is wearing a duct tape hand bandage that nobody wants to see coming off.  And we found that if you have a scooter that doesn't work and you have an identical scooter that does work, it's much easier to debug.  Twice.

No moose, but I think we decided that was probably safest.  We are all exhausted and just now warming up but it was all kinds of good.

Grand Marais

We are in Grand Marais after a very long day of riding into the wind and having lots of pickup trucks with boat trailers pass us.   Some dangerously, others just annoyingly. 

Took some time in Two Harbors to swap out a fuel line in an effort to curb some WOT fuel starvation issues.  So far so good but I'm not convinced its warm enough to reproduce the issue.

Grand Marais is actually chilly but Duluth was extremely warm. No rain but at one point it closed up and got quite cold.  And now we have sunny and wind. 

Time to have some fish!

Sep 5, 2013

Helmet audio and gear packing.

The $9 helmet headset kit from office max.  Fits like nothing is there and sounds great.

In past years I have done everything from drain my phone battery by listening to mp3's to getting an old old ugly mp3 player and taping that to the scooter. I think this is probably going to be a bit easier solution but it may be kind of a hassle with the cord hanging down.  We'll see.

As luck would have it I just upgraded my phone to a Nexus 4 and I still have the old phone sitting around so I'm going put it in airplane mode and listen to music on that thus saving my new phone's battery for things like navigation and not being able to find a t-mobile Network.

Packing gets easier every year. It seems all you really need is a toothbrush, phone charger, change of clothes and rainwear.  Everything beyond that is just added weight. I enjoy having my rainwear bundled and strapped in front of my scooter so that it breaks the wind a bit and makes me slightly more aerodynamic.  But I really like to be able to ride the scooter like I do everyday and not like I'm driving a huge bike with tons of luggage strapped to it. This year I have the back rack so I'll be able to strap my backpack to that and be on my merry way without having to worry about being able to fit on the seat or sliding my gear off the back of the seat while I'm riding.

Time for the Blister Run!

Heading north on the annual long distance scooter trip we call the Blister Run this weekend.  I am considering using this blog as the blow-by-blow account of our fun and travels.  We'll see if I follow up on that...

Jul 29, 2013

Wha? This old thing?

Delinquent.  Late.  Behind Schedule.  Whatever.

Updated a ton of pictures in my photo albums, but I'm not going to say which ones, you have to guess.  Once I get all caught up I'll post something nicer.  Just wanted a post on this blog from this year instead of last year.  More next year!