Sunday, November 11, 2018


Every Veteran's Day it is worth pausing to reflect, but this year's 100th anniversary of the end of World War I makes today particularly noteworthy.  Not a lot I can add here, but we shouldn't let the day pass without mention.

Coffeeneuring Stop #7: Bethel Bike Trails

The post about Stop #6 promised something creative this time out, and creative is what we got.  With all the small-town shops checked off, it was time to step out into the Coffee Shops Without Walls category.  On to the particulars:
1. where: Bethel Bike Trails, Desoto National Forest, just north of Biloxi MS
2. date: 11/10/2018
3. what: double helping of black Taster's Choice instant ("just payin' for my sins here on Earth")
4. ride details: a short excursion for coffee and lunch, tacked onto the end of a 24 mile MTB ride
5. mileage: 3.1 miles round-trip

After the Thursday and Friday rains, the first serious cold front of the year moved through leaving beautiful cool weather and wet but not quite soaked woods.  It was a great day to be out there in the flat pineys of Desoto NF.  After getting the main ride done, swapped Camelbak for the day pack, pre-loaded with coffee gear, lunch, backpacking stove, and – throwing in a twist – a shortwave radio.  Here, have some pics, we'll come back to the rest in a minute:

Hm, for some reason those pics didn't stack around too easily this time.  Ah well, you can see the main points anyway: a smokey day camp, trying to get wet twigs to burn; the little folding Ti stove and pot, slowly trying to boil water to re-hydrate lunch & coffee; lunch & coffee & shortwave radio (listening to WWL-AM New Orleans at the moment); stove ready to be folded up for storage.

I'd been wanting to try out some of this gear under real-world conditions for a while, and here was the chance.  As a twig-burner, the Vargo stove did fine but it would've been much better if I could've found some dry wood.  As it was, pine park and cones were about the best things available.  The Osprey Talon 22 day pack, stuffed with nearly 15 pounds of gear and water, did great on the trail.  I wasn't trying to go light this time out, rather I was trying to push the gear a little bit to see how it performed under load.  As for the SW radio, it did well too, pulling in all kinds of stuff including a numbers station, some Spanish rap music, something in French, WTWW playing oldies, and a ham radio talk show.  Also dialed over to one of the ham 20 meter band digital text watering holes and listened in on a Canadian talking with a guy in the U.S., using the iPhone as the decoding computer.  So that was pretty cool.

All in all, it was a good day on the trail, and a good day to have coffee and try out some gear in the field.  But in the end, I was tired after 27 miles of wet woodlands and hustled it home before mid-afternoon.  And that's a good, slightly offbeat way to wrap up this year's Coffeeneuring Challenge.  But there's no stopping this train now, I'm headed downtown on the CX bike in a bit for the after lunch cup.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Ugly Truth on Information-Thin Books

As seen over at SMBC :
Be sure to follow the SMBC link to get the mouse-over text and the red button gag.

BTW, if you want to catch up on Foucault even faster than the Cliff notes version, you can just download a couple of hours' worth of podcast over at Philosophize This.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Oh Good

Coffee May Protect Against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Man, I'd be the perfect image of health if only I didn't twitch so much.

You can read some of my other opinions on the (dark) matter right here.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Well that's pretty cool.

How a Florida Jeep Club Used Wranglers to Flip a Family's House Over After Hurricane Michael
Story at Jalopnik.

Heartwarming, dramatic, and a little bit dicey all at the same time.

Whoo, you see the time?  More later.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween & Pirate Radio

Halloween and Pirate Shortwave, they just seem to go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  Listening to Wolverine radio on 6955 USB at the moment.  It's pretty steady, if not all that strong.  Also could receive X-FM 6975 AM, but it was so badly fading that listening wasn't pleasant.  Propagation is pretty poor tonight, no other shortwave pirates receivable at the moment.

As usual, there's an article over at The SWLing Post.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Anthropomorphic Coffee

This defies description, but it pretty darn cool nonetheless.  Here, just go over to the link:

It doesn't really fit in with any other categories, so I'm lumping it in with Coffeeneuring 2018.  Maybe it'll make some of the other coffeeneurs smile.

ps: If you're wondering what some of those coffee-things are, Wikipedia has a page for you.  To get all of them you may have to follow a few links.  It's a start.