Dominus Buddhimus Maximus

Dig this:A couple of Buddhist nuns decide to start a convent in downtown LA. No biggie, right? Along comes a group of fundamentalist Christian douchebags who try to block their building permits on the grounds that burning incense will contribute to air pollution! In Los Angeles!

Anyways, the nuns called in the Archdioceses of Los Angeles to mediate the dispute. The Archdioceses agreed to help, and sent in its director of ecumenical and inter-religious affairs, Father Alexei Smith. Father Smith was able to smooth things out, and the nuns got to build their convent.

Rev. Kusala has posted the audio of his hour-long interview with Father Alexei over at Urban Dharma.

They discuss all sorts of interesting theological stuff, the ramifications of Vatican II, and what it’s like to be in charge of inter-religious affairs under the pope who wrote Dominus Iesus, a document that formally declares that all other religions are full of shit.

It’s an interesting podcast.

SLED10 Install Fest

The good people at Novell invited me to come down to Philly today to celebrate the hotness that is Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop

They gave a nice demo, and then we had an install fest. My laptop is no longer running Breezy, and I think I like it.

XGL is the ultimate in nerdly awesomeness.

Behold the XGL cube!

The room was packed, standing room only, and people were genuinely excited about linux. There were even girls there! It was amazing.

If you work for a company that makes you run WindowsXP, quit. The revolution has begun.

Drunken Kayak Festivus

For many winters, my buddies and I have been meeting around a bonfire to indulge in such activities as the drinking of beer, the telling of lies, the dancing of goat dances, and the celebration of the winter solstice.

We have finally decided to start holding a celebration for the summer solstice as well. The warmer summer weather has enabled us to add an additional piece of foolishness to our collection of stupidity: drunken kayak camping. We paddled, we drank, we carried on…. Then the skies opened up and poured on us all night. My trusty wal-mart tent kept me mostly dry, but I did have a few minor leaks.
Leaky tent
My fortress of solitude

I think it might be time for a new tent. I’m about 6 and a half feet tall and my feet touch the bottom of the tent, then they get wet… sucks.Brandi was unable to attend, but those who had female companionship set up these luxurious harem tents. You can see part of our fleet of kayaks in the background.

Harem tents and a quiver of kayaks
After I woke up and shook the beer fumes out of my head, I pumped the rainwater out of my boat and cruised around the river.
My boat
Waterlogged kayak
I’ll probably have more pictures after people’s hangovers wear off and they upload them to my ftp server.

Lighten Up

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with lightweight backpacking gear, so I picked up a few books on the subject.I just finished “Lighten Up.”

Lighten Up

I liked it. It gives you a good overview of what lightweight backpacking is all about (tarps, quilts, etc.) I think most of the equipment and techniques can make sense for bicycle camping trips, too. I think it would be cool if I could actually go camping out of my Carradice Camper bag.

The illustrations are awesome. Kind of like cute, funny, cartoons that really show you what you’re supposed to be seeing without being all cluttered up.

The only thing that kind of sucked was that the book was really short. Maybe it’s all in keeping with the minimalist philosophy of the ‘movement’ or whatever, but I think they could have added a little more material.

I give it 3 jihadis out of 5

Three jihadis out of five

Another Hike

Ever since my bike-camping trip, I’ve been thinking about going backpacking again, but I’m not exactly in what you’d call trail-ready shape, so Brandi and I have been doing little hikes after work to knock the dust out of my knees and explore the local trails. I’m not from around here, so these trails are all new and exciting to me. Especially the AT. Once upon a time, I harbored delusions about doing the whole shebang, all 2,175 miles of it, all in one trip.

A call to adventure

Maybe someday, but not today. Today, Brandi and I skipped work and made a short day hike on Peter’s mountain. Peter’s mountain has a kind of rocky spine sticking out all along its top.

Lots of rock formations

It was hot. I went through water at a rate of almost 1 liter/hour.

When there are hot rocks in the mountains, you get snakes. We encountered 2 big black snakes today. They were very shy and got out of our way pretty quickly.

A black snake

We hiked in about 3.5 miles, turned around, and hiked back to the car.


3.5 miles down, 2171.5 to go…

Hawk Rock

I went on a quick hike on the AT today. I started in Duncannon and headed south.I hiked up the mountain to Hawk Rock. It was pretty.

I kicked back, had some trail mix, and read my book.



After a while, I got cold (it was windy up there), so I pressed on for another mile or so, then turned around and headed back down.

The mountain laurel is blooming, so that was nice.

Blooming Laurel

No trip to the mountains is complete without a snake encounter. Garter snake this time.

A snake

I like the mountains.

Chainrings and Beer

I have been running 48-38-30 chainrings on the Trek for about a year. After last week, I have been thinking that I might do my next bike-camping trip on paved roads. If I do that, I’m going to want stump-pulling gears on the road bike, too. I recently scored a 26 tooth granny gear on ebay, so I installed that today, and took the Trek out for a ride.
My Bike
I like the way it looks now. Maybe I’m wierd, but I like the aesthetics of being able to see three seperate chainrings. It’s like transparent design, or something.Chainrings
After I got back from my ride, I went to the Brewhouse where I discovered something wonderful:
Legacy Brewing’s Hedonism Ale is liquid Jesus. They make it in Reading and bottle it in Harrisburg. It is divine.Maybe my next camping trip will be to Reading 🙂
Nectar of the gods