My Catalyst Is On Its Way!

Brian has evidently ridden down to the UPS store with my pack.

ULA delivery vehicle
It looks like the ULA delivery vehicle is rocking the mustache bars.

From UPS.com:

UPS Tracking my Catalyst

Yeehaw! I have started weighing all my camping gear on Brandi’s baking scale to better become a backpacking weight weenie.

I got nine kinds of hell over putting my shoes on the food scale, but now I know. They weigh one pound per shoe. 🙂

Catalyst

About two years ago, one of the (now defunct) podcasts I listened to did an interview with Brian Frankle from ULA Equipment. ULA is a small sewing shop that Brian runs out of his garage, making backpacks.

He talked about his philosophy in the interview, and he sounds like exactly the kind of people I want to do business with.

One of the reasons I can’t stand the mainstream industry, and I’m glad I’m not a part of it. Is that, you know, innovation for the sake of innovation is always kind of a silly recipe in my mind. My goal is to come up with the perfect pack…and then just keep making the damn thing. There’s no reason to just change something for the sake of changing it.

[…]

[There’s] been a major, major shift, in my opinion, in how things are built. Things are just built very, very poorly now. And it’s not because the Asians, (where most of the stuff is made) it’s not because they’re not skilled. They’re incredible craftsmen but the people building it just don’t demand it. Because it’s so cheap that the way they warranty things, instead of just buying or building something that’s good from the get-go […] that it’s easier just to warranty by giving someone something new as opposed to just building something durable from the get-go.

— Brian Frankle – TrailCast #20

I’ve been mulling around the idea of a new Backpack for two years now, and I’ve been getting back into hiking and stuff a little more lately. So I emailed Brian and we talked about backpacks and my sasquatch-like bodily dimensions, and I settled on a Catalyst.

My new pack will be hand made, in the USA. It’ll be 6 pounds lighter than my current pack, and it’ll have a sleeve for a hydration bladder (which my current pack does not have). Plus it’s a lovely green color, so it will blend in nicely with the woods.

Brian says I will have my new pack in 2 or 3 weeks, so I need to get busy looking over my maps to plan out a nice overnighter to take it on. I’ll post pictures and stuff when it gets here.

Thick Mountain Trail

Klinutus and I made use of the President’s Day holiday to go wander around the Tall Timbers Natural Area, which has some of the only old growth forest left in the State.

Trail Snowman

The trees are very big. I’m not exactly a small person, but I’m hard to find in the picture.

Tall Trees

It was kind of a winter wonderland in the woods.

Klinutus crosses a log

I GPS logged our whole hike, and now the map is ever so slightly more complete.

If you like pictures, there are a few more in my gallery.

Rev. Bone

Yesterday I became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church of Modesto California.

Pending the outcome of a lawsuit against the church, I will be legally able to perform weddings in Pennsylvania.

If you would like me to officiate at your wedding, let me know. I don’t care about your religion, and I will even wear a giant chicken suit or whatever if that’s your thing.

Our Most Reverend Chicken

Truth be told, I’d prefer to officiate weddings in a chicken suit, or other outlandish attire of your choosing.

Thanks to the Disturbed Buddha for bringing the ULC ordination process to my attention.

Politics

I usually don’t really care enough about politics to talk about it too much. This election cycle, however, I have done at least of 10 minutes research on YouTube and decided I officially like Obama.

In addition to having his own Hazeltoid super hero, Obama appears to be down with bicycle commuting!

It looks like Pennsylvania might actually have a say in the primaries this year. I am registered as an independant, which means I’m not allowed to vote.

So, I think I’m going to join the Democrats (temporarily, at least) so I can vote for him.

Sophistry

And yet, Socrates, I have heard that he who would be an orator has nothing to do with true justice, but only with that which is likely to be approved by the many who sit in judgment; nor with the truly good or honourable, but only with opinion about them, and that from opinion comes persuasion, and not from the truth.
–Plato (Phaedrus)

It may all be rhetoric and Sophistry, but I kind of like this Obama guy.

The Bike Show

Resonance 104.4FM has a radio show about bikes called “The Bike Show.” Monday, they released a podcast of an interview with Andy Allen, the Grand Poobah of the OSM Cycle Map.

It’s pretty bad-ass. Check it out. (29MB MP3)

In other news, the same show is putting together a tribute to the late, great Sheldon Brown. To that end, they are asking for submissions of audio, video, or text remembrances of Sheldon.

Sheldon Brown has a Posse

Sheldon and Igor – R.I.P.

The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death.
Bertrand Russell

Sheldon Brown

Sheldon Brown, patron Saint of bicycle mechanics, and master of silly hats is gone from us, and the world is a darker place for his absence.

NewsFlash: MySpace still sucks donkey balls

I came across this article, by way of the Secular Outpost.

Early this month, MySpace again deleted the Atheist and Agnostic Group (35,000 members). This deletion, due largely to complaints from people who find atheism offensive, marks the second time MySpace has cancelled the group since November 2007.

Terrible web design, pedophilia, and how this!

“MySpace refuses to undelete the group, although it never violated any terms of service,” said Bryan Pesta, Ph.D., the group’s moderator. “When the largest Christian group was hacked, MySpace’s Founder, Tom Anderson, personally restored the group, and promised to protect it from future deletions.”

This why all the cool kids have ditched myspace and facebook, and are now rocking the mugshot.