Archive for June, 2005

Pony Express – en route

The Nevada Appeal reports (05jn15) History brought to life with annual Pony Express Trail reride

The first rider to take on the 27th annual Pony Express Trail reride left St. Joseph, Mo., at 4 p.m. Sunday. More than 500 riders and 1,966 miles later, the ride will end June 22 at Old Sacramento’s Pony Express Plaza.

About 155 riders will traverse the 403-mile route across Nevada carrying a mochila filled with commemorative letters and personal mail. They will dress in traditional uniform of black hat, red shirt, yellow bandana, blue jeans and boots.

The public can keep tabs on riders on the Internet at or by calling the hotline at 783-0462.

There is a saddle raffle to raise money for trail maintenance. Email andrewsw (at) for information or $5 tickets.

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Colorado Springs 1960

1960 WBCCI International Rally in Colorado Springs, CO Photo Gallery has been added to the Harrison Memories.

1960 WBCCI International Colorado Springs Parade
What a July 4th Parade!

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Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park

Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park was established in 1957 and protects North America’s largest concentration of Ichthyosaur fossils. The mining town of Berlin and the Diana Mine are also included in this park. See the photo gallery.

This will be the target of a visit on Friday, 26 June 2004 for WBCCI SNU Kingston Rally participants

The state park can be reached by going South on US 95 to Hawthorne and Mina then turning left on 844 to Gabbs. This route is paved all the way. You can also access the Park by going East on US 50 to Austin then turning right on Rt 21. This route is good gravel.

Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park
Can you imagine this as a big lake?

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Flowers photo gallery up

Flowers found in the eastern Sierras and Great Basin, a photo gallery
Snow Plant in the Sierras
This is the snow plant that can be found in the higher elevations in the Sierras.

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Using cell phones as a gaming tool

New Scientist reports on Gamers turn cities into a battleground where cellphones, GPS and other modern technologies are being used to create participatory games.

But Professor Bainbridge notes a problem for online games in his entry Cheaters

I like playing poker on-line, but I want a fair fight. Unfortunately, a bunch of computer weenies are fighting dirty

GeoCacheing is a popular RV ‘online’ game where people try to find a cache whose location is listed online. (What is it? or an FAQ) Can you think of others?

Those online poker sites have been a major source of comment and trackback spam and a major reason why you have to send an email (see above right for link) to comment or provide a trackback to entries on this weblog.

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small quiet gensets

Those who like to spend time off-grid, or away from places that have electrical outlets, are usually looking for ways to keep their batteries charged. The choices are solar, a genset (generator and motor set), or transport engine charging. The biggest problems with gensets involve, noise, cost, weight, fuel, and stowage.

The most common mistake is trying to go too cheap. This results in something that can’t quite do the job or does so in an obnoxious manner.

For a single group 27 type 100 AH battery, a typical charge cycle means you need to replace about 40 Amp Hours at 12 volts. This is 4 hours of charging at ten amps. This means you need a charging system capable of delivering at least 100 watts. This is the solar panel minimum, as a rule of thumb.

For gensets, you need to look at being able to both recharge the battery and run those AC appliances you’d need on occasion. For an air conditioner, this usually means a 4 kw genset. For a microwave and various kitchen appliances or a hair dryer a 2 kw genset might do.

The Yamaha EF2400iS Inverter Generator is Yamaha’s latest effort to counter the popularity of the Honda 2000si. These gensets are very quiet, fairly lightweight, and can be ganged together to produce more power. Quiet has to be ‘designed into’ gensets and that is one reason the cost is about double or more the home improvement store ‘contractor’ grade gensets.

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Learn about the Big Dipper, an asterisms has an interesting entry on the Big Dipper and describes why it is an asterism and not a constellation. You can learn about the eye test and measuring angles in the sky.

Its nearly overhead. Go find out more.

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Virginia Creek, US 395 Bridgeport area

Down towards Bridgeport on US 395 you’ll find Twin Lakes and Virginia Creek. A Virginia Creek photo gallery is now posted.

Virginia Creek on US 395

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Digital cameras

CNet News has a special section of stories about digital cameras.. A buying guide is one of them. Peruse the page to get up to speed on the latest news centering on digital cameras and their uses.

The Washington Post (may require registration) has a story about how CVS is selling (renting really) digital camera services. For $10 to $20, depending upon whether the camera has a previous picture viewer or not, you can get a digital camera that will store 25 2 megapixel pictures. Take the camera back to CVS and get a CD with Windows viewing software or buy prints for thirty cents each.

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Rye Patch on I80 a couple of hours east of Reno

A Nevada State Park 116 miles from Reno at exit 129. The Imlay exit 146 at the north end of the reservoir is cited by some as meant to access the lake for free overnight parking. State of Nevada home page for the site Nevada Division of State Parks – Rye Patch State Recreation Area

The Sierra Nevada Airstreams Rye Patch page has information and links and photo galleries about this Nevada State Park. This picture is from March 2005. You can see a hint of the SNU ralley to the right at the bottom of the campground. The bath house is on the left. The park is open all year.

Overview of Rye Patch State Park campground

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Boca Spring May 2005 Rally Pictures

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Potential Energy

James Nicoll (My problem with FtL) came up with an interesting problem for people going up and down hills. He was talking about science fiction and faster than light travel (FTL) where the hill was in distance from the sun. The same problem shows up when driving your rig in the mountains.

Going uphill, your motor has to work harder and provide a lot of power. Going downhill, you have to dissipate the energy gained from getting up the hill as heat.

The new hybrid cars take advantage of something like this in going around town. To get up to speed they take energy from a battery. When you want to slow down, they turn the motor into a generator and put the energy back into the battery. Other cars just loose the energy as hot brakes.

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Inverters and chargers

Replica Dutch Barges has a nice summary at Choosing an Inverter / Charger Combi that not only compares features of several inverter/chargers but also provides a rundown on some of the rules of thumb to use in sizing your off-grid power system.

If you are looking at building a barge to float in English canals, the site has some other interesting information, too.

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BBC Beethoven

If you are into Beethoven, the BBC has mp3 files of its most recent concerts available for download.

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Browsing the web – links various folks have suggested.

There is so much out there the problem is trying to figure out where to start. Here are some links that have been recommended by various folks during the last week that might help you solve a problem or satisfy an itch or learn something new.

Here’s some stuff to help seal roofs and other things – eternabond tape

Christianity today lists its 100 best books of the century. I wonder how many of these are available through the Gutenberg project?

Looking for instructions on folding a shirt? Here is a video How To. Or you can get a step by step set of instructions for folding a fitted sheet at Target.

For the anarchists, there is a guide to picking locks or, if you are really into the fringe, the anarchists cookbook.

This year is the 200th anniversary of Nelson’s victory at Trafalger. There is going to be a big bash in Britain and you can find out about the Trafalgar Night Dinner from the Royal Museum.

Waste disposal is always an issue for the RV crowd. New Scientist carried a story recently about Mountaineers on popular mountains who don’t follow the rules for either waste disposal or sanitation being laid low by illness.

They may be strong, skilled and brave, but mountaineers scaling North America’s highest peak have yet to learn the basic rules for relieving themselves at alpine heights, a US study reveals. It warns that the lack of proper hygiene leads to severe cases of diarrhoea in almost a third of climbers – a dangerous affliction for high-altitude adventurers.

If you are looking for methods to charge your batteries when away from the grid, check out science fair wind generators. Or you can combine your fitness efforts with electrical generation using a human power generator mill.

For those into firearms, the M1 Garand Website links page is a good place to start a tour.

If you are a Star Wars fan an interested in the latest movie, The Return of the Sith, Good Bye, Jedi, and Good Riddance might give you some food for thought.

Champion Trailer Parts has a good article on trailer tires.

JV’s RV Links page is a place to start if you are looking for other RV related web logs and some other interesting web sites.

Airstream just donated a 1972 Bambi to the RV/MH Heritage Foundation.

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NASA launches new hurrican page

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