Archive for April, 2017

SNU May Newsletter

SNU Folks,

The May 2017 Newsletter has been posted — Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can also be found there.

Topics in the May newsletter: May rally at Eagle Lake -|- Ft Sage rally review -|- Emergency Planning -|- Ghost Towns -|- Ukrainian Eggs -|- Why choose the SNU -|-  Airstream Inc

May Rally at Eagle Lake

Thursday, May 18 to Sunday, May 21, 2017, the SNU rally will be at the BLM Campground at Eagle Lake. The campground is 30 miles north of Susanville on Highway 139 and a half-mile west on Lassen County Road A-1. Thursday we will have a salad and sandwich dinner. The SNU will provide the bread so rally participants should bring sandwich fixings and/or a salad. Saturday we will have a Mexican inspired dinner. Let us know if you plan to come so we can make sure we have enough tacos and other goodies for you. RSVP’s  phone: 775 972 9392 or Email: hq@sierranevadaairstreams.org. If you can’t come for the whole rally, come for a day or come for a visit whatever fits your schedule.

For maps, more information and pictures check the website

Keep Informed about the SNU

— 

SNU HQ 

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Wildflowers, Coffee, and Web skimming

Project Gutenberg  has 100 Desert Wildflowers in Natural Color by Natt Noyes Dodge.

When Webster defined a desert as a “dry, barren region, largely treeless and sandy” he was not thinking of the 50,000 square mile Great American Desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Most of it is usually dry and parts may be sandy, but as a whole, it is far from barren and treeless. Heavily vegetated with gray-green shrubs, small but robust trees, pygmy forests of grotesque cactuses and stiff-leaved yuccas, and myriads of herbaceous plants, the desert, following rainy periods, covers itself with a blanket of delicate, fragrant wildflowers. Edmund C. Jaegar, author of several books on deserts, reports that the California deserts alone support more than 700 species of flowering plants.

You can either browse the book online – in color! – or download it to read in your eBook device. For this book, you really need a color display.

Skillet is wondering: Is Trader Joe’s Pour-Over Bag the Ultimate in Coffee Convenience? — “The concept is simple: you just twist off the tip of the spout and open the top of the bag, pour hot water in up to the fill line, let it sit for four minutes, and pour the coffee into cups.” Amazon has a pack of six for $18 – that’s about $3 per typical coffee mug. Convenience has its price but this isn’t your every day cuppa’joe, either.

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Texas Davis Mountains and California Gene Autry trail

He says “just keep it between the lines bro …

There is no better sports car loop in the USA– The 75 mile Scenic Loop in far west Texas is a desolate, eye opening…damn I gotta drive.

Then there’s a link to Jennifer Bolande at American Digest: I think that I shall never see / A billboard lovely as a tree. These billboards between I10 and Vista Chino out of Palm Springs – 33°50’41.70”N 116°30’21.02”W – are pictures of what you’d see without the billboards.

Follow the links but don’t stop there. Check out the maps and other resources. Dream. Maybe even put on your bucket list. Places to see. Places to visit. So many. Too many. 

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The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass

For those 62 or older, you can get a discount pass to reduce fees at many recreational areas owned by the Federal Government. See the Senior Pass page. The cost is only $10 or, if you use USGS online store, $20 with the extra ten for ‘document processing.’ This is a lifetime pass. It supercedes the Golden Age Passports that are no longer sold. See America the Beautiful Passes for information about 4th grade, military, and other versions of this discount pass and additional information.

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Diesel versus Petrol

It’s always a challenge trying to fit specifications with popular perceptions when it comes to trailer towing engine choices. An Australian AutoExpert, John Cadogan, has a lecture on YouTube that contains a few hints: Diesel Australia – the Diesel vs Petrol story  — do read the text that goes with the video as it is a bit more complete than many such video explanations.

Diesel vs petrol engines: Comparable petrol engines make more peak power – but diesels deliver huge torque at low revs. That means more low-rpm power from the diesel – maybe three or four times as much down at 2000rpm. That makes diesel feel unfussed and effortless in traffic. Diesel motors are about 30-40 per cent more fuel efficient. That means more cruising range out of a diesel, and less spent every week on transport.

This doesn’t help the confusion. There is a clue given in the video that does provide some help. The first item to consider is a proper definition of terms. It is the power that determines how fast you can get up the hill and the engine torque that determines the gear you need to use. Torque is a force whereas power is the rate of energy flow. So torque needs to have both distance and time figured in to be able to compare it to power. That is one problem with the quote. Another is that comparisons such as “maybe three or four times as much” are useless without a proper referent. The key item is that a diesel is a low speed engines while petrol (gas) engines produce best at higher rotational speeds (RPMs). The power range in a diesel covers only about half the RPM of a gas engine. That means that the transition from cruising on the flat to climbing a hill is going to cause the diesel to speed up much less than a gas engine and that means that the gas engine is more likely to need a shift of gears. 

It all comes back to the transmission. Big rigs need a lot of gears despite being diesels because they need all the power they can get and the gears help optimize the narrow torque curve. Choosing the best engine for long haul means it’s likely a bit small for grades and start stop traffic and the transmission compensates. The typical RV isn’t as heavy and can use an engine that has a better power to vehicle weight ratio to handle mixed traffic situations with fewer gears.

That’s just one example. John covers a lot of ground in 12 minutes so you need to listen carefully to catch things a bit different than you think. It’s not as simple a debate and there is a lot of nuance to catch.

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Pet Peeves: Email for club business

Business communications includes club and association communications and doing it right is stepping up to effectiveness. Business Email Etiquette – 5 Simple Rules For Managing Email Without Being An Ignoramus hits the main points.

There are a few simple business email etiquette rules that you can follow to make your life a whole lot easier and save yourself from being an email ignoramus.

Sure, business email is a necessity, but I think we can all agree that email is a colossal pain in the a$$. A lot of that pain is caused by ignoramus’ rampant misuse of email.

TechTerms defines Netiquette as

Netiquette, or net etiquette, refers to etiquette on the Internet. Good netiquette involves respecting others’ privacy and not doing anything online that will annoy or frustrate other people. Three areas where good netiquette is highly stressed are e-mail, online chat, and newsgroups. For example, people that spam other users with unwanted e-mails or flood them with messages have very bad netiquette. You don’t want to be one of those people. If you’re new to a newsgroup or online chat room, it may help to observe how people communicate with each other before jumping in.

This is really one of those ‘no excuses’ things. It used to be something taught in school typing classes. It’s still a popular topic for Secretary Handbooks (Amazon Affiliate Link). You’ll even find it buried in the links on our website pages (communications etiquette). The link on that page to RFC 1855 appears to be suffering link rot. A search shows the source document can be found at The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF®) from October 1995

This document provides a minimum set of guidelines for Network Etiquette (Netiquette) which organizations may take and adapt for their own use.  As such, it is liberately written in a bulleted format to make adaptation easier and to make any particular item easy (or easier) to find.  It also functions as a minimum set of guidelines for individuals, both users and administrators.  This memo is the product of the Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) Working Group of the IETF.

It is abuse of etiquette that prompted the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 (Wilkipedia). That was aimed at businesses and wasn’t very effective but it did clarify what was bothering people in I’net communications. As such, the law can provide a good guideline for proper practice.

What is amazing is the hostility often encountered when trying to suggest avoiding some of the more gross etiquette breaches. It’s not just about looking good, it is about a consideration for others. It is how a club actually demonstrates what it thinks of its members and other people. Your communications show what you think of your correspondents. Make it good!

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SNU April 2017 News

SNU Folks,

The April 2017 Newsletter has been posted — Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can also be found there.

Topics in the April newsletter: Lahontan rally review -|- April Rally at Ft Sage -|- The Most Toys -|- Carefree Camping -|- Local Resources -|- Airstreaming For Everyone-|- Batteries, A New Era -|- SNU Community Service -|- Ft Sage Memories

April Rally at Ft Sage

Thursday April 20 to Sunday April 23, 2017 are the dates for the SNU rally at Ft Sage near Doyle. Be sure to access Ft Sage from Laver Crossing road which is 2 miles from the north end of the Doyle loop. The route provided by a lot of GPS programs from the south is NOT RECOMMENDED for RV’s (unless the bridge has been repaired).  Ft Sage is a BLM campground and off road trail head. The trails are great for hiking and bike riding as well as off road vehicles.  Bring wood for campfires RSVP’s appreciated and helpful. phone: 775 972 9392 or Email: hq@sierranevadaairstreams.org. If you can’t come for the whole rally, come for a day or come for a visit whatever fits your schedule.

For maps, more information and pictures check the website

Keep Informed about the SNU

— 

SNU HQ 

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Outside Missing

At MetaFilter the story linked was How 1,600 People Went Missing from Our Public Lands Without a Trace — That lead to an Outside story centered on the case of 18-year-old Joe Keller who vanished from a dude ranch in Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest.

The MetaFilter page is worth a look for the comments. The Outside story is rather long but contains a lot of information.

“The first 24 hours are key,” says Robert Koester, a.k.a. Professor Rescue, author of the search and rescue guidebook Lost Person Behavior. Koester was consulted on the Keller case and noted that, like most missing runners, Joe wasn’t dressed for a night outside.
 …
There was nothing to go on. In that first week, the search engaged about 15 dogs and 200 people on foot, horseback, and ATV. An infrared-equipped airplane from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control flew over the area. Collin’s brother Tanner set up a GoFundMe site that paid for a helicopter to search for five hours, and a volunteer flew his fixed-wing aircraft in the canyon multiple times. A guy with a drone buzzed the steep embankments along Highway 17, the closest paved road, and the rock formation Faith, which has a cross on top. A $10,000 reward was posted for information. How far could a shirtless kid in running shoes get? 
 …
Joe Keller had just joined the foggy stratum of the hundreds or maybe thousands of people who’ve gone missing on our federal public lands. Thing is, nobody knows how many.
 …

It’s hard to put your hunches and suspicions to rest. We’ll never know for certain what happened to Joe Keller. We’ll know even less about what happened to a lot of other people missing in the wild. 

 

One question I had early on was, Are you better or worse off going missing in a national forest than from a Walmart parking lot? I thought I knew the answer. You can see an aerial view of my firewood pile from space on your smartphone. I thought that in the wild, someone would send in the National Guard, the Army Rangers, the A-Team, and that they wouldn’t rest until they found you. Now I’m not so sure.

In Joe’s case, it looks like he was injured in a fall. Even being only a short ways from the ranch, finding him was extremely difficult. It may be low odds of getting lost and the idea of something happening on only a short walk near the campsite seems not worth considering. What is worth considering is that things happen, the wilderness is indeed wild even very close to campgrounds and civilization, and the risk cannot be ignored. 

 

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