KD8ITX My Life, My Hobbies – All about Polyphasic sleep, Aquaponics, Ham Radio, Technology and more.

May 26, 2010

Indians VS White Sox Game

Filed under: Misc — Tags: , , — Marcus @ 2:00 am

Monday I had the opportunity to go to an Indian’s game with a bunch of people from work, initially I turned down the offer as I am not much in the way of a sports fan.  I have played baseball and basketball and enjoyed playing them, but watching other people get paid massive amounts of money to play has just never done anything for me.

However I was very glad I took them up on the offer this time around.  It turned out we had tickets to sit in the owners box (The suite that you can’t even buy tickets for!), we were right behind home plate and had the best seats in the stadium.

I ended up getting to the stadium about 45 minutes before anyone else because my coworkers told me when they were heading down, but they forgot to mention they were going to a local bar before the game.  However that just meant that I got to hang around the suite by myself for awhile, oh and I got to chat with the president of the Indians for about 20 minutes which was a lot of fun.

The weather could not have been better, so all around an enjoyable evening.  The only thing that would have been better is if the Indian’s would have won.  But unless you are there for a championship game or something, winning or losing doesn’t matter as much as having an enjoyable evening out and about.

May 24, 2010

Picture of the week (Wayne National Forest)

Filed under: Outdoors,Picture of the week — Tags: , , , — Marcus @ 2:00 am

Ok, I know that this picture doesn’t compare in beauty to the last few I posted, but I thought people would probably still enjoy it.

Last fall I went camping down to Wayne National Forest in the southern part of Ohio.   I have camped out in the woods for so many years I don’t even think about being out in the woods after dark as being creepy.  When I took this picture I was just playing around with the different settings on my new camera I had gotten right before the trip, when I showed Meagan this picture she said it seemed like if you looked at the picture long enough you would see sets of eyes just outside of the circle of light from my campsite.

After Meagan said that every time I look at this picture I imagine being out at the campsite and not seeing any animals around me anywhere, I snap a few pictures and don’t think anything more.  Then when I pull the pictures after the trip I look and just see sets of eyes all around me in the picture.  That would be creepy!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the picture, and look close, maybe you will see something looking back at you from the darkness…

May 21, 2010

26:42 My new 3 mile running record

Filed under: Misc,Outdoors — Tags: , , , — Marcus @ 4:29 am

As I have mentioned earlier in the blog, I have been working out since the beginning of the year,  I started out doing just general fitness, but I have since switched to mostly running for my workouts.  When I first started running about 2 months ago it took me almost 45 minutes to run 3 miles, there was alot of jogging/walking/jogging/walking, etc.  It seems like every week or so I reach another milestone and break my time record again.

I decided to post my running time today since it is starting to look good plus it is also the first time since I started running that I ran the entire 3 miles without having to slow down to a walk at any point.  Up until this point, most of my better times were because I would walk less during my run, but this was the first time I didn’t walk at any point during the 3 miles.

So that being said, here are my goals for running:

  1. First and foremost, I started running to get into better shape for hiking, I would love to do a hike in the smokey mountains, but right now there is no way I am in good enough shape for it.
  2. Get my per mile time down to 8 minutes, I am getting closer, but I have not made it yet (Almost had a party for doing better than 10 minute miles!)
  3. I decided I am going to run the 5k race at the Spartansburg fair, I always wanted to do it as a teenager and for some reason never did.
  4. Next year I would like to run either a half or full marathon.  Several of my coworkers run in the Cleveland marathon every year and I would love to be able to do it myself.  I figure if I start running now, by the time they start their training schedule next year I will be ready to join in.

May 17, 2010

Picture of the week

Filed under: Dogs,Picture of the week — Tags: , , , — Marcus @ 2:00 am

If you were to look up “intense” in the dictionary, it should have a picture of Ella when she is chewing on her bone!  We keep getting bigger bones for the pups so they will actually last for a bit and they keep taking it up as a challenge.  Can you imagine enjoying something as much as this pup enjoys a good bone?

May 12, 2010

Hardtack: not just for wars and camping anymore

Filed under: Food,Outdoors — Tags: , , — Marcus @ 2:00 am

Today I bring you pictures and a recipe for Hardtack,  I have been working on making food that I can carry in my backpack I keep in my car and also use as a staple food while I am out camping.  I know that many people keep MRE’s (Meals ready to eat) in their packs, but I didn’t really want to spend the money on them, and I admit, I have a fascination with re-creating ancient food and drinks.  Hardtack is about as old of a recipe as you are likely to find, a quick look at Wikipedia traces it back to at least the time of the Crusades (1189 was mentioned).  It has been used for hundreds of years by sailors and also was one of the staple foods during the American Civil War.  Stored properly Hardtack can last for years.

I have made several batches of Hardtack so far, and though many people don’t seem to like it because of its toughness and plain taste, I quite enjoy it.  I have been using it as a snack while I am driving into work (After my morning workouts I tend to be pretty hungry), also I eat it for lunch when I go out hiking at work, this gives me an extra 15 minutes to hike since I can eat while on the move.

Below is the recipe I am using, it is a combination of two recipe’s I found on the internet and then I added the Cinnamon myself.

3 Cups wheat flower
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water

1) Prehead oven to 450 degrees
2) mix and knead the dough (was really hard to knead and roll out because it was very stiff).
3) Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, cut into 1″x2″ blocks, then go over the blocks with a fork.
4) Lay out blocks on a cookie sheet, do not use any grease, spray, etc. These dry out enough they don’t stick at all.
5) bake in oven for 7 minutes under 450, then turn oven down to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes (I think it may need to be a couple minutes more).

Also, we have also been making dog treats using almost the same recipe, use the same instructions, just don’t put the salt or cinnamon in it, the dogs love it!

You see, hartack can even be made to be goumet with the correct place setting.

May 10, 2010

Picture of the Week (Headlands State Park)

Filed under: Outdoors,Picture of the week — Tags: , , — Marcus @ 2:00 am

Todays picture is from a hike I took during lunch a few weeks ago to Headlands State Park, the walk up to the lighthouse is a beautiful walk and I can just get there and back again in my lunch hour.  Unfortunately I took this picture with my iPhone so this is the best quality picture I have, I try to have very good resolution pictures to use later if I want to.  I think I may try to retake this shot at some point at higher resolution just to have.

May 5, 2010

He can’t even get the BEEPING alphabet right!

Filed under: Ham Radio,Humor — Tags: , , — Marcus @ 11:48 am

As I have mentioned earlier on the blog, I am learning Morse code.  I have now progressed to the point where I know the whole alphabet and am now practicing sending code using my ham radio.  However for the most part I am not actually transmitting when I am practicing.  With that in mind here is a converstation I had with Meagan last night after I got done with my Morse code practice:

Me: So I started sending the alphabet over and over on my radio tonight, I think it will be  a good way to make sure I really know all the letters.

Meagan: … Blank Look …

Me: I think after I get comfortable with sending the alphabet I might just start sending random articles out of some of my magazines, that will be more like regular conversation and would also be good practice.

Meagan: (Slowly) So you are transmitting the alphabet over and over?  Isn’t there like some ham radio operator losing his mind listening to you?


Me: Oh, no, I am not actually transmitting, I am just running it through my radio.

Meagan: Oh, good.  I can just see some ham radio guy screaming at his radios as they hear you transmit the alphabet for the n’th time, “He can’t even get the BEEPING (get it, beeping? its morse code) alphabet right!”

So after we got that worked out we had a bit of fun imagining what people would have thought if I had actually been transmitting, here are some of the highlights:

  1. I would probably single handed kill off Morse code as the operators listening wouldn’t be able to take it.
  2. Somehow I would end up transmitting the alphabet by sound instead of the actual correct dit’s and dah’s (think dah, dah, dit, dit, dah, dah, dah, dit, dah, dit, dah….).  Yeah you are running out screaming now too right?
  3. I would get a ton of people replying to my transmitting hoping they could just shut me up.

Anyways, Morse code practice is going good, but I better double check to make sure I am not actually transmitting…

May 3, 2010

Picture of the Week

Filed under: Outdoors,Picture of the week — Tags: , — Marcus @ 2:00 am

I would like to try something new on the blog here, I have been working to take cool pictures from around the area as I am hiking/geocaching/etc.  Mostly the pictures go up on the slideshow on our Media computer, but I think it would be fun to share some of them here on the blog.

So with that being said, I am going to try posting a picture each week for you guys to enjoy.  One thing I don’t know if people notice, but I try and make a point of only using original content and pictures from my collection.

Today’s picture is one I took while hiking on the Zimmerman trail up in Mentor OH.  I have been trying to get out and hike over my lunch break on days the weather allows.

May 1, 2010

I am back on the air! (Ham Radio)

Filed under: Ham Radio — Tags: , , , , — Marcus @ 7:37 am

I am excited today, my ham radio has been broken for the last several months and I hadn’t gotten around to sending it in for repair.  Well I got my radio back from being repaired yesterday, plugged everything in and the first time I keyed up the mic I was able to hit Colorado!

My radio is an old Icom ic-735, its a radio that was built back in the mid 80’s so it is getting pretty old, however in the ham radio world, the older the better for many people.  I have operated radio’s that are a bit older than mine right up to brand new ones, and you just can’t beat the sound and performance of these old radio’s!

So now I need to really get back to learning Morse code, I have a program for my iPhone that I listen to while driving into work each day that teaches me Morse code, I have learned the whole alphabet now and just need to learn the numbers and symbols now.  However just knowing the alphabet isn’t good enough, I need to get my speed up where I can recognize Morse code at the speed many people send it at (About 25 words per minute), right now my speed is about 5 words per minute.

Anyways, today is an exciting day, I love making contacts with random people and seeing how far I can get my signal on any given day.  I also think I am going to send a thank you note to the guy that fixed my radio (Matt KD8ZB at the ICOM Service Center in Michigan, www.sarts1.com).  Matt did a great job on my radio, it has never felt so smooth and it is working better than ever.

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