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

January 25, 2011

Picture of the week (Aquaponic Lettuce)

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

First off, I am very sorry about the utter lack of articles and pictures over the last month here, I swear I am not out of idea’s or content.  My laptop that I use at home died a few weeks ago and I have been having trouble getting a computer back up and running to use, you wouldn’t think being the computer guy that I am that this would present an issue, however with me being cheap and not wanting to spend anything coupled with how busy I have been, I just haven’t gotten my computer back running again.  I am going to try and get back to posting though even with the current computer issues.

So about the picture, I realised I haven’t posted any pictures of my Aquaponics since I setup the new bin a few months ago, things have been going very well, no more fish deaths, no more fin rot or ich, etc.  We have been eating pretty steady out of the new bin I setup, we get a couple salads every week or so out of it, plus all the parsley you can ever deal with, we are having parsley with EVERYTHING!

I am hoping to do some more planting in the Aquaponics in the next few days just to fill in some of the spots that are still a bit bare, no use in having space going to waste!

January 24, 2011

KD8ITX blog 1 year old today!

Filed under: Misc — Marcus @ 2:00 am

In some ways it seems like I have been writing for the blog here for years, but in other ways its hard to believe its already been a year of having the site up and going.  When I read over what I did this last year, sometimes I wonder if somehow I have split personalities that can each be working at the same time to get things done, as I really don’t see how I did everything I did this last year.  My first real blog post here, I made mention that I didn’t really have time to start up a site, but that I was going to anyways, I know I wasn’t sitting around bored before this site, but somehow I was able to carve out the time needed to run this over the last year.

I am very happy with the growth of my blog, the first few months of it being up I showed about 250 people per month that were visiting, however I would guess at least half that traffic was me working on the site.  I ended the year with over 1300 people to the site in December.

Having this blog has really pushed me to keep getting out and doing things that I can get blog articles out of, it also pushes me to work on my photography skills and to keep taking pictures in hope of finding things to put up for my picture of the week posts each Monday.  Something that may not be that apparent to the readers of this blog is how much time it takes to maintain it, most blogs are just people rehashing news from other places or people giving their opinions on things, etc.  On the site here, I try very hard to only publish original content, if I write an article about how to make Sumac tea, then that means I did the research and went out and actually made it, took pictures, and then wrote up an article.  Most articles take me between 1-3 hours to write after I have done whatever activity it was that I wanted to write about.

However, don’t take that as me complaining about how much time I spend on the blog here, it is quite the opposite.  I really enjoy getting to do and try different things, and without having something constantly pushing me, I am sure I would not have gotten around to doing as much as I did this last year.

In looking back over the last year, I thought I would share some of my favorite articles I have published:

  • Primitive camping in the Allegany – I love sharing information about wilderness survival, and my minimalist trip out the the Allegany National Forest is exactly the type of thing I would like to do more of and share on the blog here.  Even though I was sick and trying to outrun the rain, I got so many great pictures and some experience you can’t get out of a book.
  • Kayaking exploring geocaching nice way to start the day – Besides the fact I love getting out on my kayak, I love this article because of all the pictures I took on my own using my camera on a timer and a tripod.  I have come to find out that I love doing photography, and I love getting myself into pictures in the middle of nowhere using the tripod I always carry with me.
  • Homeade sumac tea – I have more work in this article and my article about making acorn flour than anything else on the site.  This is an example of where I did quite a bit of research and actually made a couple batches to get things right before publishing my article.  I hope to publish many more in depth articles on topics that I don’t find covered well on the internet already.

Though this last year was busy, I am willing to bet this next year will be even more busy.  I have a few goals for this year that should yield some nice content for the site.  Anyone that knows me well will know that I don’t do new years resolutions, these are not new years resolutions, most of them I have already been doing the background work on the last few months, but I intend to get them going in 2011:

  • I am intending to run the Cleveland marathon, depending on how it goes and my available time, I may also try and run a second marathon in the fall.  It is my intention to run the marathon in 4 hours even or just under.  Official training for it started the second week of January, but I have been running steady since the beginning of October getting into shape for it.
  • I am hoping to buy a new, much nicer camera this spring.  I have been getting good pictures with my current camera (a $100 Kodac EasyShare C160), but I have really gone to the limits of this camera, and I am hoping to continue refining my photography, I have also been thinking about trying to enter some of my photo’s into some local art shows.  I am hoping to get an Olympus DSLR digital camera, it is not really the professional line (as I can’t afford them), but it should really give me a lot more capabilities.
  • I would like to expand my Aquaponic system, I have a new, much larger system planned to put in my office, the biggest reason I haven’t done it yet is that it is going to be quite expensive, but I am hoping to build it a chunk at a time over this next year.
  • I have started a new meetup.com group for getting local people together to go to the different parks in the area and teach wild edibles and wilderness survival.  This will most likely be one of the bigger things I get going this year and I am really looking forward to it.  I will be posting more details about this group in the near future.
  • I really want to focus more this year on getting out into the woods and practicing my different survival skills, I am hoping the meetup.com group I started will really push me to expand and refine my skills

So here is to the next year, I look forward to what my summary of 2011 will look like, the only thing that is for sure is that it probably won’t go the way I have planned it, but from past experience, it will turn out better!

January 5, 2011

Close encounter of the Turkey kind

Filed under: Humor,Outdoors — Tags: , — Marcus @ 11:50 pm

So, I know that I have not updated the blog in a couple weeks, however, I can assure you that there was a very good reason for my sudden disappearance.  You see, being a wilderness person such as I am and also having the need to capture and report back moments that very few will ever see, sometimes you come across an opportunity and have no choice but to just follow it through to the very end.

This last couple weeks have been that, it all started when I was out on one of my daily 30 mile hikes in the wilderness preparing for the day ahead as I walk mile after mile, I came across a group of turkeys, and the thought struck me, I should dedicated my time to getting closer to this flock, have them accept me as one of their own.  I have dedicated every moment since to that goal.

Sure it was difficult getting used to the frigid waters I now bathe in so as not to have any lingering scents from the human population.  And I have had to really depend on my wild edible skills that I honed over the summer so that I didn’t have to leave the flock behind to eat.  But as you will soon see, my hard work has paid off, little by little the flock has accepted me, inch by inch, they have let me closer to them.

So without further ado, please enjoy the fruits of my labors:

What, you don’t believe me that it took me two weeks of my every waking moments to get those pictures?  OK then, I confess, it took me about 2 hours of walking around the Chagrin River Park with my camera to get this series of pictures, and some more you will be seeing on the blog in the upcoming month.

I had actually gone to the park right at sunrise to try and get some pictures for the blog, I have seen this group of turkeys before and I had hoped to get some pictures of them or a massive buck I see there sometimes.  As I was walking down one of the trails I saw the turkeys so I just sat down in the middle of the trail to see where they were going to go.

As luck would have it, there was another group coming up on a trail ahead of me to the right and they were making a good deal of noise talking and such, and the turkeys took one look at them and headed right towards me!  I just sat there taking picture after picture expecting them to turn away at any moment, but they didn’t.  The turkeys got to be about 8 feet from me before they decided I wasn’t moving so they might as well head into the woods as apposed to walking right up to me and demanding that I rub their bellies!

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