Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cool shovel

Today during lunch I stopped at a local army surplus store to see what was available for folding shovels. The owner of the shop was a very friendly oriental man who spent about 15 minutes telling me about the history of army shovels from WW II through the Vietnam war era. He had a few different styles. I liked an older wooden handle design that was from the Korean war time-period. It included a folding pick as well. The only drawback of it was the wooden handle was not removable, so it was somewhat long when folded. I ended up getting a newer all metal tri-fold design. It's much more compact and slightly lighter than the wooden handle shovel, but it doesn't have a pick head. The store was also selling carrying cases for the shovels, so I picked up one of those as well. Since I'll be using this camping, having the sharp edges of the shovel covered seemed like a good idea. As can be seen in the pictures, the shovel is a little bit rusty on the edges, but what do you expect for a used army shovel?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

2.5 Hour Kayak Paddle

I hadn't been on the ocean in a while. So today, even though I was a bit worn out from many hours of karate practice and yard work yesterday, I was drawn to the high tide outside my window this afternoon. I initially set off with a destination of the Jametown Bridge. I figured after I got there, depending on the amount of daylight left, I might be able to make it to Dutch Island. By the time I paddled out to the bridge, the tide was starting to go out, so it would have been a fairly easy paddle to Dutch Island (going with the tide), but then I would have been going against the current all the way home. Not the best thing to do when you are tired... So, I instead decided to just paddle out to the Plum Beach Lighthouse. It's basically in the middle of the west passage of the bay, right next to the Jamestown Bridge. If you ever drive over the bridge heading towards Jamestown, you can see the lighthouse off to the left.

I took a few pictures along the way. There are a few of them in the collage above. If you click on that photo you can get a better view of the collage. The rest of the photos can be seen here.

If you follow this link, you can see a Google Maps view of where the lighthouse is. If you keep zooming in (click on the + sign in the upper left of the map), you will see the lighthouse. It is is in the center of the map view. When looking at the map before zooming in, my condo is in the small cove in the mid-upper left (where the arial photo view border turns green).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Newport Cliff Walk

I noticed this dead pine tree along the Newport Cliff Walk and thought it looked interesting. It was a very foggy day. Off in the distance you could hear the occasional announcement from a loudspeaker advising swimmers to stay close to the shore so the lifeguards could still see them.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Comments are back

I've turned comments back on. Hopefully the bozo who was abusing the feature has gotten bored and has gone elsewhere.


I was pumping some gas last night and glanced over at the price. It was so high I thought for sure I had accidentally chosen the wrong grade of gasoline. But, no, the cheapest gas was $2.75. Yikes! Gas prices arew getting out of control...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hidden Comments

Well, it was bound to happen eventually, I suppose. Some bonehead has started posting anonymous comments to my blog that are basically advertisements for various web sites. (I'm getting comments like: "Hey! Great blog! I have a web site for shampoo. Check it out!") Since I can delete comments that I don't like, it wouldn't be so bad, but this annoying person is posting a new comment every half-hour. I've gotten 5 ad posts in the past 2 hours!

Because of this, the comments have been temporarily disabled. If it turns out this annoying anonymous commentator eventually goes away, I'll make the comments visable again.

Kimball Wildlife Refuge

Went on a very very short hike today at the Kimball Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown. A friend of mine is trying to complete all the hikes in some Rhode Island hiking books and this was one of them. It's only about 1.5 miles long but is INFESTED with mosquitoes, so if you go, bring bug spray! The best part of the hike was part of the trail was lined with blueberry and huckleberry bushes and they were ready for picking! Mmmmmmmm.... blueberries.

Since the trail is so short and is in South County, I'd recommend combining it with a visit to the beach. There is a pond on the trail (as can be seen in the above picture) but the bugs are so nasty I wouldn't recommend swimming there. Go the to beach instead. That's what I did.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Darth Tater

Here was a nice birthday surprise. A friend at work gave me this evil Mr. Potato Head.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Geek Marketing

This afternoon someone left this geeky ad for SSL encryption tacked outside my cubicle. In case the text is too small to read in the above picture, it starts with "Evil Internet bandits are plotting to bring me down..."

Gotta love the way advertisers try to market to computer science people - throw in a cute woman, use a Japanese anime style, and add some over-the-top dialog and hey, we'll have a successful product!