mountainFrugal Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
theanimal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by theanimal »

mountainFrugal wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2023 4:58 pm
Are handguns the new corvettes? I shot some handguns with my buddy for his 40th. Mag dumps (rapid fire) with a 10mm Glock with 280 grain shell was very fun. The cardboard "grizzly bear" target was still standing after. A testament to how scary grizzly bears are. ;). My friend carries this gun when hiking in the Alaskan backcountry. Is this common for the locals @theanimal?
Sounds like we have comparable handgun skills. :lol:

There are a few different camps. A few who take nothing, some who take just bear spray, some who take a handgun and some who take both. There are tons of debates over whether it's more effective to carry bear spray or a gun. And then among those that take handguns, the endless debate is whether a .45 or 10 mm Glock is more effective. Those with the .45 say they have the more stopping power and nothing short of that is necessary to take down a grizzly. The 10 mm advocates say the Glock has more than double the rounds and is more friendly to shoot, theoretically leading to more practice and better accuracy. We have one of the 10 mm. I think shot placement is more important than anything. Some of the natives here used to hunt grizzlies with .22 LRs so...

AxelHeyst
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

theanimal wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2023 5:33 pm
Some of the natives here used to hunt grizzlies with .22 LRs so...
:shock:

...does that require dropping the round directly into the eyeball or nostril or something? That's insane.

theanimal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

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AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2023 6:36 pm
...does that require dropping the round directly into the eyeball or nostril or something? That's insane.
The account I remember most vividly is of the Nunamuit in the Brooks Range of Arctic Alaska. They would be out looking for grizzlies on the tundra. If they saw one, they would hide behind a small rise and pretend they were a ground squirrel, making the associated noises. Ground squirrels have a TON of fat on them and the bears love them, especially in the spring time. So the bears would run towards them and once they were close enough, they'd pop up and shoot them. I'm not sure where.

Those people had some guts. I'm not sure which is more harrowing. That or the previous practice of doing the same thing, but with a spear made out of bone. They'd get the bear to charge, plant the spear in place and try to get the bear to impale itself. Or there's also the Athabaskan practice in Interior Alaska of climbing into a den that is being used for hibernation to get a bear.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

Cool stuff! I always love to read the variety of activities you do. It's a great example of intentional living.

The film festival sounds like it was a great venue. Volunteering for something like that seems like a good way to meet people too because you're working more directly with the organizing staff and guests. Plus indie films are always a treasure to watch.

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Ego
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

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Edit
Last edited by Ego on Sat Apr 01, 2023 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

mountainFrugal wrote:Are handguns the new corvettes?
No, Corvette guys are more like expensive guitar guys or sailboat guys. A handgun would be more like the new Mustang. A majority of the middle-aged men I have dated have owned some kind of gun, but none of the 3 Corvette owners I have dated owned a gun. Actually, now that I think about it, the explanation would be that all three of them grew up in rough circumstances, so they wanted things that are nice as adults. Kind of guy who wants you to wear a pretty dress when he takes you out. Not trying to dis your friend, but getting a handgun for 40th birthday might be more of a thing for a grew up in the suburbs guy, although guys do own guns for all sorts of reasons.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by mountainFrugal »

@theanimal - I can only dream of that level of hardcore!

@AE - thanks! Hanging out with the other volunteers and helping to clean up after was actually pretty fun. Everyone was much more relaxed. I am also amazed at how having something as simple as a clipboard with tick marks on it presents an "official authority" vibe to interacting with people. A majority of people had tickets on their phones, so I also got to see a wide swath of what the surrounding area cares about (phone background photo). Family and pets mostly.

@Ego - Indeed? Just kidding!

@7W5 - You know all the nuance of the middle aged American man! He is also talking about trading in his current 4WD truck for a much larger 4wd truck... so maybe not completely out on the vehicle side of the equation. I think your dis of saying the handgun acquisition is a suburb thing is hilarious, especially when applied to him. He prides himself as "actually having grown up in the city" and corrects people when they say they are from the city when they are from the burbs. I will keep this card in my back pocket for when he is in need of a sick burn. haha. :)

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mountainFrugal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by mountainFrugal »

This was the concept sketch for my Free-Dumb-Too Zine last month. I inked it while listening to a podcast.

Enjoy!
Image

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mountainFrugal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by mountainFrugal »

Image
# WINS
I was paid $150 to teach a field based class for a community college at a nature reserve. The class was part of a semester long course taught by my naturalist friend (herpetologist). I illustrated 3 zines to use as teaching materials. We hiked around the reserve and I taught directly from the zines. The students loved it! The students were diverse in age and background. They have a sustainability certificate that most of the students were there to get credit for. 3 students asked if I would extend the one day class into an entire course. :). In theory that would be fun, but the logistics would have to all align. Maybe mostly online with a few camping based field trips? Something to ponder as each course pays about $4000.

My partner and I are currently on a van trip in the Southwest. At the start of the trip we stayed with the Desert Druid himself, @AxelHeyst. Delightful human! We used my binoculars to scope out all the Solarhenge projects he has been laboring on in his watershed. We ate some of our sourdough and hummus with a lentil meal he prepared for dinner. Classic. The morning we silently sat on a porch sipping coffee and tea while writing/journaling/painting as the sun rose into the valley. Desert introvert bliss. I went for a trail run and my partner went for a MTB ride on the jeep trail through the valley. We found some flowering Joshua Trees (tail end of the spring season). The desert had a super bloom and there were patches of brilliantly colored hillsides. There is a lot of life in the Mojave desert, you just need to know when and where to look. Animal tracks also hold up extremely well (it was not windy) so I look forward to showing interested folks the basics of tracking at ERE fest! We are looking forward! I am planning on swinging back through on my way back North (I now see @AH beat me to the punch, but I had this written before I just read his post :)).

Image

# IMPROVEMENTS / INSPIRATIONS
The sweet spot for content for me is in the overlap of art, science, and teaching. I have chosen my direction well for how to interact with others.

I have added "Inspirations" to this section of the acronym. I really like the "We pay for photographs not excuses" saying that National Geographic editors are fond of saying based on some interviews with Nat Geo photographers.

# NEW DIRECTIONS
Started adding Chat-GPT to my coding workflow with mixed results. Overall I am getting better at asking and refining questions. The gap will widen substantially for entry or mid-level programmers that can use this effectively for code monkey type work. Maybe I will actually get this exercise data analysis package built sooner! (or someone else will write a better one for me to use).

I finished the kitchen and living room in our van. The last step to make the van fully off-grid capable is solar. The current electrical system is shore power to a 250 amp hour AGM battery. We have a battery to battery charger that will be reinstalled when we get back (living room rebuild altered mounting point). I will do a detailed post when all of this is finished. In talking with @AH, the new flexible solar panels are now really good options and do not need to be permanently mounted. We would likely only use the van solar for charging when it is fully parked away from a shore plug. We are now on a slow research/hunt for this style of panel.

If we want to allow my partner to work (video call intensive) then we would also add the new Roaming Option of Starlink. You can start/stop the service on a month by month basis if it did not also work at our house (should).

# DRAWING
I left a sketchbook at home that I was doing most of my 1000 figures from imagination challenge in. I am at ~700, but will update with an actual number when I get home for next month.

In addition to the zines mentioned above I made an adventure van zine, finished a travel sketchbook, and plan on finishing another one on this trip.


# OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
See stats.

I really enjoyed running on the Arizona Trail North of Flagstaff. It is exactly the type of running I like. Technical and rocky at higher elevation with long climbs.

Van stuff see above.

# WORK
I am completely in the groove of my communications role now. I have a content schedule that is easy to get all my "work" done in a short amount of time. I have plans to automate a few other parts of it, mainly data collection and aggregation steps.

My contract will not be renewed next July (unless I find additional funding) so it sets things up perfectly to use my new communications skills to work on more ambitious science/adventure/art projects. I co-taught a small workshop on using Quarto for generating websites, presentations, and interactive data visualizations for science related projects.

A perk of the job is that I get to work with science communications and science journalism professionals. Two have taken me in after I specifically asked to be mentored by them. We are coming up with a content plan that will work for my current role, can be nice portfolio writing pieces, and how to think about a science writing project from concept to pitching it to news outlets. The nice thing is that even if they do not get published outside our organization, they can still be published through our work blog or my personal blog. They are even encouraging me to build a few pieces before this fall so I can apply to a beginners science writing fellowship specifically for academic scientists who want to make that transition. I am a lucky duck.

# SOCIAL
We had a successful drink and draw this month. Some new participants had us play beautiful monsters. You start by drawing a head of a character then folding it over so only the end of the neck can be seen by the next person. You then pass to your left. The next person draws a body, folds it over, and passes. Then the legs. Reveal, laugh, repeat. It was very fun.

After I taught with my herpetologist friend, we went looking for "hot" snakes, aka poisonous ones (hence herpin' for hotties ;)). He has been herpin' for a long time and has a network of places he goes where there are old barns or boards/sheet metal he placed out in fields more than a decade ago. Snakes in particular like to have both sides of the board touching them and are very sensitive to temperature. They will move under the boards at the end of the day, but go elsewhere if the boards are south facing because they get too hot. We found a few gopher snakes and a beautiful Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus). I do not try to handle these in anyway, but my friend studied them for his masters so he put it in a bucket so we could observe it for a while. PM for pics (I know snakes are not everyone's cup of tea).

The art scene in our town is super small, but existent. We went to a potluck and screening of Citizen Kane on original film. The story telling in the movie is excellent with really interesting lighting scenes to change mood or emphasis. It could be used as a masterclass in visual value studies. The commentary on "news" and politics holds true to today with some chuckles from the audience. haha.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by mountainFrugal »

It has been 2 years since I started this journal. :). This community is great.

I checked out the Petrified Forest National Park yesterday. It is right off Interstate 40 in Northern Arizona. Not only can you see enormous trees that have turned into beautiful stone (varied colors), but the unique layer of geology that is exposed has red badlands and mesas in the Northern part of the park and blue/purple mesas in the Southern park of the park. I feel so stupid to have not planned ahead of time and skipped this area as I was driving by in the past. I did 3 trail runs for a total of 12 miles yesterday to see some back country petroglyphs, tucked away Petrified features and a fossil rich area. There are not really back country trails so you navigate by map and use the washes as highways like the animals that currently live there. Highly recommended! They do issue overnight permits, but no van camping so I moved on.

I am slowly making my way back home and plan to stay with @AH for a few days. Maybe I will dig some holes for ERE (poop) Fest at Fort Dirtbag. We will see what he has in store for me.

AxelHeyst
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Shh, don't let out my secret that the only reason I'm putting on EREfest is because my Ft Dirtbag WoG needs a big injection of organic matter for my fremenERE buried greenhouse scheme. Yields and flows, baby...

I'm rereading your journal from the beginning at the moment. Anyone reading this who hasn't, or hasn't in a while, this one's a gem, highly recommended.

theanimal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by theanimal »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Mon May 08, 2023 6:57 pm
Shh, don't let out my secret that the only reason I'm putting on EREfest is because my Ft Dirtbag WoG needs a big injection of organic matter for my fremenERE buried greenhouse scheme. Yields and flows, baby...
Mrs. Animal and I like to say that one of the primary reasons that we had baby animal is because we need more poop! :D

shaz
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by shaz »

Petrified Forest National Park is on my list of places I reeeeeally want to visit; hunting petrified wood is one of my hobbies. That's so cool you visited there.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by mountainFrugal »

@AH Thank you. I have really enjoyed hanging out the past few days, rolling large boulders down hills for science experiments and our various discussions.

@theanimal - If you pay for shipping ... you can also have mine. #generosity

@shaz - If you are into petrified wood already, this place is a motherload. There are areas with nearly intact trees and I found one with roots still attached! The color variety is also stunning.

ffj
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by ffj »

Hey man,

I listened to your interview today on a drive back to my home and compliments to you, your attitude, and lifestyle. And thanks to Alex for everything he does too.

Good stuff all around.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

ffj wrote:
Thu May 25, 2023 6:36 pm
And thanks to Alex for everything he does too.
You mean Tyler?

ffj
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by ffj »

Yeah, the guy who interviewed him. Apologies if I am confused here. What is Tyler's handle? Have I completely screwed this up?

jacob
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by jacob »

ffj wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 8:12 am
Yeah, the guy who interviewed him. Apologies if I am confused here. What is Tyler's handle? Have I completely screwed this up?
Axel[Heyst]. Not Alex. It's a character from a Joseph Conrad novel.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by mountainFrugal »

ffj wrote:
Thu May 25, 2023 6:36 pm
I listened to your interview today on a drive back to my home and compliments...
Thank you for the compliments @ffj.

ffj
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Re: mountainFrugal Journal

Post by ffj »

@MF

Seriously man, I listened to the whole interview. You are welcome.

@Jacob

Ha! I been mentally calling him Alex this entire time. Apologies Axel, keep up the good work.

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