A hundred miles a day for eight days

Between driving a stakebed out to a distant golf course and back for a show, cross-valley errands, and a camping trip to the Rim, I drove about a hundred miles a day for the past eight days, gaining some wisdom in the process.

First, the Equinox photo I promised:

2006 Chevy Equinox

That photo is near General Springs on the Mogollon Rim. If you can see them, the decorations drawn in the dust on the side of the car are courtesy of the children.

Eight busy days later, and I have learned a lot of things:

Three layers of mark-up will seriously impair the viability of a competitive bid.

Burn Notice is the secret re-boot of the A-Team.

Everyone in Little League is a volunteer, except the guys in the national office – who are paid – and this is reflected in the league dues.

My informal and random poll indicates that  0 out of 19 education professionals believe that No Child Left Behind (as implemented) is actually helping to educate children.

One guy calls the truck pack – and all the other logistical geniuses on the call need to live with that guy’s decisions, or you add an hour to load out.

If you have a crew loading out a show on a golf course, and you lock the only restroom, this will not prevent the crew from relieving themselves. It will only prevent them from relieving themselves in the toilet.

One simply cannot underestimate the importance of worklight when loading out in an open field in the middle of the night. Moonlight is not an acceptable substitute.

When launching model rockets, bring extra batteries and fuses.

The RXC went camping at Bear Canyon Lake, on the Mogollon Rim. Some notes about that site can be found on my other blog:

Are We Lost Yet?

Hammock at Bear Lake

When taking middle-graders camping, they all need chairs, or none of them need chairs. Musical chairs around the campfire is a recipe for discontent.

The kids get their own campfire.

The kids get their own campfire.

American adults car-camping will never run out of food. They always bring too much. This was, however, the first trip in a long time where we did not run out of booze. Perhaps we’re growing wiser.

Pie irons still rock! Especially now that we know how to use them.

New vocabulary: Bailing wire = “ranch tape”

I have established that the Equinox can bounce through the Buick Filter. Though I damn near found the Equinox filter (its still a 2WD) on our way to General Cabin Springs. We were scouting a multi-day bacpacking trip taking the General Crook Trail east from Clear Creek to its intersection with the AZT (near General Springs), then taking the AZT north to Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Having scouted that, I have concluded it wuld be far easier to start at Blue Ridge and head down to Clear Creek. But it would be even easier just to stay n the AZT and go down the Rim to Pine. I’m still noodling on these things.

But there is a marked section of the GCT that follows AZ 260 from around Camp Verde to the Rim. We found a blaze by following a randomly selected dirt road off the highway. I love the Equinox.

Camp Verde State Park s closed on Tuesdays.

Some links:

World Food Program trying to bring disaster relief over the objections of the Myanmar government. “The people of Myanmar do not eat biscuits…”

The Onion reporting on President Obama’s visit to Denny’s.

Now You Know

Advertisements

A Digest of Last Week’s Lessons

I’ve been a little busy.

Baseball is a lot more fun when somebody swings the bat once in a while, instead of praying to draw a walk. (Are you listening D-Backs?)

There is no such thing as a minor detail in a construction contract.

Do not leave your tool bags where the cats are likely to pee on it. If I actually find something that removes the smell out of my nifty new tool-harness – I’ll update.

Somebody has to run out all the motor cable when you’re loading in a system of trusses. The sooner you make that assignment, the easier load-in will go. You can’t always count on some guy like me just doing it.

Triple digit hi temps means its summer. The calender isn’t relevant.

Daniel Goleman tells Bill Moyers that just about everything is bad for the environment. Science = buzzkill.

Required reading: Basic Laws of Stupidity

and (loosely related to the items above) Flouridation = Communism

A new entry in our catalogue of Random Facts sites: Futility Closet

FOR WRITERS:

Free marketing (and doubtless worth every penny) FiledBy

9 step program for cover letters

And I may ave posted this before, but it is Need To Know if you write books for money: Actual Costs Behind Books

And a bunch of other stuff discretion or sleep deprivation has driven from my mind.

Now you know.

Just throw strikes…

The Suns are out. For those who get their NBA news from my blog.

Mule line, the flat line somewhere between rope and string that we use to pull cable through conduit is expensive – but so is labor. At some point, you just gotta cut the line, tie a new one, and move on with the job.

It’s a lot more expensive to change plans after the conduit is in place – a lot.

If your first instinct is that you probably can’t quite get the boom basket around the obstruction from this position – you’re right. Proving that to yourself is a slow and frustrating exercise.

You all know that North Korea will never actually launch a nuclear missile at the US, right? The whole country operates like its run by kindergarteners, and this is just one more tantrum for attention. We gotta calm down and be the grown-ups. Really.

Much as I like the Obama admin, they still live in fear, at least in foreign policy. [sigh..]

In little league, you can hit a ball three feet from the plate and still score a run on that very play.

And the team my son’s team faced last Tuesday – they’re the terror of the entire league. My son’s team is closer to the middle of the pack than that game would indicate.

And they played well tonight. And Ben scored his first run (walk, two stolen bases, walk home on a bases loaded HBP). His team played well and won. Don’t worry – I’m not going to update in this sort of detail all season.

Now you know.

Baseball and straight lines learned later in life than one would suppose

My son, who has somehow reached the age of 11 without playing so much as an inning of organized baseball, decides he wants to join Little League. At 6th grade, you’re supposed to be automatically placed in the upper division (which they call the “majors”) but there exists a by-law that allows them to put a 6th grader in the “minors” if everyone signs off on it.

6-8th grade pitching really maxes out at 70mph, which is fast enough from a 60′ mound, but Little League pitches from a 42′ mound (distance from home plate – for the non-sporting), which reduces the decision-making window to the equivalent of a major league fastball. It s simply unsafe to put a raw beginner in the batter box under thosee conditions.

Ben was bummed, but he’s better off learning the basic-basics with other kids who are the same situation. They spent a lot of time in the first practices just figuring out the rules of base running.

I can’t stress enough how kind and cool everyone in our local league has turned out to be.

My daughter, who turned 10 last week, somehow got to that milestone without learning how to draw a straight line using a ruler.

Now they know.