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APRS becomes a more useful expedition messaging service with the addition of SMS and email gateways.

These gateways bypass the traditional APRS messaging requirement that both parties be online at the same time. With the SMS Gateway and Email Gateway, I can send a message to someone back in the world, and the message will arrive on their computing device as normal SMS or email. Critically, both gateways store messages for 24 hours and allow receivers to request unacknowledged messages be resent. This means that someone can reply to my SMS or email at any time, even when my radio is off. I just have to turn on my radio at least once per day and instruct both gateways to send me any new messages.

The Civilized Way to SOTA

I’m interacting with both gateways directly from my Yaesu VX-8DR but this thread on the Expedition Portal forums provides a good introduction of using them via APRSdroid.

APRS gateways also exist for weather reports, WhatsApp messaging, and requesting the nearest repeaters.

I stopped taking photos of myself around the time the word "selfie" entered the popular lexicon.

But the kids tell me that websites like The Instant Gram are all about self-portraits that show off your hot bod. Apparently it is great for one’s sense of personal worth. So I figured I’d dust off that particular skill set. I think I have some real winners.

The Pig Monkey in His Natural Habitat

Bicycle Selfie

The Kids Tell Me It Is All About the Selfie

No longer will I lay my bike down in the dirt like a savage.

I bought a Click-Stand. My Max-5 model weighs 3.4 oz, including the fat foot for soft ground. I tried it out on a picnic ride today and it worked great.

Click-Stand Picnic

Click-Stand Picnic

2023 is off to a strong start in the sanctum sanctorum.

Living the dream.

Coltrane, Miller, Pu-erh

I insulate the handles of my titanium kitchenware with silicon aquarium airline tubing.

I use the tubing recommended in a thread on the Backpacking Light Forum. It isn’t necessary, and adds a couple grams, but it is a nice luxury that allows the mug or pot to be plucked from the stove without additional precaution.

Titanium Handle Insulation

Make sure to use silicon tubing, not vinyl. Application takes some finger strength. Spraying a little soapy water into the tubing first makes it slide a bit easier. The stuff I use has an outer diameter of about 5.8mm and an inner diameter of about 4.2mm. It has been the appropriate size for the handles on mugs from Snow Peak and Boundless Voyage.

I watched a few episodes of Dark Angel for the first time since puberty.

In the pilot episode of the show, the titular hero teams up with a pirate television journalist in the cyberpunk dystopia of Seattle. They broadcast the dirt about a Rich Bad Guy™, and protect a witness from being silenced before she can give her testimony in court. The implication being that facts are meaningful, and that the criminal justice system is functioning.

From the vantage of 2022, the show’s dystopia is looking pretty optimistic.

One of the things that I find refreshing about running an isolated personal blog, as opposed to whatever social hellscape the rest of the online population is participating in today, is not caring about the audience.

Or even knowing if there is one. (I could look at the web server logs, but I don’t.) I post for a hypothetical reader who is me but not me.

When choosing what to write about, I usually think “If I found this post on another site, would I think it was cool?”. And, reader, I do. So fucking cool.

I hang my strop on my fridge with a magnetic hook.

All of my sharpening supplies live in a box in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind. Once I moved the strop to a place where I see it every day, I began to use it much more often – both for kitchen knives and pocket knives. Frequent stropping keeps the knives in better shape, and reduces the frequency with which they need to be sharpened.

Evening Strop

My current strop solution is a rubberized cork strop coated with boron carbide and chromium oxide, as explained by Bernal Cutlery.