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Log 2014033101

I had my birthday dinner at Pickle Bill's restaurant about a mile S of the Northern Terminus on the Burton Section - Buckeye Trail yesterday.  It's in the harbor on the west side of the Grand River.


Log 2014032801

This morning, I finally got the 2014 Edition of the Ohio Transit Hikers Resource (OTHR) done.  I've been working at this refit for just over a month.  And the map needed to be done first because the new guide is based off it.  And because the map has a lot of new editions, the guide will also have more entries.

Within the last year, the Buckeye Trail Association released it's GIS/ GPS Depository.  Because it did, I'm now able to display every amenity spur from transit to the trail that there is available according to my method of discrimination, which are distances no greater than 4 miles from trail.  General Public county dial-a-ride transit this year opened up in Harrison, Perry, an extension of Fairfield, Pike, Miami, Sandusky, Seneca and Ashland Counties.  A city based dial-a-ride opened up and caters to the general public in Logan of Hocking County.  Dial-a-Ride type services open to "residents only" occurred in Monroe, Athens and Tuscarawas Counties, they are also new to the 2014 edition.

I decided that since there were two hotels on the east side of the City of Medina that I also included 3 new fixed routes in that city.  The track for the Brunswick Transit Alternative, which OTHR abbreviates as "BrTA" (because of the Buckeye Trail Association being BTA), needed to be written.  They have two routes that are routed like a "figure 8."  Last year, I only wrote track for one side of it because I thought that was all the hiker needed.  But, to my chagrin, those buses are circulators, which means that each loop runs in only one direction, so I remedied that and wrote the entire system this year.

OTHR lost transit coverage in the City of Delphos on the Delphos Section - Buckeye Trail (North Country Trail concurrent).  The Lima/ Allen County Regional Transit Authority (L/ACRTA) is no longer offering what OTHR refers to as "hybrid fixed route, or HFR" services to there, or Spencerville (also on trail, but was never listed).  HFR's are buses that are generally routed from one place to another, like point "A" to point "b", but certain deviations could be made and it requires a reservation, much like a dial-a-ride service.  The Buckeye Trail is served by a similar route in Waterville of Lucas County. But the information for both of those transit routes is still listed on L/ACRTA's website. But I hope to see them back up and running in the future.  OTHR's largest transit gap is in that part of Northwest Ohio. 

This year, with the edition of the extended transit services out of Fairfield County, that put the parts of the New Straitsville, Scioto Trail and all of the Old Man's Cave Section - BT [NCT and American Discovery Trail (ADT) concurrent] in range of it and the Greyhound affiliate "GoBus'" Lancaster (Carroll) stop.  Between this location, their stop in the City of Logan and local transit on both sides, one could embark on a 4 day, 65 mile route that would include Hocking Hills and some of the best hiking that the Buckeye has to offer.

So the regional transit in the south area now works like Marietta/ Parkersburg - Logan - Lancaster - Piketon - Peebles - Batavia - Cincinnati.

Last year, I noted that the Huron County Transit offers services extending up the US-250 corridor to Sandusky.  I never wrote a track for it because I considered it to be a part of a dial-a-ride program.  But this year, I changed it's OTHR status to a HFR.  Sandusky's Greyhound stop was out of range and it's Amtrak train arrived in the middle of the night, which would give the transit hiker 3+ hour layover until Huron County Transit was operating.  Well, now I wrote the tracks for the Sandusky-Perkins Area Ride Connection (SPARC).  So, hikers are in transit range of that Greyhound stop now and it should have better hours for transferring there.


Log 2014032401

It's been computer problems (once again) today.  Other than that, I've been looking at my bicycle thinking that I need to start my 9 weeks of training sometime in the next couple days at the most.  I really need to be at the gym 6 days a week and probably in the sauna on the 7th.  Can I do it? There's already something I do that is like this, so yes... it can be done.  I just have to get disciplined about it and carry out a rigid routine.


Log 2014031801

I experienced a little bit of the same lower back pain for the first two hours that I was up today. But all in all, it's still subsiding. Other than that, I purchased a laptop stand on an arm that mounts to the desk at Micro Center in Mayfield Heights of Cuyahoga County. I'm not sure how I'm going to configure my desk around it yet? I originally wanted to just get a platform for a wireless keyboard that I already have.


Car Needs

With as milage recorded in the previous log being the same as this one, I'd like to remark on what systems currently need work in my 2008 Chevrolet HHR LS.
Starting with the exterior:
It needs a wash
Left headlamp/ turn signal eye
Bumper veneer
Left front fender
Bondo rear left quarter panel
Struts & shocks
Transmission fluid change
Bleed brakes
Rear rotary and pads
Engine compartment:
Trace front left headlight short
Head gasket and seals
Tighten drivers seat belt
Tighten laptop tray shift
back seat dome light switch
Pedal covers
Most of these items are scheduled to get done next month. The tires about another 75,000 miles on them. The exhaust system is in perfect shape. There hasn't been any indication that the serpentine belt is about to go and no problems from the front brakes or the radiator
And the car could use a set of fog lamps and maybe some powerful roof mounted lights for dark dirt roads in hilly areas.

Completed Cleaning Tasks

The windows, mirrors, headlights and odometer plexiglass in my 2008 Chevy HHR L'S were cleaned with Windex Original this evening. The HHR's odometer reading is 133,719 miles as of the time of this log's publication.


Log 2014031501

I had a Dental appointment yesterday, but the remaining entries for local transit agencies from OTHR's directory were input to Microsoft Outlook, which I hope to create a downloadable CSV file from.  In addition to that, there were some computer systems issues that I took care of today.  My machines are running fine now.  But there's data being transferred between computers on this project and I need my network and cloud storage to "fire on all cylinders."


Log 2014031401

My back sprain continues to feel signs of improvement. After I had a cavity filled at the dentist's office today, I stopped by Fitworks in Mentor of Lake County on my way home and used the back machine. This is my second session with that machine. The only problem is that I'm powerful enough to max out the weight stack at 3 sets of 12 repetitions. At the moment, there isn't a free weight equivalent. If there was, I could probably increase that weight.

At the moment, I'm about a working day or two from editing the guide for the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource. I'm creating a new CSV file that allow my end users to upload the directory onto their smartphones without having to carry the seperate directory file.  It will should also make searching for information easier down trail.


Log 2014031201

-I received my arm band mount, laser pointing stylus pen and wired headphones from who's P.O. Box is in Chino Hills, California. This shipment was on time.

- Also, I received my Polar Bluetooth heart rate monitor from HIM USA, Inc in Warminister, Pennsylvania. This shipment was on time.

I believe the stylus pen was free. So, except for that, the other items will help me when I workout, either at the gym, or on the bicycle.


Log 2014031101

The Lima/ Allen County Regional Transit Authority (ACRTA) receptionist informs me that their routes to Delphos and Spencerville of Allen County have been discontinued.

Other than that, I sent a message via web form today to the Monroe County government asking for contact information regarding the Monroe County Public Transit.  Their website on the Ohio Transit Links webpage for the American Public Transportation Association came back in some Asian language.  And many of the links on that page are broken, or link to 404 errors.


Log 2014030901

I've been so impressed with the free version of the Ulysse Speedometer that I purchased the Pro version today on Google Play. I use the speedometer on my mountain bike and have had it on multiple smartphones for about 3 years now.

Between it, navigation, music and my Bluetooth headset, they really consume a lot of power. But when I'm on the road for more than 5 hours,  I usually carry 2 other batteries anyways. And the odometer keeps the screen awake, but I might be able to manually black it out and recall it as needed.

Otherwise, I finished revising the map for the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource. I have some work to do to the directory on Monday. After that, it's editing the guide. The last time I did that, I printed it out and went through it with an ink pen at a coffee shop one line at a time. I believe it's about 16 pages.

Since the Buckeye Trail Association published it's GIS/GPS Data Depository to the General Public, the cats out of the bag now and I don't have to worry about about someone being able to reverse engineer the route when it's there for them to have free of charge anyway.    


Log 2014030604

When the cell phone number porting from Sprint to Verizon took place today, my old Sprint service was canceled.  I didn't know that until just now called Sprint with the intention of canceling it myself.  I was able to log into my account online with them, but as their representative told me that Sprint is now prorating 25 days off of my April bill.  Right now, it's at $87.14 in the positive, so, I'll probably get some of that back.

In the meantime, I ordered a Polar H7 Bluetooth heart rate monitor today from hrmusa on eBay for $58.77.  When working out, there are three heart rates that depend on your age and height.  They are your "target," "cardio" and "maximum."  Target is good for optimal for burning fat, while "cardio" is good for building muscle.  And lastly, maximum is something you shouldn't train at, or you risk damaging yourself.

The best hiker is almost always a lighter one.  And I can stand to use some weight and body fat.  Since I've been on the bike, it's apparent that I could use some muscle.  Now, that I'm cleared to go to the gym and because of my height, I don't reach the heart rate telemetry straps on the treadmill handle with out bending over.  Previously, I had a heart rate monitor which fed my readings to an electronic wrist watch.  I've since lost that unit and now, it just makes more sense to interface the chest strap into my smartphone.  At least this way, I can check my heart rate on my bike while my smartphone is mounted to the handlebar instead of having to take my left hand and arm away, which disturbs my balance and how I'm mounted to the bike.

Lastly, my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone's battery has been holding up quite well today.  I don't think that it's been plugged in since noon and I was streaming Pandora internet radio to my Bluetooth headset while I was riding my bike to Dick's Sporting Goods and back.

Log 2014030603

I took my bicycle for a ride today to return the kickstand and heart rate monitor back to Dick's Sporting Goods in Mentor of Lake County. I didn't exchange them because the store didn't have another kickstand long enough, nor did they have a Bluetooth heart rate monitor to synchronize with my smartphone. I got about $81 back.

Because of the rear basket being mounted and my bike being so large, I have to tip my bike towards me and try to swing my leg up over the top bar of the frame first. Well, I have denim pants on today and the heel of my boot was always snagging the bar.

It's probably the denim? Maybe it's the weight of the boots? Maybe it's that I was injured for 3 months and I'm weaker because I haven't exercised since? And then, it could be a combination of the three? But it is 31°F and it was comfortable ride with a light jacket and mechanic's gloves.

Log 2014030602

A new athletic armband was ordered today from for my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with 3 - 5 days shipping.

Log 2014030601

-The cell phone number from Sprint was successfully ported to Verizon at about noon today.
-If I don't sleep on my back, it will be sore when I awake. Which is like today and I stretched last night.


Log 2014030503

Number portability has begun. My current Sprint cell phone number should carry over to my new Verizon Wireless service in the next 72 hours. The porting process was initiated at 2238hrs.

The second water bottle and cage was installed on my mountain bike today. It brings the grand total up to a water capacity of 2L on the bike and 1.5 in my water bladder on my back.

The new kickstand that I ordered wasn't long enough and wasn't worth mounting.  I intend to exchange it soon for a larger unit.

Log 2014030502

My new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has about 30x more internal storage space compared to my Samsung Galaxy S Model D-700. Additionally, this new unit also fully supports the microSDXC card that I've been using. The D-700 read it, but it made the system unstable at times.

Log 2014030501

My remaining shipment from Dick's Sporting Goods arrived today, which included my new adjustable kickstand, adjustable water bottle cage and heart rate monitor chest strap and watch.


Log 2014030401

Orange reflector tape was installed on the two largest bars of my Nishki Colorado mountain bike.  It will increase night time visability from the sides and 3, or more way intersections and diminish my chances of being t-boned at night.

A new smartphone mount with a goose neck and suction cup was purchased at Best Buy in Mentor of Lake County today and installed.  It replaced a smaller smartphone holder, that didn't have grips to secure the smartphone in place.  It's design was gravity based.  And it's back plate didn't go high enough for the new Samsung Note 3's height.  The new mount is now sufficient for my in office use.

-A new 1 liter water bottle and cage was installed on said mountain bike.  A second cage is still on order and should arrive soon.

- A new rear basket was purchased from Wal-Mart in Mentor of Lake County and was installed on the back rack of said mountain bike.  This will allow me to haul cargo on the bike such as groceries and supplies.

- Two new USB cables were purchased for the new said smartphone.  They were intended for use in the garage where I'm currently housesitting and in my car.  Well, I opened the box and found out that they were the same as the data cables for my previous cell phone.  One of the boxes is now in the trash, so, I'm hoping that I that I can get my money back for the second one if I can find those other cables.

- A universal notebook charger was purchased today from Best Buy in Mentor of Lake County, but it was the wrong kind and it didn't fit my HP's power port.  I hope to take it back for an exchange.

- My new 10" combat boots made by Bates came today from Dick's Sporting Goods.  They'll be replacing my current boots of the same make and model.  That's because part of the outer sole at the tips of my feet are starting to separate and their tread is very worn down.

- A new Otter box smartphone case was purchased from Best Buy in Mentor of Lake County.  It's a rugged enclosure that protects my new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.  If the cost to get the phone at Verizon only cost me about $300 out the door and a newly activated 2 year plan, should I damage the unit in such a way that it's beyond my extended warranty, a replacement of said smartphone will cost about $750 out of pocket at its current retail price.

-The new smartphone was mounted to said mountain bike and it seems to work.

-Even a service with a superior coverage area like Verizon Wireless will loose data signal in the kind of places that I go.  In the second installment of the next recreation trip, I'm counting on it.  This is a 31 mile bike ride from Belpre of Washington County to Chesterhill of Morgan County on the American Discovery Trail in Ohio, while it's independent of the Buckeye Trail.  My purpose will be to ride ADT's independent east arm before hiking the Buckeye Trail.  This will take place on township and county roads in remote areas.

I anticipate that the smartphone's GPS won't be up to the job.  Anyways, the field GPS is much more battery efficient than the smartphone.  If I can run them both, using the field GPS for my odometer, navigation and the smartphone for my on-board music, it should extend the smartphone's battery life.

So, I installed a custom field GPS mount to the top bar of said mountain bike's frame with a buckle, mesh strap and four zip ties.  The units belt clip mounts to one of the zip ties and the adjustable mesh strap.  The other three zip ties are secured to the frame for stabilization.


Log 2014030101

My slightly used truing stand came in today in like new condition from Yonkers, New York, USA Today via eBay and USPS. It arrived 2 days ahead of schedule.

Last night, I determined that due to the modern advancement of smartphone apps that I use, and that their updates are mandatory and consume an increasing amount of storage... couple that with the fact that I could not save some of those apps to external storage (which I have in abundance), I concluded that I can no longer trust my Samsung Galaxy S D-700 smartphone down trail this year.

So, today I purchased a new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with a lot more internal storage and a larger 7+ inch screen. I got it for about $300 out the door with a new 2 year contract with Verizon. My Sprint service is still connected while Verizon migrates my cell phone number from Sprint.

As far as coverage areas go, according to the map, I believe I won't go so much as one hiking day without at least having roaming signal. Couple that with the planned CDMA car cellular signal repeater that on my construction plans, I don't think that my base camps will ever be out of signal in Ohio.


Log 2014030201

My Samsung D-700 which debuted on the retail market about 4 years ago just isn't going to work now considering what I need to do with it. The CPU and RAM memory is fine... it's the 512MB of internal storage that the stock and some aftermarket apps must install on that's bring it to 64MB shy of it's capacity.  And that 64 is easily taken up by cached files and temporary data.  It's a hardware limitation that I can do nothing about except get a new smartphone, which they have have superior memory capacities.

I'm looking at Verizon now.  They want $128.00 a month for unlimited talk, text and 6GB of data, which includes hotspotting, and I'm really excited about that.  With their coverage area and a CDMA repeater in the car, it will probably defeat every coverage gap in the state.