I just installed a Bluetooth car stereo into my custom built 99 inch long desk here in my office, which I like to refer to as Adventurer's Project's headquarters. My house is very formal. It's a Victorian on what some of us like to call "Millionaires Row" in Woodsfield. It's currently 127 years old. It has mocha colored walls and dark stained archways and mounding for the most part. When I moved in, it didn't accept me for who I was... I accepted it for what it is.
But it's given me wonderful opportunities. I'm 37, I don't have any children and have never been married. My living room will be a wonderful place to entertain guests and give presentations. But my office is my favorite part of the house. And the Bluetooth car stereo is the latest edition.
I'm powering it with a spare 250 watt computer power supply. I have it suspended from the bottom of the desk with some heavy duty double sticky tape. I was apprehensive at first about possibly blowing every circuit in my house, but I can field strip a computer and build it back up again. Once I got the right wires, it was ridiculously simple from there.
The power supply unit (PSU) that I used didn't have a switch mounted to it. But in the motherboards power harness, there is a wire for the computer case's switch. I tried to use a spare case power switch, but it acted like a reset switch and wouldn't power on without holding it down. I realized what was going on as the motherboard circuitry only needed a momentary jump. So, I went down the street to the auto parts store and got a toggle switch that I wired in. My systems have an economical sleep and hibernation cycles. But the stereo's PSU isn't apart of those systems, so it will just run continuously unless turned off.
I had two 6 x 9 speakers that fell out of their mounts in my van. I brought them in and put them on the new book shelf that I mounted to the opposite wall in my office. My office is one room that does not need to be in conformity with the house, so I just routed the speaker wires up along the ceiling from the book shelves to the opposite end of the desk, then along it's bottom side. There's still one more thing that the desk needs and that is speaker wire terminals on the back side. The reason being is that the desk is on wheels. It was designed to move so I can more easily vacuum behind it.
The office is small. And given the mobile nature of the desk, I can't afford to have things stationed on the desk, or on the floor. So the project with mounting and wiring the car stereo to the desk itself became practical. Plus, I got the Bluetooth receiver for $17 out the door from Walmart. I couldn't pass it up. I paid $50 for my last one.
This system frees up a little desk space. I was using a small, cube shaped mono speaker for The Robot's sound before. But a few hours ago, I was listening to a digital copy of the "Unplugged" album by The Corrs and over the new system, it was crystal clear for such a wonderful record. And I love that the unit is right next to my computer work area because it's built in call microphone is very close. I'm thinking that my callers will be able hear me more clearly on it's version of a speakerphone.
There's a difference between having the desire to fight and the ability to win. In the backcountry, you can have all the differences with rural people all that you want. But it's not the way to sustainability of the trail. Resistance to the trail, it's hikers versus the public is not practical, or efficient. They'll just produce a poorly functioning machine if it does work.
In front wheel drive cars, when it's stuck on a slick of mud or ice, it's not wise to torque the drive wheels. Your more likely to get free by using minimum power. More often than not, more torque worsens their situations. The way out is through what I call "backcountry diplomacy." They likely don't trust oratories like mine (I have to curtail it). They're what some people call simpler. You don't humor them with all the internal politics of an organization. Instead, you recognize that you're a visitor in their home and you do things their way. If you do, in this area, that's the way to win.
A favorite metaphor of mine is the Catholic Saint Patrick. He was known for the miracle of expelling all the snakes out of Ireland. But his ability to convert the Celtics to Christianity is something that is noteworthy in light of this blog. Saint Patrick apparently had difficulty converting the pagans at first. It wasn't until he modified certain Christian symbols that they started converting in groves because the population recognized their importance. Our approach of getting them to change and identify with hiking has been flawed. What we have to do with distance hiking trails is figure out how they think, what they value and make what they already do apart of the fabric of what we do.
Money. We can equate it to our own money. But in non and not for profit organizations, it's not just our money... its everyone's money. A board of directors in an organization gets to be prudent. An organization is in constant evolution and that progresses every year that it operates. It grows what I'd coin as an "internal operating environment" that get passed down from one era to the next. It's an establishment.
At the writing of this blog, it's been about 52 years since the anti-establishment. As good as some think that was, it's had an negative effect on non and not for profits. Sure they're buildings are all over the United States, but that doesn't show what's actually going on.
As a student in high school and college, I was a member of several organizations. But their skills and prowess were probably depleted by the anti-establishment long before I came around? I think that because of our youth that they were the hardest hit? They weren't good. And they're a poor example to use in comparison.
In non and not for profits, their boards deal in things like risks, liabilities, insurances and sometimes investments. Even under the most tranquil environments, money issues can become sticky? So when somebody wants to come in and do something revolutionary that could POSSIBLY have big gains, they sometimes don't have a contingency plan for what if their idea doesn't work.
For this, I have some suggestions. 1) take the collective treasury out of the equation and self fund experimental programming. And 2) proceed slower, or smaller? Break your idea apart, experiment and produce a track record. With events, I can tell you that when formulating a proper plan describing the who, what, when, where, why, how, cost, attire and who's affected, there's different individual elements that emerge. And just because an event failed does not mean that every element did. Therefore, we can perform an "after action review" and determine these. And perhaps we'd find that one particular element was out of adjustment, which caused the event to fail? As for everything else, perhaps they were spot on.
When it comes to the Miami & Erie Canal Towpath, I have conveyed the idea that it should be opened up to trailside dispersed camping. When I was planning a 8,000 mile transcontinental hike, I did business with about 14 different distance trail agencies. And one thing in particular that I noticed on the Pacific Crest Trail was in Olympic National Park. Apparently, there was either impressionable areas, or inhospitable terrain (I can't remember). But I do think that I remember them stating that instead of traditional dispersed camping, that they offered "trailside."
The Miami & Erie and Wabash & Erie Canal Tow and Heel Paths can be rather wooded. But it's a canal. The parcels that it sits on is like a narrow corridor. Dispersed as it's commonly known wouldn't be possible. But trailside could be?
Word around from years ago is that ODNR actually conducted the studies needed to install hiking shelters along the Miami & Erie Canal. Apparently, the passed the process and may just be standing by for somebody to build one? If this is true, then they could be standing by for Eagle Scout projects. That process would entail a youth Eagle Scout going from an idea to a plan, getting it passed through the adult leadership, gathering supplies and money and then literately leading the effort on the ground, coordinating people and supplies? But in the meantime, could it be consistent with the finding of those studies to open those areas up as suitable tent sites while they're waiting for a shelter to be built?
Future prospects can be good. But you still have to grapple with the present.
I was just about to install my new left side exhaust manifold on my 1987 Chevy G20, L05 engine when I discovered that it doesn't have port for the secondary air injection tube, aka smog tube. The exhaust manifolds that don't have smog tubes are for 1986 and eariler. I haven't been feeling very well. As far as I know, it's not COVID-19, but nonetheless, I've been under the weather for at least a week. I just went to the auto parts store, returned the manifold that I purchased and I'm waiting for another to come in tomorrow from another store.
My lifter kit for my motorized bicycle engine should have come in today. I rescheduled my anticipated receiving date for tomorrow. I'm building my motorized bicycle out of a Huffy beach cruiser.
There was a North Country Trail Association chapter in this area, but it was short lived. The Buckeye Trail Association took over the maintenance and some of the routing administration in 2000. But it took them about 5 years just to get the trail opened back up by mostly minimum standards. So, I think I have to assume that some of the benching hasn't been maintained in 30 something years?
So distance hiking trails take place on what some hikers call bicycle trails. They're usually gravel and asphalt. And some developing distance trails call this off-road. I'm here to shed some light on the topic.
By government declaration, these are often categorized as "multi-purpose trails" as per the record. The North Country National Scenic Trail, which I'm more familiar with, certifies these segments. And even of they're not, there's still "political correctness" to consider. Hikers of an Appalachian Trail origin will state that these aren't off-road. But if the distance trail agency didn't classify these as off-road, then somebody will pop up and argue that it is. On the internal side, I can easily see a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" type of situation.
Mid-west distance trails sometimes take place in urban areas and surburban counties. Going off-road in those vicinities would be very costly because properties are smaller and cost more.
I know a lot of this is observation and opinion, but disrance trails go from Point A to Point B repeatedly for a reason. That much is certain. You could come out of college with $100,000 in student loan debts and be very book smart. But more often than not, that barely holds a candle to experience.
Its hard to name them all. There could be internal commitments involved? I have to admit that I know a lot and have done great things, but I'm not on top of everything simultaneously. Basically, I'm not always good at delivering "instant gratification."
Also, I installed a cuff on the right bank exhaust tube in front of the rear axle and moved the resonator pipe so that it was further away from a nearby brake line.
It appears that the transmission fluid is low?
The purpose of the catalog right now is volunteer procurement. As far as getting new trail adopters, group activities are suspended until further notice. We can get new trail adopters (our primary volunteer maintenance crew), but can't give them the necessary in-person indoctrination until COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. To sum it up, we can still get them on the record, but not working yet. Anyways, we need those photos for an Adventurer's Project volunteer procurement/ trail promotion campaign that should be had sometime after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to a more favorable point.
I didn't jump on the bandwagon and advocate the use of the trail in our region because I thought it would precipitate a public health problem. When cataloged Whipple 06 - 05, it was it's usual, tranquil self out there. The nearest person was 150 yards away from me and they were across a river on a dirt bike.
Our photos for Road Fork 27 - 29 are done and that accounts for the popular Archer's Fork Loop concurrency where I think people are going to be? I've got a good lead on an adopter for Whipple 01 - 02.
New adopters or not, I want to upgrade all of Whipple's off-road blazes myself. It's just to get them up to the Maintenance Guide's recommended standards.
We have permission to move as many North Country Trail NFS tack on markers as needed to our road intersections. They're needed at the intersections because they're shapes and color are what's on NFS's maps. If they see the shapes at the intersections, then Buckeye's blazes can take over from there.
It might be 9 days before I can continue Adventurer's Project's "Geo Photo Catalog." It has several applications.
Application #1: A photographic record of the trail to educate Buckeye Trail Association volunteers and a reference for future maintenance needs.
Application #2: Produce photos for trail adopter procurement.
Application #3: Social media content. The photos will be released about 3 at a time in between other posts and help with fresh content during the cold days.
Application #4: Photos for Adventurer's Project's website.
Application #5: Pictures for trail promotion and volunteer procurement.
Application #6: Determine where we need to take pictures with better cameras. Those photos can be used for trail promotion, the website and social media.
Adventurer's Project supports the Road Fork and Whipple Sections of the Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent) in Noble, Monroe, Washington and Morgan Counties of Ohio. The photos are taken about every 50yds or less in both directions. Currently, the photos are being taken at my smartphone's highest possible quality. As this region's off-road total is about 40 miles, it should produce over 2,600 photos. That's far more than Buckeye and North Country's hikers have produced at the moment.
On-road portions have been recorded via video with spoken locations from an automobile. Aside from that, Google Street View covers some of this area. So at this point, it's mostly about photographing about 40 miles of off-road paths on foot. And I'm earning my 2020 North Country Trail 100 Mile Challenge, which I've missed other challenges like this in previous years.
The "geo" part pertains to enabling my smartphone camera's "locator" to produce geotags. This process embeds the location of where the photo was taken into the properties of the file. From there, software can be used to extract their coordinates and then embed them into placemarks into a Google KML/ KMZ file. In terms of the maintenance record, volunteer users can follow the photos, particularly with the GIS/ GPS track of the Road Fork and Whipple Sections. So, this is to see the trail's line with the photos on an application like Google Earth and probably ArcGIS products?
In previous years, the camera locator was on by default. But I like to refer to geotags as "creeper tags." It's unfortunate because people were physically followed by others when they downloaded their pictures and had the geotags extracted. They could tell by the days of the week when they took their kids to karate class for instance.
But recently, to enable the geotag feature, there are two safeties. One is that the phone's locator must be enabled. When it is, this is what enables the smartphone's mapping and navigation. The second step is to enable the locator a second time, but in the camera app's settings. I find it to be a wonderful tool for the trail, but I tend to use it wisely. As of the time of this post, geotags are automatically stripped by Facebook, but not by every social media company. Presently, Adventurer's Project is only on Facebook and no other social media service due to insufficient manpower to admin more.
At last count, it takes about 1 hour to photograph 2 miles of off-road footpath here in what I call "Far SE Ohio," which is in the Appalachian Foothills. That's that's about 4 times faster than it takes to initially blaze (painted navigational markers) one. But still, the "stop and go" is harder on my body and I haven't scheduled this photographing over 7 round trip miles yet.
So, that just about sums up Adventurer's Project's Geo Photo Catalog.