NEWS: 31 0800 MAR 2002
Long news update, lots of typing going on today, so bear with me.
Last night I tried my hammock out in the rain and had a very comfortable night. I was able to collect the data to update part of my Hennessy Ultralight A-Sym Hammock Review. It was a good hard thunderstorm with winds and tornado warnings, so I figured the hammock got an adequate test. I have added an important tip on reducing condensation problems under the Storm Setup, I have had some people e-mail me about condensation problems in the past. All I need to finish is some Army Training Exercises to finish the review. As for the growing Hennessy Hammock Tips - if you have some, send them in and I'll try them. I recently got a tip from TheLightweightBackpacker on how to set it up without tying knots by using a couple of snap links and a daisy chain, all I have to do is get the parts and try it.
I've been getting my site ready for the upcoming switch to the new server by going thru some pages and catching up on some work I've fallen behind on like the Book Reviews, Packing Lists, and Compass Navigation pages. No, there aren't any new ones up yet, but I have started writing the missing pages to get it finished.
Once I get the new site up, a lot of e-mail addresses will be changing too. So after the new site goes up remember to update your address books and favorites. I will get extra busy after the site goes up updating search engines and trying to get a re-direct page up, so getting all this work done ahead of time is critical.
You may notice some broken links coming up or links to incomplete pages - as well as a hit counter that doesn't make sense (yet), that is all a part of getting ready to upload to the new server. I did also add Yahoo Messenger to my IM programs, my ID is on the navigation bar to the left at the bottom.
I still am hoping that there are some contributions out there for my Hiker's Lexicon. So far I haven't received any. I could start doing it from memory, but I was hoping I could get some input from the hiking community. If I were a smart guy, Id write some script that allowed immediate entries like a guestbook.
NEWS: 29 1600 MAR 2002
Another update today. I didn't think my web would be back up today but it is, so that is a good thing. I did another update to my hygiene page after a question about antibacterial soap.
OK, here is what I need EVERYONE'S help with! Back last summer I was hiking in North Carolina and Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. At Rock Gap Shelter in North Carolina (In Standing Indian Forest) there was a shelter journal that had a Hiker Lexicon in it. It was absolutely hilarious and also had some informative stuff in there. If I would have had the time I would have gotten a copy of the whole thing. But I didn't. Ever since then I have wanted to do something like that for my site. Now with the expansion to the new site coming up I think I'll have enough web space to make it work. Go here and make a submission!
The new site should be up next week.
NEWS: 29 1300 MAR 2002
Today was it! I friggin lost my ever loving mind! Why? My frigging web hosting service shut down my site for excessive bandwidth usage. So I looked at paying to get it back up - $10 a month for a lousy 50 megs and 3GB of bandwidth. And no other services.
So today I signed up with PowWeb. My new site should be up sometime next week at www.hikinghq.net. The benefits to my new site are 200MB data, FTP, 100 POP3 mail accounts, Front Page extensions (I'm too lazy to code), 12GB bandwidth, web stats, and a lot more for just $7.77 a month. Plus I got the first month free and my own domain registered for $15. Maybe I can get some search engine submissions for free too.
So, look forward to a temporary re-direct page on the Tripod account and a new improved site on www.hikinghq.net.
I also got rid of HotPoP, they suck. Don't use them.
Oh, and Saturday night we are supposed to get thunderstorms - now I can go out and try the hammock in the rain!
NEWS: 28 1100 MAR 2002
I got a nice long lunch today (again), so I did some proof reading of my new Hennessy Ultralight A-Sym Hammock Review and guide on my Rock/Stake Bag. There were some spelling and grammar errors as well as some incomplete data about the Hennessy Review. I also added a new tip on hammock camping after getting an e-mail about it.
I'm still having server problems. If you haven't noticed, some of the page banners are missing the text, and my pop3 e-mail forwarding is screwed up. If you e-mailed me recently and I haven't replied this is the reason. If you need to contact me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for now. I'll try to get the e-mail problem fixed. I have got to get a new hosting service!
I have the fever to hike again, but I've got stupid one hour recall this weekend, so maybe it will be just an overnight car camping trip to the local campground. When can I retire!?!
NEWS: 27 2300 MAR 2002
Today I cleaned up some stuff on the Hygiene page. I had left a lot of errors on the page and needed to re-word some stuff to make it more understandable.
I got a nice long lunch today, so I went out and did some photo stuff to start my new Hennessy Ultralight A-Sym Hammock Review. I still need a good storm to really test it, and a training exercise or two. But you can read what I have so far.
I also posted some pictures and wrote a guide on my Rock/Stake Bag. It's a cool idea you may want to try.
More stove orders to fill!
NEWS: 26 2230 MAR 2002
I've been researching my site server and I'm currently looking at PowWeb hosting services. So maybe there will be a domain change soon. I just gotta figure out what would be an easy to type and remember domain name if I do change. Hiking HQ was gone last time I checked, as was SGT Rock.
I also received an e-mail with an interesting question or two about hygiene on the trail. Honestly I don't think about it much because I've done it for years, but after answering the questions I realized there was a lot to it that a novice may not know, so I added a page about Trail Hygiene.
NEWS: 24 1030 MAR 2002
Today I was doing some research into why some people are having problems downloading my Excel spreadsheet files and why a stupid pop up is coming out on my site after I changed my account to get rid of them. Seems like the site is so popular I have exceeded my bandwidth and they also changed site size limitations while I wasn't looking. BUT, my site is drawing them so much traffic they just added the pop up and didn't charge me!
Yesterday I had 380+ page views, I've had 13,300+ page views this month, and I've been averaging about 20-30 MB of bandwidth a day! My counter isn't tracking hits very well apparently because it says I've only had about 23 hits a day, that would mean a viewer is averaging 17 pages a view or so. I don't know if I should believe that. So I'll look for a new web counter, and maybe I'll look for a server upgrade to get rid of the pop up adds and improved file downloads. My wife is against me spending money on my "hobby". Maybe I'll let her cancel my Backpacker subscription if I can pay for a site!
I guess I owe all you guys a big thanks for having an interest in my site.
NEWS: 23 1030 MAR 2002
I returned this morning from my first trip using the Hennessy Ultralight Asym Hammock. I can't say it was more comfortable than the ultralight, but it is just as comfortable as the ultralight. The big differences for using in my opinion so far are: 1. easier to get set into and out of because of the diagonal design the Assym offers; 2. better hammock coverage with the fly because of the offset design; and 3. slightly easier set up with the web straps. I'm still working on a review that won't be complete until I do some more testing in order to ensure I get all the aspects of the hammock recorded. If your interested in one, REI is carrying them.
NEWS: 21 1600 MAR 2002
Time to go backpacking again!
I got the fever bad. Wednesday I received the new Hennessy Ultralight Asym Hammock, and it is nice. The hammock takes all the great points of the Hennessy Ultralight and adds some improvements like a nylon covering over the Spectra cord to prevent fraying, larger tree hugger straps, and a new shape that makes it even m more comfortable by changing the placement of the side pulls to improve the bottom design for sleeping at an angle to the hammock's centerline. I plan to do a brand new review page with lots of pictures of the cool features this hammock has. And you get all this for still under 2 pounds!
NEWS: 17 1400 MAR 2002
It's been a couple of weeks since I did anything to the site. Work has been kind of hectic as I prepare to leave and turn over my Platoon.
Today I'm trying to catch up on a couple of small things like a book review on "Walking With Spring" by Earl Schaffer. I meant to do this months ago but only recently got around to it. I have also started one for "Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail" by Roland Mueser and "On the Beaten Path : An Appalachian Pilgrimage" by Robert Alden Rubin. Look for them in the near future. I still have tons of other projects I could do for the site like maybe finishing the Compass pages someday.
I also updated some information on the stitching used on my Rucksack thanks to a recommendation by Rosaleen.
To my future and other information. I just got my reporting date for Germany moved back a month to June. But, I am also waiting to find out if I have been selected for promotion to E8 (Master Sergeant/First Sergeant). Friday evening I was informed that if I get selected, I will probably not go to Germany, but stay here at Fort Polk. Staying here would be good for future promotions, but then I would miss the chance to go to Germany. Argh!
And now the other big news, I have been selected to test a new Hennessy Hammock model. I don't know what the model is yet, but I'm excited!
NEWS: 2 1300 MAR 2002
I started putting my different gear projects together on a page: Make Your Own Gear. If you notice, it is under techniques instead of gear. I did this because I consider making your own gear an essential part of discovering your hiking style, then making your equipment fit into that. A lot of work is left to be done to finish it up, but it is a start.
NEWS: 1 1730 MAR 2002
A new month, and I'm another step closer to my dream! Today I went over my retirement/thru-hike plan for now until 2007 with my wife, and she gave it her blessing. HUA!
Last night I started thinking about my stove designs and have finished customizing the Simmering Soda Can Stove. I've started making building instructions for the improved simmering model that weighs only 1.4 ounces with windscreen and boils faster than previous models of this stove. Since I can't go hiking this weekend (well maybe a day hike), I will write and publish the instructions, post some pictures, and do the standard tests of boiling times. I also posted a new cooking tip I recently picked up on and tried - turn your pan/lid upside down and heat water in it while you cook in your pot!
I also got my pictures back from the National Training Center, maybe I'll post some.
All dates are done in military day/time group. Example:
20 1945 OCT 2000
This means 20 (20th day) 1945 (7:45 PM) OCT (October) 2000 (year 2000). Hope this clears up any confusion.