Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mud Caves

Troop 774 made a return trip to the Anza-Borrego mud caves.  We headed out on Saturday morning and made good time to the turn off at Canebrake.  We headed in the few miles to Arroyo Tapiado and up into the canyon.  We picked a good spot for camp, parked and setup the tents.  It was pretty windy so some of the scouts had trouble getting their tents to stay down.  A couple went rolling like tumbleweeds even with gear in them.  We then headed into the main cave and took it all the way through which ends up on top of the large mud mesa. Everyone spread out and explored the small hills.  The weather was overcast and perfect for exploring the desert.
The night was just and windy and one of the tents needed to be relocated.  In the morning, we ate breakfast and headed out.  The day was sunny and already hot.  We had good weather timing on this trip.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Another San Diego Weekend

  • Jyoti and I exercised our Balboa Park Explorer passes and visited the Museum of Modern Art, MOPA and its new "7 Billion Others" exhibit and the History Center and its Exposition Centennial exhibit.  We tried for the Tower tour but it was all booked up.
  • Sunset dinner at Ki's.
  • Uncommon Liturgy at Moonlight Beach.
  • Dog walks and lunch with the kids.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ye Olde Website

I have maintained this blog for almost 10 years now.  But before that, I added content to my static website.  I had stuff on there about my cars back when I cared to spend time on cars, float-tube fishing and reviews of various parks in Encinitas.  The logo and design were done by a colleague back when we still lived in Scottsdale.  But I stopped updating the static content a long time ago.  I thought about republishing the content here, but in the end decided to just to retire the site.  Osten.net redirects straight here now.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Snakes and Seals

During my walks this weekend, I came across some interesting creatures. First, Sophie and I stumbled across a gopher snake along the railroad tracks. The next day, Jyoti and I saw a young sea lion in Solana Beach. Also took Sophie for a quick run. She only lasts about a mile then will sit down and refuse to go farther.

Hike from Swamis to Library

Gopher snake
Seal on beach

Bull Taco Cardiff

Monday, April 06, 2015

Blue Sky Hike

The family and I did a great small hike in Blue Sky Ecological Reserve in Poway.  The weather was nice but not too hot. It was steep heading up to Ramona Reservoir but it was worth it.

The road up

Ramona Reservoir

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Lots of Books

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley - good concepts but a bit tedious due its academic roots; could be compressed into a much smaller book
The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith - funny book
Walk In Hell (The Great War series) by Harry Turtledove - this series keeps getting better or at least the story lines are getting more interesting
Breakthroughs (The Great War, Book 3) by Harry Turtledove - the last in the "Great War" trilogy; this one was somewhat anti-climatic
The Last Season by Eric Blehm - great book about the tragic demise of a long time backcountry ranger
The Left Coast: California on the Edge by Philip L. Fradkin and Alex L. Fradkin - similar to the Golden Coast with great pictures
Long 19th Century - European History From 1789 to 1917 by Robert Weiner - got the final set of discs and finished this dense but fun series
High Country (An Anna Pigeon Novel) by Nevada Barr- the first Barr novel in a park I have been to, Yosemite; this was more of an action thriller than mystery
Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything by Theodore Gray - great follow up to Elements
50 Physics Ideas You Really Need To Know (50 ideas) by Joanne Baker - nice summary of key ideas in physics
Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution by Professor Richard Wolfson Ph. D. - I often get stuck on some concepts of physics but this explained most of them; I will probably listen to this one again to pick up the stuff I still don't get

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Water and the PCT

Just in time for the start of the main PCT hiking season, I published a new project: backcountrywater.info.  It shows the PCT and other water reports on an map for easy planning.
Water is now big news in California.  With only 6% snow pack, many of the natural sources in the Sierras might be dried up by the time the bulk of the huge mass of PCT hikers get there.  The SoCal water caches are already under strain.  It will be interesting to see how many people have to get off trail due to lack of water.  Hopefully they are all prepared and willing to get off before heading into some of the more dangerous sections.