Monday, December 11, 2017

Signal Fires Are Dumb

Carry a mirror folks!  And mix in a map and compass and maybe learn how to use them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving in New Orleans

Day 1
  • Arrived. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard on St. Charles and Canal St.  It was a great location for getting around.
  • Dinner at Luke.
Day 2
  • Jackson Square - fairly quiet due to Thanksgiving
  • Cafe du Monde for coffee and beneigts - a bit overrated as other places had better coffee and beignets
  • Dinner at Cafe Adeliade - good food but they seems a bit understaffed
Day 3
  • Walking tour of St. Louis Cemetery
  • Lunch at Sweet Grill
  • Walking tour of French Quarter
  • Dinner at Brigstons - fabulous!
Day 4
  • Chalmette Battlefield - great history on the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans
  • National WWII Museum - great museum for general WWII history but I sought out the personal artifacts
  • Dinner at Commanders Palace - deserves its reputation
Day 5
  • Natchez brunch - fun cruise on the river with a cool jazz band, Duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers
  • Literary walking tour
  • Flight home
Things for next time
  • Cabildo/Presbytere Museums
  • 1850 House Museum
  • See a jazz show somewhere
  • Bayou excursion
Jackson Square

Cafe du Monde

St. Louis Cemetary

St. Louis Cemetary

To Live and Let Die

Chalmette Memorial

Tree with Spanish Moss

Ignatius Reilly

Natchez Engine Room

Monday, November 20, 2017

Joshua Tree Exploring

Instead of rock climbing, the troop went up to Joshua Tree NP for some exploring.  The idea was to do some navigation training and find some cool stuff in the park.  Since all the campgrounds were full, we camped out in the BLM land north of town.  It was pretty flat, dusty and very cold but we made it work.
BLM camp

"High Noon" pictographs

Cross country

Old stamp mill

Long abandoned car

Bighorn sheep (can you spot both?)

Sunset


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weekend Activities

  • Finally hiked Iron Mountain - decent hike
  • Bengt's Eagle portraits
  • Balboa Park to see the Museum of Man exhibits "Living with Animals" and "Cannibals"; also took the cool tower tour

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Wilson Peak Hike

Mark and I tackled Wilson Peak in the desert.  It was awesome hike and would be great for the scouts if you drive up to trailhead up the road a few miles.





Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Eagle Scout

Bengt pass his board of review and is now officially an Eagle Scout!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekend Activities

The heat canceled a planned hike to Tecate Peak but its was still a good weekend.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Fiesta Island

The troop was back at Fiesta Island for water sports and camping.  We invited the Webelos but only got 1 which was unfortunate.  The scouts had a great time with kayaks and sailboats though.










Monday, September 18, 2017

Mt. Laguna

The first campout of the season was back at Mount Laguna.  We took advantage of a reservation at the El Prado group camp which we all like.  We taught Totin' Chip and got alot of advancement done for the younger scouts.  Everyone had a good time cooking as well.  We took our usual walk out to the Big Laguna and the scouts found a cow trough that provided an impromptu game of algae mat flinging.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Weekend Activities

  • Participated in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor and helped out another Eagle in his project
  • Ira Glass at the Balboa Theater

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Potato Hack Diet

Since I am on my own this week, it is the perfect time to do the End of Summer Potato Hack! Bring on the taters.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fitness After 10 Plus Years

I have been focused on health and fitness for over 10 years now and I thought it was a good time for reflection on where I was and where I am headed.
In the beginning, I started out with the conventional wisdom stuff.  Low-fat diets, jogging and moderate weight training.  I got bored quickly and didn't see much progress.  My big step came with P90X.  I started the program and finished a full 90 day regime including the diet, for the most part.  I really saw progress and was eager for more.  Next up was Tim Ferriss' book "4 Hour Body". Two things immediately jumped out at me.  One was the diet, which he calls the "Slow Carb" diet.  The other was the high intensity workout stuff.  I started the diet and felt better immediately.  Tim's diet contains a cheat day every week which I think is great for those starting in the paleo/primal world.  I then came across Mark Sisson and his blog Mark's Daily Apple.  This was a life changer. The primal lifestyle really resonated with me and I converted quickly. Now I know how diet and exercise affect me and after a few years, I am healthiest I have ever been.  Grok on!

Current:
  • Diet - 90% primal; my main cheats are wine and snacks my son keeps around
  • Exercise - I toggle between P90X (usually only doing half a workout but with higher intensity), sprints and weights

Future:
  • Vision - my eyes have been getting slow but steadily worse.  I recently got bifocals and felt very old.  So I am going to start some exercises that I got from my father-in-law to help reverse that effects.
  • Flexibility - I am not very limber and would like to get more flexible
  • Tai Chi - something to focus the mind and body
  • Body Composition - I am still looking to drop some body fat to get more tone; I will am going to look at optimizing different diet and exercises

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Philmont 2017

The troop had an awesome time at Philmont as Crew 718-G!
We stayed the following camps:
  • Minnette Meadows - very nice low altitude trail camp
  • Cimorroncito - I finally tried rock climbing and rappelling
  • Cyphers Mine - my second favorite camp with the mine challenge, blacksmithing and Stomp!
  • Mt. Philips - hailed like snow
  • Cherokee Creek - trail camp with a steep climb from the river
  • Apache Springs - sweat lodges were great
  • Fish Camp - loved the lodge
  • Abreu - they let us sleep under the pavilion due to rain
  • Stockade Ridge - nice jumping off point for the Tooth of Time
We had rain most of the last 8 days of the trek.  Sometimes it was heavy but our crew did great.  They all had effective rain gear and knew how to deal with the weather.
Can't wait to go back again!




















Monday, July 10, 2017

Leaving Northrop Grumman



After 15 plus years, I recently left Northrop Grumman.  It was certainly a sad transition but it was for the better.
NG was a great phase in my life and I highly recommended the company.  Long story... in mid 2001, I was laid off during the dot-com crash.  My family and I were living in Scottsdale at the time and I looked around for another software gig but there was nothing happening.  After a short while, my wife and I decided to move back to California.  Without a job, we drove along the coast looking for a place to call home.  We eventually settled on Encinitas and shortly thereafter I landed the job at NG.
Some of the many highlights that stand out in my memory:

  • My first project at NCTSI at Point Loma
  • Working on SRMT
  • Visiting SPAWAR Old Town
  • BACN first flight at MCAS Miramar
  • Moving to Spectrum offices
  • Participating in the company Toastmaster's club
  • Moving to Mission Valley office for a couple years
  • Being nominated for the Emerg1NG Leader program which was a life changer for me
  • Getting into Scrum
  • Flight test for SNP

Many thanks to all the folks I worked with over the years, especially Curtis E., my manager for 13 of those 15 years.
My new gig is with Georgia Tech Research Institute where I will be working on cyber projects.  It is an exciting new area for me and can't wait to get going.

Sunday, July 02, 2017