Dry bag for inside panniers, purchased from Arkel

I searched without success for a lightweight, waterproof bag to protect my Martin Backpacker Guitar. Typical dry bags used for water sports are overbuilt for bicycle touring and backpacking use, where weight is a very large factor. They use clear vinyl or heavier vinyl coated cloth and weigh many pounds. This article describes the process I went through to make my own custom lightweight waterproof bags for touring and backpacking.

I ordered ...


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I have not found a way to better describe this book than the first sentence inside the dust cover. “It’s as if Dave Barry and Charles Kuralt squeezed together onto a bicycle to pedal across America and around the world, filing outrageous dispatches along the way.”

Indeed, many times while reading I felt as if I was watching the well done Sunday morning stories where the common man or the small town are shown in all of their glory. Those stories that aren’t as touching will give you a great laugh.


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The Da Vinci Code was the first book of Dan Brown’s I read. It seemed like your only choice was to read the book, due to popularity. I really enjoy Brown’s style of writing, but didn’t like the far stretches required to make The Da Vinci Code a suspenseful novel and much of the false history. I guess it didn’t really bug me when reading the book. The thing that bugged me was people thinking it was the truth after reading a fictional novel. Despite this, when seeing Deception Point for sale at our United Way book sale at work, I decided to give it a try.

Deception Point involves the discovery of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in arctic ice in the far North. NASA, in dire need of a success to halt a funding cut or complete elimination of the organization, are careful to pull in civilian scientists to validate their discovery beyond a shadow of doubt. In addition, NSA analyst Rachel Sexton is brought in as a professional skeptic.


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I’m sorry, you can no longer win $15,000 by reading this book. It was the announcement of the solution to the 10 cipher challenges, located in the back of The Code Book, that made me aware of this book. Money aside, if you are interested in learning of the history of codes and ciphers, this book is for you!

Did you know that Mary Queens of Scots was killed by Queen Elizabeth, because her code was not strong enough to foil the code breakers of the time. Have you ever heard of the Navajo Code Talkers that offered the US Marines a method of secure ground communications in World War II? (Probably more so after the Windtalkers movie.) Do you know the full story behind the breaking of the German’s Enigma Code in the same war? Do you know that the first computer was build in England, not the US?


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I really wish I had ran into this book before I purchased my “utility” sewing machine. I got a no frills home machine with a few stitches. It was a floor model, but I would have been better to spend the money on a light weight industrial sewing machine with only a straight stitch. Louise was talking about me when she mentioned those who buy a machine with all of these cool stitches. They play with these stitches for a month and then only sew straight seams. I now wish I had a machine that just sews straight seams like a champ. I’m glad I got my machine pretty cheap, as I’ll most likely upgrade now that I am having fun making stuff.


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This is why you’re not allowed to play in the cockpit!!

Actual Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) Transcripts and pictures of the destruction below:

Mechanic #1: “Hey Bob, I really don’t think were supposed to be up here.”


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This is something often attributed to Paul Harvey. While Paul often read material from this author, he was not the author. This was written by Lee Pitts in People Who Live at the End of Dirt Roads that appeared in the 2000 Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul.

For my grandchildren, I’d like better. I’d really like for them to know about hand-me-down clothes, homemade ice-cream and meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

My cherished grandson, I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. I hope you have a job by then.


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or How not to look Stupid and Burn Down a House

Note: This was an article written for a now defunct site about film making. Thus, the intended audience of the article a low budget independent film maker. I wrote this to address may of the problems I witnessed on various sets. However, this applies to everyone that uses extension cords for anything.

This article is going to be a little technical and possibly boring to some, but the subject is important. I’m an Electrical Engineer, who also works on films, so I tend to take all of this knowledge for granted. The math involved is really simple, so hopefully this will be more educational than painful for those of you who hate math.


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