Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting ready

Let's see...since my last entry, I've continued to prepare for the trip by doing such things as changing the tires on my Trice QNT trike with fatter tires so it will get better traction in slippery conditions. As mentioned earlier, I noticed the drive wheel slipping when I hit sand or leaves while going uphill, so fatter tires should help. *** I've also taken delivery on my mini-notebook - an HP 2140 with an extra gig of RAM (total is now 2GB). I installed the ffdshow codecs on it, and it will edit video from my helmet cam, so that's cool. I like the HP 2140 - it's got a 92% sized keyboard with all the keys in their proper location, the same as a standard keyboard, so I don't have to retrain my fingers to recognize oddly placed keys. Several other netbooks have done weird keyboard placements in order to fit things to the smaller format, and being a dedicated touch typist, they were not an option. One bad thing I notice about the 2140: the keys aren't always responsive to my usual level of pressure, so keystrokes don't always show up. This is probably just me, not being used to the pressure needed. I find if I concentrate on hitting the keys properly, everything works mostly just fine. *** A bunch of other "todos" (pronounced, too-dews) included finishing and filing my 2008 AND 2007 taxes (I had trouble figuring out my 2007 taxes, and procrastinated badly on getting them done); I still have to install an automatic drip watering system for the plants around the house; and I really need to do a test run with all my gear to find out if I can really bring all the stuff that I want to bring; everything from an electric toothbrush, to a camoflage cover for the trike. *** It's nice not having to go to work; I can get a lot more personal stuff done (imagine that). My desk, which was always clogged with backlogged mail is now completely clean; I pretty much stopped doing the hang gliding club's newsletter, and turned the astronomy club's newsletter over to someone else (temporarily) (thanks Jim!) while I'm gone. I even fixed the garage door, and rebuilt an outdoor powerbox housing to replace one that was falling apart. I'm still somewhat undecided about the exact route I'll take, but you can see the rough draft at this Google Maps address. Google Maps is how I plan to show my day-to-day routes throughout the trip. I'm not sure that will work, exactly, but that's the gameplan for now. *** If you are following along on this blog, I encourage you to register as a "follower," so I can tell a) if anyone is listening, and b) if I see something along the way that might be of particular interest to you, I'll be sure to make a note of it. So far as I know, I've only got ONE registered follower (thanks, Debbie!), and I kind of feel like I'm talking to myself. By the time this trip is over, I may be doing just that(!), but I'd like to say that I at least *started* this adventure, a (mostly) sane person. *** One last thing: I am now Skype capable, and can do video calls with anyone else equipped with a computer, web cam, and internet access. How nice! It's pretty easy to set up and use, and except for the price of an inexpensive web cam, Skype itself is free! My Skype name is: doncycler. See you later?