Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Ugg boots

I made Ugg-style boots. Upholstery fabric, fleece and scrap fabric liner. I added a seam binding. This is really nice and hides the stitching of the upper to the sole. I will do that in the future if I make any more shoes.

I simply cannot seem to get the heel portion of my shoes right. My foot slides off the back or my heel rises up. If I tie around the ankle that prevents the problem, so I will find something nice to tie around the ankles. It is very discouraging that every pair of shoes seems to have this problem. So, I added a webbing strap inside the boot around my ankle. That seems to work.

They look really good and I am very proud of them.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Retiring early

I found this awesome article on retiring early on Road Junky. Retire with $50,000? I'm nearly there.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Plastic bag video

Santa Barbara didn't pass the plastic bag ban measure on the ballot this November. But here's a great video about it.

Also, see the video in this blog post from Fake Plastic Fish. (I wasn't sure how to embed the video.)

Here's another good video on planned obsolescence and electronics. The Story of Electronics - Designed for the Dump, by Annie Leonard.

More videos.

Latest homemade shoes

I made these white felt and leather moccasins. They are very ugly, but they look somewhat decent when worn.
White felt moccains

I also resoled a pair of old sandals I had. I had brought these to a cobbler once and asked if they could replace the sole and flatten them. They told me that removing the heel would make it impossible to walk. They said they'd be very uncomfortable. So I decided to do it myself.

I turned these:
sandals before resoling

Into these:
sandals after resoling

I have to say that they are so much more comfortable now. They feel like I always wanted them to feel but they never did. They are flexible and protective. I finally have a pair of simple sport sandals that fit well and feel good.

I'm so inspired now by the idea of hacking my shoes rather than trying to make them. I am wondering what else in my closet I can hack and improve.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cute parrot movie

Really fun bird movie featuring the bird sanctuary where I worked briefly last year. Parrots talking, dancing and singing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The hike went well until the end

There was light rain and a lot of mud at the start of our big 17.5 mile hike today. By afternoon, it was sunny and cold by Santa Barbara standards. It was actually quite a good day for hiking.

We joked several times about being done by 3pm. On the final downhill descent it looked like we really would make it by 3pm. We reached the cars only a few minutes past.

In our excitement, none of us noticed that one of our group, The Man, was nowhere to be seen. We waited a few minutes and he still did not arrive. I started back up the trail and still did not see him. I asked people coming down if they had seen them and nobody had. Now I knew there was a real problem.

Part of our route down was along a small connector that not many people know about. So I knew I had to hike at least back to that connector. I hoped that he maybe had slipped on a rock at a creek that is there and hurt his ankle again. Hoped not that he would be hurt there, but that I wouldn't have to backtrack all the way up the mountain. But he wasn't at the creek. So that meant I would have to hike all the way up the hill to the powerlines. I was pretty tired after the 17.5 miles, but up the hill I went.

I called out as I went up, hoping to hear that he was on his way down. Nothing. I reached the top and there he was, laying in a sunny spot under a powerline. He was holding his phone. He had called Search and Rescue. He said he had chest pains. He was all white and shaking.

After a long while and many wrong turns, the Search and Rescue people were able to drive up the powerline road to help him out. He went to the hospital while I shuttled everyone else back to the beginning of our hike. We had basically hiked from the western edge of Santa Barbara all the way to the eastern edge of Montecito.

At the hospital, The Man looked much better. He was pink again and lucid. He didn't believe me when I said he wasn't lucid back on the trail. They kept us prisoner at the ER waiting forever for things to happen. I finally had to go eat in the hospital cafeteria, but The Man was denied food and water. They wanted to keep him overnight but he said no, he wanted to go home. So I took him home.

I guess we won't be backpacking across Fuller Ridge this weekend. The snow up there may have forced us to hike to Warner Springs instead, but now it's probably not a good idea to hike anywhere.

Big hike today, maybe, and packing for a trip

I'm going on a huge hike today. Maybe. It was pouring rain last night with lightning and thunder. One of the trails on my hike gets really muddy with a potential to fall 40 feet into a ravine if you slip on the mud, which isn't hard to do. Or the trail might not even be there after all that mud. But I told everybody rain or shine, we were doing the hike. It'll be 17.5 miles. I didn't hardly move my body at all the entire week last week. I don't know if I am up for it.

Yesterday I packed up my backpack for a trip The Man and I hope to take over Thanksgiving. Except with all the rain maybe there will be too much snow. The Man wants to go back to San Jacinto where he fell earlier this year and try to complete section B of the PCT.

So I packed up my pack. It was a very sad feeling to have to search and search through boxes and various places all over the house for my gear. How does it go from having all your stuff so readily available and easy to find on the trail to not being able to find the simplest of your gear at home? How did it get out of my pack and into those boxes?

I toyed with the idea of bringing my big huge 3lb old sleeping bag in addition to my lighter one so I could be super warm and toasty. Maybe just the big bag by itself. Ugh, the heavy weight of a late season trip. I hope there isn't much snow by then. We need a nice heat wave for a few days.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I have a weekly column

I'm a columnist. I have a weekly column in a local online news web site. My column is delivered by email every Sunday. I have a whole sentence! And a link! And no by-line. Woo hoo! I'm a writer!

Friday, November 12, 2010

PCT Slide show

I gave a slide show tonight about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It seemed well-received. I think the trick is to not spend more than a couple seconds on a slide.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Need a better job

Hey Universe! Send me a better job!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I miss the PCT

My job listening to whales has started.

Today while listening to whales with the Irish radio station in the background, I was flooded with mental images and feelings from the Pacific Crest Trail. At one point I felt so homesick for the trail I thought I would cry. I had to get up and walk around for a while.

The associate of that job and the trail is very strong. I worked there after both my big hikes on the trail. My memories were from both sections of the trail. Everything from So Cal to Washington was flooding back.

I miss the trail. My life is so empty now. I am homesick for the trail.