Architecture Gone Wild

Here’s a site describing a low impact woodland home. Very Hobbit-y.
I drafted plans for a home almost identical to this when I was in 10th grade, only I envisioned clean modernistic lines with concrete as the main building material.

Jeep Waterfall

Using technology analogous to ink jet printing, Jeep’s waterfall “prints” words and pictures in pattern of rainfall.

Brings a whole different meaning to the phrase “like writing in water.”

Moron Woodsy

BoingBoing posts a follow-up on the Woodsy makeover debacle, citing Tim Cahill who can’t take Woodsy seriously, standing in the shadow of Smokey Bear. (My sentiments exactly.)

Cahill says:

Smokey never wore a shirt. He wanted you to know that he was a bear–a great big powerful bear with a score to settle, an orphan’s rage burning in his massive chest. You got the distinct impression that if you were careless with matches in the woods, Smokey might show up on your doorstep one day and rip your lungs out.

The Challenge of the Mundane

A team of eleven mountaineers face the extreme challenge of climbing the highest point…in Kansas.

My favorite line in Into Thick Air has to do with the selection of Dick Bettinger to lead Logistics and Supply because “he is the only person we know who owns a set of crampons.”

A little disturbing, but worth the viewing, is the part where James Bettinger loses his footing and nearly falls to his death.

Jeep Wiki

Jeepiki is a new wiki site set up for Jeep owners, in connection with the popular JeepForum.

Jeepiki is populated mostly with factual info about specific models and some Jeep history.

Review: Accutire Talking Tire Gauge

Accutire Tire GaugeDo you really want your tools to talk back? Well, with the Accutire pressure gauge, sure. Why not.

The audible readout is handy when you’re checking tire pressure at night or in a dimly lit garage. The LCD display is a little hard to read in low-light conditions, making the audible feature all the more important.
This gauge feels good in your  hand and it has a little nubbin on top to help deflate tires.

My biggest problem with this gauge is that it is battery powered and has no low battery indication. Mine started to malfunction one morning–it took a pressure reading of 28 PSI and then wouldn’t clear. The battery is a button-cell, meaning that you’re not likely to have a spare handy and it’s pesky to remove.

My recommendation–around the garage this thing is a gem. But on the trail, I make sure I carry a mechanical dial gauge.

2006 Year in Review


2006 started with a daytrip to Mt. Baldy to take the dogs for a run in the snow. After three hours in the minivan we arrived at a muddy, rocky ski lift. Rats. We mistakenly read the snow report for Mt. Baldy in Canada.

Drove the VW bus to Big Sur to hear a lecture on the Beat Face of God at the Henry Miller Library.


Ran up my credit and got Maureen an iPod for Valentine’s Day.


Got serious about improving my career situation. Began a job hunt that several final-round interviews. But always the bridesmaid, never the bride.


Rebuilt downWrite website. Photo-blogged the San Francisco YWAM mission trip.


Started my own personal “40 Days of Purpose,” with daily concerted prayer and several days of fasting, to find some kind of direction for life.


Was invited by Bob Bechtel to participate in a study of John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart.

Inspired by the “call of the wild” I seriously overran my credit and bought a new digital camera.

Went to the Ojai Valley Gun Club’s Seven Gun Shoot with the “Men Gone Wild Group” and nabbed the top score of our little band of brothers. Beginner’s luck I suppose–haven’t shot a gun in some thirty years.


Extreme Driver’s Training– With Emma’s driver’s permit about to expire I decided the best why to rack up 30 hours behind the wheel was to head out for the Grand Canyon. Thirty hours of Pure Fear.


Gave Emma the Ford Escort–now I needed a Daily Driver. After much research, head-banging and a temporary lapse of sanity I bought a Land Rover Discovery at a “no credit, no license, no problem” shop in Northridge. The car was in perfect condition–until I left the lot. Then temp gauge pegged at H on the drive home beginning a 48 hour ordeal to return the car and get my money back.


Bought a Jeep. Went to Ireland.


Did some exploring in the Jeep. Took up geocaching as a hobby. Visited Ros and Gene in San Luis.

Mystery Man

Richard Rohr, in a “This I believe” segment on NPR, marvels that

We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of ‘faith’! How strange that the very word ‘faith’ has come to mean its exact opposite.

The Call of the Wild

Maureen and I, along with several other couples, are going through Tom Stephen and Ginny Starkey’s devotional Fearless. On day four they ask these questions–

Do you sense that God has a purpose for your life?

Are you willing to humble yourself and ask God to reveal that purpose to you?

Questions about purpose have bugged me for a long time now. Maybe this is just something that goes along with middle age. Like bad knees and hemorrhoids.

I’ve long had a nagging feeling, a compulsion perhaps, that I should be using my unique gifts, talents, and fairly specialized knowledge for a higher purpose. Yet every time I’ve answered a call to serve at church, my unique gifts seem to be as helpful as taking an accordian on a deer hunt.

I shared with the group that I’ve been asking God for clarity of mind and a specific direction for a long time. And I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to ask any more. As a matter of fact I’ve not only asked, but I’ve pleaded, prayed, fasted, wheedled, groaned, whined, bargained…everything short of offering God money. No, wait. I did that too.

No clear answer. Nothing.

Maybe this whole fascination with purpose-driven living is just a cultural hiccup, and maybe it misses the point.

John Eldredge, in his book Wild at Heart, cites Oswald Chambers saying–

The call of God can never be stated explicitly, it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because his call is to be in comradeship with himself for his own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what he is after.

How would that look to be a comrade with God? God’s fellow, associate or…my favorite, drinking companion?

Coming Unglued

adventure-1.jpgI gave my Jeep a quick hose-down the other day and noticed that my California Adventure Pass was flapping in the breeze. For $30 you’d think the darn thing would at least have some decent glue.

The pass is designed to hang from your rearview mirror. But for open-top vehicles (such as a Jeep) the tag can be peeled from its backing and stuck to the rear bumper. Only problem is…it doesn’t stick.

After Googling for “bumper sticker adhesive” for thirty minutes–and learning plenty about how to remove a bumper sticker, but not a thing about how to make a bumper sticker stickier–I decided my best shot would be to re-anneal the Adventure Pass to a new sticker backing.

But then another thought hopped into my head…why not just make my own counterfeit Adventure Pass? After all, the original sticker is pretty badly faded after just two months. By printing my own sticker I can replace it every time it fades. And I’ll keep the real sticker in my files in case the phony is ever questioned.

So, here are the steps if you want to make your own DIY Adventure Pass:


1. Scan. 300 dpi, art magazine setting


2. Print. I printed these four-up on Avery 8126 shipping labels. This gives me some ready replacements if the stick-um comes unstuck.

Adventure Pass

3. Laminate. I used transparent contact paper. Inkjet ink, after all, isn’t waterproof.


5. Burnish. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze out the air bubbles.


6. Adhere. The counterfeit looks about like the original did when new.