[PCT SOBO - Oregon Coast Detour] The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable

03 Sep

After about 3 weeks in Seattle I'm finally ready to head back to the trail. Plan A was to hike the PCT end to end, but after my ankle injury it was on to Plan B: try to jump back on at Snoqualmie (45 minutes from Seattle). I had a ride lined up and was all packed up, but when I woke up my ankle was killing and I had a lemon sized lump on my shin just above my ankle again. So, it was time for Plan C: try to jump back on in another week and a half at Cascade Locks (northern border of Oregon near Portland). Then, half of Oregon caught fire and huge stretches of the PCT were closed so it was time for Plan D: Hike the Oregon Coast Trail instead and get back on the PCT just before California.

 

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[PCT SOBO - First Week] What matters most is how well you walk through the fire

22 Jul

My first week on the trail has been fun, scary, beautiful, painful, and amazing. I saw the most awe inspiring views I've ever seen in my life, and met a bunch of incredible people. Each day was filled with ups and downs. Some mornings I woke up feeling very excited. Other mornings I woke up wondering what the hell I was doing. Most nights I easily slipped off to sleep without a worry. A couple nights I spent wondering if I'd even be able to walk the next day. Regardless, the middle of each day was consistently filled with wonder, excitement, and hope.

 

2017-07-16 12.51.16

 

 

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[PCT SOBO Day: -2] That moment before the first drop on a roller coaster

12 Jul

The past week has been absolute chaos. It has just been wave after wave of anxiety and excitement. It was the feeling of being "almost done" followed immediately by the feeling that I have a million more things to do that I'll never be able to finish in time followed by "what the hell am I doing?!?" (repeat until insane).

2017-07-10 19.06.28

 

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[PCT SOBO] Pack weight: the struggle is real (Gear List 2017)

07 Jul

Everything about getting ready for this trip has been overwhelming (and exciting), but one of the biggest sticking points is figuring out what to bring (and what to not bring). When walking 2600 miles every gram counts, but as a modern city dweller, the concept of living with such limited possessions is daunting. It really makes you decide what is truly important. There are a million things I'd "love to have" on this trip, but this is the list of things that I decided I needed to have.

My total gear weight is 29 lb / 13 kg
I'll be wearing about 3.5 lb / 1.5 kg
So my pack base weight is 25.5 lb / 11.5 kg
After I ditch the snow gear I'll be at 24 lb / 10.8 kg (not counting the possible guitar addition)

 2017-07-06 10.04.04

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DIY replaceable headphone cord mod to use Sony MDR-7506 with a straight coord (yes… “like beats” but still better)

23 Feb

I love music and am almost always listening to music if I have the choice. I also usually listen to headphones while working (depending on the job). I always just used whatever crappy earbuds came with my current phone and they, for the most part, got the job done. However, recently I had the (very delayed) realization that as a music lover, audiophile, and someone that is the developer of an android and kindle app that depends on extremely high audio quality I should probably have some nice headphones.

I searched through all of the consumer reviews and the only thing I learned is that I DON’T want to get a pair of “Beats by Dre” regardless of how trendy they are they are certainly not the highest quality headphones and I just want them to sound great the rest is extra. So I contacted my audio engineer friend and asked him what I should get and his response to my half page wall of text was very simple: “Sony MDR-7506.”

This isn’t meant to be a product review, but I will say that the Sony MDR-7506 headphones are AWESOME and for under $100 I don’t think you can beat them. They are insanely comfortable, light-weight, very adjustable, durable, and they fold up nicely for transport. The audio quality is amazing and after a little research I realized they are pretty much used in every studio ever so there is a good chance that the song you’re listening to was, at least in part, mixed using them.

 Now on to the bad news……

horrid curly Sony MDR-7506 coord replace it

horrid curly Sony MDR-7506 coord replace it

 

The Sony MDR-7506 is only available with the phone-cord-style coiled cable. Truthfully it makes sense, they are meant for use in a studio and the average consumer was not considered. However, I want to throw these in my backpack daily and detangling the headphone cable everyday would almost certainly be the bane of my existence. Luckily, the headphones are extremely well documented and replacing the cable with a straight cable or an 1/8” jack was incredibly simple.

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Instagram is draining my battery on my android phone (and probably spying on me)

14 Jul

2014-07-12 02.57.19I wasn't sure if it was a new "upgrade" to Instagram or an issue with Android KitKat 4.4 but on my Samsung Galxy S5 running Android 4.4 the battery life was amazing. I was honestly shocked at how great it was. That is until I made the mistake of installing Instagram.

I installed a bunch of stuff because it was a new phone and I wasn't sure what was really doing the damage, but luckily android provides this nice battery burn-down chart complete with individual app battery consumption.

On this particular day I just so happened to NEVER load Instagram. I didn't even open the app, but some how it managed to use 37% of my battery and my phone was extremely hot. Additionally my phone used a very curious amount of data that day despite the fact that it spent most of the day in my pocket. It's an understatement to say something seems a bit fishy.

Then I remembered a while back when facebook asked me for some additional permissions that really freaked me out and I decided rather than agree I'd just delete the app. I didn't even look at the permissions for Instagram when I installed it and it turns out it asked for the same permissions which included the ability to record audio without my permission, access my address book, and prevent the phone from sleeping. In summary it can be used to listen in on what I'm doing and apparently that's what it was doing (and destroying my battery life in the process).

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How to control individual permissions of android app with App Ops

14 Jul

Recently Facebook issued an update to their Android app which added some permissions including the ability to record audio without the users permission and the ability to wake the device from sleep. Never have I seen such a seemingly nefarious combination of permissions. Is it the NSA monitoring us or just Zuckerberg?

Facebook permissionsLater word got out that Facebook was "just" monitoring audio to determine what kinds of music and shows their users enjoy so they can better cater advertising. I'll set aside my moral obligations to companies spying on me for a second and just  focus on the fact that they are stealing my battery life and I'd like them to stop. The best option is probably to just stop using the offending apps, but if you still want to use facebook (or instagram) you're in luck because there is an alternative. A hidden feature called App Ops allows you to have granular control of app permissions.

 

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Using git to deploy to live server based on branch aka how to git push to server

02 Dec

I often see people asking how to push their changes to the dev or live server. I agree with the common sentiment that you should probably use a proper deployment script, but I also think for most simple sites git is fairly sufficient.

To accomplish this I made a git hooks script that executes a pull from the appropriate web root depending on the branch.

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non-fast-forward updates were rejected Merge the remote changes before pushing again

02 Dec

When I first switched from a centralized version control to decentralized (or distributed) version control I ran in to this error:

non-fast-forward updates were rejected Merge the remote changes before pushing again

 Well,

you just have to –force or use a bare repository they told me.

First of all, don't –force. If you just started using git you almost certainly should never need to use the –force command. If you come across something that requires it there is a good chance that you simply don't quite understand git yet.

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Unable to configure network interface / waiting for network configuration (Bitnami / VirtualBox)

26 Nov

I recently had my computer crash hard while my bitnami Ruby on Rails stack was running in VirtualBox. When I tried to start up the virtual machine again it said "waiting for network configuration" and hung for about a minute. Then it said "Continuing to wait for network configuration for another 60 seconds." Once the system started I noticed it didn't have a ip address assigned and if I typed ifconfig I only got the loopback interface (no network interface to speak of). Luckily, there was a simple fix for this, but it took me a little while to figure out so I figured I'd share it here in hopes others with the same problem will wind up here and I can save you some time.

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