Category Archives: Accretion

Stuff I buy.

Pulling the Karakoram out of storage

Since Operation Stop Being a Fatass 2.0 is progressing rather satisfactorily (down 15 pounds this month) I’ll be pulling my trusty 1992 GT Karakoram Full Rigid out of storage so I can give it a proper tuneup and start hitting the trails again. With the exception of racing my nephews up and down the cul-de-sac I haven’t gone riding since Summer of 2004 and the Karakoram desperately needs some TLC since it was ridden hard and put away wet without any end of season maintenance. I got fat and it started rusting.

So I’ve now committed myself financially to getting back behind the bars by picking up the supplies required to finally do a complete overhaul. A Park Tool PCS-10 Home Mechanic Repair Stand and Park Tool Work Tray will keep the bike firmly planted on the workbench while I tickle its naughty bits with a Park Tool AK-37 Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit, Finish Line Speed Degreaser, and Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube. My full automotive mechanic tool kit was missing many of the critical tools to properly maintain a bike so I needed the AK-37 kit to fill in the gaps.

Assuming I actually follow through, start riding again, and hit my initial goal weight of 240ish pounds by the end of the Summer I’ll definitely upgrade to a 2012 GT Karakoram 1.0 Hardtail 29er. No way I’m going to drop the coin to go full suspension unless I get under 200 pounds and am doing some serious miles. And if the wife wants to start riding as well then a 2012 GT Palomar Hardtail will probably be in her future.

Hi-Touch 640 PS

Hi-Touch 640 PSSince Kelly and I are going to start on-location shooting, we’re going to need a portable unit for proofs and sales. I just ordered a Hi-Touch 640 PS 4×6 photo printer along with a bunch of media refills. It’s a continuous tone 403 DPI (6400 DPI inkjet equivalent) dye sublimation printer that spits out prints in about 75 seconds.

My Father picked one up last year, and he absolutely loves it! Although it didn’t support direct printing from Mac OS X when he let me play with it a while ago, there are supposedly beta drivers available now. Doesn’t matter anyway, since it prints directly from flash media. Also, with a $0.40/sheet consumable price, the price can’t be beat!

Complete home network reconfiguration…

Last night I finally got around to decommissioning the last of my obsolete power-hungry hardware. For the past three years, a clunky AMD K6 system running OpenBSD and, later in life, SmoothWall Firewall has been chattering along accomplishing the monotonous task of dutifully inspecting, filtering, and redirecting billions of packets across my LAN, VPN, and DSL interfaces. Not that I’m not grateful for its three years of dedicated firewall service, but no tears will be shed as I toss its rotting carcass out into the street in hopes that it will find a new home with a deserving owner before being smashed with cinder blocks by the neighbor kids.

EtherFast Cable/DSL Firewall RouterAs a replacement, I’ve officially become a consumer and picked up a Linksys BEFSX41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Firewall/VPN Router. It’s small, it’s quiet, it supports SPI, VPN, and DMZ, and it neatly stacks with my existing access point. Sure, it doesn’t have all the functionality of a BSD- or Linux-based firewall, but it’s perfectly adequate for our needs. My only complaint is the fact that it tops out around 2 MBps (16 Mbps) when passing packets across the firewall. Although those speeds are faster than any consumer-priced Internet connection, transferring large files to and from the Web server outside the firewall is much slower than the grumpy old AMD K6. If I end up moving the Web server into the DMZ, I’ll get true 100 Mbps, but I’ll need to research exactly how the DMZ operates and make sure traffic can’t leak from the DMZ back into the LAN.

Netgear MR814 Wireless Cable/DSL RouterIn addition, I’ve also picked up a Netgear MR814 Wireless Cable/DSL Firewall Router ($20 – $30 rebate available) to setup a secondary public/guest wireless network that sits outside the primary Linksys firewall. Not only will this move all non-trusted traffic to its own isolated honeypot, but the physical location of the antenna will dramatically improve outdoor reception in the backyard, garage, and on the back deck. Right now, the Netgear is setup in the Hedgie Room, but I’ll be looking to extend the range even further with external antennas for both the public and private access points. This should extend the range enough to allow the cool neighbors down the block to jump online.

Atkins for Life

Kelly came home with a copy of Atkins for Life the other night and I’ve started flipping through it. I’ll definitely read it from cover to cover at some point, but it’s written as a reference manual to help configure a lifestyle change to maintain weight that’s already been lost.

It is possible to start the Atkins Diet using this book, however the information is presented in such a way that makes it difficult. In order to take full advantage of the Atkins Diet it’s recommended that you purchase New Diet Revolution as well. Since I had a borrowed copy, I’ll be picking up Dr. Atkins’ Three-Book Package which includes New Diet Revolution, New Diet Cookbook and New Carbohydrate Gram Counter.

Tanita BF-662-S Scale

Since our aging analog scale has been getting more and more flakey lately with fluctuations of up to four or five pounds I’ve decided to bite the bullet and order a Tanita BF-662-S digital scale with athletic mode and body fat analysis. Tanita has quite a few other scales available, but the BF-662-S seemed like the best choice with all of the features I needed.

My primary concern is weight but the body fat analysis and athletic mode will help keep the reading accurate since I’ve started working out. The BF-662-S is missing some features like weight logging and history, but those were features I didn’t feel the need to pay for due to the fact that I am using Eat Watch for that.

Once the unit shows up I’ll post a full review.