Monday, November 2, 2009

Vacation over

Today's my first day of work at the new job. I really enjoyed my month off. I won't be posting here anymore, but I might start a new blog.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150 mile bike trail that goes from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumblerland, MD. I rode a section of it with my dad yesterday, it was nice. We went from Garrett, PA to the MD border. The Google Maps link of our GPS track is here. The total trip was around 32 miles - 16 miles out and back. The GPS track has an empty spot towards the end - that's the Big Savage railroad tunnel. It's about half a mile long.

I have a whole set of pictures at my Flickr page, but here are some good ones.


Big Savage Tunnel:

Eastern Continental Divide:

Mason-Dixon Line:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pasta night

Last night I went to pasta night at a local Italian place. One of the waitresses had a fake baby she had to take care of for her child development class. It cried occasionally. She kept it in the wine cooler. Towards the end of the night, people were putting cigarettes in its mouth.

At pasta night, you pick your own pasta, sauce, and toppings. I got bowties with creamy roasted garlic sauce, topped with spinach, grilled chicken, proscuitto, sausage, and roasted red peppers.

This is a big pile of empty beer cans:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hunting this morning

I went hunting this morning. I had to take the muzzleloader because my stupid rifle scope mount is loose again. I fixed it with some thread lock stuff but I need to go sight it in again. Anyways, I was only out there from sunrise until noon. Didn't see any deer.

After a day of hunting with a muzzleloader, the generally accepted way to unload it is to shoot it at something. I didn't see any squirrels or chipmunks or police helicopters around, so I shot a can.

A .50 caliber sabot makes a pretty nice sized hole.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stromboli, take 2

According to Wikipedia, a stromboli should be rolled and not folded, so I made another one with my leftover dough. It turned out pretty well. A little undercooked in the middle, but it was still tasty.

My pizza stone is broke. I think the maid did it. I'd get a new one but it still works fine.

It had ham, turkey, pepperoni, cheese, and sauce inside it. It was great.

Today I'm going down to Midtown to watch the Pitt game with some friends. I hate Pitt but I'm willing to sit there and watch them and drink beer and run up a ridiculous bar tab. We're going to a sports bar with a lot of TVs so maybe I can find something more tolerable to watch than Pitt football, like badminton or a spelling bee or something.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Chattahoochee: Way down yonder on it

Yesterday I took the kayak down to the river and did some fishing. I haven't been down there since the flooding. The water was still muddy, but the bacteria levels were supposedly "safe" so I thought I'd try. I did catch a few fish so that was nice. What sucked is that the shores were all covered in debris and trash. I don't think they'll ever clean it up.

Here's my GPS track, I went 9.3 miles in 4 hours and 24 minutes. That's longer than I usually go out, but I'm on vacation! That doesn't beat the epic 11 hour, 31 miler down the 'hooch I did with my dad a couple years ago though. You can see the track on Google Maps here.. The river (or lake actually) is a lot higher now than it was in the satellite picture on the map. I can assure you I wasn't paddling on the ground.

Here's a small bass I caught. I got 2 bass and 3 bluegill (I think they're called bream down here). This bass was the only one worth taking a picture of.

This is a cliff.

Here is a stromboli I made last night. I used pre-made pizza dough from Publix (5 grain Italian!). I still have some dough left so I might make a pizza tonight.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hunting today, didn't see anything

Sat up in a tree from 8am until 6pm, didn't see any deer. I probably should have stayed up there until 7, but after 10 hours up in a tree with just my mind and a loaded gun to keep me company, I started losing my already tenuous grasp on reality. What little sanity I have left started slipping away. I packed 'er up early and headed home. I hope this case of Budweiser can rewire my neurons and fix my shit. Next time I'm taking a book so I have something to occupy my time other than psychosis.

Actually, I think 10 hours is pretty good. My goal was to go from sunup to sundown without leaving the tree stand and I didn't quite make it, but most people probably wouldn't have lasted more than an hour or two. It takes some practice. Maybe next time I can pull it off. Also the days are getting shorter so that will help.

I'm sick of driving around so I'm not doing anything tomorrow. Maybe I'll go running after the hangover wears off or something.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kayak fishing at Lake Lanier

I didn't feel like waking up early enough to go hunting, so I took my kayak to the lake to go fishing around 11ish. The weather was pretty awesome - sunny, no wind, the lake was calm. Also there were no idiots out water skiing because it's a work day.

Here's my GPS track - I didn't go very far. Only about 3.5 miles total in 5 and a half hours of fishing.

Check it out on Google Maps here. If you zoom out you can see how big the lake is and how little of it I covered.

Here are my feets:

The island I'm heading towards in that pic is where I had lunch. Here's my kayak after I parked for lunch:

My new fish finder didn't see any fish. I have it mounted in a weird spot, it's behind me because that's the only place it'll clamp on. I need to rig something up to keep it in front of me so it's more useful.

And last but not least, here's the only fish I managed to get into the boat in 5.5 hours of fishing. I had another on but it got away, and I had a ton of follows too. This is a nice little largemouth bass, it put up a good fight. It was released unharmed.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hunting today

I left home around 6am and got into my spot by around 7:45ish, right after sunrise. I wanted to get there earlier but things didn't work out. Anyways, around 11am a buck walked past. It was just a 4 point, which isn't legal to shoot in the county I'm in, so I let it go. It came pretty close - it was only about 15 yards away. I took a picture but my flash was on (oops!) and he got scared and ran. I called him back with a grunt call just for fun but I couldn't get any better pictures.

I left around 3pm to come back home. I'll probably go back down tomorrow morning. It was nice today because it was cold and there were no mosquitos.

EDIT: Here's another picture. It's bad, but you can see one side of his antlers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prison, Guns, and Bass Pro

Went to visit my friend Maggie at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, GA. She's a year into her 12 year sentence for 2 counts of vehicular homicide. Don't drink and drive.

After that I went back to the shooting range, which is only a few miles from the prison. I had to re-zero my deer rifle because the scope came loose. I'm not very good at shooting this gun, but it's good enough to kill a deer at a hundred yards or so:

After that I stopped at Bass Pro to exchange some pants that didn't fit. I also picked up some fishing gear and another fishing rod mount for my kayak. I looked at some fish while I was there.

It's a really nice day out and I'd like to do something, but now I'm all worn out from my various other activities so I'll just sit here and watch football and have a beer or two.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cold and rainy!

Today kinda sucked outside, about 51 out and raining. It's gonna get into the low 30s tonight and there's a freeze warning.

I tried to go fishing down at the river today but it started raining on me, then I slipped and fell in the mud, then I lost my favorite lure. Also, the mud was tainted with raw sewage from the floods. I was only out for 15 minutes then gave up because the universe wasn't cooperating with me. I didn't catch shit.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stone Mountain

This morning I went to Stone Mountain (about 30 minutes away) to do some hiking. The whole hike was 7.56 miles and took 2 hours and 53 minutes (including time spent eating a pretzel at the top of the mountain. The total elevation gain was 1715ft, which is higher than the World Trade Center towers were before Bush had them knocked down.

First I walked around the mountain (on the Cherokee Trail) and then up the mountain (on the Walk Up trail. You can see my trail at Google Maps here, or just look at this picture:

Here's my elevation profile:

If you look at the Google Maps link you can click on the end marker (the red one) and get more stats on my track. This was generated with My Tracks for my Google Android phone.

I have a lot of pictures at my Flickr Page, so definitely check those out. Here are a few of them.


Hiking up:

Atlanta, from the top:


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Vacation is half over and I still have so much to do! I blame the weather.

Too much rain

I didn't do anything worth blogging about yesterday. I don't know if I will today either. The weather should be nicer this weekend though.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lunch at Lake Lanier

I rode my motorcycle up to Lake Lanier for lunch. I got a sub from Publix and took it to a park. I also stopped by the management office to ask about camping - there are 2 campgrounds open right now. I'm thinking about hitting one up sometime next week maybe. I'd like to take my kayak and do some kayak fishing too.





Made some Thai Spicy Basil Beef last night. It turned out ok. I can never get the sauce right. It's not brown enough. Also I used ground beef this time, which the internet says was acceptable but I'll never do it again. I also used three different kinds of basil (Thai, Sweet, and Spicy Globe) which was pretty awesome.

It's pretty nice out today so I'm gonna take my motorcycle out for a while. I might go up to Lake Lanier and check out campgrounds. Not sure if any of them are open this time of year though.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Weather is not looking good for this week:

I need to find some fun activities to do that don't involve going outside. I guess I could do some cleaning, my place needs it pretty bad. I have a lot of junk that needs to go.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back, didn't kill anything

Cell phone coverage was pretty spotty so I didn't get a chance to post much while down there. Anyways, here's a recap:

Day 1

Traffic out of Atlanta was awesome.

There was an air show in Peachtree City and it was freaking me out with all these jets flying around while I was trying to drive. I had to stop at the grocery store and snapped this pic of an fighter jet doing some stunts. I think it's an F-15 F/A-18 but it's hard to tell from the pic:

I got to the lease around 5ish and set up camp:

After I got everything set up and went to sleep, it started pouring. I opened the tent door and saw this:

And then I found this stick bug inside the tent:


The stickbug was released unharmed.

Day 2

Got up at 5:30am and everything was wet. It poured all night. All of the important things (gun, clothes, gear, etc) were dry but the bottom of the tent was a small lake and my sleeping bag was soaked.

I made some coffee and got out to the treestand by around 6. It didn't get light out until around 7:15. I didn't see shit. I climbed down and went back to camp to eat some lunch. After lunch I did some reading then went back out hunting from about 3pm until it got dark at 7:30. I didn't see shit all day. Here's the view from my stand:

It was hot and humid and mostly horrible the whole day. I really prefer cold, dry weather for hunting. The mosquitoes are terrible but having a ThermaCELL saved my life in the treestand.

Day 3

This morning everything was mostly dry, there was no rain. I forgot to let my sleeping bag dry out yesterday (oops!) so I had to sleep in a wet sleeping bag. That was awesome. Anyways, I got up at 6 and made it out to the treestand by 6:30. This time I saw 2 deer, around 8:30 - they walked right in front of my stand, about 50yds away. It was a doe and a fawn. I didn't shoot. I was pretty excited about seeing deer though.

I left the stand around 10:30 and walked around the trails for a bit then went back to camp and took a 4 hour nap, then packed up my gear and tent and loaded everything into the truck. Around 5pm I went back into my stand and sat there until it started getting dark. I walked back to the truck and saw a deer on the trail, but it was too dark to see if it was a doe or buck. It was also facing away from me so I didn't have a shot anyways. I moved and it ran away. After that I changed clothes, got in the truck, then came home.

Not sure what I'll do tomorrow yet, maybe just relax at home and catch up on some TV.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Camp is accomplished, now I just need to wait for morning. It's about 80 and humid as hell down here. I'm not totally prepared for that. I'd prefer cold.

Almost ready for camping/hunting

I'm almost done packing all my stuff. I have a ton of crap packed for what will probably be around 2-4 days of camping. I just like to be prepared...

I'd like to leave my house at 3 to avoid all the horrible Atlanta traffic. I should be able to take pictures with my phone and post here, but if not I won't be posting for a few days.

Also, it's going to rain all weekend. Yay. If my stuff gets all wet I'm leaving early. There's always next weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shooting, Lake Lanier

Just got back from the shooting range. I was using a deer shaped target to make sure I was hitting it in the kill zone. It was about 50yards away. Every shot except my first one hit the heart or a major artery. That kinda sucks because the first one is the one that counts. Oh well, I'm pretty sure all the shots would have killed a deer. I made the first few shots using a bench rest, then sitting down without the rest, then did 2 shots standing up with no rest.

On the way back I stopped to take a picture of this mantis in Sugar Hill, GA:

After that I stopped at McDonalds and had some lunch at Lake Lanier. The lake is looking pretty good. I want to come up here sometime next week to do some kayaking and fishing.

Now I'm going to do some yard work and then probably go out and find a beer or 2.

Going shooting again today

I'm going back to the shooting range today to practice shooting the muzzleloader some more. Yesterday I built a target stand from 3/4" PVC pipe:

It cost about $10 for materials and took maybe 20 minutes to put together. It's based on the plans found here. I added cross braces on the front and back of the feet for stability. I'm thinking about filling the bottom with sand or something. For now I just got some tent stakes to keep it on the ground if it's windy.

After I get back from the range I need to start packing up my camping gear. I got my tent out last night to make sure it wasn't all moldy and gross and it seems to be in good condition.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taking a vacation from my vacation

I showed up at the new office for a couple of hours today to do some knowledge transfer with the guy I'm replacing. Luckily he documented everything very well and there won't be any problems taking over his duties once I start.

Other than that I took a nap. Tomorrow should be a big day for something, but I don't know what yet. I still have a lot to do to get ready for hunting on Saturday. I want to go back to the shooting range to practice more, so maybe I'll do that tomorrow. I also need to stop up at Bass Pro again to get an orange vest and hat so I don't get shot.

I hope the weather improves so I can do more stuff.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shooting Range

Today I went to the shooting range at Wilson Shoals WMA near Alto, GA. It's about an hour and a half drive from here, but the range is free to use. There's a range officer that keeps things safe. The full range is only about 80 yards but that's enough to sight in a rifle.

The first gun I sighted in was my new Thompson/Center Omega Z5 in-line muzzleloader. I don't have a scope on it and only sighted it in for 30 yards. I'm not really comfortable hitting a deer farther away than that with open sights. I got this gun just for primitive weapons season, which only lasts a week (starting Oct 10).


Bench, different angle:

Target, after I was done. Still not on the red but close enough for me. I really need more practice with it. Also I think I want to put a scope on it.

Here's my "real" deer rifle that I'll take out on the weekend of Oct 17. It's a Savage Model 110 chambered in .270 Winchester. I got it for Christmas when I was 14. I sighted it in for 80 yards, but when I got home I found out my scope was loose. Now I need to take it back to the range before the weekend of the 17th.