“Jasnah had once defined a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results.”

-Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance 

Sound like any politicians you know?

*Edit: After the Charlie Rose interview, I’m looking at you Ben Carson.

Here, have a picture…

Because it’s been far, far too long since this site has seen any action. Hoping to rectify that in between bouts of frenetic grading.



Heading North on Cottonwood Canyon Road in Escalante National Monument (The Grand Staircase), UT – 2011 (click to view at 1000 x 750)

Picture taken with a Cannon PowerShot SD400

Image posting issues continue…

I haven’t been able to post on this trip nearly as much as I had anticipated. Granted, some of this is due to me being in remote locations with limited connection. When I have had connection, however, WordPress has been unable to deal with images unless I utilize an image processing application to resize the pictures. And, quite simply, that’s an extra step that I haven’t been interested in completing, especially since both Google+ and Facebook have no issues accepting the images in their original size. The end result, obviously, has been a relatively dark site with few updates even though I am in the middle of the most fantastic trip I have undertaken.

What it means going forward is that WordPress, once my go-to platform for blogging, no longer meets my needs as my primary point of contact for my online presence. While nothing is going to change in the immediate future (I am, after all, still on the road – currently 12,000 miles into my road trip and in Anchorage, AK), when I return next month I will be changing how I use Google+, Facebook, and this website. What I anticipate happening:

Google+: This will slowly replace RFdc as my primary tool for maintaining my presence on the web. It will house the majority of my photographs and serve as my go-to source for all of my content.

Facebook: Few changes. I’ll still use FB to stay in contact with friends and family, and I’ll also put the group functionality to greater use to limit content visibility. FB will continue to be completely locked down, and I may end up trimming my contacts back with a recommendation to join me on G+ if dropped contacts want to keep in touch.

RFdc: While it won’t disappear completely, I will likely work on revamping the entire site and focusing the content almost completely on writing (with potential posts on reading and photography). Currently I run a self-hosted WP install, and I will probably switch this over to a WP hosted site if it a) makes sense, and, b) will save me some money. Much of the non-writing content will slowly be migrated over to G+ and/or FB. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll remove it completely from RFdc or just toss it into a “From the Archives” type category.

It’s not the fist time I’ve adjusted my online presence based upon my usage pattern, and it likely won’t be the last. It is, however, the first time I’ve actually taken away focus from RFdc and placed it elsewhere. That’s a significant change and speaks volumes, I think, about the evolution of social media. My ultimate goal is to reduce the time and effort I spend on updating my online presence. Honestly, I would rather drop FB all together and focus on G+, but there are far too many important people in my life with whom that kind of change would ultimately eliminate almost all connection.

So, there you have it. An update from the Lakeshore Inn & Suites in Anchorage, AK on a rainy Monday morning. And since I have the time and want to post at least 1 more photo on this trip…

Here’s a picture of the old Kennicott Copper Mine near McCarthy, AK. I consider this area a must-see for anyone visiting Alaska. I spent 2 nights here, and could easily have spent at least another night.


Thus far…


I am 3,015.3 miles into the trip.

Until today, it’s been all about the destination. All about the visitation. Family. Friends. That’s how I started out. A Highway blast to Bentonville, AR. Another to the Baltimore area. Then again to Rochester, NY. And finally, cutting through Canada to the Detroit area. Blasting along interstates. 700+ miles in a day, at one point.

But today, after I crossed the Mackinaw (Mackinac? I forget at the moment) bridge on I-75 (holy hell – a big F-U to Michigan and the steel-deck bridge!), I finally left the super slabs. Today, the exploration has begun.

I darted north and ran along Lake Superior since I have run the lower route on the YUPE already. I’m not quite into “explorer” mode, however. I didn’t stop to take many pictures. I was too content with cruising along in wonderful weather. Such a nice change from the past few riding days.

Leaving Rochester on Monday, it rained for the first 4-5 hours of the ride… all the way to Hamilton, ONT, Canada. And then…

I noticed fluid pooled on the rim of the rear tire.

It was dumb, I know… but all I could think about was “Please let me make it to Michigan before all hell breaks loose.”

So I continued on.

And made it to my dear friend’s house outside of Detroit.

The first thing the next morning, I dropped the bike off at BMW of SE Michigan (http://www.bmwmcsem.com/). Diagnosis? The final drive bearing had blown and done a bit of damage inside the housing. 3 seals, 2 o-rings, 1 bearing, and 6 hours later, I had my bike back! Mike and the crew did an amazing job at getting me back on the road without missing a beat. I can’t recommend their shop enough!!

So tonight I sit in the L’Anse Motel in L’Anse, Michigan… Still more or less on schedule. Tomorrow I’ll camp somwhere in North Dakota. And all is right with the world.

(I’m having issues posting pictures with my iPhone and my iPad… the default pics are too damn big and WordPress won’t reduce their size automagically. I’ll figure it out before Alaska!!)

Today, I stopped when a cold front doused me in rain and dropped the tempreature from 82 to 46 in about 3 miles. Tomorrow I expect rain until about noon or so, and my target is Dry Lake Campground in North Dakota. We’ll see if I make it.


2015: Wixom, MI

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series 2015: Alaska or Bust

So far it’s been a connect-the-dots kind of trip, with each day on the bike more focused on the destination than on the journey. Right now I’m at friends in Wixom, MI after spending some time with friends/family in Arkansas, Maryland, and New York. After this last visit, however, the trip changes as I begin to explore my way to Alaska.

With the change will come some new pics I’ll put here that live over on my Google+ page. Since I haven’t taken many photos yet, here’s one from 2013:

Beartooth Highway, Wyoming

This is another picture that Google automagically “styled,” and I kind of like the result so I include it here with no changes. The Beartooth is one of my favorite roads, and I’ll be hitting it again this summer on my way back from Alaska.

As always, you can track my progress through my SPOT page. The link brings up a map of where I’ve been for the last 7 days. It’s accessible in the right sidebar of the homepage of the site.

Exploring Google Photos

Playing around with Google Photos. So far I’m impressed enough to keep playing around with it. Some of the more impressive features…

Automatically stitches together pictures taken in a single location to form a panorama picture. For landscapes, it seems to work really well, although there can often be humorous results if there are people in the picture (floating heads, disembodied legs, duplication of certain objects/people that are in multiple pictures). Not sure how useful this will be, however, as most cameras and phones these days have a panorama mode built in.

If shooting in burst mode, GP can automagically create a GIF for you, such as:


I’ll keep exploring and show off some of the capabilities as I discover them.