I did some cleaning, organizing, a few loads of laundry, a bit of online shopping, played some old video games and sketched this on the iPad...
I visited Henry Cowell State Park today for the first time. I went with some friends. We parked somewhere along highway 9 and moved fast towards the San Lorenzo river. By the time we reached the water we’d already gone on a few sketchy trails and we were gonna go on more questionable trails along the river towards The Garden Of Eden. A few of us didn’t feel comfortable going that way so we all turned back the way we came then followed the train tracks to the swimming hole. There were a few people there, including an annoying group playing music really loud on their portable speaker. We hung out for a little while before following the train tracks some more then heading back to our cars. The maps I brought, and my phone’s gps, weren’t very helpful because we didn’t enter through any of the designated entrances and there weren’t any trail markers anywhere. I still had fun but next time I’ll come better prepared and take my time and really enjoy it.
The plan was to go on a short hike at Grant Park today because I’m going to Henry Cowell State Park tomorrow morning and don’t want to over do it but when I arrived at Grant I just wanted to hike as many new trails as I could in the 3 hours before sunset and did 6.35 miles. When I got home later I started researching the hike to the Garden of Eden at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Apparently there’s a route from the main entrance that crosses the San Lorenzo River but the seasonal bridge might not be up so it might require going across the water. There’s also another route that avoids crossing the river by parking at a different location and taking a different trail. I’m going with friends so I’ll let them decide what to do.
The HDMI switch I ordered arrived yesterday and I hooked it up tonight to make sure it works, and it does! It’s got 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out plus one 3.5mm audio output to connect speakers. Now I can use my spare monitor, with a single HDMI por, to connect a Roku Streaming Stick for movies & TV, my Raspberry Pi computer running Retropie to play old school video games, and use it as the viewfinder on my DSLR camera when I record myself drawing. Now I gotta figure out how to neatly mount everything so it’s not on top of the desk but on the rig instead.
It feels like an adventure, exploring new places with the help of a map. Instead of carrying a sword I got a small pocket knife. My phone’s gps serves as my compass. Grant Park has wild pigs and Hyrule has moblins. Today (Wednesday) I came across a hallowed out tree that looked like the the entrance to level 1 from the original Legend of Zelda for the NES. I was wearing my Zelda: Wind Waker mask today too FTW.
I did something I’ve been avoiding for months, if not years. Getting wrapped up in a video game. I didn’t want to spend countless hours in front of the tv but here I am. I started playing “The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap” a few days ago and now I’m hooked. I spent all day Tuesday playing it and even though I’m enjoying it, I’m also feeling a little guilty, like I should be doing something productive.
This is my 500th blog post! It'd be cool if I had some profound shit to write about. Instead I'm sharing the collection of maps I've printed, highlighted and carried with me on my hikes over the last couple months. I've thrown them away and fished them out of the trash at least twice now and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them.
The whole thing started after Covid struck and my gym was forced to close. I started going to Lake Cunningham Park to walk & run until that got boring so I started hiking the Eagle Rock Trail at Alum Rock Park. I kept hiking the same trail over & over till I decided to explore the rest of the park. In November I decided I was going to hike every trail at Alum Rock before the end of the year. I finished Alum Rock sooner than expected and moved on to the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve and managed to hike all those trails before New Years. Now I'm working on completing Joseph D. Grant County Park and I'm about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way done. Since Grant Park is so big, and has tons of trails, I've been selecting my route and printing a portion of the map (middle pic) to carry in my pocket. When I get back home I highlight the trails I hiked that day on to the full map (bottom.) I'm hoping to finish Grant Park in February and starting someplace new. I'm thinking Ed R. Levin Park.
...with the EMN Layla-Mae & Phoenix project. I printed them out on adhesive vinyl sheets and cut them to size tonight. The blue fill on Phoenix’s stickers didn’t come out as clean as the green fill on Layla’s which I’m not happy about. It’s something to do with the vinyl sheets. All I gotta do now is find an envelope to ship them out.
I’m making it sound a lot cooler than it really is but I went on a 6 mile hike this afternoon and covered new trails, bringing me a tiny bit closer to completing the whole park. I saw a few animal bones, large moss covered rocks, a fallen tree obstructing a bike trail, a tree that looks like it belongs on a motivational poster, the ass-end of huge grasshopper or something and views of Lick Observatory & the valley below from the top of the Yerba Buena Trail. When I left the park I drove further up Mount Hamilton Road to check out the Twin Gates parking lot & trail head and the Smith Creek Fire Station. On the way I up a saw a coyote eating a dead snake on the side of the road (see video) then again posing for sunset photos on my way back down.
The Layla-Mae & Phoenix sticker sheets are ready to print! I’m waiting on the client (my cousin) to let me know how many of each he wants. Then I’ll print them out on adhesive vinyl sheets, cut them and mail them out. While I’ve been waiting I pulled out the spare Raspberry Pi, attached to a 7” touchscreen, that I had laying around. I installed the latest OS and managed to get Disney+ to run on it, but not very well. I also tried installing Retropie, to play old school video games, but had no luck getting that to work. I’m on the lookout for something cool to with my second Pi computer but everything is either lame or above my skill level.
The day started off with an early morning hike at Grant Park with my friend Martine. I was already running late due to phone issues then I was stuck behind a slow moving fire truck for miles going up the narrow winding road leading to the park. Then the hike was cut short after realizing I’d made a wrong turn and we were headed backwards. After coming home, a little disappointed in myself, I showered and got ready to go shopping. I went to the new Costco Business Center near the house, Office Depot across town, a regular Costco, then to the Safeway back home. I had about half a cart full of groceries and was next in line at the check out stand when I noticed the guy behind me only was buying a single bouquet of flowers so I let him go in front of me. After he paid for his flowers and left I loaded my items on the conveyer and walked up the cashier who said the guy had given her $20 to pay for part of my groceries. How cool was that? And as an added bonus I received an additional $10 discount at the register. What an awesome way to end a long day.
Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol Building today and I've been watching news and videos all day. I hope there are serious repercussions from all this but I really doubt it.
Mira, mira! I printed the names in 5 different sizes and cut them out to see how they look. They look great! I’ll probably skip the smallest size since it’s not much different than the next size up. Besides that, they’re about ready to print on adhesive vinyl sheets and get turned into stickers.
I keep saying that about this project. I printed both pieces after going over them with a fine tooth comb and cleaning up all the little imperfections. They look super crisp at full, half & quarter sheets. I want to see how small I can print them so I'm waiting on my printer to spit out the 6-up & 9-up sheets. It's taking forever so I'm going to bed. They should be ready when I wake up.
I have a 27” monitor that was given to me a few month ago that I finally want to put use. I want to use it in 3 different ways: 1 - Connected to the DSLR that’s mounted overhead on my rig so I can see what the camera sees while I record myself drawing. 2 - To watch movies & shows via a streaming device. 3 - A monitor for a Raspberry Pi computer running a retro video game emulator as well as regular computer capabilities. I thought it’d be a simple task but the monitor only has one HDMI port and no speakers or audio-out ports. I haven’t tried connecting my camera because I need a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable, which I don’t have. I connected my Raspberry Pi but needed speakers so I went to the store and bought a set. When I came back I played a couple games for a while after connecting the speakers to the computer. Afterwards I swapped the Pi for an old Roku Streaming Stick but gave up when I realized there’s no way of getting audio from it without buying a separate piece of hardware. So now I’m looking at HDMI switches that also export audio to get it all to work. The shit never ends.
I went out today and bought three more pairs of toe sock liners. My first pair worked great, preventing blisters after a couple hikes, but I didn’t like having to throw a load in the wash just to clean a pair of socks. Now, with four pairs, I can hike every other day with a fresh set and wash them all on laundry day at the end of the week. And no, this is not an ad. No one’s paying me to write this shit. After nine months of shutdown, because of covid, hiking’s become my jam. I just gotta avoid getting blisters on my feet to keep the party going.
I went with my buddy Jon and his girlfriend Gabi to Grant Park this morning and hiked some new trails on New Years Day. We did a little over 4 miles which brings the total to 9.75 miles (out of the 51 miles of hiking trails according to the Grant Park website) but it doesn’t look like 19% (almost 1/5) of the trails are covered/highlighted on the map in the last pic.
Kept it low key for New Years, cause of covid and I'm old. I made a little animation for those who went out and gathered in groups. If they get covid, fuck em! After 9 months I'm tired of feeling bad, plus we should all know better by this point. If they get other people sick, well then then they're assholes too. Besides folks ringing in the new year with covid, I've plotted a short hike at Grant Park, to do later today with my buddies, and got back to work on the EMN Phoenix project I should have finished by now. Happy New Year... even though not a damn thing's changed!