Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I saw a commercial the other day for the Toyota Prius. I feel bad for Toyota that they had this gas pedal and break issue with their vehicles because I want to see hybrids and more importantly electric cars start taking a bigger portion of the automotive market. But how sad it is that my Volkswagen Jetta is getting at least 33 mpg on the highway and just this last trip managed to get about 40 mpg if not more. Why do I want am electric or hybrid vehicle that only get 32 mpg. Yes I know there are people out there who have hyper miled the heck out of their Prius's and manage to get 100 mpg but what does the average driver get? I do some hyper miling with my Jetta and get reasonable mileage so would I be able to do better in a Prius. For now I'm sticking with the Jetta only because it is still in pretty good shape for a 10 year old car.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Canyonlands UT

After moving here in late November and vising twice, January and August, I have finally had a chance to get out and explore more of the area. We did go down to Bryce Canyon in August last year, but it was quite hot. Not really the right time to go to the desert. We went hiking in January but it was too much snow to get up in the canyons, so again not really the right time. This time it was a bit early for backpacking in Canyonlands, but that meant the chances of finding water would be better. Mostly this translated into cooler nights while the days were still more then tolerable. Our trip was supposed to be 4 days and 3 nights but after arriving at the park and discovering that not only was the park camping filled but most of the backcountry sites were filled as well, we had to change our trip on the fly. So we camped out at another spot the first night (outside the park) then we grabbed two spots that seemed reasonable to hike to and spend 3 days and 2 night backpacking. We definitely had some slim pickin's on the campsites. We ended up doing about 8 miles the first 2 days and about 3 to get back to the car. Still it was lots of fun in spite of the blisters. That rock is hard on the body and the gear. I had blisters and some wear on the lid of my pack after dragging it past a really tight spot in the rocks.

Canyonlands is quite amazing. The entire park is centered where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet. This meeting point divides the park up into three very distinct regions. Island in the Sky to the north, the Maze district to the west, and Needles district to the east. We explored the Needles district on this trip. The needles are spires of rock that wind, water and time have eroded around leaving spires, and lots of them. We did see some Puebloan ruins across from the trail, as well as some pictographs on the wall. Mostly we way mother nature's sculptures. It was quite interesting and amazing to walk round buttes, across mesa, and through keyholes and slots. Okay, amazing and a little scary too. I know some of these have been up for more thousands then I can think of, but a few still looked like they were about to give way at any moment. still this is an amazing place and I can't wait to explore the other districts in the park.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Lasik at one month

So its been one month and while I have been loving not having to worry about glasses, I am still healing. My vision has stabilized and while not perfect, one eye is 20/20 and the other is 20/25. Really not bad at all. I do have dry eyes. This is a combination of the dry environment I am living in (Salt Lake is much drier then the more humid Washington DC I came from), and the lasik process. This should start decreasing with time as I adjust and heal. The night halos and glare are also slowly diminishing. The only thing I have had to do differently is wear sunglasses. When the sun is shining here it is really quite bright, even without snow around. I have to avoid UV exposure to my eyes to ensure they heal well. I will eventually phase myself away from the darker ones to lighter sunglasses. I also noticed that I seemed to have lost my close up vision. I can't remember what it was like before because I never thought to benchmark it like was suggested for night glare. I've had some night glare so getting a bit more wasn't a surprise and I am told it should go back to pre-lasik levels. I can read just fine at normal distances and even closer but about 4 inches from my eyes things are hard to focus on. So far I am happy to not have eye glasses. I think the more telling point will be kayaking without glasses. I felt having glasses while kayaking was more trouble as losing them is a real pain.

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