Wednesday, October 07, 2009

While at 1st I was reluctant, even critical of facebook, as it turns out I like it.

It allows for immediate commentary and updates so that those around you can stay in touch despite any physical distance that separates us.

It's not so much about sharing every detail as it is about bridge a gap between friends and family. My privacy settings are set high, I think only "friends" can see my profile, not everyone, friends or friends, etc.

I've also be considering the ramifications of sharing too much on the internet. As it turns out, the very thing that used to allow for the greatest amount of anonymity now gives way to a single search which returns your whole life history.

As for now, the blog will remain in "limbo" more times than not with future considerations of a complete wipeout of all things past blogged...

Sunday, July 12, 2009


White Water Class Day 2,
We hit the James @ Pony Pasture and kayaked down to Reedy Creek.

This was a fun day for sure. The river was @ 4'2" and it was a little low. I think 4'6" to 5' would make for nice river travels.

We started off entering the lower Pony Pasture Rapids, then back to practicing edge turns to get in & out of Eddies, as well as T-rescues in current.

Once done we headed down river starting off playing a game. Kinda like "keep away" but you always had to throw the ball to someone down stream. It was a great way to further practice the paddling & T-rescues while removing the dullness that of a long flat water area.

Rapids: Pony Pasture (lower section) Powhite Rapids, Choo-Choo Rapids, Pipeline, a smaller Pipeline, Mitch's Gut, Mitch's Gut 2.

Check out photos on the left in rotation.
Camera used was the Olympus "Water resistant" (not waterproof) Stylus 700.

Happy Birthday

Today I look to the past to offer up what would have been.
On this day my youngest brother would have been 33.

We miss you Jason.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Beginner's White Water Kayak Class Day 1 was interesting and fun.

First, the instructors are very personable and approachable, so you immediately feel comfortable.
During day 1, we spent about 1.(including lunch) 5 hrs off the water and the rest of the time on water.

We learned:
~ wet exits
~ T-Rescues
~ Multiple Paddle strokes
~ Steering & control

The day was spent on the James @ Dutch Gap. Very open and flat, but just enough current for the kayaks to move around on their own nicely.

We also played some neat little games that would force us into compromising positions w/o us thinking about it. So you learned control, as well as learned to trust in your ability to maintain calm when you did roll and waited for the T-rescue.

Our Day 1 instructors were: Suzan, Thomas, & Daniel.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

So excited...

For m graduation gift I purchased a kayak for myself, but my lacking of training kept me from hitting the James with it.

As soon as my final class ended I attempted to sign up for a White Water Beginner Class, but they were booked solid! I left a message w/the instructor to notify me of any cancellations and with a few days to spare the phone call came.

So this weekend I will spend on the James learning basic how to's! wet water exits, eskimo rolls, & basic routes down the river.

I can't wait...

This also coincides w/the birthday of my youngest brother who while no longer w/us, always inspires me to try new things.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So Wednesday I answered a friends "Call to Ride" by accepting an invite to go camping @ Sherando Park w/the idea that on Thursday we'd be putting in up to 40 mls on the trails.

It sounded good, right?! I mean come on, the promise of camping, friends, fire, beer, and bikes. Everything started out well enough, perfect weather, finding a camp site, late night of beer and chit-chat, even an easy early morning rise to follow. (I'm not a morning person, so waking at 7am w/out issue was amazing! Do you know there is sunlight at 7am!?!)

So by nine we're at the meet up and we even picked up a few other Richmonder's. All on the same page, to have a fun easy ride and actually everyone stuck to it. Normally I'd be in heaven @ this pace, but no, my body still has to revolt.

Somewhere about mile 4 of the 6 ml commute to the trail head, we hit a trifecta of hill, low energy, and humidity and I went from having fun to a sky rocketing heart rate. I slowed up, and found my pace to regain control. By ml 6 life was getting better as I was settling in, just in time for the 8ml climb.

On the climb many little issues would end up leading to an exhausting ride. I've done this climb many, many times before, but never suffered like this. Loose rock, sand, & an experimental handlebar (meaning new style handlebar for me) made didn't help.
The handlebars not only altered my seating to a too upright seating position which made the front end "float", it also forced a new seating position on my seat which had me in pain by mile 7. So now with I was constantly fighting to keep the front end straight, my the sun was roasting my head, and it was just humid enough so that I couldn't cool down, a migraine was beginning to set in.

Lucky for me, the rest of the group was having some issues of their own (bike related) which allowed me to keep my tortuous pace and still keep up. Although by the end of the climb, they still had a good 5 minutes or so on me.

I just kept telling myself, downhill, downhill soon, downhill = smiles! The days plan would have us making a figure 8, where the top of climb 1 would have us in the middle of the 8 ( Mills Creek).

As luck would have it, I had no such luck by the time we hit Torrey Ridge/Slacks, etc. My head was pounding so badly, I was having double vision. So I would find myself bailing out of the 1st downhill midway @ Slacks Overlook. The gang continued down to the campgrounds and would ride back up where we'd join again.

While I was waiting I took conversation up with someone from Pitts, Pa and he offered up some Advil. Perfect!
However 3 hrs later & no gang. I was torn as to what to do, but I stuck with the plan and headed up the mountain back to the middle of the figure 8 for the last downhill that would lead back to the cars.

The Advil worked, my migraine had been severely diminished to a mild headache. By the time I I reached Mills Creek, I was almost smiling! I was feeling good, really good. But by myself and at least 7 miles from anyone and without any cell reception I took caution on the initial downhill that would be the next mile. You drop about 1500' in 1 mile of switchbacks on very loose shale. At times (Ok, most of the time) I think it would've been better to just go full-bore as the braking just caused sliding.

At the bottom of the switchbacks was another 6mls of trail that looses about 1200' of evaluation as you roll through stream crossings and forest. What an amazing end to the day. With a clear head and a cool breeze I was able to just big ring it and fly! ( Maybe that bird feather I found earlier in the day gave me the wings I was looking for all day.)

When I got back to the cars, 1 was gone, 1 person was there, & two others where still on the trail. Apparently 1 of the 4 to go to the camp grounds was too beat to climb, so they bailed for a road ride back. Of the 3 remaining to climb to the meet up spot, 1 would end up cramping bad enough to turn back and head back to the cars via the road. The last 2 would end up giving chase to catch up to me, but would end up coming back to the cars 10-15 minutes behind me.

By days end, I bagged 28 mls, B1 about 25mls, B2 28, B3 & 4, 32 mls.

We ended the day with dinner @ Devils Backbone Brewery which was just what the Dr. ordered. I was so tired that 1 beer was all I could handle, but I enjoyed every drop of it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

... For more years than I care to count my, life as a student continued.
Today my life as a student has come to an end leaving leaving me feeling more emotional than on the day that I walked in the graduation ceremony.

To this I raise my glass filled with Three Philosophers by OMMEGANG (fitting, correct?!) and say, "Oh that heavens," and... "A huge thanks to all the support from my family and friends who kept me encouraged in the rough times, keeping this dream alive."

I know many people head to school as an avenue to success, but I went for the reason of a personal goal. It's been a long, long journey filled with laughs, tears, love, and surprises, but in the end I am better for it all.

Most of all, I want to thank Lisa, she is the definition of pillar and her support never wavered!

Cheers all, cheers!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Been busy.

It's been a busy past few weeks with at least 2 more intense weeks of hard studying, papers, and exams.
It's all good though, I can see the light and it's beautiful!

I've also been able to get on the bike lately (5 rides in 9 days) and really enjoy the stress relief that comes with riding and getting fresh air. I flub up today by not heading out before the days heat sets in, so tomorrow might be my next chance to ride.

Now I have to get back to researching the external / internal forces for the Steel industry & Nucor. I think I'll get the history buttoned up also.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Only a few days after venting and I managed to get in 2 rides and fix / mod the bike. Tomorrow I'll need to buy some new parts for it.

Baby steps I guess.

Hopefully my current desire to bike will keep on keep'n on.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Seems that I have losing my bike mojo over the last few years and all attempts rekindle it have failed!

I know it's gone now, but as I just had $3k to spend wildly and not even .01 of it went to a bike related part. I never even had a thought of purchasing bike related parts or gear. In years past I definitely would've had some bike "thingy" that was shiny and new with this kind of loot to spend.

I'm not sure how I began to loose my interest, maybe it's that I'm not a racer and everyone else is. So I want to ride just to enjoy and challenge myself, while others want to ride to blister new times while running you (& others) off the trail.

Politics have also certainly played a large roll in the demise of my riding. If I could do it all over again I'd certainly think twice about my involvement with a club beyond helping to promote it. What starts out nobel quickly excellerates into too much info, too many headaches, too much time, and for too many years. Which in the end = a sour taste for the hobby.

Lastly, I know that not having time to exercise or at least having another form for exercise has dampened my mtb spirit.
I rode because I enjoyed riding and any health bene's were simply a plus. But as time wore on I relied on it to be my "needed" exercise too, which creates a whole new outlook for a hobby. It turned something fun in to a must! When I must do something I begin to view it with "distain" in which I end up doing anything and everything to avoid it.

I guess that is where I am today, avoiding it.

During the last year Richmond,Va became the lucky recipient of a Trader Joe's store. For years I've heard about them, but I've always used the "talk" about TJ's to just be a "yuppy" store. This theory was mostly based on the fact that just about everyone who buys from there talks about their great wine deals & all I could picture in my head was a bunch of blue shirts & khaki pants pushing & shoving their strollers past each other to fight for the last box-O-wine. As it turns out, they literally having bottles of wine for $3.00 and still being able to get volume discounts by purchasing by the case.

After being completely disappointed in the new Whole Foods in Richmond, (The store seems to be more about, "who's watching who pay stupidly inflated prices for the same foods they can buy across the street for 2/3's the price." Don't get me wrong, I was all about getting a Whole Foods in Ric, as Lisa and I would drive to Char'ville just to hit up that store. Somehow once introduced to the West End of Ric, it became a store more about posh than content (quality & more healthy foods).

So we finally broke down and headed to Trader Joe's & since that day we've been kicking ourselves for not getting there sooner!
For me though, most of the wine is irrelevant when you consider all the other goodies TJ's has to offer.

Their food selection and pricing is second to none!! Seriously, some of their pricing is on par with large volume box retail chains, and or store brand prices at places like Foodlion, but the quality is SO-O much better.

Just a few examples:
- Organic Breads on par or better than the quality of local bakeries and starting at $2.29.
- Organic Chocolate Syrup for $2.49
- Organic granola & fruit bars $1.49+
- Organic & Fair Trade Coffee $6.99 - 9.99 and usually 1lb too.
- Organic Peanut & various Nut Butters (Quiet!) $2.49 +
- Pasta's, Italian made & full pound servings only .99 w/whole wheat for $1.25.

And the list keeps going.

Perhaps the best part of the store is that they are doing what mainstream has said can not be done.
They are providing many products that are cheaper than name brands while using better ingredients and still having great taste. Most products that aren't Organic are most likely HighFructroseCornSyrup free!

That IMO is worth the drive any day of the week & while most stores will have you paying more for using sugar cane, TJ's is charging less.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Walk the walk

Sometimes (& to a fault) I find myself too anti-establishment.

It makes me feel bored, constricted, even dirty. I've been this way from as far back as I can remember. It seems that even as a young child being read the rules to a board game, my first thoughts were always to question the exception or even the validity of a rule.

But this past weekend I took part in what many may consider everything I've questioned or stand against. I took part in my Graduation ceremony by walking; and it was one of the best days of my life!

As it turns out, if you argue with yourself long enough about something you realize that even the stance of "anti-establishment" is itself, an "establishment." And as such, I owe it to myself to truly way the Pro's and Con's of participating or not.

A few months back I realized that the day I was to walk & accept my diploma also turned out to me my birthday. Me being someone who tends to get caught up in the "things happen for a reason," looked at this as a huge signal that I need to give this some serious consideration.

In the end my decision was more about I owed it to me, myself, & I. I have spent many years fighting my way through school, on & off, full-time, part-time, working & not, and now everything is coming to a conclusion.

For me, walking gave me a sense of closure, an end point to a journey, my goal, to attend and finish college.

Oddly enough from the moment I arrived at the Siegal Center it hit me, this day was as important to all those who gave me the support that I needed to make this dream a reality! This day will help them to have closure too; witnessing this event is their return for for their unquestionable and unwaving love and support that they have always shown me.

So for those who find themselves pondering the same question I had, I say do it!

Very few moments in life can ever measure up to hearing thousands of people cheering & clapping as you enter the Graduation Ceremony. For those few moments, the magnitude of your accomplishment strikes. It touches you on a level that is difficult to put into words.

So to all my friends and family who put up with my stories & rants over the years, "Thank you." To all my friends and family who help me keep my spirits up when things looked grim,"Thank You." To all my friends and family who were simply there for me, "Thank you."

You have all taught me as much about giving, kindness, and caring as school has on the studied subjects.

One last thing, several friends just since yesterday has informed me of their regret to having not walked, but I have yet to meet someone who feels their time was wasted by attending.

In short, the underlying lesson goes beyond partaking in a graduation ceremony or not, but rather is a challenge to you, me, & everyone else to really gauge why we make the decisions we do and force us to reconsider any personal opinions that just may turn out too antiquated for today.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cellphones Madness

Does the cellphone give all of us the "plugged-in" companionship that so many of us really crave, or may worst, fulfill for that what we might not have had w/out one? A life...

Why does owning a cellphone automatically give us the right to carry it everywhere & anywhere we desire? I mean really, why does the waitstaff need to have a cell on their belt when their job is there to wait on visitors of their restaurant?

Why should students be allowed to carry them in class, only to disrupt everyone w/fancy beeps, sounds, games, etc?

In Boston this morning a report of a double trolly crash because 1 came up from behind (w/a 480' sight line) ended up crashing in to a second trolly, despite having warnings go from green to yellow to red plus 80'. Why the crash? F'ing conductor was texting his girlfriend and now 50+ people injured.

Boston's MTA took immediate action, absolutely NO CELL PHONES allowed on the job by any employees!! Go Boston!!
NJ MTA doesn't allow for even the use of cellphones by the passengers. At first I was like, "WTF?," but 10 minutes into the ride and you quickly realize that a bus of 50 people can actually be one of the most peaceful crowds to be. No one is forced to listen to yelling, arguing, STD results phone-calls, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a cell phone toter myself & I often find myself "needing" to check the cell for a text or missed call after 10minutes goes by without a peep. "Is the volume set right? ", "Is vide mode set?", "Did I just miss beep?".
Usually the answer is nope.

I usually find this cell phone "twitch" to come only after the cycle has been started by a barrage of incoming communications or when I'm bored and the response is often we feeling compelled to send some sort of mindless thought to a close friend in a feeble attempt just to gain any social interaction.

So my question is, how do we become so celf-focused (celf = cell + self) that we will use our phones despite the danger that we pose to everyone around us?

How can we possibly justify the reply to "dinner @ 7" if it means that we might kill/injure/maim 1,10, 20, 50, more?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bias vs Biased

A person who is influenced by a bias is biased. The expression is not “they’re bias,” but “they’re biased.” Also, many people say someone is “biased toward” something or someone when they mean biased against. To have a bias toward something is to be biased in its favor.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

All Washed Up

You know you are getting old when you are excited about a new washer!

Lisa and I recently purchased our first household appliance after 19yrs of being together.

Out with the old as it moaned and groaned through every cycle with a shake and shimmy only second to my belly as I run up a flight of steps.

But the last straw was the the failure of it's pumping to drain out @ least the 1st time around (At least my pumping still work).

Ah the goodness that is our new LG washer!
Smooth, quite, and refined! When comparing old to new, the comparison is like eating from a trough vs eating a at a white linen table.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The only way I could improve upon this pic is to add beer to it.
Okay, so I took the high road and didn't say with nudity...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Relax now

It's been awhile since I've actually posted, mostly because I've been pretty busy. Classes are keeping me on my toes, that's for sure.

Lately the nerves ramped up a little with Lisa looking for a new job, me actually getting a few hours at work for the first time in months, mid-terms, etc.

As for Lisa, as it turns out her new job couldn't have come at a better time, only 1 weeks before she leaves her current job and her employer just laid the bombshell that lawyers and staff will be cut down.

My hours are from some web content and some new pages, followed up by two actual days in the shop! I'll be working on the site some more in the upcoming week, so I'll have 3 paychecks which is always good, no matter how small or large.

I'll be signing up for my last class (summer class) in two weeks, and then filling out my walking papers for May 16th which also happens to be my B-day!

So right now, LifeIsGood, or as good as it can be under such hard time...

Friday, March 06, 2009

I didn't want to post this on my website since I removed the Political forums yesterday, but it seems too worth saying not to be said somewhere.

In the last thread noted as, "Political Forums Dead, THANK You," someone noted that on a forums they help run the political stuff was moved last year when stuff really started to heat up & they commented that they didn't know how I hung on so long...

My would've been response:
"Like I've said in the past, I thought and still think that we all need a place to vent as even in good times their is always something political to talk about. The only way to actually learn is to not only read, but truly grasp and listen.

Seeing how we are in a time in history that can put our country into 3rd world status in a matter of years, I hoped/still hope people can realize this problem is larger than us, our families, or our immediate & future incomes; And that is why I let it keep moving forward.

In the end something kind of scary happened, it seems that just like in the real world, only those who have the strongest convictions and have no chance of seeing a different light were the ones left to stomach & churn the chaos, I guess this maybe forecasting that even the best intents of change are left to die in the wake of the steadfast.

So if it happened here, I guess that doesn't leave a lot of room in DC where party ego & corporate affiliation is more important than the great good... "

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Now serving...

You know, just when I think the world has shown me everything, the internet drops another bomb on me.

Check out this restaurant in Beijing, China.

A visit to Beijing's Penis Restaurant
Der Spiegel went to Guolizhuang, Beijing's Exclusive Penis Restaurant

The menu consists almost entirely of penis and testicle dishes -- made from the private parts of deer, snakes, yaks, horses, seals and ducks, among others. These delicacies are supposed to increase male potency, but women should try a bite, too: Eating penis is good for the skin, apparently.

Lucy, a 20-year-old waitress, wears a traditionally embroidered silk shawl with images of courtly scenes and plants -- and a smiley sticker. "For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has used animal penises to cure kidney and erection problems," she says. But for their medicinal effect to work, the dishes have to be consumed regularly.

"But if you want something that works faster, we have a wine that contains extracts of heart, penis, and blood from a deer," she explains. "That has an effect within 30 minutes." This potency cocktail has been said to be better than Viagra, and it has no side effects."

A certain degree of care appears to be required when choosing a dish, depending partly on what one has planned for later in the evening. The sex and age of the customer also play a role. "Women should not eat testicles," Lucy says. "The hormones could give them a deeper voice and a beard." Penises, on the other hand, are completely harmless, and in fact are even "good for the skin," she says.

Children under 15 are not allowed in the penis restaurant; the hormones are said to interfere with natural growth.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blogged out...

I know it's been a while since my last real blog entry; true is I've just been too lazy to even consider writing about what's going on in life and just spending more time doing homework, riding, reading, XboxLive, etc.

To recap from Dec to now:
~ Got financial aid
~ Lost/ran out of financial aid (had was was previously given pulled back!)
~ Had a wonderful Christmas
~ Discovered how great the trails are in Williamsburg (especially Freedom Park.)
~ Had a great New Years.
~ Went to Douthat for 3 days.
~ Read Predictably Irrational (A wonderful book that talks about human behavior)
~ Classes Started
~ Filled out for Graduation (May 16th, same day as my B-day!)
~ Got some financial aid again.
~ And lots of little stuff.

I'm excited to think about graduating, but I'm definitely worried about finding a job.
I also just received my lit. package for graduation, another $1k to spend if you want the class ring, cap & gown, invitations, etc.

Friday, February 06, 2009
USB Device Tracking
If you've ever used a USB storage device and wondered how stealthy you can be with them, you're in for a scare. Windows XP logs pretty much everything you'd want to know about that USB key in the registry each time it's plugged in and written to.
When you plug in your USB drive, the Plug and Play manager gets notified and queries the device descriptor in the firmware for information about the device. This helps it locate a driver, which is referenced in the %SystemRoot%/inf folder by various .inf files. Once the device is identified and a driver selected, the information is dropped into HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetEnumUSBSTOR with a format similar to Disk&Ven_###&Prod_###&Rev_### which will identify the device ID, manufacturer and more. An important number you will find here is the ParentID prefix, which I did not actually say during the segment but this is something that will appear in virtually every registry entry regarding the device.
Microsoft uses serial numbers on the devices to distinguish between devices with the same manufacturer or model. In the case that the serial number is not unique (or even not present), the PnP manager will create a unique instance ID for the device.
All of the numbers you find related to each device should be logged if you're doing any sort of investigation or trying to track a device across computers.
If you're trying to determine whether data was perhaps pilfered from your machine/network, you will want to look at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlDeviceClasses, where you will find the ParentID prefix and will be able to correlate to the device. You should also see the manufacturer name here. We are looking for the Last Write time which will help in determining whether data was pilfered by giving you a timeframe as to when someone last copied data to the device. In order to do this, you're going to right click on the entry that has the ParentID prefix and manufacturer name for the device you want, and then click Export. Change the file extension to .txt and name it anything you want, remembering where you save the file. Upon opening this file up, you will find the last write time.
There are many applications for this data, and you'll probably never be in the registry doing it quite this way, as there are many tools, both commercial and free that will simplify all of this. This data is also used in tools/services which help track your devices, such as iHound (, which helps you track devices if they're stolen.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me here and visit my website. Many thanks to Harlan Carvey, author of the 2007 book Windows Forensic Analysis (I think I might've errantly said 2005, sorry) for without this book I wouldn't have known as much as I do about the windows registry.
--Chris Gerling Jr.