If You’re Going To Live In Farm Country, You Might As Well Have A Tractor Seat!

The original saddle on my Surly Bridge Club did not fit me at all, so I swapped it out for a Brooks C15 . I thought the C15 might be a little too narrow, but the saddle on my road bike was going to need replacing soon and if it didn’t work on the Bridge Club it would probably work on the road bike so I went with the C15 instead of the wider C17.

Fast forward a year and a bit (I get around to fixing/replacing things eventually), and yeah, the C15 was too narrow for the Bridge Club AND my 2020 REI dividend happened to be almost the exact amount of a C17. With EVERYTHING going on it was nice to be able to order up my new saddle without spending cash. I just got back from a quick test ride and it feels about perfect. I think the C17 and I are going to get along just fine. And it doesn’t look nearly as “tractor seat-ish” as I thought it would.

The weather forecast for the next week looks great and I can’t wait to get outandabout on my bike with its new saddle.

Receptacle/ Don’t Take The Advice

Despite having taken a couple botany classes in college and this bit of a plant having a common enough name, I had to go back and look it up. College was a long time ago. 😊

The usual advise on sharing photos is to only show your best. It’s not a bit of advise that I tend to agree with. There are a myriad of reasons to show a photo that isn’t your best work, like to point out that when working with macros like this pic you need to be extra careful about depth of field. By pointing out that a this pic could have benefited from a higher f stop and greater depth of field people seeing this picture can learn from it and maybe improve their own work.

By showing not so great photo, instead of just the reshoot I will inevitably do in a few days, I can show my growth as a photog. And I’ve grown weary of just looking at/posting pretty pictures. I want narrative. I want to see the story of a photographers growth and the changes in way they look at and present the world. I want to know the history behind the photo. Why it was taken? Why did you choose to present this? ‘Cause I’m greedy and demanding like that…

Also, It’s your stuff. Your photos. Your webpage. Do what makes you happy with them. If other people don’t dig it they don’t have to look.

Dear Texas and Mississippi

Dear Texas and Mississippi,
The people saying you don’t have to wear a mask or social distance anymore are the same people that got a whole bunch of you killed in a predictable winter storm and that still don’t have the lights and water turned back on. Please don’t listen to them. We’re almost though this thing. Wear a mask, stay apart. Wait for people that actually know what they’re talking about and have everyones best interest in mind to make the call about removing precautions.

I ❤️ These Boots (Solomon Shelter)

Living in Wisconsin you need a good set or three of boots. I had two sets: a heavy duty, super insulated pair for the depths of winter and a pair of of un-insulated LL Bean “duck” boots for slush/mud season.

Fall of 2019 I decided I needed to up my game to a pair of lightly insulated boots for the times in between the deep freeze and slush season and so I picked up a pair of Solomon Shelters and I couldn’t be happier. I think these might be the 2018 model as I got them way on sale in the fall of 2019.

This winter has been freakishly warm by Wisconsin standards, so the Shelters have been my go to boot for most of the winter. They’ve kept my feet warm, dry, and comfortable on walks of up to 3 hours in temps down to about 15 degree (f). The Shelters do fine for shorter stretches down to about 5 degrees (f). I live across the street from a bagel place and I’d use the Shelter’s for a quick pop across the street for a bagel and coffee to go (stupid COVID no hanging out). But, anything lower than about 5 degrees and I’d go with my big boots.

In terms of durability: I’ve logged a lot of hours and miles in these over two winters and they’re not showing much wear at all, the insulation isn’t compacting, and the outer and waterproof booty aren’t starting to wet out or clog. They’re every bit as water proof and breathable (which is very) as the day I got them.

Stats and feel wise: they have a soft shell outer with a waterproof breathable liner in them that breathes well and has never wetted out on me, but I’m usually wearing them in below freezing temps. I couldn’t find a # for the amount of insulation in them, but they’re lightly insulated. I wore them to Christmas in the Seattle area in 2019 and my feet never felt overly warm or sweaty, so they do fine up to the low 40’s or so and walks in the rain were no problem. They’re chukka hight, which keeps the wet and cold out, but doesn’t leave your feet feeling bulky or over burdened. Solomon claims they weigh 390 grams per boot, but mine weighed in at 440 grams. On your feet they feel light and springy, and closer to a trail runner than a hiking boot. I’m not sure what kinda of jujutsu is going on with the soles, but they’re super sure footed and grippy.

If you’re tired of cold feet in the winter and live somewhere where the temps are routinely between about 40 and 15F these Solomon Shelters are well worth trying out.

Always Wondered About That Steeple

I’ve always wondered about the steeple on this church in Eau Claire’s Randle Park Neighborhood. It looks like they plucked it off another church or maybe got it at an estate sale. I finally got around to doing a little digging around about it tonight and turns out that originally there was a dome where the steeple was. The dome was destroyed in a fire at some point and replaced by the steeple. No word on what year the fire happened or if they picked up the steeple second hand.

[Edit] The fire and the building of the steeple happened in 1935. The church was built in 1912.

The Light Stick Over The Door Trick

Since we’re all following the mess in Texas, people are looking into preparedness stuff, and it looks like I haven’t shared this yet, I present to you: The Light Stick Over The Door Trick.

Batteries and flashlights tend not to do so well in the humidity an changing temperatures of a bathroom and my bathroom drawers are always a disaster. So, in case of a power outage while I’m in the bathroom I tape a glow stick above the bathroom door frame. Easy enough to find your way to it, uneffected by heat and moisture, and enough light for you to find your way to a flash light.

In years of doing this I’ve never had to actually use a it, but it’s a once and done kinda thing and light sticks cost less than a buck, and it’s reassuring to have it there.