Low Power Blogging

Tonight in Leavenworth, there are storms. Over the weather radio, I have heard several alerts—severe thunderstorm, flash flooding, and even a tornado warning south of where I live. Needless to say, the power is out.

Spending the last couple of years in El Paso, I think we lost power once during the entire two and a half years. So, when we lost power tonight, we had to improvise. I still wanted to write a blog post, I had something to write, and I have absolutely nothing else to do. So here are my tools for low power blogging.

HP Stream Computer: My small HP Stream is great for situations with low power. It has a long battery life—which I actually charged just last night. It is slimmed down for writing, so it doesn’t take forever to start up, nor does it run constantly in the background. From the USB port, I have been able to charge my iPhone. So the computer itself is quite useful.

IPhone: My iPhone 6 is very useful, I am able to watch the local radar and receive messages regarding the storm. In a pinch, I can use it as a flashlight. But, for blogging—it is very useful when I’m able to harness a connection for internet and then use the phone as a personal hotspot. Without power, our main residential internet is useless. But with the personal hotspot, I at least can pull in a slow internet signal enough to transfer this blog post up to the server.

Using the internet in the dark is not ideal, but when the internet is down, it is still possible to continue to write and post with a lightweight computer and a personal hot spot.


Jones Drink Bottle Photos

On every bottle of Jones Soda, there is a different photo. Many of these are from customers that have uploaded those photos on the Jones Soda site.

Jones Sodas sell a variety of flavored sodas and a great alternative to the mainline cola drinks that are regularly served. Some of the flavors take some getting used to but the entire experience is always new and enjoyable.

I especially like the photographs.

Jones Soda was “created in Vancouver, BC in 1995 from the vision of Jones Soda founder, Peter van Stolk, and photographer/designer Victor John Penner, Jones was launched with the idea of incorporating random photographs onto our bottles using shots taken by Penner. But when consumers began submitting their own photos, we quickly realized that user sourced participation made the brand even more special.”

It is interesting to me to see the different perspectives people have as they approach different subjects in photography. The labels remind me of some Lomography photos that I equally enjoy—but without the drink to go with them.

Those photos also challenge me to stretch my photography a little more—to go to newer angles and even shoot more black and white. I like the way the photos take simple subnjjects and highlight those instead of trying too hard to be cleaver. Simpler is always better. Seeing these bottles remind me that I really do want to spend a day shooting those Black and White film rolls that I have in my bag. Maybe one day, I’ll upload mine here!

Four on the Fourth 2015, Kansas City

This morning, I was able to run my first race in Kansas City! I was happy to exceed my goal for this race and finish at 35:04—the goal was a simple 36:00 (9min mile) pace. Running in the Kansas City area has been much more humid than I am used to. Luckily, this morning was cooler than other recent mornings.

In preparation for our move to Fort Leavenworth, I wanted to put some races on the calendar to keep me focused on running during the move. I chose the Ward Parkway Four on the Fourth Four Mile Race as a way to run a race soon after my arrival to the area and to keep up with my enjoyment of Fourth of July Races.

I started the morning with a wake up at 0500 so that I could leave at 0530 to make the one hour drive to race site at 0630—one hour before the race. I typically want to arrive about an hour early, so that I can get used to the surroundings and warm up a little bit before the race. I felt it was especially important for this race because I was in a new city and climate. Luckily, this race was very well run and the parking was clearly marked as well as the course was set up when I arrived. This set up made me comfortable to be able to stretch and walk around before the race.

At about ten minutes prior to the start, the over 1,000 participants lined up at the start point. Unfortunately, there was no corral to line people up and no announcement to push walkers to rear of the group before the run resulting in the start being very congested and slow. Once, we were out of the parking lot the congestion began to thin out after the first turn. The course had a couple of non-threatening hills and the race planners elected to take the route over the smoother hills between mile two and three—which could have been painful if the race ran the other way around. The only hill of consequence was the last hill on the way to the parking lot and finish line. This hill was steep but more manageable than I had feared. The finish line ended on a downhill slope that allowed me to let go a little and speed up for a strong finish.

Over all, the race was enjoyable and well run. If I will be in Kansas City again on July Fourth of next year, I will definitely put this race on my short list of races to run. I always enjoy running on the Fourth of July and this was a great start to my day!



Photo: A Special Thank you to SEEKCRUN.com and Race Organizers for providing photos free of charge to participants.