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Think I'm finally set for camping gear

I headed out to REI yesterday to pick up a tent, cook set and stove, I think that's everything that I need to be able to do solo bike trips or take another person along to join me who doesn't have enough stuff.  Not a lot else happened over the weekend, but I'll blog about it anyway.

There was some rain coming through in the morning yesterday so I waited a bit before heading out to Bloomington to hit up REI.  I probably should have looked a bit closer to find out that there was a store quite a bit closer in Roseville but it was probably good to get some extra miles in, especially the loaded miles coming back.

I ended up getting a REI Half Dome Plus tent which the guy helping me said should be big enough for two people plus gear which is essential.  It has a pretty bug vestibule as well apparently so you don't have to put the gear inside of the tent to keep it dry.  I haven't tried setting it up yet so I'm not really sure how big it is, they didn't have one set up to actually look at so I was just taking the guy's word at it.  It's only 6lbs 5oz packed which is nice, it won't add too much weight to my bicycle.  I'm a little bummed looking at the receipt that it's marked as a 'non-divendable item' - I signed up for the REI membership because they said that with how much I'm buying it would be more money back at the end of the year than the cost of the membership.  It probably still is a bit more but not by as much.  Being able to return everything when it breaks is another good thing about the membership too, I wanted that level of security and it's the main reason I went to REI rather than going to Midwest Mountaineering.

I also picked up a little MSR WhisperLite Shaker Jet stove, it is pretty simple and not all that fancy or light but it should do the trick for being able to cook food.  I wasn't too picky about the stove because I don't know a lot about them but I knew that I wanted one with a refillable bottle.  I probably should have gotten one that would run on regular gasoline rather than just white gas but I think I should be able to find fuel easy enough if I'm on a multi day trip, or bring along extra without it taking too much space.  I haven't tried setting it up and lighting it yet, I do need to do that and figure out how to do it before actually heading out on the trip at the end of the month.  The fuel and the canister were both sold separately so I had to pick those up too.  I thought about getting the largest canister of fuel which was 12 dollars but I went with the one one smaller than that mostly because I didn't want to haul it back and wasn't sure if I had room in just my panniers, I didn't want to be hauling it in my messenger bag.

I ended up picking up a Pinnacle Backpacker cooking kit so I would actually have something to do the cooking and eating with.  My friend Roaster Boy had what I thought was the same kit on our last trip and it looked really nice.  Turns out that I picked up the wrong kind, I wanted to get the one with plates and more cups and bowls.  So I have to take the one that I bought back and get the next step up.  I probably don't need enough for four people but I did want plates with it and the kit I have doesn't have them.  I called today and they said that they would exchange it which was good, but I ended up being on the phone with my dad too long for Father's Day today so I didn't get a chance to head there and exchange it today.  I'll try to get out there later on this week, with the Powderhorn 24 next weekend I'm probably not going to want to head out too far on the weekend because I will be totally dead but maybe I can make it over there during the week.  Actually thinking of PH24 I need to see if I can take Friday off because I forgot to request it and I'd like to try to stay up really late the day before so I can sleep all day and be pretty fresh at the start of the race at 7pm.  I don't want to have been up all day and working even if I'm not riding during the day if I can avoid it.

After I got back I hung out a little bit and then headed to Icarus.  We weren't sure exactly where we were going to be meeting so I headed to Boneshaker and someone else headed to the Free Space.  Nobody showed up at Boneshaker but two people showed up at the Free Space so after talking with a friend of mine who was volunteering at the bookshop for a bit and waited to see if anyone actually showed up there then headed down to the Free Space for the meeting.  It was a pretty small meeting, only four people.  We started late and had to end a little early because they were doing a poetry thing after us starting at 7.  I thought about staying for the poetry thing because it was mostly cute women who were showing up for it but decided to head home and get dinner instead.

I ate dinner and drank a few beers and wasn't sure what else to do with the night but didn't feel like blogging then the friend that I chatted with after Dairy Queen last weekend posted up that they wanted to go to the midnight showing of Ghostbusters at the Riverview.  That sounded like it could be OK, I don't think I'd ever seen the entire thing all the way through so I headed down to that.  We didn't really talk much during the movie, they actually ended up dozing off during a lot of it.

I came home from that and went to bed pretty quickly because I wanted to get up early because I had a lot to do on Sunday but it didn't work out for me to sleep.  I think it was after about 5:30am before I finally ended up getting to sleep.  So I didn't end up doing much of what I wanted to do during the day today.  I wanted to get up early and head for breakfast then go to Kinkos to print up the new surveys and sign up sheets then head to another friend's for a cherry picking party but it was noon by the time I actually got up and by that point I didn't think I had time to do anything other than eat something for breakfast and head out to do the printing because I thought we were going to be canvassing at 2:30.

As I was getting ready to head out it seemed like it was starting to sprinkle so I headed back in and checked the radar and saw that it looked like a pretty big system was heading in.  I decided not to head out because we probably wouldn't be canvassing in the rain which is what ended up being the case.  Instead I started laying out a site map for a city-wide website for the bikelove platform.  The storm ended up not being all that bad but we still didn't head out, it hadn't really been decided on that we were doing it so most people weren't available anyway.  We're going to try for another weekend, and probably start doing every other weekend as more organizational meetings because we have only really been canvassing lately and we're trying to get more people involved and also plan more for the upcoming neighborhood forum and try to plan for moving into other neighborhoods.

So I didn't end up heading out and doing anything today, I ended up calling my dad for fathers day and talking to him for several hours instead.  That was pretty nice, but by the time that I got off the phone with him it seemed like I didn't have time to get over to REI to return my cook kit which was the other thing I wanted to do today if possible.  I did dishes and made up a batch of chai and then headed out to meet the people that normally do dinners at Parkway Pizza but today we were having dinner at Chris & Robs.  That was fun, the food was probably pretty bad for me but it was still nice to see people.  After we ate we went and grabbed Peacock Groove and dragged him out to Dairy Queen for some dessert then sat around chatting for a bit. 

That was really about it for this weekend.  I didn't get a lot done but I spent a lot of money.  I did try to spend more, I've been not liking the drinking much and wanted to go back to smoking for a bit but haven't been able to find what I need.  That was kind of a bummer.  I think I might have found a source that has some of what I need today but wasn't able to connect with them so I don't know when I'm actually going to have what I want.  I think it's much better for me to be smoking than drinking, some people might argue that I shouldn't be doing anything at all but I apparently can't deal with being completely sober.

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