Kayaking on the Little Manatee River

Yesterday we took a short drive over to the Little Manatee River in Ruskin, Florida. Pam called the owner of Osprey Bay Kayaks, who was very helpful. He told us of several launch sites and what to expect at each one. We could launch near the mouth of the river and travel upstream, start from  a nice public boat ramp just off Highway 41, or head farther up river to launch.

Osprey Bay Kayaks

We chose to start in the middle, and work our way downstream for a while.

It was a good choice.

The river to the west of Hwy 41 is affected quite a bit by the tides, and as we started the tide was still going out. With the east wind behind us we were able to make a leisurely ride downstream a couple of miles.

The views were fabulous. We started in an offshoot of the river, with nice homes, (with nicer boats and docks) lining the waterway. Then we were suddenly out of civilization and were surrounded by mangroves and lots of options on which way to go.

We pulled to shore for a break at one point, and Pam ventured just a step too far into the water. There was a steep drop off, and she was suddenly up to her waist in the chilly river water. Luckily she didn’t fall on in all the way, and since she was only a couple of feet away from me I was able to help her back up to the shallow part. We had a good laugh over that.

We went just a bit farther downstream then decided to head back. By now the current for the most part had died down and we had an easy ride back up to our launch point.

it was a good day. We didn’t see any manatee or dolphin out, but word is that they come up river often. We’re looking forward to spending more time on the Little Manatee.


Not an infrastructure person?

I’ll admit it. I’m not. Never have been. Reading about TCP/IP, subnets, etc, makes my eyes glaze over and I start to drool within minutes.

But, I needed to set up a virtual environment to try out some stuff that involves TFS and Windows domains, and I didn’t want to reuse any pre-existing virtual machines. I wanted to build them from the ground up.

What to do? What to do?

So I did a Bing search and found a few articles on creating a domain controller. One tutorial in particular, by Thomas Shinder, was especially helpful. He started from the ground up: none of the let’s-do-a-couple-of-steps-skip-a-bunch-of-steps-then-presto-we’re-done magic. He shows the steps from start to finish with screen shots and instructions: how to set up an environment. Great stuff! 

I deviated from Thomas’ instructions in one place by making the preferred DNS server IPv4 address the address of my domain controller itself instead of (When I tried the localhost address for the DNS on the DC machine as he did, my client machine couldn’t find the DNS server. When I went back to the DC and reset the DNS server address to the DC’s IP address, my client machine could find the DC by name.)

So now I’m setting up TFS on the client machine as part of that domain. And I’ll soon be able to run my experiments.

Let the fun begin.

This was bound to happen. . .

I love SunChips. They taste great. They’re not loaded down with nearly as many calories as regular potato chips. And I like the sun.

But a couple of months ago, while I was on a bare necessities shopping run (beer, milk, bread, SunChips, PB&J) I was nearly deafened as I grabbed the bag of SunChips. I dropped the bag like I’d been shocked. What the heck?

Turns out it was one of their new “100% compostable” bags. Now, I’m all for the environment, but this bag was made out of material that, when touched, or even looked at with a steady gaze, would make a sound like 1000 snare drums that were hooked up to a ginormous amplifier turned up to 11.

Giving in to my SunChips craving, I tossed the bag into my shopping card and dashed to the register.

At home I found out just how loud the bag really was. As I unloaded the groceries, our dogs began to howl. My neighbor’s dogs (about 100 yards away) started to howl. Our horses spooked and stampeded to the far end of the property. That night, while I was grabbing a late night snack, the bag woke up Pam.

I haven’t bought any more SunChips since then. It’s been a sad time. But, I just saw that the makers of SunChips have had a change of heart after a groundswell of complaints about the bags: they’re going to package them in both the new loud bags, and the original quiet bags.

I can go back to eating my chips in peace! Yay!