About David

My day job title is DevOps Engineer with Ciox Health where I help modernize health information management applications. I also lead various BSA activities as a Cub Scout den leader and roundtable commissioner.

Zero Day at Old Federal

I took a zero from training and taught some girls how to fish at Old Federal Campground. Then I taught my son the clove hitch and bowline, though I he didn’t quite get the bowline - it’s a little early for that one. Then we did something really silly - waited in line for an hour and a half at The Varsity to get anything we wanted on the menu for $0. [Read More]

Time for Trekking Poles

Hiked with the family at the other side of Sawnee Mountain Preserve tonight (I call phase 3). In the 2.8 miles, my hands swelled up good and obvious enough that the wife gave her blessing to get some trekking poles. I figured I’d pick something from Black Diamond, but I still have no idea whether to get ergo or straight grips. Judging by reviews on each at REI, the ergo poles seem to get more reviews, so are more popular? [Read More]

Power Walking Shin Pain Today

When I had the idea to do parts, or maybe someday all, of the Appalachian Trail, I was most worried about my left knee. It seems to constantly ache a little, pop pretty much any time of the day, and I swear it wants to hyper-extend until all my connective tissue rips apart. When I walk or do practice hikes with my pack, it hasn’t bothered me. At my lunch walk today, we were walking a 19’ 36” mile pace and my shins were on fire. [Read More]

Trail Naming Ettiquite

I forgot a major event on my AT approach hike! Several hikers stopped me to ask questions or for directions. It was interesting since nobody ever did such things when I hike that section without a pack. Hiker guys have a good reputation for friendliness, I guess? For one of the encounters, I don’t even remember the topic of the exchange - directions, what are you doing, where did you start, something like that. [Read More]

Started the AT approach trail

I think my biggest struggle today was not the 866ft ascent of the Amicalola Falls approach trail, but the fact that I have to summarize the day with only a single photo on the trailjournals.com blog. Picking a high point turned literal and I picked the highest point in altitude I reached on the AT approach trail before bailing out back to the car to go back to work. I’ve done the Amicalola Falls AT approach trail several times with my family between the visitor center at the entrance to the lodge at the top of the park. [Read More]

Ongoing Gear Indecision

Ongoing Gear Indecision
In the past month, I’ve tried on, walked in, and returned (or re-sold) a ton of different clothes and shoes - traditional and decidedly not traditional. Today, I did another shakedown hike, but with the kids this time. I returned the size 10 Altra Lone Peak 3.5s under REIs super generous return policy; thanks to my last shakedown hike, I know that my feet were swimming in those. I was surprised since “The Internet” seems to think you should wear Lone Peaks much larger than your normal size. [Read More]

Flat Tire Hike

Two days ago I took my bike out to Charleston Park to get a workout on the trails. It helps my knee from getting lose and arthritic. Only 0.8 into the 5 mile ride, I hit a tree root, almost tossed myself off the front of the bike, my chain popped off the front, and then I heard a loud hissing noise, as if someone had slashed a car tire. I didn’t get hurt, but I had the walk of shame back to the parking lot with my flat tire rubbing all over the frame and gear components. [Read More]

If not now, then when?

My wife and I have a tradition that we get to dictate the schedule for the week of our birthday and the other doesn’t complain, so I had tentatively inserted a week of vacation into my calendar for Fall, next year 2019, for a thru-hike of the GA section of the AT during the week of my birthday. Then she got talking to one of her American Heritage Girls moms about her overnight section hike. [Read More]

Reset Evolution NSS Certificate DB

I set a password on my Evolution certificate database in Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic, but must have typed something different than what I intended, so I wasn’t able to manage any of my S/MIME certificates. To reset the password, I deleted the files that are related to storing the NSS database in ~/.local/share/evolution. cert8.db key3.db secmod.db Then I was able to go through Edit -> Preferences -> Certificates -> Import to manage my S/MIME library. [Read More]

Fixing C720 Trackpad in Xubuntu 14.04

While trying to use Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn, the trackpad isn’t supported by default. I followed the lead of a reddit thread which suggested upgrading to a newer kernel. Ubuntu just happens to provide the latest kernels, you just have to know where to find them. I cropped the recommended URL in the reddit thread to just http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/, which displays all the latest deb releases of kernels and then names them for the release using the codename. [Read More]