My Grand Plan

My Grand Plan — 18 years from now in 2035 I will be 62 years old.
How do I imagine myself then?
Location, location, location.
I will be living in a place that is maximum one hour away from the major National Forest boundary, preferably located in wild mountains. This place could be Bellevue or Redmond, WA, or Portland, Oregon. The importance of the location cannot be overstated. I have spent every moment of my youth in the mountains, often cutting school to go hiking or skiing. And, I hope, to spent the autumn of my life in nature as well. There is nothing that makes me feel better than a mountain-top vista after a strenuous hike in the chill of the subalpine meadow. I have lived almost all my adult life in (techno-bubble) Chicago, a city person cannot understand the highlander's longing for mountains.
I am not sure if I will be able to instill the same love of nature in all my daughters, I hope I will, Lili seems to love nature already. I hope that in the next 18 years, I will spend countless vacations with my girls hiking and camping in the wild.
Health
There can be a little joy of surroundings if one has no health. I am approaching my health in multiple ways.
The doom of cancer, dementia and heart problems.
Short of major accidents, these big three, sooner or later, will claim almost of the people. It is not "some probability" like being struck by lightning, rather, it is more like loading a 30 round magazine, lining 100 people in the row and pulling a trigger in one sweeping motion, no less. All of us stand in that row. All of us, no exception.
Thankfully, we know the cause and how to prevent them, they are sometimes called "diabetes type 3" and it is caused, majorly, by sugar.
How is it that our ancestors ate everything they could find? When they came across a bee hive, they would gorge on sweet, sugary honey. When they found a patch of berries, they would not leave until they had their fill and then some. We are designed to eat all sugar we can and we are designed to store it as fat for later.
The problem is the sources of sugar in nature are extremely rare, next time on the 2-week vacation in a national park make a note of all the sugar sources. When you hear bees buzzing, try to find their hive in the tree tops. See if you can collect more than a gallon of wild berries in a day, except in the late summer when it is a good idea to gain few pounds before winter anyway. When people ate sugar it was called feasting, and it was very rare and very good for us!
Humans were designed to go on for few days on minimal nourishment -- something you could carry in a small pouch while on the fast-paced hunt or on the move, which was constant. People would be eating mostly the leafy plants as they found them, nuts, roots and supplementing that with the equivalent of venison jerky and fat (smoked bacon).
We all know that fasting prolongs life. Fasting -- avoiding sugar and proteins has an enormous benefit that most people do not realize.
Cancer starts with a single cell mutation. Each one of us harbors many cancerous cells for years before they become so malignant that our health gets affected, then, it is often too late.
Cancer feeds on glucose (a simple sugar) which our bodies do not store. When no dietary sugar is present, we create (only) a small amounts of glucose from proteins.
Note that I mentioned sugar and to some degree dietary proteins, not fat. When your diet is missing the sugars but has fats, your body reverts to the natural state of fat burning, whether the fat comes from tree nuts, butter, or your own love handles.
Modern humans, for almost 100% of the last 200,000 years were in the state of fat-burning ketonic state, this has only changed recently. Cancer has a very hard time surviving when we are in the fat-burning mode (ketonic diet state). In the ketonic state, you start purging your organism of the cancer cells that you did not know you had.
A lean person (10% body fat) carries about 15 pounds, or more, of fat on them, that is a lot of bacon meals! If you drink plenty of water, eat vitamins and minerals you could live on that for a couple of weeks. Use your brains before trying any extreme diet like that. I am not taking any responsibility for your personal choices. When you have sugar, your body burns the sugar, when you have fat and no sugar, your body burns fat. When you have no sugar, nor fat, your body burns your muscles and you end up in the emergency room -- and if lucky in psychiatric counseling.
I know muscle wasting is scary news for athletes, but many of them are adopting the keto diet. You can very simply prevent muscle wasting by balancing fat ingestions with your body energy needs.
Would eating fat make you fat? It is a math question really. If you burn 2,500 calories every day and eat a pound of bacon you will become leaner. Marines burn 4,000 calories, so adjust to your own needs. The idea is to be "a mean, lean cancer-fighting machine".
For the next 18 years, I will be eating (mostly) carbohydrate free diet. That is no refined sugars, no rice, potatoes, no flour products, and limited sweet fruits. In addition, I plan to make frequent fasts (restricted calorie diet) and, at the end of each of my fast I will feast and celebrate.
The way of hardcore
When I was a kid I "lived" in the trees with all the neighborhood kids, later we spent middle school years in the park on the monkey bars and similar. When I have run the Marine Corps obstacle course, I loved it and I almost beat the San Diego depot time record, in fact, the drill instructors had repeat it, hoping that I will. I did not, but I was close. I do not like gyms that much. I like obstacle courses, mountains, rocks, hardship and winter weather.
When I was young our karate sensei (then I thought a sadist) was running on our bellies, punched and kicked us to test our stance and had us run barefoot in the snow. Now, I see the wisdom of that and I am thankful. Running barefoot in a sweaty kimono in the snow will classify you as "abuser" in court if you try to do it to your kids, but it might be the healthies thing you can do yourself. I hope the "soft belly" culture we currently live in will pass. We need young Spartans with strong bodies and sharp minds.
Financials
It tool me first 15 years of my adult years to get out of poverty and debt, I know I am not the sharpest pencil in the drawer in this aspect, but it is what it is. Last few years I was laboring thru the middle class and for the next 18, I hope I will be able to make some smart investments. I am constantly reading and learning, but unfortunately, the financial freedom takes personality changes as well.
Since I have reached the salary level that exceeds what I consider sufficient, I will be focusing on minimalism, or rather on "essentialism". There is a good book, or two, on the subject, so not need to elaborate. By forgoing the need for "consumerism" and waste I hope to increase the surplus which then I hope to re-invest.
Personal Growth
This easy, I study constantly. I believe that the continous education that takes a significant part of every single day is the only way to survive in the fast changing world. This is especially important in the advent of the AI, when a lot of well defined jobs will be replaced with intelligent software. When studying, you have to constantly push your own boundries, way beyond your comfort level.

50 cal Muzzle Loader Rifle

Muzzleloading rifles are a different kind of fun. It is true that I got one because of the local laws, but I definitely have caught an ML bug since.

Warning: Proceed with caution, follow manufacturer recommendation as it is possible to blow up your rifle (hands and face) with an incorrect bullet and powder selection. For example, too little powder with too big of a bullet can create a lot of pressure. Generally, the "magnum" rated rifles should not take more than 120 grains of loose black powder or 150 grains of pellets -- there is no need for more as the powder will have no time to burn. There is a very small chance of harm by overcharging with black powder substitute. The projectile, however, has to sit tightly on the black powder load there should be no air space gap (however pellets have an empty core, so no need for the paranoia).
Smokeless should not be used in the muzzleloaders because the smokeless powder should not be compressed.  In addition keep in mind that most of the modern smokeless loads take 15 (cowboy) to 60 grains (in 30-06 max) of powder in comparison to 70 grains of black powder in 45-70, the 7.62x54R has 64 grains capacity so substituting powders would blow up the gun.

It is an interesting question how the above apply in the case of CVA Optima breech plug for the loose Blackhorn 209 powder as it is possible to put black powder in without compressing it. I did not try it and I do not recommend doing so, but a small amount of TrailBoss, without compression should not harm the rifle. Do not try it.



Powder: You can load your muzzleloader with a "gallery puff" load of few grains of black powder substitute, 30-grain rabbit loads, 80-grain deer loads, up to 150 grains magnum load. The 50 grains is usually listed as the minimum starting load, so use your own judgment.

You could achieve such a variety if you hand load 45-70 Gov, but realistically most people do a single "sweet spot" deer loads.

By comparison, the most popular "Western" load was 40-40, with 40 grains of black powder. The 32-20 is a small game load using 20 grains of black powder. The "buffalo" round used to be 45-70 gov with 70 grains of black powder.

Projectile: You can use 177 round lead ball (50-caliber), 250-grain copper sabot (45-caliber), all the way to 400+ solid-lead muse loads. The selection of the projectile will be dictated by the rifling twist rate:
- 1:30 is fast for magnum hunting with sabots
- 1:50 is medium for versatility
- 1:70 is slow for lead balls

I use 1:28 and I enjoy plinking with round balls, shooting lead slugs and modern aerodynamic bullets this rifle was designed for.

Recently, I have been shooting 150, 100, 50 and 30-grain loads one after the other and decided that I need more "scientific" approach to "zeroing" and shooting a variety of loads.

The problem is that once you "zero" your rifle scope to the bore, all these loads will shoot differently, above or below the target.

Distance: Most of my shooting happens in the woodland, with 75 yards of maximum distance. Occasionally, however, I venture to the openings where I should know my ballistics up to 200 yards.
The fields are often 250-400 yards wide, but at that distance, I would recommend 308, 30-06, 270 Winchester, 7mmRemMag, 6.5 Grendel, or some other flat shooting rifle.

Target: I am interested in the vital area of about 3-inch in diameter (a 6-inch circle).

The math: I have looked up the ballistic coefficients (BC) of the projectiles I will shoot and their muzzle velocity, the BC is somewhat "black magic" estimate that is often inflated by the manufacturer.

- .50 caliber round ball 177 grain has .070 BC
- .50 caliber 250gr AeroLite Powerbelts have .174 BC
- .50 caliber Remmington 250 grain sabot (.451 cal) has .210 BC
- .50 caliber 270gr Platinum Powerbelts have .220 BC (1616fps/100gr, 2000fps/150gr)

Be aware that the speed of the bullet is influenced by:
- the fit of a projectile to barrel (or round ball patch thickness)
- the length of the barrel (longer is better)
- the powder burn rate (WhiteHots are faster)
- the weather (temperature and pressure, hot weather higher pressure)
- the elevation (air thickness, higher you go - less resistance)

I had to look up the velocities as I shot thru my Chrony and I did not get to replace it. I had to generalize them, otherwise, the exercise gets exponentially more difficult:

- 50 grains of powder - 1500 fps
- 80 grains of powder - 1600 fps
- 100 grains of powder - 1750 fps
- 150 grains of powder - 2050 fps


From there, I was able to calculate the estimated trajectory (quadratic function, yeah nerdy):

- yellow for round ball
- blue for 100 grains of black powder with 250-grain bullet
- red for 150-grains of black powder with the 250-grain bullet
- gray for 150 grains of black powder with 270-grain bullet

in the future, I will add lead slugs such as T/C maxi-hunter and Great Plains.

After some try-and-error, I concluded that if I set zero at 50 yards to be about 2 inches high, my "Maximum Point Blank Range" or MPBR will be correct for MOST possible load combinations.

In other words, with zero set at about 20-yards, or 2 inches high at 50 I can shoot my rifle without scope adjustments, or "holding off" the elevation.

Depending on the load my MAXIMUM MPBR distance would be:
- 110 yards for round lead ball over 80-100 grains
- 160 yards for 250-grain bullet over 100 grains
- 180 yards for 250+ grain bullet over 150 grains

Furthermore, if I hold 6-12 inches high, my range goes up to 150, 210 and 240 yards, respectively, for the metal gong shooting.


Your mileage will vary, if you have questions, please comment.



My new eBook: "Genomics - easy as Pi" - DIY parallel cluster computers in big data genetic research






This book has been inspired by recent convergence of two sciences, both of which are my life-long passions, both of which for the first time this year are becoming affordable to a an average person: genomics and cluster computers.
The field of genomics has exploded in the last few years beyond belief, the original human genome sequencing project, finished in year 2000, took 13 years and $3 billion to complete. Today, the cost of sequencing of the whole genome is approaching $800 (in bulk) and can be done in couple of hours.
The genome research has been concentrated around the prestigious institutions with generous grants that could afford access to newest sequencing technology. The positive outcome of the research sponsored by the public funds is that the results are also public and anyone can have access to genetic sequence information from the Web base databases and FTP sites. With a quick search you can get sequences of many organisms ranging from common bacteria, yeast, corn, wheat, fruit flies, mice, rats, extinct mammals, monkeys, apes, Neanderthal and many humans. Sequencing the next genome takes hours and there are thousands of them being sequenced now, as you read it.
For couple of hundreds of dollars you can determine presence of some interesting sequences using companies like 23andMe, best of all you can download the raw data of your test and start comparing it against other genomes or databases of genes immediately.
At the same time the medical field is learning about hundreds of thousands of proteins and trying to figure out which genetic sequences code for them. Doctors are discovering the genetic association of many diseases and individual drug interactions.
Each human genome is composed of 3.3 billion letters (base-pairs), comparing it against multiple other genomes requires some serious processing power. There are other organisms such as loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) that have 23 billion base pairs in their DNA, that is 7 time more than human!  Due to the sheer amount of data being generated every day there is a vast opportunity for new software tools and new applications of that knowledge.

The field of genomics is growing faster than any other technological advance in human history and few would argue that with potentially the biggest impact on our future lives since we learned how to use fire.



You will be able to find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook and Google Books soon:

http://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B01E1VQ3EK/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_eos_detail

Pumpernickel bread

http://www.thebreadshebakes.com/2014/08/baking-traditional-real-german-pumpernickel-bread/

Flat out

Monday, the weekday alarm wake me up at 2:45 AM, damn, I forgot to change it from the Friday’s server deployment day. I quickly resumed the sleep broken by many thoughts, mostly about what time it is. At 6 AM the second alarm on my trusty Timex Triathlon woke me up, but very unusually for myself I ignored it and my wife took the advantage to go to the shower first. Fifteen minutes later was my turn, I went to the bathroom, brushed my my teeth and before jumping to the shower I felt the weird hungry dizziness from my stomach. I went downstairs to get a glass of milk. “Weird” - my wife thought, “he never does that”. I was thinking the liquid full of sugar, fats and proteins will rehydrate me and give me a little boost. I’ve poured the glass of cold milk, took a sip and sat down on the couch in the dining room. Or at least I thought I did, grandma woke up to a thud of my body hitting the ground in the middle of the floor and broken glass. I had no idea, I hit the “deck”. I terrified them, my body unresponsive, twitching, my wife Natalia and grandma screaming at me, trying to wake me up, pumping my chest. I did come to once, lifted myself on the hand and collapsed again, unconscious. I came to again just to see my wife trying to use my phone to call 911, the microphone does not work on my phone I told her with some clarity of what is going on, but in fact I lost sense of time and place. I am not sure what happened and when. I remember my year-and-a-half daughter Zoe leaning on my chest right above my face and I really loved that sight, my little angel, gently slapping me on the chest and face. The emergency guys came very fast, we live around the corner from the Fire Department, by then I was very conscious and despite being ghostly white on my face I was recovering. Over next 2 days doctors performed a full set of tests on me: CAT scan of my head, X-Ray of my chest and Echo Cardio Gram. I was released the following day after passing the stress test (treadmill run uphill) while connected to EKG and Tilt test. I did not have a heart failure. It was stress.

The previous week was a nightmare, constant software issues, constant feeling  of fight-or-flight, constant email chains from the management, long 12-14 hour days, 20 people to manage.  My heart was pins-and-needles hurting. Friday was the pinnacle, deployment in the early morning, hence getting up at 2:45 AM, status calls, more issues and a very long pep-talk from the big boss on what I did wrong and how I can improve. I came back home at 6 PM. On weekend I mostly slept, then had a good dinner out on Sunday and went sleep very early preparing for the next week. I took 2 Advil PM tablets to make sure I can fall asleep at 7 PM. Next morning my blood pressure was too low, heart too stressed, my body gave up — passing out is body’s natural reaction to protect the brain from lack of oxygen. I’ve totally wrecked my system to a point that 4 days of bed resting had no effect, at the moment of this writing my heart still hurts, I am still aware I might find myself on the floor at any moment, or worse.

Headlights stay on on Astro while parked

I use my Astro van as camping vehicle, when it gets cold at night I often turn the engine on to warm up. By default the Daylight Driving Lights stay on while engine is running which is very annoying in the campground situation. I found out that pressing Dome Override button 4 times will turn them off.

2015 Spartan Race: training day 1

I signed up for Spartan, 
if you want run together, or cheer and take photos, 
I created a team: "Valeria Warriors" to honor our late grandma who brought this family together.

Seattle, WA, Saturday 11:15AM-4PM, run start time 1PM (IMPORTANT)
http://www.spartan.com/en/race/detail/878/overview

weight: 185 lbs (of flab)

I might consider Wisconsin Tough Mudder, too:
https://toughmudder.com/events/2015-wisconsin


Previous run photo:


Toxic woods

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

8000 grit conditioning whetstone

This Nagura stone is very small, I will be using it to condition other sharpening whetstones.

Instructions:

使用
方法双方共に水をたっぷりつけて名倉砥石で軽く円を画く様に砥面を, まんべんにこすりすぐ泥が出ますのでそのまま御使用下さい。

Keyed Scarf Join


Making complex scarf join using mostly Japanese hand tools

https://youtu.be/buHsNMVSONQ

Here is an example how a person can make a complex join using everyday carpentry tools.

https://youtu.be/6j-U1P49r8U

Project Planning



"Planning is a good preparation for inevitable change of direction that throws out any plans made." ~ Uki

Kennedy Meadow Campground, PCT

I started my hike from Kennedy Meadow Campground, I picked the spot because it looked promising on the Google sattlite map with Little Kern River running thru and nice mountains surrounding the area. I had no idea at the time that this campground is a long-desired goal and destination of hikers arriving from the southern, desert leg of PCT, or Pacific Crest Trail.

I arrived driving J41 road at night I thougt I ended on the end of the world, roads in Sierra Nevada, especially at night are quite an experience with narrow passes over black, abbyssal drops.

I have spent the night sleeping inside my Astro AWD van on my military cot, which is much more comfortable than pitching a tent. In the morning I hiked at first light, way before couple of families with kids, few hundred yards away would steer up.

The campgroud is big and unlike crowded midwestern camps it gives you plenty of space and privacy. The vegetation is deserty chapparal but there are plenty of trees thanks to the river nearby.
The Little Kern Rivers is a beauty, at this time of the year in the late fall it was quiet, with plenty of clean water, the edges of the river had ice at some points, but the weather and the athmosphere were a daydream.

I hiked several miles north following the PCT, but then I decided to explore the mountains to the east. The hikes up and down the mountains are very steep, but not impossible with the huge boulders and tall trees, to reach the tops there are no paths to follow, just hopping from a boulder to another, sometimes squizing between bushes and sometimes walking on dry sandbars with deer tracks. You have the feeling that the monntail lion will pounce upon you at any moment from the boulder overhanging above you, l was happy to have my rifle with me.

Reaching the peaks gives you the ultimate reward of seeing the large valley bellow, the tall trees along the river and the PCT, look small, the remote valleys between the mountains sporting not a single human path look inviting with untold stories of adventure awaiting.

I think it is important for hikers zipping along the well travelled PCT to take this extra time and explore the land to the sides. This region, although not as beloved as subalpine meadows, is one of the best places a person can choose to explore. The nature is absolutely pristine, maybe sans grizzly bears that used to roam California and are no longer. The weather especially in late summer and fall is perfect and the river allows you to refresh at the hike's end in its clear, cold water.

I hope to come back there again!