Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Well... what have we here?

So once again, while out in the nature, I found a sign that this is truly where I belong... they are everywhere.


RSOC Featured Athlete Profile: Cassidy Butler

Lake Michigan looks relatively calm, little did it know that Cassidy Butler would be tearing it a new one during the Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon.

Cassidy Butler won first place in his age group this past sunday at the Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon. I recently had a chance to conduct a quick FB interview with the 16-19 yr old champ. It was a true pleasure.

Straight ripped


-First off, first in your age group, how did you feel when you saw your time and got the results?
I would first like to start off by thanking Random Streams of Conciseness for the nomination. I had a rough idea that my time was around 1:35 and was extremely happy with the time since it was my first. Then when they started listing off the times for other “placers” in the 16-19 age group I was at the topped and definitely super pumped!

-What event do you shine in, or what is your strongest event?
My strongest event was definitely the bike section. I have been biking the longest and hit a Max speed of 41.2 MPH during this section and held an average just under 18 MPH with a 15 mile an hour wind in my face for the majority of the race. 

Biking fiend, definitely not the daily trek to class!

Ok, now it's time for the list:

1. What were your motivations for the tri?
Well when I was a young child I remember seeing the Ironman World Championship on TV and saying to myself I am going to do that one-day. Then a few years ago I got into cycling and the flame was rekindled.

2. What gear did you use in the tri, and while training?
Here’s the list:

• Swim
o Speedo Vanquisher Goggles
o Epix Muscle Suit
o Swim Cap they provided

• Bike
o Schwinn Tourist Road Bike
o Nike LunarGlide + 
o Bell Solar Helmet
o Alpha Hillcrusher Triathlon Cyclist Sunglasses
o Amphipod Racebelt
o Bell Wireless Computer
o Epix Muscle Suit (see HOT photo above)

• Run
o Nike LunarGlide + 
o Alpha Hillcrusher Triathlon Cyclist Sunglasses
o Amphipod Racebelt
o Epix Muscle Suit

3. Explain your workout routine pre-tri?
My pre-tri workouts were pretty simple. Monday through Saturday I would do a combination of two of the three events or one of the events and hit the weights. About two weeks before the Tri I started doing brick workouts. Where I would swim a fraction of the event and then jump right on my bike and bike that same fraction, or I would go from biking to running. It got my body used to switching from event to event. 

4. Do you take any supplements?
No I did not take any supplements during from my training. But during the Tri I did take a 5-Hour Energy for the caffeine and then had a Gatorade Prime 15 Minutes before the Tri started and another one halfway through the bike ride.

5. Did you have a tri playlist? If so, what was on it?
I could not listen to music for the tri until the run but decided against that. But when I was training and while I was waiting for the tri to begin I did have a playlist. It consisted of a lot of hard rock and some rap. A few of the major artist/group are Black Label Society, Eminem, and Artreyu.

6. Any plans for upcoming tri's?
I do not have anymore planned for this year. But next year I would like to get as many as I can in. This first one was a real wake up call for me and made me realize that I have quite a bit to work on, mainly the swimming portion. 

7. Snake-skin or leather apparel?
Snake-skin for everyday use, I only break out the leather for Weddings and Birthday parties. 

8. Hobbies outside of fitness?
Going to the beach, Golfing, Deskball, and Disc Golf.

9. What other interests do you hold?
I am big into music right now and like hitting up the Golf Course as much as possible.

10. Read any good books lately?
Got Fight? By Forrest Griffen, a good book on how to be a mans man by a former UFC Light-Heavy Weight Champion

Butler finishes strong in his Epixgear tri suit.

Relax kid, it's over.

Cassidy is quite the champion himself, RSOC is proud to be able to tell the world about this up and coming athlete. Look for him at your next Tri or 5k, you will probably be behind him, get used to it.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Success on many fronts!

Time for some updates readers.

In continuing to test the Friday Harbor jacket by Eddie Bauer I took it on a quick fishing trip today.

With the prediction of a light mist for the entire afternoon the jacket should have been overkill. However, as usual with the weatherpeople, they were very wrong. The jacket took some pretty heavy continuous rain for an hour and a half. This test helped to instill in me the true versatility of this thing, when you slide the sleeves up to the elbow and strap them tight they provide a near waterproof seal, and the wide opening hood allows the wearer to utilize peripheral vision and reduces head turning.

So to that, the jacket is still a winner!

It takes rain this hard,

And you stay this dry, surely a winner.

News numba two! While testing out the jacket I did some casting around the Barton Dam on the Huron River. I was met with some success in the form of two smallmouth bass. I have read online that the smallies in the Huron put up a decent fight and for these two did not let me down. I now know where to go and what to use, head for the holes fishies, here I come!

I am looking for a backpack/ chestpack/ fannypack that I can use for fishing, as my current bags are not suitable at all. Please send me some suggestions if you know of any.

I am thinking this one:

News, more news:
     There are new additions coming to Randomstream, however they are going to require participation from you people.

1. Of the months, and spotlight specials.
          In an effort to tailor this blog to your likings I would like suggestions for outdoor athletes, events, festivals, products, news and other things to feature and or cover. Leave them as comments, or email them to with the tag OTM/ FEATURE.

2. Website lists.
          RSOC will soon be featuring a list of suggested blogs and sites for your dedicated reader to check out!

3. Guest writers/ reviewers.
          Look for upcoming reviews, guest commentaries and contributions from: Chelsea Bromley, Matthew Preston, Cassidy Butler, Zach Yonkers and many more!

I smell change on the horizon!

Keep up, if you can.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a nice day

I had the day off today so after some much needed cleaning of the apartment I snuck away for some casting. Though I did not catch anything the bike ride to the Huron River and the curious minnows that followed my lures was enough to satisfy me for a while.

The view from my first casting spot.

Trusty bike and the Ugly Stick.

A week ago we traveled south to Dundee for the afternoon to visit the local Cabela's. It is a remarkable store, and I encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to make a pilgrimage to the holy land, however, take warning; the weekend at Cabela's could be compared to a trip to the state fair... There were so many unique spectacles of humanoids present that I had to take routine breathers. Clad from head to toe in camo and hunter's orange, they belted out phrases including, "get'r dun!" and, "ahh bee damned if they don't."

Aside from the patrons the store has many great displays of animals for your viewing pleasure!


Please share your Cabela's stories!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holy shout out to the Mitten yo

If you have any sense of humor at all I promise that you will enjoy this video by a friend of mine.

It is grrrreeeat!


ps new content is on the way.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eton Emergency Self-Powered: Radio, weatherband, flashlight, cellphone/ ipod charger

Wow, that was a confusing thing to type, but what is not confusing is the operation of this little thing.

I purchased mine on a whim when a shop was having a sale. It just seemed to make sense; I like to do things outside where there is no power, and I am sometimes too forgetful to check the batteries in things before I do so. There it was, my solution, it is a radio/ flashlight/ cellphone charger..... all in one, no batteries required, perfect for someone like me.

To date I have used the Eton for fishing, camping, picnics, work and as a conversation piece at parties. We also used the radio feature during the many tornado watches and warnings that we had in the beginning of the summer. The reception is usually pretty good, the LED flashlight is bright enough for any situation and the volume knob goes way past eleven.

One feature that is a little of a disappointment is the cellphone/ ipod charger. It simply takes too long to charge the phone, I think that if you were in a dire situation where you needed to raise your battery level to a usable amount for an emergency call that this would come in handy. However with its slow charging time this is not a feature worth bragging about.

Overall, this is a great radio for both casual occasions and emergencies. The solar strip on the top of the unit is especially nice when you are setting up a tent, or just playing some Frisbee. Without solar backup, like in a tent at night, expect 1-2 minutes of cranking to get you about 20 minutes of steady radio reception at a moderate volume/ flashlight use. Not too bad to play cards by.

It is light, it is self-powered and works like a charm, my recommendation; buy one. Put it in your car, backpack, bedroom garage, anywhere really. 


Friday, August 6, 2010

In other words!

A few new things, well old things made new!

1. I am playing the guitar more often now. This is a plus.

2. I am tying flies, more often now. I will have a small catalog up here in a few days. All of my flies are proven winners and I am taking orders soon!

Enjoy the weekend!


= New purchase, got it on! Bammmm! It rocks and the effects are very smooth as well as the amp modeling!

Parker Mill Park

So the move into the new apartment is now official and we thought what better way to get to know the area than a quick hike. I spotted the perfect place while on my way home from work for such a hike.

The name of the small trail system in Parker Mill Park. It is part of the Washtenaw County Parks Dept, and it is immaculately kept. It also happens to be a short distance from where we are.

There are various different paths that span both sides of the road, and even a walking bridge that crosses the Huron River.

The North part of the park is home to a trail that is approximately 3 miles in length that loops back to the road. However we were not able to make that loop as a very large fallen tree was blocking our path.

 This side of the park also has a little arbor, visible in the back right of the photo above. The coolest part about it is that the roof is covered with native Michigan plant life! This helps to lessen the burden felt by the the Huron River in times of heavy rain.

When leaving the northern area of the park guests are offered a nice view of a small tributary that will eventually feed into the Huron River.

The southern side of the park has a visitor's center and a few plaques that explain the history of the park. This great sprawling tree was my personal focal point for the park.

From here we took what we thought would be a short path to a little marsh and back. However it turned out to be an above average trip into a mini-clime within the metropolis!

It all started with the walking path heading under a working train bridge! The stonework gave a feeling of older times in a place not like this.

This is proof that Chelsea will do anything to get those amazing photos of hers over at and Check them out!

We both agree that it would be splendid to see a train zoom over this!

Nearing the end of trail there is a true testament to the engineering of man; a wide bridge that spans the Huron River ON A DIAGONAL! When crossing it it feels like the bridge is going to give way underneath you due to the engineering of it, especially when someone runs by you.

It is a great bridge, but be careful, I hear that it is:

Had such a great time that we just may have to go back this weekend!

Let me know what you think!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Old Baldy, that's where it's at!

There is a spot, up north, that has been sort of elusive to me for a while. It goes by the name Old Baldy.

After searching web articles and looking at maps I found the general area where I thought this alleged massive bluff was located.

Despite the drizzle, and an unusually annoying Alltel representative Chels and I trekked north on M22. We passed Inspiration Point and numerous overgrown two-tracks that looked like they could almost be the Baldy Trailhead.

Alas, a mere 1,000 feet passed Inspiration Point the Grand Traverse Land Conservancy sign appeared on the west side of the road. The real bummer about this place is that the sign, although quite large, is set too far off the road to be easily visible to the passing motorist.

When we arrived at the trailhead, checked the map and due to the increasing rain opted for the 0.7 mi path to Baldy.

As we headed down the thickly wooded trail we took note of the hard-packed trail. I am very excited to take the bike down in a few weeks!

The rain continued to pound while we pushed on. Even throughout the hike we both remained happy hikers!

Guess what, we got to a fork in the road and instead of taking the normal path we would take a new path, can you say adventure!

The 0.7 mi trip seemed to fly even in the pouring rain.

I was very interested in the set of stairs that lead to Baldy:

They are a teak-like wood held together by steel cable. What a brilliant way to make steps and help evade erosion! These things are amazing and very functional.

Atop these steps rests the reason for this hike through the soggy woods. The dune blowout known as Old Baldy!

Looking North offers views of Lower Herring Lake and even Frankfort if you look closely and if you take that path I am sure you would see more.

The depth of these massive blowouts is only fathomable when you compare their depths to the height of the full grown trees behind them. The area es just beautiful. We both nearly lost our breaths when we came upon this place. We were also bewildered that we have lived around here our whole life and have never been to this place!

Here I sit, atop what is actually Old Baldy. It is very overwhelming. To get a true sense of how far down the lake is, when we were up here a small biplane flew by and we could see the tops of the wings!

The wet walk was worth it. As we trudged back to the car we discussed how nice it will be to take fall hikes for the color, and winter snowshoe treks to get a unique view of the area in all seasons!

Awesome walk, cannot wait to take the longer loop next time we are home and also to check out the trail with the bike.

Coming soon: moosejaw pics and a preview of a novel that I am dreaming up! Kitty Kamping is still in the making as well.


Testing, testing 1,2....

Let's face it, carrying enough water for a day in your pack sucks. It is heavy and difficult to ration.

Enter the Sawyer 32 oz. filtration system!

This thing gives you 4 options for using the filter to produce clean drinking water while on the go:

-For the initial test I used the included water bottle to treat the water of Lake Michigan while on a short hike. It was an easy three step process: 

1. Fill the bottle 

2. Replace the cap

3. Sip away from the included rubber stray

-The filter can be used to make your own gravity filtration system or even as a prefilter for your pump filter!

-The good thing about this is that it physically removes particles, protozoa, and bacteria down to 0.1 micron in size, including giardia, salmonella and cryptosporidia, I am glad for this because at one point when I filled it I was just a few feet from some tourists who were no doubt peeing in the water.

-All Sawyer water filters meet or exceed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations for removal rates

Filter is fully field maintainable to ensure a fast flow of water

This Sawyer Four-Way water filter comes with a Million Gallon Guarantee, essentially eliminating the need to ever have to replace the filter cartridge

The bottle is also BPA free! 

AAAaaaaaannnd: Drumroll!
------>It is made in USA.
The water tasted great, and flowed quickly. I was impressed at the fresh taste, even when the bottle was filled down current of tourists. One of the nicest things about this is that it lightens up the pack load by a great amount, and with a million gallon guarantee per filter it seems worth carrying it in the back of my car for when I am in between destinations. (bottled water is evil)
It looks pretty good while it filters too!
The next test will come when I filter some river water!
MMMM MMMM Lake Michigan water through the Sawyer ROCKS!!!
Take care,