Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(an early morning, scatterbrain post ) Random Stream of Consciousness Has a Birthday!

Dear followers,

today is birthday, day. A day to celebrate everything! A day of presents, love, pats on the back and recognition for one who has outplayed death one more time. However if you are RSOC, it is a day to go buy GEAR!!!! woo hooo!

Birthdays also mean money from people who would like you to get something that you really want. What do I really want you ask; stuff sacks, possibly a machete, sleeping bag stuff sack and a few other campy/outdoors-sy things.

So it is my birthday, I have the day off, and I will be taking myself shopping this morning.

This is ms. pepper, she is a new addition to the family.

Oh right right right, there was one other thing that I might buy; a book on wild edibles. I would like to start harvesting wild mushrooms when I can and a book would really help me out there.

I am impressed by a few things with the new Stylus Tough, but none really as much as the LED supermacro feature.

It appears to give you close-ups like with a light that makes it look like you really had to work hard to get it. I am going to try it out on bugs in poorly lit areas.

We went home this weekend. Did not catch any fish, but had a good time.

Mom taught the lovely C. Bromley how to make applesauce. Cool pics of a farm coming soon to her website, check em out!

Still really liking this thing, and its under-layer. It will definitely be making the trip to Maine with me.

23 years.... hmm, does a quarter life crisis exist? 

I recently got a really cool first ascent decal and stuck it on a powder blue Klean Kanteet, it looks really good. pics coming soon.

Pepper is breathing really heavy. It is almost like a purr-snore, how cute.

I think I may mini-adventure today, or maybe urban adventure!

I hope you all have a splendid day. (higher quality posts coming soon, like when I am really awake, or when I actually get out and do something!)


Saturday, September 25, 2010

One week and counting, plus a cool tidbit!

Dear followers,

the time is coming when I will be shoving off for about 10 days to pursue adventures of New England and I am very excited.

Mostly I am excited for Acadia:

I took out my new Stylus Tough 8010 today in some pretty harsh conditions: temp 55f, winds 20mph+, Lake Michigan Spray: 5-6' above pier.

As is the case most of the fall, the lake offers a beautiful, moody backdrop to any shot.

It was very cool.

That pic above was taken after I was drenched by a large wave. All it took was a quick wipe down of the lens cover and the Stylus was ready to continue shooting. I have not gotten much use out of it yet, but I can already see this becoming a go to piece of gear for me! It also came with some cool "ib" software program that I am excited to learn how to use.

In other news it is nearly my birthday. The best present that you all could give to me is to continue reading my blog, commenting, following it and telling your friends. Whenever you see something interesting or fun or informative just link it to your Facebook or Twitter. Every little bit helps. Thank you all very much.

While out east I will have very limited connectivity, however The Timster and I will be making daily stops at coffee shops and McDonald's in order to post news of our travels!

Cool Tidbit: Random Stream was recently featured on http://www.facebook.com/FirstAscent?ref=ts for our review of their shell! I would like to thank them for recognizing RSOC, and encourage them to keep up the good work. Glad to see them pairing up with Moosejaw too!

You will be seeing this flag all over the place in New England representin like what what!

Well well well, the time has come to fuel the beast inside with some of Gram's Ham! Family Birthday dinner is nearing. Take care. Fishing in the morning. Hopefully tomorrow night I will have some shots of steelies and salmon for you, as pier fishing was too blustery today to amount to much.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Well this is new

So, it arrived a week ago, but I was not around to pick it up. However now I have it in my grubby little paws. What is it you say, well it is my Olympus Stylus Tough 8010.

Very pretty, so pretty in fact that I am mildly afraid to use it to its full potential. And it has some pretty high standards:

  • Waterproof: 33 ft
  • Crushproof: 220 lbs
  • Freezeproof
  • Dustproof 
  • Shockproof: 6.6 ft drop (onto corners!)
  • 29 shooting modes! (all fully customizable) 
  • macro, super macro, and a new feature called supermacro-i where an LED is used to illuminate the subject!
  • HD video: 720p
  • yadda yadda yadda
All in all I am very excited to use it on the trip to Maine and beyond. 

By the looks of it today is shaping up to be a great day for a trial of it, with its gale force winds and rain. I am very excited!

Look for an initial review, with images, soon.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Maine...

I would like suggestions as to where to go and what to see on our trip to Maine. We will be traveling through Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. If you have been to any one of these places and have a suggestion for a cool or quirky place that I need to check out please let me know.

Calvin says hello to all of my readers!

I will be using the trip to Maine as a major proving and testing series for my new gear!

Cannot wait to try out my new bday present.

It is raining, I love this type of weather. Ok, time to write a little bit for: http://factoidz.com/profile/randomstreamoc/

Thank you very much for keeping up with my ventures.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FrontPoint By Eddie Bauer

Looking for a great lightweight shell to see you through the coming cool, wet, weather of the fall, Winter and possibly Spring?

Might I suggest the FrontPoint Jacket by Eddie Bauer.

I purchased this bright orange edition (the bright orange is no longer available, so I am one of the lucky ones) a few weeks ago when the weather was hot and humid thinking that I would not be able to wear it for a month or two. However over the past weekend i decided to bust it out on our short trip out to Old Baldy.

The winds were quite harsh at 30 mph, straight off the lake, and the temps were dropping. Needless to say I was very happy to have this shell to stave off the unseasonable chilly winds.

Even with a backpack on the pockets were very accessible. I especially like the interior chest pocket with its soft lining, perfect for a cell phone or handheld GPS unit. Another major point that I like about the pockets on this jacket is that the side pockets open by pulling down, a more natural motion when attempting to open them with cold, wet or gloved hands.

Hopping to it to see how durable the FrontPoint really is.
(It stuck the landing!)

The shoulders and arms of the FrontPoint are made of a very thin, high wear, waterproof material with reinforced seams everywhere, not just in wear zones. One really cool thing about the construction of this jacket is that the chest and back are made of stretchy, breathable material that is supposedly highly water resistant. This allows you to move around freely without getting the "tent effect" that most shells give by not allowing airflow.

The stretchable material helps you get into any position with comfort.

Overall after my first short trip out I am pretty happy with my purchase. I also purchased a Point Success midlayer jacket with this shell. I will be reviewing that shortly.

This shot is a little blurry, but it conveys that this jacket can really stand up to the elements.
Taking on "gale force" winds of Lake Michigan

Bottom line: so far, I would buy this jacket again.

If you would like to know some of the guidelines to selecting your own shell check out:

It will be worth your time!


In other news,

  • the trip to Maine is still green-lighted. Pretty excited.
  • Mom called and confirmed that the new camera (ie, bday present to myself) is at my house.
  • Chelsea Marie is still as hot as ever.
  • work is going well.
  • received new danvise fly-tying rotary vise from Timster as bday gift. 
  • Life is good.
  • Leinenkugel's fall sampler is out, time to sample.
  • fall is approaching.
***All photos contained in this individual blog entry were taken/ edited by C. Bromley check her stuff out***

Just bought this bag for school. Gonna give it the once over and then let you know about it. You know, like I do!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New things my friends

While on the recent Old Baldy trip I got a chance to test out the new Eddie Bauer Shell (the orange one that you see in the post prior to this one). I will be putting an initial review up around the end of the month.

In other exciting news:

Me and my homeboy Timmy are taking a trip to Maine in a few weeks to see what we can see. It should be quite the adventure. Super Bummed that C. Bromley cannot make it though because she is learning how to be an even better photographer. I guess I'll just have to take her later!

And even more exciting news:
I purchased this mack-daddy as a birthday present to yours truly a few days ago. I will be getting it on my birthday! Woohoo!

Still tying flies, working on scud and nymph patterns as I have read they are universal and catch great fish.

Tight lines, clear shots and hardpacked trails to you all,

Old Baldy, Arcadian Beauty

I don't know about the rest of you but I am done with warm weather for the year. Truth be told I was done around mid-July. It is no fun to do things outside when you sweat through your clothing the second you cross the threshold.

However last weekend we caught a break from the heat and humidity and were able to take a relaxing hike to  Old Baldy, yet again.

Two weeks ago when we attempted the hike we were met in the parking lot by some poor tourists who had their car broken into and their personal belongings snatched, word to the wise; stash items in your trunk and make your car look unappealing to thieves.

Since we were robbed of our trip that day, and since it was Labor Day Weekend, we decided to bypass the tourists who just want to see the super nifty dunes, and take the longer trail to get the real one-two punch of single-track and dune-age that this hike bolsters/ offers.

The longer of the two trails offers a nice break from the sun with dense canopies of old growth deciduous trees and a path that climbs, drops and double-backs on itself a few times to give you a great feel for the terrain of the area, and also a great respect for the force of the glaciers that shaped this area.

Super Mario Bros. anyone?

We were nearly instantly rewarded by taking the trail less traveled by a faint rustling in the fallen leaves:

As Chelsea and I paused and scoured the ground and the trees our eyes stumbled upon this little guy on the doorstep to his tree-root mansion. He paused for a minute or two, allowing us to snap a few shots, and then entered his house for what I assume to be an afternoon nap; you know animals, all the time in the world to nap... and eat.

These two tall trees seemed to be in a seductive dance... nature is love.
The canopy of the deciduous trees provides a great shelter from the unbearable heat of the sun on the dunes.

When we reached the dune area I was intrigued by a high point to the west:

The view was remarkable, literally I remarked this to someone later...

This peak provides a panorama of the entire dune area, complete with views of the bluest water. I could feel the cool water even from this high peak. If I were an early pioneer, or in a true survival situation, searching for an area ripe with accommodations I would have been overjoyed to find a peak like this to gain any advantage possible over mother nature.

When I had my fill of the view I decided to make an abrupt exit:

Hopping from the safety of the sturdy ground around the dunegrass I pondered doing one of those barrel rolls when I hit the soft sand like Bear Grylls, but decided against it as he is kind of silly.

As we marched towards the azure lake and its cool breezes, I spotted yet another, even higher peak to the north:

Naturally I ascended it to gain a proper vantage of the area.

A good choice on my part:

It afforded me a beautiful southern view complete with rolling waves and mid-altitude clouds.

On the other side of this tuft of grass is a 35 foot drop, thank you to the tiny, strong grassroots for holding my weight as I took a peak.

The water looks much closer than it actually is. Though we have not made the trek to the bottom yet I can feel it coming. Soon we will be walking the beach from Arcadia to Frankfort, that should be a great adventure!

From the highest northern peak you gain a beautiful view of the Frankfort shoreline with a view dunes or its own. One of my favorite places in Frankfort is the Point Betsie lighthouse. I will be taking Chels there shortly on her maiden voyage to the lighthouse. 

We are truly lucky to have such an area like this, not only old baldy, but the entirety of the Lake Michigan Shoreline, and such a perfect path as M22 to guide us along the bays, dunes, peaks, beaches and little towns and villages that dot the landscape. Take some time out of your busy day/ week to explore your own little piece of Pure Michigan, I know that I sure do, keeps the body healthy and the mind sane.


(All photos of J. Edward are taken by the brilliant Chelsea Bromley check her stuff out please)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Get yourself a good All-Weather shell and keep Mother nature out.

Unlike most other animals out there the human has no natural shield from the elements, save for the beards that some of us can grow. However, man has try for centuries to outsmart mother nature by using technology to afford them more time in extreme climes.

Jackets have evolved from mere tanned animal skin to thick cotton and wool layerings to the nano-fiber, rip-stop, weatherproof, Everest-proof micro thin outer shells.

Most modern jackets are geared towards the outdoor extreme athlete who seeks to do the most with the least amount of clothing. Enter the all weather shell. These jackets are light, packable, durable and and most of all; made to be used year-round.

Picking the proper shell can be difficult as there are many different technical features and materials, all with special attributes.

First pick the proper weight jacket for your needs and climate. I suggest a mid weight jacket; they are the most versatile and you can always add or subtract a layer depending on condition.

While shells are made of materials that are very similar the best shells are made from ripstop nylon and coated with Gore-tex waterproofing. Be sure that the seams are all water sealed, not just sewn shut.

Once you select a weight and materials you need to list all of the possible features that you might need for your style of exploring. Above all other features the prime ones that you want to focus on in a shell are:
  • Waterproofing: great for everyday use and essential for outdoor antics.
  • Windproofing: most jackets come with a windproofing rating. I suggest at least 75 mph.
  • Adjustable cuffs: keeps wind from climbing up your arms and cooling your core, and locks water out.
  • Hood: Make sure it does not obstruct the view as this causes neck strain. Also hoods with bills attached are very convenient.
  • Waist Cinches: these help to keep snow and wind from sneaking up your jacket.
  • Pockets: a chest pocket for phones/ gps. Interior pockets for keys or Mp3 players. Large side pockets to hold essential tools and gear.
  • Shoulder quality: regardless of whether you plan on backpacking or not it is essential to get reinforced shoulder material, it adds to waterproofing and durability of the jacket and you never know, you may pick up backpacking in the future.
Some features you may want to consider based on your intended use for the jacket include:
  • Underarm vent zippers: can increase breath-ability but also can add to heat loss.
  • Fleece lined neck: if you live in a warmer climate obviously this will cut down on the all weather usability of the jacket.
  • Zip-in: a jacket that is part of a layering system is the way to go because it is streamlined and you know that your base layer will always fit. If you plan on using the jacket year-round layering is the way to go.
The size of the shell is also very important. Since the shell is just that a shell, it is best to get one that is a little larger than you are used to so that you can put layers underneath it. Layering with shells adds to their versatility.

Finally select the color; as with the color of most clothing the color is totally preferential, however I prefer bright colors; if I am stranded or injured outdoors I would like to be visible for rescue personnel.
Some of the best places to find a credible all weather shell include: REI, Eddie Bauer, The North Face, Patagonia and any kayaking or hiking specialty store.
It may help to print this list out and take it to your local outdoor store, or safe it and use it when shopping online, when considering a shell.

I hope that it proves useful.

Keep Trekking,


This is a nice, low cost shell to get started with:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Massive storm

Tonight we took a break from the yardsale to check out this massive storm that blew in over the lake. Pictures and stories to come late sunday/ monday.

Oh Lake Michigan; you give us so much joy and so many good times... Thank you.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Get out there and do your thing.


A day for thoughts

I feel a list coming on, as there are many things floating in my head at present:


1. Beautiful beaches as only Northern Michigan can do.

2. Using yardsale money to buy this beautiful thing:

Oh the photos I will be able to take with this little gem. It is waterproof, so look out for some super cool hull shots from the kayak, as well as dive shots, rainy wanderings, waves, and a whole slew of other off the wall, never before available things!!!

3. Impressions:

We make so many of them, make sure that yours are an accurate representation of who you are.

4. LOVE:


5. Climbing trees, it is not just for kids... well maybe the kids at heart.
 Photo: C. Bromley
6. Trying new things.
Like this jacket, it is sweet, it is new, I love it. Gotta get some more new things and try them out.

7. That special someone:
she builds me castles during golden hour, I love her.

8. Water.

One of nature's most powerful, pure and perfect forces. It gives life and also makes lives better. No band around can match the sounds of waves crashing on the beach, rain falling on a porch roof or the babble of a river over a jam.

This is my mind on this perfectly cloudy, rainy, windy day. Happy windsday roo!