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Everything posted by GernBlansten

  1. Yeah, the Big Agnes ain't cheap and it requires you blow it up. But here's where it leaves the Thermarest in the dust. It packs real small. Its super light. It gives at least 1 inch more padding so you can truly sleep on your side. And I'm usually huffing and puffing when I arrive at camp so I put my heavy breathing to good use to blow up the BA first, before setting up the tent. But here is the real benefit. Its part of the BA sleep system. BA bags don't have any insulation on the bottom. They have a sleeve you slide your inflated BA pad into. So now you have a sleeping bag wit
  2. Here's another article on the seedier side of Supai. http://www.backpacker.com/june_2007_features_freefall_tragedy_in_the_grand_canyon/articles/11033 The murder took place 6 months before we went down, but I didn't learn about it until this article came out. My wife and some of the other scout mom's were going to do their own trek down the following fall after hearing our glowing reports, but after reading that article, decided that it would be unwise for 4 women to do it alone without us man folk with them. So they did the Rim to Rim in the national park instead.
  3. You old goats who need a cot to sleep...you haven't met Big Agnes. Big Agnes will keep you confortable all night long and rested for the next day. I don't go into the wilds without BA. I've convinced every adult in my unit who dares the outdoors with us to also go with BA. Simply not a better sleeping pad out there, especially for side sleepers like me. http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Pad/InsulatedAirCore
  4. Three years ago, our unit did a trek down to the Havisu Falls village of Havisupai. The area is west of the national park, on the south side, and doesn't go down to the bottom of the canyon. But its a true Grand Canyon adventure. About an 8 mile hike from the rim, 2000 feet down through the village and onto the falls area another 2 miles further down the canyon. The village was shocking, but the falls are spectacular. http://www.havasufalls.net/ You will need reservations to camp at the falls. It was bittersweet. The hike down was spectacular and challenging. The falls area
  5. I'm no fan of the ODR. I own both. I universally dislike most of the ODR. But the new centennial has a fabric that works well in the field (supplex). I like the toned down colors. The pockets are weird and I don't have a valid use for them. The epaulets are useless and for show only. But it fits well and seems functional. But I'm a minimalist and put only the required flair on it. When in the wilds, I prefer my Columbia or REI supplex shirts as they are more functional. Lighter and have more ventilation. No hang dangs to catch on branches. But back to my unit. Haven't hea
  6. Please don't compare a purple heart to a BSA knot. Do you see ego in trying to do that? I do. And yes, they don't wear them to do their job.
  7. This thread is about ego. I see lots of it here. When someone puts things on their uniform that are not required to do their job, its gotta be one of two things. Style or ego.
  8. I'd ask, what knots do you need to wear to be a good scouter and deliver the program, OGE. That's the number you should wear.
  9. Brent, I don't question your dedication to the program. But also, don't question mine, based on my adornment of the uniform. If you came across me at a campfire, would you size up my dedication and experience based on how much bling I have? Or would you treat me like any other scouter?
  10. As Reagan used to say, "well there you go again". Brent, never said nobody in my district wears the complete uniform. I've said, there are no fully uniformed units in my district. There are plenty of fully uniformed leaders and scouts, but not entire units. When I attend a scout function, I wear the full, complete uniform. (socks too now that they have them that are reasonable.) And Brent, my uniform used to look like yours, all doodadded out. Patches I was real proud of (Philmont, Polar Bear, Okpik Instructor, OA). But one day I looked at myself in the mirror and said, am I doing t
  11. So am I to believe that if I just go buy a scout shirt off the rack and wear it to a council function as is, the UP won't taze me? I don't think I'm brave enough to even try it.
  12. And here my utter ignorance is displayed. I thought the CSP, WC and Unit numbers were required. That's at least what my scout shop told me when I bought my first uniform. But I guess you are right. If it were required, it would already exist on the uniform, like the US Flag (which is backwards by the way).
  13. Brent, I have the pants (which include the belt) and the socks (the new ones, not the clownish orange topped ones). So can we talk uniforms now?
  14. When I refer to the minimum of the insignia guide, I'm speaking of the required items only, not the optional ones. The CSP, Position patch, World Crest, Epaulets, Unit numbers, Flag. For the adult, that should be the uniform. Any additional patches is to boost the ego of the wearer. And I practice what I preach. I used to be an ego booster. My old uniform is adorned with every patch, knot, OA flap and hangdang I earned. Looks like a Central American dictator. But when I got the new centennial uniform, I decided to go commando and just do the required patches. Humbling really. R
  15. I think any registered adult attending a scout function who owns a uniform should wear it if the venue is appropriate for a scout uniform. But, I think that uniform should meet just the minimum standard of the insignia guide. Adults who adorn their uniforms in excess of the minimum standard are doing so to boost their own egos. The program is about the youth, not the adults.
  16. Don't be offended by the label of liberal. Helping others is an admirable position. And to be so generous with your money (and mine) for others who aren't even of this country is even more admirable, I think.
  17. Eisley, excellent ideas. I've heard them before, from both sides of the aisle. Single payer (the one solution that IS NOT in Obama's proposal) solves all your issues too. However, they are not modest. They are radical and will never see the light of day. Lobbyists from all sides will not allow it. Lawyers, insurance companies, the Chamber of Commerce all enjoy the existing situation and will buy out our politicians to keep status quo. If we are to have real reform, first we need campaign finance reform and get big business and lobbyists out of our policy debates. But of course, th
  18. The answer is simple. Just look outside our borders at what is working for other nations. Be it single payer or a hybrid system, there are working options out there. If our system is so enviable, why is no other nation racing to emulate it? Of course it will never happen. Americans are to arrogant to think another nation's solution is viable. And we are too afraid to change anything. Couple that with a deep resentment in losing the last election and we are exactly where we are and will be. To tell the truth, if Canada weren't so dang cold, I'd seriously consider emigrating.
  19. From what I've seen on FoxNews, the protesters at these town halls are not interested in what the congressman answers. They are there to disrupt and shout. They are not seeking answers. That disqualifies them from the discussion. Healthcare is a huge problem in America. It consumes more and more of our money, yet we slide further down the scale on delivered results. I haven't heard anything from the anti-Obama side that deals with this. Give us some concrete ideas and help solve the problem. Standing up screaming in a meeting with gun strapped to your leg is not the way. Come on
  20. This whole debate had devolved to being meaningless. We have the torch bearer of the Republican party and heir apparent to the 2012 nomination flat out lying about Death Panels and gun toting hecklers disrupting town halls. We literally have senior citizens protesting to keep government out of their Medicare. Where can we go from here? Bueller? Bueller?
  21. Cheney: "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
  22. As opposed to an insurance company accountant looking at a spreadsheet determining my care?
  23. Hoover: We're in trouble. I just checked with the guys at the Jewish house and they said that every one of our answers on the Psych test was wrong. Boon: Every one? [looks at Bluto and D-Day] Boon: Those a$$$$$$ must have stolen the wrong exam!
  24. As long as one of the Best Practices is a standardized way to issue birth certificates, I'll be happy. All this could have been avoided if we just had that.
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