August 1st, 2015

I just realized that I have never introduced ya’ll to Snowden. Here he is!


Rain and Snowden


Ever since Rain was about 6 months old, I knew I was going to get another dog. I wanted to wait until she was about 3 years old. I subscribed to the Save a Heeler page on Facebook and would glance at the pound puppies who were up for adoption in many of the towns we visited. Rain’s third birthday came and went. No second pup.

Rain is half BC and half Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler), but she is a BC in personality. I was pretty sure that I was looking for another Border Collie. Then, in September of 2013, I ran across these photos.


I told Johnny that I was going into town to see this dog, and he should probably come with me or else I might bring him home. We went to the pound. While there, we interacted with and treated all of the dogs. While all of the dogs were barking, jumping, and pawing at their cages, Rowen, as he was known at the time, just quietly watched us. Not a peep out of him.




He was allowed out of the cage at our request. He was sweet and calm. Loving. We took him outside and played. Upon introduction, he and Rain got along. They played well. They lady working there said he’s never been that open with anyone else. That, he acted like he was abused. She said he obviously picked us. I figured she was giving us her usual spiel. Either way, Rowen knew how to do all the right things to be adopted. We signed the papers. Johnny didn’t even try to talk me out of it. I am soooo glad he didn’t.


Snowden on top


Rowen had to go get snipped. While he was at the vet, they told me that he was a bit older than I was led to believe. He was going to be a small dog. I was hoping for a dog Rain’s size (55#s). I also wasn’t sure if he was going to adapt to our lifestyle. I considered myself a foster for a while and put the word out about him. That’s when Johnny came up with the name Snowden. A character from Catch 22 that wasn’t around long.


Snowden's Behind


I couldn’t understand why anyone would drop such a loving, smart, and fun dog like him off at the pound. After we got Snowden home, we got our first clue.


Baby Snowden


He had zero control of his little, tiny bladder. He wasn’t house trained. He would pee if you tried to pet him from above. He would pee as he came to you. Sometimes, he would roll over on his back and pee. That’s was the best.

For the first two weeks, I stopped his bedtime water intake and took him outside to pee every two hours. I knew there was no way he was ready to live with anyone else as long as he had this issue. He would end up right back in the pound. So, he was with us until we worked it through.


Hiking Snowden


Snowden had a big mouth. He would bark at everyone. He would bark when he was excited. He would bark when he was scared. He would bark during play. He would run up to people, barking at them. They would lean over to pet him, and he would pee on their feet.


Snowden has a big mouth


He was a bit of a squealer. Sometimes, he would squeal with the lightest touch. He and Rain played a lot and there were always plenty of squeals.




After a couple of months, he almost had complete control of his bladder and was ready for a new home. By that time, I had already fallen in love with him. He had no problem adjusting to our lifestyle. I didn’t care if he was going to be a tiny dog. He was staying with us. Because he was still a bit of a leaker, had a big mouth, and squealed a lot, the name stuck. A hero’s name for a fantastic dog.


Snowden's Stance




July 31st, 2015

So the last 48 hours have been pretty interesting. We got to hangout with some great friends whom we haven’t seen since we were in Colorado in 2011. They took time out of their vacation to chill with us in Montrose. Very cool of them. Love you guys, hope to see you in a few weeks/months.

Afterwards, we went back to an area we had found and camped at the day before, though in a different campsite. It’s a neat area. There are campsites on the cliff of a mesa, 400ft above the valley below. The views area vast. At night, the distant lights of Montrose shine bright and beautiful. We had planned to stay there for a few days and take care of some business. That is until it was time to go to bed.

Our free campsite outside of Montrose, Colorado

Snowden couldn’t get into the van on his own. He had a big day of hiking and playing with our friends at the park. I figured he was just stiff, so I picked him up and put him inside. Then, he acted as though his legs didn’t work and was collapsing. I put him in bed.

Being me, I thought the worst. I checked him for a snake bite. When I put him into a sit position to check the rest of him, his body swayed so much that he almost fell over. I laid him back down and tried to give him liquids. He acted like it was fire, flinching erratically. That’s when I freaked and called the after hours, emergency vet.

It was near midnight and the vet talked me out of bringing him in. We went over the symptoms. He said that it didn’t seem life threatening. I thought otherwise but the vet’s calm, gentle voice won me over.

Alarm set, so I could check on him every two hours, everyone went to bed. Not much sleep happened. Snowden sat up and looked so sad and pathetic. Eventually, I went and held him. Later, my love took the helm.

In the morning, he was better but still in a very bad way. We decided to leave the campsite. If there was something there that made him sick, we didn’t want Rain to get into it too.

Since we were going past the vet I had called anyway, we stopped in. They checked him out and did a test for toxins. They found something. THC!

The little dog must have found a discarded edible and was stoned out of his mind! It took 12hrs for him to return from his dream world enough to drink water, but he still wasn’t walking. It was 20hrs before he would eat.

Little stoner totally freaked me out. Snowden was Stoned’n. He was on a vision quest.

He’s completely back to normal now. No damage. Thankfully, the ordeal only cost $100 and one night’s sleep. We had to move before we had planned, but our new campsite has even better views and stellar cellular connectivity. It’s all good.

Our free campsite gunnison national forest

Refilling Ink Cartridges

July 29th, 2015

Back in 2009, I got lucky and found a Canon ip90 on Craigslist for $25. If you’re not familiar with the model, it’s a small (12.3 x 2.1 x 6.9 in), portable inkjet printer that’s precise enough to print photos. At the time, they were near $300. The one I got looked brand new and came with a case, so I got a screaming deal.

thinkpad and ip90

Not mine but here to show the ip90’s size

It’s been a great travel printer except for one thing, the ink. It was always dried out. I don’t print every day or even every month. When I did try to use it, I’d have to get out a new cartridge ($5-10 each) and then use half of it cleaning the print head. Then, I would have a binge printing session where I printed everything I could think of that needed printing. The rest of the cartridge would eventually dry up and go to waste.

Tired of throwing money away, I decided to give refilling my own cartridges a try. It was so easy and just a little bit messy. They ones for the ip90 are refilled with a syringe. All you do is fill it from the ink well and dispense the ink into the pad on the bottom of an old cartridge.

The kit that I bought came with a bottle of cyan, magenta, yellow, and three bottles of black ink. The bottles are so big that I think they will last me a lifetime. It came with a syringe for each color. There were some loose ball bearings in the package. I imagine that they are to put into the ink and aid in mixing it. Unfortunately, they were stuck in some of the syringes instead, rendering them unusable. I ended up using the same one and rinsing it between colors. No big deal

Ink Refill Kit

I was totally afraid to actually go the whole refill route. I had been filled with FUD and stories of giant messes, hands being stained for weeks, the inside of the printer being flooded in ink and colors that were horribly wrong. In reality, it was easy and cheap without any of the foremetioned issues. The colors are good, the cartridges aren’t drying out in two weeks like the canons ones,and I have lifetime supply of ink. I feel like a fool for spending so much on cartridges and listening to anti-DIY rhetoric.

co_printerfill01 Printer Test Page


Million Dollar Highway

July 14th, 2015

This is a very scenic drive trough the San Juan Mountains. We drove it on our way north from Durango. It has a lot of tight, hairpin turns and shear drop offs, but that doesn’t keep ginormous RVs from driving it.

Colorado Million Dollar Highway
Colorado Million Dollar Highway
Colorado Million Dollar Highway
Colorado Million Dollar Highway
Colorado Million Dollar Highway
Colorado Million Dollar Highway
Colorado Million Dollar Highway


Overland Expo West 2015

May 21st, 2015

We went to the Overland Expo with our friends from Two Complete Spirits, Kyndal and James.

az_overlandexpo-XP01   az_overlandexpo-GX01

It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, a bunch of overlanders sitting around bonding, telling stories, and planning future endeavors. But, it was exactly what I was expecting, a ton of cool rigs and accessories. I posted a whole lot of photos over on Free Campsites:
Our friends posted videos of the event over here:

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