Bike Repairs & Monte Cristi

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/14/2019 - 17:58

This area of Republica Dominicana has tons of butterflies. Sometimes, like today, when I go walking the air is full of butterflies! A beautiful effect.

I had chalked up Monte Cristi as a conservative small town. It has a large military base, numerous churches, and other such indicators. However, while walking around the outskirts of town, I came across a "boutique sex shop," of the type that I usually associate with liberal towns.

While walking, I found a fruit tree. Turned out to be jagua! Found my first jagua fresh from the tree. Still somewhat underripe, but solid flavor!

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

A truck just drove by, blaring an announcement for "gallinas a cien," etc. (hens for two dollars).

Each place has its appeals and its drawbacks. Here in the tropics, the stinging insects are definitely a drawback! Not complaining though, I'm happy to have insects and warm weather, instead of cold weather without insects.

Doing some bike repairs. My usual clumsy self is slow.

Republica Dominicana has a culture of street vendors. People walk around selling many different products, often carrying loads of the products in baskets on the vendors' heads. One of the funnier products that I see for sale is toilet paper. Vendors walk around yelling that they have toilet paper for sale, with rolls of it on their head.

The tube had at least two holes, as I had suspected. After adding another patch, I'm seeing if this one holds.

Even though I'm not much of a mechanic, with a bit of patience, thought, and effort I can get by.

A few recent repeat lessons:

  •     The water test for holes is one of the most effective (you can see air bubbles escaping from a hole when you hold a tube underwater).
  •     Narrower, larger, thicker wheels such as 700 C are way more effective for touring than wider, smaller, thinner wheels such as 26".
  •     Tools and parts come and go.
  •     It's often way easier and less time-consuming to use new parts, such as a new tube, instead of messing around with old, broken parts, such as patches.
  •     Regular preventive care is often way more effective than fixing things later.
  •     Make sure to keep your bike in running condition!

Many of these lessons also apply more broadly, of course.

Seems like the second patch has the tube holding. We'll see!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles: Mirrors!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/14/2019 - 14:52

Now experimenting with ways to mirror one side of the goggles.

Seeing both sides together makes the goggles look more real!

The restarts/refreshes are important. Restarting this model after switching laptops. Restarting with a new phone next time I get one.

"I'd wear those!"

My mental thoughts on seeing the first mirrored version of these goggles.

Made it so that the two sides, left and right, can roughly connect to each other!

Still to do: adjust the spacings so that they meet evenly, and improve the process to make it faster and easier.

While working, processes and results develop together. Each feeds into the other. Unified by a goal, a vision!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Haiti seems safe enough to visit?

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 14:33

Haiti seems to have some busy roads. That seems like an indicator that people use the roads. However, Haiti also has roadblocks, not sure if I'm reading this right but set up by not against protestors? That seems like a problem for getting around the country.

"Sustained protests, burning tires and impassable barricades."

Haiti still has cholera!

This story says that the protests are losing steam:

Looks like the government is defeating the protestors.

Haiti police removing protestor barricades

More Monte Cristi Thoughts!

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 14:18

Finally, a night without much rain. Slept nicely. Hearty breakfast!

Still feels funny for me to have something of a routine, see the same places and people, have regular wifi and AC. I like this town of Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana! Scenic, friendly.

I'm thinking of maybe going to Haiti around December 10. If it's dangerous or disgusting, then maybe a quick ten or so day tour of the larger cities. If it's safer or interesting, then maybe a month or so.

I think I may be an "explainer." For years I've wondered what my role is. I'm not a visual artist, an accountant, etc. I think I'm finding out more and more that I'm good at understanding complex things and putting them plainly.

It's so convenient in many respects to stay in one place for a while, instead of traveling. However, I'm already starting (as I had predicted) to feel somewhat ready to leave. Travel is so rewarding, it makes for consistently fresh experiences. I think it's worth the extra costs.

From now on, until my next development of this variety, I want to do more of a mix of travel and work. It's something I've been trying to do for a while. Now I feel more committed to it. Instead of travel first, fitting in work, more of a balance of work and travel.

Sitting in the shade throughout the hottest, sunniest parts of the day, I remember some of the mental travel adventures I've had, getting stuck way out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day, having to ride through the sun. One more advantage of staying in one spot.

Despite so many comforts in stasis, the hardships of travel can actually be valuable in their own right. At least in hindsight.

I think it's important to maintain a mix of confidence and doubt. Without confidence, one won't go out there and take on worthy challenges that one can accomplish. Without doubt, one becomes too comfortable, taking things for granted. I think it's hard to strike an appropriate balance. It takes an ongoing commitment to awareness of one's self, one's environment.

I think it's important to ask tons of questions!

What do you think makes for success, in travel or in life?

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles: Another Session!

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 13:52

Now working on the goggles some more!

It's fun and interesting to watch as the design evolves.

I'm now rerouting the upper part of the frame around the nose, so that it angles back something like an eagle's beak, to press back against the forehead. I feel that most glasses and goggles push down or back on parts of the face that congest the breathing. I'm aiming for a place that I feel may alleviate that problem. Still not entirely sure, about the theory or the design!

Much of this is new to me. I'm often unsure of what I'm doing. Hoping it turns out fine!

As you build, you gain skills and resources. You can reuse and build on these, so that each round you get better!

Here's some more imagery!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles & Annoyances & Lessons

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 11/12/2019 - 17:32

Another rainstorm last night.

Noisy day. Getting some work done.

A boring day in town. :)

Next, some more work on the goggles!

It can be annoying to start doing work, but once you get going you get into it, and there are often numerous benefits along the way, in addition to whatever direct payoff you were expecting.

Also, it's way harder to work without caffeine. :)

Doing computer work is in many ways easier and less fun than riding a bike through countries. However, each has its challenges and rewards.

Dominicans seem to like putting corn in places where it didn't previously belong, maybe even more than Americans do. There's a margarine here that has corn flavor, which I like, and I'm just trying a bread that has corn flavoring, too. I wonder what corn beer tastes like. Is that a thing?

Draft's coming along. I now feel that I have the approximate shape of the lens, for fitting the frame. Still, tons of fine-tuning there, plus broad brushstrokes stuff elsewhere, remains.

Many of the lessons that I learned from my previous drafting remain relevant for this draft. Much of the idea of the goggles remains, even though the details are quite different.

Here's some imagery!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

"Hey, that's kind of nice." My mental response on seeing a render. For much of this drafting process, I've found the model somewhat ugly. Glad to see it coming along!

More Monte Cristi Blogging

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 20:37

Still sitting in the same hotel restaurant, had octopus curry for lunch. Interesting menu.

Looks like some more thunderstorm activity today, then a while of the more common sunny days.

I now plan to stay here in Monte Cristi at least through this week, probably through next week, and maybe even for a while thereafter. First time in a while that I've spent a considerable period in one place. Also, usually it's a larger city or other place of interest. In this case it's a small town, more a place of convenience. The town seems nice enough. But I'm here more to catch up on work, repairs, etc., while waiting to see how the situation in Haiti develops. It's somewhat relaxing, and it feels somewhat bizarre, for me to be in one place more than a day or two in a row. I like it, but I think I'm going to get bored sooner or later. Definitely seems easier to deal with ordinary tasks when you're not constantly on the go!

A somewhat funny phenomenon here in Republica Dominicana. Often the food vendors are informal, just a person or family from a small building. Here, the price you see is the price you pay. No tax, no questions. Yet, go to a fancier place, like a hotel restaurant, and the taxes and fees add up to way more than one sees in the US. Quite a disparity.

The hotel restaurant here has some nifty looking table signs. The triangular pyramid style that shows drinks, but this one also has some "Call" buttons on top, not sure if they work.

Another day in my adopted town. I like it here so far!

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

Preferences, weather, & more in Republica Dominicana

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 16:07

Monte Cristi strikes me as a quite typical Dominican town. The area around town has beautiful geography. The town itself has a standard set of shops.

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

It's annoying to have so many things break. It's annoying to have so many noises. However, it's important to keep going in spite of the annoyances.

I think that Meso America is way more exciting to me than northeastern South America.

At the least, I do aim to go to the Haitian side of the border town where I'm going.

After that, I think I'll look at a few of the main cities, and some samples of the countryside.

I think I'll find a few things to like, but I'm not expecting to like the country overall as much as RD.

Each country has its appeals. I've been wrong in my predictions in the past.

"Compramos hierro viejo compramos bateria compramos oro compramos!"

The announcement blasting from the trucks in most towns throughout Republica Dominicana.

After a rainstorm last night, went for a walk this morning. Decided to try the hotel restaurant that I've seen a few times. On the breakfast menu, they had chivo (goat), so I tried that. That's the second place I've tried it in this town. I'd seen it advertised a number of times throughout the country, but up to here the places have been out of stock, or closed. This place was more flavorful but less tender than the previous place. This place also has it in a wine sauce, or fried, so maybe I'll return to try some more.

Much as the rain in the tropics can annoy me, it does produce mangoes and rice (not together!) and other delicious foods. Also, the rain is often warm, and it usually becomes sunny and warm and dry soon afterwards.

I like how in RD it's often hot during the day, so that after a pleasant morning and before a pleasant evening you can avoid the sun indoors, getting some work done.

Carrying on!


Yet more work on Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 15:56

Doing some more work on the goggles.

It's taking shape again, somewhat comparable to my previous draft, but also with significant differences.

I like doing work.

It's hard to get started, it's hard to know when to stop. It's often unproductive, but you have to take some chances.

It's fun to make stuff!

As I add and remove vertices, rotate/orbit the model, think things through, etc., the model becomes more real in my mind. I look forward to feeling the plastic in my hands, on my face!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!