Aug 16: Q & A

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 08/16/2004 - 06:37

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on August 16, 2004]

Hello again. I'm enjoying my day off here at Dreamtime Village, which is a community of artists and craftspersons who moved to the unincorporated town of West Lima to start a community and basically homestead on unwanted land. For more information, read the excellent anthropological study at http://www.dreamtimevillage.org/articles/unglaciated/unglaciated.html .

Now it's time for Q & A! Hooray!

Q: Do you do email at libraries, or via cell phone?
A: I had planned on mostly using my PalmPilot for e-mail, using its modem and an inexpensive Internet provider with dialup numbers all over the country (http://allvantage.net). Although this works great when I'm within local calling range of one of the dialup numbers, the rest of the time it's impractical. (On my last bike trip, I dialed long-distance to my Minneapolis ISP and racked up a very impressive phone bill.) So I'm using Web mail at libraries and other public access points more often than I expected. These also give me the ability to upload photos as I did yesterday.

Q: Do you eat the sweet corn raw? I think you said you weren't cooking on this trip.
A: That's right, I prefer it raw. Even some farmers have never tried it that way; one who watched me eat an ear said he intended never to find out whether it might be better raw. Apparently some people have trouble digesting it.

Q: Regarding dietary fat, how about peanuts or peanut butter?
A: Up until a few months ago, I ate peanuts all the time, but then I realized they were making me sick, so I've cut way back. Now I'm eating sunflower seeds (shelled) instead. I guess they have some fat, but not like a good ol' fried breakfast. :-)

Q: Have you had much trouble with mosquitos, ticks, etc.?
A: Very little. The two state parks I stayed at were almost mosquito-free. The worst campsites were the fur farm -- no surprise, right by a river -- and the walk-in campsite where I stayed Saturday night, just outside Sparta, WI. In both cases I was the only stationary person for miles. I put on repellent as soon as I stopped my bike, then put on my headlamp and my mosquito hat over that (since if the headlamp goes on second it collapses the netting against my skin) and pitched my tent. I've gotten probably 5 bites total, and seen no ticks at all.

Q: How are you getting your photos into the computer?
A: Although a friend lent me a digital camera for the trip, I haven't been using it much because I like to have negatives I can keep and store. So that's my backup camera... mainly I'm using a film camera and having the photos developed straight to PictureCD. That allows me to upload them to Yahoo or elsewhere from any computer with a CD-ROM drive, and I can make prints from the CD at little kiosks in a lot of photo shops, supermarkets, etc.

Q: What's the deal with your phone service?
A: On my last bike trip, through Iowa, I sprang for AT&T's cushy Digital One Rate plan (where you pay the same price no matter whose signal you're using) but found that I had AT&T brand service most of the time. Silly me, I assumed that two years later that would be the case in Wisconsin as well, so I stuck with the plan I used in Minneapolis. Turns out the phone companies have moved on to a newer technology called GSM, which my phone doesn't support, and AT&T never implemented digital service in Wisconsin. So I've been basically roaming nonstop since I left Minnesota. Effective today I'm back on the One Rate plan so I can finally return some calls, but when I pass through Appleton next week I'll see about getting a newer phone -- which would pay for itself in a matter of months by allowing me to use a cheaper calling plan.

Q: I notice that the Yahoo! group description says "This is an announcement list" but also it is configured so "Anyone can post". Is the latter intentional?
A: Yep. If you attempt to post to the list, the message will just go to me.

That's it for now! --Ben