Saturday, September 13, 2014

Canoeing Algonquin National Park

I went canoe-camping in Algonquin Provincial Park during the recent supermoon event.

The moon.

The sun.

Canoe over my car.

Dirt road!

Canoe under me.

Canoe over me.

Grand lake.

The barren river canyon.


I wasn't the only one on vacation. It was really strange to see these Canada geese outside of a city park.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The white folder

Our older son's school supply list included a white folder. While such things do exist for purchase on the internet, they are many times more expensive than other colored folders' in-store prices. So, this was our solution:

Monday, September 01, 2014

Rafting to Work

About a month ago I decided to buy a boat ... a raft to be specific, and to be even more specific I got this raft:
Intex Sehawk 4 Boat Set
I guess I bought it because I wanted to look like these four happy people who have been photoshopped onto a photo of the boat, which was then photoshopped onto a digital rendering of water.

In spite of the goofy picture, the actual boat is entirely fantastic, far exceeding my expectations for a boat from Amazon under $100. It comes with everything you need pump, paddles, pillows (I did get some life preservers too which it doesn't come with and used an air mattress pump to significantly speed inflating and deflating it). I've used it already a half a dozen times on short sprints to the harbor islands, around lakes, rivers -> and it hasn't shown any signs of wear. One way valves allow you to add air while your floating on the water. One caveat is that you could only fit 4 people on it comfortably if one of the 4 spends most of their time hanging on outside the raft. Another caveat is it is extremely slow; it has about the hydrodynamics of an air mattress. That is even with the extra paddles I got so that everyone can paddle.

Full disclosure: The link above is an 'affiliate' link (but I promise I'm not biased by that, just seemed like I might as well put it there if I'm pushing a product anyway).

One day, my friend Matt and I decided to raft to work (we work in the same building). It started out pretty boring on the super-polluted Mystic river, but once we passed through these locks it got interesting.
Note that to signal the locks you need a horn, so of course I brought along my bike horn which worked perfectly.


We passed this massive boat used to carry cars around the world for the company my Dad works for.



It is an immensely ugly boat too – clearly designed for function not form – it lacks most elements you would typically associate with boats like a bridge or windows. It is a giant a featureless box that appears unsteadily balanced.

This isn't a very popular recreation spot – the the views of the Tobin bridge were great!

The Boston inner harbor is pretty interesting. This is a little dock had people fixing up an old boat.

Boston has these weird school-bus like duck boats (sorry about the lighting).

Getting closer to Boston, you can see the Zakum bridge in the background here. Off the frame to our right is the USS Constitution.

The Charles River Lock

Looking back, the lock gates closing.

We parked the raft in this canal right behind our building.

Thanks Greg for lending me the bike chain lock so I could lock it up.

In all it was a 3.5 hour commute on the water that day ... we did not raft back.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Epic blog stat!

This is the 1,000th post on the Lansey Brothers' Blog!!! Hooray!

We are using this milestone to mark a new beginning for our blog.  A lot has changed for us over the past nine years.  When we started this blog we were all in college.  Now all three of us have completed postgraduate degrees, have jobs, and live in different states.  Andrew/Aryeh moved cross country for a job with the US Navy. Jonathan/Yoni founded a startup and works for another startup in Boston.  Eli got married, has two amazing sons (who are also, technically-speaking, Lansey Brothers) and works in NY.

So, you may have seen this coming, but we are now officially switching to an unpredictable post schedule. If you're not already a subscriber and want to know when we post then you are welcome to sign up for emails, or subscribe via RSS; see the sidebar on the right for info. We are hereby untethering ourselves from the weekly schedule we set down almost 9 years ago, and have loosely followed since. 

For those of you who have been following our blog over the years we thank you, and appreciate all the comments and discussion along the way.  We’re beginning our tenth year of the Lansey Brothers’ Blog pretty soon, and we hope to continue entertaining and conversing with you for at least another nine years.

Eli, Jonathan/Yoni, Andrew/Aryeh

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wild blueberry picking

A few weeks ago we went wild blueberry picking at Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
 There are hills there that are covered in wild blueberry bushes!

And, now for something completely different. Apparently Lake Minnewaska has a leech problem:
And yet, for some reason, they allow swimming and people actually swim in it!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cross-eyed Chrysler

On the way in to work today I noticed this cross-eyed Chrysler minivan:
Notice how the light on the left is almost the same as the light on the right. Except that it's upside down. And actually subtly different -- two white bars on the left instead of three, a square-ish mirror on the red light on the left instead of the round one on the the right. This is especially strange considering that someone just bought this car! It's almost like the dealer bought the wrong light and figured they'd just install it anyway.

But, it gets crazier! Look what happens when they step on the brakes!
Both top lights turn on, even though the left one is really the white "reverse" light! They clearly hooked up the left light assuming it was the same as the right one, even though it is upside-down. I can almost hear the people in the repair shop, "There! I fixed it!" I just hope the people who recently bought this car got a good price...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bleached book

Apparently, we left this copy of Go Dog Go partially exposed to sunlight.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure what book was masking it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2 days of "fame" for UUIDs and GUIDs

So last week I "launched" the CAUSE Community for the Care of All UUIDs and I was really satisfied with the public reaction. Lots of tweets were tweeted, overwhelmingly positive, with lots of people joining the cause. Unfortunately there were a few "monsters" who took the opportunity to actively destroy large numbers of UUIDs automatically.

I didn't see anyone mention two little easter eggs that were baked into the site so I'll talk about them here:

This inspiring image by Philipp Rümmele is actually titled Peeing from the highest mountain of Lower Austria ... and now that you know it is impossible to unsee...

Typically pages will have a 404 error if you go to malformed URL, like this one for example... on the CAUSE Community we of course named the error with its own UUID.

The site had a full 2 days of fame, 4 days of mild interest, and we are now preparing for an eternity of obscurity. This is a graph of the first 7 days since the launch.
Thanks for thinking of the UUIDs!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Challah for morons

I came across this bizarre invention at my local judaica store:
Now, I suppose there might be someone out there who 1) wants to bake their own challah, 2) has no idea how to braid challah, and 3) who has also never heard of Google. But, seriously? "Fill & Bake, No Braiding Required"?!? It does say "Easy instructions included," but I figure the kind of person who'd need this device would probably freak out at the concept of instructions. "Instructions?!?" I can hear them say, "if I wanted to follow instructions I would have learned to braid challah!"

Although, it actually made me think: What, un-braidable thing would be fun to shape with this and serve like challah? Maybe it could be used as a Jello mold? Any other ideas? Let's hear them in the comments.