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Archive for April, 2010

Eagle Creek Tarmac ES 22

April 23, 2010 4 comments

I’ve owned the Eagle Creek Tarmac ES 22 luggage for over a couple years now. It’s a great bag, fits well in all overhead storage on planes, and it’s light.

I wanted to make people aware of one issue I had with the bag, which I fixed. The allen screws on the handle tend to come loose with use over time. Since I did not want the handle coming off while traveling I kept screwing in the screws with whatever tool I had, a key, a stick, you get the idea.

I solved the loose screw problem at home one day by putting some Loc-tite on the screws so they don’t move. You can get Loc-tite at a local hardware store. One dab of this product on the threads does the trick, then securely tighten down the screw using a allen wrench.

Hope this is helpful to those folks who have the same bag.

– Dom

P.S. This post was created using the iPhone WordPress app while on a train to the airport, pretty slick.

*****

Update, 11/12, 2010, I have a new post on Uneven Wheel Wear on the Tarmac 22.

Thoughts on Twitter

April 22, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been on Twitter now for exactly a year yesterday and I want to write down some of the things I’ve learned up to now:

  1. Twitter allows people who are interested in what YOU have to say to simply follow you to keep current.
  2. Twitter search allows me to find people who are interested in the things that are important to ME.
  3. Twitter communication can be near real-time. You can carry a conversation with exchanges (tweets) in seconds or over a much longer time frame.
  4. Twitter, via the @ mentions, can allow anyone to communicate with anyone (although don’t expect a reply at times).
  5. Twitter can give you a near real-time pulse of what’s happening in the world (news) if you follow enough people.
  6. Twitter allows you to take in multiple interest feeds in one place, for me it’s fly fishing, native american issues, technology, storage, audio/video stuff, & what the Dominics of the world have to say.
  7. Twitter can lead to being more informed about your local community if you follow those local to you.
  8. Twitter can be very powerful when combined with a Blog.
  9. Twitter can bring new and insightful information to you that you normally would not have come across (again depending on who you follow & sifting for the nuggets).
  10. Twitter is only the base technology that enables information exploration with applications like TweetDeck.
  11. Twitter can be addicting, just keep in mind that it answers the question of what are people talking about NOW.
  12. Twitter can make the normally dull times interesting (allows communication vs listening to music on the bus).
  13. Twitter has people who truly want to help and those that want to sell you something.
  14. Twitter has software robots looking for keywords to send tweets to you (usually to sell you something).
  15. Twitter is a connection enabler.
  16. Each person has the potential to say something profound and enlighten me, twitter just let’s me tune into more people.

As I think of more or learn more from others, I’ll add to this list.

You can follow me on twitter, look for @dompruitt

– Dom

Bet Against the American Dream

April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

This video and audio podcast (Inside Job) takes a deeper look into the complex financial instruments that caused all the economic turmoil we see today.  Both the NPR Planet Money folks and ProPublica folks do a really good job explaining how all this stuff was constructed and subsequently affected us all.  This also gives good background to understand what’s currently happening with Goldman Sachs, ACA, & Paulson.

This American Life: Inside Job (click on the “stream episode” link to play the audio)

Enjoy.

– Dom

Feast Days

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is a compilation of all the feast days & celebration days that have I put together from various sources over the years and with input from many friends and acquaintances in NM/AZ.  I have put them in this post for others to enjoy along with map links.  If a date/description is wrong, please email or comment and I will correct this post.  Enjoy!

– Dom

*****

Yearly Southwest Native Celebration Days

  • Jan 1 Most Pueblos: Various dances, Transfer of Canes of Authority.
  • Jan 6 Most Pueblos: King’s Day Celebration in honor of new tribal officers, Antelope, Buffalo, Deer dances
  • Jan 22 San Ildefonso Pueblo: Evening Firelight Dances
  • Jan 23 San Ildefonso Pueblo: Feast Day, Comanche, Buffalo and Deer dances throughout the day
  • Jan 25 Picuris Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo): St Paul’s Feast Day
  • Feb 2 Picuris Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo: Candelaria Day Celebration
  • 1st Weekend of Feb – Tohono O’odham Rodeo & Fair in Sells, AZ
  • 2nd Week of Feb Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo): Deer dances
  • 3rd Weekend of Feb – Tohono O’odham Tash in Sells, AZ
  • 2nd Weekend in Mar – Tohono O’odham Pow Wow in Sells, AZ
  • Mar 19 Laguna Pueblo: Saint Joseph’s Feast Day, Harvest dances
  • Easter Weekend: Dances at most pueblos
  • Late April – Annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow
  • May 1 San Felipe Pueblo: Feast Day
  • May 2 Acoma Pueblo: Santa Maria Feast Day
  • May 3 Taos Pueblo: Traditional foot races
  • May 8 Jemez Pueblo: Giusewa Pow wow, at Jemez State Monument
  • Last Sat in May – Native American Community Academy (NACA) Pow Wow in Albuquerque (May 29, 2010)
  • June 5 Tesuque Pueblo: Blessing of the Fields
  • June 13 Picuris, Sandia, San Idlefonso, San Juan, Santa Clara and Taos Pueblos: St Anthony Feast Day, Comanche, and/or Corn dances
  • June 19 20 Picuris Pueblo: High Country Arts & Crafts Festival
  • June 23 Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo): Vespers, foot race and Buffalo dance
  • June 24 Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo): Feast Day. Comanche/Buffalo dance; Taos Pueblo: Corn dance
  • June 29 Kewa Pueblo (Santa Domingo Pueblo): Corn dances. San Pedro Feast Day
  • July 4 Nambe Pueblo Falls Celebration; Mescalero Apache maiden’s puberty rites and Mountain Spirits Dance at Mescalero, NM.
  • July 9-11 Taos Pueblo: Annual Pow-Wow
  • July 14 Cochiti Pueblo: Feast Day
  • July 15-18 Jicarilla Apache Little Beaver Roundup & Rodeo.
  • July 17-18 Northern Pueblo Artist and Craftsman Show
  • July 25-26 San Ildefonso and Taos Pueblos: Santiago’s and Santa Ana Day Dances
  • July 26 Santa Ana Pueblo: Feast Day – Corn Dance; Laguna Pueblo – Harvest & various Dances at the Village of Seama
  • Aug 2 Jemez Pueblo: Feast Day
  • Aug 4 Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo Pueblo): Feast Day
  • Aug 9 Picuris Pueblo: Sunset Dances
  • Aug 10 Acoma Pueblo: San Lorenzo Feast Day; various dances and pole climbing at Picuris Pueblo
  • Aug 12 Santa Clara Feast Day; various dances
  • Aug 15 Laguna Pueblo: Assumption of Blessed Mother Feast Day; Zia Pueblo Feast Day
  • Late Aug – Santa Fe Indian Market
  • Aug 28-29 Zuni Tribal Fair
  • First week in Sep, Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock, AZ
  • Sep 2 Acoma Pueblo: San Estevan Feast Day
  • Sep 4 Isleta Pueblo: San Augustine Feast Day
  • Sep 5 San Ildefonso Pueblo: Nativity of Mary Feast Day, Corn Dances; Laguna Pueblo: , Harvest Dances
  • Sep 8 Laguna Pueblo (Encinal Village): Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Feast Day: Social Dances; San Ildefonso Pueblo:  Corn Dances
  • Sep 19 Laguna Pueblo: San Joseph’s Feast Day
  • Sep 25 Laguna Pueblo: St Elizabeth Feast Day (Paguate Village)
  • Sep 29 Taos Pueblo: San Geronimo Eve, vespers and Sundown dance
  • Sep 30 Taos Pueblo: San Geronimo Feast Day; trade fair, pole climbing and early morning races
  • First week in Oct, Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, NM
  • Oct 3-4 Nambe Pueblo: St Francis Feast Day, various dances
  • Oct 4-12 Albq Int’l Balloon Fiesta. Traditional dances, youth pow-wow, crowning of Lil’ Miss IPCC at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Abq
  • Oct 17 Laguna Pueblo: St Margaret Mary Feast Day (Paraje Village)
  • Nov 12 Jemez Pueblo Feast Day; Tesuque Pueblo: San Diego Feast Day, various dances.
  • Last Week in Nov. Christmas Light Parade at Zuni Pueblo.
  • First Week in Dec, Shalako at Zuni Pueblo
  • Dec 12 Pojoaque Pueblo: Guadalupe Feast Day Jemez Pueblo; various dances
  • Dec 24 Sundown torchlight Procession of the Virgin, Vespers and Matachines Dances at Taos, Picuris and San Juan Pueblos; Acoma Pueblo luminarias and dances; Mass and dances at Laguna, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Tesuque Pueblos
  • Dec 25 Matachines and various dances at Laguna, Picuris, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, San Juan, Tesuque, Taos and Zia Pueblos
  • Dec 26 Turtle Dance at San Juan Pueblo; various dances at Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Dec 28 Holy Innocents Day; children’s dances at Santa Clara and Picuris Pueblos

Maps to the Feast Day Locations & Celebration Places

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center has a nice page on etiquette when visiting any of the tribal communities.  Please take the time to read this important document.

Planet Money

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Just a quick post to tell people about a National Public Radio (NPR) program that caught my ear over a year ago.  It’s called Planey Money and it has totally entertained, as well as, educated me on some of the current events in Finance and Economics.  I subscribe to the podcast and listen to the programs every week on my iPhone.  Here are some of the podcasts I found the most interesting:

Enjoy!

– Dom

Guiding Eagles

April 15, 2010 1 comment

Ok, this post is not really about guiding real flying eagles, it’s a metaphor, what San Ildefonso Pueblo is really doing  here is to raise visibility (and money) for the  efforts of their Health Coalition and their summer youth program.  I know for some this may be short notice, the event is 2 weeks away.

As their flyer says (pdf link is below), “Proceeds are for the Summer Program for the Pueblo de San Ildefonso Youth for education & wellness activities addressing awareness in diabetes, obesity, safety, drugs, alcohol, environmental and traditional values , etc.”

This is something I’m really glad to see happen and I support it, too often the youth on reservations don’t have structured activity in the summer and this leads to less than ideal outcomes later in life.  San Ildefonso Pueblo is also one of the tribes in New Mexico that does NOT have a casino, so I’m guessing funds are limited from the tribal government.

I personally have friends and former classmates from San Ildefonso Pueblo.

If you are a golfer, please consider spending a day at the Towa Golf Resort to support this program.

Guiding Eagles Benefit Golf Tournament – April 30, 2010 (pdf flyer)

Thanks.

– Dom

Expense Tracking

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Knowing what you spend is important to your personal financial health.  If you have looked at my Understanding your debt post you read about how I worked at getting my debt paid off using a spreadsheet to help me track the big picture on a month to month basis ultimately paying off credit card, car, & student loan debt.

At about the same time I created the spreadsheet, I started tracking very closely what I spent.  Back then I used a pencil and pocket sized pad of paper I carried with me.  As I paid cash for goods and services I wrote down the daily expenses as I incurred them and at the end of the day summarized the totals in a spreadsheet.  This was a very cumbersome and time consuming process.  There were times where I missed a expense because I did not get a receipt after paying cash (today I’m not sure why businesses don’t give you a receipt when you pay cash).

I looked around for a better solution back then (2004-5ish).  I did have a Palm Tungsten PDA, and found a expense tracker that helped me track and automatically sum expenses as I incurred them.  The only problem at the time, was I had a mobile phone and a PDA, carrying around 2 devices was problematic, I would at most times forget the PDA.

When the iPhone came out (I got the 2nd gen one), I realized this was device that allowed me to have software applications (expense tracking) along with the phone and a bunch of other future applications.  Yes, there was the Palm Treo, but for some reason I did not jump on that device at the time, maybe it was because I recently bought the Palm Tungsten and had a investment in it.  I moved to the iPhone with the expectation that a expense tracking application would soon be created based on a better user interface.

I now use my iPhone with a expense tracking application called iExpenseIt ($4.99 from the App Store).

I don’t use all the features of this software (like adding deposits and budgeting), all I use is the expense & reporting parts (the summary tables & pie charts are great).  I also only track cash & credit card purchases at the time I incur the expense.  I really like the feature to export a CSV file via WiFi or Email, this allows me to move the history to a spreadsheet for longer history retention.

What I have found, based on the data tracked, is that for my family of 4, we spend about the same amount on food from month to month.  If we eat more at home we spend more on groceries, if we eat out more we spend less on groceries.  By the way, eating will likely be your largest expense, it is for us.

I certainly wish I had a expense tracking application like this back in high school & college, it would have allowed me to understand where all my credit card debt came from (likely from a lot of pizza).  I may have had the opportunity to see my credit habits earlier and reign in my spending, something that took me so long to pay off.  My kids will certainly have expense tracking down by the time they hit high school.

I hope this post was useful and provides one example of what you can do to keep a grip on your personal financial situation.

– Dom

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