On the Mend

Three weeks post surgery and I’m really beginning to feel better. Still a touch sore on the inside of my right knee where they went in to repair my meniscus and remove some small amounts of arthritis. Basically I pretty much haven’t done a stitch of exercise since Christmas Day when all this went down and it shows. Man are my calves sore!

My body wants to consume food as if I was still running 30 miles a week and the scale well that thing and I haven’t been friends for a while now.  None the less yesterday was a beautiful day with bright sunshine, a light breeze and some cool spring temperatures. Going stir crazy I decided to head over to the Vestal Rail Trail and do some walking.

I wound up walking 4 miles with minimal discomfort and a tiny bit of soreness. This is huge in the process of healing! On April 11th I return to see my doctor for a checkup and his thoughts of when I can start slowly testing the waters of running again. My fingers are crossed that come end of April I can return. It will take me a while to get back into shape but I’m all about baby steps and doing this process right.

Cheers

Finished my 4 mile walk on the Vestal Rail Trail March 27th 2019.

 

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This is a Test and Only a Test……….

Whenever I’ve gone backpacking or canoe camping I’ve always used the already dehydrated meals. These are expensive and not always on the healthy side either. So back in January I purchased a small dehydrator for this sole purpose. Today I’m making my first attempt at dehydrating my own.

Today’s test meal is something I call “Sausage vegetable stew”. I put this concoction together yesterday in my crockpot and let it cook all day. Once cooled I put it into the refrigerator over night so all the flavors had a chance to meld. This morning removing the stew from the fridge I scooped it into a colander in the sink. I did this so any excess water can drain off. I then spread the stew onto my dehydration trays and now I sit and wait.

0715: The dehydration begins

1505: The Dehydration stops

I made three 6 ounce servings from this batch. Looking at one of my similar single serve pre-made meals they are 3.5 ounces. After a long day on the trail or canoeing I find that the 3.5 ounce serving doesn’t satisfy.

Stew:

1- pkg Gianelli Italian turkey sausage (6 links)

2- 28oz cans crushed tomatoes

1- 10oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles (Mild)

1- 15.5 can Goya black eyed peas

1- 15.5oz Goya small red beans (I rinsed and drained  both cans of beans)

1- 15oz can mixed vegetables

1- 15oz can cut green beans

1- pepper chopped

Half of an onion chopped

2- tbsp minced garlic

Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste….

Combine all ingredients into crockpot except the sausage. Next fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, removing the sausage from the casings while you wait. Once the water is at a boil breakup the sausage as you put it into the water and cook for a few minutes. After sausage is cooked drain it in a colander. Next boil another pot or kettle of water and pour it over the sausage to rinse any residual fat (This is important). Once rinsed you can combine the meat into your crockpot.

I love the Gianelli sausage as it has half the fat and calories (90 calories per link) as pork sausage and it tastes amazing. This meal has a total of 1,875 calories according to all packaging. However caloric value does change during the dehydration process according to what I’ve read.

This recipe is endless with what you can do for your own personal taste. And a special thank you to my buddy Gary who claims he will be the guinea pig.

Cheers!

Putting the stew onto the dehydration trays.
The dehydration begins
The dehydration has ended and the weighing process starts.
Three 6 ounces meals bagged

 

Review: Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove

It is no secret that I love gear, so when I came across this Uberleben Stoker flatpack stove I knew I had to give it a try. I already own a Solostove Lite which I love. In my opinion you can’t have too many twig stoves.

This afternoon I headed to my local State Park to get it’s fire burning and have some food. Conditions out on the trail aren’t always perfect and today’s weather I feel was a good representative of that. The temperature a balmy 38 degrees in addition to 15-17MPH winds and snow flurries thrown in for good measure. It has been very damp and wet here lately so in order to get the fire going I decided to bring some dryer lint and two small pieces of fat wood and in no time the belly of this beast had come alive.

I filled my pot with 12 ounces of cold water and placed it on top. I continued to feed the fire a steady diet of leaves, twigs and sticks. The one thing I have noticed with these twigs stoves is they are constantly hungry. In these conditions it took 15 minutes for the 12 ounces of water to boil which I felt was reasonable. On a warm day with light wind I’m confident boiling time would be around 8-9 minutes.

I poured the water into a Goodto-Go single serve dehydrated meal (Chicken Gumbo) stirred and sealed and let rehydrate for 15 minutes. I put another 12 ounces of water back into my pot in order to boil for coffee.

The Stove: A little on the heavy side (14.5 ounces with canvas sleeve), this extremely compact and simple 5 panel stove assembles in about a minute or so. The first time I put it together it felt a little clumsy to me and I was skeptical that it would be as sturdy as I have read. All the pieces fit snug together giving it a solid base. This stove is made from heavy duty 304 grade stainless steel which is anti-corrosive.  After I had it assembled I truly liked its feel, solid as a tank. You will have no issue what so ever placing a heavy cast iron skillet or pot on this stove. Another great feature about this product was the large opening to feed the fire and the nicely placed holes for consistent airflow.

What I Liked:

Ease of assembly, compact, large opening to feed the fire, Sturdiness, airflow and lastly the price.

What I Didn’t Like:

A little heavier than I would like and extremely sooty during disassembly.

I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives and highly recommend this compact, affordable twig stove. I hope this review of the Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Stove was helpful and if you have a product that you would like me to review please feel free to contact me.

Cheers!

Compact & flat the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove comes in this nice canvas sleeve. ©Joe Geronimo
All the parts of the very compact easy to assemble Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. © Joe Geronimo
Completely assembled the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is extremely sturdy. ©Joe Geronimo

 

The belly of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is alive with fire. ©Joe Geronimo

 

12 ounces of water working itself to a boil atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

15 minutes later we have boiling water atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Goodto-Go chicken gumbo and a hot cup of coffee on cold and windy winter afternoon. ©Joe Geronimo

Life in Boxes:

I began shooting slide film around 1990 but most of the images I made at this point were mostly captured on print film, something I regret. I didn’t really begin to convert solely to slide film until early 1992 and have been shooting it ever since. I’ll admit that in 2005 I was intrigued by the digital camera and purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. I enjoyed it and made some great images with it as well. I loved the instant gratification of viewing the picture immediately. I also liked the fact that outside the camera and flash card there was no additional cost of film purchase and processing. I vowed to never shoot another roll of film again.

That vow would only last about 6 months before I found myself lacking in something I craved the most. A tangible asset. I would go on to own more DSLR camera bodies as well as film bodies. I spent several years arguing the film vs. digital argument only to realize that it all boils down to preference and what your goals are. There is room in my camera bag for both film and digital.

Our world moves at the speed of now and that is why I carry a DSLR with me most of the time. News happens at a moments notice!

A passion of mine is to preserve history and I choose to do my preservation through photography. No matter the subject matter or the camera you use every click of the shutter captures a moment in time, a piece of our history and for me that is most important. Over the past 24 years I have been documenting my career mostly on film but I do have several hundred images made with a digital camera. I have also been documenting our family as well which is 90% slide film and 10% digital. Without an actual physical count I’d have to estimate my family slide collection hovers somewhere near 8,000 images of which only half have been filed. I just received another 216 slides the other day from the holidays.

Another reason I still shoot slide film is because of monetary value. Collectors want originals. I’ve sold older slides from my collection on Ebay for some serious amounts of money. As a matter of fact I know people who do it for a living. They buy slide collections and break them up. This is both sad and fascinating as well. I’ve slowly been acquiring slides that I hope to flip in the near future but only time will tell.

Since Kodak has exited the slide film market entirely there are only several choices left in which to buy it. Agfa Photo has recently restarted its slide film business and I’m glad because I love the stuff compared to Fuji’s. Its comes done to personal choice. Also Kodak does not process film anymore and most film (Print) is either processed in house at local photo labs or stores like Walmart or CVS. Slide film processing is only done at a handful of locations around the United States with the most popular being Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas.

Although those yellow Kodak boxes of joy that came in the mail are no longer I still get excited for those Red, White & Blue boxes from Dwayne’s!

Cheers!!!!!!

Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne's Photo shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne’s Photo I shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Gear Review: LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway Jacket

I’ve been an LL Bean fan and customer for years. As a matter of fact my life contains a vast majority of their clothing and gear. In my opinion LL Bean’s customer service is legendary, so when I needed a jacket for layering I turned to Bean. February here in New York has been extremely cold, with Jack Frost nipping at the noses of most in the Northeast. In retrospect a perfect environment to put my new remarkably light LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway jacket to the test.

The Jacket: 

This jacket boasts 60-gram remarkably light PrimaLoft One insulation. Ultralight ripstop nylon shell is treated to shed water and block wind. A highly compact alternative to fleece, packing into its own hand pocket.

Improved fit is trimmer through the body and upper arms with the ultralight ripstop nylon gliding easily under layers for a smooth fit that won’t restrict your motion. Shell resists wind and weather, has a drawcord hem and elasticized cuffs to seal in body heat, rated at -15 degrees.

Center back length, size L: 27″. Imported. Machine wash and dry.

Fit

Slightly fitted, best with lightweight layer, falling at hip. I wear a size large but decided to order an extra large for additional layering as I plan on using the jacket snowshoeing in the High Peak’s of New York’s Adirondack Park. Here weather conditions could change within minutes.

Test Dates:

Friday February 13th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 3 degrees and a wind chill of -13 degrees. With the wind at a moderate 11 mph I snowshoed around the local park for 3 miles averaging 2.9 mph. This particular park is open with no shelter what so ever. The jacket performed flawlessly. It did what it said, blocked the wind and kept me extremely warm, I was very impressed and extremely excited. I thought the jacket fit just right, I was unrestricted in my movements and after the first mile or so I had to slightly unzip it as I began to sweat a little.

Sunday February 15th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 0 degrees and a wind chill of -22 degrees. The wind was howling at 22 mph today and I went for a 5 mile snowshoe hike at a place called the “IBM Glen” where I averaged 3 mph. The first and last parts of my hike were .35 miles each across an open wind swept and snow drifting golf course. The wind was pushing at me so hard I had to use my poles to keep me upright. Again this jacket performed flawlessly! In truth I was utterly impressed because it was brutally cold out. Once in the woods I did receive some shelter from the wind. Like I said the jacket fit just right and I was unrestricted in my movements.

On both days I wore the exact same clothing to make sure this test was as accurate as possible. The layer closest to my body consisted of an Under Armour Cold Gear compression long sleeve shirt, followed by an LL Bean “Expedition Weight” base layer, topped with LL Bean’s linden green Ascent Packaway jacket.

Conclusion:

I truly love this jacket and its versatility. I felt very warm during the weather conditions on both days. I like the fitted style and feel of this jacket and I strongly believe it does what it says it does, blocks the wind and sheds water. This jacket is perfect for layering during the winter and can stand alone during the Spring and Fall months.

I have no affiliation with LL Bean or was I given this jacket. Just like you I am a consumer and I think I should get what I pay for. With that said I highly recommend this product.

If you are looking for a light weight versitile jacket look no further than LL Bean’s “Ascent” Packaway Jacket. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86465?feat=ascent-SR0&page=ascent-packaway-jacket

Sunday February 15th 2015.
Sunday February 15th 2015.