Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twinedog Climbs Mt. Whitney July 25, 2009

After much anticipation the Twinedog finally climbed Mt. Whitney. If at first you don't succeed try at least once more!

Well after dedicating a couple of days off work (its good to be the boss) my friend Zac, Joe and I headed up to Lone Pine with the intention of climbing Mt. Langley, a 14,000 footer but not quite whitney.

However, when we arrived at the multi-agency visitor center in Lone Pine, CA we discovered that they indeed had 7 cancellations for that day, Thursday July 23, 2009.

So we were issued permits on the spot and took off for the portal, after a quick stop at a sporting goods store.

We didn't get on the trail till like 11:50 a.m. because we had to pack up all our gear. The first day we made it to Outpost Camp and spent a leisurely night.

The next day we got up early, packed up our gear and made it to Trail Camp. After a long afternoon and nights rest, we were more than ready to summit Whitney the next morning.
I had planned on a three day approach so that we could acclimate to the high altitude, especially because I wasn't in the best shape.

The final day we didn't pack up our gear but instead left the tents up and carried small summit packs. It still took like 4 hours to reach the summit and an additional 2 hours to get back.

But an amazing trip! Totally worth it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Review of Gregory Palisade 80 Pack


A classic favorite, the redesigned Gregory Palisade pack features all-angle access and an updated suspension for a week on the trail.

Solid Pack!

Twinedog Los Angeles, CA 7/27/2009

4 5

Gift: No

Pros: Comfortable, Easy To Load, Large Capacity, Highly Adjustable

Cons: No outside mesh storage

Best Uses: Heavy Loads

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I have used this backpack now on three multi night trips, most recently in a trip to summit Mount Whitney. It is pretty comfortable for the loads carried 50 pounds or so, and highly adjustable.
It also has lots of space, a place for your trekking poles when you're not using them, and the top converts to a fanny pack.

Personally I wish Gregory would make the top into a backpack for when you summit a peak or take a side trip.

I wish there was a mesh pocket on the outside like on the Lassen's I used to rent. I made do jury rigging some elastic cord with a plastic part that allows me to sinch the cord though. I always want to be able to place wet or moist items on the outside of the pack as I frequently swim while on multi day trips. I also wish that there was a clip for my camelback tube. But it does have holes on both sides so that you can have your drinking tube on either side.

All in all a good bag which can handle anything from weekends to longer treks pretty easily. I don't have the budget for two pack; if I did I would probably get a smaller capacity Gregory for weekend trips and a Whitney for the long treks. But the Palisade is an excellent compromise for the budget minded backpacker. Also I would say get it on sale like I did.


My Review of Open Country 700 Watt Dehydrator


From soups and sauces to fruit rolls and jerky, you can make your own yummy and nutritious trail food with this fast and simple dehydrator.

Great for backpackers!

Twinedog Los Angeles, CA 7/27/2009

4 5

Gift: No

Pros: Easy To Clean, Stable, Durable

Cons: Bulky

Best Uses: Hiking, Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I finally got a chance to use my dehydrator and test out the results on a recent backpacking trip. This dehydrator does a good job of dehydrating pre-made meals for backpacking. I made spaghetti with Italian sausage and marinara sauce and it dehydrated beautifully. I also dehydrated garlic mashed potatoes and some mangoes. If you are interested in cookbooks I recommend the Backpack Gourmet.

But one serious con is that only one fruit roll up tray is included with this item. Also REI does not sell extra trays, clean a screens or fruit roll up liners. I had to buy them separately online. But a decent deal on sale or with a 20% off coupon.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dell Customer Service Problems

Well my Dell problems are still not resolved. We have gotten so fed up with the you need to call back in 2-3 business days constant routine for a few weeks , so we decided to dispute the charges with the credit card.

I am so tired of dealing with rude Indian customer service reps on the phone. I have been lied too repeatedly, and hung up on several times. I can't get a straight answer and they insist that I keep calling them even though to reach a human being takes between 5-10 minutes and thats each time you get hung up on too!


Here is a metafilter question I asked with some guidance for how to handle a problem with Dell Customer Service.

Dell you lost my business for life. As a business owner who will be growing my business for decades to come the loss of my business as well as all the other owners you have no doubt pissed off, will eventually catch up with your bottom line and share price.

See you in Chapter 11@!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dell Customer Service Hell

Dell computer's customer service is hands down the worst customer service on the planet. I have been hung up on repeatedly. Told to call back repeatedly in 2-3 business days. Some representatives have refused to provide an employee id number claiming that they do not have one. When you finally get a manager they tell you nothing different.

When I asked a manager to at least provide me with an extension number to get through and avoid the 20 minutes of navigating the phone menu until I get to a live person, they refused to do so.

I will never buy a Dell computer again!!