So I got my 45(+) miles in. Felt good! Sorry the 2nd picture is so blurry, the spot in my waterproof iPhone case where my front-facing camera is needs a good cleaning. If you look REALLY carefully, you can read the sign behind me - “Skokie Valley Bike Path” - it’s the trail I wanted to get to today. And I did!

The westward jaunt on Lake-Cook road was a little harrowing, as was the eastbound portion. There’s not really a great place to bike other than the road, and it’s a 40mph road where cars routinely exceed that. And the quality of the pavement was poor, so I was doubly on guard to avoid potholes.

The last pic is the bridge at the spot I turned around, right around 23 miles out.

My nutrition/hydration was fine - in fact I would have had leftovers if I hadn’t started guzzling on the way back. I think I was packing about 500 calories, and my Garmin claims I burned through upwards of 1300.

I ended up getting a pretty nasty blister that rubbed right through to raw skin at the top of my foot at the edge of my tri shoe. I noticed it at about mile 20 and had no choice but to keep going.

I tried to meet up with my wife (and father and step-mother) at the lagoons (miles ~15 and ~30 in the pic above) but I stopped on the way up to hear there was a waitlist for canoe rental. On the way back I learned they were at a park early (or late) in my route, and I was going to try to meet them there. I think I got there maybe 3 minutes after they left - my kids weren’t listening and kept riding off too far.

I passed a poor guy who apparently popped a flat 6 miles back and was running with his bike. He only had another mile to go, but I nearly gave him my spare tire. This was right around the spot where my wife had parked and I was hoping to end my ride due to my blister. No such luck.

Another mile in I saw another cyclist in distress. “You need help?” “My chain slipped off!” “Well put it back on!” He obviously had no clue :) I pulled over, broke out of freshly packed latex gloves, and got him up and running. His chain had slipped to the OUTSIDE of his big chainring, and then got caught in the pedal, so as I worked it out recommended that he take the bike to a shop and 1) get the front derailleur adjusted, and 2) he might need a new chain (since he got it caught in his pedal and probably did some damage to it).

Finally met up with my family at the park a block from my house. I had to get my shoes off, and also took off my arm coolers, then rode the rest of the way home with my feet on top of my shoes (a la heading to T2 style).

I was originally planning on making this a brick, but since my family was about to head home decided to put my run off till later.

5/29/16 1.03 miles
Post GoT run
YTD: 522.23 miles
AVG: 3.4815/day
149 days in a row

I was tired, it was late and dark, and I didn’t want to run any more than a mile. I put on the Vibrams I thought would be least likely to make contact with the raw spot on the top of my foot. I was successful :)


Between the land of Aman that in the north curved eastward, and the east-shores of Endor  that bore westward, there was a narrow strait, through which the chill waters of the Encircling Sea and the waves of Belegaer flowed together, and there were vast fogs and mists of deathly cold, and the sea-streams were filled with clashing hills of ice and the grinding of ice deep-sunken. Such was the Helcaraxë, and there none yet had dared to tread save the Valar only and Ungoliant.

B • #PlayableCity by artist #TineBech on #CubittStepsBridge #CanaryWharf • part of the #WinterLightsFestival • As you walk across the bridge, #neon #lights change from #Pink to #Blue & #clouds of #fog appear! • #Art #Installation #MackenzieWalk #Westwards #LondonDocklands #EastLondon #London #England #GreatBritain #UnitedKingdom • #winter #evening #11thJanuary #2014 #lofi #lux #st #thest (at Mackenzie Walk East)

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With SMTIV:A finally westward-bound it’s about time we put the finishing touches on our semi-ongoing coverage of the designs introduced therein, courtesy of artist Masayuki Doi. But hey, at least we’ll be going out on a high note with Mephisto, golden boy of Faustian legend and apparent purveyor of ignominious anime beach scenes!

RIght off the bat, Doi’s rendition is tilling heavily from the traditional theater dress worn in play and opera adapted from the Faust legend: a varying ensemble of red and black replete with pompous frills and occasionally certain jester-like features (notably emphasized in Kaneko’s original design employed in Megami Tensei II). But to narrow it down a bit, Mephisto’s primary inspiration appears to be the illustration pictured above, taken from a series by artist Leon Salut titled L'Art du Travestissement, circa 1885Just about every feature of the torso is faithfully reproduced, while the less contiguous elements, such as the admittedly dapper cap, are simply culled from other takes on the iconic costume. Throw in some horns and such to suggest more hell-spawn than theater troupe and you’ve got one of the game’s more compelling fresh faces.

Mephisto himself is unfortunately locked away in some decidedly, uh, divisive DLC; practically a Faustian pact in and of itself. It’s a shame, seeing as, for our money, Mephisto stands among Doi’s greatest contributions to the roster. 

Streaming • #LilyPads by artist #ElaBrunelHawes in the #RaisedWaterChannel at #JubileePark #CanaryWharf • part of the #WinterLightsFestival • These #neon #lights change #colour activated by smartphones nearby. Change the colours by connecting to www.lilypad.wifi (via) i.com • #purple #trees #Art #Installation #Westwards #fountains & #cascades #LondonDocklands #EastLondon #London #England #GreatBritain #UnitedKingdom • #winter #evening #11thJanuary #2015 #lofi #lux #st #thest (at Jubilee Park)

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The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed by President Lincoln #onthisday, the first in a series of laws that would open millions of acres of federal land for settlement.

Check out highlights from our collections showing the impact of the Homestead Acts and dig deeper into the role of the Homestead Act in the settlement of Montana in “Boom and Bust: The Industries that Settled Montana,” including some of these selections (1, 2, 3, 4,) from the Montana Memory Project via Mountain West Digital Library.  

These early twentieth century brochures by the Great Northern Railway and Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway advertise homestead land in Montana.  “Made a Great Mistake – By Not Coming Sooner!” writes one homesteader!


Albert Bierstadt - The Last of the Buffalo by Irina

Albert Bierstadt was a German-born American painter best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion.

Author Interview - MTK4fun!

Originally posted by hutcherbunny-blog

Today I am absolutely delighted to bring you a chat with Everlark historical fic author extraordinare @mtk4fun

So you’re a writer both of fan fiction and of original fiction - how long have you been writing?

Forever. I wrote poetry as a kid and won an award in a contest at my public library. The prize: I got to go into the librarian’s lunch room and eat as many cookies as I wanted. They talked to me about writing and books. It was nice.

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(via Sammy-Nominated Westwards Make Music Beyond Their Years - capradio.org)

Westwards completely rocked the SAMMIES, they didn’t win this year, but it won’t be too long. 

#onthisday in 1860, a group of Bostonians met at Faneuil Hall “for the purpose of expressing sympathy for the outraged Indian tribes on our frontier and to do as much as may be to prevent further wrongs.” 

We’re not sure what specific event these Bostonians were protesting.  We do know that between 1812 and 1860 the United States expanded westward. This rapid expansion frequently resulted in the forced relocation of Native American tribes. Do any of our followers have ideas about the event these Bostonians might have been protesting?