Weekly Roundup: Bald Eagles, Mount Bonnell, and More

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to record a weekly round-up video of highlights from my life in Austin. Here’s the first installment:

For those of you who’d prefer to read it, I’ve got you covered…

1. THIS! My new Vlog

YouTube – Stephen Torrence

This year one of my resolutions is to vlog, weekly. So, this is the first week of that… thing. I’ll bring you about five things every week in sort of a round-up. Cool stuff that happened in my life, cool things I found on the Internet… stuff. Y’know. Stuff. And I promise to be caffeinated every single time.

2. Ride to Mount Bonnell

We have one mountain in Austin. It’s called Mount Bonnell, and it is gorgeous! And probably wouldn’t qualify as a mountain anywhere other than Texas. BUT it’s our mountain, and so we love it.

This weekend it was in the 60’s in January… because Texas. So I decided to take my Fairdale Weekender out on a long ride up to our singular mountain. I took this snazzy panorama. If you ever visit the city make that one of the things on your list, absolute best views of downtown, of the hill country, and pretty good hiking too. It’s got some rocks, and some trees, and some pathways and stuff. Mount Bonnell. Check it out.

3. Raspberry Pi

I bought a Raspberry Pi! I plan to actually do interesting things with it. The first thing my roommates and I came up with is like a security camera that you text and it sends you the latest photo of whatever’s outside of our house… among other things. It’s geeky! It’s gonna fun.

4. That New (Car2Go) Smell

About three years I sold my car and I have not owned a vehicle for that entire time. I do a combination of a few things. I ride a bicycle, my Fairdale Weekender. I use public transportation, which is… okay in Austin. Could be better. I drive the Car2Go‘s around town.

I had a fun little moment this week. Most of the fleet is about two years old or so, so I’m used to buttons that don’t work as well, and suspension that isn’t quite as absorbent. But this past week I badged into a vehicle, got inside and… it had that New Car Smell! And that was kinda neat because, y’know, I haven’t bought a car in a while and I don’t get to experience that New Car Smell thing.

So thanks Car2Go for upgrading your fleet and giving me a pleasant surprise this week.

5. Bald Eagles in Dutch Harbor

Last but not least: eagles!

So a friend of mine and I had a conversation the other night. She is from Dutch Harbor, which you might know from Deadliest Catch. Apparently, in Dutch Harbor, bald eagles are as common as seagulls or buzzards and do pretty much the same things. So eagles will tear apart fish that are around or spend a lot of time at landfills picking apart things that could possibly be edible.

And they will also apparently hold your groceries hostage by sitting on your vehicle until the police come and shoo them away nonviolently because you can’t do anything to Bald Eagles because they’re endangered apparently even though there are a bunch of them.

(EDIT) Turns out they haven’t been endangered since 1995, and haven’t been threatened since 2007. Great! No one likes a bully with immunity.

There’s probably a political allegory somewhere in there but I just thought it was interesting. Bald Eagles. Really common apparently. In some places.

Alright, that’s it for this week. I’ll see you next Sunday for another video!

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