Not all Strike missions are home runs or even base hits. Some are deletions. No thugs. During a recent surfing trip to Nicaragua, longtime California travel buddies and Xcel team members Christian “Cram” Ramirez and Ryan “Snacks” Valasek didn’t exactly hit thousands right from the start. But they were determined to at least stay in the game.
What was supposed to be a carefree, easy-peasy surf surfer ended up being spoiled by a crazy emergency going to Texas to expedite a passport renewal, all the usual and a few unusual diverted flights, and, oh yeah, an overzealous drug dog. “There were so many setbacks when I actually got to Nicaragua, I feel like it took years of my life,” Cram said. “It almost got to the point where I expected something to go wrong.”
Despite all the difficulties, the duo made it. And what they found was worth all the hoops they had to jump through along the way.
Snacks: “This trip was a huge stepping stone for Cram and me. We had been planning trips for a while but everything was put on hold with COVID so we just surfed locally while waiting for some travel restrictions to be lifted. I was camping up in Bend, Oregon with bumpy service when I happened to receive this text message from Christian: “We’re going to Nicaragua next week. I just bought a plane ticket.” I had had all these other plans but just canceled them, bought my ticket to Nica and flew home to California to pack. We left three days later.”
Plug: “I knew I had to renew my passport to travel, but the only available slot across the country was in El Paso, Texas. I learned this 48 hours before I left for Nicaragua. After packing my gear with all the gear I needed for the trip, I drove from SLO (San Luis Obispo) to Santa Ana and then went on a 36 hour passport mission to El Paso. Finally, two days after leaving my home in SLO, I met up in Rancho for snacks.”
Plug: “Six hours before our flight, I received an email from the Nicaraguan government saying we were denied entry into the country. Without hesitation we booked new flights to Costa Rica that were an hour later than our original flights to Nica. We landed in Costa Rica, got through customs, and then this drug dog started going crazy on my bag. After two hours of interrogation, while my pockets were being torn apart – and I had resisted several offers of bribes because I knew I wasn’t carrying anything illegal – I was finally able to leave.”
Snacks: “For this trip I brought the camera case I’ve had for a number of years: a Sony A7riii, a couple of prime lenses, a surf lens and a water case with a small lens mount. I’ve paired them with some of my favorite film cameras – a Yashica-D medium format camera and a Contax T2 point-and-shoot.”
Plug: “I really only have one window on the outer reef, but it shot. I had it all to myself, which was a little scary to find out on my own. The wave had an insane spin from a boil at launch. When I found out, the game was on. I had surfed for two hours, caught six waves and was ready for a marathon session when a storm hit. It started raining sideways so hard I could barely see land. It was just pouring rain. That was the end of my dream session, but I’m eyeing this wave for future strikes. There is still work to be done!”
I used to think perfect duffel bag didn’t exist — until I stumbled across the now-viral Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag in May. Back then my long awaited Hawaiian honeymoon was about three weeks away, and I had spent months tracking down a compact speakerphone shoulder bag Pocket. I needed something that could get me hiking and snorkeling in the mornings, followed by leisurely afternoons of sunbathing, shopping, and sipping mai tais.
Back then, the Lululemon belt bag came in two sizes: Standard and Extended. I originally wanted the extended length in black; However, due to availability I ordered the purple extended bag and the more versatile regular length black bag. The strap lengths only varied by a few inches and I figured I could always return the regular version if it was too short.
I wasn’t ready to love her as much as I did — in fact, I ended up putting both options in my suitcase. As I slung one of the two bags over my chest, I was immediately struck by how light it felt. (So much so, in Maui, for a moment I thought it had been lost.) Plus, despite its compact size, each contained a full day’s essentials: an SPF stick, a bottle suncream, AirPods, my iPhone, credit cards, cash, my ID, a lip balm, and to top it off, a disposable camera. Even after putting all of these things in the fanny pack, I didn’t feel the strain (read: no shoulder pain!) like I used to. While I mostly mean as handbag, shoulder bagYou can also wear it around the waist, fanny pack style.
Lululemon Everywhere bum bag
The clever design is another great benefit: instead of one main compartment, the Everywhere bag contains multiple zipped and mesh pockets, which helped me stay organized on the go. The secure front pocket provides easy access to my most packed items, like my driver’s license and AirPods.
As someone who tends to spill and soil my clothes, I also appreciate the Everywhere bag’s water-resistant polyester fabric, which is incredibly easy to clean. A wet napkin is really all you need to clean up ketchup stains, spilled coffee, sunscreen residue and the good old dirt and debris that can accumulate after a long hike.
Lululemon has since phased out the original bag in favor of the longer strap design, now referred to simply as the Everywhere Belt Bag. And although the bag’s popularity means it’s been sold in and out lately –check here to see if it’s back online – it was previously sold in a range of shades including a pretty pastel pink, simple black, bright light purple and more. If you see one you like, be quick – it may not be around for long and if you do get your hands on one I’m confident it will become your new favorite bag.
[Editor’s note: As of publishing, the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag was in stock onAmazonandeBay. You can also check yourlocal Lululemon storefor inventory.]
Blockchain oracles connect blockchains to external systems, enabling the execution of smart contracts based on real-world inputs and outputs, Cointelegraph reports.
Oracles provide the Web3.0 ecosystem with the ability to connect to existing legacy systems, data sources, and advanced computations.
Decentralized oracle networks (DONs) enable the creation of hybrid smart contracts that combine off-chain infrastructure and on-chain code to create complex decentralized apps (DApps) that respond to real-world events and interact with traditional systems.
Because the blockchain is a distributed ledger, each node in the network must produce the same output given the same input. For example, if one node tries to validate another node’s transaction, the result will be different. This architecture was designed with determinism in mind.
In blockchain, consensus is the technique to agree on a data value, and determinism is essential for nodes to reach consensus. Some of them, such as B. Proof-of-Work (PoW) with Nakamoto consensus and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) with Byzantine consensus may be recognizable to you. Consensus is one of the main reasons blockchain works in the first place.
The blockchain oracle riddle reveals a fundamental limitation of smart contracts: they cannot be linked in any way to data or systems outside of their native blockchain context. External resources are referred to as “off-chain,” while data currently being recorded on the blockchain is referred to as “on-chain.”
Software oracles deliver data from digital sources such as websites, servers or databases, while hardware oracles deliver data from the physical world. In addition, hardware oracles can deliver and forward data from camera motion sensors and RFID (radio frequency identification) sensors. Oracle software can provide real-time data such as exchange rates, price fluctuations, and travel information.
Oracles create a two-way communication channel with blockchains by sending and receiving data. Incoming oracles are more likely to deliver off-chain or real-world data to the blockchain than outgoing oracles. Additionally, the imported data can represent almost anything from asset price movements to weather conditions to payment verification.
A common scenario that can be programmed for incoming oracles is: when an asset reaches a certain price, you place a buy order. Outgoing oracles, on the other hand, notify the outside world of an event that has occurred in the chain.
When Nyla Witmore and her husband decided it was time to move from their large family home in Boulder to a retirement community, Nyla’s first criteria weren’t excellent food, a spacious apartment, or engaging social programs (although she appreciated all of those traits, too) . Instead, her main wish for her new home was the Northern Lights.
As a professional artist who has taught, painted and lived in Boulder for more than three decades, Witmore longed for a home that minimized distractions and, yes, provided ideal lighting. She explained: “I love having perfectly balanced Northern Lights, a must for a painter.” She and her husband, a retired businessman, found the right place for them – and for their art The carillon at Boulder Creek, the upscale, luxury hotel-style senior living community tucked between Folsom Field and the University of Colorado Boulder east campus. “I knew I could focus more here,” she said. The Witmores rented two adjoining one-bedroom apartments on the north side of The Carillon, one for their residence and the second for an art studio. “From our balcony we can watch people rafting down the creek and watch people learning to play tennis and walking back and forth along the way. We look at nature. When winter comes and the leaves fall, we face the Front Range; The view is terrific.”
Creativity in the carillon Life at The Carillon was good for Witmore and her art. A past president of the Boulder Art Association, she attended Boulder’s Open Studios for years and continues to paint weekly with the Plein Air Artists of Colorado. Her work, which is exhibited in galleries internationally, is mostly representational and impressionist in style, and she enjoys capturing intimate landscapes while creating “a feeling but also an interpretation of the scene in front of me,” Witmore said. She added, laughing, “My work was a great excuse to travel.” Nonetheless, at the Carillon, Witmore prefers to “be one of the group” and “inspire others to express their creativity,” whether by doing it curating a gallery wall or encouraging her roommates in their imaginative pursuits, she said. Although she paints a few hours most days in her studio, she religiously attends Tuesday art classes at The Carillon, taught by resident and former public school art teacher Mary Hamlin.
“Mary’s approach is very liberating and exploratory,” Witmore said. “In community life we have residents with some artistic experiences and others use their free time to discover or develop hidden artistic skills. Both experienced and novice participants come together once a week to explore creativity. I’ve seen significant growth in the three years we’ve lived here.” Even her 57-year-old husband, who never picked up a brush before moving to The Carillon, attends classes. “And he’s happy about it,” Witmore said.
Hamlin’s welcoming and adventurous approach to art reflects The Carillon’s ethos. After all, The Carillon is about empowering and stimulating the whole person, from fitness classes and speaking engagements to brain teasers and book clubs, noted Bryan Sanchez, Carillon Community Sales Manager, so the arts program fits intuitively into community life.
Hamlin started her class about nine years ago. “When I first came to The Carillon we had some crafts and fun little paints, that’s it. I started the program and it took off immediately,” she recalls. “We’re people who are willing to try, look at great art, talk about the composition, and then say, ‘Maybe we can try to work like this person.'” The class experiments with extensive media, including Pencil drawings, acrylic, pen and ink, print, collage and small sculptures.
“Art allows us to think bigger than the obvious, to expand our world to really be more observant and sensitive to expressing and reacting to our feelings,” Hamlin said. “I tell them to ‘show me what you see,’ and there’s a lot of satisfaction in that.”
Art for brain health The carillon’s focus on residents’ creativity can also support physical health, Witmore said. “Creativity employs a different part of the brain, and as we get older it’s so important that we stimulate more sites in the brain to keep the brain healthy and keep depression at bay.”
Comparing the cognitive benefits of creating art to exercise, Witmore said, “My balance has improved by 75 percent since taking the exercise classes here, and my husband and I are both healthier than when we moved in three years ago. The fitness and balance classes include brain training and that improves everything.”
A treasure chest full of life stories Witmore came to art professionally late in life and did not seriously study painting until her 40s. She practiced briefly as a speech pathologist, cared for her sons, wrote full-time, and published three books before “discovering that I had some talent and started adult education,” she said. Her work soon attracted students and galleries such as the SmithKlein Gallery on Pearl Street.
“Stories like mine,” Witmore said, “are one of the most important parts of The Carillon.” She explained, “It’s like this treasure chest that gradually unfolds as we learn more about each other and discover these interesting people and stories.” Several other Carillon residents are dedicated to the arts, including a former CU professor who regularly gives piano recitals at the The Carillon there, and a former art professor and museum curator.
To celebrate residents’ skills and encourage artistic development, Witmore was asked to organize a gallery wall at The Carillon. Mounted works by selected local artists are shown on the wall every few months and the residents are given the opportunity to create a thematic exhibition. In addition, The Carillon dedicates a wall to Hamlin’s art classes and showcases the residents’ recent projects. “There’s so much encouragement and stimulation here,” Witmore said. “The Carillon encourages older and newer residents to continue to use the talents they already have.”
Finally, Witmore said: “Everyone puts off moving into senior living, but we’ve realized it’s wiser to scale back while you still have the energy. I was an avid gardener for years and my wrists were tired from pulling weeds. I chose art.”