Louis Self
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Arizona Lou

Archived Blog 2009: Aug

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Note: While not kiteboarding, I updated my blog every few days… or when something special happened.

Wed 8/26/09 - Exciting Home Page Success! Just tonight (Wed, 8/26/09), Remi Taylor and Byron Bowerman at Gang Plank in Chandler, AZ helped me modify my hover pictures to include captions – something I have been trying to accomplish for over nine months. Check out Dev-Fu, for their cool custom web software.

Mon 8/17 – Mon 8/24 – Before leaving LA I had a short full body workout and shower at the Garden Grove LA Fitness, washed my van, got the oil changed and then drove to my home Phoenix to act like a normal boring person for a while.
- The ensuing week, in the house department I unloaded the van, cleaned out the van’s refrigerator, stowed stuff, cleaned the kitchen counter, trimmed some shrubs, thoroughly vacuumed the house, got a skin check from my dermatologist, sunned and exercycled almost daily, watched lots of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show segments recorded while I was gone, went to the gym several times, inspected my rental house, shopped for groceries, kept up with phone calls, socialized some and helped my nephew, Shane, celebrate my younger brother, George, and his wife, Cindy's 40th wedding anniversary.
- In the kite department I rinsed and dried my kites, researched spectra vs. Kevlar vs. Technora for kite lines, and got my new Goodwill hockey helmet ready for the next trip.
- In the computer department, I installed K-Lite (a CODEC to enable Windows Media Player to play all sorts of media formats), installed Ubuntu (Linux operation system) on an old laptop and played with it.
- For this website, on the home page I added a photo of my daughter’s family and of my new Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard, updated 26 pages to enhance the side bar menu, added six new photos and descriptions to Van Life (check‘em out), plus added a few other photos and made a lot of minor formatting improvements here and there - Whew!

Sun 8/16 – Backed up my eeePC900HA's modified data and image files to the 300gb external hard drive that I take on my trips; had an early lunch; did a sun & run with a pulse of 142 after the run.
- The wind came up around 3pm here on my last day here. Scott and I were out on the water about 4:00. I wanted to do a downwinder to Seal and Sunset Beaches, but there is always next trip. We ended up going 1 mile out to Chaffee Island (the oil rig island), then on an additional 1.1 miles to the breakwater, then on an additional 1.4 miles around an oil rig – all in one and aa half hours. I used my 14 m Cabrinha Contra and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin tip board with foot straps. Total distance traveled with the upwind tacks to the island was 12.3 miles. I then spent a short half hour on my surfboard.
- Spending the night in Garden Grove for a head start toward my home in Phoenix

Sat 8/15 – This morning I got caught up on email since I found an open wifi and did some research on a possible Linux-based (Ubuntu) computer system for my brother, Stan. He needs something without the worry of viruses.
- Today’s “wind” came late; with a peak gust of 15 a little before 5 pm.. I demo’d a 2009 14m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 along with three different boards. There was enough wind to stay upwind, but not enough to give the boards a fair test. Then for comparison I went out on my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard. As the sun was setting, I took time to help Dave (about 62-year-old beginner) with some of his kite techniques. He was practicing on the massive beach with his 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 – just like mine.
- Spending the night in Belmont Shores.

Fri 8/14 – Spent most of the morning making, writing and mailing 11 post cards using a picture taken by Eric yesterday of me doing a beach jump. The lighting was not very good and there was not enough wind to go very high but that’s the brakes.
- When the wind picked up in the afternoon I demo’d a Cabrinha Cross Bow and another kite and a twin-tip board for a total of about two hours. It was interesting, but I still like my stuff. I’ll probably demo some more tomorrow.
- Instead of going out for a late afternoon session I cleaned my little refrigerator with Clorox, as it was smelling. Never figured out what was causing the smell. Since I had some Clorox spray left over, I cleaned the white lettering on my tires, which sure look good now, as opposed to the rest of the van, due to all the salt air and crud.
- Spending the night in Belmont Shores

Thu 8/13 – Resolved checking this morning; made some phone calls; around 5pm did some beach jumps (hardly enough wind) with Eric as photographer/videogerapher; then rode with 14 m Cabrinha Contra and Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard for about an hour. Nothing great, but did a few foot switches during the carves; not many people out due to the low winds; purged the photos and videos this evening and selected one photo for possible post card. Eventually you may see some of the result here on my website.
- Spending the night in Belmont Shores.

Wed 8/12 – This morning after breakfast I met my friend Lloyd for coffee (him) and salad (me) for a catch-up visit before his dental appointment across the street.
- In the afternoon I spent some time visiting with Hank and group. Among other things we talked about landing kites on the north side of the sidewalk path, which is against the rules at Belmont Beach. The wind slowly built starting about 3:30. I spent about two hours under my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 (a good call): 20 minutes riding my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard and not doing very well, so switched to my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin tip board. My jumps were pretty good at first. I also did some down kite loop carves to toe side and a few back kite loops. Didn’t crash the kite much and never got the kite inverted or the lines tangled like yesterday. With the twin tip top speed was 21.6 mph and the distance was 13.1 miles.
- Spending the night in Belmont Shores.

Tue 8/11 – While waiting for wind this morning I checked the wind forecast (as always), downloaded my banking statement, credit card statement and ordered a 90-day supply of asthma medications from Prescription Solutions.
- The wind picked up and I got on the water with my 14 m Cabrinha Contra and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin tip board at about 3:30 pm. I was out for about 2:20, including two on-shore breaks to re-attach my kite lines after the kite inverted on itself. That is what happens when you try to do kite loops and fail to maintain tension on the lines because you’re zippin’ down wind too fast. I switched to my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard toward the last. With it, max speed was 21.1 mph. Total distance for the day was 15.2 miles, including the half mile drifting downwwind while getting my kite squared away. No, I did not walk back upwind. I RODE back upwind!
- Spending the night in Huntington Beach.

Mon 8/10 – Spent most of the day hanging in San Pedro at Scott’s, cleaning, soaking and bandaging my minor feet injuries. Also took a little nap and watched some of my kiteboarding-in-the-surf video from Real Kites in OBX.
- The wind picked up enough in the late afternoon to kite a short session at Belmont Beach on my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” surfboard STRAPLESS. Short but sweet, as I did not get down in the water from when I jumped up on the board to start the session through my 16 th jibe (jibed in both directions, switching my feet before and after the carve. The magic did not last, as I had to then body drag back to my board several times. However I did accomplish a couple of foot switches during the carve
- Spending the night in Belmont Shores

Sun 8/9 – Spent the first part of the day in a shady spot blogging for yesterday reading and taking a nap trying to stave off a cold. In the afternoon went to Scott’s condo for a visit. I couldn’t pass up his offer of a warm shower.
- By about 3pm Scott said there was enough wind to head to his secret spot one mile W of Cabrillo Beach.. We both managed to tangle our lines in an attempt to roll them up connected to the deflated kite before carrying the whole thing down the 131-foot cliff to the secret spot. After we got our lines untangled we both went out and had fun, although there was less wind than we expected. He was on a 16m kite and I was on my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4. We both used twin-tip boards. The rolling, non breaking, waves were neat. All the kelp sea weed was not.
- Spending the night again in San Pedro

Sat 8/8 – Breakfast for the kite shop owners went well. The congenial group listened to my Pie Theory and talked about kiteboarding, the weather and other stuff. The breakfast burritos were huge and delicious, the fresh squeezed orange juice got rave reviews, people enjoyed the fruit tray and there were even three takers for the big muffins of various flavors. The five left-over muffins will supply my treat nights for about five weeks. Thanks to Jeff of Alberto’s Beach Grill for loaning us a table and to Robert of Kitesurfari for loaning us some chairs.
- I entered the lack-of-wind-delayed jump competition for the old guys over 40 (did about an hour's worth of puny jumps), joined the SCKA (Southern California Kiteboard Association) and went to the delicious BBQ at Alfredo’s. There I met Scott who came up with the idea of kiting Cabrillo Beach area tomorrow so I ...
- spent the night in San Pedro to be near Cabrillo Beach for kiteboarding tomorrow. It seems I may have a cold comming on, so will try to get some extra sleep.

Fri 8/7 – Spent most of the morning talking to shop owners, making phone calls for tomorrow’s breakfast and finalizing plans and arrangements. Also I worked on adding a list of weather-related items to my Definitions web page.
- For kiteboarding, the wind finally materialized around 4pm. I rode for about two hours and, powered by my 14 m Cabrinha Contra, actually spent more time strapless than on my twin-tip. With the Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard I attempted a series of switch then carves (more difficult for me), a series of carves then switches (pretty good success except to port) and a series of switches during the carves. I actually made one or two of the latter. My top speeds hovered near 21.5 mph strapless and strapped. I was the last off the water. By the time I got my things wrapped up and stowed in my van the sun was just setting and the beach was nearly deserted.
- Ralph’s Supermarket was certainly accommodating. Since I do not have space for all the breakfast stuff in my van, the manager let me shop for everything (muffins, juice, plates, glasses, silverware etc.) and then put it all in the milk cooler so the juice, water etc will be nice and cold in the morning. I also ordered breakfast burritos to be ready at 8:15 tomorrow morning. Putting the breakfast all together is sort of fun. I just hope people show up for it.
- Spending the night in Naples

Thu 8/6 – Best kiting day yet this trip to So CA! Before the wind picked up I enjoyed a light full-body workout at the Garden Grove LA Fitness and found some Speedo’s on sale at Big 5 Sports.
- For the kiteboarding, all with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4: 1) With my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” strapless surfboard I actually did the foot switch as I carved! That is instead of before or after. 2) With my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin tip board I had more success with jumping when I edged the board at a less steep angle. I embraced the waves and used them for hop ramps. Also did two reverse kite loops. Top speeds were 19.5 mph strapless and 22.1 mph with straps. Keep in mind that the water was choppy.
This evening I added a new link to NOAA’s Los Angeles weather forecast on my Shops Services WX web page. Spending the night in Belmont Shores

Tue 8/5 – While waiting for the wind to pick up I organized photos that I need to process before adding them to the Van Life and other web pages and added a video taken by Duane Hall to the bottom of About Lou. Check it out!
- Had two pretty good kite sessions, both with my 14 m Cabrinha Contra. The first session I crashed a lot (me into the water, not the kite) and spent a lot of time body dragging upwind to get my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x a7.5” surfboard - strapless, but did accomplish about four ugly jibes in the choppy water. The second session was with my comfortable 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin tip board with foot straps, of course. In addition to the normal stuff I did one reverse kite loop in each direction in preparation for eventually adding a kite loop to my jumps while I’m in the air.
- Spending the night in Garden Grove.

Mon 8/3 - Tue 8/4 – No kiteboarding: Mon I treated Judy and Anne (old Huntington Beach friends) to brunch. When I got back to Belmont Beach I found that there had been kitable winds while I was socializing, but friends are more important than kiteboarding and we had a nice visit.
- Tue was mostly computer day. I downloaded K-Lite Mega CODEC Pack to use with Windows Media Player (WMP). This CODEC (Coder/DECoder) should enable WMP to play all sorts of audio and video file types, including the .MPG4 files from my camcorder. Right now I am using VLC which is sometimes jerky and is not quite as user friendly as WMP.
- I rounded out the day by doing a beach sun/run and downloading and starting to read the instructions for K-Lite and Juice (pod catcher software).
- Spent the night in Belmont Shores

Sun 8/2 – Woke up early this morning and headed on toward Belmont Beach at 6:30 in order to arrive early since the free parking (on Ocean Blvd.) is scarce on weekends. Most of the morning was a fogy overcast, but the wind slowly built after the fog burned off and the sun came out. While waiting for the wind I rigged an index pin on my mobile weather station’s anemometer pole among other things.
I rode for two hours with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin tip board. Just before I went out on the water the wind topped out at about 20 mph and slowly tapered off to 5 mph at sunset. The most notable thing I did was to ride upwind to the windward side of the palm tree lined oil drilling rig off the shore. Also did some kite loops, lousy jumps, carves etc. Top speed was 23.0 mph on the choppy water – the first time I used my newly repaired Garmin Foretrex 201 GPS receiver

Sat 8/1 - This was going to be an early-morning departure for LA’s Belmont Beach (my GPS waypoint LBELMO). However, since they have somewhat degraded the forecast winds for the LA area (later I learned that there were good winds Saturday), I have delayed my departure and am writing today’s blog while waiting for my transmission to be serviced, on a Saturday Tune-up Special, at Ken’s Transmission. When I finish here I'll do a little shopping, spray my yard for weeds, load up, do a little more shopping and maybe leaving for Belmont Beach.
- By 9:30pm I made it 300 miles to Beaumont, CA (23 miles east of Riverside) for the night with 80 miles left to drive tomorrow morning to Belmont Beach. Thanks to Best Western Motel’s free Wifi for today’s blog.

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