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Arizona Lou

Blog Archive 2012 Aug

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Wed 8/1 - Two good kiteboarding sessions on Maui today, similar to yesterday, but a little earlier. First was at 12:30 with surfboard and second was at 4:10 with twin-tip, with which I managed a really high (for me) jump of about 20 feet, and I almost landed it. Also I managed four jump jibes with kite loops, and am beginning to feel more comfortable in the waves and gusts.

Thu 8/2 - This morning I purchased about 27 shares of VT exchange traded funds (ETF), and then went to several windsurf and kiteboard beaches to see if anyone was interested in the Second Wind store credit I might get in exchange for the wetsuit top I plan to return. No takers.
- Two one hour sessions with my 8m Best Nemesis: the first practicing jibes on my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard without footstraps and the second practicing jumps etc. and the second on my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board practicing jumps etc.
- Did my last major shopping for here in Maui.

Fri 8/3 - This morning before going out to the kiteboarding location (Beach #2) I had a long phone visit with
George and Cindy
younger brother who lives in Mesa and his wife
from before 7am Hawaii time when my minutes are free, which was before 10 am Phoenix time.
- Thank you, Frannie (windsurfer I met yesterday) for suggesting that I telephone Ralph, owner of The Second Wind Sail, Surf and Kite shop. Ralph patiently listened to my sob story about being unable to get my 70-year-old joints into and out of the wetsuit top in a reasonable time and refunded my money. Thank you, Ralph for treating me, your customer, well. I'm sure it helped that the suit was off-the-rack new, as I had not removed the tags, worn the suit or even taken it out of the car. Second Wind seems has the best selection of wetsuits that I have found on Maui.
- Although there was somewhat less wind than yesterday, (an average of 20 with a peak gust of 24 mph) I was able to fly my with my 8m Best Nemesis kite for both sessions. The first hour I practiced switching to toeside first and then carving to healside for the jibes on my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard without footstraps. The second hour, on my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board, I practiced for half an hour of jumps and jump jibes with kite loops and then for a half hour of toe-to-heal jibes with kite loops and lots of pumping due to the decreased wind.
- George, a new kiteboarding friend I met on the beach said, Lou you're rippin' it up." That certainly made me feel good, although I don't think of myself as yet having reached that level of riding.
- After eating supper at the car, before leaving the beach I experimented with my camera and did not get the follow-focus (Focus Tracking) to work with kiteboarders.

Sat 8/4 - Being the weekend, I wanted to get to the beach (#2) in time to pick a good parking place. The unpaved road to the beach is wide enough for cars to parallel park on the east side. I arrived about 11:05, after stopping by the post office to buy stamps and mail 15 post cards, and was able to get one of my favorite spots that has trees situated on both sides of the road so that there is shade most of the morning and also most of the afternoon.
- Good kiteboarding sessions: The first one was an hour with my 8m Best Nemesis on my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard without footstraps. The first half of the session I reviewed the skills I have been practicing the last several days - didn't do too well. The second half of the session I practiced carving jibes from healside to toeside and THEN switching my feet. I made every one, although they were not all pretty!
- The second session was with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board. I made some pretty high jumps and a couple good illusive jump jibes with kite loops. I did get my kite wet and had to drag back to my board. I cut the session short because my grip was getting a little tired - unusual for me.
- Crawled into a fresh and clean bed, fresh and clean after after shower.

Sun 8/5 - Out at the beach I was able to park in the shade even closer than yesterday. I kited for 2.5 hours in three sessions starting at 12:10 (1 hour), 3:15 (1 hour) and 4:30 (half hour); 1:00, 1:00 and :30 minutes respectively, all with my 12m kite. The first session, on my twin tip, I landed some pretty good jumps and had a couple good jump jibes with kite loops.
- The second session, on my surf board without footstraps, I left shore by jumping up onto the board with both feet and riding away (I usually have to sit down in the water to get started), and did not get even my harness wet until after I had accomplished 16 jibes! I got plenty wet when I attempted two carves from toeside to healside with kite loops (no foot straps, remember).
- The third session was on my twin tip. I tried about everything and nothing was very good but the kite did not touch the water.
- The tops of my feet and toes must be toughened up now,because I get no sore or red spots where the footstraps rub.

Mon 8/6 - This morning I spent 1 1/3 hours on the phone with Garmin - a good portion of that on hold because Mondays are their busiest days. Since I initiated the call at 6:56am local HI time, my minutes were free. Rachele helped me figure the cause of CHECK MSN RECEIVER popping up on my Nuvi 885T every few seconds, although MSN quit their traffic and other services at the first of the year. Garmin will be sending me a new lifetime traffic receiver/power cable (GTM 60, I think). That helps compensate for my Nuvi 885T's frequent spontaneous reboots, Where To lockups, bogus rout optimization and slow 20-second character inputs. The unit's voice recognition feature is really cool, being able to control the unit while driving without having to touch it.
- Only two kiting sessions today due to the gusty winds. Starting at 1:40 I got some big air with my twintip and 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4. Right after launch it Hindenburged into the water so I had to relaunch the kite from shore. It was a lot of work with the gustiness so I stayed out for only 47 minutes. Most ladies were on 7's and most guys were on 9's.
- About 3:10 Jerry (Patty) from SPI launched my 8m Best Nemesis which, due to gustiness, fell straight downwind on the beach. I hollered a "Heads Up", depowered the kite and had someone relaunch it. Things went pretty well for the rest of the session, although it was, once again, a lot of work with the pumping, gustiness and big waves (for me) on my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard without footstraps. For the second time this trip, I strategically ended up about 200 feet down the beach from where I put in.
- This evening I rinsed off my twintip board and put it in front of a fan so it will be completely dry (less weight) tomorrow for my afternoon packing. Tomorrow morning, all my riding will be on my surfboard because it does not have foot straps to retain water.

Tue 8/7 - Last day of wind, for me that is. I measured it at 26mph gusting to 32 (23% above the average). I had a good session with my with my 8m Best Nemesis on my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard without footstraps. I was only out 47 minutes due to it becoming gusty and the challenging shoulder-high waves. In spite of that I tried something new under these challenging conditions: on the same tack switching back and forth between healside and toeside. Didn't fall into the water too much and the kite never touched it, which was good since I wanted to wrap it up dry for packing up. I decided to come to shore downwind from the first jetty because my time on the water was limited for tacking back upwind.
- After kiteboarding I was able to give Marry Anne, the hotel maid, a $40 tip, which she plans to use to open a new savings account at her credit union. I checked an online calculator from the Online Resources section of my Smart Stuff web page and found she would have about a quarter of a million dollars if she would invest $5/day tip money for 40 years at an annual interest rate of 3%.
- This evening I got my big bags packed. That didn't take too long but the tweaking to weight took a while. When I finished both bags were 49.2 lb according to my little Travelon luggage scale. In between packing I did a large load of laundry - cold water since the load included a variety of colors. Teresita was kind enough to let me use the hotel's Whirpool washer and drier.

Wed 8/8 - I woke up at about 6:40 this morning, fixed breakfast and ate it and fixed lunch in my cute little insulated lunch bag and ended up leaving it in the refrigerator. The substitute, chicken Caesar salad at the airport, cost me $11, and was not nearly as nutritious as the one in the refrigerator back at the hotel. Packing up my Pierre Cardin roller suitcase and backpack and taking pictures rounded out my stay at the hotel.
- Turning in the Enterprise rental car went very smoothly. They certainly run an efficient and economical operation. The curb-side luggage check in at the airport went with a hitch. I had a $20 bill in my hand for a tip and told the porter that I weighed the bags at 49.2 lb each. He did not even put them on his scale! The rest of the trip home also went well. My seat mates were Don to the right and a young lady to the left. Believe it or not, she lives on
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
on Ocracoke Island. Small world.

Thu 8/9 to Sat 8/11 - I spent so much time catching up with my finances (nothing to pay due to zero balances on all of my credit cards), mail and ordering things that I need to receive before leaving on my next trip. I did not have time to unpack my roller bag suit case, big kite bags or even go to the gym. I did get a 2mm medium-sized wetsuit jacket returned (I had ordered both a medium and a large since I would not have time to try one and get it exchanged before leaving), disassemble my
little TRex 100x RC helicopter that has a tail rotor and flies similar to a real one
and mail in the two bad tail assemblies since the rotor motors are not compensating and the heli spins (yaw) at a rate of about 200 rpm, bought enough groceries to last until my next trip, got my newly received GTM20 Lifetime Traffic Receiver working (thanks, Garmin), ordered a Straight Talk SIM card in preparation for possibly halving my phone bill by dumping AT&T, observed my dead myoporums, got an REI dividend check reissued, kept up with my website and totaled the cost of the Maui trip at $2311.98.

Sun 8/12 - Today I cleared an extremely frustrating "stuck" control key on my computer that rendered it unusable for about an hour, got plywood and other parts for a new van sunscreen pocket since the sunscreens no longer fit in the old pocket because the pressed wood sides have been squished, noticed my water heater main burner is not turning on, had a good, heavy full-body workout at Moon Valley LA Fitness, overcharged my van's AC and may have ruined the compressor clutch as a result,

Mon 8/13 - An ophthalmologist appointment (retina specialist found my macula has not degenerated since last check), LA Fitness workout and annual van-check appointments at a couple of auto repair facilities that I trust were today's main events.
- They found nothing on my van needing attention except the AC. One place recommended replacing a lot of stuff to the tune of $1,554.89. The other place recommended replacing the compressor for $841 + tax or, at my option, just the compressor clutch for $355. I decided to take my chances and replace just the clutch. The 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan with 3.8 L engine freon 134a capacity with the rear AC is 3 pounds (48 oz or 4.36 kg).

Tue 8/14 - I'm thick in my Vacation Countdown, or should be. Instead I got my van refrig clutch replaced today and got all the parts made for my van's new Sunshields Pocket.

Wed 8/15 - This morning I went to Dr. Christine Lin, dermatologist, for my semi-annual skin check. At my request, she removed a hardly-visible growth on my right deltoid and dark spot on my left arm - neither one of any medical consequence.
- Instead of going to Gangplank this evening I painted my new Sunshields Pocket parts after configuring T-bolts with which to attach it to the inside left of my van and doing a test assembly/install. The paint was top-quality Behr from Home Depot's oops department. A gallon for $7.
- FedEx is certainly not very consumer friendly. When the driver delivered my envelope, she informed me that she would NOT have left the package if I had not been home, in spite of the fact that it was addressed that way and I had left a written authorization and liability release. She also informed me that she would NOT go into a back yard, in spite of the fact that the address on the package said, LEAVE PACKAGE AT BACK DOOR. If I had not happened to be home it would have gotten real ugly and I may not have gotten my package, which I had to have before my trip.
- In the envelope? A new SIM card for my cell phones from StraightTalk. I got it activated and started the process of testing it out in my various phones (all GSM). For the next month I'll use the new Straight Talk SIM card and phone number, but check my old voice mail each evening, using my spare phone in which I have the old AT&T SIM installed. If Straight Talk has the coverage I need, after the month I'll port my old phone number to it and say good by to AT&T's minute restrictions and have an additional $708 per year in my pocket.

Thu 8/16 - I did the final van install of my new Sunshields Pocket, took Barbara to the Pain Doctor for her knees (cannot drive and can hardly walk), and installed newly arrived parts in my little
little TRex 100x RC helicopter that has a tail rotor and flies similar to a real one
. In the first test flights in the Fitness 1 aerobics room, the heli alternated between flying correctly and spinning, as if the gyroscopes were malfunctioning intermittently.

Fri 8/17 - Mostly organizing things for my big fall kiteboarding road trip to CO, NC and maybe GA & TX.
- I use two Oregon Scientific weather stations. A WMR100 at home and a WMR90A in the van. I was concerned that neither base station was recognizing the remotes. I got both to recognize the remote sensors by removing all power from the base stations for about a minute, putting the backup batteries back in and then connecting to external power. I hated the thought of kiteboarding without being able to monitor the temperatures in my refrigerator, etc. or being able to keep track of the wind.

Sat 8/18 - I left home for my last Mesa excursion before the big kiteboarding trip. Went to
George and Cindy's
younger brother who lives in Mesa and his wife
for lunch. Had a good visit and got a tour of their fresh new house after the lightning fire. Then to
George's son
to fly helicopters. I flew mine and his smallest. He flew two of his (he has about five) plus mine. He can fly mine better than I can. Disgusting!
- After flying, Shane and I did a little shopping. On the way back to the car from Basha's, we heard an engine roar and squealing tires as the driver of a silver SUV took off across the parking lot at high speed and rammed into the side of a maroon PT Cruiser. Of course it really messed up the side of the PT Cruiser and it appears appears he pushed it sideways until it was pinned against the concrete base of a light pole. The portly man, probably in his mid thirties, jumped out of the SUV yelling and wielding a baseball bat and ran into the store. Shane and I figured it was a domestic violence situation between the man and a female employee who was in the store. I called 911 as did others. Within a few minutes there were seven police cars, one sheriff car, a fire truck and an ambulance with paramedics. Shane saw the incident, was a good guy, and gave a written statement to the police.
- Then on to the Golden Valley Chinese Restaurant on West Baseline. I got back home about 9 hours after leaving - an interesting excursion and a lot more fun than packing for a trip.

Sun 8/19 - This was sort of a catch-up day getting ready for my trip. I packed van drawers etc,. At LA Fitness I flew my heli, had a heavy full-body workout and froze my gym membership for five months. After sunset I washed my van, including the insides of the windows, the tire letters and the bottom and top of the engine with soap and hot water from my water heater drain faucet.

Mon 8/20 - Instead of leaving early this morning on my trip, I did some really important things like cleaning off and wiping my kitchen island counter, putting the dishes away, updating my blog, replacing the 9V drip system battery, replacing the three AAs in the house thermostat, and a bunch of other things I don't even remember. Got on the road at 3pm. Took the Payson/Holbrook route instead of the Flagstaff route to I-17. The time is about the same but the miles are fewer. I stopped by Christopher Creek and had a short but nice visit with
Rose Anne
my X
and made it all the way to West Gallup, New Mexico. The trains and their horns kept me entertained all night.

Tue 8/21 - I drove to Colorado Springs for the night, a short hop from here to
Herald, my cousin. Yes, that's his real name, as he was born two days before Christmas
in Manitou Springs tomorrow morning.
- So far this trip I have had the opportunity to help three people. Call it luck, divine providence or whatever you like, but it causes me to wax a little philosophical. At this time I believe that positive and negative things happen to everyone every day; sometimes being in the right place and sometimes being in the wrong place. It is the person's attitude, perspective and planning (or lack thereof) that determines if the result is good.
- #1: I took a young man about 20 miles up Rye Hill into Payson because he was out of gas. When he got there he had no phone number for his fiance there who could help him. It was lucky that I happened to want something out of my refrigerator at the same place where he was.
- #2: I taught Rose Anne how to attach photos to emails with her Acer Tablet PC.
- #3: I was able to flag down and advise a Hispanic lady driving a box truck regarding her just-exploded tire. The inside dual on the right side exploded when I was about 300 feet behind her. I never before actually saw a truck tire explode. It sounded like a cannon.
- Now it is bedtime here in the Walmart parking lot in Colorado Springs.

Wed 8/22 - I arrived at
Herald Walton, my cousin and his wife, Naomi who live in Manitou Springs, Colorado
about 9:30 this morning. It was good to see them again after about 11 years.
- Water Aerobics, first experience for me: At 11 we went to the Manitou Springs pool for a water aerobics class. The 91-year old Sergeant, Lola "Skipper" who lead the class was quite a case, keeping an eye on everyone to make sure they did the exercises correctly with generous portions of humor.
- Later we went to their Waltons Mountain Lodge to check on some maintenance since it is currently empty, and hiked around the Zip lines that span his nearby Gregory Gulch, and talked computers, finance and philosophy.

Thu 8/23 - ZIP DAY: This morning
Herald Walton, my cousin who live in Manitou Springs, Colorado
and I went down to the the Lodge where he did a little electrical maintenance while I flew my little
little TRex 100x RC helicopter that has a tail rotor and flies similar to a real one
and used the Wi-Fi there to update my blog.
- Then for zipping fun! We crossed various parts of his Gregory Gulch on five Zip lines. The first launch was the gnarliest because you ran right off a 100-foot cliff. Of course the zip line picked up and took you to the other side of the canyon. The last (5th) run was the longest at 640 feet. The fastest run (4th) had a top speed of about 30 mph. There are five zip lines. Five of our group of eight took zip lines #4 and #5 a second time for a total of seven runs. We each wore a helmet, harness and had a brake and multiple safety systems.
- My 90-year-old Aunt Laura drove up from Colorado Springs to watch us zip around and stayed for a delicious salmon supper courtesy of Naomi. Showing off doesn't always pay. I showed off my
little TRex 100x RC helicopter that has a tail rotor and flies similar to a real one
in the living room, crashed it into some furniture and broke a rotor blade. Herald and I glued it with some contact cement and the repair lasted about a day until I crashed it into a couch at the lodge.

Fir 8/24 - Train horns; Laura and more Zip today: Herald and I fixed up my toy air horns with new balloon diaphragms and tuned them to match the horn of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe locomotive from Dalhart, TX. The horns always sound impressive.
- For lunch I drove down to my Aunt Laura's (90 years old) in Colorado Springs and we picked up Sherri, my cousin, the daughter of my Aunt Juanita, Aunt Laura driving her Dodge minivan.
- Later I solved the mystery of why Windows Explorer shuts down every time I try to play, copy, click on or otherwise select an MP4 video file created in my Panasonic camera. The solution: unregistering shmedia.dill.

Sat 8/25 - I hung around the Waltons Mountain Lodge, flying my
little TRex 100x RC helicopter that has a tail rotor and flies similar to a real one
and using the Wi-Fi there and, around 4pm, I paid to do the last two Zip lines again and got some good photos and videos which may eventually make it to my Trips web page.

Sun 8/26 - First Presbyterian Church with Herald and Naomi followed by a walk through the Garden of the Gods and lunch at the Mason Jar Restaurant. Later I replaced main circuit board on helicopter with the spare I had on hand. It may have reduced its spinning tendency some.

Mon 8/27 - At 11am I paid to do seven zip lines again, getting GPS waypoints for the beginning and end of each of the five runs, as well as tracks for each. Later I developed GPX files that include the zip lines, updated my waypoints and uploaded the revised waypoints to my Locations web page. This is a big job I do once or twice a year.
- This evening I did a small load of laundry and got most of of my things packed in the van. To bed about 11:30.

Tue 8/28 - Up early this morning (6:50) to finish packing up the van, do a little grocery shopping, stop by Courtesy Automotive for a front-end alignment (they found my van was misaligned in Phoenix), and on the road at 10:00 (see Drive Chart). Spent the night in Salina, KS

Wed 8/29 - Excursions: Since I may not make it to Hatteras before the Labor Day weekend I have relaxed my driving and included some sightseeing. Yesterday, since it was breezy, I checked out Cedar Bluff Lake and found lots of small dead trees in the water for about 200 feet off shore - not good for kiteboars and kite lines. Then, in Hayes, Kansas, I visited the Fort Hays State University for old time sake. The last time I was there was about 63 years ago when our family lived in the hutments as Dad was getting his masters degree.
- This morning I hung out at a Salina McDonald's, sipping their orange juice, downloading MP3s of my favorite talk shows, and working on this blog, the drive chart (below) and a link to the zip lines on my Shops & Links web page.

Thu 8/30 - I am sure I took the longest lunch excursion in history, thinking I would have a quick off/on the freeway, I took the exit to the Bert I Combs Mountain Parkway southbound where the closest exit was 15 miles away. I easily went 35 miles out of the way because I did not take any of the convenient, but illegal crossovers to the northbound lanes.
- As long as I was in the tulles, at Clay City, KY, I switched my SIM cards around and found that Straight Talk had better Internet browsing than did AT&T.

Fri 8/31 - The most significant thing that happened while driving today was the traffic in the Norfolk area, including about a half hour delay due to a disabled vehicle in the Interstate 664 tunnel under the bay. I made it to my destination about 8:30 this evening. It was windy most of the night and, from what I understand, during the day (while I was driving).

Drive Log to Hatteras Island from Colorado Springs
2011 Overall Avg
Moving Avg

Low Temp
Tue Aug 28 44.6 62.0 10:12 454 454 73° F. in van Salina, KS Super 8
Wed Aug 29 37.7 57.2 9:05 342.5 796.5 68° F. forecast Kingdom City, MO, Pilot
Thu Aug 30 50.3 64.6 12:24 623.7 1420.2 62° F. Forecast Charleston, WV Walmart
Fri Aug 31 41.1 56.9 13:15 544.3 1964.5 Warm in van Rodanthe, NC Kitty Hawk Kites

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