Louis Self
To Kiteboarding
Lou's Kiteboarding home page
To Comedy
Lou's Comedy home page

Arizona Lou

Blog Archive 2013 Aug

Previous <-- Archived Blogs --> Next                   Latest Update

Thu 8/1 = KITEBOARDING today didn't happen until late - 6:30 for me on my 12m Epic Screamer. I spent the first half working on jumps and jump jibes with my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board and the second half working on jibes with my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard with no footstraps. I started out with it by jumping up and riding away and making 100% of my jibes of various types, not getting wet until... I traded boards with Tim for about 15 minutes. His low-profile Underground board is pretty cool I blew my first jibe on it, but made the rest of 'em. Total time out was almost 2 hours with a distance traveled of 15.5 miles.
- Earlier in the day I sat around mostly being bored except for working on my website, flying the
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
simulator on my computer, doing a beach run and trying out a bunch of web browsers on my website.
- I thought Godaddy broke my website because I could not get SHOPS, with a new Rodanthe weather link, to update through CoreFTP. It turns out that Godaddy migrated my entire website to a new server and all my online file dates became 7/31/13 so CoreFTP saw the online version of SHOPS as more recent than the one I had revised on my computer.
- I spent it in Rodanthe and it was windy all night, until morning.

Fri 8/2 = What may be my last KITEBOARDING session this trip, I had a good Planet run with Tim and Bryan: Warm water, warm air and good friends! Tim was on his 10.5 kite and surfboard and both Bryan and I were on 12s and twin-tips. My notable accomplishments, in addition to trying some of everything, were doing a lot of pop switches and actually getting some air both directions, popping from healside to toeside. Also I got my kite relaunched from the water, (barely enough space before the bank and the swamp grass) at the east (exit) end of the cross canal. and that was with two strut problems, both the struts (left and right) next to the center strut. The left one was completely out of air and the right one was a little soft and on my list of things to fix.
- I gave Tim and Bryan some eye candy while rigging our kites for the run. You see, Tim has been making comments about my wearing Speedo swim trunks. His comments waxed eloquent on our
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
excursion Wednesday. He had said he was going to get his printer fired up, go on the Internet to find then print out pictures of gals in black bikinis to get the image of my Speedos out of his mind. Well, today I wore bright lavender Speedos to help him nix the image of black Speedos. He said that he would now have to print out pictures of gals in lavender bikinis and put them up on his refrigerator also and that eventually his refrigerator would be covered with pictures of bikinis to the point that the frig wouldn't even be visible. Sounds like a plan to me.
- After breakfast while waiting for wind I used contact cement to glue down five pad corners that were pealing up on my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard. This afternoon I drove down to Avon for some grocery shopping and to pick up the main circuit board for my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
- Spent the night in Rodanthe.

Sat 8/3 = Perfect LAST KITEBOARDING day of my trip with a 3:00-4:15pm, 3.7-mile ocean downwinder with Tim and Bryan from the Museum (my GPS waypoint HAOMUS) to the Bath House (my GPS waypoint haoBath House). We had a great, relaxing and mellow time with the low surf - so low that I probably could have done well with my surf board, but used my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board instead - my first time this year with it on the ocean. My total distance traveled was 7.4 miles and top speed was 15.9 mph. I did a few decent ocean jumps.
- This morning I inflated and checked out my 12m kite, finding that Friday, I had failed to open the left strut inflation tube and that the strut was never inflated at the start.
- I left Hatteras Island for home officially and spent the night at the Kitty Hawk Walmart, after back tracking 40 miles chasing down the customized Speedos that I thought I had left down in the porta-potty at the Museum. In the process and toward dark, I did give Tom and Chris a ride from the first turnout north of Avon to Chris' house. They had done a kiteboarding downwinder and were hurting for a ride.

Sun 8/4 = Today I drove up to
Anne & Robby
my daughter and air-force husband
's in Falls Church, VA, mids lots of freeway slowdowns and stoppages, arriving there about 6:30pm. It was good to see little granddaughters Katie (9) and Brooke (4). - For simplicity I am getting a good night's sleep in my van at their house, as I will be doing for four nights.

Mon 8/5 = Up early this morning, a trip to the park with Robby and the girls, to Home Depot for new house stuff for Robby and a jumper pack for me (Black&Decker Jump Starter, JUS300B) this morning, a walk with Anne and the girls this afternoon, a good supper and visiting, some website work, registering the jumper pack online and measuring the jumper packs voltages under various conditions rounded out today's activities.

Tue 8/6 = Up early again to do some exercises with Robby. He was finishing up his workout, that included lunges in the rain, with a series of 200 push-ups of various configurations. I joined him for each configuration, although my total was a modest 50 or so. I know my pecs will be sore - a good sore.
- Robby set me up in the living room with a table and chair as my work area. Thanks, Robby! With the help of Brooke, I replaced the main circuit board of my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
and now everything works. The rear servo was not operating.
- While the little family took a walk I took a bath - my first in about four months. Just in case you are worried about me, I have been taking showers!
- We all went to Five Guys to pick up greasy burgers and fries to eat at home during their weekly Movie Night. The movie was a show about mermaids and a merman. After the show I had a good
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
session on the Shrevewood Elementary School's grassy athletic field (my first flight in nine days) and did a little shopping at a nearby Giant Grocery Store.
- Between all these activities I rinsed my van's undercarriage with a gardian hose and nozzle contraption I devised and we managed to get in two loads of laundry. Thanks, Anne!

Wed 8/7 = In the destruction department, I took apart my old jumper pack and kept a the coaxial power socket and the rubber cigarette lighter stopper. Katie and I took an old (2009?) Lenovo laptop computer apart. The most interesting things to her was the keyboard and little brushless fan; the most interesting thing to me was the copper heat sink tube and radiator system.
- I gave my little refrigerator a much-needed cleaning, my van a good vacuuming, taking out the cabinetry to get rid of the sand from the beaches, hot glued a floor cover strip and organized everything for leaving tomorrow, including the route and drive times.
- Toward bedtime I flew my helicopter in the side yard with Robby, Anne and Brook, who was delighted that the helicopter we fixed yesterday could really fly and even take off from her hand.

Thu 8/8 = Got off later than I had hoped - left town a little before noon after packing everything into the van, adding a little to the top of my drivers' sun shield to guarantee it peek proof, having another
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
session on the Shrevewood Elementary School's grassy athletic field with the girls (had to fly my batteries down to storage voltage), dropping the old Lenovo and my old jumper pack by a radio shack for recycling and doing a little grocery shopping at a near-by Safeway.
- I drove 481.9 miles to spend the night in Clayton, Ohio.

Fri 8/9 = At lunch time today I innocently found a shady parallel parking spot at the back edge of a motel parking lot and proceeded to fix my lunch. When I was about finished, a 30-something guy, covered with tattoos, determinedly walked toward my van. I opened the sliding door to speak with him. He said, I know what you're up to. You're parking there and looking in the windows of people who are living in the motel. When I attempted to explain my presence he cut me off and yelled, You're a pervert!, got into his car and proceeded around the corner of the motel toward the office at the front. Some people that I noticed standing around some cars said they were not connected with him and could not say why he went off. After I finished preparing lunch I drove around the corner of the motel toward the front of the motel and found the office guy walking toward the back of the motel. I stopped and visited with him for a few minutes. We talked about kiteboarding and my website and I thanked him for the use of his shade tree and that next time I was by would hopefully be at night when I could stay at his motel. - I drove 643.9 miles to spend the night in Ottawa, KS

Sat 8/10 = Called into a National Talk Show this morning. I arrived in Hutchinson in time to check in at the YMCA on the Silver Sneakers Program and then go to go to the Hutchinson Library where I phoned Leo Laporte's national Tech Guy radio show. My question was regarding replacing my netbook computer with a tablet or laptop, and also connecting additional screen(s) to a tablet. My conclusion: Buy a Lenovo ultra-book with two hard drives - a smaller solid state drive for the operating system and programs and spinning 1-terabyte drive for my data (photos, videos, website etc. It would probably be a good idea if I can get a media version.
- On the way to Hutchinson I turned around north of Marion, KS on US 56 to go back and take some photographs of a couple old bridges.
- I met Stan after noon, rode in and drove his new car, a 2000 Buick Le Sabera Custom. We ate at the Sirloin Stockade buffet where I showed Stan the Map app on his phone and how to access it with voice command, flew my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
at the Hutchinson High School athletic field (I flew the heli) and swatted misquotes.
- Spending tonight and the next three nights in my van at Stan's in Hutchinson, KS.

Sun 8/11 = With
Stanley, my older brother who is a machinist for Eaton Corporation in Hutchinson, KS
this today, I went to church in the morning. Since he works nights and had to take a nap this afternoon because he got up early for church, I hung around the Hutchinson Library for about an hour and got my website's blog updated for three days. Then I picked up Stan and we went back to the library and took turns flying my PhoenixRC simulator using, of course, the
Spektrum RC controller
I use with my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
. We mostly flew the Nano lakeside, but also tried the Trex 300 that
My nephew, George's son who is an engineer for Medtronics
has and flying in the sports hall. Stan refused to use the program's trainer features or the easy mode I had set up as an option. He actually did quite well. I think he'd like to get his hands on my actual Nano.
- While Stan went to church this evening I went to Arby's worked on the bridge pictures from Saturday and on this blog. After church we hung around his house and visited. Later we went to the Metropolitan Internet coffee shop to talk Kindles and download some sample books.
- Earlier this morning I was attacked by about 50 misquotes when I replenished my van's water supply from Stan's hydrant. I went to a Pic-Quik to take care of my business. They were out of soap so I bought a bar from their shelf, used it and left it in the men's room for future users.

Mon 8/12 = Since my van was parked in the shade, I worked on my website and stuff in it for about two hours after breakfast.
- Then I went to the YMCA for a shower, to fly my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
in half of their basketball court while two guys shot baskets in the other half and to upload my Van Life web page with a spelling error corrected. The Hutch Y insists that Silver Sneakers participants fill out and submit a full personal information form on every visit. This is time consuming and wasts paper and resources. I have joined Silver Sneakers programs across the US and no other gym has this weird requirement.
- At 1:00pm I met Stan at his house and we drove in his car to Sirloin Stockade for our big meal of the day (my second of two meals) and to talk tech. From there we went to his rental property on East Sherman Avenue and to Ace Hardware to take care of a bee problem. Then back at his residence we visited and listened to phone calls to Dave Ramsey from a lady who did not plan for retirement and from a man whose wife was enabling their daughter's financial irresponsibility. Interesting.
- For our evening activities we met at the Hutch Library. I arrived first and paid off, as always, my credit card bill. Stan and I flew my PhoenixRC
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
simulator at the library until closing time then went to the Metropolitan coffee house and flew it some more over coffee and a piece of carrot cake. On the way back to Stan's house I read a magazine article he gave me from Believer's Voice of Victory while idling my van about a half hour in the Target parking lot to charge up the
our van's Lithium/Iron/Manganese/Phosphate/Oxygen house battery
for the night.

Tue 8/13 = After breakfast and some blog work this morning I went to the YMCA for a shower and to update my website.
- I drove back to Stan's house and met him at 1pm. We took my van and ate lunch/supper at Sirloin Stockade and then back to Stan's house where we listened to my Saturday appearance on the Leo Laporte Show, and a couple of Dave Ramsey phone calls, including how one can hurt people by giving them money. Stan used the magazine article he gave me yesterday from Believer's Voice of Victory as a springboard to talk about the Bible and quote Scripture for about an hour. Me? I am likely near the top of his prayer list, figuring that I probably need a lot.
- At the Third Street Dillon's grocery store, Stan introduced me to Lucy. She helps him keep track of his rentals and also with maintenance. It was a pleasure getting acquainted with her.
- Then to Metropolitan coffee house where Stan had a muffin and read Get Lucky while I tested a text file on my website without the .txt extension. The file worked on all eight browsers that I checked, including my Kindle Touch
- I replaced the AAA batteries in my Sony ICD-PX312 digital recorder. The old ones lasted 32 days :) .

Wed 8/14 = I made good progress driving today after updating my website, checking my email, buying a banana and leaving a tip at Metropolitan. I drove with much rain the first part to Gallup NM at 6501'MSL for the night away from most train and freeway noises with a forecast low of 55° F.

Thu 8/15 = I arrived home in Phoenix at 4:40 pm. While I was gone the electricity was never interrupted, all the temperatures (refrigerator/freezer/rooms/back yard etc.) were normal. I found the house water on - guess I failed to shut it off before leaving. I lucked out in that no pipes or laundry hoses burst while I was away. It took until the next morning for the AC to get the house cooled down from 88° F down to 82° F. All six of my myoporums are completely dead and there are a few weeds in my front yard.
- The best parts of being home are the availability of good, economical shopping, a big refrigerator/freezer, my lab and tools, my own Internet and two big, 17" flat-panel monitors added to my net-book computer.

Fri 8/16 = Got up early this morning to pull front yard weeds, weighed in at 136 lb (goal is 138), catch up on emails, reset all the clocks, start researching the next computer to buy, sharpen my Remington electric shaver with auto polishing compound, make a shopping list for food until the end of the month, fly my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
at the Buffalo Ridge Park and start stowing things from the trip.

Sat 8/17 = Flew my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
at the Buffalo Ridge Park this morning. The swashplate bearing is now pulling out of its socket when I crash with impact on a pivoted main rotor blade, even in grass. The first time it happened it took me 10 minutes to get the bearing back in place, but now I can do it in about two or three minutes.
- I got home in time to phone into the Leo Laporte, the Tech Guy national radio talk show. It is difficult to get through but Leo is certainly gracious when you do. He explained to me that a non-touch-screen monitor can work well as a second monitor with a touch-screen computer, laptop, ultrabook or tablet computer.
- This afternoon I took Mildred shopping. She was pretty tired, considering her church this morning, so we only went to one store (99 Cent Only) where she found everything on her list and I got six loves of 100% whole wheat bread.
- After dropping all my groceries by home I went to LA Fitness for a light, high-rep workout. This evening I experienced some significant lower back stiffness and pain - the first since leaving on my trip back the middle of April. Don't know if it is the result of sleeping in my bed here at home or the result of what I have done in the gym the last couple days: light back extensions and low cable rows. It is time for some experimentation.

Sun 8/18 = This morning I flew my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
at the Buffalo Ridge Park, recharged my van's AC with a $15 12-oz can of R134a that included stop-leak, filed the APS electric bills that arrived during my kiteboarding trip, did a light, high-rep full body workout with neither back extensions nor low cable rows, sunned for 20 minutes and spent about an hour on an extensive Vanguard survey as part of their new study of family income, assets, and spending in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan under a grant from the National Institute on Aging.
- Went to bed with a Sleep Number of 60.

Mon 8/19 = It took me 17 years to cut the extension cord with my hedge trimmers, but I accomplished the feat today. Amazingly no sparks or a tripped breaker. After trimming my extension cord, I continued trimming the Natal Plums in front of my library windows with a spare cord, only a little more carefully. They surely needed trimming after my four-month kiteboarding trip.
- Also I resolved my checking account - on the first try, added to my Sleep Number bed log, prepared my early ballot for the Phoenix City Council election and labeled the
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
batteries I finally got Friday (over four months after Hobby King charged my credit card for them - and one was bad!).
- I spent quite a bit of time reading reviews for computers. For my next one I am somewhere between a convertible, an ultrabook and a laptop. My most demanding application will probably be some video editing. I am targeting the purchase for early September after the back-to-school rush and the back-to-school prices. The cheapest day would be December 24th, but my little Asus EeePC 9" netbook is getting too slow to hold out that long.
- This evening I made a batch of six Protein Frosties I use as rewards for a Wednesday legs workouts. When I licked the spoon, it reminded me how delicious they are. I typed out the RECIPE and put it up on my website so I will not have to use my scribbled-out version and to share it with others.
- I got a lot done today, never making it to the gym or even leaving home. I even got to bed in a timely manner.

Tue 8/20 = After transporting Judy for her oncologist appointment under the auspices of Duet and mailing my Phoenix City Council early ballot, I went to LA Fitness and did a light, high-rep (20-30) full body workout while my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
batteries charged, flew the heli in one of their racquetball courts and then sat in their hot tub to massage my lower back. Then I drove down to check out
my Phoenix rental house located on Dahlia Drive
. It is ready to rent and looks nice with its new interior paint, carpeting and vinyl. While I was in the doctor's office waiting for Judy I rearranged my smart phone's home pages and downloaded the book I am currently reading, since I had left home in a rush and had forgotten my Kindle. Cool to continue reading the book on the go!
- I spent the evening putting a few things away, working on my blog and comparing the dimensions and weights of various non-desktop computers.

Wed 8/21 = I risked ruining my van's AC compressor or its clutch or both - again - by overcharging the system, but figured it was worth the gamble to save some money. The 12oz I put in Sunday cooled the output some, but the AC is still not cold. I got up at 5:30 this morning while it was still cool by Phoenix standards (91° F in my garage after leaving the garage door open about 5 inches all night). I added a $20 can of ID Quest. - Still researching new computers.
- This afternoon on my 40-mile drive down to Chandler, the van's AC output temperature was 50° F instead of 70° F after Sunday's freon addition or the 84° F Saturday before I added in any freon.
- At the Chandler 24-Hour Fitness I did my first official legs workout in over four months (thank you kiteboarding trip) and went to Gangplank. I was happy to be able to make a contribution there. A couple of guys were working on their first project with the Radio Shack Arduino and a breadboard, which they had never used before. I helped them understand how to wire up a breadboard. The end result was a computer-controlled pulsing green LED. After Gangplank I went back to 24-Hour Fitness to fly my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
in their aerobics room. No crashes!

Thu 8/22 = It was horrible, compared to inside yesterday at a gym. This morning I flew my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
at the freshly mowed Buffalo Ridge Park. Flying more aggressively, I crashed with every battery. I did do better with banked turns. A crash, according to my new definition, is when the heli needs repair before additional flight. In these cases I had to reinsert the swashplate bearing when it came out of its socket so I counted the flights as a crashes when when I logged them on my smart phone.
- I took a preemptive 1.5-hour nap so I won't need to worry about getting to bed after this evening's
Arizona Repeater Association (ham radio operators)
meeting and still getting up early for an 8:30 dentist appointment tomorrow morning.
- Computer research took me to an Apple Store (Biltmore) for my first visit. The store was a log larger than I expected - and very busy. What a crowd! Frankie showed me the Mack Book Air and the specs looked really good. However I decided the 13" Mack Book Air was too big and the 11" Mack Book Air would not do because it has no SD card reader. I spent so much time at the store that I would have been late to the ARA meeting down in Tempe, so I decided to shop for a computer more places. Best Buy did not have anything small enough and powerful enough to suit me. The only thing that Fry's Electronics had was a Sony Vio Duo 11, which now is on my list for consideration.

Fri 8/23 - Doctor day: All three said I was looking good and there were no significant changes: dentist, optometrist and dermatologist.
- On the way home from the optometrist, still eyeballing computers, I went by both Costco and Sam's Club and found nothing that interested me.
- For supper I met
George, Cindy
younger brother and his wife who live in Mesa, Arizona
, Stacie and Dave (their youngest Daughter and her husband) at the Cracker Barrel at 202 & Dobson in Mesa.

Sat 8/24 = Out on two trips today. The morning one was to buy preemergence spray, gasoline and fly my Nano at Buffalo Ridge Park. My
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
isn't working so well. The plastic swashplate bearing retainer socket has split so the bearing is coming out, even in normal flight, resulting in all sorts of gyrations and a low-speed crash or two. I managed to keep the heli up long enough to fly the remaining three flight batteries down to their storage voltages.
- The second trip, this evening, was to the Saturday night Hamfeast at the Rustic Cafe on North Cave Creek Road, to Goodwill (half off everything day) and to Fitness 1. I didn't make it to Fitness 1, as they closed at 8.
- Between the trips I applied the preemergence and worked on organizing all the information I have been collecting about the next computer to buy.

Sun 8/25 = Mary Crowley was an awesome person about my mom's age. I added a couple neat quotes from her at the bottom of my LOUisms. Also visited by phone with Christian, my kiteboarding friend who has bought a house by the beach in Lincoln City, OR and in person with Ken, my neighbor to the east.
- I totally organized my morning routine and printed out a spreadsheet for it. Hopefully this will get me off to a good start each day.

Mon 8/26 = All my computer research for the last three weeks paid off this evening when I bought a new
Sony Vaio Duo 11
with 11.6" touch screen, Windows 8, 8gb memory and 256gb SSD
computer at Fry's Electronics. They had only one left and it was discounted some since it is being discontinued by Sony. It is an ultrabook slider that converts from a tablet to a very thin laptop.

(back to TOP of this page

Which computer to buy? We developed a spreadsheet for the Features we wanted and another spreadsheet to Compare Features of 20 computers and ended up buying this Sony Vaio Duo 11 in 2013, which doubles as a tablet and ultrabook computer. This is the Four Finalists Printout we took to the stores.

Tue 8/27 - Sat 8/31 = I flew my
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
or its simulator the first three days, then got too busy with things like my new computer.
- Adjusting to Windows 8 and the new computer is taking lots of time. It IS fast with its
solid-state hard drive
- boots in 9 seconds vs my old eeePC which takes almost eight minutes. Copying all of my old eeePC D: drive to my 2-terabyte external hard drive took about seven hours with the USB 2.0 connection. Copying the same information from the external drive to my new Vao took seven minutes with its USB 3.0 connection. What a difference!
- In the socializing department, Saturday I sunned for 20 minutes around noon my friend, Vern came over in the afternoon and, that evening, I joined other ham radio operators for the weekly Saturday Night Hamfeast - this week's location was down in Chandler at Can't Stop Smokin/ BBQ.

Previous <-- Archived Blogs --> Next                   Latest Update

(back to TOP of page)