Sunday, September 25, 2011

Android, take two...

Ok, well, that little Android pad impressed me so much I decided to find a good one.
I called on the advice of my old college professor, Mike Lee, and he steered me right.
I've got an Archos A101 in the mail as we speak.
He said the Archos 70 would do just fine as well, but the A101 has a few touches that make it worth the extra bucks to me.

I'll heave up more info when it actually arrives.

"Waste" of a good day.
Finally making progress on my new weather station.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check it out in action here

I've been out of my mind since the last one broke. I've been frantically trying to get the new one finished. The Terrace (the flying site this lives at) has become one of my favourite places to fly. The meter is amazingly useful for knowing if it's worth heading out to the Terrace or not. I'm feeling pretty lost without it.

So while today was flyable, and likely quite nice, it was thankfully cold. My desire to freeze my butt off for a flight was shall we say "lacking"... and thus provided a nice excuse to sit home in front of the fire and bang away on the new meter.

Yesterday I found my way around a "showstopper" roadblock that's been plaguing my life. With that out of the way, I was well keen to start building as I know I can finish now... the rest is within my skills and not "Gee, I think I might be able to figure this out".

It's not done, but I gotta sleep sometime. I got most of the hard work out of the way today. I'm very happy with that.

I've got some chores to attend to tomorrow. Hopefully I'll wind up with a little time to finish this bugger off too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hey cool... I'd forgot about this post... guess I'll finish it...

I bought a cheap iPad knockoff
It's called a "uPad" hahahahaha. It's the cheapo cheapo one, but it's convinced me that Android pads kinda rock. With a better battery life and a good screen, this thing would actually kinda rock. And I'm sure the more expensive ones have that.... this is the $100 junker model.

Far easier to use than what I'd expected and it comes without all the Apple "NO!, you can't do THAT!" bullshit.

We'll see where the hardware all goes. I could easily switch from the iPhone now that I know the Android stuff is this good.

Windy day. I took advantage of the crap weather to try and get my wind meter project sorted. For those that don't know, I've been building wind meters. I can write up more on the history of this project some other time. I'm currently working on version 2. The original one met it's demise at the hands of an unknowing earth-digger-machine. It's time was coming either way as the cell network that it uses will be turned off at the year's end anyway. This has just increased the need to get the new one done. So, bad weather = good excuse. I went bashing away at it till I was ready to throw stuff. Probably four to six hours. Fortunately, Keith arrived and we sorted it out. It's so much easier when you've got someone that actually knows what the hell their doing helping you out. This project would have taken probably ten years without his help. (Thanks) Keith got me pointed in the right direction just in time too. He had to go, but by this point, we were in familiar territory. No worries, I was working with circuits that I'd made before instead of trying to work out how to use new ones. Or so I thought. After Keith leaves, I must have taken my stupid pills again, cuz I couldn't accomplish the most basic of tasks. I mean, easy stuff that I've made plenty of times before just wasn't working. ARG!!! I checked, and rechecked and dug through my old designs. I tested different components... recently, I'd run into the problem of a bad batch of chips... how frustrating was that? I mean, out of the box... bran new shit... wasn't working??? Yeah, bad chips it turns out. Not this time. Everything checked out... except when I tried to use it. Eventually, I just decide, screw it... I'm starting over! I rebuild everything from scratch. Then, bingo... it just works. Well, as it should. I diagram it all. I'm not letting the working model go away. No way. Then I take the diagram and have a look at the one I was working on earlier. DOH!! I'm such a moron. One simple simple mistake. LED out connected to the positive rail instead of negative In plain English... I had my lightbulb plugged in backwards. I hate being so stupid. It makes life so much harder. ;) Well, there's my windy day ramblings for ya. I think I'll go clean up the pile of electronics now. Jim

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jackson WY

In Jackson Hole Wyoming, hanging with my friends Cade, Becca and Bradley :)
Happy times.
It was a looong ride up here (5hrs) from Salt Lake City... I'm not particularly looking forward to the ride back ;)... but that's later... focus on the now.
Weather's kinda dumpy so far, but threatening to improve. We'll see... should be able to get some nice flying in before I leave.
Guess I'll get some pics... this place reminds me of New Zealand. Very pretty and very touristy. Good stuff.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Random thought... I logged into FB to blather about something... I'm jetlagged, so other random thoughts pop into my head.

One was all the anti-BF crowd stuff complaining about opening up your personal details to the world. And yeah, I can see that point. I'm generally pretty damn careful about what I put up there... I like the rule of only post something you'd like to see printed in the local paper.

Anyway... so I'm thinking though... there's plenty of people that refuse to use FB full stop cuz of "privacy" concerns.

So... um... if you're concerned... why not fill it with incorrect info?

See, I was trapesing through mine when I noticed it had a map thingy that had my hometown on it. Cool, I thought... "hey, that's accurate".... "um... duh, of course it is". I told you I'm jetlagged right now right?
Well, hell... it's accurate only cuz I told them. There's this "fix this" button on it and, an other random thought here, I figured... why not change it? I think I'll be from Pakistan today :)


Thursday, April 28, 2011


On the road again...

There's just nothing like getting a txt at 4:30am informing you that your domestic flight has changed. It's even more fun when the number listed to call routes to an inactive cellphone. I love trying to work out whether or not I'm getting a spam/crank text at 4:30am.

Of course, they have both my phone number and correct flight number. Joy. Sit on hold waiting for Qantas for 20min. "Looks like there's been a flight time change"... not good... "Which means you won't connect to your international"... very not good... "Let me put you on hold and see what options I can offer you"... better.
Yeah... 5-10min of not happy.
Fortunately they got me on an Air New Zealand flight that connects up with my international flight. It leaves a 1/2 hour earlier... big deal.


Of course, the trick was that Qantas used JetStar for the domestic carrier... JetStar's the budget airline around here and delays/reroutes are not uncommon. So it's them covering for their partner's F-up... as they should.

Woulda been nice to fly ANZ in the first place, but I had some frequent flyer miles to burn. I also F'd up booking and which put the ANZ flights a bit out of reach.

Fun fun... silly willy.
Let the games begin.
(I guess they already have)


Friday, March 18, 2011

Feeling good.

My knee's doing great.

I smashed the other on a rock and it swelled up something fierce. They call it "bursitus". It sucks but it's not too painful. Just screws up your mobility. Fortunately I'm well versed in the ways of treating knee injury ;)
That seems mostly gone now. On the upside, it's "evened me out". I don't baby my ACL knee so much anymore.

Happily I seem to be back to "good health" status. This is a happy place.
I even stumbled over a scale at the thrift shop. It dawned on me that I haven't stepped on one in a while. Last time I was creeping up on 74kg. :(
I thought the scale might be a little off, cuz it was telling me 70... shoes and all? Later I was at the aeroclub and they've got a very accurate scale... same.

I consider 70 my "fighting weight". I feel healthy at 70... which is certainly the case at the moment.
I won't go off on my "Whole Food" diet or gym routine for now, but I'm very very happy with them.


Monday, February 21, 2011

La de da

Just relaxing today.
The weather's kinda crappy. John left yesterday and my knee's still a little sore from banging it on a rock a few days ago. So, all in all, a good day for movies or something. It'll be right shortly so no worries.

It's been a fun but packed three weeks with John and his mates coming by. Back to a bit of a slower pace now. I'll miss having my brother around.

4 gigs worth of pics and videos... gotta weed through a bit of that. Lots of it's the same stuff as my camera shoots pics every two seconds... but there's some very interesting stuff in there. Esp our trip down to Milford Sound.

Watched an unexpectedly good movie yesterday... Speed Racer.
Yup, super campy, super over the top, insanely brightly colored, dizzying motion, over dramatic and simple plot... everything you should expect Speed Racer to be. Such a fun movie!

Gotta rearrange the room back into single guy mode. Still have it in two guy setup. That requires effort though and it's still early.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mid Summer

Well, life was in full gear for a bit there :)
Still is, but I'm up early today and haven't updated my blog in forever... damn you Facebook! hahahaha

Figured I'd heave something up here about my knee. On the ACL blogs that I read, the postings seem to dwindle off near the end. I just figured it's cuz you're getting better and have less time to post. In the beginning, you're bedridden, so you've got nothing but time!

This has certainly been the case for me.
I'm over 6 months post op now (everything in ACL reconstruction is measured in "weeks post op").
Ever mindful of not cursing myself with overconfidence... I knock on wood anytime I post the type of stuff I'm about to get into... but...

Things have gone exceptionally well.
Living at the gym has paid off in spades. My knee is strong. Most of the swelling is gone. I just did two days of big mountain hiking (two hours each way, both days, steep unstable terrain) and feel fine. On the second one, coming down, I felt a tad "tender" so I slowed down and upped the "careful factor", but otherwise a non-event.

I still get to the gym as much as time allows. When it doesn't allow, it's cuz I'm out doing very active things, so I don't feel bad about that. I still get the itch to go shove some weights around, especially when the weather packs in, so all's happy on that front.

Eating my "whole food" diet has helped a lot too. I'm in great shape and owe a lot to that decision. I love that I'm off the junk food and more that the junk food tastes like just that... junk. I can barely walk past the banana section in the grocery without grabbing one. Hahahhahaha... the fruit isle is like the candy isle for me now. I love that!

John's showing up today for a three week stay.
I don't think I have to tell anyone how stoked I am about this :)

He said he wants to "fly as much as possible"... hahahahahahahaha... little does he know what he's in for ;) I live in flying paradise. My world is flying. Oh, I think I can help with this goal. Yeah. Yeah, I might be able to line up a thing or two.