Louis Self
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Arizona Lou

Archived Blog 2010 Mar

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Note: While not kiteboarding, I plan to update my blog weekly (usually Wednesdays) - or when something special happens.

Mon 3/1 - Domestics morning: With my sewing machine, modified the cargo pockets of my fancy Croft & Barrow shorts to accommodate my electronics better. Measured melting temperatures of nylon and iron-adhesive & repaired torn sleeve on my winter jacket. Got my online property tax payment straightened out with the county.

Tue 3/2 - Van's wheel alignment confirmed as "spot on." Started Getting financials, ballots etc. from our HOA - gotta keep an eye on 'em.

Wed 3/3 to Mon 3/15 -

    I added to my SMART FINANCE ETC. web page:
  1. Bill Handel, the most disgusting but entertaining legal talk show ever who'se show is available free as podcasts
  2. A new section for those who have been asking, Investment Information Online

Tue 3/16 - Big shopping trip for groceries, nuts @ Trader Joe's, Checker Auto etc. and, of course, Bally Fitness. I found KC Auto Paint just a couple miles from home. I bought some special black trim paint and they mixed an aerosol spray can of custom white to match my van. Expensive but cool.

Wed 3/17 - Instead of going to Gangplank this evening I decided to tackle my van's factory roof rack. Some of its black finish has worn off with years of strapping on windsurf boards. Got the rack removed and everything disassembled and prepped (sanding etc) and painted the rails with two coats of the special black trim paint.

Thu 3/18 - Got the van roof rack put back together and reinstalled. Sure looks nice, although no one would notice if they had not seen it before.
- Dissembled my high tech Pulmicort 90mcg inhaler, in the curiosity and self-education department. The unit dispenses 60 very precisely measured doses of fine powder for prevention of asthma. What an interestingly complicated device.

Fri 3/19 - Still working on my van, I removed, prepped and repainted the rear lift-gate's "air" shocks. They tend to get rusty with all the salt air I'm around. I was pleased that they were not any harder to remove.

Sat 3/20 - Worked on Income Tax (ugh!).

Sun 3/21 - I phoned Anne, my daughter (picture on home page), in Norfolk, VA. She, Robby, Katie Rose and Brook are doing well. Katie doesn't like homework and Brook is getting help to strengthen her leg muscles for walking. June first they move to Altus, Oklahoma. Robbie is scheduled to become the D.O. of the O.S.S. (maybe Operations Supply Squadron) there. I understand he will be second in command. He is looking forward to that, and also possibly getting back into flying C-17s.

Mon 3/22 - Bought a high tech item, purely on impulse, from Home Depot for $3.88: an LED solar walk light. The top contains the solar cell, electronics, AA NiCad cell and white LED. It actually casts enough light to see a path.
- Finalized the dresser drawer for my van for the trip.

Tue 3/23 - Got my reserve supply of nuts baked (check out Our Nuts Spreadsheet), bagged and boxed for the trip. I sure do like my bright office here at home. I changed the ceiling fixture's yellowish CFC bulbs to two 27w DAYLIGHT CFCs that put out the equivalent of 100w each. What a difference!

Wed 3/24 - Big night at Gangplank! With the help of Blaine, I got hover bubbles working on my website, something I have wanted for about a year. I adapted an idea I found on a National Weather Service website about a month ago. Most will not notice the enhancement, but I certainly think it is cool.
- Hover your mouse over VIEO or SEARCH at the top of any web page, or, over the red words on the LESSONS page. Technically, the bubbles are always on the page but the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) makes a bubble visible when you hover your mouse over an element.

Thu 3/25 - I fixed my phone today. The HTC Touch Diamond Windows Mobile smart phone has not surfed the Internet since I returned from St Lucia. With some advice from AT&T, I delved seven levels deep into its menus and changed the network from digicell to MediaNet. That did the trick after a restart.
- I went to east Scottsdale and met with Carrie, our new Mountain Rose HOA manager. We exchanged some information with my little 2gb USB micro SD thumb drive. She was very helpful and it was nice to finally get acquainted with her.

Fri 3/26 - Modified the padding inside my second hockey helmet to allow for sunglasses. On the first hockey helmet I have attached pouches for FRS radios so I can hopefully listen to instruction while I am riding. The hockey helmets seem to be safer than regular helmets, as the come down farther over the back of the head.
- Got caught up on the last ten days of this blog this evening!

Sat 3/27 - More unnecessary, but satisfying tweaking for the trip - this time for my weather station: I typed a label on the base station identifying the various remote sensors. Having repainted the van roof rack, I reinstalled the anemometer post on my and took extra time to get it exactly vertical - not an easy chore. Of course it is all for naught when I park the van on a slant! Also redid my 28% better mileage bumper sticker and froze my LA Fitness membership for four months, among other things.

Sun 3/28 - Got my taxes finished today (yea). I'll owe several thousand dollars since I rolled all my traditional IRAs into ROTH IRAs and have to pay taxes for it. This was a good year to do it because my effective tax rate is only 15% for 2009. It surely will be sweet for me or my heirs to be able to have the money tax free.

Mon 3/29 - Filed federal and state taxes electronically and took care of some final arrangements like delivering my mail key and weed spray to various neighbors and preparing backups so I can take my Western Digital External 1tb hard drive on the trip - just in case I have the time and urge to do some video or other editing (dream on, Lou!).

Tue 3/30 - Final checklist items and making sure everything is set for three months, both at home and in the van. Finally got off about 5:30 amidst rush hour traffic.
Spent the night 79 miles down the road in Eloy, AZ

Wed 3/31 Getting to SPI Thursday for the forcast winds was just not meant to be. About 370 miles west of San Antonia, TX I had a tire problem. The right-front tire got low, and I had to pump it up twice so limp into Balmorhea, TX where I had arranged for a guy to fix it who was at a Fina station with his mobile rig. Thank goodness for the combination of a cell phone and GPS receiver, I was able to minimize the inconvenience.
- I am getting to like my new (actually refurbished) Garmin Nuvi 885T. Since I am getting used to how the voice recognition works I can access most of its navigation and other features without touching it.
Covered 599 miles and spent the night in Ft Stockton, TX

Thu 4/1 - Happy April Fools Day. No fooling I finally made it to South Padre Island's famous North Flats about 6:30pm. That gave me time to rig and ride for almost a half hour before sunset, thanks to the additional hour, courtesy of Daylight Savings Time. Peak gust was 25.7 mph
- Covered 622 miles on the road today - Spending the nights now in or near South Padre Island, TX

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