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Blog Archive 2010 Sep Oct

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Note: While not kiteboarding, I plan to update my blog infrequently, or when something special happens.

Wed 9/1 today through Wed 9/15 - An explosion was a possibility. You see, the packaging for a power supply I bought for my Brazil trip at Fry's Electronics says the input is auto-adjusting between 100 and 240v AC. However the unit, itself says 110v. What does one do in this situation? Plug it into 240 v and see what happens after taking a few precautions like: fitting a 240v clothes drier cord with a fuse and outlet for the device, putting the device in a saucepan so a potential explosion would be aimed away from the tester (me), placing two kinds of fire extinguishers within easy reach, hooking up the device output to two 12 v light bulbs (inexpensive to replace in case of a surge) with an ammeter in series and connecting a voltmeter. The result? Nothing fun like an explosion or even a fried unit. It worked perfectly and the output was pretty much the same as it was on 120 volts on all its settings (3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9 & 12 v).
- Also in preparation for Brazil, I made four videos of my packing my Liquid Force and Cabrinha kite equipment travel bags. Why four videos? The luggage weight limit is 50 lb. when flying to most destination, but is 70 lb. to Brazil.
- In the service/fitness department I have been going to a gym daily. Thursdays I take Mildred along (the 94-year old lady I help out through DuetAZ.org). Also I took her with me for shopping yesterday.
- Business was hopping. The 151st Ave 2.3 acres closed today and it was even recorded by the county recorder today, so the property is really mine! It was the first time I wired money (for the 151st Ave closing). Also the bank accepted my offer on the 207th Ave 5 acres. Reading addendums, contracts, disclaimers, CC&Rs, title reports, brokerage forms and water well documents has taken quite a lot of time. It was interesting that we were able to do everything by ia emailing PDF documents back and forth.
- Red Dwarf: The complete DVD set I had ordered arrived. So far I have watched the first nine shows. They're as creative, funny and entertaining as ever.

Wed 9/16 through 9/29 – My desert land endeavor seems to be working out well for the 5 acres I'm buying on 207th Ave. On the 16th I found that the two APS transformers to the south of the property had capacity for four additional lots. In fact the transformers were put there with stub-outs specifically to service 4 properties that could result from dividing my 5 acres. Friday, the 24th I wired the bank the funds for balance, they closed the deal and it was recorded by the county. Now for a little patience while real estate values recover.
- Kite trip preparation included selecting seats for My early November flight to Brazil. I tried to get the best balance of everything, including power outlets at my seats, best seats for low noise, leg room and sleeping during the night flights. In the future trips department, I phoned Bobby, a cool guy I had met in SPI. The whole thing may lead to a kiteboarding trip to Hawaii!
- Tech/computer department: I downloaded and started using Open Office instead of installing my older copy of Microsoft Works – too many gotchas. I added my logo to my business cards and printed up a bunch. Next time you see me, ask me for the revised version. One of the teams at Gangplank on Wed the 24th had a quadricopter flying around the large workroom area. It runs on batteries, is stabilized with an on-board computer and is easily controled by Wi-Fi with an iPhone. You tip your iPhone and the quadracopter does the same. Look for it with a video on my Technology web page (when I get it uploaded).
- People: Saturday, the 18th I took my neighbor, Mike out for breakfast. We had a good visit – also visited with Earl(?), around my age, about all sorts of things in which we are in agreement, including government trying to solve all problems and getting into our pockets. That evening I made a hog of myself in the Paradise Valley Mall Souper Salad at the HamFeast with some of the valley ham radio operators.

Thu 9/30 - I flew to Wichita, KS and then rented a car to attend the 50 year reunion of my Newton High School Senior Class of 1960. This was my first time seeing everyone since graduating and it was interesting. No one looked the same, so it was like getting acquainted with strangers that I already knew. At the motel that evening I had a good time seeing a lot of old geezers, yes, my old classmates.

Fri 10/1 – Attending my 50-year Newton High School Class Reunion was one of the best times I have ever had, with over 50% of our classmates. It was also the 125th anniversary of the school, itself, so there were people in town from all the classes, back as far as the class of 1935. The reunion was fantastic, thanks to the hard-working committee that put the whole thing together. Our cool name tags had our names printed large enough to be easily read by our old eyes, along with our yearbook picture, so we could easily see that we looked nothing like we did 50 years ago. We had an afternoon picnic at the Harvey County East Lake to start things off.
- No one ever suspected what I had in store for BobOz if he had continued his high school tradition of hitting me on the arm every time he saw me. I had been preparing, for for the past six months at various gyms by applying my brief boxing experience to heavy bags. Bob and I had a nice, uneventful, visit.
- More fun that evening at the Historic Fox Theater on Main Street where they had a jam session featuring mostly bluegrass-type music... and me! On the spur of the moment I offered to fill the ten-minute gap between the guitarist’s pre-show and the main event by telling a story or two, and I was on! The audience seemed to enjoy my famous Circus Elephant and Bricklayer stories. Someone asked if I belonged to the Storytellers' Association. At that point I realized how much I enjoy interacting with an audience, entertaining them, making them feel good and seeing them laugh. So, when I can kite no more, maybe I'll be able to spend my time telling stories. In the mean time, you'll have to excuse me if I tell a few along the way.
- I had engineered a special coupon deal at the Newton Fitness Center for my classmates during the reunion. I think I may have been the only one to take advantage of the opportunity, but I am schedule the gym each day, along with meals and other activities.

Mon 10/4 through Wed 10/31 - When I returned from Kansas, Travis, my realtor, had a counter offer ready for me to sign on one of my ten acres of raw desert land near Wittmann, AZ. The buyers accepted, so escrow has been opened. Yea!
- In the things as usual department, I am working out at one of three gyms daily (continuing with the heavy bag for boxing twice a week), am continuing taking Mildred to Bally Fitness weekly and shopping twice a month. She phones me several times a week. Guess she gets kind of lonely.
- New stuff:
- I picked up several classic books at thrift stores and started reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life by Georgene Lockwood. This EXCELLENT book has already helped me with a strategy to deal with having more stuff than I have places for it. Just shifting the locations of a few things in my kitchen cabinets, drawers and office drawers has already made life easier.
- Speaking of organization, I determined that I am addicted to learning and doing stuff. Why might it be an addiction? Because I had a couple really screwy nights, staying up late (early) or getting up in the middle of the night to try an idea. After a couple hours or so, I'd get back to bed, only to try to make up some sleep during the next day. I did accomplish and learn things, but am not certain it was smart. One night I studied my new Canon Powershot camera and discovered a menu system that I had never seen before. No wonder I hadn't been able to get it to do what I wanted. The other night I completely researched the latest technology in switching auto battery chargers and ended up ordering the Ctek Charger. I also set up a spreadsheet and have been analyzing the charging characteristics of the various modes of my new AA/AAA La Crosse battery charger. To deal with my addiction I vow to not touch a computer from 8:00 in the evening until after breakfast the next day.
- The little Brazilian Pepper tree in my front yard finally died, so I got approval from the Mountain Rose Homeowners' Association to replace it with a Cimarron Sage, paid a tree guy to jerk the dead tree out with his pickup truck and got the Cimarron Sage from Summer Winds Nursery planted. It will be a big relief, because it will have a drip schedule similar to my other plants. Part of the job was reconfiguring the drips for the spot. While I was at it, I replaced the southwest myoporum that had died.
- Kiteboarding:
- Preparing for my early November Brazil kiteboard trip has meant lots of things, including repacking my travel bags/suitcases with and without taking my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard, depending on the latest word for what will bee available in Brazil, making and coating Styrofoam fin protectors, painting them with latex paint (which tends to become sticky), making a double corrugated cardboard oven for drying the latex paint, finding and spraying a coating that will eliminate the stickiness without dissolving the Styrofoam

- The trick-or-treaters enjoyed the "train" horn I have tuned to a Burlington/Northern/Santa Fe locomotive from south Phoenix, as well as seeing my LGB train going around.

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