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Topics - PonoBill

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Random / Great book
« on: November 28, 2020, 10:13:12 PM »
This is one of those listen to it on audible, then read it, then listen. Lather, rinse, repeat kind of books.

Sean Carrol--the Big Picture. What a mind. I confess to getting a bit distracted when he runs on about the limits of theist arguments. I've always taken a weak (non-mathematical) Bayesian approach to trying to understand life, the universe, and everything--so I don't need much help with questions about god. I thought that was all bullshit from the time I was about ten--maybe younger. But everything else is pure gold.

Get it, listen to it or read it, be a more complete human being.

Random / Researchers say ADHD is a good thing. Wow, no shit...
« on: November 28, 2020, 09:58:13 PM »
I've just read three papers that kind of stunned me--like everyone who has it didn't already know that. Yes, folks get pissed at us when they discover we aren't doing what they wanted us to. Sorry about that. Probably what you wanted was boring. Pick it up a few levels and you have my complete attention...for a few minutes anyway.

As probably anyone who has spent more than ten minutes talking to me knows. I'm somewhere on the light end of the Asperger spectrum, and asshole deep in ADHD. I don't make funny noises or twitch, but if you want me to do something you need a bit of patience. I'll get it done, I always do, but the timeframe is not under my control, and certainly not under yours. Teachers don't like that. I flunked physics in my senior year of high school and won second place in the national science fair--in physics.

When I bump into a fellow "neurologically challenged" sufferer the communication is instant. Doesn't matter how old they are, what sex or race. We can talk--if we can get the words out fast enough.

So no, I have never considered it a handicap. It seems odd that someone does, but then someone is paying for this research. I get the need to understand a little more about the function of the human brain, but it still feels odd that people think a little Aspergers and ADHD are anything but a good thing--it's like someone feeling sorry for me for being tall. I'm not insulted, it's more like: What?!?

Foil SUP / eFoilBoy
« on: November 27, 2020, 06:01:36 PM »
I bought a lightly used Takuma/something efoil today. I was at SanO hanging with talldude, Capo, and cowboy when I got hold of the guy selling it and arranged to meet. That meant I had to leave to go pick it up, and the line to get back in looked to be at least an hour, so I went to Doheny.

So okay. this is going to take some time. First, these things are insanely heavy. With the battery in place it's a challenge to carry it. I lugged it to the water and was thrilled to be in a few inches of water so I could float it. If you release the dead man switch while you're moving the nose buries and I eject vigorously. I got to my feet fairly soon and was able to drive the thing around off the foil, then I gave it the boot and popped it up. Did a few porpoise moves, then buried the nose at speed and bounced off the water. I finally managed some long runs, this thing gets rolling very soon, very fast. My longest run was probably 150 yards and most times I crashed it was because my finger slipped off the dead man. When the motor stops the fun ends about a tenth of a microsecond later.

Still, not bad for the first time and I can see that this is going to be a lot of fun. One more thing to do in the water.

Sorry I disappeared guys, I would have come back but that line was ridiculous.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / SoCal Doldrums
« on: November 09, 2020, 10:16:55 PM »
Looks like the surf is going to be dinky for the next couple of weeks, and I don't know where to go to wingfoil. SanO was kind of disappointing today, especially given the five hours round trip of driving I have to do to get there. Where should I go to foil surf? To wingfoil??

Prone Foiling, Surf foiling, Pump Foiling / a little humility
« on: November 04, 2020, 04:46:57 PM »
I went to San Onofre this morning-a brisk 2.5 hour drive from La Quinta where we are staying so Diane can golf a lot. I always make the assumption that I'm going to pick my abilities back up where I left off--and I'm always a little shocked that I don't. I really sucked.

I also expect that I'll be able to overcome any oddities in my equipment, and I don't do that well either. The only paddle I had with me is my downwind paddle, which is much too long to foil. My board is my wing board, but it's big enough to do double duty. I need to set it up better for surf foiling, but that's no big deal. But the paddle made it hard to sprint for the waves, and my shoulders are killing me.

I finally bailed to San Clemente to pick up a heat gun and a hacksaw. Borrowed some power at a jobsite and shortened my paddle. Unfortunately when I got back to SanO there was a line, so I bailed and figured I'd just go find some waves at Encinitas, or wherever. But it was fairly smoky, and it was about 2:00, so I headed back to the desert.

I'll get the gear tuned up and go back on Friday. In the meantime, it was fun seeing the SanO foil crew and shooting the shit a little. Next time I'll come prepared and stay all day. And hopefully not suck quite so much.

The big plus is that I can already tell it's going to be a fun winter. And I'll be paddling a lot more which will get my upper body back in shape. I felt weak as a kitten today.

Random / So this is fun...
« on: October 25, 2020, 09:59:17 PM »
I'm just fucking around, but sometimes stuff just works. Beautiful, talented, accomplished women--ok, that always works. Even without the audio, it's fun to watch. I'm just screwing around with my website so get it while you can. If it's gone and you're wondering what I was talking about then just stand by, I'll probably do something sillier real soon now.

That has to be the world's hottest cello player. Cello is the instrument you take up as a kid if you aren't getting beaten up enough for playing violin.

Foil SUP / This is why we're doing this:
« on: October 25, 2020, 08:08:42 PM »
I know a lot of you have seen this, but get a snifter of brandy, a comfortable chair, pop this up full screen with the volume turned up and relax. 18 minutes of endorphin coma. This is why we're all working so hard to master this sport. This is why we've quit doing anything else, going out in the river when it's f*king freezing.


Right here.

This is what we want to do.

Foil SUP / I'm building a new website for Mark Raaphorst
« on: October 25, 2020, 07:01:08 PM »
It's kind of fun, it's been ages since I've done this stuff and the tools have changed dramatically, so it's a great learning experience for me. It's not done, there's still some placeholder copy though I think I got rid of the stuff about Mark needing money for his porn addiction. And you can't actually buy anything since i haven't hooked all that stuff up yet. I suspect you guys might get a kick out of it. And since you are all now beta testers, let me know if it blows up and kills your computer.

About the wind in Hood River. I came in with two 10" holes in my 3.5 wing today from my board getting blown over my head and landing on the wing. I foiled in with the now ventilated wing--it had holes on both sides. It was actually really nice, just about the effective size i needed--2.0 meters. It made me think about installing some zippers. If I wasn't worried about the holes ripping bigger I'd have stayed out. I have no idea what the instant velocity of the gusts were. I'm sure the average gust speed will be shown much lower--these were nutty powerful but short lived. Hmmm. Well, I just looked at it, and iwindsurf says it was 30 gusting to 50.

When we first got in the water I was on a 5.0 and Admin was on a 3.5. I was fully powered up and a little more, but it felt good--for the first reach. But on the way over to the washington side the wind built steadily and rapidly. The reach back to the Oregon side was insane. I was happy to head right in and go get my 3.5. By the time i got back in it was probably 25 gusting to 35. Spicy, but fine for a big guy like me. Just about the time I was thinking "this is so GREAT!" someone cranked to knob up to 11+ and all hell broke loose. The river cleared out. Pretty much just me and a kiter who was stuck over on the washington side getting dragged and dunked. And Admin getting blown onto the sandbar. I did three runs back and forth in a total maelstrom, laughing and yelling on the edge of control--big winds are the fat guys revenge, but i'm 30 pounds lighter and it seems to make a difference. I finally lined up the event center and came in like a bullet. I had to flare hard just to keep from running right up the beach (gravel--wouldn't be prudent).

I sat there for a while in the water, trying to decide if I was having fun or not. Then another guy went out and I decided I needed a few more reaches.

On the second reach coming back towards the Oregon side I saw a mongo swell that I just had to jump in on, I chased it down, turned on the face, and bam, got blown off the board. Should have dropped down further. Anyway, when I hit the water the board flipped and blew over me. Clipped me in the head a little and then fell onto the wing, stabilzer first. Fuck. It sliced through the canopy on both sides of the strut near the trailing edge. Session over. I foiled in and parked it.

So yeah. Sometimes we have some wind.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Epic-er Day
« on: October 08, 2020, 02:42:10 PM »
Holy fukowitz, what is going on? October is supposed to suck in the gorge. At best a bunch of cranky east wind days. Today was supposed to be 10 to 14 in the afternoon. Admin called me before 10 and said "It's cranking, we're going." I take everything he says with a grain of salt since he'll go when it truly sucks because he's a sad wingfoil addict. Unfortunately, I am too, so I dropped everything and went. I got to the event center first and was stunned by the wind level. Well over twenty. I rigged a 4.2 wing and an Axis 1000/440 combo on my short fuselage and 90cm mast. By the time I hit the water the wind had boosted at least another 5mph. It was coming right down the middle of the river, so my plan of immediately heading to the hatchery for a downwind run took quite a few more long reaches than usual.

When the wind rips straight down the middle the swells are even bigger and spicier than normal. These were mega-spicy and the wind built another few mph has I turned to start my run. I held my wing by the stub of my fake boom sticking out past the front handle and the boom just behind the front handle. I could bear down a tiny bit to chase peaks and didn't have to fiddle with bringing the wing back up when I need power. I covered the mile or two back to the Event Center in what felt like second, on a bump and flying the entire way. The river cleared of most people as the wind continued to rise.

I went in and got my 3.5. Survival. The 4.2 was spending all it's time luffed. I blasted around, super powered-up and had a blast. Carving on the swells is pure joy. I went back up to the white salmon bridge to do one more short downwinder. I got up on top of a ridiculous swell that looked like a cliff face on the upriver face and ran along the face to the middle of the river, where I found a prodigious lull--glassy and flat. I stayed in the swell, pumping lightly, and looked upwind for some help. And here it came, an odd band of white rushing towards me. I thought "that's intense" just as I was lifted completely off my board and flung down into the trough. I have no idea how much wind it takes to lift a 215 pound guy in five pounds of wetsuit with a 3.5 meter wing, but I now know it's feasible.

I had to come in to get ready for an oppointment at 3:00pm. It's 2:40. Ciao.

Random / Bobiverse part 4
« on: October 07, 2020, 01:05:30 PM »
Yea!! Another installment, once again the audible version is read by Ray Porter, who is simply the best in the biz for books like this. Rivaled only by Benedict Cumberbach who could make reading a Betty Crocker Cookbook compelling and appears to have mastered every known accent (as evidenced here at about 4 minutes: Of course i bought it immediately, now the question is do I just listen to it, or do I go back and listen to the original three and THEN listen to part 4, or should I listen to 4, then go back and listen to 1 through 4.

First world problem, but a problem nonetheless. 

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Epic day
« on: October 05, 2020, 09:33:56 AM »
October is generally iffy in the Gorge, and when there's wind it's usually east wind, which I'm not a big fan of. Yesterday was west wind, 25-35, and it was fabulous. Blowdrier wind, spicy swells, and not too crowded. Looking ahead at the next few days I realized I should grab all I could get. I might have overdone it a bit. I had a hard time eating dinner--my shoulders ached, and I couldn't read or work on my projects this evening. Every time I sat still I started falling asleep. 6:30 is not bedtime. I managed to stay awake until 8:30 by watching Sherlock Holmes and standing frequently.

I started out on my 4.2 with the 101. Switched to 3.5 after just a few upwind/downwind passes. Then came in and changed the 1010 for the 860.

The 860 is great fun, but in big swells I find it a bit unforgiving--suck a little air and it falls out of the sky. After my fourth full speed faceplant, including one where my board blew over my head and landed in the wing (upside down, thank the gods of wind) I went in and got the 1000 for more civilized recovery.

It was a perfect day for upwind/downwind with enough south in the wind early on to be able to reach the hatchery in one go. Then turn around and ride pumping swells back to the event site. So much fun. I'm not sure how long I was out, but I finished at 2:30, completely toasted. I came in twice, thinking I'd had enough, only to look at the conditions and go right back out. It took me 40 minutes to put all my stuff away, about twice as long as usual. Getting my wetsuit off was horrific, it would have made a good comedy TikTok vid.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Spooky Session
« on: September 18, 2020, 08:43:44 PM »
Is it Halloween yet? I was getting ready to go up to my shop when my phone rang--it was Admin telling me he and Chan were gonna do a session. We've been under a blanket of dense smoke, like smoking 30 packs of Camels a day if you go outside without an N95. For the last week and a half I've been using double cartridge P100's with charcoal inserts just to go to the grocery store. But with a west wind blowing it was clearing to something more like 5 packs of Camels a day, so doable!

I beelined for the event center, and with the wind picking up it was clearing out nicely. the gusts were kind of nutty but baseline a lot lower, so I put on my 1150 for cruisability and pumped up the 5.0. I was overpowered and way overfoiled in the gusts, but good in the lulls. The wingfoiling was fine, but the atmosphere was strange. It was dark and getting darker--and it wasn't even noon. We got about 30 minutes of nice foiling but it started getting darker and the wind was flukier. I looked upwind (downriver) and I could see a lot of white. Either a lot more smoke headed our way or rain. Given how dark it was getting, rain seemed likely. a solid band of rain in the Gorge kills the wind like flipping a swtch so I was a little nervous being all the way across the river and downriver a little past the White Salmon bridge. As I started to jibe a lightning bolt hit the water in front of the hatchery--at least thats what it looked like, though it must have been further. It took a couple of seconds to hear the thunderclap--which was super loud. I blew the jibe and fell in. Shitty timing.

I got back up and beelined for the event center and the lightning picked up nicely. Strange looking horizontal bolts, and a few hitting on the washington side. I got almost to the jetty and the wind died on me. I tried to pump in, but eventually touched down. Chan was swiming her board and wing in, Mark (thatspec) was walking his gear out of the water, and Admin landed over on the sandbar and was walking his gear over. There was one lone kiter down in the water about 50 yards out. The rest of them bailed before i figured out what was going on. Clever boy.

It was fun while it lasted. On the plus side the air is clear. The forecast for tomorrow looks good. 13 gusting to 20. I'll take it. Not only can we wing foil, it will also keep blowing the smoke out. It's a good thing--I've been getting on Diane's nerves.

Random / Lemonade out of Lemons
« on: September 13, 2020, 08:52:01 PM »
I woke up this morning feeling energized. Yes, the smoke outside makes doing anything in the great outdoors a life-threatening adventure before you reach your truck. But I decided that I should bring all my electronics experiments from the shop back to the house. Only this time I'm not taking over the dining room table temporaily--I'm making a permanent location in my office. Just doing the setup for some of this shit is a two-day affair, so the dining room table doesn't cut it.

My office has slowly become cluttered with crap, so this was sort of a big deal. fortunately for me, my charming wife, who is like Marie Kondo with a whip agreed to help me. I'm not taking pictures of the bags and boxes of pointless crap we hauled out of the office. Just the lovely results. My work table for the electronics will go right in front of the somewhat weird table in front of the doors to the back yard, but my office now looks cooler and more organized than it has in the last ten years. It took all day. There was a shocking amount of crap in there. All my SUP racing trophies and related stuff will go to the shop, which will take another day to organize. So this is more or less purely motorsports stuff. But as usual, Diane did an amazing job arranging all this stuff after she shoed me out and took over.

Now if I can just get her to help me do the same thing at my shop. I'm pretty sure drugs would be required.

Random / I bought the wrong car 30 years ago
« on: August 29, 2020, 07:55:53 PM »
About 30 or so years ago I bought a Maserati Mistral. Cool car. It took a bit to get it running reliably, but I managed and then I crashed it. Coach built aluminum-bodied cars aren't easy to fix, but eventually, I got it done. And then I shoved the car around in my shop for, well, forever. I finally sold it on Bring a Trailer for $117,000 which felt kind of good except when I bought the Maserati I didn't buy a 1961 Aston Martin DB4. It had a chevy V8 in it, but the original engine was included in the price.

Here's a DB5 for sale on BAT that looks a lot like the one I passed up for 10K, and I think DB4s are way cooler.  There are 12 days left in the auction and it's at $300K. Oh, well. Here's a story and ridiculous number of pictures of my Maserati.

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