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Topics - PonoBill

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Random / Autonomous Cars
« on: May 09, 2019, 06:49:08 AM »
I watched the entire 2 hour Tesla analysts meeting on autonomous cars. It's much more than I thought it was, and I thought Tesla was way ahead, despite some recent articles that claim they are a distant third. They aren't.

The presentation is deeply technical, I'd guess that ten percent of the audience understood half of it, the rest were probably wondering WTF was going on,  but the bottom line is that autonomy is not what we were thinking it would be, and it's several orders of magnitude more disruptive.

The fundamental value of a Tesla is likely to be that it is autonomous, not just electric. I think Musk is right, that they will actually be appreciating assets. Tesla is putting all the batteries they can make into cars and retooling their lease program so they get the cars back at the end of three years. Using leasing to fund a big robotaxi push. They WANT the cars back.

Here's links to the full presentation and a highlights reel. The full preso is actually worth the time if you want to see why their intellectual property will be tough for anyone, including the Chinese, to duplicate (and why it has so much value). You'd need it all, right now, to even have a chance. He's going all in. And he looks it--the guy seems to be coming apart more than just a little bit. Staggering stuff. Science fiction.

short version 


Foil SUP / Fine day at the Harbor
« on: April 27, 2019, 07:47:31 PM »
What the heck. Pretty flat everywhere, but the Harbor was great. I got in the water about 6:30 I think and went until about 10:30. Then went and had some breakfast and came back for another excellent hour of fun. The wind came up a bit while I was gone, it was super-glassy this morning, and the sets were chest high. What a weird thing. Next to nothing at Ho'okipa, weak-looking at Ka'a. but good in the harbor. Why the waves coming in through the little keyhole in the jetty were better than everywhere else escapes me. I would never have checked the harbor, but yesterday, while Shantelle Pierce was making my knees and hips work again (I didn't scream--or at least I won't admit I did) She said the Harbor was over waist high yesterday. Not only did my knee and hips work great all morning, but the Harbor was great. Just foilers out--probably not that exciting for the surfers, but perfect for foil.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Wingfoil lessons
« on: April 20, 2019, 08:25:16 PM »
Allan Cadiz is a patient dude. He has to be to teach a few zillion people to windsurf, kitesurf, etc. etc.. And now he's teaching me to windfoil. I assumed it was going to be easy. Let's dispose of that right off the bat--if you're clumsy (check), heavy(check) and have a bad knee (check) things might come a little slow. I told Allen that if he can teach me, he can teach anyone. He might be counting on that.

The wing is fairly easy to handle, most of the stuff makes basic sense right away, but the movements are not intuitive and the wing doesn't really want to do the stuff you're trying to make it do. It does seem to me that the rigid boom of the Duotone kite I'm learning with make control very positive. I need to get the various moves into muscle memory--like any sport, reactions have to be trained with repetition.

This first lesson I did on a huge beginner windsurfer. I think that's a great choice for learning to manage the wing. I also think Mr. Fugly is going to be a good board initially.

Anyway, I was able to fly the kite on my knees, go upwind, jibe (slowly) and eventually stand. My knee isn't helping the standing part much, but we'll get there. I need to work on some techniques for cheating my way to my feet and getting them onto the centerline of the board as I come up.

Bottom line, I expect to be able to do this, and I'm glad I'm getting some instruction instead of just getting a wing and bashing around until a miracle happens. Once I have the basics in place, Hood River will be a great place to advance my technique.

Random / Learning stuff
« on: April 19, 2019, 11:49:44 AM »
Interesting article.

Oddly, the author is one of the instructors in the "learning to learn" course that I've been spending absurd amounts of time with. My criticism of this and other Coursera courses is that it's too conceptual. I read the article before I realized that.

If I really want to learn something, I head to Kahn Academy or some other online tutorial that emphasizes practice and working examples. I believe that understanding the fundamentals of any complicated topic is critical to understanding, but retaining the ability to use the knowledge gained comes from practice, even if that practice is boring repetition.

Random / Entering the Anthropocene epoch
« on: April 18, 2019, 01:42:19 AM »

Interesting article. I'm inclined to think we entered the Antropocene epoch somewhere around 10,000 years ago, when we started tilling and wiping out species, but I don't get to vote.

Foil SUP / Perfect Morning
« on: March 16, 2019, 04:02:36 PM »
No wind, clean waves, not that meany people out. I foiled from 6:00AM to 8:15--came in to get some food and water and say Evan going out. Quick fuel stop and a bit of stretching for my creaky hips then back out until 11:30 or so. Just too good to quit. When I got home I couldn't undo my seat belt--I got ab cramps every time I reached across to undo it. So totally worth it.

Flew the Iwa all morning and actually made a few decent turns. I'm still working on staying in the Energy. Evan Loyd was ripping with a M200, he's got the turn thing down and was getting some ridiculously long rides.

He's going to think it's like this all the time.

Foil SUP / In my head...
« on: March 08, 2019, 05:13:33 PM »
In my head, I'm bending my knees. getting low while I pump high so I can turn mightily to the toe side.

And in my head, my back foot is on the spine of the board, Directly over the mast.

Thanks to Chris Pagdilao for the drone shots demonstrating that what's in my head might not be exactly what's going on.

Foil SUP / Session and a show
« on: March 07, 2019, 07:02:03 PM »
Great fun foiling today. It was one of those mornings when it's easy to look at the wind and the chop and go get breakfast, but I went, and had a blast. The wind wasn't as bad and the waves were better than they looked. You just gotta pull up your big boy pants and go. Which leads to the second part. It's hard to foil with your board shorts around your knees. I took off on a really nice wave, got it, popped up and turned towards the toe side which is my worst direction, pulled it off, gave a few feeble pumps, and my shorts fell down. Not good. I tried to tough it out but I splatted. Just as well. I don't think anyone saw me, so I got that going for me.

I had some hope for a Maui Biathlon--tried to do a South Side downwinder but the wind didn't cooperate at all. The wind was blistering, but it was way outside and pointed towards Kahoʻolawe. So I just futzed around at the cove, catching some dinky waves on my SIC 17' V2. Then I took a paddle towards North Kihei, went about two miles in no wind, thinking that even if the wind line came in I'd get a easy ride back. So of course the wind blew the wrong way and I had to fight for every foot. As soon as I got to the cove the wind went flat again. Sheesh.

Random / The Starbucks Poll
« on: March 06, 2019, 10:14:27 AM »
But there's an easy way to find out what Schultz' effect might be.

Foil SUP / Foiled my guts out today
« on: March 01, 2019, 06:41:11 PM »
I went by Ka'a point at 6:30 and saw a pumping mess, but no wind. I almost paddled out into the maelstrom but decided to look at the harbor. Big clean waves, no wind. Blue sky and sunshine. Holy crap!

I went out on my M200 but quickly determined that the waves were really punchy, and I was going to get killed if I stayed on the M200, so I went in and switch to the Iwa, and had a blast for three hours. Love the Iwa. I turns better, it's fast as hell with my weight on it, and I felt that I had much better control. Not quite enough control with my wobbly legs for the sea of heads that were starting to show up everywhere though. So I took a long break and sat in sun, Talking with Dave K, Chris P. and a host of foiling and surfing friends. I decided I couldn't leave to eat. If I do that when I get back I'm even more tired and the wind always comes up. It's too easy to justify quitting. So I went back out and had an even better session until about 1:30. I got in and discovered Headmount had been trying to reach me. I called and discovered he was at the phone store, getting a replacement iPhone. He had the larger tail for my foil, which is something I've been wanting to try. I think I went too far shortening my stabilizer. So I hung out and waited for him to come by, and then I had to go out and try it. Especially since Devin and Ralph showed up to foil. So I went back out and foiled until about 3:00. Roughly eight hours of foiling not including the breaks, which were fairly long. I feel surprisingly good after all that, even though when I got to the boat ramp to walk out of the water after the last session my legs were so tired the ramp felt like I was climbing Everest.

Beautiful day, great waves, good friends, and now I'm having a beer deciding what to do for dinner. Life is good,

Random / The Threat
« on: February 26, 2019, 07:38:17 PM »
Okay, this is a lot spookier than I thought it would be. It's no fun having someone who is an intelligent, capable, dedicated public servant who completely understands the function and processes of the intelligence community and who made his bones busting Russian mobsters methodically and calmly unwrap our current clusterfuck and tell us how screwed we really are. I had nightmares last night. I never have nightmares.

Random / Can you tell there's no swell on Maui today?
« on: February 21, 2019, 06:49:59 PM »
Ponderous posts, and now this:

Oh, the humanity!

Downwind and Racing / west wind downwinder anyone??
« on: February 10, 2019, 04:06:56 PM »
60mph wind on the water doesn't look like much--the Whitecaps are blown away in spindrift. Not only is it howling, but the wind is also going the wrong way--blowing almost straight west at Ponohouse. Gets all the dead leaves and fronds off the usual downwind side--and tosses them in our pool. The garden looks like a war zone.

Good day to do a Maui to Hawaii (big island) downwinder. I don't think you could hit Ke'anae with this wind direction, more than a bit offshore. Actually, you'd miss the Big Island too, the wind swings North as it leaves Maui. The wind map looks like a very loose cyclone. With great luck, you might hit the Marshal Island, but more likely you'd wash up on New Guinea.

General Discussion / SHARK!
« on: January 31, 2019, 08:40:49 PM »
Yeah, I saw one today, but so what. Saw some whales way out too. I didn't tell Headmount, he doesn't like to hear that stuff.

The Headline is because shark attacks are down dramatically this year. My suspicion is that it's because we are strip-mining the ocean as fast a possible in our quest to turn the planet into an ideal habitat for bacteria, cockroaches and rats. And not much else. Or you might think it's because we're learning to share the ocean with its myriad creatures. Yeah, sure.

Anyway, total unprovoked shark attacks worldwide are down to 66 with four fatalities worldwide. No, that's not because other countries are so primitive that they can't count. It's 66 attacks. Four fucking fatalities. There is literally no other threat at this tiny level. Sitting on a sofa is more dangerous. If you are changing your habits because of sharks you are simply immune to facts and run on the artificial adrenaline of media manipulation. Yes, your Uncle Waldo knows someone who was bitten. Treasure that.

Downwind and Racing / Another smoking SS downwinder
« on: January 31, 2019, 08:30:54 PM »
My trusty, though portly SIC 17 V@ ripped on the SS today in conditions that were ideal for its extra stability, flat rocker, and wave-smashing weight. Fun all the way, in good fatboy conditions. We fatboys require some extra juice to go fast. Got some today.

My V2 is ridiculously heavy, a source of irritation to me, though I have to admit that it's weathered my usual abuse with no visible scars. My V1, on the other hand, is a maze of aluminum tape repairs and conventional repairs.

Weight aside, the old girl was rocking today. A very strange run, with no big swells despite the blistering wind. Everything was knee-high but moving fast, and I connected bumps for hundreds of yards and dozens of swells. I'm pretty sure we did the ten miles in about 1:15, though I am estimating the time since I didn't check at landing, I checked once we had the boards washed, had showered, shot the shit a little and loaded the boards back onto the truck--that was 1:30, so I think my estimate is reasonable.

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