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Topics - PonoBill

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Random / Fat boy
« on: July 14, 2020, 10:40:17 PM »
216 today. Not being able to go to restaurants and wingfoiling all the time seems to be working a lot better than diets. I'm fitting into the levis I stashed at the bottom of the pile that I could have marked "maybe someday" and this evening I tried on a bunch of very expensive (relative to the rest of my ragbag wardrobe) shirts that I bought years ago at a fancy store, only to find that the European version of XL does not mean "fat guy". All but two fit perfectly. I'll need to ditch a few more pounds for those. My Withings scale says I'm 25 percent body fat. Ideal body fat for geezers is supposed to be 13-24%. I'll never make 13, but 24 is in sight.

If this COVID thing doesn't end soon I might need to stop calling myself fat.

Crazy day in the Gorge. In the morning the river looked like Lake Winnipesaukee on a hot summer day. Mirror flat, and nothing moving but motorboats. I called (also known as Admin)for no particular reason and he said it was going to be PERFECT. I explained that he was nuts, there wasn't a breath of wind, and I was going to spend the day electrocuting myself by doing the AC wiring in my stupid motorhome.

He can be very convincing. I even sang the entire jingle and he still insisted it would be good and he and Chan were going.

I'm consistently stupid, so of course, I put all my shit away and headed to the Event Center.

When I got there he and Chan were ghosting about on the biggest wings I've ever seen either of them use. But they were up and foiling. They were the ONLY thing moving on the river, though some kiters on the sandbar were trying to get big kites to fly.

So of course, being dumber than a bag of hammers, I rigged. Admin weighs 2/3 of what I do, Chan is more like 1/2. I expected very little but oddly I got right up and started ghosting around too. The wind built steadily. I was eventually overpowered on my 1020/440 and 6M wing, so I came in and put on the 1010/440. I had an absolute blast. Winged until I couldn't feel my fingers.

The song:

If you're looking to get out of the house,
And you're just a little tired of your spouse,
Grab your gear, take it all,
And just give a call,
to Optimistic Forecast dot com.

Random / David Foster biopic
« on: July 11, 2020, 07:05:31 PM »
I watched this on Netflix recently. I had no idea who he is, which is kind of strange since it appears that a lot of the songs I really like were written and/or produced by him. Pretty interesting.

Classifieds / Naish 2.8 S25 Wing Surfer
« on: July 02, 2020, 03:13:17 PM »
Naish S25 Wing Surfer with Pump, leash, backpack bag and long bag. Used one time but my board got blown onto the wing on the beach and poked two holes into it about 1" by 1". Yeah, it was that windy. Retail is $720. I repaired the holes with kite tape but I can get them professionally reaired by Airtime if you prefer.

Price as is--$350
Price professionally repaired--$450

It works fine as is, I just don't like all the handles.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Forecastmeister
« on: June 28, 2020, 02:20:25 PM »
My career as a wind forecaster is over before it really got started. Today is NOT a 6M wing day, the breezes are not a gentle 18 mph zephyr. More like 30 gusting to the mid 40's. I went out on my 3.5M, which feels dinky unless it's being ripped out of your hands. I was actually having fun in the maelstrom, it's only when the wind is cranking that we fat guys get to play with smaller toys. Unfortunately, my 3.5 wing started coming apart a little with all the flapping and strain. I fixed it with some kite tape and did another short session, but it actually got stronger and my repairs were coming off, so I did two more passes and quit.

Maybe it will back off a bit in the afternoon. Next week is supposed to be insane.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Evening sessions
« on: June 25, 2020, 08:48:29 PM »
Somehow I'd forgotten how good these can be. Probably because it's been cold and miserable in the evenings--finally starting to feel like summer. The wind settles into its steady state, the gusts and lulls go away, most of the newbs have burned out so there aren't any out of control kiters, just the folks that know what they're doing.

Today's second session started at about 4:30 and when I got out of the water at 7:30 I wondered what the hell I was stopping for. I started the session with some back pain and it went away after the first hour.

Dreamy zooming turns, just slicing back and forth for fun, big swells in the channel to chase, and then into the no current, flat and smooth water in front of the event site to try to get my switchfoot jibe shoved into muscle memory. So far the only thing I seem to have memorized is how to fall at high speed. But who cares, it was great.

I'm starting to get that "shove the board around" feel that I remember when I first learned to do planing jibes on a windsurfer a zillion years ago. Feels good, even if I'm doing it after I've fucked up yet another foiling jibe.

I came out of the water feeling better than I had when I went in.

Fiona Wylde was sitting at the waters edge when I came in, tossing pebbles for her dog to chase. Always a treat to talk to Fiona. Such a cool kid. I guess she's not really a kid anymore, but it's going to take a while for me to think of her as being older than 14.

Admin spent an hour or so rubbing a wing that I would consider unmarked with various grades of scotchbrite pad in grits starting at 400 and ending at 1000. Sounds delightful, but that isn't what I do. I don't even get close to 400 and the only thing I've ever rubbed with 1000 grit is a pool cue.

Here's my method. Start with three wings that look like they've been dragged behind a car for a few miles.

Sand with 120 grit to take out the ridges on the scrapes and restore general smoothness, then 240 to remove the 120 grit scratches. All I want to do is make the surface reasonably flat. A deep scratch raises ridges on both sides of the valley. I'm taking off the ridges. I use a Festool disk sander with vacuum dust collection and I wear a mask. Carbon isn't good for lungs.

If I wanted to eliminate the scratches I'd fill them with spot putty. I think even deep scratches are mostly cosmetic but bumps on the surface are not. Spot putty wouldn't be pretty. That sounds like part of a country western lyric.

Spray with one coat of gloss clear acrylic. This is a fairly heavy, covering coat that flows out and turns the sharp-edge valleys into dips.

Spray with one coat of matte finish clear acrylic. This eliminates shiny spots and further fills the valleys. Again. I'm not looking to make this like new, just reduce whistling and not make people point and laugh when they see my wings.

Done--took less than an hour for all three wings. Time to go beat them up again.

Random / Interesting article in Quanta
« on: June 04, 2020, 05:16:20 PM »
I spend way too much time reading Quanta, but great articles like this are why. I think the next huge jump forward is along the intersection of machine learning/AI and biology. Here's a great example:

Random / Interesting and good news from Wuhan
« on: June 04, 2020, 08:48:44 AM »
From Quartz: when a new cluster of Covid-19 cases emerged in May in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic is believed to have started, officials vowed to test every resident to head off a potential second wave of the virus. It took a bit longer than 10 days to reach the goal, but the results are finally in—and 9.9 million tests in 19 days is nothing to sneeze at (too soon?).

The good news for Wuhan is that it found just 300 asymptomatic coronavirus cases, all of whom were placed in isolation until they test negative. There were no positive tests among the 1,174 close contacts of the new asymptomatic cases.

While it's tempting to draw all kinds of conclusions from this testing, one that seems encouraging is no spread of the virus to close contacts. Either the people are still practicing effective distancing or other practices to limit spread or the current Wuhan strain of the virus is less infectious, or there is some immunity--or all three. 300 is a suspicious number as is NO spread, but it seems silly to assume the people administering the testing program don't know that.

The Shape Shack / Works of Primitive Man
« on: May 31, 2020, 10:02:24 PM »
I'm in awe of eDub's work--no matter how I disciplined myself (not gonna happen) I'd never be able to do his level of quality. For example, consider the handle I just put into the bottom of my Flying Dutchman wingfoil board.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Super good day
« on: May 26, 2020, 06:53:51 PM »
There's good, and then there's today. Perfect wind--steady 20MPH with a few gusts maybe to 23. Nice rounded swells in mid-river to chase and ride. I started out on a 1020 wing with a 340 tail with my 6M F-one wing.  I loved it, but I was overfoiling fairly often. Lots of lift and not a lot of stabilizer. Admin and Chan quit after about a two-hour session. I wanted to try another wing so I went for the 1010. Holy shit that was great. I was a bit overpowered since the wind came up a few MPH, would have been great on the 5M. But I stayed out for another hour, maybe a bit more. I was pretty toasted when I came in, and I'm exhausted now, but it was so fun. The 1010/340 combo is fast and smooth. It takes a lot of pumping to get up, but once I'm up it doesn't come down. I got two 95% switchfoot jibes--I didn't fall, but the board came down when I didn't switch fast enough. I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight unless my shoulders wake me up. It's seven pm and I'm yawning.

Random / Should we really wait for "them" to figure this out?
« on: April 28, 2020, 10:03:39 PM »
I posted this on Facebook in response to a post by Tim Ryan--the Strand Leper, but it makes sense to me to see what you folks think:

I thought about this all day, in between screwing up my most recent project. This semi-bitchy response kept popping up in my head: "Well what would YOU do to get things going again. And then I realized that it might be a useful thought. What would we do? I'm a very conservative Republican--not in the sense of these folks who think what the Republican party has devolved into represents anything like conservative politics--but in the classical sense of conservatism. The notion that the bigger government gets, the more stupid, clumsy, and incompetent it is. Our current federal government is completely incapable of managing this crisis at the local level. The state governors seem to be acting along party lines, like their head is either firmly up Trump's ass, or firmly up whoever the fuck is leading the democrats. I can't tell, it's just too unpleasant to try to parse. But back to the idea: We can stop saying “they should do something” and build a plan to actually do something. We could do what the government won’t do—talk to small business owners, restaurant owners, bar owners, workers—and ask them how they would handle coming back to something like normal, given the simple reality that doing so in a sloppy manner will probably mean our local area will become a full-on COVID hot spot.

As a group, humans can be very smart. As a mob we devolve to the lowest common denominator like those dipshits organizing protests. Here’s the thing—if you protest, you’re asking the folks “in charge” to do something different. Fuck that. If we built a better plan, a better way to handle this virus on a local, one-on-one basis and executed on that plan, why would we care what “they” think?

It would have to be good. It would have to involve real research, the inclusion of healthcare workers, the examination and real research into any tools available to us to do a better job of this.

Honestly, looking at the current corrupt clusterfuck that is the federal government, this is probably our only choice. “They” aren’t going to do anything that isn’t easy or that doesn’t represent opportunities for them.

What do you people think? Can we put together a group to start figuring out how to do this? If we do, where and how should we organize it? Facebook would not be my first choice—too much control in the hands of people I wouldn't trust with a case of my beer.

Let’s talk.

I finally got back onto my foil today, out with a 6M F one, Axis 101 with a 440 tail, 75CM mast and a Flying Dutchman magic carpet. One really great wing board. Things went well, once again I find the 6M to be my goto wing. The gusts were strong but the lulls were lullier, and I could get through them. I did find that I apparently have completely forgotten how to jibe. I've been set back one Pandemic worth. Totally gone, didn't even come close, hardly was able to jibe after touchdown. I did manage some really cool crashes though.

The social distancing was easy. There were four people on the river for as far as I could see in any direction.

I'm going to share Temira's (the reliable Gorge wind forecast queen) guidelines for water activity in the time of plague. This by way of assuaging my scofflaw conscience:

First, a public service announcement. All Oregon (Viento, Rowena) and Washington (Doug's, Hatchery) State Parks are closed at this time. All Port of Hood River waterfront access is closed at this time, although the walking path is open. The Army Corps has closed all parks (The Wall, Rufus, Roosevelt). They have also closed boat ramps. Swell City is closed. It's best not to go – especially if you don't live in the Gorge. Please follow legal guidance to stay home, save lives.. If you're local and getting on the water somehow, follow Maui rules: rig quickly, get in the water, and leave as soon as you are done. No hanging out. Maintain at least six feet space on land and on the water. Do not place yourself directly upwind or downwind of anyone. Don't go harder than 50%, and keep your focus at 100%. This is not the time to get injured.

That's what I did, I swear officer. I even drove home in my wetsuit and used my new outdoor shower. Keeping the neighbors entertained--or maybe horrified.

Random / On the plus side...
« on: April 15, 2020, 12:05:18 AM »
I'm getting a lot done on my various projects. I finished the deflector for the solar panels on Fritz, my 78 GMC moho today. The only piece of the same gauge aluminum I had was short one corner. I decided a few rivets never hurt anything so I made a Frankenstein version.

I suspect some day I might rip this entire rack off, ditch the roof AC and roof vents and do a version that's just off the roof, but for now, it's good.

It seems like everything I touch is another project, I went to fire up my Norton to go for a celebratory ride, and the carbs started spraying gas. I pulled the carbs down and all the rubber in them has perished to one degree or another. Ordered rebuild kits.

I finished the outdoor shower based on a Wardog SUP board I'm going to install at the house. I wanted to build a nice looking outdoor shower with a SUP theme, and this is the nicest looking board I own other than my woodie Javelin--and the wall hangers in Maui. So I sacrificed it to domestic tranquility and a hot shower after the cold Columbia. It's going to look great, I'm installing it tomorrow.

I also stared a while at my race car and my Vincent and decided I need to stay quarantined for about a year to get some of these projects done.

Oh yeah, and the old hollow SIC F16 I traded to Joel Yang for a one-wheel skateboard has a little water leak. The little bastard never leaked a drop in all the years I rode it, but now it's dribbling. I thought I'd found the only one with my ultrasonic sniffer, but there's another one someplace. Oh well, more projects tomorrow.

Looks like images on the zone is still busted.

Random / Gorge Gowns and other COVID response
« on: March 25, 2020, 08:28:08 PM »
I got this email from Maui Meyer this evening. He's been spearheading a team to make PPE gowns using local resources. Also making hand sanitizer and face shields for emergency workers. It's a pretty cool effort that can be repeated anywhere there are sewing facilities. The design plans will be availabe to anyone once the santizing and production protocols are set.

Greetings funders, great news from the Gorge!

It's here! We are live, with HMB 50, an Oregon not for profit to procure and donate PPE to health and public safety workers in the Gorge and beyond.

HMB 50 stands for "Hand Made Brigade, 50". 50 is the number of hours from when Dr. Laurel Berge, called me asking for help until the time we donned (and doffed, which apparently is a real word) the first tyvek prototype. (which was prototype 5) It's been a quick 5 days.

It is time to redeem your pledges! If you would like to donate, to our tax deductible organization online, please do so here:      Use the pull down menu to designate that the donation is being made to the Hand Made Brigade 50. If you would like your donation to be directed towards a specific area of concern (Masks, Shields or Gowns)  Please note that in the comment section.

If you would like to donate via check, to our tax deductible organization, please mail the check, made out to "The Next Door" and send it to 965 Tucker Road, Hood River Oregon, 97031, with HMB50 in the memo line.

If you DON'T CARE ABOUT THE DEDUCTION, Please send a check made out to HMB50 and Mail it to 1002 Oak Street, Hood River, Oregon 97031. If you would like to venmo me, It's @Maui-Meyer.

Our fiscal sponsor for tax deductible status, The Next Door, Hood River's leader in community development, and community social service.  Janet Hamada, a person whom I am lucky to call a friend, is the director of this organization. She is a "Super Titan" in my book. I am honored that they have taken HMB 50 on as a client on such short notice and with so much uncertainty.

Your contributions have been so generous, and so important. We have, in the last 36 hours:

secured the ability to produce our gowns locally. The first production of this type, in the nation that I am aware of.  50 gowns a day by next week is targeted and at full run, (hopefully in 10-14 days) and more to come.  The bulk of the gowns will be donated to Hood River County's Emergency Response Center, who will, via the regions mutual aid agreement, point the gowns towards the areas of most need.  (The gowns are also being reviewed at the national level, and we plan to release the patterns free of charge to similar production facilities across the country, once we have production/sanitation protocols understood, and in place.)

Ordered 350 gallons of hand sanitizer produced locally to be donated to the Emergency Response Center, for free distribution.

Assisted in funding the production of 3,000 top of the line face shields, for distribution through the Emergency Response Center, to the region. 

There is more to come. I have not looked down yet. Nor will I

Stay Safe, Be Well. And. Thank you all. Please send your money, and please share this email far and wide.

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