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Topics - PonoBill

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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.

Random / Wow, it's an ADHD anniversary!
« on: August 26, 2020, 09:00:29 PM »
I was looking at the bottle of Concerta I have in my desk drawer with an eye towards maybe taking one tomorrow. I've been having trouble making progress on my Moho project--a lot of wiring to do to get the dashboard back in--and every time I start I find myself off doing something unrelated. A standard ADD avoidance problem. So I dug out the bottle, it's got 29 tablets of the original 30 prescribed, and I filled it on August 25, 2009. It's been eleven years since I've medicated for ADD. I'm keeping the bottle in my desk even though it theoretically expired ten years ago. Just a reminder that I don't really need it. The Moho can wait for me to get my shit together some other way. I don't want my reality to narrow down to one little pathetic frequency of color. I'll stick with the full spectrum.

Classifieds / Fanatic Sky Wing 5'4"
« on: August 10, 2020, 08:49:01 PM »
Wet one time. Too small for me. It's 5'4" X 26" 95L so at my 215# it's a sinker. Admin has the same board and loves it. I'm just a little too fat still. These are more or less unobtainable. I paid $1350 but I screwed up the finish in a few places when I panicked and decided to make training wheels for this thing--otherwise, it's essentially virgin. I wrapped it in plastic then vacuum bagged a carbon frame around the rails with the intention of adding some foam floats (yeah, dumb) but unfortunately, some epoxy got onto the finish in a few places and it shows white where I scraped it off. In the unlikely event you'd like the carbon frame you can have it along with the board, but I came to my senses and found a 6'0" X 28.5" 104L SIC Manta instead.

$900 plus shipping or pick up in the gorge.

Classifieds / Axis and GoFoil Masts
« on: August 10, 2020, 08:25:20 PM »
Original GoFoil Mast: 24"
used $300 plus shipping or P/U in the Gorge

Axis short masts 19MM--great for learning or shallow water
23.6" (60CM)
26.6"  (68CM)
Both--retail $190
used $85 plus shipping or pick up in the gorge.

Classifieds / Axis wings 1020 920 550 stabilzer
« on: August 10, 2020, 08:12:55 PM »
Admin gagged when I told him I was going to sell these wings. He considers a scratch on a wing to be a travesty. I think you don't need to worry about scratching them--they're already broken in. And yeah, it's just cosmetic and only bad if you have advanced OCD. Covers included.

Retail: $1375
Well loved: $700 plus shipping or pickup in the Gorge.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Fake Boom
« on: August 08, 2020, 09:21:20 PM »
Several folks have asked me how I make fake booms for wings with handles. Here's how.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Upwind/Downwind
« on: August 05, 2020, 08:40:46 PM »
My friend Shep Nelson was in Hood River yesterday afternoon and today. Yesterday was some mellow wingfoiling at Swell City. Today was supposed to be medium-light and we planned to do some upwind/downwind runs starting from the Event Center. It was NOT mellow. 20 gusting to 40+ is not mellow. But we had fun.

I did the first session on my Axis 1000 with a 4.2--lent my 3.5 to Shep. We were both overpowered but not terribly so. I tried the new Duotone harness line that DW recommended. Perfect! I love them, no more getting whacked in the face when I pump, and getting into and out of the hook is easy. From the Event Center to the middle of the river the wind was steady, clean and the swells were small and regular. When I hit the channel the world changed. Big, chunky, irregular swells from several directions, and the gusts hit like a punch. It was surprisingly easy to go upwind though, and I went well past the White Salmon bridge on my first reach. I did a little back and forth to warm up and didn't see Shep. I went in briefly to see if he was in the water. Yup, no Shep. So I jumped back in, ran up to the hatchery on just three reaches (a little south in the wind always helps), and found him doing a downwind run with the wing trailing. The swells were more than chest high and the wind was ripping at me whenever I came out of a trough. I turned downwind and had a delightful run back to about Luhr Jensen. We did quite a few runs and finally came in for a breather.

I swapped out the 1000 for my new 900 just for the heck of it. The Verdict: I like it a lot once I get up on it, but it's a lot of work to get there. I've never pumped so hard and long to get up, especially in nuking wind. Usually, one or two quick pumps and I'm there. I probably need to lose a few more pounds to make this a goto wing. It looks like a toy to me. It's about 1200 cm^2, so I'm not surprised it took so much to get up, but I love the speed and it turns beautifully. One more reason to get down to 200#

I made a high speed, slightly downwind angle across the river to max out the speed, and about 2/3 of the way across I hit a huge floating mat of river weed flat out, pedal to the metal. Immediate ejection. When I got back on the board my bad knee hurt like hell. I don't know if it was the crash or all the frantic pumping that caused it, but I'm limping around a bit tonight.

We did a few more passes and then done. Downwinded to the event center and bailed.

Fun to see Shep. He outlined the requirements for going back home after this business trip. Maui has quarantine requirements, but his charming wife has even more stringent rules. I told Diane about them since her rules are pretty stringent too. Diane, of course, was delighted. One of her golf buddies is equally careful and the two of them decided that Elena could definitely join their pod.

Random / Underway under thermonuclear power
« on: July 23, 2020, 07:25:59 PM »
Fritz is now boondock-ready, running the air conditioner and all house loads from my Tesla batteries which are charged by my huge (for an RV} PV system. I did a little video on it here. Yes, Admin, it's quite a mess in there, but I cleaned up quite a bit after today's grim wingfoiling session. I don't know why I got those power figures wrong, I'm generally good at simple mental arithmetic. 64 amps at 24 volts is, of course, about 1500 watts. 140 amps, which is what the current draw went to with the oven on maximum is 140amps which is about 3300 watts. So yes, I can bake biscuits and keep the place cool for about 3.5 hours or run the AC and everything else but the oven for about 7.5 hours if there's no sun.

I'm installing an inverter mini-split AC for the bedroom that draws a lot less power. If I'd planned better I'd be running 48V and using a split-phase inverter for a maximum of 240VAC, and I could run the mini-split without the internal AC converter--they actually run on 48VDC. Oh well.

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.

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