Friday, September 30, 2016

sedentary IV...

I must be getting close to my ideal weight because the pounds aren't pouring off any more.  Was only able to peel off 3.2 pounds this month.  I have also noticed that I am getting hungrier at night.  Something is working because more of my feet are exposed in this latest weigh-in photo.  At this point I think I am just going to have to suck it up and start exercising more.

Part of my daily morning walk ritual has to do with a hat I found on my road 3 months ago.  Each day I find it on the ground at the end of the driveway and each day I place it on the phone post out there.  It seems to get blown off the post almost every night.  It is too small for me but it is a nice hat so perhaps someday the owner will drive by and find it thanks to my daily diligence.  A couple of times it has blown so far away I thought it had been reclaimed...yet I keep finding it.  I think I will be a little sad when if finally disappears for good.  76,79,66,0,B

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Drone Wars

We have all been hearing about great consumer camera drones for a couple of years now. To be honest, they never really interested me since I already own 2 GoPro cameras and a $9,000 paramotor...until now.  What led me to Wednesday's 10 BULLETS post was a conversation I had with Uncle Ricky when he was here two weeks ago - he told me about Tony Sachs, the Neistat brothers, and YouTuber Casey Neistat in particular. I checked out some of his recent videos and came across his review of the latest offering from the drone king DJI - the Mavic Pro.  (GoPro has also just come out with their own drone.)  Since I never really paid much attention to all the drone hype, I never realized their capabilities.  It is not just about getting great shots from high up.  After all, how many aerial shots can you get before the novelty wears off?  The new offering from DJI like its' predecessor the Phantom 4 can get great shots and track subjects in a variety of ways from any altitude along any kind of terrain.  What is really impressive about the Mavic Pro is that for about the same price, it has the same battery time (about 27 minutes) but they have extended the range to 4.3 miles, can go up to 40 mph, and can handle winds up to 27 mph.  It also has additional sensors so it can find its' way around even indoors where it can't pick up a GPS signal.  And unlike the Phantom 4, it folds up and almost fits in your pocket instead of a small suitcase.  As temped as I am, I think I will wait to see if I can actually fly again with my camera before I pull the trigger on a remote controlled flying camera.  Who knows how much further the technology will advance if I wait a year?  76,81,63,0,B

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 Came across this video a couple of days ago and it really took me back.  I particularly like BULLET VIII - ALWAYS BE KNOLLING (something I have always done but never knew it had a proper name...not to be confused with OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder).  During my NYC days I had the opportunity to work in a number of different photo studios.  Working for a photographer (or any "artist" for that matter) is a lot different than working for a regular company.  Rather than having to adhere to an overall "company policy", a studio assistant is subject to very specific ideals (and quirks) of a single creative mind...often a long list of dos and don'ts. There were quite a few quirks that I had to deal with in my experience but I had it pretty easy compared to some of my friends who worked for absolute tyrants.  By the time I moved on to running my own studio (a set and prop building business), there were only 3 BULLETS: 1.  If you screw something up, don't draw my attention to it right away by saying Oh shit! out loud.  2.  Clean up the work space and put all tools away at the end of the day.  3.  And finally - my studio motto in the form of a question and answer which I had to drill into every assistant that worked for me.  "What is the easiest part of any job?  Showing up on time." 80,83,56,0,C

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

putting it on...

I have been thinking about getting my paramotor wing out for the past 2 months now that my leg is feeling pretty good.  Been putting it off because I was afraid mice may have done some chewing and nesting in there.  Talked to a Texas PPG instructor named Andy McAvin today about getting some additional training from him.  After I got off the phone I was suddenly inspired to break out the wing for the first time in almost 2 years.  Luckily I found it to be in perfect condition and I seemed to have retained the muscle memory to kite it with ease.  69,72,56,0,B

Monday, September 26, 2016

the tipping bucket method...

Well...thanks to the recent precipitation, I got a chance to see that the rain gauge in my new weather station works.  It is not really quite as sophisticated as you might think.  Although the information is recorded digitally and transmitted wirelessly to a base station then uploaded to the internet through my DSL line - it actually works mechanically by what is called "the tipping bucket method" that was invented in 1662 by Sir Christopher Wren - a highly acclaimed English architect. 

There is a tiny tipping two sided "bucket" inside that rocks back and fourth like a seesaw.  When one side fills up, it tips and drains out then the other side fills up then tips and drains out.  Each time this happens, it is the back and forth tipping movement (not the actual water collected) that triggers a counter that is calibrated to record the amount of water for each tipping motion of the seesaw (my new weather station records .01" per tip).  My old weather station had one of these and it always read exactly the same as my National Weather Service rain gauge that works the old fashioned way - just filling up a tube that I have to check with a measuring stick...just like the cheap hardware store ones that are a clear tube but with the markings on the side.  A nice extra with the tipping method is it also continuously updates and records the "rate" of rainfall in inches per hour - not just the overall total once the storm has passed.  It does this by recording how fast the seesaw tips back and fourth.

The cheap hardware store version by the way was originally called a Cheugugi and was invented in Korea in 1441.  Although it was the first standardized rain gauge, more primitive methods have been used to record rainfall as far back as 500 BC by the ancient Greeks.

and now you know...the rest of the story.  62,54,63, .21",B

Sunday, September 25, 2016

from a distance...

The test of your faith is not when God’s presence is real, when you see God at work in your life. The real test of your faith is when God seems distant. Do you seek Him then? If you seek Him, you will find Him, but if you turn to the world or look for a quick fix for your problems without seeking God, you won’t find Him. Seek God especially when He seems distant.

Psalm 13How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Who's the boss...?

Uncle Ricky came out today.  He and Chupa have a complicated relationship.  80,90,72, .02",B