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

Friday, September 23, 2016

found my floor

Cleared all 70 square feet of my floor space...and vacuumed today!  89,94,65,0,B  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

wild hair

Not sure what got into me today, but I cleared my kitchen countertop for the first time since my accident.  It is going to take quite a bit of scrubbing to get down to the original wood surface.  Going to need some steelwool to degrease the cooktop.  Don't know if it was because I just couldn't look at all the piles anymore - or the fact that I gained a pound yesterday after a McDonald's lunch and needed the exercise.  Now the question is:  Can I keep going and make a clean sweep of the whole hut?  It is long overdue.  88,92,65,0,B

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Had a follow up exam at the dentist today.  Going back in a month for a "deep cleaning", a new filling, and another extraction.  That's what I get for going to the dentist every 15 years.  87,94,67,0,B

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

on being sensitive...

Dove back into the wifi repeater snafu again today.  Although the new Netgear repeater works well, I have been determined to get the 5 year old Linksys WRT54GL back to communicating with my wireless network because it can bump the signal out a lot farther.  Was finally able to log into it (with the username and password that UK Neil brillianly saved to a notepad file on my computer).  Going through all the settings in the firmware that Neil had installed, I only found one tiny tidbit amiss.  The network name I put in on the Linksys (5 years ago) was slightly different from what I set up on the new Big Bend Telephone router I now have.  My network name is the same but the old setup had some capital letters in it and my new setup is all lower case.  The name of the network is also called the SSID - short for service set identifier.  Turns out the SSID is case sensitive.  If you really want to know more about SSID - it is an alphanumeric character set that is a unique identifier attached to the header of packets sent over a wireless local-area network (WLAN).  The SSID, a component of IEEE802.11 WLAN architecture, acts as a password when a mobile device (or repeater in my case) tries to connect to the basic service set (BSS) - my Big Bend Telephone router.  I changed a few letters and the Linksys is back in business.
I feel a little smarter you?  90,95,69,0,B

Monday, September 19, 2016


OK...I didn't see it on TV but I totally bought into an ad for these on an internet news channel I was watching last week.  I just received my order from dial vision and I have to say they actually work!  I can even "dial them in" for reading.  Figured I would try them out to have on hand in case of an emergency.  My distance vision is very poor and I am lost without my glasses.  When I rolled the ATV and broke my leg, my glasses fell off and I couldn't find them so I hopped up and road home in a blur.  The ambulance driver found them when they took me out but they were a little scratched up (luckily they didn't crush them on the way in).  My spare pair still had paint specs all over the lenses from when I was using the sprayer on my greenhouse trusses. So I went for the "special offer" that included sunglasses.  They are rather cheaply made and pretty ugly...and they are no excuse to skip a full exam from an optometrist - but they will definitely work "in a pinch".  Note:  The corrected field of vision is not as wide as a regular pair of prescription glasses.  92,98,69,0,B  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

an expected end...

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

from the webcam archives...

Spent a few hours searching and sorting and dug up most of my old webcam gear.  Two of these actually still work although one needs a new spliced cable after getting chewed up by a calf 5 years ago.  Another camera (not pictured) was totally destroyed by a curious longhorn.  This model has really good resolution and adjustable focus with good macro capabilities.  Also found my old telephoto lens - just before I was about to order a new one.  Ciphered out how to stream with the new tablet computer although the app is still a little glitchy, but it has really good range with the wifi extender.  Perhaps I will finally get some good streaming video of "Dinner with Ben and Javier".  BTW - they normally dine around 7:45 PM.  91,96,69,0,B

Friday, September 16, 2016


Shelved the Linksys router/repeater for now and just got delivery of this wifi extender.  Took all of 5 minutes to set up and test and it worked like a charm with WPS on my Big Bend Telephone router and the wifi connection through my old netbook.  Easily boosted my signal out to the feed corner where Ben and Javier dine together.  Big tech win!  Also got the new tablet computer but still trying to figure out the Ustream app.  90,95,68,0,B

Thursday, September 15, 2016

strength training

Up to a mile and a half walk each morning now.  My ankle is still pretty stiff from being imobilized for so long but the mended bones seem to be holding their own just fine.  A new part of my "strength training" includes some walking around with my 70 lb paramotor on my back.  I was surprised a couple of days ago when I tried it for the first time that it wasn't really too bad - although it sure feels heavier than it did 2 years ago.  Taxiing seems to be OK but launching and landing are out of the question for awhile.  Still planning on getting some wheels for my rig.  88,92,67,0,B

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

more tech woes

Hmmm...discovered my old netbook computer still works!  Took forever to find the charging cable for it but once I did, it charged up just fine.  Apparently computers that have been turned off for 3 years are hungry for updates once awakened.  Took over an hour to upgrade the smarts inside.  Once that was done I was able to broadcast on Ustream just fine with it.  Next up, I discovered the old battery I was using for the repeater would no longer take a charge so I ordered a new one.  Last up, I discovered the repeater (powered up with an AC adapter) works fine but won't talk to my new router.  One win - one tie - and one big loss.  Help!  Going to seek out Danny from Big Bend Telephone over the next couple of days to see if I am missing something simple.  I am convinced it has something to do with the settings in their router.  I watched 5 videos on how to set up my repeater and they only confused me more.  I really should go build something....THAT I know how to do.  87,91,70,0,B

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


In my search for extended web cam reach I seem to have forgotten that I had a wifi repeater that UK Neil set up for me a couple of years ago.  With an external antenna on my now defunct netbook computer, I was able to pick up a full wifi signal a quarter mile away.  Returning the bum cable was a snap and Amazon refunded my money in the form of a credit as soon as it was shipped.  Printed out the return label and threw it in a box with the goods and was notified immediately that UPS would pick it up the next day (which was last Friday).  Being that Manny had already made two deliveries to me last week, I gave him a break and met him at the highway to pass off the package, saving him 20 minutes of round trip drive time on my bumpy road.

Now back to the issue at hand.  I am charging up the battery I use to power the wifi repeater and I just ordered another tablet computer with a portion of my refund.  If all goes well (fingers crossed)...once I install the free Ustream android app, I should be able to broadcast far beyond 150 feet from home base.  83,91,69,0,B

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

an easy relationship...

How do you make friends?  It is done by building on relationships.  Your personal relationship with Christ truly begins when you acknowledge that He has always had a relationship with you.  It doesn't just suddenly happen because He is always there for everyone - everywhere - forever.  Like with any friend, in order to reap the benefits of the relationship...all you have to do is acknowledge it and it will build from there.

John 15:15  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

some success...

Well...I couldn't find my long ethernet cable so I ordered 2 twenty footers for 14 bucks including overnight shipping.  Got them this afternoon and solved my problem with the weathercam - sort of.  Setting it up through WeatherUnderground was pretty easy, but for some reason when I go to my station and click on webcam it says "Missing webcam" but when I go to WunderMap and click on "webcams" it shows up.  It can be viewed here.  Also, I discovered my weather station marker on the map is off by about 2 miles.  Since it is all sort of working now, I am not going to mess with it until I get a second wind and start all over from scratch.  Live streaming from Ustream seems to be working fine but getting up close and personal with Ben and Javier is out of the question for now.  I contacted the seller on Amazon about the long cable and although it says in the description that it will power a webcam - they said they couldn't guarantee it would power ANY webcam.  Just printed out the return authorization and off it goes tomorrow.  Speaking of returns...the little fried FlightRadar24 box got shipped back to Germany 2 weeks ago.  As soon as I emailed the postage receipt, they reimbursed my PayPal account right away.  It is nice when things work the way they are supposed to.  90,96,76,0,B  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

not so plug'n'play

Double IT fail today.  Five hours and little progress.  1.  My webcam doesn't work with the super long USB extension cable.  I am returning the cable - it cost 100 bucks!  However, the webcam still works still works fine with my 75' cable.  2.  Configuring through a hard line and mounting it was a snap but I can't get the new weathercam to communicate wirelessly with my router.  I am pretty sure it has to do with a setting in the router but I just can't figure it out.  That isn't too horrible of an issue because I have a long enough ethernet cable to run the line - if I can just find it.  I didn't get to the point of setting it up with WeatherUnderground - hopefully there won't be any issues there.  86,95,76,0,B
I am testing live streaming video here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Webcam Timelapse Oldies

More classic webcam timelapse videos from UK Neil here.  84,89,73,0,B

Monday, September 5, 2016

Streaming Video

It has been over 3 years since I have done any streaming video from TFL.  Dug up some of my gear today to see if everything still functioned.  The last time I was doing this, the longest amplified USB extension cable available was 75 feet.  Decided to see it that benchmark has been surpassed by now.  Low and behold I found a new one that is 150 feet long.  Just so happens that is exactly what I need to run a line out to a camera right where Ben and Javier have dinner each evening.  The new cable is due to arrive Wednesday.  Will post a link when it is active.  86,92,70,0,B

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A festival of earthly pleasures...

Burning Man 2016 ends tomorrow after a week of blatant hedonism in the desert.  A festival of pagan earthly pleasure disguised as spiritual awakening.  The 10 Principles of Burning Man are a clever earthly cheat on the 10 Commandments for unsuspecting soul searchers who look to justify their place in this world.  I have never really considered attending the "gathering of tribes" although I have many friends who are "burners".  Even though I worked by choice in crowded NYC for so many years, the thought of intentionally hanging out with a large group just never appealed to me.

This years gathering cost over $30 million to host over 70,000 participants from all over the world.  Individual ticket prices average anywhere from about $400 to over $1000 and the week in the middle of nowhere can easily cost another $500 in expenses. There are much cheaper/easier ways to awaken your spirit - and without all the earthly temptations.  My awakening was not drug induced nor driven by a crowd mentality.  It was (and can only be) a simple one on one meeting with Christ.

Romans 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Saturday, September 3, 2016



Friday, September 2, 2016

joined the underground...

After my recent foray away from home during stormy weather, I decided it was time for a weather station upgrade.  Plug and play installation and set up of the station through Weather Underground was a snap... and I found a new use for my old flame thrower stand.  85,87,67,0,B

Thursday, September 1, 2016

scrap wood...

Found a use for some of my scrap wood today.  Filled some foot deep ruts in the road with a collection of two-by lumber and chunks of left over power line poles.  83,88,69,0,B