|To enlarge any of the smaller thumbnails below please click on the pictures. Refresh/Reload to ensure the latest image and entry.|
|Hero 4 Black 1080p W above - January 7th|
|Entries are sometimes ideas or works in progress that change a bit after posting.|
|Please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics…|
|Scroll down for older postings.|
March 31st Reshaping the weed blade for Hatteras…
Found a template for the base of the fin, traced an outline, and used a fine grinding wheel to begin the process.
Will continue to add a few more progress pics in the coming days as the fin's foil profile and taper take on a more promising configuration.
March 30th We share moments of light, colour, wind, and water to anticipate and celebrate.
Nothing more beautiful. Breathtaking, Inspirational.
We share a splendid landscape and a vivid portal.
Nothing compares. Nothing.
Heaven on earth.
There will be no more snow. No more cold. No more shovelling. Pack the boots, and gloves, and toques away.
We throw ourselves into the warmth of April without hesitation or hostility. Let the wind fill our sails and waves lift us to the sky.
Soaring like gulls above the surf. Defying gravity. Like shining diamonds in sunlight. We rock!
Hey! I can't find my uphaul.
|March 29th Dear John.|
March 27th Maybe time to cut and reshape that huge, honking, mega fin.
Most of us have a few fins that are seldom or never used for one reason or another. Large boards with long blades in lighter winds do require deeper water. Shorter fins can spin out and not point well when larger sails are needed.
A 50 cm skeg in particular drags on sandbars along Lake Erie and also on every shoal and shoreline in Pamlico Sound. Not fun!
I did a simple, straight cut on another way too long True Ames weed blade but it now feels slower and less responsive. That said it did help get the 161 L up and planing in Hatteras last fall in 10 - 12 knot conditions.
There's a good chance that it can be reshaped and sanded to help recapture at least some its original performance.
The 50 cm Mistral freecarve-freeride may be suitable for a 10.5m2 sail, plus it points anywhere, but it's monster length literally bottoms whenever the shoreline becomes visible to the naked eye. Launching over the boom is not fun. It's completely useless at South Padre or on Pamlico Sound. In offshore conditions near Rodanthe a walk to knee deep+ water can be as much as a quarter to half mile. You get the point.
Either check some fin reference charts, and grab the hacksaw, or do nothing. Store the monster, and wait until it's time to sell the whole light wind package. Hey, this could all be a fleeting mood swing of sorts.
The True Ames weed blade needs to be reshaped so the original sweep and foil is somewhat reestablished. This modification shouldn't be that difficult with some help from a fine wheel grinder and a random orbital sander. Sourced out its original shape (below) and saw a number of online possible template tracings.
The analytical calculus involved in shaping an advanced reconfiguration would require an extended whispered consultation with Zenmaster Soen Yoda SaaKe what with an aspect ratio = b2/A and a taper ratio pf = ct/cr…
For sure, the 50 cm Mistral free carve should maintain its awesome original shape.
So, here's another thought. Cutting the top of the 50 cm fin and installing a new powerbox head would maintain the unique configuration and flex of the base so the leading and trailing edges would be unchanged.
The two links below discuss fin size related to board width, sailor weight, and sail size. They helped determine how much should be cut from the Mistral freecarve resulting in a recommended length of 18 inches or 38 cm. That would be a definite improvement, at least on the Great Lakes!
It was also suggested to first try to source a suitable slalom fin that is compatible with a 7.02 - 7.52 sail and the 161L board. There are also several 22 - 24 cm larger chord freeemove/freestyle fins that might hold a 7.5 sail ripping through shallow water. (For example, Maui Fin Company makes a promising 24cm freestyle fin for power box with an area of 213.21cm2, aka the MFC GT Freestyle 24). Will start the search in Hatteras before doing a chop job on the 50 cm.
Maybe this whole notion of a cut and reshape is simply a momentary condition related to winter cabin fever and will go away once the bike tires are pumped and the van is out of storage this weekend. It was snowing again yesterday morning when these ideas first came to me while doing chin ups next to the freezer in the basement.
|Fin size reference chart|
|Another fin chart reference|
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
March 26th One Mind. Many Journeys.
Our life can be measured as a journey.
We grow, we age, and we mature. Our gift of life is measured and finite.
Paul Quarrington was preparing to die when he wrote the song, Am I Ready? He passed just a week after the video below was released.
In his second stanza, Quarrington sings: "No one can tell me where I'm gonna be, as I sail into this mystery
I know I'm falling, don't know where I'm gonna land,
Are you ready? Am I ready? I believe I am."
We take with us Who We Are wherever we go, maybe even into a next life when this journey is over. Our mind is our most valuable and sometime fragile possession. We can shape our future, create a goal, and become all that we work to achieve using our mind. We can damage our mind as well with addictive drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse. Illness and random disease can also affect our thinking. Choices that we make can result in joy, happiness, satisfaction, sorrow, pain, depression, or ultimately our demise.
In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, till death do us part, our conscious mind is really all that we truly possess that has and gives meaning to our life.
We share many journeys with friends and family. Thankfully.
Our job, our recreation, our vacations, are all journeys. Retirement, a birthday, Paris, are considered destinations. Points in time along any one of the many the journeys we experience.
Being mindful is keeping in touch with ourselves and staying focussed. Self-talk, meditation, self-evaluation, seeking forgiveness, prayer, creating goals, determination, and the like are all ways in which we can affect the rate and quality of our progress. We continue to evolve along the way.
in our lifetime we develop a code of ethics, responsibility, a moral compass of sorts, wisdom, love, a sense of contribution, and a sense of play, as we age.
Currently, our small pod of windsurfers is about to embark on a journey taking us back into warm wind and waves. A destination somewhere very special to test our courage and work toward perfecting another skillset. Mind over matter helps to explain, substantiate, and justify our quest.
The precious gift of life that we cherish and our common mission is testament to a celebration of faith and certainty. Are we ready? I believe we are.
|A Place In Our Hearts|
|Are You Ready? Written by Paul Quarrington and performed by songwriters Dan Hill and Martin Worthy|
|Spring Trip 2012|
March 25th Davey Crockett offered some good advice when he said, "Be always sure you're right - then go ahead."
On March 23rd I noticed that my harness lines were spaced differently on all of my booms.
Alarm bells went off. A mild paranoia quickly settled around me. Why hadn't this irregularity been noticed before? It struck me that it should be worth exploring. An on-line quest began.
While reading Guy Cribb's Rule Of Thirds solution to harness line placement there were mixed feelings of both concern and hope that began to stir. Plus, maybe worthy of a journal entry (March 23rd).
Was this a just simple confusion not worth a toss, or a hideous Stephen King windsurfing mystery nightmare? But wait! This could also be good news. And simple.
Relax, take a long, deliberate, deep breath. Remember that waterstarts and and uphauls were both invented for people who fail to make their turns or land their jumps. Just close your eyes and think about it.
After a day and night of perseverating, the answer revealed itself. 💡 Kinda like, when you're wounded you just gotta keep moving.
So why? How come my harness lines are placed and spaced differently and unevenly on all of my booms?
Anytime my aging elbow hurt, or a chronic thumb pain became unreasonable, whatever, whenever, I simply moved the harness line the other way to help remove the strain from that body part. Just like when the left hand was both weaker and still healing back in 2004.
That's why the harness lines are all over the place. I had forgotten about these many, random changes.
In any event, the Rule Of Thirds stretchy shock cord tool will definitely be a beginning in resetting harness lines and seeing how they work, in the same place on every rig.
Move over Bjorn, I could finally be on the right track now, once and for all. Like Davey Crockett said, this old dog could now be right and rippin'.
Will report again in late April from Cape Hatteras with my take on all of this harness-line hoopla.
March 23rd The truth about harness lines?
There's an interesting review, and formula for harness line placement in the links below that caught my attention. Harness lines on all my boom were not only more more forward on one side than on the other but also not equally spaced. A quick online search uncovered what might be the answer.
When my left hand suffered a serious injury a decade ago I struggled with finding a comfortable grip and a suitable harness line placement.
My right hand was much stronger not only with grip but also with pull and leverage control.
I moved the harness lines on any given day's tack to favour right hand strength vs. left hand discomfort. (i.e. toward my right hand). It actually worked well as the weeks unfolded during that spring and summer eleven years ago.
And for all these years it seems that I've kept incorrect harness line positions long after after strength and pain are no longer issues.
When measured, the harness lines placement on my booms is faulty, according to Guy Cribb, a renown windsurfing instructor. There is a positional discrepancy that runs from 6 - 10 cm.
I currently use mono harness lines on three out of five booms and start any session by placing them where the sail and boom grip feels balanced for the wind strength and direction of that day. When older double attached lines are used they are also placed in a position where a centred hand-hold between them feels correctly balanced and comfy.
Will double check all this again in Hatteras in April when all sails are rigged and ready. Am also interested in the underpowered/cruising/overpowered hand positions mentioned on page 4 in the first link. Will make new adjustments as the article recommends and see how they work. Will do all this before hot tub and beer break. So much left to do, so little time…
If the articles reported in link 1 and 2 below are correct, simply use a rule of thirds and leave the lines alone. (i.e. For a double harness line ~ The back line should be about 1/3 of the way back from the front of the rig. The front line should be positioned 4 - 6 inches in front of the back line.
Professionals like Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Jason Polakow and Nik Baker, use this math when positioning their lines according to the first link below.
Will report again in late April as to how this all works out.
Just made an elastic shock cord with thirds marked on it (below). With one end knotted, and secured in the clew outhaul hole, the rear harness line should be in the last third (2/3 mark) of the outstretch for almost any sail from 3.7m2 to 7.5 m2 . This is either going to be slightly helpful or revolutionary. It seems that my harness line boom placement positions may have been incorrectly set for a long while. We'll have to wait and see.
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
|The Truth About Harness Lines|
|More of the same…|
March 22nd The oceans are not rising. Global warming is a scam.
How do you respond to someone who has no scientific credentials and will not consider current scientific evidence?
There are two young fish, far from their school, swimming along and happen to meet an older fish swimming toward them. He nods at them and says, "Good morning boys. How's the water?" The two young fish swim on for a bit, and eventually one of them looks over and says to the other, "What the hell is water?"
With only some university credit in climatology, meteorology, and Pleistocene Geology (The geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's period of repeated glaciations), I'm not an expert. But I believe in the science that demonstrates that there is evidence that human interference with Earth's climate is causing a dangerous and threatening increase in global temperature.
Call it Climate Change or Global Warming there is a problem with our planet that we need to address if we hope to survive.
Agricultural production that includes the use of pesticides built into one generation seeds, and deforestation are contributing to our wildlife numbers being threatened, most notably the bees, butterflies, and songbirds. Extracting oil and city lights also contribute to their migratory threat.
Science offers solutions that can help with most of these problems. Hopefully our governments will take a more serious role and begin to promote earth healing initiatives and mandates to industry and business.
The information that helps to explain these many dilemmas is abundant. It can easily be searched out with a computer. Dr. David Suzuki discusses these issues on his TV show each week using factual reference.
|One link about songbird populations in decline|
|Pesticides built into grow only once seeds end up in the soil|
|Coffee production requires land where forests once stood - this affects migratory birds|
|Our Right to a Healthy Environment - David Suzuki Foundation|
March 20th It didn't seem like it around here but winter 2015 was the warmest on record.
The stats are in.
Globally speaking climate change/global warming is becoming more of a reality.
The Earth's temperature is continuing to rise.
Eastern Canada and Antarctica are two anomalies in the bigger picture but around here we were involved in a Polar Vortex causing the cold spell. The articles below help to explain conditions.
|Winter 2015 ~ The warmest winter on record.|
|Arctic Sea Ice Continues To Diminish|
|Antarctic Sea Ice Soars As Temperatures Rise|
March 19th Looking at what helps and what doesn't help, quite simply doesn't help…
Do not try to over-analyze our sport. You will be ridiculed and shunned. Maybe even labeled as a dork. Check this out to see what I mean.
Helps: Practice, optimism, repetition, lessons from experts, suitable equipment - rig-board-gear, being correctly adjusted & set up, most video tutorials, learn in moderate conditions, spend more time on the water, watching or following others, discussion, visualization, some carefully worded step by step articles, seeking advice and help, being organized and ready, sailing with others, owning a van, prolonged windsurf destination vacations, working out, a nutritious diet, exercise, clinics, windsurf magazines, Re-Deck, smartphone wind report, living within your means, uphauls, PFDs, carry a whistle,
Doesn't help: Sailing in extreme conditions and/or with unsuitable equipment, wishing, classy shorts over a wetsuit, beer, being hungover or ill, having injuries, meditation, credit card debt, spousal criticism, stinky algae infestation, lightning, sharks, fear in general, big rocks, water snakes, poison ivy, crowded parking lots and beaches, careless kiteboarders, using terminology like sick dude shakas amped bitchin etc.,
Maybe helps: Pro level posters, extreme windsurf videos, topical analgesics, light prayer, buying lottery tickets, pot, creating a website with a blog or journal, a waterproof iPod & earbuds,
Anyone deeply moved? Uplifted? Motivated? Excited?
See what I mean? Did any of that boost you to any real degree of feel good, or real hope? Come on, be honest. All in all, pretty feeble, eh?.
Life is finite & uncertain, non discretionary cash flow and credit cards can be problematic, the wind is fickle, and the lakes around here freeze for 25% of the year. Only the most radical, adventurous, and able-bodied sailors venture out the month before and the month after. Don't waste your time with anything that doesn't help, can hurt you, or about which you're uncertain. If you must, create a list of what helps and works for you, if you ever actually feel the need. But any windsurfing list is best saved as an inventory when going through Customs and Immigration en route to Cape Hatteras. Or maybe for an insurance claim. (Be sure to keep your receipts.)
Ok, I have a list. My list contains only one thought.
Faith. Yes, faith. One word, If you have faith you can do anything. With true faith persistence will follow.
That's it.   Done. Finito.
Faith + persistence = success
Take that to the bank!
At this moment I'm truly stoked and it's only 8:47am. (Sound of a growling lion.)
|Actual sound of the real roaring MGM lion|
March 17th Hang On to that first day feeling. It can carry you through the years!
The first day of school in September.
Walking into your first home.
Driving your newest car off the dealer's parking lot.
Graduation, birthdays, honeymoon, Christmas Morning, the plane is setting down, it's a girl…
Cape Hatteras is just 25 days away.
Warm sunshine, wind, rigged gear, heading out into the Sound, ripping!
Life is good
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
March 16th How To Fly A Horse
In his (fascinating) book titled How To Fly a Horse Author Kevin Ashton reminds us that success is not a single moment when a light bulb turns on. He cites the fact Orville and Wilbur Wright did not leap into the sky. They walked there one step at a time.
The Wrights solved their flight problem by studying birds. A bird is buffeted by wind when it glides. It balances by raising one wingtip and lowering the other. The wind turns the wings like sails on a windmill until the bird regains equilibrium.
This observation set the Wright brothers on the path to their first flight. They saw an airplane as a bicycle with wings. The problem of the aircraft is not flying but rather like the bicycle, it's all about balance.
The first link below expands and better describes my version taken as a brief extract from Kevin Ashton's book.
So too with windsurfing moves. Balance is key to success in turning and performing freestyle, jumps, whatever…
As Wilbur Wright said, "The bird has learned this art of equilibrium, and learned it so thoroughly that its skill is not apparent to our sight. We only learn to appreciate it when we try to imitate it."
Keeping the board and sail balanced with body weight in the wind and waves appears effortless when we watch someone who has mastered a move ripping about. Trying to imitate can be frustrating.
Balance is emphasized for beginners but as a word tool it doesn't seem to often be included per se as a holistic concept as we progress.
Matt Pritchard promotes longer harness lines and keeping low with bent knees for better balance. In most articles, tutorials, and videos the word balance is either omitted or seldom used. Rather than learning a move using just a dance step memorization sequence it will help if we try to factor keeping balanced into the perfection of the move.
Stay Low ~ keep balanced. Turn your head & follow your eyes ~ maintain balance. Keep the mast close to your nose on the turn ~ stay balanced…
And of course repetition demands practice, practice, practice. We learn to succeed through learning to fail, even in preparing for adversity as Ashton cites in the Preface.
Once again, as Wilbur said, "The bird has learned this art of equilibrium, and learned it so thoroughly that its skill is not apparent to our sight. We only learn to appreciate it when we try to imitate it."
Think about being balanced or counterbalanced on our board & rig as we move into any situation on the water. I believe this thought will help us keep upright and continue sailing on, dry, and more able to longer endure the strenuous rigour of the day (much like our highly revered jibe-master Soen Yoda SaaKe).
Much, much, more in How To Fly A Horse ~ Kevin Aston ©2015 DOUBLEDAY (The Secret History Of Creation, Invention, and Discovery)
|How To Fly A Horse (from the Interactive Companion to the Book)|
|Balance was emphasized when we were beginners.|
|Balance is seldom mentioned as we progress and advance… (Matt Pritchard)|
March 15th A Pro Windsurf Interview Response Prompter. Not making this up.
In order to help encourage rising stars and pro level windsurfers focussed, thinking, and prepared before an interview, a number of questions or thought provoking completions are used. Here's one.
Please complete all of these sentences before the interview.
I'm a big believer in…
Call me crazy but…
My favourite place on earth is…
My parents are…
I could never…
I've always wanted to…
Life is nothing without…
Today I will…
The internet is…
If I had the power I would change…
Go get a pencil, and do a copy/paste/print and see how you respond. It really helps if you write your response and even make a change or two as you become more comfortable with your now unfolding, personal self-appraisal. Very revealing about the real you who we don't always see. One of those Kleenex and laughter moments.
Not sure if this is actually such a good idea but maybe offer this as a possible Dolphin Award (hand-out) for our Hatteras trip. At the least anyone submitting one completed will be allowed a place in the hot tub next day no matter how full. OK OK, I will bring extra copies for everyone and won't be pushy or nagging about handing them out, getting them returned, and posting them for others to see. Honest!
It could really work well on no-wind days when cold beer is our only joy and solace. Think about it. It's then when we become maudlin (self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental) in the hot sun, and our reflective thinking and true faith either runs deep or runs out.
March 14th Ever wish you could fly, like Superman?
Remove your feet and fly like Superman while doing any windsurf jump or loop and most important land it!
A way up in the air birdlike body drag of sorts.
Found many ariel attempts that look momentarily great. A few surfers have landed something looking close enough to the move. But, couldn't find any actual solid video/picture proof that any windsurfer has actually landed one.
A simple enough concept but it's still an elusive manoeuvre waiting to be accomplished. Among those we all know and love, Yurri is the only windsurfer who has the true potential to be the first to perfect it. His launch poise (below top) is impeccable.
Up, up and away!
It ends there for me. Just a vintage rock tune with great beat the Kinks released in '79. I certainly won't be wasting any of my precious jibe refinement time worrying with ever even thinking about trying to do one.
Life is just way too short to be concerned with pretending to fly like some hard ass comic-book alien superhero while windsurfing.
Only 4 weeks left till Hatteras.
The snow is disappearing. It actually feels balmy out there with no hat, no gloves, and no boots!
Life is good.
|The Kinks - (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman|
March 13th The move rating system (below) should include a variable adjustment factor to adjust the different skill levels among Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Pro-level windsurfers.
In my opinion some of the basic turns mentioned in the move rating scale are rated way too low. Some of you who still struggle after 35 years on the water, 4 vans, mega dollars spent, and a huge number of, "You're late again!" might agree.
So here we go. if you're a Beginner simply multiply the rated value by about 20, and see if you feel any better. Or just add 5.
Intermediates should multiply the move ratings X 5 to 10 or so. Or add 3
If you're a Professional just use the chart.
If you are somewhere between Intermediate and Advanced, and want to judge yourself and other like you, try to honestly figure out the multiplier by yourself. Try using a few numbers to either add or multiply until you feel satisfied. Try to keep the result semi-secret, and say a few thank-you prayer responses before bedtime for your new rating score, your natural talent, and the athletic giftedness with which you were blessed.
March 12th Here's an absolutely brilliant, soul-selling move, like a Spock Pipa or a Superman:Forward in 6 metre waves and 30 knots.
I'm not a particularly gifted athlete, maybe an unremarkable contender at best. Quite possibly a sports-virgin of sorts.
A recent endeavour to become a squash player has left me struggling to conform with rules and doing my utmost to avoid collisions with my forgiving opponent and patient teacher. It's a gruelling, difficult game that requires stamina, determination, finesse, and a high level of fitness. The learning curve will likely be a lengthy one in my case.
For every good shot I make, the return shot is usually a humbling experience. I'm constantly reminded that luck played a significant role in my last point, more than skill.
So with a technical manual in hand and a dozen YouTube tutorial videos, the game is just beginning to make sense and come together.
Then, a few days ago, an awesome fake-out shot (linked below) made me want to hang my racquet, toss out my court shoes, and discard that swoosh sweatband. Ha! Just kidding.
Still slightly shaken, I will persist.
Check out the vid below and watch that amazing killer shot!
|Try this shot the next time you're playing a racquet (racket) sport…|
March 10th All we need is a roof-rack, a few tools, a few hours of free time, and 20 knots blowing in most any direction.
Where there's a vehicle, there's a way of fitting a roofrack of some kind onto it.
It all depends on commitment and determination. Where there's a will there's a way.
Sure, a van is the best way, a trailer is another consideration, maybe a pick-up truck, but with a car you require a roof-rack and a stronger resolve to get into the action.
Like others who need to stockpile, amass, accrue, and transport their precious stuff we share a need to safely bank our cherished gear close at hand. We simply need way more storage space in our surf-mobile life than most others ever dream about.
We are a hard ass bunch and a resolute convocation of die hards. Van, trailer, 4 X 4 pick up, roof rack, whatever… We will pack and take it with us wherever we go. I am proud to be counted among the numbers who are committed to transport our beloved gear to windy shores in this life, and whatever's coming next, God willing.
May my ashes be thrown in the wind. May my van, roof racks, trailer hitch, gear, and attitude be somehow transmitted through my DNA and resurface in forthcoming generations.
The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind… (Bob Dylan)
Whether it be resourcefulness, indiscretionary cash-flow, self-entitlement, or sheer ingenuity we will make it happen. At almost any cost.
Surf's up! Rack's on, Rock on!
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
March 9th Wondering what it would be like to include some drone video edited into one of our windsurf home movies.
The new DJ1 Inspire quad-copter is not only one the best candidates and but also a clear winner in its field according to reviews.
Might be getting a chance to help shoot some ariel footage with one of these in early April.
It would be huge fun to be able to compose some scenic sky shots looking down and out on the water. If safe control was assured maybe follow a windsurfer at a prudent distance and a few seagulls as well for the full effect. Drones are becoming much more user friendly, controllable, and include stabilized HD cameras attached to an RC gimbal. Nice!
If you have any interest in these new high tech flying video machines please have a look at this one below!
|A review of the DJ1 Inspire that knocked my neoprene socks off.|
|OK, here's another one for about half the bucks (plus your GoPro), the Turbo Ace Matrix Quadcopter…|
|And a drone vid from Deadmau5, our own Joel Zimmerman.|
March 8th Thinking about trading in the Dodge Caravan on one of these.
LaFerrari. Hey! It's a hybrid with a Kinetic Energy Recovery System! AKA an electric motor producing a huge total of 963 HP! And oh so red!
Ah, maybe this could be one of those whimsical, foolish posts, that might be deleted after a few minutes of responsible thought…
Just think about haggling over the trade in value. Believing that we're getting closer to a workable negotiation. Did I actually say we? This is the real stuff from which brave dude-dreams are made.
Talk about creating one of those foolish matrimonial misunderstandings! But something like this could be a good way to have a hugely interesting Happy Hour with family, neighbours, and a few friends celebrating in the backyard mews driveway.
Not sure if the Insurance Company would side with my very next of kin, or anyone else sharing the garage for that matter, but hold that call till a deal is consummated.
But alas, to make it viable it still needs a roof rack to carry a few boards, plus a red storage box for sails, masts, and a boom or two. Somewhat impractical. Maybe one of those wake up times to get real. Whoa, hold on, another light just came on. Surprise!
A beer before Happy Hour can sure open the mind, uplift the spirit, and help raise a guy's courage! 😒 😬
Can't wait for Happy Hour on April 1st!
|RSVP April 1st, Pinestone Rd., from 5:00ish - (6:30) pm…|
|Please click on the thumbnail above to actually see whose doable set of wheels I finally came up with.|
March 7th Windinsight lives on for another year.
Still continuing to get lucky on a day to day basis by doing some sometimes sketchy HTML patchwork here and there. For me it's kinda like driving a new 2015 car but not being able to fully understand how it actually works with all of the current electronic technology involved, let alone fix it. It isn't the way we did it back in 1957 when we swapped engines, tuned carburetors, adjusted ignition points, and wrapped the leaky rad hose with hockey tape. My days are numbered.
Newer websites built with Dreamweaver or having a structured template into which you inject text and a few sized pictures are more than somewhat limiting in my opinion. Here in windinsight all of the tables, pictures, and text can still be adjusted (for now) and made to do whatever the spirit moves me. I prefer that.
A number of HTML4 and older commands simply do not work with the current 2015 HTML5, CSS, and everything else. Through some trial, error, blunder, Google searches, and sheer luck, the site is chugging on and into 2015.
Just created a new ↓ Moves section below, way up above, and on the Main Page, which includes links to help improve windsurf moves. Any worthwhile link submitted, tip, or advice will be gratefully received and published with your permission.
|Another useful command display including CSS advice.|
|Here's a good information resource for anyone wanting to build their own website.|
|Thank-you! ~> Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera for browser support!|
|Current Browse stats|
|I love TJ's response(s) - HTML5 is such crap and so is CSS for that matter. (scroll down - 4th & 15th comments)|
March 6th Five of the best windsurfing movies.
You can watch and vote for your favourite.
Several are full length in case you have some free time!
|Watch and vote for the best of the 5 best Windsurfing movies.|
|The following political post is intended for an open-minded audience. As a self-acknowledged social conservative who windsurfs I am deeply concerned with the health of our environment and the strong likelihood that human interaction is responsible for an increase in the rate of what we call climate change. In close addition to this, worldwide pollution threatens our survival on Earth in the very near future. Sound political leadership is one of the only tools we have to help us correct these challenges. That said, politics continues to amaze, disappoint, amuse, and sometimes confuse me.|
March 4th The 42nd Canadian general election, to elect members to the House of Commons of Canada of the 42nd Parliament of Canada, is scheduled to occur on October 19, 2015.
Who's currently in the running? Stephen Harper (Conservative) 162 seats, Thomas Mulcair (New Democratic) 95 seats, Justin Trudeau (Liberal) 36 seats, Elizabeth May (Green) 2 seats, Mario Beauieu (Bloc Quebecois) 2 seats, and J. F. Fortin (Forces et Democratie) 2 seats, Vacant 2 seats.
For a few months every 5 years we get a chance to evaluate and cast a precious vote in a democratic election that helps to determines our country's direction.
The Conservative Party won a majority government on May 2nd, 2011. In the past four years there have been a number of fundamental changes to our legislation. And of course there have been a few scandals here and there. A political scandal is a kind of political corruption that is exposed and becomes an embarrassment or a discredit. Scandals are nothing new in politics. They happen in all parties. Just Google (name of Party or Leader) and political scandal. Voila. As responsible voters, we need to consider the validity of all allegations of partisanship, nastiness, crudeness, expediency, chronic secrecy, picking fights, think tank conspiracies, and on-going dishonesty in our Parliamentary leaders. What questions and what answers will be offered? We'll soon get a chance to get a bit closer to the truth as election day nears. Since we end up getting the government we deserve it is important for each of us to take a responsible look at who gets our cherished and priceless vote.
What are the actual issues facing Canadians and Canada?
For this writer they include:
Our newest word-ism ~ Harperism
Closing the gap on women's rights/gender equality
Our get it right role in the Middle east and North Africa
A balanced budget
Trade and economic issues
Environmental concerns including Global Warming
Geo-political/foreign policy issues with the USA/ Russia/Gaza/Israel/the Middle East/G7/etc.
A few personal questions including: Has Stephen Harper gone too far? Is Justin truly ready? How realistic and capable is the Green party to actually govern and lead Canada? To what extent is Canada actually under attack by global Jihadists and what's being done to keep us safe? What Minority Government would be an effective check and balance of power if any?
What's on your agenda?
In particular - Let's start with both the importance and the evidence to support ever increasing Climate Change or Global Warming, currently floundering somewhere else on a back burner.
Why is there inaction or debate going on? As a windsurfer I fear islands like Bonaire and The Outer Banks of North Carolina will soon disappear (or at least be threatened and diminished) along with current coastlines in this century because of the likelihood of rising sea levels. This is no small matter simply to be waved off and ignored.
Personally, this is a serious concern, especially if I live longer due to improved Health Care, stem cell injections, organ transplants, artificial limbs and joints, and on-going advancements in medical technology. Maybe I will continue to windsurf indefinitely! But where?
Facts on hand… 2014 was the warmest year on record since record keeping began in 1891. The Polar Ice Cap has shrunk more than 20% since 1979.
So? What can be done to slow down the rate of global warming and other negative impacts on the environment?
Why has our federal government significantly reduced funding to science, the environment, and Canada's Library and Archives budget (to name a few)? Why does our government feel that it would cripple Canada if we were forced to meet the Kyoto Accord's timetable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Especially in light of the negative consequences regarding our childrens' future.
Why does Big Business trump environmental issues in light of all of the obvious physical damage being done to humans, plant life, animal life, involving air, water, food supply, toxic contamination, pesticides, and the like?
It seems to me that we need to help heal and sustain this planet, not continue to harm and destroy it. How do we get Big Business not only here in Canada but everywhere in the world to not only clean up but also be ethically concerned and responsible for a healthy planet able to sustain all life as we need it.
I don't want to argue and fight with anyone. I don't want to hear that it simply can't be accomplished. I just want to share some space on a beach, some wind in the open water with you for as long as I'm able, and know that life will carry on and thrive.
Hey! Is it possible that we surf-minded board heads could rally around a new political party dedicated to maintaining wind, wave, and paddle driven boardsports? All of this on a healthy planet. Plus - Everyone in our party has a 20 knot unconditional escape clause?
Hold on to that thought, crack open the hot tub, and break out the Beach Boys Greatest Hits CD!
Get serious about our next federal election! It's so incredibly important for our great-grandchildren!
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
|a warm 2014 - The Scientific American|
|Why are there funding cuts to science?|
March 2nd The only real failure is the failure to try.
Judi Dench spoke these words as Evelyn Greenslade in the movie The Very Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The line went on, "The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment."
Writer-Author Deborah Moggach was responsible for both the quote and her 2004 Book renamed The Very Best Exotic Marigold Hotel originally published as These Foolish Things (Random House & eBook).
The line in the movie for me was one of those quotes that quite literally grab your soul and give it a shake. A most amazing Judi Dench delivers the line to a defeated but still most positive hotel manager Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel), in one those it's never over till it's over unfolding plots.
Most respectfully, this entry suits the Journal and helps keep the quote close at hand as one of those motivating encouragements that both recognizes disappointment and keeps procrastination a safer distance away. As an advancing, intermediate windsurfer and an occasional, freelance, aspiring filmmaker seeking some part-time confirmation, it will find its place and purpose here.
Looking forward to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and more of anything from beloved Judi Dench.
And then there was, "Everything will be all right in the end and if it's not all right, then it's not yet the end."
Hold that thought.
|Trailer - The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel|
March 1st A warm, blue sky, windy day, a steady 23 knots, 3 hours on you favourite board and sail, fully powered up, hot tub, cold beer, and a sunset.
Got your attention, eh? Just look ahead, only forty-one (41) days and counting.
I know it's been way more than a month since the outside temperature has been above freezing.
Just hang in there.
So, already in this new month you got coming: longer days, more sunlight, Daylight Savings Time, spring, returning birds, boots and mitts packed away, rain, and the likely return of a few outside Happy Hours.
Here we are on this March 1st, with only a few weeks of snow and cold remaining.
The slush in streets and mud on the trails will be easily tolerated and maybe even considered to be a welcome reprieve from this winter's icy grip and mountains of snow everywhere.
In about five weeks April will find us sorting through our gear and loading our vans. We'll soon be getting ready for another wondrous trek south to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a warm blue sky, windy day, a steady 23 knots…
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 27th Making a documentary about something worth watching. For aspiring filmmakers. Or for anyone aspiring to anything.
Casey Neistat is filmmaker worth another study, just in case you missed him February 23rd.
He has monetized his YouTube and Vimeo videos and is more than surviving as an independent filmmaker, using his wits, a few tools, and his inquisitive ingenuity.
I think anyone can do this if they set their mind, their time, their focus, and their resources to accomplishing anything doable.
Mind you, I used the words anyone and they. Whether it be you or me is a whole 'nother matter. Maybe we simply lack the courage, the heart, the will, the skill set, or the whatever it takes, to totally dig in, keep at it, and figure it out.
I think the basis of success in any field is sheer will, no fear, and being hungry enough to face whatever the obstacle, and as the commercial proclaims - be totally willing to JUST DO IT.
Have a look at some of Casey Neistat's video uploads and consider the topics he chooses to explore with his camera.
Clever and yet so simple. His two first fun links, just below, are short, effective, and simple movies. They are definitely worth a watch watch for some insight into his way of creating an interesting, short documentary.
In his movie he made for Nike titled Make It Count Casey uses the quote from mutedeafblind Hellen Keller, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
Gives one pause to stop and think. Eh?
|The Ethics Of Stealing A Bike…|
|Stolen Bike in NYC|
|Snowboarding New York City Casey Neistat|
|Casey's YouTube channel…|
|Casey's Vimeo Channel.|
February 26th If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then what's the worth of 1000 words?
It likely all depends on who wrote the thousand words. Mark Twain? Dylan Thomas? James Joyce? Robert Frost?
And as well, who took the photograph.
Henri Cartier-Bresson? Ansel Adams? Annie Leibovitz? Yousef Karsh?
Or how accurately does a picture portray a situation? Sebastyne Young said, "A picture can tell a thousand words, but a few words can change it's story.
According to Dorothea Lange, "A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera. Robert Capa simply stated, "The pictures are there, and you just take them."
Quite frankly, some of the moments we spend on the water can be quite impossible to describe to someone who hasn't been there.
The photograph allows glimpses into those awe-inspiring, formidable, fun sessions. That treasured image helps us both validate an experience and relive an extreme, unique moment in our life that can nudge emotions in our memory through our mind's eye. That pic could likely be the only answer to questions like, "What did you do today hon?" "Did you have a good time this afternoon on the lake?" "What was it like out there today?"
So, all that said, if you's an inspired, or a wanting to become photographer, here's a suggestion.
Put yourself in interesting places that you love with your camera and wait for those special moments to photograph. It's actually that simple.
Many pictures are taken here. Some of them are reasonably good photographs. This internet format is used to review, evaluate, and personally challenge, what's in hand so far. The rest of any remaining snapshots in my portfolio are anxiously waiting somewhere out there wanting to be found.
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 25th A small item or two that can save your life.
At a recent Sail Club meeting we had a presentation about what to do in a COB or Crew Over Board situation.
The discussion was lively and intense.
A large sailboat is not a windsurf board and sailing crew do not generally wear wetsuits so there are huge differences in our two sports. However, in one case presented it took about half an hour for a sailboat to return and pick up a someone who fell overboard in cold water, darkness, 20 knots of wind, and wavy conditions. Getting the jammed spinnaker down, the engine started, and the the board tacked and heading back in the process took much longer than anticipated. The whole scenario had a somewhat lucky and fortunate ending.
A person overboard in our area can only remain conscious for as long as 25 - 45 minutes in late May or early June without adequate cold water protection.
Granted, this is not a common situation nor one in which we who windsurf would likely ever find ourselves. But two factors in the situation stood out as a part of the accident that saved this person's life.
A whistle was attached to his PFD and he had been carrying an LED headlamp (get this - by the head-strap held in his teeth) when he went to the bow before losing his balance and being tossed over into the sea that night.
Your voice can't be heard over the sound of white capping waves for more than a short distance. But a whistle can be heard for hundreds of feet in a storm. His LED head light (somehow still floating) was easily spotted only a hundred feet from where he was located in the water giving his fellow crew the opportunity to spot him with their light and begin his retrieval from the sea.
Someone had fortunately pressed the GPS (man overboard) position button that guided the sailboat back to place where the overboard was first seen. Fortunately too, the helmsman had made eye contact with the crewman in the water because of the light, that was floating nearby. Best, no one had panicked. People knew what to do.
Many newer PFDs have a whistle and an LED light attached to the shoulder.
Perhaps too, we need to tell someone when we're off for a sail and at approximately what time we should return home, and be in touch in case plans change. As well we need to create some kind of workable self-rescue plan and be with someone else when we sail any great distance away from shore especially in foul weather and late afternoon. A spare rope or two stashed somewhere can be used as an uphaul, a harness line, a tie down, or a needed replacement in our rigging. An approved helmet and regulation PFD are essential apparel, not optional equipment.
Not just sayin'…
Maybe a few things here worth considering.
February 23rd My parallel universe. Do you ever feel that your personal workspace is too small?
Couldn't stop watching this video featuring Casey Neistat. Pretty sure if there's a gene pool out there we somehow share most the same DNA. He has taken his space, place, and achievement success to a reality level way beyond most of us dreamers. Confident that many others are the same. Nice to know that we're not alone.
In order to keep our marriage reasonably content many restraints and compromises, garage sales, trips to the dump, giveaways, and classified blow-out sales have hugely reduced the size of my all-thing collections, workshop organization, tools, jigs, rigs, and pack-rat keepable stuff. No problem. Life is good. But…
Can't help sharing this moment mostly to keep it handy when I need a studio workshop fix. Casey has taken his personal and professional space to a new height, way above my wildest dreams. My newest hero!
And in New York City, above the Hustle of Broadway!
Check it out.
|If I had to live life again (as someone else) it could easily be Casey Neistat, maybe…|
|Casey has made some great short movies as well like this one for Nike!|
February 21st Highlights from a surprise email response.
How can I meet this Zen Master?:)
All the best,
Dear Soen Yoda SaaKe,
Not sure in your case. Be careful talking (to him) because self-talk out loud can unfortunately be misconstrued as a schizophrenic concern. That said, thankfully Zen Master Soen Yoda SaaKe is in all of our minds at both the conscious and subconscious levels. He can be accessed through will and need but with simple humility and respect as one knocks at his (van) door. You, oops I mean Soen, are a valued hero and icon providing both motivation and role model status. I plan on starting to walk quietly in Soen's shadow, or a respectful distance behind him on cloudy days, avoiding eye contact, and seeking answers to windsurfing endurance, combating cold water discomfort, and perfecting jibes. I have found my newest hero and he is you.
Stay calm and move with grace in perfection on the water.
ps: Am thinking about selling T-Shirts with the picture of you as Last Man Standing 2012 for about $20 including the (very fitting) harmonized tax.
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
note the modest humility in his response
Hahahahaha, LOL. Thanks, John. Who knows, maybe this year, I will muster enough courage to try some new moves.
All the best,
Post Script: I deleted a previously posted email from a deeply touched, and eager, Ginger Snap who wanted to spend a weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge to discuss the Zen Windsurf thing.
Too funny. Nancie sort of maybe seemed to think so as well. Not quite so sure. Somethings shouldn't be shared at Happy Hour, or for that matter anytime. I sincerely wish that shallow and impulsive email had simply been quickly and quietly deleted after the first reading.
Live and learn.
February 19th Zen and the art of windsurfing.
Zen is understanding.
One day a student in a wetsuit from a far distance west of Dunnville came to the Provincial Zen Windsurf Center near Long Beach and asked Zen Master Soen Yoda SaaKe, "Please tell me, what is Zen windsurfing?"
Soen Yoda SaaKe held a carbon fibre mast extension above his head and said, "Now, do you understand?"
The student said, "I don't know."
Soen Yoda SaaKe said, "This don't know mind is you. Zen is completely understanding yourself as one who windsurfs."
"What do you mean? Please teach me," implored the student.
Soen Yoda SaaKe said, "In a cookie factory, different cookies are baked in the shape of animals, cars, kiteboards, people, and airplanes. They all have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same dough, and they all taste the same, even the kiteboards."
"In the same way, all things in the universe ~ the sun, the moon, the stars, mountains, rivers, people, and so forth… have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same substance. The universe is organized into pairs of opposites: light and darkness, man and woman, sound and silence, good and bad, anodized aluminum and carbon fibre. But all these opposites are mutual, because they are made from the same substance. Their names and their forms are different, but their substance is the same. Names and forms are made by your thinking. If you are not thinking and have no attachment to name and form, then all substance is one. Your don't know mind cuts off all thinking. This is your substance. The substance of this mast extension and your own substance are the same. You are this carbon fibre mast extension; this accessory is you."
The student said, "Some philosophers say this substance is energy, or mind, or God, or matter. Which is the truth?"
Master Soen Yoda SaaKe thought for a moment and then said, "Four blind men went to a boardshop in Toronto and stood in from of a rigged sailboard. One blind man touched its topside and said, " The sailboard is like sandpaper on a hard surface." The next blind man touched its tail and said, "The sailboard is like a piece of foam rubber with soft adjustable foot-staps." The next blind man touched its skeg and said, "The sailboard is like a hard, long, sharp plastic tooth, on a smooth tongue, ready to bite." The last blind man touched its sail and said, "The sailboard is like a piece of thin winglike, flexible but very strong, reinforced rain-gear." Then the four blind men started to fight, each one believing that his opinion was the right one. Each only understood the part he had touched; none of them understood the whole, or its purpose and our role in the holistic concept of its creation and value.
"Substance has no name and no form. Energy, mind, God, and matter are all name and form. Substance is the Absolute. Having name and form is having opposites. So the whole world is like the blind men fighting among themselves. Not understanding the whole of what we perceive is not understanding the truth. That is why there is fighting among ourselves. If all the people in the world understood themselves, they would attain the Absolute. Then the world would be at peace. Doming would disappear. World peace is Zen." (Much fingersnapping and in background Marvin Gaye can be heard singing), "Dat's DaKine of world we need…" (music repeats softly diminishing, then fades)
The student continues, "OK, OK, enough, but how can practicing Zen make world peace?"
Soen Yoda SaaKe said, "People desire money, fame, sex, food, cheap beer, being able to jibe, and rest. All this desire is thinking. Thinking is suffering. Suffering means no world peace. Not thinking is not suffering. Not suffering means world peace. World peace is the Absolute. The Absolute is I, or sometimes also iWindsurf."
The student said, "Maybe ignore iWindsurf for now, how can I understand the Absolute?"
Soen Yoda SaaKe said, "You must first understand yourself and being one with a board on the water."
"How can I understand myself windsurfing?" asked the student.
Soen Yoda SaaKe held up a carbon fibre extension and said, "Do you see this?"
He then quickly hit the table and said, "Do you hear this? This stick, this sound, your mind, are they the same or different?"
The student said, "The same."
Soen Yoda SaaKe said, "If you say they are the same, I will hit you thirty times. If you say they are different, I will still hit you thirty times. Why?"
The student was silent.
Soen Yoda SaaKe chanted loudly, "OHM OHMM OHMMMMM OHMMMMMAGAWD!!!" Then he proclaimed assuredly, "Spring comes, the ice melts, the snow disappears, the wind blows, and we all sail fully powered up again, most of the time. At least I do, for hours and hours and hours and hours nonstop. You, be satisfied with less. Think less is more."
"What about Duck Jibing? A Vulcan? A double forward loop? An uphaul? Being overpowered? And especially sail size versus board displacement on light wind days?" beseeched the tired student.
"It is simply a part of the whole process like an arrow in flight on it's way to a target dispatched from a bow held by an archer on a no wind day.
It is all one singular event in time and space on a constantly moving liquid platform in which you ride out your part in harmony with the wind and the laws of buoyancy and flotation technology with a few higher order algorithms that I created on a Sabbatical near Buxton, all thrown into the mix.
Bend your knees, lean forward, stay low, always weight the inside of the carve, and follow your eyes into and through the turn. Most important, do not trust any wind reports showing on your cellphone, ever.
This is all you need to know."
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 18th February is a good month to make an uphaul that truly works.
At some point in the past 10 months 3 clever uphauls escaped from my gear bag and are hiding somewhere very elusively.
They may have been left hanging from a convenient tree or hook in a garage, trailer, or tarped board-camp in Hatteras. Not sure. But they are nowhere in my basement, garage, van, or personal storage organization.
Bad enough there have been two wind shut downs on Lake Erie and an equal number of long distance rig swim ins. A great non elective workout for sure. But who needs any of that drill in warmish water, on a sunny mid-September day, wearing a full wetsuit.
Bad enough that an uphaul cost ranges from about $20 - $60, depending on how fancy you want to get. I had three. Two of them were quite fancy.
So looking through my garage gear I find an old, thick, jib sheet (rope) from the sailboat. Enough for about two dozen or more uphauls.
Giving it some thought we only needed a propane torch, an awl (to burn holes in the rope), some stretchy shock cord, some used, undiscarded, thin Formuline or Spectra downhaul. For the two fancier ones we added a needle, thread, cool skull hockey tape, waxed nylon whipping string (to compress and prevent rope end fray), an o-ring, and flexible sewing glue (all carefully stowed in my travelling tool totebox).
What a great way to break away from snow removal, February cold, and the other winter recreational activities that we pretend to love as true Canadian outdoor enthusiasts.
Now, am just waiting for the original three lost, prodigal, uphauls to return home to complete their singular purpose in what's left of my life.
The most basic, uncomplicated uphaul is pictured below left. Something simple that's easy to grab and pull on that does the job and won't slip. Hold on to your wallets, NOT taking orders!
Maybe try making your own if ever in need, and make your life-partner proud of your amazing hand-skills, extraordinary ingenuity, and simple thrift. For us it was a wondrous Happy Hour conversational centre piece.
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 17th Maybe hum Stairway To Heaven along to this Duck Jibe video.
This guy makes it look just way too easy. But seeing is believing.
Hey, hope springs eternal. I think some of us simply gave up a bit too soon.
Back to the simulator. The sky's the limit!
I wonder about how large a sail can be successfully duck-jibed? Plans are to sell the 7.0 m2 Ezzy in the spring and buying something with a bit more grunt for the 161L. What a rush it would be to be able to duck an ultra light wind 7.5 m2 Zephyr!
Dreams are made from all this wonderful mental indulgence!
Reality is next. Practice makes perfect!
Remember, if it's going to be, it's up to me.
|Another must look at this amazing > Duck Jibe Video < again and again and again…|
February 16th Two largish 3 Litre diesel vans under $41K (Cdn) made a strong showing at the Toronto Car Show.
Either one will do a capable job of transporting anything we own in style. Arguably, the Ford may be considered a bit better looking. Both are in a league many dollars below the classy Mercedes Sprinter 2.5 L diesel.
They come in larger and smaller sizes but the two showing below seem just about right. Including huge rear view mirrors, a back up camera, and a no blind spot side window in the slider. Pretty sure there will more coming from the other car companies very soon.
Or maybe just get a factory roof rack and custom trailer hitch for the family grocery getter. Varoooooom.
February 14th Late summer 2003.
Windinsight was just a few months old and a bit awkward.
The quest to become website literate had begun. My very capable daughters were instrumental in getting it all put together and up and running. In particular Beth was able to do the first major construct and helped teach me Photoshop insights. Maggie patiently mentored me and helped with creating new tables. Within a few months I began making gifs, experimented with new layouts, worked with HTML, started advertising any wind related equipment, and worked on becoming a better photographer.
The original philosophy and focus was to post a picture, time of day, wind speed and direction, for windsurfers. Plus sunrise & sunset shots, occasional Happy Hours with Nancie, or a bon fire on the breakwall. This discipline began and finished each day throughout the year. It all seemed to work and the site attracted a growing audience.
All on dial up, using Windows XP, an early Nikon digital point & shoot, and a vintage 1997 PC.
An adverting section promoted a marketplace for sailboard gear, and helped source out larger, faster catamarans year after year.
A few moments from 2003 are captured below. Life was good.
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 13th I know why I still buy a lottery ticket each week.
Most of us get by quite nicely on a monthly basis. Maybe even call it comfortable.
But there are moments when we come face to face with restraint and moderation. We smile, look down, shake our head, and humbly walk away with our hands in our pockets.
This is one of those moments.
|One of ten dozen hugely impractical things I would do…|
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 12th Morning Coffee.
Our small flock of beautiful, feeding goldfinches were interrupted with a visit from a half dozen robins.
Will get a picture or two of our returning spring birds. Could be Global Warming, a migratory disorder, an air traffic confusion, or maybe an issue involving southern hospitality. Not sure…
Hopefully there will be a food supply for them over the next month. All of the worms we know are in deep freeze.
February 11th Good news!
Driving by Stamford Presbyterian Church this morning the proclamation outside read, “We Are All Pencils In The Hand Of God.”
Pull over, stop, take a picture.
Deep breath. It all gives me pause to think and hope.
This could be hugely significant for windsurfers. Especially if there's an eraser on the end of God's pencil.
For example… Maybe a few of my jibe flaws can simply be erased and rewritten, among other things.
Maybe windsurfing is easier for Presbyterians. OK, hold and extend that thought.
I've always blamed myself for anything incomplete or unaccomplished.
Maybe God does some kind of Photoshop as well to help with all of our many challenges both in life and on the water. Now would that be a perfect faith in which to merge and unify. To start, with over a thousand different sects of Christianity there should be something.
February 10th Finished a tail repair on the 161 Litre.
A whack on the tail last November damaged an old repair and let in some salt water.
Drilled some holes in the break and drained the tail. Used the shop vac to help suction and evacuate any moisture that might be left and let the board sit high and warm near the furnace
Pulled out most of the old (epoxy) and added a low density West Marine filler mixed with marine epoxy. Added two layers of fibreglass cloth to the board's top and bottom, to fully cover the damaged area, carefully sanding each layer smooth with 70 - 400 grit emery cloth.
Super-fine sanded and colour matched the repair. Will use some ReDeck to help flatten, blend over the colour and make it appear quite original again.
Looks good and solid.
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
February 8th Working on creating a video that might be going somewhere from quite popular to viral.
Start with a unique concept that makes people smile and maybe feel good. Like having the group Maroon 5 showing up as a surprise at LA weddings, or a ride about downtown London in an unbelievable aftermarket exhaust equipped, silver wrapped Lamborghini.
So I'm thinking about strapping on the GoPro and windsurfing to the brink of the Falls. And then! Paragliding to the Maid of the Mist Dock wearing (G.O.'s) Scottish Hallowe'en sheep encounter costume.
All in one continuous crazy moment, while a Walenda high wire crossing from Table Rock to the American side is being televised worldwide.
No one gets hurt. Except maybe for the New Zealand Lamb and Live-Stock Export Marketing Corporation.
Will definitely keep thinking about and working on creating this scenario, there just might be something in this must-watch, mind-riveting concept.
How do you ask someone for their prized sheep without having to tell them why you need it? How will U.S. Customs respond if I land in the middle of the the Gorge below the Falls? So much to consider. Not for the faint of heart…
Hey, life's somehow all about the numbers.
|Maroon 5 surprise weddings in LA with a personal appearance and a great song.|
|A silver wrapped Lamborghini makes some noise and flames.|
February 4th CODEWHITE: About 6 weeks till spring and approximately 9 weeks till Hatteras…
It snowed again last night. About a peace sign deep. Doesn't seem like that much but it kinda feels like someone trying to pick a fight in a bar.
Thankfully the days are getting longer. And the western sky shows orange and golden sunset warm, just above the horizon.
Happy Hour helps a bit in the transition from last light to darkness. But not always quite enough.
Two boards are repaired and the fibreglass patchwork has been sanded smooth ready for prime and colour finish. The bike sits waiting for clear unsalted roads. The van waits patiently in deep storage fourteen blocks away. Faithfully standing by in a huge factory warehouse surrounded by RVs, boats, antique cars, and a mad assortment tricky trucks and cool hot rods all awaiting spring.
My highly toned body and finely tuned mind are narrowly focussed on wading into any kind of shoreline surf and 25 knots of wind. Ok, maybe the mind and body part are a bit of a stretch but you get the idea.
A hair trigger spring on a hi-end well-oiled mousetrap, set, ready and waiting…
BTW, someone said those two groundhogs whose questionable predictions confused us for generations finally passed away. Nice. So set your clocks ahead. Email or call me if you begin to lose faith. I have enough strength, faith, and coffee for three people, maybe four.
Hang in there!
January 31st Ducks and Gulls…
They honestly seem to have lost their migratory instinct.
That said they appear to be well fed and surviving.
Enjoyed using the fast and versatile 70 - 200mm lens…
|Dufferin Islands, Niagara Falls.|
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
January 30th Fresh snow, Maggie, and Gus at Firemen's Park today!
Then afternoon was fun and we initiated our one year old grandson Gus into the sled club.
He wasn't too sure at first but it all went well even though he tearfully lost his boots on one run.
Hey, it's all in the game.
January 30th Waiting for some sunshine to do some photog duck shots at Dufferin Islands…
Looking forward to using the 5D2 and the faithful 70 -200mm to capture a few moments. Hiking about the Falls is always a fun time. Maybe a few rainbows will find their way into the lens as well.
The sanding turned out very well and the 116 litre Goya is looking great. Will do some priming, find a can of colour match spray acrylic, and maybe finish the board in the next few days.
Grandson Gus will be a portrait as well over the next day or so. Plus, he brought his sled! Bonus!
Hope the snow keeps on falling! Tomorrow looks like a fun day!
|(Day 5 top-left bottom-right…)|
January 29th Ducks, ducks, ducks…
They should be in Florida. But no.
Some hang around until the ponds, lakes, rivers, and most everything a hint of water in its name freezes.
If I were a duck I'd be in the Carolinas, the Panhandle, or maybe anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico. Anywhere but here…
But here we are. In search of more ducks with a 70 - 200 lens. More ducks, bring on more ducks…
|All of these ducks winter at Dufferin Islands, Niagara Falls, Ontario…|
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
January 28th Bikes with spikes on ice.
Walking Quarry Road in Wainfleet on Sunday brought back some great memories. The frozen east quarry had become a racetrack for MotoCross bikes with studs in their tires.
Three of the bikes were still on the ice and I took a few shots.
Didn't get on the inside for the best shots and only had the 24 -70 lens. Maybe next time.
Such good fun!
|Looking back. (click here) Shooting motocross 8 years ago|
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
January 24th - 29th Epoxy Fix 190.
Another repair. This is my fifth quasi-professional epoxy assault on the same nose-damaged board.
Level the board so the repair cavity is parallel to the floor on two planes. This ensures that the epoxy cannot run out of the repair during the procedure. Three layers of cloth. One just inside the cavity with a fill of epoxy below the cloth completely filling the inside surface of the hull. The second in the opening exactly filling the repair configuration, level with the board's surface coat. The third layer of cloth over-covers the whole repair area. Sand everything smooth. Prime. Colour match and paint. Cut, fit and secure a rubber nose guard so this damage will not likely happen again. More is better IMO.
Repeat three times to fully repair two wounded boards for spring winds.
So much for a rookie (Epoxy For Dummies) philosophy. (sigh)
I carefully cut and kinda did get two layers of cloth into the larger part of the repair before covering it, but it didn't all fit into easily and unfold quite as tickety boo as hoped. There goes the big dream. (sound of a toilet flushing)
We'll see how it cures over the next 24 hours. Hey, I can always buy a new board. (Nancie is laughing hysterically in the background and shaking her head NO NO NO)
Time spent: Sanding, cleaning, epoxy & cloth, testing adhesives for rubber on fiberglass… 55 minutes Total time: 55 minutes
Did some sanding. Looks good and strong. Confidence is returning. BooYa!
The surface needs another strip of cloth and some epoxy resin…
Deep in thought: Considering reinforcing the whole (vulnerable) nose of the board with a continuous strip of fibreglass/epoxy. Not sure that putting a nose guard on is practical as a long-term application. Will the nose guard stay-put with all the water action going on? Could it hide another damage from view? What adhesive will work best for adhering rubber to fibreglass? What's left on the board if the nose guard comes off?
What will the nose-guard look like in a year or two? What will I look like in a year or two? Aging is not for the faint of heart. BooYa!
Finished testing a few products (on hand) for adhesion to the thick rubber neoprene product being considered. Gorilla glue, Shoe Goo, Gloozit (Marine and RV), and 2 part Marine Epoxy are the candidates on my shelf. Result: Gloozit, from Home Hardware, was the best rubber adhesive in that it fused completely to the heavy Neoprene strip being considered. (NB - It did come apart on Day 3) If it comes off it will peel away from the board surface before it lets go of the rubber. It has stayed clear and workable in the tube since September 5th and has securely held the errant deck pads on securely unlike a few other products.
Overkill thought… Why not run a strip of protective fibreglass around the whole nose, prime and paint it, and then add the protective rubber strip over the whole nose… The rubber strip would also cover any visual repair flaws (however unlikely) as well as protect the board.
Will likely think this all over and get on with my day. Still waiting to see how Gloozit adheres to the fibreglass (once it's all cured)
Time spent: Sanding, working & considering the adhesive test results… 70 minutes Total time: 125 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes 2:05 hr.)
Have decided not to use the nose guard because the Gloozit separated both from the epoxy and it also peeled off the neoprene like the other products. Mind you we did get very serious pulling and working at the adhesion.
Might try Aqua Seal but will need test to see how well that product adheres to epoxy. Most likely result? Forget the nose guard application for now.
Will sand and clean the front of the board later this morning and lay up some pre cut strips of fibreglass over the whole vulnerable area needing protection. It will at least add another layer of armour & shield that might help reduce or eliminate any damage from the next inevitable whack.
Created a jig (suspended adjustable rope sling from above) so the board can easily be repositioned during the procedure. Have the shop vac, ready to clear the work area of any dust, (it's also attachable to the random orbital sander), and a filtered face mask to keep the dust out of my lungs. Have two large clean cloths to keep epoxy sticky fingers off the hull when readjusting board position.
The first two pieces went on without a hitch. The third and fourth were a bit trickier as the epoxy thickened and the surface became tackier. Like welding, acquired hand skills and experience play such a large role in the perfection of it all. Having been through this stage several times before so I know that the next step tomorrow (a careful sanding) will remove most of the visual challenges. Another light coat of epoxy may be needed with several grades of sandpaper a day after all that.
Time spent: Masking, sanding, cutting cloth, mixing epoxy, laying in the cloth, etc.… 90 minutes Total time: 218 minutes (3 hours 38 minutes 3:38 hr.)
Sanded the fibreglass nose and did a coat of epoxy to fill the few irregularities that appeared.
Looks good and the added layer of fibreglass protection across the whole nose area will most likely result in the end to any more fix-ups. (Counted 5 fibreglass repairs to the nose all in all after the preparation sanding yesterday. Had actually forgotten the first two.)
Will likely sand (120/400 grit) the surface once more, add some epoxy fairing to fill the any low valleys & other irregularities, sand, prime, and colour match the nose trim.
May wait till it warms up and do it all outside.
Happiness is a bump resistant, watertight board, ready for Hatteras in the spring…
Time spent: Masking, sanding, filling, etc.… 70 minutes Total time: 288 minutes (4 hours 48 minutes 4:48 hr.)
Used 80 - 400 grit waterproof Emery/Finishing cloth. One to two layers of fibreglass over all 5 repairs. Another third layer of fibreglass over the whole nose. Should be able to take a direct hit! KaBoom!
Looks good enough to mask off, prime, and spray paint (maybe outside, when it warms up). No need to use a filler or an epoxy fairing to level the slight irregularities noted yesterday.
Will roll on and cut in some Redeck to nicely edge-finish the nose trim on the top deck after finish coating the repair…
Not for hire.
Time spent: Sanding … 40 minutes Total time: 328 minutes (5 hours 28 minutes 5:28 hr.)
Really good fun. Currently looking for something solid to bump into really, really hard. Maybe a demolition windsurfing derby would be a good test of board strength. Whoa, maybe not.
|Day 5 top-left bottom-right…|
January 23rd Curly and Mitch - City Slickers (1991)
Mitch: You ever been in love?
Curly: Once. I was driving a herd across the panhandle. Texas. Passed near this little dirt farm right about sundown. Out in the field was this young woman, working down in the dirt. Just about then she stood up to stretch her back. She was wearing a little cotton dress, and the settin' sun was right behind her, showing the shape that God had given her.
Mitch: What happened?
Curly: I just turned around and rode away.
Curly: I figured it wasn't gonna get any better than that.
Mitch: But you could have been, you know…with her.
Curly: Been with lots of women.
Mitch: Yeah, but you know, she could have been the love of your life.
Curly: She is.
My choice - Life is way too short to let anything worthwhile slip away. Let's get ready for that first ride this year cause it
may be blowin' 30 knots! Your choice.
|Mitch and Curly discuss the secret of life. (The rest of the story…)|
January 22nd If you possess an eye for an interesting composition, some patience, persistence, a deep love for the lake, then a smartphone can make magic.
Our roving Sunset Bay correspondent is getting some great shots with his cellphone. Camera smartphone technology has made a quantum leap in the last few years.
A rainbow on the ice, a halo around the sunset, and keepable shots directly into bright light let alone the sun were all quite challenging, even with a hi-end camera, a decade ago.
And, he can jibe well. Most of the time.
January 21st Drone technology at the advanced amatuer level just made a giant leap.
Of course there's a hi-def, oh so cool video camera, hanging from a gimbal stabilizer that all drops as the upper body and rotary blades lift on take off. Result? There are clean unobstructed views of everything below and around. It takes stills as well all controlled with an RC remote. Horizons remain quite straight with a superb lens that gives a more natural appearance in any resulting vid or still shot.
Too much. Just way too much! Hey! Did we come here to windsurf or take pictures?
Be still my heart
|This new drone could really take windsurfing videos to a new level…|
January 20th Stabilize your video using a hand held gimbal.
Eliminate that camera shake and vibration when you're in motion and shooting video.
A number of amazing hand held technologies have been developed to help with this issue.
Have a look at the links below to get an idea of what can be achieved. I watched a dozen gigimbal tests and reviews from running up stairs to blasting around in a dune buggy. Impressive.
Not sure which one is best. Not sure if any are rated as waterproof or water-usable.
But they all help take the shake out of shake, rattle , and roll. Some better than others.
|An interesting review showing a gimbal in multi-use real action…|
|Just one of many videos using a gimbal with your GoPro (there's likely one for most cameras) to stabilize videos…|
|A review comparing two gimbals…|
January 18th Jump start your day.
It's warming up! A January thaw actually in the making. Nice.
A cup of coffee, plan on a long hike this morning, maybe take the camera, but first check out some windsurf tips from Matt Pritchard.
Before you know it you're into mental Netflix, a bit like a Luminosity boost, and your day just can't go wrong.
Sit back, relax, click the link, and visualize the moments. Sweet!
Wait for the jibe fairy to appear and give you a big warm hug…
|Tips from Matt Pritchard to start your day…|
January 17th Especially enjoyed watching one of the movies from this year's Gumball 3000.
This film/video was professionally made by and for one of the teams that entered the competition. It's from a team that created it's own car in 2013, a Galag TG1, based somewhat on the outrageous 750 HP/700 lbft of torque Nissan GTR chassis. Last link below. And also, two Batmobile Tumblers. Not too shabby! Their lifestyle is from another world almost beyond my slightly above average imagination…
Skateboard legend Tony Hawk, DJ music producer DeadMau5, and even Bay Watcher David Hasselhof with his Gumball car Kitt were a part of the celebration. Aside: For those of you who are too young to remember the series Knight Rider from the 80s, Kitt stands for (Knight Industries Three Thousand) the first artificially intelligent car built about 4 decades ago.
The event is scheduled again this year for May 23rd - May 30th. It starts in Stockholm Sweden and finishes in Las Vegas.
Maybe visit the links below…
|Team Galag's Gumball Movie ~ 2014…|
Team Galag's six cars includes 2 Batmobile Tumblers (one was a mini version actually |
used as a needed backup - sigh) and a McLaren P1 (0 - 300K in 16 seconds)…
0 - 300+ kph in their McLaren P1 at the Edinburgh Airport runway…|
the Galag TJ1 |
(built for the Gumball 3000 - in 2013)
January 16th Looking Back. Two photos, (posted top row below) sent a few days ago, from our Wainfleet Correspondent @ Sunset Bay brought back some treasured memories.
We remember when our bay filled in with ice or slush and waves created ice banks along the shoreline. They were the barriers that protected our exposed frontage along the lake at Sunset Bay.
Once these natural breakawalls occurred we felt secure that storms and driving wind wouldn't cause a high-water deluge to flood around our home.
That said we miss the excitement and lifestyle along the lake including the worries that December always brought before the freeze.
|Below -A few December views through our front window 15 years ago and a summer moment as well.|
|please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics|
|When an irregularity occurs this message above will be posted nearby (with an explanation) until a fix is found.|
January 15th Still playing HTML Whac-A-Mole.
As the HTML irregularities show their heads a fix has to be found. Kinda like patching an old inner tube instead of embracing a new run flat, low profile, hi tech super tubeless sport tire.
Funny how everything in the site holds together until a new change is made and uploaded.
Changing technology and new Operating Systems seem to reject some of the old stuff that is used here.
Will spend a day or two looking for some kind of overall fix that will help to maintain This Old Site. That said, nothing lasts forever.
So far the winter has been fun. Getting lots of exercise hiking, working out religiously, maintaining a diet, and riding the luge here and there a few times a week.
Nancie has been steadily improving since her surgery and should eventually attain an excellent recovery from her heart attack. She's been cleared to drive and fly but must go through a few months of prescribed cardio exercise and strength building activities. Nice!
The new GoPro is pretty cool and has lots of yet untapped potential. It's actually a motivator to lose weight, gain strength, and look forward to improving some on water moves with the sailboards. It works like a charm with Final Cut Pro X and videos should improve with more time and practise.
|getting a bit braver with the luge…|
January 13th Went for a hike with the luge yesterday afternoon.
The trek was a bit warm with the snow pants but the workout was amazing.
Came into Firemen's Park from the north-east connection along the old the Bruce Trail from St. Davids. The old north stairway is just to the right.
There's a steep, narrow, open run heading down into the park used most now by snowmobiles and a few adventurous mountain bikers.
Unhooked the luge, climbed aboard and blasted toward the base and the large pond below. Made a hard turn at the bottom in the fresh powder and glided about 20 meters along a gentle slope just parallel to the frozen edge of the pond.
Returned to the top a dozen times and repeated the run going a bit further each time. Came home exhausted.
Will maybe return with the GoPro sometime this week to both share a unique moment and enjoy a repeat of this fun ride. Will also try doing all of the better hills within a fifty kilometre radius to seek some winners over the next few months. Who knows, might just become a winter sled hill review blogger of some renown.
January 10th Found an online solution.
Late this afternoon I received help from an online service called W3C Validator.
They ran a test on a faulty page sent to them a few days ago. Put simply, the page had become unresponsive and messed up an alignment in a number of newly changed links.
Result? It is now necessary to always include a language attribute and use a specific command including a font type (i.e arial verdana) even if there are no written words being used and added to a table command. Anyway, it somehow works and straightened out the wounded alignment on the page in question.
A simple table command that's worked every year since 2003 failed and finally became a problem.
The old command stops working correctly as soon as a text change or a new link is added within its table. I wonder what's next?
Technical Aside: I know there are other older sites like mine out there so my problem wasn't unique. A font command in an HTML table must always now include - arial verdana or another acceptable font - (In case others have the same experience I tried to write the old and new commands here but HTML commands are invisible when uploaded. Plus the command made an odd change to this line.) Maybe do a View Page Source (I use a with a right mouse click on the Mac) to see how HTML pages actually appear. Always fun to see and maybe helpful to note the change. The new table issues show as corrected on indexonterie.html That's the Lakes page with the Point Abino Lighthouse containing links to picture files from past years in Lake Erie and lake Ontario.
There is still a spacing issue but I'm confident that there's a table width fix somewhere for that as well.
It would seem there is an Internet God of sorts and the universe and matrix are both harmoniously unfolding as they should! So nice.
We still plan to create an alternative windinsight.com replacement for the time when everything herein fails and collapses into an HTML dump of digital dust. Even if the only interesting photo views at that time will be East and West in the hall outside our room in the Nursing Home.
Colour commands are also iffy most of the time when used here and there. This is one more challenge to add to the mix.
January 9th Enjoying the snow.
Took one of the grandchildren's sleds and the Zipfy Luge for another run today. There was some snow on the ground for a change. It worked!
What a good time. Great exercise. It needs about 30 degrees of slope to get a fast run.
Will try to get further afield but for now it will become an easy carry in the backpack and a stop on the hike along the Bruce Trail.
The small plastic luge is portable, light, maneuverable, and good fun in the powder. Especially heading back uphill for another run.
|Lovin' the luge in the new snow this afternoon.|
January 8th Having a few more html site glitches.
Couldn't get a page to upload correctly after making a new link. Not sure why because the tables and language used are correct, and have been for the past 14 years, but are not responding/showing as expected. Was told that using this old html construction (currently holding windinsight together) will continue to become more and more antiquated, outdated, and problematic. Was also told that basically very few people (almost no one in the world today) use html from the late 90's and CSS any more. What will I do with my outdated, yellow HTML For Dummies reference manual?
(Finally did get the unresponsive html to work better but still not as it should. Will seek assistance from a site professional over the next week or two.)
In the meantime am looking for another format (below) or maybe starting something new and as usable as what's here.
Or maybe a simple combination of the two to include picture files…
|windinsight.com and wordpress…|
January 7th LaSalle today with the new Hero4 @ 1080p W.
It was frigid today.
Took the Canon 5D2 and the GoPro Hero 4 (Black) for a comparison test at Club LaSalle, St. Catharines, this afternoon.
There's really no comparison in terms of being able to control the two cameras but the reality and result from a blind, hand-held, point and shoot, using the Hero4 is impressive to say the least. Can't wait to strap it on for some action shots in the snow and on the water.
The Hero 4 has some amazing potential in terms of quality, so some more practice will be in order. Didn't take it to Firemen's park with the Zipfy Luge for some fun runs this afternoon but as soon as snowfall fills the park we'll get some footage and stills.
|will move these up top and bring the one's up their into the flow down here…|
|Hero 4 Black 1080p W above|
|Canon 5D2 above (24 - 70 L 2.8)|
|Canon 5D2 December 31st, lots of open water…|
January 4th → 5th A few more changes.
Made an archive for easy to reapply wind and weather links when travelling, as well as other items needing a place to stay for now. Uploaded these two links for archival storage on the Contact page…
Cleaned up the main page as well as a few other areas. Sorted through the three video link challenge with an explanation and now use a single link from the main index. Archived the original Blog.
Had another look at Human Surf Response in the Archives. Will consult with a few scholars and addicted fellow board-heads to see if it's worth doing graduate study in this dubious field. God knows we're a needy and compulsive congregation of single-minded, spend-thrift, wind-driven, beach bums. Living with this wind, wave, and gear-related clutter-accessory distraction is all fine with me in any event.
Will likely run the site by a few of the good people who offered thoughts, advice, and comments but I sense that many will still find the same challenge. Kinda like going to a Theme Park without a map and maybe not really sure why they're there.
I did find and correct a number of linkage errors and made some html improvements that would otherwise have caused some navigational difficulties and frustrations. Pretty sure there are more. Will continue to look for errors and omissions. Would appreciate a heads up if something isn't right. I do appreciate any constructive advice and will thankfully take any comment into serious mindful consideration…
Not entirely sure where to go from here. Will think about it all for a while as the month unfolds.
Time to get on with some winter hiking, mini luge lust, and photog fun. Oops, Christmas decorations inside and out all have to be taken down and put away first!
And then on to sort through the amazing new Hero4 with the manual from Hell. Lucky I'm somewhat above average in trial and error manipulation skills.
|New on the Contact page - Wind-Weather and Archives links - mid page…|
January 3rd Making some progress.
Not so sure that the site can be changed all that much.
Every picture evokes a memory and a fun moment. So many moments and so many great memories. Cape Hatteras, crewing, the drive back to London from Barcelona, grandchildren, family, friends, opening and closing Maggie's cottage, travelling about with Nancie, so many times on the water…
Simplify a bit? Hopefully. Lighten? Not likley!
Maybe watch Bob Dylan grow older and older below!
|May You Stay Forever Young Crank up the volume…|