20 June 2006

It's gonna be a girl!

We had the official ultrasound today. Everything is good.
A profile shot with her arm above her head. Another profile.
Face front.
And the expert analysis.

17 June 2006

Fisheye Update

OK, so it works, but it ain't perfect. I had to take about eight pictures just to finally get it right. The photo looks pretty cheesy, but its kinda cool too. Lighting is everything, and don't forget to turn off the flash. Just about any subject matter becomes interesting though. I think I am going to try to find a bigger peep hole to use. I used the one I took out of the front door, just as a test, to see if it did work, and it does, now to just find a better one.

16 June 2006

Fisheye lens for Optio?

Check this out. I found the link from Boing-Boing. I am definately going to give this a try. I keep looking a getting a fisheye lens for my SLR's, but they are really expensive, just to play around. This looks like a cheap, fun solution. I may try to make a bracket to hold the peephole and bolt to the tripod mount.

13 June 2006

Kona Hoss

I rode my bike tonight. I haven't been riding lately. I don't know why, I just haven't. I need to ride more often. It hurts now, and yet it feels good too.

I've been reading Silbs Says, and noting that his back has been hurting lately too. This weekend mine was killing me, but now it is starting to feel better, as long as I keep moving. If I have to sit still for a long time, I stiffen up, and it takes a little while to get fully straight again. The bike ride helped me get all of my muscles warmed up and my back wasn't hurting then, but since I got home, and tried to relax, its stiff again, but its getting better.

I hate getting old.

Maybe tomorrow I will go paddling.

07 June 2006


I like looking a pictures. I understand pictures better than words. www.kajak.nu is a great website for looking at pictures. Good for me, because I can't read any of the words. I'm not even sure what language. They have some of the best kayak related photos I have seen though. The banner at the top of the page is random, and is worth refreshing several times just to view. Don't stop there though, go to the blog and scroll down and check out all of the photos.

05 June 2006

Two Minutes

Wenley has a nice post about an interview with Douglas Wilcox. Whenever I read interviews, I can't help but try and answer the questions as if I were the one being interviewed. It is a way to see how well I stack up against the expert. Usually I fall way short. As I was reading this one, I was wondering how Wenley might answer these questions, or Derrick, or Bonnie, or anyone else for that matter. I think it would be as interesting to hear how others would answer these questions as well. So here is my meager list of questions and answers:

1. How did you get into paddling? I read an article in Sports Afield, when they were trying to increase their readership by branching out into “extreme sports”. They have since bowed to pressure from their tried and true readers, and reverted back to hunting and fishing, but I brought from it an interest in kayaking.

2. What type of kayak do you paddle? A Current Designs Gulfstream.

3. What is your favourite paddling area? This question implies that I have already paddled there. It would have to be Drummond Island, with the Au Sable River a close second. I keep dreaming of places that I have not been yet.

4. What is your day job? Sr. Product Designer for a plastic container manufacturer.

5. Who would you say has had the most influence on your paddling development? Ron Smith, because I was really impressed by his abilities when I took my first formal kayaking class. And Derrick Mayoleth, because I like reading his blog, I have learned a lot from him, just by reading.

6. Who do you think has done the most to develop modern sea kayaking? Justine Curgenven. Her videos show a completely different view of sea kayaking from what most people think sea kayaking is.

7. If you were paddling a double sea kayak, who would you want in the front seat and why? My dog, because I can smack him out of frustration, and he won’t tell anyone. - Just Joking.

8. What is the best or most memorable paddle that you have undertaken? Drummond Island with my paddling friends from Indiana: Barry, Joel, Tim, Tom, and Wes.

9. What is your favourite stroke? Uh…forward? I'm still learning it. It’s the one that’ll get me somewhere the quickest. I have not learned a bunch of fancy strokes yet.

10. If you were to offer one piece of advice to newcomers to the sport what would it be? Buy a boat that is designed for more performance than you think you will need. A little longer than you think, a little narrower than you think, and a little tighter than you think. You won’t regret it.

11. How do you see the sport developing in the next 10 years? A lot more people getting into the sport, with a lot more mass-produced kayaks to choose from.

12. What is your major frustration with the sport? Finding paddlers to paddle with, that have similar abilities, and schedules.

13. What music would be the soundtrack to your paddling life? Margaritaville

14. Do you belong to a Club and what is your involvement? A member of West Michigan Coastal Kayaking Association, and ACA.

15. Have you ever had an embarrassing moment? Something afterwards that you can smile about but wished hadn’t happened. As a student in a class at WMCKA symposium with Simon Osborne instructing, he told us to edge the boat and paddle forward, and don’t worry about where you are going, just keep it on edge, so I was edging on the left side and sweeping on the right, and fighting the boat the wrong way around the turn, but not worrying about it, until I looked behind me and saw everyone else following and watching me. Oops, sorry Simon. Poor Simon spent the next 30 minutes de-programming the whole class on which way the boat is supposed to turn when on edge.

16. Do you have any regrets – something that you had wished you had done but now can’t see yourself doing? I should have started paddling long before I was 30, and I should have tried to learn how to roll before I was 38. I’m not dead yet, I’m going to keep trying to push my abilities.

17. Why do you think we are interviewing you today? Because I thought it would make a better meme. Ok, now its everyone else’ turn. Bonnie, Derrick, Wenley, Alex, FH2O,anyone who wants to.

01 June 2006

Solo Roll

An after work paddle tonight. I paddled to the east through Olcott, Wolf, and on into Little Wolf lake. All the way across to the county park beach, where a wet exit would be less of a hassle. I stowed my hat and sunglasses, and got out my goggles and nose plugs. Then I sat in the boat and tried not to psych myself out. That first solo roll is a real tough one to initiate. After I visualized all of the motions, I took a deep breath and tipped over. The water was warm and pretty clear. My body remembered the correct position, and the first extended paddle roll worked, but it must have looked pretty bad, because I could feel that I had to use my arms way too much to get all the way back up. I took a moment to relax and let the realization sink in, then I made a nervous involuntary laugh. I told myself that I needed to tuck farther in the set up and reach farther in the sweep, and drive harder with my knee in the hip snap, and it will work better. So I set up and tipped over again. The second roll was better. I did six extended paddle rolls, on the first try each time. So why stop there? I thought maybe I should try a sweep roll with my hands in the regular paddling location on the paddle this time. I set up, took a deep breath, and tipped over again. Yeah. It didn't work, I am still relying on too much of the sweep to finish my roll, and without the extended paddle, not enough leverage. So there I was, upside down. I have always been able to keep my cool when inverted in the kayak, and I'm sure that was a huge benefit tonight. I was able to change my hand positions to the extended version, and move the paddle into place, and execute another extended paddle roll to place myself back into the high oxygen environment. OK, stop there? Nope, I just have to push it. So I set up for a sweep roll again, and I got the same results. Oh well. So now I'm pretty comfortable changing hand positions and using an extended paddle roll. It beats a wet exit any day. I just have to keep working on it, I'll get it. I did achieve the main goal tonight anyway. I got my first solo roll under my belt.