Monday, May 19, 2014

Many great new things and updates.. not enough time!

Quick summation in my own ramblings:

The running continues - I've now attempted and buckled in all three 100 Mile races started (these are actual trail 100 mile events), and won a free entry via my electric costume.  Of which I ran about 40 miles in during my most recent 100 Mile event at Javelina Jundred.  Good Times!
The running has been great and I've taken several months off but getting back to it in June as Ultra season ramps up.  For cost reasons I've dramatically reduced number of Marathons but as of this writing I have 78 Marathons behind me, and each one of them has been finished and a medal proudly adorns the "I Love me Wall" at home.  Also are nine Half Ironman and two Full Ironman finishes which I don't count as part of my Marathons.  Included in the 78 number are three 100M races, about eight 50M, at least 15 50K's, three 24 Hr races, and three Relay races (where my legs added up to a minimum of 26Miles in each event).

Promoted to head dog for the Dog Pound SD100 Aid Station.  Changes were aloof due to the terrible Cuyamaca fires which burned down Al Bahr and wreaked havoc.  A new aid station was designed amidst a new course for the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run.  The new AS is being Captained now by Jennifer Henderson (previous Dog Pound Captain).  I will replace that role starting this year 2014.  We're really excited for what this could mean to the race as a whole and we expect now each of our AS's to be 110% AWESOME... so if you're an AS Captain, tell us what makes your stop "Awesome" and let's get in the spirit.

Huckleberry 2000 - This is one of those living projects that may or may never be.  It's many pages of some ramblings and stories.  A hybrid of fiction and non-fiction to mainly preserve and protect myself.  Been in the works off and on, and occasionally I'll throw some pages in.  For now it's just a side one trick pony that someday may turn into something real that will be decorated with a real to life UPC, course by then it could "Huckleberry 2020".  Though that does not really matter because someday whether or not it's finished those pages will be hovering in netspace and on a few choicely picked pieces of tree pulp.

Electronic Project #1 - Been working on some prototype light electronics which have received some very neat reviews and progress is moving just slowly, as I'm out of time.  Details hopefully soon this summer as I'll be looking at a KickStarter campaign to complete my funding.. so get your wallets and checkbooks out my friends.

Electronic Project #2 - This one has an amazing monetary upside, with a technical downside.  Been tinkering with this one for a few months now in conjunction with some internal folks of  "cannot name source" service agency.  They have a great idea and tapped me for assistance.  Challenge is that it involves some lengthy Python scripting which I'm kind of a newbie at.  Additionally it's working with some new open source DEV boards that I need to customize some hardware for.  My first set of experimenting caused me to break my garage door electronics as I attempted to use it for receiving my prelim tests.. oops. 
Not that any reads my rambles but in the event you are reading this and have knowledge and interest in becoming a part of these experiments please let me know.

*for possible reasons of commercialism I'm keeping my notes on the above projects vague, just making a note on them as they have been a time consumption, but also a lot of fun.

Tired Dog Saloon - Actually the final name has become "Waggin Tales Saloon", Merchandise to follow soon.  The implementation and redesign of our Living room into a classic Wild West type Saloon has been super fun and an absolute blast of a location to wet your whistle for just a few bits.  The bar that we built is still extremely strong and has withstood some real life usage, yet still looks beautiful.  Bring on the dancing bloomers. and if you are ever in need during a happy hour come on by!  We have some new great indoor wood builds for our Saloon and will be upgrading it's theme over the next couple of years.

the Bark Box 1.0 also continues - The Bark Box has also made some terrific improvements and is now on version 3.0.  It has received some very nice hardware upgrades, and all still DIY.  It now boasts the integration of a PA system and magical (yet somewhat delicate\dangerous) voltage up converter and transformer.  It worked so well that we've just about completely destroyed the speakers currently in use and it has also played center stage to two live performances of the National Anthem at public events.  Designs are in process on paper for "the Bark Box 3.2" and 4.0, which will upgrade some of the battery supply, new speakers (possible DIY) and addition of Solar while yet still being transportable that it's roughly the size and weight of one slightly heavy hand carry tool box.  With the building of 4.0 the case will also be redesigned and I may be Auctioning\Donating Bark Box 3.0 to a good cause.

Running Man - The light exhibit built exclusively for the Dog Pound AS at Sunrise for SD100.  Previous rendition of Burning Man was appropriately destroyed (as it should be in Burning Man fashion).  That made way for Running Man last year.  He went over so well that popular demand and request begged it not be destroyed, thus he will be receiving a complete re-wiring and major software upgrade seeing as my ATTINY now longer can hold the code I'm writing for him.

Electric Generator 1.0 - This was a slightly new beta project for me.  It has yet to receive any real use to test it's functionality and durability but may have potential.  It's pretty straight forward and will provide a carry-able box which can provide 110V +12V outputs and a storage of about 50Ah.  Not bad for something that you can carry or stow under your bed for those California power outs.. or dry camping where you can't use a generator.

Hydroponics - I'm finally fed up with the cost and growing location of my favorite fruits and vegetables.  You never realize it until you try to start eating and shopping smarter.  This year Leslie and I are working to have better balanced nutrition and exercise.  Eating better involves some expensive food when you are trying to get non-frozen or local produce.  Well I've had it with paying $1.50 and up for a single pepper!

Our beautiful garden has been a weed haven dirt pile for the last four years.  I finally got off my ass (and some exercise), dusted off the cobwebs.  It was a laboring couple of weeks for Leslie and I to just clear and level everything in the garden but must say that it looks great.  We did some research and decided to give Hydroponics a try... and NO, we are not growing pot, don't be such a Cannabis head.  Anyhoo, Hydroponics appears to be the best solution for our needs as we have really crappy soil and apparently lack a single green thumb between us.  I'm determined to change that with a little research, which transitioned into some actual working setups.  We built a large modified EarthBox from scratch with junk sitting in the garage, a nine bucket system for Hydro drips, a few Kratkey type buckets, and a custom set of floating rafts for some DWC (Deep Water Culture).  I just finished building a new structure which will also soon house an NFT Hydro setup. 
The big catalyst was to not spend too much money so these initial setups were made with scraps and recycling from the garage.  No new money was my motto.  With exception of some Macro and Micro nutrient powders that had to be purchased, we've kept cost low so far.

It's only been about four weeks since everything has been planted and even though I still have a big learning curve when it comes to non-soil gardening I'm impressed with results.  We will have a great yield this year but next years will sure to be spectacular and guaranteed ROI in the positive.


So in closing this post to me myself and I, I'm feeling pretty darn good.   One reason I wanted to put some thoughts to "paper" was to really see if I'm as lazy, thoughtless and un-creative as I was perceiving myself.  The great news is that writing and reading this shows I at least have a couple of tangible things to prove indeed "I was here!!!!"

Well, until my next long overdo posts, Happy Trails for now and don't let life get in your way of doing what you want to do.


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