One morning I found a small racoon in your squirrel cage I had next to the shed. It wasn't there to trap anything, but there must have been a tiny bit of peanut butter left in it, and I made the mistake of leaving it open.
The racoon barely fit in there, but somehow it got in. When I found it, it was sleeping peacefully curled up like a cat (they are nocturnal), but it woke up when it heard me. I released it right away, and it slowly made its way up a tree where it could resume sleeping for the day without being in the sun.
Racoons unfortunately can become pests, but they are otherwise pretty cute animals that are happy to eat from your hand, and do so gently (not like squirrels that can easily bite you and give you rabbies). We're not going to feed ours though since like bears you want them to remain wild, or they'll start going through your trash and become a pest.
At least they don't try to jump to our bird feeder like the squirrels, so that's good enough for me :)
I wanted a water sensor for my water heater that would both alert me in the house, and as remotely when the sensor was tripped.
This is what it looks like:
I analysed how the DS10A worked, and due to sheer luck in its design, the wires going to the magnetic sensor turn out to be ground and signal, and the water sensor conducted enough current between them to allow triggering of the DS10A:
Wiring is totally trivial, you only need to use a 3rd wire connected to the plus from the 2 batteries, and it "just works". For extra credit, I wired a buzzer between signal and ground, and my water sensor passed enough current to allow the buzzer to run.
I used the Phantom YoYo High Sensitivity Water Sensor which was $10, but apparently you can get one that should work too from seedstudio for $3
The DS10A, I have a stack of, which you can sometimes find on ebay for cheap in bundles, and my house is already wired to receive those signals, so it was trivial to generate an Email and page from misterhouse when this sensor got triggered.
After doing stage 1 some months back, I went back to learn stage 2. I definitely got better with downshifting the 2nd day once I figured out that my foot was too wide and I was pushing brake and gas a the same time, preventing downshifts from happening. This was fixed by turning the brake pedal two turns towards me.
Here are some of notes of what I learned those 2 days:
faster upshift (barely get off throttle)
faster and harder transition from gas to brakes (same end pressure, faster transition)
Do not brake and gas, this prevent shifting
passing: When you are side to side but not quite for a turn, you must release the brake to win the corner since you cannot stop any more. If someone is trying to pass on the outside, you brake even more to leave them room to be side by side with you. The inside guy gets the apex no matter what, even if not wheel to wheel
And notes relative to actual turns:
carry speed into 2, do not brake so much and gas back up, just keep speed going up
lift before turning 3a, start turn and put a bit of gas more gradually (do not remove gas)
4 brake early enough not to understeer
5 flat out
6 good brake on top but not so hard, light brake, coast, and early gas half way down
7 brake 3rd cone, good brake pressure
8 go faster and turn later so that I can connect 8a
9a get on the brakes faster, be a bit faster turning the wheel from 9a to 9b, scandinavian flick
10 flat out, shift before turn in 10 so that I'm not as sluggish in the turn
The 2nd day in the morning, I got a flat on one of my tires without knowing, which made the car very oversteery and before I knew it, I spun in the chicane and got to see why:
This time we were running the full course and had slicks on the cars, so it was a good difference from level 1.
We only had 4 people in our group, and one was close to a professional racer, so I didn't get too close to him. As a result our end times on the 2nd day were the following: our teacher Nico had a benchmark time of 1:38, our next best driver was at 1:41, I got down to 1:43, and the 2 other students with less experience were around 1:48.
After driving, we compared our data acquisition to see what we were doing wrong or could improve:
My last 2 sessions the 2nd day in the afternoon, my times were reasonably stable and in the down direction :)
One before last session: 1:48, 1:48, 1:47, 1:48, 1:45, 1:48, 1:46, 1:46, 1:46, 1:46, 1:47, 1:46, 1:48
Last session (with video offset): 1:45 ( 0:37), 1:45 ( 2:22), 1:46 ( 4:08), 1:45 ( 5:53), 1:45 ( 7:38), 1:44 ( 9:22), 1:48 (11:06), 1:44 (12:50), 1:44 (14:34), 1:44 (16:18), 1:44 (18:01), 1:43 (19:44), 1:44 (21:28), 1:44 (23:12),
Here is a vid of my last session
And for novelty purposes, a shaky video from google glass of an ealier session:
On the way out, I got to watch Dorifto wednesday. That was quite fun to witness ;)
Since my track car won't be available for another couple of months, when I heard that GGLC was going to get one of the first 5 mile track days at Thunderhill, I figured I'd look into renting and was told about Dietsch Werks.
As a result, I ended up renting a track prepared lotus from them (lightened, a few extra HPs over stock, and upgraded brakes). I did however select street tires over slicks since I figured I didn't need to learn slicks when I was already learning a new car and a new track.
I ended up flying early that morning just around IFR weather and got to Willows airport where Rob picked me up.
By 09:00, we started our first session, one of 7 30mn sessions :)
there were other bug cars :)
It took me a little bit to get used to the lotus and learn that it was tail happy under braking. As a result, I had to brake and be back on gas before turning for stability in some places.
Learning thunderhill west also took a bit of time, but I worked my way down from 4:10 to 3:44 by the end of the day, so I'm happy enough with that :)
Here is my last session of the day (just to 20:22):
Thanks to GGLC for setting up the event and Rob and Jenni for getting me the car all prepped.
I had spent over 3 hours in 2012 and didn't get to finish the top last time, so I went back with Arturo and we spent another 3-4H to do the top. Clearly doing the whole thing carefully takes a whole day from open to close.
This time though we started with the top deck which usually is a 1H line and we saw right away, and then we worked through the flight deck:
From there we saw the captain's quarters and surroundings, ops and comm rooms:
From there, we went to the flight deck and dispatch rooms:
There was a lot more to see in the aircraft carrier, but we had done a good amount for the day (and this mostly completed my prior visit where I had seen all the bottom floors in details).
Arturo, Regis, and Bill invited me to their diving trip in San Diego, and having forgotten how cold it was last time, I foolishly accepted :)
I brought a semi dry 7mm wetsuit, a full hood, and as a backup a 2nd shortie with hood that was 5.5mm (or a total of 12.5mm of neoprene). That was a wise decision, the semi-dry 7mm wasn't much warmer than a 7mm, and after my first dive, I was very cold, so I put the 2nd wetsuit on top.
This turned out to be barely enough, and I was still cold on most of the dives, but it turns out the temperature got as low as 13C (55F). It was sad when I saw my computer say 16C (60F) and that felt warm, but the 2 wet suits, tight hood, and 28lbs of lead just weren't comfortable or fun.
All that said, we had above average vis (which means somewhat poor instead of very poor ;) ), and no current, so we got lucky with the conditions actually being as good as they could have been for there (except the temps).
On the first day, we did a couple of kelp dives first, and the Yukon and Ruby in the afternoon. On the second morning, double dive of the Yukon on nitrox, and finished up with the Ruby again, where I took a crap on the toilet :)
Unfortunately most of my pictures are crap because my real camera lens kept fogging up. I used my gopro as a backup, and the nicer pictures are from Arturo.
Balboa Park where Artruo and I spent quite a bit of time when we weren't diiving
After landing we went to pick up Arturo's compact car :)
From the airport, we went directly to Cabrillo national monument to see the beach/tide pools before the tide rose too much. It was a nice hike by the coast:
Arturo was not much of a photo model, so I had to find other people :)
After the coast, we went to see the Cabrillo monument and went to get some picturs from San Diego and the military base:
how about that, it was a perfect fit :)
On the way back down, we went to check out the cemetary on the side of road back down:
From there, we went to the science museum in Balboa Park and went to see a couple of Imax movies:
Next, we went to the museum of man, which closed later and wasn't bad:
The next day, we met with Bill, Regis and Kyoko for diving, which is on its own page.
After diving on our second day, we had a bit of extra time in the afternoon, so we went back to Balboa Park to see the botanical and Japanese gardens:
Next, we went to San Diego Old Town, starting with Whaley House and then shops in old town: