Ting and Freedompop—A successful week only using wireless

Posted By on October 29, 2014

Since moving away from Sprint and finally down to two cellphones in the family …except for a couple of spare emergency “burner” phones (grin) –one with my overseas travel SIM and the other a Samsung Galaxy S2 total free wireless plan on Freedompop. The point is that we were able to travel comfortably with our two iPhones (5 and 5s) and stayed connection 95% of the time using the low-cost Freecompop MiFi hotspot (paying $7.98/mo for LTE & 3G and rollover data) and the new Ting month to month mobile phone plan (although data rates are still a little high to tether). I ran Waze for GPS maps and navigation down and back from Ohio to Florida full time on my iPhone 5s and Brenda was on and off her phone regularly.
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We used both phone and hotspot a bit more sparingly than normally – unlike a work trip or connected to “free” wifi, but so far I’ve been very please with both services. If you desire to move away from a contract plan and slim down your monthly wireless bill … and can live with 1 year old equipment, give Ting a try for your smartphones and Freedompop a try for your “limited” Internet connections (current Ting usage below).

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Sailing Encore with the one I love doesn’t get any better

Posted By on October 27, 2014

What a wonderful life. I’ll let our video speak for itself.

"God is good, God is good all the time. All the time God is good."  from the movie God is NOT Dead. But it applies …

Vacationing, taking a walk and having lunch with friends

Posted By on October 25, 2014

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Brenda and I enjoy a lunch out at GoodFella’s for cheesesteaks with our friends Mark and Darlene Jones on Friday and walk along the new bike and pedestrian walk along the Fort Pierce inlet. The city did a great job of making it attractive and include cute features including mosaics of all the fish popular in the area (above left) and bike fix-it stations and colorful bike rakes in the shape of a fish.  The inlet was pretty rough but we did watch a 50 foot Jeanneau rock and roll their way in.

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Can a Kyocera 135 watt solar panel produce enough juice?

Posted By on October 24, 2014

encorebatteryreadings141024The last 24 hours I’ve been running a two person battery test to see just how comfortable we can be on minimal amp hours. Obviously we need to do better since even with a fair amount of sun hitting Encore’s single Kyocera 135 watt solar panel our battery bank is depleting. The clouds are passing in front of the sun regularly enough to drop my 8 amp solar charge back to 1 or maybe 2 amps, but since our use depletes the battery back at a steady 8 amps with the inverter on (we are still comfortable and charging gadgets), it can barely keep up when the sun hitting the panel. Kick in the refrigeration and we end up well above what can be replenished without running the diesel or plugging in to shore power. Obviously for long term self-sufficient cruising I’ll need to look for better ways to produce electricity (currently the Honda generator, but perhaps more solar or a wind generator?)

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My new cologne–Old Diesel

Posted By on October 23, 2014

After our 16 hour drive on Wednesday from Cincinnati to Florida, Brenda and I were welcomed by our liveaboard friends Mark and Dar with a cold drink. They had already turn on our refrigeration making it convenient to repack encoredieselwork141023a few items from our cooler box into the galley. I sure appreciate them keeping an eye on our sailboat. Great friends.

After a good night sleep Brenda and I went our separate ways … well she left for Delray Beach and I stayed. Her project was to pack up and get her mom’s condo ready to rent in January and unfortunately she has already filled up the Honda Pilot – just was I had feared.

I started in on a few boat maintenance items like scrubbing the decks … the black squiggles sticking to everything is a mystery. Mark calls it “lizard poop” but must be some kind of droppings from insects landing on the deck and dodger (I left it up this hurricane season). After scrubbing for two “wonderful hours in the sunshine,” it was time to put the bimini back up for some shade in the cockpit, since hurricane season is winding down. I hope the risk is over for 2014?

The messy project for the day was below decks. I decided to try my hand at filtering some of the dead algae out of my tank full of diesel fuel (42 gallons). I only had enough 5 gallon container for 20 gallons so the balance is going to have to wait and we’ll have to risk plugging the fuel filters on our next sail.

The Ebola Song–humor from the IMUS in the morning show

Posted By on October 22, 2014

It is probably in bad taste to be chuckling at anything related to Ebola … but neither my wife or I have been able to get the Imus show’s Comedian Rob Bartlett‘s ‘The Ebola Song’ (audio mp3) out of our heads. I’m hoping you’ll don’t have the same problem every time you hear the word “Eee-Bowl-la” or here the melody ‘Lola’ by the Kinks.
Open-mouthed smile

A 12-pt Albino Buck taken by an 11-year old in Michigan

Posted By on October 21, 2014

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Having never seen an albino deer, let along a 12-pt buck albino, it is shocking to know a young 11-year 6th grader old hunter with a crossbow shot the deer.

Gavin Dingman from Oceola Township in Michigan knew the deer was in the area his family hunted since they have spotted it several times over the past couple years, but last Monday evening Gavin, who was hunting with his dad, was given the chance to bring it home. He took aim with his crossbow and “double lunged” the deer from about 30 yards.

When he saw the albino deer, Gavin said he was "very nervous" as he took aim with his crossbow.

"My dad was just like, ‘Take a deep breath. Are you sure you can take the shot? If you’re not 100 percent, we don’t want to injure it,’ " the boy recalled.

LINK

Prepping project for my next trip to work on Encore

Posted By on October 20, 2014

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An “easy to put off” project on any sailboat is marking rode or chain for the anchor. I added a purchased yellow tab to our previous boat Brenich’s nylon rode, but haven’t figured out how I was going to mark the all chain on Encore. Earlier this year I save a copy (testing iCloud Pages sharing link) from a post on the SimplySailingOnline blog and picked up a couple inexpensive 15-foot rolls of polyester-nylon webbing for $3.50. Unfortunately the quality was a bit lower than I expected, but as chain markers I’m hoping they will do the trick.

Update to Apple OS X Yosemite and all is well

Posted By on October 19, 2014

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Against my better judgment I upgraded my iMac to Apple’s OS X Yosemite this weekend … bold move after my frustrations with iOS 8 and my older iPad2. So far all is well and it should be an easy to adopt upgrade … particularly since it was free. I’ve had my frustrations with both Apple OS and Microsoft Windows upgrades in the past, but this update seems to be well tested and planned. Yes there are a few visual adjustments to make on my part, but all in all the added functionality is excellent. Long live OS X Yosemite.
Winking smile

Glen Campbell performing I’m Not Gonna Miss You

Posted By on October 18, 2014

glen-campbell-03Glen Campbell was always a favorite entertainer, singer and songwriter while I was growing up … especially that 1975 “Rhinestone Cowboy” year. He was one of the few musicians enjoyed by both my parents and me, which either made me an “odd” teen or very fortunate to have similar musical taste? 

Unfortunately for his family, and many senior citizens’ families, age brings with it some very sobering health conditions — Alzheimer’s disease being one of the more frightening. Like Glen Campbell we’re dealing with memories issues in our family too. My brother’s mother-in-law recently passed away having declined quickly dealing with Alzheimer’s and both my wife’s mom and my father are showing signs of dementia. We both are hoping its “normal aging” and that with proper geriatric health care they will be able to retain most of their memory and continue to enjoy life.

Recently Glenn Campbell release a music video that is sure to bring a tear to those knowing family or friends struggling with aging and memory loss.

He’s lived a life of up’s and down’s and had an impressive musical career – his discography.

I’ve tried and I have failed Lord
I’ve won and I have lost
I’ve lived and I have loved Lord
Sometimes at such a cost
One thing I know
The world’s been good for me
A better place awaits
You’ll see
   –Glen Campbell, “A Better Place”

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.