Month: February 2015

Closer to Podcasting.

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I’ve been getting a bunch of emails from all the sailing and boating parts stores. They all seem to wish spring was here. I do too. Right now they all have sales on for different items. I bet just about anything would be on sale if you asked. (I ask. Most people don’t.)

I was doing some research on digital cameras the last few days. I wanted to get one for podcasting and just general use. I wanted something that is good but inexpensive. We haven’t had much luck with digital cameras. They only seem to last about a year and a half and they are toast. We have 3… 2 toast and Jasmines little point and shoot one that her grandma gave her. It works great! Even with a 7 year old using it.

I found a Canon PowerShot S5 IS Cannon S5 ISon the local Kijiji site and picked it up tonight. (I just got back.) I did a bit of research looking at the “problems” this model has and am happy with the general lack of them. They have the common lens getting stuck problem if you play in the sand with it… (If you play in the sand with a digital camera you may have a problem…) Overall they seem pretty reliable and have 4 1/5 star reviews. YouTube and the different camera forums are great to find out what you want to know. For price comparison I check Ebay and Amazon. For what I paid I got a screaming great deal!

This camera has a video feature that records in real HD. A big plus for me as I plan to make some instructional videos for YouTube. Also some not just for YouTube but for the charter boats. I can load videos on the tablet about how to use the different chart plotter programs and other things like how to anchor. I also will have a welcome message for the charter guests. And some general information about the boat itself. (I really want to remind guests about the dagger  board and how to raise it if they plan to go into shore or through a shallow passage.) The dagger board is the thing that is most likely to be damaged on our boats. I don’t want to have to keep the deposit and have someone replace it.

Tomorrow I plan to do some stuff at the shop. I need to take pictures of the interior of my 04 SAAB to send to someone that is thinking of buying it. They live 2 hours away so the pictures will save them the drive. I’ll take the new camera and do a short video while I’m at it too.football 1298

I put a battery on the charger in my garage for the truck. (It’s battery is in the Siren 17.) I picked up this battery in the summer and thought I’d put it in the Siren but didn’t. It’s newer than the old truck battery so it is best in the truck. I’ve discharged the battery in the Siren a few times and I know it’s on it’s last legs. I do have a small solar panel that charges it but I have no idea how well it does as I haven’t tested it. I figured that putting it on the charger couldn’t hurt.

I ordered a digital manual for the truck last week and it arrived today. I can even upload it to my Drop Box account and have it on any device any time or place I want.  It’s on CD so I can use it with any laptop I want to. That is a very handy feature. I don’t like the old book format with the news print pages that rip if you drop it.

Magic Fluff Fairy Machine.

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Jasmine is the happiest little girl in the world right now! A package came in the mail today… An Ebay purchase from 4 weeks back. To Jasmine this is a wonderful magical machine that makes fairies! Oh so many fairies! So much fun!

It’s a sweater ball shaver… Yes a kind of electric razor for your sweater! You know the type. You use it just like an electric razor but on your sweater. It gets rid of sweater balls. Those nasty little balls of fluff that are a product of wearing and washing the sweater.

To Jasmine this magic machine makes fluff fairies. Lots of fluff fairies! She couldn’t be happier.

I let her use it to de-ball one of my sweaters and she is hooked, She sees them (The fluff fairies) flying around inside the clear fairy catcher and is amazed!

She did 3 sweaters and a knit hat tonight before she wanted to let them out so she could play with them. I did and she was so gentle with the big ball of fluff. It was like she was holding a baby bird. So cute.

I told her she could take some of them to school with her tomorrow only if she told her friends that they came from my belly button. Looks like she isn’t going to take them to school…

She has taken them into her room and has them on her nature table. It’s going to be interesting to see what type of games she makes up to play with the for sure.

I mentioned that CoCo would love to play with them but she doesn’t think that is a good idea. CoCo is our robot vacuum. I told her that she had to take good care of them because if they were forgotten on the floor he would eat them.

We had a chat about what she wanted to do when she grows up a while later. She said that she wants to be an entrepreneur but doesn’t know what to do. I told her that she won’t have any problem figuring it out when she wants to.

I’m sure she won’t have a problem thinking outside the box. She is great at it now.

Frozen Bike, Meters, Birds.

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On my quest for cats in the village today I came across a frozen bicycle.20150224_113153 20150224_113159 It is out front of a spin class place. (A place to ride stationary bikes.) You can even bring your own bike to this place and they will hook it up to make it stationary if you prefer… I’m not sure but I bet people do this in the summer as well… Probably a lot safer than riding on London’s streets!

My hour meters came in the mail today.20150224_220551 20150224_220613 When it gets above 0C I’ll install them in the two outboards that are going north this year. They are a pretty simple device that work on any gas engine that has a spark plug ignition. They don’t require batteries as they are powered by the magnetic field that is generated by the 5 loops of wire you wrap around the spark plug wire. They are waterproof too. Their has to be a capacitor inside that keeps the charge that is produced by the coil on the plug wire. The add on Ebay said they keep a charge for about 1.5 years.

How it works is it just counts the # and speed of the sparks sent to the plug. It’s a simple math equation to get the # of hours after that. It shows the # of hours and 10ths of an hour on the screen. These meters can be easily installed in the inside of the motor bay on any outboard. You can use screws, wire ties or double sided tape to fasten them. Simple.

These will be great for figuring out how much each motor is used each week by the charterers. I’ll be able to calculate fuel economy as well as how much each motor is run on average. This will also help me know when the motor needs serviced. I do expect to replace the spark plugs, water pump and the bottom end gear oil each season anyway. But if I find that spark plugs or a water pump is only good for so many hours I can take preemptive action to replace things before it is a problem for a customer.

These hour meters offer a lot of piece of mind for very little cost. Each was $6 shipping included. It did take 4 weeks for someone to paddle them over from China. (I see that shipping to the USA is half the time as it is to Canada From China. They must have more boats going more often to the USA than here.) The Stuff coming to Canada must wait for a full container before that is shipped and then for the container boat to be filled after that.

I’m getting anxious to get the new tablet I ordered. I really look forward to getting it in my hands and doing some testing with it. I’ve been reading on the Android forums about other models from different companies that are just hitting the market that look great too. It will be interesting to see what has improved by this time next year. At the rate things are happening now the sky’s the limit!

I took a photo of the drawing that Jasmine did yesterday.20150224_220631(0) See the one bird with the eyelashes and the pink bow… That’s the Mom. Cute!

Remember to sign up for a chance to win a free charter at our website. www.northchannelcharters.com

Tell your friends too!

Duck, Duck, Merganser, Cat!

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I got to stay home with Squeaky today. She was more cough cough than squeak though. We didn’t get to my buddy Mick’s catalog but we did some fun stuff. We watched a few episodes of the Bernstein Bears and the new Ned the cat video that was released today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sUrjMXG8G0 (They email me when a new one comes out…) It was a really good one showing more of Ned’s personality. We learned that he has a double!!!Ned and Carlos Carlos! His reflection in the mirror! (We may have a direction for naming our cat puppet now…) What is the feminine equivalent of Carlos..? This is about to get complicated… Here are a few I just found: Names that sound like Carlos include Carla, Carmen, Carolina, Caroline, Carlesah, Carlis (English), Carlise (English), Carlyse (English), Corless, Corlis, Corliss (English), Corlisse, Corlys, Corlyss, Korliss, Carilis (English), Carleesia (English), Carleeza (English), Carlesa, Carlessa, Carlicia (English), Carliqua (English), Carlisa (English), and Carlisah… )

We also watched a how to build a puppet video. I think I’m going to start over with our cat puppet after watching that video. It is more the overall shape we need to copy. The fir is the thing the is messing us up when we look at him. He is trimmed in areas so his profile is kind of wonky it I try to copy it. The trick is… (I think.) Make him like a normal puppet and trim him to look like Ned’s profile. I can see my electric clippers coming in handy some time soon.

I’m glad I didn’t go to work chasing cats in Wortley village today. The high was -19 with a wind chill making it feel like -35. The cat’s are probably frozen solid if they are outside.

Jasmine also did some drawing today. I looked up some of the ducks that we saw in the river on our walk yesterday and found they are rare for these parts. One pair anyways. A pair of Harlequin ducks.Harlequin Duck we also saw some red headsmale Redhead and common gold eyesCommon Goldeneye and a scarlet merganser.Common Merganser (Photos by Paul Roedding ) After we looked on the internet I got out our Birds of Canada book and we went through it. (I told her the reason their are puffins on the cover is because they are the tastiest. She still doesn’t believe me.) When we had gone through the book I asked her to draw her favorite birds. She ended up picking a blue bird of some type that I can’t remember… (I’ll put up photos tomorrow.)

At 1:30 the fridge repair guy came by to fix the fridge. The problem was the starter module was unplugged. (I noticed he brought along a new motherboard and new starter module just in case.)

It’s working great now. The ice cream is hard! (All that Heidi wanted.) I gave it another good cleaning inside and out. Also got carried away and wiped down all the kitchen cupboards… the stove too. I don’t know what got over me… After my cleaning frenzy Heidi and I emptied the fridge on the back porch and put all the stuff in the new fridge. Everything was frozen. Romaine lettuce was like a rock. The pickles were even frozen in suspended animation…

Tonight at 6 I went out to dinner with a group of local business people. It’s a social / networking group that has just started. I went to promote the Live Your Legend group that I’m the host of for London. I want others to join… I did get an email yesterday from one interested person so things are moving in the right direction. All the people in attendance were very nice. I plan to attend the next meeting in March.

#’rd trees, Beaver, Zebra.

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Another beautiful day on only -5 today let us get outside and go for a walk in the woods near our house. We went to the woods behind the seminary down by the river.

It’s a nice place to walk with bike trails and hiking trails through the woods. The hiking trails are what we mostly take as it is more scenic and a bit of a challenge with all the exposed rocks and tree roots. They are exposed partly because of people walking their but also because it is flooded each year by the Thames River.20150222_145551 20150222_150949 20150222_151118

The river was really low today compared to it’s norm in the summer. The beaver pond was down too. It looks like the city came in with a backhoe and removed part of the dam to drain it. i wonder if that has something to do with the tree counting they are doing in that park… I noticed these aluminum tags  nailed to the trees in that park. Each tag has a different # on it. I guess a beaver could really mess up the tree count… London is know as the Forest City…

Our choice of walk area was planned today. Yesterday Jasmine saw a dream catcher in the owl store and wanted me to buy her one. I told her I and mummy would teach her how to make one today. So after watching a couple dream catcher how to videos that started with… Go to Walmart… Ahhhh! We just went out and found a stick that you could bend into a circle. Priceless!

We used red dogwood because it is a nice red color and has brown spots on it. It’s bendy too.

After our walk the girls got to making loops and I went to the shop to get more snow off the truck. I also dug out the wheels to get at the valve stems to fill them with air again.  While at the shop I removed the roof rack bars from the other car and put them on my car. My buddy Knoal (Not his real name.) needed a hand to get a sheet of drywall from the hardware store to a job so we did that after I was finished at the shop. The job he was doing was a ceiling repair for our friend Mick Durham. One of his pipes burst above the kitchen and after the plumbing repairs there was a 5×5’ hole.

We stayed a while and chatted with Mick. He has a art show coming up in St Thomas and he gave me an invitation and a show catalog. (Link) I’ll go through the catalog with Jasmine this week. It’s full of really cool pictures of his work. A lot of his work includes brightly colored toys so I’m sure she will be intrigued. When I was leaving I took a picture of his Zebra collection on the mantle piece. I didn’t count them but I bet their has to be 70 or more.20150222_171100

When we were out on our walk I brought along Jasmines digital camera that her grandparents gave her. I wanted to do a quick video and check the quality to see if it will work for me podcasting. I’ll put a link up to the YouTube video when I get it edited.

We didn’t do anything to the cat puppet today. I think that the foam head is too large so I’m going to make a few adjustments before we continue with it.

Snow blowing mall owls.

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Jasmine and I drove slowly through Wortley Village looking for cats. No luck again. We did that after I saw my chiropractor on our way to a mall.20150221_114522 20150221_115611

We don’t frequent malls. Probably go to one about twice a year. (I don’t count the central Library mall as a mall. It’s more of a post secondary training facility with a dollar store and a Bulk Barn.) We went to White Oaks Mall for lunch and so I could hit all the different cellular providers and check price plans. I just want to leverage them against who I’m with now. It’s time for me to upgrade phones. Yes I did get a used S3 in the summer… But Heidi needs something she can use. She fumbles along with my old BB without much success. I want to give her my S3 and get a new phone for myself. Also I want to incorporate our plans to share data if I can.

After Jasmine and I had lunch we went all over the mall and found an Owl store… It may as well have been an owl store… Lots of owls.20150221_121053 20150221_121114 20150221_121122 20150221_121137

After the mall we went to Canadian Tire so I could ask about the process they go through for the safety I need them to do on my truck. It seems simple… So they say. I’m going to ask a few different stores and see what they say. (I’m skeptical when it comes to CT auto repair shops.)

My afternoon was full of snow blowing at Heidi’s and the shop. I got the snow blower started on the 3rd pull. I was surprised. I thought I would need the extension cord and the electric start. But no it started fine. It still leaks a little gas from the carb when it’s not running… That didn’t seem to slow it down at all. I did find out that if you hit a chain link fence it slows down to a stop… Someone hit my fence last fall with their car and just drove off… I hit part of that fence with the snow blower today and got it stuck on the chain link…20150221_144739 20150221_144754 The shop is on a corner and people love to turn around in my driveway.  It happen so much that each year I fill in potholes where they stop and reverse! Seems someone got off onto the lawn a bit and hit the fence… It’s not the first time it’s been hit. It was hit about 8 years ago and the post broke. I put a post inside the old post and things were fine. You would never know it had been broken. It was solid. It’s not now. The end post and part of the top post are missing! Just disappeared in the night… I’ve had bad luck with fences at the shop. Two other fences has been hit and knocked down. Now the last one has to go too. So I’ll be fence less. That’s fine as I don’t like to trim along them as much as people like hitting them.

I tried to clear the foot of snow off the truck as much as I could but I forget to bring a plastic shovel. The one at the shop has a metal edge and I didn’t want to scratch the new paint. The rest of the snow is all cleaned up around the truck. I will put the plastic shovel in the car so I have it next time I’m by and finish off the truck.

Tomorrow Jasmine and I are going to do a few videos with her digital camera and see how we can edit them. I think this will be fun for both of us.

Vlog and podcast training 101.

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No cats again today…

I’ve been on YouTube since I came home learning how to Vlog and podcast. I have an idea that involves both so I need to know how to do it.

I have downloaded a couple free editing programs and a program that lets me record Skype calls. All of this has to work on a PC as I got rid of the Mac. There’s some pretty neat stuff out there in the way of free software. There’s also a bunch of junk! I think I stayed away from the junk. At least I hope I did. Guess I’ll find out next time I turn the laptop on…

Tomorrow I am going to the shop to clear the truck off and blow the snow. I need to get the VIN# off it so I can figure out what to do about keys. I have only 1 key.

I have a few options. Go to the dealer and pay more for a key than I did for the truck. Get keys on Ebay and take them to the dealer to have them program them… Buy a used complete lock set with 3 keys and fobs from Ebay for $40… (I need the Vin to make sure it will work.) I’m up to the task of changing the locks. It’s easier than you think.

While I’m at the shop I need to remove the roof racks from the other car. I don’t want to sell them with it as I will still need them for my car.

Heidi has something to do tomorrow morning so I am going to go exploring with Jasmine. It is supposed to be -5 so we can go outside. The high was -15 here today. Not a lot of fun if you are outside…