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About --Pete

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  • Birthday 07/05/1943

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  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Revolution, Flexifoil, Hawaiian Team, stunt trains
  • Flying Since
  • Location
    SE Michigan
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    Besides kites: reading, hobby machining, computers, electronics, gadgetry, words, classical music, country music
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  1. I discovered that a tracking cookie blocker that I have begun using was preventing me from seeing the Amazon search box. I just "white-listed" the Amazon cookies from Kitelife and now all is well.
  2. I've made winders of this sort up to 36 inches long. Each wrap pulls six feet of line out of the sky. Rather than a notch, I make a deep (3-4 inches) "U" at each end. I also carve a long dip out of one side, opposite the hand cut-out; this makes room for my normal figure-8 winding as well as making an easy visual reference to make sure I let line off from the same side I wound it on from. (Keeps from getting twists in the line.) Rather than a notch for tying off the line for flying, I cast a couple of half-hitches on one of the horns (along-side of one of the "U"s). I make the big ones out of standard 3/4" boards because I sometimes wind on under considerable tension. Winders for things like dual and quad line-sets can be as light as 1/4" plywood (5 mm would be fine) since they are never wound on with any tension at all. Here are some like this: A 14" winder holding a supply of paracord, and a 30" with some 500# Dacron fiberglass pull-tape, plus a really ugly plywood 5-footer holding a 100' extension cord made from 8 gauge Romex (I needed some serious power a long way from the outlet).
  3. --Pete

    E-cigs ? Vaping ?

    Coming up on three years without smoking. At the rate i was spending money when I quit smoking, I've saved well over $35,000 (but spent maybe $3000 on vaping equipment and materials). That's a lot of money available for kites and kite travel. I feel better; I can taste food; I smell better - in both senses: I can smell the world around me, and I don't smell like an ashtray anymore. I like my nicotine. It helps me concentrate, calms me, and it may be helping stave off or delay Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. I don't plan to give it up. One thing: if I can't vape for a few hours, the discomfort is nothing like the effect of being separated from cigarettes. I want to vape, but there is nothing like the disabling craving back when I smoked.
  4. Not saying the drone flyer was blameless, but that he was arrested on a bogus charge.
  5. If you read the comments, the NYPD copter was chasing the drone, not the other way round. So who is to blame there? [ my 'aitch" key just died this morning. I have to cut'n'paste every h from somewhere else on the page. Arrgh! ] The police were chasing the drone, because the drone flyer was doing something potentially catastrophic to anyone flying in that airspace, not to mention the danger to someone getting hit by the drone. If a drone is dangerous to a helicopter, and a drone is dangerous to people on the ground, then how can the NYPD pilot justify risking the 'copter by bringing it close to a drone while the 'copter is over said crowd? Supposedly he was arrested for flying too close to the copter.
  6. If you read the comments, the NYPD copter was chasing the drone, not the other way round. So who is to blame there? [ my 'aitch" key just died this morning. I have to cut'n'paste every h from somewhere else on the page. Arrgh! ]
  7. Kevlar™ (Du Pont) is particularly subject to UV degradation. Leaving it in direct sunlight (or fluorescent light) for any length of time will drastically weaken it.
  8. Plymouth Twp, MI (stop 30) is just a few miles from here (spare room, hot showers, and we'll take you out for a good Italian dinner).
  9. Adventure! Now's the time to do it.
  10. --Pete

    E-cigs ? Vaping ?

    New research suggests that nicotine by itself is about as addictive as caffeine (which is addictive to some extent). It seems that there are some other alkaloids in cigarette smoke which makes the nicotine much more addictive, and much harder to quit. You might consider substituting 'tobacco smoke" or just "tobacco" for 'nicotine'. It is certainly a fact that people living where they can barely grow enough food to eat will still expend time and effort to plant and cultivate tobacco. If you are able to quit "cold turkey" and want to quit using nicotine in any form, you should do so. For a great many people, this does not seem to be an option. For the rest of us, vaping seems to satisfy the craving for tobacco for long enough to get over the addiction to tobacco, and then (once the addiction to smoking has been beaten) be able to reduce or even completely quit using nicotine by vaping lower and lower levels over time. Nicotine has its own negative side effects (arrhythmia among them) but with the growing amount of data available of people exposed to nicotine without those alkaloids plus the other 4000 compounds found in tobacco smoke, some of the many positive effects of nicotine are coming to light. I monitor for the negative effects of nicotine (HDL/LDL imbalance* in my case) and enjoy the positive effects (mental concentration, reduced Alzheimer's risk, mood alteration among them). === * Nicotine causes small amounts of damage to capillary walls and uses up some "good" cholesterol to repair them; moderate HDL/LDL imbalance can be managed with diet, exercise, and safe, inexpensive medication.
  11. Two suggestions: Lock it down. Most cameras have a 1/4-20 tripod mount. It would be easy to fasten the camera or the tripod and camera to something fixed or heavy (this is a time when a quick-attach plate would NOT be a good idea). A very light chain should be sufficient for this. Not secure for more than 10-15 seconds, but that might be enough with some secondary protection. This certainly wouldn't stop a determined or prepared burglar with plenty of time, but it would stop a grab-and-run thief. Put an alarm on it. For a few bucks you can get an alarm that will hang from any projection that will go off if the alarm box is shifted. You might have to tape it to a tripod leg to prevent the wind from moving it and setting it off. The down-side is that a grab-and-run might throw your camera down if the alarm went off while he was holding it. The combination of the two might be enough. Putting a small sign saying that the camera is alarmed might just stop an attempt in the first place. "Please do not disturb this camera. A LOUD alarm will go off if the camera is moved." (It says nothing about stealing; just that the alarm will sound if the camera is moved.)
  12. --Pete

    E-cigs ? Vaping ?

    There is plenty of research which says that what Vapers exhale is no threat to bystanders. I feel comfortable vaping around my grandchildren. If you are convinced that vaping is harmful to the vaper or to others, you may be parroting propaganda spread by Big Tobacco or Big Pharma. Both of those groups have billions of dollars to lose if people quit smoking, or quit trying useless cessation materials like patches, gums and candies. Get it straight - vaping is not harmful to others, anymore than wearing a nicotine patch or chewing nicotine gum. The only demonstrable difference is that vaping actually helps people quit smoking whereas the things provided by Big Pharma have a very poor track record (although they do make a lot of money for Big Pharma). Every time you pass on scare material, you are helping the money-suckers, and helping them get laws passed which will prevent former smokers from getting access to materials that will help them quit smoking.
  13. Might make it after our usual Wednesday night dinner out followed by a movie at home.
  14. In most cases, the App will make better use of the limited real-estate on a smartphone, unless the website can detect that it is being accessed by a smartphone and change itself to something suitable. (It is rare for a website to provide a really good smartphone version.) That said, there some really terrible Apps out there. For any given site, you should probably try both ways and see which you like best.
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